I've been using the Kemper for a number of years now and I love it. There are many reasons I love it but one is that it allows the character of the individual guitars I use to shine thru.
So much that I now consider if I can't get the sound I want out of the guitar/KPA combination then I should probably use another guitar.
I've found out thru experience that the signal going into the KPA is what I have to work with.
Thus I have started working with different pedals to enhance the signal going into the input of the Kemper in order to get the tone I want and also the dynamic/playing feel. I call these pedals "tone and feel shapers".
Until now I've been using the Xotic Super Clean to push the KPA just a little bit with some profiles. Usually with clean sounds to make them more amp like when using headphones and studio monitors. I also use the Origin Effects Cali76 Stacked Edition to get the dynamic feel the way I want it to be. Also usually with clean sounds but sometimes with light to medium OD.
Yesterday I got this Blade VSC (Virtual Spectrum Control) pedal and for me this is absolutely wonderful.
It's a two channel boost. One channel is mid boost and the other is a treble/bass boost and you can set the amount of boost with the three knobs.
[Blocked Image: https://www.nermark.com/pictures/Blade-VSC-box.jpg]
This is a box for the discerning tone hound. The pedal has a level of sophistication as the boost levels are moderate compared to some boost pedals but therein lies its charm. Just turning the knobs a little brings out so many different characteristics in different guitars. As a tone shaping device, it is really phenomenal.
I was thinking that the mid boost would only be for overdriven sounds but I was very wrong. It really beefs up a Strat bridge single coil to the heft of a Tele or P90. I've been searching for years for that elusive strong Telecaster sound that's powerful and does not have that "ice pick in your ears" thing. Like that of Vince Gill. My Tele with the VSC mid boost gives me that in spades. Some Country Twang with that Tele? No problems! Just use the same amp settings but go with the Bass/Treble side of the VSC pedal and you're there. That's also the side you want to use with a Strat for some serious 80s throw-back clean shimmer
I also thought I would use the mid boost only with single coils. Wrong again. When I play high gain Marshall style sounds the mid boost adds a certain focus to the humbucker in my James Tyler SE that makes the sound carry a lot better in the mix.
One thing to keep in mind is that the VSC really works WITH the guitar so as different guitars have different personalities, the VSC will pick up on these individual characteristics and works with them. I tried the VSC with 4 different strat style guitars and while it worked excellently with them all, it also enhanced their individual traits.
I also think it stacks wonderfully with other pedals. I tried it in front of a T-Rex Mudhoney with great result and I also goosed the input of an Olsson Fuzztner (fuzz/octavio) pedal with it and I think that also worked well.
So I do think the VSC will become a fixture among my tone shapers and I'm very happy I have it.