The Best Keyboard Amps - $90 to $1000

Keyboard amplifiers

Originally published on May. 3, 2016. and updated on September 1, 2017.

Keyboard amplifiers tend to be quite versatile with many able to amplify a wide range of input sources from keyboards and synths to vocals, electronic drums, acoustic guitars, bass, drum machines and backing machines. Some of the multi-channel options can even be used as small PA systems ideal for practice sessions or performing in small venues.

This is the 2017 updated version of this guide and because there have been few new amps come onto the market since last year, our recommendations are almost the same as they were before. The main difference this year is that the Behringer Ultratone KXD12 now has high enough ratings to be included at the expense of the Roland KC-110 . There's nothing wrong with the KC-110, so if you're interested in a battery powered amp then check out our separate Roland KC-110 Meta Review.

Contents

The Best Keyboard Amps

The Best Keyboard Amp Under $100

Behringer Ultratone KT108

82
GEARANK

82 out of 100. Incorporating 200+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$90
Behringer Ultratone KT108 15W 2-Channel Keyboard Amp

This was the only keyboard amp we found in the sub-$100 price range which we could recommend.

It's a 15 watt amp with two channels which each have independent volume control.

It is used by keyboard players and also by people playing electronic drums.

The Behringer Ultratone KT108 is not a perfectly transparent amp because it includes Virtual Tube Circuitry to warm the tone up.

Key Features:

  • Output Power: 15 Watts - NB Behringer's website says the amp is 15W and the speaker is 20W which leads to confusion - just consider it to be a 15W amp.
  • Number of Channels: 2.
  • Inputs: 2 x 1/4" TS instrument/phone and 1 CD in .
  • Outputs: 1/4" TRS stereo headphone.
  • Speakers: single 8" dual cone woofer.
  • Tone Control: 3-band EQ.
  • Frequency Response: Not specified.
  • Size: 12.7" x 14.1" x 6.4" (322 x 357 x 162mm).
  • Weight: 10 lb (4.5 kg).
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 3 years.

Pros

There are many positive customer reviews which say this is a good sounding amp for the money and that it's a good option for both practicing and performing at small gigs. Many people also appreciate the low weight and it's portability.

Cons

Some people complained that it doesn't have a strong bottom end - particularly when playing sounds like kick and tom drums.

Overall

If you're looking for a highly portable amp for practicing or small venues, without spending too much money, then this is a good option for you.

Best Keyboard Amps Under $200

Peavey KB 1

87
GEARANK

87 out of 100. Incorporating 100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$140
Peavey KB 1 20W 2-Channel Keyboard Amp

This is Peavey's entry level keyboard amp which can also be used for electronic drums, drum machines and backing machines.

Peavey build tough to withstand the rigors of regular transport and gigging - I used a Peavey keyboard amp for a couple of years and I can personally attest to the company's build quality

Key Features:

  • Output Power: 20 Watts.
  • Number of Channels: 2.
  • Inputs: 2 x 1/4".
  • Outputs: 1 x TRS for Headphones.
  • Speakers: 8" speaker.
  • Tone Control: 2-band EQ per channel.
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz to 10kHz.
  • Size: 13.75 x 9.00 x 14.25" (349.00 x 229.00 x 362.00 mm).
  • Weight: 17.40 lb (7.89 kg).
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 2 years.

Pros

Most of the positive customer reviews talk about it being a good practice amp or for very small venues and most said it has good quality sound for the price.

Cons

Some people complained that it doesn't sound good with low frequency drum sounds and that it lacks the volume for playing at anything other than small venues, but that is to be expected from a 20W amp.

Overall

It's very well rated as a practice amp or as a stage monitor - if that's what you need and you want Peavey ruggedness then it's a good low cost option for you.

Behringer Ultratone K450FX

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$200
Behringer Ultratone K450FX 45 Watt Keyboard Amp

The Behringer Ultratone K450FX is both a keyboard amp and a small PA system with 3 independent stereo channels, an XLR input for a dynamic mic and onboard effects including reverb, delay and more.

It is also designed to be used as an amp for electronic drums, and some acoustic guitarist / singers also use it.

Behringer have also included their FBQ Feedback Detection System which provides a control knob for eliminating feedback at specific frequencies.

Key Features:

  • Output Power: 45 Watts .
  • Number of Channels: 3.
  • Inputs: 3 x 1/4", 1 x XLR, 1 x RCA (Stereo).
  • Outputs: 1 x 1/4" Stereo Headphone Out, 1 x 1/4" Speaker Out.
  • Speakers: 1 x 10" Woofer.
  • Tone Control: 5-band EQ.
  • Frequency Response: Not specified.
  • Size: 17.375" x 16.5" x 11.75".
  • Weight:32.19 lbs.
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 3 years.

Pros

The most common positive comment from customer reviews is that this little amp is great value for the money. The onboard effects also get many positive references.

Cons

There weren't any consistently reported complaints. A couple of people said it would have been better if more detailed control of the effects were available instead of just the 100 presets it has.

Overall

If you need a versatile amp able to handle a multitude of inputs sources on a budget then this is the best value for money.

Best Keyboard Amps Under $300

Behringer Ultratone K900FX

81
GEARANK

81 out of 100. Incorporating 200+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$250
Behringer Ultratone K900FX 90W 3-channel Mixing Keyboard Amp

The Ultratone K900FX is yet another example of Behringer providing an amp with a higher power rating than their competition deliver at the same price level.

This one is a 3-channel amp delivering 90 Watts of power via a 12" woofer and a 1" tweeter which also comes with onboard effects and Behringer's FBQ Feedback Protection System.

Key Features:

  • Output Power: 90 Watts.
  • Number of Channels: 3.
  • Inputs: 3 x 1/4", 1 x XLR, 1 x RCA (Stereo).
  • Outputs: 2 x 1/4".
  • Speakers: 1 x 12" Woofer + 1 x 1" tweeter.
  • Tone Control: 5-band EQ.
  • Frequency Response: Not specified.
  • Size: 17.375" x 16.875" x 11.75".
  • Weight: 41.45 lbs.
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 3 years.

Pros

A common comment in positive reviews is that this amp sounds clean and crisp. Many reviewers were satisfied with the volume it produces.

Cons

A small number of people complained that it wasn't loud enough for them but they were part of a small minority of customer reviews. One reviewer pointed out this was because it's only 30 Watts per channel.

Overall

If you need to sing through your amp, as well as putting your instruments through it, the this is a good budget personal PA and Keyboard Amp combination.

Peavey KB 2

83
GEARANK

83 out of 100. Incorporating 125+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$280
Peavey KB 2 40W 3 Channel Keyboard Amp

Peavey bills their KB 2 as being a compact sound system which can be used with just about any type of electronic instrument and musicians such as Peter Keys from Lynyrd Skynyrd use the Peavey KB range of amps.

It has 4 independent channels with the first 2 channels having 1/4" instrument inputs with 2-band EQ, channel 3 has both XLR and 1/4" inputs with 3-band EQ, and channel 4 is a for using it as a monitor and it has it's own level control.

It also has an effects send/return loop and a balanced XLR main out.

Key Features:

  • Output Power: 2 output channels - internal is 45 Watts and the output channel is 12 Watts into 8 Ohms.
  • Number of Inputs Channels: 4.
  • Inputs: 2 x 1/4" on first 2 channels, 1/4" & XLR on channel 3, and channel 4 is 1/4" monitor with level control.
  • Outputs: Main: XLR, Headphone: 1/4", Send: 1/4".
  • Speakers: 10" coaxial with crossover at 3.5 kHz.
  • Tone Control: 2-band EQ on channels 1 & 2 and 3-band EQ on channel 3.
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20 kHz.
  • Size: 17.75" x 17" x 12.5".
  • Weight: 34 lbs.
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 2 years.

Pros

A majority of owners said it is a great sounding amp. It received positive reviews from all types of musicians from keyboard players to singers, electronic drummers and even acoustic guitarists.

Cons

A few people said it has a little more hiss than expected at high volumes but those comments were from people who gave it an overall positive review.

Overall

If you're looking for a 45 Watt versatile keyboard amp that also serves as a small PA system then this is a great choice.

Best Keyboard Amps Under $500

Behringer Ultratone KXD12

87
GEARANK

87 out of 100. Incorporating 50+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$350
Behringer Ultratone KXD12 600W 4-channel Mixing Keyboard Amp

This 4 channel amp has an XLR input that works well with microphones that don't require phantom power and many musicians report using it successfully as a small PA system to sing and play through at the same time. This includes both keyboardists and singer/acoustic guitarists and it comes with Behringer's FBQ feedback detecting system to help with that application.

The KXD12 is also used by electronic drummers and even bass players because the 12" woofer handles low frequency transients quite well while still retaining the sparkle at the high-end due to being bi-amped and having a 1" tweeter.

Key Features:

  • Output Power: 600 Watts.
  • Number of Channels: 4.
  • Inputs: 1 x XLR, 8 x 1/4", a Stereo RCA input and a 1/4" for a Footswitch.
  • Outputs: 2 x 1/4", 2 x XLR, 1 x 1/4" Stereo Link, 1 x 1/4" Subwoofer and 1 x 1/4" Headphones.
  • Speakers: 12" woofer and 1" Tweeter.
  • Tone Control: 7 band graphic EQ.
  • Size: 18.4" x 11.8" x 16.5".
  • Weight: 40.3 lbs.
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 3 years.

Pros

The KXD12 has been well received by keyboard players, electronic drummers and duos and trios that use it as a small PA. There are even some acoustic guitarists who prefer the sound of this amp over their dedicated acoustic amp. Those who used two of these with the Stereo Link were generally quite impressed with the results.

Cons

One drawback is that the 7-band EQ is applied to all channels rather than giving you the option to select which channels to apply it to, but this is common with keyboard amps. There are a few people who have complained that the power rating is not RMS saying that it sounds about as loud as a Roland amp rated at under 200 watts.

Overall

In addition to being a highly rated keyboard amp, the KXD12 has found a place as a small PA and as an amp for electronic drums.

Roland KC-150

88
GEARANK

88 out of 100. Incorporating 150+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$450
Roland KC-150 65 Watt 4-Channel Keyboard Amp

This is a 4 channel amp with volume control on each channel and a master 2-band EQ. It has an XLR input for dynamic microphones and a stereo RCA Auxiliary input.

Like all the Roland KC series amps it has an output for a subwoofer if you want to beef up the bottom end.

It is used by keyboardists as a practice and performance amp and also as a stage monitor. It is also used by musicians of all types as an amp and a personal PA system - including acoustic guitarists and electronic drummers.

Key Features:

  • Output Power: 65 Watts.
  • Number of Channels: 4.
  • Inputs: First one is XLR/1/4" and the other 3 are all 1/4" Line level inputs - also has an RCA Aux input.
  • Outputs: 1/4" line out + 1/4" Subwoofer out + 1/4" Headphone out.
  • Speakers: 12" Woofer + 1" Tweeter.
  • Tone Control: High & Low EQ knobs.
  • Frequency Response: Not specified.
  • Size: 18.9375" x 11.625" x 17.125" .
  • Weight: 34 lbs. 3 oz.
  • Manufacturer Warranty: Not specified.

Pros

Customer reviews consistently say that this amp represents great value for money. Most reviewers were quite happy with the clarity of the sound it outputs.

Cons

A small number of reviewers said that it distorts when turned up to maximum volume, however others said the opposite - this issue may be dependent on the strength of the input signal. One person pointed out that you don't get great volume for instruments with passive pickups.

Overall

The vast majority of reviewers are happy with this amp and the added flexibility of being able to add a subwoofer is a feature that has been well received.

Behringer Ultratone KXD15

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 30+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$450
Behringer Ultratone KXD15 600 Watt 4-channel Mixing Keyboard Amp

This is similar to the KXD12 but with a bigger 15" woofer to deliver a more forceful bottom-end.

It is used as an amp for keyboards, electronic drums, and as a small PA system.

It sports an onboard effects processor with 100 presets including reverb, delay, chorus, flanger and more.

It also has the FBQ feedback detection system on the XLR mic input.

Key Features:

  • Output Power: 600 Watts.
  • Number of Channels: 4.
  • Inputs: 1 x XLR, 10 x 1/4" and a Stereo RCA input.
  • Outputs: 4 x 1/4" and 2 x XLR.
  • Speakers: 15" woofer and 1" Tweeter.
  • Tone Control: 7 band graphic EQ.
  • Size: 19" x 22.4" x 14.7".
  • Weight: 49.4 lbs.
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 3 years.

Pros

The majority of confirmed purchasers who reviewed this amp gave it a perfect 5 star rating. It received praise for the sound it produces from a wide range of types such as synths, keyboard bass, electronic drums and vocals.

Cons

This isn't the lightest amp available prompting a few negative comments about its weight - one went so far as to suggest that it should come standard with casters.

Overall

This amp represents great value considering it's 600 Watt total power while being priced well below $500.

Best Keyboard Amps Under $1000

Although there are multiple manufactures that produce amps in this price range, Roland dominates with the best customer and expert reviews and they get the highest Gearank scores - so apart from my Editor's Pick below, it's Roland all the way down from here.

Roland KC-550

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 225+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$650
Roland KC-550 4-Channel Mixing 180 Watt Keyboard Amp

This 180 Watt amp comes with a 15" woofer for producing strong bass tones but also has an output for a subwoofer if you want additional power on the bottom end.

A handy feature is the dual balanced XLR outputs which allows you to send the signal over long snake cables to a PA mixing console without the need for a stereo DI box.

It sports an output select switch and a shape switch for making quick tonal adjustments.

It also has a stereo link I/O so you can chain two of these together for full stereo sound. Although you can get a single stereo amp for less than two of these, some people prefer to use two amps for stereo so they can be placed at a much larger distance apart than the two speakers of a stereo amp. It also has stereo aux inputs for backing tracks.

It's a versatile amp used as a small PA system, for monitoring, and also as a submixer on stage.

Customer reviews show that the Roland KC-550 is being used as a workhorse amp by keyboardists, bass players, electronic drummers and more.

Key Features:

  • Output Power: 180 Watts.
  • Number of Channels: 4.
  • Inputs: 1 XLR, 4 x 1/4", 2 x RCA (stereo aux), and a stereo 1/4" TRS.
  • Outputs: Balanced 2 x XLR, Unbalanced 2 x 1/4" TS, 1/4" subwoofer out, 1/4" TRS stereo out, and a 1/4" TRS headphone out.
  • Speakers: 15" Woofer and a 1" Tweeter.
  • Tone Control: 3 band EQ.
  • Frequency Response: Not specified.
  • Size: 21" x 23" x 17.5".
  • Weight: 63 lbs.
  • Manufacturer Warranty: Not specified.

Pros

Positive words that come up repeatedly in reviews are "loud", "crisp", "clear", and "versatile". And this is the case for professional and regularly gigging musicians playing 1 keyboard, multiple keyboards, and electronic drums. I even saw a couple of reviewers who said it had worked well for playing DJ sets - and that's even without adding a subwoofer.

Cons

There weren't really any consistent negatives reported although a couple of customer reviews said they had blown out the tweeters although they didn't say what kinds of instruments or sounds they were using it for. There was also a single complaint from a musician who plays a high-end digital piano and claimed it didn't reproduce piano sounds as much as he would have liked.

Overall

Based on the number and quality of customer reviews this appears to be the most popular keyboard amp used by professional musicians.

Roland KC-880

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 40+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$1000
Roland KC-880 320W 5-channel Keyboard Amp

This is Roland's flagship stereo keyboard amp producing 320 watts total power and sporting 5 stereo input channels.

It comes with built in stereo DSP effects which apart from the regular reverb, delay chorus etc., also includes a 'rotary' stereo effect which emulates a Leslie rotary speaker system.

Like the KC-550 above, it also comes with a stereo I/O link for chaining multiple amps together.

It also comes with removable casters making easy to move around.

Key Features:

  • Output Power: 320 watts.
  • Number of Channels: 5 stereo.
  • Inputs: Channels 1 to 4 have 2x 1/4" with channel 1 having an additional XLR balanced mic input. Channel 5 is for auxiliary and has 2x 1/4" + 2 x RCA + a stereo 1/8". It also has an optional footswitch (sold separately) for controlling effect. See the picture below.
  • Outputs: 2 x Balanced XLR, 2 x 1/4" and a 1/4" headphone out - see the picture below.
  • Speakers: 2 x 12" woofers and 2 x tweeters.
  • Tone Control: 3 band EQ.
  • Frequency Response: Not specified.
  • Size: With casters - 28.9375" x 17.5625" x 23.25"; Without casters - 28.9375" x 17.5625" x 21.125".
  • Weight: 97 lbs. 1 oz.
  • Manufacturer Warranty: Not specified.
Picture of the inputs and outputs

Roland KC-880 inputs and outputs

Pros

The majority of customer reviews say this is the best stereo keyboard amp they've used. It gets praised for the quality of the sound and for it's versatility.

Cons

Other than a few complaints about the weight there were no consistently reported negatives. It did receive a small number of negative reviews all of which were about different issues such as slow delivery, one with a defective jack, and one who simply didn't like the tone at all.

Overall

If you want a big, powerful, stereo amp for keyboards then this is your best option.

Editor's Pick

This is where we sometimes present additional options which didn't quite fit into our list above but which you may also find interesting and useful.

Aspen Pittman Designs Spacestation V.3

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$799
Aspen Pittman Designs Spacestation V.3 280W Active Monitor

I didn't include this in the list above because it's not listed as a keyboard amp but rather as a powered monitor speaker.

That said, it's clear from forum discussions and customer reviews that many keyboard players are using it as their main keyboard amp.

What sets this apart from all the other options is Aspen Pittman's patented Center Point Stereo. This produces what Aspen Pittman says is "stereo everywhere from a single box". They also call it a 300 degree 3D stereo sound field.

To get a better understanding of this please watch the video below.

Key Features:

  • Output Power: 100W RMS (Front/Side), 40W RMS (Midrange)/Tweeter.
  • Number of Channels: 1 with 2 inputs for left and right.
  • Inputs: 2 x 1/4".
  • Outputs: 1 x 1/4" for a Subwoofer.
  • Speakers: 1 x 8", 1 x 6.5", 1 x 1", 1 x Tweeter.
  • Tone Control: stereo width control and frequency control of mids and highs.
  • Frequency Response: 100 Hz to 20 kHz.
  • Size: 18" x 11" x 11".
  • Weight: 40 lbs.
  • Manufacturer Warranty: Not specified.

Here is Aspen Pittman explaining the Spacestation V.3 and his Center Point Stereo concept:

Things to Consider When Buying a Keyboard Amplifier

  • Keyboard Amp or Powered PA Speaker?

    Before buying an amp you should decide whether you actually want a keyboard amp or if a powered PA speaker would be a better option.

    Both of these types of systems have amplifiers and speakers which are designed to provide a relatively transparent sound without unwanted tonal coloration - completely the opposite of guitar amps which are designed to create an important part of your tone.

    The advantages of a powered speaker are that you generally get much higher power output than you get spending the same amount of money on a keyboard amp - you can get a good 1000W powered speaker for $250 - and you gain the added versatility of being able to use them as a PA speaker.

    There are some disadvantages with powered speakers however, such as sometimes providing less tonal control (if that's something you want), you need two of them if you want stereo amplification, they don't always have multiple channels, and they don't have the same aesthetic appeal of a dedicated combo keyboard amp (in my opinion at least).

    If you are considering the powered speaker option, as many keyboard players do these days, then head on over to our Powered PA Speaker guide or check out my Editor's Pick above..

  • Applications

    Although all keyboard amps should be good for using with keyboards, you may want to consider any other sound sources you're going to use them with such as electronic drums, bass, acoustic-electric guitar or vocals, then read through the description and Pros & Cons to see which types of applications each amp is generally regarded as being good for. If you need a lot bottom end look for ones that either have 15" woofers, or that have an output for a subwoofer.

  • Channels

    If you play multiple keyboards at the same time, or if you have multiple sound sources you want to amplify then you need an amp which provides a separate channel for each sound source unless you are running them through a sub mixer before going into the amp. If you will be singing through the amp then you'll need one with an XLR input for each mic you intend to plug in. Note that keyboard amps don't usually provide phantom power so you won't be able to use most condenser mics with one of these unless you run them through a preamp or channel strip first. Note that some amps have a separate Auxiliary channel - these can be used for backing tracks but don't always have the types of connectors needed for instruments.

  • Bi-Amped Systems

    Bi-Amped means that the keyboard amp uses 2 separate amplifiers internally where the high and low frequencies go through the crossover, where the two sets of frequencies are separated, before being separately amplified and then sent to the woofer and tweeter. The advantage of bi-amped systems is that they provide better clarity and separation for the high and low frequencies. The downside is that having 2 amplifiers tends to add weight and some cost.

  • Weight

    Try to get the lightest amp that has all the features you need and your back will thank you in the long run if you're going to be transporting it frequently to gigs or rehearsals. If you're just going to be using it a home then you don't need to worry too much about how heavy your amp is.

Methodology

I looked at each keyboard amplifier with a street price under $1000 that is currently widely available in the US which basically includes 4 brands: Hammond Leslie, Roland, Peavey and Behringer, although I've also included an option from Aspen Pittman Designs. I then collected information from customer feedback, expert reviews and forum discussions to feed into the Gearank algorithm to produce the scores out of 100 you see above - this included over 1,600 sources. I also reported on that information in the Pros & Cons section for each amp listed above. Finally, I divided them up into separate price brackets to present the highest rated options at each price point. You can see a list of most of the keyboard amps that were analyzed in the Music Gear Database. For more information about our methods see How Gearank Works.

Comments

Do you have an opinion on the

Do you have an opinion on the Roland KC-880 vs the Yamaha DXR-15 (or DXR-12)? It looks to me like the latter gets great reviews for use in gigs (like the Roland, too). But the weight is very different. Your thoughts?

Hi Bob,

Hi Bob,

We don't do research on head to head comparisons of this kind, but I can offer some personal observations which you may find helpful...

Both the DXR15 and DXR12 powered speakers cost and weigh less than the KC-880 keyboard amp ONLY if you don't need stereo, otherwise you'd have to get 2 powered speakers. The KC-880 also has 5 stereo input channels, including one which can take a dynamic mic, with a built-in mixer and effects - so you would also need to get a small mixer to go with 2 powered speakers to reproduce all the functionality of the Roland keyboard amp.

But if all you want is a mono single input amp then powered speakers offer better value and they're easier to lug around to gigs and rehearsals - as you probably noticed in the reviews, this is an option many keyboard players go for these days. Don't forget that you can have a mono monitor on stage and send a stereo output to FOH if needed.

I hope this helps,
Jason.

I am a pianist with varied

I am a pianist with varied program: ragtime, classics, songs, jokes, stories, monologs, etc. What amps would suggest for this one man performance? Higher price ok.

Hi Frank,

Hi Frank,

The short answer: Roland KC-550.

The long answer...

I'm making the assumption that your keyboard amp will also serve as your PA system and you'll be putting everything through it including vocals and backing tracks or break music, etc. I'm also assuming that you already have whatever effects units you need for your act.

In this situation the Roland KC-550 stands out as your best option in my opinion because:

  • Most Importantly: It has established a reputation among professionals as a reliable roadworthy system. I personally did the detailed product research on the 16 amps that made our short list and the KC-550 stood well above all the other amps in terms of how many professionals recommended it. In this regard it totally eclipsed its nearest rival (in terms of features), the Behringer Ultratone KXD15.
  • Its 15" woofer and 1" tweeter will easily cover the range of frequencies implied by the list of material you provided above.
  • If you need to expand you can get a second one and they link together in stereo instantly doubling your output power.
  • It comes with casters - one of the little things that can make a big difference.

I should note that the Behringer Ultratone KXD15, which is my second choice, does offer better price/performance on paper - and it has all of the features (except casters) of the Roland amp, but on top of that it also includes effects while the KC-550 does not. However, the Roland KC-550's reputation with professionals gives it the advantage.

I have used Roland amps and

I have used Roland amps and keyboards for years. Keyboards are great, amps, not so great. Durable, Yes. They tend to "color" the sound and are a bit on the muddy side. Not a big issue when the band is playing at "11", but at low volumes very noticeable.
I now use Nord keyboards with the Centerpoint SS-3.
It is hands down, the best overall sound I can get.
The Centerpoint SS3 is a curious amp. I would have NEVER ordered it, based on the specs, but I happed to walk into a venue one night and the keyboard player was using one.

It was so impressive, I ordered one immediately. After gigging extensively and being very happy, I just ordered the "XL" version.

A little pricey, but considering the money I've spent on my boards, why cheap out?

I'm new to purchasing amps

I'm new to purchasing amps and need one for my keyboard that will accommodate a large reception hall-type room of perhaps 1500 sq ft. I only need it for the keyboard but 1 additional channel would be a plus.

Hi Jason,

Hi Jason,
Thanks very much for this shortlist.
I'm a keyboardist/ synth player but I'm also using guitar, drum machine and singing. My intention is to busk with this act and due to the slightly unique scenario I am struggling to find the right bit of gear for my amplification- PA or amp. I'm up for using a battery and inverter, trolley if it will make for a better value and sounding system. Any advice much appreciated.
Thanks,
Tom

Hi Tom,

Hi Tom,

You didn't say what the specific problems are that are causing you trouble finding the best solution, so I'll make some assumptions about your needs and offer some advice based on that.

Assumptions:
• You'll only be using this where typical busker volume restrictions apply
• Your microphone does not require phantom power
• You don't need a stereo system - 4 mono input channels are all you need
• You've already ruled out these types of portable PA systems
• You don't want any of the 4-channel keyboard amps listed above

Battery powered option:
Roland BA-330 - $599, 30-watts, powered by 8 x AA batteries or 12V A/C adapter.

Mains powered option:
Marshall AS100D - $700, 100-watts, 16 digital effects, tons of features.

If you can provide feedback on what I got wrong in my assumptions, or why the two recommendations I made above are not suitable, then I may be able to offer more appropriate advice.

Hi Jason,

Hi Jason,

Cheers. The main problem I'm having is all the variables and alternative solutions which are just getting me confused...

whether to use a mixer or an amp with four channels, a PA or a keyboard amp. Trouble with AA batteries is with the drum machine and the Synth plus a pedal for delay/reverb on vocals if its not in the amp I will be getting through an awful lot of batteries- expensive unless I use rechargeables. If used frequently as I intend to- they can be quite poor in my experience- that may be outdated now. An internal battery as I've seen on some Pa's or my own battery might be better?

Ideally I'd like something small but if the sacrifice in sound quality is too much I will use a trolley- for something like the Marshall I would have to. I hadn't looked at acoustig guitar amps because I thought the frequency coverage was not ideal for synths/bass?
I was recommended the BA 330 but have read mixed reviews and it seems expensive compared to its competitors.

I hadn't ruled out the options above or in the portable PA article- I would love to spend a lot less on something like the Behringer MPA40. That portability is obviously a nice plus. I am going to Birmingham tomorrow to try a few but its quite a long way..

I'm playing a combination of Songwriter stuff and EDM-
Synth, Vocals(with reverb/delay- I do have a guitar pedal I think I could use with an impedance converter if necessary), Guitar, Drum machine and soon a looper. I want a nice amount of Bass and decent sound quality to rehearse at home and play in the street but yes don't need any more volume than for a small gig or busy street corner... I'm not too sure how much power I need for this and just asking what you'd recommend as a solution from your experience...

I've been recording atm but completely new to attempting to play this live and so its a big learning curve finding the best technical solutions and gear for it in a one man show!

Thanks for your help,
Tom

Jason

Jason
I am looking for a small amp/whatever that will faithfully reproduce without distortion everything from flute to bass guitar from my roland gr55 guitar synthesizer. Perhaps you could suggest 2 or 3 units. Much thanks.

Guitar synths are a bit of a

Guitar synths are a bit of a tricky issue and ultimately it comes down to a combination of personal taste and what you want to sound the best.

My advice is based upon the assumption that you'll want to plug both the synth outs and guitar outs of the GR-55 into the same amp - so you need one with at least 2 channels.

If you want to optimize for synth and bass sounds then one of the keyboard amps above would be best - particularly a stereo one given that the GR-55 offers stereo out for synth sounds. Depending on the power you need either the Roland KC-110 or the Roland KC-880.

If you want regular guitar to sound good without compromising the synth sounds too much then I'd suggest the Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus, it's also a stereo amp with 2 channels.

Note that if you choose a keyboard amp and you find you have impedance miss-match issues with the guitar out on the GR-55, then you'll also need to get a DI Box.

Hi Jason,

Hi Jason,

I’m using Roland keys and acoustic guitar. I’m currently looking for keyboard amps for home/practice/gig use but still bit confused with some few options under $300 price range (behringer B112D powered PA speaker and behringer k450fx/k900fx). I would also appreciate if you could give some opinion on Laney keyboard amps or PA speaker.

Thanks,
RM

Hi RM,

Hi RM,

You'll have to tell me specifically which options you are confused about before I can offer any advice that isn't already presented in our gear guides.

As for Laney - their keyboard amps and PA speakers haven't had sufficient distribution in the USA to get past our short-listing process so we haven't analyzed them in detail. You can see the few Laney products we have analyzed in our Music Gear Database.

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