Dave Friedman’s view of kemper.....

  • One should also note that it's hard to compare anything without the original source tone. Problem I have with most profilers is they don't provide the original signal path to compare alongside the profile. Too many profilers saying "100% accurate" but without a source for the consumer to compare.

    We also must consider that every amp and signal path is a bit different. Even a slight mic position affects the results, let alone a different cab, speakers, the condition the speakers are in, mic, preamp, cables, tubes, tube condition, power conditioning, etc. The only way to test accuracy of something is to mic and profile your own setup on the spot and reamp the same exact DI.

    And, of course, if you're comparing the feeling you get in the room, mic'd tones won't compare.

  • One should also note that it's hard to compare anything without the original source tone. Problem I have with most profilers is they don't provide the original signal path to compare alongside the profile. Too many profilers saying "100% accurate" but without a source for the consumer to compare.

    We also must consider that every amp and signal path is a bit different. Even a slight mic position affects the results, let alone a different cab, speakers, the condition the speakers are in, mic, preamp, cables, tubes, tube condition, power conditioning, etc. The only way to test accuracy of something is to mic and profile your own setup on the spot and reamp the same exact DI.

    And, of course, if you're comparing the feeling you get in the room, mic'd tones won't compare.

    ... and the more important question ..... does it really matter if the KPA can sound exactly like a specific setup of a specific amp?


    I have had many shoot-outs with my tube amp lugging friends with various amps. I didn't profile their amps. I used a rig that I use for the same songs as they use their particular setup for. I have yet to have any owner of multiple tube amps leave the room thinking that they were not bested by my Kemper rig. It may happen some day, but it hasn't happened yet. Most importantly IMO is that these comparisons were done in the context of a full band using a full PA. When I play live, it is the sound out of the PA that is most important .... since this is what the audience hears. IMO the Kemper is unsurpassed in this regard. I would love to have someone compare their favorite Friedman tube amp rig mic'ed up to my Kemper rig through a good PA. I do really like my Friedman profiles btw..... although for most Marshall supported songs, I find that my MBritt profiles work better ... but not all, just most.


    Still, I do acknowledge that there is an impact that you get from a good 4x12 cab with a good tube amp that is somewhat lacking from any single speaker and a Kemper. Using 2 speakers in stereo does seem to bring things back to a more even footing though. My thought is that most 4x12 cabs driven by a good tube amp are simply loud and move a butt ton of air. If you are used to that "feeling", you need some serious powered speakers around you for the Kemper to get the same feeling.


    Note, this is not to be confused with actual tone. Impact is not tone IMO. While all guitar players (me too) love the feeling of a 4x12 stack being pushed by a good tube amp, generally speaking, there are precious few venues where you can play at that level and not chase the crowd away .... or at the very least make a complete and utter mess of the mix for the band.

  • Pete made the first demo of the “Marsha” on and old forum ‘HRI’ and since then I was hooked. The company was always been “Racksystems”, the amp was Marsha, but after a cease and desist letter from Marshall, it was renamed BE100.

    One of the very first EU tranny BE100 was ordered by me for a client, serial is something like Eu002. It delivered in spades next to a Yjm100 and a Satch jvm. Since then I was after the BE sound, this year I was able to get one. I have almost all BE profiles, commercial or free, nothing comes close. Really. Bert Mullendijk’s are pretty close in feel, but you really don’t want to do a 1 on 1. Like the 1073 preamp plugin of the UAD. Yes it is kinda like, but if you check it back to back, it’s in a different leauge. Just my 2 cents.

    I own BE-100 and made a DI profile of it, when I hook the Kemper to the same cab, at the same volume and settings it sounds almost identical, the difference is negligible. The main difference is weight of the hardware. I'd not hesitate to play a gig using a profile of BE-100 next to physical BE-100.

  • ... and the more important question ..... does it really matter if the KPA can sound exactly like a specific setup of a specific amp?

    That wasn't remotely my point, but of course if someone makes that claim then there should be some justification provided for it.


    My point was how aftec1570 was comparing his amp to profiles. The only way to judge is 1:1, which means mic'ing the original signal path. Too many variables present themselves when you compare a different amp and cab to a profile done much differently. If he mic'd and profiled his own amp and cab, then compared both recorded signals, he might think differently. I don't know.

  • This splitting of hairs doesn't matter. Line up a dozen Mesas and no 2 will be identical if analyzed deeply enough.


    Sure, though there are definitely characteristics that would be present that people covet.


    aftec1570 just suggested that, having a BE100, no profile comes close. But he's not comparing profiles of his own amp, he's comparing to completely different signal paths, and perhaps even mic'd tones vs in the room.

  • Often when tonal discrepancies are discussed, the common thread is to suggest user error. Early on Kemper tweaked the profiling algorithm to fix a low end issue, then Lasse Lammert and others pointed out that the mids were now a little off. This doesn't make the KPA unusable by any stretch, but it's nonetheless been noticed by many for a long time as something "baked in". There have also been a number of examples over time of, especially commercial profilers, saying their profile are 'indistinguishable" from the amp they profiled. Most cases comparisons aren't shown, but in the few cases where they are, some differences can often be detected, even if they suggest there is none (and of course this varies). That can definitely account for "feel". Low end response, especially in direct profiles, has been another long-discussed topic that may have an effect on "feel" depending on how it's defined by the player.


    CK definitely has a point that it depends how somebody is comparing a profile. If it's not of the amp and setup he has in front of him, it's of course not going to be the same. There are times when digital emulations give themselves away. Buried in a mix it's much, much harder to pick out, especially the closer the profile got to the source tone. But if we're talking about perceptibility to the player, small nuances can be exaggerated much more to them than a casual ear in the audience, thus "feel".


    Sometimes how profiles are made or approached can be "user error", but some years back when the forum erupted for a while discussing profiling differences that were repeatedly demonstrated, the Kemper team was asked how to help improve profiling accuracy when they kept suggesting it was "user error". To my knowledge from the people I know here who asked that question, there was never a specific or satisfactory answer. One of the KPA's early adopters that got people really excited was producer/engineer Michael Wagener. Even he suggested in an interview that there are special things he needed to manipulate about a profile fed to the KPA to make it "more accurate" but said you'd have to be there with him to demonstrate it. Point being, it can't always be "user error" if there's no in-depth examination of what error is being made or what would make a proper, more accurate profile. But that takes us further from the Friedman point/issue, I just felt it was worth considering what CK means by "user error", and perhaps he wants to elaborate.


    We had a number of forum threads discussing bad profiling results. Those include the well known topics about profiles being „congested“ or with „cocked wah“.

    Unfortunately, we could not proceed to finding the real reasons for the failure, due to lack of responce of the respective users. We either did not receive a revealing audio clip, or if we did, we got no further information about the setup.


    In these cases we would investigate if the rype of amp is one of a few, that is reluctant of profiling, or if e.g. too much power amp compression is added. Or, in case of the DI profiles, what DI box was used, as we cannot guarantee for good results using an arbitrary box.


    The forum thread you are citing is a good example, where I ask for further information (embedded in a joke), but there was no follow up. I stated there that we have no information of bad profiles using our Kemper DI box, and it remained unchallenged since today.


    While the majority does not face problems, we are happy to follow up those individual topics, but it is impossible to look deeper and give answers, when we get no further information. We are happy to continue the chat.


    No professional profile maker has ever approached us for profiling problems.

    I have called Michael Wagner one day because I got aware of the method he is using. In most of his profiles he is actually mixing two different reference amp with different gain settings - something that should cause tremendous problems when profiled, in theory. He stated that the results are great and that’s his commercial profiles. I am sure he needs some amount of refining and tweaking for having good results using this setup, however, he did not mention it to me personally.

  • The profiler has proved itself at copying almost to a tee the original amp. Here's a great example of just how close it gets...

    What an excellent A/B comparison clip. This folks, is how it is done. There is a wide range in both gain and playing styles (e.g. chords, riffs, solos, etc.) to allow more opportunity for critical listening and comparison. I did not read comments, nor fast forward through video. In fact, I had no idea if the author was randomly switching the order of the amps (i.e., reversing #1 and #2) between each segment. However, as the video played, I kept a running tally and mental note of my preference...which consistently was the #1 amp.


    The #1 amp had slightly more presence and definition in the higher frequencies, which made the #2 amp always sound a bit muddier, by comparison. Again, until the very end of the video, I had no idea if the author was switching the order of the amps in between segments. In fact, I was half expecting that I would need to read the author's description/notes to see when he made the changes, and what the order of the amps was in each segment.


    Turns out there was no switching of order. I am sure the author wanted to keep things simple. However, I do believe it would have been better if he had randomized the order in between segments.

  • What an excellent A/B comparison clip. This folks, is how it is done. There is a wide range in both gain and playing styles (e.g. chords, riffs, solos, etc.) to allow more opportunity for critical listening and comparison. I did not read comments, nor fast forward through video. In fact, I had no idea if the author was randomly switching the order of the amps (i.e., reversing #1 and #2) between each segment. However, as the video played, I kept a running tally and mental note of my preference...which consistently was the #1 amp.


    The #1 amp had slightly more presence and definition in the higher frequencies, which made the #2 amp always sound a bit muddier, by comparison. Again, until the very end of the video, I had no idea if the author was switching the order of the amps in between segments. In fact, I was half expecting that I would need to read the author's description/notes to see when he made the changes, and what the order of the amps was in each segment.


    Turns out there was no switching of order. I am sure the author wanted to keep things simple. However, I do believe it would have been better if he had randomized the order in between segments.


    I can clearly hear that #2 Amp has less gain to some amount. That makes it muddier to you. This is quite a difference that we have never experienced when we profiled a Road King and A/B'd with the internal switching. Don't know what their cabling was, however.

  • I can clearly hear that #2 Amp has less gain to some amount. That makes it muddier to you. This is quite a difference that we have never experienced when we profiled a Road King and A/B'd with the internal switching. Don't know what their cabling was, however.

    Hello Christoph,


    I did choose the Kemper (amp #1) as the more open, pleasing and harmonically rich sounding amp between the two options, to my ears. However, I think your point is that there shouldn't be any real discernible difference, at all, assuming the Direct profile was properly captured, and ceteris paribus in regards to other aspects of the recording and processing of the two audio signals.