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So, convince me to sell my Kemper...

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flcmcya

Inspired
If the Axe did Morphing Kemper style .......I could be swayed ......but that is a really cool feature of the Kemper.

Still shopping for a 3 to replace my AX8 though! :expressionless:
 

bradlake

Axe-Master
Keep the Kemper and buy the Axe. If funds are lacking, sell some of your tube amps. An Axe 3 plus a Kemper is like having a Playstation 4 and an Xbox One.
This plan has worked well for me....though even beyond the above metaphor, the KPA and III play nice together, you can digitally or analogly pump your fave KPA profiles through the III’s mostly superior FX and Cab sims....Best of both worlds , as Professor Hulk and Van Hagar would say...........
 

sb-SG

Inspired
I have both and they complement each other. I'd probably keep the III over the Kemper just for the fact of it's IO and USB interface ability, if it came down to it. I have a lot of Kemper profiles I'm in love with and feel wise I'd say I don't care for the clean-clean Kemper tones.
It has a weird peaky dynamic response, like a logarithmic scale on picking dynamics. There's an easy workaround though, which is to pick a slightly distorted profile that uses the other internal (dirty) algorithm and turn the gain down.
Kemper doesn't do updates quite as frequently as Fractal, though the last year's worth of updates have been solid and the new delays and reverbs are as good as the III. No editor but one was announced.
I am in same place as this guy. The KPA has a certain something about it with the right profiles. But if I had to choose it would be the III and for many reasons.
As for the editor (or lack thereof) - maybe have a laugh at the 121 pages of bitch 'n' moan about the announcement and absence so far. Got a tiny idea it may not be robust when it does eventually show up and it's not going to be as slick as Axe Edit is it now?? ;)
 

Jarick

Experienced
I sold the Kemper to get the Axe 3 without regrets. I really prefer the workflow of the Axe and not having to deal with profile hunting and shopping. The effects are significantly better for my tastes as well and editing on the computer is a lot better than only being able to use knobs.
 

Johnkenn

Inspired
Thanks for all the replies! So - I’m so freaking impatient - there are several II’s available locally...if I were to buy one of these will it just be a boat anchor soon? Would it sound different than the three? Sorry for the newbie questions.
 

Jarick

Experienced
Thanks for all the replies! So - I’m so freaking impatient - there are several II’s available locally...if I were to buy one of these will it just be a boat anchor soon? Would it sound different than the three? Sorry for the newbie questions.
The Axe 2 is an awesome piece of gear and you'd probably be happy with it if you never went online to read gear forums. Major bands still tour arenas with those in their racks. But if you can spring the extra money the Axe 3 is a lot more powerful and future proof. There's a lot of innovation, new amp/effect models, etc. If you're the type of person who sees everyone else getting shiny new toys and get anxious, I'd save up for the 3 instead. If you buy it and move on, then the 2 is great.
 

luke

Fractal Fanatic
All electronics are a race to the bottom business model. If you buy a II it will just arrive at the bottom sooner than the III. I am still using my II exclusively why setting up my III.

FWIW, there are plenty of people touring and making a living on gear far inferior to the II, including those with Kempers. o_O
 

Johnkenn

Inspired
The Axe 2 is an awesome piece of gear and you'd probably be happy with it if you never went online to read gear forums. Major bands still tour arenas with those in their racks. But if you can spring the extra money the Axe 3 is a lot more powerful and future proof. There's a lot of innovation, new amp/effect models, etc. If you're the type of person who sees everyone else getting shiny new toys and get anxious, I'd save up for the 3 instead. If you buy it and move on, then the 2 is great.
I am that person
 

Tommy Tempest

Power User
Being an electronics and pro audio gear dealer, it's all about price point and obsolescence. You will pay a premium for newly released products and save a ton on older models. The tradeoff when buying older, is they're missing new enhanced features and getting faster to the end of life zone. Exception to the rule in gear is pro guitars and high end tube lamps.
Regarding the Axe FXIII VS the Axe FXII, I came from the II, and now have the III. To me the III is a major improvement.
 
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FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
Thanks for all the replies! So - I’m so freaking impatient - there are several II’s available locally...if I were to buy one of these will it just be a boat anchor soon? Would it sound different than the three? Sorry for the newbie questions.
If you want the latest and greatest modeling get a III. The III is noticeably better sounding.
 

William Mims

Inspired
I own both and, in my opinion, one of the big advantages the Axe-Fx has over the Kemper is having complete and authentic control over the tone stack(and other parameters). The Axe-Fx is infinitely more flexible, no question. Personally, I don't hear the "sameness" some people mention regarding the KPA's amps, but that's me. I own both for a reason, though. There are amps available for the KPA that haven't been modeled in the Axe... yet anyway.

For me though, I love that the amp controls react realistically. Having said that, while the KPA's tone controls don't react like the knobs on the actual amp for a given profile, I do find them to be extremely powerful and musical, and lend quite a lot of sonic versatility, though not remotely in the same league as the Axe-Fx.

As far as realism, they both sound exceptional. It's just, in addition to parameters that react just like the controls of the amps they're based on, there are a lot of outstanding features that the Kemper simply doesn't have, and at the end of the day, the sheer versatility and flexibility of the Axe gives the end-user the ability to create (and recreate) virtually any tone they can imagine or have heard.
I own both and am of the same opinion!

Keeping my Kemper Stage (and Helix), but my Axe FX III is the baddest box in the bunch!
 
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negativefx

Inspired
The gas is hiiiigh right now with me...I listen to the AxeFX examples and to my ears, there’s a realism and distinct difference between amps that I seem to be missing with the Kemper.
I’ve bought and sold and bought enough Kempers to know that the grass isn’t always greener...but for those of you that use both, am I making the “same-ness” thing up?
I had a Kemper for 30 days.

Disregarding tonal differences because that is a huge discussion and I definitely prefer the Axe

Here's my opinion: FX chains in Kemper are much more limited than Axe. It's easier to profile amps in Kemper but I like the ToneMatch capabilities more in Axe than the profiling in Kemper because of the approach and tweakability. Learning curve is higher on Axe. You will spend many hours tweaking everything in Axe your first few months before you get comfortable with what the 'sweet spot' controls are for your ear. You need to budget for a poweramp if you want to use Axe as a standard guitar rig whereas you can get a 600W Kemper. For me, I play bass as well as guitar so the Kemper's built in poweramp wasn't enough and therefore with either rig I'd need a separate poweramp.

Axe won out for me. No hate for the Kemper, just didn't fit what I wanted to do. Axe fits quite well. I've sold about a hundred pedals and a few amps since I got the Axe.
 

Warrior

Power User
Chiming in just because I've always been curious about why some folks/artists have Kemper's instead of an Axe-FX.

I assume most pro artists that use Kemper do so because it enables them to profile their favorite amp(s) and take a lighter, reproducible version of it on the road.

It's well know the Axe-FX can accomplish the same thing vie tone match. Many say it can do so arguably better and with the introduction of the Axe-FX III and the updates it has received, that argument is even stronger.

Then there is the vast number of effects and drives the Axe-FX has that bring even more to the table.

So then why don't more artist use the Axe-FX instead of a Kemper?

My thought is it's kind of like Pro Tools - where it gained popularity in studios and became the "standard" (so to speak) for DAW's - even though there are other DAW's that are similar or "better"(?).

Then take into account that it's more widely available (seemingly) through dealer networks etc. so maybe it's just gotten more exposure.

I'm guessing though that we'll begin to see a shift the other way as the Axe-FX III continues to accelerate farther and farther ahead of the competitions capabilities.

But to address the OP..... I don't have experience with a Kemper like others here so I can't offer a first hand why. But I can say that unless you've tried an Axe-FX III for yourself, you'll never be totally convinced it's a better option for you until you try it.

But maybe this will help.... A kemper's strength is supposed to lay in its ability to replicate an amp, correct?
The Axe-FX III can do this better than a Kemper
  • enable much more tweaking of that replica
  • allow you access to a plethora of other phenomenal amps that sound identical to the actual amps
  • an amazing amount of effects that are second to none and better than some
  • customer support that is as good as it gets
  • constant upgrades that continue to take the Axe-FX III beyond cutting edge..... FOR FREE!!

I was a tube amp snob for 30 years. Once I got my Axe-FX I sold them all and have zero regrets. And that was back in the Axe-FX "Ultra" days!
The Axe-FX III is light years ahead of the "Ultra".

God I can't wait to get home and play my freaking guitar! I've got myself hyped up!
 

Warrior

Power User
Thanks for all the replies! So - I’m so freaking impatient - there are several II’s available locally...if I were to buy one of these will it just be a boat anchor soon? Would it sound different than the three? Sorry for the newbie questions.

The "II" is amazing. The "III" is life changing.

I strongly encourage you to do whatever you can to hold out for a 3. It's so worth it!
 
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