Improving live sound set for piano gig

Lean Drusi

New member
May 27, 2020
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0
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ARgentina
Hello, Im a pianist and I work with a digital piano. I have a pair of p.a. speakers (8" woofer, 1" driver, portable speakers) wich are very convenient in terms of portability, ease of use and power, and they sound pretty well in band gigs.
But sometimes I get solo piano ("cocktail/lounge") gigs and then its very difficult to get an appropiate "lush" or "mellow" sound to that kind of gig, instead they sound a little bit harsh, dry and very treble-punchy, even if I cut some high in the eq it still sounds very bright.

Once, in my home, I placed some foam in the 1" driver and it mellowed the sound pretty well, but it didnt looked very professional...

So maybe you people can recommend me some more decent DIY way of altering the speakers, or maybe tell me about some other speakers (preferably in a similar price range) that you think could make the job better? In that case I may sell them and add a little more cash to get new ones, but first let me hear your ideas :D
Pd: pease have in mind most of my gigs are at bars, restaurants, pubs, and alike...
Thanks in advance!
 
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2018
71
8
8
58
Bideford, Devon. UK
Hi Lean,

Regrettably any low-cost speaker with a built-in amplifier like this has had its manufacturing costs absolutely slashed to the bone with everything compromised including, as you have found out, the sound quality. No eight inch speaker is ever going to produce room-filling bass, and cheap HF compression drivers always seem to sound like a bucket of gravel, sadly. Basic class D amps do not necessarily sound awful, and are, anyway, orders of magnitude better in terms of sound quality than equally cheap speakers! I'm sorry to appear so negative, but this represents a prime example of getting what you pay for, and to offer any general recommendations for prospective replacements we really need to know your absolute top budget, plus what physical size of speakers you are willing to cart around...

Again, apologies for the doom and gloom but there's no real way of sugar coating it - I see there are tone controls at the rear, so I guess you have played with these to their limits, but this will have little effect on the actual sound quality, merely the tonal balance. The piano is an extremely difficult instrument to reproduce convincingly and I fear your expectations might exceed your budget.

Best regards and stay safe, Carl.
 

Lean Drusi

New member
May 27, 2020
3
0
1
34
ARgentina
Hi Lean,

Regrettably any low-cost speaker with a built-in amplifier like this has had its manufacturing costs absolutely slashed to the bone with everything compromised including, as you have found out, the sound quality. No eight inch speaker is ever going to produce room-filling bass, and cheap HF compression drivers always seem to sound like a bucket of gravel, sadly. Basic class D amps do not necessarily sound awful, and are, anyway, orders of magnitude better in terms of sound quality than equally cheap speakers! I'm sorry to appear so negative, but this represents a prime example of getting what you pay for, and to offer any general recommendations for prospective replacements we really need to know your absolute top budget, plus what physical size of speakers you are willing to cart around...

Again, apologies for the doom and gloom but there's no real way of sugar coating it - I see there are tone controls at the rear, so I guess you have played with these to their limits, but this will have little effect on the actual sound quality, merely the tonal balance. The piano is an extremely difficult instrument to reproduce convincingly and I fear your expectations might exceed your budget.

Best regards and stay safe, Carl.
Absolutely no problem! thanks for your kind reply. Im aware those speakers are not hi quality, then again I ask, wich ones would you recomend? for live piano gign?
 

Lean Drusi

New member
May 27, 2020
3
0
1
34
ARgentina
And I will have to ask again, what is your budget and what are your size limitations? ;)
Sure man, budget would be around u$$ 800 and size only limited to: budget itself, it has to fit in a regular taxi and has to be possible to lift/carry by a single man.
 
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Caleb Dueck

Junior
Jan 11, 2011
506
5
18
Montana
My first thought was something like an RCF TT22A or Martin CDD Live 15, but those are at least $2k each. Any time you try to reproduce piano well without a proper audio system - it's going to be compromised. The CDD Live at least has adjustable EQ (via networked computer), so you could tweak that, preferably with a sound company with SmaartLive and knowledge of how to use it.

To get more accurate than that, you're into the realm of a sound system (speakers, amps, DSP, subwoofer, mixer, etc).

On the low end of the price range - the RCF HD32A is close to your budget. See if you can demo one of those, along with the Yamaha DZR12.