Yeah, i'm thinking about getting one of those sexy rackmount Kempers and wonder if someone of you has any experience with using one of those in rehearsals and/or on stage.
The thing is: I'm using a Rig with a Mesa Mark V (+ tc G-System and a couple of other peadls and toys) now and totally LOVE the tone. But: Theoretically it should be possible to recreate that exact tone with a Kemper (and many more) and carry it with me in a smaller and lighter package that takes less space in the car, right? Plus: I could record with that exact tone at home easily if i'd wish to.
But i have some questions and maybe you can help:
- how does the Kemper work with pedals like Tubescreamer and stuff? The same way as a tube amp? Differently?
- it should be possible to run it like my Mark V, i mean getting FX and switching commands from my G-System e.g., correct?
(- are the integrated FX good enough, so i can throw away my whole other FX-stuff?)
- Should i be getting a version with or without the power amp? Leading to the next question:
- how does it sound with a normal cab? Or is it better to route it directly into the PA?
As mentioned: I love my tone/rig as it is, but it's a bit of a mess to carry around that big and heavy case to every gig. No roadies around, hahaha... So what would you suggest, dear experienced Kemper-user?
I'm in almost exactly the same boat. Using a Mesa Single Rec that is controlled by a G-System. I'm not worried about the weight so much, but I would love to have access to different amp tones on the fly.
From what I understand from my research thus far, the Kemper can be controlled via MIDI messaging, which can be triggered in patches on the G-System.
The OD on the Kemper is apparently outstanding and does the same thing to the amp models that a real TS does to your Mesa. That being said, other users are finding that they prefer their old screamers in front of the models that they are using.
The other integrated effects are not as tweakable or controllable as the ones on the G-System and you're going to need a controller anyway, so I'm planning on keeping mine. The Kemper also lacks some effects groups that are in the G-System, most notably for me are the intelligent pitch shifter and the filter effects.
It functions well with a variety of output options. You kind of have to choose your poison from one of the three options:
Option one, get a discreet power amp that doesn't do much of its own colouring of the tone, like a Velocity 300, and output to a guitar cab. This way, the characteristics of the modelled power section are translated through your cab.
Option two, get a tube power amp that you like the sound of and a cab. This way, you use only the preamp section of the model and it is driven through the colour imparted by your power section and on to your cab.
Option three, go full range, flat response. This allows you to use the power and cab profile information and what is basically a high fidelity amp and speaker system will do its best to deliver that tone.
I'd like to go option 3, mostly because I'd like to experiment with cab sounds. Now, I love my cab. I love it to pieces. It's changed my tone more than anything else I've done to my rig in the last 20 years, but if the Kemper can approximate a ported 2x12 cab with V30s in it while also giving me access to AlNiCo blue speakers paired with a Vox, a mic'd Fender Blues Jr, and every brutal death metal head/cab combo I've ever lusted after, I'm in. And when I'm playing live, I'm going to want the FOH to get the sounds directly from the Kemper, which are going to include the power and cab options anyway, so why wouldn't I want my stage sound to be the closest possible approximation to what the audience is being subjected to?