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Thread: Kemper - what's the point?

  1. #61
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    Default Re: Kemper - what's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    I call BS on this opinion. I bet that in any blind test in a musical context you couldn't tell a Kemper from a real amp from an RP250 programmed right.

    You were listening to a vid that said 'Here is Twin' and 'Here is Kemper'
    Eh, RP250, hmmmn no, that one has awful souding distortion, you will actually hear it even in a musical context, no programming can fix it. Yuck. Not all the devices from back in the days were good, L6 got it going good with the early Pod unit 2.0 i think it was. That is why everyone still lugged around halfstacks/combos for instant gratification. And back then(today as well) there were some awful sounding tube amp recordings as well, primarily also related to poor recording techniques by artists or bad mastering skills of the tracks.

    You don't find a huge happening scene with guitar music because times have changed, people's interests have changed with them. Fractal etc. aren't the cause of it, people are living busy lives, they want entertainment on the move in their phone, in their hands. There is creativity blooming out there on guitar, its just not mainstream anymore, youtube took care of that as well. With no good public outlets, artists prefer a day job for better pay. You can find vids of djs soloing & the audience going crazy over it, its the most atrocious sounds i've heard but some people like that stuff.

    Now moving to the main topic, often I don't know why people expect a signal chain recreating a amp+cab+mic+room(reverb) through headphones or studio monitors or a home theatre setup should equate to actually playing an amp+cab(speaker) in a real room(home/garage/studio/hall) to behave the same. It just wont, guitar speakers move air differently. Move the amp setup in a room far far away where it can't be heard at all & monitor with
    one microphone using a mixing desk(with good mic preamp), that feel/interaction of standing & playing right next to the amp setup just won't be there. To get that requires either a good poweramp+cab setup or a modern FRFR solution designed to make use of the potential in these current gen unit's processors, it has to be present in a room with you playing too. Ofcourse theres the human portion involved too, some people just make bad sounds whatever the device in use, however not everyone finds it bad to listen either so there is personal preference to consider as well.

    Live playing on a stage with these is very different experience as well, nowadays venues are cutting down on stage volume & in-ear monitoring is getting to be a compulsion in certain places. No time to deep edit on the spot in such places, luckily the current gen units dont require it to get a good mix, it was a problem cutting through the mix with lot of the older tech especially if a second guitarist was involved using the real deal.

  2. #62
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    Default Re: Kemper - what's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    I call BS on this opinion. I bet that in any blind test in a musical context you couldn't tell a Kemper from a real amp from an RP250 programmed right.

    You were listening to a vid that said 'Here is Twin' and 'Here is Kemper'
    Thanks, my opinion is Bull****

    I'm going off mic'd A/B videos and you can hear the difference -it's there and obvious but not overwhelming at all -that's the best I can do -because I'm not buying one or setting up a live A/B for myself..

    In a musical context -as in -with a full band I would probably agree with you -but that's not what I was referring to -I was referring to actual differences listening to each amps
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    Default Re: Kemper - what's the point?

    Andertons did a video where they were going back and forth between Rob's Marshall, some clean Fender amp (I think) and a Kemper, without knowing what was what. They signaled when they were going to switch amps so you could close your eyes and try to guess along with Lee and Rob, or you could watch Rabea switch them and pick out the differences.

    I shut my eyes during the switches, and could not hear the differences. Rob and Lee could not guess properly, either. Based on the RP-300 and RP-100s I've owned, I'm betting we'd have all been able to tell the difference between the Digitech and the Marshall.

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    Default Re: Kemper - what's the point?

    did the Fractal Axe-Fx II Super Reverb thru Yamaha HS8s vs my 1965 Super Reverb...the difference was very obvious...no matter how the Fractal was tweaked it just wasn't there...the real deal is just big and alive sounding...much more touch sensitive...speakers more responsive...part of it am sure is haven't learned all the tricks to make the Fractal perform at it's peak...for instance on the Fractal forum IRs are talked about frequently as key items...I don't even know what one is....
    Kemper haven't tried but would think that its probably the same...
    The deal is I really dig the Fractal and use it most of the time for convenience....

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    Default Re: Kemper - what's the point?

    I just watched the Andertons Kemper A/B video after the comment above -and I thought that one was definitely tougher than several I've seen on You Tube. I got them both right (I own a JCM800 so....) but I will admit with the single coil Telecaster driving the Kemper and JCM800, it was literally indecipherable. the Humbuckers were way easier to tell

    -But their were hints to which was which in several places

    -first is especially in the neck position on hammer ons inside the blues chords/movements -you can hear the the note melt on the Valve amp that the Kemper didn't seem to but rather keep more separate and distinct(Not necessary bad -just different)

    -Even more when Captain (Whatever his name is) was doing the staccato notes, you could really hear the attack and transients on those very short notes really show the precision of the Kemper (not necessarily a good thing -but different than the Valve amps)

    Lastly, the Captain's A/B of the second amp really demonstrated the compression of the valve amp -and he noticed it too.
    Last edited by NegativeEase; 04-29-2019 at 06:41 PM.
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    Super Toneologist justFred's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kemper - what's the point?

    the thing with watching an AB video is you can't feel the responsiveness difference...you need to be playing the guitar for a realistic test...secondly you are listening thru your speakers and cannot hear the expansive characteristics of a tube amp vs the constructiveness of the modeler/profiler....
    I am sold on the Fractal and wouldn't give it up....however it is a compromise...I have read that on both Fractal and Kemper boards from pro Fractal/Kemper owners...
    The box of circuits is not a tube amp and it can be good enough but not a direct replacement...

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    Default Re: Kemper - what's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by NegativeEase View Post

    I'm going off mic'd A/B videos and you can hear the difference -it's there and obvious but not overwhelming at all -that's the best I can do -because I'm not buying one or setting up a live A/B for myself..
    And there is the problem. You KNOW which is the tube. If we did it blind folded, and randomly, over a number of trials would you prefer the tubes or the Kemper? we don't know - and rarely ever will, because companies don't want you to do that. They know the name/bad carries weight - but not necessarily validity!

    What if you preferred a $38 Bad Monkey to a Klon 8/10 times?
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    Default Re: Kemper - what's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    What if you preferred a $38 Bad Monkey to a Klon 8/10 times?
    That would make me really happy, but would be happier if it were 10/10.

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    Default Re: Kemper - what's the point?

    I love the Bad Monkey, and probably like it better than the Klone I built.
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    Default Re: Kemper - what's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hank- View Post
    Now moving to the main topic, often I don't know why people expect a signal chain recreating a amp+cab+mic+room(reverb) through headphones or studio monitors or a home theatre setup should equate to actually playing an amp+cab(speaker) in a real room(home/garage/studio/hall) to behave the same. It just wont, guitar speakers move air differently. Move the amp setup in a room far far away where it can't be heard at all & monitor with
    one microphone using a mixing desk(with good mic preamp), that feel/interaction of standing & playing right next to the amp setup just won't be there.
    This.

    When you A/B the Axe or Kemper against a "real" amp, you're not really comparing apples to apples unless you're listening to a monitor mix rather than the amp itself.

    That being said I've never seen a Kemper in person, and the only AxeFx I've played is the Ultra. The tones were spectacular, but IMO the feel was maybe 95% there. Instead of feeling directly connected to the sound pouring our (like a good tube amp) It was a bit disconnected much like all of the rack systems I've built over the years.
    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

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    Default Re: Kemper - what's the point?

    Whether modeler, profiler, sampler or emulator, the only reason I ever pursue such a device is when I’m in a working cover band and I have to sound like a different band on every song.

    Otherwise, I prefer just to use one of my Marshall’s straight in and use the guitar controls to get all the sounds I need.
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    Default Re: Kemper - what's the point?

    Am I crazy for saying you guys are sinking/thinking too much into gear?

    Nobody cares if Satriani plays through a JVM, a XXL or a Bandit. It's gonna sound badass. Same with Marty Friedman or Steve Morse or freaking Albert Lee through the clean channel. They're killer players.

    Nobody should care if the Kemper sounds exactly like a tube amp or not. What it does is unprecedented, insane levels of customization which should take the gear equation out of your tonal and creative shortcomings. Some people need that, some don't. Someone like John Petrucci is hell-bent on using his gear and nothing else, and he's insanely good. Other cats will play through whatever and kill at it. Both approaches are fine.

    So what if it sounds 90% or 100% like a JCM800? It still going to morph into a cranked Tweed or a Randall Warhead with a twist of the knob, which the Marshall won't. The benefits far surpass any potential shortcomings.
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    Default Re: Kemper - what's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by justFred View Post
    did the Fractal Axe-Fx II Super Reverb thru Yamaha HS8s vs my 1965 Super Reverb...the difference was very obvious...no matter how the Fractal was tweaked it just wasn't there...the real deal is just big and alive sounding...much more touch sensitive...speakers more responsive...part of it am sure is haven't learned all the tricks to make the Fractal perform at it's peak...for instance on the Fractal forum IRs are talked about frequently as key items...I don't even know what one is....
    Kemper haven't tried but would think that its probably the same...
    The deal is I really dig the Fractal and use it most of the time for convenience....
    Read (or re-read) post #61, for that to be a valid comparison you would need to put the Fender in an isolated room and mic it and listen to it through the same monitors. That is what everyone seems to miss about modelers.

    Yes, I miss my amps, I have been fortunate enough to own many great amps, and I miss that immediacy and interaction when playing through one, and I'm going through an "I hate modeling" phase right now because I'm trying to tweak in some sounds for this weekend. I much rather have a few pedals with knobs (eyeing the new V2 Tech 21 Fly Rigs), but I only play at church and we run direct now days. I could try setting up an amp and mic'ing it in the back, but for all the trouble of that, it's not worth it, not to mention, there is no time for sound checks and the sound people really don't have any experience.

  14. #74
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    Default Re: Kemper - what's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    And there is the problem. You KNOW which is the tube. If we did it blind folded, and randomly, over a number of trials would you prefer the tubes or the Kemper? we don't know - and rarely ever will, because companies don't want you to do that. They know the name/bad carries weight - but not necessarily validity!
    I definitely wouldn't prefer the tube amp sound for everything -but I can tell the difference between the two -especially if I have the guitar in my hand -even a moderately trained ear can be shown what to listen for. so if the preference for the compression, lag and held transients that we love and are accustomed to are actually primarily nostalgia and not fundamentally "better" -which they are likely not -but who knows all the reasons why we like tube tones. For gigging does it matter? probably not at all.

    but my point was there is a difference, I can hear it on most You Tube videos (although I could not on Andertons Single Coil comparison) and I know %100 I could hear it in person, so it wouldn't be a direct replacement for the JCM800, AC15 or Deluxe sound I love for recording or playing alone, but could it be used for other sounds or variations of those amps? and gigging now?. hell yes it could. Kempers sound excellent and they will only get better.

    remember, I'm the guy that said the new Valve amp industry will be done in the not so distant future because SS and modeling progress wonderfully every year -I don't necessarily look forward to it because I like amps -but it's inevitable due to cost, environmental waste factors and raw material availability.
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker zionstrat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kemper - what's the point?

    I continue to be amazed at the confusion that is inherent in the modeling versus tube discussions. Having used both for many different purposes over many years, the pluses and negatives are clear... This thread and hundreds of others like it quite easily summarize the positives and negatives of both approaches.

    The bottom line is they both do things very well. just like the Boeing vs. Airbus or Ford versus Toyota or Java vs. Python, it all comes down to what you are trying to accomplish.

    It's also easy to prove that there are far more similarities then differences, and it's relatively simple to prove.

    Find a good player in your neighborhood who alternates between high-end tube and modeling rigs and ask to monitor his tracks in a live or recording environment and all of the confusion goes away.

    In the mix, it is almost impossible to determine if you're listening to tubes or models because the front of house engineer or recording engineer is fitting the guitar sound into the total mix environment.

    They will roll off highs to remove masking with cymbols. They will remove low end to avoid masking against bass and drums keyboards etc. They will add dynamic fx to get the guitar to fit in the mix, they will add other fx to thicken the sound and in stereo environments they might use wide panning with light detune or delay for thickening

    if you are not familiar with this process, you will probably be amazed at how different a guitar sounds when it is soloed out from a good mix.

    Now record 5 or 10 nights where the guitarist is using tubes for some gigs and using modeling for others.

    Play back the multiple versions of each song and anyone, even the best ears, will not be able to tell the difference in the mix better than 50 50 guesses.

    Try it and it's immediately clear that this entire discussion is nothing but emotional reactions. A great guitarist sounds great with tubes or modeling.

    Seriously, try it (and remember that we are talking about high-quality guitarists and engineers) and post your results.

    Sorry about the long post and I will probably save my rant and simply post it into the next 100 modeling vs. Tube threads :-)



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    I poop in my KISS diapers Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kemper - what's the point?

    Man YOU just don’t get it!!!!!! It’s not exactly a tube amp!!!!!
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    Super Toneologist justFred's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kemper - what's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    So everyone starts getting a chub at the mention of Kemper. But I am asking a serious what is the BFD with these?

    First - I have heard a number of bands and seen them in use. You know what? Not once did I go "HOLY MOTHER OF TONE &^$%" or "WHERE THE %$#$ is [insert name of famous tone god]???? HE MUST BE BEHIND A CURTAINN SOMEWHERE!!!!"

    Second, I have played one on two occasions in my favorite Sam Ash - so I played long and loud enough.

    OK - it'a a modeller. Sounds just fine. Same as any other modeler these days. Yeah - lots of amps and cabs, half of which all sound the same to my old shot ears. And effects - OMG; The delays sounds as good as....any delay!

    Defend this over-hyped, feature bloated, ungodly expensive piece of "So what?"
    so after all this the OP nailed it...Kemper "so What"...another box of sounds...none as good as a real good tube amp (there are a bunch of crap tube amps)...
    the best we can do is it is convenient and an interesting way of passing the time coming up with new curios sounds...

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    Default Re: Kemper - what's the point?

    The other side of this is that not everyone wants to re-create sounds that have been done 1000x before. There are lots of players interested in not basing what they do on an amp sound that is 50 years old.
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    Super Toneologist justFred's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kemper - what's the point?

    that might lead one to wonder then why the Kemper is loaded primarily with profiles of amps that are based on 50 year old designs...a Fractal would make more sense in that case...it's concept of starting with the basic building blocks of an amp would be much more flexible it going off in new directions...

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    Default Re: Kemper - what's the point?

    My ADA MP-1 gives me a chub.
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