Behringer KXD12 Keyboard Combo With A Line 6 Helix - Review

Nick Shephard

Member
Messages
121
First a little history, I’ve been playing guitar for nearly 40 years, (never been that good though!) The last ten I’ve used modelling gear almost exclusively, firstly POD, Axe-Fx Ultra and now a Line 6 Helix. I also record, mostly other bands and have done years of live mixing and I’ve been told I have a “good ear”.

I have a thing about monitoring but I have to admit I’m not a purist. We don’t live in a world were everybody listens to music on perfect sound systems. I’m not that interested in statistics or preconceptions but I know what I like. Over the years I’ve had access to a big variety PA and monitors both good and bad studio and PA. My current studio monitors and point of reference are Equator D5 and I love them!

I’ve been on the active monitor trail now for both the Axe-Fx when I owned it, and now for the Helix for some time. My general view of active PA cabs is that above a certain price point, they are all generally good sounding and much of a muchnuss. Coming from the seventies and using that gear, IMHO you’ve got to try really hard to sound like crap using some of today’s offerings. I finally decided that to stop the never-ending search for a guitar modelling amp solution, I’d aim high and go for something like a CLR, Matrix, or Friedman offering.

A couple of weeks ago, out of the blue a friend of mine suggested we put a rock and blues band together, go out and have some fun. I needed a monitor for rehearsal, I thought there must be something out there I can get for a few weeks for rehearsal then sell it when I’m ready to commit to something upmarket for the gigs. On a complete whim I spent £260 on a Behringer KXD12 keyboard amp.

OK, 600 watts, 1 x 12” Turbosound speaker and compression driver, Klark Teknik effects, 4 channel mixer and 7 band graphic EQ. There must be a catch, Behringer right? Err, well if there is one I haven’t found it yet, this little amp sounds really very good to these ears. I thought honeymoon period, I’m 4 weeks in now and it just keeps getting better and better. With the Helix and this little combo I can’t put my guitar down! I simply cannot find a reason at the moment to sell it and move on, I’m even considering buying another for a stereo rig!

Is it true FRFR? no but it’s near enough and sounds fine if you push reference audio through it (always the first thing I do). My patches created on the D5’s transfer perfectly. But what I really like a lot though is it feels like a guitar amp. There is a slight lower mid hump around 160Hz that is easily diled out with some EQ if you don’t like it, maybe a little bright, again easily fixed. What it does do so well though is push like a guitar amp, it’s hard to describe. It doesn’t feel like a PA cab and it’s definitely not a guitar amp. It feels great to play through and your tones can stay just as you made them when you DI going to the front of house. It’s light, loud and it looks like a guitar combo.

What I really need now is for someone else to try one and tell me I’ve lost the plot and it sound bad, or a top end monitor is worth the extra cash. I’ve not tried any of the big FRFR faves (except in noisy demo rooms). I have tried lots of other PA cabs and studio monitors so I admit there is a gap in my point of reference. I will say It’s a ridiculously cheap solution that I’m so far very happy with. It’s got to be worth a punt on sale or return for anyone who’s looking for a crossover amp for their modeller.

Nick
 

eriwebnerr

Member
Messages
2,668
I had a similar experience. I have a powered Kustom monitor I got from a "stupid deal of the day" from Musicians Friend for a silly price several years ago. I had it in our rehearsal space as a monitor, then started tinkering with it. Replaced the woofer, cross over, and tweeter, changed the porting and got in way over my head. I had to have help to get the ports right. My point is, even with the upgrades it is something others might look down on but it just "sounds right" to me and I still prefer it for practice. It has a coaxial Celestion in there that just sounds perfect for guitar tones to my ear.

If you found something that works for you and you like - go with it. There is plenty of time later to try the other offerings. So don't sweat it, especially if what you are using gives you consistent tone between practice and live play.
 

JoeB63

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,723
Just tried my Roland KB amp with my Kemper. It's not great. Not recommended.
 

GeNCoDeR

Member
Messages
4
First a little history, I’ve been playing guitar for nearly 40 years, (never been that good though!) The last ten I’ve used modelling gear almost exclusively, firstly POD, Axe-Fx Ultra and now a Line 6 Helix. I also record, mostly other bands and have done years of live mixing and I’ve been told I have a “good ear”.

I have a thing about monitoring but I have to admit I’m not a purist. We don’t live in a world were everybody listens to music on perfect sound systems. I’m not that interested in statistics or preconceptions but I know what I like. Over the years I’ve had access to a big variety PA and monitors both good and bad studio and PA. My current studio monitors and point of reference are Equator D5 and I love them!

I’ve been on the active monitor trail now for both the Axe-Fx when I owned it, and now for the Helix for some time. My general view of active PA cabs is that above a certain price point, they are all generally good sounding and much of a muchnuss. Coming from the seventies and using that gear, IMHO you’ve got to try really hard to sound like crap using some of today’s offerings. I finally decided that to stop the never-ending search for a guitar modelling amp solution, I’d aim high and go for something like a CLR, Matrix, or Friedman offering.

A couple of weeks ago, out of the blue a friend of mine suggested we put a rock and blues band together, go out and have some fun. I needed a monitor for rehearsal, I thought there must be something out there I can get for a few weeks for rehearsal then sell it when I’m ready to commit to something upmarket for the gigs. On a complete whim I spent £260 on a Behringer KXD12 keyboard amp.

OK, 600 watts, 1 x 12” Turbosound speaker and compression driver, Klark Teknik effects, 4 channel mixer and 7 band graphic EQ. There must be a catch, Behringer right? Err, well if there is one I haven’t found it yet, this little amp sounds really very good to these ears. I thought honeymoon period, I’m 4 weeks in now and it just keeps getting better and better. With the Helix and this little combo I can’t put my guitar down! I simply cannot find a reason at the moment to sell it and move on, I’m even considering buying another for a stereo rig!

Is it true FRFR? no but it’s near enough and sounds fine if you push reference audio through it (always the first thing I do). My patches created on the D5’s transfer perfectly. But what I really like a lot though is it feels like a guitar amp. There is a slight lower mid hump around 160Hz that is easily diled out with some EQ if you don’t like it, maybe a little bright, again easily fixed. What it does do so well though is push like a guitar amp, it’s hard to describe. It doesn’t feel like a PA cab and it’s definitely not a guitar amp. It feels great to play through and your tones can stay just as you made them when you DI going to the front of house. It’s light, loud and it looks like a guitar combo.

What I really need now is for someone else to try one and tell me I’ve lost the plot and it sound bad, or a top end monitor is worth the extra cash. I’ve not tried any of the big FRFR faves (except in noisy demo rooms). I have tried lots of other PA cabs and studio monitors so I admit there is a gap in my point of reference. I will say It’s a ridiculously cheap solution that I’m so far very happy with. It’s got to be worth a punt on sale or return for anyone who’s looking for a crossover amp for their modeller.

Nick
Thanks for sharing your experience Nick.

I also own a KXD12. Really like the sound, for now with Bias FX and THR3, in a week with Helix! :)

Can you ellaborate a little bit more on ''pushing reference audio to it''?, what do you mean?

Thanks in advance.
 

Nick Shephard

Member
Messages
121
Thanks for sharing your experience Nick.

I also own a KXD12. Really like the sound, for now with Bias FX and THR3, in a week with Helix! :)

Can you ellaborate a little bit more on ''pushing reference audio to it''?, what do you mean?

Thanks in advance.
Hard to describe really. Active monitors tend to sound like, well monitors to me, which is fine but a different experiance. This feels like a guitar amp, it's very convincing. You forget it's actually a model of an amp and cab and it interacts well with the guitar. It's a physical thing, best of both worlds for me.
 

angelsvictory

Member
Messages
392
I had the same experience with my Peavey E208 acoustic amp. It sounds so musical and right with my Helix. The Mackie frfr I purchased was such a let down. I love the fact I am so happy with an amp I can buy for 100 bucks used. I bought a Hamilton kick back stand, and it is my monitor solution!
 

alp

Member
Messages
519
I am very interested in this subject. I have tried FRFR once and problem i had was that it was sounding nice however i felt the amplification source did not felt like the extension of my instrument like a regular guitar amp.

Laney's Audiohub series multi instrument amps also seems very interesting. Does anyone tried those?
 

eriwebnerr

Member
Messages
2,668
anyone tried those?
I haven't but they do look close in concept to the Behringer. However I do really like the tilt back design and the rear port - very nice. I just wonder if they are powerful enough - wattage seems a tad low?

I was bit by the DIY bug again and I ordered a Eminence Beta 12CX, ASD1001 Compression Driver, and PXB2:2K5CX crossover combination. I plan to slap these into an old monitor wedge I have and see what the result is. A lot of guitarists rave about this speaker combination with modelers and it's used in most of the Xitone cabinets. With his latest "open back" style monitor he posted about on the Fractal forum, it seems almost silly in terms of FRFR. BUT it did reinforce two things to me:
  1. that there is a lot to be said for a cabinet that give you "flat enough" and also really gives you a real guitar cabinet vibe - gets the juices flowing :)
  2. That speaker combo (coaxial) seems very forgiving about what enclosure it is in
I was pretty staunch up until semi-recently that the monitor used should be as flat and accurate as possible. Then I played through a few different setups that weren't as accurate technically, but were really inspirational to play. That got me thinking it is a good idea to have at least one setup that if just for fun and has a bit of an attitude / character to it.
 

Nick Shephard

Member
Messages
121
I was pretty staunch up until semi-recently that the monitor used should be as flat and accurate as possible. Then I played through a few different setups that weren't as accurate technically, but were really inspirational to play.
I agree and have come round to this way of thinking. I use an FRFR point of reference when I make patches so when I go to front of house directly, it sounds good and also good in the monitors or recording, but I want a different experience as a player. I like the KXD12, my patches translate well and the built-in graphic adds a bit of extra oomph and "attitude".
 

eriwebnerr

Member
Messages
2,668
I agree and have come round to this way of thinking. I use an FRFR point of reference when I make patches so when I go to front of house directly, it sounds good and also good in the monitors or recording, but I want a different experience as a player. I like the KXD12, my patches translate well and the built-in graphic adds a bit of extra oomph and "attitude".
Yah a big differentiator for me too is if I'm using it as a monitor or as my main amplification device. If I am monitoring I go with the flat option so I am more certain that what will come out of the mains will sound good. But if I'm just amplifying myself (smaller venues and jam sessions) I have a lot more latitude on what I use.

As an aside I received the Eminence Beta, Compression Driver and Crossover combo. I have to say it sounds very good. I repurposed a Kustom KPC12MP cheapo wedge monitor. I can tell why people favor this speaker for modelers. Just seems to sound right with guitar. It made the speaker much more even and clear as well. Program material sounds very good through it as well.

The only complaint I have is that the volume is reduced. It wasn't very powerful to start with, but the stock speaker was 4ohm and now with the 8ohm load I don't get as much volume. But it still can get loud enough for monitoring or a jam session. In any event, I also just received a JBL PRX712 but haven't played through it yet. If that doesn't do it for my flat monitoring solution, I'm going to give the Behringer KXD12 a go.
 

alp

Member
Messages
519
I am bumping this thread to hopefully receive current thoughts on the mentioned gear.

First a little history, I’ve been playing guitar for nearly 40 years, (never been that good though!) The last ten I’ve used modelling gear almost exclusively, firstly POD, Axe-Fx Ultra and now a Line 6 Helix. I also record, mostly other bands and have done years of live mixing and I’ve been told I have a “good ear”.

I have a thing about monitoring but I have to admit I’m not a purist. We don’t live in a world were everybody listens to music on perfect sound systems. I’m not that interested in statistics or preconceptions but I know what I like. Over the years I’ve had access to a big variety PA and monitors both good and bad studio and PA. My current studio monitors and point of reference are Equator D5 and I love them!

I’ve been on the active monitor trail now for both the Axe-Fx when I owned it, and now for the Helix for some time. My general view of active PA cabs is that above a certain price point, they are all generally good sounding and much of a muchnuss. Coming from the seventies and using that gear, IMHO you’ve got to try really hard to sound like crap using some of today’s offerings. I finally decided that to stop the never-ending search for a guitar modelling amp solution, I’d aim high and go for something like a CLR, Matrix, or Friedman offering.

A couple of weeks ago, out of the blue a friend of mine suggested we put a rock and blues band together, go out and have some fun. I needed a monitor for rehearsal, I thought there must be something out there I can get for a few weeks for rehearsal then sell it when I’m ready to commit to something upmarket for the gigs. On a complete whim I spent £260 on a Behringer KXD12 keyboard amp.

OK, 600 watts, 1 x 12” Turbosound speaker and compression driver, Klark Teknik effects, 4 channel mixer and 7 band graphic EQ. There must be a catch, Behringer right? Err, well if there is one I haven’t found it yet, this little amp sounds really very good to these ears. I thought honeymoon period, I’m 4 weeks in now and it just keeps getting better and better. With the Helix and this little combo I can’t put my guitar down! I simply cannot find a reason at the moment to sell it and move on, I’m even considering buying another for a stereo rig!

Is it true FRFR? no but it’s near enough and sounds fine if you push reference audio through it (always the first thing I do). My patches created on the D5’s transfer perfectly. But what I really like a lot though is it feels like a guitar amp. There is a slight lower mid hump around 160Hz that is easily diled out with some EQ if you don’t like it, maybe a little bright, again easily fixed. What it does do so well though is push like a guitar amp, it’s hard to describe. It doesn’t feel like a PA cab and it’s definitely not a guitar amp. It feels great to play through and your tones can stay just as you made them when you DI going to the front of house. It’s light, loud and it looks like a guitar combo.

What I really need now is for someone else to try one and tell me I’ve lost the plot and it sound bad, or a top end monitor is worth the extra cash. I’ve not tried any of the big FRFR faves (except in noisy demo rooms). I have tried lots of other PA cabs and studio monitors so I admit there is a gap in my point of reference. I will say It’s a ridiculously cheap solution that I’m so far very happy with. It’s got to be worth a punt on sale or return for anyone who’s looking for a crossover amp for their modeller.

Nick
Hi Nick,

What are your current thoughts on the KXD12? Do you still use it? How are the gigs and rehearsals going with it? Did you compared it to some other monitoring options in the last couple months? Any reports on reliability? I also wonder how loud it is, is it powerful enough to act like a guitar amp in the backline, or are you using it just for your personal monitoring for your guitar? please let us know.. thanks in advance.


Thanks for sharing your experience Nick.

I also own a KXD12. Really like the sound, for now with Bias FX and THR3, in a week with Helix! :)

Can you ellaborate a little bit more on ''pushing reference audio to it''?, what do you mean?

Thanks in advance.
Hi Gencoder,

How was your experience with KXD12 and Helix went? Would you mind give some feedback about your observations? Thanks in advance.
 

Nick Shephard

Member
Messages
121
Still really like this amp. I'm not gigging at the moment so can't comment from from that point of view, but I don't think there would be any problems in a band situation volume wise. I've tried several mid priced PA speakers and this has more of a guitar amp feel to it than ant PA speaker I've tried. The built in graphic is also dead useful.

My advice would be to get one on sale or return and give it a go. There is now a 3 year warranty on Behringer gear, so they must have some confidence in the quality.
 

mattball826

Member
Messages
20,813
Still really like this amp. I'm not gigging at the moment so can't comment from from that point of view, but I don't think there would be any problems in a band situation volume wise. I've tried several mid priced PA speakers and this has more of a guitar amp feel to it than ant PA speaker I've tried. The built in graphic is also dead useful.

My advice would be to get one on sale or return and give it a go. There is now a 3 year warranty on Behringer gear, so they must have some confidence in the quality.
Just be sure to register at Music Group site to obtain the 3 yr warr. IIRC must be done within 90 days of purchase.
 

JiveTurkey

Trumpets and Tants
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
19,712
If this guy sounds good with your rig; that's actually really cool. Plenty of power and ins and outs to make it super versatile. Couple of questions.

1. How are the effects on this?
2. I assume the XLR outs don't have any sort of emulation on them since it's technically a keyboard amp?
3. I am assuming the 600 watts is peak rating but how loud does it get in real life? Loud enough to jam with a drummer?
 

bradinnm

Member
Messages
505
Don't have one but I am sure the XLRs don't have any inherent emulation. No biggie because modeled in would equal modeled out. As long as no effects or EQ was used.
 

JoeB63

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,723
Just tried my Roland KB amp with my Kemper. It's not great. Not recommended.
Funny this thread should pop up again today. I happened to have tried my Kemper with my Roland Keyboard amp today, and it actually sounded pretty good. Maybe recommended.
 




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