guitarguitar were doing a little Kemper / Helix demo over the weekend. I was in looking at acoustics next door so popped in for a listen.
They had the Kemper running in stereo through two QSC monitors (I think), and had it loaded up with MBritt profiles and a footboard hooked up. It sounded pretty good in stereo with mild chorus and a shimmery reverb. They hooked me up with a strat and a Matchless model and I gave it a blast. The Matchless model was pants, but the Trainwreck was ok. I tried a few other patches they had setup and was left with the same sensation I get every time I play one - playing guitar through one is like manipulating the control device for a recording of an electric guitar. You could just as well be triggering it with a keyboard. For me there is no feel at all, the whole thing is uncomfortably synthetic. Do not like.
The Helix frankly sounded insipid in comparison but I didn't spend any real time with it, so it could be down to the sounds dialled up by the demonstrator. it's an ugly piece of kit too.
Im glad I tried them again because the level of discussion recently had me considering the Helix and the demo killed the gas stone dead.
I came home and fired up my real amp and was reminded how happy I am with it and a couple of pedals.
I can see the attraction of the helix for cover / wedding / function events though, where convenience is the USP.