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#2870131 - 08/01/17 12:56 AM an amp, my kingdom for an amp
zephonic Offline
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So here's my journey with amps over the last five years:

- Behringer 208D, the first, the cheapest, and with the benefit of hindsight also the best. Problem is, it only has one input, so you need a mixer. If they made these with two line ins, I'd buy another one right now. I blew mine about two months ago, five minutes before the gig. That was not a good night. I want to have it fixed, but cost would probably exceed its retail value.

- EV ZLX12P, very popular around here. I never got on with it. Hated the way it made my Nord sound, but it was pretty okay for everything else. Sold it last year.

- JBL EON 610 sounded fine, but it didn't go loud enough. And I don't like the fact that the DSP EQ curves can't be bypassed (although I guess that applies to all of them). Oh, and the iPad connectivity is a hoax. Returned it after two or three gigs.

- Turbosound Milan M10. I hoped it would be like a better B208D. It wasn't. The first unit I got had a weird LF warble so I exchanged it, only for the second unit to have the same issue. Returned it.

- Presonus AIR 12. It is like a better ZLX, but $200 better? I don't know, and it doesn't go loud enough for certain situations.


I have just reached out to Sweetwater hoping they'll let me return the AIR12 and give me store credit. Lesson learned, throwing more money at the problem isn't necessarily the solution, and buying speakers online is not the best way to do this.


Honestly, I'm not kidding about the Behringer. To me, it sounds better than all the others, at half the price, and oddly it goes louder than most as well. Proof positive that the advertised power ratings are meaningless.
Point is, I'd prefer not to bring a mixer; I schlep enough as it is, so I'd really rather have something that can accommodate two or even three inputs.


Right now I wonder if the EV ELX112P is a suitable step up? I'm also looking at Schertler acoustic amps. I like that those are class A and free of DSP, something I haven't yet tried. I'd prefer not to spend more than $600 on an amp, as I don't need one all that often. But if it is the right one, I may go a little higher. I'm open to suggestions.

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#2870135 - 08/01/17 03:57 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: zephonic]
Markay Offline
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You like pa's voiced different to me. If the ZLX is not for you then try the QSC 8.2 or 10.2.
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#2870141 - 08/01/17 04:38 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: Markay]
DanL Offline
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I have the ELX112P and really like them. Definitely better sounding than the ZLX which a friend of mine had and I used it at rehearsal one night.

I had the EON 610 and felt the same - they didn't go loud enough. I did find the DSP easy to work with and the bluetooth app worked fine on my Android phone.
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#2870142 - 08/01/17 04:44 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: Markay]
I-missRichardTee Offline
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Problem with my, purchased new, QSC 10's, they have to be aimed at your head.
Last week I was shocked at the profound difference in volume ( obviously the dispersion is the issue... but goodness gracious .. that much of a difference.. oy ) with the QSC right next to me, on the floor, but NOT aimed up at my head, versus when I aimed it upward while still on the floor. The difference in volume is a huge- gigantic- colossal- stupid difference. You tech minded heads will get all defensive and justify this... but my old trusty EON 15 - generation 2.. makes that ( angle dispersion ) difference as well, BUT i can still HEAR the darned thing when it is not aimed AT my head.
The difference with the QSC 10 is such, that ( I use two speakers, sometimes of different brands ) I have to put my head next to the darned QSC to see if it is turned ON!

I do not care what the REASONS are... this is too much of a difference.. a mere few inches in direction ought not make sound disappear. The next gig I put qsc on a stand by my head, but it was aimed straight ahead, and not directly at my head.. it was plenty loud then.

But with EON, G2 which has never gotten enough love around most parts... I do not have this issue at all. I can hear it on the floor, whether aimed at me or not. And slight degrees of change in angle help others to hear it better, but I still hear it!!

If JBL would wake up... they ought to reissue them.

I have a similar model EV 15 you mentioned - it is ok, but EON seems stronger to me.

My friend has a super heavy Behringer with mixer in it.. that thing is over 50 lbs, sounds decently.

I do not know an answer that equals the EON 15 G2

In meantime QSC K series need to be on stands. Stands help in general even my favorite ( not perfect - I know about the hiss etc ) EON 15 sounded better on a stand high in the air. I did a gig with a single EON 15 on a high stand.. Left hand bass, piano, strings ... and a loud vocalist. I was pleasantly surprised the single speaker on a stand filled the goal of full sound.

QSC k10 has to be on a stand.




Edited by I-missRichardTee (08/01/17 04:58 AM)
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#2870149 - 08/01/17 05:55 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: I-missRichardTee]
cphollis Offline
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Zephonic, maybe say more about your needs -- what instruments, what sort of music, what sort of gigs and so on.

My personal holy grail has been to get great-sounding APs in my mid-sized bar gigs and outdoor festivals. I got there, but it took more than $600.
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#2870151 - 08/01/17 06:03 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: cphollis]
SkiGuy777 Offline
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Registered: 02/19/17
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Agree about aiming the speaker at your head. I have a 1st gen JBL EON I use, can always hear it, can easily turn it up or down (reaching the volume knob without having to see it).

Some monitor speakers point up, but they're laying sideways on the floor. The JBL EON tips straight back, the horn is at the hop.


Edited by SkiGuy777 (08/01/17 06:05 AM)
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#2870155 - 08/01/17 06:20 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: SkiGuy777]
Jazzooo Offline
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Have you considered the Spacestation SS3? One of the most attractive aspects to me is that everyone onstage can usually hear me fine without it going into the monitor system.

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#2870164 - 08/01/17 06:46 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: SkiGuy777]
I-missRichardTee Offline
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Originally Posted By: SkiGuy777
Agree about aiming the speaker at your head. I have a 1st gen JBL EON I use, can always hear it, can easily turn it up or down (reaching the volume knob without having to see it).

Some monitor speakers point up, but they're laying sideways on the floor. The JBL EON tips straight back, the horn is at the hop.


Interesting... because I do not lean the Eon 15.. just plant it standing up..
I have seldom put it on a stand... but I will never forget the time I did with the aforementioned vocalist. usually I do not like to share my amp with a singer, but the JBL on a stand just sounded right even with a singer!
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#2870165 - 08/01/17 06:52 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: I-missRichardTee]
Dave Bryce Administrator Offline
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Besides those already mentioned, another worthy candidate is the Line 6 L2t. I really like mine a lot. thu

dB
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#2870166 - 08/01/17 06:55 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: Jazzooo]
Rusty Mike Offline
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I only have experience with the QSC K10 and K8, and have come to 2 conclusions:

1. They do sound better on stands, particularly for AP reproduction (I use those short Yorkville stands)
2. They sound better from 5 feet away than from 6 inches away

There is something about the way they project; they fill a room. I've had other people play my piano as a I walked around the room. It's amazing to me how consistent the volume is across several distances. But, I had one next to my ear one night, and had an awful time hearing it - they are simply not designed to be spot monitors, but rather to project out.

We just ran an experiment with the fusion band. We ran keys, sax and drum overheads through the K8's as mains, with K10's as floor monitors. One K10 supported the sax and guitar players, while the other fed back to bass and drums. We set the K8's back a bit, about midway downstage. We have no vocalists, and the sax player's mic is on pretty low gain since it's mostly for effects and ambience, so feedback is not a problem. Bass, guitar and bass drum do not use the PA, although we're thinking about running a bass drum mic into an old JBL EON 15 for presence.

I use a Mackie SRM150 mounted to my keyboard stand as my personal monitor; it's only keys running through it and nothing else. We set an overall level for the room, and I adjust the SRM to my needs afterward. Everyone is happy.

As a keyboard amp, I'm happy with the K8, and happier when I use 2 of them. I just bought a second one as the dealers were closing them out due to the K.2 series.

I have used the K's as stage monitors when we use a FOH system. As I said above, the trick is to put them on a stand and set them back a bit. I usually give FOH a feed right out of the back of the speaker; no DI required. I usually give them one of the channels and not the sum, so my stage volume setting has no impact on the feed to them.

And a shout out to Connie's Covers. Connie is an eBay dealer who makes custom fit covers out of moving blanket material. I like the slip on covers better than the expensive QSC carry bags. Affordable and protective, and she's a very nice lady. I have no affiliation with her, other than being a satisfied customer.
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#2870167 - 08/01/17 07:06 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: Rusty Mike]
cphollis Offline
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"I like my Jeep". "I like my sports car". "I like my minivan". "You should check out my SUV". And so on.

All useful information about how people feel about their transportation, but hard to evaluate without context, yes?

What kind of music are you playing, what instruments, what sort of venues, what are you trying to achieve, etc. I do my best to provide complete context before handing out amplification advice.

Maybe my advice is bad (or good) but at least the reader can evaluate what I'm trying to achieve, and compare that with their own situation.

Cheers!
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#2870176 - 08/01/17 07:57 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: cphollis]
Markay Offline
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Well the OP did list what he has owned and what he did, or didn't like about them, specifically mentioned AP, with a target price of $600 or less.

In that price range if it satisfies him for AP I think it will do pretty well with everything else.

I "like" my ZLX's but the OP doesn't hence the suggestion of the QSC's which in IMNSHO have different tonal balance to the ZLX.

Until the OP gets back I guess it is on topic to suggest a powered speaker that people like for AP.
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#2870184 - 08/01/17 08:24 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: Markay]
The Real MC Offline
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I've been happy with the series II Bose 802 and (mandatory!) 802C processor I bought back in 1990. Have yet to hear a keyboard monitor that sounds as good as these.

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#2870185 - 08/01/17 08:26 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: Markay]
I-missRichardTee Offline
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cphollis
I have played tens of thousands of gigs on the Eon, in many different situations
I do not wish to create an argument, but rather discuss what kinds of context you are suggesting; given what Markay already noted.
I do not quite get this distinction you are making.
Just to play devil's advocate, in the interest of learning for all:
Don't we want our AP's to sound in such a manner as they facilitate whatever piano music we might be playing, whether in a loud cover band, or a trio, or solo?

Can you provide 3 contexts that boil down to three different models for amplification?
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#2870186 - 08/01/17 08:30 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: I-missRichardTee]
I-missRichardTee Offline
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Let me go even further with this..

OP said he hated how a amp made his nord sound. This brings to my mind a cool opportunity to share opinions about matching an instrument with an amp. speaker choice

For instance

B3 clones what sucks, what is ok, what kills?

Rhodes?

AP sounds

Strings?

Vocals?

Drum?

Other?


Edited by I-missRichardTee (08/01/17 08:31 AM)
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#2870197 - 08/01/17 09:25 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: zephonic]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: zephonic
Behringer 208D, the first, the cheapest, and with the benefit of hindsight also the best. ...
Honestly, I'm not kidding about the Behringer. To me, it sounds better than all the others, at half the price, and oddly it goes louder than most as well. Proof positive that the advertised power ratings are meaningless.
Point is, I'd prefer not to bring a mixer; I schlep enough as it is, so I'd really rather have something that can accommodate two or even three inputs.

I agree that the B208D is surprisingly decent for what it is. However, the EV ZXa1 sounds better (esp. for piano), gives you more volume and bass, has two inputs, and doesn't weigh terribly more (19 lbs vs 15 lbs). Up from there is the QSC K8.2 (NOT the original K8, IMO).
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#2870212 - 08/01/17 10:20 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: AnotherScott]
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Side note on the K series - different models have different dispersions.

K8 - 105 (conical)
K10 - 90 (conical)
K12 - 75 (conical)

By comparison, the Eon 610 is 110 x 60.

As others have mentioned, the further you are away from the K series the more even and dispersed the sound - this would apply more to the K10 than the K8. Add to that, the fact that the angle of the K10 is such that, when standing, it needs to be about 6 feet away to be pointing at you head and not your knees.

I agree with DB that the Line6 speakers sound nice, though I haven't gigged with them, only rehearse.

Surprised nobody has chimed in with the Yamaha DXR's.


Edit: Looking over the specs of some of the models listed by the OP. The Behringer lists a max SPL of 113dB which is quite a bit lower than any of the others. The JBL Eon 610 that didn't go loud enough lists a max SPL of 124dB. While specifications can be manipulated to some degree, that is a large enough difference that I have a hard time believing the Behringer goes louder than the JBL. Perhaps the JBL needed more gain at the input?


Edited by J. Dan (08/01/17 10:25 AM)
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#2870213 - 08/01/17 10:22 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: AnotherScott]
jamienewman Offline
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Maybe somewhat OT: There's a bunch of boutique companies that makes amplifiers for bass players that are incredibly light, incredibly powerful, and have an array of tone control options that can then be paired with a passive cabinet or two of the player's choice. Why isn't there at least boutique manufacturer making a lightweight, powerful, stereo amp with tone controls designed specifically for keyboard players that could be used with a pair of passive speakers?

This isn't merely a rhetorical question. Is there a good reason why such an amp doesn't exist?

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#2870215 - 08/01/17 10:31 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: jamienewman]
p19978 Offline
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I used a JBL Eon G2 for years: loved it!

However, I recently traded it for a Yamaha DBR10. Love the sound, and it weighs about half of the JBL, while still providing the db's needed to play in a loud rock band.

They're $299 at Sam Ash in Cincinnati.

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#2870221 - 08/01/17 10:53 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: Rusty Mike]
miden Offline
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Also, I ahve been impressed with the JBL EON 1. I have a pair and I can say the Pianoteq, EP4 and Sampletank libraries sound really sweet. As well as vocals. I too have tried all those you mentioned and found all to be a little "lacking", for me.
The EON1's are also pretty well priced.
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#2870232 - 08/01/17 11:23 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: Dave Bryce]
Six-string-man Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dave Bryce
Besides those already mentioned, another worthy candidate is the Line 6 L2t. I really like mine a lot. thu

dB




I PM'd DB three years ago, for advice on amplification for my Crumar Mojo. He recommended the L2T, and I bought one. It is far and away the most amazing speaker I have ever heard. I will never get rid of it.


SSM
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#2870237 - 08/01/17 11:27 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: Six-string-man]
RABid Offline
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EV's tend to be bright.
Nord's tend to be harsh.
Not a good combination. It can be fixed with a decent EQ.
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#2870242 - 08/01/17 11:35 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: miden]
rockinroller Offline
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I bought a Yamaha DXR12 a few months ago after experimenting with just about every powered speaker and combo amp made since the 1970s. I have to say that IMO it's the best all-around self contained output for my keys (two Kurz's, one primarily for AP's and other synth sounds plus LH bass, and the other my dedicated Hammond clone) that I've used.
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#2870244 - 08/01/17 11:39 AM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: jamienewman]
JazzPiano88 Offline
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Originally Posted By: jamienewman
Maybe somewhat OT: There's a bunch of boutique companies that makes amplifiers for bass players that are incredibly light, incredibly powerful, and have an array of tone control options that can then be paired with a passive cabinet or two of the player's choice. Why isn't there at least boutique manufacturer making a lightweight, powerful, stereo amp with tone controls designed specifically for keyboard players that could be used with a pair of passive speakers?

This isn't merely a rhetorical question. Is there a good reason why such an amp doesn't exist?

I don't think there is much of a market for this. People headed this route of stereo passive speakers encompass such a wide range of requirements that the device you describe wouldn't have much of a market. People usually use a vanilla stereo PA (these can be lightweight) passive full range cabinets and a mixer to provide tonal adjustments and incorporate effects with enough channels to allow N stereo keyboards. I used this back in the 90s before the powered PA speaker became popular.

The closest thing to what you suggest would be one of those stereo powered mixer cinder blocks covered in felt for an all-in-one PA.
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#2870250 - 08/01/17 12:06 PM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: JazzPiano88]
timwat Offline
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Perhaps an area of exploration is the seemingly recent proliferation of FRFR (Full Range, Flat Response) powered cabinets designed to mate with those new modeling guitar amps.

I remember hearing the Atomic CLR was a good match for keyboard players (I've never tried one though), because what a guitar modeling amp needs is a flat reproduction of all the digital magic the amp is supposed to be performing.
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#2870251 - 08/01/17 12:08 PM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: JazzPiano88]
tfort Offline
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Zephonic - have you tried the SpaceStation? They are appearing used on the classifieds here for less than $600, and are frequently considered to be good amplification for the money. I'm leaning toward getting one fairly soon, even though it'd be mostly used for AP rather than sounds with more stereo effect.


Edited by tfort (08/01/17 01:50 PM)
Edit Reason: typo - wrote EP, meant AP.

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#2870253 - 08/01/17 12:11 PM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: tfort]
DanL Offline
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Originally Posted By: tfort
Zephonic - have you tried the SpaceStation? They are appearing used on the classifieds here for less than $600, and are frequently considered to be good amplification for the money. I'm leaning toward getting one fairly soon, even though it'd be mostly used for EP rather than sounds with more stereo effect.


You almost have to have a stereo signal for the SS3. Otherwise all you get is the front speaker sounding.
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#2870255 - 08/01/17 12:15 PM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: JazzPiano88]
WesG Offline
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If you really liked the Behringer that much - why not add a second input?

You could eliminate the mic input and drop another TRS jack in its place. Merge the grounds and run the signal through decoupling caps and mixing resistors. Then you just use the knobs on your boards to control their relative levels.

FWIW, I am extremely pleased with my Yorkville NX55Ps in every regard except weight. Where they are still pretty good for what they are. And they are *durable*.

Wes
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#2870259 - 08/01/17 12:24 PM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: DanL]
tfort Offline
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Originally Posted By: DanL

You almost have to have a stereo signal for the SS3. Otherwise all you get is the front speaker sounding.


Agreed. I need to hear how well the SS Lite does for AP with some stereo effects added to get the benefit of the M/S technology; that's why I haven't bought one already.

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#2870263 - 08/01/17 12:40 PM Re: an amp, my kingdom for an amp [Re: JazzPiano88]
zephonic Offline
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Thanks all for chiming in.

I guess I wasn't all that clear about my needs and how I use it, so here goes:

99% of the time I use it in wedge position, connecting two keyboards directly to the inputs (dual mono), and take the line out (XLR) to the FOH. I use the NordPiano on the bottom, with either a Korg Krome 73 on top, or my laptop running GigPerformer/Omnisphere/Kontakt/Expand!2/Talkbox with a Roland Jupiter 50 as controller/audio interface.


The Presonus sounds good, but it has a narrow sweet spot. On bigger stages, this is not a problem as I can position it accordingly, but on smaller stages I have to put it closer than ideal, which makes it hard to hear. Also, it doesn't like to be pushed much. What I have noticed with this speaker and the EV ZLX is that they are generally happier when driven from a mixer.

The Behringer B208D is pretty indifferent to what feeds it; a true omnivore, and it really cuts through.

I used to own a pair of EON15G2's back in Kenya, loved those. But I always used a mixer then. Now I just want to plug in directly to the amp.

The Spacestation seems cool, but only has a single stereo input. If it had two stereo inputs and direct outs, I'd definitely want to check it out.


I wonder if I should just try something completely different, like the Schertler amps I mentioned? There is a used one for sale on Reverb: https://reverb.com/item/5836069-sr-techn...D_BwE&pla=1

Anybody used those?


I'm gonna see if I can find a Line 6 L2t in one of our local music stores. And maybe the DXR as well.


edit:

Originally Posted By: AnotherScott

I agree that the B208D is surprisingly decent for what it is. However, the EV ZXa1 sounds better (esp. for piano), gives you more volume and bass, has two inputs, and doesn't weigh terribly more (19 lbs vs 15 lbs). Up from there is the QSC K8.2 (NOT the original K8, IMO).


It has two inputs, but one is a mic input. Only one line input. I did like how it sounded back then, but the input thing is why I went with the ZLX.


Edited by zephonic (08/01/17 12:55 PM)
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