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QSC K-12 for keyboard amplification? Studio Monitors
Old 31st October 2016
  #1
Gear Nut
 

QSC K-12 for keyboard amplification?

I've decided I don't like the sound of my Roland KC-350s anymore. Not hi-fi enough. Organs sound shrill, pianos too boomy.

I have used small powered PA speakers in the past (JBL Eons) and they did a fine job on keyboards. Those have 15" speakers in them, which are a little weak in the upper mids so I'm looking for 12" speakers.

12 inches seems about right for keyboards, which I roll off the low end anyway to avoid stepping on the bass guitar. (It's that or duct-tape my left hand to my knee, because I can't seem to play without that left hand joining in.)

Top of my short list ATM is the QSC K12. Because they're ABS rather than wood, they're 8 lb lighter than my Rolands, which my back will appreciate. They're more powerful and take up less floor space.

On paper they look great. But I'm wondering if anyone here has used them for keyboard amplification. Or any other application that needs full-spectrum sound, such as a DJ or an acoustical band.
Old 31st October 2016
  #2
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RightOnRome's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bitflipper View Post
I've decided I don't like the sound of my Roland KC-350s anymore. Not hi-fi enough. Organs sound shrill, pianos too boomy.

I have used small powered PA speakers in the past (JBL Eons) and they did a fine job on keyboards. Those have 15" speakers in them, which are a little weak in the upper mids so I'm looking for 12" speakers.

12 inches seems about right for keyboards, which I roll off the low end anyway to avoid stepping on the bass guitar. (It's that or duct-tape my left hand to my knee, because I can't seem to play without that left hand joining in.)

Top of my short list ATM is the QSC K12. Because they're ABS rather than wood, they're 8 lb lighter than my Rolands, which my back will appreciate. They're more powerful and take up less floor space.

On paper they look great. But I'm wondering if anyone here has used them for keyboard amplification. Or any other application that needs full-spectrum sound, such as a DJ or an acoustical band.
it will work just fine
Old 31st October 2016
  #3
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I have used then for this from time to time. They worked very well indeed. Sounded excellent.

We have a pair that we use for acoustic sessions, mostly, and they are terrific in that role too.
Old 31st October 2016
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Thanks for the feedback. If they work well for acoustic instruments, that's encouraging. I have two musical enterprises, a loud-ish rock band and a quiet keyboard/acoustic duo. So they need to be both powerful and delicate.
Old 31st October 2016
  #5
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I have an all QSC K-series PA and its been the best PA, I've ever owned. (K12, KSub FOH, K8 Monitors)
Everytime I get into a situation where I think I'm about to ask too much of either the K12s or the K8s, they come through it shining.
I had a friend with a Roland VK use one and it sounded great.
We do use these for acoustic gigs too and they are fabulous in those roles too.
Old 3rd November 2016
  #6
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Lightbulb

Good that you're moving on from the Roland KC series. Smart move. And a QSC K12 is a reasonable choice. Lots of people play through them, including me: pianos, organs, synths etc. with a variety of bands and venues.

But you might want to consider a few things?

12" isn't "just about right" for keyboard speaker size, unless you like lugging large cabinets and are playing heavy, deep bass. I've had great luck with 8" and 10" designs as well, as have many others. Stay clear of 15" designs unless you feel you need a sub.

I own a pair each of the K8s, K10s and K12s. Pairs are better if you can swing it: real stereo, better soundstage, less directional, etc. Although plenty of keyboardists do just fine with a single K10.

The K8s are a good go-to choice when you want light weight, good dispersion through a venue, and decent volume. They have a surprising amount of bass. I have used them with louder electric bands, and they don't crumble. And in more intimate venues, a wonderful choice. I had my pair, sold them, missed them, and bought another set.

That should tell you something right there.

The K12s are big boomers: highly directional, very authoritative, heavy to lug around, but they can reach the back of the room. Good for cranking it up with the electric band, but a poor choice for an intimate setting. I'll use one as a monitor on the rare occasions when we've got a decent sound guy. Which is like never.

And the K10s are somewhere in between.

Other popular brand choices are the Yamaha DXRs and the ElectroVoices. I've had good luck with my QSCs over the years, other guys like their choices. Small differences, personal preferences.

The new contender in the single-box stereo category is the CPS SpaceStation v3. Amazing, surrounding stereo sound in a single box, plenty of power, can be used at both ends of the gig spectrum, easily fills the room. I own two.

There's a very long thread over at Keyboard Corner, the net of which is (a) most people love them, and (b) it takes a bit to learn how to set it up, as it doesn't work as other amps do.

You'll probably choke over the 8" speaker and 240 watts, but the little sucker brings big game. If you need louder, bring ear protection. It's become my go-to amp for 3 out of 4 gigs. I and my bandmates really appreciate what it can do for stereo keys.

Final thought: buy used if you can, or at least ask the online retailers for "B stock". No sense buying new with this type of stuff.
Old 7th November 2016
  #7
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Thank you for that detailed reply, cphollis. And thanks to Mylithra for the encouraging testimonial.

I am going to take another look at the K-10s. The size and weight are appealing, but I just didn't think they'd be up to all tasks.

That's because I have two very different scenarios I want to address with one rig: I play in a loud 5-piece rock/blues bar band, as well as a low-volume pop/prog/country duo. The Space Station would be a wonderful choice for the latter as it sounds especially great with organ. If I were wealthy (or if this gig paid anything beyond gas money) I'd get one just for the coffee house gigs. But I've got to kill both birds with the same proverbial stone.

Bass isn't a problem. Well, actually it IS the problem. The KC-350s are boomy, which I have to address with EQ. So bass isn't a problem insofar as I don't need a lot of it. If the K-12s are bass-heavy (I'm assuming that was implied when you called them "big boomers") then maybe they're not what I'm looking for after all. The weight doesn't bother me (they're still lighter than the Rolands) but it would be senseless to lug around something bigger than I need.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply.
Old 7th November 2016
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitflipper View Post
Thank you for that detailed reply, cphollis. And thanks to Mylithra for the encouraging testimonial.

I am going to take another look at the K-10s. The size and weight are appealing, but I just didn't think they'd be up to all tasks.

That's because I have two very different scenarios I want to address with one rig: I play in a loud 5-piece rock/blues bar band, as well as a low-volume pop/prog/country duo. The Space Station would be a wonderful choice for the latter as it sounds especially great with organ. If I were wealthy (or if this gig paid anything beyond gas money) I'd get one just for the coffee house gigs. But I've got to kill both birds with the same proverbial stone.

Bass isn't a problem. Well, actually it IS the problem. The KC-350s are boomy, which I have to address with EQ. So bass isn't a problem insofar as I don't need a lot of it. If the K-12s are bass-heavy (I'm assuming that was implied when you called them "big boomers") then maybe they're not what I'm looking for after all. The weight doesn't bother me (they're still lighter than the Rolands) but it would be senseless to lug around something bigger than I need.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply.
You're welcome.

The K12s can be bass heavy, but that's easy enough to EQ out. Wouldn't want to use them for an intimate moderate volume gig.

The K10s can handle just about everything. Sort of a Goldilocks form factor.

You're right that the SSv3 would be ideal for your low-volume gig. Guess what? It also kicks serious @ss when the electric band starts cranking. Use a small mixer to stage your gain, it can get to an honest 107dB SPL. And since the sound is radially dispersed, everyone will hear you. If you need more, be sure to bring earplugs.

Best of luck!
Old 28th November 2016
  #9
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Frost's Avatar
 

i own a lot of k10 and k12's. I actually think the k10 sounds a little better than the k12 as a wedge. It gets plenty loud for MOST people. If youre one of those people who need really loud, then the k12 is the better choice. I would use a k10 personally.
Old 2nd January 2018
  #10
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Hope you don't mind me tagging onto this thread. For my keyboards, I decided to go with a pair of K10.2s and a pair of KSUBs for medium and smaller venue. i have one k10 i'll use as a wedge. I couldnt see buying another k10 (hard to find now) when the 10.2s are the same price. I'll add EQ as needed. I think I'll be happy with the 10.2s and can dial down the bass if it's too much with 2 subs.
Old 11th January 2018
  #11
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bowzin's Avatar
Cool VocalBruce, I think they're great speakers for keyboards personally.

I'm curious to hear the newer K10.2 and K12.2 vs. the originals. The K10's and K12's in particular were/are VERY popular. I didn't really get them so much until I landed on an EQ curve I really liked that in my opinion really helped a lot to make the speaker more neutral and usable on even more material. It wasn't really scientific, but on a digital parametric EQ I could replicate it quickly and squeeze a little more out of the K12's. I always meant to try and nail it on my hardware parametric EQ's and basically leave them permanently in-line with the K12's but the project I was using the QSC's on dried up eventually and I don't own them personally.

Sounds like the new refreshes have a new-and-improved sound, so I'm curious if I wouldn't miss the corrective EQ and if they'd be good to go out of the box, that would be nice. Sort of in the market for wedges again.
Old 3rd March 2018
  #12
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maestro's Avatar
I have 2 K10s and Touchmix.

Anyone recommend a Sub for this? For Nord C2 in Pipe Organ mode and also for better low end on Yamaha electric piano.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
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Stunning sound for keyboards - QSC can't be beaten.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
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Mike M's Avatar
Keyboard amp

wow...this thread was started in 10/16...

I am not a keyboardist, however, I provide sound systems for bands at a local level.

When providing the rig for a band I am perfectly happy with running the keys direct (DI) and using my monitor system.

When asked, I have used one of my QSC K8's on keys and the musicians have been satisfied with its performance.

A QSC "K" will work fine...unless you are looking for a specific sound that only a keyboard amp can provide.

My advise: go "as light as possible". A K8 will suffice in a small club setting and for larger indoor/outdoor gigs, you will want to go through the PA anyway...
also
at the end of the night, your back will be happy..
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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I am looking for a small PA which will serve both for rehearsals in my small studio and for gigs in smallish venues (100-200 seats). I have an acoustic ensemble, with classical/acoustic guitar, various reeds, double bass, occasionally cello, frame drums, plus a variable dose of electronics (synthesizers). Am I wrong if I gather from previous posts that QSCs are among the more "hi-fi" sounding amplified speakers for my purposes? Ideally I would want a pristine representation of acoustic instruments (miked or with a pick-up), and of the tails of the good reverbs I like to use in the studio. Too much bass would only cause feedback problems in live situations probably. I know that hi-fi or studio monitors and PA speakers play in different leagues, but can it be that QSCs are a decent middle ground? I was thinking K10.2, although maybe K8.2 would not sound too weak either? Portability is a huge factor, along with sound fidelity.

Best regards
Massimo
Old 1 week ago
  #16
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by massimo View Post
I am looking for a small PA which will serve both for rehearsals in my small studio and for gigs in smallish venues (100-200 seats). I have an acoustic ensemble, with classical/acoustic guitar, various reeds, double bass, occasionally cello, frame drums, plus a variable dose of electronics (synthesizers). Am I wrong if I gather from previous posts that QSCs are among the more "hi-fi" sounding amplified speakers for my purposes? Ideally I would want a pristine representation of acoustic instruments (miked or with a pick-up), and of the tails of the good reverbs I like to use in the studio. Too much bass would only cause feedback problems in live situations probably. I know that hi-fi or studio monitors and PA speakers play in different leagues, but can it be that QSCs are a decent middle ground? I was thinking K10.2, although maybe K8.2 would not sound too weak either? Portability is a huge factor, along with sound fidelity.

Best regards
Massimo
Massimo...

Two things:

1. You'd likely do better by starting a fresh thread on this to get good info.

2. This is not a simple question. The musical content and presentation, the relationship of direct acoustic sound to reinforced or amplified sound and the abilities of the mix person will factor into any equipment decisions.

Unlike studio/in the box mixing, you have to make many compromises in a live sound situation. The lines are not strong and dark, rather they are more gray and the relationship of stage sound, room acoustics, audience configuration and other ambient sound such as monitors must be considered. Speaker choice should be made in this light.

Taking your quest as one for "high fidelity sound", I would direct you to research something other than MI speakers like QSC, JBL and the dozens of other usual suspects. If you're serious, look at KV, Meyer and such. Speakers capable of outstanding sound delivery like you seem to desire will generally cost 3x to 4x the price of the QSC's...and they're worth it.

Good luck.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
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massimo's Avatar
 

Hi Wyllys,

Thank you so much for your advise.
I know my original question embeds some kind of compromise...fidelity, portability, and - I must admit - price as well (sorry I did not mention this is also important). Powered speakers mean I do not have to lug around a separate amplifier, which would not be a problem if I were only foreseeing rehearsal room use, same with weight of the speakers themselves. And so on. The essence of my question was: there must be differences, among the "usual suspects" you alluded to, between powered speakers designed for playback of recorded music for making people want to dance, with emphasis on those frequencies that serve the purpose, and speakers that are good for amplifying a live acoustic ensemble with more of a "high fidelity" philosophy. I know you understood this perfectly, only, I cannot afford at the moment to spend 3 or 4 times what QSCs or RCFs (the latter are local to me) cost. I do not doubt I could definitely hear the difference. But I must instead look for the best possible compromise.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by massimo View Post
Hi Wyllys,

Thank you so much for your advise.
I know my original question embeds some kind of compromise...fidelity, portability, and - I must admit - price as well (sorry I did not mention this is also important). Powered speakers mean I do not have to lug around a separate amplifier, which would not be a problem if I were only foreseeing rehearsal room use, same with weight of the speakers themselves. And so on. The essence of my question was: there must be differences, among the "usual suspects" you alluded to, between powered speakers designed for playback of recorded music for making people want to dance, with emphasis on those frequencies that serve the purpose, and speakers that are good for amplifying a live acoustic ensemble with more of a "high fidelity" philosophy. I know you understood this perfectly, only, I cannot afford at the moment to spend 3 or 4 times what QSCs or RCFs (the latter are local to me) cost. I do not doubt I could definitely hear the difference. But I must instead look for the best possible compromise.
It seems to me that given your logistic and budgetary constraints, your success will depend more on the abilities of the person mixing, proper speaker deployment and the ability of the musicians to accept some direction from your sound person. As to QSC vs RCF...go RCF, invest in one really good speaker to start and get a second when you can afford it.
Old 1 week ago
  #19
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mojo filters's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by massimo View Post
I am looking for a small PA which will serve both for rehearsals in my small studio and for gigs in smallish venues (100-200 seats). I have an acoustic ensemble, with classical/acoustic guitar, various reeds, double bass, occasionally cello, frame drums, plus a variable dose of electronics (synthesizers). Am I wrong if I gather from previous posts that QSCs are among the more "hi-fi" sounding amplified speakers for my purposes? Ideally I would want a pristine representation of acoustic instruments (miked or with a pick-up), and of the tails of the good reverbs I like to use in the studio. Too much bass would only cause feedback problems in live situations probably. I know that hi-fi or studio monitors and PA speakers play in different leagues, but can it be that QSCs are a decent middle ground? I was thinking K10.2, although maybe K8.2 would not sound too weak either? Portability is a huge factor, along with sound fidelity.

Best regards
Massimo
I agree you'd be better off starting a separate thread. However if you want feedback on the choices you posit, I've never heard a QSC speaker I'd describe as "hi-fi".

The K/KW make for decent, sturdy and inexpensive utility boxes, but get uglier as they are pushed, plus the conical HF dispersion is not always ideal.

I second the notion of exploring JBL SRX800p, KV2 and Meyer, for better quality powered options. Add to that Martin CDD Live and RCF TT, both of which should be easy to find in the UK.

If you really want a middle ground between monitors and PA, the powered versions of smaller L-Acoustics boxes are closer to the former - but to the best of my knowledge their powered boxes are still based on the generation of speakers that came before the more recent X models.

That doesn't change the very good sound quality, but the more modern product is notably lighter, the larger boxes easier to move. They may evolve into an additional range of powered versions - adding in the portability that's important to you.

Not that potent compact models like the 108p are not well suited, as they sound impressively large considering their neat form factor. Plus having been around for some time, they should be easy to find on the used market.

However I'm slightly confused - in one post you are concerned about too much bass, but then you want to make "people want to dance"?
Old 1 week ago
  #20
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massimo's Avatar
 

Mojo Filters,
apologies for any confusion. When I spoke about people dancing and bass frequencies I was referring to the opposite end of the sonic spectrum with respect to what I need, that is being able to hear the nuances of the effects (reverbs, delays etc.) and electronic instruments I use in my rehearsal studio, plus provide an unhyped representation of my mainly acoustic ensemble in smallish venues. By the way, I am not in the UK, so Rcf is local to me because they are made in Italy
Old 1 week ago
  #21
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I am doing some homework...
for some reason I am finding Meyer's website difficult to browse- too many categories- or it may be I am just an old f*rt! I do not know where to find the group of small, portable powered speakers.
I am also investigating KV2, my eyes are on the EX6 and EX10 models- has anyone tried them?
Old 1 week ago
  #22
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I've mixed plenty of shows with qsc's and Jblsrx's. I don't have much experience with the yamaha dsr/dzr's, but seem to be well praised by people I respect from an engineers perspective. If you can find some of the other suggestions by mojo and wyllys in your price range, jump on them. If not, the ones I mentioned can provide very nice results. What has been said about the qsc's breaking up a bit when pushed is true, but they are a pretty loud speaker so you really have to push them above their paygrade to reach that breakup. If I know I'm doing a show outdoors for a larger crowd, my k12's go for monitor duty. I have bought all 5 of my k12's for 500 each or less with cases, and in my opinion for 500 each there is no other powered speaker that compares that I have heard. Having said that, I would trade them for the srx line but keep my kw181 subs. For me, the load in load out and setup is a big factor as well, and the kw181's do pretty well for the size, weight and price. The ones I mentioned would be available to hear locally in most cities in america so you could go and test them out for yourself or maybe even rent them first to see if you like them.
Old 1 week ago
  #23
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Cucaio75's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by massimo View Post
I am doing some homework...
for some reason I am finding Meyer's website difficult to browse- too many categories- or it may be I am just an old f*rt! I do not know where to find the group of small, portable powered speakers.
I am also investigating KV2, my eyes are on the EX6 and EX10 models- has anyone tried them?
I've just bought a pair of Ex10 with 2 Ex2.2 subs and a pair of Ex6 wit 1 Ex1. 2 sub.
They are in another league.
I prefer the ex10 to the meyer upj line that I owned.
Ex6 are on par with some of the best studio monitors and with one ex1. 2 sub it's a very loud hi definition mini PA.
2 ex10 +2 ex2.2 is an unbelievable system.
I'm in love and I prefer this system to the meyer upa1p+subs, for live music. More punch, beautiful dynamics and a smooth hi-end.
Actually the prices of these jewels are a bargain!!
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