This is a VERY common question I get, and from having used both the Kemper and the Axe Fx 2 for a long time, tried both live and dwelved deep within them, I can say this;
Both units are winners, they sound equally good, they are just a bit different when it comes to building patches and tweak-ability. While both have endless amounts of tweaking options, I would say the Axe Fx 2 is the winner when it comes to options. You have perfect control over the blocks, what comes where etc, while with the Kemper, it’s pretty much fixed. It’s not a bad thing the Kemper is designed this way, cause the Kemper wins in the field of being user friendly. It’s just a lot easier to tweak and also a lot easier to dial in a good sound fast. With the Axe Fx 2 you will need a lot more patience but when you get there, you’ll be pleased.
But other than that, I think both units sound about the same when recorded, the response when playing is good on both units. It’s hard to really find flaws but there are two good pros/cons that needs to be said:
– One is that the Kemper takes about 45 seconds to boot up, while the Axe Fx 2 boots up in about 5.
– The powered Kemper has its own poweramp but is still cheaper than the Axe Fx 2(The regular Kemper is about half the price of an Axe Fx 2 in Europe)
But in the end, my opinion is that I’m happy with both of them. Whatever you’ll get, you’re probably going to be happy.
It’s not me being neutral, it’s just the way it is. There is no Axe Fx vs. Kemper war. They are both killer competent units.