Missing the Fender amp sparkle..

  • Hi all!


    I have a question. I'm noticing that the beautiful Fender high sparkle is missing on most of the clean profiles I'm trying. Of course I can dial in some more definition, or treble and presence for that matter, but I feel that it's not the right approach if I have to do that with every clean profile. I'm mostly using strats on the neck position. Anybody have any idea?

  • It really depends on your monitoring system , cab or Kone in my experience. Be sure your output EQ is set right ( I have different EQ settings for different output systems, just like input sense for inputs). I had great sparkle result on both yamaha HS7 and Kone ( oxford imprint)


    Take a classic profile , like the morgan AC20, reduce the gain until it's clean enough but still breaking up. Tweak basic EQ, it's always a good approach to tweak until you're satisfied, then save the result as a preset.


    If you got a good sparkle fender to profile yourself , you should compare it to the profile and be able to find a profile that will have all the qualities you're after.


    Is your strat suited to sparkle tones ( strings, PU height ... ) ?

  • Thanx for your advice! My strats are very glassy sounding so that's not the issue. I do believe it might have something to do with the way i'm monitoring them indeed. Right now I'm using several headphones that are not the best for monitoring..

  • mmm, I’m having the opposite problem, always trying to tame the sparkle with my 2014 US Strat with the fat 50’s pickups, mostly using Tone Junkies twin verb profiles my current fave, more often then not have the tone dialed back, so I’m no help then.

    New talent management advice to Laura Cox -


    “Laura want to break the internet? let’s shoot another video of you covering the Nightrain solo in the blue singlet, but this time we’ll crank up the air conditioning”.

  • Fralin´s are plenty clear and glass-like. Maybe you are missing the upper high impact obtained from a cab, and not a monitor itself. I have a 92 american standard strat, I can testify you should be able to get the "fender crisp tone" from the Brigth chanel twinery verb package profile from tone junkies (that thing is free). Most commercial headphones have a severily lacking uper mids and highs, which is where the fender chime resides in. I hope you get the chance to try studio monitors, or frfrs, that way you will clearly hear what it is supposed to sound like.


    Another thing is the kemper does not have the best headphone amp in the world, hence, high end headphones are not going to get the best results, if I am using headphones, normally I go line level out to my lake people G109A, with a couple of HPs. Otherwise, FRFR with a small subwoofer

  • I also have an American Strat with Fralins. I only have the hot in the bridge though.


    I get pretty bouncy and glassy sounds out of several fender profiles with it.


    I agree with others, work with your output eq and get a good monitor.


    btw, love my Fralin pups.

  • Fralin´s are plenty clear and glass-like. Maybe you are missing the upper high impact obtained from a cab, and not a monitor itself. I have a 92 american standard strat, I can testify you should be able to get the "fender crisp tone" from the Brigth chanel twinery verb package profile from tone junkies (that thing is free). Most commercial headphones have a severily lacking uper mids and highs, which is where the fender chime resides in. I hope you get the chance to try studio monitors, or frfrs, that way you will clearly hear what it is supposed to sound like.


    Another thing is the kemper does not have the best headphone amp in the world, hence, high end headphones are not going to get the best results, if I am using headphones, normally I go line level out to my lake people G109A, with a couple of HPs. Otherwise, FRFR with a small subwoofer

    The KPA’s headphone amp may not be the best in the world but it’s better then most, quite capable of running hungry cans usually associated with needing a dedicated amp.


    But I feel the OP’S problem may be in monitoring..


    I personally use a set of AKG 701 ( mmm might be 702’s) straight from the KPA headphone out, used to go via a dedicated amp but found it not necessary.


    These cans translate beautifully to the Kemper Kab, no need for tweaking.

    New talent management advice to Laura Cox -


    “Laura want to break the internet? let’s shoot another video of you covering the Nightrain solo in the blue singlet, but this time we’ll crank up the air conditioning”.

  • I think it's also about volume. Playing a Fender tube amp in a room tends toward loud to get a nice sound. When I turn the Kemper up through the Kab it sounds just like the amp and interacts with the strings nicely. You can't get that with cans, but it's not crucial if it sounds right in the PA or recording.


    I like to use a bit of the spring reverb effect to give it even more "Fender".

  • The KPA’s headphone amp may not be the best in the world but it’s better then most, quite capable of running hungry cans usually associated with needing a dedicated amp.


    But I feel the OP’S problem may be in monitoring..


    I personally use a set of AKG 701 ( mmm might be 702’s) straight from the KPA headphone out, used to go via a dedicated amp but found it not necessary.


    These cans translate beautifully to the Kemper Kab, no need for tweaking.

    I do have AKG 701 (they came only in white with gray padding, just so you can identify if they are 701 or not) and they can be driven with the Kemper amp, thing is you dont get good separation (if you get stereo effects in there) and enough juice for the amp to let the lows and highs bloom. Still, totally viable to run them from the kemper. I normally use DT770 pro, and T90s, but same, they can be driven, but the quality its no great. On other cases like with M50s, or SR60s, the kemper is more than enough. You have to experiment tough.


    To be fair, for hearing a single instrument, nothing like monitors at head level or a real cab, you need some spaciousnes to really appreciate the tone of the amp. But for mixing, I am one of the few that actually mix with headphones more than studio monitors.

  • I do have AKG 701 (they came only in white with gray padding, just so you can identify if they are 701 or not) and they can be driven with the Kemper amp, thing is you dont get good separation (if you get stereo effects in there) and enough juice for the amp to let the lows and highs bloom. Still, totally viable to run them from the kemper. I normally use DT770 pro, and T90s, but same, they can be driven, but the quality its no great. On other cases like with M50s, or SR60s, the kemper is more than enough. You have to experiment tough.


    To be fair, for hearing a single instrument, nothing like monitors at head level or a real cab, you need some spaciousnes to really appreciate the tone of the amp. But for mixing, I am one of the few that actually mix with headphones more than studio monitors.

    To my knowledge the KPA does have the power required to drive AKG 701’s to there full potential, my iPhone does not.


    KPA headphone spec’s are 32-600 ohms, 330 mW @ 32 ohms, 220 mW @ 600 ohms


    The AKG are 62ohms it will be more than the 200mW required that is the limit of the 701’s design and supply enough volume to reach the desired spl without distortion, let’s say around 112-115db for most of us.


    I’m no engineer and the math and science is beyond my abilities but it was elegantly explained to me once, by somebody whose more then qualified to offer an opinion, don’t be fooled by unicorns and fairy dust especially by those that have an invested reason to promote it.


    Exceeding the power limits of design does not have an effect on the openess and sonic performance of pair of headphones.


    Having said that they can have different sound qualities depending upon the design and components chosen.

    Just my 2 cents of course, quite happy to be wrong, my ex-wife made a career out of it.

    New talent management advice to Laura Cox -


    “Laura want to break the internet? let’s shoot another video of you covering the Nightrain solo in the blue singlet, but this time we’ll crank up the air conditioning”.

  • You are almost right, in theory, the K701 with its 62 Ohms are able to be run from the kemper, only left is to factor its LOOOW sensitivity, which makes them demand more power as you reach the peak headroom of the dB carpet, once enough power is supplied, the treble frequencies start to recede and mids and lows go up to balance with them. If you drive the K701 with poor power, you have a very poor and cold performace. That is why it is mentioned K701 are difficult to drive properly, and that sometimes they are shrill and sibilant. Dont misunderstand me, I think they sound fine with the kemper, not great, but fine. Anddd they are wonderful cans, not my favorite pair, but I am not selling them ever.