Blind Test: Axe-Fx III vs. Kemper Profile

  • Improvement is good.

    But just comparing the Axe to the Kemper is not an improvement.

    Comparing axe to kemper is not itself an improvement, true.


    But surely there's been user-made tests that drove improvements on some level. How about aliasing, the illustrations, tests and eventual fix with more processing power allocated to minimize aliasing, even post-fix tests confirming the results?


    I like such testing because it helps battle one's own biases. Surely this isn't always welcome. But I also think testing as a whole is elemental for development, on several fronts.


    On that end, surely companies themselves do much of this. There would have been no kemper or axe fx without all kinds of extensive testing, never mind a pod. Users can also contribute, even if in seemingly less important ways.


    These ways can include reporting back on beta releases, conducting sound tests or presenting other discoveries. Much of this goes on in companies to begin with, of course -- at times, I would argue, on a surprisingly similar level to what some users do.

  • Always..


    But my problem is that we have here two rather weird sounding clips(what is this for a weird "ringing"?) and for sure the KPA or the AF3 do not sound this poor. I would not say this if OP would be a newbie.But in this case OP knows that "requirements" are quite high if a "old member" does one more shoot out between these two modelers.I dont say that ColdFrixion does bad profiling or bad tweaking on purpose.I really dont believe this.But for sure we can do better.

    As you probably know(and it's possible you may not), guitar tones don't always sound the same alone as when they're double tracked and/or isolated from a mix. In this case, the Axe-Fx III sample was, in fact, Tone Matched to a metal tone that I like and that sounds quite a bit different when double tracked and placed in a mixed. It's a real-world example of why you shouldn't judge the quality of a guitar track in isolation, as quite a few of them can sound fizzy, brittle, etc. when separated from a mix.

  • Always..


    But my problem is that we have here two rather weird sounding clips(what is this for a weird "ringing"?) and for sure the KPA or the AF3 do not sound this poor.I would not say this if OP would be a newbie.But in this case OP knows that "requirements" are quite high if a "old member" does one more shoot out between these two modelers.I dont say that ColdFrixion does bad profiling or bad tweaking on purpose.I really dont believe this.But for sure we can do better.

    If the profile is bad it should be easy to identify! I find that often people making bold claims come up with all kinds of excuses when it come time to put their ears where their mouth is - poor sound samples, too much compression, ringing weirdness (which apparently the profile captures accurately), bad profiles etc. So far these two tests (here and in the other post) confirm to me that there is no Kemper sound baked in across profiles and that it does a great job profiling modelers.

  • We have here two professional tools.One of this tool is (as I mentioned above) already a "standard" in many pro-studios and the main working tool for many professional gigging musicians on the road with "big names".This means some things are not a matter of taste but rather common sense and "minimum requirements of professional musicians to their main tool" kind of thing..Further..comparing these two modelers in 2019 is not the same like it was some years ago.In the meanwhile everybody has heard about definitions like "amp in the room"/FRFR and all these things many many guys never thought about before they bought a Kemper in lets say 2015..


    Things have developed.New shootouts should be valued by these developments..These clips are not good.They do not stand for the Kemper or the AF3.Period.

  • We have here two professional tools.One of this tool is (as I mentioned above) already a "standard" in many pro-studios and the main working tool for many professional gigging musicians on the road with "big names".This means some things are not a matter of taste but rather common sense and "minimum requirements of professional musicians to their main tool" kind of thing..Further..comparing these two modelers in 2019 is not the same like it was some years ago.In the meanwhile everybody has heard about definitions like "amp in the room"/FRFR and all these things many many guys never thought about before they bought a Kemper in lets say 2015..


    Things have developed.New shootouts should be valued by these developments..These clips are not good.They do not stand for the Kemper or the AF3.Period.

    So you are saying you don’t know which is which then? What about those in the second test he posted?

  • These clips are not good.They do not stand for the Kemper or the AF3.Period.

    Maybe you don't care for the clips, and that's fine, but whether you think they're good or not is entirely your opinion. Like I said, the Axe-Fx III clip is a Tone Matched preset that's based on a metal tone that sounds quite a bit different when double tracked and placed in a mix. If you'd like to hear a sample of the original double tracked version when mixed, here's a couple of samples:


    Original guitars that the Axe-Fx III preset is based on.


    Axe-Fx III Tone Matched preset double tracked and mixed.

  • We have here two professional tools.One of this tool is (as I mentioned above) already a "standard" in many pro-studios and the main working tool for many professional gigging musicians on the road with "big names".This means some things are not a matter of taste but rather common sense and "minimum requirements of professional musicians to their main tool" kind of thing..Further..comparing these two modelers in 2019 is not the same like it was some years ago.In the meanwhile everybody has heard about definitions like "amp in the room"/FRFR and all these things many many guys never thought about before they bought a Kemper in lets say 2015..


    Things have developed.New shootouts should be valued by these developments..These clips are not good.They do not stand for the Kemper or the AF3.Period.

    You must have missed the point of ColdFrixion 's post, which he clearly answered this. If you isolate guitar tracks from a mix, they don't often sound as good in isolation. He matched this from a guitar tone used in a professional recording. Regardless of your feelings about the quality of the tone, Kemper should match it, good or bad.

    So far these two tests (here and in the other post) confirm to me that there is no Kemper sound baked in across profiles and that it does a great job profiling modelers.

    The differences in the clean test are very hard to detect, but here they're quite obvious to me.

  • Things have developed.New shootouts should be valued by these developments..These clips are not good.They do not stand for the Kemper or the AF3.Period.

    But is this relevant when evaluative framework, in this case, is to emulate a source tone? Whether we like the tone or not seems to me to be a different matter.


    I could see the connection if the axe tone was something you wouldn't expect kemper to be able to profile well, or say if innacuracies are caused for some particular reason in a given case.. but maybe not just in terms of whether we like a guitar tone or not.

  • The differences in the clean test are very hard to detect, but here they're quite obvious to me.

    I am going to vote opposite to you - I think 1 is the Axe and 2 is the KPA. Not based on the sound but rather, the audio waveform. I remember once (and could be remembering wrong!) that the KPA waveform seemed to show less data / dynamics than the original amps.

  • I am going to vote opposite to you - I think 1 is the Axe and 2 is the KPA. Not based on the sound but rather, the audio waveform. I remember once (and could be remembering wrong!) that the KPA waveform seemed to show less data / dynamics than the original amps.

    For me it's based on the high mid spikes the KPA produces. It's not always this exaggerated so could be the challenge of profiling modelers vs amps.

  • The cool thing with those blind tests is: If you are right and can hear the difference (like I do :P), you know you have great ears. If you are completely wrong, you than know that Kemper is even BETTER than you already thought it is. So a win-win situation here for me ^^

  • The cool thing with those blind tests is: If you are right and can hear the difference (like I do :P), you know you have great ears. If you are completely wrong, you than know that Kemper is even BETTER than you already thought it is. So a win-win situation here for me ^^

    Depends on if what you're hearing is desirable.

  • Depends on if what you're hearing is desirable.

    Yeah, but I was only thinking about the "baked in" Kemper signature tone some can hear (or not). The clips sound quite similar, but not the same. So I would not say one sounds much better or much worse, compared to each other. So when I hear some "Kemper signature tone" and I am wrong - that will mean (for me), there is no Kemper signature tone and my ears fooled me. That is what I meant saying it would than be better then I already thought. :S But I am pretty sure I guessed right :saint:

  • Before I reveal the answer to which sample belongs to which unit, it's worth noting that I did tweak the Kemper profile to match the Axe-Fx III preset the best I could. I tweaked the Treble and Presence and added a couple of bands of EQ using the Studio Equalizer. The Kemper profile was originally darker than the Axe-Fx preset. So, without further ado:


    Clip #1: Axe-Fx III

    Clip #2: Kemper

  • Before I reveal the answer to which sample belongs to which unit, it's worth noting that I did tweak the Kemper profile to match the Axe-Fx III preset the best I could. I tweaked the Treble and Presence and added a couple of bands of EQ using the Studio Equalizer. The Kemper profile was originally darker than the Axe-Fx preset. So, without further ado:


    Clip #1: Axe-Fx III

    Clip #2: Kemper

    Still quite surprising.


    Could you perhaps share what EQ fixes where done using the studio equalizer exactly, what frequency, by how many db?