Using a Keyboard Amp To Make a Small Amp Louder?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by pompeii0, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. pompeii0

    pompeii0 Member

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    I was wondering how effective it would be to put a mic on a small amp and run it into a keyboard amp to get the desired volume. I understand that keyboard amps are similar to PA systems so would this be like having a small PA just for the guitar amp?

    Thanks
     
  2. Endr_rpm

    Endr_rpm Member

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    I did this in a round about way, but to make the guitar amp QUIETER and easier to DI. Used a Mesa Subway Blues, which has a "Silent Recording" cab emulated output. Ran it into a Roland KC500, which gave me perfect stage volume with a sweet overdriven power amp vibe. No reason it wouldn't work the way you have described, but you will have to be careful of feedback and mid placement. Why not just mic it into the PA and listen through monitors?
     
  3. pgissi

    pgissi Member

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    some things to consider

    using a microphone requires using a mic preamplifier and keyboard amps do not have built in mic preamps in general. If you must use a mic you will need a mini mixer by mackie, yamaha, behringer etc. to properly preamplify your mic signal before sending it to the keys amp

    you would then avoid using the keys amp instrument input, use the fx loop return or power amp in inputs instead since the shelving eq on the mini mixer will suffice in dialing in your tone (you could try the keys amp input but I predic it will be destructive rather than constructive, no harm in trying it)

    using a mini mixer creates an opportunity to insert some fx if you want by utilizing the mixer fx loop etc. FX in parallel like this is great for time domain fx and your core tone is unaffected

    This is Larry Carltons basic setup for a dry-wet (when you want) rig


    Alternatively you could install a line out on your small amp, they require a few components and would eliminate the need for a mic on your small amp and any unwanted sound into that mic is elminated plus you dont need to set up the mic

    If you do use a line out, you would most likely have to use the keys amp instrument input for its onboard eq but you could try the fx loop return/power amp in jack also to see if it suits but keep in mind you have no control over the tone since you are bypassing the keys amp eq when using the fx loop return / power amp in jack

    better yet

    with either method, mic or line out jack, using a mini mixer would give you more control of the tone down the line, give you the options for some fx processing and requires you do use the keys amp fx loop return or power amp input jack and imo, this is preferred since the keys amp input and downline eq is optimized for keys anyway, the mini mixer will give you far more control over the tone and they are cheap, starting at $99 I think, maybe a bit more

    lastly, a step up from the keys amp would be using a FRFR Self Powered Monitor, wider freq response but with dirty guitar tones that may be splitting hairs, clean tones will shine though
     
  4. pompeii0

    pompeii0 Member

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    The Roland KC350 has a mic input on ch 1 (actually most keyboard amps have XLR inputs), would I still need a mini mixer if I used one of those?
     
  5. socalscott

    socalscott Member

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    $40 Ultra-G Behringer DI > reference amp > 12" Greenback. Last two items used, so I pulled it off for under $150. I still had to run the lil' amp into a speaker.
    Seriously sweet for a quiet wet/dry bedroom rig too.

    I hope that Unleash unit hits the magic price/quality point. My Lil' Devil 2W Trainwreck Express based head would like-y.
     
  6. pompeii0

    pompeii0 Member

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    What do you use for a referenca amp?
     
  7. socalscott

    socalscott Member

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    Alesis RA-100, but I've seen RA-150's. If you want to get band loud, better go as big as possible. The 100 bridged to a 4ohm spkr was not band loud.
    Easy to come by on craigs list or fleabay. I think I paid $50.
     
  8. pompeii0

    pompeii0 Member

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    So I could use something like the Behringer and go into a keyboard amp too then?
     
  9. ksandvik

    ksandvik Member

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    Unless you are in love with your small amp, just invest in a 40W or so tube amp... All kinds of ad hoc solutions just cost money that could be spent towards a decent loud amp.
     
  10. Onioner

    Onioner Member

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    amp>some kind of dummy load / line out > power amp > speakers

    You might be able to make a keyboard setup work, but a power amp is probably gonna do it better.
     
  11. socalscott

    socalscott Member

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    Yes, or fx loop or amp out jack(direct to power amp).

    As mentioned you can simply grab a decent 30W used tube amp.
     
  12. pgissi

    pgissi Member

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    if its a "mic input" no,

    a microphone outputs a weak signal which needs preamplification so any xlr input should be accompanied by some sort of trim or preamp gain control
     
  13. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    Exactly, or just use your PA. I really doubt you'd be happy with the results of using a keyboard amp to augment your sound. Why a keyboard amp anyway? Why not a powered speaker? Either way, the better answer is a bigger amp or proper PA support.
     

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