Is FRFR Really Better?

  • OK, I bought into the "FRFR is required for the KPA" argument. Granted, I don't have the top end of equipment, but I've been playing through both a RCF ART310A and a Bose L1 Model 2, and I'm not convinced that I like hearing all that high end. It's fine for clean sounds, but the overdriven rigs contain harsh high-end harmonics that would not be present in a normal guitar/amp setup. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, so I'm open for suggestions. However, at this point I'm wondering if something like the Tech 21 PE (perhaps with a speaker upgrade) wouldn't sound better to my ears ... ?(

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

  • Hi Zappledan. Recall that I also use the Bose L1 Model 2. I have 2 subwoofers with it. Are you using 2? I really think it sounds fine with the Kemper. I like to use the Miked Amp w/e609 Tonematch setting on the Tonematch Mixer. I found that the SM-57 setting that I used to use with Tech 21 Character Pedal Blonde has more of the harshness and high end. I just experimented and ended up with the e609 one. After spending time with the KPA, changing out cabinets on some of the profiles, I have a fabulous clean sound that I can add effects to for different things. For distortion sounds, I never felt I had an issue, but kept finding new profiles that are better and better than the last. I was at a friends buddies house last night, and this guy has some rare White Marshall Stack, a Fender Bandmaster with a huge bottom and a SoundCity amp. He has all of these set up next to each other and he's feeding them with a Vox Tonelab modeler and an older Boss COSM modeler and tons of pedals. He plays through all of them at the same time mixed together because he feels he needs to have that bottom end punch to his sound. Personally, I thought it sounded terrible. His clean sound wasn't even clean at all and distortion was cool but nothing special. I plugged my KPA into his PA system. He had some huge speakers for that. I proceeded to make his jaw drop with the flexibility of this thing. After about 30 minutes, I put it back in the bag and said see you later (imagine what he'd have to do to gig with his set-up) and came home and plugged into the Bose and it sounded even better.


    This may not be the perfectly ultimate sound for everyone, but the reason I do this is because I play as a one-man band with backing tracks. Now mind you, I'm not playing 10,000 seat venues, I'm playing bars, clubs and weddings etc.. Vocals and tracks sound great through the Bose with 180 degree dispersion and good distance/range with the EQ not changing. In other words, you can go out front of it 50 yards and it still sounds the same. Guitar amps and other PA's I've used can tend to drop off certain frequencies as you get to the side of them or further away. Same was the issue with bands I'd play in when we'd use the PA for vocals only: No consistency with the sound in various audience locations. The Bose doesn't have that issue. If you use a separate amp for the KPA (for example, the Tech 21 one), it will sound great on stage, but the vocals/backing tracks in the L1®0 will outdistance the guitar sound coming from the conventional amp/loudspeaker. You could mic it and not have that issue, but if someone tells you to turn it down, the amp remains at the level you had it set at and it changes your whole mix, bleeding out into the audience.


    So, that is why I use the Bose. I'm actually thinking of getting a 2nd one and going in stereo with the KPA. How cool would that be, so let me know if you want to sell yours. I even use it a low volume when I play places with their own PA because it's great for monitoring. Many people think I'm wrong about this, and I was even insulted by the Axe-FX owner on his website, but but as an idol of mine said (Pat Metheny): "It's the 1st time in my life it sounds like what I've been hearing in my head". He said it was an eye-opening experience using the Bose L1's. Check out his Orchestrion tour on Youtube.


    By the way, I don't work for Bose, just like great German prodcuts. It may be no coincidence that at the Winter NAMM 21012, Kemper demo'd the KPA with 2 Bose L1 Model 2's in stereo.


    Maybe I should look into a BMW.


    Dave

  • OK, I bought into the "FRFR is required for the KPA" argument. Granted, I don't have the top end of equipment, but I've been playing through both a RCF ART310A and a Bose L1 Model 2, and I'm not convinced that I like hearing all that high end. It's fine for clean sounds, but the overdriven rigs contain harsh high-end harmonics that would not be present in a normal guitar/amp setup. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, so I'm open for suggestions. However, at this point I'm wondering if something like the Tech 21 PE (perhaps with a speaker upgrade) wouldn't sound better to my ears ... ?(


    The frfr thing is very hard to get used to if you are used to traditional amps and cabs, but if you were to turn up at a gig with your traditional amp and get miced up through the pa thats exactly what your rig would sound like. Likewise if you went to a recording studio.
    Why not use an amp/cab using the monitor out? It works very well (with cabs disabled) and it sounds like that is more the sort of sound you are comfortable with.
    The miced sound going to the pa sounds much more natural when it is mixed in with the other instruments, and you could try feeding your monitor with a monitor mix of the whole band instead of just your guitar.

  • djazz - thanks for the input. I doubt I'll be selling the L1 - BTW, Bose is based in Framingham, MA :) Actually, I was thinking of the stereo config as well, but can't really justify it for a home studio 8o


    I'll try the different EQ settings you mentioned. How are you controlling your backing tracks into the ToneMatch? That's something I might like to do as well.


    sheguitarplayer - thanks for your input as well. Since djazz is having luck with his L1 I think I'll pursue that some more before making any other major changes.

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

  • For some reason I had it permanently set in my brain that they were founded in Germany, but you are right, Bose is founded by Amar G. Bose who went to MIT. My apologies. Interesting history on WiKi. As a side note, I did try the KPA through a Mesa Boogie 20/20P with 2 EV 12" Speakers in slant cabinets (with cabinet off) and it sounded awesome. That used to be my set-up, but I was using a tube preamp. The KPA is so much more versatile than that. I might use that if I jam with others.


    For backing tracks, I've used several different things: Originally an iPod, then a GR-55 using a USB Thumbdrive, but now I'm just using an iPad via an app that scrolls lyrics and plays backing tracks. You can have set lists set up and attach the mp3's to the songs. It's OK, and saves me bringing a music stand and binder (I have the iPad mounted to the mic stand). I'd really like the ability for the KPA to play backing tracks via the thumbdrive. Going further, both the Bose and the KPA have that square USB port. On the Bose, you can play backing tracks through it from a computer saving the inputs. I'm always looking for a better way with the backing tracks. There is a guy (Leroy Miller) who posted here yesterday who sounds fantastic and actually mixes all the tracks live with individual feeds available. That's they way I wanted to do it originally, but mp3's are very simple and for most gigs I do, simplicity is the key. Maybe they'll do something in the next version of the T1 or maybe the KPA can do something for us. I posted that as a request on the requests page to consider if possible.