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EV ZXA1 Basic Questions
#2787716 12/04/18 11:22 AM
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I have been happy with the purchase of the ZXA1, and it sounds great with my Kawaii ES-110. I only have one speaker at present, planning to upgrade to a pair in the near future. I play mainly jazz in trio/quartet format, but also big band.

My question is about using other pianos, that include an older Roland for big band rehearsal and a Clavinova at a recurring gig. Just not happy with the sound from these pianos. Too much treble on both, and the complaint last night on the Clavinova was I could not be heard well, although this was not a problem in same location at other gigs? I just got into the yuck factor last night, I cannot stand how this piano at the gig. So, yes, I realize I could solve the problems by bringing my ES-110 to rehearsals and occasional gigs, but I like the convenience of a piano being there.

So, please excuse the basic questions, but sure would appreciate some input:

1. Would a small mixer be a worthwhile investment towards better sound? (For purposes of this big band, I am not going VST and bringing a computer to a gig or rehearsal. There is no way I can spend hours with these pianos to figure this out) Its too trebly to my ears, but also there is the issue of being able to cut through the sounds. Any suggestions?

2. Would it be fair to say that perhaps the problem was I did not have the speaker raised high enough on the stand and this problem of not being heard? (Does not help the poor too-trebly sound quality I am hearing, but at least I could be heard.)

3; The back of the ZXA1 has a limit button that will light up if the speaker is being driven too much, but, of course, I cannot see it, I am assuming that if I am driving it too hard it will start distorting?

4. Would it be pushing it too much, setting db at zero, to turn it up more than halfway?


Kawaii ES-110; Casio Privia PX-S-1000
Jazz, blues, Latin, and a touch of classical and new age.
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Re: EV ZXA1 Basic Questions
gracegren #2787812 12/04/18 04:28 PM
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I have two ZXA1 speakers and a small Yamaha mixer that I run my piano through ,they sound a lot better in stereo when playing stereo piano sounds . You might wan't to try finding a mono piano sound to run through your speaker till you purchase your other speaker .

Re: EV ZXA1 Basic Questions
gracegren #2787821 12/04/18 04:55 PM
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I run my keyboard directly into two ZXA1s without a mixer, unless i have a vocalist with me. The pianos definitely sound harsh to me when running through a single speaker. You do need to raise the speaker off the floor to get the best sound, although that tends to bring out the highs.


Yamaha CP4, Kawai CA93, Yamaha MODX8, EV ZXA1
Re: EV ZXA1 Basic Questions
gracegren #2787846 12/04/18 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by gracegren

3; The back of the ZXA1 has a limit button that will light up if the speaker is being driven too much, but, of course, I cannot see it, I am assuming that if I am driving it too hard it will start distorting?

Of course you need to point the speaker at the audience, not at yourself. Then you'll see the limiter warning.

Are you trying to use is as a on-stage monitor?

Re: EV ZXA1 Basic Questions
gracegren #2787901 12/04/18 11:00 PM
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A mixer with on-board F/X + equalization can help you tame the room ambience and the sound of an instrument/voice. Speaker placement is important too.

Many speakers have basic equalization, but a mixer is easier while seated at the piano; with small adjustments at the speaker, only if needed.

Decent mixers for live performance start at USD$130+. Personally I like the solid build-quality of the Yamaha MG and Mackie VLX series. The Yamaha MG06X mixer is so small, that I carry around 2x in a hard case; 1 for backup.


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Re: EV ZXA1 Basic Questions
90125 #2787939 12/05/18 02:08 AM
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Helpful responses, thanks all!

I have already done some basic research on the Yamaha MG mixer, so maybe that is the best solution for now. Probably best to get the version with effects too. Even when I get that second speaker, will probably be happier knowing I can adjust the sound, if needed, on a gig.

And, to answer the question as to whether I am using as a monitor. No, I have the speaker set up to fit on a speaker stand with the corresponding directional adjustment one makes on this speaker, and place the speaker behind or to the side of me.


Kawaii ES-110; Casio Privia PX-S-1000
Jazz, blues, Latin, and a touch of classical and new age.
Re: EV ZXA1 Basic Questions
gracegren #2787952 12/05/18 03:53 AM
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Originally Posted by gracegren
And, to answer the question as to whether I am using as a monitor. No, I have the speaker set up to fit on a speaker stand with the corresponding directional adjustment one makes on this speaker, and place the speaker behind or to the side of me.

Thanks, this wasn't obvious.

The easiest way to see the limiter light is to set up mirrors like e.g. compact makeup mirrors. They don't even have to be flat, you may use some mirrored stage decoration. You just have to see the reflection from the place where you sit at your keyboard. Sometime even putting up a glass bottle filled with water in the appropriate place is enough to see the overload warnings.

I read the manual for your speaker and they only say that it is 800W and bi-amped with individual protection for the woofer and the tweeter. They never say how much power is available from each individual amp. My guess would be 500/300 split between woofer/tweeter

I could imagine that "too much treble" complaint if you habitually overload the woofer with some low bass tones that are barely audible and the horn tweeter was blasting at the full 300W power. Remember that the whole system was designed to work with a separate 700W subwoofer.

The other test you could do is press the "WITH SUB" button on you ZXA1 even if you don't have the subwoofer attached. It may filter the tones that your speaker was not designed to reproduce.

Edit: Also use the song recorder on your ES110 to pre-record something you would normally play. Then walk the audience area during the sound-check to actually hear yourself playing as you would as a listener, not as a performer on stage. You may be shocked.

Last edited by 90125; 12/05/18 03:58 AM.
Re: EV ZXA1 Basic Questions
gracegren #2788051 12/05/18 11:30 AM
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These appear to be full-range speakers on their own merit. I just cannot imagine any need for a sub with piano. It puts out some nice bass tones when occasionally needed. As a jazz pianist, I am careful with the bass so as not to step on the bass player.

Just wondering if a simple graphic equalizer might solve the problem for now.


Kawaii ES-110; Casio Privia PX-S-1000
Jazz, blues, Latin, and a touch of classical and new age.
Re: EV ZXA1 Basic Questions
gracegren #2788070 12/05/18 12:16 PM
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I don't think that the FULLRANGE button on the back of your speaker does what you think it does. There's no need to imagine anything, all it takes is to check it out during sound-check. That's what they are for.

Last edited by 90125; 12/05/18 12:17 PM.
Re: EV ZXA1 Basic Questions
gracegren #2788187 12/05/18 05:28 PM
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I'd also try a graphic (or parametric) EQ. The best thing you can do for the sound is to put the speaker up on a stand -- and you've done that (and re-oriented the tweeter) already.

While the _fundamental_ frequencies on a piano go down to 27 Hz, there's not much _energy_ in those frequencies. The 8" woofer on the ZXA1 should be enough to handle piano sounds. It has been, for me. If you were playing lots of church-organ sounds, you might want a subwoofer to shake bones.

The ZXA1 isn't super-loud. Perfect for small-to-medium rooms, but not enough to fill a large church (or dance hall). If you're pushing it hard (hard enough to light the "overload" light often), it might be worthwhile to look into more-powerful PA's with larger woofers.

On "We can't hear the piano . . . ":

. . . First, try turning up the "Master" volume, above 0 dB.

There's no magic to "0 dB" on a volume control. If that Clavinova has a weak "Line Out" signal, that would be a good thing to try. If the "Limit" lights starts to flash, it might be time for a larger PA.


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq
Re: EV ZXA1 Basic Questions
gracegren #2788195 12/05/18 06:33 PM
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Thanks, Charles. Good info.


Kawaii ES-110; Casio Privia PX-S-1000
Jazz, blues, Latin, and a touch of classical and new age.

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