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#2388003 - 02/18/15 02:47 PM The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively
Magh Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/04/14
Posts: 14
Basically I am wondering, is there any difference between the action in the 506 and 508? For instance, if you compare the Yamaha CLP545 and CLP575 they have the same action, but the 575 also has linear graded hammers for individual key weighting. Does the same logic apply to 506 vs 508 - same action but more bells and details to the 508 as the more expensive model? Or are they, truly, completely identical and only software features and speaker system differentiate the two pianos?

Depending on the answer to that question, are the keys of the HP508 (and perhaps 506) individually weighted like Yamaha tries to do with the 575 to imitate how it works on a real grand piano (bas keys are heavier, gets progressively lighter as you move up, no two keys are alike)? Or are they weighted in sections, which I understand is the case of the CLP545 (priced similarly to 506)?

Finally, can you tell me what material is used for the keys of the HP508and HP506?

According to Roland's spec sheets, 506 and 508 are the same in terms of keys and action. But a salesman at a local music store would tell me they are different. So now I'm not quite sure what to believe.

I am almost ready to decide which model is right for me. This information will really help me make the best decision.


Edited by Magh (02/18/15 02:48 PM)

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#2388055 - 02/18/15 06:10 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: Magh]
peterws Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 4083
Loc: Northern England.
If you don`t mind my saying, why are you so bothered? Now that I know the Yammie 575 has individually graded hammers, I have significantly less respect for that company. . . . I see no point. Whose fingers are sensitive enough to profit from this? If you want to splash the cash (nothing wrong with that) why not make sure you get real benefit from it?

Just my rambling thoughts! Have fun, whatever you decide!
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2388067 - 02/18/15 06:55 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: Magh]
Kawai James Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 10078
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By Magh
Basically I am wondering, is there any difference between the action in the 506 and 508?


Magh, I recall an informative post from Jay Roland a few months ago in which he outlined the differences between the PHA4 Standard, Premium, and Concert actions. I've tried to search the forum, but have not managed to find the exact post, unfortunately.

Assuming you have play-tested the HP506/HP508, which did you prefer?

Kind regards,
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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#2388071 - 02/18/15 07:11 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: Magh]
Jay Roland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/13
Posts: 437
Loc: Edmonton Alberta
Originally Posted By Magh
Basically I am wondering, is there any difference between the action in the 506 and 508? For instance, if you compare the Yamaha CLP545 and CLP575 they have the same action, but the 575 also has linear graded hammers for individual key weighting. Does the same logic apply to 506 vs 508 - same action but more bells and details to the 508 as the more expensive model? Or are they, truly, completely identical and only software features and speaker system differentiate the two pianos?

Depending on the answer to that question, are the keys of the HP508 (and perhaps 506) individually weighted like Yamaha tries to do with the 575 to imitate how it works on a real grand piano (bas keys are heavier, gets progressively lighter as you move up, no two keys are alike)? Or are they weighted in sections, which I understand is the case of the CLP545 (priced similarly to 506)?

Finally, can you tell me what material is used for the keys of the HP508and HP506?

According to Roland's spec sheets, 506 and 508 are the same in terms of keys and action. But a salesman at a local music store would tell me they are different. So now I'm not quite sure what to believe.

I am almost ready to decide which model is right for me. This information will really help me make the best decision.


Both the HP506 and HP508 feature the PHA-4 Concert Action. There is no difference in Key feel at all. PHA-4 Concert uses a 2 piece key design using our proprietary Ivory feel key top material which has been developed over several revisions. Ebony Feel is featured on the black notes using another a proprietary material developed over several years.

The weighting is over 7 difference zones. Middle C is almost exactly 56 grams. At the bottom of the keybed at A0 it is about 63 grams. And at C8 you should see about 49 grams.

The difference between the 506 and 508 models comes down to Piano Designer and Cabinet/Speaker system. The core piano performance (touch and tone) should be identical.

hope this helps.

Jay
_________________________
Alberta/BC North Factory Sales Rep for Roland Canada.
www.roland.ca

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#2388073 - 02/18/15 07:17 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: Magh]
Marko in Boston Online   blank
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 980
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts
Regarding the action on the Roland, they should be the exact same. However they might feel slightly different based on the the overall build of the piano and key bed - not sure. But I cant imagine it being a significant difference - slight at best (??). I have the same action on my RD800 and it's excellent IMO. I can only imaging it being just as fantastic or maybe even hint more authentic on an console.





Edit - Jay you beat me to it


Edited by Marko in Boston (02/18/15 07:18 PM)
Edit Reason: Edit - Jay you beat me to it
_________________________
KAWAI ES7 | ROLAND RD-800 | TRAYNOR K4 | YAMAHA STAGEPAS 400i | PRESONUS ERIS 5 & T10 | SHURE SRH1540 | SENNHEISER HD650 | K&M OMEGA

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#2388573 - 02/20/15 07:55 AM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: Jay Roland]
jeanroger Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/19/15
Posts: 1
hi, first sorry for my bad english.
where do you find this specification ? i don't find anything about keys weighted on the roland web site.
i have already a roland fp50, do you say if on this model have individually keys weighted also ? i think no.
i plan to change my fp50 (this is my first digital piano, i'm novice but i find keyboard tiring when i practiced for a long time and it is noisy), do you think upgrade for a hp508 making a big difference for keys action ? and supernatural engine it is the same between fp50 and hp508 ?
i hope you understand my bad english, thanks you !

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#2388623 - 02/20/15 09:36 AM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: Marko in Boston]
petes1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 214
Originally Posted By Marko in Boston
...I have the same action on my RD800 and it's excellent IMO. I can only imaging it being just as fantastic or maybe even hint more authentic on an console.....


Amen and agree 110%! These keyboards have a wonderful action and a wonderful selection of sounds!
_________________________
Keys: Yamaha GC2, Casio Privia PX-3, Roland RD800

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#2388744 - 02/20/15 02:12 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: jeanroger]
Jay Roland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/13
Posts: 437
Loc: Edmonton Alberta
Originally Posted By jeanroger
hi, first sorry for my bad english.
where do you find this specification ? i don't find anything about keys weighted on the roland web site.
i have already a roland fp50, do you say if on this model have individually keys weighted also ? i think no.
i plan to change my fp50 (this is my first digital piano, i'm novice but i find keyboard tiring when i practiced for a long time and it is noisy), do you think upgrade for a hp508 making a big difference for keys action ? and supernatural engine it is the same between fp50 and hp508 ?
i hope you understand my bad english, thanks you !


FP-50 was a six zone progressive weight. The new PHA-4 actions are all 7 zone. The HP508 is very much an upgraded SuperNatural engine from what the FP-50 generation offered. You'll have to seek one out to try.

In Terms of key action, the FP-50 used Ivory Feel-G, which was designed to be used in our compact and portable instruments. It feels very good, but the PHA-4 Concert in the HP508 is superior as it is a generation newer and has no compromise in design to account for portability.

Jay
_________________________
Alberta/BC North Factory Sales Rep for Roland Canada.
www.roland.ca

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#2388765 - 02/20/15 02:59 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: Magh]
stamkorg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 78
By the way, Jay please can you say if the supernatural sound engine is the same on the hp507 and the hp508 or not?
Thanks

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#2388767 - 02/20/15 03:02 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: Magh]
Jay Roland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/13
Posts: 437
Loc: Edmonton Alberta
There is some difference in the way that the Engine does resonances and core tone generation. Plus the Keybed scanning sensor on the newer PHA-4 actions, lets the sound engine do more of the sound generation and isn't also responsible for doing keybed scanning. It's more responsive and more accurate than it has ever been before.

Jay
_________________________
Alberta/BC North Factory Sales Rep for Roland Canada.
www.roland.ca

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#2388768 - 02/20/15 03:02 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: Jay Roland]
Magh Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/04/14
Posts: 14
Originally Posted By peterws
If you don`t mind my saying, why are you so bothered? Now that I know the Yammie 575 has individually graded hammers, I have significantly less respect for that company. . . . I see no point. Whose fingers are sensitive enough to profit from this? If you want to splash the cash (nothing wrong with that) why not make sure you get real benefit from it?

Just my rambling thoughts! Have fun, whatever you decide!


This is a question of realism. It is a feature of grand pianos, why shouldn't we request it in our DP's?

I agree only a few people will truly benefit from this, but it definitely will not hurt! So I don't understand why you disprove of Yamaha's decision to implement this in their higher end DP's?

Originally Posted By Kawai James


Magh, I recall an informative post from Jay Roland a few months ago in which he outlined the differences between the PHA4 Standard, Premium, and Concert actions. I've tried to search the forum, but have not managed to find the exact post, unfortunately.

Assuming you have play-tested the HP506/HP508, which did you prefer?

Kind regards,
James
x


I have play-tested both and I found that the 508 was the more satisfying of the two. I think this was primarily a result of sound, which makes sense. But this can make the HP508 feel better as well by placebo.

But both a definitely great pianos, no doubt about it.

Originally Posted By Jay Roland
Both the HP506 and HP508 feature the PHA-4 Concert Action. There is no difference in Key feel at all. PHA-4 Concert uses a 2 piece key design using our proprietary Ivory feel key top material which has been developed over several revisions. Ebony Feel is featured on the black notes using another a proprietary material developed over several years.

The weighting is over 7 difference zones. Middle C is almost exactly 56 grams. At the bottom of the keybed at A0 it is about 63 grams. And at C8 you should see about 49 grams.

The difference between the 506 and 508 models comes down to Piano Designer and Cabinet/Speaker system. The core piano performance (touch and tone) should be identical.

hope this helps.

Jay


I see. Thank you for the detailed reply. Out of curiosity, how come Roland has decided to weigh the keys in these 7 zones and not individually?

I probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference if I was blind tested, but it is interesting none the less.

Thank you for the replies everyone. You have been most helpful!

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#2388773 - 02/20/15 03:08 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: Magh]
Jay Roland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/13
Posts: 437
Loc: Edmonton Alberta
I can't answer that with any authority at all.

Really though, my personal opinion is that the proof is in the playing. Not the specifications. Find me 10 people that could do a blind test of a individually weighted and a zoned keybed under normal playing conditions. Let each of those people get the answer correct 9 out of 10 times. And let each be able to explain why one is better than the other.

Jay
_________________________
Alberta/BC North Factory Sales Rep for Roland Canada.
www.roland.ca

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#2388824 - 02/20/15 05:18 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: Magh]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1961
Loc: Portugal
magh said: ...I don't understand why you disprove of Yamaha's decision to implement this in their higher end DP's?

The reason why some people on this forum (including me) may not consider individual weighting to be important might be:

1. This is not a musical feature. It is an artifact of the nature of piano hammers relative to their strings/ pitches. There is no reason to suppose that, for example, composers take this into consideration when they arrange a piece of music. Why carry over an accident of construction (rather than a design feature) into a keyboard which doesn't need it?

2. Graded weighting has been a feature of most digital pianos for many years now, but it is less pronounced that its equivalent on an acoustic (maybe for reason 1. above). Therefore it's a bit of a bauble rather than a useful feature - such as an accurate, rich sounding decay period.

But as I say, this is a personal opinion - to others, the feature is important to have on a DP, and Yamaha have provided it.
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2388841 - 02/20/15 06:35 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: Kawai James]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4555
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By Kawai James
I recall an informative post from Jay Roland a few months ago in which he outlined the differences between the PHA4 Standard, Premium, and Concert actions.

I must have missed that memo. Just when I thought PHA4 actually kinda meant something...

Am I correct in thinking PHA4 Premium and PHA4 Concert are identical except for the wood colored plastic sides of the Concert?

What's up with the PHA4 Standard? I assume that since it seems to have replaced the "Ivory Feel G" that it is a somehow inferior (less superior if you will) action than the Premium and Concert? Lighter down weight? More sluggish? Less padded? What?
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)
!IMO!

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#2388909 - 02/20/15 11:34 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: dewster]
Jay Roland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/13
Posts: 437
Loc: Edmonton Alberta
Originally Posted By dewster
Originally Posted By Kawai James
I recall an informative post from Jay Roland a few months ago in which he outlined the differences between the PHA4 Standard, Premium, and Concert actions.

I must have missed that memo. Just when I thought PHA4 actually kinda meant something...

Am I correct in thinking PHA4 Premium and PHA4 Concert are identical except for the wood colored plastic sides of the Concert?

What's up with the PHA4 Standard? I assume that since it seems to have replaced the "Ivory Feel G" that it is a somehow inferior (less superior if you will) action than the Premium and Concert? Lighter down weight? More sluggish? Less padded? What?


The PHA-4 Premium and Concert actions have a couple of significant differences.

One: The Concert action has a two piece key design. Two: The "Ebonized" sharps and flats only appear on the Concert Variant.

The design of the PHA4 Standard is optimized for instruments where compact design and portability are the primary concerns. It is a big upgrade from the previous Ivory Feel G keybed. It also features the dedicated keybed scanning processor like it's big brothers. Downweight is similar to the PHA4 Concert and Premium and has a WAY more positive "bottom" than the Ivory Feel G.

Hope this helps.

Jay
_________________________
Alberta/BC North Factory Sales Rep for Roland Canada.
www.roland.ca

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#2389038 - 02/21/15 09:02 AM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: Magh]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4555
Loc: Northern NJ
I'm OK with actions that mechanically feel the same having the same designation (e.g. PHA4) and being differentiated by tacked on keywords (e.g. Premium) but IMO completely different feeling actions should have clearly different monikers (e.g. Ivory Feel G). It's hard enough keeping these pseudo specs straight.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)
!IMO!

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#2389072 - 02/21/15 11:08 AM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: dewster]
Jay Roland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/13
Posts: 437
Loc: Edmonton Alberta
Originally Posted By dewster
I'm OK with actions that mechanically feel the same having the same designation (e.g. PHA4) and being differentiated by tacked on keywords (e.g. Premium) but IMO completely different feeling actions should have clearly different monikers (e.g. Ivory Feel G). It's hard enough keeping these pseudo specs straight.


So the fact that the PHA4 Standard shares the following with it's bigger siblings means it's a pseudo spec?

Ivory Feel Keybed
Escapement
7 zones of weighting
Keybed scanning sensor

The feel is not very different at all. Our customers and their customers have told us that the PHA4 Standard is one of the best compact piano actions available. Don't get lost in specs. Go try an instrument equipped with the PHA-4 Standard, then for comparisons sake hopefully there's something next to it with PHA-4 Premium or Concert. You'll be pleasantly surprised. It is a great action at any price point.
_________________________
Alberta/BC North Factory Sales Rep for Roland Canada.
www.roland.ca

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#2389087 - 02/21/15 11:40 AM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: Jay Roland]
lophiomys Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 03/01/14
Posts: 230
Loc: Austria, EU
Quote:
Don't get lost in specs.

if you wouldnt pull a smoke and mirrors screen of marketing buzzwords, we would not get lost in specs as customers!
I was there in the shops and tested various PHA4 actions from the HP504 upwards.
They where all good to me, but you kept me wondering, what is now the actual difference betwenn PHA4 Standard, Concert and Premium (or whatever), which I could not really make out.
Just call it PHA4, and install the same "best" key action into all our HP cabinet models,
then the customers would not "get lost in specs".

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#2389093 - 02/21/15 11:51 AM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: Jay Roland]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4555
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By Jay Roland
The feel is not very different at all. ... Don't get lost in specs.

I understand cosmetic modifiers, and I haven't tried any of the variants of PHA4, but if any of them posses a differing dynamic response from the others then I would submit that PHA4 is an inconsistent and therefore potentially misleading spec that a person might reasonably get lost in.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)
!IMO!

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#2389105 - 02/21/15 12:09 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: Magh]
Jay Roland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/13
Posts: 437
Loc: Edmonton Alberta
Out of anyone active on this forum, I would say that with my experience with Roland; and given that I've exhaustively played EVERY key action we've made for more than the last 10 years, I would be one of the best qualified to give an opinion of the differences between our actions.

And sorry to be so blunt dewster, but you should try them for yourself, instead of opining on a subject you have no first hand experience of.

So let me state it as clearly as I can. PHA-4 Standard is extremely close in feel to the Premium and Concert Variants. It is far closer to its siblings than Ivory Feel G was to it's PHA-3 siblings. I don't know that most people would feel a huge difference in down weight, up weight, response, dynamics, escapement, or almost any other aspect of the action. But the best way for the individual to tell, is to try them out and compare them closely.

I did. And did it exhaustively. I was very pleasantly surprised, and was excited for how good our compact and portable instruments key action was going to be moving forward. The Standard action is a huge improvement over the Ivory Feel G, and COMPLETELY deserves its PHA-4 designation.
_________________________
Alberta/BC North Factory Sales Rep for Roland Canada.
www.roland.ca

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#2389108 - 02/21/15 12:16 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: lophiomys]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1961
Loc: Portugal
Originally Posted By lophiomys
Quote:
Don't get lost in specs.


I was there in the shops and tested various PHA4 actions from the HP504 upwards.
They where all good to me, but you kept me wondering, what is now the actual difference betwenn PHA4 Standard, Concert and Premium (or whatever), which I could not really make out.
Just call it PHA4, and install the same "best" key action into all our HP cabinet models,
then the customers would not "get lost in specs".


The thing is, the ones you tried (Premium and Concert) are identical. The one which is materially, mechanically different is the 'PHA4 Standard' which is on RP401 and other more compact pianos....that's the one which would react differently - though according to Jay, it's not as different as the cut-price Roland actions used to be.
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2389118 - 02/21/15 12:38 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: Jay Roland]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4555
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By Jay Roland
Out of anyone active on this forum, I would say that with my experience with Roland; and given that I've exhaustively played EVERY key action we've made for more than the last 10 years, I would be one of the best qualified to give an opinion of the differences between our actions.

I'd be happy to take your experienced word here, but seeing as you are the Alberta/BC North Factory Sales Rep for Roland Canada interests conflic.

Originally Posted By Jay Roland
And sorry to be so blunt dewster, but you should try them for yourself, instead of opining on a subject you have no first hand experience of.

This is advice given out regularly at PW and I agree with it 100% - there is no substitute for trying out a DP in the flesh. Don't take anyone else's experienced word for anything.

Probably picking a nit at this point, but beyond the general confusion, I would think that Roland might be concerned the PHA4 moniker applied broadly to differing actions could dilute the perceived quality of their higher end models.

[EDIT] It could be that Roland uses the same keys (except for cosmetic details or 1/2 piece construction) and hammers in all actions, with the underlying support structure differing in the Standard to remove weight. If that is indeed the case then they should perhaps state that that is what they are doing. Give us a break, we're outsiders and therefore completely clueless as to what's actually going on except for a few concrete crumbs found between the lines in the glossies and what we can manage to figure out on our own.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)
!IMO!

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#2389133 - 02/21/15 12:59 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: Jay Roland]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3873
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By Jay Roland
Out of anyone active on this forum, I would say that with my experience with Roland; and given that I've exhaustively played EVERY key action we've made for more than the last 10 years, I would be one of the best qualified to give an opinion of the differences between our actions.

And sorry to be so blunt dewster, but you should try them for yourself, instead of opining on a subject you have no first hand experience of.

So let me state it as clearly as I can. PHA-4 Standard is extremely close in feel to the Premium and Concert Variants. It is far closer to its siblings than Ivory Feel G was to it's PHA-3 siblings. I don't know that most people would feel a huge difference in down weight, up weight, response, dynamics, escapement, or almost any other aspect of the action. But the best way for the individual to tell, is to try them out and compare them closely.

I did. And did it exhaustively. I was very pleasantly surprised, and was excited for how good our compact and portable instruments key action was going to be moving forward. The Standard action is a huge improvement over the Ivory Feel G, and COMPLETELY deserves its PHA-4 designation.


Hi Jay, would you mind telling us what parts the 3 variants of the PHA4 action have in common? One would expect there are certain things common to all 3 since they all carry the same basic designation. On the Standard version, what has been changed to reduce weight? Conversely, what has been done to the PHA4-premium to give it a "premium" feel? I feel these are reasonable questions to ask since the terms appear on your brochures.

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#2389135 - 02/21/15 01:10 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: dewster]
Jay Roland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/13
Posts: 437
Loc: Edmonton Alberta
Originally Posted By dewster
[EDIT] It could be that Roland uses the same keys (except for cosmetic details or 1/2 piece construction) and hammers in all actions, with the underlying support structure differing in the Standard to remove weight. If that is indeed the case then they should perhaps state that that is what they are doing. Give us a break, we're outsiders and therefore completely clueless as to what's actually going on except for a few concrete crumbs found between the lines in the glossies and what we can manage to figure out on our own.


There are mechanical differences. Without access to a cut action sample of the PHA-4 Standard and Concert, it would be exceedingly difficult for me to accurately explain using just words, the differences between them. I'll try though.

All the actions use hammers. The downweight, upweight, escapement etc are all designed to be the same. The difference in the standard action is that the hammers actually wrap back under the keybed, which means that the escapement mechanism, the sensors and keybed scanners are located differently. This doesn't change the feel (it's VERY clever engineering) but allows the action to be placed in compact cabinets that the premium and concert actions just couldn't be placed in for reasons of interior space limitations and of course, cost.

It comes back to the old "a picture is worth a thousand words" adage. But the end result is really what matters. The PHA-4 Standard is miles ahead of the Ivory Feel G and inches from the PHA-4 Premium and Concert.

This is why you don't find a very inexpensive Roland piano featuring these actions. It's a certain quality required to call it a Roland. And we do work hard to abide by that.

Edit: To answer Ando.

Weight isn't the most important factor. Space and cabinet design is. Hence my explanation above. Anecdotally, we fix VERY few of our key beds. By very few I mean tenths of 1% have issues at any point in their normal playing life.


Edited by Jay Roland (02/21/15 01:14 PM)
_________________________
Alberta/BC North Factory Sales Rep for Roland Canada.
www.roland.ca

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#2389139 - 02/21/15 01:16 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: ando]
Jay Roland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/13
Posts: 437
Loc: Edmonton Alberta
Originally Posted By ando
Hi Jay, would you mind telling us what parts the 3 variants of the PHA4 action have in common? One would expect there are certain things common to all 3 since they all carry the same basic designation. On the Standard version, what has been changed to reduce weight? Conversely, what has been done to the PHA4-premium to give it a "premium" feel? I feel these are reasonable questions to ask since the terms appear on your brochures.


Without access to a detailed parts list for each action, I am loathe to authoritatively give information I cannot be sure of.

Jay


Edited by Jay Roland (02/21/15 01:17 PM)
_________________________
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#2389145 - 02/21/15 01:23 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: Jay Roland]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4555
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By Jay Roland
All the actions use hammers. The downweight, upweight, escapement etc are all designed to be the same. The difference in the standard action is that the hammers actually wrap back under the keybed, which means that the escapement mechanism, the sensors and keybed scanners are located differently. This doesn't change the feel (it's VERY clever engineering) but allows the action to be placed in compact cabinets that the premium and concert actions just couldn't be placed in for reasons of interior space limitations and of course, cost.

So, mechanically, the Standard is constructed completely differently. Thanks for that.

Originally Posted By Jay Roland
It comes back to the old "a picture is worth a thousand words" adage.

Would comparison pix be too much to ask?
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#2389151 - 02/21/15 01:40 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: Jay Roland]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3873
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By Jay Roland
Originally Posted By ando
Hi Jay, would you mind telling us what parts the 3 variants of the PHA4 action have in common? One would expect there are certain things common to all 3 since they all carry the same basic designation. On the Standard version, what has been changed to reduce weight? Conversely, what has been done to the PHA4-premium to give it a "premium" feel? I feel these are reasonable questions to ask since the terms appear on your brochures.


Without access to a detailed parts list for each action, I am loathe to authoritatively give information I cannot be sure of.

Jay


I wouldn't want you to guess either, Jay. Would you mind asking Roland and getting back to us when you find out? Some side-view pictures like what Kawai does would be even better.

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#2389172 - 02/21/15 02:29 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: ando]
Jay Roland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/13
Posts: 437
Loc: Edmonton Alberta
Originally Posted By ando
Originally Posted By Jay Roland
Originally Posted By ando
Hi Jay, would you mind telling us what parts the 3 variants of the PHA4 action have in common? One would expect there are certain things common to all 3 since they all carry the same basic designation. On the Standard version, what has been changed to reduce weight? Conversely, what has been done to the PHA4-premium to give it a "premium" feel? I feel these are reasonable questions to ask since the terms appear on your brochures.


Without access to a detailed parts list for each action, I am loathe to authoritatively give information I cannot be sure of.

Jay


I wouldn't want you to guess either, Jay. Would you mind asking Roland and getting back to us when you find out? Some side-view pictures like what Kawai does would be even better.


I don't know that the information is even able to be released publicly. I'll make inquiries, but it's not a priority for me these days. I've just moved to a new city and new job with Roland Canada, and am focused on life and work.

I have no access to make comparison pics either. There are no disassembled pianos here a 13 hour drive away from my head office. And I won't ask our service techs to spend time disassembling some pianos for the purpose. They have their regular jobs to do.

Jay


Edited by Jay Roland (02/21/15 02:35 PM)
_________________________
Alberta/BC North Factory Sales Rep for Roland Canada.
www.roland.ca

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#2389270 - 02/21/15 06:29 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: Magh]
lolatu Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 653
Loc: UK
There are no comparison pics because Roland doesn't want people to know that the basic PHA4 is not really a PHA action at all.

It's entirely reasonable for someone to assume that an action bearing the PHA4 label is:
a) Constructed similarly to previous generations, thereby "being" a PHA action
b) An improvement on PHA3

It is neither. The confusion in this and many other threads on this forum is testament to how many people are being duped, handing over their hard-earned $€£ for something that isn't what it purports to be. The marketing materials make no mention of the fundamentally different construction compared to PHA3, and reading them, you would certainly be led to believe that it is better. At best this labelling is ethically dubious, and at worst fraudulent.

You can tell people they should have tried before they bought, they should trust their fingers, etc. But some people just don't have that opportunity; others are buying for their kid or a relative or for people to play when they come to visit, and can't tell the difference; some will only realise the difference in a year or two's time when they get better at playing. For these buyers, they have to be able to trust the brand. And Roland have betrayed that trust.

I would like to be able to vow never to buy a Roland product again, but unfortunately some of their products are just too good.
_________________________
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#2389333 - 02/21/15 08:27 PM Re: The action in the Roland HP508 and HP506 respectively [Re: lolatu]
Jay Roland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/13
Posts: 437
Loc: Edmonton Alberta
Originally Posted By lolatu
There are no comparison pics because Roland doesn't want people to know that the basic PHA4 is not really a PHA action at all.

It's entirely reasonable for someone to assume that an action bearing the PHA4 label is:
a) Constructed similarly to previous generations, thereby "being" a PHA action
b) An improvement on PHA3

It is neither. The confusion in this and many other threads on this forum is testament to how many people are being duped, handing over their hard-earned $€£ for something that isn't what it purports to be. The marketing materials make no mention of the fundamentally different construction compared to PHA3, and reading them, you would certainly be led to believe that it is better. At best this labelling is ethically dubious, and at worst fraudulent.

You can tell people they should have tried before they bought, they should trust their fingers, etc. But some people just don't have that opportunity; others are buying for their kid or a relative or for people to play when they come to visit, and can't tell the difference; some will only realise the difference in a year or two's time when they get better at playing. For these buyers, they have to be able to trust the brand. And Roland have betrayed that trust.

I would like to be able to vow never to buy a Roland product again, but unfortunately some of their products are just too good.


Well lolatu, you consistently have attacked Roland using words like "fraudulent" "ethics" et al. Ad hominem attacks on the company I work for. So whatever.

That aside. I've stated CLEARLY that the PHA-4 Standard completely deserves the PHA-4 designation and CLEARLY stated why i believe that. The good thing is, unlike you, our retailers and their customers HAVE implicit trust in Roland and agree that the PHA-4 Standard action is of a quality that allows for serious piano education. So do examining bodies in Canada and abroad. Conservatory Canada certifies our compact piano action for examinations up to Grade 6. The "full" actions are certified for examination through associate level.

I would expect the average consumer to be able to understand that "Concert" is better than "Premium" which is better than "Standard" without getting lost in the same pointless discussions that occur here ad nauseum. I also trust our retailers in Canada who have all received the same detailed information I've supplied here, to educate their customers and guide them to the instrument that is best for their particular situation.

You see, despite what you continuously assert, there's a lot of trust with Roland throughout the supply chain. Because we build a high quality product that end users can enjoy for years. We have a very solid reputation for delivering an instrument that can be played to a high standard with proper piano technique.

Jay
_________________________
Alberta/BC North Factory Sales Rep for Roland Canada.
www.roland.ca

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