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Amplifier Thread

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:36 am
by Mr. DiSco
Hello i'm debuting in synthesizers, and I didn't see much posts on amplifiers.
I'm thinking about adding a DSI Mono Keyboard to go with my MM6 and I would like to know what amp is the best. It's going to be carried a lot and played during repetition with a group (two guitars, drum and bass) I would also drive a mic through it later.
So I tought about Roland KC-110, Peavey KB2/3, Behringer K450FX/K900FX, Roland KC-150.

Thanx for your answers.

Re: Amplifier Thread

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:46 am
by Stab Frenzy
I wouldn't recommend any of those amps. Have a look at the Motion Sound KP series amps, Traynor K4 or use powered monitors (JBL Eon are good) with or without a small mixer.

Re: mixers, avoid Behringer, Alto etc. The small Yamahas, Mackies and Soundcrafts are usable, but you'll get a better sound just running direct to the monitor, but that means you need two monitors per keyboard to run in stereo.

When you get the MEK, make sure you run it in stereo. Sounds heaps better than running in mono, as it's actually designed around a stereo signal path.

Re: Amplifier Thread

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:35 am
by Mr. DiSco
Thanks for the advice... those are really expensive, maybe I could consider JBL's with a small Mackie, it would cut in the budget for keyboards. I tought that considering it's only a MM6 something cheaper would be more than enough.

Re: Amplifier Thread

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:02 am
by tallowwaters
Barbetta makes a good, light weight amp as well.

Re: Amplifier Thread

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:27 am
by Stab Frenzy
Mr. DiSco wrote:Thanks for the advice... those are really expensive, maybe I could consider JBL's with a small Mackie, it would cut in the budget for keyboards. I tought that considering it's only a MM6 something cheaper would be more than enough.
It depends on what you want your synth to sound like. Guitar and to a lesser extent bass amps only have to reproduce a select range of frequencies but keyboard amps need to reproduce everything from 50-80Hz to 15kHz to have what you hear sounding like what's actually coming out of the synth, so they're harder to make and therefore more expensive. If you're playing in a band you can get a cheaper amp to monitor on stage with (so you and the other people on stage can hear what you're playing) and have the DI'd signal go through the front of house system so the audience hears everything properly even if you don't, but that relies on you playing venues with good sound systems and having a competent sound engineer, which probably won't be happening if you're just starting out. Good venues will even have a good enough foldback system so you can not even use an amp at all, but that's even less likely and the engineer is even more important.

You can manage with a cheaper amp but you might find that the sound is muddy and unclear and needs a lot of level to cut through, this will lead to the guitarists turning up their amps on stage and before long everything will be too loud and you won't hear anything properly.

What's your budget? Maybe look at second-hand JBL Eons, RCFs or Mackie SRMs (watch out for blown tweeters or other signs of abuse though). That Barbetta Tallow recommended has a good rep too. If you don't have much money now you could just get one powered speaker and then get another one to run in stereo later on, that could be a good way to go.

Re: Amplifier Thread

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:43 pm
by Angstwulf
My 2 cents:

Buy the best single powered monitor that you can afford. Stereo is nice but not absolutely necessary.

If you and your band move forward then get a matching monitor as your needs expand. If not, you still have a decent piece of equipment to keep or resell. Good monitors keep their value on the used market better than "affordable" amps.

Some of these monitors accept multiple inputs. You could probably get by early on without a mixer. If you need one then maybe start off with a smaller cheaper mixer from a good manufacturer (avoid Behringer and Nady, I've had good experiences with Rolls but I know others disagree). Then step up as needed.

I'd much rather outgrow a $100 mixer than a $100 amp. But I could see where others disagree.

And an MM6 is budget but it's not a toy. It'll sound good through a good system and crappy through a crappy system.

Re: Amplifier Thread

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:50 pm
by Mr. DiSco
okay you convinced me of searching for Powered Speakers, I wonder if Mackie SRM-150 is a good choice but I might just get to a store thanks a lot to you guys. And no the MM6 isn't a toy i'm pretty satisfied of the sound quality I hear even if it hasn't the waveform of a MO or Motif.

Re: Amplifier Thread

Posted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:19 am
by bhrama
I've used a KC-500 & 550 for several years now, and have always been satisfied. I found a used one KC-550) for $375 last year and chain the two for extra umpf. I've always heard the Motion Sound stuff was quite nice, but the KC series has treated me well for some time. Often times I simply use one as a personal monitor on stage (15" sub is nice), and let the engineer go direct out the amp to the main board.

Stabs is right about other band members turning up to "clear the mud" your cheaper amp may be spitting out. Looks like you went the powered monitor route, which should do you just fine.