Kemper: better with frfr or through power amp and speaker

  • I’m using an FRFR powered monitor and I don’t like it, spent hours and hours trying to get it do sound natural. sounds sterile and one dimensional. I’m have decided not to waste any more time screwing around, I’m going to a custom powered guitar cab OR two Kemper powered Kabinets.

  • I don't have much experience with my new Kemper Profiler yet. I have the powered Profiler head. I am running it through an old English made Victory 1x12 Deep cabinet with a Celestion Gold speaker. It sounds amazing. I have never played my Kemper through a FRFR monitor of any kind.


    I think there must be something else going on with your rig if you are getting "sterile" sounds. I was shocked at how organic the Kemper Rigs sound. I have heard recordings of FRFR rigs and they sound great to me.


    All this coming from a guy who had been a dedicated analog only tube amp fanatic for 2 and 1/2 decades.

  • I don't have much experience with my new Kemper Profiler yet. I have the powered Profiler head. I am running it through an old English made Victory 1x12 Deep cabinet with a Celestion Gold speaker. It sounds amazing. I have never played my Kemper through a FRFR monitor of any kind.


    I think there must be something else going on with your rig if you are getting "sterile" sounds. I was shocked at how organic the Kemper Rigs sound. I have heard recordings of FRFR rigs and they sound great to me.


    All this coming from a guy who had been a dedicated analog only tube amp fanatic for 2 and 1/2 decades.

    Same!


    In fact, the reason I purchased the Kemper without ever hearing one myself was that I found that the people who bought them were mostly boutique tube amp guys ...... you know, the kinds of guys that snicker when someone walks in with a Line 6 amplifier?


    I have been using IEM's since the mid 90's, so I had been predominantly hearing my tube amps through a microphone and a mixer already. I only occasionally run with just my Kemper and a FRFR speaker (DSR112). Even then, I find that the Kemper more than holds its own with any real tube amp player I play with. In fact, a couple of my die-hard tube amp friends that play in other bands have been converted to Kemper as a result ;).


    I don't know about ALL guitar cabs, but my VHT 4x12 and VHT 2x12 with custom P90 speakers (and crazy heavy cabinets) doesn't sound good with the Kemper to me. My DSR112 speaker sounds glorious as does the full PA.

  • Keep in mind not all FRFR sources are flat response. I prefer the kemper cab or studio monitors , the only thing I have not tried a lot that I have is a fryette lxii to power my 4x12. The kemper cab with the class d is just too satisfying. I have yet to find an frfr wedge that is not heavily colored in some way. Sometimes you can use an application called spectroid to figure out which sources produce what as long as you are not dealing with room reflections and other transient inducers.

  • Kemper: better with frfr or through power amp and speaker


    I have only used the kemper with a frfr… but it appears most “touring” bands use it through the amp or power amp… for the photos and interviews…

    Curious what the % of the group is and/or if people have switched from the frfr to a guitar cab…

    I switched from a FRFR to a guitar cabinet. Once I did the profiles came alive. they sound like shit before with the frfr, now with running through a power section and a guitar cab, a few tweaks and boom!..the sound pops, like sound like the real thing. minimal screwing around, when I should be practicing for my next Nashville gig..

  • Kemper through guitar cab is "amp in the room" for me. Kemper direct is Amp, cab, microphone into console for me. Kemper direct into my DAW nicely replaces miking a speaker without miking hassles. They are two different things. Amp+cab to ear (Amp in room) and Amp+mic to poweramp to monitor. (Miked cab to monitor) One way is being picked up by a mic and the other your ear. Much different.

  • In my music room, I have both rigs stacked and can reconfigure to switch between FRFR and guitar cab fairly easy.

    If you've been dialing and tweaking but aren't 100% loving your FRFR sound, never forget the Kemper works beautifully as a pre-amp too.

    I definitely prefer running from the Kemper into my stereo tube poweramp then into guitar speakers. This is pure AITR and kicks you in the chest when cranked!

    To each their own. Good luck.

  • In my music room, I have both rigs stacked and can reconfigure to switch between FRFR and guitar cab fairly easy.

    If you've been dialing and tweaking but aren't 100% loving your FRFR sound, never forget the Kemper works beautifully as a pre-amp too.

    I definitely prefer running from the Kemper into my stereo tube poweramp then into guitar speakers. This is pure AITR and kicks you in the chest when cranked!

    To each their own. Good luck.

    Same here but I have powered version. In the past, I didn't like how a tube amp changed the tone if I had a good tone to start with. Back when I had a POD Rack, a Mesa 50/50 was a huge improvement in the sound through a guitar speaker over a MOSVALVE (which was VERY good!) I don't feel the need to run a Kemper through a tube as I can easily dial the tube like feel in with the amp controls. I want the profiles to be recreated as accurate as possible, I prefer to avoid coloration with the exception of my beloved 1x12 cab

  • So what have we learned from this exercise? Probably nothing. Some people like FR and some like speaker cabs. The FR crowd can't even agree on one particular FR solution that sounds best. The speaker cab guys split between the Kemper Kab and traditional guitar cabs. The traditional cab guys are all over the map as to which speaker sounds best. The Kone guys split between the Kemper Kab and putting Kones in a regular guitar cab.


    Just like pickups, strings, guitars, tubes, picks... even Kemper profiles. This is something you just have to sort out for yourself. Try your Kemper in as many different scenarios as you can until you find something you like or find the tone you are looking for. If you purchase something without having heard it try to buy from a retailer that allows returns if it does not suit you. There is no one size fits all in the "off the rack" world we live in.


    I chose FR and chose the particular FR unit I purchased (two of them, actually) based largely on the glowing endorsement of a well respected member of the Kemper forum. He has since moved on to another FR unit and then to the Kemper Kab, if I recall correctly. Luckily, he was spot on about the first option. So, there you go.

  • So what have we learned from this exercise? Probably nothing. Some people like FR and some like speaker cabs. The FR crowd can't even agree on one particular FR solution that sounds best. The speaker cab guys split between the Kemper Kab and traditional guitar cabs. The traditional cab guys are all over the map as to which speaker sounds best. The Kone guys split between the Kemper Kab and putting Kones in a regular guitar cab.


    Just like pickups, strings, guitars, tubes, picks... even Kemper profiles. This is something you just have to sort out for yourself. Try your Kemper in as many different scenarios as you can until you find something you like or find the tone you are looking for. If you purchase something without having heard it try to buy from a retailer that allows returns if it does not suit you. There is no one size fits all in the "off the rack" world we live in.


    I chose FR and chose the particular FR unit I purchased (two of them, actually) based largely on the glowing endorsement of a well respected member of the Kemper forum. He has since moved on to another FR unit and then to the Kemper Kab, if I recall correctly. Luckily, he was spot on about the first option. So, there you go.

    Curious, which ones do you use?

  • Curious, which ones do you use?

    Yamaha DXR10. Mine are the original ones. They now have a MKII series but I don't know what the difference is. They look identical to mine and I think the specs are the same except for the price. Mine were $600 each. The MKII sells for $795. They got rave reviews across the board on the interwebs but Ingolf's in depth review and recommendation here in the forums led me to pull the trigger. Bought the first one and loved it and immediately bought a second to spread out the sound stage a little. I use them as floor wedges angled up at me. This is the rig and the tone I have been seeking for over 40 years.

  • Better is subjective. Besides, I don't know why anyone would limit themselves to just one option. I have FRFR speakers, Kone in a cab and "real" cabs. If it's a paid gig, I keep it simple and bring the FRFR. If I'm practicing at home, I mostly use the Kone. If it's jamming with friends, real cab.

  • Kemper: better with frfr or through power amp and speaker


    I have only used the kemper with a frfr… but it appears most “touring” bands use it through the amp or power amp… for the photos and interviews…

    Curious what the % of the group is and/or if people have switched from the frfr to a guitar cab…

    I use stereo tube power amp with stereo 4x12 cabinet and it is amazing...it continues to blow my mind. When I plug straight into my tube power amp, the sound I hear, I can hear when I plug in the Kemper into it. Very responsive to the difference in guitars I run through it. For the longest time, when I ran into a little VOX as an FRFR, I hated Kemper and bashed it out of frustration. My mistake is that the amp did Kemp no justice. I am convinced I will never buy another front end piece again. Tubes, tube power amps and speakers will be my new toys now. New speakers(for fun), coming up!

  • Better is subjective. Besides, I don't know why anyone would limit themselves to just one option. I have FRFR speakers, Kone in a cab and "real" cabs. If it's a paid gig, I keep it simple and bring the FRFR. If I'm practicing at home, I mostly use the Kone. If it's jamming with friends, real cab.

    I could see myself following the same path but between Cab and FRFR.

  • This is the rig and the tone I have been seeking for over 40 years.

    I know. Sometimes I get mad that I didn't have this in the 80's You could seriously buy a house with the money I've spent on amps through my "career", and If I could have had a Kemper, I would have had a lot more money to spend on guitars and food.

  • Yeah I've read lots of posts of people bashing a KPA, and then to be revealed that they were using it in a way that was unsuitable.

    Every time I look on websites for modelers they always have a lot of used ones in great condition. It does not matter what brand. All of those "I had them all but this one changed my life" units are all on sale, used by the ton.


    The speaker you play it thru will have a dramatic impact on how it sounds, no matter what speaker it is. So I think every person gets one and never likes the sound because of their speaker / monitoring system / etc


    I think that is what keeps these companies going. They get a bunch of sales they would not normally get if people understood how to listen to the device.


    As for the OP, I do not play out with a band so I only use my studio monitors.


    With other modelers I used them thru the FX loop with solid state amps, tube, amps, 1x12, 4x12, etc and had to tweak the tones for that application. I have not hit this milestone with the Kemper yet. Too busy making 10k profiles :)