First, I am a hack, not a gigging pro.
Moral of my story: if you want your keyboard to sound its best, you must play it back with a high-quality sound system.... not a volume blaster, but a high fidelity playback system.
I was not happy with the sounds out of my RD-2000 via my sound setup but was through the headphones.... so the problem was my sound system. I don't use a PA system or those crap monitors in the stores.... I want a big full sound so I use some old stereo equipment I had around.... an Adcom GFA 545 II and some big heavy A/D/S bookshelf speakers. Unfortunately, this is not a high-fidelity system so I needed to do some tweaking. I will get a better setup some day, but until then, you can improve your setup through some good EQ'ng. I pulled out and old Nikko 10-band equalizer I purchased circa 1979, hooked up a CD player, and played some test tones using a Stereophile test disc with warbles.
My 10-band Nikko equalizer looks like the swiss alps!
If you are thinking this '70s vintage piece of equipment will kill sound quality, well you are wrong. It already is not very good and this thing made it sound wellâ€¦ less turdy.
I used and old Stereophile test CD to make this workâ€¦ it has 1/3 octave warblesâ€¦ just fantastic and far superior than single frequency test tones. I set my old Realistic sound pressure meter to SLOW response and the old fashion VU meter stays steady. 1/3 octave warbles are great for smoothing and ignoring single frequency standing waves. John Atkinson did a nice job with these tones.
The challenge was the 1/3 octaves donâ€™t match a 10-band equalizerâ€¦ the equalizer has a slider for each octave (doubling of frequency) and the bumps and valleys donâ€™t match what I was reading so a ton of trial and error and you just have to make it as smooth as you can get it.
I tested it with some Dave Brubeck I am intimately familiar withâ€¦ boy it sound 10 times better with the Nikko EQ in there. I can see (or remember) why these EQs were so popular back in the dayâ€¦ they really did improve turdy equipment! Donâ€™t let anyone tell you canâ€™t polish these thingsâ€¦ you can.
Here is a picture of the rig with the Realistic meter in the foregroundâ€¦ I actually had the meter set up deeper into the roomâ€¦ and my beloved Accuphase CD player and processor. The Nikko and Adcom amp are on the floor. Those two rods in the middle support my laptop for connection to the Roland â€¦ I do fantasy arrangingâ€¦ fantasy because my skills are also turdy. Beer is a nice polish for turdy talent.
Anywho.... my RD-2000 sounds really nice now... big, full, and not mucky and congested as it was sounding. And I sit right in the middle of it all. Nice.
I guess I will start looking for some powered monitorsâ€¦ maybe go usedâ€¦ anybody have a recommendation something for around $2k used?
Bruce in Philly