First day with Kemper....My story.

  • Afternoon all

    I noticed after I posted my first message on the forum that straight after many other people posted "Should I buy a Kemper". What I thought I would try to do is give a first impression and my little journey to tone heaven.

    I ordered the Power Rack, foot pedal, 2 x Mission Pedals and the DXR10.
    My previous kit was a Gibson and a JVM410H with 4x12 GT75's.
    Effects are to subjective so I will leave them out.

    My JVM and Amps
    Let me start by making a rather strange statement.....I hate/hated the sound of guitar cabs. I have been playing for over 20 years and in this time I owned a HH amp as my first, then a Laney solid state, even with my JVM I hated the sound of the cab as it was either to shrill or my ears would compress quickly and I could hear nothing. I moved onto Line6 and Boss modelling as I would mainly write music rather than played live and I think all those years with modellers has tuned my ears to a more processed sound rather than an amp.
    Then I bought a Grandmeister36 for one much tweaking. Once I opened up the tubes on that amp there was no looking back. Now the Grandmeister36 has a flaw in my opinion, and a strange flaw for me from my previous statement, but it sounded so processed. Then I bought my JVM, hit the OD1 channel and I have been hooked ever since.
    In a band context the JVM is just a monster hence why I own two and I learnt one thing......I love Marshall tone. When I bought my Gibson I had various Jacksons, Epiphones and all revisions of the Variax and all none inspiring but once I had a Gibson I have not even looked at another woman.

    Why Change
    Well I have gigged a lot in the past with modellers. Now I am 41, carrying around a JVM and 4x12 with a huge pedalboard (the largest pedal train is full to the brim) and I am now not only the song writer and lead guitarist but I am the singer too.
    TOO MUCH KIT!!!!

    Here I am today
    Well I took my order in this morning, I am now sat in my little modest home studio and have it all set up.

    My first test was to just connect it and play, no altering sounds or changing any EQ as I wanted to see what it can do out of the box.

    First Impressions
    Well I have to say the sheer weight alone was impressive, my whole body was elated that I may never have to carry my amp and cab again. I have yet to unpack the pedal or Mission's as I don't see the point until I know I love the sounds. The Kemper is a very well built piece of kit with a LOT of inputs and outputs I will certainly put to good use.

    After I plugged it all in, I read the manual before I bought it, I turned it on and began browsing the amps. At this stage my only disappointment was that the 4 main large knobs touch the front panel when turned, luckily they pulled out ok......I am very fussy.

    Now after a few models I am feeling mildly positive, not as overwhelmed with joy as I anticipated. Then I got to the clean section with a little delay, 30 minutes of playing lead I fell in love with the preset (it now escapes me which one) but the distortions were ok but not to my taste which would be a killer for me as I actually have no use at this stage for clean sounds.

    Then it hit me, I have no idea what a Bogner sounds like so how the hell can I judge it on that. So I scrolled along to the Marshall amps..........Shit, the JVM sounded like a monster, far to much distortion but the creamy full bodied sound was righty there, and which channel, the bloody OD1 on the JVM, the nirvana of sounds for me. It had to much gain so I turned down my volume, holy crap. Now any Line6 owner knows 1 thing, turning down guitar volume = lower distortion, not less, just a drop in volume. This crazy piece of digital madness actually cleans up.

    I scrolled through all the presets and found nearly all would be extremely useful in the studio, about 30% I can see me using live!!!! This is with no firmware update, no Rig Manager and no packs just absolute stock .

    Firmware Upgrade
    My biggest problem I had with modellers was applying firmware. As a high level infrastructure person I know the consequences of a firmware corruption and it equals an RMA back to the manufacturer 90% of the time. I have chewed my fingers to the bone updating modellers as they are so reliant on a PC........1 power outage, "Windows would like to reboot" or knock of a cable and you have a brick on your hands.

    How bloody cool was it to move a file to a USB, then plug it in and have the manual process removed whist it just updates on its own.......hats off to Kemper for this.

    This is as far as I have gotten so far. I am about to try the new firmware with Rig Manager and a few downloaded packs.

    Is this unit confusing to use, yes as I am new to it and will figure it out but I have managed to alter all the parameters I need from the interface without having to refer to the manual.

    Oh and a further hats off to Kemper for an actual basics manual in paper format that has actual content. One of my frustrations is receiving a manual in 3000 languages that contains no real information and is a token gesture.

    Sorry if this has bored the life out of everyone but I would like to update it a I go along and share my experience.

    Time to play a little more.

  • OK....Kemper owners put down your cup of tea, inhale and prepare yourself.

    Kemper, it is ok providing a beautiful looking amp profiler, its great having one nicely constructed user guide, its marvellous that you included 2 plectrums for me to use, but for the love of God could you not have included some Anti Wrinkle cream for my laughter lines!!!!! This thing is on par with my some.

    Updated the need for a manual.
    Loaded Rig need for the manual.
    Downloaded some Rig Packs.....No need for a manual, more so no need for the packs as there are a ridicules amount of profiles already available as soon as Rig Manager connects.
    Downloaded the DLY and Pitch pack......Did need the guide to import these as it required the USB....5 minutes of my time.

    Now I loaded up a few Rigs to test, a few more like about 100, and apart from the ones that don't suit my playing, they sounded bloody awesome. I felt like I was in front of a tube amp screaming away at a gig....only I was at about 5 watts out of a DXR10!!!!. Amps that I know I would like but would never buy I got to play. There is a great amount of feel with this profiler, its so touch sensitive, roll back the volume, cleans up beautifully, alter you pick attack and it responds accordingly.

    All I did was scroll to another amp and play, smile, play, smile.....

    The delays I played with are inspirational especially the pitched

    Now I always gauge my love of a device by one thing, is it inspirational. I must say having this many fantastic tones was instantaneously inspirational, from low fi fuzz making want to play QOTSA to extremely saturated distortions taking me back to when I was 15 and into Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, Dark Throne (Was loving riffing with these) then I put a dry Marshall on, Velvet Revolver, GnR all day long.

    I had to get my notepad out and take notes, no notes regarding the operation of the Kemper but I had to write tab for the amount of riffs and hooks I was coming up with.

    My final statement which I feel sums it up for me:

    Every time I have purchased a modeller I have had huge doubts after testing, 6 months down the line I have had buyers remorse as I was never fully satisfied (this is in regard to amps not effects as I don't really use any)....but it was easy to transport and control. If this thing weighed twice the amount of my JVM and 4x12 I would still keep it.

    I am extremely satisfied with my Kemper!

    If you are thinking of a Kemper stop thinking about it and buy one.

    I cant wait to re-amp this baby and start writing.

  • Just wait a bit till you get some profiles from professional vendors ...

    Then you ask yourself "why did I wait so long before getting a kemper"


    Kemper stage with 2 mission pedals (in a Thon line 6 FBV case) and a Zilla 212 (K-100/V30) , SD powerstage 700 poweramp

  • Mate

    I have already asked myself that question.

    I didn't even know about the Kemper, found it, reviewed it, got some help from the guys on this forum, ordered and loved. It is so bloody cheap for what it can do and the thought of how much cash I have spent on mediocre gear over the years I could own about 10 of these.

    My next step is just that, look at some pro vendors but I want to see who is best and what profiles are made for Firmware 5 so I can test merged profiles.

    One other great point I would like to make.

    When we practice the room has a huge impact on the sound. Last few times I have jammed with my JVM it was lost in the mix due to the GT75 speakers being quite dark sounding. I could easily buy a new cab for £800 with v30s in but again money after money. Now I can just hit Cab and select a V30 loaded cab. The Kemper is just so reliable from a consistent sound perspective it seems unreal.

    I am a very happy Kemper.

  • Merged profiles are from FW 3 up

    I still play thru regular guitar cabs and merged profiles are needed for me as well !


    Kemper stage with 2 mission pedals (in a Thon line 6 FBV case) and a Zilla 212 (K-100/V30) , SD powerstage 700 poweramp

  • My next step is just that, look at some pro vendors but I want to see who is best and what profiles are made for Firmware 5 so I can test merged profiles.

    There is a merged pack out and merged profiles on RE so you can check those out for free. Don't forget about IR's - The options are vast. Enjoy.

    "More Guitar in the Monitors" :thumbup:

  • I am elated to hear about your fresh-out-of-the-box experience with the Kemper, @Audiopilot

    As a former Helix owner, I can attest to the buyer's remorse you were describing with certain pieces of gear...I for one had that BIG TIME after about 2 months with the Helix and getting nowhere. I am definitely not an intense tweaker, but will put in the time if it yields a good result; something which never happened with the Helix.

    I am going to have to look into uploading IRs as I did purchase a bunch when I had the Helix. Glad (I now know) they can be used in the Kemper

  • I am going to have to look into uploading IRs as I did purchase a bunch when I had the Helix. Glad (I now know) they can be used in the Kemper

    Check the IR rate. You may have to convert the file before you can convert the wav to Kemper via CabMaker.

    "More Guitar in the Monitors" :thumbup:

  • Inspirational indeed!
    I've had mine for about 6 weeks and not one day has gone by where I don't plug in and play the Kemper.
    Before I might have plugged into my PRS amp, or maybe my Hot Rod once a week or so to practice new material for the band.
    And no problems cutting through the rest of the band with the DXR10 either. The Kemper/DXR has really helped separate me from the other guitarist sonically.
    It's amazing.

  • Morning all

    Well I went into my little studio after work and left at 11:30......all I was doing was testing the re-amp features and ended up listening to loads of presets.

    One thing I did test was how it compared to my JVM when reamped and it's night and day. The JVM sounds great but a little distant, the Kemper sounds like it has some serious balls.

    During the re-amp process I started to think

    "I've changed all my settings for input and output, how the hell do I remember the settings when I play live!"

    "oh you can save multiple output presets, ffs this is awesome?"

    That was a Wow moment for me.

    Roeffel/BShaw92 - cheers mate, I downloaded a few free ones but I'm working over the weekend so will test ASAP

    Teleman - it's a horrible feeling mate especially with the Helix as that's a heck of a price jump. I have no first hand experience of the Helix but my experience of Line6 is they troll forums promoting products, spend what seems like a fortune on marketing and website design, lore you in then release a subpar product. The HD500 put me off Line6 completely. I never bought one but whilst considering it the HD500 had CPU issues, basically not enough. Line6 decides to fix this problem by releasing a HD500x and charge you. In my eyes that nearly/just over £1000 for an old product.

    Kemper, who the hell are Kemper unless you look, I never heard of the..... 3 days later and I'm still smiling.

    When I got back from work on Friday it was around 11pm, I went into my little studio and checked it was still there..... Then I checked on my son. Sounds bad but when he can replicate a tube amp better I'll love him more lol

    Basement - cheers dude, I'll be looking for some new profiles soon. For now the stock are giving me a great flavor.

    DMathews - cheers mate, from what I can gather my fear of not cutting through are unfounded. Can't wait to jam this beast.

    Monkey - haha, and heres me thinking I was being original.

    So far the Kemper has replaced the JVM, all my pedals and the re-amp box I use. From about 30 cables to 3 lol

    I want to comment on the effects:

    When I owned modelers I found the effects hard to get crisp and lush sounding. The main reason is they never sounding like they were an effect send or "in the loop" they seemed to be part of the sound.

    The Kemper is so different. With a delay, phaser and clean sound I can create a lush undercurrent of pad like sounds and the clean guitar just sits on top rather than become part of the mush....... That's where I lost a lot of time yesterday, thinking I was Gilmour sitting there just playing beautiful sounds.

    I did and didn't worry about the effects. Some said subpar and other said great. For someone who doesn't use much effects they are just brilliant.

    I just now need to unpack the mission pedals and floorboard. Then I'll be back with 6u rack recommendations lol

    Cheers all, still smiling


  • Basement

    I have yet to test performance mode. I can't wait to try it but it won't be until tomorrow now which is heartbreaking.

    I have not had a single negative experience as of yet...... This coming from a man with a great ear and a fussy disposition.

    Any tips on how you use it would be great as I have not researched that yet.

    Cheers mate


  • Great review, thanks for sharing.

    My advice. IMHO
    Don't waste your time with IRs, there is no IR that sounds better than a Kemper Cabinet.
    IRs are used to 'save' other modellers, not needed once you have a Kemper.

    Kemper Amps distributor South Africa

  • Cheers GuitarTone

    It's hard typing it out on my phone which has a rather schizophrenic approach to spell check. Presumptive text rather than predictive

    Thanks got the advice. I have used IRs before and they do sound good but what I don't want to do is overcomplicate the use of the Kemper otherwise I'll be overthinking the sound rather than playing and making use of the unit.

    Off to work to redesign a Telecoms system....... Mortified but I work on my own so I can YouTube some Kemper videos and listen to them in the server room.

    Cheers dude

  • Thanks for sharing your story! It doesn't sound as though you've used the Morph function yet. More fun to come ;)

    Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. - Wayne Dyer