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I am upgrading from a Yamaha arranger with speakers to Korg Kronos. The arranger has speakers but what types of speakers do I buy for Kronos? I just play at home. Nothing professional. Do I need PA speakers or studio monitors? Are there any features in particular I should look for?

Also, how do I connect two keyboard to one speaker system? Is there a type device that can be put in the middle?

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If you want to use the two keyboards at the same time, you need a mixer. If you are OK with switching back and forth between them, you need an audio input selector. – n.m. Feb 9 '14 at 11:52
Thank you. I looked up the mixers and will go with something basic. – user9445 Feb 10 '14 at 5:07
I edited the question to make it less of a product recommendation question. – Kevin Feb 14 '14 at 20:47

The audio signal coming out of a keyboard has all the same characteristics as the signal coming out of a CD player's line-out socket. For home use you just need the same kind of speakers/amplifier as you would use for a CD player.

A hi-fi system, or a pair of powered PC speakers will do the job nicely.

The "keyboard equivalent" of a guitar amp -- something the same size and shape as a guitar amp, but suitable for a keyboard -- is often called a "keyboard amp". The difference between a keyboard amp and a guitar amp is:

  • The guitar amp is designed to add colour and sometimes distortion to the sound. The keyboard amp is designed to accurately reproduce the output of the keyboard
  • The guitar amp is designed for the low-level output of a guitar pickup. The keyboard amp is designed for the line-level output of a keyboard.
  • The guitar amp -- both its amplifier and its speaker - are designed for the relatively narrow range of frequencies that a guitar produces. The keyboard amp is designed for the full range of frequencies a synth might produce (more or less the whole of the human hearing range)

As it happens, the design goals of the keyboard amp match the goals of a hi-fi amp and speakers, or anything designed for playing back music.

Clearly, a hi-fi with a subwoofer does a better job with the bass in recorded music, than a hi-fi with only small speakers. The same applies when amplifying music from a keyboard.

For combining two inputs into one amplifier, the very simplest option is a splitter (used as a combiner) like this:

Phone plug splitter

There are theoretical reasons why this might not give the best quality -- but it has always worked OK for me.

A more sophisticated option is to use a mixer; this will let you adjust levels in one place, may give a cleaner sound, and depending on how much you spend, may give you extra features like compression, stereo balance, an effects loop and so on.

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Thank you. Would these reproduce the sound of an instrument like Kronos authentically? You recommend something with a sub woofer? – user9445 Feb 9 '14 at 10:42
The lowest piano key is 27.5 Hz. You need a rather serious subwoofer to reproduce it. Logitech Z623, their flagship 2.1 set, starts at 35 Hz. But it should be worlds above and beyond any built-in speakers. – n.m. Feb 9 '14 at 11:45
My angle is, of its good enough to reproduce a CD, it's good enough to directly play an instrument you might record onto CD. – slim Feb 9 '14 at 13:17
Thanks so much for the answers. – user9445 Feb 10 '14 at 5:06
I'd rather not use a splitter this way. Two signal sources with low output impedance hooked in parallel might effectively short-circuit each other, causing low signal levels and distortion. Of course it may work in certain cases but don't count on it. (Google use headphone splitter as combiner to check other's opinions). – n.m. Feb 10 '14 at 13:18

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