No, WE don't need a kemper2

  • Users don't like to pay much for a thing that will be discontinued after a few years and need to sell it cheap just to upgrade to the new mkII and only to find in a couple of years they have to do it again.

    Depends on the unit. The Axe-Fx III was so popular, users had to join a months long waiting list just to get one initially. But the Axe-Fx II had been on the market for over 7 years.

  • Depends on the unit. The Axe-Fx III was so popular, users had to join a months long waiting list just to get one initially. But the Axe-Fx II had been on the market for over 7 years.

    If I remember well there was also Axe FX II MK II and Axe FX II XL at some points during these seven years. So the point is that if, as I did, you bought your Kemper in 2012 you never got to change your hardware since then and you're still with the same features as the latest model. It's pretty amazing when you think about it!

  • If I remember well there was also Axe FX II MK II and Axe FX II XL at some points during these seven years. So the point is that if, as I did, you bought your Kemper in 2012 you never got to change your hardware since then and you're still with the same features as the latest model. It's pretty amazing when you think about it!

    All of the Axe-Fx II models (eg. MK I, II, XL, XL+) were completely compatible, sounded identical, and had the same software features. Most of the differences were hardware related(more flexible routing, brighter screen, etc.) I upgraded to the Axe-Fx III from the XL+ and it was some of the best money I've ever spent. The improved sound quality and features are worth every penny.

  • All of the Axe-Fx II models (eg. MK I, II, XL, XL+) were completely compatible, sounded identical, and had the same software features. Most of the differences were hardware related(more flexible routing, brighter screen, etc.) I upgraded to the Axe-Fx III from the XL+ and it was some of the best money I've ever spent. The improved sound quality and features are worth every penny.

    Possibly so; however, the original Axe Fx II lost value the moment the MKII was released. There is a knock on effect of releasing hardware every 2 to 3 years. Additionally, I am not certain I agree that those models all sounded "identical". In fact, with each firmware release, a major complaint of the fractal products was that the tone was frequently changed with the update.


    I'll give it to you that the Fx III does indeed have better sound than the Fx II and variants.


    Still, the point remains that there is a definite customer advantage when your hardware does not change for some time and the firmware updates do not affect the tone..... at least with a guitar processor.


    When there is inevitably a release of a KPA2, I think that an original KPA is still going to be worth some scratch as it is a fantastic gig rig. A new KPA2 will not change that.

  • Possibly so; however, the original Axe Fx II lost value the moment the MKII was released. There is a knock on effect of releasing hardware every 2 to 3 years.

    The newer version will inevitably cost more due to updated hardware and features, but if you look at the market now, you'll see that prices for the MK II vs. XL+ are comparable. If you look at the sold listings on eBay, you'll see that used MK II's sometimes sell for more than used XL+'s.

    Additionally, I am not certain I agree that those models all sounded "identical". In fact, with each firmware release, a major complaint of the fractal products was that the tone was frequently changed with the update.

    No, all Axe-Fx II models sound identical. The complaint you're referring to has nothing to do with any difference between the models. It's related to updates to the modeling algorithms.

    Still, the point remains that there is a definite customer advantage when your hardware does not change for some time

    As someone who owned an Axe-Fx II, I'd say there are most definitely advantages to updated hardware when it results in new and improved features that weren't possible with previous versions.

    When there is inevitably a release of a KPA2, I think that an original KPA is still going to be worth some scratch as it is a fantastic gig rig. A new KPA2 will not change that.

    Inevitably, if a KPA2 is ever released, the price of the KPA1 will initially drop in value.

  • You know what I'll do if a Kemper 2 comes out?


    Nothing. I mean, it's the same strategy I have for my PS4. A PS5 has come out, but to me, I really don't see an exponential benefit from getting the latest and greatest. Maybe an incremental one, but I'm not too worried about 10-15 per cent.


    What has always struck me about the Kemper is Mr @ckemper's declarations that this is it. This is profiling technology, and it isn't going to change.


    Now whether it does or it doesn't, that would be interesting to see in itself. But from my viewpoint, I really don't see Kemper Amps rebuilding the wheel. Instead, I see alternative benefits, such as dual amps, blending amps, morphing amps... You know, things we have often discussed on the forums, but have been shot down because they were found to be not feasible given the existing hardware.


    But during my time with the Kemper (which actually was my first ever real "amp", because I had always been using modelling devices), I realised what my tonal goals are and how I use my existing gear. I mean, even with the current Kemper, I barely scratch the surface, because I am pretty much a clean, dirty, lead, and perhaps a couple of zany FX for some songs kind of guy.


    So at least in my case, it really wouldn't be a pressing need to upgrade. Not that it wouldn't be nice, of course, haha. But I really am glad that all those years ago I went with a Kemper (and three others since). I really don't think it is the kind of device that you can outgrow, because it is a professional-level amplifier.


    People are talking about used prices for KPA 1s coming down? Haha, wait for another 20 years and then the market for "vintage" Kempers will be booming ^^


    There's also a possibility that none of us has broached yet. Could Mr CK be working on another kind of device altogether? I mean we have the Kemper Amplifier, we have the Access Virus. Could it be some other kind of cutting edge device? Would not surprise me, to be honest.

  • There's also a possibility that none of us has broached yet. Could Mr CK be working on another kind of device altogether? I mean we have the Kemper Amplifier, we have the Access Virus. Could it be some other kind of cutting edge device? Would not surprise me, to be honest.

    I’ve always said that I can’t see CK being excited about redesigning the KPA for minor tweaks and upgrades. I don’t know him personally but everything I’ve ever seen about him leads me to believe he is excited by ground breaking challenges that are revolutionary rather than evolutionary.

  • I’ve always said that I can’t see CK being excited about redesigning the KPA for minor tweaks and upgrades. I don’t know him personally but everything I’ve ever seen about him leads me to believe he is excited by ground breaking challenges that are revolutionary rather than evolutionary.

    I totaly agree! To call a product a ''game changer'' it has to bring something revolutionary not only evolutionary even if it is a very interesting evolution. The creation of the very first modeler was a ''game changer'' then the creation of the first profiler too. All the rest is evolution. QC is evolution and if there is at some point a Kemper II I suppose that it will be more to it than just a repackaging with more power and a beautiful screen.

  • I don't really understand the question. Are you asking if Fractal Audio's business strategy is to sell more with each new product?

    As someone who owned an Axe-Fx II, I'd say there are most definitely advantages to updated hardware when it results in new and improved features that weren't possible with previous versions.


    May question is how do you know that? You can't know what was possible with previous versions. If fractal say that you still don't know if that's true or not or if it is fractals business strategy to fool ppl to upgrade and purchase the lastest version.

  • He's currently working on a hollow body Les-O-caster that sends a bluetooth signal direct to the audience's brains. They don't even have to turn up to the venue....

    Awesome! I’ve been waiting for one of them for ages. Can it transmit different pickups to each ear ?

  • As someone who owned an Axe-Fx II, I'd say there are most definitely advantages to updated hardware when it results in new and improved features that weren't possible with previous versions.


    May question is how do you know that? You can't know what was possible with previous versions. If fractal say that you still don't know if that's true or not or if it is fractals business strategy to fool ppl to upgrade and purchase the lastest version.

    There's no question the hardware (CPU, memory, etc.) has been upgraded. That's objectively verifiable. It's highly doubtful they would spend the time and money necessary to design a new unit around new hardware and components and not take advantage of it with features that utilize it. There are also physical routing capabilities that weren't possible with the Axe-Fx II. Additionally, I paid less for the Axe-Fx III than I did for the Axe-Fx II XL+, so I don't see a price incentive to lie.

  • I totaly agree! To call a product a ''game changer'' it has to bring something revolutionary not only evolutionary even if it is a very interesting evolution. The creation of the very first modeler was a ''game changer'' then the creation of the first profiler too. All the rest is evolution. QC is evolution and if there is at some point a Kemper II I suppose that it will be more to it than just a repackaging with more power and a beautiful screen.


    My wild guess is upstream view (to the player). As I oftentimes read about the big impact of the PUs used for a profile. Maybe they will release a great PU that match / smoothen certain frequencies of Profiles?! So Kabinet was downstream and electronics/PUs would be a great spot to make improvements (Kemper Sustainer). At least I’d be interested how the would change this field and it is also a huge market and very close to the amps-chain.

  • The newer version will inevitably cost more due to updated hardware and features, but if you look at the market now, you'll see that prices for the MK II vs. XL+ are comparable. If you look at the sold listings on eBay, you'll see that used MK II's sometimes sell for more than used XL+'s.

    No. That isn't how it works at all. Under this idea, current computer processors would cost millions of dollars! The cost of computation goes down over time (exponentially for the most part), and over the last 20 years, the cost of outstanding D/A and A/D has also dropped tremendously. If you make a new product more expensive for a new generation, it is a completely different problem/reasoning. You can't charge more for a product simply because it costs more. Pricing is determined by the market. In the case of Fractal and Kemper (and a few others now), the "High End, all-in-one, digital amp" is the market.


    Having said that, I believe that the KPA has some room to move pricing upwards with a next gen if they so desire due to the Fractal price being what it is (and still offering a similar set of features and tone quality).

    No, all Axe-Fx II models sound identical. The complaint you're referring to has nothing to do with any difference between the models. It's related to updates to the modeling algorithms.

    True that. I guess it is still worth mentioning as yet another unique selling point for the KPA.

    As someone who owned an Axe-Fx II, I'd say there are most definitely advantages to updated hardware when it results in new and improved features that weren't possible with previous versions.

    Possibly true, but only because the original hardware wasn't thought out as well as the KPA has been. The KPA has managed a vast array of improvements without the need to update the hardware. The KPA has developed an entire ecosystem of support for a range of physical form factors of the same product architecture (smart IMO).


    There is definitely a business case to be made for Fractal. If there is a market for a shiny new product every 2 years, why not make it? Keep in mind that this only works when there is insufficient competition which is NOT making you buy a new (and very expensive) piece of hardware every 2 to 3 years).

    Inevitably, if a KPA2 is ever released, the price of the KPA1 will initially drop in value

    Yes, that is true.

  • No. That isn't how it works at all. Under this idea, current computer processors would cost millions of dollars! The cost of computation goes down over time (exponentially for the most part), and over the last 20 years, the cost of outstanding D/A and A/D has also dropped tremendously. If you make a new product more expensive for a new generation, it is a completely different problem/reasoning. You can't charge more for a product simply because it costs more. Pricing is determined by the market. In the case of Fractal and Kemper (and a few others now), the "High End, all-in-one, digital amp" is the market.

    When a newer version is released, it's initially worth more than previous versions, which is another way of saying that previous versions are worth less than newer ones. However, in the long term, prices vary considerably.

    Having said that, I believe that the KPA has some room to move pricing upwards with a next gen if they so desire due to the Fractal price being what it is (and still offering a similar set of features and tone quality).

    The Kemper is nowhere near as flexible as the Axe-Fx, nor is it trying to be. Further, the KPA will also be competing the Quad Cortex, which offers a number of features the KPA doesn't have at a lower price point, so unless a revised version of the KPA had similar (or better) features, it would be foolish to charge more.

    True that. I guess it is still worth mentioning as yet another unique selling point for the KPA.

    It's not unique to the KPA.

    Possibly true, but only because the original hardware wasn't thought out as well as the KPA has been.

    What are you talking about? The Axe-Fx III runs circles around the KPA in terms of features and flexibility. In my opinion, the number of features that have been added to the Axe-Fx over the years makes KPA development look like it's been standing still. Don't get me wrong, I love the KPA, but it's obvious you've never used an Axe-Fx.

    The KPA has managed a vast array of improvements without the need to update the hardware.

    What improvements have been added that most other modelers didn't already have?

    There is definitely a business case to be made for Fractal. If there is a market for a shiny new product every 2 years, why not make it?

    Fractal Audio doesn't release new MODELS every 2 years. They release REVISIONS every 2 to 3 years. There's a difference. Revisions are FULLY COMPATIBLE with previous and future versions of the same MODEL(which is why a lot of users don't upgrade when a revision is released), and MODELS are released about once every SEVEN years.

    Keep in mind that this only works when there is insufficient competition which is NOT making you buy a new (and very expensive) piece of hardware every 2 to 3 years).

    People CHOOSE to buy whatever they buy. I wasn't forced to upgrade to the Axe-Fx III. I WANTED to upgrade, and anyone who owns an Axe-Fx II (or previous model) isn't forced to stop using it. It'll continue to function just fine.


  • Well, while I understand the urge to experiment for most guitarists, I just haven't seen those features and flexibility put into real world practical use. I mean, yes, I remember how crystal lattices and whatnot were all the rage when they came out, but when it comes to real world application by major acts, I have seldom seen even users like Vai - who is a renowned FX expert, in my book - actually use that stuff to its theoretical potential.


    That's not to say it couldn't be done. I just haven't seen anyone do anything as remarkable as "Ballerina" so far.


    In that regard, for a layman like me, what I like about the Kemper is the simplicity. You have four FX in front, four FX behind, a world of tweaks in the amp, cab and EQ sections, and the possibility of a parallel path in the first two stomps. I mean, I can think to myself about how I could make use of even more stomp sections and whatnot, but having played guitar for over 20 years now, I just think to myself: just because I could, would I really want to?


    It's just that as time has gone by, I am more and more leery of wasting guitar time just endlessly tweaking. That is probably the reason why I keep coming back to the Kemper instead of trying modellers. It's the simplicity that appeals to me, a bit less than the tone of course, but I love being able to just pick a rig and doodle without overthinking.


    On the AxeFX strategy, it might work for some, but given my limited financial resources, I much prefer Kemper Amps' model of continuing to develop and support the product. I remember when I had my GT-8 and they came out with the GT-10 and Line 6 came out with the Pod HDs and I was constantly thinking, "Gee, my tones could be better, maybe I should upgrade my Boss or jump ship."


    Never had that thought with the Kemper, in fact the only reason I have ever let go of the ones I've owned is to finance guitars, tube amps and synthesizers.

  • Well, while I understand the urge to experiment for most guitarists, I just haven't seen those features and flexibility put into real world practical use.

    Depends on who you're paying attention to. There are a lot of people putting the features and flexibility of the Axe-Fx to great practical use. For instance, I routinely use Tone Matching and the Cab block's IR alignment tool. Others use modifiers and controllers, among other things. There are quite a few presets I've created with the Axe-Fx that I simply can't create with the Kemper.

    I mean, yes, I remember how crystal lattices and whatnot were all the rage when they came out, but when it comes to real world application by major acts, I have seldom seen even users like Vai - who is a renowned FX expert, in my book - actually use that stuff to its theoretical potential.

    Vai's needs and interests dictate the tools he uses. Given we all have our own individual needs and interests, we're not all going to need or use the same tools.

    In that regard, for a layman like me, what I like about the Kemper is the simplicity. You have four FX in front, four FX behind, a world of tweaks in the amp, cab and EQ sections, and the possibility of a parallel path in the first two stomps.

    The Axe-Fx has a ton of features and flexibility, but it would be no more difficult for a beginner to understand how to emulate the signal path of the Kemper in the Axe-Fx software editor than it would be for them to comprehend the simplicity of the Kemper's signal path, in my opinion. That's one of the beauties of the unit. It can be as simple or as deep as you want it to be. I would contend that the software editor is, at its core, as simple to use as the Kemper, but adds a lot of additional features and flexibility that the Kemper doesn't have.

    It's just that as time has gone by, I am more and more leery of wasting guitar time just endlessly tweaking. That is probably the reason why I keep coming back to the Kemper instead of trying modellers. It's the simplicity that appeals to me, a bit less than the tone of course, but I love being able to just pick a rig and doodle without overthinking.

    Tweaking is a choice. It's not as if the Kemper doesn't have a lot of parameters to tweak. It's just that some users choose to play instead of twisting knobs.

    On the AxeFX strategy, it might work for some, but given my limited financial resources, I much prefer Kemper Amps' model of continuing to develop and support the product.

    Many of the big KPA developments are things that other products have had for years.

    "Gee, my tones could be better, maybe I should upgrade my Boss or jump ship." Never had that thought with the Kemper

    I've had that thought with respect to the Kemper, namely when comparing certain profiles to the reference amps.



  • Answers in bold within quote.