Kemper for bass, what's the final verdict ...for 2017?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bass V, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    having decided against tubers forevermore and sticking with just my old Guild Thunderbass 2x15 for that real deal, I'm looking at Kemper to cover anything else, but... the despised lack of true low end is a bust unless that's been resolved without my knowing it.
    has faithful replication been achieved?
    if not I'll continue looking at GK and other options.
    if so, what cabs are great in getting the most out of the Kemper for classic heavy rock?
  2. There are a couple of other threads on this topic with some guys who actually use them. I've tried one and didn't notice any issues with any lack of low end. I thought it sounded fine. Although I wasn't a fan of the Ampeg tone I thought it did sound pretty much like an Ampeg. That isn't my cup of tea anymore. I prefer a very clean clear HiFi sound. We ran it through a bass amp but I don't remember what it was. What were you playing it through. You still need a capable amp and speaker system.
    Bass V likes this.
  3. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    I would expect a bass amp emulator to sound like arse being played into a bass amp...
  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Folks at Tech 21 say that about their products, but I don't find that the case at all. They are designed to sound good into a PA, but they sound fine going into a bass amp, too.

    I've not heard that about the Kemper that it cuts low end when modeling a bass rig, and I kind of thought that it was one of the selling points that it could model bass rigs. But no, faithful reproduction of an all tube bass rig has not been achieved by solid state or digital, though I must say it's worlds better than it was when the first Sansamp and Line 6 stuff came out. It's all highly usable and generally sounds very good. But it still sounds like a recording of one rather than the real thing.
    AstroSonic, Ghostinthemach and Bass V like this.
  5. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I figured there were but of course nothing substantial came up in a search except for one which went on about the inefficient low end replication, but it ended a few months ago.
    I've never even seen one and am merely contemplating the investment over $$ options.
    so far it sounds like I'm just as well off with my expressive Roland mini rig and Guild tuber for small time and search for bargains on GK or other micros + cabs for the rare extra big bottom needs.
  6. johnpbass


    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    I think a lot depends on the quality of the profile that you are using. I did some recording with a Kemper that my guitar player/recording engineer buddy owns. I used a B15 profile that was done by someone who obviously knew what they were doing in terms of EQ setup, mic placement etc., because the profile sounded great. We also found a Fender Bassman profile that was very good.

    There are a lot of, IMO, useless profiles available. For example, I don't know why anyone would profile a completely fuzzed out Eden WT800. I'm a big fan of the SVT clean tone but it seems like all of the profiles are super-overdriven SVTs. One of the cool things about the Kemper is that you can tweak a profile because you have some EQ on the amp itself, and its gain control can be used on the fly to do what the real amp would do when upping the gain.

    I've never experienced loss of low end when using a Kemper.

    There are several touring bands using Kempers now from what I have heard.

    All that being said, my friend actually likes the sound we get with my Ampeg 20T when recording so as with everything else, I guess it all comes down to what your ears tell you without your eyes getting in the way.
    Bass V likes this.
  7. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    yours was the best and most encouraging reply in all my research, keeps me thinking...
    johnpbass likes this.
  8. I use Kemper, the powerack version.
    The thing is what was said, depends with which profile you test it..
    There a lot of good free profiles on Rig Manager and a some good paid profiles of ampeg... like profiles from svt 4 pro, svt classic, svt classic heritage.
    Also there are some pedals profiles like: darkglass, sansamp, aguilar, stuffs...
    But act like a pedal direct to a PA sound like.
    Best deal is to use Kemper (amp profile, effect sections) and use in front a pedal from darkglass, sansamp, others..
    And if you think it miss some low end you can also use a bass pream pedal in front, if you like ampeg sound: an ampeg scr-di or the classic pedal...
  9. Tony Levin uses the Kemper... here in this video since 2015 - mostly with the top end of the Stick

    But I use mine for both bass and guitar and have no lack of low end.

    Check this

    seamonkey likes this.
  10. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    That is the point of the amp modelers - they're supposed to sound like high-quality studio recordings of these amps, because they're supposed to be run through a full-range speaker. This is the "amp in the room" quote that many instrumentalists make when using modelers. It's nice that you don't have to get the tubes to the perfect operating temperature or overdrive them to the perfect point (necessitating a certain amount of volume) to get that specific tone.

    Essentially - if you like studio tone, Kemper and Helix and the other modelers will do it for you. If you're a diehard tube guy and you need that "amp in the room" feel and sound, the modelers will work to an extent but I think you'd end up using them through an actual bass cab or using them with outboard components (tube pre, tube power amp, etc) to get what you want. At that point, it's up to you to make the decision.

    Incidentally, I just noticed that this thread was in the "Recents" section because it was necroed. So I guess the question now is, what's the verdict for 2019? :p
    Bass V likes this.
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Same :D
    juggahnaught likes this.
  12. ...well as I'm sure we all know the Kemper isn't a modeler and what it does is steal the entire signal change and store it in a profile.

    Now to get those legs of your trousers flapping you can plug it into one of the many FRFR speaker cabinets out there and thereby maintain that signal chain integrity. If you want the sound quality of a big Ampeg/SWR/Whatever speaker cab that you own then you merely remove the cabinet portion of the Kemper profile and let the idiosyncratic tone of your very own cab affect said profile... and tweak to your pleasure.

    I've sold all my amp's and all my guitar preamps and have only 2 bass preamps left that I'll eventually sell. And when I'm feeling naughty I rent something and profile the heck out of it.
    Bass V, seamonkey and QweziRider like this.
  13. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    Got mine in late '18 for guitar recording work. Bass use was just gravy on top. I've used it once in a "no amps allowed" casino gig and it was adequate. Sounded nice enough (largely dependent on the FOH guy giving us good monitor feeds - and he did), I loved the simplicity of setup, I'd do it again with good house/monitor support. Still taking the real deal to most gigs, though.
    Bass V likes this.
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