Poweramp in Kemper vs stand alone poweramp

  • Hi , I have an unpowered Kemper lunchbox and presently use it with either a) Matrix GT1000FX b)Seymour Duncan Powerstage 170 or c) my Fryette Power Station II sometimes into FRFR cabs and sometimes into a regular guitar cab.

    I am considering getting the powered version of the lunchbox and am wondering if the poweramp that is built into the Kemper is better than the options I presently own above. I know there is a convenience factor with the built in unit (and that it is only mono) but is it deemed to be a better pairing with the Kemper?



  • I haven't tried any of the external power amps but the Kemper powered toaster sounds awesome to me. It is designed to make the profiles louder without adding any coloration itself. Basically like a giant HiFi or PA power amp. The only way to tell whether it is "better" or "worse" than others is to compare frequency and distortion data but this isn't available. Therefore, whether it's better than others or not is really a matter of taste.

    It's a very good amp and if you don't need stereo then it is hard to fault the powered head for convenience. As you already have three good amps though I don't see it adding anything sound wise.

  • I have an unpowered Kemper, and have done a lot of experimentation with different power amps over the last few years. Basically I tried every amp I could get my hands on, from Marshall solid state and tube amps, to class D amps, and everything inbetween. In all cases but one, I was not totally pleased with the feel and tone of the results. There was always a tinge of artificial feel and hardness, basically in the lower mids and bass.

    The power amp that sounded and felt the most natural was an ICEpower 50ASX2BTL module. I can play the Kemper with that module into most any speaker (FRFR or guitar driver) and I have the same thrill with the tone as I do with headphones or studio monitors. I can play the rig and totally forget it is not a real tube amp.

    IMHO the ICEpower amps have something really great going on with the Kemper, even though every engineering fiber in my body doesn't want to believe it. Since the powered Kemper uses an ICEpower module as well, I'm sure the tone from it is spectacular. YMMV of course.

    I only have two regrets since entering the Kemper world: 1) I didn't buy a powered Kemper in the first place, and 2) I spent any money on the horrible Kemper brand carry bag.

  • Wow, I'm very impressed! Very nice work! I haven't mustered the courage to pull my Kemper apart, but did find a way to install one securely through the opening without pulling the back panel. The 50ASX2BTL cannot be dropped right in but can be carefully inserted with the correct bracket. I need to post pics.

    Actually, judging from the room in the unit, you can install 2 x 50ASX2BTL in the Kemper and have 170WPC stereo. Coool...

    Have you been able to convert yours from 50W X 2 stereo to mono 170W? I have not seen how this can be done, and there are some significant component population differences between the stereo and mono versions of the 50ASX2.

  • check page 3 from that pdf,

    there is some info how to convert signals 1 and 2, to mono. find bridge W400 and w401.

    i’ve desolder that bridge and solder 2 way switch.

    if i wanna use Btl, mono mode, just set correct position of that switch and connect main out xlr left to icepower input 1, and then same main out xlr fight from kemper to icepower input 2, but with modified xlr cable, just replace two hot wires inside.

    you can see some about that on page 22 of that pdf.

    i hope it’s clean how i wrote lol

  • i bought a camplifier for my kemper and i had the chance to compare it to the powered kemper in a music store, with a ampete switching system and the same profile and same cab ... and it sounded completely the same ... so yeah i can recommend the camplifier! And the 180 watts of the Camplifier were always loud enough + you can have a a second volume in the back ^^

    overall nowadays class d poweramps sound and behave very similar ...

  • Thanks again for the info. I haven't yet seen a ICEpower recommended way to convert a 50ASX2 into a -BTL, but some experimenters have changed a jumper on the 50ASX2 PCB and followed the input\output connections for a 50ASX2-BTL, and it worked as a mono amp. Here's one link I found:


    Probably trying this could void the 50ASX2 warranty, but that doesn't mean it won't work. I'd try it if I had another 50ASX2.

    A very helpful accessory for a 50ASX2BTL would be a TS input PCA with a volume control, 10-20dB of gain, voltage regulators, and a balanced output. Bonus points for a matching connector and cable for the 50ASX2BTL signal\power connector P102 and P103. That would make working with the 50ASX2 much easier, as it seems to be designed for OEM integration with custom design preamps.

  • I have a camplifier 360 for my toaster and run stereo on stage. The 360 is loud and clear.

    "And Camplifiers are hard to get in the US..." quote from So ManyGuitars. This is NOT true. I live in the US. Just contact Ritter amps, Tilman is a really nice guy to deal with.