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Amp for Keyboard bass and Bass guitar?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by powellmacaque, May 12, 2010.

  1. I'm in a band that utilizes hip-hop techniques. Our keyboardist (and bassist when I switch to other instruments) is looking into investing into a keyboard (probably something in the Moog line) to add some of those sounds into the mix.

    He'd like to be able to get an amp that he could A/B box so he could play both bass and keyboard through it. I was looking at Hartke, simply because they make both product lines. Any experience?

    In my experience, most keyboard amps sound like crap handling the low end, so that's why I'm leaning towards bass amplification. I'm also looking for stuff in the "working pro" range of products, we can't really afford anything boutique at the moment.

    Thanks ahead of time for the help.
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    FWIW I have played keyboards through bass amps and cabs for years, and it always sounded good. Never once wished I had a "keyboard amp".
  3. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
  4. Every keyboard player I've met (about 10 players) uses those Roland 1x12 or 1x15 combos, and every keyboard player I've met has some sort of "amp problem" at a gig. Bass amps that are widely available just seem to work better, again IMO.
  5. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    EA iAmp Pro, but I suspect you're actually looking for a combo amp. EA is not currently making a combo.
    How much power are you needing?
    Do you run through the PA for FOH?
  6. That's the first one of those I've seen. The others have all been under 100W.

    Take into consideration also that where we play we have very little PA support and are normally running our own mix and using just vocals in the PA.
  7. Volume4


    Sep 15, 2009
    Long Island
    If you can handle lugging one around..... a used Peavey TNT or TKO will serve your needs well for little money.

    It's a pretty good but not great bass amp by itself, but can be almost great with something good in front of it... like a VT, BDDI, POD etc.... and would still be a decent keyboard amp.

    Only issue is, I think whatever you get you will need to run it flat for the keyboard if you're changing on the fly and rely on a pedal or preamp for the majority of the bass tone.

    There would probably be more optimal different settings on any amp for each.....but it sounds like you're going to be doing the switching while playing live.
  8. Yea we're probably going to be switching live.

    I don't necessarily need a combo, we're all strapping young lads ;). Do tubes have any place in amping keyboards?

    What speakers handle keyboards best?
  9. BassBrass


    Jul 6, 2009
    Boston MA
    Any full range bass amp of any configuration with a decent tweeter is a better value than a "keyboard" amp. But usually a bass rig is bigger and more watts than a keyboard amp which may be an upper frequency thing...I've seen a SWR Workingman's 15 (which had a 2nd speaker output that we put into a peavey BW18) work Very well for keyboard; people have issues with them for bass, but it's super brightness was perfect for keyboard...I've used my Ampeg BA115 w tweeter as a fullrange monitor for keyboard but it isn't loud enough for rock bass playing. Bass needs serious power, keyboards don't unless it's keyboard bass.
  10. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    +1 to using a bass rig. I've dabbled with synths in the past, and always used my bass rig. Always sounded great, too. I do own a Roland KC-350, which is great for the keyboards, but horrible with bass. The bass amp/keyboard combo works well.
  11. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Sure! Same tone-decision process as with bass.
    Any good-quality bass cab.
  12. failuresXbass


    Jul 19, 2006
    my band runs a keyboard through a traynor yba200 and an old yamaha cab with a 15", 6" and a tweeter. It sounds great, is loud and the keys have a little grit dialed into them.

    Tweeter is damn near off - gets a little shrill for us.
  13. Evolver


    Feb 13, 2007
    North Central PA
    +1. I've played keys for a longer time than bass and used to run a full-range,smaller PA-type cab(s) for keys with or w/o FOH support. But, quality bass rigs I've tried since sound as good or better especially with synth sounds. Though I've never cared for "keyboard" amps, a Leslie for organ is a fine thing!
  14. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
  15. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I run my Alesis Ion synth through my bass rig--Eden WT-400 head & Bergantino HT-112 cabs. Works/sounds great, keys are very punchy.

    I've played in bands with keyboardists who had the Roland 1x12 & 1x15 combos. They're decent for bass but the EQ was not tremendously useful (you'd prolly want a SansAmp or EQ pedal in front). Plus they woof/fart on low notes at high volumes.

    I'm more impressed by the Barbetta Sona keyboard amps, but for that kind of money (~$1000) I'd be inclined to go for a Mackie/QSC/JBL powered PA speaker--or upgrade my bass rig.
  16. lazyone2


    Jul 27, 2006
    new jersey shore
    I let my keyboard player plug into my rig a Euphonic Audio Iamp800 and NL-210. He was blown away by the way it sounded. Much better the his Roland 350.
  17. Zombbg4


    Jul 15, 2008
    Maybe one of the new GK microbass combos? It seems as though the upright friendly EA amps treat a keyboard well, and I've read that uprights sound nice through the new GK micros. The portability and price are great as well.

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