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#666911 - 01/02/09 09:17 AM Birthday surprise gift - Roland HP201 or RP101?
Bozzer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/02/09
Posts: 2
I'm buying a digital piano as a surprise 40th birthday present for my husband. I know he looked at Roland digital pianos a while back and liked them. The RP101 looks and sounds good to me but I'm not a pianist and just don't know if I should stretch the budget to get an HP201 instead. It will be a family piano as I'm hoping our two small children will learn on it as well. Would I be wasting my money on bells and whistles I just don't need or is the quality worth the extra cash? Help!

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#666912 - 01/02/09 12:58 PM Re: Birthday surprise gift - Roland HP201 or RP101?
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
The RP-101 is around $1550, which is already
on the fairly high-end for digital pianos. Roland
doesn't have an entry-level, $700 digital
console, like some other manufacturers. But
these economy, $700 consoles are already pretty
good, grand piano-like instruments. Take,
for instance, the Williams Encore, which
is about $680 online, which includes factory
stand, bench, pedal, and shipping. If
I were buying today, this is what I would
get, because it looks to me like the best
value around. This is inexpensive, but
it is a perfectly capable, grand piano-like
instrument that you can play anything
on, from jazz to big concertos. I once
owned a Casio AP-24, which is in the
same price range, and it was in many
ways my favorite piano. When I owned it,
I once tried a $15,000 digital, and I
was unimpressed with how it compared to
the AP-24.

So the RP-101 would be more than adequate
for any player. With the HP-201 you get
a more elaborate stand with front posts,
slightly better electronics and features,
etc., but that's not going to affect
daily playing.

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#666913 - 01/02/09 04:09 PM Re: Birthday surprise gift - Roland HP201 or RP101?
stringless Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 143
Loc: Idiocracy, USA
Word to the wise:

RP101 is an older piano, with lower polyphony, a less "piano-ish" cabinet, and an older action, based on a portable piano's action (PHA Alpha)

HP201 is a new piano, with 128 note polyphony, a more traditional upright cabinet (the front legs is the difference, makes it look adn feel more solid.) And the Big Thing: The 201 has the new PHAII action. It's not an Alpha -- it's not based on a portable's action.

I don't know if there's any difference in the tone generators. I have a 201, and I find the piano 1 sample to be very nice, colorful, full of overtones and harmonics. I honestly thought, when I first played the 201, that there was a mistake -- it felt and sounded much more real than any digital I'd tried up to that point.

I strongly urge you find a local Roland dealer and play with as many as you can, and then compare them to other maker's offerings. But given the choice between RP101 and HP202, I'll go 202 even if it meant a month of ramen.

But I bought my 201 last year, so no ramen for me ;o)

Both are minimalist pianos with little in the way of bells and whistles.. which is exactly how I like 'em. A couple of pianos, a handful of organs, a harpsichord, some strings, a metronome and a recorder. That's all you'll find in both of these. Of course both also have the ability to transpose and tune up or down from 440.

Here. Some reading.

RP101

HP-201
_________________________
o.O

A hammered piano, minus the strings. Brilliant!

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#666914 - 01/02/09 04:17 PM Re: Birthday surprise gift - Roland HP201 or RP101?
Discotheque Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 81
Loc: Manitoba, Canada
Don't listen to Gyro, he advertises the Williams Encore pianos every chance he gets... he's the only one I've ever read saying anything positive about it. It's got nothing but negative reviews from what I've seen. And no, the $700 entry-level digitals are NOT as good as the more expensive ones. As for your dilemma, I can't help you, just trying to point out that Gyro's information is very misleading, to put it nicely.

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#666915 - 01/02/09 05:30 PM Re: Birthday surprise gift - Roland HP201 or RP101?
Horwinkle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 1011
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bozzer:
The RP101 looks and sounds good to me but I'm not a pianist and just don't know if I should stretch the budget to get an HP201 instead. Would I be wasting my money on bells and whistles I just don't need or is the quality worth the extra cash? Help! [/b]

You didn't say how much you're willing to spend. I don't know the HP201. But the HP203 is about the minimum DP that I would want to own. I've tried one and found it acceptable. It goes for about $2000 here in Florida.

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#666916 - 01/03/09 12:20 PM Re: Birthday surprise gift - Roland HP201 or RP101?
stringless Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 143
Loc: Idiocracy, USA
@ LHornwinkle:

201 feels much like a 203, minus the escapement feature. Same hefty, smooth controllable touch. 203 has more bells and whistles and more control complexity. I think it has a more complex tone generator, but the 201's is still, in my opinion, far beyond other 1500-2000 dollar pianos from other makers. When I tried the ones from other makers in that price range.. ugh. Not even close. 201 won hands-down in the sound and little-details-of-that-sound dept.

I almost swung for the 203, but the cost exceeded what I had planned -- to be honest, I had budgeted 1000 for a cheap piano but on playing the 201 I had to have it. There was no way I could settle for a cheap clunker (sorry gyro) after playing the Rolands. So while I didn't eat ramen for a month to get my 201, it was close. That was a month with no film, no anime, no books, no comics, no records. It even ate into my projector lamp emergency cash jar. ;o) Such is life.

There's also the DP-990 -- a 203 in a Bauhaus-type no-frills "eastern bloc" cabinet. Which I find very, very attractive. Had I known it existed when I bought mine, I would've been sorely tempted -- that Bauhaus thing is my thing. Less is more. That said, the new HP cabinetry in the 201, 203 and 207 (we don't get the 204 in the states) is really nice. The HPs has a certain old-timey quality to it in their design - they're pianos that remember where they came from. A few modern touches, but still, when I look at it with the lights low, in a mellow mood, I can see the 300 year heritage of the piano. I prefer this look to the more "modernized" look some other makers use.

The one thing I do wish Roland would change is the music rack. The HP's shaped so lovely, like an old piano -- so why saddle it with a solid, rounded-corner, radiused-top modern music desk? I wish they'd make a Broadwood-style open music desk like this *

I imagine with some effort I could make one. It attaches via two thumb screws.


*image stolen from http://www.courtneypianos.co.uk
_________________________
o.O

A hammered piano, minus the strings. Brilliant!

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#666917 - 01/03/09 07:21 PM Re: Birthday surprise gift - Roland HP201 or RP101?
Stephen Lacefield Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/06
Posts: 195
Loc: St. Louis, MO
Go with the HP 201
Better Sound
Better touch
Nicer Cabinet
Better Warranty

Best Wishes
_________________________
Representing Shigeru Kawai, Kawai, Hailun, Pearl River, Kawai Digital Pianos, Samick Digitals, Roland Digitals, & Lowrey Organs
St. Louis Metro Area
www.lacefieldmusic.com
find us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lacefieldmusic

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#666918 - 02/12/09 12:14 PM Re: Birthday surprise gift - Roland HP201 or RP101?
Bozzer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/02/09
Posts: 2
This reply is way overdue but my laptop crashed and burned shortly after reading the replies to my question. After 4 long weeks back at Toshiba it has finally come home so......

Thank you so much for the advice. I decided to go all out and get the HP201 and it's brilliant. My husband (the recipient of the gift) is blown away by the look, feel and sound. It is really amazing. The bank account took a bit of a hammering but it was totally worth it.

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#666919 - 02/13/09 05:06 PM Re: Birthday surprise gift - Roland HP201 or RP101?
stringless Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 143
Loc: Idiocracy, USA
^ Very cool.. I'm sure by now you and all of yours have suffered a few bouts of piano hangovers incurred by playing into the wee hours.

Here's to you folks getting years and years out of it.
_________________________
o.O

A hammered piano, minus the strings. Brilliant!

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