Kemper Profiling Amp Successor

  • Hey everyone,

    I hope, this isn't too much of a peeve... But will there be a successor product or model to the well-known KPA? Before I go more into detail, I admit: I f***ing love my Kemper and would always call it the greatest invention in guitar history! But here are some thoughts....

    To be honest, it feels like the technology has been outrun by competing things... In fact, the Kemper was first released in 2012 (I think), which is (almost) a decade ago. Since then, the essential parts remained the same. Since 2019 (or 2018) a chip set was replaced, so the newer models can be used in slave mode for S/PDIF, other than the older ones. Firmware updates brought better FX that make the Kemper a more useful all-in-one solution for most users. But in fact, advertising of the "Double Tracker" Effect upset me a little. To me it seems to be nothing else but a Haas-effect thingy that could also be achieved with a Dual Delay (Mix: 100%, Delay 1: 0ms; Delay 2: ca 15 to 21ms; Feedback1: 50%; Reverse Mix: 0; Stereo: 200%... tweak it to your taste and tell me if there is a substantial difference to the Double Tracker effect). Kind of nonsense...

    Now, Kemper is up to release an active cab. Why? There are plenty of FRFR Cabs out there, right? I guess lots of users have the "real" Kemper sound on their In-Ears and only want a Cab for the feeling. that doesn't require a special cab, which is undoubtedly a fine thing - but only for a few of us.

    So here is my main question: (When) can we expect a real successor to the KPA? Sorry for using the evil comparison, but Fractal brought somethin really new with the Axe FX III (Inputs, Outputs, Routing Options, CPU Power - I don't use one, just read a lot...) Why can't there come something new from Kemper like three outputs for Wet-Dry-Wet Setups more easily (without giving up the Monitor Out), a stereo FX-Loop, a second Loop like the Stage has, maybe a second (or even third) signal path that can be mixed and routed to different outputs? And the shaping tools (gain and EQ) are also criticized often. Or maybe some of the mentioned things in the "feature request" section, like time shown in the main display (which wouldn't make a big difference, but it's nice to have).

    Please start a shitstorm, if I pissed anyone. I didn't mean that, but I'm sure I did. Maybe there are also some of you who think the same or have even better ideas...

    Have a nice remaining week of the year and a happy new year anyway!!!

    Bye, Jojo

  • No reason for a shitstorm. This has been requested for years and I am with you. Requesting a new generation has nothing to do with bad criticism but with natural evolution - on the one hand of every piece of digital gear and on the other hand evolution of the needs of a gigging guitarist (for example). Yes, it is time for a 2nd generation, also imho. Good thing is that the 1st generation won't become obsolete - good amp sound is good amp sound, after all. Generation 1 will still fit perfectly the needs of those who say that it does that today, already, and who "don't need" better and more compkex routing, fx, UI, reliable midi controls etc. Or those who still prefer external gear (but in this case a non-existing mini profile player would make more sense - but this is another topic).

    Better have it and not need it, than need it and not have it! - Michael Angelo Batio

  • I'm still running online games at 2k and 144fps with an i5 and and old 1070 vid card. Even runs my DAW at the same time so no use in getting a new comp anytime soon.

    The Kemper stands on it's own and will do so for another 10 years. Not getting an upgrade just to have wireless (won't use anyway), and few more outputs (don't need them), and a 24bit color screen (would look cool with a screensaver function).

    Larry Mar @ Lonegun Studios. Neither one famous yet.

  • As stated before. This has been requested MANY times. Try the search function. I too have made a thread about this at one point. And yes….I also feel like they have been kinda overrun by it’s competitors in a tech-wise sense. But not so much that I will jump ship just yet. I’ve had mine since the beginning and the value for money this unit has had for me is crazy. Never has a piece of gear survived this long and still being right up there with the best. The development this unit has had from day 1 to now is unheard of. Other companies would just release new products. That’s a huge thumbs up to Kemper from me. Not making costumers constantly buy or consider upgrading every couple of years is a huge deal when it comes to value for money. BUT….It does have the side effect, that eventually rival units will surpass the Kemper in different areas like superior hardware and new tech solutions. Don’t tell me that with the chips and stuff that exists today compared to the chips from 10 years ago and that it’s not gonna make a huge difference in possibilities. And don’t tell me that a refined profiling is not possible with the tech and knowledge today compared to 10 years ago. And on top of that the whole tech behind the actual profiling has got to be older than the unit itself. I can see a Kemper II hit the market, but like with so much with this company, they will not just put a new unit out there without it being fresh and pushing the limits. I highly doubt that they’re gonna put out an upgraded version only with more inputs/outputs and stuff like that. Will I buy a Kemper II if it was released next year? It depends. It has to have a refined profiling to get closer to the original amp, if I have to consider it being a worthy upgrade. Its upgrade in sound may be subtle. I think they will have to be sure, that they burst into the market like the first one.

    If I feel like I have to buy a second generation, the following would be expected from me.

    - A sound closer to the original.
    - An updated sound in general.
    - A fast chip or maybe two or three that opens up for solutions regarding dual amping/dual rigs.
    - More inputs for mics when profiling to mix internally instead of an external mixer.
    - An option to internally mix between different mics to find the perfect balance. For instance between a SM57 and another mic.

    If these things are not implemented I will have to find out, if I’m interested in upgrading. As the unit is now it suits my needs and I really don’t need an upgrade. The only thing annoying me is the tech FOMO, I seem to suffer from. Is the new Fractal, Line 6 and Neural units something I consider? No. But of course….if the Kemper still is at its first generation in 5 years, I will probably consider jumping ship. And just when you do that, Kemper will probably put a new unit out ?

    I love my Kemper and it still is a killer machine and not really behind the competitors right now. Even with inferior tech inside. That’s saying a lot about how they develop at Kemper.

  • CK has said many times that the Profiling process is not CPU intensive. He’s also said that they’ve taken the process as far as it can go.

    I would imagine that the profiling process isn’t that cpu demanding, yes. That does not mean that you cannot “rewrite” a new profiling code that comes a bit closer and sounds just a bit better. So maybe with this technology, they’ve taken it as far as it can go. And more and new crazy chips open up for many things like:

    - More can play and record simultaneously.
    - Maybe a dedicated vocal input.
    - Advanced signal chains.
    - Advanced profile editing.
    - More mic inputs for profiling.
    - Future proofing like the original KPA.
    - Maybe it can work as an audio interface.
    - And all the stuff I know nothing about.

  • That the KPA is still very relevant after 10 years is a remarkable achievement.

    That said, the unit could use a refresh or a v.2

    The modulation effects need updating.

    The UI needs updating. I will get some pushback here, but the UI on the QC really is the best thing going right now.

    I know CK has stated that the profiling process can’t be improved, but I have my doubts that he really believes that.

  • Of course it can be improved. Maybe not with the tech in it today. But I highly doubt, that it can’t be modified to be just a little better. Subtleties are welcome as well.

    The user interface on quality control? I don’t understand. If you mean the Rig Manager, then I completely agree. I never use the UI anymore. I only use the RM.

  • MIDI and audio via USB would be great addition as well in 2022. I managed to convert my studio to just USB (including Access Virus) and KPA is the only unit I have which still uses DIN-5 and forces me to have additional interface. I wish it was possible to reamp via usb. I guess it would be possible to add this to KPA1 (midi part should be trivial).

  • I would be down for a Kemper 2 without any doubt. Wouldn't even think very long about it.

    Besides all those good suggestions you have made (and were made in other threads), I would wish that my existing profiles would continue to work unchanged. Backwards compatibility is very high on my wishlist for Kemper 2.

  • Kemper Stage 2:

    - Scribble strips/display for every switch (instead of just a colored light) so you know what they do in the current Rig/Performance.

    - Lock per Performance for use like traditional amp/channel switching and various pedalboard setups for FX.

    - Free routing of amp/FX-chains (series, parallel).

    Let it be more expensive, it would still be worth the money since you then wouldn’t have to use other gear to complement it.:)

  • What I find cool is that you don't experience only headwind in this forum any more... like in the past, whenever you dared to whisper "Kemper II, please".

    Better have it and not need it, than need it and not have it! - Michael Angelo Batio

  • I like the idea of scribble strips! Having moved to digital mixing just prior to moving to KPA, I have a great appreciation for how intuitive scribble strips can make a work flow.

    Unlike many here, I doubt that a new KPA II could rival the current KPA in sound quality. I think it more likely that SOME things will sound better on one vs the other but that the majority will be too close to call.

    The work-flow and presentation on the other hand can be greatly improved.

    The KPA has done miracles with the current architecture (4 pre efx, amp stack, 4 post efx), and has put several methods of getting around this hard coded signal flow, but they are not intuitive and are not easy to find and use. It seems like a touch screen with processing blocks that can be routed like QC and Axe III Fx have would be a more flexible layout.

    So does a KPA II start looking like an Axe III Fx? I don't know. Seems like a pretty big departure from a tube amp & pedal board layout that the current KPA strives to emulate for simplicity.

    While it would be very cool if the amp profiles would port, I have doubts that will be the case. If the underlying architecture is modified, it may be a big up-hill climb to port a profile. Still, it could happen. Just make legacy blocks that are in a particular routing.

    So, my requests would be:

    1) Color LCD Scribble strips vs LED's.

    2) Color touch screen for operation and routing

    3) WiFi and Bluetooth remote operation

    4) Release with a new foot controller that also has color LCD scribble strips

    5) New Rig Manager II PC software released with KPA II

    6) Compatible with Kemper Kab

    Essentially, I am saying that any new product has to have the infrastructure released around it as well. Imagine a KPA II with no FC and no RM and no cab support. Not really that interesting IMO.

    Kemper will be forced to release an updated KPAII when they can no longer get the DSP chips in the current design. I am guessing they still have another 3-5 years for that though.

  • Lots of good ideas here. Especially in the work flow.

    I'm only wishing for a HX Stomp sized version. I'd buy it even if it lacked the profiling feature.

    I love the Stage but it eats up too much space for me to move it to my pedalboard. Being able to leave the toaster at home would be huge for me.