Suggestions for buying a keyboard amplifier

Posted by: ChicksfromCorea

Suggestions for buying a keyboard amplifier - 05/22/09 04:53 PM

Hi I was wondering if anybody had any thoughts on a good keyboard amplifier? I want to spend around 1000-1500 dollars on an amp.

The things that are important for me regarding the amp is that it should not take up to much space and that it convincingly reproduces the tone of the keyboard. I will be using this amp strictly for practicing home, so it does not have to be too loud.

Thanks in advance smile
Posted by: LesCharles73

Re: Suggestions for buying a keyboard amplifier - 05/22/09 07:02 PM

I would consider studio monitors if you're just practicing at home. No amp really does a piano/synth justice and to really do it right (in stereo) you would need 2 amps. I have a pair of M-Audio BX5a's and a computer subwoofer for my setup, but since you have a higher budget, you will probably want to look at something more high end. Perhaps in the 8" woofer category. Don't forget to check out some cosmetically pleasing monitor stands as well. You will need them to get the monitors to ear-level.
Posted by: Horwinkle

Re: Suggestions for buying a keyboard amplifier - 05/22/09 09:20 PM

Originally Posted By: ChicksfromCorea
Hi I was wondering if anybody had any thoughts on a good keyboard amplifier? I want to spend around 1000-1500 dollars on an amp.
What kind of piano or keyboard are you using? Also, why such a large budget?
Posted by: ChicksfromCorea

Re: Suggestions for buying a keyboard amplifier - 05/23/09 05:38 AM

[/quote]What kind of piano or keyboard are you using? Also, why such a large budget? [/quote]

I will be using a yamaha motif xs 8 with the amp/studio monitors. I was thinking of spending around a 1000 dollars and upwards, since I´ve tried a couple of cheaper studio monitors already and they haven´t been satisfactory. Hopefully I will find test some more studio monitors before I make my decision.
Posted by: Horwinkle

Re: Suggestions for buying a keyboard amplifier - 05/23/09 10:43 AM

Indeed, the cheap monitors can't match the better ones. For around $1000-$1200 you can get a pair of JBL EON's. Great stuff.

You said you needed something for practicing at home. In the price range you mention, those JBLs are WAY more than what's needed in the home. But, if the money is available, why not? (But make sure your roof doesn't have any loose shingles!) smile

You already have it in mind to test more monitors. That's likely the best strategy. The specs can guide you, but nothing is more telling than a live test.

You didn't mention whether you're looking at passive/unpowered monitors vs. powered ones. The latter have amps built in, saving space and eliminating the need for an amplifier.

Note that in a number of posts here in the six months or so, people have raised objections to keyboard amplifiers, claiming that they don't sound good. (They were referring to the use of amps sold specifically as "keyboard amplifiers", and not about the use of amplifiers in general.)

I don't have any experience with keyboard amps, but the posts lead me to think that the powered monitor solution is better.

I don't recall the specific complaints that were raised about keyboard amps, but you might find more info if you search the forum for posts on that subject. Also you might find information on the "Production Forum" web site http://productionforums.com
Posted by: ChicksfromCorea

Re: Suggestions for buying a keyboard amplifier - 05/23/09 12:58 PM

Thanks I will be sure to check out the options you mentioned and also do some searching around the forum, which should be good being new member and all. smile
Posted by: Discotheque

Re: Suggestions for buying a keyboard amplifier - 05/26/09 04:28 AM

If you're not playing out live ever, I don't see the point of getting JBL eons. Yes I'm sure they sound good, but for $1 000 you could get badass studio monitors like the Adam A7s. I haven't heard either to be honest, but studio monitors sound better than powered PA speakers, they just don't project into a room and therefore aren't suitable for live use.
Posted by: WorkinOnIt

Re: Suggestions for buying a keyboard amplifier - 05/26/09 02:45 PM

I agree with others you need 2 amps. Keyboards are stereo instruments, so why not take advantage of that.

I can't speak to the studio monitors, but that sounds like a great idea too. What I have are a pair of Roland KC-300 keyboard amps. I bought them several years ago, but I am sure Roland still has something similar. I still see them at Guitar Centers. A nice feature they have is something called Stereo Link. This is a feature whereby you connect your keyboard to one of the amps and via a single cable you connect the other twin amp to it. I have each one in a separate corner of the room, but using the stereo link cable cuts way down on the number of cables required, plus provides automatic left/right separation.

Keep in mind too, you can play your iPod, stereo or any line-in through these amps, whereas studio monitors might limit your options there. But again, I don't know much about straight studio monitors...

So, with amps you can keep it down low and enjoy your keyboard, or connect them to your sound system and crank it up for a party! Good luck on your search.
Posted by: ChicksfromCorea

Re: Suggestions for buying a keyboard amplifier - 05/26/09 04:16 PM

If you're not playing out live ever, I don't see the point of getting JBL eons. Yes I'm sure they sound good, but for $1 000 you could get badass studio monitors like the Adam A7s.[/quote]

Yeah I have been checking out a similar pair of hi end studio monitors like the ESI nEar08, which really sounded good. Will try and check out the Adam A7´s.

"I agree with others you need 2 amps. Keyboards are stereo instruments, so why not take advantage of that.

I can't speak to the studio monitors, but that sounds like a great idea too. What I have are a pair of Roland KC-300 keyboard amps"

Definitely thinking about a stereo solution, as a single amp may get too loud for my need and often need high volumes to recreate the sound really well.