Unpowered kemper connection with amp?

  • I am new in the kemper family!

    I tried to connect my unpowered head version to my Marshall jcm 900 with passive marshall cabinet.


    Here is the connection:

    Guitar to kemper input

    Kemper monitor out to amp fx return

    Amp to cabinet


    My conclusion is that basically all the rigs sounded to similar to each other, like my marshall jcm...


    My question is: Are there other connect options out there? The connection that will make the rigs sounds different?


    ps. Buying an active cabinet is not gonna cut for me.

  • I too run the Kemper with a tube power section (Mooer 20w Tube Engine or a Marshall 50w DSL), keep in mind as mentioned above you need to turn off the CABs on the Kemper, you will know if they are on because it sounds horrible lol.


    When running the Kemper this way, many amp will indeed sound very similar, especially if they are in the same genre, but there are some differences here and there. I can take a SLO profile and make it sound very similar to an ENGL or even a Marshall. If you change the physical speaker cab lets say from V30s to Greenbacks, the tone will surely change, just like a real amp would. I too do not like the powered speaker option as I think it sounds best with a real cabinet. When I do play around with FRFR, there is a huge difference in tone because of the Cab or IR being used, but its just not for me.

  • Welcome Sir8)

    Powered monitors lets you get the true essence of the profile and nothing sounds similar.

    That is very true, especially for studio work. But when playing live I prefer the tube power with a real cab. And one should play with the FRFR format when they own a Kemper/Helix/Fractal. Having options is great.

  • The simple answer is nope.


    That is the nature of that set up. The cabs add a massive amount of colour so if that is the set up you want to run then that is the issue.


    Is this your live set up? If so, if you mike the cab, then effectively you continue the same problem. If you go direct, it will sound drastically different FOH, they will hear the variation you want and ironically you won't.


    This is not a Kemper issue, its a Cab and amp issue and would be the same for an digital solution.


    You have articulated the reason I do not use a Guitar cab or valve power amp.


    So what is the answer? The good news is you have loads of options.


    1) Try to eq the hell out of it - for me this is a waste of time but might be satifactoy

    2) Change you signal chain - keep the valve amp and use an FRFR/Kabinet. FRFR is very clincial and will show the variation but can lack feel. Some people love them some don't. Kabinet is definately closer to that balance

    3) Just get a powered Kabinet and ditch the amp and cab ( even though you are against it).

    4) Any variation on the above!


    Any monitor will :

    1) Significantly impact the sound

    2) Cost money


    Therefore I suggest you try to borrow stuff to try it out t find what suits you. I have the powered rack and passive Kabinet and I love it. I gig with it most weekends in hard rock bands and would stack it up against any valve combo. My playing on the other hand... :)

  • Its great we have the choice. I understand your preference but for me its only valid for your backline. My focus always remains on FOH sound and therefore any "benefit" you get is immediately lost through the PA.

    All noted, but most of the venues I gig at have there own backline, its fast paced and when its time to set up there is just one 4x12 or 2x12 cab and that's it. And most sound guys do not want to bother with FOH, they just throw a mic on the cab speaker and wait for me to give him an A cord. That is why I stick to the conventional way of head and cab with the Kemper. I also tried the option you mentioned above, an FRFR speaker with a tube powered amp, using the Celestion fx12-200 speaker, wasn't for me either, I went back to the real cab setup the next gig. But it is good to have many options.

  • All noted, but most of the venues I gig at have there own backline, its fast paced and when its time to set up there is just one 4x12 or 2x12 cab and that's it. And most sound guys do not want to bother with FOH, they just throw a mic on the cab speaker and wait for me to give him an A cord. That is why I stick to the conventional way of head and cab with the Kemper. I also tried the option you mentioned above, an FRFR speaker with a tube powered amp, using the Celestion fx12-200 speaker, wasn't for me either, I went back to the real cab setup the next gig. But it is good to have many options.

    I also play a few venues with backline, mainly festivals where turnaround time is quick ( last one was 15 mins).


    There I always unplug the mike lead and plug direct into the KPA. I've never had an issue with a sound guy in doing this ( I always ask first). In fact the last one was very happy I was going direct.


    I then have 3 choices:

    1) Still use the 4x12 ( which I've sometimes done)

    2) Take my own monitor - which is most common for me - I use the Kabinet

    3) Use their monitors


    All 3 mean I still get the best sound FOH because I take the 4x12 out of the FOH equation.


    I seen no reason to have a tube amp because the very nature of the KPA is to emulate tubes and I agree FRFR is not ideal, very sterile. But I re-iterate, these are always compromises, but I'd rather compromise my on stage monitoring than FOH. If my on stage sound isn't perfect but I know my FOH is kicking it, I can cope.


    I prefer it that way round :)

  • I like your idea of unplugging the mic, but would rather not piss off the sound guy lol, some of these guys get angry if you move a mic stand.

  • I like your idea of unplugging the mic, but would rather not piss off the sound guy lol, some of these guys get angry if you move a mic stand.

    Sorry let me re-phrase this....The sound guy unplugs, not me.


    So far I've never had a sound guy insist I use the cab as they now seem to know Kempers and love them!

  • I also thought about using a power amp (something like seymour duncan power stage) with passive cabinet. I wonder if it would sound like kemper through powered kabinet?

  • I also thought about using a power amp (something like seymour duncan power stage) with passive cabinet. I wonder if it would sound like kemper through powered kabinet?

    The seymour is a good choice.


    There are 3 types of passive cabinet:

    1) Guitar cab - will not have the flexibility of the Kabinet

    2) FRFR - will have the flex but will sound less "real"

    3) Kabinet - balance of the 2


    So its only the Kabinet that will sound like the Kabinet, but all are viable and personal preference. If you go down the FRFR route, you could do what I origonally did.....find a friend store that stocks PA wedges and take you Kemper in for a play.


    You could also go for an active cabinet ( Yamaha DXR10 for example). There are many others now like the headrush.


    Lots of choice!!

  • I also thought about using a power amp (something like seymour duncan power stage) with passive cabinet. I wonder if it would sound like kemper through powered kabinet?

    I have the Seymour Duncan 170 power stage and tried it with my Kemper and Helix with a real 2x12 cabinet. I didn't like it much, I found that I had to EQ the hell out of the unit to sound the way I wanted it or similar to the tone I was getting with a tube power amp. I mean its not terrible, but certainly not tube like.

  • I have the Seymour Duncan 170 power stage and tried it with my Kemper and Helix with a real 2x12 cabinet. I didn't like it much, I found that I had to EQ the hell out of the unit to sound the way I wanted it or similar to the tone I was getting with a tube power amp. I mean its not terrible, but certainly not tube like.

    But to be clear - the Seymour will be relatively transparent as with any other ss amp. A tube amp adds colour.


    Some people prefer tube amp because of that colour, others don't ( like me) who rely on the tube emulation from the profile. Its also true that interchanging these would produce very different results. I use virtually no eq amendments using my power rack :)


    There is no right or wrong, just preferences ;)

  • But to be clear - the Seymour will be relatively transparent as with any other ss amp. A tube amp adds colour.


    Some people prefer tube amp because of that colour, others don't ( like me) who rely on the tube emulation from the profile. Its also true that interchanging these would produce very different results. I use virtually no eq amendments using my power rack :)


    There is no right or wrong, just preferences ;)

    Yup...big differences for sure. What power source are you using in your power rack?

  • When you say about "kabinet" you mean powered or passive model?