Marketed as “the arena-grade touring rig that fits in every guitar bag”, the Profiler Player is seriously small for its spec sheet, and weighs in at the size of “two standard distortion pedals”. It’s a significant experiment in streamlining from the German audio specialist, which up until this point has relied solely on its much larger Stage and Remote floor-based processors.
Don’t be fooled by the humble size though, because – to quote Kemper itself – the Profiler Player looks to be a bit of a beast, cramming in the full arsenal of Kemper amp tones. Yep, according to its maker, this pedalboard-friendly offering sounds identical to its larger siblings, and can deploy any Profile from Kemper’s catalog.
The Player also offers selected FX settings, IR loading and a suite of smart switching options, all included in a bid to make it “the most complete serving of professional amp tones and studio-grade FX per footprint”.
It looks to be a serious bit of kit, and is seemingly Kemper’s response to guitarists’ ever-growing need for the smallest, most conveniently sized all-in-one rig possible.
Indeed, this particular entry in the overall amp modeling arms race is an interesting, with Kemper fancying itself against the likes of the HX Stomp and (perhaps more appropriately) the AmpliTube TONEX Pedal.
However, for all the talk of it being a ready made arena-grade gigging rig with an abundance of innovative Kemper tones, we see a potential red flag that might put some players off: it doesn’t have a screen.
Now, there’s no denying that the size of the Profiler Player is a huge plus, especially for traveling musicians, but to navigate the plethora of Kemper amps and effects Profiles without the aid of a built-in screen (which the Stage and Remote both have) could potentially be a sticking point.
But, clearly, Kemper has prioritized size, and as such has ditched a screen in favor of three footswitches, a smattering of control knobs and a handful of multi-functional buttons. In practice, there is a universal three-band EQ, two configurable FX parameters, master Gain and Volume knobs, and a final Rig Volume control.
These are joined by the trio of freely definable footswitches, with the pedal also helpfully offering smooth delay and reverb spillover when switching between rig presets.
Notably, the presence of effects here – two pre-amp and two post-amp modules are available – seems to be a huge plus. After all, it's not often you see a studio-grade all-in-one rig this tiny support amp, cab and effects processing.
And there's a generous supply to choose from: the pedal offers a selection of 136 effects lifted from the Profiler FX arsenal.
As for making sense of all the paramter changes and preset sculpting, the Profiler Player is accompanied by a free comprehensive Rig Manager app, which allows for further rig customization and configuration.
Tone-wise, it also supports Kemper’s recently unveiled Liquid Profiles, which are said to “provide the best amp tones anytime and anywhere possible”. Of course, the Profiler Player is too small to Profile anything itself, but then again you wouldn’t expect something of this size to stretch to those capabilities.
In terms of connectivity, the Player Profiler has two USB ports for MIDI and using the pedal as an audio interface and for software updates, as well as a WLAN option that can also be used for Rig Manager connection.
The rear panel is completed with a jack for third party expression pedals, ground-lifted XLR for front of house, stereo monitor and stereo headphone outputs and two TS jacks for studio or Kemper Power Kabinet connections.
All things considered, the lack of a screen looks to be a fairly minor gripe for a pedal that otherwise promises to be a pretty darn powerful all-in-one rig, whose comprehensive catalog of available amps, effects and switching options looks to equal the usability and functionality of some of its nearest competitors.
That said, it is rather pricey – the Player Profiler is available now for $698 – so it remains to be seen whether the screen-less stompbox will tempt players in the face of more affordable alternatives.
Head over to Kemper to find out more.