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Fun with keyboard amps.


zeronyne

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I've been considering actually buying an amp lately. I'm using the colloquial definition of amp, not just a power amplifier.

 

Presently, I play through a Bass Pod XT into my studio monitors (+ sub). Obviously, the signal chain includes a mixer, but you get the idea.

 

I recently plunked money down on a tube amp that is specifically made for guitar modelers (Atomic Reactor). I is basically a tube power amp and speaker in a combo cabinet with a template and a few jacks for your particular modeler. For reasons not relevant to this thread, I had second thoughts.

 

But back to bass. I really like the Bass Pod XT. It records like a dream, especially when used by a real bass player (ie not me), but I really want the amp vibe.

 

So there's two schools of thought when it comes to bass guitar sound reinforcement. The Ampeg-SWR-Eden school involves a highly colored sound. The preamp/poweramp and cabinet have an identifiable voice all their own.

 

The other school is all about transparency. Essentially, the cabinets behave like the best PA cabs, and the power amps are flat to let the preamp, bass and/or modeler shine through. They are essentially PA systems that are voiced (but not exclusively) for bass. Don't believe me? Acme recommends using their cabs as a hi fi monitoring system.

 

Anyway, this is all stuff most of you know. Did you know, though, that most keyboard amps are also designed the same way (excluding, of course, Leslies like Motion Sound).

 

Have any of you thought about running through a keyboard amp? They usually have an extensive mider section and plenty of power. There's a Carvin with two 10"s and 1000 watts. I'm thinking of the convenience of having a bass cobo amp without a separate poweramp in a rack.

 

thoughts?

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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I'm a Bass POD xt fan too. Since the Bass POD xt provides plenty of "color" (amp modeling), an amp/cabinet with "flat" response is probably best.

 

On the other hand, I suspect POD-fans are few and far between. Most folks seem to gravitate to "that one perfect sound", based on the ideal bass/strings/amp/cabinet combination.

 

The POD can sound *really* nice, but it is far more complex to set-up. You really need a set of patches for quiet studio/home settings, and another for live settings, too. Still, for me, it is "BOD xt all the way!"

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i have used peavey's entire line of keyboard amps in the lab. the USA-made amps were coming through around the time i started. then we had to validate the chinese-made amps when production for the smaller ones was moved to china.

 

if i were using a modeller, i'd be fine with it, but just the bass alone into the keyboard amp was too transparent for my tastes. so if you're down with transparent when you don't have your POD, especially if you're planning to double your amp with its intended purpose, i'd recommend you go that direction.

 

i like the peavey KB amps. carvin also makes a keyboard line. i'm sure there's plenty of others out there. the main difference is that keyboard amps have multiple channels, since most synth guys are using multiple keyboards and/or sound modules.

 

let us know how the search goes! i'm interested to see what else is out there. (i.e. i'm not surprised your atomic reactor exists, but i hadn't heard of it.)

 

robb.

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I think a keyboard amp with a Pod is a good idea. I think a Pod with a PR type speaker and power amp would work well, too. The Peavey KB amps are nice. I play through one at our rehearsal space and even straight in it sounds pretty good.
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Just be careful with the EQ on the highs; most keyboard amps I've tried this through are made to carry a higher high end than we are used to, and can sound really harsh up there. (and it's even worse for guitar) Roll off the highs and you should be ok.

"Am I enough of a freak to be worth paying to see?"- Separated Out (Marillion)

NEW band Old band

 

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When I think of a keyboard amplifier, I think of the following three things in one package:

 

-line mixer

-power amplifier

-speaker cabinet

 

The amplifier and speaker cabinet are essential. Do you really need the line mixer?

 

There are powered PA speakers that are light, powerful, and effecient. They have low-frequency response as good as most bass cabinets.

 

Or, you could go crazy...

 

http://www.bergantino.com/ip%20prodpics/ip310.jpg

 

1,000 watts of power, custom curves for response..

 

At 86 lbs., it weighs in at about the same as the Carvin combo.

 

It's a bit pricey, though... the list is $2,400. But it comes with a cover! :)

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Originally posted by getz76:

When I think of a keyboard amplifier, I think of the following three things in one package:

 

-line mixer

-power amplifier

-speaker cabinet

 

http://www.barbetta.com/Live/Sona_41/se41.jpg
- Matt W.
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I know I've played through a KB amp long ago, when I was still a kid and didn't know a lot. I do know that it sounded much better than my '70s Peavey TNT-100 1x15 combo. It was probably a beefy Roland 1x15 or something.

 

It makes sense that KB amps (and PA amps, for that matter) have to cover the same frequency range as a bass amp, and obviously more. It kind of makes you suspicious, like someone trying to sell pliers with pink handles and claiming they are "women's" pliers, even though there is no other difference (except a markup in price). :eek:

 

When I went through all this in my head not long ago I decided I'd try to make my next rig out of SR/PA equipment as much as possible, relying on a preamp/modeller for "color". I didn't consider KB amps at the time because I was feeling like the only reputable specs were for SR equipment. It would be nice to know that there is another alternative from the land of keys.

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