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External speaker & Amp -Closest to the acoustic piano
#2882494 08/22/19 06:05 PM
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I have a digital piano with a very good sampling sound, however the roland KC amp that I used will not produce a real acoustic piano sound.
The lower octave sounds muddle and unclean when playing, the upper octave sounds brittle.
Playing around with the internal EQ or the amp EQ does not solve the problem.
If anyone out there has tried a good combo of active monitor, spk+ amp.
Could you please share your setup.
I lived in an apartment, to have an 18" woofer will not work for me. I am also aware nothing beats the acoustic,
Thanks
Ppff

Re: External speaker & Amp -Closest to the acoustic piano
Ppff #2882530 08/22/19 07:52 PM
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I've been told that keyboard amps are not suitable for use with digital pianos. So choose a pair of monitors instead.

There are many suitable monitors available, ranging from around $250 a pair up to thousands. Everyone has a recommendation ... but perhaps it would be worthwhile to try for yourself.

I noticed earlier this year that my local Guitar Center has monitors on demo. Bring your phone with music, plug it in, and listen. Perhaps you can find a similarly equipped store?

Re: External speaker & Amp -Closest to the acoustic piano
MacMacMac #2882548 08/22/19 09:12 PM
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Mac x 3 makes an excellent point.

In addition, Charles Cohen's recommendation in other threads of the EV ZX1 is an excellent one-box solution. Hmm . . . maybe it's ZXA1? Anyway, I have one of these and it does a great job. (I also have a number of powered monitor pairs, most of which are fine - but the simplicity of the EV is really nice!)

Re: External speaker & Amp -Closest to the acoustic piano
Ppff #2882556 08/22/19 09:46 PM
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Thanks for the reply.
May I ask why keyboard amp is not suitable for digital piano?
I thought they are supposed to build for the digital piano.
The studio monitor are mainly use for mix down, it may be good for hiphop and modern music but may not be suitable for classical piano.
When I listened the piano sound thru the headphone, it seems acceptable but I do not enjoy playing with my headphone all the time.
In terms of woofer size, what size of a monitor will give a clear lower octave sound, i.e. every note that I play on my Left hand is clean.
Thanks

Re: External speaker & Amp -Closest to the acoustic piano
Ppff #2882560 08/22/19 10:16 PM
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I don't know why this is so because I've never owned a keyboard amp. But I've read it many times.
Originally Posted by Ppff
May I ask why keyboard amp is not suitable for digital piano? I thought they are supposed to build for the digital piano.

Speakers are suitable for any kind of music.
Originally Posted by Ppff
The studio monitor are mainly use for mix down, it may be good for hiphop and modern music but may not be suitable for classical piano.
Monitors are directional and won't fill a room. They're for the performer. If that suits you, get 'em.

Re: External speaker & Amp -Closest to the acoustic piano
Ppff #2882577 08/22/19 10:46 PM
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I did own one of the Roland keyboard amps - don't know why it didn't sound good, but it didn't. Btw, the EV speaker I mentioned above is a "PA" speaker, so it can fill a nice-sized space. But it's clean and honest, without flaws or peaks I hear in some other PA-style speakers. For me, the EV sounds good when I'm just listening to myself and also if there are other folks in the room.

PS: I'm not trying to "sell" you on the EV too hard - I just think it's a high-quality (and compact) option that's reasonably affordable if you buy just one. Again, Charles Cohen can answer much more than I about the EV speaker and its application and performance, should you wish to explore more.

Re: External speaker & Amp -Closest to the acoustic piano
Ppff #2882839 08/23/19 06:56 PM
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Thanks, I will see if I can find the EV ZX1 in Oz.
BTW, long ago, I have tried out a EV sentry monitor, it is a vintage piece, and it sounds terrible.
Sound is compressed and does not have the clarity that I am after, but things may change. This is just my first impression.
Apart from EV, is there any other active speakers or monitor.
What about Alesis??
Someone mentioned the monitor suppose to project sound directional and whereas PA speakers supposed to fill a room.
From a live run & home application, does anyone tried out Fender Passport type of setup or Stagepass from Peavey??
Any comment

Re: External speaker & Amp -Closest to the acoustic piano
Ppff #2882871 08/23/19 09:22 PM
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Dnt know your budget, but my suggestion, you can choose a pair of high quality monitors with 5.5~7 inchs mid-low unit, and a subwoofer.
For example, Adam A5x or A7x with a sub7 or sub8.


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Re: External speaker & Amp -Closest to the acoustic piano
Ppff #2882882 08/23/19 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Ppff
Thanks for the reply.
May I ask why keyboard amp is not suitable for digital piano?
I thought they are supposed to build for the digital piano.
The studio monitor are mainly use for mix down, it may be good for hiphop and modern music but may not be suitable for classical piano.
When I listened the piano sound thru the headphone, it seems acceptable but I do not enjoy playing with my headphone all the time.
In terms of woofer size, what size of a monitor will give a clear lower octave sound, i.e. every note that I play on my Left hand is clean.
Thanks

Keyboard amps, like PA’s are designed to project sound a long way and fill a large space. There is a trade off between accuracy and projecting sound to fill a large space. Good quality nearfield monitors do the opposite— focus on accuracy at the expense of filling even a medium size space. Home stereo speakers are in the middle of that continuum.

Roland keyboard amps use standard piezoelectric horn tweeters that always have nasty peaks somewhere in the high end sufficient to compromise the voicing of a piano.

To amplify a digital piano for a performance, powered PA amps by QSC, JBL, Yamaha, or Electrovoice work better than many keyboard amps. There also are some high end keyboard amps that work as well as a good PA, but none of these are as accurate as a good quality nearfield monitor.


My chronological list of the top 20 composers: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Wagner, Verdi, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Debussy, Bartok, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich.
Re: External speaker & Amp -Closest to the acoustic piano
Ppff #2882883 08/23/19 10:00 PM
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Roland KC amps are about giving you a lot of loudness for the money. If you need to keep up with a guitarist and you have a moderate budget, a KC will do it for you. But piano is the hardest instrument to get sounding right, and the KC is the wrong tool for the job. You want something that is about accuracy rather than volume. In a small space for personal use, small studio monitors will do the job (a lot of people find the JBL LSR305 series to be a good value). For live band scenarios, quality PA speakers (EV, QSC, etc.) are good choices. Or for a self-contained multi-channel stereo amp, maybe look at Motion Sound.

Re: External speaker & Amp -Closest to the acoustic piano
Ppff #2882910 08/24/19 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Ppff
Thanks, I will see if I can find the EV ZX1 in Oz.
BTW, long ago, I have tried out a EV sentry monitor, it is a vintage piece, and it sounds terrible.
Sound is compressed and does not have the clarity that I am after, but things may change. This is just my first impression.
Apart from EV, is there any other active speakers or monitor.
What about Alesis??
Someone mentioned the monitor suppose to project sound directional and whereas PA speakers supposed to fill a room.
From a live run & home application, does anyone tried out Fender Passport type of setup or Stagepass from Peavey??
Any comment

Are you looking to amplify for a performance or to play for yourself? If the latter, don’t get a PA speaker. Compared to studio monitors, you will pay more for lower sound quality. I currently use a JBL EON 612 to amplify a keyboard for a performance. It is not perfect, but it meets my needs ok. It actually does better with piano sounds than it does with Nord organ sounds.

Digital pianos with a virtual piano technician feature can compensate for voicing problems with a PA, but it can be tedious.

I use JBL LSR305 studio monitors. I’m on my second pair (sold the first pair but didn’t like the monitors I acquired as a replacement/upgrade and bought another pair of LSR305’s). They have worked well for me, but apparently some people have received defective copies when purchasing that had issues with too loud of a noise floor with the tweeter amp. I don’t know how prevalent that issue is. JBL monitors are less directional than many other studio monitors, which is good for using them as keyboard monitors, but not so good for using them as mixing monitors. Presonus has monitors that are comparably priced but I’ve not used them.

KRK recently came out with their gen 4 monitors that are class D bi-amped and have a DSP room correction feature. By using class D amps it also addresses a problem with previous versions of KRK active monitors where their AB amps would overheat and circuitry would detect it and turn off the monitor while you are playing (or recording). KRK monitors in the past tended to accentuate mid-bass, but this may be fixed or fixable in the G4 products with DSP correction profiles.


My chronological list of the top 20 composers: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Wagner, Verdi, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Debussy, Bartok, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich.
Re: External speaker & Amp -Closest to the acoustic piano
pwl #2882918 08/24/19 02:18 AM
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Originally Posted by pwl
Mac x 3 makes an excellent point.

In addition, Charles Cohen's recommendation in other threads of the EV ZX1 is an excellent one-box solution. Hmm . . . maybe it's ZXA1? Anyway, I have one of these and it does a great job. (I also have a number of powered monitor pairs, most of which are fine - but the simplicity of the EV is really nice!)


Nice things about the EV ZXA1-90B (designed as a combination "stage monitor" and "PA speaker"):

. . . It has an 8" woofer and rather large horn-loaded tweeter -- its frequency range is wide enough for 88 keys. There is not much power in the fundamental of the lowest octave on a piano (27-54 Hz, roughly). The ZXA1 is flat down to 60 Hz, so it handles the first harmonic (where there _is_ power) and higher harmonics OK. You won't need a subwoofer.

. . . It has a lot of power -- it will produce "live piano"sound levels, without distorting. As a PA system, it's fine for about 100 people. It will _not_ fill a 500-seat church -- I've tried.

. . . It weighs less than 20 pounds, and is easy to carry. You can orient the tweeter for use with the cabinet vertical, or horizontal.

. . . It has independent "line level" and "mic level" inputs. Add a dynamic mic, and you have an instant PA system, that will
. . . play from any audio source.

. . . Unlike most "studio monitors", it has a steel grille over the loudspeakers; you can put it in a car trunk and not worry.

. . . I got it on the recommendation of another PianoWorld user, who used it as a gigging PA system, and was very happy.

. . . When I started using it, I got compliments on its sound from other musicians.

To my ears, it has flat frequency response, and clean sound. It's overkill for home use, but it doesn't mind spending most of its life on a table in my workroom, pointed at my head. I could afford and find a place for one ZXA1 -- not two. So I play monophonic piano, when I'm not using headphones.

I'd bet it's available in Australia. It's been on the market for a long time.

There are a bunch of "studio monitors" available -- JBL, KRK, Yamaha. There is lots of subjectivity, each has its favorites. IMHO, get something with _at least_ a 5" woofer -- 8" seems to satisfy almost everyone.

I tried, once, using a Yamaha StagePas system with 8" woofers with my PX-350 -- it was great! It's better to have a powerful system loafing, than to have an under-powered system distorting.

Have fun searching --


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: External speaker & Amp -Closest to the acoustic piano
Ppff #2882921 08/24/19 02:32 AM
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i forgot the one not-so-nice thing about the ZXA1:

. . . It's not cheap.


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: External speaker & Amp -Closest to the acoustic piano
Charles Cohen #2882972 08/24/19 09:47 AM
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Are you going to play in your apartment unit or you want to perform publicly?

You should look for something with a wide frequency response PA or monitor speakers.

But almost all of the PA speakers I have seen so far have horrible frequency response. You don't need an amp nor a PA inside an apartment unit.

You need a nice pair of monitor speakers. Like Yamaha HS series or Adam a5x or 7x.

That being said, your output will never sound like an acoustic piano. The only difference is the samples you'll hear will be more detailed and balanced (flat).

To get a real acoustic piano sound, you should buy a ... piano.


Kawai MP7SE, Yamaha MOTF XF6, Yamaha WX5, Yamaha Pacifica 112v
Re: External speaker & Amp -Closest to the acoustic piano
Charles Cohen #2883010 08/24/19 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
i forgot the one not-so-nice thing about the ZXA1:

. . . It's not cheap.

It's all relative. It's among the cheapest quality (i.e. good for piano) powered PA cabs you'll find. The likely alternatives from QSC, JBL, Yamaha, RCF, are generally pricier. The EV is the bargain of the category. But if it pushes your budget, I've heard good things about the cheaper ZLX-12P. It's heavier to carry around, but that's not always a factor.

Re: External speaker & Amp -Closest to the acoustic piano
Ppff #2883015 08/24/19 12:20 PM
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If this is a home situation, modern powered monitors are excellent value. Your apartment neighbours will not appreciate the subwoofer and those uber-low frequencies are not so important with piano (might be for a pipe organ VI); larger monitors will get you fine performance at lower frequencies.

But most important is room related and free of charge IMHO:

- placement of speakers in room (move around the room changing distance from walls, distance from corners, distance from you, etc). Try with speakers a metre or more from back wall. Experiment with speaker distance from each other and distance from your ears.

- basic room treatments (basic add/move around/remove) a rug, curtains, bookshelfs, furniture without going overboard).

Re: External speaker & Amp -Closest to the acoustic piano
Charles Cohen #2883061 08/24/19 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
i forgot the one not-so-nice thing about the ZXA1:

. . . It's not cheap.


The other is that it no longer appears to be a current product. There still are a few vendors with new stock for sale. The only reason to use a powered PA for personal practice is if it is practicing material for a performance, so you want to practice it with the speaker system that will be used in the performance.


My chronological list of the top 20 composers: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Wagner, Verdi, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Debussy, Bartok, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich.
Re: External speaker & Amp -Closest to the acoustic piano
Ppff #2883125 08/24/19 09:12 PM
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For EV ZLX- not many vendor carried the stock, also it will be difficult to try it in my system at home.
In related to studio monitor, I am surprised they can cost up to few thousands on an Adam, Genelec, does this speakers really worth the money. How many times better than the EV or Yamaha HS.
Also looked into PA powered speakers, I went to a vendor, they have a pair of passive Nexo PS8, it sounds really good, but they do not have digital piano or syn to try out. When the volume goes up, it really filled up the high ceiling warehouse. The price however is also stunning. 5 digits price point. QSC seems a bite more reasonable.

One of you guys mentioned "Compared to studio monitors, you will pay more for lower sound quality. I currently use a JBL EON 612 to amplify a keyboard for a performance. It is not perfect, but it meets my needs ok. It actually does better with piano sounds than it does with Nord organ sounds.
Does that mean a studio monitor will sounds better than a PA speakers in general? Somehow if I can get a set of speakers can use both home and live, it will be great.

I want my digital piano sounds like an acoustic in a room- 10 m X 10 m. Would a studio monitor able to provide 1. Sound level 2. Bass response as compared to a PA speaker like JBL EON 612.
I have never measure the db for an acoustic piano say" Baby Grand".


JBL EON is more accessible in this country than EV for some reason.

Someone also mentioned Stagepas, what about Fender Passport? Given the price point, are these portable PA will compromise the overall performance. Has someone used this for live and home setup?

Re: External speaker & Amp -Closest to the acoustic piano
Ppff #2883127 08/24/19 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Ppff
Does that mean a studio monitor will sounds better than a PA speakers in general? Somehow if I can get a set of speakers can use both home and live, it will be great.

Speaking just in generalities here... Studio monitors will sound better but will be unsuitable for live ensemble use. They are ideal when placed for a listening audience of one as opposed to having to cover a wide listening area of dispersed listeners; they don't go as loud; they are not in road-worthy cabinetry and so are likely to get damaged. You can more easily get by with PA speakers for home than studio monitors for live.

Re: External speaker & Amp -Closest to the acoustic piano
Ppff #2883142 08/24/19 11:08 PM
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One thing to keep in mind is that filling a large space requires moving more air and thus a larger driver for a given frequency response. Thus, a PA with a 12” driver may not have any more bass extension than a studio monitor with a 5” driver.

Expensive studio monitors may not sound better than cheaper ones, and may even sound worse for some content. They are designed for audio engineering work, to reveal what is going on in a mix. How good they sound will be commensurate with how well the content played was engineered. Pricing in USD, I personally would not consider any studio monitors costing over $800/pr for digital piano monitors, though some people do spend more. I thing that there are perfectly good options in the $300-400/pr range.





My chronological list of the top 20 composers: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Wagner, Verdi, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Debussy, Bartok, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich.
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