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#695854 - 09/07/05 11:58 AM Roland RD700SX: My humble review
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
I've spent the last week playing it daily now. This is the first digital piano I've used beyond the showroom, so many of my impressions I'm sure are due to digital pianos in general and not this model specifically.

I've been playing primarily classical on it, as its to be a supplement to an acoustic grand for convenience.

My initial concerns about the action being too heavy and mushy are resolved. I'm used to it, like I would be with any piano. I do believe the action feels like a piano, just not my first choice of pianos.

this model has 3 layers of velocity samples. I'm finding that you can hear where one layer stops and the next layer starts. This is particularly noticeable in the bass where many of the notes have that metallic twang to it, like on a real piano. But that twang kicks on on the second layer, rather than gradually. Same with the highest keys, where the mechanical "thud" of the key hardware in the sample is louder than the note itself (in the superior grand sound), again the thud kicks on in the second layer. I would think they would be able to do a gradual digital fusing of the layers, so they blend rather than being so noticeably discrete. I know the technology exists, I wish they would do that.

And speaking of the 'twang', yes real pianos have that, but I find it a bit annoying that its on some notes and not others. (for example in the superior grand sound, the lowest f-sharp, an the d-sharp above that have it, if anyone's keeping score).

the superior grand sound is supposed to be the big excellent sample unique to this model, but I'm finding the ultimate-x sound allows me to be more expressive. the roland rd300sx has the ultimate-x sound, and perhaps that partially accounts for why I found I could be more expressive on that model in the store. The two are clearly very different. Superior Grand is very rich with harmonics and incisive, Ultimate-X is a very clear "bell-like" tone but very soft as well.

I'm a bit disappointed with the pedal. It has 'half pedaling' capability, but I find the curve way too steep. There is no where near the control you have with the dampers on a real piano. Its not ENTIRELY just on or off, but very close to it, it seems.

I was under the impression that sympathic resonance was a technology that was included in the better digital pianos today? On this board, if you hold a chord with the pedal down vs hold the same chord with the pedal up, it sounds exactly the same. Whereas on a piano, of course, its VERY different. This really disappointed me. I thought this was a solved problem. Does any other digital piano implement this?

All in all, I am actually very surprised that the instrument serves as well as it does as a piano substitute. I had been a hard core nay sayer on digital pianos, and my visits to the showrooms just reinforced that. Now that I've become more intimate with this instrument, I've found more short comings as listed above, but at the same time, I see that it does do a better job emulating a piano than I would have previously thought. I will probably keep it (although still contemplating swapping for a cheaper deal at a different store).

Oh, on a side note, and perhaps humorous one, I havent yet opened the manual, nor have i used ANY feature yet, other than the piano sounds. I literally have not pushed a single button on the console outside of the piano sounds. I really need to evaluate all that before deciding to keep it, but I do think that speaks very positively to its simulation of a piano, ie its kept me very happy playing piano, that I havent had the slightest impulse to play with the rest of the toy.

I have played some blues and jazz on it, and it does just fine there. The above critiques were based on classical playing, which of course, is very unforgiving.

So FWIW, there's my experiences so far. Take it with a grain of salt. Just providing feed back for anyone it might help.

Cheers.
_________________________
I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?

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#695855 - 09/07/05 12:30 PM Re: Roland RD700SX: My humble review
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17815
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Great post, Siddhartha! Very informative. As someone who would ultimately like to pick up a digital piano for after-hours practice, I'd like to ask a nosy question: About how much does something like the RD700SX cost?
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#695856 - 09/07/05 12:32 PM Re: Roland RD700SX: My humble review
Rodney Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 735
Loc: Caledon ON, Canada
Excellent review,,...BUT

Since you haven't opened the manual I have to ask:

1) Have you tweaked to EQ to get the sound you like?

2) Have you tried adjusting the velocity curve of the keyboard to adjust which samples get triggered during different keypress speed?

3) Have you tried adjusting the effects values (add, reduce, modify) to modify the timbre to your liking? (Specifically the resonance values.)

4) Have you layered any voices (piano and strings or pads comes tom mind for some slow classical pieces)?

The RD700SX is a great keyboard.

Enjoy,

Rodney

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#695857 - 09/07/05 12:48 PM Re: Roland RD700SX: My humble review
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by Rodney:
Excellent review,,...BUT

Since you haven't opened the manual I have to ask:

1) Have you tweaked to EQ to get the sound you like?

2) Have you tried adjusting the velocity curve of the keyboard to adjust which samples get triggered during different keypress speed?

3) Have you tried adjusting the effects values (add, reduce, modify) to modify the timbre to your liking? (Specifically the resonance values.)

4) Have you layered any voices (piano and strings or pads comes tom mind for some slow classical pieces)?

The RD700SX is a great keyboard.

Enjoy,

Rodney [/b]
1) No
2) No, but that wont resolve the discretization of samples.
3) No, sounds intriguing, but that wont impart sympathetic resonance, will it?
4) No, nor do I have interest to. when playing classical piano pieces, I would never layer another sound on top the piano. But thats just me.

Clearly, I need to pop the seal on the manual \:\) Perhaps the curve on the damper pedal is tweakable...??

One thing that annoys me a little, is that this unit was clearly returned by another user. The box was obviously opened and resealed, and been around the block a few times. No question about it. And not repackaged at the factory, but at the online distributor. Should I be legitamately concerned about that, or is that all part of buying online. I did ask the saleman on the phone when ordering, while discussing the return policy. He did say if its returned, with no defects or damage (within that first 30 days), they just rebox it, and resell it. Roland not involved. Its kinda stuck in my craw, that this sat in someone elses living room for awhile.
_________________________
I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?

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#695858 - 09/07/05 01:33 PM Re: Roland RD700SX: My humble review
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
Siddhartha, I see the RD-700SX advertised on the
web for 2195.00. I have a 700.00 Casio AP-31,
and I personally don't notice the things you
mentioned. There are minor electronic quirks
in it to be sure, but I consider it equivalent
to an acoustic for all practical purposes.

But maybe my whole perspective on pianos
is different from yours. I consider piano
playing to be as much a physical/athletic
activity as a mental one. For example,
I've always been fascinated by the silent
keyboards that were used by concert pianists
during the 1920's and 1930's. These were
portable, soundless keyboards that looked
something like an RD-700SX keyboard. A concert
pianist would use this on the lap on a
train while traveling to a concert, or he
could attach it to a stand and use it at
home. There apparently was a tremendous
advantage to using such a device that
addressed only the physical aspect of
playing. The only picture of one I've ever
seen was in a photo taken in Claudio Arrau's
practice room at home. It was on a stand
and looked just like a modern digital piano.
Apparently he used it continuously.

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#695859 - 09/07/05 02:05 PM Re: Roland RD700SX: My humble review
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
I have absolutely no experience with the Casio, but the bugs I've mentioned are all artifacts of technology trying to achieve things that I'm sure the Casio is not. (the layers of samples, the half pedaling, etc).
_________________________
I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?

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#695860 - 09/07/05 08:15 PM Re: Roland RD700SX: My humble review
C#minor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/11/05
Posts: 71
 Quote:
Originally posted by Rodney:
Excellent review,,...BUT

Since you haven't opened the manual I have to ask:

1) Have you tweaked to EQ to get the sound you like?

2) Have you tried adjusting the velocity curve of the keyboard to adjust which samples get triggered during different keypress speed?

3) Have you tried adjusting the effects values (add, reduce, modify) to modify the timbre to your liking? (Specifically the resonance values.)

4) Have you layered any voices (piano and strings or pads comes tom mind for some slow classical pieces)?

The RD700SX is a great keyboard.

Enjoy,

Rodney [/b]
Actually, my question to Siddhartha would be: Since you mentioned this unit has been used for a while, did you perform a reset on the instrument before you play it? Thing is if someone had changed the settings for the damper for instance, maybe that explains the way it was.

Best.

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#695861 - 09/07/05 10:55 PM Re: Roland RD700SX: My humble review
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica Kern:
Great post, Siddhartha! Very informative. As someone who would ultimately like to pick up a digital piano for after-hours practice, I'd like to ask a nosy question: About how much does something like the RD700SX cost? [/b]
This keyboard has a lowest advertised price of $2195. There have been posts here that claim it can be had for up to $400 less than that from certain online vendors.
_________________________
I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?

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#695862 - 05/25/08 10:18 PM Re: Roland RD700SX: My humble review
ginger_vitys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/08
Posts: 58
Loc: Nashville TN
Anyone that never opens the manual, nor bothers to spend any time learning how to control a digital instrument cannot write an objective and informed review of anything. Moreover, this Siddhartha guy complains about the packaging, and seems surprised that it's not brand new. How stupid can he be?
_________________________
If you think education's expensive, try ignorance.

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#695863 - 05/26/08 03:28 AM Re: Roland RD700SX: My humble review
SSB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/08
Posts: 184
Loc: Cumbria, UK
I don't think you should need to spend hours with the manual or even open it to be able to work out how to use a piano like the RD-700SX. I recall looking at the manual to work out a couple of peculiarities, rather than adjust the EQ, velocity curve or piano sound settings - all of these are pretty readily accessible from the menus and simple to adjust without the manual.

I have to agree with many of the criticisms laid our by Siddhartha - I thought that it did a far better job of emulating electric pianos than it did replicating an acoustic piano, particularly when playing solo.
_________________________
User ratings are the work of the devil

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#695864 - 05/26/08 09:15 AM Re: Roland RD700SX: My humble review
PhysicsTeacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/08
Posts: 99
Loc: Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by ginger_vitys:
Anyone that never opens the manual, nor bothers to spend any time learning how to control a digital instrument cannot write an objective and informed review of anything. Moreover, this Siddhartha guy complains about the packaging, and seems surprised that it's not brand new. How stupid can he be? [/b]
You do realize that you are commenting on a thread that hasn't been active for nearly three years, don't you? You must be bored to find the need to dredge up such old business. In fact the SX is a relatively old piano that has been superseded by a newer model. I guess it is OK to rehash old business if you want, but it is not nice to call the OP stupid. Naughty! Naughty! Time for your dental appointment gingivitis.
_________________________
Casio PX-320, Fabers' Adult Piano Adventures 1
"If you drive faster than I do, you are a maniac. If you drive slower than I do, you are are an idiot."

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#1325008 - 12/14/09 07:58 AM Re: Roland RD700SX: My humble review [Re: Siddhartha]
arnx1990 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/09/09
Posts: 28
Loc: Cebu City, Philippines
Originally Posted By: Siddhartha
One thing that annoys me a little, is that this unit was clearly returned by another user. The box was obviously opened and resealed, and been around the block a few times. No question about it. And not repackaged at the factory, but at the online distributor. Should I be legitamately concerned about that, or is that all part of buying online. I did ask the saleman on the phone when ordering, while discussing the return policy. He did say if its returned, with no defects or damage (within that first 30 days), they just rebox it, and resell it. Roland not involved. Its kinda stuck in my craw, that this sat in someone elses living room for awhile.


isn't that illegal? i mean shouldn't the store be returning that to the factory or sell it at a lower price since it has already been used?

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#1325627 - 12/14/09 11:09 PM Re: Roland RD700SX: My humble review [Re: arnx1990]
BB Player Offline


Registered: 11/17/06
Posts: 2719
Loc: Not in Texas
I'm putting this three year old thread back to sleep. Thread closed.
_________________________
Greg

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