I hate to be negative but I'm about to go back to a tube amp. [solved]

  • It was easy for me to go to Kemper. I was enjoying some recorded tone with the Marshall Code and some plugins like Guitar Rig 5, Waves, etc, but they were lacking that "tube response" with my pick attack and with volume roll off. The Kemper had what I was missing.


    If you are not into recording then I'd stick with tube all day.

    The more you find what Kemper can do then the harder you try to find what it cannot do -- like make a good cup of Frappuccino.

  • I am taking a different route now. I started looking at high dollar heads to play through my Marshall 4x12. Reading reviews and watching YouTube videos on a few that I was considering, all of the videos had the guys and ladies turning all the knobs to show how versatile the amp is. Who is going to turn the eq knobs for every song they are playing? I went back to the Kemper and decided that I was going to be an expert on it before I consider selling it! I have spent hours reading about it and tweaking it this week and now I can't wait for rehearsal Tuesday!I came across this thread this morning and it seems like I am not the first one to have mixed feelings about the Kemper. I am even more inspired now then I was when I bought it. If anyone follows sports there is something they call a sophomore slump and I think I had that. Now I'm pushing through, thanks for all the comments and inspiration.

    As obvious as it sounds, I think the key to a good Kemper experience is finding the right profiles. More specifically, the right profiles for the genre that you play. I know that sounds kinda "Duh," but it's easy to get caught up in twisting knobs and overlook the basics.


    When I first got mine and started downloading Marshalls from Rig Exchange, there were a few days when I was considering returning it and going back to my tube amps (which I hadn't yet sold). What I finally realized was the genre thing. Metal and its siblings are very popular these days, so there's a large amount of high gain stuff on RE dialed in for that kind of tone. However, I play classic rock, so what's a killer high gain tone for a metal guy was absolutely awful for me. The quality of the profiles themselves weren't to blame - they were good, and loved by many. However, I wouldn't plug in a Big Muff and expect it to sound good when playing a soft, jazzy standard. And I wouldn't reach for that jazzy sound if I was doing a Hendrix gig. It's all about context and the right tool for the job.


    I eventually found some commercial profiles that were aimed at the style of music that I play, and suddenly it all came together for me. I do almost no tweaking at all. Instead of trying to beat profile A into submission, I just move on to profile B. I might adjust the reverb a bit, but that's about it. Whether recording or playing with a band, my guitar has never, ever sounded this good, song after song, no matter how many different tones I need. And I've been at it since the early 70s.


    If you try high quality, well loved profiles that aren't used for the same thing you want to use them for, the only logical conclusion would be that your Kemper is terrible because the sound is terrible. And yet, load the appropriate profiles into that same Kemper and it becomes a magical experience. At least that's how it went for me.


  • sstauffer did you end up getting a Kabinet in the end or have you kept your Mission cab?

    For now, I kept the Mission FRFR, I still might get the Kemper Kab, but I am thinking they will come out with a FRFR eventually so I might wait.

    You are correct, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder! When those amps are being profiled they are using a different guitar then I am so it might sound great when they profile it but put it in a different environment with a different guitar and different pickups it might sound terrible. I have 1 profile that i really love with the headphones and with the FRFR, I also have several others that I am fairly satisfied with. That being said if you have a tube amp and you really love channel b for example you might only "like" channel A so if I can find 2 or 3 tones out of the Kemper that I love I will be ahead of the game.

    “I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.”

    Dave Lee Roth of Van Halen - 1979

  • Update, I had a practice last night, I spent the last week spending a few hours with the Kemper, adjusting some input and output settings, changed all of my morph functions to help boost my leads by increasing the rig volume by4 DB with 0 rise and fall time. I kept the volume pedal in the system with a -2 on the setting just in case I need a light boost for a specific part in a song that wasn't cutting through. I have to say I am much happier this week then I was last week. It took me a few hours worth of adjustments (which I don't mind tinkering) but well worth it. I'm going to keep my Mission Engineering FRFR and in the future buy a Kemper Kab and make that transition. I appreciate all the comments and suggestions on this and other threads - I also still plan on profiling my own amps but for now I am a happy (Kemper) . - Sorry bad play on words!

    “I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.”

    Dave Lee Roth of Van Halen - 1979

  • Update, I had a practice last night, I spent the last week spending a few hours with the Kemper, adjusting some input and output settings, changed all of my morph functions to help boost my leads by increasing the rig volume by4 DB with 0 rise and fall time. I kept the volume pedal in the system with a -2 on the setting just in case I need a light boost for a specific part in a song that wasn't cutting through. I have to say I am much happier this week then I was last week. It took me a few hours worth of adjustments (which I don't mind tinkering) but well worth it. I'm going to keep my Mission Engineering FRFR and in the future buy a Kemper Kab and make that transition. I appreciate all the comments and suggestions on this and other threads - I also still plan on profiling my own amps but for now I am a happy (Kemper) . - Sorry bad play on words!

    You did the right thing mate! Glad you're back on track, nicely done!

  • Is it just me, or does this thread sound like a marriage on the rocks but they kiss and make up at the end, and live happily ever after? 8o

    The more you find what Kemper can do then the harder you try to find what it cannot do -- like make a good cup of Frappuccino.

  • Is it just me, or does this thread sound like a marriage on the rocks but they kiss and make up at the end, and live happily ever after? 8o

    LOL - yes it does, and this forum is like having a team of marriage counselors.

    “I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.”

    Dave Lee Roth of Van Halen - 1979

  • Just one other thing to add....


    The KPA is different. It does demand a different mindset and even then you may not be convinced...in your mind, not your ears.


    What am I blithering on about? 2 things for me....I keep thinking Valve is the Utopian sound but every time I go back and try one ( usually at rehearsal) I'm a bit disappointed.

    Also I just don;t believe my ears.....so I do rely on some feedback. I have never...and I mean never had so many compliments on my sound. even a couple of weeks ago a friend bought 2 of my FRFR cabs ( as I've now got the Kabinet) and he commented on how great my sound was when he came to our gig ( many months ago).


    You need to be happy with your amp, no doubt but you also need to make peace with it. I truly believe the sounds are in there its how quickly you can find them.


    Hope you get it sorted but it took me 18 months to get to the point where I'm thinking...I have no need for any other amp.

  • I truly believe the sounds are in there its how quickly you can find them.


    Hope you get it sorted but it took me 18 months to get to the point where I'm thinking...I have no need for any other amp.

    Boy that is true, after spending many more hours with my Kemper I am liking it more and more. I simplified my method to switch from rhythm to lead just by using the morph function and it has me thinking less about which effect or stomp to push because it's always the same now no matter which performance or rig I am on.

    “I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.”

    Dave Lee Roth of Van Halen - 1979

  • Boy that is true, after spending many more hours with my Kemper I am liking it more and more. I simplified my method to switch from rhythm to lead just by using the morph function and it has me thinking less about which effect or stomp to push because it's always the same now no matter which performance or rig I am on.

    I totally agree, it makes you rethink your approach.


    Also, some people have that instant "wow" where others, like me, it took a few months. In my case it was more because it takes me longer to like sounds as I don;t think I have a vision of my perfect sound.


    I also defiantly think there is a " this can;t sound that good because its digital" thing for me.

  • For those using the Kemper Kab, do you have the powered Kemper or do you run it with an amp, if so what amp do you use or recommend?

    My amplification is made by a Ritter GBA-280 (mono), it is passivly cooled without fan and sounds really great.


    https://shop.ritteramps.de/en/…guitar-board-amp-280.html


    You can also get stereo Amplifiers there.

    Now Pink Floyd ist great via the Kemper-Kabinet and Speaker-Imprints, and clean jazzy Sounds are perfect via Nearfield Monitors FRFR (at home).

    And you can mix both options.


    LG octopus

  • DonPetersen

    Changed the title of the thread from “I hate to be negative but I'm about to go back to a tube amp.” to “I hate to be negative but I'm about to go back to a tube amp. [solved]”.