Kemper + 1960a Cab = Meh.

  • Finally had the first opportunity to run my new Kemper through my Marshall 1960a Cab (2-G12T-75 and 2-Marshall-branded V30s, X pattern). I was instantly disappointed. Rigs that I really liked on headphones and studio monitors were brittle and shrill. MBritt profiles (which I hear tend to be a bit on the darker side) that sounded meaty and tubey in headphones were harsh and rather digital sounding. I had to dial back the treble significantly on almost everything to make it tolerable. The consequence is that the main outs then sound way too dark for FOH. Tried cab off vs cab on (sometimes leaving the cab sim on actually helped a bit. Tried 4 vs 16 ohm. I'm really perplexed by how, through the Marshall cab, a lot of the higher gain profiles actually sounded similar... and quite frankly, not very good. I know lots of people use their Kempers with "real" cabs. I hate to invest in a FRFR when I already have the Marshall. Any thoughts? I think I need a pep talk. What am I missing here?

  • I have a powered head and a 1960a with just the stock V30s. In the interest of full disclosure, I've had it since the mid 90s, so the speakers are nice and broken in but I doubt that's the difference. I'm assuming you have a powered head. If not, the power amp you're using is obviously another variable.


    The first day I had my Kemper, I plugged speaker out into the cab without adjusting anything and it sounded horrific. Shrill and brittle, just as you said. I feared the worst. Then I realized I still had cabs on, so I went to the output section, pressed the button to turn off Monitor Cab, and everything fell into place.


    I have all the MBritt profiles, and my go to is about a 3/4 gain Friedman (best Marshall sound I've ever heard for my taste). Coming out the 1960, configured for Mono, it sounded excellent. It absolutely did not sound the same as what came out of my studio control room reference monitors, but the difference wasn't shrill or digital. It was the opposite direction, the lack of all those lovely detailed frequencies that the full range reference monitors produce, but V30s don't, by design. But it was still a great sound.


    It sounds like you've tweaked a lot of things, so I'm not sure if I have any worthwhile advice other than trying to get back to the state that the Kemper ships in, so to speak. All I can offer that might be helpful is the fact that straight out of the box, changing absolutely nothing but Monitor Cab Off, everything sounded excellent. So for what it's worth, I know from experience you can get there, I'm just not sure why you're getting this kind of problem.


    One thing just came to mind - what do you have the Monitor Out source set to? I'm using Master Mono. If you're using something different, you could get significantly different results to what you hear in headphones and FOH.

  • I’ve never liked 4x12 cabs including the 1960a so i’m prob Not the best person to say. However, the very forst rehearsal I did with my Kemper Powered Toaster was in a local rehearsal studio with 1960a cab so I tried that first as I thought even a 412 would be less of a system shock than going straight in to the PA. Big mistake! The cabinet sounded exactly as you described. I was using MBritt profiles too which were some of my favourites through studio monitors, headphones (and now also through the PA). Like you I tried with the cab section off and on. To me it sounded less offensive with the cab section on. Since then I have done a few gigs using my Mesa Theile 112 EVM12L cab and it sounded great but still had the effect of making all profiles sound much more similar than they do through monitors.


    If you must use the Marshall I would try turning monitor cab off but adjusting the Monitor EQ in the output section. This will allow you to cut the highs and presence from the monitor signal without affecting the sound going to FOH.

  • So many variables here.


    From what I understand the cab algorithm subtraction is similar to a V30. If the profile was made with a different speaker my thought is the process is less than perfect. However, when I make studio profiles with a similar cabinet as you have and disable the cabinet on Kemper with the Powerhead running into the same cabinet it sounds great.


    Keep in mind that headphones are generally far from flat and not a good reference most of the time. A compromise would be to adjust the EQ in the output menu that is driving the speaker cabinet.


    The cabinet acts as an EQ filter and will definitely make the tones more similar. Other cabinet have more lows and character vs the 1960a. I am not sure which model GT75 you have but there can be a wrench here also. The older ones sound much better than then newer models.


    What power amp are you using?

  • I am not sure which model GT75

    Yeah, I'm running the four stock V30s and have no experience with these, so I don't know how much they would color the result.


    And of course, "good" is so subjective to begin with. What sounds good (or at least "fairly normal") to me might be bad to Alan, just north of acceptable for you, and a complete freakin' disaster to @esable72's ears.

  • The obvious test:


    Try the "problem" Rigs with all the virtual 1960 Cabs you have on the Kemper and see how they sound through the 'phones.


    If they sound killer and those same Rigs sound like shite through your cab, it may be time to consider going FRFR.

  • Wouldn't a DI profile be a bad idea if I still want to run direct to FOH? Isn't that where the merged profiles come in? And if so, do the merged profiles automatically send the cab sim to the main out while sending the DI to the monitor output when the cab sim is switched off? Or is using a merged profile more complicated than this?

  • Wouldn't a DI profile be a bad idea if I still want to run direct to FOH? Isn't that where the merged profiles come in? And if so, do the merged profiles automatically send the cab sim to the main out while sending the DI to the monitor output when the cab sim is switched off? Or is using a merged profile more complicated than this?

    You can add any cab you like to a Direct profile to send to FOH so you don “need” merged profiles.


    Merged profiles are a little different than you might expect. The merge process actually compares two profiles where one is Direct and the other is Studio then subtracts one from the other to give you the cabinet profile as a separate entity. Its like total Star Trek sci-fi profiling :)


    When the Cab is used with the origInal Direct profile it should be exactly the same as the original Studio profile. However, when you bypass the Cab it should sound exactly like the Direct profile. So Merged profiles probably should be the best of both worlds. However, there are apparently lots of commercial profiles that are labelled as Merged which are actually just a Direct profile and a separate Cab profile so check what you are getting first.

  • From my point of view, when you are going to use a guitar cab and you want it to sound good, the best aproach is to find a cab in the Kemper that is as close as possible to your real cab. Then, tweak the rigs using that cab with headphones or monitors. And finally check with the real cab.


    It´s not a good aproach to use MBritt profiles that have almost always the 3rd Power 112 cab and think they are going to sound the same through the Marshall 4x12. In my case, I have had the same experience as Chris Duncan . For me it sounded EXCELLENT. But not the same. Good or bad is a matter of taste.


    So at the moment I´m trying to use at home always the same cab when I´m looking for rigs that I want to use later with my Marshall cab. I use the Mars 1960AV from Lars Luettge Rig Pack in the Rig Manager. You can find it in a lot of his free profiles.



    That way you can tweak the sound to your taste knowing the cab is going to react in a similar way.

  • From my point of view, when you are going to use a guitar cab and you want it to sound good, the best aproach is to find a cab in the Kemper that is as close as possible to your real cab. Then, tweak the rigs using that cab with headphones or monitors. And finally check with the real cab.

    I suggested exactly this but the OP "responded" by asking about Merged Profiles...

  • I think the issue might be that Merged profiles are often misunderstood Nicky. I misunderstood them too for a while until someone explained it to me. Then I re-read the appropriate section of the manual and it all made perfect sense.


    As with many things in Kemper-land the concepts and logic are mind blowing but sometimes the names given to things are quite confusing.

  • +1 to merged or direct profiles only with a guitar cab.


    So far I have played the Kemper through:


    Marshall 1960AV with V30s

    Randal XL 4x12 with V30s

    Avatar Signature with V30s

    Orange PPC212 with V30s

    Mission Engineering 2-P (FRFR)


    The Marshall was my least favorite guitar cab. I dont like 4x12s with the Kemper in General. 2x12s just seem to sound better to me. The Marshall and Orange side by side makes the Marshall sound dark, wooly, and fizzy.


    I have used the Avatar the longest with the Kemper live (Also the closest to the Orange's sound profile).


    I then tried the Mission FRFR because EVERYONE ON HERE SWORE FRFR WAS THE WAY TO GO....... and was terribly disappointed... I sold that for the Orange and its about 15% better sounding to me than the Avatar.


    I have never used a studio profile with the cab disengaged and had it even close to usable. I also think its important to find profiles that are very close to what you are looking for. While the tweaking ability on the Kemper is amazing, I find the more drastically you tweak, the more of the "Real Amp" feel you lose.

  • So far I have played the Kemper through:

    Weren't you rockin' a Mesa 2x12 at one time, Keith? That's what I use now and much prefer it to my 4x12's (69 Marshall Basketweave, 1960a/1960b, AX/BX, Wizard, Mesa Trad/Stiletto, Avatar...)!


    Never had an Orange 2x12 but now I'm interested lol .:/:)

  • Weren't you rockin' a Mesa 2x12 at one time, Keith? That's what I use now and much prefer it to my 4x12's (69 Marshall Basketweave, 1960a/1960b, AX/BX, Wizard, Mesa Trad/Stiletto, Avatar...)!


    Never had an Orange 2x12 but now I'm interested lol .:/:)

    I owned a Mesa 2x12 but that was before I had the Kemper. From what I recall about the Mesa, the Orange is a bit more raw sounding and middy.


    Completely different amps though. I was playing a modded JCM800 and a 5150 block letter during the Mesa cab era, and was playing much more aggressive music.