I still have my Axe FX Ultra that I bought over 10 years ago. I keep it because I have it racked in my desk and can use it with my DAW. It is just another option for recording. I can still get good tones out of it even though Fractal abandoned that unit a long time ago. Kemper has also been doing great things for around a decade as well.
For me it is all about the interface. I tried to use my Axe FX as a gigging unit. I had to have my laptop connected to it all the time because it takes forever to tweak something through the front of the unit. I also had to setup a remote for it. I used and still have a Ground Control Pro with 2 Boss expression pedals that I used with it.
When the Kemper Stage came along, that looked like the perfect unit to me. I was able to profile my amp that I have been gigging with for 6+ years and have my typical sound. I don't need a separate controller for it because it is all one unit. I now don't have to carry an amp. It eliminated one heavy piece of gear from the gig rig. The Kemper is a ton easier to tweak from the face of the unit than the Axe FX. There is frequently something that I feel the need to tweak based on the room or how the rest of the band is playing that night. That is what killed the Axe FX as a gig rig for me.
So far I am super happy with the Kemper Stage. It does everything that I wanted it to do. I know Fractal produced a floor unit similar to the Kemper Stage but for some reason they abandoned that as well. Kemp has continued to support their customer's and their units since the beginning. That was another huge reason I purchased the Stage. I was pretty offended when Fractal phased out my 2k piece of gear rather quickly after it was released. When you spend that kind of money on something you expect to get more life out of it than what they give you. I have amps that I have spent that much on that I am now able to profile and continue to have those tones to use. I would rather spend my money with a company that values it's customers enough to continue to support them for years to come instead of trying to push a new 2k unit on them every 2 or 3 years.
I agree. Longevity of a device is important. That's one reason I like the Kemper, I've had one for about 8 years, and it is still being developed.
I think the thing to notice is that the original Axe FXII came out in 2011. The Axe FX III came out in 2018. The way I see it, I have about another 5 years before the current hardware is phased out. Sure, they came out with various iterations, but if you look at it, the processing power was never increased, all they did were some improvements to storage and inputs.
In that sense, however, you see that the Kemper has been out for about nine years now, going on ten. In that regard, I honestly think the device has matured beautifully, with more features being added all the time.
But if you look at the video I posted, you'll see that there are things that are unlikely to be achieved with the current hardware. The competition has also been improving its tones and features.
That kind of is what the thread is about, the fact that while Kemper Amps hasn't been standing still, the competitors are no longer as far behind as we all thought they were.
For example, check this out:
I think you can do it with the Kemper, but it's the first time I'm seeing something like it done. That's what I find so refreshing, just the idea that the device is meant for tweaking, as opposed to the set and forget modus operandi for the Kemper.
Here's a concrete example of a company like Fractal taking things up a notch. I couldn't ever have dreamed this kind of stuff was possible. But it is. This is a pitch follower FX.
I'd really like something like this for the Kemper. It ties in to an older feature request for a Boss OC-3 type effect, where we would affect just a few strings.
Here's a concrete example of a company like Fractal taking things up a notch. I couldn't ever have dreamed this kind of stuff was possible. But it is.
So, I guess the questions is: If you hate the Kemper so much, then why are you here, on this forum
Doesn't have to be either/or. He just must like it. Everyone has different tastes. I've had periods when I loved my amps more than my Kemper, and periods where I liked my Kemper more than my amps. Always something new to discover.
Cut the crap I'm not after proof on every other thread. If you have problem when I do, that's your problem not mine.
Seems like you have "ask for proof" written on a post-it stuck on your monitor, that's all lol
What makes you think there are no in between positions? Apart from the fact that it's audible, I've had it confirmed elsewhere on this forum, and from customer support that there are - the whole basis for this feature request is based on this fact... The knobs do not move discretely between the displayed values, but are effectively continuous (OK, technically nothing in the digital domain is completely continuous, but to all intents and purposes...). If in doubt, take a value like definition which is very noticeable (or one of the stack eq controls - I find these also to be very sensitive, and easy to hear small changes) - turn the knob very slowly from e.g. 7.3 until it just changes to 7.2. Save profile. Duplicate. Then turn the same knob from 7.1 until it just changes to 7.2. A/B the two profiles - there will be an audible difference.
Don't mean to sound combative, but if this is something you didn't realise about the Kemper, you may find it useful! I also thought the knobs were discrete (i.e. move in "steps" as you put it) when I first got my Kemper - and in a way I wish they were!! Less temptation to fiddle around fine tuning the "perfect" sound... But then, as said above, I have found it's worth doing in many cases, so really, this level of precision is very useful. Hence why I'm suggesting it would be good to be able to visually reference another decimal place in order to more quickly choose a more precise setting if desired.
I'll have to retract my earlier statement. Feature request gets a thumbs up from me.
I just realized that I also bought the Fryette PS-100 earlier this year... Wow, I have spent a lot of money this year. Last year I bought two high end Telecasters...
Haha, yeah, that is a tonne of money. I'm going to take it easy for the rest of the year probably. Really going to enjoy this new setup I've got. Make some profiles as well to practice my micing technique and work on my mixing.
Not sure what precisely you mean by Kemper architecture, but I don't see why the Rig Manager software couldn't display an extra decimal place - presumably at the moment it is coded to display only one, but it's certainly "aware" of more than this (if you hold down shift key and drag on screen knobs with mouse, or slowly turn the Kemper's physical knobs, you are selecting values inbetween the displayed ones, e.g. in between 7.1 and 7.2 etc) - I'd imagine it would just a matter of changing the code to allow an extra decimal place to be shown, and as I suggested, could just be the value that's displayed in the lower left corner on RM that has the extra decimal place - just so you have a reference somewhere in case you do find it beneficial to fine tune beyond the one decimal place increments currently shown (and not have to fish around "blindly" in order to do so!)
As for "You might actually get better resultstweaking another parameter when you find you have come to an optimum setting for one" - I think you've misunderstood something here, as I'm definitely not suggesting fine tuning just one parameter to the nth degree, while ignoring the others! On a profile I intend to use a lot, I'll try adjusting every single parameter available in amp/cab/eq sections - some may end up being left at zero, but most end up moved somewhere from default, even if only a little - all the parameters IMO are very well chosen/implemented, and work very well together improve the tone/feel of a profile. I'd also say the order in which they're set is quite important too, but that's a whole other discussion!
By architecture, I mean you should think of a knob on the Kemper as having steps, rather than being able to set it in between positions. I don't think you are doing what you think you are when you move your Kemper knobs just a bit. There are no in between positions, i.e. you are just on 7.1 or 7.2, there is no in between those values.
As far as tweaking, wasn't insinuating that you don't do that. What I meant was what I said above, i.e. there are no in between positions, so adjust elsewhere instead.
No new gear for me since the last guitar.
I find myself strangely contented with what I have. Enough guitars to cover all the bases, a Kemper that covers all the amps, all the studio hardware / software that I want and a keyboard that can do far more than I can. Every time I look at a magazine's gear reviews, all that goes through my head is, "Got that. Don't need that. Oh, mine's way better than that. Yep, got that, too..."
It's a life without GAS. Honestly, I just don't know what to do with myself.
I know the feeling, that's how I felt when I got my first Kemper. I only got my first tube amp three years after that though, and I honestly prefer the sound of playing an amp versus playing my Kemper through monitors. I later got a powered Kemper and then an unpowered Kemper and a power amp, and things were much better then.
Still, one of the best parts of having your own tube amps is profiling your own sounds. When I started, I barely knew what I was doing, but as time went by, I started getting better sounds than what I was getting with some of the commercial profiles I own.
Better is subjective, of course. I just like crafting my own tones as opposed to going with something that somebody created based on their own rig.
I was an early adopter of the Bose L1 seventeen years ago. Although you can use them as conventional PA speakers (FOH for small-medium venues), I loved the concept of a personal PA/backline where each player has their own and takes responsibility for their sound. I was tired of being the guitar player/sound guy (for everybody). Anyway, that's a long story. So how do I like it? Well enough to have bought the latest model and be happy with it. Unless you're doing sound for a band (FOH) or running stereo, you only need one.
I run the Bose L1 behind me (as intended), so I don't need monitors. Getting the in-ears was a huge departure for me. I got interested in the idea because of things I read here, in the Kemper community. People were talking about headphones and wireless headphones and tracking/recording. I have consumer headphones that are great for recreational listening - consuming music. They aren't for creating music. So I thought I'd get some good in-ears to have the experience.
I don't like wearing headphones when I'm playing guitar. I feel hemmed in, isolated. But I'm fine playing while using the in-ears, although I'm still getting used to singing with them. I hear things with the IE 400 Pro and IE 500 Pro I've never heard in headphones.
I've only been able to monitor my Kemper with regular headphones, a real cab or studio monitors. The L1 seemed really promising, in that it has excellent sound projection. Still, doesn't fit my requirement at the moment. How is the reproduction of profiles versus studio monitors?
As far as the IEMs, no idea what you mean by heading things that you've never heard before! Do you mean a more coherent mix?
Great doom metal band, Candlemass.
Lots of new gear this year
The system above comes with in-ears that are certainly usable, but I wanted to get something more upscale.
I haven't decided which I like best although I'm leaning toward the IE 400 Pro for critical listening (tracking, mixing, listening to learn) and the IE 500 Pro for monitoring on stage.
Lots of other stuff. I'll get to that later.
Strangely enough, I've never owned in-ears. How do you like the Bose, I always wanted to invest in one of their systems, but couldn't justify it given how little I gig. Playing on monitors or through a cab for me, since it isn't critical for me at the moment. Want a pair though.
Alrighty, this is going to be my last post on this thread. At the rate it's going, you'd think I'm the only one on the forum who buys gear haw haw!
You'll love this though. I've been gassing for a Mark IIC+ for years now, but it's always been out of reach. A friend came out of the blue though and offered me some awesome gear that is finally going to help me achieve that dream.
1) Mesa Boogie Quad Preamp - This is basically a Mark 2C+ on one channel and a Mark III on the other.
2) Rectifier Stereo 2:100 Power Amp - This is basically the power section of a Dual or Triple Rectifier. Stereo amp with 100 watts on each side.
It's the marriage of a Mark series preamp and a Rectifier power amp that I've been dreaming of.
What would you call the pairing? A RectoMark? A Marrecto?
Seriously, pinch me, good dreams do come true.
Should be my last post on this thread for a while, I'm flat broke bwahahaha
Oi, where's all the stuff you guys bought this year, spit it out!
It's the best guitar related gear purchase. Meaning, my playing skyrocketed since I got it. It sounds very good, it boots in no time, I can stream backing tracks over bluetooth. I have my favorite factory preset "90s Brown" which sounds huge - you wouldn't say, there are two 3.5" speakers.
One thing to notice, Yamaha has introduced "Open" speaker tuning in firmware update, because when I tried it for 1st time, I didn't like it.
I even returned Marshall Origin 20C which I tried - it was too loud for my apartment, even on lowest power setting.
I am very very satisfied.
Hot dog, man! Thanks for the review!
Love the JVM.
My only criticism of the amp is it can be quite noisy. Apart from that it's easily one of my all-time-fave amps, AJ.
It is a pretty awesome amp. Has more gain on tap than any other amp I've tried. The amp is only noisy at ridiculous amounts of gain really, I'd never need that much, and usually use it on the orange mode for the high gain channels.
...just to suggest another alternative - maybe if the value shown at the bottom left of the Rig manger when adjusting any dial could show an extra decimal place (but please, not more than one extra ! ) - then people could ignore this if they don't want to get too precise, but it's there for reference if you want. Surely couldn't be too hard to change the code to specify show value to two decimal places here instead of one?
Currently my workaround is: set all values using mouse in rig manager - you actually get two "positions" per decimal place (without holding down the shift key) so that is plenty for most purposes, and it's easy to set these quickly - then, once all set, if the profile is working as hoped, I'll go thru each value again, just nudging the kempers knobs left or right a few "notches" to see if it can sound even better. Totally understand if anyone thinks this is more fine tuning than needed, and with some parameters I'd agree - but anything that affects the tone can really make a difference - again, have compare before and after "fine tuning" the parameters, and the difference is enough to make it worthwhile, IMO, on profiles you're going to use a lot.
Would just be a lot less fiddly though if it was possible to see that extra decimal place somewhere! If the mouse-plus-shift-key caused the values to move discretely between second decimal places (e.g. 2.32 to 2.33) that would be ideal IMO - certainly any more precision that THIS is not useful!
I'm not sure the Kemper architecture would allow for this, but it is an interesting idea. I'm not sure that finetuning just one parameter is what you need though. You might actually get better results tweaking another parameter when you find you have come to an optimum setting for one.
Get the rack version if you need it to be bulletproof in a case. If you just plan on carrying it yourself and there's no risk of it getting crushed by other gear, go with the toaster.