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#1672492 - 05/06/11 11:28 AM Lightweight 88-note DP round-up
voxpops Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 2910
Loc: Oregon
Most of this has been gleaned from reading others' opinions, not from personal experience with these newer DPs. Please chime in with your thoughts, corrections, brickbats. I'd love to know your preference for a gigging DP (under 50lbs, and preferably under 40lbs). For the record, having retired my GEM PRP800 from active duty, I am using an FP-4 as a "stopgap" piano until something obviously better comes along; I find the FP-4 adequate but uninspiring - but I love the weight, and appreciate the inclusion of built-in monitor speakers.

Roland FP-4F
Pros:
SN main piano
New "G" action with escapement
Easy to operate
Improved speaker system
Cons:
Lackluster EPs (old series)
No FX menu
Layout can be confusing in dark (all buttons look identical)

Roland RD-300NX
Pros:
SN main piano
SN EPs
New "G" action with escapement
Large tone bank
Cons:
Too long!

Nord NP88
Pros:
Extensive piano library
Natural acoustic sound
Simple to operate
Great EPs
Comes with triple pedal unit
Cons:
Price (at full retail)
MIDI implementation a little funky
Needs careful EQing???
Action may be less reliable than others

Casio Privia PX-3
Pros:
Good midi controller
Lightest of all hammer action boards
Improved EPs (over PX-330)
Inexpensive
Cons:
Piano sound has short decay
Thin timbre???
A little flimsy???

Yamaha CP50
Pros:
Well implemented AP and EP sounds
Graded action
Cons:
Interface
Sterile???
A little heavy

Kawai MP6
Pros:
New action
Good MIDI controller
Upgraded AP and EP sounds
Cons:
A little heavy
Sounds not quite up to Roland's SN???

Korg SV-1
Pros:
Vintage vibe
Excellent EPs
Simple interface
Cons:
Lackluster APs (possibly better in Soundpack 2)
Action not as good as others

Numa Piano
Pros:
Simple interface
Cons:
Reliability???

Kurzweil SP4-8
Pros:
Simple interface
High quality sounds
Good MIDI capability
Downloadable PC3 library of sounds
Cons:
Less sophisticated (older) piano implementation

From anotherscott's post (see below)
P95
+ under 30 lbs, built-in speakers, inexpensive (and, IMO, best feel and sound in its price range)
- EP velocity scaling is unnatural. Needs uncommon cable to split the 1/4" stereo out to a pair of 1/4" left/right outputs.

MOX8
+ large tone bank, good MIDI controller


Edited by voxpops (05/06/11 04:47 PM)

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#1672501 - 05/06/11 11:55 AM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: voxpops]
PianoZac Online   happy
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1417
Vox, I would add action to the cons of the NP88. Of the boards above, it's tied with the Korg SV-1 for worst action. I've been having some issues with my action that will hopefully get resolved soon. Other than that, the NP88 is the best DP I've ever owned hands down. If for some reason Nord didn't or couldn't resolve my NP88 action issue, I could possibly check out the MP6 or CP50, though I find the CP50 action a little heavy/dead having just gone back and played on it last week. The real surprise in the list above is the PX-3. Great action and decent feature set for the lowest price in the list above. Plus it can used well as a midi controller. I haven't played the Numa Piano, but I did hear a clip of Joey D playing it (yes I know he's mostly an organ player) and I didn't like the sound in the video, but YouTube videos certainly aren't the best judges of DP sound quality all the time.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


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

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#1672507 - 05/06/11 12:10 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: voxpops]
galaxy4t Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 846
Loc: Lakewood, CA
Voxpops,
I know you're not a big fan of the piano sample, but the Casio probably is the best bang for the buck in a lightweight 88 note board. With the combination of the four zone layering and combining of sounds plus it's use as a midi controller, it seems to offer a lot of flexibility. I'm not completely sold on the durability of the newer actions on the Privias. They seem to have taken a step backward but you have owned both a 330 and 130 so you can speak to that better than I can.


Edited by galaxy4t (05/06/11 12:11 PM)

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#1672510 - 05/06/11 12:14 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: voxpops]
KHen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 183
Loc: North America
Looks like a solid compilation of what I've been reading on these forums to.
I really liked the 300nx. It's only 5 inches or so longer than other dps. But it's light, sounds good, and the G keys feel good to me.

The MP6 is a great board. Keys feel good, nice sound, many functions and it's light also.

NP88 is getting lots of praise here on the forums. I think the most selling feature of this piano is the Nord library. You're never stuck with one or two AP and EP sounds because you can change them whenever you feel like it. I think that alone is a great feature. It really inspires you to play.

Haven't played the CP50. Have played the CP33 and think it is a great board for the price. I think it's even better than the Casio px-3.

Most of the pianos listed are around the $15-1800 mark, save for the PX-3, which is below this, and the NP88, above this mark. If I had the money I'd get the NP88, but not sure what your budget is.

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#1672511 - 05/06/11 12:18 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: voxpops]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3075
Kurzweil SP4-8
+ large tone bank, good MIDI controller
- I know, people will say that the piano sounds are no longer state of the art... but I still think they sound better than the PX-3, for example
? the action? anyone try one yet?

Some other Yamaha models...

P95
+ under 30 lbs, built-in speakers, inexpensive (and, IMO, best feel and sound in its price range)
- EP velocity scaling is unnatural. Needs uncommon cable to split the 1/4" stereo out to a pair of 1/4" left/right outputs.

MOX8
+ large tone bank, good MIDI controller

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#1672514 - 05/06/11 12:26 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: galaxy4t]
voxpops Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 2910
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: galaxy4t
Voxpops,
I know you're not a big fan of the piano sample, but the Casio probably is the best bang for the buck in a lightweight 88 note board. With the combination of the four zone layering and combining of sounds plus it's use as a midi controller, it seems to offer a lot of flexibility. I'm not completely sold on the durability of the newer actions on the Privias. They seem to have taken a step backward but you have owned both a 330 and 130 so you can speak to that better than I can.


Yes, if they sorted out the piano sample, would there be any reason left to pay double or triple for a gigging DP? Unfortunately, that little problem irritated the heck out of me, which is why there's no longer a Privia in my stable.

As for action, I had no issue with that of the 330/130 or the 310 - I found the 320's hurt my wrists. I didn't own the newer ones long enough to be able to comment about durability.

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#1672519 - 05/06/11 12:33 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: PianoZac]
voxpops Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 2910
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: ZacharyForbes
Vox, I would add action to the cons of the NP88. Of the boards above, it's tied with the Korg SV-1 for worst action. I've been having some issues with my action that will hopefully get resolved soon. Other than that, the NP88 is the best DP I've ever owned hands down. If for some reason Nord didn't or couldn't resolve my NP88 action issue, I could possibly check out the MP6 or CP50, though I find the CP50 action a little heavy/dead having just gone back and played on it last week. The real surprise in the list above is the PX-3. Great action and decent feature set for the lowest price in the list above. Plus it can used well as a midi controller. I haven't played the Numa Piano, but I did hear a clip of Joey D playing it (yes I know he's mostly an organ player) and I didn't like the sound in the video, but YouTube videos certainly aren't the best judges of DP sound quality all the time.


It's a shame that you're having such problems with the Nord's action. I'd expected it not to be up there with the new Roland and Kawai actions for playability, but I hadn't expected reliability issues as well.

You know, I really enjoyed playing the Kawai MP5 in a solo context - it didn't sit so well in the band mix (and the EPs weren't good enough), so I didn't keep it. For me, the MP6 is the dark horse in this race - I really don't know if it would work out or not.

When I played the CP50 I thought, yes, another Yamaha - competent, clean and rather dull. Maybe I should ignore my first impressions/prejudice and give it another chance.

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#1672527 - 05/06/11 12:42 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: anotherscott]
voxpops Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 2910
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Kurzweil SP4-8
+ large tone bank, good MIDI controller
- I know, people will say that the piano sounds are no longer state of the art... but I still think they sound better than the PX-3, for example
? the action? anyone try one yet?


Silly me! I completely forgot the Kurzweil pianos - even though I own the PC3! confused

Yes, the SP4-8, at around 40lbs would fit the bill nicely. Having played the Kurzweil piano sounds for a few hours, I'd say that they make the best of limited resources. They sound very nice, but they lack the refinement in resonance and blended layers that the newer DPs offer. The EPs are very, very good, but need more velocity layers. I actually like the PC3's EPs better than Nord's, but would suggest that Nord has integrated theirs better. Kurzweil has the raw elements available to them to make a killer piano - they just haven't done it yet.

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#1672528 - 05/06/11 12:42 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: voxpops]
PianoZac Online   happy
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1417
Originally Posted By: voxpops

It's a shame that you're having such problems with the Nord's action. I'd expected it not to be up there with the new Roland and Kawai actions for playability, but I hadn't expected reliability issues as well.

You know, I really enjoyed playing the Kawai MP5 in a solo context - it didn't sit so well in the band mix (and the EPs weren't good enough), so I didn't keep it. For me, the MP6 is the dark horse in this race - I really don't know if it would work out or not.

When I played the CP50 I thought, yes, another Yamaha - competent, clean and rather dull. Maybe I should ignore my first impressions/prejudice and give it another chance.


Yeah, I agree on the action. I played a brand new NP88 and NS2 last week back to back with my NP88 when I took it into the dealer to have them take a look, and both new NP88/NS2 had much better feeling actions. I think I probably have a bad keybed. I can't find any other complaints on the web in regards to Nords actions and reliability. I know there are reliability issues with some Fatar boards, but not in the Nords that I've seen.

As for the MP6, I heard one live accompanying an opera singer at this outdoor festival a couple weeks ago, and before I could clearly see the stage, I thought it was a real grand piano. But playing in a band is wholly different. I'm really curious to test drive the MP6. I've heard nothing but good things about them.

Spot on Vox about the CP50. It's a great little board, but it's just rather, well, dull. Last time I played it, I had played it back to back with the CP5, and the action on the CP50 felt dead-like playing in mud, and actually quite slow in its responsiveness.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


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

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#1672530 - 05/06/11 12:46 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: KHen]
voxpops Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 2910
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: KHen
I really liked the 300nx. It's only 5 inches or so longer than other dps. But it's light, sounds good, and the G keys feel good to me.


For me, those 5 inches are an issue. As a five-piece, we often play in very cramped venues, and every inch counts. Also, having owned the RD-300SX, I still have an enormous Gator Case which I had to buy to move the thing around. I'm not even sure it will fit in our current car!

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#1672538 - 05/06/11 01:04 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: anotherscott]
voxpops Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 2910
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Kurzweil SP4-8
+ large tone bank, good MIDI controller
- I know, people will say that the piano sounds are no longer state of the art... but I still think they sound better than the PX-3, for example
? the action? anyone try one yet?

Some other Yamaha models...

P95
+ under 30 lbs, built-in speakers, inexpensive (and, IMO, best feel and sound in its price range)
- EP velocity scaling is unnatural. Needs uncommon cable to split the 1/4" stereo out to a pair of 1/4" left/right outputs.

MOX8
+ large tone bank, good MIDI controller


Kurzweil added to list. I'll take the liberty of copying and pasting your info on the P95 and MOX8 - hope that's OK.

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#1672541 - 05/06/11 01:15 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: voxpops]
PianoZac Online   happy
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1417
Vox, have you played the NP88? If so, how would you compare the Fatar action in it vs your PC3?
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


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

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#1672547 - 05/06/11 01:30 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: voxpops]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: voxpops

Yes, if they sorted out the piano sample, would there be any reason left to pay double or triple for a gigging DP? Unfortunately, that little problem irritated the heck out of me,....


Doing the sound inside a computer could allow you to use the lighter and cheaper Casio. It adds to the setup effort but once the cables are all plugged in you can close the lid and forget there is a computer while you play. Added plus is that you can have perfect recording of you live performances

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#1672550 - 05/06/11 01:34 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: PianoZac]
voxpops Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 2910
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: ZacharyForbes
Vox, have you played the NP88? If so, how would you compare the Fatar action in it vs your PC3?


Unfortunately, I haven't played the NP88. I might as well be in the middle of the Sahara, living in Oregon - it's a DP desert!

The Fatar action in the PC3 is a compromise action - not ideal for expressive piano playing. However, I was surprised that it performs as well as it does. At the moment it's sitting on the top tier of a 3-keyboard stand, and angled down, so it's difficult to get a proper impression. I need to put it down at normal playing height and give it a good piano "workout" before I can really tell just how good it's going to be.

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#1672551 - 05/06/11 01:36 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: ChrisA]
voxpops Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 2910
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Originally Posted By: voxpops

Yes, if they sorted out the piano sample, would there be any reason left to pay double or triple for a gigging DP? Unfortunately, that little problem irritated the heck out of me,....


Doing the sound inside a computer could allow you to use the lighter and cheaper Casio. It adds to the setup effort but once the cables are all plugged in you can close the lid and forget there is a computer while you play. Added plus is that you can have perfect recording of you live performances


Oh, I know. I suppose I'm just too much old school (and lazy) to want to start dealing with PCs in a live context.

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#1672555 - 05/06/11 01:46 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: anotherscott]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Kurzweil SP4-8
anyone try one yet?


At NAMM with Beyer 880s phones. It felt like a toy keyboard for piano. The piano sound was very uninspiring to me. I think I played it all of about 35 seconds and moved on.

That Numa Piano isn't bad but it just comes in white.

Back in Dec. I heard the MP10 and FP7-F through my speakers at a store. I preferred the Roland sound but liked the Kawai action better.
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

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#1672564 - 05/06/11 02:00 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: voxpops]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Originally Posted By: voxpops


Korg SV-1
Pros:
Vintage vibe
Excellent EPs
Simple interface
Cons:
Lackluster APs (possibly better in Soundpack 2)
Action not as good as others


Sorry to report that even after loading in the new SP2 and having the longer sustain on the APs, the overall player connection between sound and action just is not working for me with that Korg. Something about that R2 action they use for piano, can't put it into words but it just doesn't feel right for AP. Makes me very leery of the Kronos. Maybe with their mega sample things will feel and sound different ; have to wait and see.
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

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#1672580 - 05/06/11 02:40 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: Dave Ferris]
voxpops Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 2910
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Originally Posted By: voxpops


Korg SV-1
Pros:
Vintage vibe
Excellent EPs
Simple interface
Cons:
Lackluster APs (possibly better in Soundpack 2)
Action not as good as others


Sorry to report that even after loading in the new SP2 and having the longer sustain on the APs, the overall player connection between sound and action just is not working for me with that Korg. Something about that R2 action they use for piano, can't put it into words but it just doesn't feel right for AP. Makes me very leery of the Kronos. Maybe with their mega sample things will feel and sound different ; have to wait and see.


That's disappointing.

Looks like the field is being narrowed (unsurprisingly) to Roland SN, Nord and Kawai MP6 (with PX-3 as the wild card for those that like the Casio piano sound).

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#1672598 - 05/06/11 03:17 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: voxpops]
PianoZac Online   happy
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1417
Originally Posted By: voxpops


Looks like the field is being narrowed (unsurprisingly) to Roland SN, Nord and Kawai MP6 (with PX-3 as the wild card for those that like the Casio piano sound).


Yeah, if for some bazaar reason Nord is unable to take care of the NP88, which I think they will, I would very seriously look at the MP6. Great action, good sound, relatively light weight.

I am pretty obsessed with my NP88 though, so 99.999999....% sure the NP88 is here to stay for a while. wink Too bad I can't afford both MP6 and keep my red set up!
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


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

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#1672675 - 05/06/11 05:28 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: voxpops]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3075
Originally Posted By: voxpops

Yes, if they sorted out the piano sample, would there be any reason left to pay double or triple for a gigging DP?

I think the action is just passable. And ideally, I'd like speakers in it, but that's a common omission. And while it is better than anything else at its price/weight as a MIDI controller, I'd still prefer something with a mod wheel, expression pedal, more than two zones, and ideally aftertouch. So yes, I'd still pay double+ for all that! I know, the PX3 is called 4-zone, but you can only split the keyboard at one point, which doesn't give you 4 separate zones of MIDI control. At the moment, the MOX8 is my board of choice, addressing all of these things except aftertouch and speakers. I like the sound, and it's only 32.6 lbs.

Originally Posted By: voxpops
As for action, I had no issue with that of the 330/130 or the 310 - I found the 320's hurt my wrists.

I never played a 320, but I thought the action of the 310 was better than the 330.


Edited by anotherscott (05/06/11 05:38 PM)

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#1672676 - 05/06/11 05:29 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: voxpops]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3075
Originally Posted By: voxpops
I actually like the PC3's EPs better than Nord's

I agree.

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#1672681 - 05/06/11 05:36 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: voxpops]
doremi Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1681
.
_________________________
I am doremi because I play scales
Had I progressed to playing chords, I would be domisol

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#1672685 - 05/06/11 05:42 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: Dave Ferris]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3075
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Kurzweil SP4-8
anyone try one yet?


At NAMM with Beyer 880s phones. It felt like a toy keyboard for piano. The piano sound was very uninspiring to me.

Based on the mechanism they're using, I expect it to feel somewhat similar to the current Privias, but I'm still curious to get my hands on one. I expect the sound will be just what we expect from other Kurzweils, which will divide people as always.

Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Back in Dec. I heard the MP10 and FP7-F through my speakers at a store. I preferred the Roland sound but liked the Kawai action better.

Just goes to show how subjective all of this is. I liked the FP7-F action far more than the MP10. In fact, I liked the MP6 better than the MP10!

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#1672691 - 05/06/11 05:52 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: voxpops]
PianoZac Online   happy
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1417
Yeah tastes and preferences for these DPs are highly subjective. In fact, in many of the NP88 reviews I read in various keyboard magazines rated the NP88 action as a plus and raved over the Grand Lady D, when I've found the NP88's action is the weakest feature and the Grand Lady D my least favorite of the grands.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


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

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#1672759 - 05/06/11 09:06 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: PianoZac]
36251 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 646
Am I reading this correctly? The FP4f only comes with SN acoustic piano sounds? The EP sounds are the same as FP4? If that's true then I'm disappointed and now am not sure why I would want to upgrade especially since I think the SN EP sounds I played on 700NX were superior to my FP4. I could go for 300NX which is stated to have SN EP sounds but I want internal speakers.
_________________________
AvantGrand N2, FP-4, Gallien-Krueger MK & MP

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#1672800 - 05/06/11 10:50 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: 36251]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4264
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: 36251
Am I reading this correctly? The FP4f only comes with SN acoustic piano sounds? The EP sounds are the same as FP4? If that's true then I'm disappointed and now am not sure why I would want to upgrade especially since I think the SN EP sounds I played on 700NX were superior to my FP4. I could go for 300NX which is stated to have SN EP sounds but I want internal speakers.

Amen brother (or sister, as the case may be).

Every DP manufacturer needs to offer a lightweight kitchen-sink model. Why do the portables get such short shrift when it comes to features that are maybe just a few extra knobs, a bit of software, and $0.50 of Flash? These days, the extra computation and the the control over it don't require much in the way of increased mass. I'm certainly willing to pay something of a dividend for the convenience, if only they would offer it.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1672845 - 05/07/11 12:41 AM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: dewster]
voxpops Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 2910
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: 36251
Am I reading this correctly? The FP4f only comes with SN acoustic piano sounds? The EP sounds are the same as FP4? If that's true then I'm disappointed and now am not sure why I would want to upgrade especially since I think the SN EP sounds I played on 700NX were superior to my FP4. I could go for 300NX which is stated to have SN EP sounds but I want internal speakers.

Amen brother (or sister, as the case may be).

Every DP manufacturer needs to offer a lightweight kitchen-sink model. Why do the portables get such short shrift when it comes to features that are maybe just a few extra knobs, a bit of software, and $0.50 of Flash? These days, the extra computation and the the control over it don't require much in the way of increased mass. I'm certainly willing to pay something of a dividend for the convenience, if only they would offer it.


Me too. I've been ranting about this for a long time. Whereas computer manufacturers got the message, as usual, DP manufacturers (with one bright red exception) are way behind the curve on this.

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#1672877 - 05/07/11 02:26 AM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: voxpops]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned

Roland seems to be implicitly segmenting the market into 1) professional, group stage users that will always connect their instrument to their own amps and speakers and who need high quality electronic piano sounds and 2) home users & more casual gigability offering one man, all-in-one support (with the mike input and harmonization, session partner, etc.) with a focus on simplicity of a good sounding acoustic piano.

If you want Supernatural EPs and built in speakers, then you don't fit into Roland's implicit market segmentation.
They can't do everything for everybody and try to stuff all features into one model. If they did, they wouldn't be called Roland, they would be called Microsoft and the portable instruments would weigh 150 lbs, take 10 minutes to power up, would be non-intuitive and difficult to use and would crash in the middle of performance.

If SN EPs are really important to you, then the compromise you have to make is external monitors.
If built in speakers are really important to you, then the compromise you have to make is no SN EPs.

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#1672925 - 05/07/11 07:31 AM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: theJourney]
36251 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 646
Originally Posted By: theJourney

If SN EPs are really important to you, then the compromise you have to make is external monitors.
If built in speakers are really important to you, then the compromise you have to make is no SN EPs.


F**k Roland then. I love my FP4 and now I can save myself $1000!
_________________________
AvantGrand N2, FP-4, Gallien-Krueger MK & MP

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#1673016 - 05/07/11 11:50 AM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: dewster]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3075
Originally Posted By: dewster
Every DP manufacturer needs to offer a lightweight kitchen-sink model. Why do the portables get such short shrift when it comes to features that are maybe just a few extra knobs, a bit of software, and $0.50 of Flash?

I still think you're way off on the whole $0.50 of Flash thing. If that worked, Nord, Yamaha, and Kurzweil would be using that instead of the much more expensive Flash implementation that they are using (or Korg, using the SSD alternative... a great savings over the Nord/Yamaha/Kurz approach, but still a lot pricier than the cheap flash you're talking about, and it probably only works because their Linux infrastructure inherently supports VM).

But I do agree that product segmentations can be irritating. Roland doesn't think a person could both want speakers in their piano (FP4/FP7) and also want to be able to use their DP as an effective MIDI controller (RD300/RD700). Casio did the same thing when they made the PX3... it's based on the PX330 and is much more useful as a MIDI controller, but they took the speakers out.

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#1673078 - 05/07/11 01:34 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: anotherscott]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4264
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
I still think you're way off on the whole $0.50 of Flash thing. If that worked, Nord, Yamaha, and Kurzweil would be using that instead of the much more expensive Flash implementation that they are using (or Korg, using the SSD alternative... a great savings over the Nord/Yamaha/Kurz approach, but still a lot pricier than the cheap flash you're talking about, and it probably only works because their Linux infrastructure inherently supports VM).

I guess I'm talking more about including the SN EPs in the FP-4F. Who knows, the sample memory might already be sufficient, it might be as simple as a compiler switch. Where I used to work they played the expensive-uncrippling-of-software-options game rather heavily.

If anyone else is interested in my brief NAND Flash raw bandwidth calculations, you can read them at this post from a while ago. I'd like to know if they are somehow incorrect. If not, a single NAND chip is theoretically up to the task of producing gobs of polyphony. And while there are certainly other issues to consider, there aren't any showstoppers I can see at the hardware level. The NAND interface was designed to efficiently stream high-bandwidth media, and with sufficient RAM buffering quite a few audio streams can be supported.
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THE RD-700NX Thread!
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#1673276 - 05/07/11 10:42 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: dewster]
36251 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 646
I played the SNEP sounds on 300NX today and wasn't as impressed as the SNEP sounds on the 700NX. So, maybe I can live with SNEP sounds but I'm still interested to know if the EP sounds on FP4F are identical to FP4 or are they better (even if not perfect?)
_________________________
AvantGrand N2, FP-4, Gallien-Krueger MK & MP

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#1673305 - 05/07/11 11:39 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: voxpops]
PianoZac Online   happy
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1417
I think all of the SN EPs pale in comparison to the EPs in the Nords and Korg SV-1s. When I had my RD700GXF, I thought the EPs were pretty good, but I've been utterly spoiled with the Nords. Being that SN is Roland's best sound, I don't see why Roland wouldn't put SN APs/EPs in all of their stage/digital pianos.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


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

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#1673335 - 05/08/11 01:33 AM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: PianoZac]
36251 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 646
Originally Posted By: ZacharyForbes
I think all of the SN EPs pale in comparison to the EPs in the Nords and Korg SV-1s. When I had my RD700GXF, I thought the EPs were pretty good, but I've been utterly spoiled with the Nords.
I do think Nord EP's are great but...

Too expensive for my taste
No model with built in speakers
I don't care for Fatar actions
Acoustic piano sounds have yet to win me over
Don't care for red equipment (only kidding.)
_________________________
AvantGrand N2, FP-4, Gallien-Krueger MK & MP

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#1673336 - 05/08/11 01:51 AM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: voxpops]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8370
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
1. Hand made in Sweden - you pay a premium for excellent build quality.
2. Intended primarily for performing musicians who do not require built-in speakers.
3. Hmmm...okay, I'll give you that one...
4. Acoustic pianos are rich, varied, and freely downloadable.
5. Red is distinctive.
_________________________
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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#1673365 - 05/08/11 04:48 AM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: voxpops]
Dr Popper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/09
Posts: 1706
Loc: Hancock Park LA (not again)
What's with this built in speakers fetish ?
All built in speakers are complete rubbish anyhow ... none of them would even come close to even a cheap pair of external monitors.
_________________________
"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally supported by but not beholden to various musical instrument manufactures including Yamaha

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#1673366 - 05/08/11 04:49 AM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: 36251]
Dr Popper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/09
Posts: 1706
Loc: Hancock Park LA (not again)
Originally Posted By: 36251



I don't care for Fatar actions

Don't care for red equipment (only kidding.)


+2 ... but I'm not kidding.

If Nord's came in something other then red I'd have a few of them.

I CAN'T STAND the red.
_________________________
"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally supported by but not beholden to various musical instrument manufactures including Yamaha

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#1673423 - 05/08/11 08:12 AM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: Dr Popper]
36251 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 646
Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
What's with this built in speakers fetish ?
All built in speakers are complete rubbish anyhow ... none of them would even come close to even a cheap pair of external monitors.
In band gigs they are useless except to offer vibration, which might be a placebo to think you're at an acoustic. At home, or at a friend's house jamming, at a cocktail hour in a different room, between sets if I want to warm up quietly, or when you're at a quiet gig with a small mono amp; the built-in add some stereo imaging.

No internal speakers means you're always lugging amps to any situation and I prefer a stereo sound, which means two amps or a small stereo amp combo, which would be a third amp to gig along with two bigger amps for stereo. I gave up carrying one gi-normus amp a long time ago as well as pianos that weigh more than 50 lbs.

That's what makes the FP-4 and 4F so appealing. Best combination of weight and sound in my opinion.
_________________________
AvantGrand N2, FP-4, Gallien-Krueger MK & MP

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#1673557 - 05/08/11 12:05 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: PianoZac]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3075
Originally Posted By: ZacharyForbes
I think all of the SN EPs pale in comparison to the EPs in the Nords and Korg SV-1s.

And I generally like the EPs in the Kurzweils and Yamahas better than the Nords and Korgs...

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#1673560 - 05/08/11 12:08 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: 36251]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3075
Originally Posted By: 36251
In band gigs they are useless except to offer vibration, which might be a placebo to think you're at an acoustic. At home, or at a friend's house jamming, at a cocktail hour in a different room

Yes, to all. I don't think it's a placebo per se... I think you really do feel the vibrations, which does enhance the playing experience. And yes, just at a friend's house jamming, or to play cocktail hour at the bar without having to pull more equipment out of the main reception rig and the extra wiring and rewiring that entails... all kinds of benefits.

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#1673600 - 05/08/11 01:19 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: voxpops]
andi85 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/08/11
Posts: 90
Loc: Germany
I recently played the first reception sort of gig with my CP5 – and couldn't help thinking about the convenience of, say a P155, whose integrated speakers should have been enough for making an already nice buffet a little nicer.

Not that I would want to trade in the CP5's sound and response, of course – but anyway smile


Edited by andi85 (05/08/11 01:20 PM)
_________________________
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Andreas

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#1673638 - 05/08/11 01:54 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: andi85]
voxpops Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 2910
Loc: Oregon
I agree with what's been said about built-in speakers adding to convenience in many situations. On the FP series there's a switch to disable them, so that further extends that type of board's applicability when other monitoring equipment is preferred/needed.

But there's also another advantage. Most boards with speakers also have a line-in. So if channels are at a premium on whatever mixer is being used, or you need basic monitoring of a second board as well, the line-in gives you more flexibility.

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#1673815 - 05/08/11 05:45 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: anotherscott]
PianoZac Online   happy
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1417
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
1. Hand made in Sweden - you pay a premium for excellent build quality.
2. Intended primarily for performing musicians who do not require built-in speakers.
3. Hmmm...okay, I'll give you that one...
4. Acoustic pianos are rich, varied, and freely downloadable.
5. Red is distinctive.

+5! Nord offers the best overall set of compromises for performance boards out there IMHO.
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Originally Posted By: ZacharyForbes
I think all of the SN EPs pale in comparison to the EPs in the Nords and Korg SV-1s.

And I generally like the EPs in the Kurzweils and Yamahas better than the Nords and Korgs...

Yamahas and Kurweils do have great EPs. My opinion of Kurzweils in particular has changed significantly lately. I used think they were crap boards until I played some and heard some great sounding samples.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


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

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#1673886 - 05/08/11 07:27 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: voxpops]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8370
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
I'd be interested to try the EPs on the latest Kurzweils, although for the time being the Sparkletop '67 with a little 'Combo' speaker drive on my Electro 3 is sounding pretty tasty!

The band I'm currently playing with are hoping to give 'Street Life' a work-out at Tuesday's practise, so looking forward to taking the new Electro along for a jam. I'm just wondering how useful the Nord's amp sims are when you're typically plugging into a guitar amp anyway - e.g. if I'm connected up to a Roland Jazz Chorus, is there any point in using the 'JC' speaker simulation?

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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#1673918 - 05/08/11 08:41 PM Re: Lightweight 88-note DP round-up [Re: Kawai James]
Lefty Chev Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/19/11
Posts: 377
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
I'm just wondering how useful the Nord's amp sims are when you're typically plugging into a guitar amp anyway - e.g. if I'm connected up to a Roland Jazz Chorus, is there any point in using the 'JC' speaker simulation?

Cheers,
James
x


If what you're working with is anything like guitar modelers, you don't want to use a speaker simulation unless you're running into something that Full Range/Flat Response (FRFR). They're basically an EQ that will cut and boost frequency ranges to make it sound like the speaker in that cab. If you're going to run that through an actual guitar cab speaker, it's then going to be cut and boosted again, and probably not for the better.

For example, a Celestion V30 has about a 15 dB falloff from 150hz down to 60hz. If you have a speaker emulation that does that and then you put it through a real speaker that does that same thing, I imagine you're not going to hear what you want from those frequencies. Also most guitar speakers start dropping off in the 4k hz range so you'd have the same thing with sounds above that.

At least for guitar, these simulations are tailored for when you run direct to the FOH or into something that's FRFR.

All that said, you can always try and see what you think too.


Edited by Lefty Chev (05/08/11 08:42 PM)

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