Has anyone owned/tried both a Helix and Kemper?

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by 22James, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. EliasX

    EliasX Member

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    They both produce great tones, but really the similarity stops there. I use my Kemper more like an amp. The effects really don’t do it for me and I leave them off, but the amp tones are so perfect I’ll use my Helix in front of the Kemper in the studio for effects only. Other times I use my Helix alone. Plenty of options if you have both.
     
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  2. Karl Houseknecht

    Karl Houseknecht Member

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    I’ve had the KPA and Helix side by side. And I’ve owned a KPA more times than I’d care to admit. Ultimately, although the KPA can sound great, I prefer the Helix because all the tones are in the box and the effects are FAR better. It’s a more mature product, and it’s also an all in one floor unit.
     
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  3. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

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    And I really love having an unlimited selection of amps to try. I've been thinking about that Kemper all night. I think the GC credit card may get a workout...
     
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  4. blueprint

    blueprint Member

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    Bought an amplifire for my top 40 band, sold it for a helix, sold the helix and bought a kemper. Kemper is better imho as it sounds and react like an amp, helix can probably be as good but with way more time setting things. I prefer playing... So kemper is the best.
     
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  5. bsd512

    bsd512 Silver Supporting Member

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    I own both. I love my Helix and I like my Kemper. For me, the Kemper is a wonderful Helix accessory. The Kemper has taught me a lot, and for just about any Kemper profile, I can dial in an equivalent Helix sound. Often times a great Kemper profile will inspire me to reproduce it in the Helix - and the Helix being what it is - a true model of the amp vs a snapshot of an amp's specific setup and mic'ing at a particular instance in time, I'll make the Helix version of that profile even more to my liking since all the controls work like the real amp and you have more freedom to set it up the way you want vs how it was profiled. But ... I probably wouldn't have gotten that great tone on my own since it was inspired by an already great profile in the Kemper. So that's what I mean by the Kemper has taught me a lot.

    I still own both and don't plan on selling either of them. But if I had to, I'd keep the Helix because I use it the vast majority of the time and I don't agree with many that the amp tones are perceptibly better than what you can get with the Helix - if you know how to dial in an amp and cabinet (mic choice, distance, etc).

    Just about everything else has been said about these two products in this thread. I know it's cliche, but the right answer for which is right for you depends on you. If you can, I recommend you purchase both. And if you can only keep one, buy from a vendor that has a good return policy and use the 15-30 day no questions asked return and return one of them and keep the other one that works best for you and the way you like - whichever one it may be. That's the only way to know for sure ...

    Note - for each one of these, there's a learning curve, so you really need to work them them both for a while and learn a few gotcha's and tips for each one to get the most out of them. Buying from a place with a 30 day return should be sufficient to do that.

    Heck, I've had my Helix for 2 and a half years and still learn new things. I've had my Kemper about a year.
     
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  6. Bentayuk

    Bentayuk Supporting Member

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    I've owned both.

    I had the Helix LT earlier this year. The tones are top notch with tweaking. The user friendly application is the best out there. The multi-function of the unit is the best on the market. In that respect, the Helix is the future of digital modeling.

    I currently own the Kemper. Tonally, the amp tones are the best on the market. It has that missing % in sound and feel that I personally feel the other brands lack. The effects are great, but I'm not a huge fx user. The selection of ultra specific tones available for the Kemper makes it head and shoulders above the rest.

    For example, the Helix has the Archetype amp model, based on the PRS Archon. I said the price point of the Helix LT was worth it alone for that amp model. Then the Helix has a tubescreamer built in I can use, likely based on a TS808. You tweak until happy, and it’s great!

    Then the Kemper can get any number of PRS Archon profiles, recorded directly from the actual amp. These profiles can be anywhere from clean to lead. They can include any tubescreamer or boost pedal you can imagine. Ibanez TS808? Sure. Maxon OD808? Absolutely. Fortin 33? You bet!
    I can literally find the sound that is tailored to how I hear that specific amp, and I've yet to be disappointed.

    It depends what you're looking for. In my opinion, having owned both, the Helix is future of the modeling, and part of me wishes the KPA had the functionality of the Helix. But the Kemper isn't modeling, it's profiling which is that % of difference IMO, and I wish the Helix sounded and felt like my KPA.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
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  7. Jimmyno

    Jimmyno Member

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    I have owned both, the KPA for a very long time (more than 5 years) and the Helix Lt for 6 months (I had the Kemper too, side by side).
    My personal preference was on the KPA, maybe because I was used to that and I had already found my sounds during the years. At the same time Helix delivers extremely good tones and my bet is that Line6 will keep on supporting it as a fantastic rig tool, maybe the best on the market. It is the most flexible and intuitive all in one machine, imho.
    If I still had the Kemper my choice would be to buy an hx stomp to integrate the KPA.

    FWIW, I own an AX8, which I really love for tones and fx. Editing on the machine is the weakest experience of all my music life. I find it way harder than editing my old Lexicon G2.
     
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  8. CKemper

    CKemper Member

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    I am sure you are familiar with our effect preset management that we feature since about day one. Simply browse our effects on the hardware and you will quickly find a dozen of Wah presets (with semi-recognizable names, too :) ), that are mostly created by us, others by fellow users. No need to go online, no need to know how to tweak them.
    We have plans for an improved effect preset management, but that would not be necessary for finding a reasonable choice of wah pedals.
     
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  9. mbenigni

    mbenigni Member

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    I guess it's simpler than I implied then, and I just didn't like the Kemper wahs as much as the Helix wahs.
     
  10. CKemper

    CKemper Member

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    That is a necessary consequence if you haven't checked our wah presets :)
     
  11. Jose7822

    Jose7822 Member

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    The only Wah I like in the Helix is the Chrome Custom. Personally, I like the Wahs in the Kemper better. They give you more control of the tone, so you can make it sound like pretty much any Wah pedal you want.
     
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  12. mbenigni

    mbenigni Member

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    But I did. I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt. ;) To be fair, that was over three years ago, and I'm not exactly a wah connoisseur.
     
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  13. JiveTurkey

    JiveTurkey Trumpets and Tants Supporting Member

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    What if I've become a drive connoisseur?


    :waiting[​IMG] :D
     
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  14. Lele

    Lele Supporting Member

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    I also was using only the Chrome model, but recently I have been replacing it with the Conductor, it is (imho) even better. I use rather strict frequency limits (not far from default values if I remember well) and a mix of about 75%.
     
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  15. Ingolf

    Ingolf Member

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    Then you'd have to admit the MXR+ model in the Profiler is a creation of beauty. ;)
     
  16. rburkard

    rburkard Gold Supporting Member

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    I had both the Helix and the Kemper and still own the Kemper. Love this unit. Gives me everything I need. The sound quality depending on the profiles of course can be outstanding. The Helix is a little bit more compact and you have to deal only with one unit unlike the Kemper which requires a midi switcher or the Kemper remote, which I highly recommend. While the Helix can also sound great, if sound quality is your number one consideration, go with the Kemper.
     
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  17. JiveTurkey

    JiveTurkey Trumpets and Tants Supporting Member

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    Ewww











    :D
     
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  18. PepAlmeida

    PepAlmeida Member

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    Who does the kemper react to analog drives and fuzz?

    The thing I believe works better on kemper is that I don't have the knowledge or the experience on how to dial amps at all apart from knowing what I like.

    I wish I knew how to dial crazy FX routes and whatnot and I have an hx FX but sometimes it seems I don't even know how to dial delays ;) not because of something wrong with the unit but because I'm dumb like that.
     
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  19. teofilrocks

    teofilrocks Supporting Member

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    I think this point deserves repeating. There is certainly an argument to be made about the benefits of knowing how to dial in different amps or even mic'ing speaker cabs. But for many players just looking to play and enjoy certain certain sounds, being able to load up a profile of a complete rig dialed in by a pro is quite an asset.
     
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  20. PepAlmeida

    PepAlmeida Member

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    Don't get me wrong. I wish I knew. I drool when I see people doing all this crazy paths in modelers, and I envy people who know how to mic cabs, and mix/produce sounds. I love music gear. I have a great hunger to try everything. But I have to be realistic and humble and admit I don't have the skill others have.

    I the end I'm not a pro, and I will never have the experience and/or time to learn those things. I would love to have a big tube amp collection but I don't have the money to buy them... I would love to try them but I don't always have them available or know people who have them...
     

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