My name is Mike Goodwin. I've been hanging around the gear forums for over 2 decades now. There aren't many amps I haven't owned or tried. If only the Kemper had been around in my amp slut days! All those great amps would not be 'lost'.
Around 2007, I heard some early discussions about the Axe FX ... the rumor was that it was a modeler that finally got the feel right, and the Axe FX Standard was a game changer. I owned the Standard for a few years, but it still wasn't exactly 'there' for me. Back to tube amps...
Fast forward to 2013 or so, and I was finding pretty convincing recordings of the Axe II. At that point I slowly got rid of all my tube amps. When the Axe 3 arrived on the scene, I wasn't immediately convinced that it was significantly better than the Axe II. But after 2 years or so, I gave in and bought the Axe 3. At this point I was so impressed with the Axe 3, that I didn't think there was room for improvement. I tried to stay away from the tweaking rabbithole, and did, for the most part.
Fast forward to several months ago, when I decided to pop into Soundpure and try a Kemper Stage they had in stock. From the first chord, I knew there was something better about the Kemper. I'm not the best at describing tone, but the high end just sounds so natural. I have a strong connection with the Axe FX gear, and always will, but this was a big shift for me.
After experimenting with tons of profiles ( I bought everything from Tonejunkies, their profiles are fantastic!) I decided to dabble in profiling. My first results were mixed, but I knew with time I would find the formulas.
Fast forward a few months, and I picked up a Redplate Magica. It's a somewhat hard to find amp with a bunch of tones that ranged from Fender cleans to blues to fusiony tones (check out the Matt Schofield's Magica clips on youtube!), to 80s metal and even into modern territory (this amp has boatloads of low end!). I made quite a few bad profiles, started learning the 'trade' , and now I have some profiles that are truly representative of the great tones from this amp.
Why stop there I said? So I decided to go after some amps that I didn't find well represented in the Kemper community, and stumbled across a guy in Russia who makes great preamps that are rare or discontinued. One is a certain preamp from the late 80s early 90s with 3 channels and a distinctive purple faceplate. They fetch 4 grand if you can find them, and you'll have to be quick when they pop up. He also had his version of a famous light blue 4 channel preamp from the same timeframe, known for it's superfat tones, the artist most associated with it being Jerry Cantrell from Alice in Chains.
That will be the focus of Rare Amps, acquiring and profiling hard to find amps.
So I have 54 profiles of these 3 amps, which I will offer as an introductory package. While I think they sound great, I will let the public be the judge. Also in the pack will be a handful of profiles of a small builder that I met at one of the Amp Shows in NY years ago. They are way under the radar ... the owner is a super nice guy, I'd love to see his amps getting more attention.
Right before I discovered the Kemper, I sold off my cabs as they were just taking up space. So these profiles were all made with my friend's ported 1X12 with a Neo V30. Turns out all 4 amps sound great with this cab. For mics, I'm using either SM57s or Sennheiser MD421s.
I'm offering this package for $20. I really welcome constructive criticism. If these profiles are well-liked, I will be investing in some more cabs, speakers, and mics and even a (gasp!) website where you can listen to profiles and make payments.
I have some clips under way that should be complete this weekend. I will make these available in wav format. I certainly don't expect any sales without clips, just getting the word out ahead of time (in addition to learning profiling I've been learning recording - it's convenient being able to clean up my flubs so easily!). The profiles will be there to showcase sustain, tone, clean-up, dynamics, overtones, etc ... not flashy playing.
Stay tuned for more details, coming this weekend. If you have any questions, you can reach out to me at [email protected].