Battle! Axe FX vs. Kemper

OK, we all all knew it was inevitable. Which one do you prefer and why?

  • Axe FX
  • Kemper

0 voters

So, I am going to respond to my own poll.

I am a huge Axe FX fan. I used to have the Axe FX II XL and then upgraded to the III when it came out. I love the tone, the flexibility, and I even threw in and got the FC12 pedalboard. It is a roadwarrior.

I am a big fan of Axe Edit, and while it took me a while to figure out how it worked, I managed to get the tone I wanted - a Nevermore style crunch (mixing a Plexi and Engl amps.)

Also, I love how often the firmware updates come out - their forum is a great community.


Hehe, we’re getting into gear wars, OK, I can play!

Next to me in my studio right now, I have a Kemper and an Fractal AX8, I use to have an AXE FX II as well. I’ve been using both but mostly the AX8 for playing live and the Kemper for recording although I am using the AX8 more and more in the studio as well.

Here’s the reason why, well, … the Kemper always sounds like a Kemper no matter which profile your using… I profiled my EVH 5150, Triaxis, Vai Legacy and other amps and the profiling is awesome but there’s always what I call Kemper grit in the background.
This is not a problem for Live in my opinion as the audience cannot hear that but it’s been disturbing me more and more in the studio…

The second reason is effects, the Kemper lags far behind in options and controls when it comes to pedals, delays, reverbs etc…

The 3d reason is UI, unless you have experience operating German tanks, the Kemper UI will make you pull your hear out :rofl:

OK, you disagree? Bring it on :wink:


Wow, @Giorgio, I always thought you were solidly on Team Kemper. I knew you would come to the dark side. :slight_smile:

This is interesting. I wonder if the same applies to the Axe - I haven’t noticed it myself, but has anyone else noticed the same issue?

Haha. Similar, one thing I suggested on the Fractal Audio forum was that they simplify their UI a little, but it got some pushback. I guess people really want to adjust their DC Sag on their patches. I do worry though that for many guitarists, that these uber-processors are just too complex to use. Fortunately, for the Axe, Cooper Carter’s course helped a lot.

1 Like

Neither! :slight_smile: I prefer the Positive Grid head over both of them. Here’s why… Not only can it profile a live amp, it can profile a recording of an amp. Using the software, Bias amp 2, you can create your own amps. You can adjust an unbelievable number of options… gain stages, tube types, power amp types, etc, and EQ it all out within the settings and save that tone that you created to the physical amp. To me this is great, not only can I download or clone a setting for essentially any amp, I can make my own amp and tone that is exactly what I want.
The downside to it is that you can tweak on settings endlessly :slight_smile:


Interesting. So, you can do this with an Axe FX III by feeding in an isolated guitar sound and it will tone-match it, but it doesn’t generate an internal amplifier for the tone. Are you saying that with the Positive Grid it will generate an internal amp model you can tweak?


Yes, sort of… Earlier versions you had to pick a stock amp that the tone you were matching is close to and it would tweak those settings… but now you don’t have to do that it just picks or creates an amp automatically and then you can further tweak the settings to get the match more precise or use it as a base amp to modify and do what you want with it.

1 Like

That is really neat.

I honestly haven’t played a lot with tone matching. I know @Giorgio did a whole bunch with his Kemper. I should experiment a bit more.

I spent months dialing in my current tone and I am now scared to adjust it. A sample from a new tune I am working on:

It is not perfect, but it will do. :slight_smile:


That’s a cool tone, it’s clean and cuts through the mix really well!

1 Like

That’s a great tone! Are the two guitars using the same patch? And what’s with the only 16 seconds ! :innocent:

1 Like

I have a poll for you guys, here’s a recording I did a few weeks back, is this a real 5150, Axe FX or Kemper??


To be honest, I don’t know. Anything would be a guess which just shows how far high end modeling has come. It’s very hard to tell, especially in a mix. I’m going to take a partial guess and say I don’t believe it’s a real 5150


Same patch. :slight_smile:

I haven’t released the songs yet, so when I finally finish the vox (post COVID-19) I will share them here. :slight_smile:


No kidding lol. thanks for the heads up. I feel the same way about trying to learn how to use the Cubase software that came with my Yamaha mixer. What a pain. :smile:

Wow sounds very nice! I need to work on my technical skills. Well for the most part I just like to play guitar and do live music when I go out to gig or open mic’s. Very nice tone though.

Wow I like that top version, it sounds more rich and punchy but kinda lacks the mid treble in my opinion. The bottom sounds like it has more mid treble and not very punchy. I would definitely tweak it out. everything sounds so compressed these days. That’s why I love my Marshall JVM tube amp.

1 Like

Hehe so this was a trick question, there are two guitar tracks panned left and right. The left one is a Kemper and the right one is an AX8. The kemper is a profile of my 5150 III tube amp and the Axe FX is the stock 5153 model. Both using the same mesa oversized rectifier 4x12 impulse. The bottom sample is guitar tracks only before EQ and compression/mix in the daw.


It is too expensive for me to try it (fractal or kemper) :frowning:
So i use a line 6 x3 pro. But it is for me a nice modelisation sound.

1 Like

Hi Arnaud, the line 6 x3 pro is great, I think a lot of metal albums have been recorded with it. I’d love to hear it again, could you upload a riff using a rectifier or 5150 model? It’d be cool to compare as I think the line 6 will do great,


Oh yes, with pleasure !!
When i have time i do it :sunglasses:

1 Like