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Microphone Month 4

Motion Sound KBR-3D - 200W Rotary Keyboard Amp Reviews

4.5 stars based on 14 customer reviews
Questions about the Motion Sound KBR-3D - 200W Rotary Keyboard Amp?

Questions about the Motion Sound KBR-3D - 200W Rotary Keyboard Amp?

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  • from Seattle May 10, 2017Music Background:
    Professional musician, live and studio

    The Best

    For a combination keyboard amp and Leslie equivalent, nothing even touches this thing. I've been using mine for ten years, playing professionally around the world. Works like a charm, and sounds absolutely beautiful. The Leslie imitation has made several heads spin over the years. Pro sound men see it and smile and say "awesome". Not only for the easy hook up to two XLR jacks on the back, but just because the know the sound quality. I've had guys who are at the top of their field listen to the Leslie sim in amazement. (I use either Mainstage 3, Galileo on an iPad, or a vintage Voce V3 as the organ sound source.) If I had to nitpick and find anything to criticize, it would be the way acoustic piano samples sound. But then, let's be honest - what on the market does replicate piano sounds really well? Nothing. EP's, organs, synths, everything else just shines. Oh, and the tone controls are real - they actually introduce signal into the mix instead of just coloring the tone like a car radio. Get one!

  • from Auxvasse, MO September 21, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Music Director, Gigging musician

    Road warrior, sound warrior

    Bought one when they first came out, still using it today. My guitar player loves it. Won't let me use anything else. Only issues I have had are with the finish, (refinished with bedliner myself) , and cell phones in certain settings drive this thing bonkers. Changed one belt about a month ago, had to replace an input jack also. Not bad for 11+ years of gigging, church and home use. If you are playing medium size clubs this thing is the ticket. Great leslie sound, Expander works well, and clean channel is just that. CX3, XK3, Kurz, It's had a lot of boards go thru it,and it made them all sound good.

  • from Denver June 8, 2014Music Background:
    Pro musician, composer, producer/directer.

    NAILS IT!

    I bought my KBR-3D from Sweetwater more than 4-years ago as of this writing and I have to say that it has exceeded my expectations! Other than an issue with a bad component just past the warranty expiration (which Sweetwater made certain Motion Sound covered UNDER WARRANTY!), this amp has performed flawlessly!!!

    At the time I purchased the KBR-3D, I was playing a Korg CX-3 along with an SV1 and a Kronos, all of which this amp handled with no problem, and the rotary channel was a significant improvement over the CX-3's rotary sim. Since that time, I've replaced the CX-3 in my stage rig with a Crumar MOJO, which has a rotary sim that is on par with both the NEO Ventilator and the GSi Burn, and no longer use the KBR-3D's rotary channel, running MOJO through the stereo channel, and my bandmates noticed immediately how much better "that spinning thing" sounded ... even though it is no longer in use.

    At 200 Watts, it develops just enough SPL to fill the medium rooms and compete with loud guitars and cymbals and, with a stereo pair of XLR outputs, it makes a great stage monitor for large gigs while avoiding having to use a DI box to feed the FOH system. I also installed the subwoofer output option and the KBR-3D is monster enough to hold its own even when I'm kicking out the bass!!!

    Were I to buy a stereo keyboard amp today, I would probably buy the KP-500SN, as the rotary horn and onboard lower sim are no longer necessary for me, but then my guitar player wouldn't get to plug in for those SRV tunes anymore ... which would make him sad ... so I think I'll keep it.

    Honestly, the best keyboard amp I've ever owned ... and I've owned a bunch of 'em, playing professionally for more than 45 years!

  • from United States October 4, 2013Music Background:
    Record and live gigs.

    Motion Sound KBR-3D

    Well I hate buying something I didn't get to hear, but I did find a you tube clip of this amp and took a chance. I've played 2 gigs with it and I was very impressed and so was the band. Playing my Kurzweil keys in stereo channel and Roland midi in Rotary channel gave both better equalization.
    Plenty of power, built solid, hope it lasts for years. It fits on same stand I had my Roland keyboard amp on, right behind of my guitar amp but shoots out over, plenty of stage volume.

  • from Wisconsin Rapids, WI July 19, 2013Music Background:
    Keyboards, recording and mixing engineer

    Motion Sound is Back! Yay!

    I was freaked when I recently read that Motion Sound had shuttered their doors. Not to worry - they are back. This is my second KBR-3D. I now have my trusty older one as a backup for road gigs. It is by far the perfect amp for me - I run a Hammond thru the rotary side, and crank the tube preamp. I run an analog synth in the expander channels and a Kurzweil for pianos and pads and such in the other channels. Pro sound guys just smile when they see me hand them two XLR output cords and that's it for hooking up to the PA. In stereo. I run the output thru an Art tube preamp when needed by the PA, but it is dialed down a lot - but it's there if they need some extra gain at the board inputs.

    I have read a few negative comments about build quality. I don't find this to be so. I have run mine professionally for over 6 years and have had not a problem on gigs. I bought an extra belt and tube, but they have stayed in my kit bag. The horns and tweeters have held up remarkably well. I replaced the rotating horn driver on my old unit early on with an upgraded version and have had no problems since. Good customer service in my experience. More power and inputs than the Leslie model with bigger bass drivers as well. I also have a now discontinued KB-80 in my rehearsal space. Hint: Bring it back, MS!

    I LOVE this amp!

  • from Houston, TX May 5, 2012Music Background:
    Musician

    Motion Sound has "done it right" with the new KBR-3D!

    This amp is giving me all I need in my keyboard rig. I've just had it for several weeks and I am just getting used to the full effects of my keys in the mix. It definitely has a fuller, richer sound, with every voicing, and the Horns are a real bonus! The real "tale of the tape" comes from the others in our group: they absolutely LOVE the sounds, as well!

  • from Ottawa, Canada July 8, 2011Music Background:
    Former Pro, semi Pro now

    Motion Sound KBR-3D

    OK I dont understand the comments of haveing to mic the the thing. It has 2 XLR outs with a small mixer in the back to balance the amount of horn mic and low rotor. What are people talking about. Yes there is a direct out for the horn but why would you use this. OK I have owned this amp for 10 years, I am one of the first owners of this thing, I bought it without testing it or even seeing it. I have various keyboards and they have all sounded great through this thing, it is funny the keyboards have changed, Korg, Roland , Kurzweil, Nord etc etc but the amp has stayed the same over 10 years. This thing Rocks, yes the clean channel could be a bit louder but that is what external PA is for, as long as I can here myself I dont care about anything else and I have no problem here. I just bought it for some service not that anything was wrong I just wanted to ensure that it was cleaned and oiled up. Never had a problem, this thing ROCKS!

  • from Charleston, West Virginia April 2, 2009Music Background:
    30 years of playing after high school and still rocking on the weekends

    I've owned the Motionsound KBR-3D for seven years now.

    I'm going mention the bad first just to get it out of the way, then move on to all the great things. The worst thing I can say about this amp is while the design has two built in microphones on the leslie rotating horn, there is NO direct output on the speaker section. This means you only get the highs off the horn, unless you mic the speakers. Also, if you are playing straight through the stereo amp sections, then you have no internal mic or DI output from the amp, again you must mic the speakers. I found it best to use a small mixer (I have a Soundcraft stereo ten channel). I use two stereo DI's off my Motif ES8 and Korg Triton ProX. This means I have four inputs, stereo off two boards and pan two channels each for left and right on the mixer. Then I use the XLR outputs for the internal rotating horn mics to two panned channels on the mixer. Then it's a simple task to send the stereo output of the mixer to the snake and PA. This works extremely well. For smaller venues such as clubs, the amp has 100 watts per channel stereo and forty watts if I remember correctly to the horn. Plenty for a club setting. I also replaced the factory stick on knobs with a little better quality that had a set screw.

    The great things to mention is the tone. This is a close to the famous Lesie sound as you will ever come without dragging that heavy @$% Leslie cabinet around. This amp is compact, plenty of power, and draws compliments everywhere I take it. Other keyboard players die in envy to the sound. I highly recommend buying a 3.8 thickness road case with good wheels to protect it. I take it out of the case, put the top back on the case bottom, set the amp up on top of the assembled case. It sets it the perfect height behind me for self monitoring. This is a great amp no matter how you look at it, less the mic issue I mention at first. I love mine, and will not part with it.

  • from Jackson Hole, wy April 20, 2017Music Background:
    Never not been in a band since I was a tween.

    Great amp

    I've had the amp for about six years, and it has performed flawlessly. Other keyboard players envy the amp.
    About three years back I disassembled the amplifier to get at the rotor speed controls. I adjusted them for fast spin up and fast spin down, but I really couldn't tell much of a difference in the spin up speed. Leslie speakers go from slow to fast to slow instantly. So I guess that would be my only criticism of the amp. But while I was in there I ripped the upper grill cloth out. Now you can see the horn spinning 'round and 'round from anywhere in the club. It's cooooooool and really catches your eye!!

  • from Boston, MA November 20, 2010Music Background:
    Long time semi-pro and weekend warrior

    No-Compromise Keyboard Amp

    Yes, it's expensive. Guess what -- they could probably charge more for this unit. You get a killer stereo keyboard-quality amp PLUS a real-deal preamped rotating leslie horn. If you play classic keyboard sounds, it does it all in an industrial-strength package.

    I've been playing mine for about a year, and I love it. Stands out clean and vibrant over the other band members. Plenty of volume in reserve if ever needed -- but I've never had to really crank it up.

    Not everyone wants a top-shelf keyboard amp, but if you do, this is it.

  • from August 23, 2016Music Background:
    been playing for about 20 years now almost every genre but lately mainly funk, soul and blues

    Best keyboard amp money can buy!

    I bought it about 8 years ago. The only thing I had changed were the front input jacks.
    Since then I never had a problem.

    If you want a good rotary sound then it's the closest thing to a real leslie in such a compact outfit. The bass rotor may be simulated but you have many controls to adjust it for any situation so nobody will ever notice it. I have a Nord Stage and a Kurz PC3x. Using the same drawbar settings and connecting them to the rotor you can't hear a difference between the 2 keyboards. Since I bought it I never used a rotor sim on my keyboards again.

    The 2 stereo channels are great and the stereo expand effect is very impressive. You just can't overdo it with some sounds otherwise they sound thin. For "ping pong" delay effects it is perfect! There are 3 basic EQ controls which I rarely had to tweak all these years. Even if I did, it had mostly to do with a specific sound.

    Generally I'd say it is the ideal keyboard amp but there are a few things that need to be done to make it perfect.
    First of all it needs more power. It has a good amount of volume but it's just enough for small stages and clubs. The rotor channel with it's 12AX7 in the preamp stage has more power than the 2x100W stereo channels if you crank it up.
    Then there is some background hiss from the rotor channel and some hum from the stereo channels if you go over 50-60% of the volume although in live gigs situations it rarely was a big of a problem.

    One little problem I stumbled upon was when I had to record a live studio session with my band. Everything sounded better than perfect except the rotary channel. The inbuilt mics are not good for that. You need to set up proper mics for a recording but then you'll have a lot of "bleeding" if you are close to other instruments. When recording alone with proper miking you really can't hear any difference between the KBR-3D and a real leslie.

    Last thing that could've been better is the access to the inner part of the amp. It is a big hassle to open it if you want to repair or change anything.

    Conclusion: it's a great amp if you want to use many different sounds on your keyboards without compromising the rotor effect of a real leslie. You can use it as a monitor and it's good built.
    The pros are definitely more than the cons and the cons are more or less details which you can easily work around.
    To make it easier for anyone considering buying it: if it ever breaks down, I'll buy the same amp again!

  • from Nashville, TN April 29, 2010Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Keyboard Player

    Perfect Combination of Features

    If you play organ AND other keyboard sounds this is the perfect rig. You get a real rotating horn. The organ input has a 12AX7 tube preamp. Nice tone controls for getting the sound just right. The rotation horn is mic'd internally. The stereo channel gives you a couple inputs for your other keyboards or synths. Then everything gets mixed down to 2 XLRs on the back. This cuts down my setup time. All I do is plug-in my keyboard and give the FOH the balanced stereo outputs and I'm done. The only thing preventing a five star rating is the main full range amps are a bit noisy with a little background hiss (not present on the direct outs only the amplified sound) but this is not noticeable in a live setting. It's an acceptable amount below the noise floor of many keyboards and the speakers sound great especially when you crank it up. Great "Leslie" sound and a very portable package.

  • from Fresno CA USA January 16, 2011Music Background:
    Organist, musician

    It's got its share of pros and cons...

    This is my second KBR-3D and my fifth Motion Sound product. As one reviewer pointed out, if you own one of the first models of these, only the horn sounds will be sent to the XLR outputs. On the new generation, all the channels now are mixed down to these outputs, but the circuitry that does this is of poor quality and has been bad mouthed by every sound tech that has tried to use them. For p.a. use this amp must be miked, and it takes four (YES!) to properly do this, just like a real Leslie. Just putting one or two mics in front of it and hopeing you get it all won't work. Also, the newest version of this amp looks much better than pictured, the grill cloth is now darker and made from thicker material, the same color as on the KPS500, and the face plate is now black with better looking letters and graphics. Visually, the new version is a tremendous improvement. If you ever run across someone who hasn't seen or heard one of these, they'll be blown away. The stereo separation on all channels is great, if your synth has Rhodes patches with the old "ping pong" vibrato, this amp will make that sound really sweet. The expand mode on the stationary channel makes anything you put through it sound lush and full, but this channel generates a hum at about half volume level. I'm not a tech, and might not understand about wattage ratings, but to rate this amp at 240 watts is absurd. I also own a Peavey KB-300BW with a claimed 160 watts, and two of these M.S. amps could not keep up with one Peavey. I like almost everything about this amp, but it just needs more honest power and a few of the bugs worked out. When lifting it by the handles, it will try to roll forward on you, it's top heavy and the handles should have been placed higher, but to do that would have interfeared with the amplifier inside and it's components. The new version also has wider, longer, and deeper handles than those pictured. The new foot switch now has LED's to tell you what position your rotors are in, nice. The overall sound of all channels is better than acceptable, the build quality is not as solid as my Peavey or other amps I've owned. It's good that the top horn and bottom rotor simulator's speeds are variable, but to do this requires the cabinet to be stripped of all it's electronics, and doing that [carefully] takes about 45 minutes, then you have to reassemble everything, not good. For what this amp was designed to do, it's amazing. It will take three keyboards and give one of them a true rotary channel, I just wish it went louder without breaking up. I don't always have the luxury of a p.a. system to play through, and when band volumes increase, this amp can't keep up. When I'm playing gigs without a p.a., I'll put four mics in front of it and run them into the Peavey (it has three instrument channels and one XLR mic input) and that seems to be enough volume, but it makes for a lot of extra time, weight, and space. I'm wishing that Motion Sound would increase the output power of this amp, if they did, all the other inconsistancies would be a lot easier to overlook, it would be close to perfection.

  • April 5, 2006

    Finally, a single amp for my keyboard rack - awesome

    I'd grown tired of the simulated rotor effect of my Roland VK7. There's nothing like the real thing. However, I was suspicious of the potential sound for my Yamaha P80 piano or Tyros2 keyboards... would it have enough guts to fill the small clubs and churches I play?

    Oh man... it's great. The "Leslie" is superb - real rotors. Ahhhhh... And the two 10" speakers just flat out rock. Very loud, very clear, plenty of punch.

    Impressive amplifier. Highly recommended.

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