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reviewing combo amps?!


Karl Sutton

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I'm sure one of the pro audio mags has a shootout\review of the current powered PA cabs.

 

In my area, most of the guys use combo amps for their digital rig. A handful still haul their Leslie. I've only seen 1 guy us a mini PA (2 K10's).

 

When I started gigging (25yrs ago), I used a powered mixer and 12" monitor. When they came out, I picked up a MS KT80 to downscale my rig, but it ended up as a backup to my mini PA. Still using a mini PA (1202 + K12). I don't think I'll ever go back to a combo amp, but mostly every local player I've seen uses a combo amp.

 

YMMV.

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Karl:

 

Powered PA cabinets work well for KB applications. KB amps and combo amps do not. I don't use powered PA cabinets because I do a OMB act, which means I use my system for vocals/harmonizer as well as for my KB workstation. I'm play full sequences through my sound system, in addition to all my vocals and sound effects. My system needs to be robust enough to handle all that cleanly, and be able to handle small to medium sized rooms without breathing hard.

 

I prefer to use a separate power amp, stereo EQ, FX unit, harmonizer, mixer, and non-powered PA speakers. If any of those components fails or has to be serviced, I can swap it out with a spare of a loaner.

 

If you blow a speaker in a powered speaker cabinet, then you're SOL, unless you have a spare powered speaker cablinet. Everyone on this forum has reasons for what they use, not everyone here does the same thing. The most common ground we have is we all want LIGHT equipment!

 

 

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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Before the days of compact powered speakers, I built full range 3 way cabs using JBL components and biamped them with Crown amps.

 

Excellent sound, murderous weight!

 

http://www.hotrodmotm.com/images/misc/mixx_rig.jpg

 

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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I doubt that keyboard combo amps are anywhere close to becoming a thing of the past. I use mine as a stage monitor and it's the ideal tool for that application.

Gigging: Crumar Mojo 61, Hammond SKPro

Home: Vintage Vibe 64

 

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I have tried several Roland and Peavey combo amps, also a tubed vintage 1965 Fender SuperReverb, and other amps with 15" JBL speakers....the best sounding setup to me is the system I curently use and that is two JBL EON G2 15" powered speakers for my Yamaha P-80 and Korg CX3. Plenty of power...and not too bad to load in/out with as I have the JBL speaker bags with wheels. I have a new PX3 keyboard arriving Thursday and am looking forward to hearing it thru my G2s. Also looking forward to gigging with a 23lb PX3 as compared to the 42lb P80. As someone posted above..we are all looking for ways to lighten the load without giving up quality and performance.
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When I was younger and had help, I carried TOA three way cabs bi-amped by two big ol' heavy AB amplifiers and a Rane X-over. The I went with a single Crown amp and floor wedges. Now I just use the Motion Sound KP200 and tap its built in direct out to the PA when I want more. Easier on the aging back, and sounds just fine.

 

dB

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

 

Affiliations: Cloud Microphones • Music Player Network 

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Dittos. I use a Roland KC 350 for that purpose; doesn't sound very sophisticated but with all the noise blasting around me I don't care, and if it gets damaged who cares. It's loud enough.

 

 

 

 

I doubt that keyboard combo amps are anywhere close to becoming a thing of the past. I use mine as a stage monitor and it's the ideal tool for that application.
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I still have a Barbetta, Sona 32C. It's ancient, road-worn, and works perfectly. Considering its' small footprint, and light weight, it's a perfect mono keyboard mixer/enclosure for a couple of smaller stages I play. That one's a keeper.

 

Meanwhile, my Traynor K4 - also a tad road-worn - will be likely be going up for sale after NYE. Much as the K4 is great for organ and keyboard tones, it just doesn't do digital pianos that well, IMO; that 'boxy' sound factor has become aggravating. Between the sale of the K4, and a powered Peavey cabinet, there will hopefully soon be a powered PA cabinet in my rig. I've been leaning toward a QSC K12, but the Yamaha DSR112 also intrigues me.

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Don't laugh too hard at me but the new class D Behringers sound pretty good for less than $300 a piece. I don't know how well they hold up. The transmissions may go out on them after 6 months or so but they sound pretty good on the lot.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I still have a Barbetta, Sona 32C. It's ancient, road-worn, and works perfectly. Considering its' small footprint, and light weight, it's a perfect mono keyboard mixer/enclosure for a couple of smaller stages I play. That one's a keeper.....

+1

 

I use my Barbetta Sona-Elan 32C for wedding receptions/dinner dances, for all of the reasons you mentioned. It's plenty loud to use for small to medium-sized clubs, as well.

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

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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Now I just use the Motion Sound KP200 and tap its built in direct out to the PA when I want more. Easier on the aging back, and sounds just fine.

 

dB

 

Ditto (although I've been tempted to upgrade to the KP500sn for a little more power).

 

Noah

 

 

Ditto again! I use the KP200 and and it does the job in stereo without lugging the extra pieces (mixer, speaker cabinet) I too would like the KP500 for the extra headroom.

PC3X, PC1se, NE2 61, DSI P08, ARP Odyssey MkII 2810, ARP Little Brother, Moog Slim Phatty, Doepfer Dark Energy, Arturia MiniBrute, Microkorg, Motion Sound KP200S,
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Didn't anyone notice that at least one of the reviews (the Barbetta) was done by a forum member?

 

Yes that's me - I'm just trying to follow in Tony aka Tonysounds footsteps. :laugh:

 

I had the KP500sn for about a year. Two full range PA speakers or even one PA speaker VS. the KP500sn is a good "fight." There's times where I wanted the KP to be smaller, lighter, maybe stronger in pianos, etc. but there were times where it was simply convenient and magnificent. The debate of a combo amp vs. full range speakers will probably go on for a long time.

 

Tonight, I went to a session and heard probably the best pianist in the bay area and maybe one of the best all around in Peter Horvath. He was playing an old Kurzweil and a Roland KC350. He couldn't have sounded BETTER.

 

I found this on youtube :

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5yrf-p6To8

 

Magnificent player, great chops, etc - and he's probably playing that same rig in that clip.

www.brianho.net

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/brianho

www.youtube.com/brianhojazz

 

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I thought about the 500...decided it wasn't worth the extra size/weight/expense. If nothing else, I like that the 200 fits in close quarters...

 

dB

 

I can understand the expense, but the 500 is actually 8 pounds lighter than the 200 and basically the same size.

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I use a Roland KC 350 for that purpose; doesn't sound very sophisticated but with all the noise blasting around me I don't care, and if it gets damaged who cares. It's loud enough.

 

I agree.

 

I know certain folks around here have nothing good to say about Roland KC amps,

 

but I use a KC350 as a monitor, with a line-out to the PA (mono vs stereo, anyone? :D )

 

 

Compact, not too heavy, easily loud enough, reliable, not too expensive -

 

& , most of all, convenient :thu:.....

 

 

It does the job I want out of it - who needs 'studio-quality' sound on a gig/rehearsal?

 

When recording etc, I just DI into the desk anyway, so what's there to worry about?

John.

 

some stuff on myspace

 

Nord: StageEX-88, Electro2-73, Hammond: XK-1, Yamaha: XS7

Korg: M3-73 EXpanded, M50-88, X50, Roland: Juno D, Kurzweil: K2000vp.

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