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Kemper Profiler Player First Impressions

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Primary Blog/Uncategorized/Kemper Profiler Player First Impressions

The Kemper Profiler Player

Kemper's first new product in a little while--exactly what we were expecting:

A COMPACT, AMP-FOCUSED KEMPER IN A PEDALBOARD FORMAT

I just received my Kemper Profiler Player (I'm just going to call it the player... FYI). This thing seems to be sold out everywhere at the moment. But for good reason. 

​It's everything we wanted in a small format Kemper unit. 

​From the minute I plugged it in at home, I was thrilled. And this was me reacting to the stock sound available on the unit! The layout on the app is great, connecting everything was fairly simple, and I felt very confident about giving the Kemper a test run at my gig later that week at the NAMM show. 

​I was playing with an artist named Haley Dreis, and I knew having an acoustic model and reverb would help. The built in tuner was the icing on the cake, plus I tend to err on the side of taking matters of DI boxes into my own hands when it comes to unfamiliar sound people. Making it simple on the stage plot to "just include an XLR for the guitar" keeps it easy and reliable. More on the XLR later though...

​Granted, I haven't completely familiarized myself with the Kemper Player at this point, but it was fairly plug-and-play. I dialed up the Bert Meulendijk Fishman Aura profiles (a hidden gem, fyi) and found a plate reverb sound that was just long enough to add some depth and dimension to the acoustic guitar. I set it to forget it and threw the unit into my gig bag and played the show. 

While the sound and gig went fine, and without any troubles on my end, I did notice some quality of life critiques I'd like to share. The tuner button is small, and requires you to bend down to press it rather than it being assigned to a foot switch. On consulting the menu, you can assign this function to the foot switch if you'd like. But I'd rather have it default to something like a multi button hold, or even a double tap of some kind. A tuner/mute button is a secret weapon to the gigging musician. 

Similar to the Neural DSP Quad Cortex as well, the power cable is at risk for a break or an accidental release--which could lead to a song-ending error. Universal Audio uses a twist lock system on their Apollo twin that holds the cable in the socket, but I still think an IEC could have been employed, if not something like an external power wart akin to the Strymon power systems. The Kemper Player draws a lot of power, and may not be able to be powered by most pedal power systems alone. So I feel like we may be in a worst-of-of-both-worlds here. Regardless, I'm sure a workaround could be easy to find. 

The app controlled pedal could also be considered a downside, although I didn't run into any issues with it just yet. I tend to be someone to overly plan my rig, so I should be fine. But keep in mind that sometimes bluetooth can be finicky. I did have some slow connection times when setting my rig up. 

With that though, I really like the way this thing can fit on a pedalboard, and is generally insistent on not being the last pedal in your chain. The outputs are dual 1/4inch, and a single XLR. Which to me, means if you're using an amp model, you should be placing this pedal before your reverbs, mods, and delays. If you're using models of DIs, or preamps (I use the noble bass DI from time to time) the single XLR works great for that. 

I'm really excited to see how this pedal changes the landscape of profiling, and I'm excited to talk about some shifts in where I think the Kemper Player is going to play a huge role in pedalboards in the future. So stay tuned!

Also, if you're not on the email list yet, be sure to check out the demos available on 60 Cycle Sounds to be entered on the list. You'll hear about new products and launches there first!

-Daniel from 60 Cycle Sounds

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Hi, I'm Daniel

60 Cycle Sounds

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