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#659018 - 11/03/07 08:38 PM New Roland Digital Harpsichord
Karen Bretz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/02
Posts: 215
Loc: Anchorage, Alaska
www.roland.com/products/en/C-30/index.html

Has anyone played the earlier versions (which seem to be impossible to get)?

Karen

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#659019 - 11/04/07 09:22 AM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
I would guess that this one would be impossible
to get also. Where is the market for it?
How many harpsichord specialists are there
in the world, and how many of them would
be interested in something like this?
Plus, every digital piano already has a harpsichord
voice, for free, so why bother with this?
Also, any pianist could play a harpsichord
if he ever ran into one, so there is no
need to practice on the real thing. If you're
a harpsichord fanatic, you should get the
real thing. They are still manufactured,
apparently. I see no advantage at all
in getting a digital one such as this, which
is why they are impossible to find.

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#659020 - 11/04/07 09:41 AM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
gmm1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1674
Loc: Spokane WA
I'm with Gyro, I fail to see why this is would be needed, unless I am showing my ignorance.

Just what is an "F" scale keyboard? Is that what would make this important to a harpsichord player?

If so, then I stand corrected. Never seen one anywhere, but could probably special order it. Could not find a price....anyone know?
_________________________
"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro

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#659021 - 11/04/07 05:37 PM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
Karen Bretz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/02
Posts: 215
Loc: Anchorage, Alaska
Part of the appeal (which sets it apart from digial pianos with harpsichord sounds) is the touch. Supposedly it duplicates the harpsichord touch - feeling the plectra pluck the string. Having the historical tuning systems and being able to switch between A440 and A415 and A392 is also a big plus. Also having 2 "sets of strings." I don't know of any digital piano with a harpsichord sound that can do all of that.

I totally disagree with Gyro that any pianist can play the harpischord. Maybe any pianist can plunk out notes on the harpsichord but they are 2 different animals.

I think the F keyboard means that it goes up to F. Awkward way of saying that. The range is very important to harpsichordists in that not all harpsichords have the range for the repertoire. Harpsichord keyboards are far from standard, like piano keyboards are.

I don't know what the price is. I don't know how many of the original digital harpsichords were made, but they are impossible to find now new or used. There must be some market for them otherwise they would pop up on the secondhard market. I would imagine that a big part of the market are amateur harpsichordists who don't want to/can't maintain a harpsichord.

Karen

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#659022 - 11/04/07 08:32 PM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
terminaldegree Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2776
Loc: western Wisconsin
Nope, never seen or heard of it.

I can think of two ways in which it would be preferable, particularly for rehearsal purposes:

1. Harpsichords are not often used in academic environments [unless there is an active early-music program], and often are stored in places not conducive to rehearsal. It takes about 3 people to move a large one of these things around safely, and something more portable may be desired-- particularly if it has a realistic action which is FAR different than a piano's action.

2. Anybody who's had to play a real harpsichord knows how quickly and often they tend to go out of tune... this would be a nice way to get through a long rehearsal without having to stop and retune [assuming the player even has the knowledge to do it acceptably].
_________________________
Pianist, teacher, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Casio px-200, Bechstein A190 #192939 @ home
Steinway A #585209, B #416809 @ work
Schimmel 130T #339100, on loan

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#659023 - 11/05/07 07:29 AM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
gmm1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1674
Loc: Spokane WA
Thanks Karen for the info. Very interesting, indeed.

I called my local Rowland outlet to get a price, and they said it's so new, it's not available, even to order, and no price to give. They said to call back in a few weeks and they should have the info by then.

I would really like to get my hands on one just to try it out, but seems no one locally will carry them as a stock item, only special order (at least at some point, I'm guessing - why make it it and then not offer for sale?).

Are you looking to get one? I would be interested in your opinion of it, after you get to play with it.
_________________________
"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro

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#659024 - 11/05/07 09:00 AM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
pcoldham Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/04/07
Posts: 11
Awesome! Really interesting...would go nicely among my bookshelves for my old professorial days. Ah well, we shall have to wait.

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#659025 - 11/05/07 12:52 PM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
A keyboard is a keyboard. If you can play
any keyboard instrument (pianoforte, organ,
harpsichord, clavichord, synth, etc.)
well, you can play any other one. There
are certain universal elements in keyboard
playing that are independent of the
particular instrument you practice on.
They are all the same species of instrument.
The pianoforte players who say that an organist,
for example, would not know how to "coax
the nuances out of a pianoforte," like
they can, compliment themselves
excessively. You've got to hit the right
notes in the right time, at speed, and
the procedure for doing that is the same
on any keyboard instrument.

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#659026 - 11/05/07 01:02 PM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21806
Loc: Oakland
 Quote:
A keyboard is a keyboard. If you can play any keyboard instrument (pianoforte, organ, harpsichord, clavichord, synth, etc.) well, you can play any other one.
Obviously spoken by someone who has not tried it.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#659027 - 11/05/07 02:54 PM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
Karen Bretz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/02
Posts: 215
Loc: Anchorage, Alaska
quote:
A keyboard is a keyboard. If you can play any keyboard instrument (pianoforte, organ, harpsichord, clavichord, synth, etc.) well, you can play any other one.


Wow. So playing piano means you can automtatically play a pedal keyboard too? (OR maybe you don't know that most organs and some harpsichords have a pedal keyboard?)

gmm1, I'm sure that the price is going to be at a point where I would have to try one out before buying it. Maybe the dealers wil be able to tell where there is one on the floor. I miss having a harpsichord (I've had 2), but I can't keep maintain it. Space is something of an issue for me, too.

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#659028 - 11/05/07 06:31 PM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
gmm1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1674
Loc: Spokane WA
Hey Karen, I just got off the phone with Rowland Corp. and even they do not know what it's going to cost. It's being manufactured now, and the release of Nov. 1 has been pushed to "undisclosed" release date.

Shoud be soon, but will probably not hit stores until just before the holidays (whatever that means)......how's that for timing????

I'm sure Alaska will get the first one, eh?
_________________________
"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro

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#659029 - 11/05/07 07:16 PM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
Karen Bretz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/02
Posts: 215
Loc: Anchorage, Alaska
LOL Wonder if Santa can carry one all the way up here.

If you have another talk with Roland, could you ask whether it's MIDI? I assume it's not because it doesn't say so in the specs.

BTW what do you think of the box? I like the earlier version better (shaped like a short harpsichord) but the new one is probably more space friendly, and perhaps lighter.

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#659030 - 11/05/07 08:03 PM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
gmm1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1674
Loc: Spokane WA
I have never seen either. I like the looks of this one, but I want to see it. I know nothing about harpsichords, but the size has my interest.

I agree to a point that "any keyboard in a storm", so, price being reasonable, I can see a spot in our front room for something like this. (EDIT - The idea of) Playing Bach on a harpsichord just sounds cool, like I'm in the know or something.....

The person I finally talked to at Rowland (passed around a little) did not know too much other than the release was being moved. He also told me to call back "in a few weeks" and they should know more (is "in a few weeks" a standard Rowland response??).
_________________________
"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro

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#659031 - 11/15/07 06:54 PM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
evanstongent Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/15/07
Posts: 1
Loc: Evanston, IL
Semipro Tech is absolutely correct in his response to Gyro—every pianist may think he or she can play any other keyboard instrument, but that’s because they don’t realize how badly they are doing it. A former pianist, I used to think the same thing until I studied with a professional harpsichordist for four years at Northwestern University, and learned how wrong I had been. A pianist may very well be able to hit the keys at the right moment, but that is not playing the instrument idiomatically or well. There is a world of difference between mechanics and musicianship.

Gyro also points out that virtually every digital piano has a “harpsichord stop,” but after trying many of them, I learned they all sound like crap, more like a thumbtacked piano and not like a real harpsichord at all. Yet digital pianos can sound awesome, through the use of “sampling” a real instrument. Why, I wondered, couldn’t someone do the same with a harpsichord? When I found out about the Roland C-80, I was thrilled, until I learned that they only manufactured them for about 15 minutes in 2005. I understand they only made 500 of them, and my local dealer said it was discontinued because it wasn’t a big seller. Not a big seller? They made 500 of them and sold every one! How much better did they expect to do?

Now I hear about the new C-30, which I have been trying to locate, also with no success. And this one improves on the C-80 by having more than one harpsichord sound—French and Flemish—in addition to fortepiano, along with multiple registers for each instrument. Once you get used to a harpsichord with multiple registers, it's hard to go back to only one set of strings. And the thought of never having to tune—or revoice or replace plectra—sounds like a dream come true. I own a small Italian-style harpsichord, and although it is a beautiful instrument, it usually goes unplayed because I don't have the time and energy to tune it every time I want to play it.

Anyway, if anyone hears more about the actual release date for the C-30, I’ve love to hear about it. Here’s hoping the Roland people don’t shoot themselves in the foot by making only a handful of them.

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#659032 - 11/20/07 06:46 AM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3238
Loc: Virginia, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by evanstongent:
Gyro also points out that virtually every digital piano has a “harpsichord stop,” but after trying many of them, I learned they all sound like crap, [/b]
I would agree even though I don't claim to be any expert on harpsichord sound. They don't sound right to my ears.

But if you have MIDI out, isn't there a way to drive some kind of sampled sound device? I get some decent organ sound out of the Hauptwerk demo, but that's all I know about using MIDI.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#659033 - 02/21/08 03:22 PM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
Brian Bennett Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 128
Loc: Salt Lake City, Utah
Indeed, Playing the Harpsichord is a very different experience from the modern piano to be sure.

I am very interested in this product. If the price is right and the emulation is as good as I have heard, it will sell. What I fear is that the mechanical "noise" was not included in the waveforms within. I you haven't been around a real harpsichord, they are extremely noisy (mechanically, not the note/tone) and require a specific approach to how they are played. Learning to negotiate this property is just one of many challenges. There is a reason many chords in the harpsichord music are arpeggiated.

Now that I own the Piano I have always wanted, I have immediately started to contemplate a harpsichord kit. Alas the tuning and space are huge burdens to consider. I love the sound and the music associate. What fun it would be to own one. Will the C30 serve as a proxy? Time will tell if and when it appears.
_________________________
Schimmel 213 NWS, Yamaha MOTIF XS8, Roland RDX700, Roland Jupiter 6, Akai S3000XL sampler (just for fun)

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#659034 - 02/21/08 04:02 PM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
80k Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/14/04
Posts: 126
Loc: Portland, OR
I tried it out and fell in love with it at NAMM. I believe the street price for it will be very expensive, probably between $3K and $4K, which makes it too expensive for me.

As someone who has never touched a harpsichord, I can at least say that playing this instrument felt VERY different than playing a digital piano with a harpsichord patch. It did emulate the plucking "click".

There was someone there that knew how to play it properly, and she was very impressed with it. FWIW.

I think they might be still working out some software issues. I experienced some bugs switching between patches.

BTW, i also love the cabinet/build and stained glass and painting.

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#659035 - 02/21/08 11:52 PM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
cregg Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/21/08
Posts: 6
Loc: Houston
Having once had the opportunity to play a fine harpsichord (I snuck into the university recital hall the night before a performance) I can tell you that indeed, they are different beasts. The harp amplifies even the tiniest variations in the timing of the keypress and exposes flaws in technique you didn't know you had.

Now granted, I was a relative beginner at the time. Not that any of this is going to made any difference to most folks. I happily play my Bach using any of several voices on my Kawai CE200 and the different characteristic help, I believe, to keep me fresh and always improving.

Now if you are a professionaly harpsochorist and need to practice at night, or have gotten tired of having your instrument tuned immediately before the audience arrives, the Roland might be just the ticket. There's definitely a place for it, just not sure how big the market is.

By the way, Korg had at least one DP that adjustes the feel when playing harp.

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#659036 - 02/22/08 12:28 AM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
Tony V Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/14/07
Posts: 354
I'll back up Cregg on his comment. I also got a chance to play a harpsichord at the recital hall in my university.

The action is something else. When you press a key on a harpsichord, a certain amount of pressure will cause the key to fully "snap" down to create the plucked string sound.

The sound, to me, is a lot rougher than what we hear in digitals. I don't really know how to describe it, but the harpsichord on digitals sound too clean and too bright.

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#659037 - 02/22/08 01:03 AM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
faucon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 285
Loc: Missouri USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by 80k:
I tried it out and fell in love with it at NAMM. I believe the street price for it will be very expensive, probably between $3K and $4K, which makes it too expensive for me.
[/b]
The C-30 is being advertised for $3,995 at Cascio Music. However, I don't think they have any in stock yet---it looks like maybe it can be pre-ordered.

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#659038 - 02/22/08 05:08 AM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
SSB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/08
Posts: 184
Loc: Cumbria, UK
It's a real niche instrument, which I guess is reflected in its pricing and likely availability on the street (like the earlier models).

There is alot to be said for havig a keyboard that's right for the instrument - after all we want weighted piano like keys for our DPs don't we? I'm pretty sure that harpsichord keys are slightly shorter.

I'm happy enough with my harpsichord sound on the Promega - it's got alot of character and of course I can bugger about with the tuning to my heart's content. Dig into some couperin or even the Goldberg Variations and the harspichord really comes into its own - it's well worth experimenting. I wasn't that fussed with the harpsichord sounds on the Roland RD-700sx - knowing Roland, the patches on this model won't be alot different.
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User ratings are the work of the devil

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#659039 - 02/22/08 01:16 PM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
80k Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/14/04
Posts: 126
Loc: Portland, OR
I will probably get a chance to see this again at Musikmesse in March, if I have time to make it to the booth.

Anything anyone wants me to check out? I will find out about availability, of course. I will ask about and listen for "mechanical noise", though I won't really know how authentic it is (i will try to get input from someone who would know).

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#659040 - 03/19/08 02:34 PM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
80k Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/14/04
Posts: 126
Loc: Portland, OR
Well, the C-30 was one of Roland's most heavily demo'd products at Musikmesse. Hector Olivera was demo'ing the C-30 every other hour in the organ booth. On the main Roland area, a violinist and harpsichordist demoed it to Vivaldi's Four Seasons every hour. There was another demo'er dressed in period costume, although I only attended it briefly.

At Roland's "Night of the Keys" performance in Offenbach, Professor Burkhart Schliessman performed a few fantastic Bach pieces on the C-30.

The Roland floor also had 2 or 3 additional C-30's for people to try out.

The demo's drew pretty large crowds, and everyone seems to be very interested in it. It seems like Roland is making a pretty big deal of this product, at least in Europe. After spending several more days with it at Musikmesse (in addition to my brief experience with it at NAMM), I am more and more serious about picking one up for the home. I am just wondering if it will come down from the $4K we are seeing it being pre-ordered for on the internet.

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#659041 - 03/19/08 07:42 PM Re: New Roland Digital Harpsichord
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9522
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
I played on a Roland digital harpsichord at the Japan Musical Instrument Fair late last year and was rather impressed with the cabinet design and overall construction quality.

While undoubtedly targeting a particular niche market, I commend Roland for recognising that such demand exists, and for continuing to innovate the musical instrument industry.

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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