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I use a keyboard amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jruberto, Apr 21, 2009.


  1. jruberto

    jruberto

    Dec 23, 2008
    Denver, CO
    Staff Producer / Audio Engineer: Blue Tower Studio, Denver, CO & Mighty Fine Productions, Denver, CO
    Am I crazy? I think my Roland KC-500 sounds great as a bass amp. It's plenty loud for club gigs, has the same speaker/horn configuration as the SWR I used to use (workingman 15) and actually sounds pretty similar. Bonus: 4 inputs comes in handy a lot at rehearsals & in my living room (plug in a drum machine, a line from my computer). Has a direct out, it's on wheels....

    I mean, I have my big rig but man I hate lugging that around.
     
  2. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    "I use a keyboard amp" GET 'IM!!! :bag: :D
     
  3. keyboard amps can be good!
     
  4. jruberto

    jruberto

    Dec 23, 2008
    Denver, CO
    Staff Producer / Audio Engineer: Blue Tower Studio, Denver, CO & Mighty Fine Productions, Denver, CO
    LOL. /hanging my head in shame :atoz:

    really, it sounds pretty good!
     
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    There isn't a whole lot of difference between a keyboard amp and a bass amp. Might be a little light on the low end, that's about it. Doesn't sound like this one is, though.
     
  6. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Hi jruberto.

    Nope! :)

    I'm thinking along the same lines as you by pondering this instead of this.

    If both rigs weighed the same, I'd go for the keyboard amp.

    (Oww! My back! :atoz:)
     
  7. when i use schools gear, i prefer the old fender keyboard amp to the warwick bass amp. much more effective EQ. its good. i like it.
     
  8. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    Not at all. Some KB amps are great, especially Roland.
    Look at the frequency range they need to product for a KB
    Also, they need to be totally transparent to accurately pull off KB sounds.
    KB amps also have several inputs which is handy if you switch basses for different sets.

    But every keyboardist needs to do the same thing every bass player should. They need to walk over to the PA department and see what's going on there. New, modern PA gear has come a long way and can really perform. This gear generically good performing gear for any KB or bass use. You don't need to buy a keyboard amp just because it's labeled for "Keyboard" use, same for bass amps.
     
  9. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I sometimes use my bass rig for my keyboards...
     
  10. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I used a Peavey KB100 at rehearsals a few times and it sounded fine. Heavy SOB though.
     
  11. RCCollins

    RCCollins Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    San Diego, California
    this (for synth)

    and for the OP: I use my Traynor K4 (awesome keyboard amp) as a practice amp all the time, and I have heard WAY WORSE amps that were designed for bass. So there ya go
     
  12. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Yeah, me too.
     
  13. jruberto

    jruberto

    Dec 23, 2008
    Denver, CO
    Staff Producer / Audio Engineer: Blue Tower Studio, Denver, CO & Mighty Fine Productions, Denver, CO
    all good to hear. there is one mixing engineer in town, whenever i play in his room he's always like "dude, that's a keyboard amp!". i wouldn't give it much thought but he is a frickin' brilliant engineer, he runs one of the nicest rooms in town and every show there sounds so good. i know he's kidding, after our set he always tells me how good it sounds.

    and i'll bring it full circle:

    the fender bassman is of course a legendarily awesome guitar amp.

    and i once was on a double (1st gig on guitar, 2nd gig on bass) and used my little marshall combo guitar amp as a bass amp on a (admittedly very quiet) jazz gig. it did okay & i didn't blow it up. the reverb was actually kinda fun on a couple songs. i was very tempted to try the boost channel... :bassist:
     
  14. Hi.

    KBD amps are good.

    Would You mind elaborating a bit? I do remember You saying the same thing before too, but without any explanation.

    Like seamonkey said, the frequency reproduction demands for a keyboard amp greatly exeeds the one for the bass amp, the frequency response is more or less flat and the dynamic response requirements are greater too given the synthetic nature of the signal. How's that the same, and the KBD amp "light on the low end"?

    The only problem I see using a KBD amp is that because of the requirements above, KBD amps tend to cost quite a bit more than the bass amps of the same wattage. However they are usually more versatile.

    Regards
    Sam
     
  15. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    Maybe, but not for using a keyboard amp for bass. ;)

    +1

    I think of keyboard amps as mini-pa's, so yes it's all good especially if you like what you hear.
     
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    It's not usually important for a keyboard player to have the low end response of a bass amp unless they kick left hand bass. Most of the action for keyboard players takes place in the higher notes. That's why you don't see 500w Roland keyboard amps...keyboard players just don't need it unless they kick bass. Apparently Roland doesn't publish frequency specs for their keyboard amps (I just looked), but to me they sound rolled off on the low end. I could be hearing things, but I do know a couple keyboard guys with Roland amps who love them for everything else but they don't like to kick bass parts through them. And the fact that Roland doesn't publish freq specs makes me think there's a reason.

    I could be totally wrong, but that's my impression of them. Doesn't mean you can't get a great bass sound out of them, but it's more clear and bright than heavy and rumbling.
     
  17. jruberto

    jruberto

    Dec 23, 2008
    Denver, CO
    Staff Producer / Audio Engineer: Blue Tower Studio, Denver, CO & Mighty Fine Productions, Denver, CO
    Man, that's the truth, I did a *lot* of looking around and could find no specs anywhere from any source.
    I run the amp EQ flat. Sometimes a little mid bump, sometimes a little scoop, depends on the gig. I find it very responsive to EQ adjustments on the instrument, tho the channel preamps do not sound good if you hit them too hard. If the band starts getting loud I'll increase the low end a little on the instrument, then if that isn't enough I'll increase it on the amp a little bit. I have pushed this amp very hard a few times, and it has not failed me yet.

    Okay, just for giggles I plugged in a tone generator & performed a very unscientific test.. Sine wave burst for 2 seconds at 60, 58, 56... all the way down to 40hz.. I think I hear a rolloff starting somewhere around 43hz but still a pretty strong signal at 40hz (lower than the fundamental frequency of low E). When doing a sweep instead of tone bursts it is imperceptible. To me, anyway.

    I doubt the speaker specs out that low, so it would be very sensible (and thoughtful!) of them to include a highpass filter in the circuit, particularly since a synthesizer will happily generate full amplitude signals in the subsonic range which would promptly and handily destroy the speaker if the amp was up loud at all.

    Worth noting that it reproduced frequencies as low as 25hz (i didn't try any lower, and low B's fundamental is around 30hz), just not loud enough to make the thing shake to pieces.
     
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Was this just a listening test? Because an SVT 810 specs out to 60 hz and I can always hear the low notes on a B string just fine. Anyway, if it works for you, then all is well and I wouldn't worry about the specs in the least.
     
  19. Hi.

    ^The key word here is the tone generator. It produces only one frequency. A musical instrument of any kind is richer in harmonics than with the fundamental.

    Remember the frequency waterfall plot thread? That combined with the frequency treshold SPL chart of the ear shows clearly that there's much more audible energy available in the upper regions of the spectrum (harmonics) and they blanket the (almost non-existant) fundamental.

    Try Your rig with a tone generator feeding the input and be surprised.

    Regards
    Sam
     
  20. jruberto

    jruberto

    Dec 23, 2008
    Denver, CO
    Staff Producer / Audio Engineer: Blue Tower Studio, Denver, CO & Mighty Fine Productions, Denver, CO
    and those tiny computer speakers bottom out at double that, and you can still hear all those low notes...

    Hi.

    Just to be clear, my sole intention using the tone generator was to see if there was a highpass filter in the circuit.

    There are very few systems out there that are going to accurately reproduce the fundamental of a low B string. Or a low E for that matter. Lucky for everyone, you are absolutely right that we hear the overtones much more than the fundamental, especially on such low notes with an instrument as rich in harmonics as the electric bass, and our brains fill in the blanks quite well, even if the fundamental is not there at all: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_fundamental This stuff is the theory behind bass expander circuits & plugins.. that you can suggest a super low frequency by rendering the right ratios of harmonic content, and your brain makes you "hear" it. Very neat stuff.

    Cheers,
    j
     

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