Switching guitar, pickup or strings. How much effect on Kemper tone?

  • Hello Kempers! 8)


    How much is the kemper responding to diffrent input-signal (shapes)? For example if I change the guitar, or just the pickup-type or string-type only. In the kemper marketing they promise 100% effect like a real amp.

    Is this true? Does it makes sense to bring my kemper to the store and testing other guitars with it, or comparing active with passive pickups?


    I only have one guitar (cheap 500 $). And I'm searching for my dream tone on (almost) any cost and I'm willing to buy a new guitar or pickups if it will help.


    Thank you guys so much! You Rock!!


    Cheers

    GoJ

  • As Ingolf said. The Kemper reacts just like an amp would. It isn't marketing.

    As for guitar buying or upgrading what you have. There is a LOT less hassle finding a guitar you like instead of swapping pickups. If it's an inexpensive guitar, it'll still be an inexpensive guitar with new pickups. Which may or may not give you what you want.

    I've only changed the pickups in a guitar once. That was last week after living with the stock guitar for 5 or 6 years. The *only* reason was to get rid of the noise a set of 50s-style Telecaster pickups make. (Which is a *lot*). I researched, waited, tested and they sound great.....but I'm *still* not sure I did the right thing.

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

  • In my experience the difference in pickups/guitars is more pronounced in the Kemper than it is if you were standing in front of an amp changing guitars. Perhaps it just seems that way because instead of listening off axis 5 feet above the speaker in a traditional amp on the floor setup you are listening to what the mic would hear up against the grill. The difference between my ceramic pickup guitars and traditional magnet is night and day obvious with the Kemper, where with traditional amp setup was obvious, but not as stark a contrast. This is a good thing because now when I need a certain sound I know what guitar to grab, whereas before I felt like I could grab any guitar and make it work.

  • in my experience switching guitars and / or pickups can make huge differences in what you hear. But also, sometimes I got the impression, this does not really count. It is the profile you use: some are really shining with Strat / single coil, some are better used with humbuckers. Some are so dumb, that this does not really care. And others sound equally good (but different), no matter what guitar you plugin.

  • It is the profile you use: some are really shining with Strat / single coil, some are better used with humbuckers. Some are so dumb, that this does not really care. And others sound equally good (but different), no matter what guitar you plugin.

    I feel like it should be pointed out that the same can be said for real amps too.


    Some really shine with certain guitars, and less so than others.

  • As Ingolf said. The Kemper reacts just like an amp would. It isn't marketing.

    As for guitar buying or upgrading what you have. There is a LOT less hassle finding a guitar you like instead of swapping pickups. If it's an inexpensive guitar, it'll still be an inexpensive guitar with new pickups. Which may or may not give you what you want.

    I've only changed the pickups in a guitar once. That was last week after living with the stock guitar for 5 or 6 years. The *only* reason was to get rid of the noise a set of 50s-style Telecaster pickups make. (Which is a *lot*). I researched, waited, tested and they sound great.....but I'm *still* not sure I did the right thing.

    Agree. There's no point swapping pickups in a cheap guitar. It will still scream cheap guitar. What pickups one prefer might be wrong for another user. Some pickups sounds killer in one guitar and awful in the next. I went thru five different pickups in my ESP Horzion NTII including stock pickups, jb and jazz. I was dissapointed with all the pickups until I found the right set. Somtimes that's what one need to go thru until one find the right pickups.


    GuitarofJustice what you need to do is play different guitars at guitar shop(s) unplugged. Yes you heard it right. If you like the tone unplugged, you will like it plugged. Even if it means you end up swapping pickups. If you don't like the tone of a guitar unplugged, it won't matter if you swap until you drop. You will never like the tone of that guitar. Passive or active. Try both and see what you prefer. But the most important is that you like the tone and the neck.

  • Interesting topic..


    It is one of the Kemper-issues which still have no final "files closed" stamp..


    In general it is all about the profile.Like so often when we talk about the profiler.I found some profiles which really work like an amp with different guitars.These are the ones I use.They work with all "character tones" like Strats and Les Paul's.


    That being said in the past I never played my dual rectifier with my Strat.Like I would never play a ac30 or a matchless with a Floyd rose superstrat/hot output PUs..so..

  • I do play a schecter C1-FR with Evolutions PUPs in a Matchless DC30, sounds lovely and you can dial your tone nicely with the volume knob :D

  • I look at pickups in this simplified way: either they are single coils, low output HB or high output HB (or P90s/filtertrons but I'm not using those often these days.) Of course different models of pickups all have their characteristics (and often some of this is marketing bs) but the difference can be made negligible once you compensate with adjustments the main eq section of the profile. Figure out one of the 3 category the sound you want is from and then just hunt for profile and tweak until you get it.

  • I do play a schecter C1-FR with Evolutions PUPs in a Matchless DC30, sounds lovely and you can dial your tone nicely with the volume knob :D

    Are these high output HBs?


    As I said ...I never felt comfortable doing it this way..I always felt something is very wrong.


    But as always it is different for everone of us.

    I once recorded a blues band with both guitar players using shred style Ibanez guitars over Peavey classics 2x12..well..I didn't like it(IMO the guitars sounded thin for this style of music)..but they did.So all good.

  • For sure the guitar is the first ingredient in the recipe. How much that original ingredient comes through really depends on the amp / fx chain.


    Keeping with the food analogy. You start off with pork or chicken (Strat or Tele) If you just fry in butter you can absolutely tell them apart. But if you put it in a dish with 48 other ingredients then the differences between those original ingredients are masked. You might still spot which is which but not necessarily. If you start off with beef (les Paul) it’s still easier to tell but again give it enough chilli and garlic and the dish tastes more of those things.


    Sorry, it’s Christmas. I’ve been cooking for several days now as that’s another hobby of mine :)

  • Evo PUPs are pretty hot for a passive humbucker, they sound nice on the matchless, they break lovely, as the crunch gotten from them is really creamy. Not as crystal clear as a single coil, ever, but the sound is pretty nice. I dont like active humbuckers, so I have no idea how it sounds like with them.

  • Swapping pickups is one of the best ways to make a cheap guitar better and is definitely worth exploring. Even a magnet swap in a humbucker can and will change the tone. Experimentation is how you find you're tone and not copy someone elses.


    I've owned several cheap guitars in my lifetime and still do. Just because a guitar is cheap doesn't mean it isn't a great guitar. Take a look at the entire PRS SE line, all pretty much under $1K but are phenomenally well built with great tone and playability. The stock pickups are good, but drop a set of US made PRS pickups or a set of Seymour Duncans and the guitar becomes an amazing instrument.

    Agree. There's no point swapping pickups in a cheap guitar. It will still scream cheap guitar. What pickups one prefer might be wrong for another user. Some pickups sounds killer in one guitar and awful in the next. I went thru five different pickups in my ESP Horzion NTII including stock pickups, jb and jazz. I was dissapointed with all the pickups until I found the right set. Somtimes that's what one need to go thru until one find the right pickups.


    GuitarofJustice what you need to do is play different guitars at guitar shop(s) unplugged. Yes you heard it right. If you like the tone unplugged, you will like it plugged. Even if it means you end up swapping pickups. If you don't like the tone of a guitar unplugged, it won't matter if you swap until you drop. You will never like the tone of that guitar. Passive or active. Try both and see what you prefer. But the most important is that you like the tone and the neck.

  • Swapping pickups is one of the best ways to make a cheap guitar better and is definitely worth exploring. Even a magnet swap in a humbucker can and will change the tone. Experimentation is how you find you're tone and not copy someone elses.


    I've owned several cheap guitars in my lifetime and still do. Just because a guitar is cheap doesn't mean it isn't a great guitar. Take a look at the entire PRS SE line, all pretty much under $1K but are phenomenally well built with great tone and playability. The stock pickups are good, but drop a set of US made PRS pickups or a set of Seymour Duncans and the guitar becomes an amazing instrument.

    It depends on the brand, Bulldog. I agree that prs se are great guitars and should had said it depends on what brand. But Ibanez grg aren't exactly in the same league as a prs se. I know becuase I have owned one and not worth upgrading. I have countless time seen cheaper guitars for sale and the owner have done that, swapped pickups. Pickups that cost almost as the guitar. Most cheaper guitars end up on for sale anyway. Better to sell it and buy another used guitar with pickups you will like or eventually swap pickups.

  • It depends on the brand, Bulldog. I agree that prs se are great guitars and should had said it depends on what brand. But Ibanez grg aren't exactly in the same league as a prs se. I know becuase I have owned one and not worth upgrading. I have countless time seen cheaper guitars for sale and the owner have done that, swapped pickups. Pickups that cost almost as the guitar. Most cheaper guitars end up on for sale anyway. Better to sell it and buy another used guitar with pickups you will like or eventually swap pickups.

    I'm not saying take a $100-300 guitar and swap pickups, there is a threshold of affordability vs. quality. But if you get into the $500 (Low end New) range then you can definitely find good guitars that can be upgraded with better pickups and hardware to equal out a guitar in the $1K (Mid-level new) range. As a matter of construction and materials, the $500 range vs the $1000-1500 range of guitars of the same brand generally is just better hardware anyway.


    I do agree that if you have the money buy a higher end guitar in the first place so you don't have to upgrade, but if money is an issue, then buying a cheaper guitar and upgrading it to equal a higher end guitar is the way to go. I've been in both positions, and without fail the lower end guitars that I've sunk money into will rival my mid level guitars.


    Now getting into the $3000+ high end guitars, you can't get there with a $500 guitar or even a $1500 guitar. There you just have to suck it up and hope to find a good deal if money is an issue.


    At every price point I'm talking about except for the extremely low end guitars, IMHO a pickup swap can be worth it.

  • hey thanks for helping me guys!


    How do I know I pay for quality and not just for the brand? I don't wana have a signature guitar of a famous guitarist and pay more just because of that... I wanna pay more, for better quality. good pickups. and super string vibr. sustain. and so on

  • Go to the nearest music shop and test different guitars. Read info on different guitar brands models on their sites. Check videos on YT. Ask us here about certain guitar(s)that appeal to you. The same goes with different pickups. You have possibilities that didn't exist in the past when most of us here started to play. :)