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#665109 - 09/01/03 08:54 PM Roland HP-2 versus Yamaha CLP-130
waltonjv Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/01/03
Posts: 1
Loc: Biloxi, MS
I am a first-time piano buyer. I have two children, 5 and 6, who are starting piano lessons. I have decided to buy a digital piano for reasons of cost, ease of moving (I'm a military member), privacy (headphones), and MIDI capability. I have my choices narrowed down to the Roland HP-2 and the Yamaha CLP-130. Both appear to have similar touch response and sampling technology. They are also both similarly priced. Right now, my decision is down to a coin flip. Can anyone comment on these two products in a head to head comparison and give their reasons for choosing one product over the other?

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#665110 - 09/02/03 07:40 PM Re: Roland HP-2 versus Yamaha CLP-130
Luke's Dad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 1426
Loc: Mid Atlantic
Personally, I hear a big difference between the sound of the Roland HP2 and the CLP130, but that may be biased. Some basic differences based on fact, however are these:

Roland uses a completely gravity based action, where as Yamaha's uses a leaf spring. Over time, the spring can wear out a little, and on occasion can become disconnected from the action which necessitates a difficult repair.

The circuit board under the keys in a Roland action runs at a 45 degree angle, while the circuit board under the yamaha is horizontal. The angled board helps prevent dust and other debree from accumalating on the board, once again necessitating service.

The feel of the Roland isn't as heavy at the top of the keystroke, and feels more natural during the strike. Yamahas feel a little heavier at the top, but after breaking the tensile point of the spring, there is much less resistance. As a result, the player initially puts more energy into the stroke, and it's difficult to recover that momentum, thus making it a little more difficult in expressing at the softer levels of pianissimo.

There are several other differences as well, but in the long term, I feel the Roland is a much better instrument.
_________________________
Purveyor of Yamaha, Petrof, Pearl River, and Kohler & Campbell pianos.

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#665111 - 09/03/03 06:33 AM Re: Roland HP-2 versus Yamaha CLP-130
Nunatax Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/13/03
Posts: 704
Loc: Belgium
Here's my story :
I started taking piano lessons when I was 7. I had a keyboard back then with 61 keys. After a few years my teacher told me I needed a real piano. My father bought me a digital roland HP 1800e. I've been playing that until now, almost ten years later. I regret not having had a real acoustic piano, I've always been limited in abilities because of the light keyboard.
For the time I bought it, it's sound was very good, very expressive playing was possible. I learned how to feel the music, so there was no problem there. What the problem is with light keyboards is this : you don't learn how to articulate. When playing fast passages you just "fly" over the keyboard, and that's bad, because eventually you will stumble. And whether I can now repair the damage done over the years? I surely hope so. Right now it has grown into a huge disliking of many digital keyboards (I've probably have a reputation here about that \:\) )
So to make things short : (in my opinion) if you want to give your kids a good start, buy them a rather heavy, preferably wooden keyboard.
Both Yamaha and Kawai have some models like that.

I'm sorry if I'm getting on some peoples nerves with my freaky wooden-keyboard-adoration, I just realise now what damage my light, plastic Roland keyboard has done to my abilities.

A tip : invite your children's teacher to the store and ask him/her to test some digitals.

If you've really made up your mind about the CLP 130/HP 2, I'd prefer the CLP 130 because of the slightly heavier (surprise ;\) ) touch.

Hope I haven't bored you \:\)

Rgds,
Michiel
_________________________
Some can tell you to go to hell in such a manner that you would think you might actually enjoy the trip, but that is far more polite than civil - JBryan

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#665112 - 09/03/03 06:41 PM Re: Roland HP-2 versus Yamaha CLP-130
conan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/27/03
Posts: 7
Hi Luke's Dad,

I saw your answer to this topic and it looks like you know a lot about this topic. So can you help me with my question about: Korg SP-500 vs Roland FP-5. I posted the topic last week with the the title: Korg SP-500 vs Roland FP-5, please help.
If you are not familiar with those models, do you know where I can find info about how their keys/board are built, and how they sound, similar to what you provided here.

Thank you.

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#665113 - 09/04/03 01:55 PM Re: Roland HP-2 versus Yamaha CLP-130
Luke's Dad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 1426
Loc: Mid Atlantic
 Quote:
Originally posted by Nunatax:
Here's my story :
I started taking piano lessons when I was 7. I had a keyboard back then with 61 keys. After a few years my teacher told me I needed a real piano. My father bought me a digital roland HP 1800e. I've been playing that until now, almost ten years later. I regret not having had a real acoustic piano, I've always been limited in abilities because of the light keyboard.
For the time I bought it, it's sound was very good, very expressive playing was possible. I learned how to feel the music, so there was no problem there. What the problem is with light keyboards is this : you don't learn how to articulate. When playing fast passages you just "fly" over the keyboard, and that's bad, because eventually you will stumble. And whether I can now repair the damage done over the years? I surely hope so. Right now it has grown into a huge disliking of many digital keyboards (I've probably have a reputation here about that \:\) )

I'm sorry if I'm getting on some peoples nerves with my freaky wooden-keyboard-adoration, I just realise now what damage my light, plastic Roland keyboard has done to my abilities.

A tip : invite your children's teacher to the store and ask him/her to test some digitals.

If you've really made up your mind about the CLP 130/HP 2, I'd prefer the CLP 130 because of the slightly heavier (surprise ;\) ) touch.

Hope I haven't bored you \:\)

Rgds,
Michiel [/b]
Michiel, in all fairness, there is no comparison between the actions of an HP1800 from 10 years ago with the actions of todays HP series. All manufacturers have made vast improvements in there actions, particularly in the past 4 years. As far as the wooden key thing, the wooden key overall has very little to do with the key resistance and feel. It is the internal action mechanism that most people never see that really makes the difference. Steve Y made a nice post on this topic in another thread, I suggest waltonjv read it as well. Your recommendation on having the teacher try them is excellent advice.
_________________________
Purveyor of Yamaha, Petrof, Pearl River, and Kohler & Campbell pianos.

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#665114 - 09/04/03 05:58 PM Re: Roland HP-2 versus Yamaha CLP-130
Rick C Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/05/03
Posts: 21
Loc: Long Island, NY
I have been shopping for a digital for my church for a couple of months now. I direct the adult choir and also accompany them during rehearsals. After Luke's Dad scared me away from Viscount pianos, I started looking at other brands, and coincidently, also narrowed my search down to the Roland HP-2 and Yamaha CLP-130. I found a store that carrys both models so was able to alternately play on one, then the other. Here is what I found:

The feel of the keyboards both approximated that of an acoustic piano, albeit one with a "lighter touch". Since both digitals not side by side, I couldn't exactly say which was better, but I think the Yamaha had a slightly heavier feel, but close enough that it would not be a deciding factor. The Roland had a removable music desk that plugs into two holes on the piano top. I thought this was cheap design. The Yamaha had a hinged music desk that folds down flat when not in use.

Overall, the Yamaha had some slightly advanced features:
- 28 voices vs. 20 on the Roland
- 9400 note 2 track recorder vs. 5000 notes
- 40W amps vs. 20W amps
- (2) 6.3" speakers + (2) 2"tweeters vs. (2) 4.75"speakers
- padded bench vs. no bench

The Yamaha was also priced about $200 more than the Roland. The rest of the features (tranpose, metronome, 3 pedals, split mode, keyboard lid, reverb, chorus, midi, headphone jacks, etc. ) are available on both models.

In spite of the advantages of the Yamaha (which are no doubt worth the extra $200), the Roland meets my basic needs. It will be played through the church sound system, and the internal amp & speakers, although lower in power, are adequate for the player to hear him/herself. I doubt if we'll ever use the 2 track recorder, and the 20 voices (piano, elec. piano, harpsichord, vibes, strings, organ & bass, etc.) are the sounds I want. As I'm on a limited budget, the Roland will be a little more affordable. I'm also impressed with the gravity-design of the action, described by Luke's Dad in an earlier post, which I wasn't aware of. It may tend to hold up better over the long haul.

Anyway, hope this was helpful. I don't have an agenda here, I'm a consumer the same as you are. I'm sure you would be happy with either one.

Rick

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#665115 - 09/04/03 06:51 PM Re: Roland HP-2 versus Yamaha CLP-130
Nunatax Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/13/03
Posts: 704
Loc: Belgium
Michiel, in all fairness, there is no comparison between the actions of an HP1800 from 10 years ago with the actions of todays HP series. All manufacturers have made vast improvements in there actions, particularly in the past 4 years. As far as the wooden key thing, the wooden key overall has very little to do with the key resistance and feel. It is the internal action mechanism that most people never see that really makes the difference.[/b]

Yes, actions have indeed improved, and to follow you should buy a new digital piano every year (what a bad influence Bill Gates has on this world \:\) )
I'm just trying to say that light keyboards are no good for learning difficult pieces (IMHO...) And light keyboards is all that Roland has. You need enough resistance or you'll run faster than you can, like the tires of a car spinning on a slippery road. And the only keyboards that are IMHO heavy enough, are those with the wooden keyboard. Also you cannot deny that plastic keyboards have some characteristic feel to them that you will never find in wooden keyboards.
And if you know just basic physics you know that those light plastic keys can't possibly have the same reaction as wooden ones, no matter what mechanism is behind them.
When I went shopping for a new digital, I had my hopes up for the CLP 170, but for me even the new GH3 keyboard could not compete with the wooden Natural Keyboard.
Since everyones opinion varies, I can simply say try it all out for yourself. Don't say I didn't warn you :p \:D
Over and out!

Rgds,
Michiel
_________________________
Some can tell you to go to hell in such a manner that you would think you might actually enjoy the trip, but that is far more polite than civil - JBryan

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#665116 - 09/11/03 07:30 PM Re: Roland HP-2 versus Yamaha CLP-130
Bill S. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 109
Both the Roland and the Yamaha are excellent products, but the Yamaha Clavinova offers better warranty protection--that's why I bought one.

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#665117 - 10/14/03 08:04 AM Re: Roland HP-2 versus Yamaha CLP-130
Dina Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 19
Loc: Sweden
Luke's Dad, could you please explain that angled curcuit board for me once more?

Because, I went to my local dealer and examined the action (they have these cross-section things that allows you to see the action) and I thought that whilst Roland has as curcuit boeard that runs 45 degrees (or even more) the Yamaha has one that runs about 20 degrees = not completely horizontal.

How do you mean with Roland using only gravity based action wile Yamaha uses leaf-springs?

BTW, what I thought bugged me the most with Roland digitals is the plastic used on the keys. They are in a harder kind of plastic which makes some kind of noise in the higher frequency range when your nails hit the keys (which is inevitable no matter how short your nails are). The Yamahas has some kind of softer plastic => a not so distinct sound. \:\) (Yeah, a small detail, but it bugged me!)

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#665118 - 10/18/03 05:01 PM Re: Roland HP-2 versus Yamaha CLP-130
Jeff Bauer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/03
Posts: 1718
Loc: Los Angeles
Lukes reply hit's the mark, mostly.

If you really sit and compare the two models - they are as Luke described. I have never, at least in ten years selling clavinovas, seen the spring break. Saying this as a deterent to a clavinova is like saying "Don't go outside, you might get struck by lightning".

Since I sell both, I deal with this conundrum daily with clients. The real piano players always gravitate towards the Yamaha. The beginners take the Roland.

*disclaimer* The below is based on my experience in both playing them and seeing what customers react to.

I have observed: Roland has a liquid smooth piano action, but often times feels too light for seasoned pianists. The tone, however, is very mellow and plain - it is very bassy and tends to lack the transparent resonance that the Yamaha sample has. So a beginner will like the Roland because there is no challenge to create tone, and won't recognize the lack of HARMONIC dynamic range. A Pianist tends to prefer the depth and range of the Yamaha's tone.

As far as what I tell customers, since what I stated above is all opinion.. I think both brands are of equal quality and to just choose what feels and sounds the best to that person. Don't forget to play it with headphones first.
_________________________
Jeff Bauer | Keyboard Concepts

Yamaha | Schimmel | Bösendorfer | Knabe | Seiler | Restored Steinway

BauerHouse Productions

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#665119 - 07/18/04 07:16 PM Re: Roland HP-2 versus Yamaha CLP-130
Mozartloves tuna Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/18/04
Posts: 2
Hello
I just bought a CLP-130 this week....I have been playing accoustic urpight Heintzman for about 20 years.
Both sit in my livingroom. I like the piano sound on the CLP-130 quite alot and it was the sound which I was looking for over the touch and it was witihin my budget.My cousin has a Roland which Ive also played.My CLP-130 comes with 50 preset songs of the worlds most popular classical piano pieces along with the book which was a nice unexpected feature.Also came with a bench which I originally told my wife it did not come with the keyboard but after I opened all the boxes and assembled the piano I noticed a remaining unopened box .I discovered it was a bench,,which was a pleasant surprise.Yamaha thinks of the little things like they included a metal wrench inside the case to tighten the screws when assembling the bench,Its a small thing but indicative of the thought which goes into their product.

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