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#1631966 - 03/02/11 11:46 PM Live gear decision
luisdent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 206
So I'm on the fence between a nord piano and roland rd700nx (slight possibility an fp-7f might do). Either way, I essentially need a live amp setup. I've heard some roland amps and wasn't impressed at all. The kc150 is portable but low fidelity and would be low on the floor.

I'm considering a single or pair of powered speakers. My research for my price point has led me to the yamaha msr100 as a good entry level speaker with quality and features that are reasonable (based on reviews, etc.).

If I go that route, would a single speaker work well for solo piano in a restaurant of 50-100 max? I can pole mount it to ear height or higher. The music will be ambient and not concert style so it doesn't need to blast. But I realize you need headroom. I could always get a second matching speaker later as well. So any info on how well this would work and if mono or stereo is better would be appreciated.

I was thinking stereo is better, but with live settings the audience may not get the whole image anyway and it might give half the audience less piano in total (i think that made sense). But mono can only be pointed in one direction so placement is key.

I'm not really interested in different brand options as much as which type/size would be doable. smile

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#1632095 - 03/03/11 01:50 AM Re: Live gear decision [Re: luisdent]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
.
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

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#1632910 - 03/03/11 09:28 PM Re: Live gear decision [Re: luisdent]
Dr Popper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/09
Posts: 1706
Loc: Hancock Park LA (not again)
Quote:
I essentially need a live amp setup. I've heard some roland amps and wasn't impressed at all. The kc150 is portable but low fidelity and would be low on the floor.


I have been VERY impressed with the Motion Sound KP-500SN ...its powerful, lightweight, easy to handle and set up, and designed specifically for DP's.
_________________________
"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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#1632912 - 03/03/11 09:31 PM Re: Live gear decision [Re: Dave Ferris]
luisdent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 206
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
I know you said you aren't into speaker brand comparisons but there is a huge difference between an entry level Yamaha 10 or 12" and a quality 8-10" EV or RCF.


Thanks for all the info. As for brand differences, I realize that there will better better and sometimes more expensive. But I just wanted to know style of amplification was better, such as keyboard amp vs. speaker vs. stereo speaker, vs. whatever else.

I found my answer today. Hehe. I tried a bunch of PA speakers at the local guitar center with a roland rd700nx and yamaha cp50 and the results were the same with both...

I don't like PA speakers.

To my ears they all sounded horrible. I tried everything from good to bad under $1000. Yamaha msr, mackies, EONs, QSC, etc. There were definitely better models and I would lean toward the EONs at the price point, but they all share the same overall "PA" quality.

They were all boomy, they all had poor piano definition, they all had random frequencies that spiked and they all lacked piano 'nuances'. I tested each on the floor, at raised heights, with eq adjustments, different patches... you name it. I "tried" everything I could to make them sound acceptable, but I found I was deluding myself. I also listened close and across the room with different volumes. Pretty much every possible situation.

I was there all day. The pro audio guy was probably ready to kick me out wink haha

Maybe these would work as general PA/band setups, but I was very disappointed with piano reproduction. Just not for me.

However, I was completely reluctant to try a Bose system, but he said it was good so I acquiesced. To my absolute amazement (I think bose is usually "very" overpriced for the quality) I was extremely impressed. Maybe not studio monitor quality, but the difference was dramatic. Details were all there, not a single stray frequency spike, no flubby bass but very good bass. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

I was even MORE shocked when I cranked it up. He said "go ahead", so I pumped the poop out of it. Everyone in the store turned to look. Even at ridiculous volumes i would 'never' use, the quality never lowered. Not only that, but the solo piano stayed relaxing and smooth sounding with details, yet the "band" demos on the rd700nx had very good bass mid and treble with an almost stereo quality.

Long story short, my decision was made after about an hour of using it. It is compact, simple, no stand required. Comes with carrying bag. Has a few inputs and eq on it. Nothing to dislike. I would highly recommend this to any pianist looking for an entry pa system. I realize it is essentially "another pa speaker" but they really did something with the directionality and frequency of this thing. The subwoofer on it works extremely well and the overall sound is just very good.

I guess for anyone looking I'd suggest trying it out. I would have been extremely disappointed if I had ordered one of the previously mentioned amps.

O.k. I'm done now. :-)

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#1632916 - 03/03/11 09:39 PM Re: Live gear decision [Re: luisdent]
rickshapiro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/08
Posts: 171
Originally Posted By: luisdent
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
I know you said you aren't into speaker brand comparisons but there is a huge difference between an entry level Yamaha 10 or 12" and a quality 8-10" EV or RCF.


Thanks for all the info. As for brand differences, I realize that there will better better and sometimes more expensive. But I just wanted to know style of amplification was better, such as keyboard amp vs. speaker vs. stereo speaker, vs. whatever else.

I found my answer today. Hehe. I tried a bunch of PA speakers at the local guitar center with a roland rd700nx and yamaha cp50 and the results were the same with both...

I don't like PA speakers.

To my ears they all sounded horrible. I tried everything from good to bad under $1000. Yamaha msr, mackies, EONs, QSC, etc. There were definitely better models and I would lean toward the EONs at the price point, but they all share the same overall "PA" quality.

They were all boomy, they all had poor piano definition, they all had random frequencies that spiked and they all lacked piano 'nuances'. I tested each on the floor, at raised heights, with eq adjustments, different patches... you name it. I "tried" everything I could to make them sound acceptable, but I found I was deluding myself. I also listened close and across the room with different volumes. Pretty much every possible situation.

I was there all day. The pro audio guy was probably ready to kick me out wink haha

Maybe these would work as general PA/band setups, but I was very disappointed with piano reproduction. Just not for me.

However, I was completely reluctant to try a Bose system, but he said it was good so I acquiesced. To my absolute amazement (I think bose is usually "very" overpriced for the quality) I was extremely impressed. Maybe not studio monitor quality, but the difference was dramatic. Details were all there, not a single stray frequency spike, no flubby bass but very good bass. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

I was even MORE shocked when I cranked it up. He said "go ahead", so I pumped the poop out of it. Everyone in the store turned to look. Even at ridiculous volumes i would 'never' use, the quality never lowered. Not only that, but the solo piano stayed relaxing and smooth sounding with details, yet the "band" demos on the rd700nx had very good bass mid and treble with an almost stereo quality.

Long story short, my decision was made after about an hour of using it. It is compact, simple, no stand required. Comes with carrying bag. Has a few inputs and eq on it. Nothing to dislike. I would highly recommend this to any pianist looking for an entry pa system. I realize it is essentially "another pa speaker" but they really did something with the directionality and frequency of this thing. The subwoofer on it works extremely well and the overall sound is just very good.

I guess for anyone looking I'd suggest trying it out. I would have been extremely disappointed if I had ordered one of the previously mentioned amps.

O.k. I'm done now. :-)


So did you buy one or two for stereo. Also, when I've seen these although the tower itself is portable, the base seems quite large or awkward to handle. Lastly, damn those are expensive specially if you are purchasing two. Actually, when you were looking at all the other speakers were you in stereo or mono, in mono most of the pianos sound like crap.


Rick


Edited by rickshapiro (03/03/11 09:41 PM)
_________________________
Music Hack

Nord NP88,Yamaha Motif ES7, Ensoniq KS32, Brodmann 187 Grand, JV2080, GR20, JV90, MKS-20, Sonar S1, Reaper, ACID, Record/Reason, Samplitude, VOX Tonelab, Tech21 Power Engine, NI, Kore, True Piano, Sampletank, Komplete, Bluesky Studio Monitors Yamaha 01X, Line 6 HD500, tons of guitars.

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#1633015 - 03/03/11 11:11 PM Re: Live gear decision [Re: luisdent]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1418
I have heard the Bose, Fishman, and BagAmp arrays back to back and side by side at my office and all of the SUCK without a sub. Pianos are such dynamic instruments, you need to have full range. You can't have good lows and bad highs and conversely good highs and bad lows. The best combo I've ever heard for a keyboard was a speaker/audio piston array WITH a sub. Bose stuff, while good, isn't up to par for pro audio, which is why they've never really met success like they have in consumer audio.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


"Life is a lot like jazz...it's best when you improvise."

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#1633023 - 03/03/11 11:19 PM Re: Live gear decision [Re: PianoZac]
rickshapiro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/08
Posts: 171
Originally Posted By: PianoZac
I have heard the Bose, Fishman, and BagAmp arrays back to back and side by side at my office and all of the SUCK without a sub. Pianos are such dynamic instruments, you need to have full range. You can't have good lows and bad highs and conversely good highs and bad lows. The best combo I've ever heard for a keyboard was a speaker/audio piston array WITH a sub. Bose stuff, while good, isn't up to par for pro audio, which is why they've never really met success like they have in consumer audio.


So what really works?

Rick
_________________________
Music Hack

Nord NP88,Yamaha Motif ES7, Ensoniq KS32, Brodmann 187 Grand, JV2080, GR20, JV90, MKS-20, Sonar S1, Reaper, ACID, Record/Reason, Samplitude, VOX Tonelab, Tech21 Power Engine, NI, Kore, True Piano, Sampletank, Komplete, Bluesky Studio Monitors Yamaha 01X, Line 6 HD500, tons of guitars.

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#1633024 - 03/03/11 11:21 PM Re: Live gear decision [Re: rickshapiro]
luisdent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 206
The bose system wouldn't need two. Granted it is in mono, but the spread of the sound is excellent and you almost think it's stereo. I didn't find the subwoofer very cumbersome. It didn't weight anymore than a medium pa speaker that I tried and it has a good handle. The size wasn't that big either. This was the compact model, I'm not sure how the other models in the series differ... I was testing in mono with the speakers, but using the summed stereo pair, therefor it was a fair comparison to the bose as a mono setup.

I could use two boses, but I don't think it's necessary. From the frequency response of the speakers I tried I know they wouldn't have been been good enough in stereo. Better yes, definitely, but not good enough. I've heard a lot of PA systems in general (weddings, meetings, parties, etc.) and they all share the same "PA-ness". The bose didn't have that at all.

Regarding stereo as well, without spending a lot more money, I believe the bose would still be significantly better than a 'pair' of any speakers I tested. Obviously not all, but the entry levels. But with a stereo pair I have to lug two decent sized speakers and buy and carry the stands as well. There are more cables and setup required as well. Ultimately, I think the bose sound and convenience are perfect for me. Maybe not everyone would agree, but at the price it seems good. smile

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#1633871 - 03/05/11 12:56 AM Re: Live gear decision [Re: luisdent]
Dr Popper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/09
Posts: 1706
Loc: Hancock Park LA (not again)
Modern Pianos have their samples in stereo. You NEED a stereo system. The Bose system is Mono. If you think the bose is good try the Motion Sound stero amps.
_________________________
"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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#1633874 - 03/05/11 01:03 AM Re: Live gear decision [Re: Dr Popper]
luisdent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 206
They didn't have any available. At this cost with what I have available locally, mono works best, wether pa or bose it's less to lug to a show. I've read disagreement between mono vs. stereo piano live. I can honestly say the bose sounded stereo-like and spread the sound very well through the entire area. Not so with the PA speakers. I would always prefer stereo in a heartbeat, but the entire audience isn't go to be sitting in between the two speakers, so I think although better it wouldn't be as dramatic in the live setting of a restaurant.?

The flexibility is great too. Check out the features and the ease of use.

http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/shop...mpact/index.jsp

It really has to be heard. Compared the the PA speakers I tested it wasn't a matter of stereo vs. mono as much as the type of sound they each made and the frequencies. Just very different. smile

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#1633932 - 03/05/11 04:41 AM Re: Live gear decision [Re: luisdent]
thomsurf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/01/10
Posts: 151
Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
I'm very surprised to read that you prefer the Bose Compact. I tested it with RD700GX and Kurz PC3X about a year ago and was totally shocked how bad it sounded. 'Canny' and boomy and overall just a really stressful sound IMO. I guess we all have really different sets of ears smile Love the idea of the integrated tower that connects directly on the sub though..
_________________________
Roland RD800, JBL PRX612M.

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#1633976 - 03/05/11 07:28 AM Re: Live gear decision [Re: luisdent]
Dr Popper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/09
Posts: 1706
Loc: Hancock Park LA (not again)
Yeah I can't imagine anyone liking the bose over a stereo pair of speakers but everyone has their own ears I guess.
_________________________
"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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#1633979 - 03/05/11 07:32 AM Re: Live gear decision [Re: luisdent]
Dr Popper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/09
Posts: 1706
Loc: Hancock Park LA (not again)
Originally Posted By: luisdent
They didn't have any available.



Then wait until you hear one before you make a decision.The difference between the mono Bose fake stereo spacial processing and the Motion sound real stereo 3D spacial processing is chalk and cheese.
_________________________
"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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#1634038 - 03/05/11 10:31 AM Re: Live gear decision [Re: Dr Popper]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
If you think the bose is good try the Motion Sound stero amps.

I briefly had a Motion Sound KP-200S... sounded great for organ, but was abysmal on pianos. I'm much happier with my EV ZXA1, though it is not perfect either. I've also played through Roland SA-300, QSC K8, Behringer B212A and even their little B208D, all of which were far better (to my ears) than the Motion Sound. I've never tried a Bose. Motion Sound is cleverly designed to get a spacious sound out of one box, but to me, the tonal character has too much coloration.

Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
Modern Pianos have their samples in stereo. You NEED a stereo system.

For live performance, I think mono is almost always the way to go, unless your particular DP doesn't have a decent sounding mono piano, in which case you bought the wrong piano (for live purposes).

Assuming there is no separate PA, and the entire audience is getting the sound from your own speakers:

If you place the speakers close together, only people close to the stage will get a stereo effect. As they get farther away or off center, it will effectively start to turn to mono anyway. But worse than that, if you place the speakers far apart, anyone not close to center between them (or worse, off-center to the far side of one of the speakers) will be hearing far more of one speaker than the other... essentially the worst possible kind of mono, where they get only half the signal. With the typical stereo piano effect of one side emphasizing the bottom "strings" and the other side emphasizing the top, anyone way off to either said will end up with only half the piano sound.

One nice thing about the Korg Kronos though... I read that you can switch its stereo position from being that kind of "player position" (which is nice for the player, but unrealistic to an audience) to "audience position" (which simulates what an audience would normally hear, where the stereo field is defined by "keyboard end to far end" rather than "low keys to high keys.") I'm not sure who else does that. Either way, though, if your speakers are 15 feet apart, you are creating an unnatural effect, as there are no pianos that are 15 feet wide or 15 feet deep. But at least if you choose the Korg "audience" orientation, it should sound okay, I hope to get a chance to try that some time. But wIth the more typical low-string high-string split, stereo sounds bad (i.e. worse than mono) over most of the listening area, unless the room is set up such that most listeners can't get that far off axis.

The other scenario, if your own speakers are just for stage use, and you're feeding a house PA, introduces more complications. Many house PAs are mono, so you still need to get a good sounding mono feed, regardless of what you're doing on stage. And many stereo sounds don't collapse well to mono, they introduce phase issues.

The only kind of live performance where I think stereo makes sense is small coffee shop style scenarios, where the speakers are not very far apart, and much of the audience is close enough and positioned well enough to hear some benefit. It can also be nice for your own musical satisfaction on stage, but you need to make sure that it sounds good throughout the audience, where most people will be hearing it in some version of what is essentially mono anyway. It's much easier to be sure it sounds good for the audience if you're hearing what they're hearing, as you do with a mono sound. Otherwise you may simply dial in something that sounds good to you, but it not sounding nearly as good as you think for everyone else. I'm not saying that's necessarily unworkable, but you do need to put some effort into it. Whereas with mono, you know right away, if it sounds good to you, it sounds good to everyone.

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#1634299 - 03/05/11 04:40 PM Re: Live gear decision [Re: Dave Ferris]
Rimmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 483
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
The stereo imaging thing for dp is more for you then the audience.

I do a lot of solo stuff where I pole mount one TT08 behind me or just off to the side and put the other on the floor pointing directly at me. Even though my speaker is only an 8", it is clear, detailed, plenty of bass for me, and has good dispersion for a little 25 lb. speaker. For Jazz and smaller rooms , it's perfect. The 08s are fairly high end and pricey, if I were to go with a more MI type speaker, I'd probably start with a 10" or 12".



All good advice from Dave as always..


Regards. Rimmer

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#1634390 - 03/05/11 07:30 PM Re: Live gear decision [Re: Rimmer]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
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http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

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#1635286 - 03/06/11 10:47 PM Re: Live gear decision [Re: thomsurf]
luisdent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 206
Originally Posted By: thomsurf
I'm very surprised to read that you prefer the Bose Compact. I tested it with RD700GX and Kurz PC3X about a year ago and was totally shocked how bad it sounded. 'Canny' and boomy and overall just a really stressful sound IMO. I guess we all have really different sets of ears smile Love the idea of the integrated tower that connects directly on the sub though..


Perhaps something varied in our different setups? The Bose system was far beyond the PA speakers in my test. Remember I am referring to a single speaker. At the price this is a fair comparison as both are mono and cost no more than $1000 with speaker stand/bag/etc. to have the full setup. The quality was just not there in the models I tried. Keep in mind I didn't go over $1000 either, but that's all part of the comparison.

I'm sure PA speakers at higher prices offer much better quality in mono. In the models I tested however it was strictly a matter of frequencies. They were all capable very high output, but they all exhibited bad frequency distribution at the volumes I tested. In a live situation where extreme volume is needed to cut through other instruments or simply be heard in large crowd I know with the PA's higher output the bose wouldn't compare.

The Bose L1 Compact is roughly 70 Watts from what I can find online, but it is recommended for audiences of up to 100. This is the most I would ever need. So at my audience size (probably never more than 60) I wouldn't need the high output of the PA speakers. I didn't test them at very high outputs, because I wouldn't be using them in that situation. At the volumes I did test them at they didn't compare at all. And I don't believe this would be subject to opinion. I don't mean that to sound like a jab, just that if you had been in the room where I tested them, I can't see any possible way anyone would have preferred the PA speakers for solo piano.

To give more detail, the Bose represented the piano more or less like you would hear it in your home on a decent pair of large speakers. Turn the volume up very loud and this never changed a bit, the overall sound was very musical and it had a frequency response that allowed you to easily hear the full range of the piano with no loud or missing areas of the frequency spectrum. It wasn't boomy or tinny. The bose eq was flat.

The PA speakers differed from model to model, but they all shared the same basic problem. They all were missing the high end frequency details of the piano. They all had a boomy bass response and most even had some bad "flub flub" distortion with low piano notes which the bose handled without a hint of stress. The worst part though, was that they all had some very very strong boost in certain frequencies, mostly around 300-400hz and roughly 1000-2000 hz. Both of which do not fair well with pianos. They were so boosted it was almost painful to listen to.

I've heard a lot of PA systems and I believe this is pretty normal in lesser systems, but not as noticeable when you have other music content coming through them, most likely even less noticeable at higher volumes, as that is what they are designed for. This was all tested directly connected to the rd700nx and yamaha cp50 with no other equipment in the audio chain.

I tried extensively to "fix" the frequencies of the PA speakers using both the stage piano eq adjustments and the PA eq adjustments. I made sure no other sound features were enabled and everything was standard or flat.

I'm not sure what else to say. I know there are many different acoustic aspects to consider depending on where you are listening and different volumes with different equipment. Also, typically the more headroom you have with power the better it sounds at the lower outputs. However, these fact didn't change how it sounded in my test situation.

You could argue that I should try stereo, but that brings the price higher breaking the comparison, and also add a lot of bulk to my setup. It also raises differing opinions on mono vs stereo piano live. :-)

So I would stress anyone getting into a system to always listen to it first. I don' mean to dissuade potential buyers of these PA speakers. They are all very highly reviewed for the price range. I just believe that solo piano is a different beast. I will be going with the Bose though as I find it great quality and convenient as well. :-o :-)

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#1635753 - 03/07/11 02:53 PM Re: Live gear decision [Re: luisdent]
blueston Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/09
Posts: 271
Loc: MA, USA
It's a very interesting result and sounds like you spent a lot of quality time trying different things out.

All I know is I played one 30 minute set thru one of these a few months back and the bass was very boomy, which wouldn't have been too bad (I like bass!) but the high end just couldn't throw or keep up to match and just disappeared.

It's possible the guy who owned it may have had some eq settings on there that I didn't know about that might have cause this so I don't know if this is how these systems always sound.

But anyway I had always been very interested in this Bose system (on paper) too until I played thru it. But maybe there in an EQ setting somewhere that can make it sound good after all.

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#1635773 - 03/07/11 03:19 PM Re: Live gear decision [Re: luisdent]
thomsurf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/01/10
Posts: 151
Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
I tested the Bose Compact with various eq settings and it just didn't work well for DP. At first I thought it was the often discussed problematic live sound of the RD700GX, but when I hooked up the PC3X, which has a very userfriendly output, the sound was equally dull. It was like there was no connection, soundwise, between the sub and the tweeters. I ended up purchasing the Roland BA-330 instead. A cool little stereo amp that sounds surprisingly good but lacks low end once cranked up.

I think I'm gonna go for a pair of RCF ART 310 AI's next time..
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Roland RD800, JBL PRX612M.

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#1637624 - 03/09/11 05:14 PM Re: Live gear decision [Re: thomsurf]
luisdent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 206
There is an eq on the bose that may have been booted in the bass or cut in the treble in your situation? Not sure...

As for the roland live sound, I've heard this before, but I'm not sure I agree on the theory in general for a few reasons. First, with the bose in my situation I compared the roland and yamaha, and like most people say, the yamaha was more consistent and clean but not as realistic. This gives it more of an obviously sampled piano sound, but not necessarily in a bad way. It gives it an even response and a very clean smooth sound which can be good. however, the roland sounded more realistic as a piano. I primarily used the concert grand setting and found the bose revealed the higher level of detail in the roland as I expected. The roland sounded very similar to what I had heard at home listening to demos and playing on the stores studio monitors as well.

Amplifying sound is just that, amplifying. So the quality of the piano and how it cuts through a mix or stands on its own isn't always a keyboard being "better live". The tone and recording of the sampled pianos however can change the sound. So in one way you could say the roland doesn't sound as good live, but that should mean it doesn't sound as good normally as well, or that you simply don't prefer the more realistic piano tone/recording sound live.

What I mean is that a real piano amplified with a good system should sound like a real piano. As unchanged as possible despite the amplification. Unfortunately, like I mentioned with the cheaper PA systems, this isn't always true. They can color the sound through the different aspects of the speaker quality. But if a roland doesn't sound as good live, you may need to compress it and add eq to make it stand out better under certain situations, etc.. Whereas another dp might have these properties already in the general tone of the piano sound. Or by being less real and more tonally consistent, they might not stress the PA frequency response as greatly.

Anyhow, there are a lot of aspects, but from what I heard with a base piano patch on each with no effects directly connected to the bose, it was a great system. Also keep in mind the crowd size. It is rated at 100 people max, so you're probably going to get better results at around 50 people. Bigger may start to test the woofers capabilities which could dramatically change the sound.

Jus some thoughts. smile I'm amazed how fast I get responses on this forum. Good times! smile

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#1637784 - 03/09/11 09:13 PM Re: Live gear decision [Re: luisdent]
luisdent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 206
This is a decent video to see the output too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pEk1msUvC0
Even in the low quality camera sound you can tell it has decent quality especially when he gets closer. Obviously you have to hear it in person, but for coverage that's pretty sweet for a portable subwoofer and small speaker. smile Just found that vid on youtube and thought it was interesting.

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#1637965 - 03/10/11 04:15 AM Re: Live gear decision [Re: luisdent]
thomsurf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/01/10
Posts: 151
Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
It's not that I think the Bose C is a bad product. It sounds good for acoustic guitar, singing, speech or as a music system. But for piano it's a no go for me.. And trust me - I went through a lot of EQ tweaking. I had high hopes and REALLY wanted it to work for my purpose, but it didn't..
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#1637969 - 03/10/11 04:33 AM Re: Live gear decision [Re: thomsurf]
Dr Popper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/09
Posts: 1706
Loc: Hancock Park LA (not again)
Originally Posted By: thomsurf
It's not that I think the Bose C is a bad product.


That's amusing to me, I've heard all the Bose L1 systems and I think they are absolute rubbish for the price.

And I mean real total crap not just overpriced junk like most Bose stuff....

Lets see what you could buy for the even less money or around same price or a little bit more.

A pair Roland B330's and run them in expanded stereo.

A Roland SA300 $90 more

A Yamaha Stagepass

A Motion Sound KP-500SN

A pair of QSC K8's and a mixer or any number of other powered speaker set ups

A pair of Roland KC-550 Keyboard amp's linked and running in stereo

All of these would be proper stereo PA's with sound that's far superior to my ears then the Bose ...

But the OP has fallen for the Bose marketing speak Hook,line and Sinker and his ears are obviously not able to hear through the hype.

I have doubts he is even listening to our advice but rather trying to justify their own already made decision.

Frankly ... I don't care anymore.
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#1638092 - 03/10/11 09:53 AM Re: Live gear decision [Re: luisdent]
thomsurf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/01/10
Posts: 151
Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
Amusing?
My opinion is that the Bose Compact is a nice, easy to use product for someone who needs a highly portable and simple system to cover a variety of purposes, however, DP amplification shouldn't be one of them.
Sure it's priced too high and the inside components are kind of crappy, but the design and easy of use (no stand, no cables, the connecting parts) is good and some people don't mind paying for that.
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#1639255 - 03/11/11 11:49 PM Re: Live gear decision [Re: Dr Popper]
luisdent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 206
Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
I have doubts he is even listening to our advice but rather trying to justify their own already made decision.


I've considered the advice given, and tested some of these options at my guitar center. I opened the thread looking for a solution. In the process I found the bose. I'm not justifying, but trying to give my opinions to others now that I've heard them.

The Motion Sound amp you recommended was boomy and very mid range intense and lacked the detail and smoothness of the bose. Although not the heaviest amp, it was 48 pounds, 18 pounds more than the full bose system, physically larger and more awkward to carry. So for me it's not ideal for portability.

You're comment about stereo is also something everyone should consider, but it is not always ideal. You need to be sitting in a reasonably centered position in the main path of the speakers to achieve a good listening result. Many people lose much of the stereo signal and end up with less than optimal piano. Mono may be less spatial in general, but all the audio information is included from both channels and it will sound roughly the same from any point if spread properly, which the bose does extremely well.

Sure, there are instances where stereo is much better, but it requires better speakers and ideal conditions. I've never been in a restaurant that has ideal stereo conditions. Not to mention, stereo that sounds good (i.e. no keyboard amps) means more gear, more weight, more setup, more cost. After hearing keyboard amps, I firmly believe they are either lousy for the price, or simply designed for a specific purpose such as allowing a synth being heard through a band. They don't do well with pianos.

So, I urge anyone looking into a system to never buy anything without hearing it first. Id you don't like or want bose don't buy it. I typically don't like bose because I think they don't compare with other similar priced products. But in the case I'm sold. They did something very well.

Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
But the OP has fallen for the Bose marketing speak Hook,line and Sinker and his ears are obviously not able to hear through the hype.


Not to sound boastful, but I have the most discerning ears I know. I have experience with mixing and producing music, and people that know me can't believe how well I hear nuances and can differentiate tones and frequencies. I'm not falling for hype, I'm listening to the system and hearing the difference. There wasn't even any hype. I didn't know what it was, the employee brought a few systems out, I listened to them and was shocked that a bose sounded better. No hype, just sound.

Also, I gave a clear, detailed explanation as to why I thought the speakers didn't sound good in this situation. I'm not bashing the speakers, just saying they don't work well for piano. I haven't tried them with other instruments or in a band, but I won't be using them that way so it is irrelevant to me.

Anyway, I've found my PA solution. Thanks to everyone for the advice and best of luck to anyone else looking for a PA system.

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#1639447 - 03/12/11 09:39 AM Re: Live gear decision [Re: luisdent]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4270
Loc: Northern NJ
PAs use larger woofers for efficiency, but higher efficiency woofers almost always have a more ragged (peaks and dips) frequency response. They place these woofers in boxes that are too small which makes them boomy. They cross these woofers over to horn tweeters generally at a frequency too high for the woofer and too low for the tweeter, which leads to harmonic distortion in the midrange, where the ear is most sensitive. And they charge too much for this one-size-fits-all acoustic solution. All of which is fine for bands and DJs, where sheer loudness and PA "mud" are part of the live sound, but not so much for those needing lower level, higher quality sound reinforcement at a reasonable price.

I think a mono sub crossed over rather high (~200 Hz) to small (~6") sealed mid bass / midrange speaker(s) and a single high power dome (per side) would work in this situation. A bit of DIY seems to be called for, but maybe a pair of powered monitors with some kind of sub could work too? With a crossover to take the lower bass load off of the monitors and put it on the sub.

Others here know tons more about live setups (I've only been the informal sound person for one band gig and several piano background thingies) but it seems the bass doesn't need to go all the way down to the point where you would want it to for a home theater or stereo - 40 Hz or so is probably good.
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