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Topic Options
#1249566 - 08/15/09 12:17 AM Amplifier or External Speaker for Digital Piano, I'm New
AdamBrown Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 44
Loc: Hastings-on-the-Hudson, NY
Hi. I've been playing the piano for a year and a half and I recently got the Yamaha p155 for my birthday - love it by the way. I just looked at a thread that showed everybody's digital piano setup. All the setups had other big speakers ---are they called amplifiers?--- hooked up to their digital piano.

What would hooking up external speakers to my p155 do? Would it just make the sound louder or would it make it better? I mean, when I press certain notes down on the p155 the sound isn't always perfect; would external speakers make this better? Is that imperfect sound the fault of the p155's speakers? I know they are 16w. Will good headphones make the sound better? Thanks for helping a new player out.


Edited by AdamBrown (08/15/09 01:12 AM)

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#1250253 - 08/16/09 11:29 AM Re: Amplifier or External Speaker for Digital Piano, I'm New [Re: AdamBrown]
AdamBrown Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 44
Loc: Hastings-on-the-Hudson, NY
/bump

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#1250267 - 08/16/09 11:55 AM Re: Amplifier or External Speaker for Digital Piano, I'm New [Re: AdamBrown]
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
Originally Posted By: AdamBrown
Hi. I've been playing the piano for a year and a half and I recently got the Yamaha p155 for my birthday - love it by the way. I just looked at a thread that showed everybody's digital piano setup. All the setups had other big speakers ---are they called amplifiers?--- hooked up to their digital piano.

What would hooking up external speakers to my p155 do? Would it just make the sound louder or would it make it better? I mean, when I press certain notes down on the p155 the sound isn't always perfect; would external speakers make this better? Is that imperfect sound the fault of the p155's speakers? I know they are 16w. Will good headphones make the sound better? Thanks for helping a new player out.


Hey. If you mainly want to amplify your keyboard in your home and not performing in live gigs or events, you want to hook up some quality studio monitors for the highest quality sound output. The 16 watt speakers are pretty good, but they really are not the best type to capture the dynamic range of digital pianos, highs, mids and bass.

I would look for monitors that have at least an 8-10 inch size speaker and a 1 inch tweeter. Here is a link to KRK. http://www.krksys.com/index.php

I bought 2 KRK Rokit 8 series that produce a great sound with my 2 Casio Privia keyboards. They are reasonably priced.

Yamaha HS 80M are great too, but much more expensive

* 8" white polypropylene cone
* 1" dome tweeter
* 120-watt biamplified power
* XLR and ¼" connectors
* Room control and frequency response switches

That's my advice. Go into a local music store and ask to listen to various monitors in the listening room. Good luck

katt

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#1250282 - 08/16/09 12:37 PM Re: Amplifier or External Speaker for Digital Piano, I'm New [Re: AdamBrown]
Liber_Ouchy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/12/09
Posts: 53
Loc: Texas
I haven't done it yet, but I'm considering hooking my P155 up to my home stereo system. It's a pretty good component system with 5-speaker surround sound. I'm very happy with my DP and wouldn't consider spending much money on another amp/speakers. However, if I can improve on things with my existing system, why not?

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#1250305 - 08/16/09 01:51 PM Re: Amplifier or External Speaker for Digital Piano, I'm New [Re: Liber_Ouchy]
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
Originally Posted By: Liber_Ouchy
I haven't done it yet, but I'm considering hooking my P155 up to my home stereo system. It's a pretty good component system with 5-speaker surround sound. I'm very happy with my DP and wouldn't consider spending much money on another amp/speakers. However, if I can improve on things with my existing system, why not?


Yes, many piano players that have quality home stereos can certainly hook up their digital pianos to the components and get acceptable results. If I had my old Fisher stereo system I had years ago with those great sounding 3 way walnut speakers, I would have gotten excellent results with my digital pianos. But that was years before they were available.

Many people have Bose systems with a sub-woofer and those would work.

katt

katt


Edited by nitekatt2008z (08/16/09 01:51 PM)

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#1250348 - 08/16/09 02:59 PM Re: Amplifier or External Speaker for Digital Piano, I'm New [Re: nitekatt2008z]
LesCharles73 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 739
Loc: Denton Texas
Unless you're playing in a band, stay away from keyboard amps. They will make you louder, but volume is all you'll get. A keyboard amp will probably sound worse than your internal speakers. You are indeed seeing studio monitors in everybody's setups. Studio monitors are usually self-contained units with an amplifier built in. You just plug them into the outputs of your keyboard, connect the power cable (Powered monitors have their own cord and plug) and you're ready to go. I would stay away from unpowered (no built-in amp) monitors, unless you really want to add some confusion to your life.

When setting up your monitors, it is important to have them in the proper placement. You want them about eye/ear level when you're seated at the piano, and the placement should form a triangle - your head being the apex. Look into monitor stands at your local music store. You can get cheap ones, which are made of black aluminum tubing, or you can get the really nice "furniture grade" stands, which are good and heavy (tip resistant) with nice wooden inlays on the sides.

To answer your other question, yes, headphones can improve the sound quality of your piano. Be warned though, not just any $20 Wal-Mart headphones do this, you would need to be looking at something more along the lines of a $200 set of Sennheiser studio 'phones. To be perfectly honest though, I sometimes play through the ear phones that came with my ipod and they sound fairly decent, minus some bass.
_________________________
Les C Deal





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#1250449 - 08/16/09 08:12 PM Re: Amplifier or External Speaker for Digital Piano, I'm New [Re: LesCharles73]
AdamBrown Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 44
Loc: Hastings-on-the-Hudson, NY
Thanks Charles and everyone else; you have been very helpful.

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#1250642 - 08/17/09 07:45 AM Re: Amplifier or External Speaker for Digital Piano, I'm New [Re: AdamBrown]
dannac Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/07
Posts: 598
Loc: USA
error posted .... excuse please !


Edited by dannac (08/17/09 07:46 AM)

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#1250785 - 08/17/09 12:52 PM Re: Amplifier or External Speaker for Digital Piano, I'm New [Re: LesCharles73]
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
Originally Posted By: LesCharles73
Unless you're playing in a band, stay away from keyboard amps. They will make you louder, but volume is all you'll get. A keyboard amp will probably sound worse than your internal speakers. You are indeed seeing studio monitors in everybody's setups. Studio monitors are usually self-contained units with an amplifier built in. You just plug them into the outputs of your keyboard, connect the power cable (Powered monitors have their own cord and plug) and you're ready to go. I would stay away from unpowered (no built-in amp) monitors, unless you really want to add some confusion to your life.

When setting up your monitors, it is important to have them in the proper placement. You want them about eye/ear level when you're seated at the piano, and the placement should form a triangle - your head being the apex. Look into monitor stands at your local music store. You can get cheap ones, which are made of black aluminum tubing, or you can get the really nice "furniture grade" stands, which are good and heavy (tip resistant) with nice wooden inlays on the sides.

To answer your other question, yes, headphones can improve the sound quality of your piano. Be warned though, not just any $20 Wal-Mart headphones do this, you would need to be looking at something more along the lines of a $200 set of Sennheiser studio 'phones. To be perfectly honest though, I sometimes play through the ear phones that came with my ipod and they sound fairly decent, minus some bass.


Keyboard amps can work if you just need mono backline sound, running a line out via a DI to the PA mixer. And this would mainly be in the rock/blues venue mode playing loud tinny acoustic piano samples, organs, strings, electric pianos, etc. But if you have a quality digital piano or VI software like Ivory, a single mono keyboard amp is not going to produce that big, rich warm sound you are hearing in your pro headphones. Try to get the best headphones you can afford. because they do make a difference in getting a reference point of what the acoustic piano samples should sound like.

I bought a set of Sony MDR7506 Professional Stereo Headphones for $99 online. Here is a link with some reviews and info about them.

http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-SON-MDR7506-LIST

I have been using these for several years, dropped them on hard floors, thrown them around in my studio and they still sound great. Built very sturdy. They are also very comfortable to wear for hours at a time and they have a long coiled cable, but one of the smaller plug-in adapters, there is a gold stereo 1/4 included in the box and a nice heavy duty black carrying bag. These phones are not the noise canceling type, but they do a pretty good job muffling external sound. There are more expensive pro studio headphones on the market that can cost $200+ but if you are on a budget, these might work for you. The reviews I have read from other musicians who have bought the MDRs either love them or hate them. It depends on what sound you expect from a pro set of headphones, but the MDR's work for me fine and sound great.

But I still recommend checking out the plethora selection of studio monitors in various and price ranges to get the best possible stereo sound from digital pianos and VI.

katt

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#1256181 - 08/25/09 10:45 PM Re: Amplifier or External Speaker for Digital Piano, I'm New [Re: nitekatt2008z]
DavidKitazono Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 65
For inexpensive headphones the Sony MDR's are hard to beat. If you get a chance, try out a set of Stax ear speakers. They require a good deal of clean amplifier power (not from the headphone jack), are pretty expensive, but are among the best I've heard. They are well worth the price of admission!

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#1260099 - 09/01/09 04:11 AM Re: Amplifier or External Speaker for Digital Piano, I'm New [Re: nitekatt2008z]
fliper Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/09
Posts: 212
Loc: Angola (Africa)
Originally Posted By: nitekatt2008z
[quote=AdamBrown]
I would look for monitors that have at least an 8-10 inch size speaker and a 1 inch tweeter. Here is a link to KRK. http://www.krksys.com/index.php

I bought 2 KRK Rokit 8 series that produce a great sound with my 2 Casio Privia keyboards. They are reasonably priced.

Yamaha HS 80M are great too, but much more expensive

* 8" white polypropylene cone
* 1" dome tweeter
* 120-watt biamplified power
* XLR and ¼" connectors
* Room control and frequency response switches

That's my advice. Go into a local music store and ask to listen to various monitors in the listening room. Good luck

katt



Hi,

I was looking to the keyboard and monitors specifications and I do not understand:
How do you connect the KRK monitors to the keyboard? Through line output?
How do you control volume level? Does keyboard have volume level in line output?

thanks in advance for your help

Pedro
_________________________
Alfred Adult All-In-One - level 1 - "Go Down, Moses" - page 133



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#1260104 - 09/01/09 04:29 AM Re: Amplifier or External Speaker for Digital Piano, I'm New [Re: fliper]
AlphaTerminus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 549
Loc: Iowa, USA
You are more likely to have better results with the aux-out jacks on the P155. At least 8 inch monitors are a good idea, and KRK, Mackie, Yamaha are all good. Don't get 6 inch monitors. A $100 subwoofer helps too.
_________________________
Lessons since September 2009
Yamaha C6

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#1260354 - 09/01/09 02:01 PM Re: Amplifier or External Speaker for Digital Piano, I'm New [Re: fliper]
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
Originally Posted By: fliper
Originally Posted By: nitekatt2008z
[quote=AdamBrown]
I would look for monitors that have at least an 8-10 inch size speaker and a 1 inch tweeter. Here is a link to KRK. http://www.krksys.com/index.php

I bought 2 KRK Rokit 8 series that produce a great sound with my 2 Casio Privia keyboards. They are reasonably priced.

Yamaha HS 80M are great too, but much more expensive

* 8" white polypropylene cone
* 1" dome tweeter
* 120-watt biamplified power
* XLR and ¼" connectors
* Room control and frequency response switches

That's my advice. Go into a local music store and ask to listen to various monitors in the listening room. Good luck

katt



Hi,

I was looking to the keyboard and monitors specifications and I do not understand:
How do you connect the KRK monitors to the keyboard? Through line output?
How do you control volume level? Does keyboard have volume level in line output?

thanks in advance for your help

Pedro



Pedro, the way I hook powered monitors and sound systems to my Casio Privia 88 boards is through a mixer. I have a small Behringer mixer similar to this one:

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Behringer-Eurorack-UB802

I also use an old Mackie 1202 mixer that I bought in 1997 and still works. All you have to do is plug Input: XLR (3-pin), RCA & 1/4" TRS - 10k Ohm, Balanced / Unbalanced cables from the monitors to the L/R outputs to your keyboard. You don't have to use a mixer and just plug the the cables direct from the monitors to the keyboard. Some keyboards do not have 1/4 slots, some may have the L/R RCA outs or a headphone input.

The reason I prefer using a mixer is I can use the EQ to tweak the sound, the pre amp/phantom power helps boost the gain on low output keyboards such the Privias and attach a NANO VERB for reverb and delay effects.

Personally, I would not buy any digital piano or keyboard that doesn't include 1/4 L/R outputs or MIDI In/Out slots. Some newer keyboards don't have MIDI and have USB slot to connect to computers or Audio interfaces. The Privias have 1/4 L/R outs, MIDI IN/Out and USB, so there are several possibilities to get plugged in.

Hope that helps.

katt

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#1260392 - 09/01/09 03:04 PM Re: Amplifier or External Speaker for Digital Piano, I'm New [Re: AdamBrown]
Machicavelli Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 42
Loc: Sweden
Originally Posted By: AdamBrown
I just looked at a thread that showed everybody's digital piano setup.


Link?

I tryd the search function, but with no results.
_________________________
Yamaha DGX-620
Sennheiser HD215

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#1713723 - 07/15/11 08:51 AM Re: Amplifier or External Speaker for Digital Piano, I'm New [Re: AdamBrown]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1863
Loc: Pennsylvania
I am bringing this thread back to life because I just purchased a digital piano for which I have come to the conclusion that I cannot live with the sound through the external speakers. I have LINE OUT (L/R), MIDI OUT, and I have a small STEREO OUT jack.

I am looking for recommendations for external speakers / monitors.

The KRK ROKIT 8 appears to be a good option from what I have
been reading.

Another good option appears to be the M-Audio Studiophile Bx8 studio monitors.


Any thoughts on this ?


Edited by dmd (07/15/11 09:32 AM)
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

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#1713908 - 07/15/11 01:47 PM Re: Amplifier or External Speaker for Digital Piano, I'm New [Re: dmd]
piRround Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 319
Loc: Yarmouth, Maine
I use a pair of Rokit 5 and a Polk sub. My room is fairly small, maybe 9 x 12, so the 8's would probably be overkill for me. Maybe you wouldn't need a sub with the 8's. I happen to like a lot of bass at times.
_________________________
Sandy


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#1714630 - 07/16/11 06:09 PM Re: Amplifier or External Speaker for Digital Piano, I'm New [Re: dmd]
Rimmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 483
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: dmd
I am bringing this thread back to life because I just purchased a digital piano for which I have come to the conclusion that I cannot live with the sound through the external speakers. I have LINE OUT (L/R), MIDI OUT, and I have a small STEREO OUT jack.

I am looking for recommendations for external speakers / monitors.

The KRK ROKIT 8 appears to be a good option from what I have
been reading.

Another good option appears to be the M-Audio Studiophile Bx8 studio monitors.


Any thoughts on this ?


For the money, the Rokit's are a very good monitor.

Check out Adam, Event, Yorkville, Focus, Dynaudio amongst others. Some are expensive but you often get what you pay for when you're choosing from established names. Buying powered monitors will make your life easier. No amp matching or bi-amping woes.

Regards. Rimmer

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#1714654 - 07/16/11 07:18 PM Re: Amplifier or External Speaker for Digital Piano, I'm New [Re: AdamBrown]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1863
Loc: Pennsylvania
What I want to know, specifically is this ...

I am trying to overcome what I consider an undesirable sound (excessively resonant, and tinny) coming from my digital piano.

Will purchasing monitors impact that problem or will it just make everything clearer, resonance and tinny sound also ?
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

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#1714807 - 07/17/11 12:21 AM Re: Amplifier or External Speaker for Digital Piano, I'm New [Re: AdamBrown]
Dr Popper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: Hancock Park LA (not again)

What would hooking up external speakers to my p155 do? Would it just make the sound louder or would it make it better?
Both

I mean, when I press certain notes down on the p155 the sound isn't always perfect; would external speakers make this better?
It depends on what aspect of the sound your unhappy with the P155's speakers are not great but actual sound of the piano isn't exactly class leading either.

Is that imperfect sound the fault of the p155's speakers?
Will good headphones make the sound better?

Good headphones will improve it however it can't improve something that is in the P155 rather then the speakers.
_________________________
"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally supported by but not beholden to various musical instrument manufactures including Yamaha

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#1714865 - 07/17/11 03:18 AM Re: Amplifier or External Speaker for Digital Piano, I'm New [Re: AdamBrown]
10fingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/09
Posts: 298
Loc: CA
Good headphones will give you a better idea of the potential of the sound generator than the onboard speakers. So listen to the piano through them and then decide if this is the sound that you wish to amplify. (Obviously the bass and midrange will sound fuller). If that sound is what you want then get the outboard gear. If it's not, then you must look for some other remedy.

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#1714889 - 07/17/11 05:51 AM Re: Amplifier or External Speaker for Digital Piano, I'm New [Re: dmd]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5276
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: dmd
What I want to know, specifically is this ...

I am trying to overcome what I consider an undesirable sound (excessively resonant, and tinny) coming from my digital piano.

Will purchasing monitors impact that problem or will it just make everything clearer, resonance and tinny sound also ?



I'll be away on vacation but will make this one last post from home.

First, what is the keyboard in question?

How does it sound through quality headphones?

An excellent sound system cannot make a keyboard sound any better than high quality headphones. If it sounds less than adequate through high quality headphones, a sound system is just going to make it sound louder, not necessarily better.
_________________________
website

mp3\wav files

AvantGrand N3, CP5

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#1714931 - 07/17/11 09:14 AM Re: Amplifier or External Speaker for Digital Piano, I'm New [Re: AdamBrown]
Roger Ransom Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/05
Posts: 1257
Loc: SouthWest Michigan
I ended up getting a pair of Alesis MIActive 520 monitor speakers.

In my opinion they have a very nice sound and have plenty of power for home use.
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Yamaha G7 - Roland FP7

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