Buying a keyboard amplifier
August 3, 2009 4:55 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a keyboard amplifier for use in a rock band. Is the roland kc-150 (65W) going to be loud enough or should I spring for the KC-350 (120W)? Or should I look for a bass amp?
posted by Tlogmer to Media & Arts (8 answers total)
Best answer: My vote goes to the 120W one...every guitarist I've ever played with seems to have a very different definition of "reasonable volume" than me. Better to have a more powerful amp than you need rather than one that's too weak.
posted by DMan at 5:01 PM on August 3, 2009

120W, no question. this is primarily for practice. as TWF said, if you're gigging at a venue, they plug you directly into the house. get some earplugs, too.
posted by gnutron at 6:23 PM on August 3, 2009

Yeah, I'd get parity with the lead. If you ever sub for the bass, big is better. A downside besides $ is that when moving equipment, you will wish heartily for a smaller amp.
posted by gregoreo at 7:13 PM on August 3, 2009

Yes, a 65-watt solid state amp will not compete with most guitar players or drummers.

Depending on what kinds of sounds you're going for, you might consider a cool tube amp (usually labeled as guitar amps). This won't work if you want clean piano sounds, but if you're using synths, organs, Rhodes, etc., it can be really cool. I have a reasonable amount of experience in this area; memail me if you like.
posted by nosila at 7:23 PM on August 3, 2009

The wattage you will need is directly proportional to how much low frequency you want to have. There is a reason why a guitar player can use a 50 watt amp, while the bass player sitting right next to them needs an 800 watt amp to match their volume. If you are ever going to be subbing for a bass and playing with lots of low end, you need tons of power to do that cleanly. I would suggest something like a Mackie SM450 as a good general all purpose speaker that can get pretty darn loud and is fairly portable. It isn't an instrument amp, so if you want something with EQ or FX it is not a great solution, but for a keyboard all you need is a converter to XLR, and you have a very versitile solution. Add a mixer and then you can also use it as the vocal PA, making setups in places without a built in PA a lot easier.
posted by markblasco at 9:44 PM on August 3, 2009

I'd go so far as to say that you should also consider the KC-550 and KC-880. The 550 is totally manageable by size and will be plenty loud for most situations.

The 880 approaches "back brace" territory, but can still be wrangled by one (very strong and very healthy) person if there aren't any stairs involved.
posted by GPF at 3:25 AM on August 4, 2009

Markblasco, I have to disagree on that. A guitar player can use a 50-watt tube amp, which will hang with maybe a 500-watt solid-state bass amp (or a higher-wattage bass amp turned down). Tube amps are much louder at lower wattages than solid-state amps.
posted by nosila at 6:30 AM on August 4, 2009

Response by poster: Alright, looks like I'm getting the 120W. Thanks, guys.
posted by Tlogmer at 12:29 PM on August 4, 2009

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