Neural Quad Cortex


  • Too late for the blind test, but I liked 3 and 4 the best.

  • VERY hard to say.

    1, 3, 5, are the real amp

    2 is Kemper refined, 4 is Kemper unrefined. There is a little more going on in the low mids, and 4 is more flabby than 2, so...

    6 is QC. There is also a bit more bottom end than. in what I think is the original amp.


    I'm eating my shoes if I got that right... ;)

  • almost right :D

  • I was impatient lol. Sorry. But really.... I think the results speak for themselves. I was very impressed with the QC.


    So here's my opinion on the unit...





    1. Very easy to use. I feel a little dirty admitting it, but the touchscreen is amazing. MUCH MUCH MUCH quicker to get around a patch than the Helix and Kemper. Didn't need to look at the manual once.



    2. The footswitches feel great. The way the caps turn feels solid, and I don't think they'd fall apart at all. The caps wobble a little bit, but they're definitely not flimsy. And they're very intuitive to use in terms of changing parameters in a selected block.



    3. I was very worried about the delays and reverbs, since they're a core part of my sound. Okay, so the choice is very limited... but they actually sound very good, and are easier to dial in and get the sound I want than the Kemper. Also, the way the mix and feedback parameters work is much nicer to my ear than the Helix. The Helix gets too washy and lacks definition and cut at high mix and feedback levels. The QC does not. I was very pleasantly surprised, because I expected to be bummed out by the QC's options here.



    4. Neural Capture - in a word, very impressive. It takes a lot longer to run all it's test signals, but once it's done.. no fucking around with refining, no second guessing yourself .... all of the did I do it right? Why doesn't this sound closer? How can I make it better? type stuff that I always think when I'm profiling with the Kemper.... just not a thing with the QC.



    5. Footswitch proximity.... yeah... this one is a real concern for me. I think it would get better over time, once I became more familiar with it... now it isn't really the horizontal spacing between the switches, it's the vertical. A few times I meant to hit a switch on the top row, and ended up hitting a switch on the bottom row as I took my foot away. Something to think about.



    6. The power supply... yes.... annoying that it's not an IEC. But I think I can live with it. Once the QC is on a board, make sure that the PSU cable is properly secured, and it shouldn't ever come out accidentally.



    7. Naming presets - again... touchscreen makes this a piece of piss. Both the Helix and the Kemper are way more annoying to use. Kemper is more annoying than the Helix in this respect. In fact, the Kemper user experience is from stone age compared to both units.



    8. The pitch effects on the QC ... they're serviceable. The whammy has the warbly whammy thing to it.... it's okay... good enough for my needs, but if you're super super super picky about this, you might wanna keep your whammy hanging around! For me, the QC is better simply because the whammy block offers a wet/dry mix control, which is essential for a few atmospheric pitchy things I do.



    9. EQ's are great. Not a lot to report here - they do what you'd expect, and don't destroy the sound of your guitar. Nuff said.



    10. Drives - I didn't go through these exhaustively. But the tubescreamer sounded like a tubescreamer to me!



    11. Stock 'neural captures' - they have tons of stock neural captures.... I paid attention mostly to the Fryette Sig:X ones because I know that amp like the back of my hand. They sound just like the real amp - and this is an amp that the Kemper has a lot of problems capturing for some reason.



    12. Built in amp models - the Friedman BE100 was LUSHHHH.... I really loved it. The Hiwatt was better than the Helix one, sounded more 3D and real and in your face; all the usual tripe we all say about amps.



    13. The QC in general sounded more "believeable" than the Helix to me; which I grit my teeth to admit, because I really am a huge Helix fangurl.



    14. The tuner on QC is better than the tuner on Helix. Without a shadow of a doubt. I actually can't believe the Helix tuner sometimes. I just stopped using it - coz it fucks with my brain. I hate it.



    15. Final point - pedalboard friendliness...... yessss m8...... floor real estate and weight are real concerns for me. I know I can do the same thing with the Helix and Kemper.... add in a few pedals.... but for a live show.... it's just a huge pain in the ass. So I always take the hit on the sound quality in favour of simplicity. I wont have to do that with the QC on a board.

  • Finally. The best reviewer on YouTube (imo) has made a comparison:





    Interesting comparison, but no match for the Profiler.


    Leo left the Profiling Mode.

    And he obviously (and unfortunately) has the Pure Cabinet feature turned up to a very high value that he prefers, but giving the profile a very different character ...


    FYI: Pure Cabinet is disabled in Profiling Mode to allow a true A/B comparison. It is re-established, when you return to Browse mode or Performance Mode.

  • The ergonomics of the QC for live use is far inferior to the KPA IMO. The idea that the reviewer had QC and KPA tied in this area seemed to be just wrong to me.


    The other points were valid for the most part; however, the QC doesn't seem like a great live tool to me.


    Compared to the KPA Rack version with a FC the value of live shifts even further into the KPA column IMO. Of course, this is also a more expensive setup compared to the QC so it isn't as fair a comparison.


    I still think the QC is going to be a nice tool, just not for my purposes .... although I would have really liked the USB audio interface recently as I just did my very first ever in my life recording for someone (had to do something since I still can't gig!).


    I feel like the glossing over of the live features of the KPA (looper, ergonomics, performance mode, more buttons, better button placement, etc) were really not given the proper scrutiny in this review. The unproven mechanical track record should also be a warning flag for ANY new piece of gear for those of us that gig (and especially those that tour). That was also glossed over. I know the reviewer waved a hand over the buttons on the QC because they "felt solid". These buttons are new, and no other product has had them (ie buttons that are also control knobs). Personally, I would like to see a couple of years of use "in anger" out in the field before I would be convinced that this design is NOT going to be an issue. Good Lord knows those of us that have been playing for a few decades know how long it took to get simple mechanical switches to the point were they are today.


    I am hearing pretty consistently that the QC capture is better than the KPA even though similar results can be eventually obtained by the KPA. This is impressive considering the relative immaturity of the QC.