Farewell Kemper, and we thank you...

  • Hello everyone.

    This is my last post on the Kemper forum.

    This last year has been an exhilarating ride with this box of wonders: at home through my studio monitors, the Kemper has been my pride and joy and I dare not contemplate on how much time I spend playing for hours on end…

    This is by no means a complaint about the Kemper, it just lacked in one area and one area alone, albeit a very important one… playing live. Mind you, I’m not talking the big stages through a mid-sized or bigger PA system -here the Kemper is unrivalled in my humble opinion- but when using with a cab or FRFR solution in small clubs and smaller venues…

    I play a local cover band and alas the ‘big’ stages only come by once in a while, we play a lot of small venues and for the last year I owned the Kemper, I tried to match the sheer brutality and depth of both my fellow guitar players in the band:

    • Jim plays a JCM900 with GT-10 in 4CM into a Marshall 1960b, and in spite of what people say about the JCM900, it sounds huge and immense. A simple Sennheiser e609 delivers all that punch straight to the desk which gives an amazing sound through PA and in my IEM’s.
    • Nicolas plays a Mesa Dual Rectifier solo head with a Helix in 4CM into a Mesa 4x12 OS recto cab and it’s bone crunching. Again, a simple e609 delivers all that grind straight to the desk and in my IEM’s.

    Alas, the Kemper sounded glorious in my IEM and on bigger stages, the Kemper was definitely on par with the tube stacks, but I couldn’t for the world get a true three- dimensional tone, with depth, balls and precision when using the Kemper through a power amp into my cab ( a Marshall 1960b) or via FRFR (tried alto’s, DXR 10’s). The fact that I use IEM’s made that less of a problem for me personal but for the audience... at those venues...

    I tried to ignore it for the longest time… I tried multiple setups: Matrix GT1000FX, Mesa 2:90, Camplifier 360, my friends powered Kemper… with ultimately my old Marshall EL34 50/50 yielding the best results…. ‘somewhat’ close, but definitely no cigar. Mind you, I tried all sorts of profiles: my own, Michael Britt, Choptones, Top Jimi, Bert Meulendijk…). I tried Studio’s, Merged, Direct, IR's, you name it.

    My dad and Davy, two very loyal friends who have been supporting our band Fixxxer (from Belgium) from the very beginning 17 years ago both said that indeed through big PA’s the Kemper sounded great, but in local venues, the Kemper gets lost in the mix and that 'my sound' has been long gone since I stopped using my TriAxis and H&K Access with the EL34 power amp… with several friends confirming this phenomenon. It’s not a matter of volume or EQ’ing: stand alone, the Kemper delivered, but in the band mix, it lacked so much punch…

    So I took the plunge: I got my ‘old rack’ out (alas the TriAxis was sold together with the Axe FX Ultra I used for effects and midi control to fund the acquisition of the Kemper) so it was just merely my H&K Access into my Marshal EL 34 50/50 into my cab… no bells, no whistles…. Man, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing: massive, bone crunching, face melting hard rock tone!! An experience I forgot it existed… During rehearsal that night, my playing was never been so tight, notes bounced of the frets, power chords and two string chops, palm mutes all went through my stomach rambling my very inner soul… I left with a big grin on my face…and very confused indeed…

    My green ‘studio baby’ is gone, sold to a fellow musician from our great capital… where it will be used with love and care, no doubt.

    Luckily, the Kemper (with the Camplifier 360) had great resell value, so I ended up getting enough to not only fund a used Axe FX II XL+ in pristine condition, but my merchant skills also left me with a starting budget for getting that illusive TriAxis back…

    So long Kemper fanatics, Godspeed and I thank this great community for all the support. So long Kemper, and we thank you...

    Kindest of Regards,


  • Good luck dude, sorry you didn't get there.

    I sort of know what you mean as one night I reverted back to my valve laney amnd backline sounded fab...but micced wasn't so good.

    So, I've separated my back line with FOH. Every gig do I go through the PA, including the smallest venues. I also never rely on my backline for any of my front line sound, its monitoring only. Therefore I prefer to compromise ( if I have to) with my on stage sound vs FOH. I've never had so many compliments on my sound but I went through a far amount of frustration...

    Funnily enough I rehearsed last night and didn't like the "through the cab" sound, but it wasn't my cab and profiles are set for FRFR etc so I put up with it.

    Anyway, really wish you the best of luck and you are allowed to visit us :)

  • Far well and thanks for your effort to maintain the support of ToastMe..

    As the man with 8V-Guitars mentioned - it would be nice to here from you again.

    Maybe you can play in bigger venues :-)

    PS: I play the KPA general via Mixer and use a monitor which fit to the venue. Mainly a small one;)

  • V8, I think half the "problem" is that he's "competing" with 2 other guitarists who're running conventional cabs that aren't going through PA's.

    If it were just him, I reckon it'd be a different story.

    Oh, that's easy then.

    The other two just need to get Kempers.

    Problem solved.

    No need for us to lose you and we gain input from your band mates too. It's win/win 8)

  • Gear is just gear...Kemper is fab...but it is just a bit of gear.

    Good luck in your next adventure!

    PRS Custom 22's - Fender Strats - Diezel VH4 - Carol Ann OD2 - Toneking Imperial MK2 - Colin the Kemper - CLR Neo ii.

  • a cab or FRFR solution in small clubs and smaller venues…

    Did such a great effort for the community especially with Damien and your vids man , besides that your wall is full of helpful stuff to people.

    ah shit man, i gotta say it sucks (Sue me i am human).

    If you were in Australia i would give you both my Mission Gemini 2 cabs to make a 4X12

    We would blow those [email protected]#kers off the stage man....Each cab is a 2 x 110W stereo 2X12 speaker....

    Soon as you plug them in, they automatically sense the master salve and become a 4X12

    I put SinMix's Machete rig on and FMD man, to me it was FATTER than the 4X12 Marshal cab as some how

    i dont know if its the stereo thing or the beer or me, aliens what ever, the dam thing was just too loud LOL.

    I only wanted to see if the bottom end was there like the 4X12's we are used too

    Yes also i am trying to get you to stay too teehee!! :P^^

    Brother, all support in what you do and you paid more than your dues IMHO and are a fair man.

    Just make us a promise that you will be back one day and we will "AOK" you to leave :)

    Thank you so much for your sincere efforts man.


    Have a beer and don't sneer. -CJ. Two non powered Kempers -Two mission stereo FRFR Cabs - Ditto X4 -TC electronic Mimiq.

    Edited once, last by ashtweth: Beer what else ().

  • I put SinMix's Machete rig on and FMD man, to me it was FATTER than the 4X12 Marshal cab as some how

    i dont know if its the stereo thing or the beer or me, aliens what ever, the dam thing was just too loud LOL.

    I only wanted to see if the bottom end was there like the 4X12's we are used too

    I reckon the sum was more than the parts because of the physical effect of doubling the projection-face size, Ash.

    Think of what happens when you mount a speaker into a flat surface as opposed to running it free-standing in a cab not much wider than the cone itself. Same thing happens if you lie face-up on the floor and sing into a mic as opposed to standing up - things get much fatter.