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#670673 - 12/22/07 01:55 PM Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
Heart&Soul Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 33
Background - new member, but I've been monitoring this forum for about three years. Been playing piano on and off for 48 years. Took lessons starting in third grade (bad student - had to force me to practice). Started playing much more after I quit taking lessons and started playing what I wanted to - mostly pop and ragtime.

I've had a Yamaha P120 for a little over three years - my first DP. I absolutely love the grand piano 1 sound on that keyboard - a very warm pleasing sound - haven't heard anything else like it. However, I was outgrowing the P120's limitations. The touch sensitivity was rather poor - it was difficult to play soft to loud. Also, when a key was played harder, it seemed like the volume was louder, but didn't really have the realism of hitting the strings harder. I was also running out of memory in the track recorder - and with 64 polyphony, certain complex duets were having drop-outs on notes.

Thus, I went to the Guitar Center and traded up to a Yamaha CP-300. It seemed like the perfect choice with larger speakers, much more track memory, 128 polyphony. When I got it all hooked up, I was impressed with the deep rich sound from the lower keys. And the touch sensitivity was flawless with amazing realism from soft to loud. Unfortunately that's where the "good" ended for me. I then I noticed several deal killers I couldn't live with. The two octaves above middle C seemed overly bright to me. So much, the notes seemed to bleed into each other creating what I can only describe as an overly bright muddled sound when chords or runs were played in that area of the keyboard. I tried multiple tweaks to the sound via the equalizer, reverb, resonance, etc settings. I spent several hours pouring through the manual trying to tone down the brightness to where the keys would have a distinctive individual sound, and not muddled together. Although tweaking helped some, it was merely filtering a sound I couldn't get used to. Then there was the obnoxious G3 key (to the left of middle C). What a horrible buzzy clank that makes when played through the speakers. I'm amazed Yamaha didn't fix this key on the sampled piano (I would later try the same key on a demo model at Guitar Center - same issue). That G3 key stood out like a sore thumb on any song that used that key. Finally, the highest octave was so weak as to barely be heard - unlike my P120 which had a very pleasing discernible twinkle for the highest octave. I really wanted to like the CP-300. But what had Yamaha done to the sound? If the CP-300 had the P120 sound, this would have been the perfect DP for me. As per the mantra repeated on this forum – personal tastes differ – you might be well pleased with this keyboard. However, I would recommend you not buy this keyboard site unseen. If testing one in a store, play each and every key through the speakers and headphones. If you don’t like the sound from the default settings, don’t assume you can adjust it later.

So, I wound up on the Internet late into the night looking at alternatives. The Roland FP-7 seemed to be the closest to my requirements. So, packed up the CP-300 and took it back to Guitar Center (they are great and taking things back with no questions asked). With headphones in hand, I spent about twenty minutes playing each and every note on the FP-7, both on the speakers and headphones. I made sure I could live with the grand piano 1 sound - as is - without much tweaking. Took one home. Although I would consider the FP-7 a little flat near the middle of the keyboard, it was acceptable. The grand piano 1 sound is certainly different from the P120, but very likable in it's own unique way. Like most DP’s, grand piano 2 & 3 sound like filtered versions of 1. The more I played the FP-7 over the next couple of weeks, the more I would grow to like all the extra features I wasn't used to. Certainly the touch sensitivity was near perfect. Playing soft to loud was very easy with loudness sounding like you had really hit the strings harder. Then there was the 3-track recorder. There is little published info on just how versatile this 3-track recorder is. All songs get stored in temporary memory (at first). From there you can save it to the permanent internal memory. Since this is saved as a midi file, very little memory is used. The published storage spec is 30,000 notes, but doesn't clarify if this is temporary memory or the permanent internal flash memory. But it gets better. The FP-7 has a USB connector on the front panel. You can then save/copy your songs to a USB thumb flash drive. For all practical purposes - a cheap half gigabyte flash drive would hold more songs than you could record in a lifetime (most midi files taking less than 30kb) - and it's easy to unplug your flash drive and transfer to your computer - lessening the need to connect your keyboard directly to your computer - which would be a big pain for me since my keyboard and computer are in different rooms. Now, back to that USB flash drive. Another nifty feature - you can rip any song from a music CD and transfer the wave file to the flash drive - and then play it through the speakers - while playing along on the keyboard. At first this sounded like a gimmick I would never really use. However, I have already found this extremely useful for picking out a tune from a song. I was never good at picking out tunes by ear. However, when I play the song through the FP-7 speakers, I find it much easier to just start hitting keys at random until I find the same scale as the song - and then start trying to match the keys to the tune. Within fifteen minutes I usually have it down - something I previously found difficult. The "transpose" button is interesting, because you can shift scales on a recorded song while its being played back - a rather strange thing to hear. Once you tweak all the settings to your liking, you can save those settings as "registrations".

If you have a FP-7, I would like to know your equalizer settings. For me, the lower end bass is too strong. You don't hear the excess bass on the speakers or headphone, but if you record from the line out to a CD recorder and then play the burned CD on a home stereo system or car, it's way too strong. I’ve set sound control to “clear” and lowered the “low gain” to -5db. I also raised the “high mid gain” to +3db to give the middle keys more emphasis.

A few minor criticisms. If you want a DP that has a user friendly/intuitive interface, this isn't it. The lack of multiple dedicated buttons on the front panel hides the numerous menus/features of this DP. That's both a good/bad thing. Good - it creates a very uncluttered/clean look on the button panel. Bad, because it means you will spend much time in the manual learning how to press more than one button to access the various settings - which aren't always intuitive. Especially unintuitive for me was learning how to use the 3-track recorder with the manuals confusing labels/terms for each track (labeled R, 1, 2 on the keyboard itself). Recording a simple duet took me only two hours to figure out the first time. This is explained on page 95 of manual, but they left out an important gotcha. Basically all three tracks work the same way - and you can record whatever you want to either three. By default, all new songs go to track 2 (wouldn't track 1 be more intuitive?). Three tracks means you could record/save a six-handed triplet by yourself. Finally, gotta love this ominous warning in the manual "never turn off the power while settings are being saved. If you do so, the FP-7’s internal memory will be destroyed, rendering it unusable”.

Well, there you have it, despite the learning curve - I will keep the Roland.
_________________________
Roland FP-7

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#670674 - 12/22/07 04:34 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
The Pro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 200
Loc: Atlanta, GA
One of the secrets to the CP-300 is to set the touch response for it's heaviest setting. This gives you much better dynamic range than the default settings and it takes away some of that overt brightness during normal play. Several CP-300 owners have confirmed this. The CP-300 has a wealth of configurations for customizing the sounds... it took me several weeks to perfect my CP-300's tone to my liking. It's also one of the most sophisticated MIDI controllers on the market which was the factor that sealed the deal for me since I wanted my CP-300 mostly as a studio master controller.

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#670675 - 12/22/07 05:58 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
SHPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 246
Loc: S.Central Texas
I just spent an hour at my local Sam Ash (which I didn't even realize we had until yesterday) trying a whole slew of DPs.

I went in mostly to try the FP7. I definitely liked the action and it does have a clean look. The grand piano 1 sound was good but not great.

I also tried the RD-700SX. It too was nice but, of course, it has no internal speakers, which I would really prefer to have.

I tried the Kawai CE200 because it has the AWP Pro II wood action--the same action as the MP8 (which they didn't have in stock). Surprisingly, I liked but did not love, the Kawai action. It was very stiff, which isn't bad, but I didn't think it was any more realistic than the FP7. (I have a Bluthner grand at home with the original patent action which is on the lighter side.) The grand piano 1 sound was good not great.

Then I tried the CP300. I really, really liked it. The action was similar in feel to the Roland. Very nice. Fast but not too light. What really set it apart, however, was the piano sound. Much, much richer in the lower octaves than the Roland or Kawai.

The problem is that the CP300 is more than $700 more expensive than the FP7.

I think I may go back with some head phones and the those recommendations from the forum about how to adjust the FP7 to make sound better on the floor and see just how different it is.

The other problem is that my son also liked the CP because it has a pitch wheel. Nothing I can do about that.
_________________________
Bösendorfer 225 My New BÖSENDORFER Arrives
Blüthner Style 9 My 1926 Blüthner Arrives
Shoninger upright
Roland FP7
Yamaha EZ30

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#670676 - 12/22/07 08:23 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1614
The CP300 does have have more robust sounding speakers than the FP7 or FP4, which may be why you like the bass notes there. But the FP7/FP4/RD-700SX all share better piano samples, every key was individually sampled and each key was sampled at 4 levels. In contrast, every key was not sampled on the CP300, they sample a note and then transpose it across a group of neighboring keys (the timber maintains an identical quality which is unnatural and creates a n artificial sameness to the monotonous waveforms) and the ones that did get sampled were only done at 3 levels. Try an FP7/FP4 with the addition of a pair of good studio monitor speakers to supplement the on board speakers and you will be amazed at it's Steinway like tone. The CP300 has a more glassy tone in comparison which I hate in a jazz trio setting.
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#670677 - 12/22/07 10:35 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
SHPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 246
Loc: S.Central Texas
rintincop:
I hope you are correct (or at least my wallet does). I definitely noticed that the CP300 has much larger speakers and wondered how much that was influencing what I heard. Using headphones should take that out of the equation. I plan to go back after X-Mas when it's a little less crazy and try out the top contenders again.
_________________________
Bösendorfer 225 My New BÖSENDORFER Arrives
Blüthner Style 9 My 1926 Blüthner Arrives
Shoninger upright
Roland FP7
Yamaha EZ30

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#670678 - 12/22/07 11:05 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
The Pro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 200
Loc: Atlanta, GA
In an attempt to create their own "unique piano sound" because they don't make an acousic piano themselves, Roland samples from multiple brands of pianos to give it's FP's and the RD's a piano not found in nature. Lots of people have commented on the sudden differences in tones from note to note.

The speakers of the CP-300 do more than produce the most bass of any stage DP... they cause the keys to vibrate like on a real grand piano. It's the only stage piano that has this effect which goes hand in hand with it's great action to give the most realistic piano emulation. It's much more inspiring than the low-powered or no speaker competitors.

That's on top of the CP-300's superior master control capabilities and the ability to add another keyboard on the flat top surface and plug it's audio outputs into the CP-300's internal speakers while still having full access to the CP-300's control panel. It's a classic design handed down from the P series that makes sense.

Comparing the Roland FP's to the CP-300 isn't a direct matchup... the FP's are clearly meant to compete more with the Kawai ES4 in features, weight and price. The Roland RD-700sx that the FP's are derived from is in the same price range as the CP-300. If you like having a stage piano with the best internal speaker system, there's no direct competition to the CP-300.

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#670679 - 12/23/07 12:41 AM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
PXFort Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/10/07
Posts: 82
Loc: Pennsylvania
here are a few settings to try

Low Gain +6db
Low Freq 125Hz
Low Mid Gain -4db
Low Mid Freq 500Hz
Low Mid Q 2.0
High Mid Gain +4db
High Mid Freq 2.5kHz
High Mid Q 2.0
High Gain +12db
High Freq 8.0 kHz

I used these on the FP4 with much success.

They came from this post on this forum.

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/6/3170.html
_________________________
Roland FP4

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#670680 - 12/23/07 01:58 AM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1614
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#670681 - 12/23/07 09:16 AM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
The Pro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 200
Loc: Atlanta, GA
And let's not forget that the Roland FP's have generated the most complaints of any digital piano on this forum this year concerning slipping grease/clacking keys on new units. A simple forum search will confirm that. Fortunately, if you do that search then you'll also find where rintincop has posted a very good tutorial on how to disassemble your brand new FP and fix the problem. :rolleyes:

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#670682 - 12/23/07 12:08 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
Heart&Soul Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 33
 Quote:
In an attempt to create their own "unique piano sound" because they don't make an acoustic piano themselves, Roland samples from multiple brands of pianos to give it's FP's and the RD's a piano not found in nature. Lots of people have commented on the sudden differences in tones from note to note.
While I've seen the quotes from Roland's website on using multiple pianos for their samples, I've never seen anything that implies they would not apply those averaged samples in a consistent manner across the keyboard. Rintincop, do you have a link to people who are saying they hear "sudden differences in tones from note to note" on their Roland keyboards? What I would want to see is what specific model they were talking about - and whether those were older models. I certainly don't hear it in the FP-7.
_________________________
Roland FP-7

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#670683 - 12/23/07 12:47 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1614
There is no sudden differences in tones from note to note, it's very even note to note without resorting to transposing the same sample across numerous keys. Only Roland samples every note individually.
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#670684 - 12/23/07 01:32 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
Heart&Soul Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 33
 Quote:
There is no sudden differences in tones from note to note, it's very even note to note without resorting to transposing the same sample across numerous keys. Only Roland samples every note individually.
Sorry Rintincop, I referenced you, but should have said: The Pro[/b], do you have a link to people who are saying they hear "sudden differences in tones from note to note" on their Roland keyboards?
_________________________
Roland FP-7

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#670685 - 12/23/07 03:26 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
PXFort Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/10/07
Posts: 82
Loc: Pennsylvania
 Quote:
Originally posted by The Pro:
And let's not forget that the Roland FP's have generated the most complaints of any digital piano on this forum this year concerning slipping grease/clacking keys on new units. A simple forum search will confirm that. Fortunately, if you do that search then you'll also find where rintincop has posted a very good tutorial on how to disassemble your brand new FP and fix the problem. :rolleyes: [/b]
I wouldn't say that I did my research and found and equal amount of problems with all the brands.

casio px200, yamaha 620,
_________________________
Roland FP4

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#670686 - 12/24/07 12:25 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
speedlever Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 136
Loc: NC
Using this Google search technique:
site:pianoworld.com clacking keys

Three pages were returned and the only DP references I saw mentioned Kawai (ES4 in particular) and Roland (FP 4/7).

Hard to say how common the problem is since only complaints get posted. I'm curious where you found references to the Casio and Yamaha clacking/grease problems?
_________________________
-speedy

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#670687 - 12/24/07 12:47 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
RandomThoughts Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/04
Posts: 106
Loc: Canada
Some interesting stuff here.

I did an extended test of the FP7, RD700SX and CP-300 the other day at the local music store (disclaimer: I own a P250)

My fave coming out of it was the FP7, with some reservations.

The vibrations through the heavy metal/wood case on the CP300/P250 is really great and enhances the feeling of playing an acoustic piano greatly. Countering that, unless I had roadies hauling them around for me, I would never consider gigging with them.

The touch on the CP300 I tried in the store was abysmal - but I think it was just old and worn. My P250 feels like a cleaner version of my (slightly crappy) grand piano. By contrast, the FP7 felt more like a well regulated upright - it feels more like you're pressing against springs than gravity. (Even though I know they probably are weighted with gravity.) Still, I liked it too, it just felt a bit 'switchier'.

I think I like the tone better on the FP7 - though I quite like the tone on the P250/300 on Heavy. This is personal preference, I think, but the frankenpiano on the FP7 sounds closer to a Steinway grand, while the Yamaha's sound precisely like a Yamaha grand.

The reports of clacking slightly scare me - and makes me think I prefer Yamaha service. I had one key on my keyboard that made a VERY soft clunk on the upswing - you could only hear it playing softly and solo (the vendor couldn't hear it at all at the music shop, not a quiet enough environment).

But it bothered me. My call to the Yamaha service manager authorized the Yamaha tech to replace the entire keybed. And when I got it back, there was no problem. I imagine that behind my back they were saying that I was really picky and making fun of my piano skills on the recorded tracks - but to my face they were polite and did everything I asked with no questions asked.

So overall, I like the FP7 and might even buy one for hauling around - but the service problems reported scare me slightly.

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#670688 - 12/24/07 08:54 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
PXFort Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/10/07
Posts: 82
Loc: Pennsylvania
 Quote:
Originally posted by speedlever:
Using this Google search technique:
site:pianoworld.com clacking keys

Three pages were returned and the only DP references I saw mentioned Kawai (ES4 in particular) and Roland (FP 4/7).

Hard to say how common the problem is since only complaints get posted. I'm curious where you found references to the Casio and Yamaha clacking/grease problems? [/b]
The qoute was not specific to clacking keys
he said the most complaints on this forum are about roland fp4 and fp7. I just do not agree with that blanket statment.



Here are a few complaints about any problem with other models. My point is that I don't thing roland has generated the most complaints.

I also did my research on other forums like this

http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews/Keyboard+And+MIDI


for px200
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/6/3724.html#000000

for yamaha p120
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/6/3785.html

for yamaha p70 key noise
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/6/3082.html

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/6/2769.html

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/6/3120.html#000001

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/6/1922.html#000014


yamaha cp33 thumping

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/6/1922.html#000014
_________________________
Roland FP4

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#670689 - 12/26/07 07:24 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
SHPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 246
Loc: S.Central Texas
So now I'm really confused. Today I went to my local Guitar Center (again, I didn't even know we had one until recently). I spent the entire time switching back and forth between the FP7 and CP300. I brought my headphones so I could compare both with speakers and with headphones.

On these particular units, I definitely preferred the action of the Roland, which felt a bit stiffer than the Yamaha. More like my grand. I wasn't a huge difference but definitely noticeable. I don't know why I didn't detect it at Sam Ash. I suppose it's possible that there were differences in how much use each unit had the two stores.

The other important factor was the sound. With the headphones on, I definitely preferred the Roland grand. It wasn't perfect, but much closer to the rich, warm tone of my Bluthner. The Yamaha just didn't sound right. Way too bright. I looked to make sure it was set to GP1 or GP2, played around with Mellow on both settings, and made sure the EQ sliders weren't out of whack. But for some reason it just didn't sound good to me. Not like I remembered it from Sam Ash.

With the speakers, the Yamaha was without a doubt superior because (once again) I could feel the vibration in the keys--just like my acoustic grand.

So now, I really am in a quandary. On Saturday (at Sam Ash), I had a definite preference for the Yamaha. Today (at GC) the Roland won.

I think I'll go back to Sam Ash tomorrow and do one more A/B comparison.
_________________________
Bösendorfer 225 My New BÖSENDORFER Arrives
Blüthner Style 9 My 1926 Blüthner Arrives
Shoninger upright
Roland FP7
Yamaha EZ30

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#670690 - 12/26/07 08:47 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
The Pro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 200
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Remember to set the CP300 for it's heaviest touch response to give you the widest dynamic range. This will soften the quieter key strikes while leaving the harder velocities bright.

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#670691 - 12/26/07 08:56 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
Heart&Soul Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 33
 Quote:
I think I'll go back to Sam Ash tomorrow and do one more A/B comparison.
When you go back and listen to the CP-300, I would be curious what you think of the G3 key (first G to the left of middle C) as it sounds on the speakers. I thought that key sounded horrible. Also, play the very highest octave and see if you think it is unacceptably weak.
_________________________
Roland FP-7

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#670692 - 12/26/07 11:51 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
SHPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 246
Loc: S.Central Texas
_________________________
Bösendorfer 225 My New BÖSENDORFER Arrives
Blüthner Style 9 My 1926 Blüthner Arrives
Shoninger upright
Roland FP7
Yamaha EZ30

Top
#670693 - 12/26/07 11:55 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
SHPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 246
Loc: S.Central Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by The Pro:
Remember to set the CP300 for it's heaviest touch response to give you the widest dynamic range. This will soften the quieter key strikes while leaving the harder velocities bright. [/b]
I remembered reading that and did make that change, between that and the "mellow" mode, it did warm it a bit, but it still wasn't quite what I remembered.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Heart&Soul:

When you go back and listen to the CP-300, I would be curious what you think of the G3 key (first G to the left of middle C) as it sounds on the speakers. I thought that key sounded horrible. Also, play the very highest octave and see if you think it is unacceptably weak. [/b]
Will do.
_________________________
Bösendorfer 225 My New BÖSENDORFER Arrives
Blüthner Style 9 My 1926 Blüthner Arrives
Shoninger upright
Roland FP7
Yamaha EZ30

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#670694 - 12/27/07 10:55 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
SHPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 246
Loc: S.Central Texas
I went back to Sam Ash today and A/B'd the CP300 and the FP7 with headphones. My observations from yesterday were repeated today. Again, I noticed a slight difference in the actions. I preferred the FP7 which was a bit heavier although either would be OK (and neither wholly duplicates the feel of an actual acoustic).

Again, the bigger difference was tone. With the headphones, the CP300 was noticeably brighter (especially in the higher octaves). Again, I changed the CP settings to mellow and that helped somewhat. The FP, however, sounder better (fuller, warmer) to me. BTW: I did not notice a problem with CP's G3 key.

The CP300 still wins in overall "feel" because of the feedback you feel in the keys because of the speakers. It's a shame that the FP7 is missing that, but it's probably something I can live without.

At this point, I'm leaning toward the Roland. I do wish it had a better warranty.

I did try the Kawai CE200 again. I am still disappointed by the action. I really expected it to be the closest to an acoustic of all of the DP's because of the wood keys and actual hammers, etc. But, I really didn't find that to be the case. It's a good action, but certainly no better than the Roland or CP.
_________________________
Bösendorfer 225 My New BÖSENDORFER Arrives
Blüthner Style 9 My 1926 Blüthner Arrives
Shoninger upright
Roland FP7
Yamaha EZ30

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#670695 - 01/07/08 05:34 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
RogerL Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 4
Loc: Sf Bay Area
Hi All-

This is my first time posting on-line but I too am deciding between the Fp-7 and the CP-300 so this discussion is great since I have lots of the same questions(I would like to try the Kawai MP-8II but I cant find one on display). I am just waiting for the NAMM show in a couple of weeks before buying in case some new, incredible perfect DP is unveiled.

My questions is about the other features of the CP-300 versus the FP-7, especially the session partner versus the Yamaha 16 track recorder. There hasnt been much of discussion about the pros/cons of either of these features. In particular, I am not sure how useful the Roland session partner is and how good is their 3 track recorder versus the 16 track Yamaha (do people use the extra 13 tracks. Is a session partner like a band in the box? Is it worth tipping the balance to Roland?

I am a beginning/intermediate pianist, dont gig (although I dream of someday being good enough to) and I really want to be able to play along with recordings especially jazz in order to improve my improvization skills. Are there prerecorded arrangements with bass/drums that can be played with the CP-300? would I need my PC hooked-up? Does anyone ever use the session partner to play standards or are you limited to some precorded tracks. It sounded a little karaoke to me in the store, but I didnt know how to adjust it to be better so perhaps that is unfair.

Also, is the memory key option in the Roland a big advantage? I like the idea of being able to play along with songs through this key, is that something the Yamaha cannot do?

Obviously, sound and touch are the most important to me also but I like them both. I didnt find the Yamaha too bright when I did mellow piano and with a mellow equilization setting but after reading all the posts, I need to recheck this. I tended to like the Roland sound a little more and the Yamaha touch more. It may come down to these other features for me to decide.

Any thoughts are very welcome.

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#670696 - 01/07/08 06:35 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
samwalker Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 14
Loc: Nelson, New Zealand
hey guys! =) i'm new here. been reading all your posts and i'm certainly learning a lot. you guys are the real pros! =)
been confused what to buy.. fp7, or kawai es4..
i didn't like cp300 coz it sounded rather synthetic on the middle keys.. while the lower and higher keys are just fine.. but what made me forget cp300 is the weight.. damn heavy..
i usually carry my keyboards and dp's on my way to churches and gigs so i don't think cp300 will satisfy me no matter how good it is.
i also dropped yamaha p140 from my list since it doesn't have any usb ports or floppy drive which i always need in making minus ones..
can someone help me out?
i had korg pa50 and the lowest note was really powerful.. the highest note on the other hand was the best..
i hope either fp7 or kawai es4 has it..

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#670697 - 01/08/08 08:30 AM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
BlairScotland Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2
Loc: Fort William, Scotland
Hi guys,

Whats the difference between Roland's FP-7 and HP 201/203 in terms of sound quality?
_________________________
Proud follower of the Famous Glasgow Rangers!

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#670698 - 01/08/08 08:51 AM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
trolls99 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 110
Loc: Germany
 Quote:
Originally posted by BlairScotland:
Hi guys,

Whats the difference between Roland's FP-7 and HP 201/203 in terms of sound quality? [/b]
I believe that they have the same sound module and hence the sound is the same through headphones. The speakers of the HP203, however, are significantly better than those of the FP-7.

In addition, I believe that the keyboard of the FP-7 has no escapement. There is no clear statement on this by Roland; however, I can clearly feel the escapement on the HP-203 (which I own), but not on the FP-7 (which I subsequently have tried for this point in a music shop).

On the other hand, an advantage of the FP-7 is that it has more options to tweak the sound, such as EQs and the option to adjust the opening angle of a grand piano.

Hope this helps,
Trolls

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#670699 - 01/08/08 12:04 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12215
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I actually preferred the feel of the FP-7 to the HP203. Perhaps it was just that I didn't know how to make any adjustments on the HP203 when I was testing it out, but the escapement felt a bit too much for me.
_________________________
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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#670700 - 01/08/08 04:01 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
gluttny Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/22/07
Posts: 185
Loc: Austria
I got one observation with Yamaha from my shopping odyssey. Whenever you want good Yamaha you must pay a premium compared to other brands. I tried top line Yamahas DP and I was stunned, then I checked price tag and walked away. Least expensive great Yamaha was 2000 euros +++. So not surprisingly CP300 costs more, this is I guess is the rule of Yamaha.

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#670701 - 01/08/08 04:05 PM Re: Yamaha CP-300 / Roland FP-7 Review
gluttny Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/22/07
Posts: 185
Loc: Austria
I prefer HP201/HP203 sound to FP7 but... I did not try it through headphones or amplifier, so difficult to judge. For me the key feel was better on HP203 than FP7.

All I can say is that FP7 and HP series in some way aim at different class of users in my opinion. So it all depends what you want. More gimmicks and portability? Go for FP7. Better in-box sound, keys and cabinet design? Then HP models are your answer.

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