Re: [Harp-L] Minimum amp requirement for using an RP?

martin oldsberg wrote:
<Lately IÂve been playing a few coffee-shop gigs just using my Roland Micro Cube (5W). ThereÂs no PA.
<  It works OK for such small rooms, a bit low perhaps -- but IÂm slightly annoyed that I canÂt add my RP 150 (with Richard HÂs settings) to it in <order to get a somewhat broader palette of sounds. (ItÂs feedback from the very start almost; couldnÂt even reach convincing volume levels if the <gigs were in my living room.)
<Question: How strong an amplifier do I need to fill say, an 80 square meter room with, say 50 people in it? And I mean when also using the RP?
 < Impossible to answer precisely? 
<  Yeah, I know -- but roughly: 15 W? 30 W? (I understand from RichardÂs instructions that a keyboard amp can be a way to go, but how powerful?)

A keyboard amp is indeed the way to go.  Keyboard amps tend to escalate in power in tandem with speaker size.  I've found that a keyboard amp with a 10" speaker--which should put you in the neighborhood of 40-50 watts--is an ideal compromise between size, weight (around 35 pounds), cost (around $250 new), and power.  The Peavey KB2 is the one I use, but similar models are available from Roland (slightly more money) and Behringer (slightly less money).  These amps also generally feature multiple inputs and a simple mixer, so they're very useful for one-man shows where you sing, play guitar, etc. along with the harmonica.

Look for the following when you buy:
- a 10" speaker at least.  One 8" speaker ain't gonna cut it, especially when you kick in octave doubles, and the power output will be too low for a room with 50 people in it.
- 40-50 watts of output power
- at least 2 inputs with their own volume controls, ideally 3
- a line out--either via balanced XLR, or 1/4", or both--so you can run the amp as an onstage monitor for bigger gigs, with a line-out to the PA.  (The Peavey offers a balanced XLR out and a 1/4" out via the FX send.  I've used both on gigs with rock bands.)

I recommend that you check the user reviews at and other online dealers to see what buyers are saying about the amp(s) you're considering.  When I was shopping, the KB2 reviews convinced me.  (I now own two of them.)

Regards, Richard Hunter

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