Submitted October 27, 2019 by Michael R in Springfield, OH
"Finally, real tube amp sound and feel. The Kemper is a Keeper!"
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I was very skeptical jumping in on one of these. I am a tube amp user for many years and I have never found any sort of modelling gear that comes close to the real deal. I have watched many vids about these kempers and for the most part could always hear a difference when comparing the real deal to the profiled one. So, to me it was about, can it feel like a real amp? I can deal with not sounding identical but if the feel isn't there then back to the store it will go. The first day I got it all I did was run through the many presets. I wasn't overwhelmed by the tones I was hearing. They were just ok. I'm also not a big FX guy so the FX for me were just fine. It did seem to react to my playing dynamics better than any other modeler I have tried. If I were to have stopped right here the kemper would have went back. I waited until the following weekend when I could profile some of my amps I know very well to give it the true test. My first amp up was my trusty Marshall DSL. It did a fantastic job at re-creating that tone and feel! Test 1 is a big pass! I also did my Marshall JMP-1 and the results were again, very good! Ok, the big one, how about a plexi? Could it capture the cranked sweet tone, feel and power amp bloom that no other modeler even comes close to? Well, it does 2 out of 3. The tone and feel were there but not the bloom. Not surprising. Power amp bloom comes from one thing only and that is real tubes driven into saturation. I will keep my plexi as well as the Kemper. My DSLs, JMP-1 preamp, Silver Jubilee and my JCM 800 could all get replaced. I'd say the Kemper is about 95% there capturing the tone and feel. In a recording scenario or live through a PA you would probably not be able to tell the difference. I have read a lot about the " Michael Britt" profiles and I would say they are good but not great to my liking. The Kemper became great only after I profiled my own amps. If you are considering a Kemper go at it if you already own great sounding amps tweaked to your liking then profile those amps. If you don't have the proper setup to profile your gear, then go to a real studio and have it done. It would be worth the added expense. I do a lot of recording using real amps with reactive load boxes and IRs. The Kemper can do that setup superbly. It takes pedals really well. You can profile your pedals in the chain but it seems to respond best putting those pedals in their natural environment. Definitely a KEEPER! As a side note, this makes one of the best headphone amps I have ever played. I can put on a decent set of headphones and bring up one of my profiles and get lost for hours thinking I'm playing my real amp. I love it! As does my wife! Expect a bit of a learning curve and give it some time and profile your own amps and you will be rewarded. I have given mine almost a month now and it will join my other gear as a permanent fixture.
Musician/ recording engineer for 30 years
Rock, hard rock, prog rock and metal
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