Anyone on here gone Kemper?

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ragingbenragingben Frets: 49
edited August 2013 in Amps
Has anyone on here gone Kemper? If so, how are you finding it, and are you gigging or mainly recording/playing at home. Also are you using FRFR or power amp and cab?

I'm considering having a purge of some amps and other gear to fund a un-powered head, and then get used to it at home for a few months before deciding to go FRFR or power amp and cab while I save up for that section hopefully ready for gigging. Which brings me to the next point, anyone got one of the newer power heads? If so, reckon it is worth saving the extra for, or just using that money to get an FRFR solution?

As much as the hype is surrounding the KPA I don't expect it to sound 'just like a tube amp' I just want something flexible, decent sounding and something that will put the GAS to bed once and for all (yeah right!).
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  • Drew_TNBDDrew_TNBD Frets: 22401
    Have used one several times. Bought one and had it a day before I decided ultimately that it wasn't for me. Incredible tones from it though, and way easier to use than the Axe-FX (imho)
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  • Interesting... If you don't mind me asking, what was it you didn't like about it? There is a lot of postivie/negative feedback about the Kemper but a lot of the negative seems to be nit-picking and a lot of the positive seems to be fan boys harping on about their new toy!

    I'm thinking of keeping my main gigging rig but having the Kemper as a bit of a all in one solution for home use, recording and maybe gigging if I can get used to not having a proper amp/FRFR.
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  • Drew_TNBDDrew_TNBD Frets: 22401
    There wasn't anything I didn't like about it. But it's £1300 odd, and having it sat on my desk whilst also having a £1300 Satriani JVM next to it... just felt a bit over the top! It was one or the other, and I was not prepared to sell my JVM in order to fully go Kemper.

    So the Kemper wouldn't have been used all that much, and would've just sat there. So I sent it back. Still kinda want one, but can't entirely justify having it.
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  • Ah I see. Very lucky man having those options mind! The £1300 is the downside to the Kemper obviously... when do the premium bonds get drawn, about time I came up!
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  • Jim54Jim54 Frets: 41
    I've had my Kemper for nearly a year so I'm way past the honeymoon period.

    I've since sold a couple of my tube amps and my AER 60 acoustic amp.  My remaining tube amps have not been switched on in over 6 months (Hand-wired JTM45, ToneKing Meteor II combo and a Mesa Lonestar Special).  I now only play at home and record though, so take from that what you will.

    I play it both through FRFR (cheaper side - Alto TS112A) and via a Matrix GT1000FX and a 2X12 Matamp cab.  Enjoy both (sometimes at the same time).
    Piece of piss to use and the tones are fantastic (forget yourself for 2 hours fantastic).
    A lot of peopler using them seem to be on the heavy side of tones (really high gain stuff) but for me who lives in the gritty clean to overdriven zone, then the Kemper really shines.

    I took a punt on one and love it.  I'd highly recommend one but maybe take advantage of a 'so many day' money back guarantee like with Thomann and try one out for a few days.
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  • rockmonsterrockmonster Frets: 444
    edited August 2013
    Anyone heard a Kemper being used in a live gig/pub situation? Whaddya think? I haven't heard an Axe-fx either! :-\"
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  • Thanks @Jim54 that's good to know. I've started sorting some bits for a sale at some point to help raise funds although it is going to be a little while before I'm anywhere near Kemper-ready!

    Everyone seems to be getting the Kemper-loose-track-of-time moments. It seems that people love them just for being able to turn it on and not have to tweak - just straight into the playing with inspiring sounds which sounds grade a to me. I used to have the time to tweak and I loved that but I just don't anymore with one thing and another. I want my playing time to be about playing not tweaking.

    Good advice on the 30 day money back guarantee though, I think I will definitely go with that.
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  • Drew_TNBDDrew_TNBD Frets: 22401
    I might have to pick another one up and try it into a cab. That was the only thing I never tried when I had one a few weeks back, and I'm kicking myself for not doing it.

    The other concern I have is about patch changing and how instantaneous it is - I can't actually remember!! Plus I think performance mode is still in progress.
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  • I wouldnt bother Drew.  I tried one for a while (thinking it might be a cheaper option to my AFX), and its week point is into a cab.  Its just not designed to work that way - with most profiles having the cab part baked in to the profile.  With no way for the usit to know what cab was used in that profile, its a generic "subtraction" to make the profile work with a real cab.

    Its not "bad" and there are usable sounds - and of course you can profile without a cab (from a load box for instance), and there are such profiles out there - but there arnt that many really.

    A/Bing between the Kemper and AFX - there both great.  The Kemper is more plug and play and works best into a FRFR system with some pretty good bread and butter FX in fixed routings.  If thats what you want then the Kemper probably has the edge.  For flexibility of routing, FX quality/type/edit-ability, and for using with a real amp/cab the AFX was just a lot better.  I also felt the "live" functionality of the AFX with any Midi controller (not just the MFC) was much better - however, the Kemper may have moved on since I tried it in that respect.

    Im not going down the "amp" tone as such - there slightly different but both great.  Neither are perfect compared to real amps, both are very close.  IMO the Kemper had the edge when released, but the AFX has taken the crown back since around Firmware 8 (now on 11).  The AFX development moves much quicker than the Kemper (which is both a + and a - of course).  I find the Kemper sounds to be a touch too sharp/raw BUT thats personal, as is all tone and it doesnt mean the Kemper isnt better for others.

    So - basically, if you wernt convinced with the Kemper into an FRFR system you wont like it into a real cab.
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  • Drew_TNBDDrew_TNBD Frets: 22401
    You may be right Paul. There is a guy on Youtube called FastRedPonyCar who has done it though and had some fantastic sounds. If I'm in Andertons at any point I might give it a bash in one of their small rooms, see how it stacks up.

    Christophe Kemper said recently that they've been working out a better way to disable the cabs, so once that lands it'll even out again I guess.

    When I tried Jim's Axe-FX rig I was convinced. I think he has Celestion golds in his cab.
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  • He certanly has one - but I think hes got 2.

    My cab is a V30/G21H mix and I love it.  It does limit the power handling to 60w, but Ive not run out of "volume" yet.  If I do Ill upgrade the G12h to a CL80 doubling the cabs handling - or possibly invest in a Matrix 2x12 as they are using neos in a ported cab, and the cab is extremely light and by all accounts sounds great.
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  • Drew_TNBDDrew_TNBD Frets: 22401


    This is the video I was referring to. Some absolutely killer tones in there.
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  • Si_Si_ Frets: 382
    They really do sound good in a studio environment.. not sure how they would be live..
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  • Anyone heard a Kemper being used in a live gig/pub situation? Whaddya think? I haven't heard an Axe-fx either! :-\"
    I was down Railside Records, Salisbury, demoing the AF2 today.  We had the balanced O/Ps into the desk, panned hard.  It delivered the goods.
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  • I had one, sold it as I wasn't using it much, and am now planning to get another. There's a profile of a Morgan AC20 on there which just blew me away like an amp has never blown me away before - it sounded to me just like Guitarist's recent review of the actual amp.  And I'm sure there will be more like that given some time to explore it. 

    Still not decided on powered + cab v FRFR - probably the latter though I want something small and light...


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  • Si_Si_ Frets: 382
    I've got a Matrix Q12 for my AxeFX II, still trying to get a good sound out of it but getting there. Not tried it live yet but hoping it will give me a tiny live rig :)
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  • DeijavooDeijavoo Frets: 3115
    Pardon my Noobness, what is FRFR? 
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  • Drew_TNBDDrew_TNBD Frets: 22401
    Full Range Flat Response.

    Studio monitor or PA type speaker drivers essentially. They don't (or aren't supposed to) colour your tone like a guitar speaker does.
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  • DeijavooDeijavoo Frets: 3115
    Ah, cheers. 
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 5045

    Anyone heard a Kemper being used in a live gig/pub situation? Whaddya think? I haven't heard an Axe-fx either! :-\"

    I heard one last year although it was a slightly bigger gig than your usual pub.  The sound out front was a lot better with the Kemper than it was when I saw the same band the year before and the guitarist had a Marshall half-stack.

    I borrowed one for a weekend a couple of months ago.  I was impressed with the sounds in it.  It's much better at that edge of breakup stuff than any other "modeller" I've used.  Didn't try doing any of my own profiles though.  Definitely want to get one at some point.  Need to sell some things first though.
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  • Thanks for all the info guys. If I was to ask the question again I would go with "who has had a Kemper and gone back to a regular amp and pedals". There seems to be those that can handle it sounding and feeling 95% or whatever and those who really want the last 5%
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  • hywelghywelg Frets: 2132
    I'd ask a slightly different question.

    For those who have a 'good' valve amp does the Kemper feel the same and do the amp profiles (either those that come with it or those that can be downloaded) feel and sound like an amp should when playing clean. I think, though I might be wrong, that modelling is better able to fake an amp with loads of distortion than a clean amp just on the edge of distortion.

    And how much of a compromise is it to put the Kemper through the output section and cab of a valve amp? What puts me off is all the extra gear it is suggested you need in order to get acceptable results, midi controllers, FRFR amps and cabs etc. If I thought I would get good results through the output section of my Dumble clone and 2x12 I might be more inclined to give it a go.
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  • ROOGROOG Frets: 413

    I have noticed a few people have Kempers in this place, and I wondered how they worked through headphones? I'm guessing that in theory they pass as FRFR.

    I just wondered if the Kemper came across as harsh or fatiguing through headphones?  

    If I had one, I'd end up using it like this for quite a bit. 

     

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  • PVO_DavePVO_Dave Frets: 1927
    Headphones are fine :)

    I use KRK headphones to keep the response nice and flat still, no harshness etc..
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  • GassageGassage Frets: 22425
    Sorry, headphones! Simulators? What about burning glass and bleeding eardrums?!?!?!?

    Donald Trump has spoken movingly about 7-Eleven. It reminded him, he said, of the way Americans came together in 1941 after Pearl Necklace.

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  • ROOGROOG Frets: 413

    Thanks @PVO_Dave that's encouraging.

     

     

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  • ThePrettyDamnedThePrettyDamned Frets: 4073
    edited September 2014
    hywelg;11436" said:
    I'd ask a slightly different question.



    For those who have a 'good' valve amp does the Kemper feel the same and do the amp profiles (either those that come with it or those that can be downloaded) feel and sound like an amp should when playing clean. I think, though I might be wrong, that modelling is better able to fake an amp with loads of distortion than a clean amp just on the edge of distortion.



    And how much of a compromise is it to put the Kemper through the output section and cab of a valve amp? What puts me off is all the extra gear it is suggested you need in order to get acceptable results, midi controllers, FRFR amps and cabs etc. If I thought I would get good results through the output section of my Dumble clone and 2x12 I might be more inclined to give it a go.

    Funny, as a high gain player I think the opposite.


    Clean sounds are usually pretty responsive to me - different tones from the pick attack.

    High gain is where modellers let me down (never tried axe FX or kemper or the one Andy James used for a while).

    Then again, I heard a demo of a strat through a dumble on tgp people were wetting themselves over and to me it was a very boring, plain tone. Maybe different types of players "get" different things.

    Edit: Here is said tone.  I really don't get the fascination - it's pleasant but it really isn't amazing, especially on the hard strums where it's plain unpleasant. 



    Again, maybe different styles of players "get" different things.  I find modelled high gain tones are a bit fizzy, and lack 'chunk' compared to valve amps.  However, modelling is pretty good these days - the blackstar ID and ID Core are phenomenal for the money, and I've no doubt the AF2, Kemper and DV Mark Multiamp are much nicer.  
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  • Whilst I probably do sound like a fan boy harping on about my new toy I stand by what I've said before on here.

    Live the Kemper is the dogs bollox - sounds superb when properly EQ-d up gig volume.

    Only negative I can think of when using it through the PA is that I can't fookin hear myself so have to use a monitor.

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  • This thing about 'feeling' like an amp or not; I've now done two gigs with the Kemper direct into the PA. When I play with my band I can never actually hear my amp that well over the drums and bass so invariably have it coming back through the monitors at me.

    That is the sound you expect to hear from the Kemper. So to me it sounds jsut as good as the amp I normally hear through my monitors except I don't have to bring 'my amp'. The sound guy also finds it easier to mix and I have 100's of amps to choose from and have fun with - cushtee!

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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 2248

    'Feeling the amp' really depends on what you are used to, 'back in the day' I switched from using two 100W Marshall heads and 4 4x12 cabs to a JMP-1 and a 1x12 monitor, it obviously felt different.  If your normal amp is a princeton reverb set at 2 and mic'd up it's not going to feel that different at all

    Nothing to stop you using a Kemper through a power amp and 4x12 for your on stage sound and direct to FOH for the audience if you play venues big enough

    Do me a favour and like this:

    https://www.facebook.com/MarkedCoversBand
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