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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Adam Burgess #3045832 05/25/20 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Adam Burgess
Only keys amp I liked was back in the 90s. Heavy but sounded warm and could get loud. Yamaha KS531.

Had the misfortune of using Peavey KB100 and 300, and the dreaded Roland garbage, so used to carry a couple of Yamaha Club series speakers and a Peavey CS1200 hah. Again, not light but passable. The Peaveys worked and worked with an all manner of noise put thru them - can't fault 'em for that. And, those CS amps are all probably still working now.

A resident gig I did for a couple of months had a more modern Peavey maybe 8yrs ago? Possibly a KB5(?) which sounded ok until it gave in with not much stress.

Since then for club/pub/restaruant gigs - gimme my JH Audio IEMs. Used with pleasure RCF TTs, Yammy DSRs, EVP115s in stereo or properly powered passive stuff (D&B etc.) for bigger gigs.

I did play second keys for the Supremes show early this year in Dubai with a single SRM450 as a monitor :-( but the gig was so much fun, they made noise enough to hear, but not pleasant.

Wow, I don't even remember that Yamaha KS531? Looks like it would have been decent for the day.

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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
zxcvbnm098 #3045863 05/26/20 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by zxcvbnm098
Wow, I don't even remember that Yamaha KS531? Looks like it would have been decent for the day.

It was a great big beast. Quite rare (in the UK) for sure.

Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Groove On #3045868 05/26/20 05:49 AM
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I bought a Peavey KB5 many years ago when I first started playing keys in my band. It weighs a ton and has a built-in extending handle and wheels. It's a total dud. The dullest, deadest sound of any amp ever made. It's still in the back of my gear closet. I tried to sell it and no takers. I can't even give it away.

Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Groove On #3045909 05/26/20 02:28 PM
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Am I remembering wrong or didn't some of those Peavey amps have a non-defeatable limiter that squashed your sound when you had to turn up past a certain point?

Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Reezekeys #3045920 05/26/20 03:33 PM
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I think the bigger issue, these days, is that covid has made PA speakers obsolete.

Originally Posted by Reezekeys
My two-PA-speaker rig (+laptop & case), at a tiny restaurant I played a while back. No venue I've played has ever had a problem with this.
I've thought about using those little stools too. I wish they were set up so you could permanently attach them and just fold up the legs, I wasn't able to find one that worked that way.

Originally Posted by Delaware Dave
I put mine on a black milk crate.
That's another good solution, especially if you use the milk crate to carry stuff, too... so you're not schlepping anything extra AND don't have to worry about where to toss the empty milk crates during the gig. ;-)

Originally Posted by Kurzfan
I was considering 2x RCF TT08 or MS KP408 until I read about Bose S1 Pro.
I haven't heard one, but I would not expect the Bose to give you nearly the volume and bass response of the others.

Originally Posted by Mighty Motif Max
So it's not a straight stereo field then, interesting.
With two speakers behind and on either side of the keyboard player, almost no listener experiences a straight stereo field anyway.

Originally Posted by MotiDave
why hasn’t any keyboard amp mfg designed an amp that is comparable to the flat broad frequency response of the typical modern PPA?
I tried the Motion Sound KP-408S. I think it's sound quality was on a par with the EV ZXa1. The one-box solution (compared to a pair of EVs plus a mixer) is a nice convenience (if not necessarily a money saver), but even its reasonable 40 lbs is still a bit of a bear to move for me.

Originally Posted by Kurzfan
This JBL Eon One Compact has BT mixing
I think the EV ELX200-12P does as well.


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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Reezekeys #3045935 05/26/20 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by El Lobo
I bought a Peavey KB5 many years ago when I first started playing keys in my band. It weighs a ton and has a built-in extending handle and wheels. It's a total dud. The dullest, deadest sound of any amp ever made. It's still in the back of my gear closet. I tried to sell it and no takers. I can't even give it away.
I tried one, it sounded awful and actually the KB300 I had in comparison actually sounded 100% better.

Originally Posted by Reezekeys
Am I remembering wrong or didn't some of those Peavey amps have a non-defeatable limiter that squashed your sound when you had to turn up past a certain point?
Yeah, they did have the built in limiter but mine actually got pretty loud before the limiter kicked in.


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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
AnotherScott #3045942 05/26/20 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by AnotherScott
Originally Posted by Kurzfan
This JBL Eon One Compact has BT mixing
I think the EV ELX200-12P does as well.
It looks like the JBL EON610 does too.

Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Reezekeys #3045971 05/26/20 07:50 PM
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You are remembering correctly. I still have an old Peavey with a spring reverb unit built in. I have it set up in a rehearsal space where I never have to move it but a friend often borrows it for his uke! It sounds fine and I really appreciate the 4 band parametric that’s really makes it solid in any room. The only time it fails is when the band is playing really loud and I’m wondering why I can’t cut through and I look over and see that little yellow light flashing with everything I play.

Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Groove On #3046396 05/29/20 04:15 PM
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I have taken a somewhat different path. I have been struggling with finding good amplification to make digital pianos listenable. I have been through many PA systems including FBT and most recently RCF TT08 which were good but still sounded like piano coming out of a box. The only great speaker I heard was the Fulcrum Acoustics FA28a's but at >$7000 a pair they were cost prohibitive. I thought about using quality monitors and tried the Focal Alpha 80's but they did not sound better than the RCF's, had less power, no easy way to mount, and exposed drivers. Then I found a pair of Genelec 8050b's used at half-price. These speakers sound incredible, much better than the RCF's. The drivers are protected with grills, the alulminum housing is bullet proof, weight is 28lbs like the RCF's, and I was able to build an adapter so they can be pole mounted. The bass extension is excellent for their size and they play quite loud; plenty for a jazz gig, probably not loud enough for a rock gig.

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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Groove On #3046438 05/29/20 07:12 PM
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Back in 1990 I bought a used Bose 802 with 802-C processor. The 802 is a PA speaker and it has been my stage monitor for keyboards since day 1. Many people who complain that 802s sound awful have not used them with the 802-C processor. I tried the 802 once without the 802-C and yeah it did sound awful. That 802-C box is crucial.

Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
SteinwayB #3046441 05/29/20 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by SteinwayB
I have taken a somewhat different path. I have been struggling with finding good amplification to make digital pianos listenable. I have been through many PA systems including FBT and most recently RCF TT08 which were good but still sounded like piano coming out of a box. The only great speaker I heard was the Fulcrum Acoustics FA28a's but at >$7000 a pair they were cost prohibitive. I thought about using quality monitors and tried the Focal Alpha 80's but they did not sound better than the RCF's, had less power, no easy way to mount, and exposed drivers. Then I found a pair of Genelec 8050b's used at half-price. These speakers sound incredible, much better than the RCF's. The drivers are protected with grills, the alulminum housing is bullet proof, weight is 28lbs like the RCF's, and I was able to build an adapter so they can be pole mounted. The bass extension is excellent for their size and they play quite loud; plenty for a jazz gig, probably not loud enough for a rock gig.

I'd like to hear the Genlecs and I'll take your word that they sound better then the TT08-As. I would question though, how far they can throw the piano sound out into the audience, in a medium sized room. If even a Jazz Trio is spread out a bit, I can could envision the drummer who sets up stage right, with bass in the middle, as having a harder time hearing the piano. In very enclosed bar spaces, this would probably be less an issue.

Also at least in LA, certain drummers and bass players can straddle the line between acoustic feel/sound and electric. In other words, things can get louder then I like and I find even though it's a 'jazz gig', the volume can often approach that of a light pop rock gig. Especially if you have a a Quintet or Sextet with 2 or 3 horns playing ensemble heads and background figures. In those instances I'd want a speaker intended for live work as opposed to a studio monitor.

Like I posted earlier, I do feel my JMK Audio JM-110 di/pre helps take some of the maybe boxiness or hollow quality - at least in some rooms - out of the CP4 and RCFs , while adding that little bit of *sugar* on top and a more hi-fi sound overall.

Fwiw, in a short email with Stephen Siegel, owner of Fulcrum Acoustics, all the FA AC products are discontinued. I did get the notion that you could make a special order for an active speaker on the FA28, FA12 or FA22. If I'm wrong and you're reading this Stephen please correct me. smile

Last edited by Dave Ferris; 05/29/20 09:11 PM. Reason: added thoughts
Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Groove On #3046449 05/29/20 09:05 PM
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The Genelecs spec at max SPL of 110 dB, so yeah, not really electric band volume. (The RCFs spec to 128.)


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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Dave Ferris #3046452 05/29/20 09:32 PM
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You are correct, Dave. We still make the "ac" versions of the FA Portable products upon request.

As a general comment on this thread - the PA speaker game has changed quite a bit over the past 10 years or so. There are now a number of really great choices for powered PA speakers at (relatively) modest cost. This was certainly not the case 15+ years ago.


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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Groove On #3046631 05/30/20 08:16 PM
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PPAs have an advantage of multi-purpose utility as well. Some gigs we need more PPAs for monitors, I’ll throw mine down and we can run a balanced mix with keys so i get both my keys monitor plus vocals and some other bits mixed in (guitar if its far other side). I generally always hear bass well enough no matter where i am, those guys are all deaf i think smile


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Re: Have PA Speakers made Keyboard Amplifiers obsolete?
Groove On #3046666 05/31/20 12:56 AM
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I have Genelec 8351a's in the studio and the Fulcrum Acoustics FA22ac for my PA "tops". This is an interesting comparison because both are active speakers, with built in amps and DSP. Both are coaxial designs that honor the "point source" principle of speaker design. Both are designed by some of the finest speaker designers in the world. They are both "state of the art". They are both marketed with a complete set of performance metrics, including off-axis response, that let you know what the speaker is actually capable of. I own them because they both met the same technical criteria.

I had both speakers set up in my studio for some time, side by side. Interestingly, the Genelecs play lower and are solid to about 30Hz in room. The FA22ac's are definitely rolling off at 40hz, but that is normal for PA - one uses subs for this. (My PA has BassBoss subs that are flat to 27Hz - they are also sold with full measurements). The imaging of the Genelecs is exceptional. The tweeter in the Genelec is smoother than the horn in the FA22ac's (no surprise). But I'd have no issues mixing on the FA22ac's. To me, the FA22ac's "feel better" to listen to. The music just feels great and effortless and free. The FA22ac's transient response is shockingly good. They are essentially a very loud reference monitor. And they do go full PA loud, and still sound great. As my drummer said after hearing the full Fulcrum/BassBoss system at 75ft, "That's the best "loud" sound I've ever heard". A mix engineer friend was putting up his mix reference tracks and hearing all the same details as in his control room. They are truly excellent. You can easily judge reverb and compression settings at 75 feet. Choice of piano sample is easily distinguished at 100 feet. It's mind-blowingly good "loud" sound.

In the end, the Genelecs are best at being studio monitors. They'd never be loud enough for a gig with a rock drummer or any dispersed audience (like outdoors) - they are in the limiters at 110dB SPL, which sounds like a lot, but not once you are throwing distances and the inverse square law comes into play. The Fulcrum are much better at being used for PA purposes, with great subs, crossed over at 80Hz. Run that way, they deliver better sound than I've heard out of much more expensive PA's (and definitely better than most "studio" monitors".

Neither are low cost, but they are also not expensive for the performance they deliver. There are many other products at the same price that do not deliver the same objective and subjective results. If you want the quality of Genelec's best monitors in the form of a PA system? The Fulcrum Acoustics tops with BassBoss underneath will deliver auditory excellence with solid, full volume, no roll-off bass below 30Hz. (Yes, I am willing to deal with industry standard dual 18" subs, not stuff that fits in your trunk...)

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