Real amp v kemper - Tim Pierce

  • Agreed, no-one is ever going to go "That's not a real amp!", it's hard enough to tell which is which when you can AB them. However that doesn't mean things shouldn't get better. That tiny bit of difference taht is there, those restrictions and limitations when it comes to choice of distant mic'd sounds and the way the Kemper deviates from the source when you change the settings.


    That's stuff a user, guitarist, producer, engineer, they will notice and they will want those limitations to be eventually lifted, right now it can sound real so the next steps are flexibility and options, and I think all of that will eventually be overcome, there are already phenomenal reverb/space emulation options out there, i can see profile morphing happening or multi-stage profiling including the user adjusting the controls on the amp to allow the Kemper to match it's control behaviors.

  • The differences can be heard, same as in other tests. I don't know why people insist on banging on about this as if they don't exist. Even most of the highly passionate and defensive Kemperites have moved the goal posts to admitting it's not identical, but that it's close enough to not matter, especially in a mix. That's reasonable enough and subjective, so going back to the "there's no difference" argument is tiresome. Hell, even Cedrick has provided the actual frequency charts to display the differences.


    There are also a lot of these "same as the amp" people that talk about how the KPA sits better in the mix. But how can it sit better in the mix if it's identical? Shouldn't it fit the same?


    If you can't hear the differences in the Tim Pierce video, no matter how small (compression & mids), I don't know what to tell you. Doesn't mean the KPA is bad or that you should love it any less.


    P.S. Since you don't actually profile an amp, but rather a signal chain, you're never really going to sound exact as the amp sitting in the room. Cab, speaker, mic, mic placement, mic preamp, and even the cables add tonal characteristics to the resulting profile.

  • Not arguing that logic.
    My point is merely that purists, that is people that "know" better, can tell. I can tell. But the thing is that in my situation, in front of the audience listening to my band, nobody knows, and nobody cares. If you were there, I'm guessing you'd have an opinion, be it good or bad, and I respect that, but you'd likely be alone.
    Look at the shit ass grin on Tim's face nine times out of ten when they switch between real/Kemper. Of course he picked on one or two, but what ever.
    Regarding the "in the mix", I am really happy with the way I'm sonically separated from my other guitarist now. Why? Because:
    a) I'm using profiles of amps I've never owned
    b) The DXR10 has a much better stage coverage than my 3x12 was (1x12 combo plus 2x12 cab)
    c) It's more versatile
    What I am doing with the Kemper is not "better" than what others do with their tube amps, because they've crafted their equipment and tuned it to their liking. That being said, right now, in my situation, and in my band it IS BETTER... for me.
    And again... the audience gets what they need/want... actually they get more, and better than what I/my band was offering before, and they couldn't tell the difference if they tried.
    That's my opinion regarding live playing. A recording situation is a completely different discussion of course.

  • No argument with that and much of what you said are things that I echo, as well. In a live setting the nuances aren't so important. For recording purposes I admit to being very frustrated with the KPA and the issues spelled out repeatedly in past threads that there's no reason dredging back up and getting bogged down in argument and denials. But in spite of that, the convenience of the KPA means I'll probably always keep it to gig because you just can't beat it for that.


    All musicians tend to listen with their eyes, so if I spotted a Kemper I'd probably pay attention to the tone and nuances. I know that comes from a guitarist and musician perspective and I'm very well aware of this. Everybody else probably couldn't care less. As musicians we like to see what everyone is using, but I'm not a snob where I'm going to thumb my nose at anyone. Hell, people thumbed their nose at me for still using the POD 2.0 up until about a year ago. Nevermind that when they didn't know I was using a POD they commented on how "warm" the "Marshall tone" was. Trust me, gear purism annoys the hell out of me. They're all tools that in the right hands can be made to work.


    In the video the KPA does get impressively close. I've always maintained that it does more often than not (at least with good mic placement). For a guy like Tim Pierce it's close enough for playing that I'm sure he loves the convenience, and the ability to take all his amps with him on the road in a 15lb box (or at least "90%" of his amps). It's why I still have a KPA despite my frustrations.


    But this isn't about how impressively close it gets, it's about the attitude that crops up here like this is the test that's going to "shut those naysayers up", as if it proves there is absolutely no difference between the source tone and the profile. Even the infamous Andertons video (that turned me on to Kemper, by the way) exhibited tonal differences, they just couldn't pick out which one was which. Chapman liked the KPA tone better in most circumstances because it compresses the audio and feels tighter.


    What people confuse is thinking that those of us who openly voice the audible differences means we are seeking to discredit the KPA or say it sucks. Not ever in the slightest. If I thought it sucked I would have sold it by this time. We can be constructive, logically consistent, and speak objectively without the need to rationalize or get defensive.

  • Many audience cannot tell even which is the guitar or bass. And we expect them to tell Amp vs Kemper? ha ha. I hear some bands with the guitar through POD XT and this sound good enough live. The important thing is how the guitar mix in the house. Sometimes men are crazy about the tone.

  • And with all due respect, I continue to doubt that anyone here in this community (including the most vocal critics and those with self-professed "golden ears"), would be able to discern and discriminate, with perfect accuracy, the KPA from the Reference Amp -- when presented with a blind A/B comparison of 20 sound samples, randomized, with 10 being the KPA and the other 10 being the actual Reference Amp.


    A smaller test was made some months ago, by @ColdFrixion (I believe there were 8 or 10 clips). Not one of the members who responded to the challenge (including Sinmix) passed the test by answering with 100% accuracy.


    I am not trying to stir the pot, nor do I intend any disrespect to the community members who claim to be able to tell the difference. Nevertheless, I cordially and respectfully doubt these claims. at least when it comes to when the rubber meets the road, and a properly presented blind A/B audio clip comparison test is presented.


    I do have some additional ideas as to how such a notional A/B challenge be set up:


    1) As mentioned previously, 20 clips total, comprised of 10 unique pairs of KPA vs RA (Reference Amp) guitar audio clips.


    2) The total set of 20 audio clips is pairwise disjoint. In other words, each pair will consist of a unique guitar performance, as follows:


    {A1, A2} {B1, B2} {C1,C2} {D1,D2} {E1,E2} {F1.F2} {G1, G2} {H1, H2} {I1. I2} {J1,J2}


    A = Clean Rhythm
    B = Clean Solo
    C = Crunch Rhythm
    D = Crunch Solo
    E = Med Gain Rhythm
    F= Med Gain Solo
    G = High Gain Rhythm
    H = High Gain Solo
    I = Uber Gain Rhythm
    J = Uber Gain Solo


    The "1" and the "2" standing for either the KPA or the RA. randomly selected throughout the sequence.


    3) Each Lettered audio pair of performances is unique...that is to say, for example, the "A" pair of rhythm clips will be a different performance (i.e. different riff) compared to "C", compared to "E" (etc.), the same goes for the solo clips. Furthermore, each pair of clips should be played at different positions on the guitar. i.e. different key.


    The point of all this is to make it more difficult for "cheating" by using a software-based spectrum/frequency analyzer to detect a unique frequency "fingerprint" or signature. This is quite easy, if there is only a single, identical "riff" being played, and then just randomly split up between the KPA version and the RA version. A spectrum analyzer program will probably be able to flag one version as being different than another. Then, it simply becomes a matter of guessing which one is the KPA and which is the RA. This then becomes a 50/50 probability. If you guess correctly, you could easily score 100% across the 20 randomized (but otherwise identical) clips. However, by making the set pairwise disjoint (i.e. unique performances with each new "letter" pair), this should frustrate any efforts to unfairly employ a spectrum analyzer to make determinations.



    Cheers,
    John

  • Well to me the kempers own sound has always been acceptable even at high gain, what I was only concerned about was one thing...could it preserve or do a good job of preserving the Feel of a valve/tube amp and not just the top end blah.


    .....a few beers later I was happy with it, the bends the feed back blah...I thought could it be that it's not totally identical...I forgot about this because I was having so much fun...so I stopped being a tight ass.....


    Morphing, pitch shifting...volume swells and Wah Wah.....I then stopped and thought man you know what...


    F it....there is too much positive and I can create a lot more from this than I could from the tube amps....and then it hit me...my beer is in the freezer.


    Does the audience give a shit...no..
    Does the artist ..maybe it will take some time to adjust..
    But it's all in your head...you don't need the boom and split hairs you think you need to be creative and dam it


    To have fun
    Remember that..fun?
    My beer actually exploded in the fridge encase any one was wondering


    The moral of the story is don't search for exacts find a place where you can be happy and creative.
    And do not let me put a beer in the freezer


    That's all


    Ash

    Have a beer and don't sneer. -CJ. Two non powered Kempers -Two mission stereo FRFR Cabs - Ditto X4 -TC electronic Mimiq.

  • Many audience cannot tell even which is the guitar or bass. And we expect them to tell Amp vs Kemper? ha ha. I hear some bands with the guitar through POD XT and this sound good enough live. The important thing is how the guitar mix in the house. Sometimes men are crazy about the tone.

    Ain't that the truth,,,so many guitar players are so wrapped up in their own tone, they forget the crowd could care less about the guitar players "TONE",,,
    practice more , worry about gear less,,the crowd will be happy,, that's why we play,,, right? for them,,

  • @unclemar


    While I agree I would like to ad that the player needs his"emotional sonic home" to play for the crowd to "send his vibes" to them..


    :D


    The kemperhas this ability.It has definetly "spirit" like a tube rig under "perfect conditions"(temperature of tubes,right cab,working pedals,intact batteries & cables etc)..


    And while we talk about this and I am an evil fanboy I would ofcourse like to see the freedom fighters and warriors of light(shining from the holy tubes) talking also about the plenty "shortcomings" and maybe even "frustration" with using tube rigs..


    I mean..there are always two sides of the coin,no;

  • Guess who's back? :)


    Nothing new. As usual, kemper gets very close, with the innacuracies described in detail by some of us.


    About blind tests with smooth transitions, ect, ect: can pick many parts of a signal chain and do similar tests confusing people. Doesn't tell me much in the context of "skeptics" and kpa. And there is also a great test done with helix where both sinmix and myself score quite low.


    Now of course, if differences were big enough they'd still be easier to show even in that type of test. But nobody that I know of who has criticisms of kemper claims that it's far off anyway. Maybe someone in youtube comments. But no serious "skeptic" as far as I see, at least not here.


    Of course none of this means there are no differences either. There are. And it's not a bad thing to improve on that end where possible. Small tonal differences often translate to bigger ones in feel, similarly to what happens when layering tracks.


    I disagree with cililab about kpa being 99.99 there (not with his own experience, obviously). Reason is that it's very difficult to quantify such percentages. I am not sure how to do it in some epistemologocally objective way, so I've strayed away from giving numbers.


    None of all this means there should be some kind of war between "skeptics" and "kemperites" of course or that anyone should "love kemper less" because it's not 100 same to the signal chain. If I'm confident about a product or design I don't have much concern about what anyone thinks. Why does it matter?


    The video was a cool one, but DIs would have helped more with such a comparison if we really really wanna get into details and not be confused by playing in any way. But of course each test has a purpose and different strengths -- these tests are also interesting, including the "super blind/smooth transition/playing changing" ones.



    Cheers

  • And with all due respect, I continue to doubt that anyone here in this community (including the most vocal critics and those with self-professed "golden ears"), would be able to discern and discriminate, with perfect accuracy, the KPA from the Reference Amp -- when presented with a blind A/B comparison of 20 sound samples, randomized, with 10 being the KPA and the other 10 being the actual Reference Amp.

    Firstly, nobody self-professed to have "golden ears". That term has been used by others to passively aggressively mock people who can seemingly better detect tonal differences, myself included. Secondly, the test wouldn't prove much of anything, especially what we don't already know. The KPA can be made to fool people some of the time. Doesn't mean it's 100% accurate, which is the underlying point.


    We continue to spin in the same circle. First, person A says "wow! they're exactly the same!". Person B then chimes in, "there are small differences, but still very close". Person C then protests, "ok 'golden-ears', you try picking these out of a mix. You can't. It fools you which proves the original poster right. Stop hating. Even if it's not the same it's close enough to not matter."


    The comparison tests have been done ad nauseam at this point. Hell, the KPA marketing is almost entirely built on them. And it doesn't seem to matter how many "skeptics" correctly pick which one is which, whenever one isn't correctly guessed people scream "ah ha! see!". Before he got banned, SinMix was able to pick correctly 100% of the time (at least that I witnessed), yet people were still throwing new ones at him like they had something to prove. In actuality they're just trying to browbeat "skeptics" and won't be happy until everyone is fawning over how accurate it is. What is objectively true is objectively true, and even Ceddy has previously shown frequency charts to highlight the differences, not that anybody already convinced the KPA is dead-on is interested in seeing or acknowledging it. And the continual denial and defensiveness that these don't exist or are exaggerated is what keeps this conversation going and keeps "skeptics" looking like they're hating on the KPA despite nothing of the sort.

  • Well, I must say that I love my Kemper and I also know for a fact that there is nothing perfect in this world of ours. Especially when trying to replicate and original. If my signal chain was Guitar > Preamp > Blender > Speaker, and I liked the results and so did the crowd, then there is success. The Kemper will never be perfect but it's like my wife, close enough for me. Have fun playing whether you use it or any other modeler / amp.

  • Well, I must say that I love my Kemper and I also know for a fact that there is nothing perfect in this world of ours. Especially when trying to replicate and original. If my signal chain was Guitar > Preamp > Blender > Speaker, and I liked the results and so did the crowd, then there is success. The Kemper will never be perfect but it's like my wife, close enough for me. Have fun playing whether you use it or any other modeler / amp.

    Exactly, and that's the point. Some are so defensive that they react as though they are being personally attacked. We should be able to talk constructively about the differences and still be able to enjoy the KPA. It doesn't have to be perfect, so I'll never understand why people continue to try and make this point.

  • Well, I must say that I love my Kemper and I also know for a fact that there is nothing perfect in this world of ours. Especially when trying to replicate and original. If my signal chain was Guitar > Preamp > Blender > Speaker, and I liked the results and so did the crowd, then there is success. The Kemper will never be perfect but it's like my wife, close enough for me. Have fun playing whether you use it or any other modeler / amp.

    Thumps up

  • Well, I must say that I love my Kemper and I also know for a fact that there is nothing perfect in this world of ours. Especially when trying to replicate and original. If my signal chain was Guitar > Preamp > Blender > Speaker, and I liked the results and so did the crowd, then there is success. The Kemper will never be perfect but it's like my wife, close enough for me. Have fun playing whether you use it or any other modeler / amp.

    Is that the hand wired 50w blender, or the 100w?