Opinions on Kemper, line 6 helix ,axe fx ECT

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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 3822
    Dominic said:
    can somebody tell me what "amp matching "is please ?
    It's the Axe FX response to Kemper profiling.
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  • KrisGeeKrisGee Frets: 375
    Fretwired said:
    Go onto forums and you'll find a typical comment being the Axe sounds more realistic but isn't worth the cash ..

    a pro guitarist friend of mine borrowed and compared a Helix rack and an Axe fx .. he's currently recording a new album with the Axe .. 

    .......

    I have read mag reviews which still state the Axe fx is the better unit - for example it has amp matching.

    We have a pro guitarist on this forum who uses the Axe fx live.








    Please don't tell me this is what your opinion is based on as there are likely to be more lols on the way. Particulary considering "I've not tried a Axe fx" thing.
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  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 11908
    Just resurrecting this...was on the Line 6 site and had a quick browse through their artists. Turns out there are a fair few pros using the Helix after all (including a couple you might not expect)...

    Billy Sheehan
    Jeff Loomis
    Steve Mackay (Twelve Foot Ninja)
    Andy Abad (Jennifer Lopez' guitarist)
    Dustin Kensrue (Thrice)
    Jade Puget (AFI)
    Chris Letchford (Scale the Summit)
    Brendon Small (Dethklok/Galaktikon)
    Dude Erikson and Steve Market (Garbage)

    I'm really quite surprised about Jade Puget and the two guys from Garbage!
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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  • simonksimonk Frets: 1137
    Surprised they don’t have Richie Castellano (Blue Oyster Cult) listed... he strikes me as as good a brand ambassador as you could wish for with all his Band Geek stuff.
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  • peteripeteri Frets: 855

    I despise this 'what the pros use' phrase. Guitarist Mag trots it out all the time.

    As many people on here know, 'Pro' goes from a dodgy coiled cable to a full on Bradshaw type rig. Many 'pros' either have less interest in this stuff than we do, less time to worry about it, less funds to pay for it!

    And also, often will go for a very distinct sound.

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  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 11908
    edited May 17
    peteri said:

    I despise this 'what the pros use' phrase. Guitarist Mag trots it out all the time.

    As many people on here know, 'Pro' goes from a dodgy coiled cable to a full on Bradshaw type rig. Many 'pros' either have less interest in this stuff than we do, less time to worry about it, less funds to pay for it!

    And also, often will go for a very distinct sound.

    True, and I said as much earlier. I just happened to take a look and got a bit of a surprise.

    A photo popped up on the Helix group on Facebook of Bill Kelliher using one at a Mastodon gig, too.
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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  • S-Gear is the best 
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  • But I don’t even play guitar. Although I prefer surfboards to the smell of newly tarred roads. 

    Fretboard logic. Yeah.
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 2020
    “What the pros use” is similar to “what’s the best”. It depends on your evaluation criteria. Some professional guitarists are locked into endorsement deals. Many stick with what they know, ie what they’ve used for decades. Some use whatever minimises touring cost. Hence Metallica with Fractal, and Larry Carlton with Dumbles in storage around the world.

    Ditto the Kemper, Helix, Fractal, valve amp discussion. It depends what your criteria are.
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  • WazmeisterWazmeister Frets: 3916

    I've not commented much since I sold my Axe FX 2 (with the aim of buying a 3) and bought a Kemper, im hoping to put together a review/blog about it.

    But, I love it. The sounds are great, sounds more authentic to my ears. Its easy to use and the FX arent as bad as people say. I prefer chorus, phaser, flanger, vibe and most importantly, delay on the Kemper to the Axe FX... they're more immediate and satisfying to my ears and deliver the sounds I presonally look for. 

    Overall, it's sounding fantastic for my needs, and I don't regret not waiting for the Axe 3. I prefer Kemper to my old Axe FX. YMMV.

    Jonathan, I'm still processing your words here, as I know how much you loved the Axe FX 2 !!

    I must admit, the thought of re-visiting Kemper again, as really grabbed me after my amp dropped a valve tonight at rehearsal...

    What are your favourite profiles mate ?
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  • I've not commented much since I sold my Axe FX 2 (with the aim of buying a 3) and bought a Kemper, im hoping to put together a review/blog about it.

    But, I love it. The sounds are great, sounds more authentic to my ears. Its easy to use and the FX arent as bad as people say. I prefer chorus, phaser, flanger, vibe and most importantly, delay on the Kemper to the Axe FX... they're more immediate and satisfying to my ears and deliver the sounds I presonally look for. 

    Overall, it's sounding fantastic for my needs, and I don't regret not waiting for the Axe 3. I prefer Kemper to my old Axe FX. YMMV.

    Jonathan, I'm still processing your words here, as I know how much you loved the Axe FX 2 !!

    I must admit, the thought of re-visiting Kemper again, as really grabbed me after my amp dropped a valve tonight at rehearsal...

    What are your favourite profiles mate ?
    Ha, I just saw your post in the other thread. Sorry to hear about your amp. It was that exact thing about 18 months back that prompted me to go digital. 

    Yeah, must say, I loved the Axe FX and may return to one at some point, but right now the Kemper sounds more authentic to my ears. And I'll stand by that. I still love the Axe FX and think it's a superb unit. But I really wanted a simpler approach and workflow without dependency on a UI. The Kemper ticks those boxes and the tones are more immediate and almost live/mix ready, if profiles are made by a professional. 

    Strange how I feel less guilty about using pedals with the Kemper than I did the Fractal, maybe down to cost. But could never absolutely nail the sound in my head no matter how much I wanted an all in one solution to work for me.

    My favourite profiles are Choptones for high gain (probably not what you're after) and I use MBritts Vox AC30 from the Sweet 16 pack. Occasionally dable with a bit of Hiwatt and Marshall when I get the urge, from the Amp Factory or Choptones again.

    Id be happy to help you with profiles.

    Might be a good idea to go to a decent studio to profile your amps properly. Hell, you may even make a penny or two for those profiles.
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  • WazmeisterWazmeister Frets: 3916
    edited May 27
    The Journey (Again)

    It’s interesting, as Im on my second modelling/digital journey, having abandoned it all previously and returned to pedals ‘n amps...

    Now, I find myself back in a band, and the subtle nuances of compression/verb/trails etc that are critical at home levels, are now largely redundant and lost in the mix. Also, Im now just using a Masterbuilt Tele into a Redplate CDS2; thats it !

    So, Im a thinking a need a few effects but dont fancy lugging my G2 board around (comprised of the survivors)... and decide to try the Helix HX. Brilliant. Easy to use, and much improved verbs and delays, compared to my old Helix Floor. I then get the HX amp switchng the Redplate; like it, love it...

    You know what ? “Maybe I should retry the Helix Floor” (thinks I), and so I buy one of these. Impressive again, but amp switching is actually more limited on the Floor vs HX. I do prefer the simplicity and size of the HX too...

    In the midst if this, the Redplate drops a valve during rehearsal, and it get me thinking about having a digital back up, which could also be a second amp alongside the CDS2. (I have been toying with the idea of a second amp, as I use an extension cab with the RP just to fill the sound).


    The upshot is that I repurchase a powered Kemper, and compare the Kemper vs Helix through a DXR10, just for amp modelling. To be fair, the difference was night and day. The Kemper was far superior, and to be honest, sounded absolutely fantastic straight out if the box. Im sure the Helix might sound better with tweaking and stuff, but the Kemper was incredible. The FX on it seem vastly improved too, compared to my first venture, and there seemed to be much less hassle getting volume and mix right compared to the ‘first time around’.

    The Helix has been returned, and the Kemper is a keeper.

    Speakers

    This is the next decision. Im trialing it through a DXR10 (we have 2), but we will be using these for a PA in the band...

    So, Id like to run it through my 1x12 ‘real’ cab, and maybe try one of the Line 6 Powercabs. I enjoyed my Kemper previously using the real cab.

    Hope this all helps others on their journey 
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  • hywelghywelg Frets: 1532
    edited May 27
    @Wazmeister, ;; have you profiled the cds2 and compared the result to the real thing?

    I've been wary of taking the plunge. When Matt Schofield uses a modeller live I'll definitely reconsider as his live sound is monstrous, huge, unbelievable, and nothing like his recorded sound. It's that 'in the room' thing I've never experienced listening to a modeler. 
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  • TTBZTTBZ Frets: 602
    I'm also revisiting digital, having just tried Helix Native again with I suppose more of an open mind. I still don't like the standard cab sims but with Ownhammer and Celestion IRs I was getting some really great tones at home with my Mackie monitors. Getting tempted to sell off my amp stuff and get an LT. I still have a nice 2x12 I could use with a power amp if I wanted "amp in the room" tones for gigging etc.
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  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 11908

    So, Id like to run it through my 1x12 ‘real’ cab, and maybe try one of the Line 6 Powercabs. I enjoyed my Kemper previously using the real cab.

    Hope this all helps others on their journey 
    If you like the sound of a 1x12", then the Powercab will probably be right up your alley. The only reason I haven't gone for it is that I prefer the sound of a 2x12", which it can't do using the native speaker sim. Since the speaker modelling is its only advantage over other FRFR solutions, I've just gone and bought a DXR10 instead.
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 16963
    Digital modelling live .. new Boss GT-1000 connected to FOH sysem and FRFR cab mic'd .. Mr Modeller himself Glenn DeLaune .. not a bad sound (given the limitations of the video).



    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • WazmeisterWazmeister Frets: 3916
    hywelg said:
    @Wazmeister, ;; have you profiled the cds2 and compared the result to the real thing?

    I've been wary of taking the plunge. When Matt Schofield uses a modeller live I'll definitely reconsider as his live sound is monstrous, huge, unbelievable, and nothing like his recorded sound. It's that 'in the room' thing I've never experienced listening to a modeler. 
    Mate, I do plan to do that once I get sorted with the Kemper !

    I will say when I owned my first Kemper (and this 2nd one sounds much better instantly) the BIG shock I had was how close, and I mean REALLY close, the Kemper sounded and felt to my Redplate RP50R and the Carr Rambler. It was alarming really, especially when you consider how great these amps both are... (as you know).

    I've been using the stock TAF Redflag profile (a Redplate CDS3 profile) and it is very very close.

    Imho, the Kemper (which is a profiler) is miles in front of the Helix (modelling); and I've a/b em side by side this very week.

    The true test will be in the band setting; this is unfortunately not likely to happen for 3 weeks, due to band members holidays and commitments.

    I'll report back with further findings.
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  • WazmeisterWazmeister Frets: 3916
    Ive just posted this on TGP, and thought Id add it here...

    Like many of us, Im fortunate to have a fair bit of ‘expendable’ cash, and across the years I sure have spent it !!

    Ive owned many great amps, and still own two; a Carr Rambler and a Redplate CDS2. Ive tried all the modelling formats, and for my needs, I find the Kemper to be an astonishing instrument.

    I dont know what happened with the updates in say two years, but my second Kemper which Ive just bought, seems instantly superior to the previous one. I think that the main difference is MY approach; im know NOT using the PC software, but just the unit interface.

    And indeed, here is the problem... how we ‘approach’ the Kemper. You see, it is incredibly versatile... but whereas the Helix rightfully get lauded for its versatility and flexibility, the Kemper tends not to receivesuch praise. Sure, it has its quirks - but ALL of the digital world is alien to me, and has a steep learning curve and a language of its own.

    I compared the Helix to the Kemper for amp tones; there was no comparison imho... the Kemper was far superior. But I love the Helix and its routing options, and still own the wonderful HX.

    The Kemper is what it is. Id love a more logical, easier interface too. But in the meantime...

    Maybe sometimes, it is US who need to adapt and change ?

    Im amazed, at home volumes only thus far, that the Kemper stands up (and beats sometimes) theincredible Rambler and Redplate. Indeed, in stereo with a clean Rambler, the Kemper slighlty breaking-up sound, has literally produced THE best home tones Ive ever heard...

    Now, how will it fair live and with the band ? We shall see in the next few weeks...
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  • mr-macmr-mac Frets: 196
    I'm on 2nd time round too... Couldn't live with it at all first time.  2nd time with gsp1101 and can defo live with it.  One of metallica used em for a while, queensreich use em (with amps in US, travel without amps on non us tours).  A decent metal band on fb group switched from kemper and axe to both guitarists on gsp just this month.  As guy said two years with kemper and although good I got a better tone on gsp within weeks (even the gsp setup modelled by kemper doesn't sound as good as gsp although close).

    sure some of new generation are great too but for money i still can't see much that will overtake gsp for tones that doesn't require weeks buried in software.  Even like the cleaner and vintage models so its not all metal... lexicon reverbs, loads of other fx, even tuner is based on digitech hardwire tuner codec since c63 firmware so no need for seperate tuner.  The pedal models have same controls as real pedals in xedit and they react very close to a real pedal.  The amp controls (treb, mid, bass, Vol, gain) makes it easy to tweak a setting like you would a real amp even when live.  And the global 7 band is handy to tune to pa/venue.

    does 4 cable, will even do non IR on 1/4" and apply IR on XLR so can xlr straight to PA.  Takes seconds to apply a global IR cab rather than diff per preset (handy if using an amp and xlr as you'll better hear what you sound like out front).  Can also do IR on both outputs if want to use an frfr or old stage monitor on stage to hear yourself.

    Only thing its missing is a quick boost for solo (but can program that to any button on floorboard)  or add a clean boost to setup.  I have a volume pedal that has a pot to set min volume so can easily do the 6db ish setting so hope to calibrate to gsp floor board pedal input to this volume pedal at full range then use the min Vol setting on pedal to tweak to make it easy without adding a long cable run and boost pedal.
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  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 11908
    mr-mac said:
    I'm on 2nd time round too... Couldn't live with it at all first time.  2nd time with gsp1101 and can defo live with it. 
    I found that the 5150 model on the GSP1101 was absolutely phenomenal, but all the other models were somewhat lacking (it's the only modeller where the Soldano model wasn't my favourite).

    It's also the only modeller out there - apart from the Headrush now - with seamless patch switching and delay/reverb spillover between patches, and the implementation of it is brilliant.

    It's a very, very clever bit of kit that does an awful lot with very little (in terms of DSP capacity, compared with the big hitters). If I needed a cheap backup rig, I'd almost certainly just shove one in a rack with a Rocktron Velocity power amp and grab a MIDI controller. Second hand, that'd probably run to no more than £300-350.
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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  • sgosdensgosden Frets: 669
    Ive just posted this on TGP, and thought Id add it here...

    Like many of us, Im fortunate to have a fair bit of ‘expendable’ cash, and across the years I sure have spent it !!

    Ive owned many great amps, and still own two; a Carr Rambler and a Redplate CDS2. Ive tried all the modelling formats, and for my needs, I find the Kemper to be an astonishing instrument.

    I dont know what happened with the updates in say two years, but my second Kemper which Ive just bought, seems instantly superior to the previous one. I think that the main difference is MY approach; im know NOT using the PC software, but just the unit interface.

    And indeed, here is the problem... how we ‘approach’ the Kemper. You see, it is incredibly versatile... but whereas the Helix rightfully get lauded for its versatility and flexibility, the Kemper tends not to receivesuch praise. Sure, it has its quirks - but ALL of the digital world is alien to me, and has a steep learning curve and a language of its own.

    I compared the Helix to the Kemper for amp tones; there was no comparison imho... the Kemper was far superior. But I love the Helix and its routing options, and still own the wonderful HX.

    The Kemper is what it is. Id love a more logical, easier interface too. But in the meantime...

    Maybe sometimes, it is US who need to adapt and change ?

    Im amazed, at home volumes only thus far, that the Kemper stands up (and beats sometimes) theincredible Rambler and Redplate. Indeed, in stereo with a clean Rambler, the Kemper slighlty breaking-up sound, has literally produced THE best home tones Ive ever heard...

    Now, how will it fair live and with the band ? We shall see in the next few weeks...

    This really isn't helping my kemper curiosity....
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