Profiling without mic

  • I agree with that in principle Damian but I also believe there may be an element of interaction between the pre amp and power amp (in a similar way to the power amp and speaker) that would be lost with two individual profiles on separate profilers - or with a new much more powerful single profiler.


    I’m not an electrical engineer or amp designer so I could be wrong but I think that the whole amp may be greater than the sum of the parts. That’s why I mentioned component level modelling in other devices. These models try to replicate not only the performance of individual components in isolation but also how they affect other components both up and down stream. For example, take the simple TMB tone stack section of most amps. The Kemper doesn’t replicate the way these respond because in a real tone stack turning the Treble control affects the Bass and Middle as well. Trying to profile that behaviour would require a degree of extrapolation that would likely move the the profile further away from the original rather than closer.


    Maybe someone who designs and builds amps can confirm if this effect is also at play between pre and power amp sections. Assuming it is, it may be part of the reason many people eventually went from rack pre/power amp setups to traditional amp heads.

  • Maybe someone who designs and builds amps can confirm if this effect is also at play between pre and power amp sections. Assuming it is, it may be part of the reason many people eventually went from rack pre/power amp setups to traditional amp heads.

    Alan, I rarely disagree with you, but I must disagree with this part of your post. And frankly, considering that I know you own a Mesa Stereo 2:90 power amp, I am not sure how you have come to ponder whether there is some truth to that.


    Do you hear a difference between a head and your Mesa rack gear? I sure don't.


    I do agree that by profiling a preamp and a separate power amp, then loading each on two separate Kempers might lose something as the interaction of the electrical systems of the two devices might be lost. But I badly want to try it.


    So I will get a Stage. I want to wait until the OS 7.0 is in full release. I might also wait for a Kemper Kabinet before I buy the Stage. If the Kabinet release drags until next year, I will pull the trigger on the Stage first.


    Once I've purchased a Stage to go with my non powered Rack, I also want to profile my Wheebo Plexface overdrive pedal. I'd load the Plexface profile into the Stage and a DAP into the Rack, connecting them by S/PDIF. I would profile the pedal by itself without a tube amp.


    I suspect the result will be excellent because an overdrive pedal's characteristic sound is by definition extremely close to that of an overdriven tube amp.


    There would be some huge advantages to having multiple profiles of the Plexface (or any overdrive pedal without full MIDI implementation).


    1. You can create presets of as many settings as you want and switch instantly between them.


    2. You can use expression pedals to vary parameters such as drive, volume, EQ, etc.


    Granted, the variable parameters will not be those on the pedal's pots. They will be the ones made available by Kemper. But by doing profiles with various combinations of settings of the pots on the pedal, I can come close to capturing the sound of the pedal with lots of the variations of the pots. That is certainly more parameter control than having to bend over and turn a knob while playing.


    The Plexface has two sections. They can be selected individually or together (connected in series). So it is like two pedals in one.


    It also has a lot of controls that add up to a whole lot of flexibility. There are 6 switches and 6 pots that affect parameters.


    The first section does a switchable model of a '59 or an '87 Plexi, with level, tone and drive controls. The second section has a '57 or a '65 Blackface with volume, treble and bass controls. There is also a switch for flat or pushed midrange and low end that is global to both sections. And there is a switch that changes the power from 9 to 18 volts for added headroom.


    There are even trimmer resistors and pots inside the pedal to fine tune the sound of the Plexface. I haven't played with them, because I love the stock settings. But I plan on trying out some of these adjustments if the profiling works. They'd be just as easy to add to the profile as any other setting.


    So if I can make really accurate profiles of my Plexface I will have far more hands free / instant control over its sounds than what the pedal itself can offer.

  • The mic itself and the way it is positioned is an integral part of the guitar sound as we know and love it from countless classic recordings.
    A mic doesn't 'take away' anything, it adds character and personality. The way it is positioned or even mixed with other mics ads the vision of the person making the Profile.

    I was talking to a guitarist today who's been impressed with Kemper but still prefers the tube amp approach (two equally cool things in my opinion). However, he commented that one reason he stayed with tube amps was that the Kemper had too many knobs and buttons and he didn't like the complexity. I told him I had the exact opposite perspective, which contributed to my buying one.


    Someone more talented than me dials in a killer tone, makes the creative decisions you just mentioned in selecting and positioning mics, and creates a profile that sounds awesome. I select the profile, play guitar and get the million dollar recording studio sounds from classic recordings with zero effort.


    Capturing the recording signal chain with all the seasoning that great guitarists and engineers add with the mics, etc. is, to me, a huge value add. Just my personal taste of course, but it's high among the reasons I'm a fan (and an owner).

  • Alan, I rarely disagree with you, but I must disagree with this part of your post. And frankly, considering that I know you own a Mesa Stereo 2:90 power amp, I am not sure how you have come to ponder whether there is some truth to that.


    Do you hear a difference between a head and your Mesa rack gear? I sure don't.

    You could very well be right.


    Yes, I have a Triaxis/2:ninety.


    Is it a killer sounding rig ? DAMN RIGHT!


    Does it sound and behave exactly like a real Mark iV or iiC+?


    I honestly don’t know. I haven’t ever had the privilege of playing a real iiC+ and I don’t have a Mark IV available to do a side by side side comparison.



    Many people suggest the Triaxis doesn’t quite match the real iiC+ . Is that because of confirmation bias, the Triaxis design, the 2:ninety power section, the output transformer or something about the way the interact? I don’t know the answer.


    When I don’t know the answer I ponder and speculate and sometimes come up with answers. However, more often than not I just end up talking shite and being totally wrong :D



    Your concept for profiling individual stages seems a hell of a lot of work for minimal return to me. However, that doesn't make it wrong or me right. It may well be that your level of perseverance and attention to detail ends up :


    a) giving you the exact outcome you desire,


    b) creating a new paradigm others can benefit from


    c) being a crazy experiment and a hell of a lot of fun 8)


    Good luck when you finally get that Stage.