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#1876630 - 04/10/12 04:56 AM Re: Roland 700nx...what am I missing? [Re: scepticalforumguy]
Aidan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/08
Posts: 372
Loc: UK
This may not be what you want to hear, but perhaps one answer would be to find a stage piano that sounds decent in mono.

This is a major issue with the current crop of digital pianos. Nearly all of them seem to be geared towards sounding great in stereo in the showroom but run them in mono to FoH (as 99% of professionals do) and they sound like crap. This was one of the major reasons I ditched the Yamaha CP5 and went with the Nords, which have a dedicated mono output mode.

You should also be aware that although they sound great in studio monitor and cans, quite a few Roland RD700xx owners have reported problems with making them sound good in amplified, ensemble settings. I owned an RD700GX and it sounded wonderful in my studio but really struggled to compete and find its own sonic space when put through a PA.

I was in a band which briefly tried the Bose system and we didn't really like it much but it may not be your sole problem here.
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#1876641 - 04/10/12 06:30 AM Re: Roland 700nx...what am I missing? [Re: scepticalforumguy]
James Pun Offline
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Registered: 02/25/11
Posts: 113
My honest opinion, while the sound of the 700NX may be great to the piano *player* with headphones and in the studio; the sound is problematic when used in a CD recording, or on stage with (sometimes) cheap and compromised PA systems, and in mono.

I've been a pianist for 20+ years and have done recordings, performed on stages of various sizes in solo or in a band, and this is my conclusion after trying many models of DPs on the market.
_________________________
Nord Piano | Yamaha S90ES | Yamaha MOX 8 | Neumann U87 | Metric Halo 2882

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#1876770 - 04/10/12 11:46 AM Re: Roland 700nx...what am I missing? [Re: Aidan]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1731
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
.
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2005 NY Steinway D, Yamaha CP4, CP5 (home use) , RCF TT08A, TT22A speakers

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#1876787 - 04/10/12 12:33 PM Re: Roland 700nx...what am I missing? [Re: Aidan]
voxpops Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3083
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: Aidan
This may not be what you want to hear, but perhaps one answer would be to find a stage piano that sounds decent in mono.

This is a major issue with the current crop of digital pianos. Nearly all of them seem to be geared towards sounding great in stereo in the showroom but run them in mono to FoH (as 99% of professionals do) and they sound like crap. This was one of the major reasons I ditched the Yamaha CP5 and went with the Nords, which have a dedicated mono output mode.

That was one excellent aspect of the Nord Piano (and the GEM that I also used to own). In fact, to me, there was very little difference between playing the Nord in mono versus stereo. Which makes me wonder if the samples are actually mono samples that are post-processed with stereo DSP effects. That would also account for the claimed polyphony of 40-60 being sufficient for all voices, whether mono or stereo.

However, it's probably impractical for the OP to consider trading one expensive DP for another at this stage. Also, having heard the OP's style of playing, I think that the Nord's inferior action would likely be an issue.
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#1877024 - 04/10/12 07:39 PM Re: Roland 700nx...what am I missing? [Re: voxpops]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Update anyone?

So, I tried the two easiest alternatives today. First I tried what I tried on Thursday again to see if I was still as dissatisfied with the sound from the L/mono out to the Bose. It still wasn't great, but maybe since I lowered my expectations a bit it didn't seem bad.
Then having that as a reference base, I plugged the NX in with two patch cords to two channels on the Bose. I then did the same with plugging one of the two cords into the Roland Jazz Chorus I already had at the school.
Well, the two solutions above both worked to some extent. The only difference between the two was that I now had true stereo separation with the JC. However, going back and forth between testing this and just the two cords directly into the Bose I didn't find much benefit from the extra amp.
SO, there was a difference with the two cords, both markedly different than just using mono out. Everything also sounded superior to the Mono Concert Grand too.
The other thing I did was read the manual for the Bose which suggested adjusting the volume on the keyboard to be louder than that on the channel. After this the trim was adjusted too. All of these combined things really did bring the sound closer to what I was expecting.

Long story short: I'm more satisfied, but just not thrilled with the NX.
I do really like the Bose though, and am keeping it. I plugged three bass players in today and the sound was great. I also played a bunch of other patches on the NX w/ split keyboard and drum tracks and the Bose was great for that too.
The real benefit of this system though is that it is so inconspicuous. The sound really does remain consistent no matter what part of the room you're in, and the thing can go incredibly loud, at least for my applications.

Would I get one for gigging? Hard to say. I'd probably opt for two LI compacts if I had the money, or if I could, audition the SA300 might go that route. Maybe with a Nord or something else? Would I buy the NX again? No, not for what I intended to use it for. I'm still curious to hear from others that HAVE the 700NX for gigging, to see what they do to get a great sound. I couldn't imagine playing this thing as solo piano for more than a few measures at a time.

Now, as a side note, I had about 70 kids hear the system today and they LOVED it. So, I guess it goes to show that this type of set up can appeal (well, to those not really discerning...)
_________________________
Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.



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#1877040 - 04/10/12 08:13 PM Re: Roland 700nx...what am I missing? [Re: scepticalforumguy]
voxpops Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3083
Loc: Oregon
Interesting findings, scepticalforumguy. I wonder what's going on in the Bose system that makes summing at the speaker end better than summing at the keyboard.

If you get a chance to try a Nord - or for that matter a Kawai MP or Yamaha CP - with the same system, it'd be interesting to read your comparison.
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#1877134 - 04/10/12 10:19 PM Re: Roland 700nx...what am I missing? [Re: voxpops]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Originally Posted By: voxpops
Interesting findings, scepticalforumguy. I wonder what's going on in the Bose system that makes summing at the speaker end better than summing at the keyboard.

If you get a chance to try a Nord - or for that matter a Kawai MP or Yamaha CP - with the same system, it'd be interesting to read your comparison.


Actually, I'll have the chance tomorrow night to try a Nord with another L1 system, but the model 1 instead of model 2. Not in the same space, and not side by side with the NX, but I figure if the Nord sounds better on the Bose predecessor then there must be something seriously lacking in the NX, all things considered.

I'll report back tomorrow, maybe even with a recording.
_________________________
Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.



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#1879707 - 04/14/12 07:09 PM Re: Roland 700nx...what am I missing? [Re: scepticalforumguy]
moleskincrusher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/04/10
Posts: 172
One suggestion nobody has made yet but with which I have had success improving the sound of a Roland DP from external speakers: try summing to mono by inserting a small barebones high quality mixer like the Behringer MicroMix (MH400) between the audio outputs of your DP and the line input of the Bose. The mixer and extra cables are quite inexpensive in the US.

The Behringer is quiet even turned all the way up (unlike the Bose) so connect the audio outputs to Input 1 and Input 2 and turn the volumes of each to about 4 o'clock (keeping Inputs 3 and 4 all the way down) and connect the mixer's output to your Bose line input, with the Bose's volume set no higher than 9 o'clock. When I play through a Bose PA I need to EQ my keyboard to roll off some bass (on my FP-7F I often use "Equalizer 3"; I don't know what its counterpart on the NX is).

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#1879836 - 04/15/12 01:30 AM Re: Roland 700nx...what am I missing? [Re: scepticalforumguy]
10fingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/09
Posts: 298
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: scepticalforumguy


I'll report back tomorrow, maybe even with a recording.


a n d . . .

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#1879845 - 04/15/12 01:58 AM Re: Roland 700nx...what am I missing? [Re: 10fingers]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Originally Posted By: 10fingers
Originally Posted By: scepticalforumguy


I'll report back tomorrow, maybe even with a recording.


a n d . . .


...I thought this thread was dead...

but since I'm here... I did try the Nord with the L1, as well as the Nord with some Fender tube amps. The guy I was playing with has a pretty elaborate setup of gear.
In any case, what I've found is that I'm one picky SOB. I didn't like the piano sound from the Nord in any of the amps unless I was playing B3 or wurli patches, and even then I just didn't like playing through an amp. It wasn't the Nord Piano I was expecting either--this one didn't have weighted keys, and was 66-73 keys on the thing. Really mediocre piano sounds IMO.
I think what this has come down to is that I'm not going to get what I'm looking for with any PA or amp (since I'm not in the market for something solely for the NX anyways because it isn't mine.) I play on acoustic pianos of all shapes and sizes and I prefer them to all the digitals I've auditioned through speakers, not yet having tried the AvantGrand, and probably still haven't found the best keyboard/PA combination.
And just to rub it in a bit--- I still like the Bose for all the other things it has going for it. The guitars and bass sound great through it, and the NX sounds pretty decent when I'm playing anything but piano.
_________________________
Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.



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#1907515 - 06/03/12 09:02 AM Re: Roland 700nx...what am I missing? [Re: voxpops]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3288
Originally Posted By: voxpops
the SA-300 was the best compromise.
...
Like I said, it's not perfect: a little hiss/white noise if you crank it up high (but it's powerful enough that you probably don't have to do that), and the stereo image is narrow (although the "wide" button adds a semblance of extra separation) due to the fact that the upper unit speakers are very close together and the sub is mono. However, the pluses outweighed the minuses for me

The hiss is pretty bad if you engage one of the mic preamps, but a lot less objectionable if you don't need to run any mics though it.

The bass module being mono isn't much of an issue, as low frequencies are far less directional and much harder for the ear to locate anyway. That's why various "2+1" systems sound satisfyingly stereo in other contexts. But yes, the stereo separation is minimal with the top speakers so close together. But that "wide" effect does make Leslie simulation sound particularly nice, the sound seems to come from "outside the box" making it seem less "constrained" and more authentic to effect of a real Leslie. Unfortunately, the "wide" effect makes the piano sound worse (more colored) and also makes the unit more prone to feedback if you also have a vocal mic hooked up.

I wish I could turn on the wide stereo effect on just one channel for organ, without having to turn it on for all the channels. I have actually thought about bring around an SA300 just for organ, but don't know if I could justify shlepping a whole other amp just for that, leaving my piano through the ZXa1. (Meanwhile, in the old days, I used to gig with a real Leslie just for organ! But then again, back then, I had roadies...)

Actually, there are three scenarios I could consider here (to add something to the ZXa1), I could bring the SA-300, or maybe just the top half of the SA-300, or I could add a second ZXa1. I'll need to do a little experimentation...


Edited by anotherscott (06/05/12 11:30 AM)
Edit Reason: added parenthetical comment in last paragraph for clarity

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#1907571 - 06/03/12 12:09 PM Re: Roland 700nx...what am I missing? [Re: anotherscott]
voxpops Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3083
Loc: Oregon
I didn't know you had an SA300, too, Scott.

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
The hiss is pretty bad if you engage one of the mic preamps, but a lot less objectionable if you don't need to run any mics though it.

That's useful to know. I've not used mine with a mic hooked up yet, but I have a wedding coming up next month and was considering running the vocalist through the SA300. I think I'll take a different approach, now.

Talking of mics, I noticed that the auto feedback detect is only on the channels without phantom power; that seems strange.

Quote:
Unfortunately, the "wide" effect makes the piano sound worse (more colored) and also makes the unit more prone to feedback if you also have a vocal mic hooked up.

Yes, I was surprised at the difference in frequency response with the "wide" engaged. If nothing else, individual, (preferably sweepable) EQ per channel would have helped enormously.

Quote:
I wish I could turn on the wide stereo effect on just one channel for organ, without having to turn it on for all the channels.

That would certainly have helped a lot. So far, I've left the wide engaged and lived with the coloration. I might try it without "wide" and see how that affects the Numa sim.

Quote:
I could bring the SA-300, or maybe just the top half of the SA-300...

I haven't tried it on a gig without the sub, but would probably only run it as a monitor in that scenario, as piano loses a lot without the sub.

BTW, I just love the simplicity and ease of setup with this combo.
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

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#1907590 - 06/03/12 12:47 PM Re: Roland 700nx...what am I missing? [Re: voxpops]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3288
Originally Posted By: voxpops

Quote:
I could bring the SA-300, or maybe just the top half of the SA-300...

I haven't tried it on a gig without the sub, but would probably only run it as a monitor in that scenario, as piano loses a lot without the sub.

I wouldn't be running piano through it regardless, I'd keep that in the ZXa1. It would really be for organ. Of course that can go pretty low too, but I think in my use of it, it pretty much doesn't. I'll have to check it out at some point...

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#1907601 - 06/03/12 01:13 PM Re: Roland 700nx...what am I missing? [Re: anotherscott]
voxpops Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3083
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
It would really be for organ.


Motion Sound Pro 145?
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

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#1907603 - 06/03/12 01:27 PM Re: Roland 700nx...what am I missing? [Re: voxpops]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3288
Originally Posted By: voxpops
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
It would really be for organ.


Motion Sound Pro 145?


24.5" x 20" x 17"?

65 pounds?

$1700?

No way, times three!

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#1907607 - 06/03/12 01:32 PM Re: Roland 700nx...what am I missing? [Re: scepticalforumguy]
voxpops Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3083
Loc: Oregon
I hear you! That's why I went for the SA.
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http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

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#1907642 - 06/03/12 03:23 PM Re: Roland 700nx...what am I missing? [Re: scepticalforumguy]
voxpops Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3083
Loc: Oregon
FWIW, I just ran a short experiment with the Numa Piano and organ plugged into the SA300. I had been a little less than satisfied with the sound of the piano on the last gig - too much honky middle.

First, I switched off the "wide" effect. Much better on the piano and wasn't too detrimental to the Numa rotary sim. Then I tried switching the wide back on, adding the bass boost function and reducing the mids a touch. That was a pretty good combination. It brought out the low end of the organ much better, and the piano was improved over the gig sound. The only downside seemed to be that the boosting of the bass again reduced the wide effect.

I then tried running the Numa's pedals (via split). That caused the speakers to teeter on the brink of distortion (volume set at 12 o'clock on the amp channel and master). It was not unlike a hint of Leslie distortion (better than the Numa's built-in distortion!) but not something I would risk on a long-term basis. Fortunately, I don't use the pedal settings with the band.

I've still got more experimenting to do, but I'm convinced that I can get a very acceptable sound for a combinaton of piano, organ and synth. (Slim Phatty on the way - always felt a lack of true analog after selling my Little Phatty a couple of years ago, and the tone of the Mopho didn't quite do it for me.)
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#1908767 - 06/05/12 11:20 AM Re: Roland 700nx...what am I missing? [Re: scepticalforumguy]
slipperykeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 379
Loc: Dorset, England
Have you reduced the stereo width in the set up mode?

Press tone edit, cursor down one and turn the dial anti-clockwise. (You know all that already, of course)

I don't suppose it will make any difference, but you can try it if you haven't already done so.

I have the same piano and the same problem, I don't put it down to the piano but I am seriously considering buying a Roland amp as I feel I am wasting a lot of a brilliant piano.

If it comes to that Roland recommend use of their headphones too.

Just to add, I saw your post about being very selective and I don't think you are different to the rest of us!

Of all the stage pianos, I have always preferred the Rolands and having had this one since last August, and in spite of it's considerable "character" I still believe it is the best stage piano out there, and yes, I would still buy it again.



Edited by slipperykeys (06/05/12 11:28 AM)

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#1908908 - 06/05/12 04:14 PM Re: Roland 700nx...what am I missing? [Re: scepticalforumguy]
Kona_V-Piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 283
Originally Posted By: scepticalforumguy
Originally Posted By: 10fingers
Originally Posted By: scepticalforumguy


I'll report back tomorrow, maybe even with a recording.


a n d . . .


...I thought this thread was dead...

but since I'm here... I did try the Nord with the L1, as well as the Nord with some Fender tube amps. The guy I was playing with has a pretty elaborate setup of gear.
In any case, what I've found is that I'm one picky SOB. I didn't like the piano sound from the Nord in any of the amps unless I was playing B3 or wurli patches, and even then I just didn't like playing through an amp. It wasn't the Nord Piano I was expecting either--this one didn't have weighted keys, and was 66-73 keys on the thing. Really mediocre piano sounds IMO.
I think what this has come down to is that I'm not going to get what I'm looking for with any PA or amp (since I'm not in the market for something solely for the NX anyways because it isn't mine.) I play on acoustic pianos of all shapes and sizes and I prefer them to all the digitals I've auditioned through speakers, not yet having tried the AvantGrand, and probably still haven't found the best keyboard/PA combination.
And just to rub it in a bit--- I still like the Bose for all the other things it has going for it. The guitars and bass sound great through it, and the NX sounds pretty decent when I'm playing anything but piano.


Since you are very picky, like me, you might want to try the new NU1 from Yamaha. It is the cheapest AG series but uses an upright acoustic piano touch and uses the newest CFX samples from Yamaha's flagship. It has its own built in speakers so for indoor use , it might be perfect for you.


Edited by Kona_V-Piano (06/05/12 04:14 PM)
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