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Best keyboard amp/speaker for home recording?
Old 5th February 2009
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
khai's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Best keyboard amp/speaker for home recording?

I try to avoid DI (except for bass) as much as I can. I like to record keyboards and remain free of trying different mic'ing options and hear the vibe of moving air (sound in other words).
I'm about to buy the new Clavia Nord Electro 3 keyboard (which features Hammond, Rhodes, Clavinet etc… sounds) and I need an amplifier/speaker to record this keyboard with my mics.

I don't need much volume as it should be only for recording in my living room. Last time I used a keyboard amplifier it was a Roland 6 years ago and i found the sound hard, soul-less and pretty uninspiring overall.

What gear would you recommend?
Old 5th February 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
jproc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Personally I'm exactly the opposite... I D.I. most synth keyboards through a tube DI (except REAL hammond/rhodes/wurli - they have to go through real Leslie or guitar amp), and I absolutely hate DI bass channels... gotta mic our good '72 Ampeg SVT rig to get that tone...

If you are determined to record your keyboard through an amp though, get something like a MotionSound KBR-3D...
Real rotary horn for when you are recording those Hammond type sounds, stereo keyboard speakers for all your other piano/rhodes/wurli sounds...
tube preamp... perfect combo amp for an Electro...
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
lakeshorephatty's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Honestly, everyone's tastes are different. As a keyboard player myself i have to say, try many guitar amps as if you were a guitar player.. find YOUR sound. I find a vox ac15 i use for guitars as well to be a nice amp, but typically have no problem with my nord stage through a quality DI or two. The sounds in the stage have a bit of "air" around them anyways, plus there is always reamping later if needed.

Russell
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
khai's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I forgot to mention I had a Twin Reverb (80's reissue). I'll try the Nord electro on it but last time I tried a keyboard on this guitar amplifier (namely the Voce B3 emulation), I found the amp to be unadapted to the organ frequencies. The B3 emulation sounded nicer through the Rhodes Suitcase I sold last year (), I'm not into rotary sound so I didn't miss this effect.

Motion Sound products look interesting. Isn't JBL making interesting amplified speakers for keyboards as well?
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
i usually just record my keyboards straight in as much as possible, but the keyboards you listed (wurli, etc) do get a lot of their sound from the output path. So maybe you just need a cleaner tube amp? Maybe something like the Atomic Amps? They're small, clean tube amps, intended for use with guitar modelers, but keyboard modelers (since that's kind of what the nord electro is) seem like they could benefit too.
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
khai's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chroma ➑️
maybe you just need a cleaner tube amp? Maybe something like the Atomic Amps? They're small, clean tube amps, intended for use with guitar modelers, but keyboard modelers (since that's kind of what the nord electro is) seem like they could benefit too.
Interesting. But I have doubts the Atomic amps can reproduce the full frequency spectrum of many keyboard sounds of the Nord Electro as they're designed for guitar modeller. They could be cool though.
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
jproc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
THE classic Rhodes sound is through a fender twin.... however, the thing that throws the equation out the window is the fact that the Nord is ALREADY simulating the amp model.. its NOT just a dry rhodes output into the amp...

Personally, I find that the Nord sounds best through a full-range clean keyboard amp... maybe a touch of tube-pre...

Its really the one thing I hate about the so-called "clone" keyboards that try to emulate the rhodes, wurlitzer or hammond... i wish they would make it easier to put out a completely dry signal without tweaking a zillion things... maybe a separate output jack that bypasses all effects & amp-sims and puts out INSTRUMENT level instead of line level so it drives a real amp the same way as the original.......or I could stop whining and just use the real ones.
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Addict
 
trompetfreak's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
For me, the Fender Bassman works great to get a nord to live. This is also the only way I really dig AKG's C414...
I prefer the Bassman over a Twin any time, tho some guitarist sound great on Twin or Deluxe (Marc Ribot)...
Old 19th February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
khai's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jproc ➑️
the Nord is ALREADY simulating the amp model.. its NOT just a dry rhodes output into the amp...
God, this is such an abysmal mistake from Clavia. I guess it's more interesting for them commercially, but… Anyway, I won't buy this keyboard.
Old 19th February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Addict
 
Stepwise Sound's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
however, the thing that throws the equation out the window is the fact that the Nord is ALREADY simulating the amp model.. its NOT just a dry rhodes output into the amp...
Quote:
i wish they would make it easier to put out a completely dry signal without tweaking a zillion things
The Nord Electro 3 has an amp sim but it is literally one button away from being turned off! You don't have to dig thru any menus or anything!

So yes, it is just a button away.

Whoever wrote this, I am assuming, has not used a Nord Electro extensively. I use an Electro 2 all the time and it is truly a joy.
Old 19th February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Addict
 
Stepwise Sound's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The Nord Electro 2, by the way, only has the leslie sim, not the other amp models (also one button away).

You can imagine where an amp sim might come in handy in a pinch (on a gig going direct).

I use my Nord Electro 2 with a Motion Sound KT-80 -- this, by the way, does not have any rotating parts. I dig it because it's light, has tube with input / output stage or a solid state channel....
Old 19th February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Stevil's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by khai ➑️
Isn't JBL making interesting amplified speakers for keyboards as well?
i get good synth sound thru my JBL EON's. they aren't specifically "keyboard amps" but they get a well balanced sound that lends it's self to synths better than trying to run them thru a guitar amp. i also have an old peavey KB 100 i've been using live for years, it gets decent full tone for my rhodes & various other synths. personally i prefer ye olde 'line in' though.
Old 19th February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
TYY
Gear Addict
 
TYY's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I can tell you that wurly and rhodes sounds record PERFECTLY through a silverface fender vibrochamp. It just does something perfect to those tones. Plus the trem is a nice option. Cheap too! I have access to a number of vintage fenders and nothing comes close to the champ for those tones.
Old 20th February 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
jproc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
No, I haven't used the Electro extensively... didnt realize it was that easy to get a dry sound... guess I was just making bad assumptions based on all the other keyboards out there I've had bad luck with...
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