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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
New Kemper Profiling Amp Day




As suggested, I started a new thread for this - although this could be one of the reasons boutique tube amp builders are struggling. Anyways, to answer a couple of questions from that previous thread:

Yeah....you are !:cool:
Holy smokes.
The LSS is going on the backburner?
Looking forward to your reports.
Does it have a power amp built in ?
I know so little of the Kemper,but definitely have an open mind.
This should prove interesting.
I think a new thread is in order for this puppy.
I still be gigging my tube amps for the time being. There's a fairly steep learning curve with this, at least initially. I want to be comfortable enough with the workflow that I can handle the unexpected in a gig. That won't happen until sometime in 2019. As I said in my previous post, this is sounding good ---- in the living room. How it sounds in the mix is the real arbiter. I know a lot of serious players use them, so it is possible.

I have found out that, for configuration work (loading rigs and building performances), a computer connection really helps the workflow, but I'd prefer not having to take a laptop with me to a pub. So I need to be comfortable with it with either a computer of from the UI - after having a few beer and being under some real-time pressure.

Mine is the powered version, so I can run directly to a guitar cab or FRFR, if I turn speaker emulation on. It seems the most direct way - and it happened to be the unit that came up used in my radar. I like the idea of getting a wireless guitar system and having one cable between amp and pedal board, one short, little cable from wireless rx to KPA input and one speaker cable from KPA to speaker. FOH can have one or two cables, either XLR or TRS, if it's needed.

It's light, that's for sure. Everything was light after I got rid of my Mesa Roadster 212, but this is light compared to little SS amps. What old guy doesn't like that!


Congrats!

From your pic, it looks like the cab emulator is on - if you are plugging directly into a speaker cabinet, push the button to turn it off and let me know the results.

Cheers
I read your post before picking it up and it was one of the things I was watching for. I toggled it a couple of times and didn't hear anything different. After digging into the manual, it appears the user before me had cab emulation turned off globally in the monitor part of the output section. I think.

So I haven't heard it with cab emulation yet. I will eventually run it into my hifi in the living room and take it downstairs and run it into my PA. But baby steps, if you know what I mean. Getting Rig Manager sorted out and getting it connected to that was a big step on day 2 (day 1 was just wanking with the different presets - took a while to work through all 260 of them!
 

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Nice! Congrats bud.
I hear a lot of people are heading down the route.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Nice! Congrats bud.
I hear a lot of people are heading down the route.
Thanks, bzrkrage.

With impending retirement, I'm gonna have some time to spare. And I'll need it. LOL

Not to mention, if I get more into home recording (which is one plan), this is going to be a great tool for that. I also think, with initial experience, it's going to be a pretty good live tool, as well. Time will tell.
 
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Do you have to memorize all or the info in adjacent binders to use the amp to the fullest extent? (j/k)

Congrats! ...Enjoy your retirement "project".
View attachment 229750
That is why I don't jump that digital wagon, I already have a master degree no needs for another student loan!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Do you have to memorize all or the info in adjacent binders to use the amp to the fullest extent? (j/k)

Congrats! ...Enjoy your retirement "project".
View attachment 229750
LOL The two hard-copy manuals I received are Quick Start guides. The 'real' manuals are softcopies off Kemper's site. And they are huge and like speaking a different language. It will come, but not in a week or two. I remember going through the same frustration first time I used a DAW. A necessary evil, I guess.

Funny enough, that first finder is very much oriented towards pro sound (training I took decades ago), that I still refer to on occasion, and the 3rd, 4th and 5th binders contain CD's (does anybody remember CD's). So I guess in some respects, they are part of the learning resources for this thing, although peripherally.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I took this to a jam last weekend. As usual, there was good news and there was bad news. LOL

First of all, my initial impressions were that, for 600 watts, it wasn't very loud. I'd played it at home and it seemed capable but in a bigger room with other instruments, I was struggling. At first.

After dicking around for 10 minutes, I found the problems. First of all, the previous owner had set the Power Amp Boost section to -12dB. That's turning a 600 watt amp into 40 watts (but with 12dB of headroom!). That control, I believe is set to -6dB default, which equates to 150 watts (with 6dB of clean headroom - LOTS). Once I found and tweaked that, things were much better.

I also found that the master volume control and the monitor volume control were not mapped evenly. I had another 3 or so dB of loss between those two but I didn't find that till the next day. Turning up the Power Amp Boost got me through the night. Sadly though, while I was trouble-shooting, I mess with the input sensitivities of a number of presets, trying to get more level. Ahhh, the foibles of buying used. I had to sort those out the next day, too.

The good news - once I got the level sorted out, it worked as advertised. The range of clean and dirty tones I used were great, the effects were very good, and in particular the 'morph' function was excellent (allowing two preset sounds inside of one preset, so more gain or more volume or more echo or more whatever....).

I had a few issues with profile-to-profile volume balance but I could fix those on the fly. And I know going in that those would need to be fine-tuned in a live band environment. It's always been my experience that what seems to work at home needs some touching up in a band setting. So no surprises there. I'm now looking forward to the next live test, having just a bit more knowledge and experience than I had this last weekend. I knew it wouldn't be dead easy, and so far it's been easier than I thought it would. Knock on wood.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm waiting for your post where you tell us the LSS now sits gathering dust. :)
The LSS now sits gathering dust. :D

So do the DRRI, TA15, T50C and a few others. I have to work this thing and figure it out while I get the live-playing chances. I suppose I'm in the honeymoon phase as well.

What you're really waiting for is a FS/FT post. ;)

That's not likely to happen to the LSS - it's just too damn good to deal away. My perfect amp (glad I accidentally found it). Perhaps some of the others on that list may be on borrowed time, but the two Mesa's are my main squeezes when I want that glowing, warm feeling.


I played around with the headphone/profiled cab sounds last night (fvckin' insomnia). Not overly impressed with some of the higher gain sounds I'm using that sound just fine softened by monitoring with a guitar cab. But the clean and edge of breakup sounds are engaging - the stereo-ness of the mod and time-based effects is enveloping. Don't know how it will play out in a live gig, but I'd like to try a W/D/W setup. I just have to convince the drummer to give up a couple strips on the board. Or buy a bigger, digital board!

The next step, though, is to feed it into my PA. That's the other half of the equation (along with direct recording, which are related). Perhaps I would choose different profiles based on the 'direct sound with cab modeling on' vs the 'monitor via guitar cab' sound. At this point the monitor-guitar cab sound is the most important to me. That's it's initial purpose - live gigging via speaker cab. And I know lots of guys get great results direct recording / direct to FOH. So if I can't, I may have to admit it's I/O problems*.


*Idiot/Operator B#(*
 
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As I've mentioned in some posts already, I had the pleasure of chatting with Christoph Kemper at length when I was at Summer NAMM. One of the things I respected about him was his desire to strike the right balance between usability and flexibility. He knew there could have been a bottomless well of options to provide the user, but the user still had to be able to get to the sounds they wanted or imagined in an efficient and easily understandable way. So, some of those options had to be forfeited in order to provide greater usability. It's actually a bit like good documentation-writing. You have to start by asking "What does the end-user want at this point/moment, and what is their next need after that likely to be?". More thorough and realistic imagining of the end user leads to better documentation, and a better interface and product as well.

I look forward to you letting us in on how the learning-curve shifts over time. Of course, that assumes you can tear yourself away from the thing long enough to post something! :D

But congrats!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Tons of respect and kudos to Christoph and his crack team of German designers. I think they struck an amazing balance of flexibility, complexity and ease of use. Not an easy thing, as I found working in technical fields for 40 years.

Sure, there are some things I may have done differently. But there are 100X more things I would have never thought of. The manuals are will written and the on-line support and user group are Mesa-like (there is no higher praise than that).

In the first two (or is it three?? Time flies like an arrow) weeks of use, I'm ahead of where I thought I'd be. Played it out last weekend - didn't think that would happen till 2019. I suppose it's good I'm semi-retired with an unusual schedule. If I worked a regular 8-4, 40 hour week, I would be at least a week behind where I am, maybe more.

I would also say learning a somewhat mature technology isn't easy. People expect a certain amount of knowledge that an brand new user just may not have. Even the terminology is like learning a new language.

You just have to dive into the deep end. I remember learning my first DAW about a decade ago. I broke a few things in my occasional rages (my SO was not impressed with my rants LOL). This has been easier, but I had that experience to temper my own expectations of myself.
 
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OMFG, this thing is a hoot. And it sounds (and feels) killer with the right profiles.
 

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The thing with modeling is all of a sudden you start looking at the whole picture: how many guys with tube amps buy microphones and mix their own sound? How many tube amp guys even contemplate such things? One of the reasons to get into modeling is ti get a great and consistent direct sound. It’s another layer but once you go down the rabbit hole it’s tough to look back.
Yes, it may be more satisfying to play a tube amp and a couple of pedals at home but live modeling is hard to beat.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I agree, @Cups .

Initial learning curve is steep. I'm over-saving at this point in time so I can always go back a step or two (or 5).

My primary use for now will be live playing, through a guitar cab. I have no interest in FRFR at this point in time, maybe down the road ---- we'll see. For the times we do mic (about 40%, maybe), I will just go direct to the board. I would like to go stereo but I'll have to check if we have enough strips. The drummer may have to give up one of his 9 or 10 (3 or 4 of which are probably unnecessary).

Eventually, when I have the time, I plan on doing more recording and that will be it's other main use, I think. Easy to get a very consistent sound our of it.

Good to hear you're getting on with it.
I'd love to try one out.
Have you checked out any Mesa profiles yet?
Yep, one of the first things I did, for two reasons.

1) I am familiar with the sound of my LSS so it was an early test. It passed just fine.
2) That is the amp I use most and will be the basic clean 'rig' in a couple of my 'performance' presets.

I've since gone on to check out the Roadster profiles (an amp I previously owned, but could hardly lift anymore). Also, I've saved a couple of Dual Rec and Mk 2C+ profiles. I'm like them so far, but our live setlists don't really lend themselves to that kind of sound. Not yet, anyways. I may get a few interesting 'looks' from the other guitar player the next couple of times we practice or play. LOL
 
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What, no mark IV?
LOL Not yet. I'm in a bit of 'option paralysis'. I will get there eventually, I'm just a bit overwhelmed at the moment. This thing is a thousand miles deep to an old 'tube amp and a couple of effects' guy.

I wanted a Mk IV so badly a decade ago. I really thought the Mk V would drive the prices down, but it really didn't. The Mk IV's are still very desirable and command a pretty good price used. Never did find a deal I wanted for a short head. I guess the Kemper will have to suffice now. I'm OK with that.
 
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