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Keyboard Amp/Speaker


jlsy

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Hi there! Joe from China.

I own a Roland XP-80 and I mainly use it at:

 

1) A 300 seat church for Sunday worship.

2) Home for production stuff, I already have appropriate moniters for that.

3) Monthly Jazz band get-together at home or a pub. (I take care of the drum programming and live acoustic bass from my Roland).

 

Now I'd like to know that besides the Roland's KC-300, what other keyboard speaker would be great for the above occasions. Note that I'd love to have at least one mic input like what the KCs offer for vocal.

 

Thanks!

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Hey Joe...

 

I bought a Barbetta 31C about 1-2 months ago and have been extremely happy with it. It's a nice weight and size for moving around (i.e. fits in my car with keyboard, stand, set of congos, etc.). The sound is also superb considering the size and everything.

 

You should really check out the feature Keyboard did on keyboard amps...it is in the "Features" section of the site...Barbetta also has a website (www.barbetta.com)...I ordered my amp through Sweetwater...

 

cheers. http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif

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Originally posted by michielxp30:

Maybe some active speakers like the zeck t3a or a powered behringer?

 

A) Who is Zeck?

 

B) The Behringer Ultrawave sounds awful, IMO. I actually like the sound of their Eurolive PA speakers, but I found the Ultrawave to be really nasal and thin-sounding. If you're going to go in that direction, get the real deal - the JBL EON.

 

dB

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

 

Affiliations: Cloud Microphones • Music Player Network 

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Originally posted by Dave Bryce:

If you're going to go in that direction, get the real deal - the JBL EON.

 

dB[/b]

 

Sorry, to my ears the EONs - both old and new models - don't hold a candle to the Mackie SRM450s. I use a pair and they are amazing.

 

I would highly recommend any cheap mixer (Behringer has a four channel model for $99) and one SRM450 over any keyboard amp. You've got more power, wider dispersion, more mounting options (floor monitor, level control, stands), more mixing/routing options, direct in for FOH systems.

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Originally posted by sevush:

Sorry, to my ears the EONs - both old and new models - don't hold a candle to the Mackie SRM450s.

 

I'll second that. My band's PA consists of a pair of SRM450's and a small mixer. They sound great, and they'll fill a fairly big room. Since I already have a mixer and stereo amp, I use a pair of C300's (the unpowered but otherwise identical) for my keyboard rig. I LOVE the way they sound. More like hi-fi stereo speakers than any amp I've played through.

 

I believe the EON's are designed more for vocal work. They sound kind of mid-rangey to me, and they don't have as wide of a frequency response as the Mackie's. And no, I DON'T work for Mackie! And no, my C300's are NOT for sale! http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/wink.gifhttp://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

 

Peace all,

Steve

><>

Steve

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I've never heard the Mackies, but I've never heard anything but good things about them. Also, I agree that the original EONs lacked bottom end, but the G2 model is a significant improvement, IMO.

 

However, the original post called for a combo keyboard amp with a mic input, not a PA speaker with a mixer. I'm pretty sure that the EONs come in a model that has multiple inputs (EON Pac, or something like that), or at least did before the G2 upgrade - does Mackie make one like that? I'm not too familiar with their speakers...

 

dB

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

 

Affiliations: Cloud Microphones • Music Player Network 

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Originally posted by Dave Bryce:

However, the original post called for a combo keyboard amp with a mic input, not a PA speaker with a mixer. I'm pretty sure that the EONs come in a model that has multiple inputs (EON Pac, or something like that), or at least did before the G2 upgrade - does Mackie make one like that? I'm not too familiar with their speakers...

 

dB

 

Mackie's SRM450 allows you to set the level from +22db to microphone level (-40?) - so you can plug ONE of ANYTHING in. There's also a "thru" for the input, so you can chain as many as you like (or use for house system)

 

But that's it for keyboard amp-like features. I just don't think the convienence of one box outweighs the versatility you would have with even a $99 Behringer four input mixer.

 

I have owned a Roland KC500 and they're noisier than the Mackies, have a quarter of the useful power, have a really harsh midrange and high end, weigh a lot more and have an odd shape to carry or place in a vehicle. I sold mine, got the Mackies and have traveled lighter, easier and have many more options ever since.

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What do you all think of the Yamaha MS400 vs. the Mackie SRM450? Is there anyone here who has experience with both of the units, and can compare them?

 

I'm interested in a comparison mostly of basic sound quality, primarily as a keyboard amp in the jazz / blues / and pop genres. And in terms of reliability.

 

I've always had pretty good luck with Yamaha, and I usually like the sound of their PA cabs, as far as I can remember. They cost a few hundred bucks less than the Mackies, too.

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Originally posted by botch@netutah.net:

Joe, since you'll be hauling it around weekly (weakly?) I would suggest lifting the Barbetta and comparing it to the others, its nice and light but loud.

 

I agree that the Barbetta is the best sounding combo amp for keyboards. I can't help but wonder what their availability is in China...

 

dB

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

 

Affiliations: Cloud Microphones • Music Player Network 

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Ha, you got me!

 

'Availability in China' is a big question mark. Most local music dealers sell Fender and Roland amps, 80% of which are bass and guitar ones.

 

The worse problem is, there is hardly any good book on the market that teaches real contemporary keyboard/piano (Jazz, Blues, Pop, R&B), but the funny thing is the number of MIDI-based home studios that developed for the last 10 years is incredible. Everyone seems to be too much into the tech stuff but few are really pros in terms of playing the instrument the way it deserves.

 

BTW, your president was staying in a hotal 200 m north of my apartment, and I believe the Air Force One was escorted by our Migs all the way back.

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Originally posted by jlsy:

Everyone seems to be too much into the tech stuff but few are really pros in terms of playing the instrument the way it deserves.

 

Well said, Jlsy. Not exclusively a Chinese problem, I'm afraid... http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif

 

marino

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Jsly,

 

There is no perfect keyboard amp setup, all of them require trade offs. It just depends on what things you value the highests. Your options really come down to either a combo amp or a small PA system. Each has it's benefits. The combo amp gives you portability, but the trade off is mono sound and less flexibility. A small PA system gives you flexibility, stereo sound and much more power at the cost of portability.

 

If you want to go the PA route:

 

Given your stated uses, Mackie SRM450 is a great system, but as a keyboard amp for a 300 seat church and a jazz act in a pub, it is probably overkill. 900W RMS is likely a lot more power the the FOH system in these venues. In the States, the street price on the Mackies runs close to $800 each, so a pair of these suckers is going to set you back the price of a new Karma. I'm also not sure about the availability in China.

 

JBL probably has a better distribution channel in China, so you might be able to get the EON 15 G2 (300 Watts each - street price in US is $700 each). The JBL EON Power15 is a more affordable $400 ea, 180W and uses the same cabinet design as the EON 15 G2. The un-powered version of the EON 15, the EON 1500 which runs around $300 is also an option (power Amps are often easier to find than active speakers).

 

Yamaha also makes decent 2-way active speakers - the MH400 is (400W each) runs about $700US. Yamaha should have a good channel in the far east, if you can't get them in Shanghai, try Singapore, Hong Kong or Japan.

 

Also, look at ElectroVoice. They don't to my knowledge make active speaker systems, but they do make excellent passive PA cabinets.

 

If you choose to go the Combo Amp direction (portability), considering availability in China, you should probably consider something like a Roland KC500 keyboard amp.

 

Don.

Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also owed to justice and to humanity. Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong: James Bryce
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