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roland FP30 or something more expensive? (Read 14861 times)

Offline kalospiano

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roland FP30 or something more expensive?
« on: March 08, 2016, 09:41:02 PM »
Hello everybody,

I am new here and I'm a beginner piano player (been playing for about 1 year) looking for a new digital piano (the one I own is a crappy-sounding plastic thing with little non weighted keys).

Now, I know that the key to buying a new instrument is trying it yourself, and apologize in advance if these kind of topics are opened often.
Unfortunately my city doesn't have a lot of music shops, and those few ones have more or less the same products in offer, so I would really really appreciate any suggestion that you more expert guys might give me.

What I'm mainly looking for:
- heavy action
- realistic sounds
- lightweight

So far I've only tried the Roland FP30 and the Kawai ES7.

I was in love with Kawai instruments after playing a friend's digital piano, but I must say that I've found the action in the ES7 a bit too light, and the sound quality hasn't particularly impressed me.

I've been instead surprised by the FP30, as it has (to my inexpert hands) a very realistic feel and nicely heavy keys.

The main problem here is: I would be ready to spend much more money than what needed to buy the FP30 (like between 2k and 3k euros), as I'd like to avoid having to buy another new better model some time from now, so I've considered buying something online based on some reviews, but it seems that all the high range models are also effing heavyweight! Also, I've been reading that the action on the other Roland models is generally not as heavy as on the FP30.

As far as I've understood, the main problems with the FP30 are:
- the sounds which are not piano sounds are not particularly realistic
- no line out (does it really distort much if one uses the headphone exit to amplify the sound externally?)
- no wav/mp3 recording via usb (not sure on this one)
- probably something else that I'm missing since the FP30 is quite so cheap???

Based on the above, do you think FP30 is a good choice, or would I be able to find a higher range instrument that, while still having a nicely heavy action and a light weight (do high range keyboards with a light weight even exist?), doesn't have the problems of the FP30?

(soon I will also be trying the Yamaha P115 but I haven't heard great things about it. Still, you never know... In any case, I guess that's hardly a "high quality instrument", at least judging by the price)

Again, thank you very much in advance for any advice you might be able to give me.

Cheers!

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: roland FP30 or something more expensive?
«Reply #1 on: March 09, 2016, 11:49:17 AM »
The FP30 has two headphone out jacks, 1- small or standard  3mm and 1- 1/4". The headphone jacks generally have some boost that may or may not be well controlled when using external sound systems. A lot of people have done this though over the years, you would use a splitter adapter to get two cables going off to your sound system, probably from the 1/4" out jack. It generally works pretty well FWIW even if it seems a bit Micky Mouse.

 However, there are two other options. The FP30 also has blue tooth out and USB/midi out and this means that you can hook to a computer or tablet and then tether off to an external sound card or mixer and that is more than capable to power correctly , and cleanly I might add, to external sound systems. Not to mention using virtual sounds like Garage Band or Mixcraft ( for all the instrumentation you could imagine) or Pianoteq software etc... The sky is the limit but it won't be Roland's sound then. it will open up mixing capability and also recording capabilities in Wave or MP3 that actually could be done with any controller , midi piano or synth with midi, not just the FP30.. Your sounds will be virtual software sounds, which generally speaking are very realistic. Well anyway, it's an option for down the road when and if you are ready. FWIW, I rarely use my Kawai digital piano sounds anymore, I use Pianoteq's Steinway D and C Bechstein sounds now that I curved to my satisfaction.. I could do the same thing with an M Audio or other controller that has absolutely no on board sound. in fact Kawai has one now too with it's awesome action ( no I don't know if it's heavy action or not ), this is probably what I would get when and if I replace my MP6..
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline kalospiano

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Re: roland FP30 or something more expensive?
«Reply #2 on: March 09, 2016, 09:48:18 PM »
Thanks hfmadopter, I've heard great things about Pianoteq but apparently it doesn't have any organ sounds, which is quite important for me. I will check out Mixcraft as you suggested, and I wonder if also Presonus Studio One offers the same possibilty. Although I would still much prefer the possibility to rely on the keyboard sounds and to plug it directly in the external amplification system without passing through a computer. Still wonder if a high quality lightweight keyboard exists.
The Kawai MP6 sounds very cool already, and it's 21 freaking kilos :(

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: roland FP30 or something more expensive?
«Reply #3 on: March 10, 2016, 12:03:43 AM »
All you can do is try it with the headphone out. Would any of these music shops rig it up for you to try out that way ?

Ya know the Kawai ES8 is out  and the ES7 was awesome already. Maybe you could find an ES7 on closeout someplace.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline kalospiano

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Re: roland FP30 or something more expensive?
«Reply #4 on: March 10, 2016, 05:31:23 PM »
I guess I'll do that.
I've tested the ES7 already but wasn't too happy about it.
Wish I could try the ES8 but it's nowhere to be found around here :(
I guess I'll wait until the weekend to try the Yamaha P115 and then I'll choose between that and the FP30.
Thanks a lot again for your help hfm!

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: roland FP30 or something more expensive?
«Reply #5 on: March 11, 2016, 01:04:06 PM »
The P115 has the connectivity you are looking for, not sure on the key weight, it has the Yamaha GHS action. That is not a bad action for a low buck piano but it might be slightly lighter than the older GH action.. I think I'd look toward action accuracy more than specific weight. Someplace you have to compromise most likely, and that's true in high dollar options too. You're only a year into this and too, it sounds like most any graded action piano is going to be better than what you have right now ( not knocking what you have  other than based off what you said ). I know that when I was looking at digital pianos I looked at many models and it turned out I didn't care for any in terms of action till I hit the $2000 msrp range of pianos, then some options opened up. But one of the actions I liked best in the low end was the Yamaha P105, I can only guess that the 115 ( the 105's replacement) is similar. I didn't like any of the Roland low end range at all. Not for me anyway, you might like them. And I was comparing with my acoustic grand piano. Not an upright.

I can say this : I never liked upright action anyway and if to simulate grand action you want an action that has the let off point in it and has a see saw motion or that kind of return to the keys, not a spring board return. I got my MP6 on sale plus a bonus coupon right before the MP7 came out and paid $1200 for it. It was my launch and best compromise I could find in getting myself into the world of digital pianos and I built an entire system around it. With Pianoteqs latest upgrade which further improves on already good string and case resonance, I must say I really enjoy playing this thing and rarely play my acoustic.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline kalospiano

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Re: roland FP30 or something more expensive?
«Reply #6 on: March 12, 2016, 05:41:58 PM »
Finally I tried them both. I was really really undecided, and kept going from one to the other. I think the action in the P115 felt somewhat more realistic, while the quality of the keys themselves was better in the FP30. After a long long time spent testing the two models, since I couldn't choose which keyboard feel I liked the most, I decided to choose based on the sound quality.
I'm now the proud owner of a new shiny Roland FP30 :-)

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: roland FP30 or something more expensive?
«Reply #7 on: March 12, 2016, 07:51:01 PM »
Well congratulations ! Roland has a solid name.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.