Amp vs Powered Speaker?

Posted: 12/8/2020 8:19:39 PM

Joined: 2/16/2018

I am looking for recommendations for an amp or powered speaker for my Etherwave. I know there are several threads on amps here but they all seem to be quite old. From what I've read in past posts, keyboard amps seem to be recommended most. However, it was recommended to me that a powered speaker would be better than an amp. Does anyone have any experience or insights on which would be best? Also, any recommendations on specific models are much appreciated! 

Posted: 12/8/2020 8:33:16 PM
CB Thereminist

From: Ontario

Joined: 1/28/2020

Hey Aliamo!

My first real speaker for my Etherwave Plus was a Bose S1 Pro PA speaker. It was a great speaker to start with, and if you can find one on the aftermarket for a good price, I would recommend it for sure. Pretty nice sound, onboard EQ (just bass/treble) with a reverb knob, great volume for such a small unit (seriously - I filled up even the lobby outside our university's music hall with sound, much to the bemusement of my professors), bluetooth for playing to tracks easily, and even has a wireless (battery) mode for portable use. I don't regret starting with it.

More recently, I'm using a Fishman Loudbox Artist acoustic amp. I really like it. The EQ on it is very responsive, for anything from quite mellow to nice shrill sounds, sparse or full, and has a really nice selection of onboard effects. Wonderful volume on it, too, at 100W. Perhaps most importantly, it has good headroom. Mine doesn't have bluetooth, but you can buy them with that as well. I guess my favourite part about it is how nice and lush/soft the sound is, very smooth compared to my Bose. My only complaint with it, which I had with the Bose as well, is you can pretty clearly hear it switching between the mid and highs, and sometimes the mid and lows, when you vibrato in the right ranges. But overall, I'm very satisfied with it. Definitely an underrated choice for theremins, I feel.

(Note: There is a smaller version of the Fishman Loudbox amps, but I hear it has poor headroom. Just a caution.)

This is all of my experience with amplification that I've owned, though. I tried a Yorkville 200W PA speaker for a month or so, but I wasn't a fan of the dry sound of it. Let's see what other people have to say - I may end up taking notes too...

- Colin

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