Too many different tones from too many different amps. I’m feeling overloaded and can’t decide what sounds best anymore.

  • The title pretty much says it all. But to provide a little more detail, Ive been playing my telecaster for a while, and I’ve been using ToneJunkie’s Purple Plexi, and I have been really digging the tones I’ve been getting. Nice and bright; crispy and crunchy! Today I plugged in my dual humbucker PRS Custom 25 (using the purple plexi profiles) and I thought, “hey, this doesn’t sound half bad.” Then I started switching around to different amps and the next one was super dark, so dark, that m when I went back to the purple plexi, the plexi was way way too bright. So bright, I questioned if I even liked the tone at all... even though I did like it only minutes before.

    That’s pretty much my dilemma: I get a good tone I like, then switch to a totally different amp, and then when I switch back to the first amp, I start to wonder if the tone was ever really as good as I imagined it.

    In the scenario I described, the Plexi sounded great until I heard the darker amp, then when I switched back, the Plexi sounded like a tin can! I feel like maybe it’s just my ears going into “shock” from such a drastic eq change? But I can’t tell if they’re going into “shock“ just because the change, or if they’re going into “shock“ because the tone I once thought was so great actually kind of sucks

    Is this just me being overwhelmed by so many different options? Am I overthinking everything? Do I even make sense?

    Should I turn my amp off and practice technique instead???? (NEVER!!)

  • Your ears adjust to sound, in the same way that your eyes adjust to light. The "shock" you are describing is accurate.

    Think of being in a dark theater and that going outside to the sun, same shock until your eyes adjust, then it's just another sunny day.

    It's not just you, it's just how your ears work. (Unless it's hyperacusis.... in which case that is beyond the scope of this post LOL.)

    I would say try not to get caught up in the A B ing of profiles, with gear there is ALWAYS something "better" who cares!

    What should matter is what sounds good to you when practicing at the time, or what sounds good in the mix, when playing with others.

    Keep in mind these will quite often be two completely different tones.


  • Many or most Kemper users might have this problem. The choices you get when looking for profiles for just your style of music are pretty overwhelming, and you might find new profiles every day or every week, commericials and free ones. I often try new ones, find them pretty good. But then, when switching to what I have already chosen for my performances or favorites, the new ones loose their attraction.

    Maybe it would be better just to not look up for "better" profiles.

  • I feel like maybe it’s just my ears going into “shock” from such a drastic eq change? But I can’t tell if they’re going into “shock“ just because the change

    this is an accurate description.
    switching amps and speakers like that will always take a few seconds to get used to - it is the same with tube amps if that is any comfort :)

    give your ears a chance to adjust to the changes and make the tone work with options your guitar gives you, the PROFILER's EQ and of course by adjusting what/how you play.

    some PROFILES sound big and full by themselves but will be problematic in a mix/band situation and others fit into a mix nicely but don't necessarily sound that impressive if played by themselves with no backing.

  • I have the same problem jstoffel.

    while tweeking and browsing/listening the ear is ajusting to the actual tone and so is your persenal internal reference sound/hearing shifting along with it.

    I guess for the most of us there is no "absolute sense" for tone / sound. Maybe it has also to do with the fact that the most of us don't have a perfect/absolut pitch.

  • I have had this problem constantly, not just with the KPA, I used to get it with valve amps. You also get so used to a sound that its difficult to adjust to a new sound, it takes time...

    In the past I've even not bothered trying an amp in a shop because it would not actually tell me if I liked it...

    When looking at profiles I call it profile blindness as if you keep looking more and more, the profiles then merge into one sound that you can;t tell what you like anymore.

    So what is the answer? All of the above:

    1) context means so much more that standalone sound

    2) Don't rush into changing sounds. Stick with your Plexi, play with others BUT if you find something you think you like, try it the following day. Typically I do this, like the new sound, then try my old and fall back in love. Occasionally i find it is better, only then to I swap.

    3) Remember - you do like you Plexi sound, even if today it sounds different. You have to actually remind yourself and nothing will have changed since yesterday except your perception.

    To me this is the biggest benefit AND issue with the KPA - so much choice! many times I've wished a sound engineer could just set up the perfect sound for me ( which they can;t as its subjective!!! ha!).

  • jstoffel Bro I relate to this so much

    1. I find a profile i kinda like (never liked a profile as it is)

    2. I tweak it until it sounds awesome

    3. I hear another profile - it sound's awful

    4. I go back to the previous tweaked profile - it sounds awful

    5. I get mad and turn off the monitors

    Still trying to get a set of profiles that i can be satisfied with lol

  • It’s sometimes useful to have a reference track playing. Something of an amp you have recorded maybe or just a song where you love the sound of the guitars.

    Helps keep your ears on track without ending up miles away due to option overload.

  • I tell you what I did ... I first started by thinking "if I could go out right now and buy any amps I wanted, what would I get?" I focused on just that list for starters (for me it was some Dr. Z's that I already had (Z Plus, Z28, Maz 18), a Deluxe Reverb, a Marshall JCM800 and Plexi, a Vox AC 30TB, and a vibroverb). I listed just to profiles of these until I found the ones I liked. That formed my first couple "performances" on the remote.

    From there, I just auditioned other amps as I went along to augment those. It kept the hunt manageable. I've never actually played Top Hats, /13, Friedmans, etc., so I didn't try auditioning everything.

  • Great point! I had these issues myself. This was especially true when I was monitoring through FRFR systems. However, when I switched to a power amp and cabinet, it made life a lot more easier. Having taken the speakers out of the equation, I found it easier to dial in sounds that I really like across different amps.

  • Glad I'm not the only one. Choices this vast have downfalls too. If I take out a good valve amp, I am restricted by what it can do, eq it to be the best it can be and go with it. Since you are stuck you find a way to blend with it,but many times wish it would do this or that. With a Kemper the choices and tones are almost limitless. I want to stat building a live rig but cannot get anywhere because there are too many good things to go with that I cannot make up my mind. I was afraid this would happen. I'll probably start with some performances based on one or two amp types, see what they sound like FOH and whittle them down from there.

  • it is really all about what you need in any given situation..

    If I am in "recording mode" or better said "producing mode"(which includes doing tracks for other people's projects) I try to think like a keys player.I look for the sounds I need..not the ones I I would do also for finding the right drum sample to start with..or tbe bass.

    For this imo you need good organisation.Folders.Many folders for any style,type of sound etc..always in mind what this certain project needs.It is tiresome and a lots of you better get paid for this..😉

    If I just want to "play the blues" I dont switch between different rigs.I go to my fav rig and do the "one rig thing" until I have I would do with a good tube rig.

    Once or maybe twice in the month I go to the rm and look out for new rigs.But this

    in the morning,with fresh ears,a lots of coffee and several guitars 100% tuned and ready in the back of me..I dont want to miss a good rig cause of stupid mistakes..

    For live jams I have a dozen rigs ready which I really know well.So no "shocks"..

    The KPA needs a little organisation and "thinking".It is not the tool to do every day the "let's look what happens if I surf through 10.000 rigs.." thing..actually this is a bad mistake..

  • After a few months, I've narrowed down my favorite profiles to about 15 or so. I swear sometimes they sound different day to day. I'll fire up the Kemper and be thinking about my VHT Pitbull profile in anticipation while it loads. Then when it does and I play the first notes, I'm like "oh, this doesn't sound like I remember it." 🤣🤣🤣