This is a little long, I apologize ahead of time.
New Stage owner here and a long time Line6 fan and user. I am not that good on guitar and love the simplicity for recording of going straight from the device in to the PC. Played around for years micing amps etc but unless you have a Michael Britt setup it gets very tedious. For what I do, going direct is fine.
Been using a Line6 UX8 for recording for many years. 8 inputs so I can record a drum set and it has 2 inputs that have modeling capability. So I have setups stored for vocals, bass, guitar, etc. I do it all in the UX8. Well now its getting long in the tooth and slowly dying.
Time for a new unit. Helix or Kemper?
I have several Line6 units and I have always felt like it was very limited by bad IRs. If you run it into an amp and skip the IRs its great. After watching some vids and seeing Ola Englund say the Helix IRs sound meh, it was a no brainer to get the Kemper.
HIDDEN COST OF A KEMPER
Been using the Line6 with all of my guitars for years. Les Pauls, Strats, Teles, Ibanez RGs, etc. Thru the mediocre IRs they all sound pretty similar. Since all of the clarity and presence is lost in the IRs, they sound pretty close.
Now I have the Kemper and every guitar sounds completely different Like they are supposed to.
So I have basically replaced or modified pickups in several guitars. I never knew how bad the pickups were before. But the Kemper is so damn clear you can hear every nuance and it really makes a bad pickup stick out like a sore thumb. Amazing!
And the great part about the Kemper is I can just profile all of my favorite Line6 setups thru an amp (to skip the IRs/Cabs). So it is actually making me pull out old gear I haven't used in a while. It is breathing new life into my old amps/pedals/modelers. I am blown away at some of the stuff I am getting.
And the truly best part is, when you mic an amp you need two people or a pro setup to get it just right. And the next time you do it, you will never recreate that exact setup. Now I can get it really good and profile it. Done. I have it forever. And even better because the Kemper has so many adjustments like Clarity/Compressor/Cab Hi-Lo/etc I can tweak it to perfection so it sounds better than if I just mic'ed it up. So I have been living and breathing profiling all my stuff since I bought the Kemper and dont see any end in sight. Life altering technology.
Have tried doing some direct stuff but the best results I have been getting so far are POD->Amp->Mic->Mixer->Graphic EQ->Kemper.
Sorry for the long winded Hello, but the Kemper for me is the perfect solution. And it is changing how I look at everything guitar related in a good way.