There are impulse buys and there are Impulse Buys, and while I'm nowhere near as prolific as Lee in the wide world of absolute fiscal irresponsibility, I'd like to think that when I pull the trigger on something, I do it the right way.
There are a lot of these around nowadays, and while there's a good number of them that will be devoted to things like polyrhythmic djent (not that there's anything wrong with that), this AFX NGD is a little different. This thing is meant to churn out 80's thrash, speed metal, power metal and a healthy dose of shredding, and I'm pairing it with the Roadster rather than a power amp because, plainly put, I really like the sound of my amp. It'll be sweet to have the AFX models on hand as well, so I like to think that this should really be the last piece of my rig that I need to buy for some time as it's the best of both worlds. I have a Roadster, and I have an Ultra, and I can go 100% AFX using the Roadster as a power amp or run it in the loop for effects to supplement the Mesa tone.
Not to mention that for all of the recording that I never seem to get around to, I finally have something that sounds great direct. That's pretty huge for me, because for the last 10 bloody years or so, it's something I've never been able to do.
Blathering aside, I'll say that Cliff at Fractal is an absolutely top-notch guy. I bought this last night, and while I knew they were somewhere in Mass, I didn't know that Fractal's shop was 5 miles from my house. Cliff did though, so this morning I had an email inviting me over to just come and pick it up in person to save myself time, shipping fees, and to check out the shop.
So on my way home from work, I stopped by here:
It would be impolite to walk in and take a bajillion pictures of someone's business, but I will say a couple of things. Fractal's setup is cool, Cliff is one easy going, extremely knowledgable guy who comes off as someone that you both would easily have a beer with, and there are a LOT of Axe-Fx's going out all over the world. To that end, I present you with this picture, blurry as hell (thanks iPhone 4!), but of the hero of our tale surrounded by one of several stacks of in-progress AFX units and a whole bunch of moving boxes because Fractal is moving to a new location to better meet the demand. The floorboards for the rack units are next to me, and I hope you're a patient person if you want one, but they also look fantastic.
(removed to stop the rumor mill, haha)
Oh, and here's a pic of my amp, since there's a lot of text here and I know that bassists and drummers sometimes read this, and their attention span isn't exactly what you'd call.. Well, "long".
Pictures aside, thank you very much Cliff, both for taking the time to invite me up and save me some scratch and for letting me impose on you for the better part of an hour and talk shop. I really appreciate it, and can't wait to dig into this guy and start forging some proper metal with it. The popularity of the AFX speaks for itself, but it's also really nice to meet the guy behind it all and see that he's such a down to earth fellow gearhead like the rest of us.
And just because, a couple more pics of my amp. Everyone likes pictures.
It's ok. I'll just go eat dirt.