Is the Kemper really suitable for the "amp in the room sound" ?

  • Hello Kemper Users,
    I know this in an old question. But I´ve been using the Kemper for about 2 years now. Went from active Studio Monitors (Tannoy Reveal 802) over Yamaha DXR 10 to my current setup, which is the Toaster with a Camplifier (2x25 Watts stereo) and a Mesa 1x12 cab. The Cab is loaded with a Vintage 30 (used and Made in England). I only play at home and only with the cab; amp in the room situation so to say :-)


    I bought a lot commercial profiles over the time (TAF, TopJimi, Guido Bungenstock, Michael Britt, Meulendyk) and tried different rigs from the exchange.


    No problem with clean and overdriven sounds, they sound great! But I have a problem with crunch and distorted lead sounds. Every profile out of this section seems to have a high frequency "sizzle". I try to dial in a smooth, singing lead sound, but with enough highs to make it shine.
    To get the "sizzle" away I need to turn either the precence or the high cut so low, that all the sounds get really dull, muffled and mid heavy. (sorry for my english, I´m german) Tried different combinations of all parameters in the amps section too. Tried different speakers (G12H, C90, ...) in different cabs (Bogner 2x12) ´. Tried merged and direct profiles. Always kind of the same problem: Either dull or to much sizzle.


    I read some posts, that a lot of users need to turn the high-cut really low (to about 7000-9000). That´s the same for me. I think, it´s maybe the camplifier that makes that sizzle-sound in the high frequencies....


    Do you guys have similar problems while going directly in a cab and playing at home - to archive the sound from a "amp in the room"?
    I know a lot of you guys use the Kemper in stage situations. For me it´s only my private joy at home.


    I am seriously thinking about buying a Mesa Mark 5:25 head instead of the Kemper...... than I would have the amp in the room ;-)))


    Do you guys have any further tips?


    Thanks in advance and greetings from Germany
    Chris


  • The Vintage 30 drops off at 5K, so I suspect you'll need to shelve the HF below that to see much difference. Have you tried running with the cab enabled? Once you do that, you can swap in a wide variety of cabs to change the tone ...

    Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. - Wayne Dyer

  • Zappledan: He is running the Kemper with an amp and a guitar cabinet and should thus turn off the cab section, as he did.


    eifelpate: Surely a profile should play back identical on every KPA, but commercial rigs are a bit hit or miss; they are after all dialed in to the "profileurs" ears and tastes, on THEIR equipment. They might be highly skilled and profesional live and/or studio-musicians/engineers, but all this under different conditionas than Yours.
    I.e. my tastes I experience are very different to what I find in most available profiles, be it free or commercial. Great for the studio, but maybe not so great for my own enjoyment. Which is why I have started profiling my own rigs.. :)


    So, let us break this down. There ar two issues.


    1. When you say you have tried different speakers, are you talking about in the software or did you try hooking up to something else than your Mesa 1x12 V30? Because the cabinet you use is a HUGE part of the equation. Think of it as a resonant, dynamic and immensely complex equalizer.


    2. The Camplifier could be an issue. One of the pictures on their web-site shows the amp-block with a triode, but it does not say whether it is a tube-design or not. Weird. But if it is then you are dealing with a non-linear design which will impact its own color. 9-25W "clean power" vs. 600W class-D is also in a different league, especially if we are dealing with a non-linear amplifier.


    What you can try right now though with one or more KPA Studio EQs. With the mid-bands and high Q, "hunt" for the fizz by boosting and sweeping the band, then cut and tweak Q to your liking. When things get too dull, compensate with mid, treble and presence. The fizz is probably anywhere between 2KHz and 5KHz, not above that.
    Also remember that a guitar cabinet is very directional, and as pointed out by Zappledan, a V30 drops off at around 5KHz.


    Personally I do not regret buying a powered toaster for myself as I wanted my KPA to be able to act like a normal amp, also I don't have to deal with weird ad hoc connectivities these 3rd-party amps force you to.

  • 1. When you say you have tried different speakers, are you talking about in the software or did you try hooking up to something else than your Mesa 1x12 V30? Because the cabinet you use is a HUGE part of the equation. Think of it as a resonant, dynamic and immensely complex equalizer.


    I want to double this.


    At first from the old days with real tube amps and cabinets. In fact cabinets are kindof lowpass filters for the amp sound, which is very important for distorted sounds. Nowadays everybody thinks the fizzly part of the sound is ONLY due to the digital amps. I once played Hiwatt, VOX AC30, Marshall and Orange. All were able to sound really harsh, fizzly and unpleasant with the wrong setup and cabinet. In fact, I had a hard time making them sound close to my heroes from the records.


    Secondly in Kemperland (or any other digital amp). Selecting a different cabinet/mic in either a modeler or the Profiler will change the sound of the rig drastically. Just like the real thing. Bringing the own real 12 inch cabinet into equiation and skipping the cab-sim of the amp can easily make things worse.


    I play through very neutral FRFR. The Kemper CAN sound creamier, less fizzly, more pleasant, softer, tuebier, whatever you may call it, than anything else I ever connected. Many guitar tones from records through those FRFR also do. So I can be sure my Kemper sound is correct. On the other hand I found many rigs in the presets or rig exchange which I truely hated for MY playing and MY guitar and MY taste. And I also found some where I suspected digital distortion in either profiling or the final signal chain. Could also be just my guitar missing something or adding wrong frequencies I just skipped those... I found many free rigs which sounded good at first and excellent after tweaking.


    Back to the original question:


    My FRFR is 2 times 8 inch + tweeter plus 1 18 inch sub (below 120 Hz). It offers 130 dB from 38 to 18 kHz almost linear. I do use the pure cab (about 35% if I remeber correctly). And this feels MUCH bigger than any of the real combos or stacks I ever played through (I just had one 4x12 cabinet at maximum, though). Feedback feels very much like with real amps. I would describe my Kemper sound not as amp in the room but more like a wall of stacks in the room. :P


    SO IT IS possible. But real good sound is never easy. Its a craft. This is still true today...

  • Zappledan: He is running the Kemper with an amp and a guitar cabinet and should thus turn off the cab section, as he did.


    I'm well aware of the "normal" means of using cab on/off, but there are conditions where using "cab on" with a guitar cabinet is actually better than without it. There are many factors involved here, and the results can be very pleasing. It costs nothing to try it out ...

    Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. - Wayne Dyer

  • Hi Guys,
    first of all, thanks a lot for your answers! Just for information I tried different real cabs, NoName 2x12 with V30 and Greenback, Bogner 2x12 (Goldfinger Cab) with Gh12 and Greenback and at the moment Mesa 1x12 open back with V30. But I have a GH12 and a C90 lying around here to swap it in. I tried with the GH12 in the Mesa Cab first. swapped to the V30 thinking this would make the fizz go away anyhow :-)). It was better with the V30 but still not really good. Ah, and by the way - the guitars should be no problem - all high quality (CS Strat, MM Albert Lee HH and Ibanez 3120).


    As far as I can resume, three things are really relevant.
    - I did not know that the V30 drops out at about 5Khz. That is really low :-) Do you mean by this fact, in most cases it does make sense to drop the High Cut to about 5000 kHz when running this speaker? Maybe I try this and compensate like you said.


    - I tried your Idea with the Studio EQ, "looking" for this damn frequency, where the hizz is. But it was a quick search.... I´ll try that again with more patience :-)


    - Last, maybe the camplifier has to do with it. It´s a 2x12 Watts Studio Camplifier as I am playing only at home.


    Just to let you know, when I tried the DXR 10, it was my first setup with the kemper. Pure Cab was not available at that time. I could not really connect to the sound of FRFR. And the DXR 10 was almost to loud in the room. When I turned it down, i had it running at about 5% of it´s power. I just felt this is not a good setup. And like I said, without the PureCab it sounded to "far away" for me.


    I tried a Bungenstock Mesa Mark V profile yesterday with cab on and the real guitar cab. Of course this was dull sounding, butt all the hizz was gone :-) Tried to get it clearer by compensating with different parameters, but I think running with cab on and real cab is really very special in terms of tweaking. I´m still hoping getting to a solution with real cab and cab off.


    So, all in all, theres a lot of tweaking to do I think. Thanks for your replies again!


    This damn search for the perfect tone.... haha... I think my life will be filled with this issue for some more hours :-))))


    Geeetings
    Chris

  • Maybe it's because I've become accustomed to it, but I'm very happy with my DXR10, even at home. When I take it out I get nothing but compliments. IMHO you're missing the true glory of the KPA if you don't use an "FRFR" type speaker and the cab sim.

    Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. - Wayne Dyer

  • Maybe try turning down the definition parameter under the Amp button. I find that to use my Strat on rigs I like for my Les Paul, dropping it by about half whatever it's set to dials it right in. Since you've tried lots of speakers, maybe it's more some kind of sensitivity in your pickups.

  • Always liked my KPA through the fx return of my DSL40 more than my DXR10. But tonight I tried out a Matrix FR12 in rehearsal & that was better still & will be my live setup from now on.


    These are interesting. What type music do you play, and what didn't you like about the DXR10?

    Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. - Wayne Dyer


  • These are interesting. What type music do you play, and what didn't you like about the DXR10?


    I'm lead guitar in a 5 piece rock covers band and only the vocals are through the PA as we're playing small pubs etc. I've come to favour MBritts Marshall profiles for pretty much everything. We do stuff from Kings of Leon, Jet, Metallica, GnR, Foo Fighters, AC/DC, Muse and so on. The second guitar (Rhythm) uses an Orange head & cab & I never felt that the DXR10 really sounded big or full enough in comparison against it. The Matrix FR12 sounded great last night though & I'm definately gonna use it as my backline on the next gig. It's really light too, which is always welcome :)


    I was actually a little surprised that it was so good, I was trying it out as almost something of a last resort and was seriously looking at going back to my DSL40C & pedals.

  • I use the Kemper only on stage (I hardly play guitar at home) and there it does it's job really well!


    But I think if my only purpose would be to have an amp in the room sound the Kemper wouldn't be my first choice because that is not what it's designed for.


    All profiles I have (bit the same as you have) sound better through headphones and of course FOH but I never really have a satisfying amp in the room sound.


    I did a tour with a guy who played a Bogner head (through the same cab I use) on stage but his combination really had a better "amp in the room sound" than mine...can't beat the real thing :-)

  • I use a Roland KC350 keyboard amp along with a Nemesis 2x10 bass amp, let me tell you the sound is huge/awesome. Sounds like s full stack behind me. It rips and sounds great to boot.
    I had tried various PA speakers but could never get what I was after. This current setup did it for me.