Achieving amp-like experience playing through monitors

  • The Profiler Model referred to in this thread is ...
    ☑️ Profiler Player

    I've just received my Kemper Player (today!) and it sounds amazing through my headphones, but less so through my Genelec 8020 monitors. I was hoping to get a similar experience to playing my tube amp in the room, but I understand from another post that the flat response of the monitors will make this unlikely.

    I'm new to all this, and will only be practicing at home, so would appreciate any answers to the below and/or any creative solutions to achieve a more guitar like experience through monitors.

    1. Would an IR help?

    2. Would a FRFR speaker be a better option than monitors?

    3. Would it be better if I used a small power amp to power my existing guitar speaker? (I'm assuming I can't plug into a small guitar combo direct from the KP)

    Any help appreciated or advice about which option is likely to achieve the experience closest to playing through a guitar amp and cab.

    Many thanks :)

  • Go to Best Answer
  • You've got several options!

    1. take a power amp, disable the cabinet and go into a guitar cab.

    2. try playing with some parameters. Pure Cabinet and the space parameters will be your friend.

    What's Pure Cabinet?…or_the_PROFILER

    What's Space?

    The “Space” parameter adds a small room simulation to the master signal. This makes listening through headphones

    far more enjoyable.

    Just play around, get a look at the manual and have fun ;)

  • Through monitors, what you will get is always the full signal chain of amp -> mic -> cab, which inherently feels a bit different than an actual amp in the room. Getting an actual guitar cab and a power amp, or going into the FX loop of an amp, will get you all the way, but as stated above, you can get pretty close by playing around with parameters, or just getting used to it.

    I also think that part of the difference in feel comes from the fact that you have two monitors as well. Pan it hard to one of them and it's gonna feel at least a little bit more like a regular amp.

  • The reality is that anything short of using a Kone/Kab or a regular guitar speaker, you’re only going to approximate the amp-in-the-room sound.

    Any Kemper Cab or IR (not entirely the same thing) will have a microphone (or two) influencing and integral to the sound.

    Playing in mono is one idea and messing with Pure Cab also.

  • There are A LOT of threads about this. First, I would note that your monitors have a 5" woofer. A 12" speaker has about 133in^2 of area while your 5" speaker has less than 20in^2. Can you reasonably expect those two things to ever be alike? This is ignoring all the other 'issues'. Second, what is the amp in the room sound? I would like hear what you think it is and how your 5" woofer can achieve it. I get excellent results from a good PA monitor. I have tried many PA monitors with 12" woofers and 1" tweeters with wildly mixed results. Monitors are not created equal. I use high cut, low cut, and tweak many of the amp parameters to get the profile right for the monitors that I use. Definition, treble, presence, clarity, compression also have to be adjusted to get what I consider a good guitar sound. In general, the tweeter presents the main problem. Many of the treble frequencies that a tweeter can reproduce are not valid in terms of good guitar tone. The trick is to adjust the profile so that the tweeter is not producing non-guitar frequencies. Many Kemper profiles generate unnatural high frequency that has to be filtered out. Once you have a 'real' monitor, the trick is to get the highs correct for the tweeter. In the end, I don't believe there is an 'amp in the room sound', but rather a big difference can exist given the monitor that you are using. This is my opinion and your mileage may vary.

  • I have a pair of JBL 306's with the JBL 10''subwoofer, and they sound fantastic as an option. But I also have the Kemper Kabinet for realism.

    I am curious how the 306's sound fantastic, yet you need the Kab for realisim. IME, a good monitor is all that is needed to sound fantastic and to sound real. What am I, or others, missing in this regard?

  • I think 'real' is the wrong word to describe it.

    A good monitor gives a good sound. Absolutely. Side by side they'll sound similar. But a monitor provides a different sound compared to what you get direct from a guitar speaker or Kone.

    Set an amp up in the room and profile it. Don't change anything. Then play the profile through a monitor and A/B it against playing in front of the amp. There is a difference that many find highly desirable. Desirable enough for Kemper to go to the trouble of developing not just software, but a dedicated speaker for it. Line6 created their Powercab with speaker modeling for the same reason.

    Both sound good. But an amp-in-the-room is both a different sound *and* feel. I find the Kone/guitar speaker to be inspiring. There's an immediacy...... a feel.....Hard to describe, but it's undeniable.

    "Without music, life would be a mistake.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

    Contact - Kemper Amps

    Edited once, last by Ruefus (May 15, 2024 at 5:13 PM).

  • I think Ruefus answered it well.

    I will add that my 306's give a studio sound which to me is "polished and balanced" and the Kab gives that "raw" sound that is more live stage. So, studio monitors would be that sound from a record while the Kab is the sound of a live performance. Both are great sounds.

    Larry Mar @ Lonegun Studios. Neither one famous yet.

  • I have compared profiles through many different monitors against the real amps. I don't notice any difference when the volumes are equal and the monitor is capable of moving the same amount of air as the guitar speakers. This also requires the profile to be adjusted to handle the ill effects that can result from tweeters.

    I suspect that many Kemper users are trying to play live guitar through studio monitors. This is never going to sound equivalent to playing live guitar through a guitar speaker. I am guessing that this is why amp in the room is even a thing. A good PA monitor and properly adjusted profile results in the exact same sound as the real amp and speaker in my experience. For me, a good speaker is critical to getting a good live sound out of the Kemper.

  • Also remember that "real amps" tend to be LOUD, and that always sounds better than low volume. When I played tube amps I always thought the improvement in tone due to turning up was due to the tubes being pushed, but now I think it's mostly the increased volume that makes it sound better.

    It all sounds good through the PA at gig levels, either a tube amp with a mic or the Kemper direct. With the Kemper we can hear ourselves on stage when we sing.

  • I don't notice any difference when the volumes are equal and the monitor is capable of moving the same amount of air as the guitar speakers.

    +1 on this. I was playing a Soldano Hot Rod 50 through two 4x12 cabs when I moved to a Kemper. I started out with one Yamaha DXR10 powered monitor and liked the sound right out of the box but something was missing. I bought a second DXR10 to get a bigger sound stage to replicate what I had before.

  • ... the combination of powered Kemper Kabinet and Stage made - to my ears in combination with the Celestion G12M-65 Creamback imprint - the difference in achieving that "amp in the room" sound ... and - yes - using that combo at a higher volume setting makes a difference ...

  • you just won't have the same experience if you aren't using a speaker that moves as much air as a 12" speaker. but here's an impractical solution that i use once in a while for giggles. it's a force feedback backpack originally sold for use with old video game consoles. i found it new on goodwill not long after i was gifted a pair of Boss WAZA-AIR headphones. as gimmicky and novel as it is, it actually does work and it's rather cool. it was cheap and i regret nothing. well, your appearance may be regrettable.

    "No socks? No problem."