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Amplification for vocals and keys for under $1000


BluMunk

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Hey all. I'm looking for new amplification. I've been using a Roland KC500. I'm pretty happy with the sound, but I'm looking for something that isn't going to break my back every time I pick it up, as well as something that has a smaller form factor (it barely fits through to door of my Toyota Corolla).

 

I don't really care if it's powered vs. passive + poweramp. But, I'd love to keep it under $1000. I play in three different environments: jazz combo, usually with the vocalist going through whatever system I happen to have; small-venue rock band; orchestral situations where I'm balancing my volume in pit orchestras.

 

I was looking at the Yamaha Stagepass 300 which certainly is the right price, and size, but I'm nervous about the power and low end out of 8" speakers. Has anyone used these? Any other suggestions? Other than having fewer cables and pieces, are there benefits to powered speakers over passive?

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I would get a powered speaker plus a small mixer. Make sure the mixer has reverb for the vocals. When you have more $ you can pick up the second speaker and have yourself a nice stereo rig or the basis for a small PA.

JP

1935 Mason & Hamlin Model A

Korg Kronos 2 73

Nord Electro 6D 61

Yam S90ES

Rhodes Stage 73 (1972)

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I would only recommend a StagePas for a solo or duo gig in a very small, intimate setting i.e. coffeehouse, bookstore, etc.

 

As stated in other amplification/speaker threads, PA speakers (powered is fine) are a step up.

 

Some PA speakers weigh less or the same and have a different form factor from the KC; making it easier to load in/out.

 

There is the whole issue of STEREO vs MONO but at this point, if you are used to ONE KC500, a single would suffice. Combined with a small mixer, it is still under $1k.

 

IMO, the PA speaker is better than a StagePas because 1) it is expandable and b) having more power than necessary is always a good thing. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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$1,000 huh?

 

How about a small mixer - say a Mackie 1202 VLZ PRO, a QSC PLX amp and a used passive PA speaker.

 

Separates are good because they give you the option of moving up as you can afford better components.

 

One thing is that you want the QSC PLX amp because it's got lots of power and is very lightweight. Yom mentioned weight in your original post. Mine is 13 pounds, 600 watts per side. Don't get a wimpy amp. You are more apt to damage your speakers with a low powered amp going into distortion than with one that has some headroom.

 

Plus, you don't have to use two speakers. Buy one decent speaker, if that's all that you can budget. A transistorized amp can run just one side safely.

 

If you have the budget and can afford two speakers, why not check out Craigslist and see what you can get on the used market. Once you've got the cash to get better speakers later on, you won't lose much when you trade up because you bought them used in the first place.

 

Yes, I'd definitely recommend separates.

 

Tom

 

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Gas,

 

Didn't anybody tell you that you should never remove the deflectors from your horn???

 

Ain't it a bitch?

 

Should never have made that deal off Craigslist, huh? :rolleyes:

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Blumunk:

 

Tom (ITGITC) is giving you great advice. Components (separates) allow you more options than an all in one system. The AIO system will give you a lot of bang for the buck, but if one element in the system fails, the system doesn't work and you have to bring it into a shop for service. With a component system, if one element breaks, say the EQ, you can pull it out of the system and borrow or get a loaner while your unit is being repair. And as Tom mentioned, you can upgrade one piece at a time as you get more money or out grow one element of the system. The compoonent system can end up costing more total $$$, but there's a reason that people have preferred component home stereo systems for years too.

 

The only problem I see is a $1000.00 budget. That's kinda low. If you get an amp and a small mixer to start off, you can get a decent set of passive speakers used to save $$ and hopefully stay with your budget. Just remember, "You get what you pay for".

 

Cheers!

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

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I would only recommend a StagePas for a solo or duo gig in a very small, intimate setting i.e. coffeehouse, bookstore, etc.

 

As stated in other amplification/speaker threads, PA speakers (powered is fine) are a step up.

 

Some PA speakers weigh less or the same and have a different form factor from the KC; making it easier to load in/out.

 

There is the whole issue of STEREO vs MONO but at this point, if you are used to ONE KC500, a single would suffice. Combined with a small mixer, it is still under $1k.

 

IMO, the PA speaker is better than a StagePas because 1) it is expandable and b) having more power than necessary is always a good thing. :cool:

 

But.... the StagePas is a PA system. It's a component system, passive spkrs, plus a powered mixer. The powered mixer attaches to the back of one of the spkrs, or it can be detached and used separately like a normal powered mixer.

 

Have you tried the StagePas 500 system, btw? There are two versions available; Stagepas 300, with 8" spkrs and a powered mixer with 150 watts per side, and Stagepas 500 with 10" speakers, and a powered mixer with 250 watts per side. Also the 500 has (I think) normal built-in pole mounts, whereas the 300 requires an attachment for pole mounts. I haven't tried either system, but I'd like to try out the stagepas 500. The 300 systems sounds slightly underpowered, but the 500 system is comparable to using a pair of Eon 10's, for instance. In fact, the Stagepass 500 mixer has 250 watts per side, that's more than the Eon 10's, which have a total of 175 watts per spkr.

 

I like how the stagepass 500 system is designed for the mixer to fit into the back of one of the spkrs. The space in the other spkr can be used as a storage unit for cables, etc. This makes it versatile, small, and well-designed. The total weight for both spkrs plus mixer is 56 lbs, i.e., one of the speakers weighing about 24 lbs and one weighing about 32 lbs, depending which one has the mixer in the back. That's light. There's custom wheeled bags available. It all sounds very practical to me. The only question is what's the sound quality like. Anybody here tried the stagepass 500? There's some people who've tried the stagepass 300, but the 500 could be substantially better.

 

 

 

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But.... the StagePas is a PA system. What is the KC and KC500 that you refer to, I'm confused. Have you tried the StagePas 500 system, btw?

 

The KC500 is a Roland keyboard amp (the current generation is the KC550).

 

Thanks for the input so far everybody. Sometimes as a musician it's very easy to be overwhelmed with the plethora of options available. Without the time or the access to be able to try everything that's out there, it's really tough to make decisions sometimes.

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But.... the StagePas is a PA system. What is the KC and KC500 that you refer to, I'm confused. Have you tried the StagePas 500 system, btw?

 

The KC500 is a Roland keyboard amp (the current generation is the KC550).

 

Thanks for the input so far everybody. Sometimes as a musician it's very easy to be overwhelmed with the plethora of options available. Without the time or the access to be able to try everything that's out there, it's really tough to make decisions sometimes.

 

Right, I knew that! I just got a bit confused by Profd's post, but I see he was responding to your original post re the KC500.

 

Anyway, I think the Yamaha StagePas 500 could be one possible solution for you, not sure about the Stagepas 300. Not sure about either of them really, but the stagepas 500 looks more suitable becuase of bigger spkrs, more power. I'm rambling on about it because i'm reading about it myself, and hope to try it out soon as a possible replacement for what I use now, a pair of JBL Eon 10 G2's.

 

You're right there's too much stuff available, and it's not always convenient or even possible to audition it all.

 

 

 

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I'm rambling on about it because i'm reading about it myself, and hope to try it out soon as a possible replacement for what I use now, a pair of JBL Eon 10 G2's.

 

Can I ask why you're looking to replace the Eon 10s?

 

I've been using them for 5 or 6 years, and a pair of the original Eon 10's for a couple of years before that, so I need a change of scenery.

 

 

 

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FWIW I use both active and passives depending on the particular situation. And yeah i love my little QSC amp. And yes, components definitely have their advantages but they are a little messy with all of the extra cabling. Also, as OP said he was a vocalist, he will probably want some kind of verb and that would be one more piece and the requisite cables. Actives also have the advantage of having a power amp matched specifically to the drivers.

JP

 

1935 Mason & Hamlin Model A

Korg Kronos 2 73

Nord Electro 6D 61

Yam S90ES

Rhodes Stage 73 (1972)

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