About to pull the trigger into Kemper World **Need Help

  • Hey guys,

    Can y'all help me out and tell me how realistic the Kemper is for my needs. I'm about to pull the trigger on a powerhead & remote. I tour in a progressive funk rock band I play 350-1k capacity rooms & around 150-200 shows a year currently. We play rock to funk etc (allman brothers, Umphrey's Mcgee, James brown, Gov't Mike, Lettuce, Primue, prince,tower of power etc) with a lot of improvisation in between. I use a wah, micro pog, 2-3 drives, delays, phaser, looper yada yada.

    I'm currently using a custom built 100 watt 6l6 based tube head that gets great loud fat cleans and I push it with pedals etc. Everybody's on IEM's but me (I like wedges and my 2x12). I'd plan on still using my Cab as my monitor also. Is there anything I should be worried about going forward with this or should I just use the cash and buy another nice head & cab at run an A/B rig live. Sorry for the long post. Thank y'all for ANY & ALL info!!


  • Best thing to do is try to find somewhere to demo a Kemper. For my tastes, everything your current rig consists of is covered in the Kemper, besides the looper. There is a looper in the KPA, but it isn't up to any proper live use, more a tool for noodling or trying out new profiles (can be handy when running them through a PA if you don't run wireless etc.). I've been using my Kemper live for 4 years now, covering funk, country, surf, soul, blues, and of course rock across various different bands and acts. I've never felt like I missed anything (apart from a spring reverb, but now I have a Catalinbread Topanga for the surf stuff), but every player is different. One thing I will say is that the Kemper is only as good as the profiles you run it with. Some can spend hours, days, weeks trying to find their sound, when sometimes taking the time to profile their own gear would have nailed it in a few minutes. Just something to think about if you do go down this road. Maybe hang on to your tube amp until you've profiled it :)

  • First of all, welcome to the forum! :)

    I think the most important question you would have to answer is "what do I want?". You described your current setup, but I didn't really get why you want to switch to a Kemper. Less weight, easier setup, more consistent tone, better tone ... ?

    I think without this information it is hard to tell you whether you would be happier with a Kemper or some amps. ;)

  • Good question, I definitely should have specified.

    I guess what I want is ability to have a great cleans for one Tune (as if I had a BF Princeton) then the next for the next tune have the ability to have a cranked super reverb then a soldano for heavier stuff etc..All with the ability to pull in effects at a moments notice for live improve.

    The weight, portability are not and issue. We have a large trailer and guys that help carry our gear. One factor is definitely having consistent great tones every night.

    Does anybody go from large pedalboard to Kemper and remote for live work?


  • You are in exactly the right place to get confirmation of a perhaps still secret wish. ^^

    I would divide the question into partial questions.
    1) Do I need a Kemper? Me: No, I've been playing for decades without KPA.
    2) Do I want a kemper? Me: It was a straight yes for me
    3) Can I afford him? Me: Well, I probably could, perhaps it's not reasonable, but I'd like so much to have one.

    Welcome, I hope I could help ;)

  • The pro's and con's for your Kemper:
    Pro's - versatility, simplicity, consistency
    Con's - finding and setting up your sounds, adjusting to the way the kemper works ( going direct vs cab and therefore demo'ing sounds/set up)

    The Kemper is so easy to use and programme but there is so much flex that it can take time to tune what you want. Persoanlly for me it was great out of the box.

    So, based on what you've said, I think it will do 90% of what you want. SamBrox is right, for heavy Looper work, its not quite there but other bases should be fine.
    The only other concern is that the effects generally aren't as good as some outboard effect ( some people tell me). So if you are used to Strymon delays for example, the Kemper might fall short. For me I have no issues with the effects and therefore no need for outboard pedals. The Kemper takes pedals well so that is always a possibility still.

    However, it does so many other things that you may currently work around.

    My pedal board was quite large ( Whammy, Wah, delay, phaser, OD, bypass, tuner...), I have got rid of all outboard effects. I don;t have a crew to carry my gear so size is a real benefit for me but also the fact that its one cable to connect ( I was using about 4 if you include effects loop etc) is a god send.

    I use the same settings for every gig, sound guys love it as no messing with mike placement or balancing volumes with the desk. I love the flex that I can just use FOH with IEM's or a cab ( I have the powered version). I can also use my live settings to record by going direct into my PC ( via an interface of course)....

  • One factor is definitely having consistent great tones every night.

    Well, you'll definitely be happy with the 100% consistency then, John. I mean, one just cannot achieve this when mic'ing amps in different venues, as you'd know. Even with practice and knowing the varied limitations of the venues you play in, compromises still have to be made.

    The Kemper takes your "ideal" cab->mic->preamp combination, including the mic positioning and so on, with you wherever you go. Now that's consistency, brother.

    Welcome to the forum, John. Your band sounds like one I'd love to see and hear live, man; great cover selections!

  • However, you should know that finding the right profiles and tweaking them until they have the sound you like might be quite a quest.

    Please also note that the profiles of the KPA reflect the sound of a miced amp and not the amp in the room sound. Both sounds are usually quite different.


  • "feeling- and soundwise" you have to deal with a change of paradigm (Amp in the room vs. miced sound via P.A.).
    So check it out first and have a listen to a live-recording of yourself and your band (a simple 2 track recording in the audience room would convince)
    As me, you will be astonished how good you will be sounding, though it's a completely different feeling when playing.

  • I guess what I want is ability to have a great cleans for one Tune (as if I had a BF Princeton) then the next for the next tune have the ability to have a cranked super reverb then a soldano for heavier stuff etc..All with the ability to pull in effects at a moments notice for live improve.

    You can organize your rigs/tones/amps by song or style using the 125 banks of 5 stomps on the foot controller. Having that BF Princeton in 5 variations across those 5 stomps, or as a single stomp and other rigs on the other 4 for a tune or two etc.
    Pretty much any amp in any setting imaginable at your fingertips (with a little effort of course).
    If you do 60 songs a night that require different tones, in a typical order then this is a dream.
    If you just need a wide variety of tones to fit "genres" of music, then this is for you too.
    It's up to you, and of course music and instruments are seriously subjective, but this damn thing has really opened my eyes and ears. Freakin' amazing.

  • First off, Y'all are great.

    Thank you for all the info, I'm definitely going to keep reading since Sweetwater won't have anymore for 2 weeks.

    Would y'all suggest any other places to purchase the power head & remote (that have a return policy) other than Sweetwater?

    Also, anybody had real live experience with using a real wah in front of the Kemper?

    Thanks guys!

  • Plus there's a bunch of forum-made wah presets based on various real-world models out there. Having used the L6 wahs for many years, I can tell you that what we have is light years ahead. I can't speak for the Helix unit as I've not (and now have no need to) audition one, but can for everything preceding it.

  • Hi, my 2 cents …

    Pull the trigger ;)
    As always I would advise to do some DI Profiles of your amp and play those profiles over your normal guitar cab. This method will show you, that the Kemper can sound exactly like your amp (most of the time). The change to frfr (the so called change of paradigm) should always be the second step, if your not used to it.

    For the the direct FOH-Sound you can choose out of thousand cabs which are circulating here.


  • Real wahs and generally all pedals work just as they would in front of a tube amp. The few exceptions are certain vintage fuzz pedals; those that generally sound odd behind a buffered pedal, for example.