Kemper users - would you buy a Kemper in 2018?


Hey all

So imagine something happened to your Kemper. In 2018, nearly 2019, would you purchase a Kemper again taking into account all the great alternatives (amp sims, Helix etc)?


It’s 2018 and I bought one 7-8 months ago.

But say you have a really good audio interface, is it that much better than amp sims for home use?

Yeah, to my ears and hands the feel is unrivaled. I can work with amp sims and have some good ones (Nameless, all the Mercuriall stuff, Amplitube Mesa and Orange) but to me the Kemper blows em away.

Plus I can get stuff from friends or commercial profilers that don’t exist on the plugin market (Cameron Marshalls, DAR FBM, etc...).


But say you have a really good audio interface, is it that much better than amp sims for home use?

I own a Lynx Aurora (n) 8TB (thunderbolt) audio interface, which costs more than the powered Kemper + Remote combo, and I still choose the Kemper over any amp simulator (including those from UAD, Helix Native, etc). But that’s me :).

Watt McCo

But say you have a really good audio interface, is it that much better than amp sims for home use?
I bought my first Kemper (used unpowered rack) in spring of 2018. I liked it a lot, but was having a little trouble with the workow. Set it aside for six weeks or so and was planning on selling it. In the meantime I played plugins. I decided to plug the KeKper in one last time to see if I should really sell it or not. And within about fifteen minutes realized it would be worth the effort to adapt to it's workflow. It's the one modeler I've had (other hardware models include an Atomic AA3 and Helix LT) that I have grown to like more and more the longer I've owned/played it.

Tgat said, if I were playing exclusively through near field monitors and/or headphones at volumes low enough that I could hear the acoustic sound of my electric as well as I could the amplified sound, I wouldn't bother with the Kemper. If I were in a situation where at least once a week I got to give it a little more juice to where folks couldn't watch TV in an adjacent room (but might be fine if at opposite end of the house), I'd still go Kemper. Thankfully, I can play as loud as I want within reason everyday, and so buying Kemper in 2018 was a no-brainer for me.

Without getting into fights over specifics or whether my opinion could survive a blind test, etc., FOR ME, based on tone, feel, workflow, and appearance, the Kemper feels an an emotional and physical level the most like just plugging a guitar into a killer guitar amplifier that just happens to generate its sound without tubes.

Lord N

But say you have a really good audio interface, is it that much better than amp sims for home use?
I don't use it at home only. It really depends on what you mean with home use..... If i was someone that just plays 15 mins of guitar after work, i don't know if i would have paid the money for a Kemper.
If it's "that much" better also depends on the individual i guess. It depends on what exactly you are looking for in amp tones and how good/experienced your ear is. Some people couldn't tell the difference between a Pod and Kemper and i don't think it makes much sense for them to get a Kemper then.
I think the Kemper is a great and versatile tool. I think it sounds very good and as i said i would buy it again.


Silver Supporting Member
Yes X1000. The Kemper might be old and have a few less than optimal features, but it has one thing that outshines anything else; it just sounds outrageously good. Every time I use it I am amazed at how good it sounds, and this still happens after several years of use. I've used other modelers (such as a HD-500) that have an arguably better\more versatile configuration capabilities, but the tone can get tiring with the thinness and harshness. the Kemper just sounds astounding in every case (in its overall timbre and playing feel).

That being said, I am positive that if the Helix would have been available when I was in the market for a top tier modeler, I would have purchased it instead of a Kemper. But I have no desire to switch to a Helix now, although its UI is light years ahead of the Kemper's. And it has an editor. ;) I do plan to buy a HX Stomp in a few months though, that and a Kemper would actually be complimentary units and not really be in competition with each other.

Mango Positive

Gold Supporting Member
I've tried the Helix and it sounds great / is easy to work with. The thing I love most about the Kemper is how "ready to go" it is with the profiles. Very little tweaking required, so I spend more time playing than tweaking. I do have a profile purchase problem though. It's easy to spend hours just trying out amps. At least there's very little knob twirling required. In my opinion, the sounds are better in the Kemper. Not by a lot. You can get really close if you work at it. Cheaper too, since there are no profiles to buy. But I'd buy a Kemper again if mine broke.


This is my personal dilemma. I use mainly my Axe Fx, so I'm not super concerned about having the latest and greatest from Kemper. Whatever the theoretical Kemper 2 provides, I can probably supplement with my Axe with better or equal results. However, I'd really like to see what a Kemper 2 brings to the table (run multiple profiles at once, more I/O, USB audio, etc), because I think the Kemper is already a great product with a strong value proposition.

Since I have the Axe, I'm not chomping at the bit to get a Kemper. If a revision ever drops, though, I'd be very inclined to pick one up.


For home use, I would get an AA6. I've had Kemper, AA6, AA12, AX8, Helix LT and GT1000 and the AA line is the only one that I've found to come close to matching core tone of the Kemper. The AX8 is great, but there's so much stuff I will never use in it.


Double Platinum Member
I would absolutely buy the Kemper again and again if I had to. There is no other product like this on the market. Would also support the idea of a smaller "fly" solution though.


I would buy a new one in a heartbeat.
Like @Jose7822 I also own the Helix and while it sounds good, Kemper is superior in raw amp tone in such a way I wouldn’t want to be without it.
Also I disagree with @Karl Houseknecht about the FX.
While there might be a theoretical limitation in FX you can use all at the same time some things are so cleverly implemented in the Profiler I have NEVER missed anything (apart from a second physical FX loop from time to time).
And the FX quality of the Profiler is just great.
I like the Kemper's delays and reverb (which are in beta ATM) even a little better than what the Helix offers.


i own a great rme audio interface and a kemper,no vst guitar plugin is even close to the sound quality and feel of the kemper,s-gear is great but only for clean tone for me.
simple answer i'd definitely buy it again in 2018.


If I would buy a full pull modeler doubt it would be the kpa.
All that bullocks about its age...its still the best sounding unit around.

I cant see myself selling it...nor can I see myself replacing it within the next 10 years.
An accurate copy doesnt get in that department...profiling is done.
Effects?...really their great, and honestly, the high end stuff from 10 years ago was also great. There will be more slots, routing, etc...but honestly...I really dont need that.
Its a poweramp, full modeling and footcontroler in one bag...the future will bring a tad smaller and lighter....but better then one bag is not gonna happen.

If I would by one again?....mmm...not sure actually. From a convience perspective, a combo and pedalboard is actually 1 device less then my modeling rig. I feel I can do any gig with my amp and small pedalboard. 80% gigs is without foh...and honestly I have no problem with my sound being screwed up by bad micing If a venue didnt get a good soundguy.
So current benifits are convience of bringing the kpa to a venue where I can hijack a cab, demo recording, 1 studio gig for a release per hear, and my abuse of the kpa as an acoustic preamp running into PA.
Mmm...guess im only keeping it for the day stevie wonder calls me for a gig.....seems like has lost sight of my number though.

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