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#668864 - 01/10/08 12:57 PM Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11353
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I am still undecided between the HP-203 and the FP-7, and one thing is that the HP-203 has the escapement feature, but the FP-7 has many more options for adjusting the touch sensitivity. When I tested them side by side, I actually preferred the FP-7 which lacks escapement. I found that feature on the hp203 to be distracting, as if it were "too" pronounced in their attempts to make it feel more realistic. To me, it didn't feel more like an acoustic, because I don't really feel that in either grands that I play on (Yamaha and Petrof).

What do you guys say?
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#668865 - 01/10/08 01:14 PM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
Wandering Weezard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/06
Posts: 369
Loc: Indiana
I thought that the escapement was a bit distracting as well. I tried the HP's then went over to a few of the acoustic grands at this dealer. I can't say that I noticed the escapement as much on the acoustics as I did on the Roland digital.
_________________________
Dreaming of a grand...

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#668866 - 01/10/08 04:34 PM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
trolls99 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 110
Loc: Germany
I definetly like the feeling of the HP203 better. After playing the HP203 for a while I would not change it for the FP-7.
In addition, the boxes of the HP203 are much better.

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#668867 - 01/10/08 05:53 PM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
eJohn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/07
Posts: 129
Loc: San Francisco, CA
I personally like the escapement as well, although I almost wish Roland's were a bit stronger. My impression is that Roland's version is more subtle than the escapement on many real pianos - almost as if Roland were compromising between a real piano and typical "escapementless" digital.

Anyway, I think it's important to feel when you are playing very softly. It helps you identify the point where pressing the key any more slowly results in failure to hear the note. Most other digitals on the market don't have such a point - ie, the note always sounds. Unless you have that kind of tactile feedback response on a digital, it becomes difficult to go back and play real pianos.

I suppose ideally, real pianos would be engineered without the escapement discontinuity either. But until they are, I think it's good for digitals to make some attempt to replicate it.

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#668868 - 01/10/08 06:53 PM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11353
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Perhaps on softer sounds it works, but louder on an acoustic and I don't sense it at all, whereas it is still a very pronounced "bounce" on the HP-203.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#668869 - 01/10/08 07:31 PM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
Jared88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/07
Posts: 56
Loc: Cincinnati
Hey I have an HP-203, actually I just got it yesterday and havn't been able to stop playing it since. I've done a lot of research too and was either going to get this or the CE200. The escapement feature is nice, but honestly not really that important. It doesn't do that much and you can only feel the "click" if you push down very very slowly and softly. But the Roland HP-203 is and amazing piano and I'd love answer any questions about the piano.
_________________________
88 keys + 10 fingers + 2 hands + the score > 1 set of eyes








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#668870 - 01/10/08 09:26 PM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1520
The HP 203 does not have as high a quality piano sample as the FP7, does it?
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#668871 - 01/10/08 09:46 PM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
Jared88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/07
Posts: 56
Loc: Cincinnati
Nah unfortunately not. It has two very nice stero grand piano samples, and thats it in terms of grand piano samplings. The samples are very good, quite warm and enveloping, but not as nice as the FP7. And I think the FP7 has a good bit of piano samples to offer.
_________________________
88 keys + 10 fingers + 2 hands + the score > 1 set of eyes








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#668872 - 01/11/08 03:10 AM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
trolls99 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 110
Loc: Germany
 Quote:
Originally posted by rintincop:
The HP 203 does not have as high a quality piano sample as the FP7, does it? [/b]
I think that Roland uses the same Grand Piano 1 sample in the HP-20x series as well as in the FP-4 and the FP-7. So this bread and butter sound is the same in all these instruments - through headphones.

Compared to the HP-203 the advantages of the FP-7 are:
- the 4-Band Digital Equalizer
- Rhythms with cord progression (session partner)
- it weighs only 24kg without rack
- Pianos (non GM): Grand Piano 1-3, MagicalPiano, Rock Oiano, Honky-tonk
- 339 tones

Vive versa, the advantages of the HP203 are:
- better speakers (30W vs 13W)
- Escapement
- Foot pedals that don't move
- looks and feels like a real piano
- Pianos (non GM): Grand Piano 1-2, Honky-tonk
- 306 tones

So IMHO the HP-203 is better suited for somebody who's major focus is on playing piano. In addition, the HP203 already has over 300 sounds (many of them excellent) on board, if other instruments are important. Finally, the USB ports allow to connect to computers easily, so one can work with software session partners (eg. Groove Agent, Band in a Box) that are more flexible than the one that is built into the FP-7.

Therefore, I have chosen the HP-203, because I don't need the gimmicks of the FP-7, and if I should wish some of them some day, there are software solutions at hand. So far, I am very happy with the HP-203.

Trolls

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#668873 - 01/11/08 04:29 AM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
gluttny Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/22/07
Posts: 185
Loc: Austria
i liked Roland's escapement feature a lot but i am not a good piano player to say how this important to you. what i found funny that Roland with escapement keyboard felt to me like the ages old grandma piano which i once had at my house. all i can say is that i like the feeling of keyboard on old and ancient acoustic pianos that why i liked Roland's escapement. People who like key feel on Yamaha acoustic grand might not like escapement feature then.

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#668874 - 01/11/08 11:14 AM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11353
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
 Quote:
Originally posted by trolls99:
 Quote:
Originally posted by rintincop:
The HP 203 does not have as high a quality piano sample as the FP7, does it? [/b]
I think that Roland uses the same Grand Piano 1 sample in the HP-20x series as well as in the FP-4 and the FP-7. So this bread and butter sound is the same in all these instruments - through headphones.

Compared to the HP-203 the advantages of the FP-7 are:
- the 4-Band Digital Equalizer
- Rhythms with cord progression (session partner)
- it weighs only 24kg without rack
- Pianos (non GM): Grand Piano 1-3, MagicalPiano, Rock Oiano, Honky-tonk
- 339 tones

Vive versa, the advantages of the HP203 are:
- better speakers (30W vs 13W)
- Escapement
- Foot pedals that don't move
- looks and feels like a real piano
- Pianos (non GM): Grand Piano 1-2, Honky-tonk
- 306 tones

So IMHO the HP-203 is better suited for somebody who's major focus is on playing piano. In addition, the HP203 already has over 300 sounds (many of them excellent) on board, if other instruments are important. Finally, the USB ports allow to connect to computers easily, so one can work with software session partners (eg. Groove Agent, Band in a Box) that are more flexible than the one that is built into the FP-7.

Therefore, I have chosen the HP-203, because I don't need the gimmicks of the FP-7, and if I should wish some of them some day, there are software solutions at hand. So far, I am very happy with the HP-203.

Trolls [/b]
The FP-7 also has 100 different touch adjustments whereas the HP203 only has 3. Also, the difference in cost is about $500 (FP-7 is cheaper). Some things to consider.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#668875 - 01/11/08 11:56 AM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
trolls99 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 110
Loc: Germany
 Quote:
Originally posted by Morodiene:

The FP-7 also has 100 different touch adjustments whereas the HP203 only has 3. Also, the difference in cost is about $500 (FP-7 is cheaper). Some things to consider.
The HP203 has 5; but anyway I do not count this among the important differences, because this setting does not effect the mechanics but only the digital output curve of the piano. The price, of course, certainly is an important point.

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#668876 - 01/11/08 01:33 PM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
I've only played the RD-700SX out of the
following, but based on the specs,
this is what I gather.

The HP-203 and 207 have the same
keyboard, but the 207's has the ivory-feel
surface. The 203 and 207 also have
the same sustain pedal, the most advanced
that Roland has to offer.

The FP-7 has the same keyboard as the
203 and 207 without the escapement feature.

The RD-700SX has the very best keyboard
that Roland has to offer (a non-escapement
one), but has no built-in speakers or sheet
music holder, as is typical with pro stage
pianos. The RD-700SX and the FP-7 have the
same sustain pedal, which is not the same
one as on the 203 and 207.

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#668877 - 01/11/08 01:49 PM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11353
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Is there any way to adjust the intensity of the escapement feature in the HP203?
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#668878 - 01/12/08 12:01 PM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
trolls99 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 110
Loc: Germany
 Quote:
Originally posted by Morodiene:
Is there any way to adjust the intensity of the escapement feature in the HP203? [/b]
No. This is mechanical. Like with a real grand you cannot change the escapement.

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#668879 - 01/12/08 05:11 PM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
bachmaniac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 410
Loc: Montreal, CAN
What escapement?

Has anyone here seen Roland's working plastic model of its action that's displayed in the store? Take it in your hands, press the key, and observe the breakthrough! The mock "escapement" feature is but a gimmick, some little plastic whisker that's flipped every time you hit the key so that your finger will feel a small twitch as the key goes down. Ridiculous, pathetic imitation of escapement.

Real escapement is unavoidable in a grand piano action, and manufacturers have been striving (for maybe a century) to make inconspicuous, as it is NOT a desirable feature, only an inconvenience to be minimized. So "feature" is indeed a euphemism. It could more appropriately called an "unavoidable drawback". No need for digital pianos to imitate it.

Cheers,

Claude
_________________________
K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7

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#668880 - 01/12/08 07:27 PM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
DogT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/08
Posts: 37
Loc: VA
I too have been looking at the HP203 and 207. Interesting to know about the escapement being a "feature". As far as the FP7 goes, to make it like a full piano, you will have to buy 2 extra pedals and a stand, which brings the price of the FP7 up to between the 203 and 207, I think. I was quoted USD$2800 for the 207 and $3900 for the 207. Not too bad for the 203, but seems pretty pricy for the 207.

What do people think of those prices?
_________________________
DogT
CA51
Murdoch & Murdoch Upright

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#668881 - 01/13/08 12:57 AM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
Jared88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/07
Posts: 56
Loc: Cincinnati
 Quote:
Originally posted by DogT:
I was quoted USD$2800 for the 207 and $3900 for the 207. Not too bad for the 203, but seems pretty pricy for the 207.

What do people think of those prices? [/b]
Hey DogT,

I just got my HP-203 about 3 days ago. I was either going to get the 207 or the 203, but my prices were VERY[/b] different from yours...I was quoted $3400 for the HP-203, and $4500 for the HP-207. We talked it out a bit and he brought it down to $2800 for the 203...Kind of strange that I talked the salesman down to the exact same price of what you were quoted. I thought I was buying a piano not a used car lol. So I guess the prices you were quoted are the "list" prices?



To those of you that have an HP-203, do you sometimes hear and or feel a slight rattling or buzzing sound when you play? I can't seem to figure out what the noise is, its not that loud its just really annoying.[/b]
_________________________
88 keys + 10 fingers + 2 hands + the score > 1 set of eyes








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#668882 - 01/13/08 02:24 AM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
Big Kahuna Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/15/07
Posts: 12
Loc: Colorado
DogT,

I recently got two very different quotes from two different dealers on the 207, $3900 and $3200 (and the latter said he could do a bit better if I ordered before he placed another order with Roland). Both over my budget, but I asked b/c I had seen price-paid reports of $2700 at the low end. I think I got a $2900 quote on the 203 from the high dealer, and either $2200 or $1900 from the low dealer, but my memory of the 203 price quote is not so sharp.

I wound up with a deal on a "demo" FP-7 (actually never out of the box, so really brand new) with furniture stand for about $1390 shipped, arrived a few days ago, and so far works for my specific situation and needs (guitarist with some piano knowledge and minimal space looking to learn classical and blues/rock/jazz and have a variety of tones). If you're interested in the FP-7, there are pretty good deals (~$1450, including the furniture-style stand) on these sites:

http://www.bpmmusic.com/index.php

http://www.interstatemusic.com/webapp/wc...1&storeId=10051

At Interstate, I even saw a B-stock FP-7 w/ stand for ~$1305 plus shipping.

Add two pedals for about $60 and the B-stock FP-7 could be complete for as little as $1365 plus shipping (haven't seen a triple pedal for the FP-7, but it would be nice to have one consolidated unit).

One more note: the retail price for the furniture-style stand is $229, which to me is way overpriced. It's nice enough and I'm happy with it, but it's worth about $75 in my book, which is maybe why these package deals are so good.

Let us know how you make out. (Sorry if I've drifted off-topic.)

bob
_________________________
Roland FP-7

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#668883 - 01/13/08 02:40 AM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
eJohn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/07
Posts: 129
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Bachmaniac,

It's very interesting that manufacturers of real pianos have long sought to minimize the feel of the escapement. Nonetheless, it is a feature present to some degree on all pianos, including the finest Steinway concert grands. Therefore, all pianists must learn to work with it, and practicing on a digital that lacks this feature will inevitably require a mental adjustment for pianists who switch over to real pianos.

Roland's escapement is relatively subtle compared to most pianos I've tried. Moreover, it is indeed implemented artificially as are virtually all aspects of sound and touch on digital pianos. If you looked in detail at the complete mechanics and software of any Roland, Yamaha or Kawai digital, you would be horrified - plastic, wood, whatever, it's all a bunch of "gimmicks". The important thing is for the final sound and touch to create the "illusion" of a real piano, regardless of how this is actually implemented.

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#668884 - 01/13/08 09:28 AM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
bachmaniac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 410
Loc: Montreal, CAN
I hear you eJohn, and am aware that advanced concert pianists master their art to a point where they modulate their half-pedal shades to infinity and may --perhaps-- ultimately tickle out some subtle effect from escapement on their concert grands.

But if DPs are about imitating all of this, then they should really imitate, not mock the way Roland does with escapement. There is nothing at all to derive from the subterfuge they've conjured up to imitate escapement. No discrete, subtle artistic enhancement of pianistic expression can result from this contraption. That is totally unlike and opposed to, say, the long-levered wooden keys used on higher-end Kawai DPs for example. These DO bring you a lot closer to the real thing, I mean to the genuine feeling of playing on an acoustic piano's keybed.

I agree that manufacturers have shown creativity by implementing all kinds of contraptions --some more successful than others-- from less noble, or less-than-noble materials to enhance the illusion of playing an acoustic, but I still believe that the mock-escapement on the Roland is a pathetic failure, utterly useless to any subtly enhanced artistic expression.

Regards,

Claude
_________________________
K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7

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#668885 - 01/13/08 10:02 AM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
DogT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/08
Posts: 37
Loc: VA
Jared,

I was quoted "retail" of $3800 and $5490 for the 203 and 207. I saw in the price thread the 207 went for $3200CDN and $3600 in CA.

I have yet to try the Yamahas or the Kawai DPs. I at least want to try them. I'm still up in the air about whether to get a piece of furniture or just put together a DP with a keyboard like the FP7 or MP8II, pedals and maybe a pair of Truth speakers for about half the money and a lot more dynamic range.
_________________________
DogT
CA51
Murdoch & Murdoch Upright

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#668886 - 01/13/08 10:42 AM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
Hoaglie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/08/07
Posts: 210
Loc: westcoast
Dog T--
Cabinet keyboards are non-starters vs. stage pianos with top-line speakers both soundwise and moneywise. Bachmaniac did thread not long ago of keyboard and speaker setups offering some interesting pictorial combinations.

Bachmaniac--
While hesitant to use term "pathetic" in this case justified. Guess gives salesman something to explain in vigoruos detail as you stand there stupefied.

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#668887 - 01/13/08 04:36 PM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
Jared88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/07
Posts: 56
Loc: Cincinnati
 Quote:
Originally posted by DogT:
Jared,

I was quoted "retail" of $3800 and $5490 for the 203 and 207. I saw in the price thread the 207 went for $3200CDN and $3600 in CA. [/b]
Yikessss!

Now thats just funny man. $5490 for the 207??
Like I said...."used cars" lol
_________________________
88 keys + 10 fingers + 2 hands + the score > 1 set of eyes








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#668888 - 01/14/08 09:38 AM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11353
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I was quoted $2700 for the 207 and $1995 for the 203, and at another dealer $1400 for the FP-7. Even with buying a stand and pedals, the FP-7 would be cheaper than the 203, and I like the sound and touch better of the FP-7.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who has issues with the escapement. It is something that I really only notice on acoustics when I press the key down slowly. However, when I press down quickly, I barely notice it at all, so there must be something in the mechanics of the escapement in acoustic pianos that change with the velocity that doesn't happen with the hp203.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#668889 - 01/14/08 11:52 AM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
trolls99 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 110
Loc: Germany
 Quote:
Originally posted by Morodiene:
I'm glad I'm not the only one who has issues with the escapement. It is something that I really only notice on acoustics when I press the key down slowly. However, when I press down quickly, I barely notice it at all, so there must be something in the mechanics of the escapement in acoustic pianos that change with the velocity that doesn't happen with the hp203.
What you describe is excatly what the HP-203 does. You notice the escapement only when you press down the keys slowly.

And concerning the point that the there are plastic parts involved: these days plastics may be high-technology products, and for some purposes platic may indeed be better suited than other materials. So from the use of plastics alone one cannot conclude that something is of poor quality.

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#668890 - 01/14/08 12:40 PM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11353
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Trolls: actually I notice the escapement even when I press down the keys quickly. What I get is a little bounce at the end of the key depression. Perhaps it's not the escapement feature and something else, but rarely, unless there's some regulating needed, does the key bounce back after pressing it down on an acoustic.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#668891 - 01/14/08 01:50 PM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
gluttny Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/22/07
Posts: 185
Loc: Austria
Today I was to a shop looking for a piano lamp and I could not resist to trying out a few pianos all over again.

So on Roland: HP203 escapement feels no matter how gentle or hard you hit a key. HP201 non-escapement key-bed felt nicer to me in this instance compared to HP203. My opinion was that escapement over non-escapement is a personal feel issue, not a must have feature.

On plastic keys: once again I can attest that Roland’s plastic keys felt very natural to me and were of high quality plastic while Kawai’s wooden keys on CA91 failed to impress me today. Besides Kawai keys are more glossy compared to Roland’s or Yamaha’s, in my opinion.

On the rest, I think both Roland and Yamaha are at top of DP world, if you can afford paying more for them. Of course this is except Yamaha’s cheapo models YDP131 or CLP220 which are not worth what they ask for them. As for Kawai I would put them on equal to Casio on a price-to-feature basis. Besides for me piano sound via headphones is a tad better on Casio, surprisingly.

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#668892 - 01/23/09 03:59 AM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
Phibish Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 6
Hi BachManiac,

Thank you for your post.
I was just about to buy a HP-203 for the only reason it has this escapement "feature".
I live on the 11th floor of an apartment building and a real acoustic piano doesn't fit in the elevator and with the neighbors, so I am working digital only (on a RD-150).

Quite often when I work with my teacher (on an acoustic grand) I happen to produce involuntarily a "silent stroke", i.e. I hit the keys very softly and no sound is produced at all whereas on my digital it would produce sound.
Of course when I work at home I don't realize that I play too softly.

I was thinking that this escapement feeling "feature" would help me solve this specific problem.
Of course the obvious suggestion is a silent piano, but they do not fit in the elevator either.

Any suggestion?

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#668893 - 01/23/09 10:45 AM Re: Roland "Escapement"...yay or nay?
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
You hear this complaint frequently on these
forums: "I have a ______ at home, and
when I play on my teacher's grand I
have problems with ____, and so I'm thinking
of getting a ____." All of these
types of complaints are invalid to my
way of thinking. This is not what piano
is all about, that is, keeping on buying
pianos until you find one that enables
you to match your teacher's piano. In
piano you have to read the score accurately
and then hit all the right notes in the
right time at tempo, and you can practice
doing that on anything that has keys:
harpsichord, clavichord, organ, synth,
digital, 61-key unweighted portable, etc.

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