Posts by OneEng1

    I am familiar with the problem.

    You come up with an idea for a product, you forecast the units you believe you can sell in the time frame you can sell them in. You use the most conservative estimate you can so the board of directors will believe you......... then it comes time to order the parts. This is where small companies get twitchy.

    Lets say you have a BOM (bill of materials) per unit (including assembly and testing and packaging) of $200.00 and you think conservatively that you can sell 15,000 units in the next 6 months. Do the math and you are asking the owner to pony over 3M dollars. Remember also that because parts are still tough to come by, you are likely looking at a build lead time of around 4-6 months....... so if you get it wrong, and you sell out fast, it takes quite some time to build more.

    You can start buying parts from "part sharks" who will charge you significantly more for the parts which will eat away at your margins costing you millions in revenue, or you can wait it out.

    Within a few years, it is pretty easy to anticipate your sales rate, but early on ...... not so much. This will be especially true for Kemper in this market where they are suddenly well below the 1K mark for a product and have significantly a larger number of potential buyers.

    Anyway, that is my guess.

    Until the competition truly enables me to nail the feel and sound of a tube amp I don't think the direct comparison is relevant.

    ... and for those of us that KNOW that the KPA offers superior tube tonal characteristics, this will be enough in many cases.

    For the open market where everyone says they offer authentic tube tone, other factors (like a color LCD screen) may come into consideration.

    Someone posted a couple of pages ago that a phone or tablet display on the mic stand is better than a little screen at your feet. That actually may make sense. I use a tablet for my digital mixer. It wouldn't be a stretch to have a phone or tablet on the mic stand to give you the graphical interface feedback about what bank and rig you are on (and maybe even information about what is near you on this bank).

    I look forward to seeing how much Kemper decides to charge for the upgrade(s) to add the "premium effects" to the unit.

    I don't really think that LCD is all that important. I have KPA since 2016 and apart of short periods of time when I do experiment with FXs I noticed that I constantly use one performance - 5 sounds in total which cover 100% of my needs (granted, I use morphing on some of them so the actual number is a bit higher - 8). Using Rig Manager on iPad or Mac is sufficient. I suspect that large group of users has exactly the same usage pattern. You can compare this to modern digital mixer market - in addition to LCD-equipped mixers many manufacturers offer "blind" mixer with you can only operate from computer or tablet - and guess what - they work perfectly fine - even better because instead of 5" screen you can have 12" screen and work comfortably, saving some $$$.

    I'm really curious about this paid update, CK mentioned - how much will it be? Right now, without all FX and morphing using Player as a backup is a bit PITA, at least for me. But if Player + FX/morphing-upgrade would be sold for less than $1000 - I think it would be the best unit on the market.

    I also tend to stick with a single performance of 5 rigs for MOST songs. I have another 4-5 performances I use for specialty songs ..... as an example, U2 Streets, Money for Nothin, Go your own way background, etc. Songs that have a specific sound that is not normally used in a general way anywhere else, but is essential to get the vibe of a specific song.

    Still, just 5 rigs with 3 buttons and NO LCD to tell you which one you are about to switch to? That seems like a tough sell live.

    Ok, CK has been nothing but remarkable in his transparency. He didn't need to post anything at all. He could have left it to his employees. It is impressive for the owner of a company to post a reply to anything. It's a good thing that CK participates in threads here.

    Next, over the break I have watched a few videos on the use of the new player. I would like to re-assess my criticism.

    The Kemper Player is not the product I wanted. It is for a different market (my conclusion). I complained that the product should have only 3 foot switches and a decent sized color LCD. This would be the perfect product for ME as a backup unit for my Rack AND as a throw-and-go rig for small get togethers.

    After watching several video's, the Kemper Player seems more aimed at someone that has the player on the desk in front of them vs on the floor playing a gig. In the "on-the-desk" mode of operation, suddenly all the physical controls make a great deal of sense.

    I guess I will have to keep hoping for a different kind of Kemper product in this 3-button form factor. One that has:

    1) Color LCD for managing rigs in a performance live (would still like to use performances as well)

    2) Only foot switches as physical controls (maybe a master output knob)

    Sadly, this seems like it is too close to the current product and Kemper has determined that the desktop usage model is more important than the stomp box model.

    I thought it will be great for me as a backup but it will be just to at least have some sounds if my stage or rack stop working.
    Missing the slots is already a problem but for me more missing some of the effects. Most of my sounds have the studio EQ included for example. With some other effects missing I can use maybe 10% of my current rigs as they are. Some I can't use at all (with Pitch Shifter for example).
    I use about 120 performances live in rotation at the moment with up to 5 rigs each so changing all of them or creating them again from scratch is too much work.
    So at the moment as it is it will be just a small amp if I play with others for fun or a very basic backup.
    I hope they announce the (paid) upgrade soon. Otherwise I will send it most likely back within the 30 days.

    Use case 1: High Functional Backup to full KPA

    I think it would be OK with only 4 FX slots, but missing the actual EFX is a serious problem. In this use case, the idea is to get along with a lower spec'd device, but to have on-hand the original sounds you had in the full unit (with physical limitations as well as fx slot limitations). The work load is now to create custom rigs that approximate your full KPA rig. Doable, but not a home run in marketing IMO. Additionally, as some have stated, working pro's will likely have a full KPA backup. As used KPA's are going for under 1K right now, it seems like a tough sell to buy an $800.00 lower end replacement.

    Use case 2: First time buyer of a small 3 button portable all-in-one guitar processor

    I believe that the missing color LCD will make it a tough sell against the Line 6 Stomp HX. Yes, the player has advantages over the Stomp HX: Better tones, efx spill-over, free rigs via rig manager, etc. It just seems like it is a tough sell without the LCD. In my mind, I thought this was the biggest market for a 3 button device, so this is where I disagree with the lack of the LCD.

    Use case 3: Amp module within a pedalboard

    I hadn't really considered this in my original thoughts on a Kemper "mini", but there are some that this is how they roll. Ok, so in this use case, the musician has other efx pedals and the primary purpose of the KPA Player is to act as the amp tone. In this market, the main competitor is Tone X. Yes, it has considerably less EFX capabilities than the KPA Player, but when using it in a pedal board, I think that isn't a big issue. Tone X is considerably less expensive at $400 USD. In fact, it really makes a play for the first time buyer of a small 3 button portable all-in-one guitar processor by having some efx AND it has a minimal LED screen (better than nothing).

    Use case 4: Small, inexpensive, backup for any high end rig

    This is where I would likely buy. I don't gig for a living and have no desire to have a full KPA backup (both $ wise and size wise). Since I am quite taken with the KPA (I have a rack and FC), and I have more disposable income than most, I might decide on the Player, but where it would have been a slam dunk if it had an LCD, now I would defiantly go try out the ToneX and Stomp HX. In all 3 cases, this would be a "limp through the night" setup where I would try to get through with a clean, a crunch and a heavy tone. It would never be something I used all the time.

    I don't think that it is unusual for people to think that KPA missed the mark here. It is an interesting mix of features. My personal belief is that Kemper was more worried about savaging their own market than they were about devastating someone else's market. I think a product having a decent LCD and 4 fx slots with a full KPA effects complement at $800 would have put a serious dent in Line 6 Stomp and Fractal FM3.

    FWIW, I do product management for a living. I haven't researched this particular market (other than what I can see from competitive analysis), so there is always the possibility that information I am not aware of makes the KPA Player a more potent product than it appears to me.

    Note: I don't believe for one minute that Kemper isn't going to sell quite a few of these. There will be plenty of people that want one in the near future. It won't be until the shoot-outs start taking place that people will start making longer term determinations of where the product lies in the market.

    If you want a full featured Profiler, you can buy it like everyone who has one did. Don't expect to get a full featured profiler for half the price. It's basic business practice 101.. Not hard to understand...

    The form factor reduction alone makes it uncompetitive with it's bigger brethren. I think the lack of efx (not slots) options only hinders sales in the open market where the new player will be up against the stomp hx and other similarly priced options.

    This is only my option.

    My opinion....

    FR is a better option because it doesn't color every rig. I found many cabs I tried so colored the rigs that the differences that should be there are smeared by the color.

    The best cab would be the Kabinet.... As it is specifically designed to work with the KPA to make the rigs sound like they should.

    I use a DSR112 which is a seriously over priced solution for this purpose, but I have them for my PA anyway.

    If I had to purchase a speaker for the explicit purpose of amplifying my KPA it would, hands down, be the Kemper Kabinet.

    If thinking of existing KPA owners as a backup:

    Missing 4 efx slots and premium efx will lose many potential customers, but it's the only game in town if you want to have KPA sounds in a small form factor.

    If thinking of direct competition to stomp FX in the sub $700 market, it lacks a color LCD making it a tough sell considering the competition.

    My opinion is that the market for existing KPA users gives a quicker return, but less in the future than a product aimed at new users.

    The current player is lacking in both use cases IMO.

    That is not to say it isn't good, only that it could have been great.

    OneEng1 once again, I agree with most of your reasoning. It would be preferable to have the full range of FX and Morphing. The decision to dump the screen was a masterstroke in my opinion. Having the small form factor with all the space being used for physical controls makes the unit incredibly easy to use as a basic amp. I have now spent a several hours on the player and the interface is super easy and intuitive.

    I certainly can't argue with someone that is actually using one ;).

    I guess my thought about a "player" was "in for a penny, in for a pound" when it came to the physical controls. If you need the app for most things, then why not use it for all things (other than live rig changes and efx on/off in a live situation. These of course require physical foot switches).

    I do understand that as I just play live, my viewpoint is only representative of those that have the same use model as I do. For me, the color LCD and small form factor are all just features that make playing live easy. Since I never edit when I play live, I have no issue doing all my editing through a tablet, PC, or Phone.

    In a live situation, the device is going to be on the floor. I don't want to bend over to do anything live, so the physical buttons (other than the foot switches) are useless to me anyway.

    I used to tweak my KPA Rack with the front controls .... but not since rig manager got serious and included an editor. Now, I do ALL my tweaking and performance setup through the PC. When it comes to the live performance, my only interface is the Kemper FC..... which has no knobs on it at all.

    In fact, the ONLY thing I have ever edited live was changing the XLR output from stereo to mono when using a board that didn't have room for 2 inputs for the guitar. (As an aside, the only reason I like stereo live is for the IEM experience where I enjoy hearing the beauty of the KPA stereo efx image while performing :) ).

    Now, as a table top processor, perhaps the need for physical knobs is greater (I do tend to utilize the EQ knobs and reverb/delay controls on the rack for quick tweaks vs the rig manager editor controls ..... just not live).

    My main contention is that my personal preference would have been to forego all the knobs and spend the $ and physical real estate on a decent color LCD instead.

    As for the pay-for-premium plug-in's model? I would actually be OK with this .... especially if they lowered the base price. Then I could pay ONLY for the things that are most important to me. Natural reverb, and some of the fancier delays. I don't use morph (although I may some day as I can see how cool this feature can be) or MOST of the efx that are missing on the Play.

    Almost all of the newer digital mixers are moving to this model. They charge extra for their premium plug-in algorithms.

    I think that most of us would accept such a model ESPECIALLY if it gave us a continuously improving set of features and functions that could be paid for to update our KPA with for the next 20 years. This would also give Kemper new revenue to support the work needed to develop these features. I promise you guys, firmware developers, validation and release management are NOT cheap.

    As for my continuous rants about the lack of a color LCD, it is what it is. My guess is that it is still best in class in many respects.

    Yes, it is stupid to create a low end product that undercuts your premium products with the same features.

    Less controls.... I concur.

    Less FX slots .... I concur.

    Phone app control .... I concur.

    No profiling.... I concur.

    No morph .... Maybe.

    Price point.... I would concur IF:

    It had a color LCD.

    It had all the EFX of the KPA

    I think Behringer did a good job going from full size X32 to the X32 Rack.

    3k for the full unit, 1.6k for the rack with tablet control. Full processing capability in both.

    The value solution was the X air x 18 ($740) Less functional and less capable than the X32 and half the price of the lowest full capable device.

    For Kemper, that would mean:

    Full setup Stage 1.6k

    Full capable, smaller unit with phone or tablet control $800. Cut down version value option $400.00.

    I actually believe that a 3 button, full capable player at $800 would have been my target (maybe $700 without profiling and all physical input capabilities).

    No screen, reduced efx slots, reduced efx..... I think your looking at $500-$600 considering the competition.

    It's possible the Kemper team has it right and I have it wrong though.

    Since it's primary function is a player, you only need to navigate rigs with the foot switches.

    If you are using it at home, you have rig manager.

    To your point, people who currently own a KPA have been asking for a color screen. Seems like a good piece of marketing information there.

    I don't see the need for any physical interfaces other than the foot switches, led's and color LCD.

    Any tweaking of anything can be much better handled in the app.

    I agree that spill-over and tone are great strengths of the player. I also agree that a certain type of musician will find these features alone outweigh any other weaknesses.

    My concern is that there are more people that will choose the sexier device.

    Of course, this is just my thoughts.

    I already have a rack and fc. If I were to by anything else it would be the new player. This is because I would want to reuse my sounds and rigs.

    If I were in the market for a small device in the $500-$700 range and didn't already have a KPA, I would be likely to buy a device with a color LCD.

    My guess is that there are many more potential customers that would say the same vs. those that either have a KPA or would choose to believe that the Player's tone difference was a good trade off for the color LCD.

    Again, I could be wrong.

    Here in the US it is listing for ~$700 as I understand it. This puts it in direct market competition with the Helix Stomp HX and XL.

    Both the Helix units offer an efx loop and a color LCD screen. The XL offers a more comprehensive set of foot switches as well.

    One can argue that a Helix is not in the same tonal category as the KPA (I certainly feel this is the case); however, I would argue that Helix poses significant competition in this price point.

    Kemper Player Pro's:

    1. Backup to full KPA
    2. Better tube tone
    3. Easier to understand workflow (more tube amp + pedal board standard)

    Helix Pro's:

    1. Color LCD Screen - Better labeling of the patch you are on and its routing/efx (although it is small)
    2. XL version has a more complete set of foot switches for live performance
    3. Effects loop for those that use it

    My personal opinion is that Kemper is going to have to lower the price after a year on this product. I like the product and believe that it will be a very good one indeed; however, my product manager self says that the color LCD is sexy on the helix and will sell. I would not have released a product without the color LCD even if I thought it was functionally irrelevant due to size. In fact, I would have argued that the Kemper Player have a larger color LCD than the Helix and would have touted its readability in a live setting.

    Still, it isn't like the Player is a bad product, I just think it would have been worth the extra cost for the color LCD. Just my 2 cents.

    I guess selling price is more about the financial situation for the seller than the market :/

    Just my 8 cent ... ( inflation... ;) )

    Cheers !

    It's always about supply and demand. Your point is certainly to do with the demand side. People in the market for used equipment are more price sensitive than those looking at new equipment for sure. The demand curve is relatively weak in that case.

    More people wanting to sell their KPA used -> More supply. Both of these trends move the price point lower on a used KPA.

    Had to look for myself on ebay.

    Sure enough, there are plenty that have gone for at or below 1K while there are still quite a few above 1K. Still, looks like selling price from on-line stores for the Rack for instance is around $1300 used.

    Personally, I would recommend a used KPA to anyone at that price.

    I would agree that the design is getting some years on it now. For the longest time, used units sold very close to the new price. I guess it was only a matter of time until enough used units were on the market that the used prices had to fall (that whole supply and demand thing).

    I even saw a rack WITH a FC that went for $750.00. That is a crazy good deal for that fortunate soul.

    While I paid ~$1700 for my rack and another $400 for my FC, I feel I have more than received my return on investment and then some. I bought mine in 2013, so I have enjoyed more than 10 years of use. I would never dream of selling though. I guess the used market is going to have to survive without my KPA :).

    Actually the host was acting impressed, and I was thinking, "Wait until you see what I can do with my "old" Kemper".

    What I can do with my "old" Kemper is:

    1) Carry my entire guitar rig in one trip from the car (and fit it in a car)

    2) Plug-in and setup in 5 minutes

    3) Sound great with a level of consistency I was never able to achieve with boutique tube amps and pedal boards

    That is where I live when it comes to what I need for a gig-rig :)


    For me, there isn't anything on the market that is a match for the existing KPA when it comes to a gig rig. Nothing!

    No other device gives me the tone, ease of stage setup, size and weight, and right down usability on stage that the Kemper does.

    I don't expect anything to exceed the tone of the KPA (since we are already at the point that any tonal differences are a matter of preference), and currently nothing is even close (IMO) to the gig usability.

    I originally had a VHT 4x12 with a VHT 2X12 "Fat Bottom" cab. Playing the Kemper through an amp and to the speakers (PA amplifier used, not a tube amp so not to add/remove anything), what I found is that the VHT cabs create so much of a "tone" themselves that all the profiles have a common "sound" or "color" to them.

    I get much better results using a FRFR speaker (DSR112) when I want to play with a group that doesn't have IEM's or enough PA to amplify the Kemper directly with the PA.

    With my own PA, I use IEM's for monitoring, and go directly into the PA with the Kemper (no cab or amp on stage). This is by far my preferred setup..... but I don't play lead.

    For lead playing, there really isn't a substitute for the air interaction between a local amp/monitor and your guitar strings. For lead players I would recommend the following:

    1) Kemper L/R direct into PA

    2) Kemper Monitor out to a powered FRFR on-stage pointed at the guitar player

    3) IEM's to hear everything and your guitar.

    So in my experience, (others may and will disagree) you don't need the power amp or the orange cab :).

    Everyone wants kemper to be like a effects unit, I love how its more like a amp. Its more like a stand alone amp with loads of toneshaping. Stereo rigs an all that phff. Is there a Soldano forum now were people are saying they want a stereo Soldano. Want stereo? buy 2 powered cabs an run the stereo effects into that

    Not everyone.

    I think that those of us that play mostly live with the KPA love that it behaves and operates very "amp like".

    Those that primarily use the KPA at home for recording tend to want the ultimate routing and efx unit with lots of interfacing capabilities. IMO, this is a use case that the KPA kinda grew into, but has never ben particularly well suited for (by design).

    .... but even people that record want the authentic tones you can get from the KPA, they just want the recording interface and routing capabilities of the QC or AxeIIIFx as well.

    I suppose there is nothing wrong with wanting it all :).

    Take me and others who just want a Kemper Mini. Does nothing for the "at home" user, but for portability and throw-and-go gigging .... amazing!

    The reason I keep advocating for a Mini is that it is a much easier lift from the current architecture than making a KPA2 that is a fundamental change from KPA1.

    It works that way by design and is highly unlikely to change. The reason being that the Generic Gain covers the full range that the Kemper is capable of. Amp gain is almost always less than the full Kemper gain range. Linking the morph function to Amp Gain would restrict the morphable range unnecessarily. Within the amp’s gain range the two ate linked 1:1 so there is no reason to use the amp gain when the full range of the generic gain could be used.

    Based on my playing with LP's, (btw, I still hear "Les Paul" when I see LP :) ), it seems like more is going on than just changing gain when you change a LP gain. Before LP, when taking a high gain profile and lowering the gain, you frequently lost clarity and the tone would become muddy and not pleasant. After LP, "changing the gain" seems to keep the profile sounding good and all gain levels (much more like a real amp would).

    Of course, I could be incorrect (but it didn't sound like it), but it doesn't seem like the LP gain simply limits the gain range .... but maybe it does. Does anyone know for sure?