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#1287779 - 10/15/09 06:35 PM Im confused about Speakers, amps, Pa systems, Mixers, etc...
dragoon38900 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/30/08
Posts: 14
*** LONG EXPLANATION AHEAD, if you dont want to read it, I wrote a basic summary of my question at the end***

Ok, so I have the Privia 320, and I thought it was about time to try using better speakers for it. In addition, I recently got an Electronic Drumset, and i basically sent the sounds to Privia's input. Therefore, me and my brother can play together using Privia's built in speakers. However, recently i noticed that the speakers would crackle up when playing loudly around the C keys (D and B as well).

So basically, I want to reroute the Piano and Drumset to external speakers. And Im so confused after a bit of research. Particularly about Mono and stereo and channels and mixers.

The first thing I found was this PA system made by Phonic called the Powerpod 410/S710 PA System. I thought, hmm for under 200 bucks, this might do the trick. But then I looked more into it, and realized that despite the fact it has 2 speakers, its MONO. I know for sure my drumset and Piano are Stereo, as I can hear the lower keys on my left ear (using headset) more, and the higher keys on my right ear more. Also on the drumset, the left crash cymbal is heard more on the left ear, and vise versa. I mean, why would you go down the ladder of quality? Going from stereo to mono just doesnt make sense to me.

I also checked out Piano amps and Drum amps, BUT again, its really just 1 speaker, so its mono output, despite the stereo input (someone correct me please if Im wrong).

From there, I went to read more about mixers. and thats when I got more confused. Here are some thoughts, possibilities and questions:

1. Buy a unpowered mixer and buy powered speakers:
- Unpowered mixer should have stereo outputs at least. I think ive seen some fairly cheap ones.
- Choosing a speaker is where it gets confusing. I thought about buying an expensive $100 + computer 2.1 speakers, but Im having mixed thoughts about that. People say computer speakers are no good for playing instruments on, but how about a highend computer speaker? Would they still be bad? I tried hooking up my Creative 2.1 computer speaker system with the piano and drums, and yeah it is pretty bad, but these werent 100 bucks +, more like 60 bucks or so. Also, I read someone stating that playing back music on computer speakers might sound nice, but when playing live Piano on them, they will dissappoint. And I think thats true for my computer speakers. They are great for playing music, but not so much with actual piano playing.
- Then I looked into "Monitor" speakers, but im still unsure about them. Supposedly these monitors are for 'professionals' and record making, etc. How would they do for playing the piano and drums? Im also concerned about the bass they make (apparently, the only thing good that my computer speakers did was on the bass for the bass drum, which was nice). Also, can you add a subwoofer to the monitors? I tried looking at the mixers, and i dont know how it works. I know the line outs go to the monitors (active), but how would one go about adding a subwoofer to the system? What if I wanted to use my computer's subwoofer? would that be possible?

2. Buy a powered mixer (hell lot more expensive) and passive speakers
- Not sure which route will be better and more affordable, but the problems are also the same: what speakers to get? how do you add subwoofers (if they are needed) to a 2 monitor set up (or to any 2 speaker set up, for that matter, because so far, the only thing I know about subwoofers are that on my computer speakers, the main input goes into the built in amp on the sub, and from there it goes to the satilites, AND on my home theater system, where the reciever has a connection for the Subwoofer... and apparently I dont see that at all on Mixers)

3. Buy a Keyboard amp
- only concern is the whole mono and stereo output issue. Sure these things have stereo input, but what good is that when it only has 1 speaker, which leads me to think that its outputing mono.

Are there any other way of getting these 2 instruments to work on the same set of speakers?

Oh and before I forget, we (me and my brother) are playing in a fairly small room, so we dont need to blast anything out, we just need it to go loud enough so that we hear the drum sounds and not the taping noises when using an electronic set. Budget is $200ish

*** If you skipped the explanations, this is basically what im asking ***

I need to hook up my piano and my drumset (both electronic) to a set of speakers in which:
1. Good sounds for a fairly small to medium sized room, loud enough for garage playing. Mid ranges, low and highs, quality must be better than the built in Speakers of the Privia 320 Casio.
2. Must be Stereo
3. Limited budget : $200ish



** Also, I wanted to add a Guitar and cello to the setup (acoustics, using a pickup) so keep that in mind. If i will get a mixer, it must have enough inputs to support 2 stereo instruments and 2 mono. But if its not possible, ill just get a small guitar amp for them in the future.

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#1287787 - 10/15/09 06:53 PM Re: Im confused about Speakers, amps, Pa systems, Mixers, etc... [Re: dragoon38900]
JcSr56 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/09/09
Posts: 58
Loc: Va
dragoon, To be honest with you; you've kind of clipped your wings, right from the get go with your budget limit. I would suggest that you save a bit more money, and gwt a small mixer, and some powered monitors. You can get a cheap Behringer( certainly not top of the line, but will do fine) mixer for about $100 that will allow you to run your piano, guitars, and a mic or 2.

The powered monitors are what will cost you the most. These monitors are used for mixing/recording, but will work fine for a studio sound. You are probably looking at about $500 for a worthy pair.

It really all comes down to how well you want your rig to sound. Good luck.

John Sr.
_________________________
guitar player for 48 years, and started playing the piano 16 months ago.

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#1287805 - 10/15/09 07:17 PM Re: Im confused about Speakers, amps, Pa systems, Mixers, etc... [Re: dragoon38900]
Oolong Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 13
Loc: Seattle, WA, USA
Here is one solution. It is what I will probably buy. I'm looking for a solution for in a house and in a small performance situation. I'm not a professional player and not aspiring to be one. There are good reviews of them on this forum and elsewhere.

Two Roland Cube CM-30 Monitor/PA Speakers. At Amazon they are $175 each so not the cheapest solution but pretty cheap for good sound. They are compact and rugged. They have a way of connecting them so stereo input into either cube will come out in stereo through both speakers. They handle several line level inputs each. In my case I may have a couple of mics connected, which these also can handle.

Note: Even if you use only one, the stereo inputs are mixed into the single speaker so you aren't losing a channel, you just get both channels coming out mixed into a single speaker.

Be sure to check out the CM-30 and not the CM-30x which is a guitar amp.

Here is a link to the Roland page for them: Roland CM-30 Cube

One final thought, they are called monitors but these are stage monitors not studio monitors.


Edited by Oolong (10/15/09 07:17 PM)

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#1287834 - 10/15/09 08:21 PM Re: Im confused about Speakers, amps, Pa systems, Mixers, etc... [Re: Oolong]
dragoon38900 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/30/08
Posts: 14
You know the problem is that Ive never actually tested any of the speakers out.

Oolong, yes I know that they are basically combining both channels (stereo) into one single speaker, but does that mean you can actually differentiate the left and right sounds? Such as, if you have the speaker right in front of you, and you do a upward scale, you can actually hear the keys shifting from the left to right? Though I am interested in those CM-30s, i havent read much into it, but it says connecting it with another one will give you "true stereo output", which is what Im aiming for. HOWEVER, if the fact that the single speaker will infact sound like stereo, then i'll widen my choices. Can someone confirm this for me?

Ok, I just had an Idea. How about If I connected my drums to the Privia, then output the sounds of the Privia to a set of passive speakers (cheaper)? Technically the Privia has a built in amp, right? Would that work? or do the external speakers need their own amp? And therefore powered speakers (or monitors) is what ill need? Anyone know how the line outputs work on the Privia?

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#1287836 - 10/15/09 08:27 PM Re: Im confused about Speakers, amps, Pa systems, Mixers, etc... [Re: dragoon38900]
Oolong Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 13
Loc: Seattle, WA, USA
Hi dragoon, no the two channels mixed would still only sound like one channel if you only used one speaker.

I believe your 320 has line out, as does my 330. You should be able to do what you described and run the drums through the 320 and back out the "line out" jacks to powered speakers. What I don't know is how you would adjust the levels. Probably would have to do that individually through the 320 and the drums. You could get by cheaper this way and get your true stereo (by using two speakers).

Good luck.

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#1287893 - 10/15/09 10:04 PM Re: Im confused about Speakers, amps, Pa systems, Mixers, etc... [Re: Oolong]
emenelton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/02/09
Posts: 445
I looked at the link you provided. A pair of those is definitely needed and will work. Run a stereo pair of cables from both your piano and your drums to one cube, connect the link cable from the first cube to the second. The nice thing about that set up is the input volume controls on your main cube will control both the left and right volume of your piano and/or drums, going to both speakers.

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#1287912 - 10/15/09 10:38 PM Re: Im confused about Speakers, amps, Pa systems, Mixers, etc... [Re: Oolong]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3786
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: Oolong
I believe your 320 has line out, as does my 330.
Unfortunately, the 320 does not have a Line Out.

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#1287951 - 10/15/09 11:45 PM Re: Im confused about Speakers, amps, Pa systems, Mixers, etc... [Re: MacMacMac]
dragoon38900 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/30/08
Posts: 14
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Originally Posted By: Oolong
I believe your 320 has line out, as does my 330.
Unfortunately, the 320 does not have a Line Out.


Actually they do.

Technically, couldnt you just connect the left line out to one amp, and the right line out to another? Bam, stereo mode using dual amps. Now i just have to figure what amp will sound good on a piano and drums AND is affordable (for me). I think running 2 roland cm-30 will be over kill for what we need. We play in fairly small rooms, and not in front of audiences of more than 10 people.

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#1287962 - 10/16/09 12:10 AM Re: Im confused about Speakers, amps, Pa systems, Mixers, etc... [Re: dragoon38900]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3786
Loc: North Carolina
You're thinking of the 330 (and above).
The 320 lacks the aux out (or line out), as does it's YDP counterpart, the YDP160.

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#1287965 - 10/16/09 12:12 AM Re: Im confused about Speakers, amps, Pa systems, Mixers, etc... [Re: dragoon38900]
Daniel Marsalone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/28/06
Posts: 36
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
A decent amp is one of the Behringer keyboard amps. I have the K450FX that I picked up on sale at Guitar Center for $120. They make several models with different levels of power and different size speakers. The Behringers have four mono inputs (one input can use an XLR mic), an EQ and onboard effects like reverb and delay. Mine is 45watts with a 10" speaker and it can play plenty loud. I've been using it for my Privia at rehearsals and restaurants and it works well.

I know that you want stereo but if your Casio Privia is like mine, there are mono piano samples in there too, but honestly the stereos don't sound so bad in mono on the Privia either. When I had my Roland DP though, the stereo pianos sounded like total crap and only the bad sounding mono was decent.

I know that people will say that you need a stereo PA to sound best but that is out of your price range. The Yamaha Stagepas 300 is pretty good but runs about $550 or so, well over your $200 budget.

For about $170 you could get the 90watt Behringer K900FX with a 12" woofer which would be better than the smaller models for the drums.

Behringer is good if you are on a budget.

Daniel

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#1287976 - 10/16/09 12:41 AM Re: Im confused about Speakers, amps, Pa systems, Mixers, etc... [Re: Daniel Marsalone]
dragoon38900 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/30/08
Posts: 14
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
You're thinking of the 330 (and above).
The 320 lacks the aux out (or line out), as does it's YDP counterpart, the YDP160.


Im 100% sure it has a line out. I own it. Check out the specs from Casio's websit:
http://www.casio.com/products/Musical_In...echnical_Specs/

and the features section:

http://www.casio.com/products/Musical_In...ecial_Features/

and i quote:
"The Stereo LINE IN / OUT (L/mono, R) of your digital piano provides a connection for full sound experiences. e.g. to your PA-system or studio equipment."

Im staring at the line outs right now...


Anyways, I found these:
Cakewalk MA-15D
Edirol MA-15DBK

They are both at the same price range of 170-180, and they have subwoofer outputs. Does this mean I can connect it to my computer speaker's sub? Or would you need a unpowered sub?

I also found the Behringer Ultratone KT108 15w Keyboard Amplifier, which is about 70 bucks. If I get 2 of them to create a bootleg stereo system, it would cost 140 bucks? If a mixer is needed, theres one for 60, which in total will be right on budget. Would it be loud enough for my needs? What do you guys think?


Edited by dragoon38900 (10/16/09 01:06 AM)

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#1288241 - 10/16/09 01:20 PM Re: Im confused about Speakers, amps, Pa systems, Mixers, etc... [Re: dragoon38900]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3786
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: dragoon38900
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
You're thinking of the 330 (and above).
The 320 lacks the aux out (or line out), as does it's YDP counterpart, the YDP160.
Im 100% sure it has a line out. I own it. Check out the specs from Casio's websit:
http://www.casio.com/products/Musical_In...echnical_Specs/
Oops. When I saw 320/330, I was thinking about the CLP320 and CLP330 (Yamaha). Sorry.

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