Pros: This is a good sounding keyboard amp, that can also double as a PA system.
BEHRINGER K3000FX ULTRATONE KEYBOARD AMPLIFIER
When it comes to shopping for an amplifier that will be suitable for a keyboard, it is very important to keep in mind the wide spectrum of sounds that today's modern keyboards are capable of producing. For example, a synthesizer can produce some powerfully deep and resonant sounds, and can also hit some incredibly high notes as well. For proper amplification of a modern keyboard, it is imperative that an amplifier be able to handle a full range of sounds and sonic frequencies. Enter the Behringer K3000FX Ultratone Keyboard Amplifier. This amplifier has many features that one would typically not expect to find in a keyboard amplifier selling in this price range. Read on and see if the Behringer K3000 FD Ultratone Keyboard Amplifier has some of the sonic characteristics that you might be looking for in an amp the next time that you are in the market for an amplifier capable of handling the amplification requirements that a modern keyboard demands today.
In deciding on a purchase of a piece of musical equipment or sound reinforcement equipment it is always important to keep costs in mind. The Behringer K3000FX Ultratone Keyboard Amplifier has a list price of $519.99, but it can be had from most large national musical instrument chain stores for as little as $349.95. That is a very good price for am amplifier that is not only able to handle the chores of reproducing the sounds of a modern keyboard, but it can also handle the frequencies of an acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, and the human voice.
Some readers may be wondering why one can not just use a guitar amp to amplify the sound of a keyboard, and why would it be necessary for an amp to be specifically designed for use with a keyboard? Well the answer to this question is both simple on the one hand, and a little complicated on the other. Most electric guitar amps color the sound of the instrument being amplified, and they emphasize the mid-range frequencies, while at the same time cutting off the ultra low end as well as very high end frequencies and overtones. As such, most guitar amps are not made to reproduce the sparkling highs and low end overtones of a good acoustic guitar, and by the same token they can not handle the low end and high end notes and frequencies of a synthesizer or a modern keyboard. When a typical guitar amp is used for these purposes, the result is apt to be a muddy and indistinct sound. However, a keyboard amplifier is specifically designed to handle the full range of sounds of a modern keyboard or synthesizer, as well as being able to reproduce the overtones of an acoustic guitar, the human voice, as well as the low notes of a bass guitar.
As I mentioned earlier in this review, the Behringer K3000FX Keyboard Amplifier has many excellent features that you would not normally expect to find in an amplifier in this price range. I would like to elaborate on this by discussing some of the features on the front and rear control panels. Let's start with the front panel. Firstly we come to 4 dials labeled Mic/Line 1, Line 2, Line 3, and Line 4. These controls adjust the signal level for each of the 4 channels. Just above these are 4 dials labeled FX, and these control the signal level at the input of the effects processor. The signal to Channel 4 goes directly to the Headphone Output without effects. There are 2 buttons directly to the right of the dial that reads Line 4. If you depressed the button that reads To Main, the signal will also be sent to the speakers, once again without effects. By pressing the other button which is labeled To Line Out, the signal will be sent to the Line Out output, once again without effects. By pressing both buttons (To Main and To Line) the signal from Channel 4 will be routed to the speakers and to the Line Out output and will include any effects that you are using.
Next we come to a 7 band graphic equalizer, which can be used to really fine tune the sounds coming from the speakers. To the bottom right of the equalizer is a switch labeled FPQ Feedback Detection System. When this button is pressed, the frequencies that could potentially cause the K3000FX to feedback are lit by a LED. All you need do is to lower the level of the frequencies in question and the feedback will disappear, and the LED will not be illuminated. What could be easier. To the right of this we come to the FX Control, which is what one uses to dial in the effects preset that you wish to use, and below this is the FX Display, which shows which effects have been engaged. Next we come to a dial labeled Level, and this is the master control which is used to adjust the general output volume of the amp. Just above the dial is another dial which is labeled FX Return, and this dial is used to add the effect that was previously chosen to the overall mix. To the right of this is a button labeled Shape, which when pushed in, engages a filter that can be used to additionally shape or modify the sound of the keyboard that you may be using. Finally we come to a Headphone jack and a dial labeled Phones Level which can be adjusted to control the output level going to the Headphone Jack. Obviously, it is always advisable to keep this set to zero when plugging in a set of headphones, and then gradually adjusting the output to the desired level.
And now, let's turn to the back panel o0f the K3000FX. Firstly, we come to two balanced XLR Line Out connectors, one for the left and one for the right. These are post EQ, and can be used to send the signal from the K3000FX to an external device, such as a mixing board for sound reinforcement purposes of for recording. Just below these XLR Line Outs is a button labeled Ground Lift, which when pushed in., disconnects the ground connection, and may reduce hum. Adjacent and to the right of the XLR Outputs are two quarter inch Line Outs, labeled Left and Right respectively. A very nice additional feature of the K3000FX is that there are quarter inch jacks labeled Stereo Link Our and In which can be used to connect the Out of the K3000FX to the Line In of another keyboard amp which can serve as a slave to the K3000FX, and one can thus have the option of stereo. Below these two jacks is another which is labeled Sub Out, and this can be used to connect a powered external subwoofer. This option enhances the K3000FX's already excellent capability of reproducing the power of some of the lowest of notes, and it can really enhance the sound of a synthesizer or bass guitar. Adjacent to this jack, is one labeled Foot Switch, which is where one would connect the footswitch to. The footswitch can be used to turn on or off the built in effects.
Next we come to 2 RCA jacks labeled CD In, which can be used to connect a CD player or tape deck to the K3000FX for use when practicing at home. Next we come to 8 quarter inch jacks and a balanced XLR connector labeled Mic. Each of the 4 channels has two of these jacks, with the one on top being labeled L (Mono) and the one on the bottom being labeled R. If one is using mono connections then one should use the connection labeled Mono, and if one is using stereo, then both the L (Mono) and R jacks should be used. Additionally, Channel 1 has the balanced XLR connection I mentioned a moment ago, which one can plug a dynamic microphone into or even a condenser microphone, as the K3000FX provides internal phantom power for this channel. One can choose to use two microphones at once in this channel, and the levels of both inputs are controlled by the level control of Channel 1.
Before I get into a discussion of some of the things that the Behringer K3000FX is capable of, I would like to take a few moments to discuss some of the other specifications regarding this amplifier. A key component of a good keyboard amplifier is the ability to be able to dish out a lot of power and volume, while at the same time doing so with little or no distortion. The Behringer K3000FX has a power capacity of 300 Watts, which is clearly a relatively good deal of power, especially when one compares it to a typical guitar amplifier. This power is sent through a 15 inch Bugera woofer, and a specially designed 1 inch horn driver. Bugera Speakers are made by Jensen, which I am sure most readers will agree is a premier name in speaker manufacturing for musical instrument amplifiers. The amplifier enclosure is 20.8 inches high, 23.5 inches wide, and 16 inches deep, and it weighs in at a little over 65 pounds. Thus it is compact enough to fit into the trunk of most cars, with plenty of room left over.
I was fortunate to be able to hear this amp live at a local coffee house. There were two musicians using this one amp. They were actually two of my very talented cousins. They had two microphones for singing, a Roland Synthesizer for a keyboard, two acoustic guitars, a Fender Stratocaster, and a Fender Precision Bass. They were quite versatile musicians, and were trading playing different musical instruments, depending on the songs that they were performing. They were running some of this equipment through a small Mackie soundboard which was connected to the Behringer K3000FX, and some of the equipment was going directly into the Behringer K3000FX itself. These fellows were able to sound quite good using the Behringer K3000 as a PA system for their vocals, and as a means of amplifying all of these various musical instruments.
The Behringer K3000FX did a very good job of reproducing the vocals, and I did not detect any distortion in the sound. The various sounds they used that evening included reverb, flanging, chorus, and various delays. Each of these sounded quite good. The Behringer Feedback Detection System was apparently working quite well, as I did not hear any feedback at all during the evening. The 7 Band Graphic EQ also did a great job on the sound of their acoustic guitars, which is a feat in itself really. The Fender Stratocaster was clean and pure sounding. One would not expect a distorted overdriven sound from this amp, as a good keyboard amp should not distort. The sound of the Bass guitar was also very impressive through this amp. It was clear, and distinct, and gave a room filling bass, and the sound of the synthesized bass from the keyboard was room shaking and dominant. The sound of the strings on the synthesizer was also very clean and sounded quite good.
Well who is the Behringer K3000FX.best suited for? I would have to say that this little amp was surprisingly good. It is a very good keyboard amp, and it did a great job on the acoustic guitars and vocals. These are the uses that I would say that it is best suited for. It was certainly adequate for the Bass guitar and electric guitar, but most guitarists would prefer an amplifier that can distort or break up a bit during certain circumstances. Of course a rock sound could be achieved by using a stomp box, but it would probably make more sense for a guitarist to use a guitar amplifier for those purposes.
Well I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my review, but now if you will excuse me, I must get back to my practicing.