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#2045304 - 02/19/09 02:13 PM Roland KC-550 question
Strategery Offline
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Ok guys...and gals...quick question.

When the Fantom G's came out..being a guitar player, I took advantage of the lower prices on the previous Fantom X6's and am presently going through my learning curve.

I went ahead and bought a Roland KC-550 and am very happy with it.
My question is this...

* I want that stereo sound and am thinking about picking up a 2nd KC-550 but do I need it or is it worth it?

* Or, should I keep the one 550 and get the Roland Sub?

* Or, should I just put my money in Expansion Cards?

Just curious and thanks for your input.

Randy
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#2045331 - 02/19/09 03:10 PM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: Strategery]
mate stubb Offline
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AIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE (sound of my head exploding) eek
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#2045334 - 02/19/09 03:19 PM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: Strategery]
NoahZark Offline
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Originally Posted By: Strategery
I went ahead and bought a Roland KC-550 and am very happy with it.


Wow! Now THAT'S not a quote you see every day (or every decade, for that matter) on this Forum!!


I bought a KC-550 a few years back and was never happy with it at all (which seems a far more common sentiment regarding that particular piece of kit). It was among the few pieces of gear that I bought that I truly felt was a mistake. The day I sold it was a good day! thu

Noah

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#2045335 - 02/19/09 03:21 PM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: mate stubb]
ITGITC? Offline
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Originally Posted By: mate_stubb
AIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE (sound of my head exploding) eek


wave

Ha.

Hey everybody c'm'ere... Moe's head's exploding! laugh
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#2045338 - 02/19/09 03:23 PM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: NoahZark]
NoahZark Offline
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P.S. My snarky comments aside, I have heard that the KCs sound better in true stereo, so you if you like your first KC-550, you might be very happy with a second one to provide true stereo. You could also probably get by with a KC-350 as the second amp if you wanted to save a few bucks and still achieve essentially the same result. I seem to recall someone here who played through that combo and liked it.

My advice, of course, would be to sell the KC-550 and buy yourself a better stereo amplification system (perhaps a Motion Sound KP-200s or KP-500S or, even better, a set of powered PA speakers).

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#2045390 - 02/19/09 05:49 PM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: NoahZark]
KeyMoe Offline
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I have used a KC300 for years and a KC550 for the past 2 years as a stage monitor. Now the 300 held up great, although the 550 blew a horn a month ago or so. I replaced it myself and it seems to be doing fine. Regarding the Roland subs, I also own a pair of them. If you can snag one cheap do it. I paid $199 each new a few years ago when GC was blowing them out. But they are not woth the $495 price tag.
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#2045411 - 02/19/09 06:53 PM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: Strategery]
raddtunes Offline
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Originally Posted By: Strategery
I want that stereo sound and am thinking about picking up a 2nd KC-550 but do I need it or is it worth it?


I share the others shock here a little bit, but I did have one really cool, enlightening experience with my KC-550 before I sold it, and the little KC-50 I used to own.

Basically, I ran my RD-700SX through them both in stereo, and really was blown away with the sound. Yes - this was not a "prime" stereo match, either in terms of speaker size, or even in speaker placement. Nonetheless, It was an amazazing sound - so much nicer in stereo.

So to answer your question - you might experiment with ANY second amp you can rent or borrow before plunking out the money for a second KC-550. Try your KC and an Eon, or whatever. It will at least give you an idea of whether it's worth it for you.

I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention that with both amps, I had to replace the tweeters twice - at about 50 bucks each tweeter. Good luck!

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#2045433 - 02/19/09 07:39 PM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: raddtunes]
Cliffk Offline
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I had a pair of these and, to be fair, they sounded really good, if a bit harsh in the highs, in stereo. However, the weight, footprint and those dodgy tweeters made me sell 'em pronto. I've never looked back since I got a pair of JBL G2 EON 15 powered speakers.
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#2045438 - 02/19/09 07:50 PM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: Cliffk]
Strategery Offline
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Hey, I'm a guitar player...what can I say? grin

Ok, I'm all ears for a different amp system.

OK, I've got a small PA system consisting of a Mackie 808S with 2 Peavey SP2's.
Is that what you're saying I should be running through?

Thanks guys...

Randy


Edited by Strategery (02/19/09 07:55 PM)
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#2045486 - 02/19/09 11:32 PM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: Strategery]
Cloud_9 Offline
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imma gonna get me a traynor.

seriously though, I would definetley recommend getting a second 550 before diving into a sub, simply because you will get a much richer and full stereo projection. I am confident saying that this stereo projection is much more important than extra bottom end.

Oh, if you plan on keeping that 550 or even buying a second one, I suggest you secure a pair of horns, THEY WILL FAIL.

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#2045504 - 02/20/09 05:01 AM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: Cloud_9]
Strategery Offline
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Man, I hate to hear this about the horns failing in the KC-550.
You'd think Roland would have already addressed this issue. frown

Randy
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#2045508 - 02/20/09 05:33 AM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: Strategery]
Strategery Offline
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Hmmm...not that you guys are fans, but here's a new product from Roland. grin
KC-880 Stereo.
5-channel 320-watt Keyboard Amplifier with 2 x 12" Woofers, 2 Horn Tweeters, Onboard DSP Effects, Stereo Link, and Optional Casters

$995

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/KC880/



Edited by Strategery (02/20/09 05:34 AM)
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#2045512 - 02/20/09 05:42 AM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: mate stubb]
Legatoboy Online   content
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Easy, take 2 aspirin, lie down and get some rest! Drink plenty of fluids too;)

Originally Posted By: mate_stubb
AIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE (sound of my head exploding) eek


Edited by Legatoboy (02/20/09 05:43 AM)
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#2045516 - 02/20/09 05:57 AM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: Legatoboy]
NoahZark Offline
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I'd be curious to give the new 880 a listen. For keyboards, I certainly like a dual 12" speaker setup more than a single 15". If I recall correctly, however, that thing is a monster weight-wise.

Noah

P.S. The horn blew out on my KC-550 when I had it, too. An easy enough replacement, but there's definitely a problem there.

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#2045518 - 02/20/09 06:13 AM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: NoahZark]
Outkaster Offline
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I never have seen so many people concerned about an amp. There are worse products out there for sure.
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#2045533 - 02/20/09 07:29 AM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: Cloud_9]
MikeT156 Offline
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Quote by Strategery:

"OK, I've got a small PA system consisting of a Mackie 808S with 2 Peavey SP2's. Is that what you're saying I should be running through?"

Absolutely. Motion Sound makes the only decent "keyboard" amp. All others are a bad joke. They may be OK for practicing in a bedroom where there isn't room for anything else, and the only alternative is to not practice at all.

For live gigs, I use a Yamaha P7000s power amp, a Peavey Stereo-dual 31 band EQ, and a set of Peavey SP2's. The reason I use Peavey is because you get a lot of bang for the buck, and they're fine for bar gigs. Now, a set of EAW speakers, or other top of the line speakers would give you a cleaner sound, but who wants to risk bringing high-end gear to bar gigs? Anywhere they serve alcohol is a good place to use less expensive gear and carry a baseball bat for the idiots that need a crack in the skull to keep them away for your gear!

You will get MUCH better fidelity from a small PA than any keyboard amp on the market. Just stay away from bottom feeder equipment (like Behringer) and you will notice a big improvement in the sound. Many keyboards use stereo samples and you will notice it at the get go when you plug into a stereo PA.

Edit: FORGET Keyboard amps, they're no good for keyboards! deadhorse

Mike T.
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#2045549 - 02/20/09 08:15 AM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: MikeT156]
tucktronix Offline
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Originally Posted By: MikeT156

Absolutely. Motion Sound makes the only decent "keyboard" amp. All others are a bad joke. They may be OK for practicing in a bedroom where there isn't room for anything else, and the only alternative is to not practice at all.


That sounds a bit subjective, don't you think? From what I've heard, the KP200S doesn't cut very well in the mix, and that the Traynor K4 is an overall better sounding amp. Like anything else, all a matter of opinion.
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#2045551 - 02/20/09 08:17 AM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: Strategery]
Cliffk Offline
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Registered: 03/22/05
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Originally Posted By: Strategery
Hmmm...not that you guys are fans, but here's a new product from Roland. grin
KC-880 Stereo.
5-channel 320-watt Keyboard Amplifier with 2 x 12" Woofers, 2 Horn Tweeters, Onboard DSP Effects, Stereo Link, and Optional Casters

$995

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/KC880/



For moi, the thing about using stereo live is that its effect is audible. I'm talking about panning and delays etc. - I want to feel and hear that sound moving around me. It's this which makes it worthwhile for me, otherwise I'd go mono. So, personally speaking, this amp wouldn't do the job I wanted.
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#2045553 - 02/20/09 08:26 AM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: Cliffk]
MikeT156 Offline
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Quote by Tucktronic:

"That sounds a bit subjective, don't you think? From what I've heard, the KP200S doesn't cut very well in the mix, and that the Traynor K4 is an overall better sounding amp. Like anything else, all a matter of opinion."

Motion Sound builds quality equipment, but the entire design of a STEREO amp in one box is bogus. I don't know how the KP200S cuts in a mix. My point is, KB amps suck. Stereo anything needs to have separation, and not a 4" separation.

Mike T.
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#2045600 - 02/20/09 10:26 AM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: MikeT156]
kanker. Offline
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I dig the port in the middle on the Roland. If there weren't phase issues to begin with, there certainly will be from the sound coming out of that port....
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#2045613 - 02/20/09 10:38 AM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: Outkaster]
Bobadohshe Offline
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Originally Posted By: Outkaster
I never have seen so many people concerned about an amp. There are worse products out there for sure.


I agree. I have been using my Accugrooves for about 2 years now, and as amazing as that setup is, there are times when I'll just bring my old KC-350 to a rehearsal because of the schlep/setup factor. I'm actually pretty happy with the KC series for what they are. For straight exposed piano it is certainly not that great, but other stuff where you just need volume and to be heard isn't a problem - they do the job nicely.
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#2045630 - 02/20/09 11:19 AM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: Bobadohshe]
Outkaster Offline
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People have to understand some people have large rigs. I for one carry minimum 3 keyboards for a Reggae gig maybe 4 if I am the only one playing. Then you have stands, amps, cabling, stools, pedals, DI boxes. I am not bitching because I know it is part of the game but to have a stereo set up on top of that means more gear. If you gig almost a 100 times a year you have to think of what works best.
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#2045635 - 02/20/09 11:28 AM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: Bobadohshe]
Legatoboy Online   content
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Bobadohshe,

I lika that!

I have a KC-350 that I keep around for similar purposes. I think between the 2 amps having just sold a 550, the 350 is probably the more balanced of the 2 amps. I think the 15" in the 550 really throws whatever midrange EQ aprox. Roland was shooting for with the larger amp.. It's hard to EQ the 550 with the inboard and/or an additional outboard EQ for piano I found.

I must admit I did like the 550 as a low-end for my MS Pro-T. It made a nice solid base for it to sit on also. Just sounded good with it. For piano, dependent on the room it was hit and miss like any rig in regards to DP with the room ambiance but the midrange EQ issue was the 'folder' for me with the 550 and my piano. That and the harshness of the horn driving it hard against the 15" to try and get some midrange tone out of it.

Many players and venues have/use them(550). They are IMO usable as you said. I needed more consistent performance though, I hate playing a gig and being bummed about my sound from the 1st set to the last.

If I just needed a low-end amp with the pro-T and just playing organ, I would have kept it I think. It is an all wood cab.

I can just hear Matt_Stubb's head gasket valve steaming!

Originally Posted By: Bobadohshe
Originally Posted By: Outkaster
I never have seen so many people concerned about an amp. There are worse products out there for sure.


I agree. I have been using my Accugrooves for about 2 years now, and as amazing as that setup is, there are times when I'll just bring my old KC-350 to a rehearsal because of the schlep/setup factor. I'm actually pretty happy with the KC series for what they are. For straight exposed piano it is certainly not that great, but other stuff where you just need volume and to be heard isn't a problem - they do the job nicely.


Edited by Legatoboy (02/20/09 09:02 PM)
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#2045652 - 02/20/09 12:03 PM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: Cloud_9]
B3bluesman59 Offline
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CliffK said: I've never looked back since I got a pair of JBL G2 EON 15 powered speakers.
________________________________________________________________
Same for me.....using a Yamaha P80 with two of the EON G2 15s in stereo and love the sound.

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#2045665 - 02/20/09 12:24 PM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: B3bluesman59]
MikeT156 Offline
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Bubadohshe, Outkaster:

Yeah guys, I get what you’re saying. Bubadohshe, I can understand using that KB amp as a practice amp, I mentioned using a KB amp in a bedroom for practice, if there is no room. So sure, it can fill in. Outkaster, What you said about carrying 3 or 4 KB’s, stands, cases, etc, and then plugging into a KB amp because you have so much equipment reminds me of a friend of mine that bought a new car for $30,000. I told him he should run synthetic oil in it instead of petroleum, if he wants it to outlast the payments. Then he complained that the synthetic oil was “expensive”. So what is he doing? Putting $1.30 a quart oil in a 30k car. Duh.

I carry two KB’s to gigs, an ES8 and an ION. I carry my own small PA, a set of Peavey SP2’s, a rack case with P7000s amp, stereo EQ, Power Conditioner, and rack FX. I also carry a stereo mixer. Everything has flight cases. I carry all my own gear. Now, my small PA also carries my vocals, harmonizer, and keys. So I have a dual purpose, it’s not just for keys. But I won’t take a gig that doesn’t pay me enough to carry all that stuff. It won’t sound anywhere near as good with a KB amp and someone else’s PA. I had a club owner try to convince me to use his in-house PA, which is a piece of crap “so I wouldn’t have to carry so much equipment”. In reality, it was because he didn’t want to PAY me what I was asking. So I didn’t take the gig. Sure, there are compromises that have to be made, but if you’re going to bring 3 or 4 keyboards to cover all your sounds, running it through a KB amp is kinda like putting perfume on a pig, don’t ya think?

Mike T.
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#2045675 - 02/20/09 12:40 PM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: MikeT156]
Outkaster Offline
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So what do you suggest? Really I want to know. I have heard of the JBL IONS and almost got one from someone but he backed out and wanted to keep it.
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#2045682 - 02/20/09 12:58 PM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: Outkaster]
MikeT156 Offline
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If you use a car or a station wagon, you can't carry around a big set of PA speakers. Possibly a set of JBL EONS, the previous model. I understand the latest model isn't so great. There are so many good stereo speakers around (Accugroove anyone?) that I don't think you have to go to extremes or break your back to get a great sound.

Mike T.
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#2045694 - 02/20/09 01:16 PM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: Outkaster]
MoodyBluesKeys Offline
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I wanted easy to move (I'm 67), cost-effective, and scalable.

I'm using a PC3X and K2661 into a small mixer. Have a pair of EON 15G2's and a pair of EON 10G2's.

Smallest setup: K2661 direct into one EON 10.

Next setup: K2661 or PC3X into mixer into both EON 10s.
I can load in all of this on one trip on my RockNRoller cart.
(if playing much LH bass on particular gig change to EON 15s)

Next larger setup: both keyboards into mixer - pair of EON 10's as monitors, pair of EON 15's for FOH sound.

Larger than that: use the mixer to feed house system for FOH, use a pair of EONs for my monitoring.

When not in use slsewhere, I use a pair of the EONs for monitors in my shop/studio - not ideal, but close enough. I also have a couple of Trace Elliot bass heads and several bass cabinets - but lightweight and easy to move they are NOT. I can get some really good bass from them.
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#2045703 - 02/20/09 01:42 PM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: MoodyBluesKeys]
MikeT156 Offline
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My application is a bit different those most of you because I use my system for vocals and have a harmonizer as well as my OMB sound. My little PA has to carry bass, drums, keys, guitar, strings, horns, the whole shootin' match. The key is I don't play terribly loud and I don't have to compete with anyone for volume. So the SP2's work well, especially considering what I paid for them. I also have a set of JBL hardwood cabinets and another amp/eq at home. The JBL's are nut crushers, especially at my age. I don't want to move them anymore.

I bought a set of Peavey SP2's a few years ago because I like the way wooden cabinets sound. They weigh 71 lbs each, I can roll the pair in on a convertible hand truck, and I stack a number of things on top of them to consolidate trips. I can usually manage everything in two trips. Maybe some odds and ends on a third trip. At age 61, moving equipment is a pain, but then I don't do 100 gigs a year. So I don't mean to offend anyone that gets tired of schlepin gear all the time, I completely understand.

Mike T.
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#2045769 - 02/20/09 05:17 PM Re: Roland KC-550 question [Re: MikeT156]
Strategery Offline
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Spoken like Karl from SlingBlade. grin

Interesting "Keyboard Gear" conservation here..."Uhmm-Hmmm".
I say that because being a life long guitar player...and having these same conversations about "Guitar Gear", I can understand what you're saying...even if all this gear is new to me. grin

I thank you for taking your time to educate me with your concerns and telling me which gear delivers the best performance for "YOU". smile

So if I'm understanding properly, I would do better with an active set of JBL's or Mackies...right?

I'm also like the guy above said.
Over the years as I've aged and play a little less, I've downsized my PA 4 times...all the way down to 2 SP2's with a Mackie 808S.
Why?
Hell...too much to tote around. grin

So to narrow it down a little further...I'm driving a 2004 Mazda 3 hatchback...and I'm trying to fit all my gear in there. grin
Now....this may not be possible...even with all the seats folded down. grin
But, there you go.
I can fit my present PA in there now...but it's a tight fit.
I don't know what I'd do if I had to carry 2 active JBL's + my PA. grin

Ok...I'm listening. smile

Randy


Edited by Strategery (02/20/09 06:09 PM)
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