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Advice on Keyboard Amp / Combos please.

old git

Tremendous Bore
Using a set of computer speaker / subwoofer thingies to output the Arranger keyboard but now things are getting a little more complex. Just noticed part of the Iberian contingent uses the same bits.
Looks like I'll need an output for the following:-
1) Biab or other backing tracks on CD
2) Akai 4000s via keyboard or sound module
3) Computer MIDI
4) Microphone.

So what do you advise, mixer and combo or multichannel combo?

Any opinions of Behringer Amplifiers?

From the clue offered by the queried brand, loot is reasonably important, so should one consider secondhand?

Thanks in advance for any contributions, as these funny solid state and chip things baffle me. Who said, "That's not difficult."?


Rojales, Spain
Hi Bill,
Re. the above I guess I'm the part of the Iberian contingent with the same bits! Well, frankly, some of the 'bits' I use came out of the Ark ... and apart from a few more-recents they were all picked up from boot sales, second-hand shops or other cheapo buys. However, to get to the point, achieving a decent final sound usually involves gear one could view as in two distinct halves, the bit having the best effect on the final result being some sort of stereo amp and a pair of decent speakers. The final-stage amps I use go back 20+ years, for example I still have a Sony TA-1630 and a Sony TA-AX310, both working fine as when I first got them. The speakers I hang on one or the other are a pair of 12" Goodmans foam surrounds but the boxes each are in are a bit unique in that I made them up myself. Each outer box contains an inner box with 1" spacer blocks all around so there is a gap between front and side walls. The hole(s) where the speakers would finally go were sealed of temporarily with a circular band of alloy or somesuch. Next the whole thing was dumped on a bench on its face and the gaps were filled by pouring in cement and letting it set. The backs too were also made up as ply-cement-ply sandwiches. All internal areas were finally lined with carpet. Needless to say these cabs weigh a ton but the thundering bass they produce was well worth the effort, moral being heavy cabs = enhanced bass frequency response. I finally push most things through this Sony/Goodmans set-up whether it be CD, Turntable, the audio-outs from my keyboards, stereo output from a desktop or laptop, the audio outs from a DVD player, the output (stereo again) from a Digitech guitar processor or the line outs from my recording gizmo (a BOSS BR-900CD). If I want something louder than the Sony/Goodmans arrangement can produce then I use the 400W powered mixer driving the twin 15" cab. Same procedure for that cab by the way except that I didn't include the cement this time as the thing already weighed between 60 or 70 Kilos. Strictly speaking the speakers in there are bass frquency units but I also have a Line 6 combo amp that I converted into separate head and twin 12" cab and the latter can also be hooked up to the mixer at the same time to provide a bit more treble. The only minor glitch when using the mixer is that it isn't strictly stereo at its back end. However, the front end has 6/8 channels so I stick the stereo into a couple of those and can mix the signals separately.

Finally, those ex-PC self powered speaker units I seem to have a lot of. Left alone they can produce a reasonable volume/sound quality in themselves (around 3W I think) which is fine for 'in-room' use. Beyond that it depends on what gets attached as speaker cabs. I've got a couple of ex-Philips hi-fi cabs up on the wall behind me being fed from the innards of one of said PC units. This arrangement produces a much meatier sound, or better still with the Goodmans pair attached. I also have (yet another!) single cab I made that contains four 8" car speakers and a couple of tweeters with connection at the back that allows one half of a stereo out to go into Left 8"+8"+Tweeter and the other connected to same on the Right. Stereo there but without the physical separation ... darn good sound comes out though.

OK ... so all the above is 'back-end' stuff, what about the things on the front-end?

MIDI (from my ancient Casio keyboards) goes into the PC via a MIDI to USB cable I got new but very cheaply (I think it was about a fiver) from eBay. I've seen several of the same selling between 30 and 70 quid on the Web, but the one I have works fine. The only problem associated with it was with Anvil Studio on the desktop m/c where (I think) it was because I installed Anvil before installing the link. On our Notebook I did it the other way around and it worked quite happily first time there. Apart from Anvil about the only software I bother with is BIAB and Audacity. BIAB is great, in my opinion, for busking along with and Audacity is good for when I want to add my stuff to a backing track, either done by plugging a mic into the PC and pointing my sax at it (need headphones for that else the stuff coming from speakers loops around back into the mic) or feeding some other signal (keyboard outs or guitar processor outs) into the same input socket. The pc out socket, by the way, is via a stereo pair of wires that split into two stereo pairs, via adaptors, so that one pair go to the on-desk powered speakers and the other pair go into the line-in sockets on the back of the recorder (BOSS BR-900CD) if I'm doing something I want to keep on a couple of tracks on there to do something more with later.

That's it I guess from me. Not a particularly sophisticated set-up but it suits me and hasn't cost me an arm and a leg. Don't really know anything about Behringer gear unfortunately so can't help there.

Hope helps ...
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