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Rating and Reviews: Roland KC880 Keyboard Amp

Roland's top keyboard amp, the KC-880 rocks 320 watts in stereo, with two 12" woofers, two HF tweeters and 5 input channels for all your full-range sources.

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"Great Sound." submitted July 12, 2011

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: intermediate, active
Music Style: varies-alternative
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Sound: This amp sounds way better than any amp I have owned (at least in a very long time)....keyboard amp or otherwise. Previously, what I had is what I'll call an "economy keyboard amp", which still wasn't cheap. Without going into any name calling, what I had before was the bottom-end model of an elite brand of keyboard amps. After years of tolerating the sound (or lack of tone), I decided to go for something better. The Roland KC880 did wow me, especially upon my first experience listening to what was coming out of it. Wow! For the weight, it better sound good. ; ) The Low, Mid and Treble EQ settings sound great. I haven't cranked the bass mids or highs up too much during a live performance with my piano patch....just a touch will do for that particular sound. Maybe I'll dial in something different later, but so far I haven't had to crank the eq knobs in order to compensate for any lack of tone in the amp itself. The adjustments do sound great. At home I tried the amp for listening to a movie, cranked up the bass, great response. (Same results when listening to my computer's media player). Feature: The most notable features this amp has? 4 channels of input plus auxillary (for a total of 5). I keep saying this, but yes, it has great Low, Mid and High EQ controls. Onboard effects include Reverb, Chorus and Tremolo. I've only found use for the Reverb so far...but if I ever decided to play a rhodes, wurly or an organ, the other 2 effects might be handy as well. (I mainly just stick to virtual piano plug-ins and a pad). Which effect you use and at what level is sort of a global setting. Each channel gives you the choice of applying it or not.... except the aux channel doesn't have an on off button for the effects. Some musicians might like more control than the effects settings allow, but I don't really care...I can apply external effects from somewhere more dedicated to that purpose anyways. The fact that it is a stereo amp at 160 watts per side (for a total of 320) will make it sound better than most "keyboard amps" out there....not to mention that the woofers on each side are 12". I didn't have a chance to compare it to the other flagship keyboard amp out there, the Motion Sound KP-500SN...maybe someday I will have a chance at hearing what that one sounds like. (500 watts total and at half the weight). I think the Roland has more channels than the Motion Sound and may be more appropriate for certain venues and applications. My first live gig experience with this amp was great, except having to share it as a group monitor for half of the platform instead of using it for myself only. What can I say? It got a bit hijacked since it was easily recognized for its outstanding worth and capability. What else? Comes with casters which one may need if you plan on transporting it around much. I actually just purchased a Magna Cart...plan on seeing how that works out when I haul it to a gig tomorrow. If portability was a feature...that might be something to think about. Don't get me wrong, it IS portable, but it may require some effort as it does weigh in somewhere around 100 lbs. After years of lack of tone, it suddenly becomes worth it to haul the "monster" around. I do love the sound. Ease of Use: There really isn't anything difficult about operating the amp...pretty easy and straight forward. I'm no sound engineer, but being a musician helps I suppose. You should be able to get the sound you are looking for with what this amp provides. Makes my piano presets shine. Of course, whatever you put in is what you'll get out. But, I know I've been putting a great sound in, and now with this amp I'm finally getting it out. This amp made band members comment on it's amazing performance. I will say that I thought that channel 1 was a little noiser as far as the slight hiss, so I just use channel 2 for my keys instead. I noticed that channel 1 is at a different db rating or something, and is also considered the channel to be used for microphone input, as there is a setting on the knob corresponding to microphone level use. I haven't used a microphone with with this amp yet, but will for a gig in the future. I expect great results....no doubts. Okay, I've been complaining a little about the weight (around 100 lbs) in some of the categories, but haven't actually rated any category less than a ten yet. I think I'll consider portability to be under the ease of use category. So this is why I'm going to give the ease of use rating a slight ding. Quality: The quality of this amp is outstanding. The very sight of it speaks of durability and demands respect. It almost has a presence of its own...even when it's turned off. ; ) I think the weight I've been complaining about actually helps in this category. I am somehow led to believe that the weight gives it a certain durability. It certainly appears that it is made to last. Another review I read said that this amp is built like a tank. I think I understand. This is one big amp. I mean, since I got this, the bass player is going to have to get a bigger amp now....if not the other musicians in the band as well. ; ) Cosmetic blem? I purposed to purchase a blem or a "scratch and dent" version, so no complaints there. I'm not sure what happened to create the blem...didn't ask. What I seen didn't take away from the fact that this thing was made to last. IF it was prior abuse, it seemed to be able to handle it. The fiberous material on the amp does attract hair if you have pets. I'm not going to deduct for that....if you have that problem use a vacuum or one of those rollers to remove the hair. But in case it's a deciding factor for somebody, I gave as much information as I could. Value: You get what you pay for. It sounds great. Manufacturer Support: Didn't need to talk to Roland. Overall: Oh, I'll keep my eyes open for other products. I already made a reference to the Motion Sound Kp 500 SN. I also like the idea of having the Roland KC110 for smaller venues...allowing me to keep the bigger Roland at home. A pair of QSC K12s (or even just one) interests me as well, although those aren't specifically marketed for being used as a keyboard amp per say, I have heard great things. So although I won't let go of the idea of having or trying something diffrent, overall I still give the Roland KC880 the best rating possible.
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"A good amp would be excellent if the price was less." submitted December 21, 2010

By a customer from verizon.net
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Jazz, rock alternative
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Sound: Amp as good detent on bass until you really crank it up and then it gets scary. The speakers look like they will fly out of the cabinet. Don't get me wrong by the time you get this thing up to that volume its earth shaking. This amp has plenty of headroom for mid size gigs. The highs are also brillient. Feature: This amp is huge. It also topples the scales at 100lbs. Its far from portable. I wish the castors were heavier as they look too small to handle the weight. Ease of Use: Very good controls. I wish they had separate controls for the different effects ex. Reverb chourus and tremolo. This way you have the option of combining by mixing them. Quality: Amp looks like it is built like a tank. Looks and feels like it should last for years. Value: This thing is a bit pricey compared to the Berringers that I own. I feel that if it were priced about $200.00 less it would be a good value Overall: I expect to keep this until it falls apart or somthing totally inovative comes along.
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