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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
cassdad #3044504 05/18/20 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by cassdad
Can you please advise what are / where did you get those short stands you are using to slightly raise your QSCs? They look perfect.... I think they would eliminate the floor "boominess" that can happen, just slightly raise the speakers for better close-up sound, yet avoids the need for stands!

Folding footstool (Amazon)

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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Stokely #3044506 05/18/20 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Stokely
As far as I'm concerned, they both are obsolete due to in-ears and easy-to-control monitor mixes .

That works for pop or rock 'organized / rehearsed band' contexts - although I know many people that prefer speakers and feel the in ears are a disconnect from live sound- but definitely not for Jazz. smile

Also on freelance/ pickup gigs where you might not have ever have met some of the other musicians and you just show up and play - read charts or call tunes- I've never heard of in ears being used in those contexts. Unless of course it was a high profile awards show type gig.

Last edited by Dave Ferris; 05/18/20 06:32 PM. Reason: added thoughts
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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Al Quinn #3044511 05/18/20 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Al Quinn
I recently bought the first keyboard I’ve ever liked. It’s a Motion Sound 610. It sounds very good, weight is reasonable, cost is good. I find it more convenient to just place a keyboard amp where I want it and play. I also have a pair of TT08A powered speakers. They sound wonderful, are light, but expensive. On gigs, placement is the issue. And, there’s a bit more involved with the schlep and setup/breakdown.

I posted a short comparison on YouTube for anyone who’s interested.


FWIW, the MS amp sounded warmer to me, I preferred the sound.

I had the KP 500s for a short time. A bit heavy and not what I needed at the time, but you make a good point about it being easy to setup and takes relatively little space.

It's interesting that you can still buy the KP 500s for the same price as the 610, $1,399! Yikes. To buy it again, I'd definitely want to shave down the weight from 48 pounds to 43, and I like the idea of 10" woofers instead of 12" and the bump of RMS power from 500 to 650.

So, given a choice in your home setup, would you rather play keys thru the MS or the TTs?


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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
MoodyBluesKeys #3044519 05/18/20 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by MoodyBluesKeys
I've only had one "keyboard amp" way back in the 80's, don't even remember the brand, not one that exists today. Never wanted another. My first GOOD amp was a Fender Bassman 135, with a 2x15" JBL Fender cab. Sounded great on both my RD Artist bass and my Prophet 600 at the time. Sadly, I did sell the amp/speaker cab. Only kept a 1x15" solid state MusicMan bass amp that was smaller, and didn't sound as good. When I returned to music in 2004, still had the RD Artist and the MusicMan.
Then I got a Kurzweil K2000VP, and picked up 2x15 Fender cab (not the JBL, the thin one) along with a British Trace Elliot amp, which was power FETs and sounded like a tube amp. Still have the head, but use now with a Trace 1x15 and 2x10+horn cabs; but it is way to heavy at my age to carry around. Does sound great on bass or synth bass.
For the general keyboard sound, I got my first Powered PA pair, couple of "DJ" low priced. Would have been OK for vocals, but had a pronounced peak about an octave and half below middle C, right where bass playing went. First quality PA was pair of JBL EON10G2 and pair of EON15G2, still in use (10's on wife's PC2X, and 15's as my monitors at church. Wanted something easier to carry, got a pair of EV SXA-100+, still in use in my shop/studio, and a pair of QSC K10, still in use for portable.
I do still have a single "keyboard amp", a Roland CM-30 Cube (6.5" speaker). Really nice for my micro-rig (iKeyx Pro 37, iPad mini, and the CM-30) for doing an "acoustic" set, not enough power for much else. It does sound good for the limited purposes that it is used on.
Also have a highly modded Fender US made Blues Jr - all tube, pair of 6BQ5 power, modded to have response like a tiny version of a Twin Reverb, used mostly with autoharp or Epiphone Les Paul guitar.
All those items that I still have were bought 8 to 10 years ago. They all still do what I need. Yeah, there are some new ones out there that might be better (defined as same sound with lighter weight to carry); but not enough to spend more money.

Hmmmmm.... given your forum name and your past gear, you seem likely to have some opinions on the value of tube driven amps, as well amps that were originally used for guitars. I know some of the Rhodes keyboards had Fender amps built into the case, and I've heard and experienced it myself that some speakers that are absolutely not that well suited for piano, do better than OK with EPs and Organ, possibly even better than clean, more multi-purpose amps.

Yeah, I remember the transition from passive speakers to powered! Viva la revolucion! As far as I'm concerned, I was really glad to leave passive speakers behind. Having a speaker optimized with all kinds of DSP by factory engineers is so much better than carrying heavy amps and rack gear to safely run passives.

Guitar players have also come over to PA speakers in droves. With such quality DSP available today, they can recreate the sound of a Marshall stack using lighter, smaller, more powerful speakers. They're called FRFR speakers, full range, flat response, basically a PA speaker as opposed to more mid-range centric special-purpose guitar amps.


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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Dave Ferris #3044520 05/18/20 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Ferris
Originally Posted by Stokely
As far as I'm concerned, they both are obsolete due to in-ears and easy-to-control monitor mixes .

That works for pop or rock 'organized / rehearsed band' contexts - although I know many people that prefer speakers and feel the in ears are a disconnect from live sound- but definitely not for Jazz. smile

Also on freelance/ pickup gigs where you might not have ever have met some of the other musicians and you just show up and play - read charts or call tunes- I've never heard of in ears being used in those contexts. Unless of course it was a high profile awards show type gig.

Fair enough, my world is small-time rock cover band and 95% of our gigs use our PA.

Certainly any time we aren't using our mixer I am very leery of in-ears. So yes in that kind of walk-in situation even in the rock cover band scene (let alone jazz) I'd have an "amp" and be self-contained.

I personally think the disconnected feel/sound is definitely a drawback of in-ears--but it is outweighed by all the benefits.

Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
cassdad #3044524 05/18/20 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by cassdad
Originally Posted by Noah B
After trying out (& returning the Motion Sound KP610), I found that if I simply place my 2 Yamaha DXR-10 PA speakers on the floor with a "V" angle between them (one facing slightly left, one facing slightly right), I can get the same stereo effect as the KP-610! And they take up no more space! So far, that has served me as a pretty good solution to the small stage space and stereo problem. YMMV.

So, you don't stack the DXRs on top of each other in a V, just on the floor in a V angle facing you. How close do you place them to each other? IIRC, the DXRs will accept a stereo input, and they're designed so that you can run a cable from it to a 2d DXR and get stereo. Nifty feature, esp. in your application.

Besides the cost, why else did you return the KP610s? I suppose you already had the DXRs.

Last edited by Randelph; 05/18/20 07:19 PM.

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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Groove On #3044526 05/18/20 07:39 PM
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Am curious how many people use the SS V.3 and like it, with an extra speaker for bass or not.

I have limited experience with mine, but never got the full effect that many people swear by. I've mostly played it outdoors, which Aspen assured me would still work for the 3d effect, and at home in my living room, which has 8' ceilings, approx 12' x 16'. With a fireplace creating all kinds of weird audio effects, it's not an ideal space.

Was tremendously excited at the prospect, achieving 3d sound is always the goal, and I contributed to the feeding frenzy of the longest thread ever on this forum. But I don't find it to be very hi-fi, piano esp suffers, and I never really heard much of the 3d effect in my settings, even with trying many different ways of positioning the speaker.

I chalked it down to needing a larger space to realize the effect, and of course, using that amp outdoors is counter-intuitive. If I was a major Organ player I would give it another go. I'm selling it if anyone is interested. Am in the SF bay area at the moment, moving soon to SoCal.


For smaller settings like home I just LOVE my speakers on the Korg Pa1000. Some of the most powerful speakers on a keyboard, 2 ways with 66 watts, it gets pretty loud and deep for keyboard speakers. At the very least, I get perfect stereo sound right in my ears, and if more volume is needed I use my K8.2.

In many ways this is my ideal. In-your-face stereo with some bass added. I've often thought that there ought to be a 2.1 system for keyboards. One way of doing that would be to get several vocal monitors, like the
Vocal monitors
mount them on mic stands (they weigh under 7 pounds) on either side of your board, and then run another speaker for the bass. With 6.5" speakers these'll put out some sound, and of course your get good vocal amplification. However, that'd be a lot of setup (mixer, cables, 3 speakers). Mounted on mic stands the footprint would be negligible and the sound divine!

A guitar player friend of mine loaned me a wah pedal- what fun!!!! I run the pedal thru the K8.2, and the normal keyboard sound coming from the onboard speakers is unaltered. Seriously addicting!

Last edited by Randelph; 05/18/20 08:07 PM.

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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Al Quinn #3044528 05/18/20 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Al Quinn
I recently bought the first keyboard I’ve ever liked. It’s a Motion Sound 610. It sounds very good, weight is reasonable, cost is good. I find it more convenient to just place a keyboard amp where I want it and play. I also have a pair of TT08A powered speakers. They sound wonderful, are light, but expensive. On gigs, placement is the issue. And, there’s a bit more involved with the schlep and setup/breakdown.

I posted a short comparison on YouTube for anyone who’s interested.
Wow, thanks for the nice comparison, Al!
The 610 sounds really good to my ears. On repeated listens, I can hear that the TT08A is clearly superior reproduction wise, but the EQ may not be optimal (to my taste).
To be honest, at first I wasn't totally sure which was which until I saw your annotation at the bottom of the video.
No doubt the 610 would be great for gigging with a great solution to the AP amplification problem!


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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Groove On #3044529 05/18/20 07:49 PM
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To the OP's question , Absolutely.......

Keyboard amps were dead once powered PA speakers became affordable. Before that when they were passive and y9u needed a power amp - it made sense for a keyboard amp, but not now. PAs are more compact, more powerful, FRFR (at least relatively close) which keyboard amps definitely arnt. To top is off - if its for monitoring (as usually the keys will go to FOH) your hearing pretty close to what the audience is and can taylor EQ to match.


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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
JazzPiano88 #3044530 05/18/20 07:53 PM
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The TTs for me were head and shoulders better. Warm and natural. The 610s were overly hyped in the top end and quite harsh actually.


Roland RD2000, FA07 (soon to be Fantom7), Legend EXP, Peak, Virus Ti2 Desktop.
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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Groove On #3044533 05/18/20 08:16 PM
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Good full range powered speakers are better to me, but it all depends on what your feeding it and how much control of what your feeding it you need or want. Powered speakers for the most part are just that a convenient package of a power amp and speakers in one cab for large PA systems. Then companies started adding a simple mixer for use and small PA system. So what are you sending to the powered speaker and how much do you need to tweak it. This is one of those "it depends" questions as answer depends on what your doing and how much do you need to tweak the sound before and during the event.

Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Groove On #3044535 05/18/20 08:22 PM
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Powered speakers were the best option until Motion Sound started making great amps, now it's all about your needs and chances are one of the MS amps will beat the PS setup every time.

PS are designed to throw the sound out for public address, not great at near field dispersion, so those standing right in front of a PS will get a full sound, those behind and to the sides won't hear much at all, this sucks for monitoring on stages without a great PA, the MS amps have big wide sound fields and some are even 360.

And PS don't take a keyboard out well, you'll get a slightly weak signal, which is why a mixer works so well, but who wants to setup all that crap? a single MS amp will sound hotter and hence better straight up compared to a PS without a mixer. You need two PS and a mixer to compete with the single MS box, and even then the MS will probably sound better.

The only need I would still use a PS for these days is self-monitoring on stage, with a direct out for the monitors and house, otherwise the MS amps win.

Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Groove On #3044536 05/18/20 08:24 PM
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An abundance of bad sounding keyboard amps have made them obsolete.


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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
RABid #3044544 05/18/20 08:36 PM
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Most PS now have 170 deg spread (or close to) so the "those at the side wont here) hasnt been the case for a while.


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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Groove On #3044548 05/18/20 09:08 PM
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I think the new generation of small battery powered PA systems may become game changers in this area.

I was considering 2x RCF TT08 or MS KP408 until I read about Bose S1 Pro.

https://youtu.be/S6y5zHUiwWg

They include a mixer, easy to handle and install and promising sound (still need to hear them live on my CP4)

Any thoughts ?

Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
paulmapp8306 #3044549 05/18/20 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by paulmapp8306
The TTs for me were head and shoulders better. Warm and natural. The 610s were overly hyped in the top end and quite harsh actually.

When you're at the level of the TT08As and you have a discerning ear for piano tone - because often you have spent a lot of of time on a quality acoustic piano- an amp is simply a compromise.

Yes I applaud the convenience of plug in two instrument cords and end of story. What long time gigging guy wouldn't ! And how many times, especially in close quarters, have I agonized over the set up with extra patch cords, placement, etc.

But when the gig starts I usually forget about all that and dig the sound enough that I forget about the schlep and setup. I'm already compromising playing an electronic keyboard that attempts to emulate an acoustic. I don't need more compromises.

Also I don't go direct into the active speakers. I've tried and the tone sounded thinner to me. I started with the inexpensive A&H ZED 10 and then made a heftier investment a few years later with the fabulous sounding JMK Audio JM-110 di/pre amp.

https://jmkaudio.com/jm-110

Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Groove On #3044558 05/18/20 09:28 PM
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I have a peculiar way that I like to orient my PA cabs.

Check it out:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

dB

Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Groove On #3044559 05/18/20 09:28 PM
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I switched from guitar amps for guitar to keyboard amps in the late 60s, and then switched to PA amps in the late 90s. Never looked back.

Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Randelph #3044565 05/18/20 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Randelph
Originally Posted by cassdad
Originally Posted by Noah B
After trying out (& returning the Motion Sound KP610), I found that if I simply place my 2 Yamaha DXR-10 PA speakers on the floor with a "V" angle between them (one facing slightly left, one facing slightly right), I can get the same stereo effect as the KP-610! And they take up no more space! So far, that has served me as a pretty good solution to the small stage space and stereo problem. YMMV.

So, you don't stack the DXRs on top of each other in a V, just on the floor in a V angle facing you. How close do you place them to each other? IIRC, the DXRs will accept a stereo input, and they're designed so that you can run a cable from it to a 2d DXR and get stereo. Nifty feature, esp. in your application.

Besides the cost, why else did you return the KP610s? I suppose you already had the DXRs.

Right, Randolph, I already had the DXR10s. I do not stack them vertically simply because I would hear the top box (channel) much louder than the lower because the upper box would be closer to ear level. But I suppose I would stack them if ever I found myself with so little space that that was my only option. I was indeed very happy with the amp and sound of the Motion Sound KP610, for the record. But I simply preferred 2 relatively light-weight boxes (that I have bags for with wheels, so they are VERY easy to transport), rather than the weight and awkwardness of the one box. I separate them if I can, but, like the Motion Sound KP-610, I have found that if I put them even right next to each other, if I angle them 30-degrees, they yield pretty good stereo effect.


Portable Rig: Yamaha MOXF8 (used mostly for acoustic piano); (2) Yamaha DXR-10 powered speakers
Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Dave Bryce #3044567 05/18/20 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Bryce
I have a peculiar way that I like to orient my PA cabs.

Check it out:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

dB

Wow, interesting...what do you find the advantage is of this, besides maybe floor space? Those are the L2T's, right? Still liking the sound for keys this many years later? Probably too high-priced/rather heavy for my use, but I'm curious.


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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Groove On #3044569 05/18/20 10:11 PM
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Yes, those are L2Ts. I do it that way because I like the height and width of the image that comes from behind my back, and the projection into the room I get from it.

I do the same thing with my QSCs, except I use a K8 on the stand and a K12 on the floor. It's pretty great.

dB

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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Groove On #3044573 05/18/20 10:19 PM
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I've never played through a Motion Sound keyboard amp, but I've tried out several different Roland models and a few old Peavey models. I mostly play piano when doing solo gigs, and often accordion too. I haven't found any keyboard amp that sounded that good for either.

I've actually gigged with a single Yamaha MSR-100 for years. Mono, but I like the sound quality and it's small and not overbearingly heavy.


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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Dave Bryce #3044576 05/18/20 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Bryce
Yes, those are L2Ts. I do it that way because I like the height and width of the image that comes from behind my back, and the projection into the room I get from it.

I do the same thing with my QSCs, except I use a K8 on the stand and a K12 on the floor. It's pretty great.

dB

So it's not a straight stereo field then, interesting. Must sound really good for organs with leslie sim I would think.


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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Dave Bryce #3044579 05/18/20 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Bryce
I have a peculiar way that I like to orient my PA cabs.
dB
Do you feed the forward cab with L+R and bottom cab with L-R?
Just kidding. Kidding! laugh


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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Dave Bryce #3044588 05/18/20 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Bryce
Yes, those are L2Ts. I do it that way because I like the height and width of the image that comes from behind my back, and the projection into the room I get from it.

I do the same thing with my QSCs, except I use a K8 on the stand and a K12 on the floor. It's pretty great.

dB

Are you sending them a mono or stereo signal?


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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Groove On #3044589 05/18/20 11:51 PM
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Stereo. Don't tell Kanker. duck

dB

Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Groove On #3044594 05/19/20 12:13 AM
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Great question.

Self-powered PAs certainly impacted the market for keyboard amps, but didn't eliminate them. And, as others have pointed out, a great pair of IEMs in the right situation can best even the most expensive self-powered PA units.

My "keyboard amp" experience includes a Roland JC-120 (great for rhodes), a MS KBR-3D (gathering much dust) and my trusty CPS SSv3. There are certain situations where the SSv3 is just freaking perfect, and can't be touched by a pair of PA speakers. Mine has a certain gritty, enveloping character that I like on occasion, e.g. small sweaty dance gigs. If I lost it, I'd immediately turn around and buy another.

Since these days I'm the sound guy for my band, we have the benefit of kicking FOH and as many as six monitor feeds on stage. I will swear by a pair of EVOX J8s and my X-Air 18. I take my mix through IEMs, others prefer a physical monitor.

But, yeah, as far as keyboard amplification goes, a decent self-powered PA brings game, even with added schlep. A pair of QSC K8.2s will open your eyes and ears. And IEMs bring game over self-powered PAs for monitoring purposes. Get the ambient type, much less isolating.

I guess direct brain implants are next in line ...


Life is too short to be playing bad music.

Keys: NP4, NS3C
Home: Bosie 200, Yam AG N3
Amps: FA 12ac, RCF TT08a, QSC K.2, EVOX J8, SSv3, Westone IEMs
Stuff: Stay stands, Key Largo, Vent II, X-Air 18
Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Randelph #3044596 05/19/20 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Randelph
So, given a choice in your home setup, would you rather play keys thru the MS or the TTs?

At home, if I had to pick between just the MS or TT's I'd pick the TTs. But, at home what I actually do is play my keys through studio monitors (pair of JBL LSR4326P plus subwoofer). They're already setup and sound great. That is, unless I'm preparing for a gig. Then I'll setup the speakers I plan on using along with the keyboards I'll use.

Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Randelph #3044598 05/19/20 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Randelph
Am curious how many people use the SS V.3 and like it, with an extra speaker for bass or not.

I have an SS V.3. I use it on jazz organ gigs along with a MarkBass bass amp for LH bass. Sounds good to me on organ gigs but I don't like AP through the SS V.3. The fidelity just isn't there. I also use the SS V.3 face down with a TT08A on top connected to the SS V.3 sub out (which is a full range signal). This combo has a small footprint and does everything well (e.g., high fidelity and omnipresent effect), but it's not good if a bandmate is in the line of fire of the side speakers. The sound messes them up.

Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Al Quinn #3044602 05/19/20 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Al Quinn
it's not good if a bandmate is in the line of fire of the side speakers. The sound messes them up.
The drummer in one of my bands hated the SSv3 because of that.

dB

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