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amp, studio monitors, or external speakers for my new keyboard?


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  • amp, studio monitors, or external speakers for my new keyboard?

    After playing a bunch of digital pianos today, I settled on the Yamaha P-155. I felt right and I liked the sound more than the other keyboards I played, but the keyboard speakers still left something to be desired.

    I was wondering if getting a piano amp, studio monitors, or hooking up the keyboard to a pair of floor standing speakers that I have would improve the sound?

  • #2
    For home use, I get a pair of powered monitors.
    Gear: buncha stuff and a couple bazilion cables


    • #3
      For playing out, I have a pair of Behringer B210 powered speakers that have a surprisingly nice, full sound for the keys, guitar and vocals in small-medium sized venues. At home, I have an older Peavey HKS-12 that I picked up used several years ago that's way more than I need in the house. You don't need a lot of power for just playing/practicing at home, so any number of options would do the trick. I find that powered PA speakers seem to give a better range of sound dollar-for-dollar, as the smaller ones are generally much cheaper than keyboard amps.

      Road: Kurzweil SP-4, Korg M50, TC Helicon Harmony M
      Home: Kurzweil SP76, Alesis QS 6.1, Roland D10, Roland JV-1010, MicroKorg, M-Audio USB keyboard, Cakewalk Sonar X-1 Essentials


      • #4

        Quote Originally Posted by bruto
        View Post

        For home use, I get a pair of powered monitors.

        I agree. I'd recommend a pair of these:



        • #5

          I've been listening to samples of the keyboard on youtube and it sounds great in some of these videos where they have the keyboard audio hooked up to their computer to record it for youtube

          I'm assuming external speakers or monitors would improve the quality like how it sounds in these videos?


          • #6
            The best sound for youtubes would be direct (no speakers, other than whatever you're using to listen to the youtube). But sure, any decent external speakers should sound better than the built-ins.

            Try the speakers you have, why not? If you don't like the sound, or if you'd have to sacrifice speaker location or convenience (e.g., sharing them with home stereo), then powered studio monitors would be the best bet. There are lots to choose from; even ones that don't have a great rep for studio use should make the piano sound great.


            • #7
              I went with a QSC K12. The price is probably more than you're thinking, but the modern full-range powered speakers do at least as good a job as dedicated keyboard amps, and they're more flexible in use -- keyboard amp, monitor, or even as part of a PA system.

              I'd suggest asking this question in the Live Sound & Recording forum as well.

              Martyn Wheeler (playing synthesizers/organ like it's 1973 in England)

              now: Fredfin Wallaby
              was: The Gonzo Symphonic


              • #8
                I'd bet most keyboarders on this forum would go with a good powered speaker like a QSC, JBL, Mackie, Electro-Voice... or if you want to get the bass, add a sub: see the Bose L1 system. I can't afford the best stuff and got a used Roland KC550 keyboard amp but I also run sound thru a 15" monitor and 18" sub. Hopefully you live somewhere that you can (and should) LISTEN to these live before purchasing.
                Maarkr HW: Privia PX-5S, Casio XW-P1, Juno-G, Lucina... Epi Les Paul, Schecter C-1, Peavey Valve King 112, Mesa Boogie 2x12, Ovation Celebrity, Ibanez Gio Bass... Alesis D5 EDrums, Yamaha HS-80s w sub, Saffire Pro 24 thru Mackie Big Knob; Live: EV ZLX12P, Behringer B315D, Peavey PV118D, Roland KC550, Zoom R-16... SW: Reason 6, Sonar Platinum, Reaper, Acid, IKMultimedia , UAD1...