Kemper, Strymon or BluG Amp1?

SkyTwn

Member
Messages
9
I have a Kemper power head, a Amp1 Mercury and have owned a Helix but now have the Stomp and an HXFX.

While the Kemper has power for gigging, I would go with the Amp1. It’s way easier to deal with and the tones are phenomenal. I have a pedal train metro board with the Amp1 and the Line 6 HXFX. That’s it. So, I have all the effects of a Helix with the great amp tones of the Amp1 in a tiny package. The Amp1 also has a recording/headphone out that you could even run to FOH. I like the cabinet emulation on the recording out. But, the Amp1 into a nice bottom is just great plus you have 3 channels. I set up a couple of pedal arrangements on the HXFX and it covers anything.

the Kemper is great for recording and is incredibly powerful but it’s a lot of complexity for just gigging. The other thing I’ve learned is that while you can dial in a zillion profiles on the Kemper, that doesn’t translate to those tones when run live into a cabinet. The cabinet is really 95% of the tone. So - if your cabinet is a green back 4x12, don’t expect a Princeton profile to sound anything like a Princeton - it’ll sound more like a Marshall. That isn’t saying that the powered Kemper doesn’t sound great - it does. It’s just limited to the tones of your cabinet.

I’m not a big fan of any modeler into FRFR speakers. Been there and prefer real amps/speakers (BTW I consider the powered Kemper as real)
Thanks for your response and picture!
I'll try both (if I can), to be sure and I'll decide. I must say I'm leaning more towards the Amp1 but we'll see.
Then if I'll end up choosing the Amp1, I hope you won't mind me asking you some suggestions on setting both of them (Helix and Amp1) midi!
Also, how do you think it would react to a 2x12 cab with V30?
 

kebotrans

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,421
Look at the Black Spirit 200 Floor by Hughes and Kettner. I am a tube guy, but needed something portable. I love this thing. The app is great on the Ipad to control it and make changes. I am using mine with a Line 6 HX FX in the loop and it also has 2 programmable pre loops. Red Box DI out and 6 or 8 speaker Sims. I love it.


Also you have 200 watts at your feet, and pushes a lot of air.

 

The Law

Member
Messages
91
+1 on the Black Spirit 200. I would choose that over a modeler any day of the week because it feels like a tube amp when I play it. (Subjective of course), but I only get along with something if it has a "responsive" feel...hate when it seems like I'm in the booth next to sound engineer listening to his 8" studio monitors and the amp is in an ISO box two rooms over. That is my experience with the Helix, not that you can't get usable tones out of it or any other modeler. The Black Spirit 200 and BluGuitar Amp1 are different (and superior, to me..) in that way alone.
 

kdm1218

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,117
I agree on the Marshall tones. Way way better in Iridium, although I find that I need eq before and after. Cleans up with guitar volume really well which the Helix doesn’t. Iridium is the only modeler I’ve really gotten along with.
How good is something if you need EQ before and after? :dunno

The Brit P75 on Helix is my new personal favorite amp model. It cleans up beautifully with a Strat neck and rolling back volume. Enough so that I used that tone on much of a church set Sunday morning with the whole clean to edge of breakup type thing.
 

GaryMcT

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,466
How good is something if you need EQ before and after? :dunno

The Brit P75 on Helix is my new personal favorite amp model. It cleans up beautifully with a Strat neck and rolling back volume. Enough so that I used that tone on much of a church set Sunday morning with the whole clean to edge of breakup type thing.
It’s good if it the best sounding amp sim you’ve used and cleans up really well. As a plexi player, I require it to clean up well. Plus the helix plexi models sound awful. I bought an hx stomp. Still have it, but I only use it for effects.
 

kdm1218

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,117
It’s good if it the best sounding amp sim you’ve used and cleans up really well. As a plexi player, I require it to clean up well. Plus the helix plexi models sound awful. I bought an hx stomp. Still have it, but I only use it for effects.
I like the Plexi jumped model, but tbh I have also never played through the real tube version. So I realize that could certainly change my mind about it.
 

GaryMcT

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,466
I like the Plexi jumped model, but tbh I have also never played through the real tube version. So I realize that could certainly change my mind about it.
I have a 68 plexi clone running through SRL-IR for comparison. The Iridium with eq makes me not bother to use the real thing most of the time lately. Right now I’m using an HX Stomp in front of the Iridium in stereo for pre-eq and drive pedals with eq, room sim, and reverb on a UAD interface. Sounds glorious. Wish I could get this sound from one box, but it’ll do for now.
 
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ljholland

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,710
I hated the helix amp models and immediately fell in love with the Iridium.
While I don't hate modelers, I have to agree that they're not the same as using a real amp like the Amp1.

I was thinking more about this and have a theory.....I think what's going on is that modelers need to use some sort of low-pass filtering to remove digital hiss. That seems to kill the upper harmonics you hear on a tube amp. Just an idea.
 

kdm1218

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,117
I hated the helix amp models and immediately fell in love with the Iridium.
That’s why it’s great to play guitar in 2019, there’s something that will work and be fun for everyone ;)

It was more just a “be aware”... how many threads are there about trying to go modeling and hating it and going back to tube amps. And many of those note the “feel” and dynamics and being able to hear your amp right there behind you. It’s a deal breaker for some and others find ways around it. But not knowing what all OP’s background was, some people have dove in only to complain that a modeler in IEMs or PA or whatever monitoring system is not the same as their amp in stage, and that’s correct, never will be.
 

guitarnet70

Member
Messages
3,858
Well guys, I'm also late to the party.
I've been a long time modeling guy, coming all the way down from Yamaha, Line6 and Kemper (used to be a tester for them in the early days).
The Kemper is hard to beat for amp tones, IMHO, and is very well Gig-able as well (I did it for long time) but it requires very deep understanding on how it works and you have to make your own sounds. Added to it it requires very specific Speakers to sound as it can on stage. Nevertheless the best direct sound you'll ever get.
I have jumped out that train some years ago and went back the traditional way in order to make more music and less editing.
All I want now is my tone... And surprisingly I get there (or near) with almost any set of gear (really in the fingers?).
If you are a studio pro or a guitar for hire, the Kemper is definitely the tool for you, if not.. Well it's still the better sounding one... But too much options for me.
YMMV
 




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