Still not as good as my tube amps...Arrrggggh!

  • I bet you won't notice a difference between that and a Kemper straight to PA except for the feel in the room. It wouldn't be fair to compare PA + amp in the room to PA only. It'll never feel like the amount of air that a guitar amplifier moves through a real cab........

    .......In a live setting, running a Kemper through the power amp of an amplifier sounds identical to the amplifier itself. So the difference comes mostly from the power amp. Surprise! A class D power amp doesn't sound like 100 Watts of tubes... But even then, with some minor tweaks you can get a Kemper to sound reaaaaly close.

    As mybyte says, the sound and feel of the KPA through a guitar cab is effectively indistinguishable from the real thing. I have various Mesa Boogies that I like and a pair of Mesa EVM12L Thiele Cabs. I have done comparisons where I made direct profiles of the amp and then used an A/B box to switch between the Direct profile in the KPA Powerhead driving one cabinet and the real Mesa driving the other. If anything, the KPA actually sounded very slightly better but that was so subtle it might just have been position of the cabinet in the room or the refining process. Basically on a live gig situation I wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

    I've also done the comparisons of my own miced cabs and a Studio profile of the same set up. As mybyte says, they are effectively indistinguishable. Clearly the sound of the full signal chain that the audience get through FOH and the direct profile with traditional guitar cab are different beast but if you want the feel and sound of a traditional guitar rig on stage with the benefit of sending a full signal chain to FOH making your own profiles will definitely get you there.

  • I'd argue that in many cases, going direct to FOH has benefits over a miked up cab on stage. Especially on smaller stages - no bleed, no bumping into mics, possibly better sound than whatever bumped up SM57 the engineer has lying around, no mic stands that people could stumble over. I used to to bring my own 906 to shows, just to make sure there's none of this crap going on:

    Especially on smaller stages or crappy ones that shake a lot... Ever had one of those gigs where the mic starts dead center on-axis and slowly wanders outwards to the point where it's off axis and not even pointing to the cone any more?

    Well, none of that crap with the Kemper (or Helix, Axe-FX etc. for that matter). It's a tremendous improvement in terms of live sound and convenience.

    As far as personal sound-seeking is concerned: I don't think it's supposed to replace all the tube amps you own. It's meant to capture a specific sound for studio purposes or live usage, but you'll still have to use real amps tweaked to a specific chain (including boosts, guitars/pick-ups, cabinets, microphone blends) to capture the desired sounds. The Kemper allows for some tweaking, but the gain and EQ knobs don't replicate the original amp.

  • As far as personal sound-seeking is concerned: I don't think it's supposed to replace all the tube amps you own.

    But it can, which is what happened in my case for exactly the reasons you mention. Well, that and the fact that the profiles I use sound great.

    For all the years I've played, whether fooling around in the studio or playing a bar, the sound has always reached the audience's ears via a mic, where small movements have major consequences. Since I've always been reliant on the sound of a miked amp rather than the ambient "amp in the room" thing, the Kemper was a perfect fit since that's exactly what it does.

    I don't miss the mics and stands even a little. :)

  • Yeah... as I said - as a live rig, especially when you go full DI, you probably can't do any better. A lot of people tried to adress the whole miking-up-the-cab thing by using a torpedo. It's quite a popular set-up for people playing "real" amps these days. I'm seeing a lot of rigs with a torpedo live for FOH and IEM...