PC3LE7 piano sounds "muddy"


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I'm using a Roland KC 550 amp with my PC3LE7. As best I can describe it, My piano sounds are "muddy". It sounds like there's a light blanket over my amp. But when I practice with headphones on the piano sounds are good with nice clear, crisp sounds. I've played with all of nobs on the amp but nothing really makes an improvement. I've tried playing with the patch setups but I can't see Kurzweil putting out a product that would need such tweaking out of the box. Is this a hookup thing from keys to amp? A stereo vs. mono thing?
 

happyrat1

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First of all with Kurzweil you can get slightly better output by using balanced cables for output.

Secondly, kurzweil does tend to output at lower levels to preserve overhead for multilayered voices.

Kurzweil has a FAQ page describing how to correct this.

http://kurzweil.com/knowledgebase/pc3/audio_output/267/

Otherwise, unless your amp is somehow deficient or defective, Kurzweils are infinitely tweakable and it pays to sit down with the manuals and learn about the insert effects.

Gary ;)
 
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It's the amp. The KC-550 is a POS and the cause of the muddiness, evidenced by the fact that through headphones the piano sounds crisp. We've all experienced what you're going through. Get yourself a decent powered speaker and all will be well.

http://www.proaudiostar.com/electro-voice-zlx-12p.html?utm_source=Google_Shopping&gclid=CI3Z_ZXN7NACFY6Cswod9KcC9A

$350 new, $280 used ..... Assuming that you could sell your KC-550 for $150, your new investment would only cost you between $130 and $200. Don't buy a Ferrari and put pepboy discount tires on the car. Not only will the speaker sound better but it has far more power, can get far more louder (if needed) and weighs 30 pounds less (i.e. half the weight).

I used to use a KB300 and scrapped it for the same reason. I purchased an ELX-112P, big brother to the ZLX12P. The issue is gone.
 
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Get yourself a decent powered speaker and all will be well.
+1 for this comment Bremerbnj.

I've never used a dedicated keyboard amp as I've never like the way they've sounded when trialled in store. In my younger days I'd use a bass combo but these days I use a powered speaker for all the reasons Dave has outlined. They've come a long way in recent years.
 

Fred Coulter

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Can the powered speaker be used in a church? My piano teacher is complaining about the sound of the keyboard they've got, and asked me for recommendations.
 
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Powered speakers can be used anywhere. It's basically a personal PA system. I only use mine for monitoring or rehearsing but plenty of guys use them as FOH sound.

I guess it would depend on what sound setup the church has now. Also don't discount the fact that the keyboard they've got might just sound crappy, good amplification or not!
 

Fred Coulter

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She was complaining about the lack of bass, and my first thought was how small internal speakers are.

I've asked her to tell me what brand and model the keyboard is. I also offered bring a keyboard amp to the church next Sunday. I've got a Barbetta that's worked for me. If it sounds better through an external amp, then we'll do more research. If it doesn't, then I may suggest shooting the keyboard.
 

happyrat1

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Fred >>> If lack of bass is the problem then I'd heartily recommend a subwoofer.

I owned these

https://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-Carbon-Black-Studio-Monitor/dp/B00PRD8ZXY

and added this

https://www.amazon.com/Mackie-MR10Smk3-10-Inch-Powered-Subwoofer/dp/B00EA25G12

When I had a problem with anaemic bass response.

Even when I lived in a house I never dared crank it up past 3 in volume and now that I live in an apartment I'm afraid to even hook it up.

But a subwoofer/satellite system might be a serious way to go for a church venue.

And the models I listed have excellent sonic characteristics for a reasonable amount of money.

Gary ;)
 

Fred Coulter

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Looking at my question about use in a church, I'm amazed at how poorly I worded it. The question isn't whether it can be used in a church, but whether it's volume would work in a typical church. (One that an old Clavinova is currently being used in without external speakers.)

Although I don't remember it being listed in Leviticus as a forbidden act.
 

happyrat1

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Churches are usually designed, at least the older ones, as natural amplifiers meant to radiate and amplify sound from the pulpit out to the congregation without the benefit of a PA system.

The mere fact that your teacher is using an organ without external speakers testifies to this acoustic property.

Assuming it's a typical small to medium hall, built to accommodate a congregation of between 150 to 250 people the units I listed would fill the place with pure sound with little to no difficulty.

For that matter, if the church does possess a PA system and a mic for the preacher, then one is led to wonder why they haven't hooked up the keyboard to the PA already?

Gary ;)
 

happyrat1

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And Leviticus and my Lobster Thermidor are in fundamental disagreement, hence I side with the tasty rather than the holy :D

Gary ;)
 
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Thanks for your replies and advice! Interesting how it morphed into church, but that's cool! Yeah, I'm going to ditch the 550 and go to a powered speaker. Have read QSC's are good, any other recommendations? Mackie, JBL?

Thanks again!
 

Fred Coulter

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My teacher checked the piano at her church. It's a Yamaha Clavinova 411, with a whopping 32 notes of polyphony and 14 sounds. At least it has line outs.

Next step is to bring an amp I have lying around to see if the sound improves.
 
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Thanks for your replies and advice! Interesting how it morphed into church, but that's cool! Yeah, I'm going to ditch the 550 and go to a powered speaker. Have read QSC's are good, any other recommendations? Mackie, JBL?

Thanks again!
I use a PC3K7 with a Mackie 1202 VLZ4 mixer and a pair of QSC K10's and the sound is fabulous! Yes, the speakers are a bit pricey but you only get what you pay for and at only 14Kg each, they are easy to carry around.
 

Fred Coulter

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I went to the church on Sunday morning. I lent her a Mackie FreePlay (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/FreePlay) that I wasn't using. It gave her the volume and sound she was looking for.

I'm not going to recommend it to her because it's primary reason to exist is running off the grid. But in the meantime she's happy. (On the other hand, given the current price...)
 
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I'm using a Roland KC 550 amp with my PC3LE7. As best I can describe it, My piano sounds are "muddy". It sounds like there's a light blanket over my amp. But when I practice with headphones on the piano sounds are good with nice clear, crisp sounds. I've played with all of nobs on the amp but nothing really makes an improvement. I've tried playing with the patch setups but I can't see Kurzweil putting out a product that would need such tweaking out of the box. Is this a hookup thing from keys to amp? A stereo vs. mono thing?
stereo is king,... that being sad, the KC series especially the 500 are some woolly sounding rigs...Presonus Air 10's are killer I have tried these several times on live gigs...even tried a beta... man they are killer ..saving for a pair now...they are as accurate and transparent as I have heard yet ...QSC and EV also have great offerings...Alto's are a bit excited and boomy in low end (even the 10's)
 

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