Best Keyboard Amp Reviews

Out of the best keyboard amps, we selected the Peavey KB 3 as the winner. It has both two and three-band EQ and is plenty powerful for performance needs.

Most keyboards come with speakers built right in, but what about when it’s time to get in front of an audience? Your keyboard’s speakers can’t fill a large venue—sometimes, they can’t even fill a bedroom. So you need a good amplifier, and luckily there are quite a few excellent ones to choose from:

Top 6 Keyboard Amplifiers

Peavey KB 3

Best Keyboard Amp

Peavey KB 3
Power: 60 wattsWeight: 60 poundsInputs/channels: Four, 1/4-inch, and XLREQ: Two-band, three-band

We start strong with the Peavey KB 3, and you need to be strong to heft this one around at 60 pounds. Unfortunately, there are no wheels or handles to help you with your haul.

This is the 60-watt version of this amp, but there are 20, 50, 75 and 100-watt versions available, too, so some nice variety on offer from Peavey.

However, keep in mind the amp won’t be identical at those different wattages. You’ll see later on that two of almost the same model with different power ratings may have slightly different features.

Also, note that a KB 5 isn’t necessarily better than the KB 3, or the KB 3 better than the KB 1, and so on. They’re all alterations of the same model, with different power needs and slightly changed features—a whole family of excellent amps.

With this version of Peavey’s KB keyboard amp—the KB 3—you have four different channels to plug into. This is great for sharing one amp with other players or playing multiple instruments yourself.

Each channel also has EQ. One and two have two-band EQ, where three and four have three-band EQ. So you have options if you want to change up your sound or if your bandmates prefer less or more control over their tone.

It’s an amp designed to be a sound system in one convenient package. If you’re performing in a large venue, you’ll still probably need a PA system. But each band member won’t need an individual amp as well as that system.

The 12-inch speaker should give you all the amplified sound you need. It’s complete with a tweeter, which is a component in the speaker ideal for reproducing sounds within the upper limit of human hearing—20–20,000 hertz (20,000 hertz is sometimes referred to as 20 kilohertz).

PROS

  • Compact.
  • Multiple EQ options.
  • Four channels.
  • Simple to use.

CONS

  • Bass will distort if the volume is too loud.
  • Very heavy.

Fender Frontman

Best Bedroom Keyboard Amp

Fender Frontman
Power: 10 wattsWeight: 8.5 poundsInputs: OneEQ: Two-band

The Fender Frontman is intended for use with guitars, but it’s great for use with any instrument. It’s great if you’re on a budget or a beginner looking to get started with an amp.

This amp has a wide array of sound features, which are:

You can make your sound unique using these features, which is great for basic digital piano players and those with a fancier keyboard.

With this amp, you only have the luxury of playing one instrument at a time since it has one 1/4-inch input. However, the amp also has a pair of 1/8-inch inputs, so you can use headphones or connect a smartphone, tablet, or something else and play along to it. This is a great feature for beginners or someone who’s learning a new song.

You may have noticed this is the best amp for use in the bedroom — but that’s just an assumption of where you keep your keyboard. You can actually carry this amp all over the house with ease. It weighs 8.5 pounds, and it’s very small.

You won’t be able to use this amp for performance, but it’s a great addition to any musician’s collection. This way, you can keep your performance amp in the car or at your regular venue while utilizing this little thing around the house.

It’s not usually a good idea to use a guitar amp with anything but a guitar. They don’t reproduce an authentic sound—most of the time. However, the Fender Frontman will work for any instrument you have lying around.

This is a versatile amp and has been proven to be compatible with several non-guitar, non-bass instruments. So go ahead and plug this one into your keyboard. It’ll fill your bedroom with an authentic sound.

PROS

  • Small, but with a big sound.
  • Light.
  • Features for sound control.
  • Clear sound.

CONS

  • Not suited for use in large venues.

Roland KC-200

Best Keyboard Amp for Connectivity

Roland KC-200
Power: 100 wattsWeight: 41.9 poundsInputs/channels: Four ¼-inch, one XLR, one ⅛-inch, one RCAEQ: Master EQ

If you’re looking for an amp that’s compact but strong, this may be the one. This Roland amp comes with six slightly different versions. This particular one is the 100-watt version.

The amp gives a ton of versatility with its four 1/4-inch inputs for different instruments. It’s another amp the whole band can use to crank out the tunes.

There’s also a master EQ, which lets you adjust your tone. Unfortunately, it adjusts the tone of every instrument plugged into the amp. That’s unfortunate if all bandmates have a different preferred instrument sound. However, it’s a bonus for keeping you all in line with a preferred overall sound.

The 1/4-inch inputs aren’t all the amp has to offer. There’s a dedicated XLR input and an RCA, letting you plug into an external subwoofer. A subwoofer lets you reinforce your bass sound, which may enhance any darker songs in your performance.

On its own or with extras, this amp will give you a big sound and equal satisfaction at home or on the stage. It shouldn’t be too hard to transport, either. It only weighs 42 pounds, which is arguably light when you compare it to our first contender, the Peavey KB 3.

PROS

  • High connectivity.
  • Midweight.
  • Master EQ.
  • Vibrant bass sounds.

CONS

  • Sometimes, the amp doesn’t handle non-keyboard sounds so well—distortion may occur.

Roland KC-990

Best Keyboard Amplifier for Effects

Roland KC-990
Power: 320 wattsWeight: 106.6 poundsInputs/channels: Four 1/4-inch stereo inputs, stereo XLR inputEQ: Master EQ

This Roland KC-990 is much like the KC-200, but better, if you like effects.

It has the same four 1/4-inch inputs and an XLR input. And once again, it has master EQ. But this is an amp to get if you want to take your music a step further.

It comes with a range of built-in effects to add to your music. It’s fantastic for people with digital pianos that aren’t arranger or workstation boards. You can add reverb, chorus, tremolo, and rotary effects to your music as you play.

When it comes to that rotary effect, you can control the speed and toggle it on and off with external footswitches. These are, of course, optional, but the more your amp you can do, the greater the value for money it provides. Note that you’ll have to buy these separately.

And, on top of that, this amp gives you an insane 320 watts of power. That’s enough to handle anything you throw at it. It’s also enough to fill a large venue with sound, even without a PA system. Incidentally, as with all high-quality amps, this one can connect to a PA system.

Something else this powerful amp can handle is the custom-developed 12-inch woofers and tweeters. They’ll surely boost how good your treble and bass sound.

This amp has everything you need to make sure no sound gets distorted or ignored. And with a price tag like that, it better!

One thing to look out for with this, as well as the high price tag, is the weight—over 100 pounds! That’s heavier than some children are, so be sure you can handle it.

PROS

  • Effects.
  • Connectivity.
  • High power.

CONS

  • Expensive.
  • Enormously heavy.

Peavey KB 2

Best Keyboard Amp for Compact Versatility

Peavey KB 2
Power: 50 wattsWeight: 38.4 poundsInputs/channels: FiveEQ: Two-band, three-band

If you want the versatility of Peavey’s KB 3 in a smaller package, this is your amp. The KB 2 has 10 watts less power and is just over half the weight of its counterpart.

The KB 2 keyboard amp gives you five different inputs across four channels to plug into. This is great for sharing one amp with friends and band members, or if you’re a multi-instrumentalist. The first two channels have the general 1/4-inch inputs, the third having the same and an XLR input. The fourth channel goes back to the 1/4-inch, with level control.

Almost all of these channels also have EQ. One and two have two-band EQ, where three has three-band EQ. The fourth channel doesn’t have EQ and is designed for you to use with your PA system. Instead, your PA system can control the EQ of this channel, if you wish.

As well as these features, there’s also a spot to plug in headphones—perfect for a silent 3 am practice or composing a new top-secret piece of music.

Like the KB 3, it’s an amp designed to be a sound system in one convenient package. The exception is that it’s much smaller and needs less power to get it roaring. This makes it easier to travel with and better for smaller venues.

This is a fantastic amp to fill a small venue with or without a PA system. Instead of band members having separate amps on stage as well as the PA system, why not share one amp?

PROS

  • Midweight.
  • Decently powerful.
  • Highly compatible with PA systems.
  • Five independent channels.

CONS

  • Doesn’t sound as great with non-keyboard instruments—bummer for instrument sharing or other keyboard voices.

Donner DKA-20

Best Keyboard Amp for Transport

Donner DKA-20
Power: 20 wattsWeight: 19.97 poundsInputs/channels: TwoEQ: Three-band

If you’re looking for a light amp that’s fit for more than practice but is nothing fancy, that’s Donner’s. It’s a lightweight two-channel amp, letting you hook up two different instruments to 1/4-inch inputs. There’s also a headphone output jack if you’d rather practice silently.

Both instrument channels have three-band EQ, so you can control the highs, lows, and mids of your music. This gives you tons of master over the music, letting you achieve the tone you desire.

The highest highs will sound incredible through this amp, no matter what you do. It has a specially designed high-frequency speaker inside, for all your dog-deafening needs.

On the other side of the spectrum, there’s a specially designed low--frequency speaker. If you want to subtly shake the walls with a long-held bass note, it’ll handle the job.

If you’d like to implement these features into something you’re listening to, you can do that too. There’s a 1/8-inch input for hooking up your phone or CD player, or anything that plays music. You can then blast that through the speaker and play along. This is a great feature if your backing track is on an external device, and your playing is the main feature. One man bands for the win!

Because of its small size and this neat play-along feature, this is a great amp for gigs and street performance. Maybe you don’t have a regular venue, so you like to take to that keyboard sound to the street or bounce from club to club. This is definitely a go-to for either of those scenarios.

It’s not the gig-amp for big rooms and flooding Central Park with noise, but if you’re just looking to impress a single street or a small room of people, this is your amp.

PROS

  • Lightweight.
  • Small.
  • Specially designed high/low-frequency speakers.
  • Jam-along feature/input.

CONS

  • Bass may sound muddy occasionally.

Things to Look for in Keyboard Amps

Power

Keyboard amp power is measured in watts. It’s easy to think that more watts means more power, but this is both true and false.

Watts aren’t the end-all rule of how powerful an amp is, but they can give you an idea of how much work the amp is doing. Amps with more watts will have more going on inside, letting them give you a louder sound and clearer tone.

How Much Power Do You Need?

We’re going to assume here that you don’t have a PA system to blast your sound to your audience.

If you have a PA system, you don’t need a hugely powered amp, no matter what size your venue is. Only you and your bandmates need to hear the amp, so a 50 or 100-watt amp will be just fine.

But without a PA system…

When you’re alone, practicing or composing, you don’t need a ton of power — but 10–20 watts will do.

The Fender Frontman has 10 watts of power and is small and light. Amps like this one are among the best bedroom keyboard amps for beginners to practice with.

For small venues, you don’t need an awful lot of power — 20 watts will do. The Donner amp is perfect for this. It’s not too big, not too over-the-top for performance, and has everything you need to wow a small crowd with.

You have a significant space to fill up here, so you’ll need a significant amp. A 200-watt amp will let you blast your sound to its full potential and fill the medium venue nicely. The Roland KC-990 is the only one on our list that will meet this requirement.

For these venues, you need one of the best keyboard amps for large space to fill that space with sound.

This is where that 320-watt Roland KC-990 amp comes into it. The most power for the biggest space to fill and the biggest sound

Inputs

Look out for common input connections such as:

  • 1/4-inch.
  • XLR.
  • Aux connection for a mic.

There are also less-important inputs, like a 1/8-inch. If the amp allows for these cables, it’s a bonus! But if not, don’t worry. Your keyboard will probably have a 1/8-inch input for silent practice.

There are also some more complex inputs that the average keyboard player won’t need. Again, they’re a bonus, but not too much of a loss without.

One of these other inputs is an RCA connection. The Roland KC-200 has one of these inputs. RCA inputs are often used to plug an external music device into an amp. However, some amps, like the Donner, let you do this with a 1/8-inch input.

RCA inputs can also be utilized for external subwoofers or tweeters. This is sometimes paired with a Neutrik connector.

Understanding Audio Cables: 1/4"vs XLR vs Speakon vs RCA vs MIDI

EQ—Equalizer

EQ is a tool that lets you adjust the different tones within your music, including treble, bass, and mid-tones.

Some amps have separate EQ dials for each input, which is fantastic. Imagine the variation you and some friends could create with just one amp! However, global EQ—dials that control the EQ of every instrument plugged in—is great, too.

If you’re making big music, EQ can definitely help enhance your sound, making it a desirable feature.

Two/Three-Band EQ

Three of the areas you can enhance in your music are the bass, treble, and the mid-tones. So as you’ve probably guessed, two-band lets you alter two of these, and three-band lets you do them all.

If you’re looking for something with the most control, an amp with three-band EQ is the one. If you’re okay with controlling only the highs and lows, then two-band EQ will tackle the task sufficiently.

A great amp with three-band EQ in this group is the Donner DKA-20. If two-band is more your style, the Fender Frontman has that covered. But if you want both? Take a look at the Peavey KB 3.

Weight

If you’re staying at home, weight doesn’t matter. That is, unless your practice space is a rickety old shed! But when it comes to transporting amps back and forth from venue to venue, you want to make sure you have something light.

A heavier amp isn’t a bad thing, but it will make transporting it harder unless it has a handle or wheels. Unfortunately, that’s something these amps lack.

The heaviest of these amps—Roland’s KC-990—weighs over 100 pounds! That’s not a good one for travel, but perfect for stationery studio use.

The Fender Frontman and the Donner DKA-20 are the best lightweight keyboard amps. The Fender Frontman weighs 8.5 pounds for easy use around the house. Donner’s weighs almost 20 pounds, so it’s easier to take to gigs and other events.

The Best Keyboard Amps

We’ve found that the best keyboard amp is the Peavey KB 3. It may be heavy, but it has an array of input channels. It has two and three-band options with EQ and a simple interface. No matter what way you like to control your tone or what input you need, Peavey’s KB 3 has got you covered. It’s the best keyboard amp for performance and studio recording.

The runner up is the Fender Frontman, which is excellent if you need something small for practice.

The Fender Frontman has a powerful sound in a petite package. We understand that sometimes you need to plug in and play on a whim at home, and this is perfect for it. And just because it’s small, it doesn’t mean it lacks features. There’s still a handful of ways to play with your sound as you jam out some tunes in your bedroom!

Leave a Comment