Mitch Towne Posted June 14, 2016 Share Posted June 14, 2016 Cavet: I am not an endorsing artist for Motion Sound so you don't need to apply any endorsing artist trigonometry to my review in order to get a cumulative honesty score. As the Space Station thread barrels towards 200 pages, with talk of external subs and "bloom," I decided, after trying the SS and finding it to be woefully underpowered for anything other than a cocktail gig, to go to the Motion Sound well for a third time. Some background: I tried out one of the early models of the KP500-sn when they were first released a few years ago. I found it harsh and unappealing. The cooling fan was really loud. I returned it. Then, a couple years later, I heard about design improvements and purchased another one. This was much better. The sound was warmer and the fan was much quieter. I used it for a couple years, but reached to a place in my gigging life where I was doing so many organ gigs with a Leslie and not playing much EP or synth that I decided to sell it (probably because I was looking to fund the purchase of another organ or Leslie or some such thing). In the last year, I have been gigging more and more with EPs and other sounds that would greatly benefit from a stereo field. At one point in my career, I lugged a couple QSC K12s to gigs, but screw that. That takes forever to hook up and takes up a huge stage footprint. So, I had been using one EV speaker, but, as I said, that is limiting sound wise. No creamy stereo tremolo on the Rhodes patches. No swirly Leslie effects. So, after seeing if the guy I sold my KP500-sn to wanted to sell it back (he didn't), I bit the bullet and bought a new one from Sweetwater. I don't regret it at all. If you search the Keyboard Mag forum, you will probably find my old review of the KP500. Pretty much everything I was happy about then, I am happy about now as well. I do not know why this amp isn't considered the gold standard for keyboard amplification. Very few people seem to talk about it or use it and there is nothing like it from any other company. It is easily the loudest, cleanest keyboard amp on the market. You will no longer lose the stage volume wars with guitarists. But, not only that, the stereo field is FANTASTIC! The angled speakers offer a true stereo separation and give your sounds the wide presence that you usually only hear when you have your stuff hooked up to your home studio set up. And the bass response is outstanding. Tight and clean. No fuzzing out. The stereo effect can be expanded (more on that later) and there is a separate "low bass" control thatwellyou can guess the rest. Sowhy did I sell it in the first place, other than funding something else? I was never happy with how it replicated the Leslie simulation in the Mojo, and since I was doing mostly organ gigs, it was just more satisfying to haul my 147. One thing about the KP500 is that, if the stereo expand is turned up to far, the amp can sound harsh. The midway point is just about perfect and gives you a nice wide stereo field. I have spent some time dialing in the Mojo rotary simulation, as well as the Ventilator II and they both sound great. As I wrote in another post, the Lester K sounds great with the KP500 also, and gives a more "Leslie in the room" feel than the other two, which produce more of a mic'ed Leslie sound. I have also found that dialing back the midrange makes the KP500 a little less "boomy," so experimentation with the settings is encouraged. The amp is about 55 lbs, so stairs might be a drag, but it is still better than having to make multiple trips with K12s or other PA speakers. I got a great, inexpensive cover from LeCover. My old one had a Studio Slips cover and I like the LeCover one better. It holds it's shape and goes on easier. In conclusion, to reiterate what I said above, the KP500-sn stands alone in the keyboard combo amp world. At $1,299 new from Sweetwater (the only retailer I could find), it isn't cheap, but it comes in as less expensive than a pair of K12s. Endorsing Artist/Ambassador for MAG Organs and Motion Sound Amplifiers, Organ player for SRT - www.srtgroove.com Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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