Most Fractal users are more than willing to allow other's to come and demo their rigs.Just go on the Fractal forum, and find a user close by. No money comes from Fractal for doing this, it's just nice folks being nice.
You can always purchase, and return in 30 days. (but you won't return it) ;)
Similar DSP engines and technology, different interfaces.
I started with the Fractal before Kemper really got aboard with their product. Just stayed with what I knew.
If I needed only 1 type of sound, a valve amp / combo and a few pedals, a mic'd up close combo would work too.
Just in a building of +/- 300, the combo has to be isolated away from the platform. The Fractal gives me the tone down low. Most churches won't permit high SPL's on the platform.
I sold the Axe FX I, and a pair of RCF wedges, to finance the II. Definetly the last modler/amp I will purchase..period. No more G.A.S. (Gear Aquisition Syndrome)
I'm digging it ,as is the band. Simplified my rig greatly. 1 out/xlr to FOH, another to my IEM mix.
I'm ready to go in 5 min's of hitting the door.
Agreed, really expensive. I also play in a cover band in The Villages, Journey, Boston, funk, soul, R&B and country. When gigging, stage monitors are used instead of IEM's.
Easy to setup patches to duplicate all the myriad of sounds needed.
The HD's and "M" series are probably the best choice in the budget market.
The Fractal Axe is really for spoiled rich kids, or the full time player.