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Amplification Quandry


lowerhodes

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In a rare moment of clarity I have come to realize what the problem is with my live sound (aside from my playing). I keep buying and selling keyboards and modules that sound great through headphones and recorded but bite live. I have now deduced that the problem is probably my JBL Eon 10 G2's which I like in general but for some reason sound awful for every digital acoustic piano emulation I have played through them (which is many). I really only need three sounds - acoustic piano, Rhodes and B3/Leslie. I would prefer something reasonably portable. I do not require massive volume but do need to run in stereo. Recommendations, please! I would like to keep it under $1500 but if necessary I will find a way to pony up a little more (don't ask me how...)
Fender Rhodes (x4) / Wurlitzer 200A / NE3 61 / Motif XS6 / Korg SV-1 73
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I think you need a 12" speaker at least... all I play is Rhodes and piano. Rhodes and organ are simple sounds and fine in mono but stereo piano samples are difficult and need stereo to avoid that weird hollow sound they get when played in mono.

 

I did not like my JBL EON 10 G2s either. I didn't like my Mackie SRM450s either (hyped sound and heavy/bulky). The JBL EON15 G2 is not bad, it is bulky though.

 

A pair of 36 lb. powered EV Sxa360 is my choice and what I settled on from the list below:

 Find 600 of my jazz piano arrangements and tutorials for educational purposes at patreon.com/HarryLikas Harry was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."

 

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 Find 600 of my jazz piano arrangements and tutorials for educational purposes at patreon.com/HarryLikas Harry was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."

 

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I've been sold on the Bose 802s for many years. When I was in the military (as a musician) we would play concerts with stacks of the 802s. During rehearsals the bass player (acoustic and electric) would play through two 802s and he always sounded great. You don't have to worry about protecting the speakers when transporting them, they are made for abuse. I've dropped mine several times with no damage whatsoever. With most speakers you have to buy an additional case to protect them, not with the 802s.

 

I use two 802s on jobs and bring along a CD player for the breaks. Everything sounds great through those 802s. Many cafés here in Holland have 802's hanging from the ceiling or permanently mounted on the wall. You have to use the Bose System Controller with these speakers and I'm pretty sure that little device compensates for any irregularities in the frequency response.

 

I personally like the way they are designed for carrying and monitor placement. They are extremely inefficient so you need an amp with about 250 watts per speaker (I believe).

 

You read here that some systems sound great for this or for that. I can state that my P250 sounds great through them, vocals sound great and my CD player also sounds great through them. It's probably a more expensive way to go but it does have its advantages - the speakers are not that heavy ... 31 pounds\14 kg. The frequency response for the Bose 802 Series III is 55 - 16k ± 3dB. The typical price for one 802 is about $750. You'll need two of them and a System Controller. http://www.bose.com/images/professional/on_stage/p_802_3_s.jpg

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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You didn't mention how important your B-3 was to you overall sound but if it is featured heavily, some sort of actual rotating speaker should be part of your thinking. For around 2000 (new) a leslie 21 system would answer your needs. You could run the rhodes and acoustic through the bottom unit with a small mixer if they are two keyboards. You might also look at the Motion Sound horn unit and and powered speaker combo as others have suggested. Bottom line, for good B-3 you need to move some air IMO.
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Learjeff uses and pair of JBL (512?) monitors and a powered Yamaha stereo board with about 350 watts at 8 ohms. It sounded sweet at the blues jam a week ago. Plenty of range for piano, EP's and Hammondclone. I was impressed that the 12" JBL covered the bottom well and the mids and highs were clean with neither seeming to over ride the other. Of course you could use any amp to power them and they would sound good.

 

www.jblpro.com

Jimmy

 

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho

NEW BAND CHECK THEM OUT

www.steveowensandsummertime.com

www.jimmyweaver.com

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I use a Yamaha EMX-5000 powered stereo mixer and a pair of JBL JRX112M wedges, and I'm very happy with the sound. The mixer is 375 WPC into 8 ohms and with the JBLs is loud enough for stage monitors for any band (any band that's too loud on stage for them is WAY too loud for me!) In other words, they're suitable as mains&monitors for any gig where you aren't running through FOH, and suitable as monitors for any gig where you are. Total cost is under $1200, and it takes 1 1/2 trips because I can carry both (42lb) speakers in one trip.

 

The mixer is "mixer shaped", rather than box-shaped like smaller powered mixers. The box shape is better for stage use, but the EMX had the features I wanted, such as signal/clip indicators on each channel, mute for each channel, etc. It's definitely overkill for the purpose, but it's nice having a good mixer anyway.

 

I pulled one "cheek" off the mixer so that I can set it on its side under my keyboard, and it doesn't use much stage space. The airflow in this case is less than ideal, but I never run it very hot (even at blues jams where it's too loud on stage, around 110 dB SPL). Plus it has thermal overload protection. It's a GREAT powered mixer for $575!

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3 possible solutions:

 

1. Traynor K4: nice sound, not too compressed. Good tube premp inpput for organ (if it has a good leslie sim, like the electro or CX3), and rhodes, or clav. Good clean solid state input for acc piano. Stereo (but stereo image is pretty weak). Light. About $770.00 http://www.directproaudio.com/product.cfm?directid=56780

 

2. Motion Sound KBR3D: Piano channel is stereo, a bit compressed (2 10" speakers), with excellent stereo image. organ channel is true rotary horn, and sounds good especially if you need 'real leslie' (like for a Hammond clone) Price, about $1,400 http://www.zzounds.com/item--MOTKBR3D

 

3. My favorite: AccuGroove T112L cabinet (38 lbs) with Accoustic Image head (5 lbs) Price, about $2,100 for both.

http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/18/t/020052/p/1.html#000000

Hammond C3, Leslie 122, Steinway B, Wurlitzer 200A, Rhodes 73,

D6 Clav

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PS- you can save a LOT of $$ by not using the Accoustic Image head, and going with a QSC amp and Mackie mixer to drive the AccuGrrove cabinet. Very good alternative.

Hammond C3, Leslie 122, Steinway B, Wurlitzer 200A, Rhodes 73,

D6 Clav

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You might consider this:

 

http://www.polytoneamps.com/catalog8.html

 

I play a Kurzweil PC2R and sometimes my XK-System through an old pair of these that I picked up used:

 

http://www.polytoneamps.com/catalog6.html

 

The pianos sound like pianos to me, the organs and other Synth sounds sound great as well. It also has a very nice sounding Leslie Sim built in.

 

There are lots of good options out there, good luck.

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LOWERHODES,

 

If you use A BBE 362 (or the like) on your rig, it will improve your stage sound quit a bit regardless of the powered speaker or Amp. Your G2 issue aside I recommend BBE. I use it on all my rigs (in stereo or mono)...

 

It corrects the time displacement of the bass and treble as it leaves the speaker (and reaches the stage or audience). I know some may disagree and state that it may color your sound and I have had problems with it on B3 clones. But on Piano and Synth I think the results are really pretty amazing. 1 rack space (BBE 362 / stereo/ unbalanced (I think)) $99.

 

LB

 CP-50, YC 73,  FP-80, PX5-S, NE-5d61, Kurzweil SP6, XK-3, CX-3, Hammond XK-3, Yamaha YUX Upright, '66 B3/Leslie 145/122

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 Find 600 of my jazz piano arrangements and tutorials for educational purposes at patreon.com/HarryLikas Harry was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."

 

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Originally posted by Jazz+:

Doesn't the BBE act like an exciter that boosts the highs? I had one but sold it, I thought it made things sounds crispy.

I think the BBE is one of those effects where if you can really hear it you have it set too high. It does seem to bring the upper mid-range and highs out from behind the low mid-range and bass without actually making it louder. Kind of like being able to see the trees in the forest.
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Something else to consider. Your sound system is only as good as your weakest component. It COULD be the speakers, but it could also be an EQ problem.

 

I've always used a small PA system for my Keyboards. My nemesis has been using a Harmonizer through the same system. But the sound of my instruments is very good provided I have time to do an adequate sound check before I start a gig. A real time analyzer would solve that problem if you don't have a lot of time.

 

I know a lot of people love Bose 802's, and they're OK for low volume gigs, and you can't beat them for being light and portable. But I've always felt that they would have to avoid the laws of physics to get great 40 or 50hz sounds out of a mid range speaker like the 802's.

 

The best sound I ever got was out of a small Pa, 15" woofer, mid range 6.5", and a HF horn. A dual 31 band graphic or a parametric EQ (your preference). A good quality mixer with some overhead. Add a great power amp, like a QSC, Crown, or even a Yamaha P7000s, match the amp with a great set of speakers, like EAW, Yorkville, etc. and you will a have GREAT sound. Maybe a backache too, but "sacrifices have to be made in the name of music". :D

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

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I leave mine (Lo/Hi Contour) set at 12:00 o'clock, And yes as described above by JMcS it brings out the upper mid's and highs. Sometimes I bring the HI setting down to 10:30 or 11:00. That depends on the room and speaker I'm using.

 

The BBE with a good stereo EQ does the trick for me....

 

I don't think it's actually and exciter, it's supposed to time correct. In the write-up I'm pretty sure it says that! You have to use it at a moderate level though.

 

Yeah!, here: http://www.bbesound.com/technologies/BBE%5FHDS/

 

LB

 CP-50, YC 73,  FP-80, PX5-S, NE-5d61, Kurzweil SP6, XK-3, CX-3, Hammond XK-3, Yamaha YUX Upright, '66 B3/Leslie 145/122

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It doesn't actually say time-correct, but an very old review/write up I believe said that years ago when they first appeared.

 

LB

 CP-50, YC 73,  FP-80, PX5-S, NE-5d61, Kurzweil SP6, XK-3, CX-3, Hammond XK-3, Yamaha YUX Upright, '66 B3/Leslie 145/122

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Yep, I would try an outboard processor (EQ, BBE, etc.) prior to replacing the speakers.

 

15 or 31 band EQ would provide more control over the sound. A BBE works its magic across frequencies in an invisible albeit pleasant way. :cool:

 

Keys cover a wide frequency range and sound great through 12 or 15 inch speakers.

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Originally posted by LEGATOBOY:

It doesn't actually say time-correct, but an very old review/write up I believe said that years ago when they first appeared.

 

LB

I'm not an electrical engineer, but I believe it does its magic by 'tighening up' differences in phase in certain frequency ranges.

 

There was a long story regarding Aphex and BBE. Anyone know what I'm talking about?

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Originally posted by MikeT156:

Maybe a backache too, but "sacrifices have to be made in the name of music". :D

 

Mike T.

That's why they make 2-wheel hand trucks :D

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

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Dave,

 

It got way to involved for me after the 2nd or 3rd paragraph on the BBE site. I'm in work and I do computer prog/systems work for a living. So right now I just passed.... I HAVE ENOUGH FN TECH on my hands! Though sound tech. is much much cooler for my Dolares.

 

I have 3 of em and 2 that crapped out on me!

 

It just sounds better and corrects those freq. basically before the speaker... it's in there (below). The bottom of the page gives the tech skinny!

 

http://www.bbesound.com/technologies/BBE%5FHDS/

 

LB

 CP-50, YC 73,  FP-80, PX5-S, NE-5d61, Kurzweil SP6, XK-3, CX-3, Hammond XK-3, Yamaha YUX Upright, '66 B3/Leslie 145/122

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I know a lot of people love Bose 802's, and they're OK for low volume gigs, and you can't beat them for being light and portable. But I've always felt that they would have to avoid the laws of physics to get great 40 or 50hz sounds out of a mid range speaker like the 802's.
Just for the hell of it I figured out the surface area of eight 4.5" speakers vs. one 12" speaker.

 

The formula to figure the surface of a circle is the radius squared times pi. (We all knew that, didn't we?)

 

The Bose 802s use eight 4.5" speakers. The radius is 2.25" squared times pi times eight.

 

2.25 squared = 5.0625 x 3.14 = 15.89" x 8 = 127.17"

 

A 12" speaker has a six inch radius ...

 

6 x 6 = 36 x 3.14 = 113"

 

So, using one 12" speaker against eight 4.5" speakers, the little guys have more surface area. I have never felt the bass lacking in my 802s. According to Bose the best position for using two of them is side by side. For many years I had them separated but I now place them side by side and slightly angled out to cover the entire room.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Originally posted by wdl:

I love Polytone amps! Any dealers in NJ NYC area?

I came across a website for a dealer that I think is in Philadelphia a while ago, but I have not been able to find it again today. I e-mailed Polytone regarding one of their older products today and asked about dealers as well. I'll post what I find out.
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I was just going to say that the 802's have about the same bottom end as 1x12" cabs.

 

If you want the thundering bass of 15" cabs, you need more. (Placing one 802 atop the other works great, but then you need 4 of them for stereo.)

 

I find the Bose sound best 4 to 8 feet apart, depending on the area to be covered. As with any stereo setup, it's NOT stereo for anyone who is a lot closer to one speaker than the other, which is why closer together is way better than on opposite sides of the stage. Side by side, you lose too much of the stereo image, IMHO. I've had a pair since 1982 and used them in a wide variety of circumstances.

 

My biggest annoyance with the Bose is that you can't set 'em on end like you can with wedges; they're just not as flexible in positioning. You pretty much have to mount them on poles. The covers are made to serve as low mounts, but it generally doesn't work out that well -- takes too much floor space on a tight stage. (As do pole mounts ...)

 

But overall, they're great speakers.

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 Find 600 of my jazz piano arrangements and tutorials for educational purposes at patreon.com/HarryLikas Harry was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."

 

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.

 Find 600 of my jazz piano arrangements and tutorials for educational purposes at patreon.com/HarryLikas Harry was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."

 

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jazz+... no it really is the total surface area... and the 8 little ones can be seen as a single piston...(linear motor)

 

we all have had to use EQ's at some point or other and some of us (myself included) tend to abhor the things... (alot of it based on the mis/over use of the things as well as phase issues) but if you ever got the chance to see what the filter curve of those things are just to get then to a starting point you would run away from them...

while attending a crown service seminar durring a discussion of their PIP cards (they made on for bose802's) the instructor flashed a pic of the curve which was met with gasps and guffaws...

"style is determined not by what you can play but what you cant...." dave brubeck
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Originally posted by Mr. Nightime:

Originally posted by MikeT156:

Maybe a backache too, but "sacrifices have to be made in the name of music". :D

 

Mike T.

That's why they make 2-wheel hand trucks :D
Spoken like a man who's never carted gear down steps that wouldn't have passed code in the cretaceous.

 

Anybody using those FBTMaxXs? Only 35.2lbs!

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