the t.amp PA4080KB Keyboard Combo Amp Reviews 4

This is a fairly light and portable 4-channel 80-watt keyboard combo. It has a single 12' Celestion speaker and a high-frequency tweeter in a closed-back enclosure with 3 small circular ports which provides plenty of bass response and clean volume. The amp is mounted on four non-swivelling casters (so it won't creep forwards or backwards on stage!), and as well as a carrying handle on top there is also a neat retractable baggage-trolley-style handle on one side. Each channel has a line-level jack input, an XLR mic input with permanent phantom power, and knobs for volume, reverb level and presence (upper-mid tone). The Master section has controls for volume, bass, mid and treble tone, reverb and aux input level. There are sockets for Line out, FX send and return and reverb footswitch. The back features an external speaker socket, two pairs of phono sockets for aux input and recording, an IEC mains socket (thankfully no captive mains cable!) and an on/off rocker switch. The reverb unit is a pretty unsubtle spring-line, but it does the job if you want to use it. The overall weight is 18kg.

I paid 130 for this amp, including delivery. This unit appears to be unique to Thomann, Germany's giant on-line music superstore, and has been in production for at least ten years. The price is very reasonable for a 4-channel 80-watt amp, undercutting Behringer's comparable offerings by a substantial amount.

Loud, clean and surprisingly flexible sound. Suitable for small-to-medium venues without needing to be further amplified. Great if you want to mix sounds from several instruments, and the single tone control per channel lets you adjust each instrument's brightness too. Very compact and portable. The retractable handle and casters make it easy to move around. There is an auto-mute feature which eliminates the usual 'thump' when an amp is switched on.

The control knobs are small and have a slightly flimsy feel to them, although they are at least recessed, so less likely to get broken. The reverb unit is crude - if you need reverb, get an external digital FX unit. The FX loop works in a peculiar way - it piggybacks onto the internal reverb, so you always get direct signal alongside the effected sound, which is not always desirable - I tried using it with a volume pedal and discovered that I couldn't actually turn the volume down to zero! Finally, the unit came with an IEC mains cable neatly fitted with a moulded German plug. Completely useless in the UK, so make sure you have a suitable plug or cable available for wherever you happen to live!

This amp seems generally well-built. There are no mechanical buzzes or rattles when in use, and the speaker and cab deliver plenty of low end. You could probably even use this at medium volume as an emergency bass amp. As mentioned before, the controls seem a bit flimsy, but time will tell. Apart from that, it seems to be a bit of a bargain.

A portable and simple keyboard amp with plenty of clean volume, bass and projection. It could even serve as a small self-contained PA system for a jazz combo or folk group. In fact, Thomann offer the same amp as a PA head with two 1x10' plus horn cabs and a mic for a few pounds more, as the PA4080 Package.

butterfingersbeck rated this unit 4 on 2011-01-18.

Write a user review

© Gear Review Network / - 2000