I bought a Kemper back in August of 2017, had it for about 2 weeks and ended up returning it. At the time I had an Axe FX 2 XL, and felt that the AFX was more versatile because you could create elaborate patches, and dial in amps exactly how you want them.
I am now realizing that versatility was more of a hindrance. All I ended up doing was noodling, changing presets, noodling some more. I realized that most of the amps sounded similar. At the end of the day Clean tone was a clean tone, gain was gain, etc.
I sold the AFX 2, and bought a Axe Fx 3 last week. Only spent 2-3 days with it until I came to the same conclusion as above. I ended up returning it (and losing money on shipping in the process but whatever). And overall to be honest I was never happy with the tones of the AFX 2 or 3. I remember Kemper sounding a bit more realistic.
I'm thinking of giving a Kemper another shot. However I have some concerns:
1. I will get caught up in profile changing hell. I'm a very simple guitar player and just want to plug n play. Last time I had a Kemper I found myself doing the same thing as the AFX, changing profiles, noodling for a bit, changing again, etc. I pretty much just need a good clean, good crunch, good high gain.
2. The age of the unit is getting up there and I feel for some reason that a new hardware revision is coming within the next year. The last thing I want to do is spend a crap ton of money only for a new unit to come out, and me having to sell at a loss to pickup the new unit (I always like having the latest and greatest, and if I know a newer unit exists, it bothers me). I would love to get a used unit to help offset money lost, but with me being burned both times by the AFX 2 and 3 because I had to buy before I tried, I don't want to make this same mistake again. Selling anything is a huge hassle if I don't like it. This means I will have to buy full price from Guitar Center since they have a 45 day return policy. This further concerns me when you take into account the age of the kemper, new devices being released by competitors, etc. It just seems like a KPA 2 is within 1-2 years away.
3. Not sure whether to get a powered or non-powered unit. The main use case would be quiet apartment practice, and occasional recording. I do own a marshall 4x12 and like the idea of having the flexibility of plugging the kemper into it, but wondering if I realistically will ever do it, and if it even sounds good. The main draw of the Kemper is the complete profiled tones and that includes the profiled cabs which I'd be missing out on plugging into a real cab.
4. I had issues with volume levels in my apartment. You can read my last thread back in 2017 where I talked about this. Rereading that thread, it seemed like I couldn't get the unit past 0.2-0.3 on the master volume which seems wrong. I remember on such low levels, the gain/distortion profiles were extremely loud. I have JBL 305's that I have the volume full up on. This time around however I would be plugging the Kemper into a Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 via SPDIF, and then direct monitoring from the 6i6 into the monitors. The 6i6 has the Monitor knob on the front that I could probably use to tame the volume but i don't know.
5. Is it overall even worth it? My goal is just to get inspiring tones at home. Im a bedroom player, I don't have a band and have no interest in that. All I do is noodle at home and play with backing tracks. Occasionally record and create "beats" using guitar as the main instrument, using guitar rig 5. I'm wondering if I should just get a Yamaha THR10 and call it a day? I have enough to either buy just a powered kemper, or get an unpowered kemper AND the THR10. Or like I said, just get a THR10 and call it a day?
Any insight and advice would be appreciated.