More Kemper Questions

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by flyingheelhook, May 21, 2015.

  1. flyingheelhook

    flyingheelhook Member

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    Could someone please help me understand whether or not I would need the black version with the power amp? I would mainly be using this for live gigs. If I understand all of the options, if I did not have the power amp, I would run direct to the sound board and that would control my monitor and how it runs out to the audience. Can the non-power amp version drive a monitor that I could control my stage volume with or is that what the power amp version is for?

    Essentially I am looking to consolidate to a small, manageable rig - guitar, amp & speaker/monitor. If the non-power amp version can drive a speaker/monitor in a non-gig setting (i.e. woodshedding at home) and I can utilize the PA for practice and gigs it would seem like I don't need the power amp. However, power is always a good thing... wondering if I shouldn't get the power amp JUST IN CASE!

    Hopefully that all makes sense. thanks,:eek:
     
  2. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

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    According to the Kemper manual, you have a ton of flexibility to do most anything you like. For example, one of the outputs can be configured to have the cab modeling defeated so you can use a standard guitar speaker for on stage monitoring, but FOH will have the cab modeling enabled. Or you could use a FRFR dedicated to the Kemper on stage, and leave cab modeling on for monitoring.

    I am new to the Kemper world (am studying and reading manuals prior to one arriving next Tuesday), but I am finding it difficult to justify the cost for the internal amp. The amp is expensive, it isn't available in stereo IIRC, and it has a ton of power that may not ever be necessary. Although it does make for a very convenient form factor.

    The Kemper paradigm seems to be to model the amp along with the power amp interaction with the speaker, and the live sound power amp should be as flat and neutral in response as possible as the tube coloration is already in the profile. Where some modelers seem to benefit from using a tube power amp for live stage use, Kemper seems to be getting away from that. In this light I'd think a good clean rack mount power amp should do as good a job as the internal amp, and perhaps for less money, and in stereo. But it is possible that Kemper has added some mojo to their internal power amp designs that helps the process (I haven't heard one way or the other about this though).
     
  3. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    Kemper is using a Bang and Oluffsen (sp?) Danish power amp. You can "google" Camplifier or Ritter amplification and see other possibilities to going with the Kemper power amp. They are from Germany, and offer mono/stereo operation with reasonable wattages.

    A non-powered Kemper could run a monitor IF the monitor has a built-in power amp itself. An amp is going to be needed somewhere in the chain in order to "amplify" the sound.
     
  4. flyingheelhook

    flyingheelhook Member

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    Ok, I think that's what I needed to know, thanks. Seems to me I need to put some more thought into what i really want.
     
  5. bluessyndicate

    bluessyndicate Member

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    I've been experimenting lately with this topic....I'm playing in my garage at gig volume levels using a powered Kemper. In my experiments the Kemper driving a Bogner 2x12 sounds equally satisfying as the kemper merely providing a line out that feeds my QSC K10 powered floor wedge. From my own perspective I could live with either approach...so I could see walking into a venue with the kemper and the QSC K10 and having a great experience... the Kemper also feeding the PA for the audience. This would be a very lightweight rig. I'd want the Kemper remote in order to make the most of this experience.

    In a situation where I was not going to feed the PA, but wanted to use the kemper to drive a cabinet on the stage and use that as the source of audio for the room, I"m not sure that I'd like the QSC K10 as much as I'd like the Bogner cab....perhaps, but I haven't tried that yet. As much as the QSC K10 (1000 watts) technical specs support the idea, I'm not clear if it would sound good or sound like an over driven smaller speaker. Maybe someone else has that experience to share.


    In the end if I was short $500 to pay the extra for the powered version, my experiments show that I could live with the non powered version, given that I have the QSC K10. For now, my instincts tell me that buying the powered Kemper is the route to take for the most options in the future. it sounds good through a PA, a powered monitor and it sounds good through a cabinet.

    Lastly...I've gone through the entire rig database, with the updated software, and bought some commercially available profiles (i.e. The Amp Factory, Top Jimi and M. Britt and a few other studio based options). My opinion is that nothing touches the M.Britt profiles...and I agree with something I heard Pete Thorn say in a video review..that having a high quality profile is everything when it comes to the Kemper. I don' know M.Britt, but my experience says run don't walk to his site and see for yourself. I hope that he continues to maintain his high level of attention to detail in putting out high quality profiles....
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2015
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  6. AriBoiangiu

    AriBoiangiu Member

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    I agree about M Britt. But he doesn't have any Mesa Mark profiles or Rectos :(
     
  7. VCuomo

    VCuomo Member

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    Another option is to purchase the unpowered version, run the stereo Mains to FOH, and run the Monitor Out to a powered monitor. I run to a powered CLR, and that's also what the audience hears for most of my gigs.

    BTW, the "black version" is not necessarily powered - it can be ordered either way.
     
  8. flyingheelhook

    flyingheelhook Member

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    Thanks - is there an acronym reference on this site? I assume FOH = Front of House? CLR not too sure...
     
  9. PBGas

    PBGas Supporting Member

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    I was never happy with the Kemper through an FRFR as my stage monitor (probably didn't try enough good ones) and not at all through a cab. The heavier profiles all mash together and sound the same, especially through V30s.
    The cleaner stuff is good though.

    Direct to house was great through....
     
  10. VCuomo

    VCuomo Member

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    FOH = Front Of House
    CLR = Atomic Amps CLR Reference Monitor
     
  11. Viabcroce

    Viabcroce Member

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    Basically, a power amp is required if you want to drive a guitar cab or a passive cab of any kind. This power amp can be retrofitted (like the "native" Kemper power amp, the Camplifier or the Ambrosi), can be external, or can be the return of your guitar combo amp.

    I've used with success a bass combo (using the line-level input), and even an amp designed for acoustic guitars will sound good.

    Generally speaking, the issue with a guitar cab is that you're somehow limited in the sonic colours you can get, because the guitar cab imparts a great character (I'd say around 70%) to a sound.
    OTOH, if the sound you get is the one you like best, then you are the lucky man and can call it a day :)
    Another con would be that if you use one as a stage monitor, the audience (that hears you through the PA) will get a completely different sound, unless you're sending FOH a profile with the same cab.

    HTH
     
  12. flyingheelhook

    flyingheelhook Member

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    New Question #1: As I learn more and read more, I don't hear anyone saying they run the KPA to the PA and the PA drives their monitor. Is there any reason why this wouldn't work (at least hypothetically)? I assume having my own powered monitor or running it through a power amp to a cabinet or the return on a combo is so that I can have more control over the stage volume and not have to rely on the person running the PA?

    Basically thinking it would be nice if I could invest in the 'full' rig in a phased approach. Phase 1 invest in the KPA, run it through the PA (PA drive both monitor and audience mix) at practice. Phase 2 invest in appropriate monitor and use KPA to drive that. Phase 3 use the KPA for live gigs.

    Thoughts?

    New Question #2: Can anyone suggest low/mid/high range suggestions I should be considering for the speaker/monitor other than the Atomic CLR and the QSC K10 so I can start working on my budget for that phase?

    Thanks in advance, you guys rock!
     
  13. lonestargtr

    lonestargtr Silver Supporting Member

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    Q1: Theoretically there is no reason you can't just run your KPA back through the monitor wedge from the p.a. In practice, though, if there's a vocal mic running through that monitor, the eq on the monitor will get carved up which adversely affects the sound of the KPA but you can definitely try it.

    Q2: A good entry level solution for people transitioning to the KPA is the Tech 21 Power Engine, imo. It doesn't have a horn, so it might not sound as weird to guitarists as the powered speakers do. You can find them pretty cheap, too, and I actually use them to check profiles. In my experience, many of the powered p.a. speakers don't react the same at different volumes, so you just have to figure out what volume level you're going to be running and see if they work for you. Mackie and Alto are on the less expensive side and the QSC and EV are a little more. The more expensive you go, the better at them sounding more similar at low volume and higher volume. I know many people like the Atomic CLR, but I don't have experience with the CLR. I have an early Atomic Reactor and it's ok, but it's not something I can use onstage other than for acoustic gigs. This week I'm going to be getting a Fryette Power Station and run it into a traditional guitar cab. It'd be a lot cheaper than the atomic and you can use a standard guitar cab. Plenty of options. It's just a matter of finding something in your range and making it work for you.
     
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  14. VCuomo

    VCuomo Member

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    It would work depending on if you like what you are getting from the PA feed. If you happen to have a good combo with a series effects loop, a cost effective solution is to run the Kemper straight into the effects return (power amp in).

    Sure, that seems like a reasonable approach. For Phase 1 it's all going to depend on how you like what you're hearing out of the PA monitor. And you could combine Phase 2 and Phase 3 into just "Phase 2" (not sure why you want to split these into two "phases").

    Again, I'd try using a combo amp. Before I purchased a CLR I ran my KPA through the effects return of a Mesa Boogie Express 5:50 2x12 combo (sounded quite good, actually), but you can't really use the KPA's cab emulation into the combo amp, so you mostly lose that functionality of the KPA (although you can still use it to the PA for the FOH feed, if you wish). It's a balancing act of budget, functionality, and what your ears are hearing - only you can decide how you want to trade these three things off against each other.

    Best wishes - the KPA has been the best gear purchase, with the highest return on investment, that I've ever made!
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015
  15. flyingheelhook

    flyingheelhook Member

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    That makes sense and a good point.

    Checked them out and I think that price range is very feasible. Of course, no used ones are available in this area!

    I may try that.

    I'm assuming a bit of a learning curve/tweaking period so while I might use it at practice, not wanting to take a chance on creating any technical challenges while playing a gig until I am %100 comfortable (not to mention my bandmates)

    Duly noted and I will give it a try, thanks!
     
  16. Viabcroce

    Viabcroce Member

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    I use my Profiler on stage with whatever stage monitor I find on the spot. IMO it makes no sense monitoring through a guitar cab (unless it goes FOH), I prefer to have a feel for what the audience is hearing :)
     
  17. Crash-VR

    Crash-VR Supporting Member

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    I have a power station. I'd love to hear your opinion after some experience with it!

    I love my tube rig which is a NMV amp into a Fryette Power Station into a 212 cab. I also have a QSC K10. I'm planning on buying a powered Kemper very soon. I really like having options. That would leave me three options to amplify my Kemper. Although all the different options on the Kemper will be nice, I'm getting it to profile my current amp and use it as a backup/alternative version of it. I really look forward to listening and feeling the difference between my tube amp and the profiled version in the Kemper, run through the Power Station and my cab. Should be fun! Either way the Kemper will be an amazing recording solution for my amp. Good stuff.

    On another note, today I was entertaining the idea of the Fractal FX8. Using it with my tube amp and my Kemper! Overkill? Hmmmm....
     
  18. TheAmpFactory

    TheAmpFactory Member

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    Wow, ok, then I apologize for not being able to help you with profiles, and that they are inferior quality, although I'd strongly disagree. but your point is valid none the less!. :(
     
  19. flyingheelhook

    flyingheelhook Member

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    Viabcroce, do you run the monitor straight from your Kemper or do you run the Kemper to the soundboard to receive the PA feed in the monitor?

    Don't worry TAF, I'll be giving your profiles a whirl at some point!
     
  20. Davy

    Davy Member

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    As a counterpoint, I was massively underwhelmed by the M. Britt profiles and didn't really find anything I liked. It feels like I'm alone in this though as they got universal praise (which is why I took the plunge and bought the 1st pack). I haven't used them since playing around with them after purchase. Every now and then I re-visit them and still find nothing I like but, as with much in life, it's all very subjective and dependant on so many things.

    My favourite profiles are the various Marshall TAF profiles that I've bought. For me, not much else has come even remotely close and I've tried most out there. The recent, free Michael Wagener profiles on Kemper's site are also brilliant (IMO) and I may have to buy some more of those.

    In the end, there's no real substitute for going out and trying profiles for yourself. I do agree 100% that the Kemper is only as good as the profile.

    *Edit: I only posted this today and I'm going to have to eat my words. Because of this thread I got home and decided to try some of the M. Britt profiles again with my new Suhr Classic Pro HSS. I have to say, these sound fantastic with the Suhr while they left me utterly cold with my SG. I'm now a very happy M. Britt convert though I still love all my TAF profiles :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015
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