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SteinbergerHack

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Posts posted by SteinbergerHack

  1. 13 hours ago, DeepEnd said:

    Here's the definition from the Klipsch web site, folks who have designed and manufactured speakers for several decades:

     

    In Theil/Small usage, "sensitivity" is the commonly used term for the driver's response function to a specified signal, while "reference efficiency" is the calculated energy transfer ratio.  The number most often seen (SPL @ 1W/1m) is the sensitivity number, while efficiency is calculated as a %.  They are different values which are closely related.

  2. 4 hours ago, Phil O'Keefe said:

    The same thing is typically true for things like inventions and patents that a person develops as part of their normal work. For example, if you work for a company that does research into new forms of energy and in the course of your research work you make a discovery that results in a breakthrough in fusion, the patent for that may include your name on it, but the company that was paying you for your research work is probably going to reap the greatest financial rewards from your breakthrough, not you. 

    100% true.  I am a named inventor on a number of patents, yet they are owned by the companies I was working for at the time they were filed.  I got a nice bonus for each of them, but the company that owned the lab space owns the work product that comes from it.

    • Thanks 1
  3. 10 hours ago, Grant Harding said:

    I have to say that I never have to deal with the fizz you mention

    I didn't either until I was in a performance situation.  When I was operating at full volume on the guitar and not fine-tuning, it sounded great.  Then when I started using the guitar's volume knob to fine-tune volume and gain to balance with other instruments, it was really noticeable.  I suspect that it's a quantization issues, so it might be addressable with more attention to the gain settings across the whole system.

    10 hours ago, Grant Harding said:

     5 performance slots per song is heaps for me.

    I am used to a MIDI rig that gives me 10 FX presets with a single button press.  For the number of groups I work with and the variety of material I do, trying to match songs to performance slots won't work.  I think in terms of a matrix of gain settings (amp channels) and FX presets (MIDI rack).  The Bogner gives me 6 distinct gain settings on the pedal, and then I have two banks of 10 each "standard" FX presets (song-specific patches go to other banks).  That's 120 potential pre-built combinations, all available with no more than 2 footswitch actions.  The Kemper is WAY more clunky in this regard.

    11 hours ago, Grant Harding said:

     I've not had software issues on Windows 10.
     

    I've had a number of crashes with Win8, and I've read reports of others having the same problem with it crashing while connected to the KPA.

    The good news is that they just released a new official (non-beta) version with a supposedly improved UI and the long-awaited patch editor.  I may give it a shot before I return the KPA later this week, and see how much it improves the usability.

    11 hours ago, Grant Harding said:

    I'm mad about versatility, so for me to be at my best I want Princeton, AC30, Dumble SSS, Shiva, Polytone, JCM800, Ecstacy, Champ... I'll always trade some tone to have a more varied palette.

    Well, that's where the Kemper really excels, so it would make a lot of sense for your goals.

    • Like 1
  4. After decades of playing through great tube amps, I've spent the last 6 weeks or so playing through a Kemper. It's a loaner that I acquired to play for a run of the musical theater show "We Will Rock You". This show is effectively a Queen tribute, and as such requires Brian May's signature sound...but a fully-cranked AC30 isn't going to work in this application. Thus, we found a Kemper that we could use to try to recreate May's sound at a more manageable performance volume. As a bonus, the pit band is playing a set of '70s and '80s rock as a pre-show "overture", so I got to try out some of the very popular hair metal and arena rock sounds. Next week I'll be returning it, and I wanted to share some impressions from my real world experience with the Kemper.

    > The factory profiles aren't that great, and do not reflect the ultimate capability of the rig. This is no different from a lot of digital products, but it means that a demo in-store won't show you what it can really do.

    > You really need a high-quality monitor system to use a profiler effectively. If your monitor cabinet is junk, it will make the entire rig sound like junk; this is a high-end, studio grade product, and should be paired with a similar level of amp/monitor to get the most out of the rig. You get what you pay for. Note that this is another reason that an in-store demo isn't going to be helpful; plugging into a $300 entry-level powered cabinet isn't going to give you the resolution that you need to hear the nuances that the Kemper creates.

    > You can get really good profiles from several 3rd party vendors, or you can make good ones yourself. Spend the time/$$$, and you will be rewarded. Be aware that this may require sourcing dozens of profiles for each one that ultimately works for you. It's time-consuming, but the end result will be impressive if you invest the effort.

    > A quality profile can sound very good indeed, but you can't do much tweaking without getting a very processed, "digital" sound. Changing gain, for example, I found to universally mess up an otherwise perfectly good profile.

    > It takes a lot of time to build a complete patch from a profile (rig) and the various FX options, and the UI is a bit clunky, IMO. As with everything, it gets better as you gain experience, but I didn't find it to be particularly easy to short-cut the process of building Performances and Presets.

    > The Performance mode is limited to 5 patches per block, which I find to be very limiting in real world use.

    > Using MIDI to select performances and patches can work, but I have found the patch change delay to be problematic at times.

    > I have found that some profiles do not respond well to partial-volume inputs - you really almost have to build a new profile for every different instrument and setpoint for it to sound really good. This may be acceptable for studio work, but trying to tweak on the fly during performance can be annoying when you start to hear that fizzy digitized sound.

    > The potential versatility is outstanding - but at the cost of a lot of effort for every individual sound.

    > The ability to control volume and send a perfectly matching signal to FOH is very helpful, just as when using a good loadbox/IR with a tube amp.

    > I think that the software is in need of some attention in several areas. I have had a number of crashes on a Win8 laptop, and lost a lot of time when changes I had made were undone due to non-intuitive workflow procedures. The lack of a patch editor has been a crucial missing piece of this system; V3.0 of the Rig Manager software with patch editing capabilities has finally been released, unfortunately right as I will be returning the Kemper. I would like to spend some time with it to see if this update addresses some of the workflow challenges, but I will not have the time with the Kemper to give it a fair shake-down.

    In the end, I can see why people with certain approaches to their playing would love this amp. It's capable of a lot of really good stuff, and the ability to customize it with your own profiles is something that the Fractal and Line6 units simply cannot do. For example, I have an old Marshall 3203 that sounds great and is relatively rare. With the Kemper, I can profile it with my own settings and duplicate it for performance use, without having to take it out to a gig. No other modeller gives me this ability, no matter how good they may sound with the amps that they have in their standard list.

    I can also see why others might want to throw it off a cliff after getting frustrated with its limitations. I think that for something this complex, they really need to spend some time on developing a software UI that is intuitive, comprehensive and simplified. I don't think it will work for me, either.....but it has convinced me that the digital technology is getting very, very close to duplicating what a tube amp can do. In fact, this one can very nearly duplicate what a dozen or more tube amps can do, in a compact, lightweight package.

    • Like 1
  5. It's an interesting thing.  I've spent the last 6 weeks or so playing with a Kemper.  Next week I'll be returning it...and I will probably not buy one.

    From real world experience, I have the following observations:

    > The factory profiles generally stink and do not reflect the ultimate capability of the rig.

    > You can get really good profiles from several 3rd party vendors, or you can make good ones yourself.  Spend the time/$$$, and you will be rewarded.

    > You really need a high-quality monitor system to use a profiler effectively.  If your monitor cabinet is junk, it will make the entire rig sound like junk.  You get what you pay for.

    > A good profile can sound very good indeed, but you can't do much tweaking without getting a very processed, "digital" sound.  Changing gain, for example, I found to universally mess up an otherwise perfectly good profile.

    > It takes a lot of time to build a complete patch from a profile (rig) and the various FX options, and the UI is a bit clunky, IMO.

    > The Performance mode is limited to 5 patches per block, which I find to be very limiting in real world use.

    > I have found that some profiles do not respond well to partial-volume inputs - you really almost have to build a new profile for every different instrument and setpoint for it to sound really good.  OK for studio work, but trying to tweak on the fly during performance can be annoying when you start to hear that fizzy digitized sound.

    > The potential versatility is outstanding - but at the cost of a lot of effort for every individual sound.

    > The ability to control volume and send a perfectly matching signal to FOH is very helpful, but I don't find it to be any more or less effective than using a good loadbox/IR with a tube amp.

    > The software ain't so great.  I have had a number of crashes on a Win8 laptop, and lost a lot of time when changes I had made were undone due to non-intuitive workflow procedures.  There is also still not a fully-functioning patch editor (there is one in Beta, but Kemper tells you not to use it for any actual performance or paid work). 

    In the end, I can see why people with certain approaches to their playing would love this amp.  It's capable of a lot of really good stuff, and the ability to customize it with your own profiles is something that the Fractal and Line6 units simply cannot do.  I can also see why others might want to throw it off a cliff after getting frustrated with its limitations.  I think that for something this complex, they really need to spend some time on developing a software UI that is intuitive, comprehensive and simplified.  I don't think it will work for me, either.....but it has convinced me that the digital technology is getting very. very close to duplicating what a tube amp can do.

  6. In this world of digital modellers and profilers, many of us still maintain that a good tube amp still sounds better, even if the digital rig is lighter, more versatile, has better volume control, etc.

    BUT:

    What about tube amps that just never sounded good?  Not all of 'em are created equal, and some just plain should never have seen the light of day.  What tube amps have you owned that just didn't sound good?  I'll start with a particularly wretched example of audio flaccidness:

    dvnnmvvp8jdevhv8m40k.jpg

  7. 8 hours ago, t_e_l_e said:

    i would love to down size and have a more transportable rig, as small as possible so i could use public transportation.
    so even a normal kemper i consider too big, as well as the floor kemper.

    Think of it this way:

    You can go to a rack Kemper and use a plain old MIDI floor controller to select rigs and presets.  No other pedals required - everything is in the rack box.

    For me, the Kemper would let me drop close to 100 lbs, cut floor space by roughly half, and simplify the setup massively. 

    I add the kemper rack and a wah control pedal.

    I no longer have to carry the Bogner XTC, the Bogner pedals, rack FX unit, rack tuner, the 4x12 or 2x12 stage cabinet, my Morley wah, one 9V battery, and about a half-dozen cables.  I already carry monitor(s) for acoustic instruments and vocals, so nothing additional there.

    ...and the Kemper sounds extremely good; in the FOH it is indistinguishable from a mic'd tube amp.

  8. 1 hour ago, 1001gear said:

    Only half serious about this; per Tele's post, you could make a go of merely adequate rather than stellar sound.

    Ahhh...sorry, I missed the sarcasm.  And yeah, I agree, which is why none of the modellers have ever gotten me to consider moving fro tubes.  The Kemper, OTOH, sounds pretty darned good.

  9. On 1/18/2020 at 9:45 AM, daddymack said:

    I also agree that the down side of the new wave of 'sim-tec' amps suffers from 'rapidly planned obsolescence'... by the time you unbox it, plug it into the wall, power it up, plug your axe into it and start playing, there is a newer, better, more realistic sounding 'sim-tec' amp being marketed, making your brand new amp obsolete:wave:

    I also agree that despite being century old tech, tube amps continue to be what all the 'sim-tec' amps aspire to sound like, and for that reason alone, the entire exercise is one of futility.

    To paraphrase one forumite...'just get a tube amp and be done with it'

    The Kemper has had the same hardware since its release about 8 years ago, so I'm not this is entirely accurate....but certainly true for the modellers.  They go obsolete faster than cellphones and laptops.

    I would also point out that the profilers and modellers really aspire to sounding like a mic'd tube amp, not a tube amp in the room with you.  This is not an inconsequential difference, and it has both positive and negative consequences.

    As far as "get a tube amp and be done with it"....well, that's fine, but what do you do when you get a call for a "silent stage" gig?  This happened to me for the first time about 3 years ago, and the money was so good that I had to take the job and figure it out.  At the time I solved it with a Bogner and Torpedo loadbox/IR; today I would use a Kemper. 

    In the end, I think that I am headed for keeping my tube amps at home and gigging with a Kemper.  I still want the tubes as the template for my sound, but going direct actually gets me to a good FOH sound faster than micing a cabinet, and managing stage volume is a lot easier.  JMO, YMMV, lather, rinse, repeat.

  10. Looking at the current crop of products, it seems that there are 4 competing architectures, three of which have well-established market leaders:

    1) Profile an existing amp to digitally copy and recreate the transfer function - Kemper.
    2) Digitally process the signal through individual component blocks that represent the schematics of existing amps - Axe-FX (and maybe Helix?).
    3) Digitally re-configure an analog circuit to re-create the analog circuits of existing amps - BluGuitar.
    4) Use a tube amp - Marshall, Vox, Bogner, Diezel, Two Rock, Mesa, Fender, etc.

    Does this pretty well sum it up?

    If so, how does this reflect on what guitarists want/need, as opposed to what the amp builders want to design?

  11. I have a show coming up where I need a radically different sound than I normally get from my Bogner, Marshall or MP-1.  Solution?  I borrowed a Kemper powered toaster to see if it could get me there.

    Now, I'm pretty picky about my sound/tone, as I am used to using GOOD tube amps and very little FX - no excuses, and no hiding behind gobs of delay/reverb/chorus/etc.  My prior experience with all sorts of modellers has been that they just don't quite do it for me - they just don't have the feel of a great tube amp, and don't make me want to play more.  When I last played a Kemper in a GC through a cheap powered cabinet, I was thoroughly underwhelmed.  That said, enough serious recording pros use them that there has to be a reason - it has to be capable of getting a great sound...but the in-store demo wasn't convincing at all.

    So, I picked up the box from my buddy, and took it home for some in-depth investigation.  After using the RigManager software to load some profiles from both the Rig Exchange and a couple of vendors, I built performance patches using headphones (ATH-M50x), and then dragged it out to rehearsal.  My rehearsal rig is the Kemper, my trusty old ADA MP-1 MIDI control pedalboard, and a Yamaha DXR12 powered monitor.  Nothing else - no pedals, no outboard FX, just the Kemper.

    WOW!!!!!  This thing surprised me in a big way.  Great sound, relatively easy to use, volume control is superb, and it worked with MIDI control with zero configuration effort - none whatsoever.  The other guitar player I was working with noted just how good it sounds and how closely it got to the exact "correct" sound for the material we are playing.  All of the FX I needed for this gig are in the box, and dialing them in was quick and painless.

    Does it sound like my Bogner XTC or Marshall is in the room with me?  No.  It sounds like some of the best recorded guitar sounds I've heard, though, and in the end this is what the audience wants to hear.

    Unfortunately, I'll have to give this Kemper back, as the owner isn't interested in selling.  In any case, I would probably prefer the unpowered rack model...hmm......

    Two things to note:

    1) The profiles matter.  I went through probably 50 profiles before finding 4 that I will actually use in performance.  It's not different from playing 50 guitars or amps at a store to find the one that you want.  Many are just poorly done, and many more are perfectly good, but not a match for my particular style and guitar selection.  Time spent here pays big dividends.

    2) The monitor you use makes a difference.  The cheap ones at the big-box shops are just that - cheap.  If you use the best self-powered PA-style monitor/main cabinet you can get, you will be MUCH happier with the results, and the sound you hear will be a closer match to the sound you get in recording or FOH.

    Color me amazed - this is the first time in over a decade that a new piece of gear has really gotten me interested.  The last time this happened, I bought a Bogner XTC.....

  12. That looks like the ones that they built in the 80s - the shape of the upper bouts is unmistakeable.  Japanese built, IIRC, though there were a couple of custom shops in the US that did some of their "special" jobs.  My recollection is a bit hazy, though.

    I definitely remember that some of the Aria Pro II were really good-playing guitars when they first came out - not sure how they have held up since then, though.

  13. 1 hour ago, 1001gear said:

    Usually only solos are loud enough for active/effective use of the treble cut on most guitars. Most guitars; that's all it is; treble cut - ironically to make sure the treble cuts, therefore usually dimed.  Active tonal nuance for pop guitar is mostly ineffective; hence wahs and synths and pedals ad infinitum.

    Good point - my Steinberger has an active tone control with boost and cut, so I normally set everything up with it in the center then boost or cut as needed.  I never do that with my passive guitars, though.

  14. The company that made it is long out of business - it's a Matsumoku guitar from about '84.

    500k, splined, likely a long shaft because it's rear-mount (similar to a Les Paul routing).  The link looks like it will get me there - thanks!

  15. Question:

    I have an '80s superstrat in HSH configuration with three push-pull pots, (1) volume, (2) tone.  All three are DPDT, the switches are (IIRC) coil-tap, phase, and center p/u enable.

    I need to replace the volume pot, and I'm not sure where to go for a direct replacement.  Any ideas for source, and/or a spec or part number?  I love this guitar, but the erratic volume pot has reached the point that I can't gig with it until it's fixed.

     

  16. 45 minutes ago, Mikeo said:

    Remember Rock and Roll is a family business.

    If you make some money in the band, set a schedule C file and have your CPA write it all off.

    This.  As long as you have steady revenue and show a small profit every 2-3 years, you can deduct your years of losses on gear purchases.  Some of my work results in 10-99s, so I have no choice but to report to the IRS - I do it every year.

  17. 16 hours ago, Inexorable said:

    Would a DSL20 into a 112 or 212 be sufficient for a band situation? I know the 20 isnt as full featured as the 40 combo.

     

    The idea of being able to experiment with other heads down the road sounds interesting (Joyos? Orange terrors?).

    It depends on the cabinet you use and the band you're playing with.  The cabinet/speaker pairing can have an efficiency difference of as much as 10dB - that's literally twice as loud with the exact same input power.

    Here's a good reference brochure - you can see that Celestion speakers range from 94-100 dB @1W.  Add to that the differences in cabinets and it starts to add up.

    https://celestion.com/files/brochures/Guitar_Speaker_Catalogue.pdf

  18. The core issue here is that a guitar amp is the wrong device for a steel-string or classical guitar.  A guitar amp intentionally colors the sound of the instrument, and you don't want that coloration when amplifying a steel-string or classical.

    The correct approach for an acoustic is to use a PA cabinet or equivalent, not a guitar amp.

    In order to have a single rig for both, the best solution (IMO) is to use either a modeller/profiler or a tube head with a loadbox/cabinet simulator.  From there, go into small mixer (I use a XR12) that feeds a standard PA monitor cabinet.  Run the acoustic directly into the mixer on a separate channel from the electric feed.

    Personally, I use a Bogner XTC feeding a Torpedo Live cabinet simulator, then run my acoustics direct into the board.  The board then feeds my onstage wedge monitors, and this also gives me a single feed to the FOH system.  No mics are needed onstage, which makes life a lot easier for the sound techs, and I can also mix the vocal monitor feed into my wedge(s), which cleans up the stage and helps with keeping the levels balanced.

    It sounds complex at first, but once you get it set up and working properly, it actually makes setup and soundcheck very simple and easy.

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