Keyboard Amp Buyers Guide
With the motto of “We Hear You”, Behringer was founded in 1989 by Uli Behringer. Little Uli first learned how to play the piano at the age of four, and who would have thought that when that four-year-old first tickled the ivories that he’d turn out to have such a major impact on the music industry?
From mixers to loudspeakers, Behringer manufacturers a wide range of audio equipment with innovation central to the company’s ethos. At Behringer, every employee is driven by the desire to constantly improve and create products that appeal to everyone from novice musicians to discerning audiophiles.
For the price, this amp ticks the right boxes. It’s designed to deliver enough power and quality for a small venue, making it ideal for gigs or rehearsals.
It’s also a very durable little amp. Reinforced corners and a metal grille ensure that it can take knocks without resulting in performance problems. It’s a rock-solid product that will last you years, which makes it a long-term investment. Weighing only 19kg, it’s a very portable product too.
The K900FX is not just an amp but a fully functional PA system too. With 90-watts of power, it’s able to amplify keyboards and drum speakers. With three channels and 12″ speakers, it’s a powerful enough PA system to be used for a party.
You get a rich and accurate output that sounds good for a wide range of musical genres. Features like a studio-grade, Multi-FX Processor and an FBQ detection system allow you to shape the tone so that it suits your style. The powerful BUGERA woofer is a custom-made, 1″, high-frequency driver that is responsible for the awesome sound.
You get 3 separate stereo channels. Each one has its own volume and FX controls. You also get one XLR input for connecting a microphone. Similarly, the master section provides separate controls for FX Return, Phono, and Master Volume.
On the connectivity side, this K900FX is loaded with every input port you might need. An AUX input allows you to connect your mobile devices for streaming music through the 12-inch speakers. A separate headphone jack gives you the option to practice privately without disturbing your housemates, family, or neighbors.
Adding effects is a breeze, thanks to the onboard 24-bit digital FX processor. The processor is loaded with 100 effects like reverb, chorus, delay, and many more.
Feedback can destroy the whole tempo of a live performance. For more than 10 years Behringer has designed the most successful feedback elimination processors. Now with the K900FX, you can enjoy the same technology. It is highly effective and reliable, meaning that gigs ruined by feedback are a thing of the past.
With a 3-year warranty, FBQ technology, and 100 amazing pre-sets, Behringer’s K900FX is an awesome keyboard amp that our team can highly recommend.
Out of the 10 reviews above, we have also identified one product as our premium choice. Read on for more details.
Roland Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio equipment. Despite being around for more than four decades, Roland continues to set high standards for itself, aiming to achieve what other manufacturers might think is impossible.
It always strives to push boundaries, exploring new technologies rather than resting on its laurels. Its equipment is adored by serious musicians because of Roland’s willingness to offer equipment that sounds truly unique.
The KC-550 is built with hard-working musicians in mind. This model features four stereo inputs along with a microphone input. Similarly, users also get an AUX port for connecting CD players or mobile phones. Four stereo input ports mean that you can connect four instruments at a time and control them separately.
Have you ever heard of connecting two amplifiers? Well, with Roland’s KC-550 you can do exactly that. The stereo link feature allows you to connect two amplifiers in a chain. Using a single cable, you can create a true, stereo experience.
This amp features a 3-band EQ that lets you control low, middle, and high frequencies for shaping your tone. It’s very simple to use too.
180 watts of power, a 15-inch woofer, and a 2-inch tweeter packed into one amp deliver a monstrous sound. It doesn’t just need to be used as a keyboard amp; it can also be used as a powerful PA System.
If you’re looking for a big bass boost, then the KC-550 by Roland has also got you covered. You can easily add a subwoofer to this amp by the sub output port.
This amp is built for rugged use. Heavy carpeting, protective edges, and an all-metal grille gives this keyboard amp durability that will stand up to all types of wear-and-tear. The KC-550 is also equipped with a handle and caster so you can easily carry it to gigs or rehearsals without needing a roadie.
The KC-550 by Roland has got everything that you’d want from a professional keyboard amp. With sturdy casing, an option for connecting another amp, and four stereo input ports, there is little to fault this versatile product.
Out of our reviews above, we have identified the following product as offering the best value-for-money.
The Ultratone KT108 by Behringer is undoubtedly the best value-for-money product currently available, in our opinion. It won’t satisfy professional-level keyboardists but it is perfect for beginners.
Keyboardists looking for great, classic tube-like sound won’t find an amp that can compete with the Ultratone KT108. The Virtual Tube Circuitry emulates the preamp and power amp stages of those classic rigs, providing a truly tube-like sound. Separate three-band onboard controls help you tune highs, mids, and lows to cultivate your sound and tone.
The 8-inch, 20-watt, BUGERA speakers are enriched with bass and distortion-less sound that’s just perfect for a live performance.
The KT108 is equipped with an auxiliary port to connect your mobile phone or MP3 player, so you can use the powerful speakers for playing your favorite music. You get a headphone port for practicing at home without bothering your family, neighbors, or roommates.
VTC technology, a 3-band EQ, and an auxiliary port for connecting mobile are just some of the great features that this budget-friendly amp offers. With 15W of power and lots of useful features, this keyboard amp will surely elevate your performance to a whole new level.
It can always be a bit difficult when choosing a piece of equipment for the first time. How do you know what features to look out for? How do you know how much to spend? These are just a few of the questions you might be asking yourself now. We’re going to now provide you with all the key information you’ll need to make a wise and informed purchase.
An amplifier will usually feature a preamp, a megaphone, a horn, and a speaker. Its purpose is to amplify your keyboard’s output so that it is much louder. You’ll need a keyboard amp to be designed specifically for your instrument. That’s because a keyboard can produce notes that fall into a broad frequency range. You want it to be able to cover the deep bass notes, all the way to high-pitched piccolos.
A keyboard amp is designed with a keyboard’s sonic range in mind, which is why it’s given this name. But it is also well-suited to other instruments. And if it has several channels, it will often be able to double up as a PA system. This is ideal for singer-songwriters who want to be able to play keys simultaneously as singing.
Other Sound Magnifier vs Keyboard Amplifier
So, what’s the difference between other musical instrument amplifiers and a keyboard amp?
Well, a keyboard amplifier is engineered with this instrument in mind. It means that it will offer low-frequency output to complement the low notes you play on your keyboard. It will deliver crisp highs too.
A keyboard amp needs to provide more range than many other instrument amplifiers because of the range of sound that a keyboard can produce. A keyboard amp will also deliver low distortion and flat frequency. You don’t want that high gain, overdrive from a keyboard amp as you would for a guitar. Clarity is the most important aspect of this product.
Now let’s move onto connectivity. Guitar or microphone amplifiers are meant for one guitar or microphone at a time. This isn’t the case with a keyboard amplifier, which is equipped with a mixer and two or three inputs so multiple instruments can be connected at once. Each channel will have its own preamp so that different volume levels can be achieved.
Types of Keyboard Amplifier
Generally, keyboard amps will fall into two categories, which will be defined by how much they cost.
Most low-price keyboard amplifiers are meant to provide equalization controls for the overall output like adding bass, deducting treble, etc.
State-of-the-art amps are high-powered. They provide separate equalization controls for each channel.
Speaking about the design, a typical amp features three- or four-channel mixers so that users can plug different instruments into one amplifier. This allows you to amplify several instruments simultaneously through one speaker, cutting down on the amount of equipment you need.
If you perform with several instruments as part of a band, then having a keyboard amp is important. Not only can you plug in your electric piano or keyboard, but you can also connect several synthesizers at the same time. It means that for a gig, you will only need to use one amp, even though you might use a few different instruments.
PA System vs Keyboard Amp
A keyboard amp can also be used as a PA system. As technology has improved, many manufacturers have merged a keyboard amp and a PA system into one product. This has become increasingly common since 2010.
Some keyboard amplifiers have an XLR cable port for a microphone to plug into, and a microphone preamp that allows users to connect a mic and use the keyboard amp as a PA system. In theory, a keyboard amp that includes an XLR mic input, preamp, and a multi-channel mixer could be used inside a small venue.
Using a keyboard amp as a PA system is fine in some cases, but you might be limited in some scenarios.
- Firstly, it is not an easy task to elevate a keyboard amp like a PA system. PA systems come with a speaker stand and pole into which you can easily mount the speakers. A keyboard amp doesn’t offer this advantage.
- Secondly, elevating the PA system helps ensure that the output is dispersed equally among the audience while it’s different with keyboard amps. Placing a keyboard amp on a table or raising it a little will only allow the first column of an audience to hear clearly, while the whole venue will not be able to have a good listening experience.
- Next, PA systems often have a much higher power rating, while digital piano amps usually offer less than 50 watts of power.
Using a piano amp as an alternative to a PA system is okay in certain scenarios but note that you might run into difficulties in some circumstances.
We strive to make our reviews as comprehensive as possible. As a result, we’re going to explain how to connect a keyboard amp to several instruments. Read on, as this isn’t the sort of information that you’d find in other review articles.
Many amps have a sub-out jack that allows users to connect an external powered subwoofer for adding extra bass. Note that subwoofers only provide deep bass frequencies, so a user should add full-range speakers for a more balanced sound that isn’t so heavy on the low end.
We’ve now explained everything you might want to know about keyboard amps in our reviews and buyer’s guide. If you read this article thoroughly, then you’ll be in a great position to pick the best keyboard amp for your needs.
EQ is Vital! On stage, what you hear from your amp won’t be the same at every gig. Amp EQ can help make sure your patches sound “right” to your own ears, so you can just focus on playing your killer solos.Make sure the EQ is “post fade”, meaning it will only affect what you hear and not alter any DI signals.
What is a keyboard amp?
It’s quite simply an amplifier that can be used for a keyboard.
Don’t get distracted by the title ‘keyboard amp’, though, as it isn’t just for keyboards. They can be used for several instruments thanks to multiple channels and connectivity options. Keyboard amps will also have an XLR input so that you can hook up a microphone and sing while you’re playing the keys.
What are keyboard amps used for?
Keyboard amps are used for reproducing the broad frequency range of electronic instruments.
So, what’s the difference between a guitar amp and a keyboard amp?
A guitar amp is only meant for amplifying the signals within the range that a guitar is capable of playing. In contrast, keyboard amps provide a broader spectrum of frequencies – as keyboard signals are higher and lower than guitar signals – which is entirely out of a guitar amp’s range.
Many keyboard amps can be used for drums, acoustic guitars, and many other instruments, thanks to the wide frequency range that they can reproduce.
These amps are also used as an alternative for PA systems. Some high-end keyboard amps with powerful speakers that include AUX and microphone inputs can also be used as speakers for a DJ or a karaoke party.
There are, however, some drawbacks to keyboard amps, which is why they’re sometimes not well-suited to other uses. Keyboard amps are heavy. This makes them hard to carry, so they’re not ideal for traveling musicians. Similarly, PA systems can be easily hooked up to a mounting stand, while you can’t usually elevate a keyboard amp above a typical chair height.
Although many consumers use a piano amp as an alternative to a PA system, it is not meant for public addressing.
The bottom line states that a keyboard amp amplifies electronic instruments’ signals into a broader stage of the sonic spectrum.
What is the average cost of a keyboard amp?
The amount that you’ll spend on a keyboard amplifier will depend upon your budget.
Generally, you’ll find that keyboard amps will fall into three different price ranges. You’ll have budget keyboard amps, mid-priced keyboard amps, and premium keyboard amps.
The budget category includes amps that cost no more than a few hundred bucks. These amps are designed for beginners. They’re ideal for learning, but they do have limitations. The best budget keyboard amps will allow you to perform in very small venues, but they won’t deliver enough power or quality for a larger venue.
Mid-priced amps are suited to intermediate keyboardists who might have just started branching out into live performances. They range in price from a few hundred bucks to close to a grand. These amps are ideal for keyboardists who want to grow on their instrument, as well as rehearse and perform with a band. They will feature lots of connectivity options so you can sing along while playing your instrument.
Premium keyboard amps are the most powerful, as well as the best sounding. That comes at a cost, though. They’ll set you back more than a thousand bucks. They’re designed for advanced keyboardists who perform on stage regularly. They’re also built to last. But, remember, when an amp is as powerful and as advanced as it will be in this category, it will weigh a lot more.
How do I choose a keyboard amp?
Read this guide. Research what’s available. And then you should be in a better position to know what amp to choose. You should also make sure to focus on the following key elements:
Build Quality and Portability
A sturdy, rugged design is essential. You should also ensure that you check reviews of an amp before buying it. Why? Manufacturers often make bold claims about their amplifiers’ robustness, but these claims are usually found to be invalid when a keyboardist subjects the amp to regular usage. You want to look out for what materials the amp’s enclosure is made from, as well as check for added extras, such as reinforced corners.
Portability is also an important thing to note while picking your new amp. You want it to be lightweight enough to carry around. And having reinforced handles or wheels can also make transporting your amp even easier. This is an essential feature if you’re going to be taking it on the road.
Here, most people recommend that one look for a highly rated speaker size and power, but that’s not how it works. The user should analyze his needs and then look for the speaker size and power according to it.
For instance, a beginner doesn’t need 180-watts of power with 15-inch speakers. 50-watts of power and an 8-inch speaker would be enough for basic practice.
Choose an amp that suits your needs rather than getting carried away by big numbers.
Most keyboard amps include more than two channels for connecting multiple instruments at a time and separate controls. Moreover, some also include AUX, microphone, and headphone ports.
If a user wants to connect more than two instruments, then he/she should look for an amp with more than two channels. Similarly, if one needs to connect a smartphone or laptop for external streaming, he should look for an AUX port on the piano board.
Effects and Other Features
Keyboard amps are not designed to provide effects, but some high-end products include effects like chorus, reverb, and more.
These effects don’t just apply to your keyboard. If the amp doubles up as a PA system, you can use them for your vocals too.