Power Amp Overkill?

  • So I finally bucked up and got a Kemper after many years of deliberation. Initially, I only intended to use it in the studio, so I went the unpowered route. But the more I think about it, the more I want to hook it up to a cab for jam sessions. My question is, would it be overkill to get a Mesa 2:Ninety to power it? Or would something much cheaper essentially do the same thing considering the Kemper is the one dishing out the tones? I'm new to this whole non-combo amp side of amplification, so I'm clueless. Thanks!

  • A 2:ninety is overkill for anything 🤣. I love mine but it a monster heavy beast and loud as hell.


    It really depends on whether you want to reproduce the sound of the Kemper profiles cleanly or add the colour of another power amp on top of the power amp tones baked into the profiles themselves. There isn’t really a right or wrong answer to that. A class D power amp would be a much truer representation of the profiles but a valve power amp will add a unique character which some people really like.


    If you want to hear how much the 2:ninety power amp colours the sound ty this experiment. I make some direct profiles of my 2:ninety and put them on rig exchange as an experiment. Take an OD stomp (or even better a modelling plugin from your DAW and feed the output of this into the Kemper. Start with the Stack section off then begin loading the power amp only profiles of the 2:nibety into the the Amp block with a suitable cab loaded afterwards. Listen to how big a change the 2:ninety makes to the original sound. If you like it then a valve power amp might be for you in which case a 2:ninety is a great amp.


    If you want to add a valve character to you tones and are only using it for studio use something smaller like a 20:20 might be a better option.

  • Orange Pedal Baby, or Seymour Duncan Power Stage is my recommendation for something like this. I'm actually using my Boss Katana 100 head for a power amp into my 4x12 cab and running my monitor out of my Kemper with the cab turned off. Sounds great, plus if anything happens I have the Boss Katana on hand for a backup.

  • You'll get there.


    Whether you want a powered Kemper or a power full range speaker depends on how much tonal variety you need.


    Powered Kemper with a guitar speaker cab usually has the Cab section off in the Kemper. So EVERY single rig has the same speaker sound.


    Kemper into powered FRFR speaker, the speakers from the original amp are used in the Cab section, so profiles sound less the same and more like the original.

  • Orange Pedal Baby, or Seymour Duncan Power Stage is my recommendation for something like this. I'm actually using my Boss Katana 100 head for a power amp into my 4x12 cab and running my monitor out of my Kemper with the cab turned off. Sounds great, plus if anything happens I have the Boss Katana on hand for a backup.

    OPB is the route I went and I love the thing. If you are looking to just get the tones of the amps in the Kemper you can go wrong with either of these. The Seymour Duncan also has a 700 watt version too if you want to go crazy.

  • I've been looking at the Ritter Amps offerings. Camplfiers.

    Anybody with experience? They install directly into the back hole of the Kemper.

    I can vouch for the Camplifer. I have the Camplifier stereo 290 but run it in 8ohm bridged mono. The co-guitarist in my band has a Camplifer mono 180. We’ve used these for about 4 years and they sound great and we have had no issues. We run them into 2x12 cabs.

  • I've heard some folks talk about....


    "Would it be cool if they had some FRFR cabs that instead of using solid state power, used a tube power section instead, but really clean".


    This would seem to allow the cabs within a profile to be used as it would still be an FRFR cabinet, just the power coming into it would be from a transformer and tubes. Now that alone would change the tone somewhat I would think, but if you got a really clean power section powering the FRFR, they could be interesting and maybe add some tube mojo to the sound. And how funny right....gone full circle! Create the Kemper to get rid of tube amps, and then feed a Kemper into tube power...LOL.....


    Has anyone tried something like this? Does it even make any sense?


    Cheers...


    Todd in Chicago

  • Hi, I’m reviving this thread to see if anyone has any direct experience (or speculation!) regarding the Orange Pedal Baby vs. Katana 100W Head as the best choice for a power amp to drive a cabinet. Clearly these are night and day in terms of portability, flexibility, etc. – I’m just focused on differences related to sound quality. The intended signal chain would be Kemper Monitor Out (no cab model) to one of these two power amps (if Katana then in via the “Power Amp In” input to bypass all effects) then to my cabinet (Avatar 2x12 or Marshall 4x12). Both power amps are class A/B, similar power levels. They are to replace my Magnum 44 which I am concluding is a source of a lot of the frustration I have had getting a sound that I am happy with out of the Kemper/cabinet combination (an earlier thread) – I have also considered the ISP Pro Stealth, the Matrix 800, SD Powerstage 170, and a few others, but I think it’s down to the Katana and the Orange. Thanks.

  • I have never used the Katana but I have been using the Orange since it came out both on my Helix and on my current stage unit. I could not be happier with the tones I get out of my Mesa cab and how easy it is to set up.


    Here is a video I made to review the Orange as well. BTW, sorry about the breathing in the vid, I have gotten a new mic since I did this video

  • The Katana 100 head is really good for this. I've used it several times and find that there is little to no coloration in the tone that I can tell. The only thing you have to make sure of when using any power amp to a guitar cab is to EQ the monitor out on the Kemper to match it to the cab you are using, otherwise you will not get a 1:1 match in the tone. Even when using a DI only profile, you need to make sure to do this.

    Hi, I’m reviving this thread to see if anyone has any direct experience (or speculation!) regarding the Orange Pedal Baby vs. Katana 100W Head as the best choice for a power amp to drive a cabinet. Clearly these are night and day in terms of portability, flexibility, etc. – I’m just focused on differences related to sound quality. The intended signal chain would be Kemper Monitor Out (no cab model) to one of these two power amps (if Katana then in via the “Power Amp In” input to bypass all effects) then to my cabinet (Avatar 2x12 or Marshall 4x12). Both power amps are class A/B, similar power levels. They are to replace my Magnum 44 which I am concluding is a source of a lot of the frustration I have had getting a sound that I am happy with out of the Kemper/cabinet combination (an earlier thread) – I have also considered the ISP Pro Stealth, the Matrix 800, SD Powerstage 170, and a few others, but I think it’s down to the Katana and the Orange. Thanks.

  • Thanks, Jfischer and Bulldog - I have ordered both - will try them and then keep the one that is best. I'll report back with results, but I'm not expecting to receive the Katana until early-Feb (back ordered).

    Yeah let us know. I went with the Katana 100 due to the ability to use it as a back up amp if needed. It sounds pretty dang good on it's own.