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Recommended IRs for K12 Users


Our cover band uses a set of K12s and Ksubs for FOH. We use in ears, so I don't need a stage monitor. I have a matrix GT1000 and a port city 2X12 clone to help with the room tone for smaller venues, because I've never been happy with the tone from the K12s. The K12s just sound thin and plastic to me (especially with higher gain), while the sound from the cabinet is amazing. But for practical reasons, I'd love to ditch the cabinet and just go direct.

I've tried all the stock IRs, although not with all mics. I just can't seem to find anything that has the right EQ curve to sound good with the K12s. I've also tried fixing it with PEQ and GEQ, but it doesn't correct the core issue. I've also tried taking an IR of my cabinet, and while it sounds just like it through studio monitors, it sounds like crap through the K12s. I'm ready to buy IRs if that's what I need to do, but having some direction from someone with the same gear would be awesome.

I know a lot of guys on the forum have opted for the RCF or CLR for monitoring, but I need to make the K12s work. I'm not worried about what I hear, but what the room hears, and I can't afford to buy a pair of higher end FOH speakers right now. Anyone have success with K12s after a long and exhaustive search through the thousands of IRs available?

BTW, I know the problem is with the K12s and not the AFX II. No problem finding IRs that sound good through my studio monitors!


I have the same issue with the k12's we use in our band. Sounds way better to mic a cab then go direct.



Thanks B., but then I'm still dragging a cab :) Ideally, I want to find an IR (or more likely IR/mic/EQ combo) that will neutralize that nasally sound from the K12.


I had the same experience with the K10. When I got them, I thought they sounded great - and they do sound great as a PA. Vocals and other clean sounds are good. I can even get good clean guitar tones out of them. The distorted guitar tones are just not that great though. I can hear the bloated bass and plastic cabinet even when I use all of the GEQ tips that are posted for the K10. The closest that I ever got to liking an IR through the K10 was when I ran the same IR in stereo panned center and then used the delay in the cab block to slightly shift the phase of one IR from the other. Kind of like applying a comb filter or something like that i guess. I finally just gave up on trying to make the K10 sound like a guitar cabinet.

I picked up a Matrix GT1000FX and a pair of Q12 passive cubes and I have never looked back. They are among the best sounds I have ever heard from a guitar in 30 years of playing. I stopped the endless tweaking and got back to playing again. The crazy thing is that I stuck an SM57 on axis on the cap of the Q12 one night just to see what it would sound like and it sounded great through the K10. I would have thought the mic would be picking up to much of the tweeter in the center of the Q12 FRFR speaker, but it blended very nicely through the SM57.

It sure doesn't make a lot of sense to use an IR into a FRFR speaker and then mic it to run it through a FRFR speaker...



Power User
Will have to agree. Have 2 K12's for a while now.
Set them flat, I rolled off the extreme lows and highs and slightly bumped the mids in the AX globals.
They sound damn good but..
They got on my nerves. Great clean and guitsynth tones though. Great for anything else also!

Your using in ears, how do they sound there? Maybe a good sound guy out front could help you blend the mix

I'm doing 2x12 EVMLs again on Out 2, open back goodness powered by a Carvin. Pushin sweet guitar air!!

I still use IR's with em
Still EQing and balancing out 1 to mains with same IR
Thinking about working up patches just to send clean tones to the K12's, when I use my 3 guit synth and backing track rig going through them also.

I hope to relegate them to band stage monitors if I like the CLR's I'm on the list for....

I also still use 2 Bose L1's with 4 subs. Same deal, great cleans, no dirty vibey air..

Oh IR's.. I got the best consistent vibe out of the Fractal factory Cali 4x12, some times with the R121 mic, sometimes not. For cleans I used the Santiago EJ mixed in the cab with the Cali.

I'm now moving into the ownhamer new vintage blends EV12s. Gonna get the modern pack with the EV12L's soon to see how it sounds.

Right now they curve my 212 cab just right
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Power User
I've got the same setup for FOH...but you don't mention what kind of board/mixer you're using and the eq setting on this... I'm using the presonus studiolive and once you flatten out the system for the room the K Series stuff really does sound great. When using just a K10 for a floor monitor, I set it up with the Sub Ext. turned on...This helps w/managing the low freqs. Also, most of my patches have a 150 hz and below filter and a 8K high filter. The other trick is to get a little air moving. I build my patches for stage volume 90-110db.

This along w/the Ownhammer IRs sound great for me.

Scott Peterson

Global Moderator
Recommendation: take a piece of gaffer's tape about 3" square and put it squarely over the center of the HF driver on the grill of your K10 and/or K12. It will drastically help if those speakers are aimed at your head.


all in how you dial them.. I use the recto 4x12 stock cab and get great results. If it's vertical I put it in sub mode (cuts bass) if it's in wedge format, i'll put in flat mode. Just dial in your patch at volume, I don't understand the problems. If a cd, vocals, everything else can sound good through it, anything can. Something I've been doing recently is in the cab block turn the high cut down to like 5-6k, and it helps at loud volume.


Hey guys,

Thanks for the responses and recommendations. To answer the questions:

- We use a Presonus StudioLive 16.4.2. The channel strip is set completely flat. No room EQ from the board in the equation as I can hear the issue with the K12s and StudioLive set up in my studio
- The in-ears sound great. I have custom 3 driver buds from 1964 ears. They sound just like what it sounds like through the studio monitors. When I take them out and hear the exact same signal (with no EQ) through the mains, the difference is startling
- We have the Ksubs and when playing live, the K12 is set to EXT Sub. The K12s are always vertical on the poles, never as a wedge.
- I use Hi Cut and Lo Cut at around 100 and 6000
- I always configure at gig volume. I'm getting plenty of punch from the K12s

I've never had an issue dialing out the boom or shrill. The problem for me is in the mids with gain sounds (cleans sound fine). Maybe the best words to describe it are synthetic, plastic, inorganic, ...I don't know.

Using 1X12 IRs helps a little. The Scumback 1X12 IR gets the closest to dropping that synthetic sound, but it still isn't right, and besides I really prefer the mic'd sound of a 4X12. The stock 4X12 TV Mix was the best I could find there. I'll pick up the OH kit as you guys recommended and try those, as well as the tape over the HF driver.

Thanks again for the tips :)


OK, so after a full day of trial and error and exhausted ears, here's what I came up with...

As a note, along the entire process, I was A/B with a Mesa Royal Atlantic (high gain channel) into my Port City 2X12 to keep context in my ears. My AFX II goto model is the Friedman BE, although, like most people say, the amp model used did not have a lot of effect on the tone in the K12s.

A combo of two IRs got me about half way there...Scumback 1X12 with 121 mic in combo with the Onwhammer T1 English V30 vintage mix (from the new modern pack), cut at 125. Then put a PEQ in front of the CAB block with a +3db boost at 500 with a wide Q. I also turned up the low dynamics in the amp block. It still doesn't sound "great" but it's better than before. I just started getting tired and discouraged and gave up with a "I guess that's good enough."

There's something really thin in the low mids of the PA speaker. Easiest to hear it when palm muting a 2nd A (7th fret of the D string). With the above, I'm compensating, but it really sounds like I'm compensating. The funny thing is that no one, probably even guitar players in the audience, would hear what I hear with the context of the band playing.


I usually play through an ev livex. I happened across a k12 at a pawnshop and brought it home. I spent 2 days struggling to get
some good tone. I plugged into the ev and had a tone in 5 minutes. I returned the k12 and concluded it is just not very guitar
friendly to my ears. Super loud speaker and I wanted to like it but it was really a struggle.
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