I mostly tried drive pedals into relatively clean profiles. But also tried turning up the gain on those profiles and rolling back the volume.Could you clarify what you mean here for me? I find the Helix to clean up very much like the amps it models, meaning the plexi models go from very gainy to clean on the pick attack or volume knob changes and high gain amps clean up some but not a lot (never get to a good totally clean sound). You’re saying Kemper cleans up better, but I can’t tell if you’re talking about high gain amp profiles (Friedman, Rectifier, etc) or drive pedals into relatively clean profiles.
I’ve got access to a kemper I’ve been meaning to borrow and test myself, but I just haven’t had the time.
I just found the entire spectrum across the volume knob more usable. There seemed to be more tonal change and less volume drop, and there were no dead spaces where things felt flat. I can't really comment on high gain head and cab models as they're just not my Wheelhouse. I don't have a basis for comparison.