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HELP! FIND ME A LOUD KEYBOARD AMP!!!


chrisfp99

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Hi all. Loads of previous amp posts I know. Used to have a Carlsboro combo. Now got a Peavey XR696F and a 1x15 cab. Have hired a JBL EON G2 15 in the past. Last night tried a Laney AH200. They're all TOO QUIET!! I don't want to go through the PA. I just want an amp, any amp, that's loud enough. Suggestions?
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What types of venues are you playing? Why the need for huge amounts of volume?

 

Depending upon your sound reinforcement needs, a single amp/combo may just be insufficient, although, if you're playing venues where you don't have everyone (keys included) running through the FOH, it's hard to imagine that a couple of powered speakers like the 15" JBL EON G2s wouldn't be sufficient for you. Also, many here rave about using a QSC PLX 1804 (600W/channel into 8 ohms) and two Accugroove Tri 112 speakers. If those things don't do it for you, have you tried asking everyone else in the group to turn down?!?!

 

Noah

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CAN'T YOU TELL BY THE WAY HE'S YELLING THAT HE'S DEAF? NO AMP WILL BE LOUD ENOUGH.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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If it's power you want then go the PA route. I got tired of competing with Marshall stacks and Ampeg bass stacks so I went this route. Got two EV1 cabs for the low end. Two custom made cabs with Peavey Black Widows and Klipshorns for the highs. Run my keys through a mixer, use a good cross over to feed to QSC power amps and I am good to go. I barely use any of the power but it's great to know that when things get out of hand and it's time for my solo, I will be heard.

 

Steve

A Lifetime of Peace, Love and Protest Music

www.rock-xtreme.com

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I use an EON g2 for keyboard monitor and I can't imagine that thing not being loud enough...mine gets loud enough to literally make you sterile if you crank it...

 

Yeah, but it doesn't go up to 11 does it?

 

http://static.flickr.com/42/104705674_7cd5f63c8d_m.jpg

Steve

A Lifetime of Peace, Love and Protest Music

www.rock-xtreme.com

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I've used either one or two Mackie SRM450 powered monitors for quite awhile. Lately, I'm really digging the Bose L1 model II, which I just reviewed for the Feb '08 issue. For mixing keyboards sontage, I feed it from my Mackie 1202VLZ Pro - since it's mono, I give it an aux and send the Mackie's stereo feeds to the front-of-house PA. With everything on the Mackie at unity gain, I've never had to turn up the Bose's trim knob past halfway. It throws like a mudderfudger. Most times, I wind up barely being in the PA at all, because the Bose is sufficient.

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine

 

Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse

 

 

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Well, there are two things to consider: stage volume and house volume. If you can't hear yourself on stage then (a) everyone else is too insanely loud, or (b) you need a bigger stage amp.

 

If the problem is at FOH, then you need to go through the PA for your SR needs. (Either send a mix from your mixing board, if used, or the direct out from your keyboard amp.) If your band's PA is used for vocals (most are), then you probably need a bigger PA to accommodate the keys.

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Maybe he didn't use a mixer for added gain control.

 Find 660 of my jazz piano arrangements of standards for educational purposes and tutorials at www.Patreon.com/HarryLikas Harry was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

There are several good reasons why keyboard amps might not be loud enough for you. Keyboards have the highest frequency range compared to all other instruments and vocals, so they demand full range audio performance. Guitar and bass amps usually work fine with a single kind of speaker that only needs to handle a limited frequency range. For high sound levels with a full range source, you need more powerful amps matched with heavy-duty speakers in relatively large sonically efficient cabinets mounted properly with respect to the audience. Keyboard amps generally don't do that.

 

The expectations for an acceptable size and weight of keyboard amp generally don't allow for high sound levels. The high frequency speaker drivers need to be mounted above the audience or little of the sound will reach beyond the first row of people. Mounting a keyboard amp that high isn't so practical, not only because they typically don't have pole mounts, but also because there is no need to raise the heavy amplifiers above the audience, just the speakers, and having the amp controls up high is plainly inconvenient. Keyboards also benefit from stereo output with wide spatial separation, which a single amp can't do and using two amps far apart only doubles the problem of adjusting the amp controls.

 

A single amp rack & mixer with two pole mount speakers solves all these problems. However it's often too expensive to dedicate full-range pro audio equipment just for the keyboards, when it can handle the vocals and all the other instruments as well. Yet you can do it on a budget.

 

A Behringer Europower PMP1280S, two Peavey PR12 speakers (remarkably lightweight for their size and power), and two speaker pole stands will do the trick nicely for well under $1,000 total. I have a similar setup myself with slightly less powerful PMP2000, two PR10s for stereo lower power, and a single PR15 for very powerful bridged mono output. It cranks. All the way to 11. (couldn't resist the Spinal Tap reference)

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I have the Carvin 1000 with an add-on speaker cabinet. It might be the single-most powerful combo-amp ever built. It STILL doesn't cut enough with a heavy-hitting drummer + Marshall half-stack + Hartke full-stack. If I had to start over, I'd spend the money and do it right the first time, even if it cost me $2000. If the guitar player spends $1500 on his rig, you need to spend more.

 

So basically, I don't know what you need, but if it's power you want, consider a "stack" PA settup, with two cabinets on top of each other, with a mixer, PA, and cross-over sitting on top. This gets you power + sound quality + portability.

 

Can i ask a bit about your needs? What are the other guys in your band using? What kind of music? Etc.

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Hi all. Loads of previous amp posts I know. Used to have a Carlsboro combo. Now got a Peavey XR696F and a 1x15 cab. Have hired a JBL EON G2 15 in the past. Last night tried a Laney AH200. They're all TOO QUIET!! I don't want to go through the PA. I just want an amp, any amp, that's loud enough. Suggestions?

 

Those amps are fine.

 

The problem is that you're just not close enough.

 

When you get a minute, take the cabinets and tie some bungee cord around them. Now, secure them - ear level- from the beams over the stage. Be sure that each cabinet is no more than 6 inches from your left and right ears.

 

Now crank it up. ...higher. No - higher than that.

 

Is blood coming out from your ears?

 

OK, just a little bit higher. C'mon, it's no fun until your ears start to bleed a little.

 

This is the look I'm going for:

 

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e41/truffula/Season%20Three/bloodpouch.jpg

 

 

:snax:

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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I use a Barbetta SE-32 and it's pretty damn loud. ITGITC makes a very good point; I use a small Quik-Loc amp stand to angle it up right next to me, like a floor monitor:

 

http://musiclandexpress.com/catalog/popup_image.php?pID=706&osCsid=e78f5fefebbe907a4cf44e878ea3c1d8

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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Those amps are fine.

 

The problem is that you're just not close enough.

 

 

I have an old RA100 and I made myself a (2x) banana-plug to TRS socket connector so I can plug my headphones into it. I found the headphones tend to melt so I cut the backs off to expose the voice coil and ran plastic tubing through the surround cushion so I can force air from a small vacuum cleaner through the voice-coils for cooling. Its rather chilly on the ears but BOY IS THIS THING LOUD!

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Methinks the OP hasn't been back since he posted this idiotic comment, therefore the discussion should probably dissipate completely, or at least just follow whatever rabbit trail you all feel inspired to follow.

 

I think you may have a point there!

 

For everyone else, I was going to suggest simply raising the level of the amp. The closer to ear level you get, the less volume you need. Even a small keyboard amp at ear level is fine for most bands unless you are playing black metal or some such thing.

 

I played in Twist of Fate, a super loud Goth band with two Marshall stacks, and didn't have my PA (which I usually used for my keyboard rig at the time) and borrowed a small keyboard amp. I raised it up high and still could hear myself.

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OK guys, I'm back. To all who gave sensible replies, thank you. To the others, you're cheeky buggers; I'm not deaf!! I play in a wedding/dinner dance band. We're not loud. Guitarist uses an old Sessionette 75. I wondered if my old Korg was losing power but my new Yamaha is even quieter.

 

I admit that I keep the volume on the keyboard at just under half, to cater for 1) solos; and 2) the fact that some sounds on the keyboard are softer than others, and this means my amp setup is at just about maximum. Yes I can be heard fine but as I'm upgrading I may as well add a bit of extra headroom for those stadium gigs coming up...

 

I reinterate that for various reasons I don't want to go through th FOH speakers. Would like to try the Motionsounds, Barbettas or Traynor K4 but there's no dealer network in the good ol' UK so too risky on service, repair etc. Will try the Roland KC550 next.

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OK guys, I'm back. To all who gave sensible replies, thank you. To the others, you're cheeky buggers...

 

Ummmmm, I'm sorry for being a cheeky bugger. :rolleyes:

 

Ya know. I've lived for over 52 years and that's the first time I've ever been called cheeky bugger. :)

 

I'm not precisely sure of the translation.

 

Nevertheless, do yourself a favor and get a well-respected power amp, two good speakers and a little mixer. That's what you need.

 

And if you find that you want to get more volume one day, replace the power amp for a bigger one, or trade your speakers.

 

You won't be happy otherwise.

 

Look on the used market. Get what you need and if something else better comes along later, then sell what you've got - you won't take a huge loss on it because you bought it used in the first place.

 

Trust me, I'm old..

 

:snax:

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Cheeky bugger is not particularly bad. Now if you were described as a barrow boy, or a merchant banker, that would be really bad.

 

If everything is too soft for a wedding band, you've got a problem with the output level of your board. There simply is not enough gain in the amp to bring the level up high enough. That is why everything you try is still too soft. If you go from a 50W amp to a 1000W amp, thats only about 14db.

 

But if your board is outputting consumer levels instead of pro levels (quite a few do) plus you are driving a balanced input from an unbalanced output, you are losing 20db.

 

Get yourself a little pre-amp. I have a couple of Tube MP Studios that are way cheap but work well. Or a small mixer will work too.

 

 

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Cheeky bugger is not particularly bad. Now if you were described as a barrow boy, or a merchant banker, that would be really bad.

 

If everything is too soft for a wedding band, you've got a problem with the output level of your board. There simply is not enough gain in the amp to bring the level up high enough. That is why everything you try is still too soft. If you go from a 50W amp to a 1000W amp, thats only about 14db.

 

But if your board is outputting consumer levels instead of pro levels (quite a few do) plus you are driving a balanced input from an unbalanced output, you are losing 20db.

 

Get yourself a little pre-amp. I have a couple of Tube MP Studios that are way cheap but work well. Or a small mixer will work too.

 

 

Or turn up the board's volume to 80 or 90% instead of 1/2 way as you said you did!

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

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I've posted about these on another monitoring thread -

 

http://www.nexo-sa.com/user/images/products/hi-res/ps8.jpg

 

The Nexo PS8!. 16 lbs a piece, they need the processor and an amp but are the clearest, most detailed for the size. Not cheap at all, but they are worth every penny if you play on a regular basis. I've used my Mackie 450s for years and now they are trying to find a new home. The 450s were OK, actually much better than what I had used before, but these keep up with my studio monitors plus inspire me to play with the tone. It's not about SPL, it's about the TONE!

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It's not about SPL, it's about the TONE!

 

Duh. Everybody knows that. :rolleyes:

 

Ummmm, you all knew that, right? :(

 

RIGHT? :eek:

 

Oh bruttah.

 

:snax:

 

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Instead of making the stage louder...why not invest in personal monitors for members of the band where everyone can adjust their personal mix?...or Bose towers?....Try adding reflective screens behind the band to help project the sound out to the audience better. You should in the process of perfecting your volume, monitor (and EQ properly) the sound pressure level on the stage for yourself and out in the audience. Your chances of longevity as a group will be better when you and your audience can still hear and understand your music.
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