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Keyboard Amplification?

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Keyboard Amplification?

Postby Rich C » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:44 am

Hi,

In the past I have rehearsed keyboards in a band but never got to the point of playing live. I have always used rehearsal studios and plugged my keyboards into the P.A. Now, I have gigs imminent and do not own any amplification. What might be best? The new band I play in have their own rehearsal space, what would be good for rehearsal and also possible use at gigs? Would a floor monitor be useful for rehearsal and possibly stage, or would I be better with something like a Roland KC-350? Would a floor monitor handle synth parts well? I have to keep up with a big bass rig, strong drummer and big guitar amp, the power of which I do not know, just that it is LOUD. Any pointers would be much appreciated.
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Re: Keyboard Amplification?

Postby Scramble » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:45 am

Modern monitors are generally better than trad keyboard amps, they're lighter, smaller and sound better (unless you're buying a really good modern keyboard amp, but they cost). Don't get a dedicated floor monitor, though, get a PA (active) speaker that can double as a floor monitor, because then you have two ways you can use it.

>I have to keep up with a big bass rig, strong drummer and big guitar amp, the power of which I do not know, just that it is LOUD. Any pointers would be much appreciated.

Get them to turn down, a loud stage sound makes everything so much more difficult for everyone, as well as risking feedback.
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Re: Keyboard Amplification?

Postby Rich C » Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:03 am

I know I should get them to turn down... but I think they get over excited and turn up again, and I'm the new guy...

I suppose what I meant was, I am not sure what sort of power amp I should be looking at at all, or will most reasonably powerful units do the job? Would a 12 inch speaker be OK or should I get something with a 15 inch speaker? Do I need something with a subwoofer out? I hadn't thought of a dual P.A./monitor box - that's a useful tip, thanks.

I suppose I had considered a Roland Keyboard amp as it allowed me to mix two synths without needing a little submixer.
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Re: Keyboard Amplification?

Postby Scramble » Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:14 am

>I suppose what I meant was, I am not sure what sort of power amp I should be looking at at all, or will most reasonably powerful units do the job? Would a 12 inch speaker be OK or should I get something with a 15 inch speaker?

You don't really need a 15" speaker for keyboard monitoring, 10-12 is enough (even 8 might do, I'm thinking of switching to 8). Some keyboardists like 15 because they like to hear plenty of deep bass, but that just gets in the way of the bass guitarist and you get extra bass from the back of the PA anyway, so you don't really need it.

You want at least 150-200W RMS, pref. more (esp. if your band mates play too loud on stage).

>Do I need something with a subwoofer out?

No.

>I suppose I had considered a Roland Keyboard amp as it allowed me to mix two synths without needing a little submixer.

True, but then you can't change the mix in the middle of a song because the amp controls are too far away. (But some monitors come with two inputs if you really do want that.)
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Re: Keyboard Amplification?

Postby Rich C » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:05 pm

This is really helpful - thanks. Now I know what to look for: relatively small P.A. speaker 200- 300 ish watts.
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Re: Keyboard Amplification?

Postby Dave Rowles » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:08 pm

Good advice from scramble there!

I'd add you may want to think about getting 2 8 or 10 inch speakers, and then you can have your keys sound in stereo :)
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Re: Keyboard Amplification?

Postby Scramble » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:15 pm

Some keys players just "have to have" stereo, although I don't -- and having to carry and set up two monitors makes everything more complicated. I'd try one monitor first and see how you go with that.
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Re: Keyboard Amplification?

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:39 pm

Best value out there at the moment is probably the Alto Truesonic range, the TS112A and TS110A are £250 and £225 (approx). The TS112A would be my choice, 400 watts RMS, 122dB and two inputs (I'm probably going to buy a couple for foldback cabs in the next couple of weeks). If you want serious volume consider the Yamaha DXR12, just over £500 but 1100 watts and 132dB!
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Re: Keyboard Amplification?

Postby dickiefunk » Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:21 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Best value out there at the moment is probably the Alto Truesonic range, the TS112A and TS110A are £250 and £225 (approx). The TS112A would be my choice, 400 watts RMS, 122dB and two inputs (I'm probably going to buy a couple for foldback cabs in the next couple of weeks). If you want serious volume consider the Yamaha DXR12, just over £500 but 1100 watts and 132dB!

Yes I have the Alto TS112A for this reason. I use mine as my keyboard amp for small acoustic gigs and it doubles and a great angled monitor for gigs.
I used to use the Roland KC350 and found it quite a lump to lugg around. Also, it isn't angled so you either need to wedge stuff under it or use an angled stand.
When I was thinking about switching over to a PA speaker I was a little concerned I'd be sacrificing audio quality. However, when I heard the Alto next to my KC350 I found it sounded at least as good as a keyboard amp if not better! It has two channels so you can run two keyboards through them which I do all the time. The TS112a also is a LOT lighter than my old KC350!

Another option may be the new EV ZLX12p but I haven't heard these personally.

http://altoproaudio.com/products/ts112a

http://www.electrovoice.com/product.php?id=2583

The Yamaha DXR's would be amazing (I own the DXR15's) but probably overkill!?
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Re: Keyboard Amplification?

Postby Rich C » Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:37 pm

This is great - I have just been looking at the Alto range before coming back here to ask if they were any good!

Think this might be the way to go: cheap enough to experiment with, without committing lots to something deeply expensive. I don't think I need to have stereo, at least not yet.
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Re: Keyboard Amplification?

Postby Rich C » Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:39 pm

The Alto has two input connectors - so could I put my main keyboard in one and my second keyboard in the second input, so that I don't necessarily have to get a submixer for just two keyboards?
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Re: Keyboard Amplification?

Postby dickiefunk » Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:57 pm

Rich C wrote:The Alto has two input connectors - so could I put my main keyboard in one and my second keyboard in the second input, so that I don't necessarily have to get a submixer for just two keyboards?

Yes the Alto has a 2 channel mixer!
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Re: Keyboard Amplification?

Postby pag123123 » Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:48 pm

For keyboard monitoring, I've been using a pair of the little Thomann 8" powered speakers (The Box PA108A) for the last 5 years. Economical, and sound OK for piano/synth monitoring if bass is turned down a bit, and treble up a bit :-) 2x130 watts is mostly enough for the bands I play with (150W bass amp, 50W valve guitar amp, acoustic drums behind perspex screens)
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Re: Keyboard Amplification?

Postby TheChorltonWheelie » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:22 am

Rich C wrote:This is great - I have just been looking at the Alto range before coming back here to ask if they were any good!

I'm another person that uses those Alto's, for the money they're hard to beat and the sound quality is reasonably good. I have 3 of the 12" versions, they double up as stage monitors and foldback, and occasionally I'll use them as side-fill too so they're really flexible.
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Re: Keyboard Amplification?

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:22 am

Sam Spoons wrote:Best value out there at the moment is probably the Alto Truesonic range, the TS112A and TS110A are £250 and £225 (approx). The TS112A would be my choice, 400 watts RMS, 122dB and two inputs (I'm probably going to buy a couple for foldback cabs in the next couple of weeks). If you want serious volume consider the Yamaha DXR12, just over £500 but 1100 watts and 132dB!

I've done some more research since I posted this and listened to lots of speakers, conclusions here http://www.soundonsound.com/forum/showf ... =1#1052247
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