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Thread: Anyone using a QSC K10 soley as an amp?

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    Default Anyone using a QSC K10 soley as an amp?

    A recent thread as me considering the QSC K10 or K8 as an "amp" for my MD-315. I hate the mandolin blaring back at me from the monitors so I choose to use an amp behind me. Currently, I'm running through an MXR eq pedal and a Redeye to a cheesy little fender powered monitor I picked up at a pawn shop. It gets the job done but it's a little flat sounding. Most of the decent clubs I play around town have these K10s and K12s out front and I love the way the mandolin is represented through them. Any thoughts from folks that have done this? Pros and cons? K8 vs K10?

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    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone using a QSC K10 soley as an amp?

    Since you already have the MXR EQ and Redeye preamp, there's no reason you couldn't run straight into the K8 or K10 as a personal monitor. The only thing you'd lose might be a little bit of maximum output from the speaker, since the line input is designed to handle a +4db output from a mixer, and the output from those pedals won't be that hot. But won't matter if you're using it for a personal monitor behind you. You'll probably have the speaker gain dialed way down anyway.

    As for Pros and Cons of the K8 vs. K10, I would personally choose the K10 for several reasons. It's only a little larger and only 5 lbs. heavier than the K8. If you later decide to upgrade to a full PA system, another K10 is a better compact PA than two K8's, especially if you're playing with a guitarist or bass player who could use a little more bass oomph. The K10 is the most popular speaker in the range and you'll have no trouble selling it later, if you need to. Finally, due to the modular amp design (same amp module in K8,K10,K12), the K8 doesn't have a "wedge" side on the cabinet, like the K10 does. You can't use it sideways, although I've seen some user hacks to tilt it up.

    And just to throw 'ya a curve, if you want to stay on the lightweight and less expensive side of things, and never plan on assembling your own compact PA, then you might want to consider an 8" Electro-Voice ZXA-1 powered speaker. They're not quite as nice-sounding as the K10's but they're close. Amazing little speaker for the money. I use them for monitors with our K10-based compact PA system, and I've also used a single one for wedding gigs where we need just a small single-speaker PA at a different location than the main system. One of these might work well as a personal monitor, if you don't want to go all the way to a K10.

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    Default Re: Anyone using a QSC K10 soley as an amp?

    Exactly what I was looking for, thank you! The thought of buying a small mixer on top of what I already own (Redeye/EQ pedal) has been what I've been scratching my head about. Wonder if there is anything out there that only functions as a +4db boost; like a buffer pedal type of thing...
    The K10 does seem like a decent long term purchase in that it can be a dual-purpose piece of gear. Thanks For your perspective!

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    Default Re: Anyone using a QSC K10 soley as an amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fingers View Post
    The thought of buying a small mixer on top of what I already own (Redeye/EQ pedal) has been what I've been scratching my head about. Wonder if there is anything out there that only functions as a +4db boost; like a buffer pedal type of thing...
    I wouldn't worry about the +4 vs. "consumer" line out (or a bit lower) you'll get from pedals. At least not without trying it first. I don't like the idea of stacking up too many things in the signal chain unless there's a good reason.

    Whether or not to get a compact mixer should be based on whether you need the additional inputs, like having guests join you, or planning for an eventual band PA. If you do get a compact mixer, I recommend the Allen & Heath Zed-10FX, or the slightly less expensive Zed10 if you don't need the effects. Built like a tank, with very good EQ, and it has two high-Z inputs for taking a pickup directly. You'll need a chair or stand to put it on, so that might change your stage setup.

    I've also done a few small wedding setups where we've just placed a single K10 on a chair or a stool, with the Zed-10FX mixer sitting on top of the speaker. I normally like having the mixer near me where I can adjust it, but that works too as an ad-hoc "acoustic amp" with better sound and preamp/EQ section than you get in most acoustic amps. If your plan is to have the K10 behind you on the floor as a personal monitor, a compact mixer on top of the speaker should work in that configuration too. You'll just have to be careful about walking up to the speaker with your mandolin, to avoid feedback.

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    Default Re: Anyone using a QSC K10 soley as an amp?

    What a lot of people do not realise is that the two hi-z inputs on the ZED 10FX are actually capable of far better performance than most stand-alone guitar preamps out there. This is combined with very respectable reverbs and a really nice EQ. You also get two of them... and a 'free' mixer with 4 great sounding mic preamps thrown in. The input impedance on those DI inputs is 10M (which is the same as the Baggs PADI). Noise performance is excellent, and there is loads of headroom and gain available.

    They are a steal at less than $300.

    Something of a 'best kept secret' among those who know....
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    Default Re: Anyone using a QSC K10 soley as an amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by almeriastrings View Post
    What a lot of people do not realise is that the two hi-z inputs on the ZED 10FX are actually capable of far better performance than most stand-alone guitar preamps out there. This is combined with very respectable reverbs and a really nice EQ. You also get two of them... and a 'free' mixer with 4 great sounding mic preamps thrown in. The input impedance on those DI inputs is 10M (which is the same as the Baggs PADI). Noise performance is excellent, and there is loads of headroom and gain available.

    They are a steal at less than $300.

    Something of a 'best kept secret' among those who know....
    One more feature that should be mentioned is that the ZED-10 and ZED-10FX have internal power supplies, so all they need is a standard IEC cable for AC power. No wall wart to add an extra failure point. Most of the other compact mixers in this price range have a wall wart, and I hate those.

    The *one* thing I don't like about the Zed-10FX, just to keep things balanced, is that it doesn't have mute switches on the channels. Instead they used it for a dumb recording function that most of us will never use, and A&H would probably redesign the mixer if they were doing it today. As a multi-instrumentalist (sometimes), I have to remember where the main volume knob setting on a channel is, so I can mute it when switching instruments. Another approach that works is just leaving all channel volumes at 12:00 and adjusting the input trims to match, so I can roll the volume off and back up to 12:00 when switching instruments. It's a minor point if you don't use the mixer to switch between different instruments, but a little annoying if you do.

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    Default Re: Anyone using a QSC K10 soley as an amp?

    Thanks for your input, y'all! I pulled the trigger on a K10- should be here in a couple of weeks. I'll report back after a few gigs.

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