New guy could use your opinions

  • Internet/YouTube is so full of info, it can be hard to sift through. Could use your thoughts


    older guy here

    Not gigging out anymore
    I’m REALLY bad with computers/ digital solutions

    Just not me


    I have some great tube amps / lots of great pedals

    So with some fooling around and switching, I can go between tones.


    what I’d really like, is to go into my basement studio space, plug in a guitar, and have quick access to great guitar tones. Sit down and have a jimmy page tone at my fingers, Stevie, sabbath... whatever

    I have a few great cabinets

    One is a super clean fender bandmaster( it’s way oversized for a 2x12). Also a Marshall 4x12

    Both have greenbacks


    would a profiler powered head be a good choice?

    Or should I stick with a much lower end spark type amp?

    I realize the huge price difference....

    I’d like to sit down and quickly switch between tones

    YouTube videos make both Kemper and sparks sound pretty awesome


    bear with me if this is a bad question , I just registered on this forum, and maybe my answer is in all the back posts that I’m wading through

    Mike

  • Welcome to the forum! If you use your Bandmaster or Marshall cabs they will provide much of the tone you get, which negates some of what the Profiler provides, which includes different cabs. Perhaps the powered Profiler along with the Kemper Kabinet would suit you.

    Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. - Wayne Dyer

  • Thanks guys

    And believe me.... money is always an issue

    Especially since I’m not a pro playing out


    I’m just starting research and reading back-posts
    I can get some great tones out of my tube amps and pedal combinations....

    But it would be kind of cool to have a set-up where I go downstairs at the end of a day.... punch a vintage jimmy page tone, Switch to Metallica or pantera....

    Go back to a bb king.... and have it sound real close to the actual artist...


    maybe I’m just being lazy

  • Hi Mikey and welcome ! :)


    A Fender Bandmaster 2x12" or a Marshall 4x12" will de facto, more or less, sound like a Bandmaster 2x12" and a Marshall 4x12"

    witch will, so to speak, cripple the sound spectrum the KPA provides .....


    So a powered KPA and a Kemper Kabinet is one solution , one other is a unpowered KPA and a powered FRFR

    ( Full Range Flat Response ) speaker, like Yamaha DXR-10 or Headrush 108 ( Other brands has been discussed here at the forum )


    As an "older guy" myself, with many years of loading and unloading heavy speakers and power amps, my back and knees

    are very happy with the small KPA rack and a DXR-10 ( on a stand ) even though I don´t tour anymore and only use it in

    my rehearsal room / studio :thumbup: ( Sometimes I have to move things around depending on what kind of band I work with ..... )


    So , there´s my opinion. Hope you find out what you need :)



    Cheers !

  • Old farts corner 8o


    "Age is just a number" ........

    I´m not sure I want to reveal my numbers, but a hint is that I started to play

    guitar when a guy named Jimi released his hit single Hey Joe ........

    ( Single digit age + 1 ;) )


    Cheers !

  • Hi, MikeyST.


    I'm glad you joined us. Thank you.


    This is a fun place with lots of players and, from what I can tell, the entire gamut of experience and preferences.


    I'm going to use some terminology that will make more sense when you dig into the Kemper.


    ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄

    But it would be kind of cool to have a set-up where I go downstairs at the end of a day.... punch a vintage jimmy page tone, Switch to Metallica or pantera....

    Go back to a bb king.... and have it sound real close to the actual artist...


    maybe I’m just being lazy

    Not lazy, "creatively lazy". That's when you take the time to ponder how get the result you want with the least amount of effort, before doing anything.


    Since you've had lots of gear and you know how to get the tones you want, you can use the Kemper Rig Exchange (free) to wander through over 16,587 rigs (as of this morning). The easiest way to audition them is with Rig Manager (also free). See: Rig Manager Download and Documentation


    There are thousands more commercial rigs (you pay for them).


    And you can come to this community and ask other how to get a specific sound or tone. You can use Rig Manager to work manage your commercial rigs too.


    There are lots of ways to use the Performance Mode in you Kemper. Some create Performances around specific songs (I've done that for some songs), and you can also create Performances by genre (Blues, R&B, Rock, etc.,). I've done that too. You can create your Performances any way you like, and you don't have to apply the same mindset as you do it. See: Kemper Manuals and Quick Start guides


    And be sure to check out Kemper Tutorials & Demos


    As for the gear:


    Short notes about the Hardware

    • The Kemper Stage will do what you need.
    • Stereo is glorious for playing at home - there are some great stereo effects.
    • You can use two FRFR (Full Range, Flat Response) monitors
      OR
      for more tone shaping options, get two Kemper Kabinets (or Kemper Kones and mount them in cabinets you already own)
    • If you want stereo, you'll need a stereo power amp to drive the Kemper Kabinets
      OR
      Use active (self-powered) FRFR monitors
    • You can start with mono and add gear to run stereo later. It's easier to move to stereo if you know in advance, that's your direction.

    More:

    If you're into tweaking the tones, you can do that in Rig Manager or directly on the Profiler. I tend to browse the Profiles making those I like Favorites. That makes them easier to find later. If I need a different sound, I look for a different Profile. I don't spend a lot a time tweaking settings. Life is too short.


    Background:

    I started off with an unpowered Profiler head and eventually I got the Remote. Within 30 minutes, I wished I had gotten the Remote sooner.


    A few months ago, I got a Kemper Stage because I was doing small outdoor gigs. This allows me to fine tune my setup on the Profiler head and migrate everything to the Kemper Stage for playing out. The Stage (the Profiler and Remote in one piece) is lighter and easier to manage live. One consideration. If you have a Profiler head, you run all your connections to the head and there's one cable to the Remote. If you use have a Stage, all the connections run to the Stage, on the floor.


    Of course, you don't need two full rigs. If I could have only one rig, I could easily live with the Stage and be happy and functional. Now that you can do deep edits in Rig Manager, I can do everything I need on the Stage.


    Cheers Mike,


    ST

  • Hi Mike,


    A remembered something you said in your first post, and I have a few more thoughts.

    Lowest Investment - Bang for the Buck

    If you have a power amp (ideally, solid-state), you can do this:

    Kemper Stage ➡ power amp ➡ one of your cabs


    A step up - Kemper Kones

    You can replace the greenbacks with Kemper Kones. Then you can use Kemper Kones Speaker Imprints.

    If you have a stereo power amp, you could wire up one or both of your cabs with the Kemper Kones in stereo.


    ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄


    would a profiler powered head be a good choice?

    If you're price sensitive, the Kemper Stage plus a power amp should be cheaper than Power Head plus Remote. And you DO want the Remote if you get the Power Head. You won't need it with the Stage.


    ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄


    Or should I stick with a much lower end spark type amp?

    For context - I have these mini amps. Yamaha THR30II Wireless and the Positive Grid Spark.


    If you like and appreciate the visceral experience of playing through a nice cab, then neither of the above will cut it.


    The mini amps are fine if you have volume constraints, (e.g., max 80 dB), space constraints (e.g., everything must fit into your living room without dominating the space.)


    I got the Positive Grid Spark out of curiousity. There are some fun features in the free Spark app. I bought the hardware so I could unlock all the features in the app. I'm not overly impressed with amp models or the Spark hardware. Don't get me wrong - this thing is a lot of fun, and cheap if you catch a good sale.


    Interestingly, I like the sound of the Yamaha THR30II Wireless much better than the Spark. Even though there are "only" fifteen amp models, the ones I use are very satisfying. It's fine for a living/bedroom amp, sounds great at low volume, and easy to take to the picnic, campfire, or a small party. When I want the best of both worlds, I run the Spark headphone output into the Yamaha THR30II aux in. This mutes the Spark and I hear everything through the Yamaha.


    BUT

    If I could have only one (and I was not constrained to a maximum 80 dB SPL), I'd go with the Kemper Stage.


    Cheers!


    ST

  • Hi and welcome from another "old fart" (53), Mike.


    Seeing as you want to be able to switch around all kinds of tones, I'd recommend going the FRFR / Kemper Kabinet route. Otherwise you'll be restricted to the sounds of just the two cabs you have.


    In this case, a powered Kemper will cover both options, whereas a non-powered one won't work with the Kemper Kabinet 'cause it's unpowered. There'll be a powered version soonish, but none of us knows when.

  • Another old fart here ( 52)...the problem you actually have is choice!


    Will it do what you want ( switch between Metallica and BB king)....absolutely!


    But it does require more investment in time to understand it, although I think its one of the easiest digital pieces of kit out there.


    Choices are:

    1. Use your current cabs or invest in FRFR - pros and cons to both. I would suggest start with your current cabs
    2. Powered or unpowered ( profiler or stage). If you were gigging I'd say powered but actually I think the stage with a small power amp is prob best

    Start simple and then build as you go.


    Don;t forget, you can also profile your amps as well :)

  • If you have a studio space, why not just go line-in to your board ? At home, I go into my board so I can mix in other audio, and then use the Mon Out on the Kemper into a Friedman active FRFR as a bonus. But the FRFR is really not needed if you have studio monitors connected at the board. To me, that's the most simple setup (if you have a mixer board already).

  • Hey, Mikey.


    I come from similar origins. Had a lot of good tube heads, Marshall 4x12, open back Fender, etc. but don't gig anymore.


    I bought the powered head to have options, allowing me to use my cabs if I wanted. Eventually I bought a Yamaha DRX-10, which is powered, and haven't really used my cabs since then. However, I also have a decent studio and that's most of where I spend my time these days. It's always fun to turn up an amp and feel the thump in my chest, but 98% of the time I'm now listening through my studio monitors and the cabs all gather dust.


    Tone-wise, I don't miss not using my cabs. I may eventually sell them. If I ever gig again (classic rock / blues), I doubt I'll carry anything more than the DXR-10.


    To your ease of use point, this is exactly what the Kemper gives me. If I want Zep, I select a profile. SRV? Just pick a different profile, and so on. It's incredibly quick and easy to use in the studio or through a cab, and most important, with zero compromises in tone. Frankly, my guitar has never sounded this good, and I've been at it since the 70s.


    Also, I am in fact a computer guy, having made a living developing software for 30 years. Consequently, the very last thing I want to screw around with when I grab my guitar is yet another freakin' computer. The Kemper actually covers both extremes. You can bring up the editor software and tweak to your heart's content if you enjoy that sort of thing. I don't, and fortunately you don't have to.


    It also can behave just like an amp. Pick a profile, grab guitar, rock and roll. I found some commercial profilers that were excellent for my genres and who dial in the amps better than I ever did. I almost never tweak them. I just bring up the profile and start playing.


    I agree with the best bang for the buck sentiments. You can buy cheaper stuff, but the Kemper sounds so good that after owning it a week I sold every tube amp I owned. There are other offerings like Fractal AxeFx and Line 6, but their approach is different, allowing you to assemble and build tones from the ground up. I don't enjoy that process so for me the Kemper, using profiles captured from people who dial in tones better than I do, is the best path. If I spend 40 bucks on a commercial pack, I get tones from $20,000 worth of amps, so I see it as a high return on investment.


    As for powered or non powered, if you can afford the powered you have all the options. However, the real question is how are you going to be using it day to day? If you want to plug in and play at 105db through a cab, you can either go powered -> your cabs or unpowered, sell your cabs, and buy a powered FRFR. If you're not going to be playing at volume, you may find the unpowered version and just running through your studio monitors to be all you need.


    It wasn't cheap to get in the game, but I've never been this happy with my rig before, for sound, versatility and ease of use. Push a button, rock and roll. I think you can find what you're looking for with it.

    I'm 51 by tue way. Is this now the "olf guys" corner ?


    Seems plenty of old guys rock Kempers.

    In my neighborhood, we make the 50-year-olds sit at the kids' table when the holidays roll around. :)

  • My 2 cents.

    I bought a Spark out of curiosity, and it killed the cat.

    In my opinion, complete garbage.

    The app is miserable, and the amp tones are worse.

    I already know how inaccurate youtube demos are, they do more post-processing than they used on Star Wars, to keep their paid sponsors happy, but thought i would take a chance.

    Bad idea.

    I have a 10+ year old Yamaha THR 10, and still think it might be the best sounding table top amps out there.

    Clean to mean, and everything in between(I just made that up..patent pending).