#1
So i decided im finally gonna pull the trigger on a Kemper next month. I recently played one that a friend owns, and i was blown away by it. I do however wanna have the option of playing it trough a cab. For gigs and recording i plan to go direct into PA or interface, but i want to be able to have a cab for practice and stage. I was planing on getting the rack version and then some sort of power amp, probably a roctron velocity 100 or something similar, that takes up 1u and is pretty cheap. On the other hand, if the powered version is much better than the lower end poweramps, i might go with that. But i dont wanna spend like 300-400€ more on the powered version, if the sound of the built in poweramp isnt substantialy better than the rocktron. Also, i guess a separate poweramp gives me more versatility anyway, since if i really dont like it, i can always swap it. But the added convenience of a built in amp is certainly tempting.

So, thoughts?
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#2
I think you should get whichever one you like more...

We can't decide which you like more and you've clearly stated the differences.
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#3
For me the answer was easy. 

A Carvin HD1500 cost me under $300 and provides 1500W of power, bridged, mono, at 4 ohms.  It weighs about nine pounds. 

I use my modelers with full-range systems, some of which already have power amps built in (studio monitors, PA systems) or require varying degrees of power (1500w for the pair of fEARful 15/6/1s), paying extra for power in the modeler itself didn't really make sense. And since I have more than one modeler (Axe, Helix, HD500X, old Pod XT, Bass Pod XT, yada yada) and since I have separate tube preamps (Carvin Quad-X, Mesa Triaxis, Egnater M4), it didn't make sense to have a power amp in just one of them. 

The built in power amp shouldn't "sound" like anything. It should simply faithfully reproduce, without modification or prejudice, whatever goes into it. 

Don't buy an underpowered power amp (especially when the powerful ones are cheap) like the rocktron. You'll regret it. 
#4
I went non-powered and a separate poweramp and wish I didn't, to be honest. Reasoning behind it was that the Kemper poweramp wasn't stereo, but in hindsight I've never used my poweramp in stereo either. So when I eventually get my second Kemper, it'll be the powerrack. 
#5
dspellman I K0nijn I Good points all around. But would a 100w poweramp really be to little to power a 412 or 212 cab? Like i said, i would only use it for guitar cabs, not for powering PA systems. 
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#6
I went unpowered because I don't need a power amp at the moment. If/when I start gigging again I can just buy a power amp and throw it in a rack.
If you are a gigging musician and want to play with a cab on stage then I don't see a reason not to get the powered version. It seems counterproductive to buy the unpowered and a power amp at the same time when you could just get it all in one unit.
#7
Quote by gorkyporky
dspellman I K0nijn I Good points all around. But would a 100w poweramp really be to little to power a 412 or 212 cab? Like i said, i would only use it for guitar cabs, not for powering PA systems. 


The real question is "why would you want to use a Kemper to feed a 412 guitar cabinet?"  A lot of what you buy the Kemper for is the ability to emulate both amps *and* cabinets. That's why the recommendation is always for a full-range cabinet rather than a guitar cabinet. 

Think of it this way: No one mikes an acoustic guitar to run it through a guitar amp. Instead, there are acoustic amps that have closed-back ported LF sections coupled to a separate HF driver. In short, a lot wider-range cabinet. A regular guitar cabinet sounds pretty terrible reproducing an acoustic guitar. In the same way, an ordinary guitar cabinet muffles and colors the sound produced by a Kemper.

A 100W power amp is really too little to power most full-range cabinets as well (and if a 100W power amp costs the same or more than a 1500W power amp, why buy 100W?). Guitarists are really hamstrung by thinking of 100W as a lot of power. I have 100W in each of two KRK Rokit 8 studio monitors. The wattage isn't there for loudness, but for accurate reproduction of the low end, something you just never get out of 100W and a 412. 
#8
dspellman Its because i have a cab, and i dont have a full range speaker monitor basically. Also, venues where i usually play tend to have guitar cabs, so it doesnt really make sense to lug around a separate speaker for that. But i get what you are saying. But wouldnt turning of the turning of the cab part of rig make the kemper sound like a normal amp trough my cab? I have a decent cab, so it should sound good?

Im getting more and more sold on the powered version tho. Just cause its more convenient, even if it is slightly more expensive.
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#9
Quote by Random3
I went unpowered because I don't need a power amp at the moment. If/when I start gigging again I can just buy a power amp and throw it in a rack.
If you are a gigging musician and want to play with a cab on stage then I don't see a reason not to get the powered version. It seems counterproductive to buy the unpowered and a power amp at the same time when you could just get it all in one unit.


It depends. A powered cabinet is convenient and there are some good ones. But the powered cabinets I have generally don't handle bottom end as well as the unpowered cabinets I have, and I have four unpowered cabinets that I can mix and match. There are always instances where unpowered cabinets are preferable and there are definitely some where a powered cabinet is handy. Certainly room for both out there. 
#10
Quote by gorkyporky
dspellman Its because i have a cab, and i dont have a full range speaker monitor basically. Also, venues where i usually play tend to have guitar cabs, so it doesnt really make sense to lug around a separate speaker for that. But i get what you are saying. But wouldnt turning of the turning of the cab part of rig make the kemper sound like a normal amp trough my cab? I have a decent cab, so it should sound good?

Im getting more and more sold on the powered version tho. Just cause its more convenient, even if it is slightly more expensive.

I can't speak for your venues. We have a lot of venues that don't have backlines (or that have such ratty backlines we wouldn't touch them), and a lot more of them these days are willing to run you direct from a modeler into the PA mixer, and they're very happy NOT to have to mike you up. Since I set up patches in my modelers using headphones and studio monitors, I want something that's as close to full-range as possible reproducing those patches. 

You can always turn off cabinet modeling, and you may as well turn off amp modeling at that point as well and just use the Kemper as a very expensive FX unit direct into whatever backline amps are available. IMHO, however, it's mostly pointless having a Kemper at that point. 

Again, your mileage may vary. I can't think of an instance where I really thought it would be a brilliant idea to have a power amp IN the modeler itself. 
#11
Another thing it might be worth pointing out is that if you run a particular amp profile, disable the cab modelling and then run it through a physical cab, it will almost certainly require additional tweaking to make it sound right. Even then it will not sound the same as the profiled cab. If you have an awesome cab then this may not matter. Never used my KPA with a real cab, but I have experimented a lot with swapping cab profiles around with different amp profiles etc and 99% of the time I find the profile sounds the best with the original cab it was profiled with.
#12
Quote by dspellman
I can't speak for your venues. We have a lot of venues that don't have backlines (or that have such ratty backlines we wouldn't touch them), and a lot more of them these days are willing to run you direct from a modeler into the PA mixer, and they're very happy NOT to have to mike you up. Since I set up patches in my modelers using headphones and studio monitors, I want something that's as close to full-range as possible reproducing those patches. 

You can always turn off cabinet modeling, and you may as well turn off amp modeling at that point as well and just use the Kemper as a very expensive FX unit direct into whatever backline amps are available. IMHO, however, it's mostly pointless having a Kemper at that point. 

Again, your mileage may vary. I can't think of an instance where I really thought it would be a brilliant idea to have a power amp IN the modeler itself. 


Most of the venues i played at have their own cabs. If not, we usually play with other bands, so we share cabs to keep the equipment count and turnover for the next band down to a minimum. Also, most of the venues have shitty monitors, so more often than not, the only way you can hear guitars is from your own cab. Obviously i would send the direct signal to the mixer, but i would use the cab to actually hear myself play, not mic it up. That would be just stupid. And obviously, using a full range speaker, i would not be able to use the cabs that are at the venue or are lent to me by other bands.

The same goes for our band practice space. The PA there is severely, lets just say, shitty. So pushing the kemper trough that would just suck all the joy out of it.

And i would of course not even think about the powered version, if i had a bunch of power amps lying around. I, however, do not. I dont even have a rack case to keep the things in. So its either get an unpowered version and a separate poweramp, or the powered one. And seeing as how the only reason i am getting one is, because i wanna keep the ammount of gear that i have to a minimum, as well as minimize the setup time and simplify switching, the powered one makes more sense to me.
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#13
Quote by gorkyporky
And i would of course not even think about the powered version, if i had a bunch of power amps lying around. I, however, do not. I dont even have a rack case to keep the things in. So its either get an unpowered version and a separate poweramp, or the powered one. And seeing as how the only reason i am getting one is, because i wanna keep the ammount of gear that i have to a minimum, as well as minimize the setup time and simplify switching, the powered one makes more sense to me.


The way I see it is you have answered your own question. If you want to use a power amp with the KPA then it makes sense to get the integrated power amp.
#14
Random3 Yeah. I was just kinda worried, since the only person that i know that has a kemper keeps saying, "dont get the powered one, the amp in it sucks". Never says how it sucks tho  
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#16
The only issue with the poweramp in the Kemper is that it's not that useful for use with a bass-cab and that if you're dumb enough, it can blow your cab because it delivers 600W. 

I've used my Kemper with cabs and it sounds great. It's not the same as FRFR, but that doesn't mean it doesn't sound good.