I made the jump to Kemper about 2 weeks ago and am very happy so far. I have been a performing guitarist for nearly 40 years. My first road experience came in the early 80's; grew my hair out, donned some leather and eye liner (oh God!) and hit the road with 2 JCM 800's, A Jackson RR1 custom shop and a charvel strat, a TS808, a chorus and delay pedal. What a glorious time that was. When L6 hit the market, I went with it and have owned just about every piece of gear they put out there, (bean, flextone, Vetta, HD500x, etc.). a year ago I picked up a Helix. I didn't keep it very long. I was really disappointed with it. For me , it was not a big jump from the tones I was getting from my HD500x. I also have done the guitar synth thing for a long time. I have a Roland ready strat and a Godin xtsa. Both trigger Roland V synth gear very well. At one point (for a gig I did for 2 years), I used the GR55 to FOH, monitored via in-ear for all my guitar tones and synth, strings pads, keyboard sounds. Actually, if I really thought about it, I could write another paragraph or 2 on all the gear I've owned over my tenure as a guitarist- I am sure many of you could say the same.
For the last 3 years I have primarily been performing with my Mesa Mark 5/35 (a great amp). I also have a 64 deluxe reverb that rarely leaves the studio and also a Bugera V22 (a surprisingly good little amp- probably the best spent $400 on an amp I have ever made). The Bugera has found a home at my church so I don't have to lug it back and forth, the 5/35 goes out with me for $ gigs.
So, all this brings me to the Kemper. I am beginning to understand why many are calling this unit a game changer. I really respect and appreciate the thought that went into engineering this unit. Many of my desires and disappointments with a "rig" seem to be answered- so far. For my use, the morphing feature alone is worth the cost of the unit. The tones I can get are simply astounding to my ears. I bought some MB and Top Jimi profile packs and am very impressed with the recreation/ capturing of the amps. The remote is excellent as well. Bottom line, there is not much I would change (at this point) that could make the unit more valuable to me. Of course that may change lol, we'll see.
I would like to see a dedicated editor that can be run via USB instead of midi. FWIW, Roland did not make an editor for the GR55 either, but I used a 3rd party editor that made crafting rigs/patches less cumbersome. Some have said that the efx need upgrading (reverbs), but what the Kemper currently offers does the job for me.
I plan on working with the unit for another month or so before I take it out to gigs. I plan on in-ear monitoring only and go direct to the FOH after I get comfortable with it. I will post a pic of how I am using it in my rack once I get everything put together. I would welcome any feedback.
I have been lurking around these forums for a while gathering info and convincing myself to pull the trigger on this unit. I am glad I did. There is a lot of experienced people on these boards with mostly good (and respectable) info that is valuable. It has been a good place to start for me and want to thank you for helping me take the leap (oh, my poor mesa, will it ever leave the house again?). Cheers!