I gave up...the Kemper ships back tomorrow. (Solved)

  • What didnt you like about it?


    I received mine on Friday, and it SUCKED. it sounded terrible. like disgusting. I was going to sell it. Every rig sounded super fuzzy and fake as hell. (running through monitors)


    I picked up a Kemper Kabinet on yesterday, I updated the OS. Did a shit load of tweaking, reading and watching the videos. and Now i think it actually sounds pretty good.

  • What didnt you like about it?


    I received mine on Friday, and it SUCKED. it sounded terrible. like disgusting. I was going to sell it. Every rig sounded super fuzzy and fake as hell. (running through monitors)


    I picked up a Kemper Kabinet on yesterday, I updated the OS. Did a shit load of tweaking, reading and watching the videos. and Now i think it actually sounds pretty good.

    I contemplated buying a Kone for a 1x12 cab I have. I just can't get to feel like an amp. No sustain, dead notes, weird high E string sounds, lot of stuff. It sounds great on many things, really weird on others. Tired of wrestling with it,

  • What do you feel you were missing out on? Did you try it through a poweramp and cab?

    I hadn't yet. I gotta get fuses for my power amp. The cleans are the most frustrating. When I use a tube amp, I find a quick sound and go, but the Kemper slows me down. Everything just feels like it's on 8 instead of 10.

  • I was playing through a 4x12 cab with 50w Celestions, now a 4x12 with Kones.

    The Kones are awesome, but the trap I fear some may fall in to is when they hear people say how great they sound through monitors, and others expect the Kemper to sound like a tube amp through their monitors based on those reviews.

    I've no doubt the Kemper sounds better through monitors than the last piece of digital equipment they had, but it never sounds like a tube amp. I have HS8's as well, they're great monitors, but they're about 20kg short on plywood to sound like an actual guitar cab.

    A couple of Kones in a decent cab with a half decent power amp I'm sure would change your opinion

  • For those who are used to a high amount of stage volume, nothing will beat the Kemper Kone. Asking someone to A/B in ears or old wedge monitoring against a good tube amp and cab is a recipe for a big let down.


    Sorry the KPA didn't get the job done for you. This style of stage performance isn't for everyone.


    Good luck and keep on jammin

  • I contemplated buying a Kone for a 1x12 cab I have. I just can't get to feel like an amp. No sustain, dead notes, weird high E string sounds, lot of stuff. It sounds great on many things, really weird on others. Tired of wrestling with it,

    No sustain, dead notes, weird sounds from you high E?

    Sounds like the Kemper is showing you the sound of your actual guitar, and your prior rigs may have masked it, especially if you play with gobs of distortion.


    The symptoms you describe are guitar issues, not amp issue traditionally.

  • Well, when I went back to GR5, there was plenty of sustain.

    that’s interesting and definitely sounds like a fault somewhere. I used GR5 for several years prior to getting the Kemper. i still have it but can’t bear to use it now as the improvement in sound from the Kemper is so massive it makes GR5 sound like a toy. Obviously, that is just my experience with my tonal tastes. Tone is subjective and if GR5 sounds better to someone then it is the right tool for them. I have never experienced dead notes or lack of sustain from the KPA though.

  • Great things about many digital guitar sims:

    They make every guitar sound the same.

    They lack dynamics, compress the signal to make loud notes quiet and quiet notes loud.

    I agree that these qualities are lacking in the Kemper, you'll only get out what you put in.

    It exposes my sloppy playing and makes poorly setup guitars sound poor.

    It doesn't make a sound card and tiny monitors sound like a Mesa stack.

    I'm surprised Mark Knopfler hasn't thrown his in the bin yet...

  • Its funny but for some there is instant satisfaction, for others instant disappointment.


    It just goes to show:


    1) Set up is king

    2) We all have different views on what is great

    3) Good amps show weaknesses in the signal chain


    It took me some time to get sounds I was happy with. Some of that was also psychological.


    bobbyodell Sorry to hear it didn't work out

  • ...

    It doesn't make a sound card and tiny monitors sound like a Mesa stack...

    Well, actually this is what the Kemper does too, when used in the studio to record your guitar part. In the end the consumer hears a song with guitars, that sound like a miced full Mesa stack on his tiny monitors.


    Every great recorded guitar tone in music history (studio or live) people are referring to all the time is miced cabs - not amp in the room. Some people are just not used to hear those guitars isolated.

  • Well, actually this is what the Kemper does too, when used in the studio to record your guitar part. In the end the consumer hears a song with guitars, that sound like a miced full Mesa stack on his tiny monitors.


    Every great recorded guitar tone in music history (studio or live) people are referring to all the time is miced cabs - not amp in the room. Some people are just not used to hear those guitars isolated.

    I agree, as a recording tool it's briliant, you'd be hard pressed to pick the Kemper from a Mesa stack on a well mixed track.

    But I fear a myth is being perpetuated in that you can plug in to some 5" monitors and "literally" sound like plugging in to a Marshall/Mesa stack.

    Reading a lot of reviews and Youtube posts, I can understand how many people would think buying a Kemper and plugging in to the most basic of monitoring setups is going to bring sonic nirvana. If these are your expectations, you're going to be disappointed and disillusioned.

    I'm not suggesting everyone go out and get two 4x12's for their Kemper, many people will be more than happy playing through monitors at moderate or low volume, I mainly play through headphones myself, it's brilliant for that.

    I just think a lot of the reviews that people read prior to buying a Kemper are doing little to temper unrealistic expectations of what can be acheived with a basic monitoring setup. I personally bought a powered Kemper based on the reviews of how well it sounded through a real cab. I can't say I was too surprised when I played through my HS8's, it sounded like an amp being played through HS8's. Without doubt the best sounding digital solution I'd heard through HS8's, but I wasn't confusing my monitors for my Marshall stack, that's for sure.

    The Kabinet is a great addition if you want to sound like you're plugged in to a real amp. Loading some Kones in to a cab that you already like the sound of would be a step up again.

    If the Kemper makes it sound like you're playing with a broken thumb when you're trying to play 80's shred, you probably need to practice more (I'm talking to myself now).

    It's an honest unit, you'll get out what you put in

  • stratdude I totally get what you mean. And it's true. Also the guys of Kemper realized, that guitar players just want to feel the air move 8) That's why the Kemper Kone and imprints exist today!


    But for me a change of perspective happened a few years ago and it was necessary. It is very easy to buy a nice sounding tube amp, cab and speaker. Done! Couldn't be easier!


    But what do I get out of a perfect amp in the room sound, if it doesn't translate to my recorded tone?! To get it on tape / harddisk is something completely different.


    So the guys I met who succeeded in their home studio, did something different. They all had their cabs in another room (or used an iso cab) always. The tracking and listening of the miced cab was all done with studio monitors. The amp in the room tone was weird in the other room, as was the settings of the amp. But the miced up result was glorious!


    So I gave up my amp in the room amp settings and adopted the "playing and listening in the control room" - this works great in a home studio environmemt.


    The Kemper is the same approach, but so much easier and space saving.

  • This is the only problem with the new solutions like the KPA....we now have to think more about the different signal chains.


    Before, I just used to plug in a valve amp, make a couple of tweaks and then let a sound engineer (either live or in the studio) slap a mike in front and fiddle around...


    Now regular guitarists like me are now very aware of the differences and start to care.


    This meant for me changing my focus...I focus now on FOH sound. Monitoring/ "amp in the room" less important. Its funny, I remember reading about "amp in the room"on the Kemper site and that being the first time I'd thought about it...shows how advanced their understanding has been from the start.


    What has surprised me is how different they are. My KPA journey has been a wider education on sound for me.

  • I'm scared!


    I am testing out Helix Native right now. I got some user made presets and user made IR's. The sounds are horrid (but much less horrid than the factory presets). You are right about sustain -- none with the Helix. And the low E string for me is always mud and highs are just plinky. Then I get a lot of top fizz on the mids when using any amp with gain. Drives me nuts. You can dial in some passable clean tones but anything with some crunch and gain sounds digitally horrific. I was using a cheap modeler before thru my studio monitors and it sounds light years better than the Helix mess (same interface, monitors, and DAW). The sounds are thin and lifeless, and you waste a lot of time trying to dial in something usable just for practice.


    At least I did not shell out $1700 for the floor unit. But I am scared now of getting this Kemper. I have no place around me to go demo one. I really need to hear the profiles live 'without a mix' - just the raw guitar track. I wish Kemper would loan me one for 24 hours because if I can't get a pleasing sound in that short time then it is not going to work for me.


    Anyone know where I can listen to a un-processed guitar track done with Kemper to hear through my monitors?

  • Thanks everyone for your help and sorry if I was a pain!! The Kemper just isn't for me. Best of favor in all endeavors to everyone!

    Good for you for giving it a try. There are plenty of options out there that may suit you better. My personal journey through the options has led me to Kemper but we're not all the same. Best of luck to you in your search for your ideal rig.