KEM­PER PRO­FIL­ING AMP POWER HEAD

WHO SAYS YOU CAN’T HAVE A WARE­HOUSE FULL OF AMPS AT YOUR DIS­POSAL AT ANY TIME? THE BANK MAN­AGER? PFFT.

Australian Guitar - - Reviews - BY PETER HODG­SON

We’ve long since moved on from the days when dig­i­tal mod­ellers sounded like arse, or were just for prog me­tal play­ers with 21-string gui­tars and Fall­out tat­toos. Dig­i­tal amps can now fool many lis­ten­ers into be­liev­ing they’re hear­ing a valve amp on a record­ing, and they’re get­ting closer and closer to mim­ick­ing the real-world feel – that in­de­fin­able push-pull of an ana­log amp – to boot.

A WARE­HOUSE FULL OF AMPS

Kem­per’s amp-repli­cat­ing pro­fil­ing tech­nol­ogy is avail­able in a few dif­fer­ent con­fig­u­ra­tions: Pro­filer Head, Pro­filer Rack, Pro­filer Pow­erHead and Pro­filer Pow­erRack. All are built on Kem­per’s pro­fil­ing tech­nol­ogy, but the Power ver­sions also in­clude a 600-watt power amp which lets you plug into a speaker cabi­net. You don’t need a cab to use any vari­a­tion, though: plug it straight into a mix­ing desk or com­puter, and you’ll be set. There are plenty of con­nec­tions on the back of this thing: stereo XLR and quar­ter-inch jacks; mon­i­tor out; di­rect out­put/send; XLR and quar­ter-inch re­turn in­puts; an al­ter­na­tive in­put for plug­ging into the back in­stead of the front – es­pe­cially handy if you’re run­ning a more com­pli­cated rack sys­tem and you want to keep the front tidy – dig­i­tal S/PDIF in and out; MIDI in, out and thru; two switch/pedal quar­ter-inch jacks, an Eth­er­net net­work jack and a USB out. Oh, and an 8-16 Ohm speaker out. It’s a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ing that with all of this pro­cess­ing power avail­able, there’s only a sin­gle mono speaker out in­stead of stereo – or even bet­ter, the op­tion of a wet/dry/wet three-cabi­net rig.

The main dif­fer­ences be­tween the pow­ered head and rack ver­sions are in lay­out: the head gives you some ad­di­tional con­trols for the mo­du­la­tion, some handy LEDs around the main amp con­trols and a rear-mounted USB port. The rack ver­sion’s USB port is on the front and gives you con­trols for the re­verb.

One par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant part of the way the Kem­per does its thing is its use of a high im­ped­ance in­put, which al­lows your gui­tar’s vol­ume, tone and pickup set­tings to act like they would if they were ‘see­ing’ a real amp. This also en­sures that stomp­boxes work just as they should when driv­ing the Kem­per, an es­pe­cially im­por­tant fac­tor if you’re run­ning some­thing like a vin­tagestyle fuzz or wah. Of course, the real heart of the Kem­per its li­brary of amp pro­files. It comes out of the box with more than 200 pro­files in­clud­ing vin­tage clas­sics, modern high-gain amps and rare bou­tique items, all of which made by top en­gi­neers and pro­duc­ers in pre­miere stu­dios around the world. And you don’t just have to use down­loaded pre­sets: you can pro­file real amps, too. Just plug your amp into the Kem­per, mic it up and record. Test sig­nals are sent from the Kem­per into your amp and recorded by the mi­cro­phone, and af­ter less thana minute, the unit has cap­tured what Kem­per calls “the sonic DNA of your tube amp” and cre­ated a cus­tom pro­file.

You can then tweak it to more closely match your orig­i­nal amp, or to cre­ate a cus­tom pro­file that does things your orig­i­nal can’t. The unit gives you con­trol of all sorts of pa­ram­e­ters such as Amp Def­i­ni­tion (to give it more of a vin­tage sound or more modern char­ac­ter), Power Sag­ging, pick at­tack (even through heavy dis­tor­tion), Amp Com­pres­sor and Cabi­net Voic­ing (which you can turn off if you’re run­ning into a cabi­net, of course). And there are plenty of ef­fects to choose from, in­clud­ing mo­du­la­tion, de­lay and re­verb. Ev­ery­thing

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