Time has come to purchase a new amp and I'm really into modelling. Can't decide between the 4 "giants" of modelling now. Will be doing both gigging and recording fairly often. Pros of the Kemper: - great amp tone with loads of profiles available - can capture other amps (but to be honest I will rarely use this feature) - headphone output - Total price for rack model + rack case + shipping comes to about $2100 - cheaper than the Axe FX XL without shipping. Cons of the Kemper: - effects aren't that great apparently - fixed routing - 4 effects before amp, 4 effects after. Something like the FX would allow for 1 effect before/7 after/etc. - no usb interface (even though there is a USB port separate to the USB drive?) - 3u rack so might be a tad big? (not really that much of an issue to be honest) Pros of the Axe FX - pretty good amp sims with tons of presets - effects are great - amazing routing capabilities - really leaning towards it for this but not sure - only 2u rack size - USB interface - "industry standard" - a lot of pros use them too, probably a lot of support/forum threads Cons of Axe FX - expensive! Cheapest used one would be $2000 otherwise I'd have to spend something like $2500 to get it shipped to me as well. I have the opportunity to get an Ultra for $1000 but I've heard they aren't very good. - menus might be hard to edit on the fly - honestly not really a problem as I'll mainly be recording. Pros of the Helix (pedalboard version) - Great interface - Easy to use/change settings - Routing capabilities are second only to Axe FX - Cheap - including shipping it would be something like $1500 at most. - tons of outputs including USB IIRC - Built in expression pedal Cons of the Helix - IR cabs aren't that great - Tone said to be a little weak - Bigger than the AX8 Pros of the AX8 - Cheap - around the same price shipped to me as the Helix - Most of the Axe FX processing included - so similar to the Axe in terms of sounds? - Footswitch means I don't need a MIDI controller Cons of the AX8 - No USB interface - No headphone jack - No dual/stereo amp configuration due to limited power - No built in expression pedal Like I said, I'm a little confused and could use some advice. I'm looking to do both recording and gigging with this. One of my concerns/hopes is that when playing live, I can have two signal paths - one with a full cab/impulse etc that goes to the front of house, and one without a cab that I can run through a poweramp into a cab for on stage monitoring. Will mainly be playing rock/prog lead stuff (think Intervals and Plini) but really want it to excel at clean tones too. Won't be using anything else in terms of pedals or gear. Only a wireless and a MIDI controller if needed. Thoughts?