I am a first-time Kemper user, receiving my Stage from British Audio in Nashville some three weeks ago. Last night was the first chance to see how it would stack up as a live tool.
My plan was to keep it simple the first time, and while it is really easy to get side-tracked with all the choices the KPA provides, I knew I had to pick the few profiles that would get me through this first gig (a single one-hour set) and tweak them until I had what I liked and then keep my hands to myself, or sho' nuff I would catch dreaded Overtweaker disease.
My struggle with FRFR or regular guitar cab is documented in another thread. In the end I decided to ditch my Headrush 112 for the Laney LFR 112 . I had only one rehearsal to burn that one in, but it was really easy and I believed that I found the right combination.
Setup was of course quick and easy, and I have a battery backup UPS that I run with the Kemper. The band is a trio of the guitar/bass/drums variety, and in this club it is okay to let it hang out a bit with the volume. The band we were opening up for only mics the kick drum and the vocals, so all the noise had to come off the stage. Old school all the way.
Our set it mostly my original stuff, with some Jeff Beck, ZZ Top, and a Scott Henderson tune thrown in for good measure. The only sound check we had was bump-bump on the amps, testing 1-2-3 on the mics then it was time to count it off. People I trust in the audience thought that the overall sound was balanced and that the guitar sound was fantastic. Up on stage, I could hear everything very clearly, and all my stomp queues and morphs went off without a hitch. I was loving not having to dance over a bunch of pedals and being able to control some of the delays with the morphing ability was a revelation. I absolutely loved the sound of the profiles I was using and the way I had them configured. My only gripe is that I need to tweak my wah sound a bit, as it was not really to my liking.
As a guy who has ...ahem...been around the block more than a few times, I really have to say that I just can't see myself playing through "real" amps anymore. I am sold. And if you knew me, and what a traditionalist I am, that says a lot. My number one guitar is a beat-to-crap 58 Strat I have had since 1974, if that tells you anything!
So Kemper...I'm here to stay. Thanks for a great, ground breaking product. Thanks to the folks on this forum who have taught and schooled me, even before I joined. Keep on rockin'!