Most keyboard players like to practice with other musicians. In that case a portable tiny amp (around 15-20 Watt) will suit well. You can even use them for a piano bar type setting. These small keyboard amps are not really loud, but fine if you need clear professional sound in a small space. These small keyboard amplifiers are perfect if you want an amplifier to balance your vocals with a loud piano.
If you need more power for a bigger audience, then you will need a powerful, clean sounding amplifier. Such amps usually also tend to be heavy by themselves. If you want your piano keyboard to be heard clearly and not get overpowered by the drummers and the other musicians in your band, you better get yourself a powerful keyboard amplifier (around 150-180 watts).
Another thing with powerful keyboard amps is that they start revealing the imperfections in your piano keyboard, in case you are not using a top notch keyboard. So it might tempt or force you to consider upgrading your keyboard instrument.
Also, the better amps have multiple inputs so that you can plug in microphone, guitar or a CD player which makes them perfect even for your band practice session.
Because these keyboard amps have multiple inputs, you can even connect your iPod to these amps. You could easily play your favorite songs and power a dance party since you get a very loud and clear SOUND out of them.
Home System Speakers
Most keyboards have built-in amps and speakers and the sound produced depends on this amplifier.
For your personal use, the sound produced by the keyboard speakers is decent enough but you can make it sound a lot better by giving it external amplification.
One easy way of doing this without going in for the keyboard amplifiers is to directly connect the keyboard to your home sound system; to one of its Aux inputs.
Even a not so expensive keyboard sounds really good when connected to your home system.
Though the home system is not recommended for public performance, you can still use it if you are going to play in a small hall and if the audience consists of your friends and relatives.
Even for your school function, you can give the output of your keyboard to the microphones and play it through the normal speakers.
Keyboard Amplifiers – For Stage Performances
If you are serious about playing in public, or if you want to play for a band or a gig, you will need to go in for Keyboard combo amplifiers to give that extra power to your keyboards.
When you decide to go in for external keyboard amps make sure that you buy only dedicated keyboard combos and nothing else.
Characteristics of a Keyboard Amplifier
Keyboard amplifiers are used to amplify a variety of digital piano keyboard instruments, including synths, arrangers, digital and electric pianos.
Since keyboard instruments cater to a wide frequency range, from very low bass notes to extremely high pitches, you will find a large woofer speaker (to handle the low bass notes) and a horn or tweeter (for the high notes) as part of your Keyboard amplifier.
You may get guitar amps or some other amps from your friends or other sources for dirt cheap prices but stay away from them. The frequency range of keyboard sounds is much greater than guitar so you’ll need a full-spectrum frequency range to reproduce your sound accurately. This automatically rules-out using a guitar amplifier.
Of course, you can have a look at used Keyboard amplifiers but make sure you thoroughly test its output before you make any buying decision.
In terms of output, the more watts an amp will produce the louder you can play without distorting. Look for combo amps with at least 60 watts power; this will give you a decent output.
Keyboard Amplifier – Inputs & Outputs
If you wish to connect to a common house mixer, which puts your sound in the mains and the monitors, you can choose a smaller keyboard amp that has line outputs.
You also get Keyboard amplifiers that have a simple onboard mixer with multiple inputs, so that you can connect multiple digital keyboards to the Keyboard amplifier and control their tone and level.