Opinions on Best Small Keyboard Amp Please?.....

Posted by: Dnj

Opinions on Best Small Keyboard Amp Please?..... - 10/31/00 07:06 AM

I use a great sounding MACKIE SR450 Sound system for most Gigs which is more then awesome! I use the X! by itself for very small room gigs. But I have some in between medium room gigs too and was wondering what would be a good sounding SMALL , Lightweight Keyboard amp that could be used for both Keyboard/Vocals so I don't have to lug around the Big Stuff. Whats New or Old and exciting on the market? Price?


Posted by: George Kaye

Re: Opinions on Best Small Keyboard Amp Please?..... - 10/31/00 07:17 AM

A couple of suggestions would be.
1)Peavey KBA/30. A small lightweight 40 watt bi-amps keyboard amp with a balanced mic input. Very small, lightweight, and a very clean sound. Price is retail $349.00. Quite amazing for it's size! The only biamped model of it's type. Three channels.
2) Roland KC100 and KC300 are also very good but not quite as small or reasonably priced!
3) I would also recommend the prime PM 50. Although it is made in Korea, it has two mic inputs, reverb, CD inputs, 2 keyboard inputs, external speaker jack, 50 watts, 10" speaker and a horn, and a speaker stand hole in the bottom with a price of $249.00. the size is a small cube.
George Kaye
Posted by: sk880user

Re: Opinions on Best Small Keyboard Amp Please?..... - 10/31/00 07:42 AM

I have a pair of Roland KC100. The reason I selected the KC100 is because I sometimes have to perform at churches seating 300+ people. So KC100 was able to deliver the power I need and it is relatively small for the amount of power you get from them. But as George said the pair will cost you over $500.

What do I think of the sound quality? Good but not great. When I listen to sk880 through different headphones, the quality of the sound is better. There are two possibilities:

1) KC100 is flat and realistic Headphones are enhancing some of the frequency.
2) Headphones are more realistic so you are losing some "middle and low" frequency from KC100.

I tend to believe that #2 is the right choice. However, today I will be listening to the Keyboard through Event PS6 biamplified monitors and I will test that theory further.
Posted by: Scottyee

Re: Opinions on Best Small Keyboard Amp Please?..... - 10/31/00 08:34 AM

For smaller rooms (less than 50 people)I use a single Roland KC300 keyboard amp http://www.rolandus.com/Files/KC300FX.HTM
which weighs 38 lbs. Relative to its' size, I think it sounds GREAT! - smooth frequency response. I feel the KC100, though 10 lbs lighter (29-1/2 lbs) just doesn't sound good enough (esp. for vocals) to justify the weight difference.

For medium size venues (75 - 175), I just take two KC300s linked in stereo and place them on tripods. For small/medium venues, I run 'all' EQ/effects thru the keyboard (Technics KN5000) so the "final output" goes to the Roland KC300. For larger venues, I add a pair of BOSE 802 bi-amped speakers dedicated solely to vocals. http://www.bose.com/products/on_stage/802gold.html

The KN300 is very easy to transport (via small fold up luggage cart) and quick to setup. I don't know about the Solton X1, but I never, I mean NEVER use the Technics KN5000 keyboard's internal speakers alone for any gig performance. It may seem sufficient (marginally) in the smallest of rooms, but . . .

When it comes to music, the ONE thing I won't compromise on is the sound. Other than musicianship & stage presence, sound quality determines the professional level of a performance which can then insure future gig bookings. I always keep in mind that the people in the audience are all potential booking(s).

Hey Donny, can you please tell us again which PA sound reinforcement system you currently use? What is its' weight? I thought I remember it being pretty light as well. I'm interested in checking out your system as well.


[This message has been edited by Scottyee (edited 10-31-2000).]
Posted by: Dnj

Re: Opinions on Best Small Keyboard Amp Please?..... - 10/31/00 08:50 AM

I would say check out the Mackie SR450's at www.mackie.com. Nothing IMO even comes close!
Posted by: Clif Anderson

Re: Opinions on Best Small Keyboard Amp Please?..... - 10/31/00 10:43 AM

The Roland PM-3 is at the top of my list. This is a subwoofer plus two satellites that can be mounted on some keyboard stands. These were designed for drums, but are supposed to work well for keyboards and vocals. No separate mic inputs, but I would be using an arranger as the mixer. There is a separate set of line inputs for a module or a outboard vocalizer.
Posted by: Scottyee

Re: Opinions on Best Small Keyboard Amp Please?..... - 10/31/00 12:08 PM

The Roland PM-3 http://www.rolandus.com/images/PM-3_L.jpg
sounds like an interesting option Clif. Are you actually using this setup on your arranger rig?

My concern is whether this system has been "optimized" specifically for drums & percussion and not for vocals (even though it says you can use it for keyboards).

Do you happen to know the weight and dimensions of the sub-woofer? The subwoofer looks heavier than my KC300 (38 lbs).I couldn't find any PM-3 specs on Roland's US web site.


Posted by: Clif Anderson

Re: Opinions on Best Small Keyboard Amp Please?..... - 10/31/00 03:01 PM

Hi Scott

I have not purchased the PM-3 yet. I discussed it by e-mail with Uncle Dave, who first brought it to my attention. I was concerned about the PM-3s suitability for keyboards and vocals. He felt it would be a marvelous keyboard amplifier. Maybe he can say a little more on the subject in this thread.

I have auditioned the PM-3 set. It sounds good, but the drum floor surroundings were not conducive to critical evaluation. I think the subwoofer is substantial, 15" I believe. I do not know the actual weight, but at least it comes with wheels. However, the satellites are light, maybe two pounds each. I am hoping some others look into this option because I am interested in hearing more opinions. I do think this 3-way system makes more sense than conventional two-speaker systems for stereo keyboards.
Posted by: JCkeeys

Re: Opinions on Best Small Keyboard Amp Please?..... - 10/31/00 09:26 PM

Keyboard amplification:
I use a makie 1202 board (the new one) and two Yorkville E160p powered speakers. They are 200watts ea. have a horn and (1) 10" speaker Both horn driver and speaker are RCF(same as Mackie)They are light/the bass response will astound you for the size/coupled with the Mackie the sound quality is second to NONE!! There not cheap but then again nothing worth while ever is.
Posted by: Dnj

Re: Opinions on Best Small Keyboard Amp Please?..... - 10/31/00 09:43 PM

Hi Scott,

2- Mackie SRM450 powered speakers
Mackie 1202pro Mixer
Seperate Digital FX processor ( I don't sing thru the keyboard)
Posted by: Stevizard

Re: Opinions on Best Small Keyboard Amp Please?..... - 11/01/00 06:04 AM

Buying the "right" stereo keyboard amp has plagued me for a long time. I'm using a 300 watt Crate guitar amp with two 10 inch speakers (yeah, not the best choice). I've got another Crate cab w/4-10" speakers when playing out (not that often). So, I can make a lot of noise but the system is big, heavy, and not meant for keyboard use.

I definitely want a nice, light, stereo amp setup for my PSR9000. I've read a lot about the Motion Sound KBR-3D Twin Amp (Keyboard Magazine Award) but never saw or heard one. Anyone actually see one of these expensive monsters?

Uncle Dave's PM-3 sounds interesting . . . but so do all the others. Man, I'm so confused that I just haven't done anything. A Samson EX30 with an EX20 sounds like a really nice system but I like the idea of a sub-woofer, and some of the PSR9000's styles seem to be VERY sub-woofer friendly.

More discussion on this topic would certainly be helpful.
Posted by: Clif Anderson

Re: Opinions on Best Small Keyboard Amp Please?..... - 11/01/00 08:43 AM

Thanks, Uncle Dave, for the info. I was going to ask about the Samsons anyway. One reason I like the PM-3 is that, at least with the right keyboard stand, the satellites can be mounted at an appropriate level. With the Mackies or the Samsons, the speakers should be mounted on stands, but they are a little big for that. I think I remember Scott saying that when he goes stereo he brings two KC-300s plus two speaker stands. I was thinking the PM-3 could get the high frequencies away from the floor without requiring separate stands.
Posted by: Clif Anderson

Re: Opinions on Best Small Keyboard Amp Please?..... - 11/01/00 03:57 PM

Oh well, scratch the PM-3 for gigging. The Samson Expeditions sound good. How about the Barbetta line? In my case, I am interested in good bass response because I apparently have purchased some samples with some very low frequency content (in fact they come with warnings for sound engineers).
Posted by: DonM

Re: Opinions on Best Small Keyboard Amp Please?..... - 11/01/00 11:36 PM

I've been quite pleased with my setup. PSR9000, Mackie 1202VLZ mixer, 2 JBL EON powered 15's. Since JBL has some EON 2's out now, the older ones are quite inexpensive compared to the Mackies (about half, in fact), and are somewhat lighter in weight. I think a really good system, although a little heavier in weight, would be JBL powered subs, and 2 powered 10-inch speakers, but I've never actually heard that setup.
I have another setup that consists of a Peavey 1000-watt digital power amp (10 pounds), rack-mount Peavey Deltafex twin for digital effects, Alesis stereo graphic e.q., and 2 Peavey 115 speakers. The speakers are quite inexpensive and sound really good. They weigh 29 pounds each. If I am in a situation that requires monitors, I plug two Hotspots into the back of the mains. The heaviest part of the whole rig was the rack case, so I made one myself out of a Coleman ice chest!
I even printed a sign which says "Red-neck Road Rack".