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Kemper.... Anyone tried one?

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by WhiskeyRebellio, May 23, 2017.

  1. WhiskeyRebellio

    WhiskeyRebellio TDPRI Member

    31
    Jan 12, 2015
    Williston ND
    I just did a show opening for a band out of Nashville that had a few hits in the 90's. It is the second time I've done a show with them and this time I noticed the lead guitarist was running a Kemper rig. He said most of the guys in Nashville are going to the Kemper rigs. He said you don't have to worry about power you can fly them carry on, and the FOH is always what you want it to be. He did say that if you aren't using in ears that it can be a little weird. But now I am very intrigued now. Anyone try one?
     
    TheletterJ likes this.

  2. Snowbird

    Snowbird Tele-Meister

    266
    Jul 24, 2014
    Western United States
    I'd love to know as well. I'll keep an eye on this thread.
     

  3. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    A few TDPRI members have them, I'm sure they will show up to lend their views.

    There are certainly a number of pro guitarists moving to Kempers, Helix, Axe FX, etc. It's a combination of convenience, lower stage volumes, cleaner stages and for the players that really understands it, getting the right tone to the right place - the FOH! This "next generation" of modelers/profilers has shifted the paradigm and broke down the barriers.

    Monitoring is the biggest change players need to get used to. There are many (or should I say most) that still want to feel the amp at their back or side. There are options to play these like normal amps, but the real advantage is when they are used with FRFR cabinets and/or in-ears.
     

  4. Tele Fan

    Tele Fan Friend of Leo's

    Oct 26, 2007
    Louisville, Ky
    I'd like to know as well. They look to good to be true, but I'd sure like one if they're not ;)
     

  5. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Mar 4, 2009
    atlanta
    The prices on all this stuff is insane. Everytime I go check out all this stuff, the kemper the helix etc, I'm stunned at how much they want for this sort of thing. Maybe if I was a touring pro.. sure...

    I wonder how many guys spent a fortune on pedals and then saw this, junked it all, and spent another fortune going this route?
     
    MilwMark and Georox like this.

  6. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    48
    Aug 17, 2012
    Seattle
    I absolutely love mine, it's the best gear purchase I've made in, well, possibly the best gear purchase I've ever made- period.

    IMG_1316.jpg
     
    Bart Dietvorst, codamedia and Doug 54 like this.

  7. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

    May 4, 2010
    San Antone
    Just watched the Rig Rundown with Lee Brice, he and his lead guitarist both use Kempers with their vintage amps profiled into them. The Andertons Kemper vs Real Thing shootout was also very interesting. They seems to do a really uncanny job of replicating tube tones.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
    RyCo1983 likes this.

  8. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    48
    Aug 17, 2012
    Seattle
    Yes, they do an incredible job. The dynamics are there, the "feel", the way it cleans up with your volume control-it's all there. I bought mine primarily so I could profile my amps and have a direct recording solution for when I'm working on stuff at weird hours, but it wound up becoming my #1 amp (mine has the integrated 600W power amp, so I can use it straight into any of my guitar cabs as well as running it through the monitors in the picture above).
     
    Doug 54 likes this.

  9. RyCo1983

    RyCo1983 Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 15, 2012
    Central PA
    I'm completely torn between the powered Kemper head and a Helix right now.

    Stockpiling IRs just in case I go the Helix route.
     

  10. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    48
    Aug 17, 2012
    Seattle
    They work together very well...

    IMG_1276.jpg
     
    TeleTex82 likes this.

  11. RyCo1983

    RyCo1983 Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 15, 2012
    Central PA
    Saving for my wedding.
    I can only get one comfortably.
     

  12. RyCo1983

    RyCo1983 Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 15, 2012
    Central PA
    Those Mission EP1's...spring version?
    What do you tend to use them for?
     

  13. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    48
    Aug 17, 2012
    Seattle
    Non spring. With the Kemper, one is always a master volume, the other one is used either for wah or morphing. The pedals with the Helix are similar-one always master volume, one wah, and one for various expression pedal duties (such as delay or reverb mix, amp gain, whatever).
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017

  14. RyCo1983

    RyCo1983 Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 15, 2012
    Central PA
    Which do you prefer for the wah on the Helix?
    Do you use the auto engage?
     

  15. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    48
    Aug 17, 2012
    Seattle
    I do prefer the auto engage, it was something that I got used to with the Kemper and really missed on the Helix until they added it to one of the firmware updates. I don't really have a single favorite, I use different ones with different amp models.
     
    RyCo1983 likes this.

  16. RyCo1983

    RyCo1983 Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 15, 2012
    Central PA
    I meant which pedal. Haha
    The Helix one, or an external?

    I'd imagine the built in pedal is best for volume control.
     

  17. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    48
    Aug 17, 2012
    Seattle
    The Mission pedals are built more like a traditional wah, so I have the built-in pedal assigned to control overall volume.
     
    RyCo1983 likes this.

  18. Junkyard Dog

    Junkyard Dog Tele-Meister

    Age:
    43
    472
    Mar 7, 2016
    USA
    Not surprised. I was talking to Martina McBride's lead guitar player several years ago after a show. He toured with a Line 6 HD 500 (or similar Line 6 board). He said he brought two on the tour...one for backup. Note that this was not the kind of huge tour where they had separate trailers hauling equipment and road crew and guitar techs and so forth...basically just the whole band in a nice tour bus.
     

  19. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 21, 2003
    Near BWI Int'l
    I think there will probably always be some who do something like that, just like there was a move to rack stuff in the 80's, then a move back to traditional amps and individual effects in the 90's, but also with Roland, Line 6, Yamaha, Fender, Korg, etc. still pushing on with DSP stuff...

    ...For those who are early adopters of the new tools, it seems that ditching the previous gear is easier than it is for many of the rest of us.

    I've never been in a financial position to be an early adopter. That said, I don't buy budget priced gear any longer simply because it's a good deal. If something proves to be quality gear even at what seems like it may be steeply priced, I'll save up for it, because I'll do research and typically don't end up unloading anything any longer. So in the long run, I'm actually spending less, but it takes discipline.

    ...IDK where I fit in along the spectrum of guitar gear consumers, but I'd imagine that I'm part of a bigger percentage than the ones who ditch the previous stuff altogether for the latest trend. That's not to say that the Kemper et al stuff constitutes 'just a trend,' but it's kind of hard to tell what gear will really have longevity. IMO, there's been some great stuff that was just 'the right solution at the wrong time,' or some variation of that. Some have considered Pritchard amps to be the solution for some years now, but cost vs. appeal hasn't made them a hot thing. Pearce amps also come to mind.

    I did buy a Quilter amp a year or two ago, but the price was the same as or less than a single spendy pedal (because I opted for one of the 'block' amps). Along with that, I see the Quilter stuff more as something running parallel to the traditional type amps, versus something that's potentially supposed to just replace them outright.

    ...The Kemper thing is curious to me, because it's not DSP as we know it. It's essentially an amp with no sounds of its own, which means it's essentially characterless. If you don't profile amps with it, then even fundamental utility is gone. I don't see that as wrong, but just something that my mind has to get used to. It kind of makes me wonder where the individual guitarist might ultimately draw the line, because if you can profile some traditional/'physical' amp, why can't we have the same thing with a guitar? Why would it even need to be made of wood, or have passive pickups, or even have strings in the traditional sense?

    My last question made me think of the character in The Matrix who wanted to be 'back inside,' who said that he knew he wasn't actually eating steak, but the simulation/emulation/whatever was just like eating steak, so (to him) that was what was important. I guess that if someone tries a Kemper with their amp(s) of choice profiled and the experience is the same as playing thru the amp that was profiled, it's entirely possible that it might be acceptable to ditch the previous rig altogether.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
    Georox likes this.

  20. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    51
    Mar 23, 2016
    Raleigh, NC
    Kemper is out of my $$$ range, but I've been using a POD HD400 for about 7-8 years and love it. We are using wired in-ear monitors. Set up, soundcheck, break down are all much faster, and we get more compliments on our overall sound than we ever did when we were using amps and wedge monitors.
    My advice to anyone dipping their toes into this stuff would be to keep it simple, at least at the beginning. Find a couple clean tones and a couple crunch tones you like, and stick with them for live performance while you get used to the rig.
     
    codamedia likes this.

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