2019: Axe FX 3 vs Kemper - What's the consensus?

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by rmg471, Aug 9, 2019.

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  1. WBellman

    WBellman Silver Supporting Member

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    Not at you Karl: Just to be clear, the Kemper comes stock with hundreds of rigs built in. A lot of people have gigged a Kemper for years without spending a penny on third party profiles. There's also hundreds of them free by pro guys in the Rig Exchange under a dedicated folder so do don't have to search.

    I bought a couple thousand of them and then spent months narrowing things down to 5 rigs based on tones alone. 2 cost $ and the other 3 were free. I could have easily gigged with those 3.
     
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  2. Karl Houseknecht

    Karl Houseknecht Supporting Member

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    You're correct. But if you're a tweaker like me, you're probably going to go out and buy stuff that you hear demos of. I did. Spent way too much money on that. It's a personality disorder thing. LOL! I hear really good tones by others out of the KPA, I've just never had the success others have had. YMMV.
     
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  3. WBellman

    WBellman Silver Supporting Member

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    Not at you again @Karl Houseknecht : (maybe I should put this in my auto-sig????)

    Third party files are not unique to Kemper. You can buy them for all platforms if you are that OCD, not at you Karl.
     
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  4. Karl Houseknecht

    Karl Houseknecht Supporting Member

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    LOL! No worries at all. You're right again, but I don't buy patches for modelers. I like to create my own. I think that's why the KPA isn't for me. I have a limited array of amps to profile, so "creating" isn't something I am able to do much of there.
     
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  5. KenG

    KenG Member

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    I have zero experience with either but I know those are two different approaches to modelling. One relies totally on access to either real amps or profiles generated by others where you have minimal tweakability with onboard controls according to most accounts, while other has everything built in with maximum tweakability. So I guess its a question of which appeals to you more. Of the two I personally would favour adjusts on the fly vs downloading profiles and screening them till I'm satisfied.
    Tone wise both have some amazing demos out there.
     
  6. pickleweed

    pickleweed Member

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    I'm on the outside looking in here as I don't own any of them, but I think it comes down to work flow and company culture.

    Both seem like they're pro level, and capable of incredible tones - enough for most people. If you're more a plug and play guy, you'd likely prefer the KPA. If you're a tweaker, probably fractal.

    Now as far as company culture, kemper has supported the same platform for almost 8 years now I believe. They have a product that they believe is fully mature and have supported a single platform because of it.

    Fractal on the other hand, utilizes more need for new specs every several years because their process is more intensive. This has caused platforms to become outdated and unsupported at the cost of increased tech advances.

    Whichever fits your needs and perspectives better is probably the platform for you. Tweakers who want the latest tech - fm3. Set it and forget it's concerned with longevity -kpa
     
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  7. shredmiyagi

    shredmiyagi Member

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    If you have access to the best profiles or buddies who have Kempers with elite studio profiles, then IMO it’s hard to argue against it.

    The profiles are literally as good as they were recorded. You also have to consider taste in tones. You can buy a hyped profile pack but a lot of guys like crunchy classic rock breakup or high-gain for metal, neither of which are genres I personally make money playing.

    I’ll say this — you can only adjust a profile so much. It’s really all in the profiles.

    AxeFX is modeling to the T. If you enjoy editing, lots of effects and hi fi direct modeling tone, it’s the best.
     
  8. Dr Bonkers

    Dr Bonkers Vendor

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    It's like asking, "Which is a better tool, a hammer or a saw?"

    It depends on the job you want to accomplish.

    If you have an existing rig and want to replicate all its nuances painlessly and to a T, as well as only use simple effects chains, get a Kemper.

    If you want to build dream amp & cab rigs by tuning them with your ears using different parameters, as well as need advanced effects signal routing options, get an Axe FX III.
     
  9. averde

    averde Silver Supporting Member

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    I’ve had both the 3 and the Kemper and still have the Kemper. To me, there is no comparison. The Kemper just sounds and feels better especially after profiling my own amps.
     
  10. dsmc80

    dsmc80 Member

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    You will find no consensus. That said, I am using the AXE3 in the loop of my Kemper. I much prefer Kemper amps and I much prefer the effects in the AXE. YMMV
     
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  11. WBellman

    WBellman Silver Supporting Member

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    Minimum and maximum are misleading words.

    With Kemper you start with a rig (foundation) that someone made using the profile process - you have no control since you didn't make the profile. There's enough control in the unit to fine tune any rig that you find hits your sweet spots - I don't think I've read anyone saying otherwise. With modeling you build the foundation yourself so there's control over that.

    Once the cake is baked, they both offer more than enough icing options for most players.

    That said, making DI profiles is easy, and once you start doing that you gain back 100% control over the foundation - just like modeling.

    For the record: Kemper
     
  12. madbanjoman

    madbanjoman Member

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    Not sure of the right term for it, but how they are available to purchase is a factor for some. I would've a FM3 right now if came to market when it was expected to. I also might get it in the future if I could order it from a major retailer with a no interest financing option. I have wanted both for a while. The Stage hit the market first and was available at a major retailer that I could use a coupon and split the payments interest free.

    For me: Kemper
     
  13. RLD

    RLD Member

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    I have an AX8 and a Kemper...I find that I prefer Fractal for lots of reasons.
    But...either platform will do what needs to be done...it's just what your own personal preference is...and we can't tell you what that is.
     
  14. mikah912

    mikah912 Member

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    Not applicable to you as you've already made your choice, but doesn't Fractal support PayPal Credit for purchases, which allows people to pay interest free over 6 months all day, every day?
     
  15. madbanjoman

    madbanjoman Member

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    Good to know! If the FM3 had made it out in June/July as was first estimated, I would have probably discovered that when I went to checkout. I actually had the money for it saved up but ended up using it on something else when it looked like it wasn't hitting the streets anytime soon. I didn't get on the wait list until the 3rd or 4th day so I think I have a really long time to wait before my number comes up.
     
  16. blandified

    blandified Member

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    THE ONLY CONSENSUSS IS THAT HELIX IS BETTER THAN TUBE AMPS

    jk - I love my kemper. I had an Ax-8 but didn't keep it. Kemper ain't going anywhere
     
  17. WBellman

    WBellman Silver Supporting Member

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    If you ever want to use it be sure to check the return policies. I think they're different than someone like SweetW, who deals in MI gear exclusively. PP's policy has to cover pretty much anything.
     
  18. Tybalt

    Tybalt Member

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    When it comes to people saying the Kemper has better raw amp tones are they referring to the feel of the amps?
    When it comes to listening to tone examples it's kind of a wash to me as distinguishing differences often seem to be the result of user error/inconsistency. But in terms of feel, I'm curious if the Kemper is better than the Axe-FX.
     
  19. WBellman

    WBellman Silver Supporting Member

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    Man, it's so hard when you have to use a word. Tone and feel are as subjective as pretty much anything with guitar. If you've ever had the feeling of being completely lost in a tone while playing - where it's almost like the sound is pushing every note out of your fingers... it's not like that at all.
    :p
    To me, the Kemper, on the most consistent basis, got me pretty much that feeling..
     
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  20. lessthan12

    lessthan12 Supporting Member

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    Its funny to read through the comments because we all have our own opinions of things. As someone who has been with Fractal since the start and has bounced back and forth between amps and also OWNED Helix and Kemper, a few times side by side even with each other I will say this, Im still with Fractal.
    Despite what most are saying here, I disliked the Kemper. I also didn't find it "easier" to navigate, I actually found it quite annoying as well as distracting with the placements of the buttons on front and navigating through the menu. When I saw the picture of the Stage version and watched the video I just laughed at the sheer amount of crap on the front of that thing. What I disliked the most about Kemper though was the "feel" of playing it. Alot of people obviously have their own thoughts on this but to me that thing felt weird and plasticy when playing. I thought Fractal had it beat at that as well as effects at the time (had it side by side with my II XL+) with the amp tone more or less on par after you get a nice patch setup within the Axe Fx.
    Now that Ive moved onto the III I wouldn't even look at Kemper, IMHO, they pretty have Kemper beat in every area.
    As for Helix ( and I know Ill get chastised for this because of the Love for it here) all I have to say is, yikes
     
    Karl Houseknecht likes this.
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