Kemper Profiling Amplifier Head BK

AmplifierSince the introduction of modeling technology into the guitar amplifier world, guitarists have been able to access a variety of sounds and effects with relatively little effort.

But what if you want to take your own favourite sounds instead of the manufacturer's sound specifications? Prior to the release of the Kemper Profiling Amp, there were not many alternatives: either, as before the digital revolution, they dragged their entire equipment from place to place, or tried to adapt the modeled sounds of the modeling amp as far as possible to their own desires.

Kemper breaks new ground here. Instead of using predefined emulation of different amplifier models, the Profiling Amp (Nomen est Omen) creates an exact image of the sound set on the amplifier together with the connected speaker and microphone. This combines all the personal favourite sounds in one device. In addition, the sound profile can be edited with various floor effect emulations, master effects, equalizer, and so on. A separate amp fleet is not a mandatory requirement, because the Profiling Amplifier is already equipped with a large number of classic amplifier profiles. In addition, a large Kemper community has now established itself in the world where sound profiles are exchanged over the Internet.

  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 37.8 x 21.7 x 17.3 cm
  • Weight: 5.32 kg
  • Colour: Black
  • Microphone input
  • Line input
  • Alternative input
  • DI output
  • Monitor output
  • Master output (jack and XLR)
  • S / PDIF digital input and output
  • MIDI In / Out / Thru
  • 2 Inputs for footswitch (jack)
  • Ethernet port
  • 2 USB ports

Further information

Design Desktop
Tube(s) No
Amp Modeling Yes
Effects Yes
Headphone Output Yes
Direct Out Yes
MIDI Interface Yes
Integrated Expression Pedal No
Connections for Pedals or Switches Yes
Aux-Input Yes
Integrated Tuner Yes
USB-Port Yes
Drum-Computer No
140 customer ratings:
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4.7 / 5.0
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82 written ratings Read all reviews

Finally a digital amp that delivers!

borg64, 08.11.2013
Having dabbled for many years with numerous digital 'pro' solutions for guitar and bass amplification, both in the hardware and software domain, I still found myself going back to the traditional way of recording guitars through micing up a proper rig when needing to 'push some air'.

Then the KPA was announced and raving user reports soon started pouring in throughout the internet. Users were saying that this new digital amp sounded equal to, and greatly surpassed the flexibility of, a professionally mic'd up guitar amp and cab. With a fair bit of scepticism involved, realizing this was still a new arrival on the scene and all those positive user reports could very well be a case of 'awesome brand new toy' syndrome, I bit the bullet and ordered one to try out for myself.

Upon receiving the unit, I upgraded the firmware and plugged in my Gibson. And I kept playing for hours. Damn, this was it! It actually felt like playing the real thing. The dynamics, tone and natural response from a real amp, but with unsurpassed flexibilty of shaping the final outcome.

I've been working with the KPA in my studio for more than a year now, both for recording and re-amping, and I'm positive I will never part with it unless there's an updated version I'll switch to in the future. Having said that, I'm not missing much at all. At times, there's a lot of menu diving due to the sheer possibilities of this thing, but a unit at this level of complexity, I'd say that Kemper has handled this as good as they can. I would love to see a software controller for increased overview of all the parameters and profiles available in the future, similar to the plugin controller of the Access Virus synth, but for now, I'm getting by just fine tweaking the unit itself and saving my creations in the Favourites 'folder' of the KPA, which makes browsing your current project tones a breeze.

Adding real pedals works as a charm, but is very dependent of what profile you're playing into, occasionally needing a bit of gain staging and proper think-through of the recording chain. Same goes when experimenting by switching around profiled amps with different cabs. When in need to play things safe, I just record both the 'amped' and the DI signal for possible future re-amping, which is easily set up and accomplished.

A very cool thing is the vast range of user created profiles, both free and commercial, that broadens the usability of the KPA to near-ridiculous proportions. Again, a software controller to organize and overview the unit's current profiles would be most welcome, but it still works as is. And, just like with the Access Virus, you get continuous official updates with added features, effects and content free of charge. It has become even better with time, and is without a doubt an integral part of my studio setup when it comes to recording and re-amping electric guitars and basses. It's fun as hell on synths too.

Buy it.
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Excellent kit for studio and small gig use

Tom9313, 08.04.2015
I've been using the Kemper for a few months now, both in my (very simple) home studio and for small gigs. I'm actually running four instruments through it, a NS/Stick (fretless bass, effectively), electric guitars, a cello and sax with the acoustic instruments using a Mixing Link pre-amp. I've also put an Eventide H9 and Ditto X2 in the external stereo loop, and some other outboard processing in before the input (a sitar pedal and compressor).

In the studio, quality is excellent - running either line out or SPDIF into a Scarlett 18i6 interface produces beautifully clear noise-free recordings for all instruments. It's great to be able to plug in my bass, flick to an appropriate profile and record that, then switch to another instrument and with a single button press have everything set up to record that completely different sound perfectly. Fantastic when you don't want gear changes to interrupt your flow.

I've also used the profiler running directly in a variety of PA systems (conventional and a Bose line array on one occasion) for small gigs with a four piece 'prog folk' band. My main worry was that without a bass amp behind me I'd have trouble hearing myself (we're not playing in venues that would really justify conventional monitors) but it's not been a problem and I've had plenty of compliments on the bass tone. I'm also a big fan of the size and form factor in this case - gig bag for the bass on my back and one hand each for the kemper in its padded bag and my pedalboard and I can carry my entire rig in one go without breaking my back.

I've not actually tried to profile any amps, and I don't own the kemper remote (although I suspect I will soon), so I've really only used the 'off the shelf' functions of the device, including the pc/mac software for managing rigs (kemper's rigs are a combination of amp, effects, input configuration etc). I've used some free rigs from the rig exchange (something like 5000 of them on there last time I checked) and also purchased some from online sellers, one in particular which managed the 'edge of breakup' tone I was after for my telecaster.

All in all, not only is the kemper excellent quality and a pleasure to use, but it's actually replaced a load of gear that in total cost considerably more. It's saved me money, chiropracters's appointments, space, and made composing and gigging more productive and sound better. As you can probably tell I'm a fan, I'd recommend this to anyone but especially to multi-instrumentalists.

My only reservation is whether I'd have preferred the white one...
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