Roland FP7F, to buy or not to buy

Posted by: Liam19

Roland FP7F, to buy or not to buy - 11/20/10 08:01 PM

Hey, so I'm thinking of buying a digital piano. I currently have a Casio LK-100 light up keyboard, had it for just over 3 years, I just basically messed around on it and seemed to of learned to play by ear, I can recognise pitches now smile , not bad for a keyboard. Basically it was was never really bought to become serious with, but I seemed to picked up an interest in it, and want to learn to play piano, I'm currently watching Lypur on Youtube.

I got to play a Yamaha Clavinova CLP-820, and I thought it sounded awesome, and loved how the volume changed depending on how hard you press the note. This piano sounds much nicer than my keyboard, which is why I'm considering a digital in the first place.

So I done a bit of research, piano world has come up many times, and I've done alot of reading here, there's been loads of information so thanks piano world. laugh

Someone mentioned the FP7F and it seems to be quite a good one, I was looking at the DGX 640 before, but heard about the keys being too light and stuff. I actually don't know how the CLP-820 compares to any of these models, since basically it's the only digital I ever played, and probably all digitals sound way better today, and feel better.

The FP7f is supposed to be a portable HP307, right? I was listening to demos on their site, and for some reason I didn't like what I was hearing, is that because it's an online demo? I just didn't think it sounded great, would like to know what you guys think.

And stage pianos, is there any disadvantage to them over a digital with a cabinet? I will mainly be playing with headphones, and I don't want anything to take up too much room either, it's for home use only.

I'm a bit of a fan of having other voices and tones, could anyone give me an opinion on some of them? There wasn't really any youtube videos.

At the end of the day, I would like a digital piano with a nice sound and good keys. Don't forget that the old CLP 820 is the only digital I've ever tried.

Thanks. smile
Posted by: tinybox

Re: Roland FP7F, to buy or not to buy - 11/21/10 06:20 AM

I had an order for a FP7F but canceled it and ordered the Kawai MP10 instead. After listening to a lot of audio demos I just liked the sound of the MP10 / CA93 better.

See this thread for my reasoning around this: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...to%20FP-7F.html
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: Roland FP7F, to buy or not to buy - 11/21/10 06:36 AM

The problem is not many people have played the FP-7F since it's so new. A few are on order though based on playing and listening to the 307 and looking at the specs. They hit the stores last week of November AFAIK. See this thread for someone who has test played one.
Posted by: Rimmer

Re: Roland FP7F, to buy or not to buy - 11/21/10 09:17 AM

I'm one of the people that has actually pre-ordered one. I wrote some stuff about it in comparison to the Kawai MP6 which was very much interesting me..
here

I am not the usual candidate for buying something I haven't fully tested out but I feel that due to the fact that the HP307 is reported as having virtually the same keybed as the FP-7F and the same AP sound (in fact the whole tone list is veery similar if not the same as the HP307) I feel that my extensive testing of that machine combined with playing the original FP7 in the same shop filled me with enough confidence to buy before it's released. The shop I have bought it from will take it back if it's not what they sold it to me as so I feel i'm covered.

I'm not sure what online demos you've been listening to but I would say that online audio demos (especially video audio from places like Youtube) are going to give you a rough idea of what the machine is going to be like in three dimensions. The proof of the pudding is to sit in front of one and have a play.

So. Either wait until your local shop has a demo machine or go and play an HP307 and get a very good idea of what you're going to get. I personally think it's an amazing machine with an incredibly touchy feely keyboard and a truly inspiring AP sound. They are surely going to sell like hot cakes..

Regards. Rimmer
Posted by: Liam19

Re: Roland FP7F, to buy or not to buy - 11/21/10 10:15 AM

Hey guys, first off, I have read those three threads before, all great reads, thanks. laugh Especially your thread Rimmer was very informative.

Heres the demos I listened to, just click on the audio button: http://www.roland.co.uk/products/productdetails.aspx?p=1055

Though after having a quick listen, it sounds better this time, maybe it was just the way the Polonaise and Revolution was played, different than how I have listened to it before. I thought the start of the HP 307 overview sounded very nice at the very start of the video. At the end of the day, I've never tried an acoustic piano, play around on a keyboard, and play about a bit on a digital piano once a week that is probably around 8 - 10 years old, haha. So I'm not one to know what a really good sounding digital is like.

I haven't been to my local music store myself, but according to the site they don' have a HP 307 for sale. But I should really go down there and have a look. It's gonna be weird testing digital pianos when I'm just a beginner, and no intention to buy from the store lol. Though it would be great to give it a test, I don't know if that machine will be there for a test though.

I'm sure that it would probably be an awesome piano for a guy like me anyway, since it seems like a digital for more experienced players.

Also you said your shop will allow you to take it back, I wonder if its the same place I'm looking for buy it from. Seems to have the cheapest price so far. smile
Posted by: Rimmer

Re: Roland FP7F, to buy or not to buy - 11/21/10 11:12 AM

I don't think much of those demos. They sound a bit thin and compressed to me. Nothing like I remember the sound through headphones in the shop.

I seriously recommend you try them though as it's a very authentic sound and feel. The thought of owning my first 88 key machine that simulates the feel of a piano (well, it's a simulation...) and sounds so much like a real piano is a real privilege for me as I don't really play at all. Hence the reason for trying to buy the best I can now rather than putting up with something mediocre and synth like..

Best of luck finding one to play...!

Regards. Rimmer
Posted by: Liam19

Re: Roland FP7F, to buy or not to buy - 11/21/10 05:57 PM

Glad to hear you say that, thin and compressed seems right, I was listening and wondered to myself if what I was listening to was any good, and I wasn't convinced, but if's just bad online demos and nothing like you remember, that's good news.

How good is this digital piano anyway? Is the PHA III more comparable to Yamaha's Graded Hammer or Graded Hammer 3, I know this has the triple sensor so I thought it would like GH3. Never actually tried any of these myself. I'm a bit of a fan of Kylelandry on youtube, he plays a P155. To me it sounds good, but at the same time he's a pretty good player. Wondered if the FP7F would be a better digital than that. I would think so since it costs quite a bit more.

Would you by any chance got to of tried any of the other voices, like violins or flutes? I know it's not important, but interested anyway since I enjoy voices. Wonder how they compare to the voices on Yamaha.

Thanks, and I hope that when your FP7F arrives, that you have found a piano you love. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts. smile
Posted by: Rimmer

Re: Roland FP7F, to buy or not to buy - 11/21/10 07:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Liam19
Glad to hear you say that, thin and compressed seems right, I was listening and wondered to myself if what I was listening to was any good, and I wasn't convinced, but if's just bad online demos and nothing like you remember, that's good news.

How good is this digital piano anyway? Is the PHA III more comparable to Yamaha's Graded Hammer or Graded Hammer 3, I know this has the triple sensor so I thought it would like GH3. Never actually tried any of these myself. I'm a bit of a fan of Kylelandry on youtube, he plays a P155. To me it sounds good, but at the same time he's a pretty good player. Wondered if the FP7F would be a better digital than that. I would think so since it costs quite a bit more.

Would you by any chance got to of tried any of the other voices, like violins or flutes? I know it's not important, but interested anyway since I enjoy voices. Wonder how they compare to the voices on Yamaha.

Thanks, and I hope that when your FP7F arrives, that you have found a piano you love. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts. smile


I'll start with the 'other' sounds.

The GM patch sounds like the violin and the like aren't great IMO. I personally don't care anyway as I consider those sorts of sounds as being recording fodder sounds which can be easily surpassed with cheap East West style sample patches. They are okay but in my opinion have never passed quality levels reached many years ago. I have the East West Silver Orchestral library and it's miles ahead of any DP orchestral patches...

As far as the Yamaha P155 is concerned. I didn't really think that much of it. It was low quality compared to the stuff I had been playing, being the Kawai CN33, CA63 and the MP6 (Roland FP4/FP7 etc..) on both sound and keybed quality. I would have chosen the original FP7 over the P155 if the price was a little lower but reality would have dictated that neither were that inspiring by end of 2010 standards. Considering the P155 is newish then I think Yamaha have clearly lost some ground on their competitors.

If I threw a P155, a Kawai CN33, an MP6 and an HP307 in front of you (the HP307 representing the FP-7F in it's absence..) then I would be surprised if you thought that much of the P155. Considering the price, you'd likely be much more impressed with the other offerings.

The HP307 keybed laughs in the face of the P155 from my experience. Would you compose better tunes on it? probably not. But there is clearly a more accomplished feel to Yamaha's competition at that price level. And the sound is clearly inferior to the Roland HP307, if I only mention that one board..

The Yamaha CP level stuff is arguably different. I didn't get much of a feel for their CP range but that was more based on the sound than the feel of their keybed. At this level, I can't imagine people having any reason to think that the competition is that much better on a keybed level as the CP range isn't bad at all. I personally prefer the competition, but that's my personal view.

If you play an HP307 and think it's in the same ball park as the P155 then you are probably talking to the wrong person. The same said for the P155 sound compared to the HP307 sound. If that's the level we're dealing on then the FP-7F is loads better than the P155 IMO.

One last point on the PHAIII keybed. It's quite frankly TOTALLY playable. It's very easy to engage with, but is clearly not a synth type plasticky keybed as well as it's not a truly authentic acoustic piano. It offers a very real feel and to some extent draws you to the likelihood that the people that designed it somewhat ignored the true piano feel (i'm going out on a limb here..) to offer a piano feel that is a pleasure to play over authenticity.

To some extent, the SN sound seems to head in that direction as well. Almost like simply sampling a Steinway and offering it on a plate to people wasn't the best option. I get the feeling that it's a sort of home made soup experience made up from the best bits (in their opinion...) of what they think is a tactile piano playing experience. Maybe that's the beauty of the DP over an acoustic grand. You can stretch the boundaries of what people may accept if they drop the perfect acoustic grand simulation target from their sights...
Posted by: Liam19

Re: Roland FP7F, to buy or not to buy - 11/21/10 08:11 PM

Thanks, the one thing about the FP7F is that it's probably easy to carry it from another room, or from downstairs to upstairs if I needed to hook it up to my PC. Though that's something to consider for the future, it's more important to get the right digital first.

Good to hear that the HP307 is in another class compared to the P155, like I said, this is only from a guy playing on Youtube, and I haven't tried it myself. I just enjoyed his playing, and it sounded good to me, and if the FP7F is better than that, it would be perfect.

The keybed would be pretty important, sure I've only played on a CLP 820, which is old. I would actually be interested what type of keys they are using, and how it compares to today's standards. Had a go on it tonight actually and found the keys pretty loud, though the volume was pretty low. But I was happy playing it, it's the best digital I ever played, but the only lol. I bet that most stuff today is way ahead of it, in terms of sound and feel, which means awesome to me. My keyboard will feel like a toy lol, and so will the old digital.

I'm sure if I was able to compare the P155 and HP307, I'm sure I would probably notice the difference. I'm not saying the P155's a great digital, just one of the ones I came across, and Yamaha is a well known brand. Only after doing research I'm coming across names like Roland and Kawai. I mention them just to see how they would compare. Suppose my thinking to is, if I'm gonna buy a digital piano, it might as well be one I enjoy and be happy with for a couple of years. smile You know the FP7F could probably be over the top for a beginner like me, but that cant be a bad thing either. smile


Edit: I realise its pretty hard to give opinions on a digital that isn't out, the sooner it's out the better. smile
Posted by: Rimmer

Re: Roland FP7F, to buy or not to buy - 11/21/10 08:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Liam19
You know the FP7F could probably be over the top for a beginner like me, but that cant be a bad thing either. smile


Edit: I realise its pretty hard to give opinions on a digital that isn't out, the sooner it's out the better. smile


There is nothing 'over the top' to a beginner in my opinion when it comes to proper keybeds and authentic sounds. I own a Warwick Streamer II 5 string fretless bass and that is over the top for me as i'm not good enough to play that level of instrument (which has taken me two years to realise). It's a different consideration than an 88 key piano board. The more playable and better the sound, the better off you are..

Try the HP307 (FP-7F) then the P155 and if you're ears are clogged up enough and your fingers are all stuck together with superglue that you can't tell the difference, then buy the P155 and save yourself some quids.. nuff said.. smirk

Regards. Rimmer
Posted by: kafecho

Re: Roland FP7F, to buy or not to buy - 12/07/10 10:07 AM

My FP-7F was delivered yesterday, and considering that my previous digital piano was a Roland RD-150, this in many ways a lot lot better. It looks very well build and is actually quite smart as a piece of furniture in my lounge. It is certainly portable but a bit on the heavy side. I had not much time to properly play with it yesterdat, but if you have any questions, I am more than happy to try to answer them.

Cheers,

Guillaume.
Posted by: Liam19

Re: Roland FP7F, to buy or not to buy - 12/07/10 12:00 PM

Thanks, though I'm gonna start a new thread since I'm having second thoughts, I'm thinking of buying something a bit cheaper.
Posted by: AB99

Re: Roland FP7F, to buy or not to buy - 12/09/10 11:21 PM

Couple of questions:
1. Is the action hard on the hands (I heard the prior FP7 was.)
2. How are the string sounds on it. I do like to add strings when playing live to the piano sound.
3. Any comment on the piano sound compared to the original fp7???

THANKS,
AB


Originally Posted By: kafecho
My FP-7F was delivered yesterday, and considering that my previous digital piano was a Roland RD-150, this in many ways a lot lot better. It looks very well build and is actually quite smart as a piece of furniture in my lounge. It is certainly portable but a bit on the heavy side. I had not much time to properly play with it yesterdat, but if you have any questions, I am more than happy to try to answer them.

Cheers,

Guillaume.
Posted by: Rimmer

Re: Roland FP7F, to buy or not to buy - 12/10/10 03:35 AM

Originally Posted By: AB99
Couple of questions:
1. Is the action hard on the hands (I heard the prior FP7 was.)
2. How are the string sounds on it. I do like to add strings when playing live to the piano sound.
3. Any comment on the piano sound compared to the original fp7???

THANKS,
AB


In my opinion, the keys are somewhat hard on the hands but so is a real piano. It's a challenge for me as i'm just learning but have always owned a few synth type keyboards which are obviously light on the hands..

The string sounds are okay. There is no ADSR type controls so you're stuck with the attack and decay (as far as I can work out..!). Basically, there is nothing new and lush about the string sounds but also nothing wrong with them. Patch 2 is Piano/Strings. I don't like those strings much but you can dual some of the more flowing patches very easily..

I was most familiar with the original FP7 piano sound as it was the one in the 700SX which I know very well. In my opinion, the 7F's piano is a leap ahead in a realistic/expressive way. No comparison for me..
Posted by: kafecho

Re: Roland FP7F, to buy or not to buy - 12/14/10 11:40 AM

Hi @AB

1. I don't find the action to be be particular hard on the hands. It is a bit harder than on my previous Roland RD 150, and certainly it would be harder than a normal keyboard. The keys look and feel very good.

2. I've mostly used the piano sounds so far, but I could record samples of strings if you want and post then somewhere.

3. I can't compare with the FP7, but from what I've read, the FP7F is quite ahead in terms of expressiveness.