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Keyboard amp for organ and piano


MarKeys

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First let me say I'm relatively new to gigging, and so far -- gear-wise -- i've made all the mistakes in the book. I started with crappy used stuff, and upgraded to some better used stuff. Lately I've been trying to find the perfect keyboard with organs and piano sounds, but now I'm realizing that the old amp I'm using is probably as much the problem as anything. Certain notes on whichever keyboard I try come across as harsh and brittle as Miley Cyrus at a wake. But I'm on a budget, so any ideas for a solution that's in the $400 range? I'm in a bar band, so my playing is in the mix, not solo gigs or anything. Thanks, everyone.
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There are tons of posts on this topic ... and I think you'll find that the general consensus is that the most common solution is to go with a powered speaker. Virtually every manufacturer (JBL, QSC, EV, Yamaha, etc.) have products in this space. Unfortunately, you won't find any consensus on which powered speaker is "the best". Many of the offerings in this product space will be out of reach with your $400 budget - however, there are still some pretty good options that would fit your wallet (especially if a 10" speaker (as opposed to a 12" speaker) will fit your needs and/or if you're willing to consider used gear. But even if you want to stick to new - EV's ZLX112P is right in your price range. A relative newcomer in this space that I'm dying to hear is the Turbosound Milan. The 12" version is a closer to $500 than $400 ... but perhaps another unit to consider.

 

The SpaceNorman :freak:
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I'll 2nd SpaceNorman's recommendation of the EV's ZLX112P. It's $399 new, I just picked one up a few months ago, and I'm very pleased with it. My organ setup (Hammond XK-1/Ventilator) just screams through it, without sounding harsh, and it has plenty of volume, I play in several bands that can get pretty loud, and I have never run out of power with the EV.

Turn up the speaker

Hop, flop, squawk

It's a keeper

-Captain Beefheart, Ice Cream for Crow

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The EV ZLX12P is a great choice at $399 new. Also, if you contact ProAudioStar in NYC they could probably do $375. Another one to look at (the one I bought) is the EV ELX112P. ProAudioStar will do that one for about $425. They're both incredibly loud (ELX slightly louder) and both very clear.

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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One more vote for the EV ZLX12P. I do think it can be a tad harsh, but it's a killer speaker and right at the budget you're talking about. Blows 'keyboard amps' out of the water.

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

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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Great to see some consensus, as the choices get overwhelming to me. My main thing is something that will keep piano from being shrill. If I get screaming organ, that's a great bonus. And just to be clear, are we talking a pair of speakers or just one?
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One more vote for the EV ZLX12P. I do think it can be a tad harsh, but it's a killer speaker and right at the budget you're talking about. Blows 'keyboard amps' out of the water.

 

Ditto I own the 15 inch version.

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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Lots of threads on this topic. I think you make your decision based on:

 

Does the audience mostly hear your boards through the PA? Then choose something that is good for you to hear while performing.

 

How complex a rig do you want? A combo amp offers all in one ( mixer, maybe effects, and line out) but maybe not the fidelity you want.

 

How much do you have to spend? You may spend more on a powered speaker than a combo amp, but if fidelity on stage or in small venues is important, perhaps that is the way to go.

 

No "right" answer. You need to decide what meets your cost/fidelity/type of performance needs.

 

I use a combo amp for simplicity and because the PA does the heavy lifting (usually). But everyone needs to decide what is important to them.

Korg CX-3 (vintage), Casio Privia PX-5S, Lester K, Behringer Powerplay P2, Shure 215s

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I've used up my QSC 12 after three hard years of bar gigs and practices with a couple of very loud rock bands. It occasionally fizzles and distorts now and is likely to fail soon.

 

We played a benefit freebie last weekend with the back line supplied by the house. Black Stars were there for the guitars and bass. An old 1980's Peavey KB 60 was what I had to run through. I was amazed though...shocked really...for how well that little kbd amp cut through the stage sound and it was only set about half way up on volume. It wasn't crystal crisp or anything, but handled synth, organ, and piano sounds quite well.

 

The EV's are still top of my list to replace the QSC, but if an old KB 60 or 100 comes across my way at a low price...

 

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There may be a good chance that KB 60 had a better replacement speaker in it.

I had a KB100 a while ago and it was the loudest but most horrid sounding 100W amp I have ever played through. It was also constantly in the repair shop.

Hammonds:1959 M3,1961 A-101,Vent, 2 Leslies,VB3/Axiom,

Casio WK-7500,Yamaha P50m Module/DGX-300

Gig rig:Casio PX-5S/Roland VR-09/Spacestation V3

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The EV ZLX 12P sets the current sound/price benchmark.

 

From there on up the JBL's, QSC's, Yamaha, Line 6's may all offer a better sound to some ears but considering their higher price it is very much a case of the law of diminishing returns taking over once you consider the price differential.

MainStage 3 | Axiom 61 2nd Gen | Pianoteq | B5 | XK3c | EV ZLX 12P

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Piano sounds fine through my Crate KX80 IMHO. The only problems with that amp are....it's bout loud enough and it's away too heavy.

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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Another vote for the ev. Got one two months ago. Sounds very clean, light and small but still powerful. Inexpensive too ( don't want to say cheap because of what that implies). I use a sub mixer because I run three keyboards through it. I can highly recommend it.
Korg kronos, casio px5s, studiologic sl 88 studio, korg m50,korg triton, yamaha moxf6, hammond xk1, korg sp200
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I went to GC and compared the QSC 10 and 12 against the ELX 112P and I thought that the EV sounded the best at all sound levels. And with it being $250 less, it was a no brainer for me.

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

facebook.com/smokingunsrock

facebook.com/acoustaxx

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Yet another user and lover of the ZLX12p. I got two from ProAudio and they sound wonderful. Clear, clean and powerful.

 

I have always used EV stuff and it never let me down. I sold my SXa15s only because of the weight, 50lbs each, the ZLX12p, is almost half that.

 

Paul

 

 

 

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Just to clarify, there seem to be two EV speakers being mentioned, the ZLX12p and the more expensive ELX112p, correct? I'm looking to upgrade my trusty old (and heavy) JBL Eon 15 g2, would either or both of the EV speakers be an improvement on that? Or does the QSCk12 still rule?
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Just to clarify, there seem to be two EV speakers being mentioned, the ZLX12p and the more expensive ELX112p, correct? I'm looking to upgrade my trusty old (and heavy) JBL Eon 15 g2, would either or both of the EV speakers be an improvement on that? Or does the QSCk12 still rule?

The ELX has been available for while, the ZLX has been out for about 6 months. Only you can decide whether they sound better than the EON or the K 12. Each will have different characteristics, for example the K10 and K12 have different dispersion and throw characteristics but otherwise a very similar sonic signature.

 

It pretty much comes down to how much you want to spend, I doubt you will disappointed with the EV's or the QSC's.

MainStage 3 | Axiom 61 2nd Gen | Pianoteq | B5 | XK3c | EV ZLX 12P

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The JBL EON 15 G2 is a great speaker...but as you say it is heavy. About a year ago I sold my G2s and got the new JBL 515XT and have been very happy with those. Much lighter (32lbs vs 45lbs) and easier to carry because of the new handle design. And more power than the G2. I paid $435 each, no tax, free shipping. The speakers were brand new. Just another option for you to to think about.
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Agree 100%... I've had a couple of EON15 G2's since 2001 and they are really good durable speakers but, now that I'm getting older, I'm starting to look into more portable alternatives (e.g. K10, EV 12 models, DXR10, etc.). Also, the handles on the Eons' tote bags are starting to misbehave so they are getting more difficult to transport. Your thumbs up for the 515XT and the fact that it is quite bit lighter makes me want to consider it as a possible replacement for my EON15 G2's.

Gigs: Nord 5D 73, Kurzwel SP4-7, Hammond SK1, Numa Compact 2x, Yamaha MX88, Casio CGP700, QSC K12, Yamaha DBR10, JBL515xt(2). Alto TS310(2)

 

 

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+1 For a Peavey KB60 I managed to pick one up for just £20 here in the UK from Ebay (local pick up only)Bargain !

 

In the mean time if $400 is around your budget, check out the Alto Kick 15 400watt keyboard amp.

It has a built in tilt stand,is lightweight and incorporates an Alesis 4 channel mixer with DSP effects meaning it can also act as a stand alone keyboard amp + PA.

People that have used them have been very impressed.

 

https://www.altoproaudio.com/products/kick15

 

" I may not be as good a player as you but I'm having fun "
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The JBL EON 15 G2 is a great speaker...but as you say it is heavy. About a year ago I sold my G2s and got the new JBL 515XT and have been very happy with those. Much lighter (32lbs vs 45lbs) and easier to carry because of the new handle design. And more power than the G2.

 

Same here ... replaced my JBL EON 15 G2s with EON 515XTs ... loud and clear, light (15 kg) and versatile ... very happy with them.

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To HHS: If you can, get some JBL carry bags with the wheels and extending handle. They are not cheap but they make it really easy to load in/out the 515Xts. I had the wheeled bags for the G2s and kept the bags when I sold the G2s....the G2 bags work fine for the 515XTs. You might be able to pick up some used G2 wheeled bags much cheaper than new bags for the XTs.
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