Kemper: better with frfr or through power amp and speaker

  • 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…

  • 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 have a power rack so I can use any passive speaker.


    I started witha regular 4 x12, then went FRFR and preferred it as it was more "accurate" to the FOH. I then switched to the Kabinet and love it.


    I can't see myself going back to a guitar cab, but a few people have "gone back" :), not least for the weight and hassle.

  • By using a real cab I get the "amp in the room sound", because it is an amp in the room. The nicely miked cab sound goes to recording desk or FOH. Perfect for me. I LOVE the sound of my Kemper through a cabinet. And I love the way it gets sent to a console. It always matches or betters what I can do with expensive preamps and mics.

    If you cannot get there with a Kemper, It's not the Kemper holding you back.

  • That depends on your definition of better

    My definition of better is being closer to sounding like the source. For me, If I can get the feed to the board to sound just like it sounds in front of my cabinet, That's better.

    If you cannot get there with a Kemper, It's not the Kemper holding you back.

  • I always use a real 2x12 or 4x12 cabinet, don't like the FRFR option, and I gig often. I have the powered head, but don't use that power source anymore as I prefer tube power. I now use the KRS PA50 power amp w/el34 tubes.

  • I always use a real 2x12 or 4x12 cabinet, don't like the FRFR option, and I gig often. I have the powered head, but don't use that power source anymore as I prefer tube power. I now use the KRS PA50 power amp w/el34 tubes.

    I have done the opposite.


    IMO Guitar cabs add too much colour, not in a good way. Totally make all profiles sound similar.


    I also don't want or need the hassle of a tube amp, it was the main reason I switched.


    My FOH has never sounded better and I always get compliments ( which I trust more than my own ears).


    Just shows each to their own and its great we have these options :)

  • Yup, options are great. I never liked any FRFR tones, I have tried many times but was never satisficed, guess I'm not ready for that leap. The tube power amp I use is as big as a lunchbox amp and only weighs 12lbs, easy setup and that tube feel is there. I will agree with you that many profiles/amps start to sound the same though, but I am basically only looking for one tone anyway.

  • I use a pretty clear and uncolored speaker. I find that it gives it more of a "amp in the room" sound (because it is). I like the way it slightly dampens and mixes the sound in a way I am accustomed to. (Playing in front of a tube amp). I have used FRFR and believe it is clearer, but I don't ever feel the need to put guitar through a tweeter. There's nothing good about a guitar sound that high that needs reproduced IMO. I'm pretty sure none of the guitar tones I love were miking a guitar player's tweeters in his cabs. I also bought a powered version because I did not want the power amp coloring the sound at all I planned on leaving that up to the speaker to "warm" it a bit. I'll agree there's no right or wrong if you love your sound. If you don't, you're probably doing something wrong or need better profiles that fit you.

    If you cannot get there with a Kemper, It's not the Kemper holding you back.

  • My definition of better is being closer to sounding like the source. For me, If I can get the feed to the board to sound just like it sounds in front of my cabinet, That's better.

    My question was for the OP really.


    However the FOH sound won't be similar the sound directy in front of your cab unless you use FRFR. An onstage guitar cab isn't in the same tonal ballpark as a mic'ed FOH sound.

  • I've tried multiple FRFR and guitar cabs. Of the two I prefer FRFR for ease of setting up rigs that will sound similar through the PA.


    I prefer the Kemper Kabinet to either option. But weirdly at the moment I'm hooked up to 2x12 panhead config guitar cab right now.

  • Yup, options are great. I never liked any FRFR tones, I have tried many times but was never satisficed, guess I'm not ready for that leap. The tube power amp I use is as big as a lunchbox amp and only weighs 12lbs, easy setup and that tube feel is there. I will agree with you that many profiles/amps start to sound the same though, but I am basically only looking for one tone anyway.

    Like you FRFR wasn't quite there for me for some reason, bit too clinical, but the Kabinet nails it for me.

  • I prefer FR. I have a powered toaster but I have never liked running it into a guitar cab. It always sounds like I am throwing a blanket over my tone. I did that for the first week or so that owned my Kemper. I thought it sounded okay and had potential. Once I switched to FR there was no going back. I run the monitor outputs to powered floor monitors. I dig it.

  • I have had a 2 x 12 with both Kones & Celestion V30s in.


    I play in a small band & couldn't get a tone with Kones that sounded right vs the other guitar playing a JVM410. About 2 years of sounding great at home (at volume) with the Kones & then just not cutting in a live setting. Great tones but not great live tones for me. The speaker imprints for me were unusable for high gain tones & I never used them. I was on here asking about that a few times as they all sounded muffled & nothing like the real thing. Guess it was me doing something wrong sonew8.


    Same cab with V30s in is very different. Harsher & needs careful EQ but it is much better in a live mix. Cleans seem to "push air" more and high gain profiles need toning down & not sharpening up as they did with the Kones.


    Solution for me thanks to wise heads on here was to buy a good speaker system at home (so I can do the bedroom rock god stuff) and use good studio profiles, and use the V30 cab live & use direct profiles (or merged with cab off).

  • I have done both.


    I didn't buy the Kemper because I felt my VHT rig sounded bad. I bought it because I wanted tube amp sound in an easy-to-setup and carry package. I was actually very pleasantly surprised at how good the KPA sounded.


    I agree that ANY guitar cab you use will color your KPA output by a great amount. Sure, you can mess around with your settings on each rig and try to get a representative sound out of it. I have to let you know that I tried this my my VHT cab(s) and found that all the rigs were colored so much that it really did make the different rigs sound similar.


    If you are playing for YOU, and want the best kemper experience, then I would suggest the Kemper Kabinet. This will give you the best "amp-in-the-room" experience you can get from the KPA.


    If you just want to sound good in the audience, then just go direct into the PA with the KPA and send the monitor out to a powered floor wedge.


    Since I don't play lead (very much) and therefore don't need the big feedback produced by having a guitar monitor, I run straight into the PA and don't even use a FRFR for my monitor (I have IEM's I use for monitor purposes).


    It is just my opinion that a real guitar cab is a bad way to use the KPA. Others (like above) have sworn by it.