So, I bought a Quad Cortex

  • So, I got a quad cortex for the studio. If you're interested in getting one here are my thoughts, if you're happy with Kemper then I don't think you'll find anything of value below.

    I'll start by saying all the things I really appreciate about my powered rack mount Kemper. It's light, it has a great noise gate, I can get close enough to my various fx that I can leave my pedal board at home, fuzz, tube screamer, supa trem, mojo vibe, ce2, ph1, dm2, even vox wah. It takes a midi controller well, but for lightness 4 diy latching switches is enough and they fit in the back of the case. I like that I record my di signal, a full stereo profile and run a 4x12 without cab sim whenever I play. I love that I can buy profiles from Michael Britt. I love the three light tuner and clipping, so useful on stage for quick tweaks.

    However I have never quite been 100% happy with the sound, mainly because I like fuzz and in spite of 1000s of hours faffing around and playing through every single profile it comes with and a few hundred dollars worth of bought ones I just can't get that last 5% I want. The other niggle is that my older unit has to be master and I just can't get a 100% reliable stable zero artefact live band recording through spdif, not that that matters, I use lynx aurora converters and they are perfect.

    I love that it's captured my 2204, bassman and dual terror, almost perfectly.


    But that last 5%!


    I've chased it and chased it. I've reamped and ab'd for hundreds of hours, mixing signals and blending profiles, nearly getting what I want, but not quite.


    Quad Cortex, so many things I don't like, a floor unit that lives on my desk, I miss my kemper tuner, rig manager, endless available profiles, noise gate, fx and power amp. But, on day one I created a rig that has a clean sunn model t capture, 4x12 British greenback ir with sm57 and ribbon. I reamped a di signal recorded with my kemper of a 45 min performance and then ab'd to my five best kemper reamped tracks (out of about 30), complete with about eight years experience of working with it. Quad is better, it seems more fluid and zingy, that 5% I've searched for, it feels like playing a loud tube amp that's reacting to me. It also took the di with fuzz really well.


    The last time I had a scenario like this was when I moved from an akai digital multitrack to motu 896, I had a niggle with the 896, it sounded woolly and a bit naff vs the akai, I replaced the preamps with external channels and things improved massively, then improved again when I eventually moved to a lynx aurora, this is like that.


    So, I know what it's like on forums, am I comparing apples with apples, are my irs the same, etc, are the amp profiles the same amp, endless on and on. I'll simplify my summary to be, in spite of putting in the hours I didn't dial in what I want sonically from the kemper, but immediately achieved it with quad, but the kemper is better in every other way.

    I really hope they have a look at the quad and how it's capturing amps, the reduced latency etc and find a way to get there. I'm considering running the quad in the fx loop of the kemper and switching the amp and cab off, but for live I think I'll just stick with the kemper as is but I can't see myself recoding it ever again while the quad is on my desk, and no, a profile of the quad doesn't sound quite the same!

  • You obviously have way more experience at this (especially live sound - I gave that up when C-19 closed all my venues). So, I have no argument or rebuttal, man. I’ve owned my Kemper for 3 days (29 hours of which I was downstairs playing it!), and I have nothing bad to say, aside from some FNG quibbles with the LCD.


    I thought about the QC, but honestly, I have thrown SO MANY THOUSANDS of dollars down the toilet in “modelers”, I made the Command Decision: ‘no more’. With the EXCEPTION of the QC, I think I’ve owned them all at some point. And I’m not really ‘that picky’, either… as long as it sits well in the mix! 😳🎵 So far, it does: update in 12 months.

    So I’m really appreciative of your comments on the QC, and I wish you well with it, both in gigging and your success!


    Thanks!

  • I have had my kemper before the remote was available. I've had the QC for a little while and I agree with your assessment. I would say that the qc amps and drives are generally more organic and therefore , better. Though there isn't that many available like the kemper due to the complete lack of a commercial market. The rest is severely lacking compared to kemper. Functionality, reverbs and delays aren't even close on the qc. Others don't seem to mind them and say they will work but to me they are nearly mostly unusable. I'm sure these things will improve with time. The kemper has had the benefit of over a decade of development. Will they support the qc and development the way kemper has ? Never seen anyone support development and upgrades the way kemper has.

  • I struggled with my buddy;s QC..it seemed suoer cool, but the sounds were about the same...I find the Kemper easier to work with.. I hear peopel getting great soundsw oout of the QC, so I'm sure a little more time spent would reveal its awesomeness...I just didn't htink it sounded better, and I don't feel like getting rid of all I have invested into the Kemper..Plus, I have the Powerhead, I can just sit on any cab , and bbom!..Killer tone all day long.. I'm going to stay here.

  • :thumbup:So if you are happy you Made The right Choice . I onlly use Di Profiles with my own IRs and Kemper Sounds like the Amp through Captor X with the same Ir - 98 % I can‘t hear the difference . And ist feels gr8 !


    yellow ist real Amp with boost into Captor X and my own IR - Green is Di Profile with baked in boost and same Ir loaded into the Kemper .

  • I own a studio, so I have whatever one might need here,,also a hired gun so I need to cover whatever gig comes my way,,also have fractal, helix headrush/moore,, and some others,,right now the quad is killing them all. mostly because of size and the ability to take all my pedals inside it,and a huge color screen I can read without glasses,,Im a kemper man,, but, just cant read the little green screen anymore,cant get my reading glasses out during a gig,,,,loaded my fav kemper profiles into the quad,it works,,been here for last 5/6 years asking for smaller modern kemper, when /if it comes, ill be ready.I love my Kemper,but it sits in the studio now,,

  • I own a studio, so I have whatever one might need here,,also a hired gun so I need to cover whatever gig comes my way,,also have fractal, helix headrush/moore,, and some others,,right now the quad is killing them all. mostly because of size and the ability to take all my pedals inside it,and a huge color screen I can read without glasses,,Im a kemper man,, but, just cant read the little green screen anymore,cant get my reading glasses out during a gig,,,,loaded my fav kemper profiles into the quad,it works,,been here for last 5/6 years asking for smaller modern kemper, when /if it comes, ill be ready.I love my Kemper,but it sits in the studio now,,

    Fractal, Helix etc as well? Definitely greedy! Seriously, always good to hear from people who have experienced other units.


    Its a great time to be a guitarist at the moment with these wonderful units...

  • I wonder if you would achieve that last 5% by adjusting the high shift and low shift for the cabinet on the Kemper. I did this and it made such a difference in tone and feel for me, more so than the EQ on the amp settings or an EQ pedal in an effects module.

    I saw a tutorial that explained it to me as if these settings are moving a microphone around the speaker.

    Adjusting high-shift - like moving the mic from center to off-center of the speaker
    Adjusting low-shift - like moving the mic closer/farther from the speaker itself