5 Affordable Keyboard Amps for Amplifying Your Synth

If you’re relatively new to the wide world of synthesis, you may be wondering about how best to amplify your synthesizer. And with a plethora of PA systems and keyboard, bass, and even guitar amps on the table to choose from, the options are practically limitless.

Players with bigger budgets planning to play larger venues often invest in full PA systems in order to get a clean signal with a wide frequency response, while others prefer plugging into Ampeg bass cabs or guitar amps like the classic Roland JC-120 specifically because those amps will color their tone. Another option is to amplify a synth with a pair of inexpensive studio monitors or powered speakers, which can certainly do the trick, especially for those playing at home or in smaller rehearsal spaces or clubs.

In all, there's no right or wrong way to go about it, and what it ultimately will come down to is your specific needs and what you're willing or able to spend.

Keyboard amps—which have a wider frequency response than guitar and bass amps and can often handle the low-end more accurately than mid-range-focused guitar amps—are also worthy of your consideration. They're portable, all-in-one units that can easily be taken from practice space to venue. Some amps come with onboard effects or specific tone-shaping characteristics. So even when it's mic'd or fed directly into a PA at a show, you can still have the same level of control over your sound. Below, we've rounded up five worthy contenders.

What is it? What makes it cool? What does it cost?
Roland KC-550 Onboard mixer is a great bonus feature. $475-$650
Peavey KB 2 Solid for the money. $229-$300
Behringer Ultratone KXD12 Promises to be feedback-free. $320-$350
Vox VX50KB Sleek and portable. $200-$230
Laney Audiohub Combo AH150 Designed with flexibility in mind. $175-$420
Roland KC-550

Roland's KC series of amplifiers is definitely a great recommendation for anyone looking to amplify their standalone synth or a larger synth rig. The Roland KC-550, especially, is praised among players for its volume, clarity, and deep bass response.

With only a single speaker, it's not a true stereo amp, but it features an onboard mixer that allows a stereo send to a venue's house PA system. And it's also equipped with "Stereo Link," which allows players to connect another KC series amp for stereo sound. If your rig requires more than a single input, the KC-550 has you covered—offering four channels on its onboard mixer, eliminating your need for a standalone mixer.

For those looking for a more affordable alternative to picking up an expansive mixer and a pair of powered speakers, this is definitely an amp worth checking out. And if it's still a bit out of your price range, you can also check out other entries in Roland's KC series, like the KC-220, KC-150, or KC-350.


Peavey KB 3

The Peavey KB 3 is a workhorse of an amplifier, featuring 60 watts of power and a 12-inch speaker that make it versatile both for use at home and in small rehearsal settings.

Each of the amp's three channels feature a two-band EQ—the third channel also features a mid-frequency control—and gives players a lot of mid-range definition, while handling highs and lows well, too. If the KB 3 is a bit outside of your price range and you wouldn't mind a slightly smaller speaker, the Peavey KB 2 is another worthwhile choice.


Behringer Ultratone KXD12

The Behringer Ultratone KXD12 is another solid option for amplifying your synth at home and out at smaller venues. Its four independent stereo channels each feature separate volume and FX send controls, great for any synthesists without a mixer or those interested in using this amp as a compact, portable PA.

The KXD 12 promises high-resolution sound over a wide frequency response, with a 12-inch speaker, a one-inch driver, and two amplifiers per speaker for a true bi-amping mode. It also features a seven-band EQ and promises to be feedback-free, equipped Behringer's FBQ Feedback Detection System.


Vox VX50KB

The VX50KB from Vox is a very sleek, lightweight, and portable 50-watt, 1x8 combo keyboard amp that'll make an unobtrusive addition to your rehearsal room and convenient for taking to practice.

The VX50KB features three channels with independent volume control and a master three-band EQ for controlling your mix. Its coaxial speaker promises to deliver clear output, even in the high-frequency range, while its bass reflex structure promises a deep and rich low-frequency reproduction for its size. Keep in mind that this amp is equipped with a Nutube, lending to a specifically warm, vacuum tube sound.


Laney Audiohub Combo AH150

The Laney Audiohub Combo AH150 is a really powerful and flexible keyboard amp designed for flexibility and to be used with a variety of different instruments.

Each of its five independent channels feature its own level control, and channels one through four are also equipped with a two-band EQ and FX send. The AH150 also features a master graphic EQ for controlling your overall mix.



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