My overall feedback to the Quad Cortex

thanks! I will definitly work on the gain staging. one of my major problems using the QC that everything sounds crunched etc…

I’ve got an Axe FX III, Helix, and have now added Quad Cortex to the collection.
I get great tones of of all three either into a Gemini 2 FRFR by Mission Engineering, a Line 6 Powercab Plus FRFR, or two JBL
EON 615’s I use as sidefill monitors.

Sounds great though all my JBL SRX, SR II mains and subs, and all my Presonus ULT Mains and subs.

I’ve owned a crap load of very expensive amps (and still have a few), and I don’t really miss any of them out gigging out playing in the church mega band!

I am waiting for some hybrid switching from Neural on the QC like 4 stomps/4 scenes mode! I live and die by this on the fractal and line 6 units!


I recently received the quad cortex and share similar experience as the OP. I’ve been using both a Line 6 HX stomp and Fractal FM3 and sound wise the QC is probably my least favourite. However I see the potential for big development and hopefully updated amp and FX lists. I purchased the Nolly, Plini and recently the Petrucci Plugins and nothing on the QC sounds as good as either of these to my ears. The great sound of the plugins is what made me purchase the QC in the first place and it’s the hope that they achieve this in the near future that’s making me keep it for now.

If you are comparing the QC tones to HX and FM3 and unable to achieve good tones with the QC, you are doing something wrong. It’s almost impossible to get any bad tones with all the IR/parameters you have to tweak. The QC is on par tone-wise with the other big 3: Kemper, Helix and Fractal


Well, I tried to keep myself off this discussion that I have started, but…
I sold my QC almost immediately after my first post. Ordered and got a Fractal FM3 instead. Connected it to my “cheap” Headrush FRFR monitors… and it was an amazing experience. Almost every amplifier sound amazing with its default settings. I dialed the SLO100 model like I dialed the real amp, and it sounded like the real amp… I dialed the JP-2C model the same way John Petrucci dials it and it sounds the same (I don’t play like him though…).
And talking about the effects… just amazing. There is no comparison at all.
I usually play the soldano models (clean, crunch, lead). We were playing in a rehearsal studio where I plugged the FM3 to the PA mixer (in stereo) and people kept knocking on the door asking what amp am I playing as it sound amazing.

IMO, the QC strength is in its ability to capture your specific amp (in your specific settings). But in terms of amp modeling (the Hugh selection of amps, their quality) cabs and effects, the FM3 wins in every category. And it is just the entry level modeler in Fractal Audio line…
If someone is happy with his/hers QC, keep it. I’m happy I replaced it with the FM3. The only thing I regret is not ordering the FM3 first and wasted a lot of time with the QC.

I agree. The plug-ins sound amazing, but you can not get the same tones with the QC.

Some people like to tweak their setup right there and don’t want to use a PC/MAC in their work-flow which Fractal products require due to their (dated) UI otherwise you are diving deep to tweak simple things. There are many aspects where the FM3 falls short, capturing, running multiple captures in one or more signal chains, multiple amp setups, touch-screen UI, wireless / cloud access etc., the list goes on and on. The QC tones are on par with Fractal’s flagship AXFX3, Helix and Kemper although many prefer the QC. If someone is happy with the competitors gear, so be it as the QC is not for everyone. If you enjoy bringing your laptop with you wherever you go just to tweak simple parameters, then so be it and enjoy!

QC just announced 10k units sold in less than a year and that number is still growing every day for a reason :slight_smile:


I love my QC and haven’t regretted my purchase one second. I performed 15 solo gigs over the holidays and used the QC non-stop, running my guitar, theremin and a couple of noise makers through it. Just sounds great and am optimistic that it will only get better over time.

Thank you Neural.


Can you post some your samples of fm3?

Regards the original post, I’ve got the same disappointment,. I’ve tried to like the quad, but it just doesn’t work for me and I’ve reverted to my Stage.
I get constantly irked with most, if not all, the captures and presets in the cloud. Little notation or information which I can work with, and the feeling that every quad capture is directed at heavy metal.
The volume controls still bug me. I’ll keep it for the next 6 months or so, but Neural need to get their act together and sort out a eclectic group of amplifiers, and try to get some quality data in the cloud.

Heavy metal?
There are A LOT of marshall fender and so on captures…here marshall dsl in mp3 zipped… (698.8 KB)
10 minuts of mix on the fly with headphones, the mix can be unbalanced…
But qc captures are for any type of music styles!

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Waiting on features that get included in their plugins is the reason I sold my quad cortex. I just don’t understand how they are basically cutting off their customers that spent over $1800 on a QC. When new plugins come out why would those models not get included in the QC. Even if the double (for instance) cost a few bucks more. I just don’t get it. It’s like they don’t want to cut into their plug-in market by including these things in the QC. When I got on the wait list for a QC we were told that the plugins that we owned would be able to be used on the QC soon after release and a software editor was in the works. Even the models that were shown were not all included. The Quad Cortex is a great unit but it was promised that features would be included that just are not there. They released another plug-in today that I am sure will not see any release on the QC. With every plug-in released with something the community has been asking months if not a year for on the QC seems like a slap in the face. Just my 2 cents.

@yairraz – this is it exactly. People are expecting the wrong thing with the QC (and this is probably neural’s fault). What they should have been pushing from the start was the capture process. Without that, it’s just another basic floor unit - but the capture is really what sets it apart (at least until an unknown date when plugins may/may not be available).

The single biggest selling point of the QC should be - capture your real gear so it’s easy to use everywhere and in the studio without sacrificing your tone. If you don’t have great gear to begin with, it’s going to be substantially harder to find that sound you want. Just like with the kemper - lots of sifting, digging, testing - in the end with a great sounding profile but really no way to change it too far from what it is. And that’s fine - that’s the nature of capturing. That’s what it’s SUPPOSED to be. But I think a lot of customers may not have realized this up front and are disappointed as a result. The amp models - for now, are an added bonus but do not really compete with fractal by themselves.

TL DR - I think people had the wrong expectation of what the QC is, and a lot were left disappointed as a result. If you use it for what it is, it’s a great unit - but I wouldn’t pick it as my one and only.

Edit - this is a necro thread, oops!