Axe Fx III and FM 3

  • My Kemper now collects dust. Fractal has not only caught up, they have surpassed.

    Rarely do I hear anyone voice the opinion that either Kemper or Axe III FX surpass each other in general. My own ears say that they don't.


    The way I would score it after around 6 hours of playing both side by side:


    Tube Sound quality is a tie, or at best subject to specific genera.


    Overall Efx capability - Axe III Fx (although if you limit it to just reverb and delay, I would call it a tie)


    Time to get a specific tone - Kemper is much faster


    Routing - Axe III Fx


    Easiest to understand - Kemper


    Most impressive front end - Axe III Fx (it sure is pretty)


    Best editor - Axe III Fx.


    Price - Kemper


    For my use, the Kemper is a better match.... but I understand others who prefer the Axe III or FM3.

  • Agreed, but you got these three wrong, just in my opinion:


    Routing - Helix and it is very simple to think through

    Easiest to understand - Helix again with a brilliant and fun editor.

    Most impressive front end - The Kemper is the only unit that doesn't look like a computer rack and stands out as being different from the crowd.


    From my use, the Axe and Helix rely heavily on IRs and that leaves me sifting forever through variations of cabs. The Kemper took the pain of that away.

  • You can get a great tone out of any of these modellers or indeed plugins too now. The point is that guitarists occasionally simply need new toys:-)

    I'm trying to fight that battle.


    I've got a afx iii for a more full on rig (using guitar synths)....the kemper wouldn't allow this routing wise.

    and plan on using the kemper stage for more stripped down stuff


    The only thing I would like is a more modern lighter rack mounted synth unit than I'm using.


    Some people don't know how bad it was in the 80s/90s hauling 4x12s etc.....we live in a very privileged era but still more complain than ever hahah

  • Yes, I wish the routing was more flexible in the Kemper sometimes. If you could pan the return, I could feed just the effected side of a TC Mimiq and then use the alternative input for an acoustic guitar or 2nd effects return.


    These things are amazingly possible on the Stomp, but I guess the limitation might be hardware on Kemper. It was built almost a decade ago now.

  • Aint that the truth! While I loved my VHT UL, slant top 4x12 VHT cab, and fat bottom 2x12 cab .... and my old pedal board .... man was that something to haul in and out at 3:30 am!

  • In what respect? Are you referring to obtaining a specific tone via dialing tones in using the front panel, finding profiles on Rig Exchange, or creating a specific tone via profiling?

    Yes.... all of the above. I find that MOST people who have used both consider the KPA easier to obtain a specific tone for a specific song on...... or to get a specific tone they have thought up in their head. Again, not saying the Axe doesn't let you get there, just takes more work and time.


    Just another point ......


    The Fractal editor is indeed very easy to route and use modules for those who understand routing and modules well. The KPA lends itself to people who spent a lifetime running tube amp rigs and pedal boards.

  • Yes.... all of the above. I find that MOST people who have used both consider the KPA easier to obtain a specific tone for a specific song on...... or to get a specific tone they have thought up in their head. Again, not saying the Axe doesn't let you get there, just takes more work and time.


    Just another point ......


    The Fractal editor is indeed very easy to route and use modules for those who understand routing and modules well. The KPA lends itself to people who spent a lifetime running tube amp rigs and pedal boards.

    Creating a specific tone via profiling requires having analog (or digital, ok) gear to use. Fractal includes a lot of amp sims. I'm not sure it's easier for the average user to profile an amp compared to tweaking in axe fx... Unless maybe we compare some very complex tweaks vs the most simple profiling scenario perhaps, assuming gear is present?

  • The only issue I have with my Kemper I can think of atm is, it does not transmit midi CC's. It does Program Change messages, but not midi CC's AFAIK. In order to control my 3 Strymon pedals I need the KPA to do that, so that the KPA can change the patches on all three Strymon pedals "per-profile" in my KPA. BTW- Helix DOES do this, and I think (not sure) the AXE-FX does as well.

    If you use FRFR the benefit of a merged profile is that the cabinet is totally separated in the profile.


    For my edification only... :D Kemper/Helix user

  • Yes.... all of the above. I find that MOST people who have used both consider the KPA easier to obtain a specific tone for a specific song on...... or to get a specific tone they have thought up in their head. Again, not saying the Axe doesn't let you get there, just takes more work and time.

    It really depends, in my opinion. If I want to duplicate a specific tone, the Tone Matching feature in the Axe-Fx is, on average, faster than profiling, in my experience. They're both equally fast when it comes to loading profiles/presets. If you understand some of the advanced parameters in the Axe-Fx, it can be faster to get from point A to point B in terms of tweaking, as there are a lot of very specific tools designed to produce very specific effects that aren't available in the Kemper, but again, I'm referring to someone who understands and knows their way around the advanced parameters in the Axe.

  • It really depends, in my opinion. If I want to duplicate a specific tone, the Tone Matching feature in the Axe-Fx is, on average, faster than profiling, in my experience. They're both equally fast when it comes to loading profiles/presets. If you understand some of the advanced parameters in the Axe-Fx, it can be faster to get from point A to point B in terms of tweaking, as there are a lot of very specific tools designed to produce very specific effects that aren't available in the Kemper, but again, I'm referring to someone who understands and knows their way around the advanced parameters in the Axe.

    I've been running the Kemper and the axe fx together past few days, sounds amazing af. But it seems the Kemper has a more phase filter sound/out of phase when running the axe fx either into the aux input or in an effects return/stereo loop (its less filter sounding lol). Running the Kemper into an effects return of the axe fx seems to be less of a problem but is still there a little bit. Any tools in the axe that you know of to fix this? Maybe its an advance amp setting? I've been diving deeper into those parameters so my navigation is getting a lot better.

  • The only issue I have with my Kemper I can think of atm is, it does not transmit midi CC's. It does Program Change messages, but not midi CC's AFAIK. In order to control my 3 Strymon pedals I need the KPA to do that, so that the KPA can change the patches on all three Strymon pedals "per-profile" in my KPA. BTW- Helix DOES do this, and I think (not sure) the AXE-FX does as well.

    I had exactly the same trying to use a Mooer GE300 as a floor controller/live back-up for the Kemper. Patch switching was all fine, but I couldn't use the expression pedal or switch to tuner mode.


    I raised a ticket with their support asking when it would be implemented as it looks like there's a space left for it on their GUI and got fobbed off with a 'we'll suggest it to our engineers'. They seem to be more interested in launching new models every few months that break the features down to be modular and creating synth engines that no-one wants.

  • I've been running the Kemper and the axe fx together past few days, sounds amazing af. But it seems the Kemper has a more phase filter sound/out of phase when running the axe fx either into the aux input or in an effects return/stereo loop (its less filter sounding lol). Running the Kemper into an effects return of the axe fx seems to be less of a problem but is still there a little bit. Any tools in the axe that you know of to fix this? Maybe its an advance amp setting? I've been diving deeper into those parameters so my navigation is getting a lot better.

    I'd have to hear an example. When I compared the KPA direct vs. the loop of the Axe I didn't hear a difference, but I may try the comparison again for confirmation.

  • I'd have to hear an example. When I compared the KPA direct vs. the loop of the Axe I didn't hear a difference, but I may try the comparison again for confirmation.

    Did you run amp sims in the axe at the same time as the Kemper into the axe loop? I think it may just be a combination of luck of the draw and the specific cab mic in that particular profile. I ran the Kemper and axe into a mixer and got similar results but a little less.

  • Did you run amp sims in the axe at the same time as the Kemper into the axe loop?

    I'm not entirely clear on what you mean. I've used amp models in the Axe-Fx in conjunction with the Kemper's cab section via the Axe's FX loop, for example. I've also captured the Kemper's cab section using the Axe-Fx's built-in IR capture utility and compared an amp model in the Axe-Fx through the Kemper's cab section vs. the captured IR via the FX loop and couldn't hear a difference.

  • I'm not entirely clear on what you mean. I've used amp models in the Axe-Fx in conjunction with the Kemper's cab section via the Axe's FX loop, for example. I've also captured the Kemper's cab section using the Axe-Fx's built-in IR capture utility and compared an amp model in the Axe-Fx through the Kemper's cab section vs. the captured IR via the FX loop and couldn't hear a difference.

    What I mean is, for example

    running 2 amps and cabs on the axe AND using the full amp profile together in stereo with the Kemper running into the effects loop of the axe.

    So, 3 amps and cabs total

  • What I mean is, for example

    running 2 amps and cabs on the axe AND using the full amp profile together in stereo with the Kemper running into the effects loop of the axe.

    So, 3 amps and cabs total

    I virtually never use more than a single amp model with or without the Kemper in the loop, but my hunch is that the phase issue you're hearing when running a Kemper profile alongside one or more amps/cabs in the Axe is likely related to a timing discrepancy between the two signals, which is putting them slightly out of phase.