Kemper users - would you buy a Kemper in 2018?

ColdFrixion

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Regardless, the comparison is OX + a great tube amp. I sold my powered KPA and replaced it with OX and a Two Rock SP35 head. I already had the matching cab. It’s not even close. Real spring reverb, no scrolling through presets, no LEDs, unbelievable tone that you can twist a real knob and really change without worrying that you’re deviating from the profile too much, drop dead simple to use, and it takes fuzz ;-)

A couple of things here. I use and like the reverbs in the Axe FX, and the OX has presets as well. I'm not unhappy with the KPA necessarily. In fact, I'd love to be able to run it (and the Axe FX) into the OX via a Line In, but since that's not possible, my only other option would be to buy a real tube amp, which would give me the best of both worlds and allow me to run the KPA and Axe into the effects loop of the amp if I were so inclined.
 

martinrawlins

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86
A couple of things here. I use and like the reverbs in the Axe FX, and the OX has presets as well. I'm not unhappy with the KPA necessarily. In fact, I'd love to be able to run it (and the Axe FX) into the OX via a Line In, but since that's not possible, my only other option would be to buy a real tube amp, which would give me the best of both worlds and allow me to run the KPA and Axe into the effects loop of the amp if I were so inclined.

I only know Kemper and OX, I'm sure the Axe FX is great. I don't use the OX delays much (I prefer a foot switchable pedal on my pedalboard) but the EMT plate, the room and the 1176 are just perfect. The real spring in my amp is what I want to hear too.

With KPA the loop comes after the cab block, so sounds artificial when inserting something like a Flint.

Agreed about the line in! OX is relatively light on features but that just makes me play more as there's less temptation to tweak.
 
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yeky83

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3,089
A couple of things here. I use and like the reverbs in the Axe FX, and the OX has presets as well. I'm not unhappy with the KPA necessarily. In fact, I'd love to be able to run it (and the Axe FX) into the OX via a Line In, but since that's not possible, my only other option would be to buy a real tube amp, which would give me the best of both worlds and allow me to run the KPA and Axe into the effects loop of the amp if I were so inclined.
Yeah, the lack of a line in on the Ox seems shortsighted to me.

What are you looking for in the Ox that the Kemper or Axe-Fx can't provide? Maybe using a UAD interface is an alternative?
 

ColdFrixion

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5,736
Yeah, the lack of a line in on the Ox seems shortsighted to me.

What are you looking for in the Ox that the Kemper or Axe-Fx can't provide? Maybe using a UAD interface is an alternative?

It's not incredibly easy to duplicate a super convincing room + close mic'd tone with the KPA and Axe FX. I mean, it can be done with the Axe FX via a close mic'd IR, stereo room impulses and some reverb, but I often start running out of CPU power. With the OX, setting up a stereo room mic and selecting / adjusting the other two mics is a breeze and sounds killer to my ears. In the Axe, one amp, an Ultra-Res + stereo Ultra-Res cab, a couple of high quality reverbs and a Drive block add up and will put CPU usage at approx. 80%. Add a multiband compressor and you're at approx. 87%. And while the KPA can sound great, it's limited to a single cab.
 

Saxon68

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1,131
Asking if the Kemper is lesser in 2018 is like asking if the classic Marshalls are lesser.

All these years later they’re still the gold standard everyone is chasing with the Kemper, and the Kemper sound is still as great as ever.
 

yeky83

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3,089
It's not incredibly easy to duplicate a super convincing room + close mic'd tone with the KPA and Axe FX. I mean, it can be done with the Axe FX via a close mic'd IR, stereo room impulses and some reverb, but I often start running out of CPU power. With the OX, setting up a stereo room mic and selecting / adjusting the other two mics is a breeze and sounds killer to my ears. In the Axe, one amp, an Ultra-Res + stereo Ultra-Res cab, a couple of high quality reverbs and a Drive block add up and will put CPU usage at approx. 80%. Add a multiband compressor and you're at approx. 87%. And while the KPA can sound great, it's limited to a single cab.
I'm a bit confused... :p

Are you using ultra-res cabs as room impulses? They're only 170 ms, are you able to get a "room" sound with it? Why not just use a reverb block of a stereo room?

Seems to me that 2 cab blocks and 1 reverb block ought to replicate the Ox's basic signal chain of 2 mics on a cab and stereo room mics.
 

CrashC317

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374
Seeing as how I can rent a brand new Powerhead indefinitely for around $325 ($2225 new - $1900 used), I'd say it's a pretty safe bet folks would still buy one in 2018.
 

ColdFrixion

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5,736
I'm a bit confused... :p

Are you using ultra-res cabs as room impulses?

For room mics, I use two Ownhammer room IR's in a cab block set to Stereo Ultra-Res.

They're only 170 ms, are you able to get a "room" sound with it? Why not just use a reverb block of a stereo room?

The room IR's by themselves sound like a cab mic'd from a distance without any reverb, however by adding a very small amount of verb using the Medium Room reverb type, it genuinely sounds like a real room mic. To my ears, adding reverb to a close mic'd IR simply sounds like a close mic'd cab with reverb rather than a room mic.

Seems to me that 2 cab blocks and 1 reverb block ought to replicate the Ox's basic signal chain of 2 mics on a cab and stereo room mics.

Since the Axe FX can utilize stereo IR's per cab block, yes, it's enough, but compared to the OX, it's inefficient and resource intensive, which means there's not a lot of CPU power left over for other blocks.
 

Watt McCo

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12,948
For room mics, I use two Ownhammer room IR's in a cab block set to Stereo Ultra-Res.



The room IR's by themselves sound like a cab mic'd from a distance without any reverb, however by adding a very small amount of verb using the Medium Room reverb type, it genuinely sounds like a real room mic. To my ears, adding reverb to a close mic'd IR simply sounds like a close mic'd cab with reverb rather than a room mic.



Since the Axe FX can utilize stereo IR's per cab block, yes, it's enough, but compared to the OX, it's inefficient and resource intensive, which means there's not a lot of CPU power left over for other blocks.
Is there a reason you're having the Axe do all of this heavy lifting? Isn't it always on the context of recording? (perhaps that was false assumption on my end)
 

ColdFrixion

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Is there a reason you're having the Axe do all of this heavy lifting? Isn't it always on the context of recording? (perhaps that was false assumption on my end)

I've tried using WOS III as an IR loader and adding Aux sends to replicate parallel reverb, however I couldn't replicate what I was hearing in the Axe. Offloading post effects to the DAW is completely doable, however I'd like to be able to route some effects (compression, PEQ) to a particular cab, and that's not feasible as the DAW acts as a master bus for the entire signal. I mean, I could record each cab independently in my DAW, and while that would work, it's really inefficient.
 

yeky83

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3,089
The room IR's by themselves sound like a cab mic'd from a distance without any reverb, however by adding a very small amount of verb using the Medium Room reverb type, it genuinely sounds like a real room mic. To my ears, adding reverb to a close mic'd IR simply sounds like a close mic'd cab with reverb rather than a room mic.
Got it. Have you played around with the Room Level, Room Size, and Mic Spacing parameters in the Cab block? Along with Delay/Mic-Distance and even Smoothing/De-phase perhaps? Doesn't get you what you're looking for?

I need to try it again, but if my memory serves me right it basically made any IR seem like a room IR. Seems to me that it might help you save CPU by simply mixing in a bit of Room Level parameter instead of having to use multiple room IRs and Reverb blocks.
 
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ColdFrixion

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5,736
Have you played around with the Room Level, Room Size, and Mic Spacing parameters in the Cab block? Along with Delay/Mic-Distance and even Smoothing/De-phase perhaps? Doesn't get you what you're looking for?

Dephase can help when using multiple IR's. As far as the Cab block's Room parameters go though, I've played around with them extensively and it just doesn't sound authentic to my ears. The room IR's really do a good job of capturing the room sound, in my opinion.

Seems to me that it might help you save CPU by simply mixing in a bit of Room Level parameter instead of having to use multiple room IRs and Reverb blocks.

Since I run the KPA in the effects loop of the Axe, I've been playing with offloading the main (ie. close mic'd) amp / cab tone to the KPA and using the Axe specifically for room IR's and effects.
 

poison7512

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283
Long after the eventual release of Kemper 2 or whatever, the original Kemper will still be one of the most realistic sounding and feeling modelling devices (well profiling I suppose).
 

BisGuy

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939
Ok, we all love the Kemper, but honestly I can't compare the actual/future value of the Kemper with that of an amp. When the new Kemper will be released (if) or a competitor will come out with a better product, the Kemper will have the value of a Line 6 POD.

My answer would be: no, I won't buy a Kemper in 2018/2019, there is still place for innovation here and I give few examples:
  • Effects: an open platform to buy new effects as you would do with apps and plug ins, giving the possibility to effects producer to make their digital version of their pedals (or whatever). You can do something like that with IRs, I'm sure the effects are close to give this chance. In this way the possibilities will drastically increase. We see a lot of people using both Kemper + pedalboard. If this happens, the actual Kemper would be very limited.
  • EQ: I can't profile the way the knobs in my Mark V interact with each other when I profile it. The treble in the Mark V determine how the mids and bass behave. A profile gives me a snapshot on where the knobs are set, but if I move them in the Kemper they don't sound the same as on the amp.
  • Innovation: untill we only think of digital as a simulation (profiling) of a real amp we will not consider the huge possibilities that we can reach. I would truly appreciate a digital platform where I don't have only profiles or simulations to start from but were I can build my own sounds.
  • Profiles: now you can build your profile starting from a real amp. I'm sure technology will allow us to build profiles starting from the track of an album. Imagine to give your mp3 (or whatever format) to your new profiler and to get the exact sound your favorite artist has.
My personal taste: Personally I prefer hybrid solutions. I mean real amp + cab simulation. I'm using this routing more than the Kemper now.
 

Watt McCo

Member
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12,948
Ok, we all love the Kemper, but honestly I can't compare the actual/future value of the Kemper with that of an amp. When the new Kemper will be released (if) or a competitor will come out with a better product, the Kemper will have the value of a Line 6 POD.

My answer would be: no, I won't buy a Kemper in 2018/2019, there is still place for innovation here and I give few examples:
  • Effects: an open platform to buy new effects as you would do with apps and plug ins, giving the possibility to effects producer to make their digital version of their pedals (or whatever). You can do something like that with IRs, I'm sure the effects are close to give this chance. In this way the possibilities will drastically increase. We see a lot of people using both Kemper + pedalboard. If this happens, the actual Kemper would be very limited.
  • EQ: I can't profile the way the knobs in my Mark V interact with each other when I profile it. The treble in the Mark V determine how the mids and bass behave. A profile gives me a snapshot on where the knobs are set, but if I move them in the Kemper they don't sound the same as on the amp.
  • Innovation: untill we only think of digital as a simulation (profiling) of a real amp we will not consider the huge possibilities that we can reach. I would truly appreciate a digital platform where I don't have only profiles or simulations to start from but were I can build my own sounds.
  • Profiles: now you can build your profile starting from a real amp. I'm sure technology will allow us to build profiles starting from the track of an album. Imagine to give your mp3 (or whatever format) to your new profiler and to get the exact sound your favorite artist has.
My personal taste: Personally I prefer hybrid solutions. I mean real amp + cab simulation. I'm using this routing more than the Kemper now.
(1) you already have loads of tools for creating interesting guitar tones on a computer that are not amp centric. Even on the Kemper, thetvariois shaper blocks provide ample opportunity to create some serioslu non-traditional guitar tones. Yet....folks arent doing anything wild and crazy. Heck, even in the amp modeler world, between stuff like Fractal and Bias folks have an opportunity to create an amp from scratch. While I generally hate the "it's not the technology, it's the user" argument, it does seem absolutely most appropriate to folks expecting new technology to be what brings us more opportunity for "new" guitar sounds.

(2) youll never be able to get a decent profile from a recording because you can't profile the dynamic response of a recording. At best you could tone match, which is already doable in all sorts of platforms.
 

BisGuy

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939
(2) youll never be able to get a decent profile from a recording because you can't profile the dynamic response of a recording. At best you could tone match, which is already doable in all sorts of platforms.

Who knows what R&D will do... You imagined a profiler before it was invented? :):);)
 

Watt McCo

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12,948
Who knows what R&D will do... You imagined a profiler before it was invented? :):);)
No, but the concept would not have seemed implausible if you'd pitched it to me even twenty years ago since it's kinda sorta just an automated form of modeling. Profiling a recording is not something that I can say "oh, yeah, that sort of makes sense - be surprised if it actually works, but cool idea and good idea developing it."
 

mikekim

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Messages
725
I got my Kemper in the second half of 2018... and would purchase again in an instant if I had to..

The modelling of amps is as good as the real thing, and when used with a real pedal board is indistinguishable from the original..

It's saved me money from buying a 1970's Hiwatt, Marshall and a Two Rock, also I've tried profiles of amps I'd previously never heard of...
 

Dead-Pan

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Messages
841
I have 25 plus amps, the Kemper nails EVERY one, from Fortin Meshuggah to Revv to Tweed. I have the Axe III and Helix and while they are good they are not Kemper good on the amp tone level. Each time I get a new amp I am blown away at the level the Kemper can recreate it.
 




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