Fractal Audio Systems FM3 Amp Modeler/FX Processor review

The Axe-Fx III arrives in an eminently giggable compact floor unit – is this the amp modeler to beat?

Fractal Audio Systems FM3
(Image: © Future)

Guitar World Verdict

Fractal's modelling power in a unit small enough to throw in a backpack and take to a show? Yes, please. The FM3 offers a vast array of amp and effects tones. Use it as a standalone fly rig or as part of your existing setup – the possibilities are endless.


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    Sound quality.

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    Huge range of amps and effects.

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    Deep parameter editing.

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    Workable size.

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    Headphone output and audio interface.

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    Clever use of three footswitches.

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    Easily expandable foot-switching.

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    Intuitive computer-based editor.


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    Glitchy audio recording and playback at present.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Fractal Audio’s take on amp modelling has plenty of admirers but when its flagship Axe-Fx III rackmount unit is combined with one of the FC-6 or FC-12 controllers for a fully functional stage/studio rig it doesn’t come cheap. 

If you fancy some of that, though, the new FM3 offers a more affordable option.  It’s the company’s only all-in-one floor unit now that the AX8 and FX8 are discontinued, and offers amp modelling, effects and the ability to use IRs. 

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Trevor Curwen

Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.