In the world of amps, there is a lot going on. Guitar amps will forever rule supreme, and for a very good reason. Often overlooked though, maybe because of its lack of status enhancing qualities, is the keyboard amp.
Keyboard amps are usually very versatile since you can run pretty much any signal through it up until a smoke signal. Various brands have been quite popular over the years, boasting powerful outputs and several channels, 3 band EQ’s, and such. I ran into the new kid on the block a while back, and what a game changer it is! Introducing: The Alto Kick 12 keyboard amp!
Alto, as a brand, has been around for the better part of two decades, and is better known for their great price point, great quality PA range. However, with the Kick 12 they’re really making a statement. A 12” cone that thumps an overwhelming 400W of peak power (cruising at 200W), a bi-amped system that delivers stunning transparency and detail, it has a built-in mic-pre, balanced L/R outputs, RCA audio inputs, a ground lift switch, and just for good measure, an on board Alesis FX unit with 16 presets (each with 16 variations – you do the math!). The 4 channel stereo input configuration resembles a small mixer and the FX level on each channel can be managed individually.
What really impresses me – and this is just the nutshell version – is the fact that this amp is not only lighter (17.8kg) than its closest competition, but smaller, much cheaper, AND louder! And guess what? It sounds better too. It is also available in a 15” version, should you REALLY want that extra bottom end.
This amp is extremely versatile, and can be used for almost anything. From casual jam sessions at home with friends, live performance in smaller venues (if you’re not missing the absence of your stereo image), more serious projects, and even the pro player with feel very satisfied with this little monster.
If I was to buy a keyboard amp, I would look no further. This is the one! By a very long shot.
Review by Gideon Joubert our Mars Music city store piano and keyboard specialist