Your Honest opinion on Kemper as a live rig

  • Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum and I have never tried a Kemper, but I can't wait to.


    I have a few questions, and/or observations--I've seen a lot of videos on the net of top producers (wagener) and musicians, stating that the sound is 'spot on' and 'indistinguishable', if that is true, why aren't they committing fully to this and shelving their traditional amps? It seems like the aren't quite convinced yet, so they are holding on to their 'oldschool' amps.
    Does is really live up to the hype as a live rig? Also, when used in a live situation, is it best to use the built in power amp, or could a 3rd party power amp such as mesa or engl be used? And are PA speakers generally preferred or guitar cabinets?


    Thanks! sorry if that was too many questions

  • IMHO the reason for resistance to live use is probably because a KPA through a stage monitor using close-miked profiles/cab IRs doesn't sound like what people are used to hearing when they play a guitar cab onstage (the proverbial "amp in the room" sound). Only you can decide how wedded you are to that traditional experience and therefore what type of setup (powered/unpowered/monitor/cab) you need.


    That said, I've never sounded better than I do with my KPA. For me, the KPA has absolutely lived up to the hype. I'm very happy with my unpowered+active monitor rig.

  • I play 95% live and that was the reason i bought the kemper! i think the size and simplisity in use is suitable for live giging. I have not ordered the remote yet, but the FCB1010 does all the thingsi need! i still use reverb and dely from T.C. tough..
    I use a non powered toaster and a Yamaha DXR8. Line6 Relay and Sennheizer in-ear. It works very good for me :-)
    i get all classic rocksounds and even good sounds for my Accoustic and Mandolin

  • To be honest it's the best thing I ever did!!! The Kemper has changed my whole gigging experience. It allowed me to go the in ear monitor route which then in turn allowed me to quit carry loads of heavy gear around. :-) I've never had such a good sound live as I do with the Kemper. So my review is 5 out of 5 for live use :)

  • Great Live , so easy to change settings etc... on the fly... very similar to a real amp head and easy / intuitive to have ultimate control over every parameter ( with a max touch of 2 or 3 buttons )

  • Changing the basis of my rig from a real amp to an "emulated amp" (not just limiting this to Kemper) was the best thing I've ever done for live playing. My sound is now much more consistent from venue to venue (I'm not a pro so the variables/results of cab mic'ing at clubs were always an unknown adventure). All the usual other advantages apply also: small, light, setup is super fast, huge variety of tones available for whatever style I'm playing.


    The Kemper sounds fantastic to my ears, but the again, the biggest benefit I had changing from real amps was I now have the ability to hand sound guys a pair of XLR's and know exactly what he's going to get - every time.

  • I've been using my KPA live since 2012. Played countless gigs with it. Love it.


    In my opinion, the hardest part of switching from tube amps to the KPA, was finding a way to hear the KPA onstage, which sounded the same as my tube amps. I tried various popular FRFR offerings, but what worked for me was a simple three way Polytone keyboard cabinet, which I picked up at a local consigment shop for 40.00. It has a 12" woofer which i replaced with an eminence Tonker, a 8" mid which I also replaced with a Eminence speaker and two Eminence tweeters. It has a weird stereo wiring which places the woofer on one channel and the mid and tweeters on the other channel. this allows me to easily balance the sound live. I run out of the KPA's main 1/4" jacks, directly into my ADA microtube 200w amp, then into the cab, leaving the two XLR jacks on the KPA free for direct to FOH for larger gigs. I leave the cabinet on for all of my profiles.


    The next hurdle was to learn to program my KPA, through my studio monitors at home, instead of through my live cabinet. This lead to much more consistent tones when playing live. When I first got my KPA, I used to demo and program sounds through my live cabinet, which worked well live, but was hit or miss when going direct into the board or recording. Now i demo and program patches through my recording monitors, and when I try them through my live cabinet, they work great.


    We recently had a new bass player join the band, and at each rehearsal, he is amazed at the sounds coming from my KPA. He's a real tweaker like myself, and is constantly on the hunt for the perfect tone. He's now looking into his own KPA.


    With all that said, the key in my opinion is that if you take the time to dial in your KPA. Find the right profiles, find the right monitoring method, you will be extremely happy with the KPA.


    BTW, I still have my tube amps, but they are all profiled, and rarely come out these days. Took so long to acquire them, I can't let them go. I'm sure many others are the same.

  • I can understand using in-ear as monitors on a medium to large sized venue, but what about in a smaller venue or jam room? Do you guys use a PA, a powered speaker, or an an and cab? cheers

  • Had the Kemper for 3 years now, and i've gigged around 100 times with it by now, on every kind of venue you could possibly imagine.


    1. It's not the same. A mic'd cab doesn't sound like a live cab. Some micing jobs sound closer, but you'll have to get used to it.
    2. Cabs aren't relevant, either. In small venues, cab dispersion is a very serious problem. In any average and above sized venue, the audience hears you only through the PA anyway. So, i'd like to have control over what the audience is hearing. See 3:
    3. It doesn't matter how good you sound on-stage if your soundman can't mic an amp. And you soundman can't mic an amp.
    4. It solves a bazillion problems along the way.
    No XLR? go TS. Sh*tty wiring? Ground lift.
    Need an extra monitor? Monitor out, separate EQ. Need another? you've got three more.
    Need to sum your whole band into two sends (this actually happened once) ? Summing mixer into aux in.


    Just when i think i've gotten all i could from the Profiler, it surprises me in some new way.

    "But dignity is difficult to maintain
    stamina requires constant upkeep
    repetition is boring
    and you pay for grace."

  • I have a few questions, and/or observations--I've seen a lot of videos on the net of top producers (wagener) and musicians, stating that the sound is 'spot on' and 'indistinguishable', if that is true, why aren't they committing fully to this and shelving their traditional amps? It seems like the aren't quite convinced yet, so they are holding on to their 'oldschool' amps.


    Michael Wagener stated that he didn't switch on any of his amps in quite a while.
    Personally, I keep tube amps, cabs and mics in my arsenal because when I am looking for a very specific sound, I can get my amps (+stomps) to produce that sound - then I profile this rig and it's in my library forever.
    But I must admit I haven't done this in some time now - the available rigs are simply that diverse and extensive...


    Does is really live up to the hype as a live rig? Also, when used in a live situation, is it best to use the built in power amp, or could a 3rd party power amp such as mesa or engl be used? And are PA speakers generally preferred or guitar cabinets?


    Just last night I went to see a gig and the guitar player used two rack Profilers into tube poweramps and guitar cabinets for the stage sound.
    Other major bands went all IEM - the Output options of the Profiler are highly configurable, so it can adapt to what you want on stage. There really is no 'hype', it's a reputation earned through countless live musicians of all levels over years of real world usage.
    hth

  • I have switched to using the KPA live and love it! I am actually in the process of selling my Mesa Boogie Dual Rec to purchase a second one as a back up. We use in ears and i use no cab live and couldn't be happier.

  • Wagener and other recording engineers have to keep tube amps in the studio because some players still aren't comfortable leaving the analog nest.


    I love my KPA rig! Kemper rack + CLR Neo powered wedge + FCB1010/uno4kemper. It's compact and sounds great, night after night.

    PRS Singlecuts
    Kemper PowerHead/Remote



    Quote from skoczy

    When you turn the knob on KPA, you wake up the captured souls of tube amps living inside.

  • I can understand using in-ear as monitors on a medium to large sized venue, but what about in a smaller venue or jam room? Do you guys use a PA, a powered speaker, or an an and cab? cheers


    My benefits from IEM:
    -hearing protection
    -always great sound and hearing everything I need
    -same Sound on whole stage
    -no feedback
    -more place on stage cause i don't need a wedge infront of me
    -Easier for engineer to make a good FOH sound, cause there is less noise from stage


    The smaler the venue, the more important are the last 2 points.


    Fully satisfied with Kemper at home, rehearsal, studio and live.

  • I've been using my KPA live for several years. It is the best gear purchase I have ever made. It is extremely consistent (as many others have said) and easy to dial in to wherever you are playing. Although it seems like people are unsure and keeping their tube amps around, if you ask a lot of the users on this forum after they profiled their amps, they sold them or don't turn them on much anymore. The other thing that I think is genius about the Kemper is that you actually need 'real' amps for it to have something to profile, so not only does it create an accurate copy, if you want to get new profiles, you need to profile your amp again or profile a different amp. So, instead of killing the market for tube amps, it has kept it going and in addition made a great product for those of us that can't afford a whole bunch of boutique or vintage amps. The main thing is to be aware of the fact that a profile won't sound the same as a tube amp you are sitting next to when you play, it will sound like the mic'd up version of that tube amp played through a PA (or headphones, etc). Which is actually what you want your audience to hear anyway (and what they do hear on a recording). Good luck with your decision!

  • To get most out of your KPA (soundwise) it is recommendable to use FRFR speakers even on stage, though -as said above- it's a huge change of pardigm (I'm still adapting for now about 2 1/2 years). And to summarize all replies: A well sound-programmed KPA is unbeatable concerning sound quality for you and the public.
    Concerning "live-handling" I have to commit, there are more advantages for a real amp. It begins with: where to position your KPA (when not using a guitarbox to put it on). You need to make a bunch of connections (Floorboard, external stomps, P.A, Monitorbox, Wireless a.s.o.) while wiring up your combo and floorboard is no matter of time.
    And at last, due to the fact, that the KPA has so many features, there are always a few parameters to tweak before starting to play. This lead me to use my combo-amp for live-venues like blues-sessions or jam-sessions as a guest. But when it comes to a gig of my own band, I always use my KPA.
    One thought still to the remote:
    It looks and feels very reliable/solid and for me the main advantage is, that it's powered and controlled via the KPA. The amendment with expression pedals is very well solved and also very reliable (I use Mission control pedals, very solid and good looking together with the remote). But the programming of the remote is not yet adaquate to these hardware quality because the looper still doesn't work as it is supposed to do, and the effect switches are only programmed for switching one effect on and off. Multi-assignment isn't possible and creation of effect-scenes is not intended to be implemented. But the Kemper-Team is really busy in user- and product-support, so that I'm convinced that this genious product will develop further on to the state-of-the-art of digital guitar-amplification.