I just wanted to say goodbye to everyone in this forum since I sold my Kemper and am moving on to a different setup.
I've received many helpful replies on this forum and want to say thank you to everyone who was always so eager to help. The Kemper is a complex device and this forum is something like an ever-growing manual. I'm sure you will keep it going as long as there are Kemper users, and that's a growing group of musicians.
It took me more than a year now to realize that the Kemper isn't for me. I don't think it's a bad machine at all, but in the end, it produced more frustration than joy.
I know I'm not alone on this forum. There are many of you (most even) who swear on the Kemper. For those, it's the best investment ever made. But the hundreds of pages here in the forum are also a good indication for the amount of people who aren't quite satisfied with their sound and want to figure out how to make the Kemper a better experience.
Reading all the positive comments and defenses for the Kemper I thought for over a year now that I must have been doing something wrong. Maybe I just didn't like my guitar? Sold it and bought a new one. Maybe my new guitar needs better pickups? Bought better pickups. Maybe my headphones are wrong, or my monitor speakers, or I'm doing something wrong with the Kabinet? Watched hours of youtube tutorials. Maybe change the definition, cab shift, use Cut the Mix EQ etc.
For over a year now, the Kemper kept me very busy trying to dial in a tone I liked while the forum tried to convince me that this was just how it's supposed to sound and that I just wasn't used to the miced amp sound. I knew this couldn't be quite true (since I actually know the sound of mic'ed amps much better than the amp in the room sound) but in the end I just told myself I'd probably have to believe it.
I was okay doing all of this at home, but the first time I went into a rehearsal with a bigger band and a few days later into the recording studio, the Kemper just completely failed on me. You cannot search within hundreds of profiles, change definition, use EQ presets etc. while the band is waiting for you. I used a real amp instead, took me 5 minutes to sound good in the mix with each of my guitars. Better sound, better experience.
I now bought the Fender Tone Master Super Reverb with some Catalinbread pedals and plugged it in. Within 10 minutes I was able to produce tones that I couldn't achieve with the Kemper in 13 months. It just sounded beautiful, exactly what I had hoped for. It sounded great via both the speaker cabinet (4 real P10Rs just sound better than the Kemper cab trying to reproduce one of them) and via the cab sim XLR out and the simulated ribbon mic. Even more so, the sound in the monitor speakers matched the sound coming from the real cab. That's something I never managed to achieve with the Kemper Kabinet. I know many on this forum had the same experience and read that some here even switched out their favorite profiles because they didn't sound good with the Kabinet.
The main difference here is that with a real amp I could dial in the sound perfectly for each guitar and pickup configuration. When I use M Britt, Tone Junkie or any of the others, all I can do is hope that their snapshots fit my guitar. And most often than not that wasn't the case.
The snapshot concept of the Kemper is my biggest gripe with it. There's so much you can do with a real amp, especially if it has an EQ section that is highly interactive. When you change the EQ on a Kemper profile it doesn't work like the real amp would. If a profile is too far off in EQ settings, there's not much you can do. That's why I paid hundreds of dollars for profiles without ever finding my holy grail tone.
I hope that one a day a new version of the Kemper will adapt the EQ section of a profiled amp. I don't think this technology would be impossible. While profiling the musician would turn and twist all the amp's knobs for the Kemper to study how they react. Or one would produce several profiles in different settings that then can be morphed into a master profile. When that day has come, I'll give the Kemper another chance.
My final verdict is that the Kemper is great for everyone who can profile their own amps. Then it's unbeatable (at least for going into FOH). It's a machine for people who already know a lot about amps and effects and have the tone they want already in their head.
I don't think the Kemper is perfect for those who are beginners, just joining a band and not having tried hundreds of amps. It's a great tool to somewhat educate yourself about sound differences, but it's not a great tool to find sounds if you don't already expect a certain sound. It's the opposite of plug and play. It's the opposite of intuitive.
Anyway, I don't regret having owned a Kemper and I learned a lot about guitar recording on this forum. Most of that knowledge I will be able to use for my new setup too. Again, I want to thank this community and hope you all will continue to play and make music.
So long, take care everyone.