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Any experience with Alto Professional Truesonic TS series?


Dr88s

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Yet another gear question from me.

 

I am looking to follow suit with the suggestion of most of the knowledgeable folks around here to abandon my Roland KC amp and get a powered active PA speaker instead.

 

The KC is a behemoth, has never sounded particularly good, and is just too large and bulky to transport where I need it.

 

I may be (re)joining a new incarnation of a band I was in that broke up. I will be the second keyboardist (strangely, I'm actually looking forward to that!) The practice room is the guitarist's job-related warehouse - not great acoustics but at least the floors are carpeted and there are wall hangings to dampen the sound. Previously, I had played through a Yamaha Stagepas system in the space that was owned by the other keyboardist, who was not in the band and now is. We all agreed that given the overall volume of instruments and the room, I sounded better using a pair of them, one angled out towards the room and one towards me as a monitor, than I did going into the mixer and PA.

 

The prevailing choice around here seems to be the QSC series (mostly the K10), followed by the EV ZX1A (only 8")

 

As I have bought a lot of new gear this year (unnecessarily given that I am a hobbyist), I can not budget much for the speaker, and the QSC is out. I don't want to go for the Behringer B210D as I've had some issues with SOME of their stuff before (certainly not all).

 

Local stores have the Alto Professional TS110A for $249. I would start by picking up one and if I liked it and stayed with this band, add a second for less than the price of one QSC. Reviews that I've read about the TS110A have been overwhelmingly positive, but I would trust the opinions of anyone here more than on the vendor's websites.

 

Has anyone demoed these or played with them?

 

Thanks.

 

Nord Stage 2 Compact, Yamaha MODX8

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I can not budget much for the speaker, and the QSC is out.

 

Local stores have the Alto Professional TS110A for $249.

 

I know it's too late now, you're at where you're at but why or why do guys put the amplification at the end of the list?

 

Your stage amp is number ONE, the MOST important thing you can put your money into, not the last. A $3000 Kronos or Kurzweil will sound like crap through mediocre speakers.

 

Anyway to answer your question imho those Alto's are just decent sorta of like the Berhingers. For another hundred to a hundred and fifty get these:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Electro-Voice-ZLX-12P-2-Way-Powered-Loudspeaker/dp/B00CE0VLXO

 

There's a whole thread about these speakers. Excellent value. At the time they were talking about getting these for $349 maybe that price is still available somewhere.

 

Don't waste money on so so amps. Most of us here are either full pros or used to be pros or we just like to act like pros. Pros don't buy crap.

 

Again not to beat a dead horse but I'm beating it anyway, the amp comes FIRST not last. Good quality amps will get the most out of weak keyboards and make good keyboards sound great.

 

Bob

Hammond SK1, Mojo 61, Kurzweil PC3, Korg Pa3x, Roland FA06, Band in a Box, Real Band, Studio One, too much stuff...
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I am going to join the chorus and suggest you allocate more coin for your sound reproduction.

 

You mention the practice arrangement, but not the possible gig arrangement which to me is far more important. Given your situation, you may be able to get by with just one good quality powered speaker. These things last. One year from now (and 10 years from now) you'll be glad you went for quality. The EV ZLX sounded balanced and warm to me.

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I would demo any Alto 10" or 12" before you buy because I don't know how they are tuned.

 

For example the 12" Behringers sound like ass. Super muddy around 125hz but are OK for cheap vocal monitors. These things are designed with vocals in mind not full spectrum covered by keys.

"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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CEB, thanks for the input.

 

Jazzmammal, Tusker, I totally understand your advice. I skimp on amplification because of my personal needs.

 

I am a hobbyist who mostly plays with bands for fun and as of now I rarely gig. My once a year (big) gig is in one of Montreal's top venues where they have top quality backline and FOH PA, so I have never relied on my own gear till now.

 

In one of my bands, the bandleader has a great setup with PA and monitors in his basement, so again I have had no need for my own gear.

 

In my other, I have had access to the Stagepas until now, which was fine for my needs.

 

At home, my KC behemoth has sufficed at the volume I need as I only get to play/practice late night after the kids are asleep.

 

If I was to start gigging even semi-regularly, I would allocate more to the amplification in a heartbeat. I would kick in the extra for the ZLX if I could find one locally.

 

As an aside, my purchases on keyboard gear have not really been so much about the best SOUNDS but more about providing myself budget minded choices to cover the needs of a well rounded contemporary keyboardist. PX5S as a lightweight weighted board with great APs/EPs, VR09 as I've always wanted to be able to shape my organ tone, GAIA (used) to learn how to program and tweak a sound in real time. I wouldn't say that I spent foolishly at the expense of the amp side; the latter just simply has not been a necessity for me as detailed above.

Nord Stage 2 Compact, Yamaha MODX8

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IMHO You should sell 1kbd & buy quality powered speaks maybe used eon 10 or yorkville.even peavey

 

I just got the PX-5S and have barely scratched the surface. If all goes as I hope, I will sell the m50 later this year.

Nord Stage 2 Compact, Yamaha MODX8

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Jazzmammal, Tusker, I totally understand your advice. I skimp on amplification because of my personal needs.

Fair enough. And maybe it's a matter of priorities also, no?

 

In any case, let me just say that I have heard the Alto 12 inch in the store and passed on it, but my needs are not your needs, and our tastes may be different also. I definitely suggest that QSC and Alto aren't your only options. There are several other, very strong candidates.

 

So ... audition before you buy. Consider Craigslist. Get a free ride on other people's amplification as long as possible, so that you can buy something which speaks to your ears. Good luck. :)

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Jazzmammal,

In any case, let me just say that I have heard the Alto 12 inch in the store and passed on it, but my needs are not your needs, and our tastes may be different also. I definitely suggest that QSC and Alto aren't your only options. There are several other, very strong candidates.

 

So ... audition before you buy. Consider Craigslist. Get a free ride on other people's amplification as long as possible, so that you can buy something which speaks to your ears. Good luck. :)

 

I'm afraid that my ears are not experienced enough to detect the fine nuances and that I would not choose the appropriate programs to demo the frequency response.

 

I've been afraid of buying used amplification. For some reason I have this notion that a keyboard is ok used because you an test it out to make sure everything works, but that an amp might possibly be damaged in a way that can't be immediately detected. Am I wrong on this?

Nord Stage 2 Compact, Yamaha MODX8

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I'm afraid that my ears are not experienced enough to detect the fine nuances and that I would not choose the appropriate programs to demo the frequency response.

 

This forum is totally the wrong place to try get someone to re-think assumptions...so let me try. :)

 

 

 

Bullshit. :poke:

 

One reason you care about music is because you care about sound. You are an expert in the sounds you care about. Take three of your favorite recordings to the audition. (preferably at least one with an exposed piano sound, because piano is unforgiving, and because your handle suggests you love it) It would be a mistake to audition a speaker using a keyboard you are unfamiliar with. As a musician, if you can't hear the difference, you can't play the difference, so use sound sources that you have an opinion about.

 

You are not trying to find the most impressive speaker. Just the one that has the least coloration (within your budget).

 

I've been afraid of buying used amplification. For some reason I have this notion that a keyboard is ok used because you an test it out to make sure everything works, but that an amp might possibly be damaged in a way that can't be immediately detected. Am I wrong on this?

 

The nice thing about amplification is it's mechanically simple. Play familiar loud sounds through it. Test for different aspects of the audio spectrum. Test all the audio inputs. Ask the prior owner what it does well and it doesn't do well. And don't forget that piano sound. :)

 

I've had good luck with craigslist when dealing with musicians. I bought (and later sold) my Barbetta 41 from and to passionate musicians. Each step of the way, there was a sense of obligation. YMMV of course.

 

 

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Thanks for the great advice, Tusker.

 

Re: my handle, it was a nickname given to me by a bassist after I did a one time show with him (then later joined a band he was in regularly) - ostensibly because of my keyboard prowess but more likely due to the fact that in my non musical life I am a medical professional.

Nord Stage 2 Compact, Yamaha MODX8

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I've never seen nor tried the Alto. My gigs at present are with the worship band in my church, and I'm 72, semi-retired, so I don't have lots of money for buying gear. But - my first set of keyboard speakers I bought largely on price, a pair of "Gemini" 12" powered PA that were priced right, but advertised mostly as "DJ" speakers. There was a very noticeable and annoying bump in the low frequency response, so that the particular F note was several times as loud as the adjacent E or F#. I wound up donating those speakers - they do work OK for their present use as added vocalist monitors. Believe me - it is a real PITA to have to remember to hit that F key lighter than anything else, or it just booms out. Also, the sound just plain was not inspiring in any range.

 

Next were a pair of JBL EON 12" and a pair of the 15" - these did sound a lot better. The 12" didn't have enough sustained power (they use IC power amps, which have a heat sensor attached that protects the amp from overheating due to too long use at too high power - meaning that they gradually lost volume during a set) - but they work fine at home for my wife's Kurzweil PC2X use as a home keyboard. I do still use the 15" version sometimes. At about 45 lb each, with a handle that makes it difficult to move, as I get older, I wanted something lighter. One of them is now at church, the built-in 3 channel mixer makes it easy to mix my monitor feed from FOH along with some of each of the two keyboards to make sure I always can hear myself at about the same relative level.

 

I bought a used pair of Electro Voice SXA-100+ 12" cabinets. LOVE the sound of these, and I'm using them now in my shop/studio for my main monitors. Buying used, they also did not cost a huge amount - but they do have quality (not quite as much as the legendary and pricier SXA-360 - ask HammondDave about those speakers).

 

Finally, I bought a pair of the QSC K10's. I considered the K8's, and wanted something bigger. I considered the K12's, but already had the E-V 12's (if I could only keep one pair of speakers for keyboard use, it would be 12" speakers, they seem to have the best overall sound and least coloration). The K10's are much easier to haul around to different places.

 

By all means, check out the used market with CL and EBay, also any other sources (local stores, special short-time deals from the national sellers). A lot of folks here like the new EV speakers, the QSC are well liked. Keyboard (especially acoustic piano) is much more difficult to get a good sound in the amplification than bass guitar or guitar (I have amps also for both of these).

 

I spent over 25 years servicing electronic musical instruments, in particular large church organs. Some of the bigger Rodgers and Allen installations have as many as 40 amplifiers in 10 different channels and 150 individual speakers (even a gigantic 30" sub-woofer). They are also set up in specific ways in order to get the best and most faithful rendition of the sound delivered by the organ console. Amps and speakers make a real difference in sound.

 

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

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Same here. I use my EVs most the time but I have used Behringers, Yamaha's, Audio Centron passive cabs, backlined Roland KCs, Peavey KB amps etc.....

 

I'm going to FOH, I don't really care what I monitor through as long I can hear it. Especially if it means transporting less ****.

"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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Our drummer picked up a pair of these recently. He seems to be very happy with them and they didn't break his budget. So far he has reported no issues with them.

57 Hammond B3; 69 Hammond L100P; 68 Leslie 122; Kurzweil PC3; M-Audio Code 61; Voce V5+; Neo Vent; EV ELX112P; GSI Gemini & Burn

https://dyinbreedband.wixsite.com/dyinbreedband/home

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My brother has a pair of these and likes them. I haven't heard them yet.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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I picked up a TS110a about a year ago. I normally use it as a monitor wedge for my rig and love it. I also used it for keyboard amplification in a small club when my Barbetta was in for service, and on two occasions let guitar players use it when their amp crapped out on a gig. It served each purpose quite well and really bailed us out. (It definitely wouldn't cut it for that purpose in a larger room,though...

 

I've had no problems with it and it's proven to be an inexpensive and functional piece of gear. I may pick up another one in order to have a small, very light P.A. for small venues.

 

Of course, your mileage may vary...

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Think I'll demo the TS110A and TS112A locally with a good CD recording. I wish I had one lightweight board I could bring to demo it. My VR09 would fit the bill for most sounds but the AP, which is really important to me.

 

If I'm any less than very happy with price and weight, I'll hold out and scour CL for used EVs or QSCs.

 

Report to follow when I find the time to try.

Nord Stage 2 Compact, Yamaha MODX8

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Think I'll demo the TS110A and TS112A locally with a good CD recording. I wish I had one lightweight board I could bring to demo it.

 

I'm not sure I understand this because you do! My PX-5s goes everywhere because it's so easy to transport. My suggestion is to not audition with CDs, but with your Casio!

 

Also FWIW I often use M-Audio GSR112s (kind of a shirttail relative to the Altos) as monitors and like them a lot. They are 12's though so not directly comparable. I have a lot of cabs at my disposal (including JBL SRX) but more often than not the M-Audios is what I grab unless it's a high SPL gig. I guess what I'm saying is don't automatically rule out the Altos until you try them out.

 

With your PX-5s :)

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Think I'll demo the TS110A and TS112A locally with a good CD recording. I wish I had one lightweight board I could bring to demo it.

 

I'm not sure I understand this because you do! My PX-5s goes everywhere because it's so easy to transport. My suggestion is to not audition with CDs, but with your Casio!

 

....

 

Yes! Otherwise it is pretty easy to screw the pooch on this purchase. You could end up with a cabinet that is tuned heavy to a certain frequency and with the limited on board EQ you can't fix it. Something like being heavy in the low mids could suck if you want to you it for a DP amp. The audition is meaningless if you do not audition it with a keyboard.

"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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Have not heard the Altos so concur with the "demo first" recommends.

 

Anecdotally, however, I will offer two things:

 

1) IMHO, final stage of the chain has the greatest impact upon your overall sound. And sound is the arguably the only thing you're really offering your audiences. If at all possible, don't compromise here. Make it count.

 

2) My anecdotal experience has been more so than anywhere else in the signal chain, you get what you pay for in the final stage. I'm sure there are exceptions out there, but for me the $$ spent on final stage has been a direct reflection of sound quality.

 

Tim

..
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I love the vr09 grandV whats wrong with using that ?

 

I don't really like it, but then again I have only ever heard it through my Roland KC, which may be the reason for that. Come to think of it, I have never played the VR 09 through headphones...

 

I will take my PX5S with me to demo.

Nord Stage 2 Compact, Yamaha MODX8

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Any thought to going in-ears? I did and it's the best decision I've made in a long time...not only can I hear myself way better, the overall stage volume is way down and my ears have stopped ringing.

 

It's quite a leap, and depending on the band it may not be easy or possible.

 

I've actually gone back to bringing my (cheapie, not-so-good no-name brand) powered speaker simply because the band wants me to have stage volume--only two of us have in-ears, and our monitor system isn't the best and we try to keep it mostly vocals...

 

That idea aside, as an owner of afore-mentioned cheapies, I'd concur to upgrade from the start if possible. After reading about the yamaha drx (I think that is the line) those are likely the ones I would try, for one thing they have some mixer capability that I might be able to use.

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