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#1574399 - 12/11/10 12:03 AM Yamaha Motif XS8 vs. Roland Fantom G8?
Terrance Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 3
Loc: MS USA
I have been trying to decide whether I should get a motif xs or fantom g8. I really need a new weighted keyboard. I have also been considering other stage pianos. Which one is the best? If there are any more keyboards that would be good to consider, let me know.
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Terrance Evans

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#1574428 - 12/11/10 12:57 AM Re: Yamaha Motif XS8 vs. Roland Fantom G8? [Re: Terrance]
ClassicalMastery Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/10
Posts: 52
I have owned the XS and I currently have a G8. The XF has superseded the XS, in case you had not heard. Now is not the time to buy the G8 with NAMM only a few weeks away. Roland might announce a replacement for the G8, which means a likely price reduction for it in the near future.

Do you have any preference for Roland or Yahama? Good user interface vs. weak user interface? Is price an issue? As for other instruments, a synth and a stage piano serve two different purposes. Would you be satisfied with a dedicated digital piano? Or do you need more features, such as sampling?

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#1574496 - 12/11/10 04:23 AM Re: Yamaha Motif XS8 vs. Roland Fantom G8? [Re: ClassicalMastery]
offnote Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/10/10
Posts: 258
Loc: Banned
XS or XF is way over fantom G in every aspect that comparing them is pointless. When you try each on your own you'll understand.

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#1574505 - 12/11/10 04:39 AM Re: Yamaha Motif XS8 vs. Roland Fantom G8? [Re: Terrance]
Aidan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/08
Posts: 371
Loc: UK
Terrence, welcome to the forum. Firstly, the sad news is that there is no "best" - it's simply about what does the job for you and the preference of your own ears and hands. Both of the boards you mention are fine instruments (though quite heavy - they're both at the top end of their weight class). My own preference is for the Yamaha of those two but that's all it is.

If you don't need all the sequencing features etc of the Motif range, you should take a look at the S90XS and S70XS, both essentially "stage" versions of that model. They're lighter and more practical. For this range of comprehensive sound coverage, you should also consider the Kurzweil PC3X.

How important to you is a "real piano" feel? If the answer is "very", and you don't need a whole bunch of other sounds, you may be better off with a stage piano. Current class leaders are the Roland RD700NX, the Yamaha CP5, Korg SV-1 and Nord Piano 88.

I'd say you need to play all of the above to get a good idea of what you need, though I appreciate that's not always easy in this day and age.
_________________________
Yamaha CP40 | Hammond SK1-61 | Kurzweil PC361

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#1574602 - 12/11/10 09:24 AM Re: Yamaha Motif XS8 vs. Roland Fantom G8? [Re: Aidan]
Hideki Matsui Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 786
I owned the Fantom G8 with ARX2 and the Yamaha XS6. I currently own the Yamaha CP1.

I'm assuming you need the additional sounds and other workstation-oriented features of both. They are both amazingly versatile as stand alone workstations.

I much preferred the Yamaha product over the Roland. The keyboard on the G8 was very noisy and showed premature wear with one month. More importantly, I just didn't like the sounds. They were clean, however they just didn't sound right to me. The SN EPs on the ARX2 were very disappointing.

I only had the XS6, so I can't tell you about the keyboard on the XS8. I do currently have the CP1 and much prefer the weighted action to the one on the G8. The sounds on the XS6 were more enjoyable and the rhythm/arpeggiator functions are great for practice.

My 2 ownership experiences with Roland (700SX and G8) haven't left me with such a great impression of Roland sounds or product design. You may feel differently so you should check out both. I'm currently thinking about getting the XF6.


Edited by Hideki Matsui (12/11/10 09:27 AM)
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Vintage Vibe 64
Roland LX-15e
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#1574605 - 12/11/10 09:26 AM Re: Yamaha Motif XS8 vs. Roland Fantom G8? [Re: offnote]
ClassicalMastery Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/10
Posts: 52
Originally Posted By: offnote
XS or XF is way over fantom G in every aspect that comparing them is pointless. When you try each on your own you'll understand.
The G8 has many advantages over the XS/XF, including its superior user interface, Skip Back Sampling, and ARX boards with SuperNATURAL sound just to mention a few things.

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#1574613 - 12/11/10 09:31 AM Re: Yamaha Motif XS8 vs. Roland Fantom G8? [Re: ClassicalMastery]
Hideki Matsui Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 786
Originally Posted By: ClassicalMastery
Originally Posted By: offnote
XS or XF is way over fantom G in every aspect that comparing them is pointless. When you try each on your own you'll understand.
The G8 has many advantages over the XS/XF, including its superior user interface, Skip Back Sampling, and ARX boards with SuperNATURAL sound just to mention a few things.


I owned the G8 with ARX2 and would hardly call the SN EPs an advantage. They just don't sound that good. I will say that the Roland interface is good as a workstation, but I prefer the Motif layout for a live setup.


Edited by Hideki Matsui (12/11/10 09:32 AM)
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK5
Vintage Vibe 64
Roland LX-15e
Roland Jupiter 80

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#1574795 - 12/11/10 03:04 PM Re: Yamaha Motif XS8 vs. Roland Fantom G8? [Re: Hideki Matsui]
ClassicalMastery Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/10
Posts: 52
Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui
I owned the G8 with ARX2 and would hardly call the SN EPs an advantage. They just don't sound that good. I will say that the Roland interface is good as a workstation, but I prefer the Motif layout for a live setup.
They sound better than the built-in SRX piano sounds and the ARX cards allow for the adjustment of more parameters. I listed only a few things that could be considered advantages over the XF. It wasn't meant to be a complete list, only some examples. The OP should try the two workstations in a store, but even that has limitations because workstations are complex instruments.

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#1575076 - 12/12/10 01:40 AM Re: Yamaha Motif XS8 vs. Roland Fantom G8? [Re: Terrance]
LesCharles73 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 739
Loc: Denton Texas
The Yamaha is a great 'bread-n-butter' synth. I couldn't imagine you feeling like you went wrong by purchasing it. I like the Fantom too, but I feel like its flashy UI brings it down in the "class" category. I feel like some rapper or "disco dan" on a bottom-lit dance floor when I'm using it.
Any particular reason you're just considering these two models? The PC3X is incredible, and can be had for about $2,000 new. You could also find a great used Korg Triton for around the same price.
_________________________
Les C Deal





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#1575091 - 12/12/10 02:08 AM Re: Yamaha Motif XS8 vs. Roland Fantom G8? [Re: LesCharles73]
Psalm23 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/05/08
Posts: 71
Loc: Boston
In my view there is no better option today for a keyboard than the Yamaha XF8. I found the piano sounds to be equal to the CP5 or the Roland RD700 with the supernatural piano. I owned both and currently have the XF and the 90XS.

The XF has a number of major advantages over the XS and that is the flash memory. There are many sound libraries available.

For those of you that doubt the XF can produce the same piano sound as the CP1/CP5. Go to GC and play the S6 piano on both. I simply could not tell the difference. In fact, a Yamaha representative replied to my question, "Is the S6 Piano the same in XF and CP1/CP5?" by stating:


Excellent question. The answer is no. While the S6 is one of (many) Yamaha acoustic grand pianos, much like the CFIIIS is another model of acoustic grand piano, the CFIII and the S6 pianos found in the CP1 and CP5 are not based on AWM2 sampled data. The CFIII and S6 that appear in the Motif XF are AWM2 sampled data.

So there are two entirely different technologies involved. The Motif XF (AMW2) utilizes a familiar velocity and key mapping system where digital recording of piano strikes are stored digitally and reproduced when a key-on event requests data from a given Keybank. A KEYBANK is defined as a Note Range (that a sample is asked to cover) and a Velocity Range (that the sample is asked to cover). If you strike middle “C” at a velocity of 63 the sample-playback based Motif XF will return a specific recorded note. If you increase your velocity on the same middle “C” and strike the key at a velocity of 113, that velocity will cause a different recorded sample to play. The XF versions of the CFIII (9 ft Yamaha acoustic) and the S6 (6’11” Yamaha acoustic) are based on very familiar sample-playback technology.

The CP1 and CP5’s CFIII and S6 piano recreations are based on Spectral Component Modeling. The velocity swapping and key note mapping paradigm of traditional sample playback technology is not used in the recreations of these acoustic instruments, at all.

Playing them for a time should answer this for you. While, of course, playing a piano is very personal thing, I can only tell you of my experience playing velocity based samples (like AWM2) and playing the modeled (SCM) acoustic recreations. The (SCM) models ‘speak’ differently - the experience is more holistic in terms of sounding like an ‘individual’ playing a piano. You don’t feel like there is the same maximum and minimum as you do with velocity based samples - although I’m sure there is some theoretical max/min response happening - it does not ‘feel’ the same when playing the modeled pianos. In the right speaker cabinets (I have MSP7 Studios) at the right volume and position - there are times the experience is as close as you can get to feeling like you are playing a piano. I’ve mentioned previously here, I played the CP1 through some monitors that were $4500 (each)… That literally had me drooling, although I cannot work it out to make that a permanent situation… I’m extremely happy with the MSP7 Studios)

Buried in a mix with a ton of other instruments it might be difficult to tell (as it is with any piano in a mix with tons of other instruments). But when performing a solo piano piece, or in a more piano appropriate music (acoustic) setting, is where you really experience the difference between sample-playback and the modeling technologies.

Some will hear the difference immediately, and be captivated, others will not… this is the nature of music (and technologies). But trust me, the technologies used to recreate the pianos is entirely different - two entirely different approaches to reproducing the acoustic pianoforte. One is state-of-the-art, the other is cutting-edge.

Hope that helps.

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#1575130 - 12/12/10 03:56 AM Re: Yamaha Motif XS8 vs. Roland Fantom G8? [Re: Terrance]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
.
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

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#1575910 - 12/13/10 12:15 PM Re: Yamaha Motif XS8 vs. Roland Fantom G8? [Re: ClassicalMastery]
Terrance Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 3
Loc: MS USA
I use to own a fantom x8, but the yamaha keyboard sounds seem to be better. I know anything new is most likely going to be close to 3,000. I'm going to look up some more information on the NAMM and the XF. Do most music stores carry the NAMM?
_________________________
Terrance Evans

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#1575913 - 12/13/10 12:22 PM Re: Yamaha Motif XS8 vs. Roland Fantom G8? [Re: Terrance]
Terrance Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 3
Loc: MS USA
Thank you for all of your posts. I have to lot to consider now that I have more knowledge about these keyboards in particular and the others.
_________________________
Terrance Evans

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#1575932 - 12/13/10 01:22 PM Re: Yamaha Motif XS8 vs. Roland Fantom G8? [Re: Terrance]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1421
Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui

My 2 ownership experiences with Roland (700SX and G8) haven't left me with such a great impression of Roland sounds or product design.

Have you had much time to spend on the RD700GXF/RD700NX? Both are in an entirely different universe than the RD700SX or G8 IMHO. Both sound and play much better and as for design, I think the RD700 series is nearly idiot proof. The layout is very intuitive and easy to use, and build quality is top notch. I am admittedly biased since I own the GXF and temporarily owned the NX.

Like others have said, it really is going to come down to what you like and what you want to use it for. I just recorded playing and singing "Give Me The Simple Life" on the Motif XS8 and was terribly disappointed with both the sound and action. It sounded like my Yamaha P80, and felt worse action wise. It has some terrific EP sounds and Organ sounds, but as a piano, it sucked. I suppose most guys who buy that don't buy it for a piano though.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


"Life is a lot like jazz...it's best when you improvise."

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#1575956 - 12/13/10 02:09 PM Re: Yamaha Motif XS8 vs. Roland Fantom G8? [Re: PianoZac]
Hideki Matsui Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 786
I have not owned any SN AP products, just the EP ARX2. I thought the FP-7F demo on the website sounded horrible, but did find a NX demo on YouTube that sounded very good. I think editing sounds makes a big difference, as Rolannd doesn't seem to have such great settings out of the box. I was at GC yesterday checking out the GFX, but the keyboard was so disgustingly grimy, I really didn't want to play it. Plus I didn't have headphones and it was extremely noisy in there.

Personally I find the Roland layout and designs to be dated and genereic in aesthetic design. The G8 was a light show atrocity and the 700NX series doesn't look much diferent from the SX. I really don't like the layout of the editing functions of the 700 series, but I could probablly live with that if it really had what I wanted from a sound and action perspective. Their stuff does have excellent build quality.

At this point, I am more focused on EP sounds, because when I want to play AP I most often play my Shigeru. The EPs on the CP1 are amazing, but the MP10 has me interested. The 700NX has me interested on the AP side but I already had my time with the SN EPs.


Originally Posted By: PianoZac
Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui

My 2 ownership experiences with Roland (700SX and G8) haven't left me with such a great impression of Roland sounds or product design.

Have you had much time to spend on the RD700GXF/RD700NX? Both are in an entirely different universe than the RD700SX or G8 IMHO. Both sound and play much better and as for design, I think the RD700 series is nearly idiot proof. The layout is very intuitive and easy to use, and build quality is top notch. I am admittedly biased since I own the GXF and temporarily owned the NX.

Like others have said, it really is going to come down to what you like and what you want to use it for. I just recorded playing and singing "Give Me The Simple Life" on the Motif XS8 and was terribly disappointed with both the sound and action. It sounded like my Yamaha P80, and felt worse action wise. It has some terrific EP sounds and Organ sounds, but as a piano, it sucked. I suppose most guys who buy that don't buy it for a piano though.



Edited by Hideki Matsui (12/13/10 02:20 PM)
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK5
Vintage Vibe 64
Roland LX-15e
Roland Jupiter 80

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#1575966 - 12/13/10 02:23 PM Re: Yamaha Motif XS8 vs. Roland Fantom G8? [Re: Hideki Matsui]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1421
Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui
I have not owned any SN AP products, just the EP ARX2. I thought the FP-7F demo sounded horrible, but did find a NX demo on YouTube that sounded very good. I was at GC yesterday checking out the GFX, but the keyboard was so disgustingly grimy, I really didn't want to play it. Plus I didn't have headphones and it was extremely noisy in there.

Personally I find the Roland layout and designs to be dated and genereic in aesthetic design. The G8 was a light show atrocity and the 700NX series doesn't look much diferent from the SX. I really don't like the layout of the editing functions of the 700 series, but I could probablly live with that if it really had what I wanted from a sound and action perspective. Their stuff does have excellent build quality.

At this point, I am more focused on EP sounds, because when I want to play AP I most often play my Shigeru. The EPs on the CP1 are amazing, but the MP10 has me interested. The 700NX has me interested on the AP side but I already had my time with the SN EPs.


You make some good points Hideki. It's really a shame that music stores let the PHAII/III Ivory Feel action get so dirty. It probably turns a lot of guys off who would otherwise give them a serious look. As far as the layout goes, just before I bought my RD300GX for gigging (it's only 36lbs!) I was leaning toward the CP50 because the CP sounded and played better, but the Yamaha was laid out a$$ backwards. Very unintuitive IMHO. Again, this is something personal, but I think the controls and LCD screens on the RD700GXF/NX are much nicer than the Yamaha/Kawai/Korg/Kurzweil counterparts. Also, since you do own a grand piano, having a digital piano that can come as close isn't a big deal for you, which, incidentally is why I went to Roland. I am a guy who isn't in a position to own a grand piano right now, so for me, the RD700GXF/NX (with RPU-3!!) does offer the best 'acoustic piano' experience from a digital piano. I'm sure the MP10 is right there as well FWIW. But the MP10 weighs WAY too much to be used for regular gigging board.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


"Life is a lot like jazz...it's best when you improvise."

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#1575969 - 12/13/10 02:26 PM Re: Yamaha Motif XS8 vs. Roland Fantom G8? [Re: Terrance]
ClassicalMastery Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/10
Posts: 52
Getting back to to the more relevant point of this discussion, the choice of workstation, not digital piano...

Originally Posted By: Terrance
I use to own a fantom x8, but the yamaha keyboard sounds seem to be better. I know anything new is most likely going to be close to 3,000. I'm going to look up some more information on the NAMM and the XF. Do most music stores carry the NAMM?

NAMM is a semi annual musical equipment show. The next show is scheduled for January 2011. This is why I mentioned that you might want to wait. However, it seems like you are interested in buying a used instrument rather than a new one. In that case you don't have to wait for manufacturer announcements[i][/i] at the January NAMM.

The G sound engine is much better than the old X sound engine. You might prefer the sound of the Yamaha XF over the Roland G8. But you probably won't find any used XF workstations yet. The XF has been available for only a few months.

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#1577993 - 12/16/10 01:24 PM Re: Yamaha Motif XS8 vs. Roland Fantom G8? [Re: ClassicalMastery]
Brian Bennett Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 128
Loc: Salt Lake City, Utah
XS8 and XF8 are way above the Fantom G8 IMHO. I gig with an XS8 in my acoustic Jazz trio. Guitar and other acoustic instrument samples are actually useful. I love it for the on deck sliders of which I can make tweaks and changes on the fly. This includes string resonance, EQ, and other touch parameters. Right now you can get the XS8 for just a little more than the 90XS which I seriously considered thanks to the XF8. With the XS8 you get a top notch work station, including sampler, sequencer and computer Cubase interface. More importantly the ability to take advantage of the huge sample library out in Cyberland. This includes some great piano sample sets as well. So you can really tailor it to your preferences. Yes, the XF8 has a flash memory but if you are not needing to load in a lot of sequenced are prerecorded WAV files each set, the difference just becomes capacity and a thousand dollors more in price. It is a little bigger than most prefer to move, but to me all are bulky if they have a weighted action,so little more is inconsequential. Beat hauling around a Yamaha CP70B like I did in the 80s.

B
_________________________
Schimmel 213 NWS, Yamaha MOTIF XS8, Roland RDX700, Roland Jupiter 6, Akai S3000XL sampler (just for fun)

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#1578078 - 12/16/10 03:26 PM Re: Yamaha Motif XS8 vs. Roland Fantom G8? [Re: Terrance]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1421
Originally Posted By: Terrance
I have been trying to decide whether I should get a motif xs or fantom g8. I really need a new weighted keyboard. I have also been considering other stage pianos. Which one is the best? If there are any more keyboards that would be good to consider, let me know.

Unless you need all of the sequencing power of the XF8 and G8, I think you'd be much better off buying a solid stage piano. Start with the Roland RD700NX, Yamaha CP50 and CP5, and Kawai MP6 and MP10, and Korg SV1-88. These are the top in the stage piano category. My experience with the Yamaha XS8 was one of serious disappointment. The piano sounds recorded and live sounded just awful compared to what I'm used to with my RD700GXF. The CP50 and CP5 blow the XS8 away for stage piano use. As others have said though, wait til NAMM if you can, just to see what's coming out, then look for some deals.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


"Life is a lot like jazz...it's best when you improvise."

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