Recently I obtained a Kemper Profiling Amp as I won’t be able to crank my amps as loud as I have been in my new working space. I really wanted to see if I could get the same tone that I have been getting on all of my lessons with this new box but I have been skeptical and figured I would give it a shot. I bought one used so if I didn’t like it, I would be able to get my money back.
The amp I really like to use for all of my lessons is the Andrews Spectraverb. This is an extremely versatile and amazing sounding Fender Blackface style amp made by Jeff Andrews who has a shop just a few miles down from the house where I live. It’s my go to for almost everything these days, but I still really like my 66 Vibrolux and 79 Twin as well. I just don’t have enough room to keep them set up so I just use the Andrews and I’m happy. The other amps I have are great don’t get me wrong but just don’t seem as versatile to me though.
When I received the Kemper, the first order of business was to learn how to profile an amp then go about making the best profiles I can of the amps I own as those are the amps that I really like using. I also know these amps very well and understand how to push them to get different tones.
So when I finally learned the process and created some profiles, I was shocked to hear how great they sounded. I mean I have used digital modelers in the past and have enjoyed using them, but the amps that I own have always sounded a million times better to me, until now.
In my opinion, the Kemper doesn’t replace my amps, but is like a box that can store snaphshots of all of them and ones I don’t have. Profiles are not that hard to create but there are many factors that contribute to the final tone you will get while creating them. The mic you use, the mic position, the pre amp, and your ability to capture the sound of the amp will heavily determine the quality of the profile. If you don’t know your gear, then your profiles won’t turn out very well in my opinion. They will be usable but it takes some trial and error to figure out how to best get them in my opinion.
Gear Used for Profiles
To create all of the profiles I have done so far, I used the following gear.
BLA modded 002rack
Api A2D Preamp
AEA R84 Ribbon Microphone
Fender Relic Strat
The Profiles were exported in 24 bit 48khz and then uploaded to Soundcloud.
I have created a number of these profiles and when you start to understand how much the mic position determines the final tone, then you can create numerous profiles of the same amp but using different micing techniques. Since this is the case, I wouldn’t want to sell any of my amps as I would want to be able to create new profiles in the future as well.
Once you have made the profile of your amp, you will then have full control over the Gain, Bass, Mid, Treble, Presence, and Volume controls on the Kemper. This is really great and will give you a lot of options to re shape the profile created. I have learned however that these controls do not act like the ones on my amps. They are more like an EQ you would find in any DAW for recording. Having said that, they are really useful if you understand what you are doing with them.
Okay enough with the talk. I’m sure you just want to hear it already!!
The real test as everyone knows comes in how the Kemper actually sounds. So without further ado, here’s the answer.
Track 1 – Kemper
High Res 24/48khz
Track 2 – Andrews Spectraverb
High Res 24/48khz
Post a comment below for your choice of which track is what. Kemper or Andrews
I will reveal which track is which this Friday February 19th.
I will say that there is a slight difference in the Kemper and the Real amp but I would say that the Kemper gets about 98% there. It’s only my opinion and some may not like the Kemper at all. After using the Kemper for about a week though, I have to say it is an amazing piece of gear. For the record, I’ve been using tube amps exclusively for nearly 25 years now so I have heard a lot of them. From this point on all of the lessons will be done with the Kemper.
Post your guess and/ or comment below.
Here’s a few clips of the Kemper with my Vibrolux Profile