Stevie Ray Vaughan Tone - Axe Fx II XL+ vs. Kemper

  • Hey everyone,


    I've been mighty impressed with modeling capabilities from both Kemper and Axe Fx. Ideally, I'd prefer to go the Kemper route due to the endless and evergreen profiles that continue to be made - it's incredible. With that said, I have yet to hear any convincing SRV tones from the Kemper (my searches have not yielded what I'd call "spot on" tones). Are there any? In comparison, I heard an SRV tone come out of the Axe Fx II XL+ that is spot on (video link below). It's not just close, it's spot on. Are there any profiles on the Kemper that compare? That's really the only holdup with the Kemper (I'm obviously a huge SRV fan), as I enjoy many of the available other profiles.


  • If you are the kind of SRV fan who plays with a similar style, using similar vibrato, and heavy gauge strings on a vintage-sounding Strat, you can get that sound without a problem with the KPA.


    Other people (who don't play like SRV) won't make any Rig sound like him. If they aren't a vintage-sounding Strat,it won't sound like him. It's funny - In that video, I hear the thinner sound of a '60s Strat.


    Here is a modern Strat (SSH lace sensor pickups, and a Clapton circuit)) with slightly lighter gauge strings, played by someone who doesn't play like SRV (me). If you picture what it would sound like with a more vintage-sounding, lower output guitar, it may provide an example.


    This is a rough demo, not a finished song - there is a short guitar solo at 1:58.


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  • Here's a quick little example from a couple years ago:


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    Not the best recording or tone, but i guess it's in the ballpark... You should try Einar Nysted's "Ceriatone SSS SRV" from rig exchange.


    I think that the problem with Kemper is that SRV often used two amps at the same time to get his legendary tone.

  • Thanks, guys. I'm getting the impression that there's just not a profile for the Kemper that quite nails it like the Axe Fx II XL+ shown in the video. Perhaps one will eventually be created and although some of these tones are really close, they're just not quite there. Clearly, one's playing plays a very important role, too. Kemper leads the pack when it comes to the variety of profiles and ease of use while the Axe Fx II can crank out some amazing tones, but is quite complicated in comparison. I want my cake and eat it, too! :)

  • sounds amazing Paul.

  • To me the fractal sounds thin and lacks the grit that SRV had. But hey, that's my opinion.
    The second thing is what album are you trying to sound like as his tone changed from his early stuff to his last few albums. Not to mention his gear changed.

  • Thanks, guys. I'm getting the impression that there's just not a profile for the Kemper that quite nails it like the Axe Fx II XL+ shown in the video.

    There are thousands of profiles on the rig exchange alone without getting into commercial resellers. I can't believe that there wouldn't be a profile that would work for you. Also consider that like the Axe video, you can take a basic amp (profile) and add all sorts of modeled vintage and boutique overdrives and effects that might get you even closer.


    This isn't me being defensive of the Kemper or trying to dissuade you from the Axe, which is itself an incredible piece of gear, just addressing the idea that a couple guys not getting close enough and perhaps the handful of samples you heard is enough to convince anybody that nothing is available to you. The beauty in these devices is you can create your own tones, and the Kemper very much allows you model your own sound with a base tone (profile).


    That being said have you checked any of these out?


    http://texasbluesalley.com/old…ear-index/kemper-profiler



  • There are thousands of profiles on the rig exchange alone without getting into commercial resellers. I can't believe that there wouldn't be a profile that would work for you. Also consider that like the Axe video, you can take a basic amp (profile) and add all sorts of modeled vintage and boutique overdrives and effects that might get you even closer.
    This isn't me being defensive of the Kemper or trying to dissuade you from the Axe, which is itself an incredible piece of gear, just addressing the idea that a couple guys not getting close enough and perhaps the handful of samples you heard is enough to convince anybody that nothing is available to you. The beauty in these devices is you can create your own tones, and the Kemper very much allows you model your own sound with a base tone (profile).


    That being said have you checked any of these out?


    LOL...I had copied these two YouTube url's, and was just about to reply and post them here in this thread, until I saw you beat me to it, MM. :):thumbup:

  • Great feedback, everyone - thanks! The tone I'm chasing can be found on the first Austin City Limits and El Macambo performances. I've run across those YouTube videos before posting my question and, although they certainly sound great and close, there's just something not quite there - perhaps it is that extra touch that the guy playing the Axe Fx has - at least when it comes to SRV. I have an all original '66 Super Reverb and, when combined with an OCD and TS808 HW, I can get damn close with my strat + Lollar blackface pickups. Worst case, I'll profile that as my SRV tone! I have a treated theater room, so that should provide a great place to profile the amp.


    I lean more and more towards the Kemper because, if something's not profiled today, it might be tomorrow (including my own gear). And while I'm far from an SRV tribute guy and enjoy/play many other styles, I've found his tone to be one of the the most elusive to nail (as many have stated, there's so much tone in his hands). Plus, I've listened to some amazing tones (Michael Britt profiles, etc.) and Kemper's ease of use easily trumps the Axe Fx.

  • Great feedback, everyone - thanks! The tone I'm chasing can be found on the first Austin City Limits and El Macambo performances. I've run across those YouTube videos before posting my question and, although they certainly sound great and close, there's just something not quite there - perhaps it is that extra touch that the guy playing the Axe Fx has - at least when it comes to SRV. I have an all original '66 Super Reverb and, when combined with an OCD and TS808 HW, I can get damn close with my strat + Lollar blackface pickups. Worst case, I'll profile that as my SRV tone! I have a treated theater room, so that should provide a great place to profile the amp.


    I lean more and more towards the Kemper because, if something's not profiled today, it might be tomorrow (including my own gear). And while I'm far from an SRV tribute guy and enjoy/play many other styles, I've found his tone to be one of the the most elusive to nail (as many have stated, there's so much tone in his hands). Plus, I've listened to some amazing tones (Michael Britt profiles, etc.) and Kemper's ease of use easily trumps the Axe Fx.

    Hello Reno911,


    I think you have to bear in mind the fact that the guitarist you highlighted in your OP (YouTube video) is obviously a keen student of SRV's style and tone, and can closely mimic Stevie's characteristic nuances, including touch, attack and vibrato. He has probably dedicated years to learning and replicating the smallest minutiae of SRV's style and playing. That is probably what you are honing in on.


    If you took the same guy, and had him play through the some excellent SRV-based Kemper profiles, you would more than likely be just as suitably impressed.


    Just my 2 cents...


    Cheers,
    John

  • Great feedback, everyone - thanks! The tone I'm chasing can be found on the first Austin City Limits and El Macambo performances. I've run across those YouTube videos before posting my question and, although they certainly sound great and close, there's just something not quite there - perhaps it is that extra touch that the guy playing the Axe Fx has - at least when it comes to SRV. I have an all original '66 Super Reverb and, when combined with an OCD and TS808 HW, I can get damn close with my strat + Lollar blackface pickups. Worst case, I'll profile that as my SRV tone! I have a treated theater room, so that should provide a great place to profile the amp.


    I lean more and more towards the Kemper because, if something's not profiled today, it might be tomorrow (including my own gear). And while I'm far from an SRV tribute guy and enjoy/play many other styles, I've found his tone to be one of the the most elusive to nail (as many have stated, there's so much tone in his hands). Plus, I've listened to some amazing tones (Michael Britt profiles, etc.) and Kemper's ease of use easily trumps the Axe Fx.

    Seems like you may be more satisfied starting with a profile of the amp he used with settings that are already close, EQ tweak to taste and then add overdrives to get you all the way there, much like the guy in which Axe video.