Powered Kemper Through Guitar Cabs - Excellent!

leperclown

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
334
Hi all,

After 18 months' tone experimentation (man, the neighbours must think 'doesn't that idiot know one complete song!') with a Power-rack I have come to the conclusion that Power-rack into guitar cabs provides the best combination (usual TPG disclaimers - 'IMHO, IME, YMMV, etc. etc').

I am not a metal player: a clean; a grit; 3 levels of crunch (3.5, 5, 6.5); a distortion; 2 flavours of lead and I am done.

I have purchased a huge number of profiles & IRs from the major players, I have a Kone and have tried several different FRFR solutions with lots of EQ'ing, tweaking and 3rd party IR swaps.

The votes are tallied:
  1. Power-rack > 2 x 12 Celestion Redbacks (wired mono & stereo): awesome! Punchy, authoritative and present across all levels of gain. 300 watts handling power at 8 Ohms means that I can really crank up (when Covid is over ..) and not worry about blowing speakers. In addition, the carry and set-up is easy. If I want stereo, I can insert my Carvin TS100 tube amp, which despite the bad press, sounds very good. Special hint: the The Amp Factory's XTC Green, MBritt's CAAOD100 and Tone Junkie's Divided LDW 17/39 profiles sound amazing through the cab. In fact all of my favourite profiles sound better through the cab, compared to Kone or FRFR.
  2. FRFR: while I love the stereo field, no matter what I do, I cannot dial out that last remaining little bit of digital 'coldness' & fizz. I shouldn't let it worry me because Kemper through FRFR sounds exceptionally good, but it does.
  3. Kone: great sounds, but it (of course) sounds like a 1x12. Special mention for the Goodman Audio and Heritage speaker imprints. I would never put Kones into a 2x12 or 4x12 because, if the Kemper went down at a gig, I would not be able to use my backup rig (GT1000 or AA3) through the cab without compromising the sound.
Additional thoughts:
  1. I purchased Celestion 2x12 Redback IR's, but I they just don't sound anything like my actual cab and speakers (even allowing for the 'miked effect'). They seem insipid in comparison.
  2. The best outcomes for direct to cab are by using DI profiles. However, this causes a problem providing a matching a line to the PA. In this use case, studio profiles provide the best 'all round' solution. Merged profiles somehow seem to be the worst of both worlds. I still haven't found an IR that closely matches my cab.
  3. MBritt & Top Jimi's merged profiles seem to work better than most. For some reason, Tone Junkie doesn't appear to shoot merged profiles(?).
  4. Powered Kemper into cab/s is a lot more 'plug and play' and requires a lot less tweaking than FRFR.
  5. We all have 'redundant' guitar cabs lying around. Use them.
  6. There is something wonderful and organic about a great sounding guitar cab that just can't be emulated.
  7. I know it's TGP heresy, but in many ways, as a primary amplifying tool for a guitarist, FRFR is a solution looking for a problem.
My suggestion:

Run your Kemper into your preferred power amp and cab/s. Tweak the profiles so they are sounding exactly as you want, then for the PA, use IR's and output EQ to get the FRFR sound as close to the cab sound. For some instant gratification, start with Michael Britt's 2020 profile pack.

Cheers!
Paul
 
Last edited:

texhex

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
947
Hi all,

After 18 months' tone experimentation (man, the neighbours must think 'doesn't that idiot know one complete song!') with a Power-rack I have come to the conclusion that Power-rack into guitar cabs provides the best combination (usual TPG disclaimers - 'IMHO, IME, YMMV, etc. etc').

I am not a metal player: a clean; a grit; 3 levels of crunch (3.5, 5, 6.5); a distortion; 2 flavours of lead and I am done.

I have purchased a huge number of profiles & IRs from the major players, I have a Kone and have tried several different FRFR solutions with lots of EQ'ing, tweaking and 3rd party IR swaps.

The votes are tallied:
  1. Power-rack > 2 x 12 Celestion Redbacks (wired mono & stereo): awesome! Punchy, authoritative and present across all levels of gain. 300 watts handling power at 8 Ohms means that I can really crank up (when Covid is over ..) and not worry about blowing speakers. In addition, the carry and set-up is easy. If I want stereo, I can insert my Carvin TS100 tube amp, which despite the bad press, sounds very good. Special hint: the The Amp Factory's XTC Green, MBritt's CAAOD100 and Tone Junkie's Divided LDW 17/39 profiles sound amazing through the cab. In fact all of my favourite profiles sound better through the cab, compared to Kone or FRFR.
  2. FRFR: while I love the stereo field, no matter what I do, I cannot dial out that last remaining little bit of digital 'coldness' & fizz. I shouldn't let it worry me because Kemper through FRFR sounds exceptionally good, but it does.
  3. Kone: great sounds, but it (of course) sounds like a 1x12. Special mention for the Goodman Audio and Heritage speaker imprints. I would never put Kones into a 2x12 or 4x12 because, if the Kemper went down at a gig, I would not be able to use my backup rig (GT1000 or AA3) through the cab without compromising the sound.
Additional thoughts:
  1. I purchased Celestion 2x12 Redback IR's, but I they just don't sound anything like my actual cab and speakers (even allowing for the 'miked effect'). They seem insipid in comparison.
  2. The best outcomes for direct to cab are by using DI profiles. However, this causes a problem providing a matching a line to the PA. In this use case, studio profiles provide the best 'all round' solution. Merged profiles somehow seem to be the worst of both worlds. I still haven't found an IR that closely matches my cab.
  3. MBritt & Top Jimi's merged profiles seem to work better than most. For some reason, Tone Junkie doesn't appear to shoot merged profiles(?).
  4. Powered Kemper into cab/s is a lot more 'plug and play' and requires a lot less tweaking than FRFR.
  5. We all have 'redundant' guitar cabs lying around. Use them.
  6. There is something wonderful and organic about a great sounding guitar cab that just can't be emulated.
  7. I know it's TGP heresy, but in many ways, as a primary amplifying tool for a guitarist, FRFR is a solution looking for a problem.
My suggestion:

Run your Kemper into your preferred power amp and cab/s. Tweak the profiles so they are sounding exactly as you want, then for the PA, use IR's and output EQ to get the FRFR sound as close to the cab sound. For some instant gratification, start with Michael Britt's 2020 profile pack.

Cheers!
Paul
Gratz man. Right there with ya.
 

sedawkgrep

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,130
I grind me teeth a little because I own a powercab+, a kone, and a closed 2x12. The 2x12 really did have the most "real" feel of all of them and sounded great. But the tweaker and ideologue in me just doesn't want to let go of using the kone just...because.

There is an undoubted trade-off though tone-wise. The cabinets all have their own character and losing the kone/frfr flexibility does shrink the scope of the kemper. At least that's how it seems to me.
 

Drop the sun

Member
Messages
992
I love my Kemper + Kabinet combo. I am so used to the miked sound, that I use FRFR mode the most. But at home it is nice to have the imprints, jam and enjoy the great ”amp in the room” sound.

can’t deny, that real 2x12 or 4x12 cabs have sweet sweet tone. That is the great part of the Powered Kemper Profiler. You have all the options in your hand.
 

buddaman71

Student of Life
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,821
agreed 100%!! i never understood why any modeler/profile players just insist on using FRFR and then complain that it doesn't sound or feel like an "amp in the room". plug a powered Kemper into a GUITAR cabinet, and it will sound an feel like an AITR, because that's what it is; and amp in the room.

PS: here's a gig i videoed awhile back capturing my KPR into Mission 212 straight off the speaker if anyone wants to check it out.

 

AdInfinitum

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
783
After 18 months' tone experimentation (man, the neighbours must think 'doesn't that idiot know one complete song!')

Ha, same here. Last gig was 1993 and I pretty much forgotten how to play complete songs, well, except Stairway to Heaven. /s
 

leperclown

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
334
After 18 months' tone experimentation (man, the neighbours must think 'doesn't that idiot know one complete song!')

Ha, same here. Last gig was 1993 and I pretty much forgotten how to play complete songs, well, except Stairway to Heaven. /s
Hey Adinfinitium, it's a worry isn't it!

I haven't forgotten how to play the songs (Alzheimer's hasn't kicked in, yet!) although playing full songs on your own is a bit sad - hopefully iso will end soon.

I test patches by associating specific riffs to my target patch/profile.

e.g. All Right Now, Sex on Fire & Gold on the Ceiling epitomise what I want for Crunch 1, so the neighbours unfortunately get the riffs from these songs played over & over (& over) while I select and fine tune a patch/profile. Likewise, Highway To Hell and Jailbreak (Thin Lizzy) are my Crunch 2 riffs and Gone Away is my Crunch 3 riff. etc.

I rarely bother with lead patches, as I think they are easy to develop (usually goosed up versions of Crunch 2 & 3). Authoritative crunch patches/profiles are the true test of digital and are, in my experience, very difficult to nail. Of course, profiler/modeler into guitar cabs makes the process a lot easier.

Cheers
Paul
 

leperclown

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
334
agreed 100%!! i never understood why any modeler/profile players just insist on using FRFR and then complain that it doesn't sound or feel like an "amp in the room". plug a powered Kemper into a GUITAR cabinet, and it will sound an feel like an AITR, because that's what it is; and amp in the room.

PS: here's a gig i videoed awhile back capturing my KPR into Mission 212 straight off the speaker if anyone wants to check it out.

Hey Buddaman, excellent tones and great playing. Videos can't capture the 'cab thump', but I know it's there!

Do you ever feel nostalgic for your Multiamp? I sometimes miss the tones and simplicity of MA's stereo into cabs. I would pick one up again if the price was right.

With FRFR use, I often think "What is the actual problem I am trying to solve?"

Cheers
Paul
 

Guitardave

Member
Messages
9,987
Hi all,

After 18 months' tone experimentation (man, the neighbours must think 'doesn't that idiot know one complete song!') with a Power-rack I have come to the conclusion that Power-rack into guitar cabs provides the best combination (usual TPG disclaimers - 'IMHO, IME, YMMV, etc. etc').

I am not a metal player: a clean; a grit; 3 levels of crunch (3.5, 5, 6.5); a distortion; 2 flavours of lead and I am done.

I have purchased a huge number of profiles & IRs from the major players, I have a Kone and have tried several different FRFR solutions with lots of EQ'ing, tweaking and 3rd party IR swaps.

The votes are tallied:
  1. Power-rack > 2 x 12 Celestion Redbacks (wired mono & stereo): awesome! Punchy, authoritative and present across all levels of gain. 300 watts handling power at 8 Ohms means that I can really crank up (when Covid is over ..) and not worry about blowing speakers. In addition, the carry and set-up is easy. If I want stereo, I can insert my Carvin TS100 tube amp, which despite the bad press, sounds very good. Special hint: the The Amp Factory's XTC Green, MBritt's CAAOD100 and Tone Junkie's Divided LDW 17/39 profiles sound amazing through the cab. In fact all of my favourite profiles sound better through the cab, compared to Kone or FRFR.
  2. FRFR: while I love the stereo field, no matter what I do, I cannot dial out that last remaining little bit of digital 'coldness' & fizz. I shouldn't let it worry me because Kemper through FRFR sounds exceptionally good, but it does.
  3. Kone: great sounds, but it (of course) sounds like a 1x12. Special mention for the Goodman Audio and Heritage speaker imprints. I would never put Kones into a 2x12 or 4x12 because, if the Kemper went down at a gig, I would not be able to use my backup rig (GT1000 or AA3) through the cab without compromising the sound.
Additional thoughts:
  1. I purchased Celestion 2x12 Redback IR's, but I they just don't sound anything like my actual cab and speakers (even allowing for the 'miked effect'). They seem insipid in comparison.
  2. The best outcomes for direct to cab are by using DI profiles. However, this causes a problem providing a matching a line to the PA. In this use case, studio profiles provide the best 'all round' solution. Merged profiles somehow seem to be the worst of both worlds. I still haven't found an IR that closely matches my cab.
  3. MBritt & Top Jimi's merged profiles seem to work better than most. For some reason, Tone Junkie doesn't appear to shoot merged profiles(?).
  4. Powered Kemper into cab/s is a lot more 'plug and play' and requires a lot less tweaking than FRFR.
  5. We all have 'redundant' guitar cabs lying around. Use them.
  6. There is something wonderful and organic about a great sounding guitar cab that just can't be emulated.
  7. I know it's TGP heresy, but in many ways, as a primary amplifying tool for a guitarist, FRFR is a solution looking for a problem.
My suggestion:

Run your Kemper into your preferred power amp and cab/s. Tweak the profiles so they are sounding exactly as you want, then for the PA, use IR's and output EQ to get the FRFR sound as close to the cab sound. For some instant gratification, start with Michael Britt's 2020 profile pack.

Cheers!
Paul
+1 on using an actual guitar cab/speaker.

High quality SS power is great but if you get the chance try a really high quality tube poweramp.

For awhile I had a Mesa 2:90 - 40 lbs. of pure tone...anything digital you run thru it will sound better - even when you have a modeled/profiled power amp section. And it's got so much headroom it doesn't begin to distort unless you are playing it at ear hemorrhaging volumes. Digital stuff really benefits from the tube power and speaker cab.

But it's all just degrees of goodness...I sold it off because I never would bother taking it to gigs.
 

TL;DR

Member
Messages
1,413
Well, the whole point of modeling for me is size and weight. If I’m gonna lug a 4x12, I might as well lug a head.
 

ljholland

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,716
Yep on all points. My oversized 1x12 with a creamback and 2x12 with Fender style speakers give me all the tones. However, many profiles sound very similar. I know this seems crazy but I’ve played with the new Kemper speaker profiles at lower volume and you do get more of the characteristics of the profile when running into real speakers. But - they don’t work at gig volumes

But FRFR? Heck no. Been there done that FRFRs don’t sound like any tube amp I’ve ever played.
 

jjb

Member
Messages
97
agreed 100%!! i never understood why any modeler/profile players just insist on using FRFR and then complain that it doesn't sound or feel like an "amp in the room". plug a powered Kemper into a GUITAR cabinet, and it will sound an feel like an AITR, because that's what it is; and amp in the room.

PS: here's a gig i videoed awhile back capturing my KPR into Mission 212 straight off the speaker if anyone wants to check it out.

Wow. Great playing and musicianship buddaman71 Agree with your comments re AITR
 

Otter351

Member
Messages
551
Don't limit yourself to just one cab either. How many guitars do you own? Cabs have an even greater effect on tone. I have a tweed style open back 1x12. A 1x12OS closed back and a 2x12. All with appropriate speakers for their configuration.
 




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