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flossie suvara

Amp advice please...

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Hi folks - I've got birthday money burning a hole in my pocket and would appreciate some advice.

I currently play 3 instruments on stage with The Lorelei - mandolin (solid electric with single coil pickups), violin (piezo pickup) and octave mandolin (stick on piezo pickup).

In places such as The Lemon Tree, it's relatively straightforward (well, maybe not for the sound engineer), as each instrument goes through it's own DI box.

However, in smaller venues, it can be a nightmare - there is often not enough DI boxes for all 3 instruments, so I end up either not playing one or two instruments, or having to swap instruments into the same DI (which can cause lots of eq problems)

I have thought of buying an amp which could be used in smaller venues, and was looking at something like this:

Peavey KB3 Keyboard Combo *SPECIAL OFFER PRICE* - Nevada Music

It's a keyboard amp with 3 seperate channels.

It's within my budget, and I believe (but I'm willing to be corrected if necessary) that keyboard amps have a "flatter" response - i.e. they're not aimed to enhance the specific range of an instrument as perhaps an acoustic guitar amp is. The sonic range of the mandolin and violin is much higher than that of an acoustic guitar.

My (master) plan would be to be able to have all 3 instruments plugged in at the same time, with some sort of muting device on each for when I'm not actually playing (possibly planet waves cable with the mute switch built in). There is a balanced lineout on the amp, so that could be used, or it could be miked up

So - help me out please, sound engineer types, with answers to the following:

1) Does the above make sense?

2) Will it work, or will it cause more problems than it's worth

Any advice gratefully received.

Regards

Flossie

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Acoustic amps have a flat response (in theory) as well so include them in your search.

Using the line out could be tricky.

If the DI feed is taken pre then all you'll be able to do is adjust the input gains before sending the signal FOH, which will even out the gain differences a bit but maybe still give you the same EQ problems you're currently experiencing. It will give you more control over your monitor sound though.

If the DI feed is taken post then ANYTHING you do to the amp will affect the FOH sound, a dangerous thing sometimes, especially knowing the racket your rhythm section makes :-).

Miking may be the best bet but a bit of experimentation is required.

Of course, in places like the LT, where a full complement of DIs is available, you should use them and use the amp purely as a monitor.

Some amps have pre/post switches for the DI feed so keep an eye out for them. That would give you all three options available.

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why don't you get a multi channel DI with some sort of channel muting capabilities? i'm sure ther is one out there if your amp idea fails.

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look into the aer series of acoustic amps. they arent cheap but are very light and give the best sound for acoustic instruments i have heard. and the di in them is great too (and pre/post eq switchable.)

you could also get a 3 way line selector pedal so you can plug them all in and just switch instrument with your foot.

you then have the option of micing the amp or using the di and working out how to change the eq for the different instruments. or you could even get a good eq pedal for the violin (probably the most problematic one?) and at least you are using the amp for your main monitor so when you change the engineer just has to worry about eq for the house and not your wedge.

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