Well not really goodbye to all of them - I'll keep my HIWATT amp and 2x12, but everything else is going after a sensational band rehearsal on Monday where I used the Kemper for the first time.
I had tested my new Kemper at home with headphones and with my HIWATT 2x12 cab so was already excited, but playing through a PA speaker at the rehearsal blew my mind. The first few minutes were a bit tense as the sound was horrible, thin and fizzy. I changed amps and got the same horrible sound but fortunately had a brainwave and realised that the Monitor output had bypassed the cab simulation! After changing this setting I hit the guitar (Gibson Firebird) with a HIWATT profile and it sounded absolutely sensational.
I can't overstate how good all the profiles I tried sounded. One highlight was my homemade Strat (with active pickups) through a cranked Plexi, but best of all was when I switched it to an AC30 - instant Rory Gallagher.
I had a few requirements when looking for an alternative approach to amps:
1. I had to get the dynamic reaction that I get from my HIWATTs. Crystal clean to snarling beast purely on picking strength. Job done.
2. I needed my "signature" HIWATT crunch. Job done.
3. I needed flexibility to get the occasional higher gain sound without sounding digital. Job done.
4. I needed a simple but powerful way of switching sets of effects. Job done.
5. I needed something light. Job done.
6. I needed something that gave me roughly the same sounds recorded as I get live. Job done
7. I needed to get a fully cranked amp sound when practicing at home without the police visiting. Job done.
8. I needed something that encouraged music making not playing with technology. Job done.
Job done and WAY more than I expected. This is an amazing bit of kit that will completely transform and reinvigorate my guitar playing. I'm also going to play Hammond organ and Fender Rhodes sounds through it to see how that comes out!
What do I need next? Profiles for:
- Sunn Coliseum PA (Leslie West)
- Traynor YGL Mk3
- An early Laney (like the one Tony Iommi used in the first 3 Black Sabbath albums)
yes - like many guitarists, I am rather demanding...
Thank you Kemper!