Which Keyboard Amplifier?

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Re: Which Keyboard Amplifier?

Postby Paul99 » 23:59, 14 August 2017

Thanks motidave for your very good tips. Especially the tipe to take with me an mp3 player to audition the sound. I was already puzzled how to play and check the sound at the same time and then compare to each other. Now I can record a song which has all kind of instruments so I can determine the differences.
Thank you!
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Re: Which Keyboard Amplifier?

Postby stevel » 03:25, 15 August 2017

Where I'm from, everyone uses the word "PA" still.

"PPA" is not something I've ever encountered though.

Paul99, yes, if you can get a powered monitor (active monitor) cabinet that is Full Range, that would be your best bet.

Many people are often selling them because they've upgraded their PA and they can be found used pretty easily - of course most people want more than they're worth for them, but you can generally bargain with someone on one.

I'd look for something with 1 12" speaker and a horn at least. JBL Eons, Mackies - if you can come across a QSC K12 you'd be golden! Yamahas and Peaveys are solid performers, and Altos get decent reviews. I would honestly stay away from Behringer unless you want to replace it in a month or so.

I just bought a 2 10" with horn Kustom monitor (KPM210) for only $100 US. It's OK, but the 2 10" speakers means it's not as full sounding bass and a little mid-rangey.

It's rated at 150 Hz on the bottom end (we can hear down to 20) so that's why it doesn't have the low end.

So look for FULL RANGE!

And yes many do come with a parallel jack so you can send signal out to the PA on from your monitor, although really you typically do that a different way.
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Re: Which Keyboard Amplifier?

Postby dirwin » 14:02, 15 August 2017

I agree with using powered speakers vs a keyboard amp. I have a pair of EV ZLX 12p that I have used for stage monitors for my keys at larger venues. I like to run stereo when I can for my own personal preference. I also have the Kustom 12 in. powered cabs for smaller needs. ( only 100W but are okay). I use a small mixer for the keyboards, send master left and right to each cabinet then use an aux send on the mixer to send my keys to the FOH mixer. I then have the capability of putting other things such as a return monitor mix from the main mixer to a channel and my keyboard speakers will double as a monitor for vocals, other instruments, etc.
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Re: Which Keyboard Amplifier?

Postby Paul99 » 17:49, 15 August 2017

Thanks Steve and dirwin. I have made some notes so I am prepared.

One question about the mentioned EV ZLX 12p. I thought it would be too expensive, but is is "only" 379 euro, which seems remarkably cheap compared to other speakers. I read some tests and the only negative point that comes up is: too heavy weighted, which should hardly be a negative point at all.
So, how come other speakers are so (much) more expensive?
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Re: Which Keyboard Amplifier?

Postby anotherscott » 18:50, 15 August 2017

Paul99 wrote:One question about the mentioned EV ZLX 12p. I thought it would be too expensive, but is is "only" 379 euro, which seems remarkably cheap compared to other speakers. I read some tests and the only negative point that comes up is: too heavy weighted, which should hardly be a negative point at all.
So, how come other speakers are so (much) more expensive?

IIRC, the ZLX 12p is made in China, their more expensive ZXa1 which I mentioned as well is made in the U.S. And the ZXa1 has a molded enclosure which is more expensive to tool up for, but allows it to be a lot lighter.
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Re: Which Keyboard Amplifier?

Postby Paul99 » 13:49, 16 August 2017

OKay, so I looked for the EV ZXa1, but I only found EV ZXA1-90B, which has an 8 inch woofer and that is less than 12 inch from the EV ZLX 12p and is also only very slightly more expensive (395, vs 370 for the EV ZLX 12p.
So now I am a bit puzzled: did you mean this EV ZXA1-90B when you wrote about EV ZXa1? I can see the weight from the EV ZXA1-90B is only 9 kg, where the 12p is 19 kg!
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Re: Which Keyboard Amplifier?

Postby Liquid » 14:17, 16 August 2017

Paul99 wrote:Thanks guys. Let me again emphasize that I am a very small amateur in a 5 person amateur band: drums, bass, two guitars and me playing only on my FA-06. We will do gigs for max 100 people. The only reason I need an amp is that playing over our PA system delivers a somehow weak sound compared to the two guitar players?


Hi, I've always found Roland outputs are lower than e.g. Korg or Yamaha - as a quick fix have you boosted the output level?

Menu->System->Sound->Output Gain

Alan.
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Re: Which Keyboard Amplifier?

Postby anotherscott » 14:37, 16 August 2017

Paul99 wrote:OKay, so I looked for the EV ZXa1, but I only found EV ZXA1-90B, which has an 8 inch woofer and that is less than 12 inch from the EV ZLX 12p and is also only very slightly more expensive (395, vs 370 for the EV ZLX 12p.
So now I am a bit puzzled: did you mean this EV ZXA1-90B when you wrote about EV ZXa1? I

The ZXA1 is available in a few versions, but they all sound the same.

There is the -90 version which has a horn dispersion of 90 degrees by 50 degrees (and the horn module can be rotated, so you can choose which figure applies to which direction in your preferred speaker orientation, since the speaker itself can be used horizontally or vertically). The -100 version has a conical dispersion of 100 degrees. The 100 degree version will sound the same (without highs that fall off) over a larger area of the audience or stage. The more common, more directional 90 degree version, with its narrow 50 degree dispersion in one direction, will sound slightly brighter than the 100 when you're right in front of it, and it focuses the high frequencies over a smaller area, which can be desirable for things like minimizing feedback on stage, or reducing unwanted ceiling reflections, for example.

Most brands don't give you the choice. QSC K-speakers use conical dispersion, most other brands use different horizontal vs vertical dispersion, though it is not so common that the horn can be rotated, which means that usually, the only way to get the dispersion you want at a given location could be to rotate the entire speaker.

Getting back to the ZXA1 nomenclature, there is a letter at the end of the model number, B for black, W for white.

Yes, the woofer is 8". The speaker has more bass than you'd expect from an 8", but I'd expect the ZLX 12p to have more. A bigger woofer does not automatically mean a better sounding speaker, though. For keyboard use, the ZXa1 has sufficient bass for me and many others. I've even used it on some gigs where I've played LH bass. But if I'm playing LH bass in a bigger room and a lot of deep bass volume is required, I send the bass guitar patch out its own output, and run it into a separate bass amp (Markbass Mini CMD 121 P Combo), which is pretty killer. But usually, if a gig calls for cranking bass guitar, I'm playing with a bass guitarist, so that's something I only do a few times a year.
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Re: Which Keyboard Amplifier?

Postby Paul99 » 14:40, 16 August 2017

Thank you Alan, I didn't know that one! But you see, the problem is not only in the volume. When I played over the Peavy Amplifier of our bassplayer, my mates found the sound much better sounding. SO it is more than just volume. I have to explain that the PA system we have is a very small and pure vocal system only so I guess it's optimized for vocals which probably means it cuts the low and part of the mids. I am not sure, but that could be possible why my mates found the sound over the bass amplifier much better sounding than over the PA system.

But your tip is very good to keep in mind. Thanks!
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