Posts by MKB

    I've used the Kemper for 8 years or so, and still marvel at how great it is every time I turn it on. Just had an intense shootout with a Fractal FM3, and as wonderful as the FM3 is, it lost to the Kemper as the Kemper is simply more musical. It has captured my heart.

    All that being said, Liquid Profiling has really bent my mind on the Kemper, in most cases it has greatly addressed one complaint I had with the Kemper; the inability to accurately tweak an amp profile by using gain and EQ. There have been many cases where I could not find a particular tone I wanted out of a profile pack due to EQ settings, but Liquid Profiling has given a clean solution. In every case I have tried (only retrofitting standard profiles with Liquid), it has only made significant improvements in the models. Each model I tried I ended up saving as the improvements were so stark. And they were great to begin with.

    Another improvement was to the harmonic accuracy of overdrive and distortion in a profile. I never did feel that Kempers quite got overdriven Fenders right; being the owner of an original 5F6A tweed Bassman, I'm very familiar with the tones. But I took a Tone Junkie profile of a tweed Bassman and Liquidized it; boom, there it was. Stunning. Having that proper tone circuitry in the middle of the amp topology is a BIG deal in harmonic generation.

    I have always not been fond of the effect the Kemper has on a profile as the previous profiles "assumed" a gain structure from noon on the Gain knob on up. This made the overdrive texture of the amps sound more Marshally to me with the gain above 5. The Liquid profiling appears to keep the gain range of the profile within its limits to the actual amp, and I much prefer this. All the EQ and gain settings then are accurate to the actual amp design, and higher gain isn't estimated.

    The only down side with Liquid Profiling is we now need to do what modeler users are so familiar with; beg and plead for a particular model of an amp that doesn't exist. I'm eagerly waiting for a Dumble ODS Liquid setting, as well as a Heritage G12-65 imprint. But I'm not complaining at all.

    I'd just like to add that IMHO the Powered Kabinet could the best overall solution for use with the Fractal FM3 and other modelers, but you have to use an external IR loader and custom IRs made from Kemper imprints. I use the Kemper for almost all live and recording use, but have experimented with the FM3 and powered Kabinet, and they play together very well with the external IRs. Kemper probably has more going on in the imprints that a single IR can't catch, but still it sounds pretty darn good.

    Also, after comparing Kones and a powered Kabinet with a Celestion F12-X200, the Kone and Kabinet are FAR better in every way, as long as you use the imprints.

    Alas, with no good downloadable imprints for the Kone, and the FM3 not having an additional IR block to use the imprints (if they did exist), they cannot play well together without some technical mojo. IMHO the Kone is the best modeler guitar speaker ever made, but you HAVE to have the imprints and a way to implement them.

    For not too much money you can buy a battery backup for computers so if somebody unplugs you/ venue blows a fuse etc. You won't have to reboot when they plug you back in. They also provide surge/spike protection.

    This x1000. Gig power, especially outdoor gigs with generators, is notoriously erratic. Years ago I bought a $40 Amazon battery backup, and have never had a single issue on any gigs using the Kemper for almost 7 years. Everything else onstage died multiple times, but not the Kemper.

    Btw, I compared the boot time of the Kemper Stage to a Fractal FM3, both with latest firmware. The Kemper booted faster than the FM3 by a few seconds. :) The Kemper Stage boots a lot faster than a Kemper head or rack, and a foot controller adds a bit more time to boot.

    4x12 are the work of the Devil 😠

    Should have been banned years ago.

    I have a gorgeous 70s Marshall slant 4X12 with G12M-25 Greenbacks, all it does is provide a stand for my 100W Marshall Vintage Modern and the fine covering of dust it has accumulated. I have not needed to switch it on for years except to profile it. Both will eventually be sold; the Vintage Modern when the prices rise to their inevitable end value as it WILL be collectible, and the 4X12 just gathers more value so no hurry there.

    The gigs and venues that justify a 4X12 cab are becoming less and less in my area, I haven't used one live in over a decade. The absolute killer rig for most venues IMHO is a Powered Kab and Stage. It's hard to optimize a solution that is as well integrated and thought out, with the best tone and versatility on a loud stage and for FOH, boiled down to the minimum hardware to carry around. And I am not just being a Kemper fanboy, I have tried hard over the years to find a better solution, and nothing else comes close. Fractal still expects you to find your own loud stage amp solution, and that task is not easy unless you have a wad of cash.

    The power amp in the Powered Kab is an ICEPower 300ASC, it is rated for 300W @ 4 ohms. The Neo Kone in the Powered Kab is rated at 200W and 4 ohms. IMHO this is perhaps plenty of amp you might expect to need with the Neo Kone in the powered Kab. It should get pretty darn loud, and if everything is set and plugged in correctly and the Kab is working correctly, you might just need more Kabs as a single one just won't get loud enough (it is a single 1X12 after all).

    I dimly recall a way to set the maximum power out of a powered Kemper head in the settings, having that set too low would reduce max volume of an unpowered Kab. Is there a similar power limit setting for a powered Kab in the Kemper?

    To the OP; when you are running out of volume with the powered Kab, did you happen to notice how much power was indicated on the power meter in the Output block, and was the volume set on the Kab where it needs to be for the power meter to measure accurately? IIRC you have to have the volume on the Kab itself all the way up for the power meter in the Kemper to read accurately.

    the kemper does not do crossover distortion very well. certain amps just do not profile well. Buzzy splatty things like matchless an old class a amps.

    Much agreed with this. One reason I love the Kemper so much is it does not generally do crossover distortion, and I DESPISE crossover distortion. I spent a LOT of time when I built and modded amps trying to rid them of crossover distortion, there are tricks to do so. But not always with modelers.

    I firmly believe this harmonic behavior with Kempers is why some folks love them and some don't. If you want intentional accurate ugly distortion in a model, the Fractals are good at that. Line 6 modeling does ugly too, but some of the ugly bleeds over where it doesn't belong (it always makes me laugh seeing the Hum parameter in some Line 6 models). The Kemper just sounds gorgeous IMHO and it is sometimes hard to get it sounding ugly.

    I might be late to the party, but here's a newish video of Richard Kruspe using two toasters backstage.

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    The one I have been very much digging lately (for demos and quick ideas) is Roland Zenbeats on an iPad. It's fairly simple, and has lots of capabilities, very much like a simplified version of Ableton crossed with Maschine. And it is free for a limited capability version; a $2.99 subscription gets you into the Zencore universe with emulations of most of Roland's vintage and current synths. Don't let the Zenbeats name mislead you, it has what is called Timeline view that allows standard audio DAW usage. I did use Garageband for these tasks, but Zenbeats has very completely kicked it to the curb.

    For standard recording I use Ableton.

    I have to revisit all of this; last time I profiled (about a year ago) I made Direct profiles, and got the best results with no refinement at all. I did find you can wreck a profile if you refine it too much. But these videos look very promising, and I need to try out the Stage with profiling.


    But in our case, thousands are enjoying this feature already ?

    In the world of digital power amps, such a feature is critically important in some cases. Awhile back I was working on a class D power amp demo board, and found that it had a circuit in the control IC that put the chip in "protection mode" when it sensed clipping in the output. What this did on stage was make the amp shut off for a few seconds when peak output was detected. The chip was specifically designed to do this. That's a BAD thing on a loud stage, just one clean tone string snap could shut the amp off. I had to put a brick wall limiter in the design to keep the input signal from peaking the power amp.

    Now if you think analog solid state amp distortion is bad, you should hear digital power amp distortion. You'll think the standard solid state amp is a Dumble by comparison.

    I would be surprised if someone doesn't make an IR that serves to flatten the EQ of the Kone, and use that to allow the Kone to work with other modelers. Feed that IR into one of the small pedalboard IR loaders (like the Nux Studio or ridiculously low priced Sonic IR cab simulator), put that between your modeler and the powered Kab, and off you go.

    Indeed the WL-20 is not as good a unit as the more expensive ones such as the Shure. I'm using the WL-20 in place of a Line 6 G50. But I like the WL-20 as it sounds good and works as well as I need it to, it has rechargeable batteries, it's a much smaller solution, and I don't have to fool with the setup of the G50 RX every week.

    One thing to watch on the WL-20 RX, the blue LED. If it blinks while you're playing, it's indicating dropouts, and the units need to be paired again. I see this from time to time, but the dropouts aren't usually bad enough to cause any issues. The Line 6 G50 has had zero dropouts. I'd probably use the G50 if I could leave the unit set up all the time.

    Just as a note, it took quite a few years for the Kemper to have its firmware developed to where it is now. So comparing the shortcomings of the infant QC to the far more mature Kemper is perhaps not fair. The early QC adopters will need to be ready to absorb the early hardware issues (like the Kemper LED issue) and be patient to wait for the firmware bugs and development to happen. Also it will take a long time for the aftermarket profiles to be available in the quantity and quality we enjoy with the Kemper.

    Another huge comparison; is Neural going to provide the amazing ongoing support that Kemper does? Provide continuous free updates over almost a decade that add amazing new features but do not require a hardware upgrade? Will they come out with a QC MkII in a year or so and abandon the old platform?

    And a big but not insignificant question (and my apologies if this is off base in any way); how badly is the QC infringing on Kemper's patents, if at all? I sure hope they're not, as that can be a massive mess and money sink for any company.

    I've had a Kemper toaster for over 5 years, and just recently bought a Stage. I am still floored every time I turn the unit on. It's the first unit I have used that is like a magic canvas of tone; I can get anything I can think up out of it and more. And on top of this, it just sounds luscious through every PA and recording desk I use it with. I have no desire to try any other modeler or profiler except for simple curiosity; the Kemper simply has it all covered. I suspect I'm not the only user that feels this way.

    After playing various modelers and the Kemper mostly exclusively for 15 years or more, both live and in the studio, one thing that has been a constant is every device has its own unique tonal signature it applies to all tones going through it. In my case I couldn't hear it until I played the unit for awhile, but then when I heard it, I couldn't unhear it. The Kemper is no exception BTW, it does have a sonic signature it places on everything. The difference in my case is I love the Kemper's coloration, where the other modelers I didn't. Still love the Kemper to this day though, and am not likely to change as I haven't heard anything I like better in 5 years of use.

    I wonder if some of the sonic characteristics mentioned in this thread are specific to the Neural tech, and are present for all users. But some like the tones with that signature on them, where others don't. If that is the case, there might not be a lot you can do to make yourself like it, might be best to move on for now.

    I think this will be OK, but unfortunately SD is rather poor with their specs (not listed on the web site or in the Quick Start guide). The Sweetwater page and SD home page says 700W per channel, but then later in the Sweetwater description it says 700W total power at 4 ohms. So which is it?? I'd suggest contacting Seymour Duncan and asking directly. Or if anyone knows what amp module is used in it, and its part number, we can figure it out from there.

    If it is 700W per channel at 4 ohms, and you have a Kab in each channel, that will be quite a loud setup. But be careful as I'd expect the amp could eat the Kones alive... even at 350W it could do this. FWIW, many rack power amps with internal DSP allow a maximum output power to be set so your speakers don't get fried in the heat of battle, but I don't believe the PS700 has this feature.

    @ Frodebro

    Just a note on efficiency ratings - 2 identical speakers/cabs sharing the same power as one alone will still be 3 dB louder. If one driver has an efficiency rating of (say) 100 dB at 1 watt, two will be 103 dB @ 1 watt.

    This is indeed true, but due to a characteristic in the design of most solid state amps, you will not get the same power in each speaker if they are connected in series (actually this is the case of most amps). You can get the efficiency benefit with many solid state amps if you connect the speakers in parallel, provided the amp can handle the halved impedance.

    The 4 ohm impedance of the Kone and Kab is terrific if you use only one speaker per solid state amp output, and also works well if you have 4 of them wired in series-paralleled pairs (giving 4 ohms total). But using two together in one amp output will either require a 2 ohm impedance from the speaker (not as common as 4 ohm minimum), or wiring them in series for 8 ohms total (halving the total power from the amp).

    The main reason solid state amps act like this is due to their having a constant maximum voltage in the power supply. If you know the power a solid state amp can provide at a specific impedance, and grab a calculator and simple power equations, you can get an approximate idea of what power your speaker configuration will receive from an amp (and why your 250W amp works great with a Kone, but can't even keep up with a drummer when used with your stock 16 ohm Marshall cab).

    Thanks for sharing. Couple of Q's:

    So what are the implications of the data for enclosures etc? How was it mic'ed up for the test?

    There were no mics used. The DATS system is a measurement tool\software combination that analyzes the driver in free air. The only additional item was a calibrated weight to calculate Vas.…nent-test-system--390-807

    BTW, for giggles I did plug the measured TS parameters into a box designer program, with estimated\measured dimensions of the Kabinet. Here's the info for that paper exercise (again no mics used). Looks like 3dB lower cutoff of 86Hz, with a 1.2dB bump at 160Hz. These are approximate results, the cab dimensions are estimates (not sure what the MDF thickness is).

    Kemper Kabinet 09_28_20.pdf

    You could use this info to design a ported cab, but the parameters of the Kone seem to suggest that you might not get much low end benefit from a ported cab vs. a closed cab. You can throw the TS parameters into a cab design program and estimate the low end results of a specific design however.