Frequently Asked Questions

For customer service questions please click here - Customer Service
For a brief history on the AxeTrak please click here - Brief History
For AxeTrak Demonstration please click here - AxeTrak Demo on YouTube

Are your products sold in any music stores?
How do I know which version I have?
Can I upgrade my older unit to the newer version/standard?
Do you currently ship your products to other countries?
What type of microphone is used in the AxeTrak?
Can I change the microphone or reposition it?
What type of speaker is used in the AxeTrak?
How long are the speakers guaranteed for?
Can I purchase an AxeTrak with a custom input impedance?
How loud is the AxeTrak outside of the enclosure?
Why is the AxeTrak so quiet considering how loud my amp is?
Can I use the AxeTrak with high power tube amps rated over 50 watts?
How many watts does it take to drive the AxeTrak?
Can the AxeTrak damage my amp?
What happens if I blow the fuse? Will it damage my amp?
Where can I get replacement fuses for the AxeTrak?
Do I have to use the impedance matching transformer to get the best possible tone?
If the AxeTrak is plugged into a mixing board or recorder that has phantom power applied will it damaged the AxeTrak?
What should I use to remove the deep plug if it gets overtightened?
Does the AxeTrak work for clean tones?
Can the AxeTrak work for church situations where sound quality is important and stage level is a concern?
What is the difference between the guitar version and the bass guitar version?
Can I use the Bass guitar version of the AxeTrak with high power bass amps rated over 75 watts?
Do you have a return policy?

Are your products sold in any music stores? At the current time all domestic sales of AxeTrak products are handled factory direct. To maintain the quality and the tight tolerances necessary to eliminate unwanted resonance and noise, all AxeTrak products are handmade one unit at a time right here in the USA. This commitment to quality comes at a high premium. In order to keep our products as competitively priced as possible, we have chosen to deliver them factory direct in the USA. However, we are currently looking for exclusive dealers in other major countries throughout the world.

How do I know which version I have? The first guitar version (Rev A.) of the AxeTrak did not have a paddle switch on the front of the unit. The second version (Rev B.) introduced the high frequency roll-off switch. The third version (Rev C.) introduced our custom AxeTrak® brand speaker and also has an aluminum faceplate. The serial number on this version begins with AXT-. The fourth version (Rev D.) has all the improvements of the previous versions plus one major benefit. It allows the user to adjust the microphone position and angle approximately 30 degrees. It still produces the exact same sound of the previous version but with the flexibility of moving the mic directly on axis for a brighter more present sound. This allows for recording cleaner rhythms as well as the signature "AxeTrak crunch". The serial number on this version begins with ATV-. The latest version (Rev E) is the AxeTrak "PRO". This model has a dual gang paddle switch, 100 degrees of mic rotation, and features the new AxeTrak "Rapture" speaker. Has the PRO label on the faceplate of unit and the serial number begins with ATPRO-.

Can I upgrade my older unit to the newer version/standard? Yes, we are happy to upgrade your unit for a moderate fee. Upgrading to the new "PRO" model is quite involved and takes about 3 - 4 hours to complete. When we are finished with your unit it will be 100% converted to the new standard inside and out. The price for this procedure is $219.00 plus shipping. If you would like to have one of your older units upgraded to the new AxeTrak "PRO" standard, please send us an email with your serial number included to start the process. We will in turn give you a RMA number and address for the return of your unit. The process usually takes just a few days to complete.

Do you currently ship your products to other countries? Yes, we are currently able to ship our products to more than 190 countries via the United States Postal Service. We offer both Priority Mail International and Priority Mail Express International. These insured methods of shipment are the most cost effective methods for the customer.

What type of microphone is used in the AxeTrak? The proprietary microphone used in the AxeTrak is of the dynamic cardioid type. Of course we started with the industry standard SM57 when developing this product but quickly realized that what sounded good in an open room sounded awful and unnatural in the small wooden enclosure of the AxeTrak. This dilemma made it necessary for us to try countless variations and types of microphones for this application before finally deciding on the modified dynamic cardioid cartridge that we now use.

Can I change the microphone? No, The microphone used is our unit cannot be changed.

What type of speaker is used in the AxeTrak? The guitar version of our tabletop AxeTrak uses our heavy-duty AxeTrak® "Rapture" speaker. The bass guitar version of our tabletop AxeTrak uses a speaker manufactured by Eminence Speaker. Both of these speakers are 6.5 inches in diameter and are built like tanks. The speaker used in the guitar version is custom made to our unique specifications and is the perfect match for the other components used on this device. We had a particular sound in mind and this speaker gives it like no other on the planet. The speaker used in the bass version is custom made as well and has extended low end response. Musicians are amazed when they hear the thump and presence that this little baby puts out.

How long are the speakers guaranteed for? All speakers used in our products carry a 1 year warranty through JLH Technologies, LLC. We are proud to say that in all the years that we have been selling our products we have NEVER had a single speaker fail.

Can I purchase an AxeTrak with a custom input impedance? Yes, sometimes there are unique situations where a user will need a specific impedance value for their setup. This is no problem. For an additional $10.00 we will gladly make your AxeTrak in either 4 or 16 ohms.

How loud is the AxeTrak outside of the enclosure? When used correctly as described in the manual, the audible level of sound generated by the AxeTrak is approximately 65 to 70 db. This level of sound can be compared to that of a soft conversation. However, the sound generated by the AxeTrak does not carry, and it is definitely not boomy. Your sound will be quietly contained to the room of use, and better yet, your neighbors and family members will never hear a thing. Being able to hear when the axetrak is being used also serves as a safety feature to protect against no load situations. This information is clearly explained in the manual.

Why is the AxeTrak so quiet considering how loud my amp is? The volume of the AxeTrak is greatly reduced due to several factors:

1. Our custom designed speakers reduce the volume of the sound as compared to full size speakers.
2. Our proprietary electronics reduce the volume.
3. Our small box design helps to reduce the volume.
4. The interior design and sound dampening reduce the volume.
5. The exterior non-woven carpet helps to reduce the volume of the AxeTrak.

Can I use the AxeTrak with high power tube amps rated over 50 watts? The AxeTrak can usually handle a 50 watt tube head at full or close to full volume. Please note, if you use a foot pedal or rack effect that boosts the level or gain of your amp, you must reduce the master volume output accordingly as this can blow the fuse even with a much smaller amp. Many of our customers have 100 watt heads that they would like to use with the AxeTrak. For high power amplifiers we suggest that you do one of four things when using the AxeTrak.

1. If your amp has a master volume, Crank the channel gain to get the desired amount of overdrive for the sound that you wish to record and then slowly turn up the master volume until you get a good level reading on the LED of the AxeTrak. This is how the device is made to work.
2. Switch your high power tube amp to half power if that option is available on your amp.
3. Pull two of the power tubes if the manufacturer will confirm that this won't hurt your amp in any way.
4. Use a power attenuator or similar device to control the power output of your amp.

We crank 50 watt Marshals through the AxeTrak all day long without blowing the fuse and without any problems. Some tube amps, especially class A types, are a lot louder than other amps with the same wattage ratting.

How many watts does it take to drive the AxeTrak? The AxeTrak only needs 5 watts to do its thing. We have many customers that use low power class A tube amps in the 1 watt range that also work quite well. Any amp rated with between 5 watts and say 150 watts rms if it has a master volume will work fine with this device. Many guitarists with smaller amps use microphone preamps, mixers or compressors to boost the signal coming out of the AxeTrak. Others simply choose to run their AxeTraks into microphone preamps, mixers or compressors as part of their unique sound and recording setup to have more control over the recorded sound. Everyone is different and we encourage you to experiment.

Can the AxeTrak damage my amp? No, if the AxeTrak is used as described in the user manual it will not harm your amp in any way. Here's the thing, musical amplifiers both solid-state and tube were made to drive speakers or speaker cabinets. Quite simply, that is exactly what the AxeTrak does, your amplifier sees a speaker load. We are proud to say that we have never had any of our customers ever claim that our device was responsible for damaging their amp.

What happens if I blow the fuse? Will it damage my amp? You will immediately know when you blow a fuse on the AxeTrak because your unit will become totally silent.  To put it bluntly, the AxeTrak is as dangerous as a normal speaker cabinet. If a speaker in a regular speaker cabinet blows you run the risk of hurting your amp if you continue playing it at loud volumes with no load. The audible level of the AxeTrak on the outside of the box is approximately 65 to 70 db which is about the same level as normal speech. The AxeTrak is wired so that you will immediately know if the fuse blows. If the AxeTrak makes no sound and the LED is still operating as normal, you know the AxeTrak is receiving a good signal and you blew a fuse. Turn off your amp and change the fuse. This is an important feature because you do not want to continue playing through your amp with a no load situation. This can seriously damage your amp. This information is clearly explained in the manual. 

Where can I get replacement fuses for the AxeTrak? All models and versions of AxeTrak Isolation Cabinets use standard 250 volt, fast acting 2.5 Amp or 3 Amp fuses ( 1/4" x 1-1/4" ). These are very standard items and can be purchased from any electronics part store, most automotive part stores, and numerous places online including Ebay. Some common places to purchase these fuses are, Radio Shack, Mouser, Digikey, Parts Express and many others. The only other parameter you will need is the "Amp" rating which is stamped on the original fuse as well as printed on the serial number label. If you have any questions please contact our office.fuses are Radio Shack, Parts Express and *Custom made impedance versions of the AxeTrak use a different fuse based on the input impedance of the device. If you have a custom impedance version of the AxeTrak please check your manual for the description of this part. 

Do I need to use an impedance matching transformer to get the best possible tone? No, you definitely do not need to use an impedance matching transformer if your input or recording device can accommodate low impedance microphone cables.

If the AxeTrak is plugged into a mixing board or recorder that has phantom power applied will it damaged the AxeTrak? If your mixer or recorder will only turn phantom power on globally, that is, to all channels, and you are using the AxeTrak in one of those channels, don't worry, the phantom power will not hurt our unit. It is good practice to only turn on phantom power after all mics and cables are securely plugged in, and to turn off the phantom power at least a minute before unplugging the mics. This is absolutely crucial if one is using ribbon mics, and good form in any case.

What should I use to remove the deep plug if it gets overtightened? The deep plug has a slightly tapered thread so that it does not rattle or resonate when in use. Due to temperature variations and depending on how tightly the port was screwed in, it can sometimes be rather stubborn to remove. Should you find your port difficult to remove we suggest using a small angle bracket like the one shown in the picture below. These brackets are roughly 3-4 inches long and 7/8 inches wide. You can get them at any hardware store for about 1$. This bracket will give you plenty of leverage to remove any plug should it get over tightened. Please note: It is not necessary to over tighten the port plug. A quarter or nickel actually works quite nicely and will allow you to tighten the port just enough.

Does the AxeTrak work for clean tones? Yes, most definitely. The AxeTrak was originally designed in 1993 for reproducing overdriven tones. However over the past two decades we have made major improvements to our original unit so that the clean sounds are just as warm and true if not better than the overdriven tones. With the addition of our new AxeTrak "Rapture" speaker, custom cardiod dynamic microphone, and now the new microphone mounting assembly, clean tones are crystal clear and warm. The only concern when recording clean tones is that they must be played at a slightly reduced volume as clean tones need to move more air to develop fully. Removing the deep port can also help significantly. The AxeTrak was designed to produce the mic'd cabinet sound but with certain emphasis in mind. Many of our customers use Mesa Boogies, Marshalls, Bogners, Fenders, Peaveys and numerous others. As long as the AxeTrak is used as described in the user manual it works great in just about any situation. By no means do we claim that it is perfect for everyone as sound is very subjective. We strongly suggest that you listen to all of the sound clips and make your decision based on what you hear. You can also check the reviews section of this site for comments on the clean tone.

Can the AxeTrak work for church situations where sound quality is important and stage level is a concern? This interesting usage of the AxeTrak has become extremely popular in America. Many guitarists playing in churches that have expanded to contemporary Christian music love the sound of their amps but for obvious reasons are restricted to moderately low stage level. The AxeTrak solves this problem for guitarists as well as bass players. Any bassists that loves the overall warmth of a bass speaker moving air will hear very obvious differences when comparing an AxeTrak to a direct box or direct output of their amp, making it the perfect addition for this type of situation.

We recently opened a new campus that meets in a gymnasium on the weekends.
A friend told me about Axe Trak, but I was concerned that our musicians wouldn’t
be satisfied without their amps blasting on stage. Instead, from the first week they’ve
raved about it! We’re getting a great guitar sound while keeping complete control
over the SPL in our services. Our worship leader likes it so much that we’ve just
purchased two more for our other two campuses.

Scott Anthony, Technical Director
Cross Timbers Community Church
www.crosstimberschurch.org


The AxeTrak sounds HUGE! For something so quiet it makes a sound that can tear 
your face off.
I mix as a freelance FOH audio engineer for a lot of churches and shows 
in the Southern California region. I have never been able to get such a smooth and 
consistent tone from any other mic/cab arrangement. Generally lead players will have a 
lot of 2k – 4k abundance of tone in their live rigs and that is hard to make-work for us 
out at FOH mixing a show. The AxeTrak sends a near perfect tone to mix. The output 
of the box is at a real good level for just about any mic preamp. Not too hot and not too 
quiet. If you are looking for a great balance of tone between the studio and replicating 
that sound live you need to try an AxeTrak. Consistency has never been easier.           

Another really great application for the AxeTrak is with the use of IEM (In-Ear Monitor) 
systems. Stage levels are becoming an ever-increasing issue in our industry. In Europe 
dB level limitations are already in force for shows and we could soon see the same here 
in the US. Hearing damage is on the forefront of many industry forums and many venues 
are pushing for lower stage levels. Up till the AxeTrak there has only been pedal options 
for guitar and bass players to go quiet in live situations. Pedals alone just don’t sound 
like a real tube amp screaming for mercy and so many guitar players will opt to hear the 
yelling from people about the volume. I hate having to tell a guitar player to turn down and 
basically wreck their sound. The AxeTrak is the perfect answer to this dilemma. In my 
25 years of mixing professionally I have not heard such a great guitar tone come from 
something so humble in volume.                                                                             

Eric Kibbe, Freelance Audio Engineer
Dunamis Recording Services, Inc. 

www.dunamisrecording.com

Clients: Saddleback Church, New York Summer Stage Series, Mariners Church, 
House of Blues, Lake Avenue Church…

What is the difference between the guitar version and the bass guitar version? There are several major differences between the two versions of the AxeTrak. The first is the speaker. The speaker used in the guitar version is custom made to our unique specifications and is the perfect match for the other components used on this device. We had a particular sound in mind and this speaker gives it like no other. The speaker used in the bass version is also custom made to our unique specifications and is quite different in characteristics than the guitar speaker. It offers a very natural sound with crisp highs and extended low end response. The second major difference is the microphone mounting assembly and mic placement. Other notable differences are the color of the LED, bass and treble boost switches, as well as differences and modifications made on the inside of the cabinet. The use and optimum settings for the two cabinets are quite different from each other. The guitar version is made to be driven until the red LED glows brighly. That's when you know you have a good strong signal. The bass version is made to only be driven to the point where the green LED begins to slightly flicker. This is the cleanest, truest and warmest sound setting for this unit. It is NOT made to be driven hard like the guitar version.

Can I use the Bass guitar version of the AxeTrak with high power bass amps rated over 75 watts? The AxeTrak is designed to handle 75 watts rms but that does not mean that you cannot use a 1000 watt amp as long as the master is turned down. Unlike guitar where most players are trying to crank their amps for that ultimate sweet tone, most bass players have huge power amps so that their tone is clean without distortion. Many of our users use 300 to 750 watt bass amps but just set them so that the LED on the AxeTrak just begins to illuminate. This only requires about 15-20 watts to illuminate. The only real concern when using the AxeTrak is having an amp that will drive an 8 ohm load. The bass guitar tracks on this site were recorded using a 300 watt Randall bass amp.

Do you have a return policy? Yes, we strongly suggest that you listen to all of the sound clips on our website and email us with any questions you may have prior to placing your order. Both standard versions of our smaller AxeTrak Isolation Cabinets come with a 5-day money back guarantee. This includes the table top version for guitar and the table top version for bass guitar. This guarantee starts the day you receive your product, not the day it is shipped. If you are not satisfied with your AxeTrak recorder for any reason, you can send it back for a prompt refund of the full amount minus the original shipping charges and a $15.00 restocking fee. You must call or email our office within 5 days of receiving your AxeTrak and explain that you would like to return it and why it will not work for you. We will in turn issue you a RMA number so that you can return the device. This RMA number must be clearly written on the outside of the box or your return will not be accepted. The device must be returned in the original box with all required components, manual, accessories, and be in perfect condition. You will be financially responsible for shipping the product back to our facility. It is our sincere desire to see that our customers are happy with their purchase. We strongly recommend that you ship returned merchandise with insurance included as only undamaged product will be refunded. Please be aware that this 5-day return policy does NOT apply to our larger custom made cabinets. If you have any questions or are unclear on this issue please ask questions prior to purchase.

 

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