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Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

Keyboard Amps


I am looking for a new keyboard amp for a live rock type situation. It will primarily be used as a monitor as I usually go direct to the mains.
I have heard good things about the Barbetta 41 but have heard some questionable stuff regarding reliability. I also have heard good things and would like to check out motion sound kbr3d (I would be using a pro3t or my dynacord simulator with an amp like the barbetta for leslie sim).
I would appreciate anyones experiences with these amps or other recommendations.
January 28, 2003 @10:04pm

I have nothing but great things to say about the Barbetta line of amps. They sound amazing and I honestly haven't seen any problems with them.
January 28, 2003 @10:18pm

I use a Roland KC-500. I have two but usually only need to use one for gigs. It seems to provide plenty of volume most of the time... I used it about a week ago at a blues jam and ran the low rotor sim. output from my Motion Sound Pro 3 (not 3T alas but I bought it used a few years back) into it and sounded pretty good. I found this was a small enough affair that at the levels the band was producing I didn't need to mic the treble horn, I just turned it up about halfway. Then again I'm just experimenting gradually and trying to tell what sounds best. For organ sounds I send the output from a Voce V3 into the Pro3. One caveat on the KC-500's though, they can distort easily (think piano sound nastily overdriven) even if you're not playing that loud but in my case it might be because I suspect I could have blown out a tweeter in one of the amps when I allowed a friend to play distorted guitar through it (please no one be as stupid as I was and go and do this--I don't think these amps take well to such harsh transients). It's tough to say though because the few times when I've been hearing the distortion lately I might be sending too much signal from the keyboard or else overdriving it somewhere like turning the input channel gain up to much though I'd doubt that...Anyway that kind of clipping isn't exactly desirable when it comes to a regular piano sound.... Well sorry to digress. I know that if I link the two in stereo it's plenty loud and there's the advantage that the sound field is spread out as much as you like of course. Running the two together is especially effective for electric piano sounds--very 'thick'. -Just my 2 cents worth.
February 15, 2003 @09:03am

I too, have two Roland KC-500's and would recommend them for situations where you need to "compete" with the band for loudness and everyone in the band needs to hear you. And they do sound great in stereo. I've never had a problem with distortion (though I haven't let any guitar players plug in to them, LOL).
I have a friend that uses Two of them for his two man band as a PA and gets a great sound.
However, if you just need to hear yourself, I might recommend the Roland KC-300, positioned where you can hear it great. It's lighter, and has a smaller footprint (great for small stages). I do this sometimes and it works fine.
February 22, 2003 @01:00am

The KC500's aren't internally biamped, which leads to IM distortion pretty easily if you put much bass through them. I've also had several niggling reliability problems with my two.
The Barbetta amps seem much cleaner at high levels, no doubt due to biamping. I also like the Mackie SRM450 and the JBL Eon 15 powered cabinet.
February 22, 2003 @01:22am

Forget the keyboard amp, get a nice stage mixer to send the house a clean signal, and listen to yourself in stereo in custom in ear monitors. The only way to go. :-)
But seriously, if I was buying an amp right now, I'd take a look at the new Peavey (no joke!) KB-5. It's stereo all the way from the 4 channel inputs (8 actual ins) to the balanced XLR stereo outs, has stuff like a "click track" channel which doesn't get duplicated to the XLR outs, it's REAL cool looking, and it's a self-contained cart complete with a pull-out handle. Good looking product.
February 25, 2003 @03:25am