Best Amp for standard Piano sound?


Joined
Jul 3, 2020
Messages
13
Reaction score
8
I love the Grand Piano Concert mode on my PX-S3000, but wanted to give it a bit more volume.

First thing I did was order a VOX KB50 amp. Lots of "loud", but muddles the bass chords, especially when using the sustain pedal. I have tried turning the bass dial ALL the way down, and the mid dial partway down, but still muddies up bass chords.

So I tried a pair of Studio Monitors. First ordered a set of 3.5" PreSonus, but they were DOA when they arrived from Amazon. Couldn't even get the power light to come on. Sent them back, and ordered a pair of 3" Mackie monitors. They sound much better than the Vox at medium volumes, but when turned up still muddy the bass chords. (And in case you are interested, I didn't re-order the Presonus monitors because you have to use an adapter to connect the unbalanced output of the PX-S3000 to the unbalanced RCA inputs on the Presonus. That pushed the speaker a long way form the wall and just looked ugly. With the Mackies I can use a right-angle TRS cable and it sits almost flush against the wall behind my keyboard.)

So at this point I have relegated my Mackies to use as computer desktop speakers, and still have the VOX but rarely use it. The sound from the keyboard speakers lacks the volume I would like, but is way more of a true acoustic piano sound than when outputting it to the Vox amp or the monitors.

So my question is, does anyone have an amp or speaker recommendation when using the keyboard for pure piano purposes, not as a synth? I know I am looking at the low price-point section of the market, I didn't want to spend as much on speakers as I did on the PX-S3000, but is that what it takes to get crystal-clear piano sounds amplified?

Thanks
BL
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
3,239
Reaction score
2,072
Location
Lancashire, UK.
You are not going to get much out of tiny speakers.

Your 3” Mackies are way to small as they are.

If you do not want large monitors then the better solution would be to add a Sub-Woofer to your current Mackies, at c£300.

If you are still in the return window I would send the Mackies back and buy at least a pair with 5” speakers but the bigger the better.

The other solution is a pair of good quality headphones
 

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
9,754
Reaction score
4,169
Location
GTA, Canada
I have owned or tried various powered monitors including the Presonus 3.5's and the Mackie 3's. Agreed both are muddy because they lack dedicated EQ Controls.

What I use in my Living Room Studio is a Pair of Presonus Eris E5's and in my bedroom studio I use a pair of M-Audio B5a's with an 8" powered subwoofer from Monoprice.

The best bang for the buck is the Eris E5's. They are more modern and have plenty of Bass to crank out as well as brilliant highs. They also have extensive EQ controls on the rear panels to tailor the sound to your liking.

This is definitely a case of getting what you paid for.

My advice? For home or studio use the Presonus Eris E5's are the best bang for the buck on the market today.

Gary ;)
 
Joined
Jul 3, 2020
Messages
13
Reaction score
8
the problem seems to be TOO MUCH BASS, so going to bigger speakers does not sound like a solution to the problem. Biggles and HappyRat, do you speak from experience with the keyboard in Piano mode? The VOX was supposedly a keyboard-specific amp with an 8-inch speaker, with dedicated bass-mid-treble controls, but it puts out too much "warm" bass even with the bass control turned all the way down. i'm looking for more "crispness" in the bass chords... a sub is out of the question.
 

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
9,754
Reaction score
4,169
Location
GTA, Canada
Like I said earlier. I've only worked with the Presonus 3.5's, the Mackie 3.0's the M-Audio BX5's and the Presonus E5's as well as a Behringer K450FX and of the lot the E5's are the winners.

There's a reason the E5's sell for more than double the price of the 3.5's.

You get what you pay for.

Sound quality is clear as a bell with any instrument on my Juno DS88 and while they are more than capable of blowing out the windows in my apartment, I never crank them up more than about 30% of full power.

Do a google search on Audio Dynamic Headroom to gain an understanding of output power and it's relation to distortion.

Gary ;)
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
630
Reaction score
289
The JBL LSR305 and its replacement 305P Mk II are well liked for musicians' monitors. But if the muddiness is happening with sustain pedal, it is also possible that you're holding the sustain pedal down too much. Also, pedal down string resonances, while a nice feature, can also increase a sense of muddiness, particularly if you're playing in mono (as on your Vox), so you might want to see if that's something you can turn on/off in the Casio.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jul 3, 2020
Messages
13
Reaction score
8
The JBL LSR305 and its replacement 305P Mk II are well liked for musicians' monitors. But if the muddiness is happening with sustain pedal, it is also possible that you're holding the sustain pedal down too much. Also, pedal down string resonances, while a nice feature, can also increase a sense of muddiness, particularly if you're playing in mono (as on your Vox), so you might want to see if that's something you can turn on/off in the Casio.
Yes, I can control the string resonance, and that is a good idea. I'll play with it and report back...
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2014
Messages
1,768
Reaction score
1,662
Location
Adelaide, Australia
But if the muddiness is happening with sustain pedal, it is also possible that you're holding the sustain pedal down too much.
I would definitely investigate this - you might find with a change to your pedaling technique you can resolve a good chunk of the issue at zero cost. A REAL piano will also sound muddy if you over-pedal densely voiced bass notes and chords.
 
Joined
Jul 3, 2020
Messages
13
Reaction score
8
I would definitely investigate this - you might find with a change to your pedaling technique you can resolve a good chunk of the issue at zero cost. A REAL piano will also sound muddy if you over-pedal densely voiced bass notes and chords.
I might buy into that if it was happening when I am using just the piano speakers as well. But there is a notable difference in clarity using and amp or just the built in speakers; the built-ins win every time.
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2014
Messages
1,768
Reaction score
1,662
Location
Adelaide, Australia
I might buy into that if it was happening when I am using just the piano speakers as well. But there is a notable difference in clarity using and amp or just the built in speakers; the built-ins win every time.
Trying to think of other cost-effective solutions for you - what opportunity is there to EQ the sound on the keyboard before sending to the speakers, and does this make an appreciable difference?

Another consideration might be the acoustics of your room itself. I see a lot of hard surfaces, including the flooring. Wondering if experimenting with taming some reflections might help with your clarity?
 
Last edited:
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jul 3, 2020
Messages
13
Reaction score
8
ANotherScott, turning off the string resonance helped a lot. Still not as clear as the factor speakers, but better.
 
Ad

Advertisements


Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top