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#667824 - 07/21/08 01:37 AM Roland FP4 v Yamaha P140 : Any help would be really appreciated!
Prince Charles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/08
Posts: 180
Loc: London
Hi

I'm an adult beginner (about 7 months) and until now have been using M-Audio Prokeys 88SX.

Now I find the prokeys an excellent keyboard for the price and my stage of development....however I need something that has a more realistic Piano feel as the difference between this and my teachers upright Yamaha Acoustic is affecting my learning. I'm limited on space - and this means I need to move it frequently - so I'm looking for something Sub 20kg.

I've narrowed it down to the two mentioned above....any pluses or minuses to how either of these may or may not work for me would be appreciated.

I'm pretty new to all this.....so the fact that the FP4 has 128 polyphony (compared to 64 for the P140) and yet the Yamaha has 4 layers!!....not sure how all this stuff affects the sound quality etc.

Anyways any help would be really appreciated.

Mark

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#667825 - 07/21/08 05:32 AM Re: Roland FP4 v Yamaha P140 : Any help would be really appreciated!
Copilot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 262
Loc: Belgium, Europe
Your heighness Prince Charles ;\)
Hi Mark,

The YAMAHA P140 has the Graded Hammer Effect (or GHE) which is Yamaha's second best keyboard and has also:

-AWM, 3-layer Dynamic Stereo Sampling (not 4)
-Key-Off Samples
-Stereo Sustain Samples (open-string effect with sustain pedal)
-Sustain Pedal (Can be used with half pedal effect)
-AUX Pedal (Assignable to various functions)

Specs:

HERE

Information on the terms used:

HERE

The 64 polyphony (64 notes can be played at the same time) is ok, with normal pianoplaying (even with extensive use of the sustain pedal) you will never have a problem.

For the Roland FP-4 the PHA alpha II keyboard is also mostly considered as Rolands second best and the 128 polyphony here is better because you have a lot more tones (instruments) and several drumsets, so if you use it more this way (as a "session partner"), more polyphony is sometimes needed.

On the other hand the FP-4 does NOT has key-off samples nor damper (sustain pedal samples) nor hammersound samples. This features are only on the FP-7 version:

FP-7

FP-4

There is no information about how many layers per note the Rolands use. (Roland says: "... individual multi-samples per key ..... ").

Only the FP-7 has STRING RESONANCE (not the FP-4 nor the P140), but cost about 300$ more than the FP-4.
For the extra money you also get: "The FP-7 lets you adjust the virtual degree of grand-piano lid, and includes hammer responce, the Duplex Scale system, and user micro tuning."


Also for both piano's if you use the SEARCH function on top of this page, you will find tons of information of users and also important remarks about keyboard mechanical "noices"!

Specs of the Roland FP-4:

HERE

For both keyboardactions you will experience that they are miles away from the M-Audio Prokeys 88SX semi-weighted action !


;\)
_________________________
I love my dark rosewood Yamaha CLP-240. She's as honest with me as a loyal dog but she sounds better.

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#667826 - 07/21/08 06:10 AM Re: Roland FP4 v Yamaha P140 : Any help would be really appreciated!
Johan B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/07
Posts: 922
Loc: The Netherlands, Grootegast-Gr...
Technical there are not many differences. It's a matter of taste.

Roland is a warmer rounder sound, say more the romantic piano.

Yamaha has a brighter sound; I prefer this. Most Yamaha-lovers don't like Rolands and contrary/otherwise.

So make up your mind/taste..... \:D
_________________________

Currently working on Sonaten of Haydn and Mozart...
'Nil volentibus arduum'

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#667827 - 07/21/08 06:41 AM Re: Roland FP4 v Yamaha P140 : Any help would be really appreciated!
Boira Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/07
Posts: 470
Loc: Barcelona
I'm a happy owner of a Yamaha P140, but it's of course a matter of taste.
One of the things I liked best when I was shopping for my DP, was the touch of the Yamaha keyboard.

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#667828 - 07/21/08 07:58 AM Re: Roland FP4 v Yamaha P140 : Any help would be really appreciated!
Copilot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 262
Loc: Belgium, Europe
Oh yes, i forgot to mention this: Roland samples now every key and Yamaha still does not. Some people say they can hear the difference.

Read this:

SAMPLING

SAMPLING 2

The P-140 has the 30 sampling banks system.


So, at the end just rely on 2 things:

- How does the keyboard FEEL to you. (compared to a good accoustic piano).

- How does the piano SOUNDS. With good headphones, or with better additional (amplified) speakers, (don't expect great basstones of a 7 Watt amplifier and small speakers) you can judge the whole combination of samples and trics.

;\)
_________________________
I love my dark rosewood Yamaha CLP-240. She's as honest with me as a loyal dog but she sounds better.

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#667829 - 07/21/08 09:37 AM Re: Roland FP4 v Yamaha P140 : Any help would be really appreciated!
Prince Charles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/08
Posts: 180
Loc: London
Wow....thanks to all that replied. And a big thank you to copilot for the detailed response.

Yeah I guess it all boils down to preference of sound and feel.

At the speed I play, I don't think there's any worry about using up too much of the 64 polyphony!

There's a great Yamaha dealer in central London which I'm going to have a look at today - and will post once I've seen both. On a side note, they also have this wonderful Yamaha Grand...the S6BB which they're happy to let me loose on....and WOW WOW WOW....what a piano....anyway, enough of my salivating.

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#667830 - 07/21/08 09:53 AM Re: Roland FP4 v Yamaha P140 : Any help would be really appreciated!
Copilot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 262
Loc: Belgium, Europe
You are very welcome Prince Charles.

And since you are a member of the Royal Family, i dare to suggest: go for it, buy the Yamaha Grand S6BB !

For only 39999 £ (or about $78,800) it must be a real bargain for you !!!

As a humble citizen, member of the common people, \:D i am very pleased that my CLP-240 is sampled from the Yamaha CFIIIS concert grand piano ....

;\)
_________________________
I love my dark rosewood Yamaha CLP-240. She's as honest with me as a loyal dog but she sounds better.

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#667831 - 07/21/08 04:47 PM Re: Roland FP4 v Yamaha P140 : Any help would be really appreciated!
Prince Charles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/08
Posts: 180
Loc: London
S6BB.....sigh!....If only....

Well I'm back from my travels and managed to get to try the FP4 too....amongst others!

Needless to say the P140 is no longer a contender..... I felt the sound was a little 'stringy'.

So I'm now looking at either Roland FP4 or Yamaha CLP 320 (and possibly FP7)

If there are others that anyone wants to throw in the mix....feel free.

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#667832 - 07/21/08 06:39 PM Re: Roland FP4 v Yamaha P140 : Any help would be really appreciated!
Copilot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 262
Loc: Belgium, Europe
Mark, if you should consider the Yamaha CLP range, then it's important that you try the CLP-330 with GH3 (Graded Hammer 3) keyboard.
You will feel an important difference. The GH3 is for me still much closer to a real accoustic.
(I have my weekly pianolesson on a KAWAI Grand RX-3.)

Also do try the CLP-340 with GH3 keyboard+ivory feel, Stereo Sustain samples, Key-Off samples and 4 level samples (but strange enough still no STRING RESONANCE). (My CLP-240 has 3 levels)

NEW CLP-340

It's, apart from the GH3 keyboard, for this extra samples that i streched my budget and i bought my CLP-240 last year after a lot of research and trying/listening and i never had one second of remorse about the extra money !!

Of course there is always the "how far can i stretch my budget" question .....

Talking of budget:

The Rolands HP201 and HP203/204 are a bit cheaper than the equivalent Yamaha's. They have samples from a Steinway Concert Grand and have Rolands best keyboard PHA-II with Escapement like on a real Grand), (apart from the HP207 with extra 'ivory feel'), Stereo Sustain samples, Key-Off samples, 3 (HP-201) to 4 level samples for EVERY note and STRING RESONANCE! (cherry on the cake)

Roland UK

Until now, many people still liked them better than the lower Yamaha CLP-200 range.

Maybe i'm making it difficult for you now, but my motto is always: one can't be informed enough, after all it's an important investment.

;\)
_________________________
I love my dark rosewood Yamaha CLP-240. She's as honest with me as a loyal dog but she sounds better.

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#667833 - 07/21/08 09:17 PM Re: Roland FP4 v Yamaha P140 : Any help would be really appreciated!
Prince Charles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/08
Posts: 180
Loc: London
Thank again Mr C

What is the difference between the 200 & 300 series? Is the 300 series meant to be a replacement?

I played the CLP 220 earlier today and really liked that. The problem with the CLP range is my lack of space. which is why I didn't get it right on the spot! Ironically the 220 was more expensive than the 320! (two different shops - but still!)

Back to the FP4 - that was really nice too. The only real problem with that was I felt the keyboard action was too good....too forgiving. Let me explain.....at the moment, when I play a piece that requires rapid keystrokes of the same note with my 'weak' fingers (ie 4 & 5) I sometimes slip up on my teachers acoustic. This is mainly due to the difference in feel that I get between my semi-weighted and the acoustic. After some practice on a hammer action keyboard my "slipping" up is less frequent :-) as I get more used to it. On the FP4 there was no slipping up right from the get-go. So what I'm afraid of is that the FP4 won't prepare me fully for playing on an acoustic. Hope that makes sense. This is how this whole "let's get a new piano" thing started!

I'm going to try another P140 - just in case there was something with that one.

Do the CLP stands come with wheels? That may be an option...

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#667834 - 07/21/08 09:20 PM Re: Roland FP4 v Yamaha P140 : Any help would be really appreciated!
henrik Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 150
Loc: malaysia
I have tried both. FP4 and P140 are both very different !! but both are so good too. P140 feels like a grand piano, FP4 feels like a classic italian chamber piano.

What's stopping you from choosing new GEM real piano or Kurzweil SP2x or new Kawai ?
_________________________
CLP330 | Motif XS6 | Roland V-Synth

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#667835 - 07/21/08 09:58 PM Re: Roland FP4 v Yamaha P140 : Any help would be really appreciated!
Prince Charles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/08
Posts: 180
Loc: London
Hi there

I've not really looked into those - It seems everyone just talks about Yamaha & Roland plus there are many stockists where you can try the different models - but I'll have a look around.

Thanks for the info.

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#667836 - 07/21/08 11:55 PM Re: Roland FP4 v Yamaha P140 : Any help would be really appreciated!
KeyboardAficionado Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/08
Posts: 22
 Quote:
Originally posted by henrik:
I have tried both. FP4 and P140 are both very different !! but both are so good too. P140 feels like a grand piano, FP4 feels like a classic italian chamber piano.

What's stopping you from choosing new GEM real piano or Kurzweil SP2x or new Kawai ? [/b]
The Kurzweil SP2X has been discontinued, according to the manufacturer's web site, although it's still for sale online. It has been very durable, but using the mono output, I haven't been impressed with the piano voicing. I'm eager to try it in other settings.

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#667837 - 07/22/08 05:54 AM Re: Roland FP4 v Yamaha P140 : Any help would be really appreciated!
Copilot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 262
Loc: Belgium, Europe
Hi Mark,

Yes the new Yamaha CLP-300 series are going to replace the CLP-200 series.
No they don't have little wheels, only the bigger grands have that. Recently i've read you can buy an additional system for that called 'clavimover' or something like it.

So it's the time to look for discount prices!
Of course some shops will still try to sell the CLP-220 at equal price or sometimes more than the new CLP-320.

On the other hand, consider that the CLP-220 has no DYNAMIC Layering (just 1 sample) no key-off samples nor sustain-samples and the new CLP-320 has 3 Dynamic Layers now. (But also no other samples)

If you like the beautifull 'sustain-sound' of an accoustic when all the strings are vibrating together when pressing the sustain pedal, be sure to try the CLP-340 cause neither the 320 nor 330 have the extra samples for it. And of course the keyboard is still better (GH3 instead of GH(E)) and has that very pleasant 'ivory feel' now.

This morning (Europe/Belgium/Gent) i went to my local KEY MUSIC shop, for a bit of sightseeing.
I played again on the great Roland FP-7: really very good touch and sound!

A bit pricier: the fantastic Roland RD-700GX (for me the best stage piano) and affordable little brother RD-300GX
The very good stage Yamaha CP-300 and little brother CP-33.

Besides the excellent HP-201,203 and 204, they have also the Roland flagship HP-207 on display now.

What a wonderfull instrument !

I understand all the people with very enthousiastic comments now: even better touch than the Yamaha GH3 system (i never tried the GH3 with NW (natural wood) keys of the CLP-280), the 'escapement feature' feels rather familiar to an accoustic grand although not 100% realistic (the 'click' point comes a little bit to early), and the 'ivory touch' may not be essential, but adds also a very familiar feeling to the touch (less plastic feel), closer to a real accoustic like the Kawai Grand RX-3 i have my lessons on.

I think it's really the best digital (furniture type, not stage,not Grand) a this moment.

Of course we have to look out for a testreport on the new Yamaha flagship the CLP-380, but one thing is shure it will be at least 600£ to 1000£ ( 1200 to 2000 US$ ) more expensive than the Roland !

About other brands.
Well Roland and Yamaha are really the best. Casio is great for budget piano's. Kawai struggles a bit with it's (potential very good, maybe most realistic wooden) keyboard. There are to many complaints in the forums about building quality. And about the sound: theoretical they use a superior system (Harmonic Imaging) compared to the sample based systems of most others, it has great potential, but there are complaints about the software and it still doesn't sound realistic enough to me.
Then there is Kurzweil, Korg and Nord. I do not have experience with those.

Other (sometimes cheaper) brands: beware, there's many "chaff among the wheat" that only 'looks' good!


;\)
_________________________
I love my dark rosewood Yamaha CLP-240. She's as honest with me as a loyal dog but she sounds better.

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#667838 - 07/22/08 12:35 PM Re: Roland FP4 v Yamaha P140 : Any help would be really appreciated!
henrik Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 150
Loc: malaysia
 Quote:
Originally posted by Prince Charles:
Hi

I'm an adult beginner (about 7 months) and until now have been using M-Audio Prokeys 88SX.

Now I find the prokeys an excellent keyboard for the price and my stage of development....however I need something that has a more realistic Piano feel as the difference between this and my teachers upright Yamaha Acoustic is affecting my learning. I'm limited on space - and this means I need to move it frequently - so I'm looking for something Sub 20kg.

I've narrowed it down to the two mentioned above....any pluses or minuses to how either of these may or may not work for me would be appreciated.

I'm pretty new to all this.....so the fact that the FP4 has 128 polyphony (compared to 64 for the P140) and yet the Yamaha has 4 layers!!....not sure how all this stuff affects the sound quality etc.

Anyways any help would be really appreciated.

Mark [/b]
hi again prince charles

i was actually thinking of getting one of these
(i have pianoteq)

1) get 2 61key midi controllers
2) wait for ESI K.ON controller
3) Casio PX320
4) Korg SP250

Then I slap myself in the face and tell myself to actually be patient and a above average keyboard!
I finally come to finalize my decision to get Roland FP4 even though the price is inflated here. We cannot debate the touch, as the touch is very much to each his/her own.

What I like about Roland

1) The Backing Song which actually has accompaniment function - check youtube!
2) USB-interface
3) GM2 and XG compatibily
4) beautiful white model

I always liked FP-series touch

without the stand , its about $1600 here :rolleyes:
CP33 is about $1500
_________________________
CLP330 | Motif XS6 | Roland V-Synth

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#667839 - 07/22/08 12:51 PM Re: Roland FP4 v Yamaha P140 : Any help would be really appreciated!
jmeyer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 30
The CLP-280 I have access to sits on a Clavimover dolly for moving it around. Seems great to me. Something to keep in mind.

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#667840 - 07/22/08 09:48 PM Re: Roland FP4 v Yamaha P140 : Any help would be really appreciated!
Prince Charles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/08
Posts: 180
Loc: London
Once again thanks to everyone for their responses.

One of the most important pieces of advice I got was to try them all out for myself and see what what feels and sounds the best....TO ME!

I have now done that!

I pretty much tried the whole store.....multiple times....not forgetting 2 other stores too.

Here's my findings...

FP7 - Found it quite heavy for a portable. But the thing that I disliked the most was the thud of each key. If you were playing at medium volume you could hear as well as feel it.

FP4/P140 - Both very nice keyboards but neither totally hit the spot for me. I just wanted something that was closer to a real acoustic. The sound on the P140 was not bad but no where near as nice as the 220 which is strange as I thought they were meant to be the same from a sound perspective....but perhaps it was the speakers. The FP4 had a slightly richer sound but lacked sparkle.

CLP220/320: Both excellent digitals - can't say a bad word. Nice acoustic feel and good sound. Would have gone for it but....

Then I got greedy....I tried the CLP 340M and loved it. I can quite easily see myself sticking with this one for a very long time. Interestingly enough....I get taught on Yamaha upright and the 220/320 have a very similar feel to that. Whereas I find the 340 has a similar feel to a grand.

Originally, the problem I had with the 3 series was my lack of space at home as these are not portable. However, I now have a solution. I found a few places that sell wheel bases for Clavinovas. The extra height is only one inch and now means I can wheel it to a better location when not in use. They are expensive - but this is the only way I get all the boxes ticked. My only slight dissapointment is they don't produce a 340 in polished ebony. The 220PE I played looked amazing.

Mark

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#667841 - 07/23/08 05:10 AM Re: Roland FP4 v Yamaha P140 : Any help would be really appreciated!
Copilot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 262
Loc: Belgium, Europe
Hi Mark,

The CLP-240 exists in Polished Ebony (about 220£ extra).

CLP-240 PE

I remember that it took a few months before Yamaha released that version.
It's their policy: first comes their topmodel, than later the other ones.

Here an advert i found of the 340 PE coming soon:

CLP-340 PE

So you can buy a CLP-240 at a reduced price, but then you have the 3 level sampling in stead of the new 4 level, the older (but very good) samples and you miss the internet connection, the 128 polyphony and especially the 'ivory feel' keys.
I'm sure that the CLP-340 PE verion will be available soon.

I had the same problem, but i took the CLP-240 Dark Rosewood, because it's the closest to Polished Ebony, it better matched with my furniture and it does cost about 220£ (430 US$) less than the PE version !

I am glad you fell in love with the CLP-340.
I had the same feeling when i finally came to my CLP-240: "that's the one!".

Greetings
Bart (also a midlife adult)
_________________________
I love my dark rosewood Yamaha CLP-240. She's as honest with me as a loyal dog but she sounds better.

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#667842 - 07/23/08 09:52 AM Re: Roland FP4 v Yamaha P140 : Any help would be really appreciated!
Prince Charles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/08
Posts: 180
Loc: London
I've checked with Yamaha and they're not being released until the end of the year and I have no patience! So I guess it's between the Rosewood or the Mahogany....probably the Mahogany.

Thanks for everyones help.

Mark

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