Still On The Fence

  • Hey Everyone!


    I haven't fully committed to the Kemper, yet. But have spent hours researching the Kemper the last few weeks and am heavily considering making the jump from my Dr Z Maz 18 amp to a Kemper. I'm also thinking of ditching my pedals (partially to fund the amp/remote) and using the remote for the Kemper. I play live shows pretty often and we are likely to start touring here in the near future, I also play for the worship band at my church and practice with a band weekly. The biggest appeal to the Kemper is largely the ability to "have it all". Being able to have a profile of the Maz 18 and then a Morgan AC20/40 an old Deluxe Reverb, etc. I previously owned a Line 6 Helix and the inability to ever dial in a "great" tone was pretty discouraging for me. I owned one for over a year and always felt that it was great for a worship setting but when I'd practice alone I rarely enjoyed my sound. That would be my biggest hesitation with the Kemper, however, from everything I've seen the Kemper seems to surpass the Helix with flying colors (not that the Helix can't get some great tones, I however, was just unable to find some I loved). I also played a Kemper the other day and was blown away by the intuitiveness of the amp as I found a tone that I thought was pretty stellar within a 30-60 mins.


    I'm mostly getting my feet wet and just getting a feel for the Kemper community. Thus far, everyone seems pretty welcoming and nice! Excited to continue down this path for a while. Here is a photo from the studio the other day to help keep things interesting.

  • Welcome, Zach!


    I appreciate the brave move on your part, considering selling the pedals and whatnot.


    The thing is you've tried it. It doesn't take long to appreciate what it offers, so I think you now know. You might have read here that that it keeps delivering. It does! It's a journey of discovery for many of us, not only because of the plethora of Profiles available but also due to depth and utility of the operating system and the attendant tweakability.


    So often folks are so-wrapped with the tones they're getting that it can be years before they even realise that they had some parameter or another at their disposal. That's a great indicator of the quality of the system IMHO, 'cause, let's face it, the opposite is so-often-true - you tweak the Hell out of a device, squeezing every last ounce of usefulness from of its every parameter... and still don't get there.


    God bless, mate, and... just do it!

  • Hey Everyone!


    I haven't fully committed to the Kemper, yet. But have spent hours researching the Kemper the last few weeks and am heavily considering making the jump from my Dr Z Maz 18 amp to a Kemper. I'm also thinking of ditching my pedals (partially to fund the amp/remote) and using the remote for the Kemper. I play live shows pretty often and we are likely to start touring here in the near future, I also play for the worship band at my church and practice with a band weekly. The biggest appeal to the Kemper is largely the ability to "have it all". Being able to have a profile of the Maz 18 and then a Morgan AC20/40 an old Deluxe Reverb, etc. I previously owned a Line 6 Helix and the inability to ever dial in a "great" tone was pretty discouraging for me. I owned one for over a year and always felt that it was great for a worship setting but when I'd practice alone I rarely enjoyed my sound. That would be my biggest hesitation with the Kemper, however, from everything I've seen the Kemper seems to surpass the Helix with flying colors (not that the Helix can't get some great tones, I however, was just unable to find some I loved). I also played a Kemper the other day and was blown away by the intuitiveness of the amp as I found a tone that I thought was pretty stellar within a 30-60 mins.


    I'm mostly getting my feet wet and just getting a feel for the Kemper community. Thus far, everyone seems pretty welcoming and nice! Excited to continue down this path for a while. Here is a photo from the studio the other day to help keep things interesting.

    with the KPA you have a snapshot of a miked amp / direct profile, not the real thing , as you may know.

    i didnt sell any of my amps after getting the kpa., theyre are just diferent tools.

    I would try the KPA first for a period of time before dicthing your gear

  • For what its worth, I was a died in the wool tube head since 1985 when I got my first Boogie; little Studio .22 (which I still have). I also have a Mark V:25, 2 Ch Dual Rectifier, Triaxis 2:ninety and a THD Bi Valve. I briefly had a Victory V30 which I hated so much I sold it after 3 weeks and a Sovtek 50w head which I had to get rid of to buy the THD. I dabbled with plug in modellers (Guitar Rig 5, the Apple Amp sims, and some free ones). Also got a Two Notes Torpedo reload for cab IRs and re amping. The Kemper has replaced them all.


    Although I can't make myself sell my real amps and pedals I literally only turn them on to make new profiles now.


    I spent a full afternoon in a demo booth at the local music shop doing A/B between the Helix and the Kemper. They are both fantastic in their own ways.


    For me I didn't want the all in one pedal board form factor of the Helix and I hate delving into editing and tweaking. So the the Kemper perfectly fitted my workflow. Some would say the FX in the Helix are better but I'm not a massive FX user anyway. My idea of an FX is flicking the pickup selector or turning down the volume knob. The Kemper responds just like a real amp to my ears and sounds great straight out the box without hours of tweaking. That suits my workflow. It doesn't make it right and others get great results (and hours of fun) by tweaking but for me the Kemper was the clear winner. Not just because of the sounds (honestly the Helix sounded great and I'm sure the Fractal stuff is also amazing) but the simplicity of use just worked for me.

    There is a Morgan AC20 profile in the free rigs which most folk around here love. I also bought the Dr Z official pack just out of curiosity and some of those profiles are fabulous. Given that these are two of your favourite amps I would try and get a hold of the Dr Z pack and comparing the results to your own amp. Better still if you can borrow the Kemper or take your amp to the shop. Make a profile of your Maz 18and A/B them. It's a bit like auditioning studio monitors or HiFi. Takes something you are really familiar with to test it.

  • And now, a message from the Enabling Dept...


    Nudge nudge… push... SHOVE!


    I was a bit concerned before I bought one (used with foot controller).

    After a week or so I was no longer concerned.

    I haven't sold my amps because I'm a hoarder, but I also haven't turned any of them on in the past year.

    No regrets.

  • Welcome... almost!


    Much like you my first time out I pondered these questions, then, sold a bunch of pedal boards, amps etc, etc... glad I did too! Even sold my first Kemper, but then I realized that was HUGE mistake! You can always buy some back in the future - or not, like many of us have! 8)


    We might be enablers, LOL, but when it comes to great gear, why wouldn't we, we know! Don't accept anything less than the best! 8o


    Also, as Wheresthedug pointed out, there are "official" Dr.Z profiles and many, many great profiles of the 18 you should be very happy IOHO. There are so many amazing profiles, free and otherwise! It's equally great for recording and live performances! :thumbup:


  • Hey, Zach, welcome! Several years ago I struggled whether to get a Kemper because I, too, would have to sell some gear I loved. But my motive was simple: I wanted more amps than just the ones I had (and couldn't afford them) and I also wanted greater portability--all without sacrificing TONE! Sounded crazy, but I kept studying and listening online for months because I could not access a KPA in person. I was frankly quite worried because I'm a tone snob and had come to despise most things digital. Finally I became convinced to begin the selling process--though I was quite worried still that I was making a huge mistake. Well, I can honestly say I've never looked back. Unlike some, I also have been able to tweak the Kemper's effects such that I am quite happy with them--and sold a board with thousands of dollars of pedals. I'll admit I did miss a quality spring reverb in the Kemper--until now! So now I've not only got so many great "amps" I could never own, I can record and transport so much easier.


    If money were no object, I'd still own every guitar, amp and pedal I bought through the decades. But since I cannot, the Kemper/remote & an expression pedal scratch my tonal itches in ways I never dreamed such a simple setup could ever possibly accomplish. No one can guarantee that everyone will feel the same way about a piece of gear. But I have a very strong hunch you are a perfect candidate to love the Kemper, bro.!

  • If money were no object, I'd still own every guitar, amp and pedal I bought through the decades. But since I cannot, the Kemper/remote & an expression pedal scratch my tonal itches in ways I never dreamed such a simple setup could ever possibly accomplish. No one can guarantee that everyone will feel the same way about a piece of gear. But I have a very strong hunch you are a perfect candidate to love the Kemper, bro.!

    Amen to that! 8o:D

  • Thanks for the reply Laetus1 ! I do think I will love it. I'm excited and think I will love the Kemper setup. As you mentioned I want the ability to own numerous amps that I could never actually afford. Such as my Dr Z and then a Morgan and then a Delux Reverb and so on. I've had the opportunity to play one and have been blown away by the tones. The weirdest feeling thus far has been the "amp in the room" feeling that is lacking when playing through speakers but I have decided to go the powered route to have the cabinet option whenever I'd like to feel that. I also have nice speakers to listen to my profiles through and tweak for live sound.

  • I had similar reservations myself. Having a unique perspective in that I worked in music retail when Line 6 first introduced the AxSys and working all the way through the Amplitube modeling software days I was incredulous over another digital product. I owned a Fender, Marshall, Boogie, Jet City and a 5150 III, no less than 50 pedals and of course....wanted more. I had an opportunity to buy a Kemper with 30 day return policy under a great financing rate so I bought it.


    My initial reactions were not great. When I received it, I tried it through headphones (for the heck of it) and it sounded like the best digital amps I'd heard, but....still digital. I then tried it through studio monitors and it was better but not great. In the KPA's defense I had budget 3" Mackies and they just aren't of the caliber needed. Being a gear hoarder I tried a Mooer Baby Bomb Class D power amp into a traditional guitar cab and it was much closer but still slightly off. Bare in mind all of these trials were using the profiles that had been factory loaded and I didn't do any tweaking. Out of curiosity I tried plugging the KPA into the FX Return on my Boogie and through a cab and WHAM! There it was. "In the Room" tone.


    *Spoiler alert* ....I still have the KPA. I don't have 50+ pedals, I don't have the Fender or the 5150 iii but I do have a vast library of paid profiles and access to a library of stunningly accurate amplifiers that I could A.) never financially afford and B.) possibly never find the "real" amp due to rarity. Sure I have Fenders, but I have Jimi's Marshall, Doug Aldrich's Marshall, EVH's rigs for the first 6 albums, Slash's AFD Marshall, David Gilmour's album tones, a Diezel VH4, a studios worth of rack gear used on everything 80s and 90s including the famous Jerry Cantrell Bogner Fish. For the couple grand I've invested, I can tell you firsthand that I have the tones of a colelction that would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. And YES, they all sound as real and accurate as having the gear in the room.


    The bottom line is YES the KPA is worth every penny. HOWEVER be prepared for a learning curve and realize that it will take you time to tweak profiles or find the correct rig for the KPA to sound good to your ear. This forum is an excellent resource of knowledge and some great free profiles as well. I only have one regret in buying my KPA....I really wish I'd have bought it years ago. So much wasted time and money on other gear that it's depressing. Love the KPA and you will too.


    Signed,

    The biggest digital naysayer ever !!!