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#1315336 - 11/30/09 06:32 PM P-155 vs. FP-4
society Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/22/09
Posts: 6
Hello,

I'm about to buy a DP and I was wondering if anyone could speak on the difference between the Yamaha P-155 and the Roland FP-4. The P-155 is right at my price point and the FP-4 is slightly higher. Right now I'm leaning towards the P-155.

(Incidentally, I'm primarily interested in good touch, good Rhodes, piano and organ sounds, and (relative) portability. Everything else is a bonus. It'll be used first and foremost for rock/blues/jazz.)

The reason I'm comparing the two is because (as I said) the P-155 is my first choice, and I'm currently renting an FP-4. I like the Roland--good feel, nice speakers, nice Rhodes sound, decent organ--but I find the piano unusable. It's fine solo, but I play in a gigging rock band, and the piano just sounds too "canned" to the point where I only use the Rhodes and the organ, sadly.

My real question is, if I get the P-155, will I notice a difference?

In some senses, it might not even matter--if I need to shell out more cash to step up to a better quality piano sound, I can't afford to and I'll probably end up with the P-155 anyways. I guess it'd be nice to know what I'm in for.

Thanks.

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#1315360 - 11/30/09 07:25 PM Re: P-155 vs. FP-4 [Re: society]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9156
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
society, may I ask how you are amping the FP-4?
Are you plugging into a guitar amp, or a proper keyboard amp?

I use a Nord Electro 2 in the band I play with, and while the Rhodes/Wurly and organ sounds are generally very good when output through a guitar amp, the piano samples do sound rather 'nasally'.

The Electro obviously isn't famed for it's incredible piano sounds, however when connected using headphones the output is certainly more realistic. I contacted Clavia (manufacturers of the Nord range) requesting suggestions on how to improve the acoustic piano sounds. The helpful support chap suggested a number of tweaks to the EQ and other controls, but concluded by recommending that I invest in a proper keyboard amp as most guitar amps do not offer the frequency range necessary to reproduce a piano effectively.

Anyway, I hope my reply has not drifted too far away from your original query. Essentially, I would just recommend investigating the different amplification options available before considering replacing the instrument altogether.

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1315411 - 11/30/09 08:45 PM Re: P-155 vs. FP-4 [Re: society]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California

Have you thought about using a computer for the sound? I'd understand if you'd rather not mess with somethig so complex as that but the best sounds new are in software.


I liked the key action better in the P155 then the FP4. But the FP7 was better then both

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#1315497 - 11/30/09 10:28 PM Re: P-155 vs. FP-4 [Re: society]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
I've been using an FP4 for gigs for just about a year and a half. I play lots of styles including Rock & Roll, R&B and Standards. I get a lot of compliments on the sound.

The amplification makes a really big difference, especially for an acoustic piano sound. Rhodes and organs are supposed to come out of speakers, so we can usually adjust our ears to even a pretty crappy amp. But acoustic piano sounds need a more high-fidelity system to have half a chance.

Unfortunately, that leaves out every keyboard amp I have ever tried, and I have tried almost all of them. I use a JBL EON 15 G2. I got it at the same time as the FP4. It's portable, powerful and compared with dedicated keyboard amps, it's like someone took the cotton out of my ears. It's been through about 150 gigs so far with no blown drivers and no other problems either.
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#1316999 - 12/02/09 07:47 PM Re: P-155 vs. FP-4 [Re: gdguarino]
society Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/22/09
Posts: 6
Shit.

I was hoping it wasn't an amp thing. I'm pretty much blowing the bank on the keyboard, so I can't upgrade the amp. At the moment, I'm just using a Yorkville monitor (far from ideal, I know). Great point about the rhodes/organ normally going through an amp and our ears being used to that. Guess I'll have to live with it or something...

As for using a VSTi, I've thought about it, but I'm trying to keep my rig as simple as possible, which in my mind means leaving the laptop at home. I considered buying a hardware soft-synth player-thing, but they're too pricey in my mind.

Thanks for the help.

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#1317874 - 12/03/09 08:12 PM Re: P-155 vs. FP-4 [Re: society]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
For the audience, you could patch into the band's PA system. That would likely sound very good. That still leaves you listening to your amp sound, but you can upgrade that sometime later.
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#1318646 - 12/04/09 09:50 PM Re: P-155 vs. FP-4 [Re: gdguarino]
donutwindy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/27/09
Posts: 1
p155 is amazing. I tried every keyboard I could find (sadly, I couldn't find the cp300), when I first felt it, I liked the Roland's softer touch. But having the p155 now, I'm glad I went with it. The firmer feel gives you much greater control, and it feels dare I say, better than the actual piano I had for 10 years. it even sounds better in some ways, sometimes its almost scary how real it sounds, though it can't quite match the volume of an acoustic. (and you'd need serious speakers to get all the subtle 'extra' sound that an acoustic produces) The Rolands (not the 4, but the 7) do have a nice sound. But I find their feel (after you've had a p155, or an acoustic for awhile) to be almost like a toy rather than a piano. and the speakers on those just aren't enough even for a small room. You VERY quickly get used to and learn to appreciate the expression you can get out of a more realistic keyboard feel, even if first touch seems like it could be too firm. (it isn't. concert pianos are just as firm if not more so, and obviously people can make them do anything)

I'm sure the cp300's speakers can beat it. (or its replacement which should be next year, (that's just a wild guess on my part only based on yamahas history)

and of course the avantgrand beats anything. (I played it once, then never wanted to touch it again, because its the best sounding piano I've ever played and I was afraid I'd want one) and I've played grand pianos, (but never a concert grand) and the avantgrand digital sounded better than any of them.
but then with 400 watts of speakers all over the place, and a pricetag in the clouds, it had better.

overall, I am extremely happy with my p155. (but that doesn't stop me from dreaming)

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#1318908 - 12/05/09 12:07 PM Re: P-155 vs. FP-4 [Re: donutwindy]
society Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/22/09
Posts: 6
Interesting thought about the PA system. Maybe use the Left output for the amp, and the Right for the PA?

I can't wait to actually get the instrument!

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#1318926 - 12/05/09 12:31 PM Re: P-155 vs. FP-4 [Re: society]
sneakypure Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 6
I am in a similar situation. Really looking between these to digital pianos. Any other thoughts to sway one to one side or another?

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#1318929 - 12/05/09 12:37 PM Re: P-155 vs. FP-4 [Re: society]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Originally Posted By: society
Interesting thought about the PA system. Maybe use the Left output for the amp, and the Right for the PA?



Not a good idea when the piano sample is in stereo.

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1318997 - 12/05/09 02:18 PM Re: P-155 vs. FP-4 [Re: snazzyplayer]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
Originally Posted By: society
Interesting thought about the PA system. Maybe use the Left output for the amp, and the Right for the PA?



Not a good idea when the piano sample is in stereo.

Snazzy

No, it isn't. A "direct box" is the most proper way to do it, but it's usually not necessary. Many keyboard amps have a line out or something similar. So you could plug into your amp as usual and then go from the amp to the PA system. This is especially useful if you have more that one keyboard. My JBL actually has an XLR style output that I use for that purpose. You can also get any sort of parallel Y connector. There's no circuitry necessary, although ground loop issues can crop up.
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#1319006 - 12/05/09 02:29 PM Re: P-155 vs. FP-4 [Re: gdguarino]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Another important consideration, is your amplifier, if you be using one on stage.

If your piano is stereo, you should, by rights, be using a stereo amp, unless you instrument has a mono piano patch.

When I gig in a band, I use a Traynor K4 Keyboard amp...it's stereo...and reasonably priced, although it is a tad heavy for some people.

Pianos sound full and clean, and the organ sounds that use rotary speaker effect, are infinitely more animated.

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1319164 - 12/05/09 07:16 PM Re: P-155 vs. FP-4 [Re: sneakypure]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: sneakypure
I am in a similar situation. Really looking between these to digital pianos. Any other thoughts to sway one to one side or another?


In my opinion, I liked the P155 keys more than I liked the FP4. I thought the FP4 was to soft. But I liked the FP7 slightly better then the P155. And I liked the RD700 a lot more. Each of the three Roland's use a different key action. I think Yamaha's "GH" is right between Roland's "PHA II Alpha" and roland''s "PHA II"

But my budget would not allow the RD700GX. I was looking to spend "About 1K" and fond a P155 for $960.

So if you ask me what to buy, I'd say the RD700GX if you can afford it. If not the P155.

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#1319607 - 12/06/09 02:38 PM Re: P-155 vs. FP-4 [Re: ChrisA]
PianoDad1 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 2
Chris A - May I inquire as to where you found the P155 for $960? I assume it was new. I'm looking for one also but the 15% Black Friday deals seem to have faded and $1140 is the best I'm seeing.

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#1319625 - 12/06/09 03:22 PM Re: P-155 vs. FP-4 [Re: PianoDad1]
limavady Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 379
Loc: California
I posted a couple of times about how i got a 155 for 960 and it would be nice to think Chris got one for that price because of my experience but either way here's how i did it...i originally had gotten a PX330 which developed some keys hitting together from being too close and also more lateral wiggle on the casios so i had to return it and decided to go with the p155 which had been my original first choice before being tempted by the casio's prices. Anyway, since the Black friday deals had passed since i had gotten the deal on the casio musicians friend wouldn't come down to the 20% off (960) that was being honored on black friday nor would music 123. So i emailed customer service at wwbw as well as same day music and one of them accepted my offer of the $960....so you could try that....it may be just as good to call customer services and ask over the phone but like i said i emailed those two places and that's how i got it....this was just about 6 weeks after black friday....good luck.


Am I happy with the P155? Very much so. Perhaps the only small quibble is that the on board speakers are only sort of ok, no they're pretty decent but not great that's all. When you play through them and especially not turned up all that way you can also then hear the sound of the keys hitting the keybed....not nearly as much as on the casio though but this seems to be the nature of all digital pianos evidently...i read here that the rolands i think it was were even more noticeable in this regard... With headphones though i don't notice this at all and it's not really that big of a deal anyway, not a loud knock by any means but just a slightly noticeable audible, (not through the speakers) sound almost like as if you tapped your finger lightly on the desk....the headphones really do optimize the sound though as i suppose a quality set of speakers/system would as well. Don't mean to emphsize the quibbles because i love the 155.

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#1319777 - 12/06/09 08:21 PM Re: P-155 vs. FP-4 [Re: limavady]
clenham Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 10
Loc: New Jersey, USA
Limavady, Thanks for steering me toward Music123 for the purchase of the P155. By using coupon code "CCABIN", I was able to get the same price ($960.00) you got. For anyone else who might be interested, I believe this coupon code is good through the end of December.

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#1319815 - 12/06/09 09:06 PM Re: P-155 vs. FP-4 [Re: clenham]
limavady Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 379
Loc: California
Oh you're welcome but unintentional. I think the last music 123 coupon got it down to 999 but this is even better. So is that 20% off there on any one item? Sometimes yamaha will be among the exclusions but sounds like this one includes them.

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#1319880 - 12/06/09 10:42 PM Re: P-155 vs. FP-4 [Re: limavady]
clenham Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 10
Loc: New Jersey, USA
Limavady, I didn't investigate too much. I do know that it is only for online orders and offers 15% off on orders over $300.00 and 20% on orders over $500.00 and that it worked for the P155 and a stand I ordered.

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#1319889 - 12/06/09 10:52 PM Re: P-155 vs. FP-4 [Re: PianoDad1]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: PianoDad1
Chris A - May I inquire as to where you found the P155 for $960? I assume it was new. I'm looking for one also but the 15% Black Friday deals seem to have faded and $1140 is the best I'm seeing.


The same Music123 20% off coupon code others are talking about. But you can do even better. Guitar Center will beat any price by 10% of the difference. This works out to another $26 off of Music123's price by asking CG to price match.

Music123's coupon, unlike others has no exclusions, except maybe give cards or something, anyways, no fine print like the others have.


Edited by ChrisA (12/06/09 10:55 PM)

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#1319896 - 12/06/09 11:08 PM Re: P-155 vs. FP-4 [Re: ChrisA]
limavady Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 379
Loc: California
I don't know; does buying from GC online not add sales tax?

I wouldn't worry about buying from music 123 like someone was tripping on in the other thread; they've been around for quite some time and i can't imagine the employees there are walking around dropping boxes or whatever the problem is supposed to be.

What kind of stand did you get. I used the stage-X stand i already had but then decided to get the yamaha stand for the 140/155 and am quite happy i did. it is very stable, gets away from the problem of the annoying X sort of being in the way and puts the keybed at the correct height (28 5/8" i think) ----most or all of the X and platform stands oddly enough end up putting the keys at around 30" lowest....and you CAN tell the difference. I got the yamaha stand at contois music for 99. shipped since everyone else had it for 119....but maybe with the code you could get it for less...not everyone seems to like it but i'd recommend it from my experience with it. Doesn't let you move the keyboard around too easily that's for sure but 4 screws and it's off if you had the occasional reason to transport it. Not too hard to lift and cart from one room to another though even on the stand.


As far as exclusions with this coupon though CCABIN, lots of brands including casio and korg are excluded. Yamaha seems to be one of the only brands INCLUDED this time in fact!

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#1319919 - 12/06/09 11:32 PM Re: P-155 vs. FP-4 [Re: limavady]
clenham Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 10
Loc: New Jersey, USA
Limavady, Thanks for the encouragement. I felt my enthusiasm start to wane when I saw the ResellerRatings.com ratings for Music123.

The 140/155 looks like a nice stand. I got the "On-Stage Stands Pro Platform Keyboard Stand". Like you, I wanted to avoid the X business??? It was more a second thought when I had the keyboard in the shopping cart. I decided to get a stand with legs that wouldn't get in my way and went with the feedback on this one.

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#1319937 - 12/07/09 12:08 AM Re: P-155 vs. FP-4 [Re: clenham]
sneakypure Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 6
I would consider ordering through them, check ratings from other sites and you will see not so bad. Anyone who has already ordered, please post when you get your packages and your customer service results smile thanks

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#1319947 - 12/07/09 12:27 AM Re: P-155 vs. FP-4 [Re: sneakypure]
limavady Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 379
Loc: California
I doubt if they could have been one of the main online places, probably 2nd to MF, for so long if they had been doing a poor job. i do think now they are own by MF as well.

I've heard some people say they shortened the legs (hacksaw?) of the platform stand to bring it down to the standard height for a grand piano. Now maybe that stand adjusts lower than most and maybe you won't be concearned about it being a little higher than standard. i played with an X stand on a cheaper yamaha for a year or so and thought it was ok but didn't realize the height was actually a tad too high. Perhaps once you have the 155 for awhile and if you decide to keep it (don't know why you wouldn't) you might consider getting the stand for it i mentioned; it almost gives it a semi-console look as well....but the platform stand you're getting sounds very nice actually and maybe you could do a search on here concearning the height issue and if it applies to that stand consider whittling it down as some have mentioned doing if in fact it's a tad too high. Like i said though that might not bother you.

ok here's an idea and please excuse me because i'm drinking alot of coffee tonight; if the platform stand is in fact too high you could return it pointing out to M123 that it's too high to avoid return shipping then try and get the 140/155 stand for the 99. ---no, the 140/155 stand is probably not all that a must have but it has a nice finished look to it and is the right height mainly. On the down-side perhaps it's more permanent (i did lug the whole kit and kaboddle out to the other room last week without too much hassle but it's not something you'd do everyday)

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