The incredible advancement of the digital modeling amps over the last few years has brought in a great addition to the modern sound system requirements for the guitarists and bands regardless of the size of the venues of their performances, be it small, medium-sized or the bigger shows! The modern amps are now the new beginnings to the sound systems of the bands and even for solo guitarists.
Thanks to their amazing convictions, the modern amps can now match up with the sounds of real tube amps, cabinets, and their effects. Starting from offering versatility to offering better reliability, the modern amps have many reasons to offer for the guitarists who can now choose to abandon their traditional setups.
With many such modern amps in the market and more arriving in the upcoming future of the technical and digital world, it is perhaps a better time of comparing these digital beasts. As the article is entitled, we will be having an “analyzing look” at three of the main systems of the digital world as of today! More precisely, it is going to be a take of the modern amps – Helix Vs Kemper Vs Axe FX. Let the drum rolls begin!
Let’s begin with the former one of our take of these. Starting from the release of their cutting-edge POD in the 1990s to the high-end helix, the line6 happens to be the founding fathers of the digital amps.
The helix amp, packed with as much as a punch of the rack-mount versions, happens to come with an ergonomically-designed pedalboard which sort of meets up the dreams of gigging guitarists and bands!
Anyways, the features are what we need to take a close look at before having to judge our take of these modern amps.
- The Helix amp comes with a Dual DSP-powered engine.
- Consists of over 200 amp, mic, cabs, and effects models.
- Offers a 6.2” LCD and customizable LCD scribble strips.
- For editing purposes, the amp comes with 12 touch-sensitive switches.
- Comes with 10 inputs & 12 outputs which also includes 4 effects loops.
- It comes with a USB audio interface of 8-in/8-out.
- Comes with a Mic-level XLR input.
- Has got LED color rings (RGB).
- Happens to come with touch-sensitive and capacitive switches for parameter recalling.
- Has L6 link, AES/EBU, and S/PDIF digital outputs.
- Comes with a solid-grade aluminum construction and tour-grade footswitches.
- Has got preset and stomp-box modes & an integrated looper.
That’s it for the former one – the Helix! Onto the Kemper amp.
The Kemper profiler, as it is popularly called, comes handy as it allows you to create a profile of your amplifiers and further to store it into the memory. Thanks to its real gain and tone knobs ever ready to be plugged into a power amp, sound system, or even a recording system.
With the Kemper Profiler, one can be limited to genuine amps (that indeed exist) unlike the other modern amps with modeling patches and therefore giving him/her the most realistic imitation of the artists’ tonal characteristics and feel.
Not shying away from other features that are listed further, one of the impressive features of the Kemper profiler is that it has got a plethora of built-in effects to support. However, these aren’t the easiest of setups to control using the unit’s front panel. Nevertheless, the Kemper profiler comes with a dedicated Kemper Foot controller that will help you control the parameters at a moment’s notice!
Anyways, onto the features now.
- This lunchbox-sized guitar preamplifier comes with an exclusive feature that intends to help you create profiles of any other physical guitar amplifier.
- Includes around 200 profiles to start with.
- Can offer a way to easily profile one’s own amplifier(s).
- Comes with a built-in DI that can split its receiving signal to a direct output thereby ensuring a simultaneous recording of the dry guitar signal and the guitar amp profile.
- Has got automatic spillover.
- Has this feature of locking individual locking settings when changing presets.
- Has got effects loops that help in integrating hardware effects.
Next, onto the final contender of our take.
The Axe FX comes from the Fractals which happen to be the makers of the ‘pro-grade’ modeler. Specially designed for those touring musicians, the amp offers optimal tonal consistency and an excellent feature of record-ready tones.
Thanks to its amazing delays, reverbs, and modulation palettes the amp happens to be famously used in conjunction with other classical amps to offer that premium-sound effects.
- Has an easy-to-use front panel that helps in an easy controlling of the knobs & buttons.
- Has got quite a large backlit LCD.
- Comes with an all-powerful two-state-art of Analog devices &Tiger SHARC DSPs.
- Comes with over 180+ different amp models onboard.
- Has a high-resolution speaker simulator (with over 150+ “Factory models”!).
- Comes with a ‘Tone Matching’ feature that enables to clone it with other devices.
- Hosts an impressive USB connectivity that renders it to become a 2×4 audio interface with a 1×1 high-speed MIDI.
- Consists of the all-new Humbuster technology that helps in reducing the problems of ground loop noise.
That sums up the take of our popular modern top guitar amps. It is clear that each has got its specialization and tend to offer a lot. It so happens that the Axe FX amp just pips the other two down to look itself at the top spot. However, the other two are not far behind the Helix is meant for offering the best user experience and the Kemper happens to be the most loved amp!