For integrating the Profiling Amp with other hardware, see Other Hardware.
Currently there are 5 incarnations of the Kemper Profiling Amplifier in total:
- 1 Commonalities
- 2 Differences
- 3 Technical Specifications
- 4 The powered Profiler
- 5 Using the Profiler's outputs
- 6 Are there any differences in the way Monitor Out and Main out sound ?
- 7 Disassembling the Profiler
- 8 Ins & Outs, levels and impedance
- 9 Monitor out
- 10 Latency
- 11 S/PDIF
- 12 Signal clipping
- 13 Shutting the unit off
- 14 Lights
- 15 LEDs
- 16 Mute
- 17 Tone Controls in the Profiler
- 18 Ground switch
- 19 True Bypass
- 20 Wet\Dry\Wet
- 21 Tuner
- 22 How much memory ?
- 23 Using Alternative Input (FW 1.6) for a Guitar
- 24 Aux In
- 25 USB Audio
All 5 versions of the KPA run the same firmware and have the same input connections. Their internal sound processing is identical, so there's no difference between the 5 versions soundwise.
There are 2 different form factors available. The Head and the Rack version. As of July, 2013 three different versions of the Profiler head alone exist, which differ because of slightly different measures. Specifically, the black cavity measures are different from each other, so care should be put in the purchase if planning to retrofit the unit with a personally-chosen poweramp or for any other sensible purpose. Details will be published here ASAP.
The design of the various versions has already led to some nice nicknames for the units. Everybody in the community will know what you're talking about when you write "toaster" or "lunchbox". Of course the head, having hit the market first, has got more nicks. But the Rack versions are getting their share
Unpowered / Powered
There are 3 different unpowered versions of the KPA.
- White Kemper Profiler Head
- Black Kemper Profiler Head
- Black Kemper Profiler Rack
The unpowered Kemper Profiler Heads have a hole on the back side where you can install a 3rd party power amp. The unpowered Kemper Profiler Rack can't be equipped with a power amp.
And there are 2 different powered versions of the Kemper Profiler.
- Black Kemper Profiler PowerHead
- Black Kemper Profiler PowerRack
The powered versions have single channel (mono) 600 Watts @ 8 Ohm or 300 Watts @ 16 Ohm.
Output connections on unpowered and powered Profiler are the same, except for the added Speaker Output (1/4" TS connector) on the back panel of the powered versions. So, basically you can use the non-powered monitor or main stereo outputs on the powered versions. The only difference between the powered and non-powered versions of the KPA is the one extra powered output. All the other outputs on the back are identical.
WARNING: Be very careful when you connect a cable to this Speaker Output! Read the warning beneath the connector!
White Kemper Profiler Head
This was the first version shipped by Kemper and it has some minor differences to the newer versions.
- On the front panel you'll find a button labelled "MASTER". This has been renamed to "OUTPUT" in newer versions of the KPA.
- Some of the very first white KPA Heads didn't have Kensington lock holes on the back panel while the black KPA Heads have them.
Rack vs. Head
- The Rack versions have the benefit of a USB A connector on the front panel. So it's much easier to connect or remove a pen drive on a Rack version.
- Because of the form factor of the rack version it does not have the LED collars around the 4 dials below the LCD screen and it does not have the 2 dials for MOD Rate and MOD Intensity that you have on the Head versions.
Here's the link to a detailed list of Technical Specifications for the Kemper Profiling Amplifier.
The powered Profiler
The poweramp coming with the powered versions is mono. The actual power amp used in the Kemper Profiler PowerHead and PowerRack is the ICEpower 250ASX2. It is fed by the monitor output signal. You can use the Monitor out and the power amp out simultaneously. When you don't need the power amp for a while, you can switch it off separately. When using the poweramp, you can run a 4 Ω speaker, but this is formally out of the specifications. If you are careful, then it's no problem; but you run the risk of seriously damaging the power amp if driven too hot.
Several discussions exists in regard with "filling the void" in the back of the KPA. It is difficult to comprehend, why a simple insert by DIY or performed by the factory will not work. Here is musicman65 on the legal & technical side for DIY solution:
In the same thread the user nakedzen identifies the EU legislatiion as the "culprit":
Powered Profiler and heat dissipation
You can feel confident that the powered version of your profiler (whichever it is) will never overheat even when framed in a tight rack. The power amplifier is designed to work in operational class D, which dissipates very, very few.
Using the Profiler's outputs
You can feed 2 PA's from the 2 XLR Outs as your live monitor rig, and use the other 2 main outputs to go FOH, using all 4 outputs at the same time.
Are there any differences in the way Monitor Out and Main out sound ?
Q: Over the last 7 months I have used the Profiler via monitor out only. After watching a video I decided to use instead the Main out. My reward was instant. The tone was much improved.
Other than that there are separate EQ settings for monitor and main which could account for a difference... Or if you had Monitor Cab Off checked for the Monitor output but had Cab on for Main output when you compared them. I think if you make sure the EQ's are both the same for the two outputs and the volumes are also the same you shouldn't hear any difference. Assuming you are using the same cable into the same amp set the same way.
Using a Real Cab
Apart from the Main out allowing for a stereo signal to be sent to an amp, a couple of monitors or to a PA, and the Monitor out being mono, the Monitor out also allows you to exclue the cab portion of the signal in case you intend to use a guitar cab, while still keeping the cab emulation on the Main out. If you want to exclude the cab from all of the outs you can just press the Cab button on the front panel.
Disassembling the Profiler
Are you curious about what your Profiler looks like inside? Here’s a video showing it!
WARNING: This is not a suggestion to open the unit or to fix any degree of troubles by yourself! I just posted this because I assume you’re an adult and responsible individual, but at the same time I strongly discourage you from trying. By trying and open the unit by yourself you expose yourself to several risks: risk of damaging the unit, risk of hurting yourself if you do not know exactly what you’re doing, and risk to voiding the guaranty.
In case you experience any issue that might be related to hardware, and still feel like opening the unit, I’d strongly advise you to contact Kemper for take agreements and ask about guaranty voiding.
Ins & Outs, levels and impedance
How to be sure that our Profiler matches properly with the rest of our rig, impedance-wise?
Since FW 1.1.0, the Monitor Out is optimized for use with power amp and cab (with cab off on the Profiler). A complete new Eq section has been added to the Monitor out (press and hold Master to access the Output menu and scroll to the Monitor Out page). Monitor out is meant to be used for monitoring purposes, not as main signal into your DAW.
I believe this option is no longer "hidden" but correctly labeled. I believe it is in the System menu as well. I'm on FW 2.2.1.
In order to connect the Profiler to an audio interface via S/PDIF you need a S/PDIF cable. One digital S/PDIF cable can transmit a stereo signal. So you need one cable from Profiler’s S/PDIF Out to your audio interface’s S/PDIF In. If you want to do reamping you need another S/PDIF cable from your audio interface’s S/PDIF Out to Profiler’s S/PDIF In. In most cases, a simple cinch cable from your Hi-Fi will do. The Profiler runs at 44.1 kHz sampling rate and 24 bit. The audio interface must be synced to the S/PDIF Input because the Kemper Profiler has to be S/PDIF Master.
Q: Is there a good reason TO be using the S/PDIF over the analog outs to the computer audio interface?
A: tylerhb - Each A/D and D/A conversion will add 1-2 ms of latency. Since the S/PDIF signals won’t need any conversion, those signals will be a little more direct (though i doubt you will feel the difference). Concerning signal quality, the S/PDIF is highly recommended if you do reamping. Normally you will lose a good amount of signal quality here. The SPDIF makes reamping very comfortable.
Shutting the unit off
Q: I'd love to connect my Profiler to my power distributor so with one flick of the switch all my units (audio interface, MIDI floor controller, speakers etc) fire up and ready to rock. Except I'm worried about hard-stopping the Profiler but killing the power. It seems when manually powering off unit using the 'chicken head' switch it does a graceful shutdown, and I don't want to inadvertently break anything. Anyone else doing something similar?
The difference in brightness you can experiment on the Profiler's front in various situations is not a bug, it represents different states. For instance, the rig buttons dim, once you hit the "end" of the list of rigs you can scroll through. The stomp buttons get dim when you switch all stomps off (press Stomps to do so). Same is true for the Stack and Effects section.
Q: My Exit button is very low glowing, and Page buttons are extremely low glowing, almost not noticeable. Is it normal?
I found that the LED collar is very bright in default settings. I use this settings:
- Color LEDs: 5.0;
- Button: 6.0;
- LED Collar: 2.0;
- Tap: 6.8.
The Tuner mode can be configured to mute the signal. Tuner mode is also accessible by foot switch and MIDI Control Change
Tone Controls in the Profiler
- Bass Shelf: 150 Hz (steep)
- Mid Peak: 600 Hz
- Treble Shelf: 2400 Hz
- Presence Shelf: 10000 Hz
The Tonestack (EQ in the Stack) controls work differently than the Output EQ and their action is softer. There is interaction between the controls, so there are no defined frequencies to specify. For more info, see EQ Slot.
Q: If I connect my piezo pickup directly to the Eventide and then out from Eventide to my EV SX100 active speakers I get a fantastic acoustic sound. If I first connect the guitar to theKPA, and out from Profiler to Eventide I lose the brilliant sound even if I disable Stomps, Stack and Effects. I thought that should be the same as total bypass but it seems not.
A: If you use the Direct out to connect the Profiler to the Eventide you will get back your sound and have no need to bypass anything on the Profiler.
From FW 1.5.0, the Profiler allows wet\dry\wet. This means that you can output three distinct signals: a couple carrying a stereo, effected information, and a mono dry signal. This function, largely used on stage and in studio, allows for example to record a stereo effected signal and an unprocessed mono signal for a later reamping or further processing. Or, to reinforce a stereo, heavily distorted and compressed signal with the clean guitar voice for more clarity and attach. Just press Master; on the first page change Monitor Out (or Direct Out) to Stack: that will be your dry signal. One thing I have dabbled with is to setup the S/PDIF to carry the DI signal and the rig signal up to stack (setting Git /stack). The main out is set to carry just the wet delay and reverb (setting surprisingly Delay / reverb wet). This way I can record the dry rig and the DI (in case I would like to reamp) via S/PDIF and still have the stereo delay and reverb monitored via the analog inputs of my audio interface while recording. You could of course record the delay and/or reverb on a separate stereo track so later on you could set the level of those in relation to the dry sound while mixing - this is pretty cool. I mainly use delays and reverbs on my DAW but this is fun as the delays and reverbs of Profiler sound really good.
The range of the Profiler tuner is OK with a 9-string (F# - A) guitar, I have no problem tuning it.
You can set it to mute (tuner settings). The little three LED tuner (just above chicken head knob...) is also usable.
Q: I'm always afraid to switch the knob accidentally one step too further and shut down the whole unit, eeeks! I hope the upcoming Profiler ground controller will come out soon and fix that problem. A: You can switch it via MIDI via any pedalboard, so you don't need to touch the chickenhead on stage :)
The LEDs on the tuner knob are actually a real time tuner, you don't need to go into the tuner menu.
How much memory ?
Unlike most devices in this category, that have a fixed number of banks and patches, the Profiler has a total shared memory design. This means that, as features increase, the memory footprint grows and the remaining amount of rig storage decreases. Still, the Profiler can handle by far more rigs than the other devices: it originally held over 2000 by some users testimonies, and with FW 1.6 some users still have 1300. A certain amount of free memory is needed for firmware upgrade operations. This means that, if you have currently loaded tons of rigs, the RAM could not be sufficient for upgrading; so backup, remove some rigs, upgrade, restore. Read the instructions coming with each FW release to check whether you’re over the advised limit. OTOH, after upgrading you can generally restore your rig set, unless the requested amount of memory exceeds what’s available.
Planned future features might increase the size of rig files. With less than 1000 rigs in Browse pool you are on the safe side and already prepared for the future. Be aware, that the boot time is also depending on the number of rigs in Browse Pool.
Since firmware 2.0 Performance Mode is available and offers additional space for up to 625 rigs (125 Performances 5 Slots each):
1000 rigs in Browse pool + 625 in Performance Mode = 1625 rigs overall.
Using Alternative Input (FW 1.6) for a Guitar
The new Alternative input is low-impedance and balanced. But it’s possible to connect a second guitar in it.
Q: I want to use my wireless system and want to know is it possible to use the rear input jack as a guitar input?
A': ckemper - The rear input has a bit higher noise level, this is why we don't provide this option.