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Finally some love for a keyboard amp...


zaj58

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well after playing thru many different different keyboard amps over the years and selling the last one I had, a Traynor K 4 and never liking any of them much including the Traynor I went to the end of the line and pulled the trigger on a new Motion Sound 500sn...All i can say is, Yes! this thing sounds good.. Used it on my first gig the other night playing a CP4 and a nord elecro 3 thru it.. the AP on the CP4 sounded very nice as did all the sounds I used..The stereo expander effect is real.. it works, somehow they are able to produce a true stereo dimensional effect that emanates out of one unit.. Was messing around before the gig and pulled up a stereo pan rhodes and i was amazed at how well it sounded.. the Traynor could never pull that off.. I also have 2 K10's that I take out with me when I want no compromise in my sound.. to be honest this amp made my keys sound just as good as the K10's IMO. Played in a dual guitar playing So. rock band and i had plenty of power to keep up on the stage.. The sound engineer had me FOH via the L and R XLR outputs in back of amp and was happy with a nice clean signal. So it looks like this one is a keeper.. i know there is currently a thread going on about the Spacestation V3 and it looks very promising, but i like the fact that this is a keyboard specific amp and when running more then one board i don't need an external mixer( also the built in line outs).. I do think it is a bit more powerful also.. I know keyboard amps are generally trashed around here, but i think motion sound got this one right..
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I've had one for 5 or so years now. Totally agree with you.

I also had the Traynor as well as a Motion Sound 200.

 

The only thing to watch out for is the coating on it is weak.

It's not Tolex(at least my first generation one isn't), it's paint.

Well with that said I would not mind getting a cover for it..
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Nice! Being the ignorant dweeb that I am I had no idea those existed - but I've been out of music for more than a decade (that's my excuse and I'm.... well, you know).

 

But yes, very interesting. I wouldn't be that interested if not for the fact that you gigged live rock with 2 guitarists and said it could keep up. It looks really cool. Heck, I want one to use as a speaker stand for one of my 15 EV's, which I just happily got the covers for btw.

 

But anyway, very nice new piece of stage gear zaj58 :)

I got a bunch of stuff, none of it the really cool stuff though. I am working on it; I want really cool stuff.
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you run both boards stereo to the two stereo channel inputs? looking at the spec, it has two channels with dual 1/4" ins or ... ?

 

what I don't get looking at the pic online is the top has Channel 1 and 2, but both sides have four 1/4" input jacks? (2 pair of L/R on each channel)?

The baiting I do is purely for entertainment value. Please feel free to ignore it.
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you run both boards stereo to the two stereo channel inputs? looking at the spec, it has two channels with dual 1/4" ins or ... ?

 

what I don't get looking at the pic online is the top has Channel 1 and 2, but both sides have four 1/4" input jacks? (2 pair of L/R on each channel)?

 

Yeah, you can plug in two stereo instruments to each channel. Obviously they share a set of channel controls so you have to "mix" them using the instrument output levels. I only gig with two keyboards so can't speak to how well that works for people.

 

One feature I use a lot on my KP-200S is the extra click/monitor input on the back. I use my amp as mixer/keyboard amp/vocal monitor all in one. It appears the KP-500SN doesn't have that feature.

 

Nord Stage 3 88, Korg Kronos 2 61, Moog Sub 37, Yamaha U1 Upright, Casio CT-S1, Spacestation V.3, QSC K10.2

www.stickmanor.com

There's a thin white line between fear and fury - Stickman

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I know keyboard amps are generally trashed around here, but i think motion sound got this one right..

 

Jim Eschelman (did I spell that right?) and jgb3ny are 2 guys on this forum that dig this amp. I heard Pat Bianchi (who is sponsored by Motion Sound) play a Nord C2 through one at Blues Alley in DC a few years back and it sounded really good to me.

:nopity:
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I have been talking up the Motion Sound 500sn for years. It's the best keyboard amp I have ever used and it's my first choice whenever I play in a band situation. I play an SK2 through mine and it does a great job. I believe the neodymium bass speakers in the 500sn do a better job of providing clear and balanced low-end tones for AP's and EP's than most woofers.

 

We all know that powered monitors are the weapon of choice for keyboard amplification (here), but we can and should allow a little discussion room given to combo amps like the Motion Sound KP-500sn so that a few more might get sold, which would help boost the market for quality keyboard combo amps overall.

 

 

 

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LeCover makes a nice cover for the Motion Sound.
.. thanks will check that out.. also, to the other poster i use the two independent stereo channels not both boards thru one channel, although as was said you can do that..
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It looks great just like all MS stuff, and I think keyboard amps will always be superior in sound quality over powered speakers for organs and electric pianos, synths as well, it's really just acoustic pianos that PS get the nod for sound.

 

But there are two reasons I just can't go back to amps- volume and weight, I need to compete without good (or any) stage monitors and I hate lugging 50 lb.+ gear at 3am after a long day, it just doesn't work.

 

So these guys like MS need to find ways to ramp up the output and build a lighter box, maybe use carbon fiber or something, anything to get it down to the 25 lb range, then I'll go back to combo amps, because I would really like to.

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I think keyboard amps will always be superior in sound quality over powered speakers for organs and electric pianos, synths as well, it's really just acoustic pianos that PS get the nod for sound.

 

Don't mean to derail the thread, but can anyone point me to a "dummy's guide" (or particularly good thread) that will discuss - in very general and simple terms - the pros/cons of hooking up keyboards to powered speakers, combo amplifiers, PA systems?

 

When I bought my keyboards about 9 months ago (CP4 and Hammond XK1C) after many years without any electric gear at all, I got an Alto 110a, which is fine for home, small rooms and as a monitor, but not sufficient for all my needs. I've been reading random threads (like this one), but would benefit from more of an overview (if one is available anywhere). Thanks.

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It looks great just like all MS stuff, and I think keyboard amps will always be superior in sound quality over powered speakers for organs and electric pianos, synths as well, it's really just acoustic pianos that PS get the nod for sound.

 

But there are two reasons I just can't go back to amps- volume and weight, I need to compete without good (or any) stage monitors and I hate lugging 50 lb.+ gear at 3am after a long day, it just doesn't work.

 

So these guys like MS need to find ways to ramp up the output and build a lighter box, maybe use carbon fiber or something, anything to get it down to the 25 lb range, then I'll go back to combo amps, because I would really like to.

 

It weighs 7lbs light than the SN200. The handles are much nicer and it has casters. It's still 48lbs but everybody that I say, 'here pick it up, what do you think?', responds that it is light. It is just so big for how light it is.

I do try to use the casters as much as possible but it is easy to carry up stairs to a degree.

It sounds better for my piano than my 10" FBTs'.

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Like Jim, I have been using the 500 for a couple years now with my SK2 as well, and the amp really gets it done. I never found any keyboard amp that satisfied me until the MS500. I like using the Ventilator with the 8 pin adapted cable in one channel for organ on the upper manual (stereo), and all the extra voices lower manual via stereo in the second channel. The only other amps I own are tube driven Leslie cabs. A 145, 120 modded into a small 145, and a 22h amp powered custom cabinet. I truly love the sound of tube amps over solid state but sometimes I cover more than just organ, hence the MS amp. I pick/choose depending on the band, gig and venue. The MS 500 works great in the mix, and especially if you are looking for the stereo thing. Joe.
SK-1 61; Mojo LE; Mojo 61. Leslie 122. MS kp500sn, Ventilators.
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Don't mean to derail the thread, but can anyone point me to a "dummy's guide" (or particularly good thread) that will discuss - in very general and simple terms - the pros/cons of hooking up keyboards to powered speakers, combo amplifiers, PA systems?

 

When I bought my keyboards about 9 months ago (CP4 and Hammond XK1C) after many years without any electric gear at all, I got an Alto 110a, which is fine for home, small rooms and as a monitor, but not sufficient for all my needs. I've been reading random threads (like this one), but would benefit from more of an overview (if one is available anywhere). Thanks.

 

Keyboard Magazine, January & February 2011 issues contained a two-part 'Amp Up' Roundup series that compared keyboard combo amps, and powered monitor speakers, respectively. There are reviews and comparison charts with specs, etc.

Hammond-Suzuki XK-3c, Neo Instruments Ventilator, Moog Music Little Phatty Stage II, Kurzweil PC2r.
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I think keyboard amps will always be superior in sound quality over powered speakers for organs and electric pianos, synths as well, it's really just acoustic pianos that PS get the nod for sound.

 

Don't mean to derail the thread, but can anyone point me to a "dummy's guide" (or particularly good thread) that will discuss - in very general and simple terms - the pros/cons of hooking up keyboards to powered speakers, combo amplifiers, PA systems?

 

When I bought my keyboards about 9 months ago (CP4 and Hammond XK1C) after many years without any electric gear at all, I got an Alto 110a, which is fine for home, small rooms and as a monitor, but not sufficient for all my needs. I've been reading random threads (like this one), but would benefit from more of an overview (if one is available anywhere). Thanks.

 

You might find this helpful -- strictly my opinion, though! Getting Your Amplification Right

 

Life is too short to be playing bad music.

 

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You might find this helpful -- strictly my opinion, though! Getting Your Amplification Right

 

Thanks to all who replied to my question, and now I'm going to derail my derail. I started to read this and noticed the following sentence, "Anything marketed as a guitar amp will be totally unsuitable for most keyboard amplification work."

 

This made me recall that, when I was in high school, I connected my Rhodes to a bass guitar amp (I think the brand was Acoustic). My recollection is that I had been told or learned that that solution was better than keyboard amps at that time.

 

I have no idea whether that was correct even then (30 years ago), but it makes me wonder: when it comes to keyboard amps, has the technology changed much in the past few decades? (Again, feel free to direct me elsewhere or tell me to consult Wikipedia or whatever.)

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All technology has changed in the last 30 years! Keyboard amps as a category didn't really exist back then. I used a Roland Jazz Chorus for a while, as an example.

 

Fast forward to 2014:

 

The general consensus is that higher-end acoustic piano sounds are the most challenging to amplify. More leeway with electric pianos, organs, synths, clavs, etc.

 

The unit being described in this thread (the Motion Sound 500sn) is probably one of the best mainstream keyboard amps. At $1299 retail, it darn well should be!

 

Another poster suggested it did most things well, with the possible exception of acoustic piano voices, which I would agree with. It is also a massive beast that sits in a single sweet spot.

 

Compare that with a pair of self-powered PA units (insert popular choices here). Many people would claim that the PA units do a better job of acoustic piano voices, as well as handling everything else. They are generally much lighter individually. And you have greater flexibility in where you place them, how you use them, etc. In essence, you're bringing your own PA for your keyboards, plus any other instruments (horns, etc.) you're willing to plug in.

 

A pair is in roughly the same price range as the amp described here, so they are comparable on that basis.

 

Let the debate begin!

Life is too short to be playing bad music.

 

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All technology has changed in the last 30 years! Keyboard amps as a category didn't really exist back then. I used a Roland Jazz Chorus for a while, as an example.

 

Fast forward to 2014:

 

The general consensus is that higher-end acoustic piano sounds are the most challenging to amplify. More leeway with electric pianos, organs, synths, clavs, etc.

 

The unit being described in this thread (the Motion Sound 500sn) is probably one of the best mainstream keyboard amps. At $1299 retail, it darn well should be!

 

Another poster suggested it did most things well, with the possible exception of acoustic piano voices, which I would agree with. It is also a massive beast that sits in a single sweet spot.

 

Compare that with a pair of self-powered PA units (insert popular choices here). Many people would claim that the PA units do a better job of acoustic piano voices, as well as handling everything else. They are generally much lighter individually. And you have greater flexibility in where you place them, how you use them, etc. In essence, you're bringing your own PA for your keyboards, plus any other instruments (horns, etc.) you're willing to plug in.

 

A pair is in roughly the same price range as the amp described here, so they are comparable on that basis.

 

Let the debate begin!

.. well i dont know if you have personally played thru a MS 500sn but i can tell you that my AP patches on my CP4 sound great thru this amp..as i stated in my original post they actually sound as good as or comparable to my 2 K10's which i also own.. i still need to use it a bit more and make sure that its true love and not just infatuation, but I really like the way this amp sounds.. certainly when comparing it to any other KB amp i have ever heard..(or owned)
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All technology has changed in the last 30 years! Keyboard amps as a category didn't really exist back then. I used a Roland Jazz Chorus for a while, as an example.

 

Fast forward to 2014:

 

The general consensus is that higher-end acoustic piano sounds are the most challenging to amplify. More leeway with electric pianos, organs, synths, clavs, etc.

 

The unit being described in this thread (the Motion Sound 500sn) is probably one of the best mainstream keyboard amps. At $1299 retail, it darn well should be!

 

Another poster suggested it did most things well, with the possible exception of acoustic piano voices, which I would agree with. It is also a massive beast that sits in a single sweet spot.

 

Compare that with a pair of self-powered PA units (insert popular choices here). Many people would claim that the PA units do a better job of acoustic piano voices, as well as handling everything else. They are generally much lighter individually. And you have greater flexibility in where you place them, how you use them, etc. In essence, you're bringing your own PA for your keyboards, plus any other instruments (horns, etc.) you're willing to plug in.

 

A pair is in roughly the same price range as the amp described here, so they are comparable on that basis.

 

Let the debate begin!

.. well i dont know if you have personally played thru a MS 500sn but i can tell you that my AP patches on my CP4 sound great thru this amp..as i stated in my original post they actually sound as good as or comparable to my 2 K10's which i also own.. i still need to use it a bit more and make sure that its true love and not just infatuation, but I really like the way this amp sounds.. certainly when comparing it to any other KB amp i have ever heard..(or owned)

 

Rant accepted ...

 

I own a Motion Sound KBR-3D, and got to play through a 500sn briefly. The bottom half of the KBR doesn't have quite the specs of the 500sn, but it's a reasonably similar design. Like anything else, it has its pros and cons. Loved the leslie, disliked how my APs sounded through it (CP5 and Nords in this case). The stereo expander effect was reasonably cool on occasion. And a very heavy beast as well.

 

I also own the K10s, as well as a few others in the QSC lineup. They too have their pros and cons. What I appreciate is the convenience and flexibility of the dual self-powered PA setup. Easier load-in, placement wasn't such an issue, works great in all sorts of venues, for cramped gigs I could dial back to a single unit, etc.

 

If we're talking pure sound, for me, I got much better definition, transients, crispness, etc. from the dual K8/K10/K12 setups than I ever could get from the smaller Motion Sound. The soundfield was broader, richer and much less directional. It sounded good everywhere: on stage and out in the audience as well. Both my bands gave me a thumbs-up when I ditched the keyboard amp and went to self-powered PA units.

 

Your mileage may vary.

 

I agree with you, if I was still doing the keyboard amp thing, the 500sn would certainly be on my very short list. And I liked enough of what I heard that I'd maybe consider it again someday.

 

However, I've got this new Spacestation thingie that I think will work out for gigs where I don't want to lug dual PA units. Wide field stereo in a compact unit. It's an intriguing unit that takes the whole "keyboard amp" thing in an entirely different direction.

Life is too short to be playing bad music.

 

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I really like the compactness and phase coherence of coaxial speakers. It would be interesting to see a keyboard amp with 2 stereo coax speakers properly ported and with the active electronics that the powered pa cabs have.

 

 

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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For those in the UK, it appears Motion Sound are no longer available. A few years ago I bought a KP200s for use with a Nord & I agree entirely that it produces a fantastic sound, especially when combined with some of the Nords stereo effect. "Auto pan" still blows me away :o)

 

The KP200s is a great amp for small pub gigs, rehearsals, home use & I've not heard anything that can match it for sound vs size vs price. For bigger/louder bands I'm sure the 500s would be a better choice but sadly unavailable to those of us in the UK & Europe.

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All technology has changed in the last 30 years! Keyboard amps as a category didn't really exist back then.

 

WHAT?

 

I have played through dedicated keyboard amps since the 60's. My first made-for-keyboards amp was a Farfisa. I used a Sunn keyboard amp in the 70's and both Peavey and Roland keyboard amps have certainly been around a lot longer than 30 years. Heck, in the 80's I played through a Marshall keyboard amp. YES, MARSHALL.

 

The only thing that has changed is the new availability of neodymium speakers. The reason many keyboard amps AND powered speakers don't do well with acoustic piano sounds is because they have muddy bass speakers with uneven response. The neodymium woofers of the Motion Sound KP-500sn have a flatter response and are much lighter than average ceramic magnets (that is why the 500 watt MS KP-500sn weighs about the same as the 200 watt MS KP-200s). We haven't had a keyboard amp with neodymium speakers until now and they make a big difference in AP and EP tones.

 

There is nothing to debate if you haven't actually tried the MS KP-500sn yourself.

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The neodymium woofers of the Motion Sound KP-500sn have a flatter response and are much lighter than average ceramic magnets (that is why the 500 watt MS KP-500sn weighs about the same as the 200 watt MS KP-200s). We haven't had a keyboard amp with neodymium speakers until now and they make a big difference in AP and EP tones.

 

There is nothing to debate if you haven't actually tried the MS KP-500sn yourself.

 

Sure, there is plenty to debate.

 

You need to reference your source for this statement: The neodymium woofers of the Motion Sound KP-500sn have a flatter response and are much lighter than average ceramic magnets.

 

And this one: they make a big difference in AP and EP tones.

 

In one broad stroke, you are stating that any keyboard amp or powered speaker that employs neodymium magnets in their speaker components sounds better with AP or EP tones than all others on the market that use anything but neodymium.

 

The KP-500SN may be a fine keyboard amp. However, stating that any system where speaker components are replaced with those that use neodymium magnets will have a flatter response and will always have better sound when playing acoustic piano and electric piano tones is nothing but conjecture.

 

Without backing up your remarks, you are misleading the reader, asking him or her to trust you and believe that your statements are indeed facts.

 

There are many who actually believe that if they read something on the internet then it is indeed true. Broad statements in the guise of facts, such as the ones above, perpetuate this.

 

You'll need to edit your post, or cite your references.

 

Tom

 

 

 

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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The neodymium woofers of the Motion Sound KP-500sn have a flatter response and are much lighter than average ceramic magnets (that is why the 500 watt MS KP-500sn weighs about the same as the 200 watt MS KP-200s). We haven't had a keyboard amp with neodymium speakers until now and they make a big difference in AP and EP tones.

 

There is nothing to debate if you haven't actually tried the MS KP-500sn yourself.

 

Sure, there is plenty to debate.

 

You need to reference your source for this statement: The neodymium woofers of the Motion Sound KP-500sn have a flatter response and are much lighter than average ceramic magnets.

 

And this one: they make a big difference in AP and EP tones.

 

In one broad stroke, you are stating that any keyboard amp or powered speaker that employs neodymium magnets in their speaker components sounds better with AP or EP tones than all others on the market that use anything but neodymium.

 

The KP-500SN may be a fine keyboard amp. However, stating that any system where speaker components are replaced with those that use neodymium magnets will have a flatter response and will always have better sound when playing acoustic piano and electric piano tones is nothing but conjecture.

 

Without backing up your remarks, you are asking the reader to trust you and believe that your statements are indeed facts. :facepalm:

 

Well, I don't. And I can't.

 

Sorry, Jim.

 

 

Your imagination is carrying you away. What is "conjecture" is making statements about something you haven't tried ITGITC, and you have not tried the KP-500sn. Just as others here have posted their personal impressions with this amp, I have too. I don't know what it is about my comments that infuriates you so much but get over it.

 

 

 

 

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