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Spacestation v3 keyboard amp for AP sounds

Posted By: thomsurf

Spacestation v3 keyboard amp for AP sounds - 05/26/15 03:20 PM

So, this amp is currently subject for a very, very long thread on another forum for keyboards. Just thought it deserved it's own thread over here with focus on DPs.
I live in Europe so I haven't gotten mine yet, but I'm pretty sure I will as soon as they become available.
For those who hasn't heard of this amp, I encourage you to learn more. It MIGHT just be the source of sound many of us has been looking for.
Would be happy to hear if any members of this forum has some gig reports or other experiences using mostly piano patches. Chime in guys.
Posted By: David Farley

Re: Spacestation v3 keyboard amp for AP sounds - 05/26/15 06:51 PM

I've been following that long thread on another forum with interest. I like the idea of a speaker I could put anywhere in the room where I keep my digital piano that would sound "stereo" no matter where one stood. What's stopped me from getting one is the setup I have right now works great when I'm sitting at the piano, and for the price it seems a little risky. I get the impression that some adjustment might be needed between different kinds of voices, and that most people also eventually add a subwoofer. That puts it over the "buy and try" limit for me, but I'd love to hear what other people think about it.
Posted By: moleskincrusher

Re: Spacestation v3 keyboard amp for AP sounds - 05/26/15 09:53 PM

Thank you, David Farley, for starting this thread. I got my SSV3 less than 2 weeks ago and am very happy with it, but I've had to change my notions of a lifetime of amplifying keyboards. The SSV3's creator described the sound of the little amp as a lightbulb, contrasted with the flashlight of a conventional amp or stereo setup. A few points:

(1) Unless you anchor a band with Hammond+Leslie, you do not need a subwoofer.
It just muddies up the lows (unless it's a $1,500 one from JL Audio or the equivalent) and if you're in a band it just gets in the way of the bass player.

(2) You'll be disappointed if you audition it standing directly in front of it. There is no sweet spot. You must be at least 6 feet away and off-axis and it should sit on the floor against a wall, in a corner or with a false wall you've created behind it.

(3) Unless you're in a totally dead room, do not set the Width control very high. The reviewer in Keyboard Magazine (May 2015 issue), Dave Bryce, set his at about 11 o'clock, and his MF knob at 10 o'clock and his HF knob at 1 o'clock. Keep the SSV3's volume level at 9 or 10 o'clock and crank up your piano's volume if you need to.

(4) The SSV3 is not for everyone. For instance, Dave Ferris is sticking with his $3K+ rig after describing, respectfully and insightfully, his experiences with the SSV3 on Keyboard Corner. Also, you can't try before buying as it's only available at Sweetwater ($749) and Thomann (E773).

My gigging piano is the Casio PX-5S. It no longer contains many factory-supplied settings and I've gratefully replaced its AP sounds with those contributed by members of the Casio Music Forums. My go-to AP patches: "9 Foot Concert Grand" and Dave Weiser's "Gig Piano 2". To me they sound gratifyingly rich and fat, and ultra-realistic, through the SSV3.

Hope this sparks a lively discussion among Piano World's wonderful posters.
Posted By: jeffreyfranz

Re: Spacestation v3 keyboard amp for AP sounds - 05/26/15 11:52 PM

Thanks for the informative response, moleskincrusher. I am interested in this concept, and I suspect others are, as well.
Posted By: pianomike

Re: Spacestation v3 keyboard amp for AP sounds - 05/27/15 12:32 AM

I ordered mine last October and received it around February , I was hoping it would be a great sounding portable stereo amplifier, but I was denied. Ive played multiple key boards through it and certain electric piano sounds and synth sounds are almost not inteligable, they are so foggy and no matter what I do I can not get the volume up on some of the sounds. The pianos do come through loud but are a little harsh. Ive recorded songs on my es 100 and played them back through the ssv3 and could here the stereo effect, then I played the songs through my two zxa 1 ev speakers . I think the ssv3 is louder but the electrovoices in my opinion deffinetly sound better. I like the size and weight of the ssv3 but will only use it for a practice amp if I have to leave my equipment over some one elses house.Sorry to be so blunt, but like the guy said who sold me my 1939 ford tractor, it is what it is.
Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Spacestation v3 keyboard amp for AP sounds - 05/27/15 04:18 AM

Originally Posted by thomsurf
So, this amp is currently subject for a very, very long thread on another forum for keyboards. Just thought it deserved it's own thread over here with focus on DPs.
I live in Europe so I haven't gotten mine yet, but I'm pretty sure I will as soon as they become available.
For those who hasn't heard of this amp, I encourage you to learn more. It MIGHT just be the source of sound many of us has been looking for.
Would be happy to hear if any members of this forum has some gig reports or other experiences using mostly piano patches. Chime in guys.


It might work better for you with RD800 then it did for me with the brighter CP4. Tone is very personal and subjective.

I used the SS twice on two somewhat varying gigs. Luckily for me , Aspen's studio is only 20-25 minutes from my house , so I was able to swing by multiple times for pick-up and drop-off.

Yes, I preferred the overall tone of my RCF TT08As ($2500 for the pair on open box special) & JMK Audio JM-110 di/preamp ($1000) over it. The clarity, definition, pristine realism , immediacy and weight of sound won out for me over the SS. I also felt the SS amp introduced some unpleasant digital artifacts (which pretty much gave it a harsh sound ) in higher registers on single note lines for jazz. This may, or may not, be less evident with the RD-800.

All that said, you can't beat the convenience of the plug in and play, no extra patch cords , no worrying about placement issues with two stereo speakers --all in one box. And at only $750 US.

Like I said on KC, I never say never. I have one gig coming up next month where I'm going to give it yet another shot. Maybe the third time's a charm ! smile

Originally Posted by pianomike
then I played the songs through my two zxa 1 ev speakers . I think the ssv3 is louder but the electrovoices in my opinion deffinetly sound better..


I haven't heard the 8" ZXAs and SS side by side but I'd probably feel the same way I'm guessing. I think those particular EVs are some of the best sounding inexpensive speakers for piano that I've heard.

Also like I said over there already - this is just one guy's opinion. wink
Posted By: thomsurf

Re: Spacestation v3 keyboard amp for AP sounds - 05/27/15 07:41 PM

It's wierd, but also very welcoming, to read some critical reviews. Seems like almost nobody had anything negative to say about the SS.
I'm very picky about my tone and haven't found the zxa's to be all that great for piano. They're nice but it always takes too much tweaking to get a descent tone. But the are better than anything else I've come across around that price range (and even JBLs that were almost twice the price).
Posted By: 36251

Re: Spacestation v3 keyboard amp for AP sounds - 05/27/15 10:00 PM

I own one and like it very much. I haven't played enough gigs to say love. I think about in these terms. Two powered monitors sound great to you as the player but the sweet spot fades. The allure of the SS, to me, is a combination of only having to bring one speaker and that everyone will hear a stereo sound but granted not as R/L as the powered monitors.
Posted By: anotherscott

Re: Spacestation v3 keyboard amp for AP sounds - 05/28/15 03:09 AM

Originally Posted by thomsurf
It's wierd, but also very welcoming, to read some critical reviews. Seems like almost nobody had anything negative to say about the SS.
I'm very picky about my tone and haven't found the zxa's to be all that great for piano. They're nice but it always takes too much tweaking to get a descent tone. But the are better than anything else I've come across around that price range (and even JBLs that were almost twice the price).

I also like the ZXa1 better than the JBL PRX612M and also Yamaha, QSC, and RCF speakers in similar price range. Though one speaker I liked better was the JBL PRX 625. As for the SpaceStation, out of the box, I thought it did not sound as good for piano as the ZXa1. With tweaking of its controls and a little EQ at the board, I got it to sound marginally better than the ZXa1... but then, to be fair, I should have also tweaked EQ to see if I could improve the ZXa1 sounds as well, but I didn't bother. For me, for piano, I preferred to stick with the ZXa1 which sounded good enough out of the box rather than going with the much heavier SpaceStation which required tweaking to get to comparably acceptable quality. The spaciousness is a nice effect, though. I feel you can get something of that effect (though not exactly the same) with a pair of ZXa1 placed near each other but angled away from each other. And a pair of ZXa1 is still lighter/easier to carry than the Spacestation, and again, is more "plug and play." Though also a bit more expensive.
Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Spacestation v3 keyboard amp for AP sounds - 06/23/15 05:49 AM

After a 3rd demo last week , on a big stage in a huge ballroom, I ended up getting one from Aspen.

I won't use it all the time as I still highly prefer the sound of my two RCF TT08As & JMK Audio JM-110 pre/di.

But the convenience and functional factor won out for me. There are so many gigs where I just want to get in and out with minimum hassle not having to deal with - schlepping 2 boxes for stereo effect, plugging in all the cables , placement of the 2 speakers , do I bring in speaker poles…it never ends. cry

This definitely makes gigging life a lot easier. One box, one ac cord and two instrument cords…done. thumb

The stereo imaging is pretty good, and for me it's preferable to running straight mono. And I guess sonically *good enough* to spend the dough on it and use it in certain gig situations.
Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Spacestation v3 keyboard amp for AP sounds - 06/26/15 04:55 PM

I've been curious as to how the Nord Fazioli would sound with the SS, being it's so different, sonically, then the Yamaha CFX on the CP4. So last night in a 1000 seat concert hall, I attended a rehearsal of an orchestra where the keyboard player was using the SS with his NE3HP. On the break, I went up on the large, open stage and played his keyboard for a few minutes. The Fazioli L really sounded great! !

Different then the Yamaha CP4 , maybe more open and airy sounding. Although I'd have to both side by side to be sure. But I heard enough to be very impressed with the way the SS made that Fazioli sample really breath. The sustain seemed better too. Also the piano didn't seem to thin out as dramatically on the higher end.

So now I wish I had my NP2 again. grin
Posted By: rocket88

Re: Spacestation v3 keyboard amp for AP sounds - 06/27/15 03:42 PM

[quote=moleskincrusher]

(2) You'll be disappointed if you audition it standing directly in front of it. There is no sweet spot. You must be at least 6 feet away and off-axis and it should sit on the floor against a wall, in a corner or with a false wall you've created behind it.

I am having a hard time visualizing this...any way you could post a pic or diagram of the false wall and its placement?

Thank you in advance.
Posted By: moleskincrusher

Re: Spacestation v3 keyboard amp for AP sounds - 06/28/15 06:40 AM

Originally Posted by rocket88
[quote=moleskincrusher]

(2) You'll be disappointed if you audition it standing directly in front of it. There is no sweet spot. You must be at least 6 feet away and off-axis and it should sit on the floor against a wall, in a corner or with a false wall you've created behind it.

I am having a hard time visualizing this...any way you could post a pic or diagram of the false wall and its placement?

Thank you in advance.


Sorry, I don't have a photo, but I've done this using my Privia gigbag. Here is the text from the FAQ page of centerpointstereo.com, the manufacturer's website:

"• We therefore recommend placing it well behind you and near a back wall or in a corner...don't worry - you will hear it fine, and so will the rest of the room!

• If no wall or corner is available, an effective method of enhancing the CPS effect can be achieved by placing a reflective surface behind the speaker, such as a few guitar cases in a "V" configuration; or, you can use a hinged panel forming a "corner" behind the Side speaker and projecting it's energy forward to manipulate the Front speaker."
Posted By: rocket88

Re: Spacestation v3 keyboard amp for AP sounds - 06/28/15 12:06 PM

Thanks!
Posted By: thomsurf

Re: Spacestation v3 keyboard amp for AP sounds - 06/29/15 07:54 PM

I appreciate your reports, Dave Ferris.

When I play my RD800 at home using quality Adam monitors I prefer a darker, more 'woolen' piano patch but this sounds terrible when I'm playing live with my EV's. Then a brighter, lighter patch sounds much better and cuts through.

Sounds like the SS would prefer the brighter patch.

Still in doubt if I should get a Spacestation.
Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Spacestation v3 keyboard amp for AP sounds - 06/29/15 10:36 PM

The tone will definitely be less hi-fi and detailed with the SS then either your EVs, and of course the Adams. It's all whether you can be happy with the sonic compromise over the convenience factor, along with (and I still find this subjective) being heard better by the band members and out in the audience.

Everyone that has one says it's an acquired taste that can take some time to get used to. Again, I've only used the SS on 3 gigs. It's without question still a work in progress for me.
Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Spacestation v3 keyboard amp for AP sounds - 07/31/15 05:13 PM

If there is anyone in the LA/So Cal area looking on and interested - I have my SpaceStation v3 for sale.

$650 cash with cover. Sorry but local pickup only. I am willing to meet part of the way if someone is coming from up North or San Diego area.

As you can see from recent posts in this thread, it's just over a month old. I have not yet taken it outside my studio for a gig. I bought the unit directly from Aspen after using 3 different demo amps of his.

I still like it, but I honestly think I'll use my RCF TT08As/JMK Audio JM-110 di/pre configuration more often. Basically I could use the $$$ to put towards the HD800 Sennheiser phones.

It has 40 minutes, at the most, playing time on it. The first week I had it, I did some A-Bing with my RCF TT08As & CP4. After that, it has sat in the corner of my studio with the cover on. So basically as brand new condition as it could possibly be.

Best to use my email for contact:
ddferris@charter.net

Thanks
Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Spacestation v3 keyboard amp for AP sounds - 08/30/15 01:35 PM

My SS has sold but thanks for the inquiries. smile
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