I recently bought the Fractal Instrument AXE FX II and the Mesa Boogie JP2C amp.

Currently I plug my guitar into the AXE FX's front Instrument socket and connect its Output Unbalanced (L) to the Mesa Boogie amp's Return.

I was told that once connected this way, the Mesa Boogie will not be in full use as the pre-amp will be bypassed and basically render the Mesa Boogie pointless as it won't utilise the pre-amp tubes once plugged into the AXE FX. The reason I got the JP2C was because of its killer tone! Mind you, the sounds are amazing as it is.

Is there a way I can still use the pre-amp of the Mesa Boogie for its killer tone and still use the AXE FX for its effects or am I simply now to surrender to the AXE FX and not utilise the potential of Mesa?

  • 2
    Guitar into amp input, amp send into effect input, effect output into amp return; that will give you a signal chain of guitar to pre-amp to effect to power amp. Jul 16, 2019 at 16:09
  • nice setup.. kinda shocked you didn't do the research before shelling out 5k on that gear though :-p
    – UpAndAdam
    Feb 25, 2020 at 18:27

1 Answer 1


The way to do this is to put the AXE FX into the effects loop, plug in to the input of the JP2C, the FX send to the input of the AXE FX and then output of the FX to the output of the JP2C... That's how John Petrucci uses it, and how I would if I had the JP2C.

The other thing you could do is the 4 cable method depending on if the order of effects is controllable and if it has an effects loop of it own.

in that case plug into the axe fx input, take the axefx send and plug that into the jp2c input, the jp2c fx send into the axe fx return, and the axefx out into the mesa fx return. They also cover this in the manual.

personally I would likely consider keeping the axefx entirely in the fx loop of the JP2C, there's a reason you bought the JP2C, for its amazing drive and tone... do you really want amp modeling from the axefx or just the modulation and delays? ( fwiw mkV:35 user here, decided the JP2C was too much wattage for me but thinking of swapping out for it ).. the 4 cable method lets you have both worlds as you can put things before or after the preamp or bypass it entirely.

envious in that you can use midi to control both devices as well!

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