Kemper Mini?

  • I am with you on the 3 foot switches. Completely useless to gig with IMO. It seems like gigging wasn't their target at all though. It seems like they intend this thing to be used at home while hooked up to your PC with the editor. The foot switches are almost an aside.


    The Neural DSP quad cortex is in the same price category as the Kemper Stage, but the Line 6 Helix Stomp is relatively cheep at $600. Still, 3 buttons? I still think it would be better to bring the features up to a point where it can be gigged with even if the price needs to go up to around $800 to do it.

  • Sorry to be a naysayer, and you're right, I don't have much of an original idea wrt this topic. I think the often mentioned Kemper AmpStack-only pedal would make sense in terms of using existing IP and BOM to make a lower priced product... But I don't know how it would perform in the market with $300-400 amp pedals like the AmpliFirebox or the Iridium. Would be interested to hear your thoughts.

    I think it is difficult for Kemper to get into the sub $500 business. As you have eluded to, they are a high end guitar processor and they don't pretend to be anything else. The device is metal and built like a brick shit house ;). No one thinks their Kemper is going to have any mechanical issues, and they expect it to perform night after night. They also expect it to have industry leading tone.


    Kemper can achieve a Kemper "AmpStack-only" pedal with existing IP. Unfortunately, that means re-using the existing LCD and work-flow. The trick is to put all that workflow into something that you can gig with .... albeit not as complete as the Stage, and (as you pointed out), try to keep it from eating into your high end sales ..... too much.


    No one in any company anywhere can create a lower cost product that is functionally similar to a higher end one that DOES NOT take some market share from the high end. FYI, this is true of the Stage even now. If I would have had the option of a less expensive Stage vs the Rack and foot controller, I most certainly would have purchased the Stage. I am sure there are many others that would have as well.


    The loss of some high end sales is more than made up for by the higher volume in the less expensive product, and the sharing of IP, and the lowering of parts prices due to the significantly higher volume purchases.


    In order for Kemper to create a $300-$400 pedal, they would need a major redesign. The stomp would need to be plastic, and the display would need to be smaller in order to keep cost down. Furthermore, the product would need to be designed for manufacturing in a low cost country. Maybe sometime in the next 10 years we could see something like this, but today, I don't see this as an easy reach for Kemper.... even if they had it in em to change their DNA that far ;)


    Personally, I distain outsourcing anything; however, if you want to compete with other high volume manufacturing companies, that is a necessary evil in today's world.


    Now, to something that was said ..... yes, CK may decide that he has no interest in becoming a billionaire. Not everyone sees their business as needing to reach "the next level". You may be right, and that may be the case with CK. Some people just love running a small company. It is what wakes them up inside.

  • How about a Kemper AmpStack pedal for $600, a viable product in your eyes amongst the competition? Or $800 and make it powered, play in the Amp1 market? Oo that one's kind of fun :P


    But yeah, it doesn't seem like Kemper is interested in making a me-too product for the sake of profit.

  • I'd pay $666 for Kemper-Mini which would only have performance mode (a few mini switches to choose slots, + tuner LEDs, small screen to see the name of slot/bank), could only be edited from RM and had MIDI support + expression pedal input - just a small device for gigging. Size of Amplifire 3.

  • Who is the customer for the Kemper Mini?


    Do they already own a Profiler (with Remote), or Stage?


    What other gear do they already own?


    What are their needs?


    Where will they use the Kemper Mini?


    What problem does the Kemper Mini solve for them?

  • Porsche absolutely had serious economic troubles. That is why VW group now owns them. Interesting that you would pick this example ;).

    Maybe I picked it to build a trap? :D

    Things in business sometimes are a bit more complex. In short: Porsche sold its car manufacturing to Volkswagen ... and in return the Porsche Holding bought a majority in Volkswagen. So in reality it's pretty much the opposite of what you state. Porsche now effectively "owns" Volkswagen Group and its subsidiaries (incl. the Porsche car manufacturing), making it the largest automaker in the world.


    Anyway, I'm aware that this side-discussion is highly off-topic in this thread. But maybe it helps to end the general business advise towards Kemper. I'm sure they know exactly what they are doing and why.

  • I actually don't even think about the price... what I find important is the size and the weight, so it could be used for situation where a minimal equipment is needed - with maximal sound.

    I would be willing to pay for that.

    This is the real point. With airlines hammering everyone on luggage, it is getting harder to take both a Kemper and guitar, while still being able to have a change of clothes! Also there are those that want to get on public transport for a show.


    I have resorted to getting an HX Stomp when I can't carry the Kemper, but it is a compromise. I even go for a 1u Kemper rack without a screen in preference.

  • How about a Kemper AmpStack pedal for $600, a viable product in your eyes amongst the competition? Or $800 and make it powered, play in the Amp1 market? Oo that one's kind of fun :P


    But yeah, it doesn't seem like Kemper is interested in making a me-too product for the sake of profit.

    Pricing is mostly about what the market will pay vs what something costs. My best example is the purchase of a windows license. It most certainly does not cost MS $100.00 for that little cardboard box with the little USB stick in it!

  • Maybe I picked it to build a trap? :D

    Things in business sometimes are a bit more complex. In short: Porsche sold its car manufacturing to Volkswagen ... and in return the Porsche Holding bought a majority in Volkswagen. So in reality it's pretty much the opposite of what you state. Porsche now effectively "owns" Volkswagen Group and its subsidiaries (incl. the Porsche car manufacturing), making it the largest automaker in the world.


    Anyway, I'm aware that this side-discussion is highly off-topic in this thread. But maybe it helps to end the general business advise towards Kemper. I'm sure they know exactly what they are doing and why.

    And an excellent trap it was indeed! Touché :)

  • All great product management questions.


    1) Who is the customer (persona)

    Anyone who owns a KPA today

    Anyone waiting on a FM3 ;)

    Tube amp players looking to lighten their load but retain great tone


    2) What are their needs

    a) Highly portable

    b) Affordable (not necessarily in this order)

    c) Authentic tube tone

    d) All-in-one guitar processor


    Personally, I am thinking that the product would be primarily used for gigging musicians; however, bedroom jammers would also be a good market. Recording would be a lower priority IMO. The higher end models would cater more to this market.


    3) What problem does it solve

    a) It brings Kemper sound quality to musicians that can't or won't pay $1700.00 for a guitar processor being half that price.

    b) It brings an affordable backkup to existing gigging KPA musicians

    c) It brings a compact and travel friendly format for the KPA

  • Until recently I used to carry around a 656 ENGL Morse in a flight case (Heavy) every weekend with an oversized Boogie 4X12 (very heavy) and a Control2 footswitch (tank). Every time I pick up my dainty Kemper (complete with power amp) I smile. It's like lifting a flower basket. How much more mini could one want?


    No one would be complaining about Kemper size if they spent all the years I did lifting 2 racks full of 60 lb BGW's, (took 4 people to get them on the truck they were about 375lbs. EACH) 60 Par can lights, dimmers, boards, cords,100' & heavy beer soaked snake, Guitars, Drums, 100W Marshall stacks and a ridiculously heavy coffin of mic stands and drum hardware, wardrobe and more at 3:30 in the morning after setting up in the afternoon, partying and playing . Most younger musicians would never be able to hack it today with their P.A. on a stick and modelers. I know I sound like an old timer "back in the day" But my point is a Kemper is VERY mini now.

  • Until recently I used to carry around a 656 ENGL Morse in a flight case (Heavy) every weekend with an oversized Boogie 4X12 (very heavy) and a Control2 footswitch (tank). Every time I pick up my dainty Kemper (complete with power amp) I smile. It's like lifting a flower basket. How much more mini could one want?


    No one would be complaining about Kemper size if they spent all the years I did lifting 2 racks full of 60 lb BGW's, (took 4 people to get them on the truck they were about 375lbs.) 60 Par can lights, dimmers, boards, cords,100' & heavy beer soaked snake, Guitars, Drums, 100W Marshall stacks and a ridiculously heavy coffin of mic stands and drum hardware, wardrobe and more at 3:30 in the morning after setting up in the afternoon, partying and playing . Most younger musicians would never be able to hack it today with their P.A. on a stick and modelers. I know I sound like an old timer "back in the day" But my point is a Kemper is VERY mini now.

    LOL. Yep. Used to carry VHT Ultralead head, 4x12 VHT slant, 2x12 VHT fat bottom, and pedal board. My Kemper Rack and FC seem like quite a HUGE change from that ... but still. I can't put my 4 space rack and FC in the overhead of a commercial flight.


    The Mini would be designed for the throw-and-go musician, and it would be about half the price of a Stage.

  • I know of professionals that travel with a usb stick in their guitar case and rent kemper backlines to do shows. Wouldn't that be the lazy way to go!

    The only problem there is that I've seen people saying the 2 Kempers they have hired were on other stages at a festival when a band overran. It is still a risk.

  • I know of professionals that travel with a usb stick in their guitar case and rent kemper backlines to do shows. Wouldn't that be the lazy way to go!

    Renting stuff also means cost. Depending on how often you do this, at some point it‘s definitely „cheaper“ to buy things. These people with USB sticks have a Kemper at home and would for sure using a small replacement unit suitable for fly gigs if it was cost efficient, suitable for hand luggage and would fulfill their personal requirements. But - as always - you cannot design it „the right way“ for 100% of the people. :S

  • Renting stuff also means cost. Depending on how often you do this, at some point it‘s definitely „cheaper“ to buy things. These people with USB sticks have a Kemper at home and would for sure using a small replacement unit suitable for fly gigs if it was cost efficient, suitable for hand luggage and would fulfill their personal requirements. But - as always - you cannot design it „the right way“ for 100% of the people. :S

    Now THAT's the Gods honest truth!


    Product Management is about picking the best set of features for the greatest number of people in the best market possible. Easy enough to write, but quite difficult to figure out in practice ;).


    I know that we all want something new and shiny from Kemper (Kemper 2?), but really .... other than a color LCD, what would it offer that the current model does not?


    I feel like Fractal has spent its last generation trying to equal the KPA tonal quality .... and for the most part have achieved it ..... but at a higher price point, with a larger and heavier piece of equipment. They are still light years behind the Kemper in terms of ease of use though (and admittedly ahead with their editor). They still don't offer compatibility though. It seems like they change things so often that nothing is ever kept compatible (tonally and with each generation architecturally).


    Kemper's library of excellent free rigs and commercial rigs is outstanding..... and every Kemper ever made can use them.


    A Kemper Mini would provide another product in the growing product umbrella that benefits from a single uniform support ecosystem.


    That would be where I would put my money for sure.


    Oh, and I suspect we may see a powered Kabinet since this is such an easy lift from an engineering stand point.

  • I feel like Fractal has spent its last generation trying to equal the KPA tonal quality .... and for the most part have achieved it ..... but at a higher price point, with a larger and heavier piece of equipment. They are still light years behind the Kemper in terms of ease of use though (and admittedly ahead with their editor). They still don't offer compatibility though. It seems like they change things so often that nothing is ever kept compatible (tonally and with each generation architecturally).


    Kemper's library of excellent free rigs and commercial rigs is outstanding..... and every Kemper ever made can use them.


    They tried with the "it sounds exactly the same and the knobs react exactly the same as the real thing" to but the countless updates would prove otherwise.


    If this was the case why don't the number of axechange patches match the rig exchange? (one because the FW updates nuke the sound more often than not)

  • I started a new thread on this not knowing this one existed (sorry, I'm new).


    My idea for the Kemper Mini would be a pedal for stage that stripped all of the profiling features of the Kemper Stage out. You could download rigs and effects but couldn't create new ones. This would limit the amount of memory, tech, i/o and connection options needed.


    The look and feel would essentially be the Kemper remote, but instead of controlling the Kemper it houses those rigs internally. Built rugged, built for touring.


    The part that would make it take over the world would be if it were powered. Power amps are so small now - the Seymour Duncan Powerstage 170 is a great example - that it makes it seem like a real possibility.


    If Kemper could pack all of it in to a single unit that could connect to the front-of-house and power a 4x12 for stage volume while not making people take their prized possession from the studio to filthy, sweaty stages, I think it could be a massive win.