Sound on Sound's editor-in-chief, Paul White, has been getting up close and personal with the new AXE I/O. He was impressed by its design, audio quality, guitar friendliness and its great included software bundle.
Here are some of Paul's comments:
"The overall tech spec is impressive, with a quoted 117dB dynamic range and a 3Hz-32kHz frequency response, through 24-bit low-jitter converters at up to 192kHz sample rates."
"When re-amping, the ground isolation of the amp output really helps, as a clean recording can be played back via the amp out jack and then fed to an amplifier or chain of pedals without provoking ground-loop induced hum."
"As a straightforward interface, AXE I/O sounds very clean both for playback and for recording."
"The Z-Tone knob gradually darkens the sound as the impedance is lowered - sometimes lowering it just a small way from maximum helps take away the brittle edge from some guitars."
"Using the included AmpliTube, you can recreate a wide range of classic guitar sounds without ever turning on an amplifier while the T-Racks studio processors are good to have on your side during a mix. The free Lite version of Ableton's Live is also a great way to get into composing."
"AmpliTube Presets and the controls of software rigs can be accessed using the input knob rather than a mouse: push and turn the knob to select and load presets, with the option to assign the knob to any parameter as required."
Paul's final verdict is:
"All in all, the Axe l/O represents exceptional value as you get a well-designed, clean-sounding, guitar-friendly interface along with a very serious bundle of software."
Key Plusses -
+ Easy to use
+ Clean signal path with good ground-loop isolation where needed
+ Generous pack of bundled software