I need a nice, LITE, keyboard amp for my wife......Please help

Denny

Member
Messages
1,812
Greetings - I don't play keyboards so I really need your help...........

Currently, she uses a Roland KC-500. It's getting too heavy to gig with so I need to fine a good set up - a combo, or a head/cab, Her keyboard is a Roland VR-09. Style - Classic Rock, Blues, some country. Thanks ahead of time.

Denny
 

stevel

Member
Messages
15,614
Um, OK, here's the correct way:

Plug all musical instruments into the PA, either directly (Keys, maybe bass, etc.) or with mics (drums, guitar amps, maybe bass amps).

Here is the unprofessional way:

Use an amp.

OK, here's the deal: Keyboard amps are OK for when a PA is not available. Keyboard signals are full range and PAs reproduce that. Keyboard amps are designed to do this as well. As are "powered monitors". Guitar amps are NOT.

You need a powered pa cab (QSC K10, etc.) that sounds good, produces full range, and the stage volume you need.

But anything that's loud enough and sounds good enough is going to be heavy.

What a keyboard amp gives you that a powered speaker usually does not is additional channels to add multiple keyboards or even mics into (so it's like a "mini-Pa" in that regard).

The keyboard should run to the PA, and have a signal sent back to anyone who needs it on stage in the monitors.

Anything smaller than that KC 500 is not going to produce very much stage volume.

Run the keys into the PA like you should and you don't even need to bring an amp!!!!!

At this point though, you're going to either sacrifice volume, clarity, or range, or some combination if you "downsize". Something modern with a 10 and a horn would be "OK", but I would not expect to carry the room with a $500 keyboard amp or active PA speaker with any kind of decent sound quality.

You should even be able to use that amp and plug it into the PA, using the amp as the stage monitor.

But unless you're just playing coffehouse "acoustic" type shows where you can use a smaller amp and downsize both in dispersion and volume, either keep what you have and lug it, or run it into the PA, or ditch the amp altogether and run it into the PA.
 

Blix

Wannabe Shredder
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
29,182
Holy crap that Roland in 69lbs, that's heavy!

Take a look at something like a Yamaha DXR10 monitor, half the weight.
 

Prof.Fuzz

Member
Messages
3,634
Quilter Tone Block 200 (bonus: has built in DI for sending a line to the PA) and a small cab loaded with a full-range PA Neo-speaker and horn.

Here's my wife's rig. Quilter + Rusty Box preamp + extra DI housed in a 3U rack/cab into an Emi Deltalite 12 + horn. Rack and speaker cab by G-Tone Cabs in Bryan Tx

PF63%20Organ%20Rig.jpg
 
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Messages
15,738
I've gigged with a Electro-Voice ZXA-1. Looks kinda small, weighs 20lbs, but gives you 800W of clean power, and doesn't cost much, relatively speaking. Despite the small size, my bandmates once complained about too much bass coming out of it, because of a particular synth patch I used - one of those bandmates having a loud drum kit, which also had a trigger to, well, trigger a loud and bassy electronic kick patch on an Electribe.

You'll need a mixer in front of it (purchased separately).
 

Denny

Member
Messages
1,812
We're just a small local-yokle band - don't need to get too fancy. thanks for all the info.
 

p.j.

Member
Messages
5,720
The ZT Lunchbox is tiny and 200 watts. It is marketed as a guitar amp but handles both bass and keys well, also.
 

motidave

Member
Messages
24
See Silver Surfer - an 8" PPA is the best sound and lightest option for her. Forget "amps", in particular keyboard amps, they are horrible. Modern Powered PA speaker(s) are ideal for keyboards. Get one = mono. a pair = stereo. I'm not a fan of StagePas, there are other options even in the Yamaha line that are better imo.

There are many to choose from, whats the budget? K8.2, DSR8, ZXA1, TTA-8 ... too many to list. you can spend from $200-$300 to $2000+. Sound quality gets better as you go up but its not linear - meaning a $2000 speaker does not sound twice as good as a $1000 speaker.

10" PPA speakers tend to sound a bit richer, fuller, ... all things equal - but they weigh notably more. So if weight is criteria #1, 8" are models popular with alot of pro keyboardists.
 

Tiny Montgomery

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,281
I just picked up a CPS Spacestation v.3, and it works great, and is stereo. The Leslie sim in my Nord sounds fantastic through it.

For a mono setup, a powered pa cab+mixer is probably what you want.

Blanket generalizations about "keyboard amps" aside, if I need the power of a full PA, odds are I'm playing through one, anyway.

It's considerably lighter, and smaller, than the Roland, and is stereo. If you want stereo monitoring and don't want to carry around 2 cabs + a mixer, it's worth checking out.

It has a sub out, if more lows are needed (probably not, from the sound of it), but then you're back to carrying more stuff around.

I've only played one gig with mine, so far, but it was outdoors, and I didn't need myself in the wedges. I went Nord Electro>DI's split between FOH and the CPS, so the CPS was just for stage volume, which is usually the case, with everything through the PA, anyway.
 
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p19978

Senior Member
Messages
1,945
I use a Yamaha DBR10; handles piano bass and B3 bass really well, weighs 21 lbs. IIRC, output is 700 watts.

Around $300 new.
 

shredmiyagi

Member
Messages
1,239
Check out the Samson XP150.

About 25 lb., small, full PA sound and even runs on a rechargeable battery. About $250-300.
 

rsm

Senior Member
Messages
14,080
Did you get a keyboard amp or FRFR?

I like my Roland CUBE Street EX (50W, stereo, so 25W per side) not very loud but works for guitar and some keys (my synths low end isn't great but good for practice IMO. When I used it with piano and organ VSTi it seemed fine unless I went very low into the bass range.
 
Messages
4,498
Um, OK, here's the correct way:

Plug all musical instruments into the PA, either directly (Keys, maybe bass, etc.) or with mics (drums, guitar amps, maybe bass amps).

Here is the unprofessional way:

Use an amp.

OK, here's the deal: Keyboard amps are OK for when a PA is not available. Keyboard signals are full range and PAs reproduce that. Keyboard amps are designed to do this as well. As are "powered monitors". Guitar amps are NOT.

You need a powered pa cab (QSC K10, etc.) that sounds good, produces full range, and the stage volume you need.

But anything that's loud enough and sounds good enough is going to be heavy.

What a keyboard amp gives you that a powered speaker usually does not is additional channels to add multiple keyboards or even mics into (so it's like a "mini-Pa" in that regard).

The keyboard should run to the PA, and have a signal sent back to anyone who needs it on stage in the monitors.

Anything smaller than that KC 500 is not going to produce very much stage volume.

Run the keys into the PA like you should and you don't even need to bring an amp!!!!!

At this point though, you're going to either sacrifice volume, clarity, or range, or some combination if you "downsize". Something modern with a 10 and a horn would be "OK", but I would not expect to carry the room with a $500 keyboard amp or active PA speaker with any kind of decent sound quality.

You should even be able to use that amp and plug it into the PA, using the amp as the stage monitor.

But unless you're just playing coffehouse "acoustic" type shows where you can use a smaller amp and downsize both in dispersion and volume, either keep what you have and lug it, or run it into the PA, or ditch the amp altogether and run it into the PA.
Frankly as a guitar player I resent the keys chewing up sonic room in my monitor that should be reserved for vocals. Our keys player refuses to use his amp when we gig instead wants to use the monitor mix to hear himself. I say we (the rest of the band) want to hear some keys in the room and not have to jack up the keys in the monitor mix just to hear him. As far as being the "professional" way to do it, I always see keys players with amps behind them on pro stages. Could be they want to hear themselves. I say that a PA is for "Sound Reinforcement" of instruments on stage. Not to be the sole amplifier of any instrument. Other than vocals of course. Also what happens when the monitors fail? And yes this happened at one of our gigs. Keys player was freaking out about not having any amp. I said "I warned you this would happen". But he never learned his lesson yet. Now if everyone in the band went to some form of direct instrument, electronic drums, guitar PODS, Bass player going direct, then I could see the keys plugging straight in. But that is not the case usually. Personally I have about had it with my keys player and his selfishness.
 

Steve Hotra

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,487
I use my Katana head amp, with a 12" tweeker or 15" cab.
I play my keys through the "acoustic" setting.
Works great.
I suggest running a DB between keyboard and amp, for better overall sound.
 

motidave

Member
Messages
24
Frankly as a guitar player I resent the keys chewing up sonic room in my monitor that should be reserved for vocals. Our keys player refuses to use his amp when we gig instead wants to use the monitor mix to hear himself. I say we (the rest of the band) want to hear some keys in the room and not have to jack up the keys in the monitor mix just to hear him. As far as being the "professional" way to do it, I always see keys players with amps behind them on pro stages. Could be they want to hear themselves. I say that a PA is for "Sound Reinforcement" of instruments on stage. Not to be the sole amplifier of any instrument. Other than vocals of course. Also what happens when the monitors fail? And yes this happened at one of our gigs. Keys player was freaking out about not having any amp. I said "I warned you this would happen". But he never learned his lesson yet. Now if everyone in the band went to some form of direct instrument, electronic drums, guitar PODS, Bass player going direct, then I could see the keys plugging straight in. But that is not the case usually. Personally I have about had it with my keys player and his selfishness.

I use monitor mix on the road alot, but only houses that can provide separate monitor channel to me. If its only one monitor mix channel going to the entire band than yeah, that doesn't work. The key player needs to hear his keys louder than the rest of the band needs or wants for their use.

When I do bring a PPA on local shows, I put in on the floor as a personal wedge monitor, i don't use it to reinforce sound elsewhere. its just what I intend it for - a monitor. Room sound (>90%) all comes from FOH mains and other band members can ask for keys in their monitor mix as they need and want.

PA as sound reinforcement, generally I disagree but it depends on the type/size of gigs you play. Big pro venues: 90% of sound should be from the FOH mains and stage amps should be only for personal monitoring. If I need guitar (opposite stage side), I ask for some in my monitor, I don't ask the guitarist to crank up his amp from 40 ft away. that leads to very imbalanced overall band sound composition which depends on where you're standing. Personal amps should be DOWN enough that they aren't fighting FOH ability to control overall sound mix out front. Guitar players are notorious for being incapable of turning down their stage volume, causing everyone else to turn up in a ridiculous arms race. Modern amps don't need screeching decibels to achieve tone or overdrive flavor. heck, I play in a couple bands the guitarist doesn't even bring an amp - just an amp sim thats connected direct to FOH.

OTOH, at tiny dive venues, often nothing is in the mains except vocals. Maybe some kick and snare. then its every man for himself.
 

motidave

Member
Messages
24
I just picked up a CPS Spacestation v.3, and it works great, and is stereo. The Leslie sim in my Nord sounds fantastic through it.

For a mono setup, a powered pa cab+mixer is probably what you want.

Blanket generalizations about "keyboard amps" aside, if I need the power of a full PA, odds are I'm playing through one, anyway.

It's considerably lighter, and smaller, than the Roland, and is stereo. If you want stereo monitoring and don't want to carry around 2 cabs + a mixer, it's worth checking out.

It has a sub out, if more lows are needed (probably not, from the sound of it), but then you're back to carrying more stuff around.

I've only played one gig with mine, so far, but it was outdoors, and I didn't need myself in the wedges. I went Nord Electro>DI's split between FOH and the CPS, so the CPS was just for stage volume, which is usually the case, with everything through the PA, anyway.

its not really stereo. its an additive and subtractive concept that creates an effect, the most common term i've heard is a "bloom" effect. its stereo-like. Alot of guys love it. i don't personally. The 8" main driver lacks balls for what I play.

we do all agree Roland amps are not good.
 




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