My Kemper experience!

  • I have not posted much on this forum, mainly because I have been a happy camper. I was reading a review of the new Axe-Fx lll in Guitarist magazine and it has got me thinking, partly because it is very expensive and partly because of the vast array of choices available to the user.

    When I first got the Kemper I will admit that I went a bit mad trying out a large number of profiles. However, as I continued to use the Kemper I found that I was using fewer and fewer profiles. Perhaps this was because I was learning more about what I liked and what I didn't. I realised that whilst I liked overdrive I did not like some of the sounds emanating from the traditional drive boxes like Boogies etc., which I have to say was a surprise to me. I found myself using some Amp Factory crunch Lazy J profiles with a little drive from a compressor in the front and I had this Carlton like overdrive that kept the feel of the guitar - a 335 by the way. A little tweaking of the Amplifier settings and I have ended up with the kind of sound that I have found so difficult to get with an amp.

    I am not a great one for efx - a compressor and some reverb are all I need. I cannot see how all the choice available in the new Axe-Fx lll would benefit me. I am not sure that many players use a vast array of sounds once they have discovered what suits them. I am not even bothered if the profile sounds like the actual amp as I have never played through a Lazy J. Actually I have found the Amp Factory 20 watt Victory amp similarly good + a number of low powered Britt Fender amps.

    To be honest I would be lost without my Kemper. It does make me feel a bit protective when I see some of the comments online from the Axe-Fx brigade. At the end of the day it is not about whether the sound you get is exactly like the amp you have profiled but whether the sound fits your playing style.

  • What matters to some (but not all) is that the sound you get is good! It's totally subjective of course but if you get what you want in terms of sonics then that's ALL that matters. Well not quite but you get what I mean; it's good that other people dig the sound as well :)

    There's an old age in the world of software procurement that goes along the following lines; buy what you want based on requirements and not features..

    It's hard not to get caught up in the hype etc. but like you the day I bought my KPA I knew I was never going back. Doesn't mean I haven't still got loads of amps and don't get caught up in some of the music marketing machine hyperbole but the KPA meets my needs and I won't look anywhere else until my needs change (I don't think they will!)

    Have fun,


  • I've been happy with my Kemper so far....and honestly, I mostly (nearly exclusively) play profiles of my own amps. It's just more convenient to fire up the Kemper at 1am; and I can't really crank a Marshall half stack or turn up a Deluxe Reverb to a reasonable volume during those hours. There are a dizzying number of options, but the reality is that I just play a few profiles and stick to one or two (or outboard pedals) effects.

  • Nice to know that others are not caught up in the hype. I use my Kemper for recording and if I am honest I have not come across anything that is better for this purpose.
    Tell me KPmole when you profiled your amps did you use a variety of mic distances? The one thing that I do not see on the professional profile scene is much talk about mic distances / positions. Given that this is so important in speaker irs it seems a curious omission.

  • Yes, I use varying mic distance.

    It depends on the amp. I don't think Tweed amps sounds particularly good unless the mic is a few inches off the grill. I usually profile Marshalls on and off grill for two different sound variations. I just ordered the DI, so I will start creating merged profiles soon.

  • I have started profiling my deluxe reverb. I made many profiles with the same amp settings and mic (sm57 straight into the KPA) with different mic positions.
    With different positions I mean anything between close to 2 m away and 1 m above the speaker.

    The result is really interesting (and useful for recording real amps :-) ). The sound changes from bright to dark. Angling the mic resulted in a scooped sound. I recommend putting the mic at your ear position when you play. This was a nice surprise. It gives much more amp in the room feeling.

  • I've owned my Kemper for a little over a year now and my justification for getting one is that i will never need to buy another amp ever again, maybe a handful of profiles but not actual tube amps.

    This may sound like a completely insane position for some people who love tubes amps and i fully understand why, but before i bought the Kemper id played less than 10 real tube amps and so i didn't really have a reference point as to how a real tube amp should behave and sound, i spent at least the 10 months prior to me buying my Kemper researching and listening to reviews of various competitors of the Kemper (Helix, Bias, AxeFX etc...) and saw all the comments from people with real experience praising the Kemper and so eventually pulled the trigger on it!

    I found a few stock profiles that i liked and a few from TAF bundle that i got with the Kemper as i bought it from Andertons in the UK who work with Andy so i got a bundle chucked in, but i recently bought the EVH pack from TopJimi and they blew me away! for the music i play they absolutely slay!