One Month (and counting)...

  • I have now hit my one month point with the KPA and thought I would share some of my thoughts. Not that these mean anything to anyone but me, but I am enjoying being a part of this community and think there is tremendous potential in this great group of folks here. I will stick to the most significant good and "to be improved" points in my estimation. I have owned and used professionally just about every modeler out there so I have just enough experience in this area to be dangerous ;-).

    The Good:

    1. Now that I know how to dial in my FRFR and have a much better feel for the KPA, it's hard not to get a good sound of this box. Now I didn't say great. To get a great sound depends on a) the profile, b) your understanding and the quality of your amplification, and c) your ability to (slightly) tweak the KPA parameters. If you have a good handle on each of these three things, I think you will be blown away by the KPA.

    2. When you get a good profile, the feel and dynamics are fantastic. Now I am not talking about the sound. I am talking about the reaction of the profile when you change your picking dynamics and when you play with the guitar's volume knob. In many of the profiles, I feel like I am really playing a tube amp and feel the push/pull of the amp.

    3. The UI is something different from what we have experienced in the past and shows that there was some real thinking put into how one interacts with the various parameters of the KPA. I really like how just about everything is accessible from the front panel and even deep editing parameters are only one or two button pushes away. Also, the really esoteric parameters that have little bang for the buck in tweaking are optimized and totally hidden from the user to keep the interaction straightforward and easy. The lights and colors are all there to make it easy to get an idea of the settings on a dark stage just by glancing at the box.

    4. There are a good number and types of effects and a flexible loop so that you can add to your basic sound just about whatever you would need.

    What can be improved:

    1. The most significant issue I have with the KPA are the effects. I do not feel that they are numerous enough or of high enough quality for me to be comfortable using. The delay is likely the best of the FX, but again, I would need additional options or presets. I use an outboard reverb and that I think is unfortunate in a box of this quality.

    2. The USB needs to be activated for more than just attaching a USB stick. For a box that costs $1,800+, there really needs to be more attention paid to this functionality. Even if you cannot use the KPA as an outboard audio device (which you should), you should be able to at least transfer profiles and do backups using the USB and/or network port. I have equipment that costs less than $100 that can do this.

    3. There must be an editor and a better on-device management system. With the number of profiles people go through, there just has to be a better method to organize, audition and use profiles. I know that this box is relatively new, but this is an aspect that really should have been thought through and addressed in development.

    4. I would hope that there would be better information about how to and what makes for a great profile. It seems that it's not just the mic'ing technique or the gear used. There seems to still be some magic that even the developers don't quite understand. The best recording engineers out there are not making the best profiles. So what is going on? This box is only as good as the profiles so whatever we can do to optimize those should be a priority.

    I have a number of other nigly annoyances or things that make me smile about the KPA but I will stop at these which are the most significant to me. I hope that these have helped in either giving kudos to what you already believe are the strengths of the KPA and should be recognized or are items that developers should really be focusing on. I have very much enjoyed the KPA and use it now as my primary guitar sound. That - to me - is the best praise that I can give it.

    I hope that the manufacturer keeps developing it aggressively and thank them and the users on this board for everything that they have done for me thus far.

  • I agree wholeheartedly with "what could be improved" points 2, 3 and 4. :thumbsup:


    I've had it for only a week and can already agree with 2, 3. Don't really care too much for #1, would be nice to have more though, but I have so any effects units and pedals for my real amps that it doesn't bother me too much :)

    It would be really cool if you can profile a stomp box or effects unit though :) That would be insane

    4 is a good point, I still have no idea what I'm doing when making profiles, surprised at the outcome though.

  • My two biggest beefs:

    No editor/librarian
    You can't clock the spdif i/o as a slave.

    Other than that it's awesome. The effects (comp, boost/dirt mostly) I want to use in it are good enough and I have a Eventide H8000 for everything else.