Stage of toaster/rack ?

  • Hey,

    I would like some advice.

    I finally decided to buy a Kemper. I actually want to buy a Kemper Stage. Is there any reason not to buy a Kemper Stage right now? I read that people still encounter some problems with the device. in other words is a toaster / rack with remote not a better choice ?

    gr Alexander

  • It depends what you feel most comfortable with as a physical form factor. For me the all in one pedal board set up just makes no sense at all whereas a Toaster/Rack with a remote is a much better solution in every way. However, many others feel the exact opposite. They both do the same and sound the same.

    I would start by outlining EXACTLY what you want for YOUR own needs. Write a list of pros and cons and one of them will jump out as a clear winner for you.

  • Naturally you only hear from the people with problems on a forum, just like iphone updates! If you are about to perform live with it, I would go for the rack or toaster. Otherwise, I'm sure the floor unit will be fine after a few more updates and the extra loop might come in handy too.

  • I have all 3 Toaster, Rack and Stage. Ive been using a rack for live use for around 4-5 years and it rocks, but to try and make my life easier and less gear to lug around i purchased the stage. At the moment its still in the studio while i transition from the rack to the stage live. Before i used a rack live i used the toaster version. What i liked about this was the LED's round the Bass, Middle, Trebble, Presence knobs at a quick glance i could see where things were set. IMO any one of the 3 will provide a great live experienece but for ease of setting up the stage is gonna be great.

  • thank you for the responses.

    I'm not that afraid of software problems, they will probably be solved by Kemper.

    But what I do wonder is whether some problems are not caused by hardware. eg buttons that do not work properly.

    hence the question Toaster, Rack or Stage.

    one reason for me to go for the Stage will be the lower price and you only need one device

  • In reality its probably too early to conclusively say. Some people have had problems but lots have been solved so I think its difficult as a community to give a view on failure rates ( which in effect is what you are asking).

    Just from what I am observing, I would go with the form factor.

    If there are issues hardware wise, Kemper respond very well to customer issues so even if there was a "weakness" I think it would get sorted anyway.

    I've only ever had a power rack. The deciding factor for me was the convenience of the power amp. I've been running it now for over 5 years, never had any hardware OR software issues. Solid as a rock. If I did not need the amp and was starting again, even with some of the issues that have been raised, I would not hesitate to get a stage.

  • I finally sold my last amp. I just don't have the need or space for one around anymore.

    I was looking at getting the stage but these haven't even shown up north of the border and thus, they probably won't be up here for a while yet. I went with a new rack and remote as I had a spare SKB roto short rack for it to be housed in. Looking forward to using it again after a 5/6 year hiatus. I'm hoping my time this round will be better than the last time. Had several issues with the unit years back.

    Fractal Axe III/FC-6, Kemper Rack/Remote, Friedman ASM-10 & ASC-10, Fender CS x4

  • I have bought a Kemper Stage, I am sure I will enjoy it.

    but first learn how exactly it works.

    There are loads of instructional videos on the site and it will be fun to learn. Good luck and you should have missed most of the firmware issues by now:-)

  • I'm also trying to decide between a Toaster or Stage. It will remain in my home studio used exclusively for recording.

    I had a Fractal AX8 which I liked a lot, sold it to prepare for the FM3.

    Realized my needs and strengths are not creating amps and such. I find existing amps I like, and make minor edits, like Reverb, Delay, Chorus, and a bit of EQ. This seems to be exactly what Kemper is about. Grabbing an amp and very little tweaking. Fractal is more about going


    Any suggestions welcomed.

  • Any suggestions welcomed.

    You're on the right way. The Kemper will give you a universe of good sounds for your recordings and you're probably right about the need to spend time tweaking.

    And regarding the form factor: I do have a rack / unpowered which I use aside from my computer with the DAW. It's in a flight case so I can carry it to rehearsals and gigs using it with the remote. I personally would not like to have the Stage lying around when it comes to the need of tweaking sounds etc. - so the Stage to my impression is ideal for those who often go for gigging and want all in one in order to reduce what they need to carry around.

  • Bought the toaster. My only concern or negative thought is the idea of 2012 technology. Maybe there is a different way I should view that?

    But I love the toaster look, knobs, set up, etc... It will be on my recording desk. I have no amps so I won't be doing any profiling.

    I know it's been asked but any newbie tips for grabbing profiles, IR's and such would be appreciated.

    My style is 70's to modern rock... Floyd, Zeppelin, Rush, Switchfoot, King;s X...

  • My only concern or negative thought is the idea of 2012 technology.

    I had similar thoughts when I bought around a year ago. ckemper is very clear in his statements that the hardware will not be a problem and potentially not be changed in the (near) future. I guess we have to trust him here and so far I agree with him. The concept and how it is done is (still) absolutely great and the additional features and stuff that comes with firmware upgrades is still convincing.

    ips for grabbing profiles

    Take your time and go through the factory content and the RigManager and RigExchange stuff first. You will find lots of free profiles from commercial suppliers as well in there. So you can develop an understanding of their different approaches. It took me some time to understand the beauty of some of the commercial stuff. The typical mistake is to listen at (too) low volume. Once you turn it up the sound changes (Fletcher/Munson aka the loudness effect comes into the game). Basic advice: Don't give up too early. It's worth spending some time searching and doing minor tweaks if it doesn't sound well in the first moment. Learning curve will be steep :)

  • Bought the toaster. My only concern or negative thought is the idea of 2012 technology. Maybe there is a different way I should view that?

    Valve amps are 1950's tech but still grace the stages and studios of the best..

    Yeah I get the concern but it still hangs with the best out there. Is the sound out dated? Nah.

    For me all I see with "newer" tech is more effects and prettier interfaces.

  • Just my take:



    No stage!

    I really love the toaster,it is rather small,light and it is really easy to put it "everywhere" on a small stage/no stage at all-environment.Even in a cramped small student bar you will find a place..

    The remote gives me the feeling that even if everything goes wrong (spillover etc)my toaster is save.Which would not be the case with the stage.Alsobthe remote is much smaller than the stage which is a big advantage when you play in very cramped,small places.

    For me the question is how much weight/size do I save with the stage Vs toaster/remote..and the answer for me personally is that the Toaster/remote is the best compromise.I did live gigs also with the rack and always had the feeling that it is "to big" and heavy when mounted in a rack.

  • I have a toaster/remote. Two friends have the Stage. One didn't have a Kemper and bought the Stage. The other had a rack/remote setup, sold it and bought a Stage to 'downsize' for traveling. Both are quite happy.

    As for the question of 2012 technology *shrug*. As a counterpoint, what is it with Fractal, Line6 and others that they need to release new 'better' units every couple of years to keep up? Granted, their approach is different. But it's especially relevant when a design from 2012 not only competes, but continues to thrive? Then they release a brand-new form factor with the same 'old' tech?

    Quite amazing.

    “Without music, life would be a mistake.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

  • Great points guys. It seems to say a lot that Kemper doesn’t keep rehashing this amazing product like most companies. This is turning into a great learning experience.

    I look at it this way...if my amp was stolen, what would I buy to replace it.

    For me, no question, another Kemper. I have never been in this situation before, I was always searching for something better. I have not changed in 5 years now.

    Helix and Ax are great devices with slight differences in empahsis. My view is the the KPA is the most simialr to a regular amp i set up, layout and built in power amp.