Kemper vs. Axe Fx

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by capac, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. capac

    capac SS.org Regular

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    I know, I know, there is peobably quite a number of threads like these around here, but I'm curious. I decided to switch to digital to have more options and ease of use/practicality.

    I play modern metal (metalcore with djenty/prog elements). I don't want to ise any boosts outside the unit. I want to be able to go from crystal clean on the neck pup to tight distortion.

    I like tones people are getting from axe fx, but it is quite steep in Europe (1000eur more than kemper).

    For kemper, I'm not completely sure how it works. Do you actually have to use a different profile to have OD on it (for example, profile the amp with OD infront) or are stock ODs any good? How are noise gates and can you use multiple?
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
  2. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    you can use Profiles that included a OD in the chain of that profile and still put another built in OD infront of the profile using the stock Efx

    you have 4 blocks pre and 4 blocks post worth of effects.
    There is a global Noise gate knob and you can also put in noise gate blocks either side too.
    The stock OD's and gates are very good as is the newer delays and verbs!.

    Kemper sounds and feels identical to the real deal and is alot cheaper than an axe fx II. The amp and editting parameters are there in the Kemper IF you like tweaking tones alot but also it sounds so good it can just be used as plug and play if you dont want to spend ages dialing tones.

    Will you be going direct OR using poweramp > cabinet?
    if the latter, then you can get merged profiles now that are specifically designed to be able to remove the cabinet part of the sound on the profile without jeopardizing the amp part of the profile.
    Of course you can run both the units into a real cab and go direct at the same time anyway.
     
  3. DarthV

    DarthV SS.org Regular

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    How are you planning on doing foot switching? Neither the rack AxeII nor the Kemper rack/toaster come with a foot switch. Both companies do sell them, but they are very expensive. Both will work with MIDI controllers tho. Depending on how many effects you want to run at any time, the AX8 might be an idea as well.

    And yes, you can create different rigs with the same amp & different effects or use a foot switch to turn those effects (and change profiles) on and off as needed.
     
  4. BubbleWrap

    BubbleWrap SS.org Regular

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    If you want ease of use and practicality, the Helix is what you're looking for. It's tone is absolutely on par with fractal and kemper, user interface is the best in the class, way more flexible than tha kemper, the floor unit display and scribble strips are amazing, it has all of the ins and outs you could ever need, and you can record directly to a vst with a simple USB cable. I can go from gorgeous ambient tones to tight and brutal metal and everything in between with the push of a footswitch. I even have footswitches assigned as midi controllers for ableton to start and stop recording. Do a little research on it, I'm sure it'll make it on your list after that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
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  5. Laimon

    Laimon SS.org Regular

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    Nothing personal, but every time I read that the Helix is on par with the Kemper I can't help but cringe. I have A/Bd with the Kemper extensively, in completely comparable setup (i.e. with the exact same power amp and cab), and it doesn't come even close.
     
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  6. capac

    capac SS.org Regular

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    Helix never really apealed to me. Sounds too digital on high gain if you know what I mean. With kemper, I might sctually buy the remote. It is pricey but looks fancy.
     
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  7. mikah912

    mikah912 SS.org Regular

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  8. BubbleWrap

    BubbleWrap SS.org Regular

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    I did quite a lot of comparison before getting my rig, too. It takes some time and skill to dial in a good tone with the helix and most of the stock presets suck major ass. But a few quality impulse responses make that so much easier.

    It just takes some proper tweaking to get it sounding great. Some high/low cuts and proper EQing do wonders.





     
  9. Laimon

    Laimon SS.org Regular

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    But that's exactly my point: if I were comparing the KPA and Helix on different poweramps, and different cabs, even different rooms, comparison would be much less clear-cut. But really I spent about two weeks with the side by side, same signal chain before and after them (clearly using only the preamp sims on both), and honestly the KPA was to a whole different planet to my ears. And I tweaked, a lot. Then again, to each his own cup of tea. Oh, and effects on the other hand were really good, some stellar I daresay.
     
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  10. mikah912

    mikah912 SS.org Regular

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    I don't get people saying any of these units are "on a different planet" or on a "whole different level" than each other for base amp tones. Assuming you're running each through a good impulse response, the level of preamp/poweramp tone variance just isn't that extensive. Yeah, something might sound comparatively bright or mushy, but a parametric EQ, compressor or drive pedal in front does wonders to surgically alter that. Doesn't take a ton of tweaking.

    Ultimately, your playing style and guitars will lord over everything, which is why people say all Ola Englund amp demos sound the same or Ryan "Fluff" Bruce ones sound the same or......
     
  11. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    OP, are you planning on mostly recording or are you planning on mostly playing gigs? Or both? If gigs, are you playing in a situation where you're mic'd up and have a good FOH person?

    And @BubbleWrap
    Those two quotes seem contradictory. Probably not how you intended it to sound but just struck me as funny.
     
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  12. capac

    capac SS.org Regular

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    Helix sounds really good, but I just think kemper sounds a bit better.

    Mostly for recording, but gigs on occasions.
     
  13. mikah912

    mikah912 SS.org Regular

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    I don't think there's a "base tone" to either that is at a fixed frequency, but you gotta go for what works for you.
     
  14. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    if we are comparing Axe Vs kemper vs Helix at GIG volumes into the same poweramp/cabinet, there is no way anyone in the crowd tells the difference.
    And isnt that the whole point?.
    The only way you can scrutinize them is recorded tone, but at that point good tone is entirely subjective anyway

    There isnt really ones better than another, they are all different and all fantastic.
    I own a kemper because thats what I wanted. Would happily take them all
     
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  15. Laimon

    Laimon SS.org Regular

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    And yet it shouldn't be that hard to get: two algorithms, each with its own peculiarities, which reflect to the sound in a way you may like or not. You're free not to believe that I can hear the differences, but it's all but far fetched.
     
  16. mikah912

    mikah912 SS.org Regular

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    We should all hear differences because I'm pretty sure there are no Kemper profiles of the Line 6 amps and cabs that they personally own and have maintained for however long....even if you're just using the preamps.

    My point is that a difference in sound is not a necessarily a difference in quality.
     
  17. capac

    capac SS.org Regular

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    I'll be going direct to my interface most of the time, so for the most part, power amps don't make any difference. I also doubt anyone can tell the difference in the live situation.

    While helix is cheaper, I'm not convinced that it's 100% on par soundwise (most important to me) with kemper - I think kemper does what I'm after.

    Thanks for help everyone!
     
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  18. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    This is a bit biased but I actually had a brief chance to A/B the Kemper with my Axe-Fx 2 when I sold my FRFR setup. Thru that the Axe IMO sounded better but that could just as well be because I had adjusted it to work with that specific setup. I would probably be happy with either unit.
     
  19. J_Mac

    J_Mac SS.org Regular

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    I only have the Axe 2 so can't comment on the others, but the Axe is definitely THE geek amp. It takes a lot of work to dial tones in, and the Axe-Edit software is essential IMO. It's disappointing when you first get it, sounds poo. Then a few days of downloading cab packs (stock ones are not great IMO) and learning what the dials do, and you're in guitar geek heaven. From what I've read about the Kemper, it seems to have the edge tonally. The Axe will not stand up to a tube amp at gig levels for tone purists. But that's what I like about it, my bassist described it as "neat & tidy/precise", which it is. I don't think you can melt faces with raw tone with the Axe. I'll bet you can get close with the Kemper. The Helix excels in terms of price and the fact that it includes a footswitch. But the Behringer cheapo footswitch is fine for the Axe, even Meshuggah use it.

    Like Lewis says, you can dial in good tones with all 3 of these units. But you are a Djent guy like me so there is only one option... ;) grab a second hand Axe \m/
     
  20. capac

    capac SS.org Regular

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    What is the purpose of those mods people are getting for those behringer cheapo controlers for use with kemper? The behringer unit is really cheap, so I might as well consider it.

    If I get a good deal on axe, I might as well grab it. Kemper is just so much cheaper here in Europe.
     

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