Tell me the down side of a Kemper

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Gilwater, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. Gilwater

    Gilwater Member

    Messages:
    715
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Location:
    Detroit Metro Area
    I'm considering a Kemper, but I'm having a hard time letting go of my tried and true tube amp with pedals.

    But I recently played a Kemper for about 20 minutes at a local music store and thought it sounded great. It was fun to play with a cranked JCM800, and a cranked Deluxe Reverb, at bedroom volumes.

    Seems too good to be true....so what's the tradeoff? What am I losing by giving up my tube amp and getting a powered Kemper?
     
    Pastafarian likes this.
  2. burner

    burner Member

    Messages:
    3,131
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    Downside:
    You're giving up the tone and feel of a real tube amp.

    Next...
     
    dalezjc, dwk302, HeavyCream and 39 others like this.
  3. Borg20

    Borg20 Member

    Messages:
    161
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Location:
    Québec, Canada
    The downside for me is the cost - here in Canda they are over $2k. But if this is not an issue for you why not keep your best tube amp...do you need to let them go?
     
  4. jdel77

    jdel77 Member

    Messages:
    9,097
    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, 'Straya...maaate...
    Kemper into a tube poweramp is pretty good.
     
  5. gulliver

    gulliver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,390
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Yes, but if you're going to do that, you can use a much less expensive unit that can cover preamp tones very well.
     
  6. Steviecaster

    Steviecaster Member

    Messages:
    229
    Joined:
    May 21, 2019
    Kempers are good for cloning an amp that you have or can physically get ahold of.
    None of the presets are very good.

    You also have to play them through a guitar cabinet. Using speaker emulators, and FRFR speakers sucks.

    So, you can clone your amp or a friend's amp, and play it through a guitar cab. Lot of money, but they work.
    You have to have the maps in your possession to get a good clone.
     
    HeavyCream and Toby Krebs like this.
  7. C-4

    C-4 Member

    Messages:
    11,376
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Location:
    I love Red Bank, NJ! Florida now Europe later
    I didn't find the feel of my Kemper convincing at all.
    But, I was smart enough not to sell any of my amps before trying the Kemper.
    I use the Kemper at home for silent practicing, nothing more.
    When it comes to the sound and feel of a digital unit getting the exact sound and feel of a valve amp, close only counts in horse shoes, and hand grenades, imho.
     
  8. PhilC

    PhilC Supporting Member

    Messages:
    764
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2002
    For me the downside is you’re pulling up a picture of an amp with knobs at a certain setting, plugged into a certain cab miced with a certain mic in the exact spot it was when the picture was taken. That’s great if that’s what you want. But not so much if you’d have set it up differently. I found the tone controls not amp like but like console eq’s post mic. I felt too locked into the setup of the profile maker.
     
    Miroslav L, robyogi, Corvid and 8 others like this.
  9. TaoInMotion

    TaoInMotion Member

    Messages:
    3,416
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2017
    Downsides?
    1. They're expensive and you still have to determine how to solve the speaker cab vs. FRFR issue (powered head vs. separate power amp)
    2. To a lot of players, myself included, it doesn't feel like a tube amp under the fingers
    3. Finding the "right profiles" can become a big, deep rabbit hole
    4. Some people find the built in effects not all that great so they still look for pedals or other effects modelers to solve that problem
    5. The physical appearance of the Kemper looks somewhat like medical equipment you might see in the emergency room
    6. People complain constantly about Kemper not having a very good computer interface
    For starters ...
     
  10. Viper 900

    Viper 900 Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    May 28, 2019
    Location:
    The Fens, UK
    Kempers can’t handle NMV amps very well.

    If you’re just going to buy preset packs, get a Helix, easier to use and just as good sounding
     
    danieloux, gulliver and TaoInMotion like this.
  11. scott

    scott Member

    Messages:
    4,363
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2002
    Location:
    Canada Eh?
    I don't understand the cloning and picture thing. Cant you just pull up a jcm800 model and turn the knobs until it sounds the way you want?
     
    Viabcroce likes this.
  12. Sheppard93

    Sheppard93 Member

    Messages:
    149
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2018
    The biggest downside for me is having to buy another tube amp and a bunch of pedals again after I sold them to buy a kemper. Lasted about 4 months.
     
    Miroslav L, Danny D and zuel69 like this.
  13. jvin248

    jvin248 Member

    Messages:
    2,619
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2016
    .

    Start watching the Anderton's video around 18+ minutes where Lee comments on how great 'the 20yo tech still stands up'. Rob of course rolls his eyes. Somewhere in the video, Lee also says he gets asked all the time by the pedal and amp companies at NAMM/etc about what products they should work on that will sell and he says "make an updated one of these (PODs)!"

    I always found the POD form factor and required power supply problematic for a pedal board. So if they did something similar but in a smaller rectangular box using standard pedal board power that would be a great product.



    Another alternative, available new


    You can do modeling on a Mustang, get recipes off the internet too.




    .
     
    gabito likes this.
  14. Harley90

    Harley90 Member

    Messages:
    54
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    I've only owned mine for a short while at 1st a real novelty, had a great "Trainwreck" sound but it was meh after a while, not like a tube amp. I started playing with it, downloaded a few new patches, found some great ones BUT they all sound meh until I wasn't afraid to twist some dials. Cranking presence, cutting effects, a little more treble made the amp sounds come alive....still trying a few things but I'm no tweaker. I just like to plug and play. I had a lifetime of great tube amps and I love them but tube maintenance, cost, sweet spot of tone, weight and no longer playing out except at friends homes, It made it the best choice.
    I'd say it's 95% there, more with tweaking.
    The 5 % to me is the electricity and pressure in the room, there is a feel and "air" to playing a fat tube amp at is peak.
    Trade off is worth it as I think I can get all the way there. It's still a new toy and I need the remote for more fun :)
     
    caligtr likes this.
  15. mlj_gear

    mlj_gear Member

    Messages:
    2,540
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    If you can get it to sound like what you want, sure, but I think what people offering that critique are saying is that the controls on the Kemper don't always respond like the controls on a given amp. The effects of an amp's controls aren't modeled by the Kemper since a given profile is made with an amp's controls all set at specific places. The effects of moving a knob on an actual amp depends an awful lot on how the tone stack is designed, etc., whereas that's not the case with the Kemper's tone controls, etc.
     
    GT100, maxnew40 and Markdude like this.
  16. Gilwater

    Gilwater Member

    Messages:
    715
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Location:
    Detroit Metro Area
    This is exactly what I was afraid of; losing some of the unpredictability of a tube.
     
  17. Gilwater

    Gilwater Member

    Messages:
    715
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Location:
    Detroit Metro Area
    Good heads up. I didn't know that. I do intent to play though my own cabs (I have a few to choose from) but for me the whole point of getting a Kemper is because I can't get my hands on many of the amazing amps out there like Dumble, or Hiwatt.
     
  18. Funky54

    Funky54 Member

    Messages:
    3,804
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    Florida
    It sounds fake.
     
    muku, Brettski, Bodhisattva and 3 others like this.
  19. Gilwater

    Gilwater Member

    Messages:
    715
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Location:
    Detroit Metro Area
    This was my second worry about a Kemper. I like trying pedals, and amp settings, and guitar volumes, etc to make different tones and textures. I look at it a lot like making soup from scratch and trying different ingredients, heat, and cook times. But the Kemper to me seems like buying a premade Lipton soup mix and adding water. Not too bad...but not like Grandma used to make. And there's no room to adapt your own twist to the recipe.
     
  20. burner

    burner Member

    Messages:
    3,131
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    I mean, but really...WHO does?
    I figure ya' buy what you like and go with it...
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice