About to buy my first Kemper...

  • Hey everyone, long time listener, first time caller. With my awesome wife's surprise holiday gift, I'm finally getting off the modeler merry go round and buying my first Kemper. Very excited, but I had a couple of questions...


    I'm a bedroom player. No gigging, just noodling around and playing along with all the stuff I grew up with in the late 70's/early 80's on Spotify or Pandora. So I'd love to tone match these tunes as much as possible (Boston/VH/Journey/Foreigner/Hair Bands/etc etc etc). Here's what I could use with my Kemper:


    --DSL40C through the effects loop and cab emulation off

    --Kustom PA50 FRFR monitor


    Anyone have experience with these and a Kemper? I also had a crazy idea of buying studio monitors to replace my computer speakers and just playing through those while mixing with the music. Is this even possible? And if it is, does anyone else work it this way? Also willing to get something else entirely if none of these would fly for what I need.


    Appreciate your input--thanks!

  • Thanks everyone--as far as the studio monitors go, I do have a smaller space (12 x 14). Local Craigslister has some KRK Rokit 5s for sale. I'd love to have something where my music sounds better (and gets louder) and my guitar sounds great through them as well. Good choice for what I need, you think?

  • Thanks everyone--as far as the studio monitors go, I do have a smaller space (12 x 14). Local Craigslister has some KRK Rokit 5s for sale. I'd love to have something where my music sounds better (and gets louder) and my guitar sounds great through them as well. Good choice for what I need, you think?

    I think the Rokits would do well. I went with used 8" Yamaha HSM80 for the bass support, but I've heard good things about the Rokits

  • Welcome to the family, jbird!


    For playing along with the songs as you described, I definitely feel that studio monitors will serve you best, not only because the music will sound better than on your 'puter speakers, but also due to the fact that the tones coming from the Kemper will "blend" better.


    The thinking is that the Kemper provides mic'd-amp tones - the same methodology as on those classic recordings you love. They'll therefore sound like they "belong" when combined through the monitors. An FRFR system somewhere else in the room would not only probably need to be cranked a little to sound good, but will come across as somewhat-disconnected from the music when compared to the other method.


    You asked for monitor recommendations? I always suggest Yamaha HS5 or HS8 for fantastic bang-for-buck performance and reliability.


    Just MHO's, of course. HTH, mate.

  • Thanks MM--really looking hard at those Yamahas. Everyone speaks so highly of them.


    So if I went the monitor route, do I need some sort of interface to make everything work with the laptop, Kemper, etc? Or is it just plug and play basically?

  • Hey, no worries, man.


    Well, if you already have analogue line out from the lappy, you could just buy a tiny mixer (you only need 4 channels) so you can blend the Kemper's output with the lappy and sent the resulting stereo signal to the monitors. This would be the cheapest-and-most-basic option right now.


    Even without an interface you could still record the Kemper through the lappy's line input:

    Kemper monitor out (mono) -> line input

    Kemper Stereo (Main) out -> mixer

    Computer line out -> mixer

    Mixer out -> monitors


    You could swap the first two (Kemper) routings so you record in stereo and monitor in mono, if you like, but I recommend the configuration I outlined.


    The idea is that you'll be able to hear the computer's output along with the Kemper via the mixer, meaning that you'll experience no latency (delayed signal due to computer-processing time if you pass the Kemper through it and try to listen whilst playing).

  • Wow, this is all SO helpful, guys. Thanks...


    You are correct. I won't be recording. So if I went with the diagram above, do I still need an interface between the monitors and the Kemper?

    If you get powered monitors like the Yammies or Rokits you should be able to mix the vol of the music and guitar with just the Kemper.


    I have not tried this myself as I have a mixer/interface but the manual says you can do it.

  • Powered speakers indeed can be directly connected to the Kemper outputs. So no need for an interface (unless you want to record).


    Also both the XLR and the 1/4 outputs are active simultaneously so you could send the output to an interface and also listen to it directly connected at the same time.

  • I'll add another option for you if your Kemper is powered.


    Make a speaker cable with a normal guitar plug on one end and a female version on the other. Then leave your DSL40C powered off and plug its speaker into the cable and turn the Cab off. This turns it into a 1x12 guitar cab.

  • Wow, this is all SO helpful, guys. Thanks...


    You are correct. I won't be recording. So if I went with the diagram above, do I still need an interface between the monitors and the Kemper?

    Nope - just straight into the powered speakers from the main outs.


    I will suggest getting a cheap little mixer where the interface is shown above to make it easier to play along with whatever source you want (computer, phone, mp3 player, etc).


    In that case the headphone and media player in the diagram would plug into the mixer.

  • I'll add another option for you if your Kemper is powered.


    Make a speaker cable with a normal guitar plug on one end and a female version on the other. Then leave your DSL40C powered off and plug its speaker into the cable and turn the Cab off. This turns it into a 1x12 guitar cab.

    I do something like this currently with a Marshall Code. Run out of the 3.5 mm headphone jack to an adapter, then into the Effects Loop Return on the back of the DSL40C. Still need to shut off the cab emulation on the Code but it works a heckuva lot better than that crappy little 10" Code speaker. I'm probably going to keep all this for when I want to go "old school" and give the Kemper a break. However, from the sound of some of the profiles I'm hearing, that may not happen very often. ;)

  • That's also an option...might just go ahead and throw in a pair Yamaha HS5s into the mix so I can go either way with it, depending on whatever sounds better. Either way those monitors will be a huge upgrade over my current computer speaker setup.