Near done with Kemper, any suggestions before it goes up for sale?

  • So after nearly two years, I've reached a permanent wall with my Kemper.

    I'm just sick of thin sounding, digital distortion. Sick of downloading profiles which sound nothing like the sellers demos. Gave Mix Berlins Rudeking Recto profile a go recently. Felt like I was going through a POD, it was so harsh.

    Any suggestions before it goes up for sale? Yes, I have tried the sens.

    Going through an RME Fireface UC to Adam A5X monitors.

  • I'm no Kemper pro, but when I first got mine I had a similar frustration, here is what I would suggest:

    1) Try w/ Pure Cab off and then on at different levels

    2) Test different gain settings (try not to go way too far off in either direction); try adding a clean boost or greenscreamer before the stack

    3) Adjust the CAB high/low shift settings

    4) Add a studio EQ after the stack

    5) Adjust definition/clarity

    6) Try pairing with another cab

    7) If you have to tweak too much the profile isn't for you, try the next one. It now takes me around half an hour to setup a profile once I find one that is 90% there.

  • Something clearly isn't right because I had a Pod 2.0 on up the line....Digitech, Fender Mustangs.........all that sort of stuff. Those are like children's toys to the KPA in my experience. (Except the Fender Mustang. That punches so far above it's class its silly).


    Wish I had something profound to offer. Only things I can muster is first the Definition control, if the profile sounds bad out of the box, skip it. To me, adding eq is polishing a turd. It's still a turd.

    Do NOT increase the gain control more than a point or two (at most). Raising the gain gets funky. Personally I only lower the gain (if I touch it at all) or hit the amp with a Pure Booster at 1.5 or 2.

    I've also found keeping things simple. Guitar, amp-cab and verb. If that sounds disagreeable in some way, next profile. I've sat for a lot of time just poking around.

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

  • Cheers for the reply.

    I'd agree, if the profile doesn't sound good out of the box it never will. And I've tried everything over these couple of years. Never made much of a difference really.

    Was tempted to get a refund on the Kemper withing 30 days, decided to stick it out which has proved a mistake.

    If gear doesn't sound good to you out of the box, it never will really. Respect to those its worked out for, but my ears have actually become fatigued.

  • Also, one thing I should mention, which you are probably already aware of, is the difference in tone b/w what sounds good for a recording vs what sounds good as a player in the room.

    For recording, you actually want a thinner, more middy, less bass heavy sound (b/c the bass guitar and drums will fill that part of the spectrum in the mix), while when playing live, especially alone, you want a thicker tone.

    The Kemper, as well as the modelers, are essentially emulating the tone you would get in the mixing room when you mic the cab and are listening through studio monitors, which is a shitty tone for playing live if you are looking for that in-the-room cab tone. Many say you can't get that tone from the Kemper but I disagree, it's very doable but of course will never be the same since you're using smaller speakers in the monitor and you won't be moving much air. I rarely record and use it exclusively for replacing my head/cab setup, and the results I'm getting I am very happy with. I usually need to activate pure cab, boost the lows (via a post-rig studio eq) a bit, maybe add a boost, maybe play around with the cab high/low shift filters.

    Finally the guitar/pickups you use will naturally affect the tone, so unless you play with the same gear that the producers used in their sample videos your tone will sound different. Plus, you never know what reverb or post-processing the producers used for those videos.

    Hold on to the Kemper, it can do what you need, you just need to get your head around what it is and how to manipulate it to get the tone you are looking for. I was so frustrated it with it the first month and missed my return window and got depressed that I was now stuck with a 2k paperweight, but now am so happy I can't believe I waited so long to get it.

  • how are you connected to the fireface? headphones sound harsh too?

    ^^^THIS^^^

    Do you have decent headphones? If so, how do things sound in the Kemper headphone output (not the interface output)?

    Also, try hooking the Adam A5X directly to the Kemper, not through the interface.

    Cheers, and don't give up yet!

  • Any chance to access another Kemper unit of a friend / fellow musician / in a music store nearby? Does it sound similar or are there noticable differences with the same rig? If the second one sounds better we need to chase the setting which causes you troubles.


    don't give up yet!

    I'd say the same. The aspects you describe for the distortion are usually not associated to the Kemper from my experience and from what I hear and see on stages, here in the forum etc. - so the chance that something is wrong in your setup is still there. Let's find it.

  • I agree in regards to profiling your amps, if possible. I can’t say I’m over the moon, but after making my own profiles, I’m contented enough to not constantly think about selling my KPA, just sometimes.


    Might be time to try something else to find what best works for you. I’d be using a small H&K Tubemeister Deluxe 40 along with a cab and pedals weren’t it just more moving parts than I want to justify for smaller gigs. The KPA form factor and ease for recording are the only things clinging it to life support, but I’ve made more peace with it than before.

  • At this point, even if you got it ‘right’ I doubt you’d be able to recognize it. Not because you don’t want to, but you’ve been frustrated for so long.


    Have you played something else that *does* sound right? If so, what is it?

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

  • Well , I don´t want to sound "harsh" ( pun intended :) ) but if you

    don´t like it , sell it. New owner would probably love it ....

    Same with old cars , you like them or hate them , no matter

    what brand or model , after some years they get boring and "slow" .....


    Happy new year ? :/

  • What kind of guitar are you using?

  • Sell it and move on. Not every piece of equipment works for everyone. I don't see tweaking fixing your issues. I'm not trying to be negative but I've owned equipment that others thought sounded great and for me it was a big Meh..., e.g. I have an 11 Rack staring me in the face as I type. I decided to use it as a audio interface rather than take a huge haircut. Otherwise its a $700 monitor stand. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses and try something else.

  • Also, one thing I should mention, which you are probably already aware of, is the difference in tone b/w what sounds good for a recording vs what sounds good as a player in the room.

    For recording, you actually want a thinner, more middy, less bass heavy sound (b/c the bass guitar and drums will fill that part of the spectrum in the mix), while when playing live, especially alone, you want a thicker tone.

    The Kemper, as well as the modelers, are essentially emulating the tone you would get in the mixing room when you mic the cab and are listening through studio monitors, which is a shitty tone for playing live if you are looking for that in-the-room cab tone. Many say you can't get that tone from the Kemper but I disagree, it's very doable but of course will never be the same since you're using smaller speakers in the monitor and you won't be moving much air. I rarely record and use it exclusively for replacing my head/cab setup, and the results I'm getting I am very happy with. I usually need to activate pure cab, boost the lows (via a post-rig studio eq) a bit, maybe add a boost, maybe play around with the cab high/low shift filters.

    Finally the guitar/pickups you use will naturally affect the tone, so unless you play with the same gear that the producers used in their sample videos your tone will sound different. Plus, you never know what reverb or post-processing the producers used for those videos.

    Hold on to the Kemper, it can do what you need, you just need to get your head around what it is and how to manipulate it to get the tone you are looking for. I was so frustrated it with it the first month and missed my return window and got depressed that I was now stuck with a 2k paperweight, but now am so happy I can't believe I waited so long to get it.

    I appreciate that the tone through mike-monitors/headphones isn't always going to sound perfect live. But it should sound 'good.'

    Should of added earlier, clean tones are great, bass is usable. Its mid-high gain which is the problem. For example, the topjimi profiles I have sound quite warm, but are muddy. The Mix Berlin profile mentioned sounds more defined but very harsh. As I said, the latter sounds nothing like the demo they put on youtube. Not the final mix that they do, but the samples they claim are not post processed.

    Yes, different guitars and pickups will sound different. My Les Paul through my Marshall will sound different to my American Strat. But neither will be inferior. When I use any of the profiles I've purchased, they sound inferior.

    Have tried a different Kemper, sounded pretty much the same. Compared my Kemper with a Helix, the latter just sounded pure digital to me. Couldn't stand it. I've never been able to use the VST's everyone goes on about, because to my ears they are very, very harsh.

    Be great to know exactly what post processing these commercial profilers are doing, but they keep insisting they don't post process. Yet the profiles they sell me, don't sound like their demos. And round and round we go....

    I haven't profiled my amp, but surely the joy of the Kemper should be to have access to a multitude of amps I wouldn't normally have access to? If I just wanted to record my amp, it would be cheaper just to get a mike an maybe build an iso cab.

  • Sell it and move on. Not every piece of equipment works for everyone. I don't see tweaking fixing your issues. I'm not trying to be negative but I've owned equipment that others thought sounded great and for me it was a big Meh..., e.g. I have an 11 Rack staring me in the face as I type. I decided to use it as a audio interface rather than take a huge haircut. Otherwise its a $700 monitor stand. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses and try something else.

    I agree with this. Had the same issue with the POD, everyone raved about it and I never got into it.

  • Any chance to access another Kemper unit of a friend / fellow musician / in a music store nearby? Does it sound similar or are there noticable differences with the same rig? If the second one sounds better we need to chase the setting which causes you troubles.


    I'd say the same. The aspects you describe for the distortion are usually not associated to the Kemper from my experience and from what I hear and see on stages, here in the forum etc. - so the chance that something is wrong in your setup is still there. Let's find it.

    Yes, definitely find another KPA and run the same profile through both and see if there is a difference. I did this and it ended up I had a bad DSP board. But, for all the players here that whine about their Kemper's tone, they are never willing to upload samples for us to hear. I don't know why that is, it would be so much easier to diagnose. Even a camera phone video would provide some insight