Kemper VS Axe Newbie Questions

Discussion in 'Amp Modeling' started by Caoimhin, May 3, 2017.

  1. Caoimhin

    Caoimhin Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,169
    Likes Received:
    8,103
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
    For the past month I've been going back and forth on buying an Axe FX II. It seems to be the popular one and the one used most by professional musicians but after pricing a new rig out, the powered Kemper unit is the cheaper way to go. Do they sound much different than one another? Is there any reason to choose one over the other or is it just preference?
     
  2. Steinmetzify

    Steinmetzify Banned

    Messages:
    3,157
    Likes Received:
    3,467
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    At this price point, it's preference for what each unit will do; it's not tones, they both excel.

    Think about what you want to do, what you'd use it for the most. Remember that the Axe is an interface as well, so you don't need anything separate to record with.

    If you want amp snapshots, get the Kemper.

    If you want to build a tone from scratch, grab an Axe.

    There are tons of presets/profiles out there for both.

    Had em both, loved em. They're both straight up awesome.
     
    Liam, Caoimhin and frankv like this.
  3. tzd

    tzd Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,432
    Likes Received:
    3,218
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Search for the "Opus" thread.
     
  4. NeubyWanKaneuby

    NeubyWanKaneuby Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,372
    Likes Received:
    450
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    The Opus thread is a sticky in this forum.
     
  5. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    12,259
    Likes Received:
    15,193
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Yes, it was my personal comparison , as I have both.

    http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/thr...opus-comparison-of-the-axe-and-kemper.386136/

    Read, it at leisure, I went into a lot of depth.

    The executive level quick answer is:

    There WAS a little gap, in amp tone and feel between them, when comparing a simple axe preset for Amp X to a Kemper Profile for Amp X. But, I can tweak each, with not much effort, to sound, play and feel identical to each other. (or close enough it really doesn't matter)

    For non tweaking, just using what they come with, or what you can buy (Kemper really sings with some very inexpensive bought profiles), at first I like more Kemper rigs over an Axe preset, than I did Axe presets over Kemper Rigs.

    I say at first, because Axe has closed that little gap mentioned with Q7 and Q8 firmware updates. Many amps, are very close sounding now. There is differences in feel, without tweaking (and I am talking very small) on some amp models between them. Some I like it better on the Kemper, others the Axe. And I can tweak either to match the other, with less than a minute or two.

    SO, ultimately, as stated above, it really comes down to how you work, and what you want to do with the unit, want out of it, like to interface with. See the Opus thread above, I go into different items. It really comes down to those kind's of questions.

    You MIGHT be able to try a Kemper in a store, there are dealers.

    Axe, you need someone with one to let you try. I know Frank has an open invitation to people to try his if they get nearby.
     
    Liam and Caoimhin like this.
  6. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    12,259
    Likes Received:
    15,193
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    From the Opus, the end

     
  7. Caoimhin

    Caoimhin Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,169
    Likes Received:
    8,103
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
    Would the Kemper Powerrack be a problem if a venue only provided powered monitors? I wouldn't want to damage my equipment or theirs. Do you also have the option of going direct into a PA and playing through a cab simultaneously like the Axe FX?
     
  8. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    12,259
    Likes Received:
    15,193
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    See the 1st pic below? That is an unpowered Kemper. The 2nd is powered. Powered is exactly the same as unpowered, except they put a power amp in that open area at the top. Rack is the same as the toaster, as far as this goes. It just puts the powered output to the right on the back (2nd set of pics)

    On both, you have the Master output (stereo), the Monitor Output and the Direct Output/Send. So, yes, you
    can go to PA and a powered CAB. In fact, you can go to PA, a powered CAB in the backline, and a powered CAB at your feet. With the powered, you can do all that and go to an unpowered CAB, FRFR, or Guitar.

    Just to be clear, the Axe can only go to powered CABs, or FOH without anything else, just like the UNPOWERED Kemper.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Caoimhin likes this.
  9. Shai`tan

    Shai`tan Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,402
    Likes Received:
    291
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    I have the powered Kemper, and will be using the Monitor Out into an Active Xitone wedge (which is enroute apparently). I went with the Active Xitone, because at some point I may pick up the AX8. Hearing VERY good things since they released the Quantum 7 updates.
     
    Caoimhin likes this.
  10. Caoimhin

    Caoimhin Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,169
    Likes Received:
    8,103
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
    It's hard to make up my mind on which to choose. I feel like the the Axe FX as way more to offer but I think the Kemper sounds better from the videos I've seen. These two videos made me side with Kemper over the past few days.

     
    cybermgk likes this.
  11. KenG

    KenG Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,132
    Likes Received:
    3,209
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    You should look up the Top Jimmy packs for Kemper! Sounded amazing.
     
    Shai`tan likes this.
  12. matthew bear

    matthew bear Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,974
    Likes Received:
    4,158
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    One thing I really like about Kemper is that you have an ever changing library of amps to try out. People are profiling home built amps and various things, so you could have 20 amps, or 2,000 amps and constantly change it up, If you're so inclined.

    But, with the gain knob your sweep is limiting a bit, because the amp is profiled. if you crank the gain too far, it starts to take on a unnatural vibe( if the amp is already profiled dirty, obviously it sounds great). I believe the AXE gives more flexibility with tweaking.
     
    Caoimhin likes this.
  13. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    12,259
    Likes Received:
    15,193
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Yes, most profilers provide multiple profiles of the amp at different settings like that, because of that.

    @Caiomhin, as I said in that lengthy review, it really comes down to what you want, and how you work. IMHO, you can't go wrong with either, but one might work with you and for you better.

    But yeah the Kemper sounds f'in good.
     
    Caoimhin likes this.

Share This Page