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#1231140 - 07/13/09 09:15 PM Roland HP201/203 or Yamaha CLP320/330?
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
I have an acoustic piano, but I'm looking for a way to practice in the early mornings and late at night without bringing the wrath of my family. My budget is modest ($2K max), but I don't want to compromise too much to the point of not wanting to use it because the difference is too huge between my acoustic and the digital. Also, I will mostly be playing the digital with volume quite low. If I want the volume up and the sound of a real acoustic, I would walk a few steps into the next room and play a real acoustic.

My question is, why should I consider the Roland HP 203 if the HP 201 seem good enough for my purposes? Is there something really compelling in the 203? I am also looking at Yamaha CLP 320 and 330 but am I right to say the Yamaha models seem about the same price with fewer features especially the CLP320? I suppose bottom line, I won't ever use the non-piano voices.

Thanks for your help.
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#1231150 - 07/13/09 09:30 PM Re: Roland HP201/203 or Yamaha CLP320/330? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
marimorimo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 429
Loc: Kingdom of Nodame
You can just use headphones instead of turning the volume down so low it isn't fun to play anymore. I always just play my DP at half the max volume or less, but when I play it at only 1/4 of max volume, it starts getting difficult to create a reasonable forte or piano.

As for your other questions, let's wait for Geoffk or Kawai James to pop in smile
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#1231159 - 07/13/09 09:50 PM Re: Roland HP201/203 or Yamaha CLP320/330? [Re: marimorimo]
Geoffk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 757
Loc: Tokyo, Japan
If you won't use the non-piano voices, than the differences between the 201 and 203 aren't that compelling. Basically here's what you lose:

- No LED display
- only 20 different sounds selectable
(additional 285 GM sounds for MIDI file playback only)
- No string resonance (but damper resonance *is* there).
- No simulated escapement (but same action otherwise).
- Only 3-level dynamic sampling (vs. 4-level on HP-203)

One difference which is not advertised in the spec sheet is that the HP-203/207 have 4-level dynamic sampling and the HP-201 only has 3-level sampling. This is probably the most significant sacrifice. However, both instruments sound very good (and fairly similar). The additional sample layer may make the HP-203 slightly more expressive, though.

In all, if the price difference is not significant, than the HP-203 is slightly more desirable. If the difference is significant or if none of the points above see important to you, than the HP-201 is a fine instrument. Actually, the best advice is to try to play them both yourself and see if *you* can feel or hear a difference.

You are correct that the Yamaha CLP320/330 are direct competitors. The spec on both of these units is significantly inferior to the Roland pianos. However, some people prefer the Yamaha sound and touch, in spite of the spec sheet. So it's worth trying these (and also the equivalent Kawai DPs) as well.

#1231167 - 07/13/09 10:04 PM Re: Roland HP201/203 or Yamaha CLP320/330? [Re: Geoffk]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Thanks for the detailed comparison. If the HP201 has no LED display, does that mean it has no metronome?

Update: I just looked on the Roland US website and its says the HP201 has metronome. Hmm... I wonder how you'd use it if there is no display.....
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

#1231188 - 07/13/09 11:02 PM Re: Roland HP201/203 or Yamaha CLP320/330? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
Geoffk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 757
Loc: Tokyo, Japan
It does have a metronome with various settings, but the beat/tempo is only indicated by a blinking LED, not by a numeric display. So you can't easily set it to a specific number of beats.

You can download the user's manual for the HP-201 here:


#1231738 - 07/14/09 11:46 PM Re: Roland HP201/203 or Yamaha CLP320/330? [Re: Geoffk]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Thanks Geoffk!
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

#1232151 - 07/15/09 06:58 PM Re: Roland HP201/203 or Yamaha CLP320/330? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 2604
Geoffk makes a very good point that often escapes the specifications gurus. The proof is in the way the thing plays and sounds. Some systems are more efficient. Play the things before you decide.
Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.

#1236154 - 07/23/09 06:39 PM Re: Roland HP201/203 or Yamaha CLP320/330? [Re: Marty Flinn]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
An update on this thread:

I was leaning heavily on the Roland HP201 and HP203 based on my budget of $2K and feature set. I spend a lot of time comparing the Roland HP to the Yamaha Clavinova CLP using the Internet and the Roland just seemed better. The HP203 has hundreds of voices but most of the Clavinova has only 14! Finally when I played all of them, I decided sadly despite having significantly better on paper spec, the Roland keyboard is not for me. I also tried a very cute DP-990; perfect for my office.

I love the CLP-S308, the feel of the keyboard, the sound, and it looks incredible. It was marked $4,300 on the piano, and I am sure no matter how well I could bargain it is not going to be near my $2K budget. The sales person said the CLP-S306 is $600 less, so that's out too. Well, it's the CLP-330 for me.

The price marked on the CLP-330 is $2,000. Do you think I could get it for $1,800 or less? What's a good offer to make?

Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

#1238369 - 07/27/09 06:06 PM Re: Roland HP201/203 or Yamaha CLP320/330? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
AT83 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/09
Posts: 20
Loc: ORD
I'm glad that you find the DP990 to be cute. I found it to be a nice alternative to the HP201 and HP203 and was about to recommend it to you since it would be the second piano in your house. I've paired mine with AKG K501's for quiet time and couldn't be happier. Good luck on whatever you decide to go with. I hope that you find an acceptable second instrument.
Roland DP-990, AKG K501

#1238496 - 07/27/09 09:14 PM Re: Roland HP201/203 or Yamaha CLP320/330? [Re: AT83]
henrik Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 150
Loc: malaysia
4evrBeginR, i think $2000 is "quite" an OK price. I read that some are paying over 2.5K

I love my CLP330, the touch is.... ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!
CLP330 | Motif XS6 | Roland V-Synth


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