Something is just plain wrong with my KPA.

  • I've already contacted support via email.


    No matter which guitar I plug into the front, which amp/speaker setup I use to monitor, or which 3rd party profile I load, there's something 'off' with what I'm hearing out of the unit. My best guess at this point is either the input or output stages.


    - Have owned the unit quite a while but only started seriously using it these past few months. This issue has always been there to some degree and I should have addressed it years ago.

    - I've exhausted every troubleshooting option from both the input and output sides of the unit.

    - I've managed to mask the problem to certain degrees using lots of EQ and compression - only somewhat works with certain rigs. I've even modified my picking (less attack) to try and lessen the problem.


    Plugged in this morning and realized I was having to use way too much processing and my fundamental tone was suffering. I did a factory re-boot and then tried a number of rigs from various third parties and with zero processing - YIKES!


    Brittle, glassy, transient spikes if I dig in hard, and overly sterile sounding when completely dry using a clean amp. You older folks remember how the guitar would sound if you plugged it directly into a home stereo? There's a little bit of 'that' going on.


    Will keep this thread alive and updated as things progress.

    "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams

  • Nothing obvious like that. I've tried everything at this point.


    *crossing fingers that someone sheds a light......*


    EDIT: This is my strat into a TJ rig first and then an MB one. All processing is off and I'm purposely playing an area of the guitar that really highlights the issue. Note that I have the -12dB pad turned on in the output section of the KP. All EQs are flat.


    Dang, can't attach an MP3.

    "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams

    Edited 2 times, last by don1960lp ().

  • For the record: Using EQ to get rid of some of the spikes helps, as does reducing pick, increasing the amp compression, adding a compressor first in the chain, adding a little space, and reverb and echo go a long way of course. But the plain vanilla tone has got to be better than this.

    "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams

  • On laptop speaker, this sounds weird to me.... a bit reminiscent of what I'd expect when someone's guitar action is way too low and strings are smacking all around the frets, without enough room to vibrate, resulting to a "sitar" type of sound. I cannot reamp atm, but perhaps someone here could help by doing so to see how different their kemper sounds with the same profile used (plenty of good free ones) and your DI.

  • On laptop speaker, this sounds weird to me.... a bit reminiscent of what I'd expect when someone's guitar action is way too low and strings are smacking all around the frets, without enough room to vibrate, resulting to a "sitar" type of sound. I cannot reamp atm, but perhaps someone here could help by doing so to see how different their kemper sounds with the same profile used (plenty of good free ones) and your DI.

    Definitely not a guitar issue. Unplugged you don't hear the buzzy rasp. Plus I've played at least a dozen different ones through it with the same issue. Again, I've tried everything in front or behind the unit and eliminated everything except the KPA. Have read and re-read the manual and have triple checked all settings.

    "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams

  • Definitely not a guitar issue. Unplugged you don't hear the buzzy rasp. Plus I've played at least a dozen different ones through it with the same issue. Again, I've tried everything in front or behind the unit and eliminated everything except the KPA. Have read and re-read the manual and have triple checked all settings.

    Yea, I wouldn't think the guitar is likely to blame -- it's just that I'd expect to hear a similar effect when guitars are set up as described. I don't know what profiles were used exactly, but sounds quite bizarre.

  • A TJ profile of a Bogie Loanster and a Britt Fend Pro. Just tried plugging the headphone out into some monitors with the same results.

    "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams

  • 1. A 100% dry signal tends to sound weird, I wouldn't expect a perfectly "beautiful" sound. Please remember that Kemper profiles do NOT contain any time based components. So nothing of the "room" the amp was profiled in translates to the profile. We never hear "roomless sound" in real life so I think it's quite normal that a 100% dry recording would sound a bit strange.


    2. Now for the fun stuff :) Your recording sounds like you've played with some pretty hard pick, maybe hard plastic or even a metal pick. This 100% dry rig is a great basis for you to check different picks. You might be surprised how different picks change the sound. I always have hard, medium, soft, carbon, metal, wood, leather picks at hand and they make a HUGE difference and it's fun to experiment with.


    3. Allow the rig to have at least a little bit of "room" or "space" and try to find a pick that suits your clean playing better. :)

  • The recording was made to emphasize the sound that's sneaking through on almost all of my rigs, wet or dry. I have been able mask this with processing but there's something still very wrong.


    Re: picks - Come on! Here's something I did using the same pick (and technique) using plug ins. I'm not the problem! ;)


    https://memyselfi5.bandcamp.com/track/3223

    "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams

  • Re: picks - Come on! Here's something I did using the same pick (and technique) using plug ins. I'm not the problem! ;)


    https://memyselfi5.bandcamp.com/track/3223

    Hey, Donnie.


    When I first got my Kemper I plugged in and it sounded horrible. Turns out I was going into my 1960a 4x12 but also had Monitor Cab on. Turned it off and everything sounded normal and good. But you say you've checked all the obvious things, so maybe it's nothing like that.


    While I'm inclined to believe that you're not the problem, the song you provided isn't really a useful, apples to apples comparison. Your finished song isn't using the ultra "honest" clean tone that you have on both your tests. Slap enough distortion and compression on a sound and you can always mask these symptoms, so there's no real point of reference here.


    I'm one of the "older folks" (if playing in the 70s counts), and my weapon of choice for decades was a plain jane Strat. I also played through lots of Fenders, often without much in the way of pedals. I'm also an aggressive picker, although I use Fender Mediums to tame that a bit. Even so, I can assure you I'm quite capable of plugging a stock Strat into a physical Fender and getting exactly that transistory / too honest / spiky sound. Not saying I liked it, but I certainly did battle with it.


    So, while I'm not discounting the possibility of a problem with your Kemper, I also think lightbox's observations about hard pick materials and aggressive picking aren't totally without merit. It really does sound like a heavy pick really digging into a stock Strat plugged into a Fender set to ultra clean. And yeah, yuck. :)


    Perhaps it would be helpful to pick a couple of common profiles from Rig Exchange that everyone has access to, alter nothing, and put up the recordings. Then other guys with Strats could test the exact same profile with the same guitar and you'd have an apples to apples comparison that might ultimately lead to some insights that would help you.

  • I'll get on both of those things today and will post. Keep in mind, the issue is present regardless of the guitar or profile. Some worse than others. Some really really bad. And this isn't my first digital rodeo. I've been through every modeling option over the last few decades starting with the Rocktron ProGAP and an ART SGE MachII. Right before the Kemper I had an AX8. I've never had an issue like this before. Nothing even close unless it was an obvious connection or setting screw up - and I've exhausted every possibility there.


    Last night I plugged my phone into a stereo loop of the unit and music sounded fine coming out of it. So I'm hearing it out of the main balanced and unbalanced stereo outs, the monitor out, and the front headphone jack. The only output I haven't tried is S/PDIF because I don't have a digital input on my interface (2i2). Might be time to upgrade.


    Clips coming.


    Just to clarify: for a DI clip I simply shut off the CAB while recording? And it should be 100% dry in front?

    "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams

  • Just to clarify: for a DI clip I simply shut off the CAB while recording? And it should be 100% dry in front?

    When I say "DI" I mean just the guitar signal. If you just disable the cab you'll retain the amp Sim.. and whatever coloration is left, too, if it's a studio profile. I believe the manual describes how to record a DI as based on what output you use.

  • Here's a short clip using the RM rig 'Morgan AC20 - rmpacheco' - I did zero processing to the rig.


    Pickup is a humbucker.


    The first part is dry. The second has reverb, delay, and the green scream. It's that screechy clipping sound underneath everything that's the problem.


    The manual wasn't clear on how to do a straight DI clip sans all 3 stack sections. I'll keep digging and post once I have it.


    Note: Kemper Germany is thinking a hardware issue and is referring me to the Kemper US office.


    https://soundcloud.com/don-belanger/morgan

    "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams

  • Kemper ROCKS! :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:


    "This is xxxxx with Kemper's American office, I can help you get that repaired.

    If you can provide me with your shipping address I can email you a return tag

    to have it sent to our office in Colorado for repairs. Your unit is still under warranty

    so we will cover shipping and any repair cost."


    "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams