Fractal Audio FX8 Guitar Multi-Effects Processor
Fractal Audio is a relatively small company that competes directly with the world's biggest amp modeling and effects manufacturers. They built their reputation on the quality of their premium priced guitar processor called AxeFX, but has since expanded into relatively more affordable territory with the AX8 and FX8.
The FX8 has a great balance of quality, complexity and practicality and is a true multi-effects "only" unit, so there's no amp modeling feature to get hung up on.
The FX8 lets you configure up to eight effects per preset, from a list of impressive effects that are modeled from classic to modern stompboxes.
It also offers a more traditional work flow via Fractal Audio's "Scenes" mode, which lets you assign effects to footswitches, turning the unit into a virtual stompbox pedalboard. And since it utilizes the same algorithm as their premium processors, you can be sure that each effect model has the same sound quality.
Fractal Audio is also known for their boutique like attention to detail and build quality, which is prevalent in the FX8's design. Most notably its footswitches which are designed to have no-mechanical contacts, meaning no noise and improved reliability.
- Effects: 130 (8 Simultaneous)
- Presets: 128 (8 Scenes Per Preset)
- Footswitches: 11
- Input: 1 x 1/4" (Pre), 2 x 1/4" (Post), 2 x 1/4" (Relay)
- Output: 2 x 1/4" (Pre), 2 x 1/4" (Post), 2 x 1/4" (Exp Pedal)
- MIDI: In/Out/Thru
- Extra Features: Axe-Fx II Algorithms, No Mechanical Contact Footswitches, 240-sec Looper, Stompbox Mode, XY Switching, Tap Tempo
- USB: Software Editing / Updates
- Dimensions: 16.35” x 3.96” x 10.00”
- Weight: 11.5 lbs.
Pristine and hi-fidelity are two words that many use to describe the Fractal Audio FX8's sound. Even experts are amazed, like how Guitar Interactive Magazine praised the unit by saying: "it’s easy to say that the FX8 is the most fully featured and best sounding multi effects unit on the market right now". The quality of its reverb and delay got a lot of thumbs up, while other users found its drive and modulation effects to be inspiring.
There are few user complaints other than value for money, because you can get something with other extras like amp modeling for the same price. Still the Fractal Audio FX8 is a multi-effects unit that many will buy if budget permits.
The FX8 came off our recommended list until November 2018 because after performing a thorough review of muliteffects processors we found that there were then more highly rated options to recommend - one of them being another unit from Fractal Audio. You can see our current recommendations in our guide to The Best Guitar Multi Effects Pedals / Processors.