If you are not a musician, there is a tendency that you would fail to distinguish between a keyboard amplifier and a guitar or bass amplifier. But if you are a real musician, you will readily recognize that a keyboard amp is different from a guitar or bass amp. Since playing the keyboard poses distinct challenges from playing guitars, keyboards need amplifiers that can address these distinct challenges. First, making the keyboard sound louder when playing it on an open stage is more difficult than making a guitar sound louder. Moreover, there is the usual challenge of how to reproduce the low-frequency sound of the keyboard for high-register notes. There are other slight differences between keyboard amps and guitar or bass amps, and you must understand these differences if you intend to buy a keyboard amp.
The keyboard amplifier is usually referred to as keyboard sound magnifier. Its features include a wooden box with pre-amp, horn, megaphone, and speaker all combined in a single box. This box has the capacity to amplify any electronic keyboard instrument. Since keyboard amps can magnify a wide sonic range, you can connect any type of instruments to the keyboard amps as long as they are electronic musical instruments. Hence, you can connect drums, piccolos, pianos, and any other electronic musical instrument to this amp, and still expect that the amp can faithfully produce and magnify the sound of the instruments. Hence, keyboard amplifiers always have a mixer with four to three keyboard inputs and two bass amps inputs.
Things You Know Know
How Was Keyboard Amps Designed?
In designing a keyboard amp, one of the primary considerations is how the amp will fare well in a live performance. Hence, most keyboard amps are ruggedly built, meaning they look tough and sturdy. Another consideration in designing a keyboard amp is the aspect of portability. It should be very portable without sacrificing its power to magnify sound. The best keyboard amps are therefore designed to address all these concerns, and for this reason, you would readily find keyboard amplifier brands that claim that the amps that they manufacture are rock-solid and sturdy. Moreover, they would also claim that their amps are powerful and at the same time, portable.
There is no way to check at the onset whether a particular brand lives up to the primary expectations for a keyboard amp unless you would often use that amp. Hence, one way to verify whether an amp really lives up to the hype is by checking the feedback of those who have already availed of that particular amp brand.
Checking the Speaker Size and Watts
One of your bases in figuring out the power of a keyboard amp is by looking at the watts of an amp. The more watts the amp has, the more powerful it would be in amplifying sounds. Hence, a keyboard amp that has more watts could generate more amplification capability. A 180-watt speaker can support a larger and more powerful speaker than a 15-watt amp.
It is also important before buying a keyboard amp to first know where and how you are going to use the amp. If you are just going to use the amp for personal practice inside your room, then you would need an amp with less wattage and less powerful speakers. Yet, if you are going to use in an open-stage live performance, you better opt for an amp with higher wattage that supports more powerful speakers.
Checking the Number of Inputs and Outputs
Once you have figured out how and where you are going to use your keyboard amp, there is a strong likelihood that you will be able to select the right amp. Moreover, if you would only use your amp inside your room, you would simply need an amp with two inputs for your keyboard and microphone. Yet, if you are going to use it when performing live in a large area, you would surely need an amp with more inputs and outputs.
Keyboard amps have a built-in mixer wherein you can plug at once various musical instruments. Each of these input channels has its own volume control so that you can easily balance the sound that comes out of the speaker. Moreover, you should choose an amp that has outputs. Outputs can come in handy if you will be performing at a large venue that has a built-in sound system. Furthermore, you can easily connect your keyboard amp to the venue’s sound system via the output channel of your amp.
You should likewise carefully consider if the amp that you are buying has aux, headphone, and microphone ports. The important thing before selecting an amp is for you to anticipate the number of inputs and outputs and the necessary ports that your amp should have.
Another factor that you would need to consider when buying an amp is the extra advanced features that an amp can offer. Although most keyboard amps do not necessarily have special effects features like those of the reverb, some highly specialized high-end amps carry these additional features. Hence, if you are desirous of these additional features, you can opt for one of these high-end keyboard amps.
Is Keyboard Amp Really Necessary?
Although you can just plug in your keyboard to the PA system, you will surely need a keyboard if you want the nuances of your keyboard sounds to be reproduced faithfully. As said earlier, the sonic range of keyboards covers a wide range of tones and sounds which a conventional PA system will be unable to reproduce. Another advantage of using a keyboard amp is that you are afforded beforehand the chance to process the sonic texture of your keyboards even before its sound input enters the PA System. Moreover, you can synthesize your keyboard output by merely tinkering with the built-in mixer of your keyboard amp.