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Old 17th October 2010, 12:55 AM   #11
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If he has an 88 note keyboard, there is need for good low end response. An 8" speaker probably wouldn't have much bass in a small box.

A single chip amplifier is a good idea; you can get a 30 W IC for a few bucks. The hardest part is the speaker and box. You don't need much preamplifier, as a keyboard has significant output. Tone controls probably not necessary - mine always set to the middle.
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Old 17th October 2010, 01:48 AM   #12
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30W will make some noise. a 12" woofer with enough power and excursion diy has better bass than any 8". If he helps build it he will always be proud, even if he upgrades later. Best of luck. I'm using a $15 disco mixer as my home system hub, so they have some possibilities although I've changed op amps and caps for better sound. They are light enough.
I helped my Dad wire a den when I was 11, using a little Sears "how to wire your room" booklet. I tested out of Electricity 1 at 50 when retraining at the community college, and went right into electricity 2 (factory wiring) based on my work at age 11. Kids that diy are the future of manufacturing in this country.
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Last edited by indianajo; 17th October 2010 at 01:54 AM.
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Old 17th October 2010, 03:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amt View Post
They all use small Fenders, Rolands or Peaveys.
Buy him a small Fender, Roland or Peavey.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amt View Post
Is a nice chipamp, the 12lta and the Mackie a better collection of parts than a $150 8" commercial amp?
No. You can't build a decent instrument amplifier as cheap as you can buy one and it will never look the same. Do you make his clothes?

I don't understand why you can't just ask him, and take aboard what he says.

w
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Old 21st October 2010, 04:43 AM   #14
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Is a nice chipamp, the 12lta and the Mackie a better collection of parts than a $150 8" commercial amp?
Yes it is. Having said that, its easier to tote the 8" commercial amp. I'm not sure why you really need the Mackie though as the output from a keyboard is line level. I agree he doesn't need much "street cred" yet. I also agree to talk it over with him; I think as long as he understands you're trying to get a reasonable rig for him he'll be fine.
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Old 21st October 2010, 06:57 PM   #15
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Well I tested the 12lta/lm3875 in a sealed 1.5cf box and it far outperforms the little Crate 8" he borrows or the budget Fender/Behringer I listened to at the big box music store. None have any bass and are pretty flimsy.

The mixer just an idea. I though that its an easy way to either add a mic or another keyboard to the amp we are building or to use with a bigger pro sound setup in the future.

As to what he wants or desires, he has gotten used to custom everything and is aware that "off-the-shelf " mass market is just that. He is also an artist and quite creative and is usually drawn to the unique and non-mainstream approach of things. He has also been schooled in smart consumerism, value, quality and the evil of planned obsolescence and mediocre manufacturing.

So, we now have some beautiful clear pine and have some amp parts (grill cloth and hardware) on order. I hope to get the cabinet going next week and build up the amplifier assembly as well.

amt
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Old 25th October 2010, 09:49 PM   #16
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Having a spare input (even if it's connected to the same pre-amp etc) can be very handy. I know it's useful in band situations when someone fails to bring theirs, or the PA packs up and you need a wide range for the vocals. You can change the volume on the keyboard too, to get them in line.

Sounds like DIY will once again triumph.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 12:55 PM   #17
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I know exactly what you mean, being 16 myself. I have a heavily modified guitar amplifier from the late '70s. I still find myself looking at Marshall gear, amongst others, for the street cred. Mine sounds nicer (than the one I'd buy), but no-one's heard of it (that said, plenty have heard the amp itself ).

Apply that here, and you're absolutely right, get one that has a decent balance between sound and street cred.

Apart from that, make sure it holds the sound together when turned up. Nothing worse than liking the sound at low levels, then it all falls apart when you try to keep up with the drummer. I wonder if 1x12" is really enough to hit the lower notes on a keyboard when the drummer's going for it... Perhaps 2x12 is in order?

Chris
There's no point competing with a drummer going full pelt: a single 12" would be fine powered by a valve (triode or tetrode) because the even-order harmonics would allow the fundamentals to be recognised by the frequency complex.
A push-pull typology would help for bass and transient reproduction coupled with a (tough..) full-range speaker?
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Old 2nd November 2010, 08:18 PM   #18
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There's no point competing with a drummer going full pelt: a single 12" would be fine powered by a valve (triode or tetrode) because the even-order harmonics would allow the fundamentals to be recognised by the frequency complex.
A push-pull typology would help for bass and transient reproduction coupled with a (tough..) full-range speaker?
Tubes are nice, but heavy. The child in question is 10. When I was 10, I weighed 60 lb and could lift about 20 lb. So chip amps are ideal even if the sound is not ideal. When he grows, the next system can be . . .
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Old 5th November 2010, 08:33 PM   #19
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Tubes are nice, but heavy. The child in question is 10. When I was 10, I weighed 60 lb and could lift about 20 lb. So chip amps are ideal even if the sound is not ideal. When he grows, the next system can be . . .
Fair point! Tubes aren't the most safe thing to play with either
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