Greetings from a new Kemper user. This is how I ended up buying a Kemper.
About 2 years ago I decided to try the modelling stuff (bad back) and after studying all the options, I decided to go for the Line 6 Helix mainly because of price and interface. The Helix interface and editor are a joy to use, but finding a good tone has been a long lasting struggle and a steep learning curve. I first tried the FRFR route, going through a pair of Alto TS212’s but I didn’t like the sound at all. Next was the Matrix Q12A, sound got better but still not even close to what I wanted. Things got better when I started using a Seymour Duncan Powerstage 700 and a guitar cab; the sound was now acceptable and useable, although still not on par with my valve amp. Playing the Helix through the return of my valve amp gave the best results. I used the Helix with the Powerstage 700 for rehearsals, but when gigging, I used my valve amp with the Helix for effects only.
A few weeks ago, the other guitar player in our band said he was thinking of selling his Kemper Powerhead (he used it 1 or 2 times for rehearsal but I didn’t pay too much attention then) and I asked him if I could try it before he sold it, just to get a feel of what the Kemper was capable of. I played it through my guitar cabs and was a Kemper addict within less than a minute. I was instantly blown away with the sound, just couldn’t believe how good it sounded, a totally different league than the Helix.
I also profiled my tube amp, a Kauffmann MkI 50W, a Dutch amp that is very Friedman Smallbox-like) through the line-out of the amp, so just an amp profile (I have put them on Rig Exchange). I played the profile through 1 half of my Marshall 1960, the Kauffmann through the other half, using an A/B box and I just couldn’t hear a difference. At a certain point, I even didn’t know whether I was playing the tube amp or the Kemper.
So I decided to buy the Kemper (actually within minutes, even before profiling my amp) and sell my Helix, my tube amp and effects. I just love the Kemper, it’s a 1-piece-solution, the effects are more than good enough for my needs (just a bit of reverb and delay and sometimes a phaser or chorus) and it sounds like a valve amp without the con’s of a valve amp.
I also play the Kemper at home through my studio monitors (JBL 305) and again, it sounds way better than the Helix ever did through the same monitors. In fact, I really like how the Kemper sounds through the studio monitors (although I often change cabs in the profiles to one of the few cabs I prefer). It obviously sounds different from going through a guitar cab, but not worse. So when gigging I use 2 light 1x12 cabs (I could do with 1 but 2 look nicer 😉) for having my sound on stage and go straight from the Kemper to the FOH. Super light set up, and super easy and fast to set up. Life has become a lot easier 😉.
Greetings from Belgium,