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Discussion in 'Amp Modeling' started by NotScott, Oct 27, 2017.
Ya. Tweaking is not in my DNA. Should have bought the Kemper as well vs the Axe. Although I get why someone would want it. Definitely like the Kemper philosophy as laid out here. Great review.
This was my intent with the post. To me, there seemed to be way too much bickering and posturing in this sub and I found it very difficult to cut through the noise and find honest, unbiased reviews that I could trust to help me make the best choice for me. An investment in a Kemper or an Axe rig is a significant outlay of cash for a decision that will effect the way you approach your instrument and your craft. It is not a decision to be made based solely upon the thoughts and opinions of a single forum.
I think the Kemper is really misunderstood and unfairly pigeonholed by the tech/tweaker types that want to have every little parameter available to play with. While that may be a valid approach for some players, for me, the Kemper sounds great and makes my life easier.
Gotcha. For me, going 100% modeling/digital (however you want to say it) was just about lugging less gear to gigs. I already knew the recording benefits. Kind of like you, my choice in amps for MY tone are a bit out of the mainstream. If Kemper had done a better job (initially) of explaining/demoing their product it would have CLEARLY come out ahead, lol.....
Helix is really cool, and I get MORE than enough use out of it in multiple applications. While I managed to build a preset that greatly resembles my Rivera, it is really almost an IDEALIZED Rivera as opposed to the ACTUAL Rivera sound. By profiling the Rivera, I would actually have my REAL sound. Oh well, coulda/shoulda....glad I actually dig what I got!!
The Modelling cumminity here is quite small, I think the reason is the long delay in getting any kind of forum for it (and it ended up only being a sub-forum at that). So most modelling fans have found other homes years before this site was ready to seperate the two. I mean it has been around for many years and actively being used in studios when people were still trashing it a decade ago. Even for myself as a modelling fan, I started here as a Les Paul fan 1st and that's what's kept me here primarily (Cause I still love my LP!)
There is a ton of positive reviews, interviews, user demos etc out there on the web, by those both famous and recognizable on all the big modelling equipment and some intermediate stuff too like the Amplifire. There are other users whom I have never heard of before I got into this but their playing and music spoke for them and their opinions gained much weight because of it.
People are goiing to have their opinions on which is best and it's an argument no one can win, I've heard too many great demos that really blew me away, from folks around the world to believe some internet poster (Who's never posted a performance or recording etc) that you can't can't get great tone from something or this device is far superior to that device.
In the end all have features and capabiltiites that differ enough to make people choose one over the other but most experienced folks who've owned more than one of these basically says they are all great in their way.
Mostly correct. First, I will say, when you buy professional amp profiles of a specific amp, you generally get 20-40 seperate profiles, at all manner of different settings. The EQ knobs, are no, not meant to simulate the amp stack, but to tweak the Rig (Progile+FX+ Cab possibly) for a room, cab, etc. THOUGH there has long been talk of a firmware upgrade at some point with modeled EQ stacks for many amps. The Gain knob, and amp volume and similar, however, do actually make the Rig respondlike the amp, to a point. I say, to a point, because, they actually have a sweep that is bigger than most amps. Stay within the actual amp's gain, or volume ranges, and it is pretty accurate. These are items that are tested during the profiling operation (how both the gain and volume dynamics respond. It IS a simulation of the gain or amp volume, but imho, it is spot on (again up to a point of sweep each direction).
See above. The one thing the Kemper nails when profiling is how the amp responds to gain and input signal changes. So yes, the Kemper responds like that amp does, set as it was for the profile, as far as input signal changes in strength, gain, dynamics. I can't really tell the difference. I actually use my Klon, TS because I prefer them over the modeled versions in the Kemper. I DON'T use other dirt pedals, because, in reality, I just pick a different rig (Same amp set differently, or a different amp) to get the tone and feel I want.
See above. This is why I mentioned what you get when you buy, or download an amp. You get 10, 20, 30, 40 rigs for a particular amp. That means a whole bunch of setups for different pickups with different gain points. Many also include some with different pedals in front as well.
Yes and yes. 3 types pf profiles. 1. Studio - amp through Mic'ed CAB. Many bought profile sets will have multiple cabs and mics. And, the Kemper, is remarkably good at determining what the CAB and Mic is adding. Using a Studio Profile and turning off the CAB is very, very, very close to just the amp.
2. DI - Which takes the CAB out of the mix completely. As said, Stdio with CAB turned off is extremely good, but DI gets it perfect. You can use these direct to a guitar CAB, or with IRs you load, etc.. 3. Merged - which has a Studio and a DI profile embedded.
These pieces are really the only 2 pieces that hold me back from trying out a kemper.
Hope I answered your questions to your satisfaction.
Frank, lol, I love Axe Edit as well. But, I will say, it just isn't AS needed on the Kemper for a few reasons.
One is, there just isn't as much flexability on signal chains on the Kemper. You an have selection of pedals in front, amp next, then CAB, and you can have time FX as if in the loop of the amp. All of which are easily turned on or off or adjusted from the front panel. Thats why all those little buttons and knobs are there. Though, there are a ton of output routing options.
Two, although there is a lot of tweaking one can do, it is still not to the level of on the Axe. Think of it this way, the Axe HAS to have an adjustment for just about every little thing, because it is modelling the circuitry. each componant. Ergo you need a value for each. The profiling process, fills those in, if you will (many). The tweaks, are really designed more for adjusting the end result of the profiling session, to your liking. Majority of that, that most do once, are the Amp block tweaks, CAB tweaks, and internal EQs. But, once done, rarely go back.
As you know, I have both. I don't really miss having an Editor for the Kemper.
That siad, they keep promising one.
It really comes down to what you prefer, (approach, interface) and how you work, as to which fits better.
Oh I know exactly what you speak of. It's just that I like having the ability to play a raw Marshall or Fender without relying on someone's profile. Really just that simple for me. So having AXE EDIT is important when you consider what i just said.
I also can't discount all the support Fractal has given and is giving. Adding amps, effects and other enhancements is something I like very much.
All that said I do understand why someone decided on one or the other. I am just glad that over the last 2 years we are starting to see some of the power house players on this board switch or at least add modelers and profilers to their rigs. There was a time when I seemed to be a lone tree standing in the storm
Now you have serious talk and discussion by guys like Scott. Has it taken some time?. Is sure has and the stuff hasn't changed in 2 years.. It just seems to be slowly gaining favor now.
Geez I had GAS under control for a while until I've been rereading this thread and listening to Kemper samples all day...
Must. Resist. Credit Card.
Its been a new world for like...... 3 years now.. hahahahahah
IMO, the coolest thing about these modeling units (I have the AX8) is that you can pretty much configure them to do whatever you want. Just the unit direct into FOH or recorder, or power amp and cab along with your good old pedalboard and everything in between.
In addition, volume is also a viable option. Our band practices are at noticeably lower volume because I'm not turning up to get my tube amp to hunker down and sound bitchin.
People spend so much time bickering about the subtle nuances of tonal intricacies between tube an modeling that, IMO, we lose sight of the fact that modeling fits so many scenarios much better than traditional amps do - even if one wants to argue that tube amps still technically sound better. (I'm not arguing about this)
And I will suggest that the audience still doesn't care what you use as long as you can play your guitar right.
Great to see you write this. God knows I have said much the same for a long time now. Cheers.
Thanks for posting . Very informative reading, best thread so far as to the merits of the new tech.
Thanks LP. I just wanted to document the thought process that I went through for my gear and how I arrived at the best decision for me. If it helps others find what is best for them, all the better.
Ah, but the Kemper is the perfect GAS killer but also GAS enabler. It's a killer, because you just never want to buy another amp again. It's an enabler, because, say you hear about an amp somewhere, and wonder how it would play. Instead of spending 100s or thousands, for zero to maybe 15 or 20 bucks, you can have that amp. You really can have every amp you ever wanted or likely will want.
Axe FX II same thing. Only difference is you may not buy a profiled amp, might just tweak and create that amp X, using an existing model, tweaking and maybe add some tone match. MAYBE spend a similar amount to someone who already did that work.
So GAS stopped, because it can easily be fulfilled, instantly, and wallet friendly.
Yea, that pretty much sums it right up. I'd just add, and 'with consistent results, day to day, whatever volume'.
I still say, the best way to go is get both
Very interesting - good to know the tech can be used with "old school" guitar cabs on stage and monitors at home.
Or any combination of the two, and effortlessly.
Unless you hit some serious wrong notes, they don't even care about that: they're listening to the singer and (hopefully) dancing/moving to the beat. Very few people in the audience give a rats a** about the guitar sound. Apart from other guitarists. Who will always "know better" regardless of what you do.