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Joined: Apr 2010
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My FP30 Roland keyboard has limited volume output. When playing duets with my Steinway, the Roland is easily outdone, you can't hear the Roland. So I tapped into the onboard speakers and ran cables to the Roland Cube Speaker Now Roland volume is distorted when playing loud passages. I turned down the volume on the keyboard, which does not fix the distortion since you have to increase speaker volume. I tried using the headphone output but that mutes the onboard speakers so the player hears a muffled sound. So if anyone has any suggestions please let me know. Thanks.


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Which Cube model did you buy? And what input are you plugged into?
(list of Roland Cube Models, scroll to bottom).

FYI - you can certainly use Cube amps with keyboards, but Roland only lists the Cube amps under Guitar & Bass Amplifiers. And many of those Cube models look really under powered when matched with a Steinway Grand.


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I think you're overpowering the cube. Have you tried turning its volume down to see if it gets "clean"? Is it mostly problems in the bass (which will be a problem with ANY small speaker), and does the treble sound clean?


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A couple of things to be aware of.

Firstly, as long as you have the latest firmware installed, you can run internal and external (via headphone output) speakers at the same time. IIRC, you need to press "FUNCTION" plus the top F# to activate both, and "FUNCTION" plus top F to deactivate.

However, be aware that activating both onboard and external units will also apply the internal preset EQ to both. That adds more bass and lower middle frequencies (presumably designed to give a richer sound using onboard speakers). When internal speakers are deactivated, the EQ flattens out.

Secondly, the distortion you're hearing is remediable. I remember discovering this problem when I first got the piano, and accidentally discovered the solution. I'm not with my piano right now, but it has to do with the fact that the FP-30 seems to be capable of remembering two volume settings - one for internal speakers and one for headphones. You will have been reducing the main output, while still having headphones set too high, I expect (or vice versa). I can't remember how you activate the headphone volume (it may have to do with when you plug in the speakers) but it is remediable. For some reason, I don't have this problem anymore - maybe it was fixed in the firmware update. I would suggest experimenting with turning the piano on with speakers already plugged in, and adjusting the volume, versus turning on and then plugging in (you'll want to turn your Cube volume down when plugging in to avoid possible loud noises and damage).

Good luck!


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If I understand you correctly and you literally "tapped into the onboard speakers" and patched that over to the input of any Cube model I'm aware of...then of course you're going to get distortion, you're amplifying something that's already quite amplified, even though not enough to balance with a Steinway.

And if I got that right you're also risking overheating/blowing up the Cube's preamp.

FP30 headphone outputs should be usable as inputs for a Cube or any power amp. Roland spec sheet for FP30 says the two headphone outputs are each "usable as output jack"

"muffled sound" - I am not sure I get what you are saying there either but it seems like it might refer to a problem with either the cable or with the Cube's input. Like possibly the input stage having blown up by now?

Which Cube input you use can certainly make a difference. For example Cube CP-30 has a "stereo link in" that I think is made for accepting things like headphone outputs (I would not be surprised if headphone volume needed to be turned down to "3" or like that).

In any case I would expect the Cube needs to be positioned next to the person playing the FP30, just as the Steinway soundboard is positioned next to the person playing the Steinway. I can't decipher exactly what you mean by "can't hear the Roland' and "player hears a muffled sound" but it seems to me that these might relate to the position of the Cube relative to the person playing the FP30.

(I don't know if Cube products have an insert port, or if that would help or hurt in this situation.)

Last edited by eclectic; 09/13/17 02:39 AM. Reason: details, clarifications, caveats
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A suggestion:

If you want to match the volume of the Steinway, you're wasting your time with Roland Cubes. They're nice "practice amps", or "stage monitors" if they're close to your ear, and they will work for really small rooms. But they have limited power, and small woofers. Pushed too hard, they'll distort (as will any electronics).

If you want the FP-30 to be a fair match to the Steinway (insofar as that's possible), you should give it as much power as Roland would have given it, _if cost, size, and weight were not an issue_. You can check out the amp/speaker specs on an LX-17, to see what that might mean.

So:

Go to the nearest music store.

_Rent_, short-term, either a stereo PA system with 200 watts or more (total power), or two powered "stage monitor" speakers, with 150 watts per speaker. You'll want 8" or 10" woofers, and horn-loaded tweeters.

In either case, use the _headphone_ output of the FP-30, splitting it into left and right channels, running one channel to each PA channel (or monitor speaker) (unless the FP-30 has "Line Out" jacks, in which case use those). As mentioned above, try to _avoid_ using any "loudspeaker EQ" built into the FP-30.

That much power should give you a fair shot at matching (or exceeding) the Steinway's volume. You can always turn the amp's gain down, but you _can't_ do anything about "too little power".

Experiment with speaker positioning. Where you put them, depends on what "listening area" you want to cover. Don't judge the sound if you're sitting behind the speakers -- the tweeters radiate forward, not backward. Friends might be useful, or one of the "demo songs" (if it has them) on the FP-30, while you walk around the room.

If you like the results, you'll have some idea about what to buy.

I _think_ my EV ZXA1 will produce "live piano" loudness, but I've never actually tested it against an acoustic piano. One day . . . .


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You will need a pair of studio monitor speakers.

I have a pair of Yamaha HS8 and it works fine with my Kawai grand (180 cm).

It depends on the size of your Steinway model. You might need a more powerful monitors for model B.

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You could also ask the person on the Grand to play more quietly ...


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What do you mean when you say "I tapped into the onboard speakers?"

If that means what I think it does, then there's the problem. As has already been mentioned, you just don't do that.

Ideally you'd use the piano's line output jacks. If those are absent, you use the headphone jack. That's less than optimal, but far better than tapping the speaker driver outputs.


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