How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ?

Posted by: toddy

How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/24/11 10:32 AM

In general, the Roland keyboards feel good to me but I was rather surprised by the enormous difference between the PHA series:

PHA II Very good indeed - somewhat like a well set up grand, on the light side.

PHA III Even better but not very different from the PHA II (at least on the HP 305 and HP 307 that I tried, despite the supposed extra 'notch' feeling halfway through the stroke. Maybe only kicks in at pp.

PHA Alpha II Terrible - lacks definition, too springy

Now I've just noticed there is also a Roland Ivory Feel-G keyboard too. Anyone able to give an informed comparison?
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/24/11 10:50 AM

There's also the PHA III Ivory Feel-S on the FP-7F. I found the escapement on this to be more noticeable than on my CN33 Responsive Hammer keybed.

Reports on this forum say that the 4F Ivory Feel G is sluggish, and I did notice that but only by side by side comparison with the 7F.
Posted by: toddy

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/24/11 11:07 AM

Hi, Spanishbuddha. Sluggish is the worst type of feel IMO....so quite a bit different from PHA II/III then? I don't quite see where it fits into the range PHA alpha II/ PHA II / PHA III. But from what I noticed, there seems to be a massive difference between the alpha and the better two PHAs.
Posted by: rob.art

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/24/11 11:10 AM

Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha

Reports on this forum say that the 4F Ivory Feel G is sluggish, and I did notice that but only by side by side comparison with the 7F.


for me it is sluggish and more tiring for my hands.
I love action on my RD700GX.
Posted by: shokz

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/24/11 11:43 AM

Originally Posted By: rob.art
Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha

Reports on this forum say that the 4F Ivory Feel G is sluggish, and I did notice that but only by side by side comparison with the 7F.


for me it is sluggish and more tiring for my hands.
I love action on my RD700GX.


Wheres the best place I could get a RD700GX for a decent price? Everywhere I look they going for roughly 2000 pounds lol
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/24/11 07:05 PM

toddy, I'd say the 'Ivory Feel G' ranks somewhere in between the previous 'PHA alpha II' and 'PHAII'/'PHAIII' action.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: toddy

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/24/11 07:30 PM

Thank you James. Bottom line for me then is PHA II if I go for Roland....I'd still love to try out the Kawai CA 13 and CN 33 to compare with Roland's HP 305.
Posted by: jhm

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/02/12 11:13 AM

According to information I got in a german piano forum, the Ivory feel-g is in fact PHA II with ivory like key tops. The Ivory feel-S is a PHA III with ivory like key tops, but for some reason they market the different versions differently. That could be because they want solid differentiation between the different digital piano models. (If you can provide hard facts proving me wrong, I stand corrected).

In the English catalogues the description is somehow fuzzy in my opinion:
"The RP-301 is equipped with our Ivory Feel-G keyboard which inherits the functions, appearance, and texture of keyboards found on our flagship pianos."

In the german catalogue they seem a bit more specific:
ROLAND besitzt nicht nur eine mehr als 35-jährige Erfahrung im Digital Piano-Bau sondern auch in der Entwicklung erstklassiger Klaviaturen für diese Instrumente. Der natürliche Anschlagwiderstand entsteht nicht durch Federn, sondern einzig durch das Gewicht der Hämmer, wodurch sich der Charakter und die Höhe des Anschlagwiderstands je nach Anschlagstärke und Tonhöhe verändern. Wie bei einem akustischen Klavier wird der Widerstand von den tiefen zu den hohen Tönen leichter.

Außerdem ist er bei hartem Anschlag stärker und bei Pianissimo-Spiel leichter. Die Tastaturen "PHA III", "Ivory Feel-S" und "Ivory Feel-G" verfügen alle nicht nur über eine Elfenbein-artige Oberfläche und Druckpunkt sondern besitzen auch Rolands Tri-Sensor Technolgie mit drei Sensoren pro Taste und Beschleunigungs-Erkennung.

Das sorgt nicht nur für ein exzellentes Repetitionsverhalten sondern in Kombination mit der SuperNATURAL Piano-Tonerzeugung auch dafür, dass alle Nuancen der Spielweise absolut perfekt klanglich umgesetzt werden. Das macht Rolands unverwechselbaren Klavierklang so lebendig und ausdrucksstark.

Bei der „Ivory Feel-G“ Hammermechanik-Tastatur handelt es sich um eine spezielle Tastatur für besonders kompakte und portable Pianos. Drei Sensoren ermöglichen ein erstklassiges Repetitionsverhalten und der Druckpunkt vermittelt das Spielgefühl einer Flügelmechanik.
Posted by: JFP

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/02/12 11:23 AM

Didn't like it. Feels cheap.
Posted by: toddy

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/02/12 11:37 AM

Hello jhm. When you say that Ivory Feel G is the same as PHA II, do you actually mean PHA alpha II? They are totally different. (PHA alpha II used to be on Roland's smaller or more portable pianos, as is Ivory Feel G, now.)

I briefly tried Ivory Feel G and thought it much better than PHA alpha II but not any where near as good as PHA II, which is similar to (if very slightly heavier than) PHA III, which is on the best and most expensive Rolands.

Again, the information is sketchy so maybe this is only my subjective impression.
Posted by: jhm

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/02/12 11:58 AM

Hi Toddy,
I'm not mixing it up with PHA alpha II, since I've been trying to research this thoroughly now for a couple of weeks. From the information I got, the only difference between Ivory feel-g and PHAII branded Roland pianos, was the length of the actual key. As mentioned here already they are put in stage piano models and the smaller cabinet model F-120.

From my own testing, I felt that to get a better feeling, you need to get the wooden PHA III-keys with ivory surface, found in e.g. HP-505 and upwards (called PHA III Ivory Feel).

The difference between Ivory feel-g and pianos branded with PHA II was marginal, and could be piano model depending. It's also worth mentioning that the ivory feel-g felt indeed different between different piano models. For instance it felt rather sloppy and sluggish on the FP-4F, but felt excellent on the F-120 (my subjective judgement).
Posted by: toddy

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/02/12 12:13 PM

That's interesting, and quite different from the impressions I got when I was experimenting a few months back. I noted a big difference between PHA alpha II/G Feel on the one hand and PHA II/PHA III on the other.

Just out of interest, which pianos are still being sold with PHA II?
Posted by: JFP

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/02/12 04:06 PM

For wooden keys you need the Kawai GF - Roland doesn't offer real wooden keys as far as I know. Could be wrong ...

I My rating would be (first is the worst):

PHA alpha II
G-feel
PHA II
PHA III
Posted by: jhm

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/02/12 04:19 PM

ROLAND:

HP 503, Ivory feel-S
FP-7F, Ivory feel-S
FP-4F, Ivory feel-G
HPi-6F, PHA II (Ivory feel)
DP-90, Ivory feel-S
DP-990, PHA II
RP301 / RP301 R, Ivory feel-G
F-120 / F-120 R, Ivory feel-G
Posted by: jhm

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/02/12 04:23 PM

You are quite wrong. Several, if not all the PHA III instruments have in fact wooden keyboards. I also find it a bit hasty, to base a rating on what you believe. I think I have to phone Roland up tomorrow, and talk to a product manager, to get this sorted once and for all. (By the way, you forgot Ivory feel-S). wink

Originally Posted By: JFP
For wooden keys you need the Kawai GF - Roland doesn't offer real wooden keys as far as I know. Could be wrong ...

I My rating would be (first is the worst):

PHA alpha II
G-feel
PHA II
PHA III
Posted by: CarloPiano

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/02/12 04:24 PM

Ivory Feel-G is a development from PHA-Alpha II (the lightweight and low end former Roland action). It has nothing to do with PHA-II, which is heavier and in many respects better.

PHA II and III are almost identical, except for PHA III having a third sensor that makes the action more responsive for such tasks as fast repeated notes. But they feel basically the same (at least in my opinion).

JFP is right: Roland doesn't make (at this moment) wooden actions. The higher actions (PHA-III and PHA-II Ivory Feel) are full plastic but imitating the color of the wood on the side but it's not wood by any means.

Quote:
Just out of interest, which pianos are still being sold with PHA II?


PHA-II is no longer used.

Hope this helps :-)
Posted by: toddy

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/02/12 05:33 PM

Well there are some differences of opinion emerging here. I have to say that my impressions are in line with what JFP says, and CarloPiano echos my thoughts exactly (or vice versa smile ).

Which is: PHAII / PHA III keys are all plastic, but some models (on the HP307 for example) have imitation wood walls. I suppose some PHA III keyboards may contain wood, but I've never seen this claim made by anyone - either Roland or otherwise. (Kawai RM & GF keyboards use fully wooden keys and Yamaha use some partially wooden keys, I think.)

Having played on several HP302/305/307 and FP7f models, I find PHA II and PHA III virtually identical in feel, though ALL these models can differ from keyboard to keyboard quite a lot in terms of weightiness.

Every time I've tried PHA alpha II, I've been very disappointed. Ivory G Feel seems to be a significant step up from PHA alpha II, but still lacks the weighty, defined hammer feel of PHA II/PHA III.
Posted by: jhm

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/02/12 06:34 PM

I found the info about the wood now, in Rolands german brochure. I stand corrected on that point. However, when you say that PHA III has three sensors, and that should distinct that model from PHA II you are surprising me, since all current Rolands have three sensors, according to their own marketing material.

[img]http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/827/ivorya.jpg/[/img]

According to Rolands homepage they have indeed PHA II keyboards in current models. (See below example from Roland UK.)

http://www.roland.co.uk/products/productdetails.aspx?p=10277&c=40


Originally Posted By: CarloPiano
Ivory Feel-G is a development from PHA-Alpha II (the lightweight and low end former Roland action). It has nothing to do with PHA-II, which is heavier and in many respects better.

PHA II and III are almost identical, except for PHA III having a third sensor that makes the action more responsive for such tasks as fast repeated notes. But they feel basically the same (at least in my opinion).

JFP is right: Roland doesn't make (at this moment) wooden actions. The higher actions (PHA-III and PHA-II Ivory Feel) are full plastic but imitating the color of the wood on the side but it's not wood by any means.

Quote:
Just out of interest, which pianos are still being sold with PHA II?


PHA-II is no longer used.

Hope this helps :-)
Posted by: jhm

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/02/12 06:54 PM

I have now compared Roland Sweden to the UK, Germany and US. The differences are striking, when it comes to what models are still current, and which have been discontinued. It is not the same all over, that's for sure. smile
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/02/12 08:56 PM

Wow. I'm walking in a little late, so I hope this is well received. AFAIK, the Ivory Feel-G is not connected to the previous alpha [PHA (alpha) II] action. It seems to be a completely new action design conforming primarily to the weight/cost restrictions necessary for smaller model Rolands. The progression of compact, lightweight models seems to be the only connection (RP-201 had alpha, RP-301 now has Ivory Feel-G; FP-4 had alpha, FP-4F has Feel-G, etc). The weight of these models in some cases actually went up a pound or two and the feel is ... almost opposite those with alpha.

As jhm observed, the consoles with Ivory Feel-G feel better than the portables with the same spec. Don't know why, but it is not a subtle thing. I don't have a lot of affection for the actions in the FP-4F or RD-300NX, but I do like the F120 or RP301 action. Not every customer chooses them, but in our store, when people vote with their dollars, many are choosing those Rolands over the competitive models and the action is listed as one of the strengths.

PHA II directly progressed into PHA III with the help of 3rd sensor. The PHA III seems to have several nearly identical forms that can usually only be compared side by side and even then with mixed observations. If you have the money, this is the way to go with Roland.

There are a few models still sold with PHA II (w/escapement) but I'd agree they are reaching their sell-by date simply because Roland's product cycle is faster than other makers over the last 5-6 years. For 98% of players, the 2 sensor version offers 0% limitations on what they perform and, if not side by side, offers no significant discernible weakness vs. the PHA III.

IMO, the Ivory Feel-G (in the console models) is the best of the low-mass actions (comparing previous Casios, Yamaha GHS, recent Fatar, previous alpha and a couple of really awful off-brands I've played). It's touch weight is medium, the ivory touch is pleasant, the bottom is soft (not my favorite but cuts down on "thump"), the repetition is quick, the connection to the sound is still quite good, the "escapement" feel is minimal (fine by me). It could use more inertia mid-stroke that the heavyweights benefit from. I think it is good enough to compete with the higher-mass GH in Yamaha's Arius line. From there, the Roland sometimes wins for other features.

I think the PHA III is better in all areas...and should be because it is less restricted by weight/price considerations. I don't mind the thump because I prefer the firm bottom...real keys and key felts don't squish like a sponge.

Casio's new action is another low-mass action. I don't know yet where to rate it compared to the Ivory Feel-G as I see some positives and negatives when comparing to the higher-dollar Rolands.

I hope that answers more of the OP's question.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/03/12 12:10 AM

Excellent writeup PWATL. Appreciate that.
Posted by: jhm

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/03/12 12:13 AM

Thanks for an indeed consistent and elaborate post on the different keyboard technologies in various Roland models. What I find particularly interesting, is that Roland implemented their Tri-Sensor technology in not only PHA III, but also in Ivory Feel-G and Ivory Feel-S. In the german piano prospect this technology is also referred to as "PHA Ivory feel-G" (and S).

(What distinguishes the Feel-G from the Feel-S is still a mystery to me.)

The slightly spongy bottoming (when the key is fully pressed down), is also something I noticed as a difference, compared to PHA III and Yamaha's GH action. Is this caused by thicker underlying dampening felt in the Ivory Feel-G keyboards?

It wasn't disturbing, just a bit unexpected, compared to the other actions I refer to above.

Cheers!


Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
Wow. I'm walking in a little late, so I hope this is well received. AFAIK, the Ivory Feel-G is not connected to the previous alpha [PHA (alpha) II] action. It seems to be a completely new action design conforming primarily to the weight/cost restrictions necessary for smaller model Rolands. The progression of compact, lightweight models seems to be the only connection (RP-201 had alpha, RP-301 now has Ivory Feel-G; FP-4 had alpha, FP-4F has Feel-G, etc). The weight of these models in some cases actually went up a pound or two and the feel is ... almost opposite those with alpha.

As jhm observed, the consoles with Ivory Feel-G feel better than the portables with the same spec. Don't know why, but it is not a subtle thing. I don't have a lot of affection for the actions in the FP-4F or RD-300NX, but I do like the F120 or RP301 action. Not every customer chooses them, but in our store, when people vote with their dollars, many are choosing those Rolands over the competitive models and the action is listed as one of the strengths.

PHA II directly progressed into PHA III with the help of 3rd sensor. The PHA III seems to have several nearly identical forms that can usually only be compared side by side and even then with mixed observations. If you have the money, this is the way to go with Roland.

There are a few models still sold with PHA II (w/escapement) but I'd agree they are reaching their sell-by date simply because Roland's product cycle is faster than other makers over the last 5-6 years. For 98% of players, the 2 sensor version offers 0% limitations on what they perform and, if not side by side, offers no significant discernible weakness vs. the PHA III.

IMO, the Ivory Feel-G (in the console models) is the best of the low-mass actions (comparing previous Casios, Yamaha GHS, recent Fatar, previous alpha and a couple of really awful off-brands I've played). It's touch weight is medium, the ivory touch is pleasant, the bottom is soft (not my favorite but cuts down on "thump"), the repetition is quick, the connection to the sound is still quite good, the "escapement" feel is minimal (fine by me). It could use more inertia mid-stroke that the heavyweights benefit from. I think it is good enough to compete with the higher-mass GH in Yamaha's Arius line. From there, the Roland sometimes wins for other features.

I think the PHA III is better in all areas...and should be because it is less restricted by weight/price considerations. I don't mind the thump because I prefer the firm bottom...real keys and key felts don't squish like a sponge.

Casio's new action is another low-mass action. I don't know yet where to rate it compared to the Ivory Feel-G as I see some positives and negatives when comparing to the higher-dollar Rolands.

I hope that answers more of the OP's question.
Posted by: Marco M

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/03/12 04:12 AM

Calling the German Roland hotline 3 month ago, I was told, that the keyboards "S" are no more found on new instruments, but the available ones would be now "G", "PHA-II" and "PHA-III". Sometimes the words "Ivory Feel" are somewhere added in the comercials to point out that they would have that 'sweat removing' surface finish. I tested G, PHA-II and PHA-III, and my feeling was that there is a clear difference between them, from G to PHA-II to PHA-III step by step acting less wobbly and feeling heavier weighted.
"Ivory Feel" only describes the surface of the keys. The "-S" and "-G" and "PHA-II" and "PHA-III" behind it actually refers to the mechanical key technology. In the detailed specs on the Roland pages you will even find to which extend the electronic (number of sensors) / software (4 dynamic steps or up to 100 dynamic steps) modulated responsiveness is then implemented. They mention i.e. for different PHA-III featured instruments (HP-505 and HP-507), that differently fine tuneable software reaction is connected to the PHA-III mechanics (4 step or 100 step dynamics resolution).

[edited: same content, but better structured]
Posted by: bennevis

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/03/12 06:43 AM

Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
... because it is less restricted by weight/price considerations. I don't mind the thump because I prefer the firm bottom...real keys and key felts don't squish like a sponge.

I hope that answers more of the OP's question.


I´ve certainly noticed that some DP and acoustic piano actions have more of a squish than a positive thump at the bottom of the key-strike than others, and Kawai´s key action (DP and acoustic) is more squishy than most. It´s all down to personal preferences.

Of all the acoustic grands I´ve played, my V-Piano´s PHA-III is closest to a new Grotrian-Steinweg (225 size, I think it was) that I played in a showroom once. If it weren´t for the sound (the Grotrian is more trebly and has less bass than the settings I use on my V), I could have sworn I was playing on my V-Piano if I closed my eyes. Fazioli (F278) is a lot less squishy than Shigeru Kawai; Steinway D - at least the ones I´ve played - slightly more squishy than Fazioli, but still a long way from S.Kawai´s softness. Of course all those grands I played were brand new; I´d guess that the more squishy actions will ´harden´over time, but maybe a piano technician will correct me on that.
Posted by: toddy

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/03/12 07:01 AM

Yes, thanks PianoWorksATL for your detailed explanation. In particular, for clarifying that PHA II and PHA III are mechanically similar except for the third sensor whereas Ivory Feel G has a different, lower mass mechanism which does however feel different on different models (eg RD300NX vs F120).

Originally Posted By: jhm
What I find particularly interesting, is that Roland implemented their Tri-Sensor technology in not only PHA III, but also in Ivory Feel-G....


Where is this actually specified?....I couldn't find this information.

Quote:
(What distinguishes the Feel-G from the Feel-S is still a mystery to me.)


S-Feel is associated with PHA III in Roland's own specifications. This is how they describe the FP7-f at Roland.com:

Newly developed PHA III Ivory Feel-S Keyboard with Escapement

Whereas G- Feel is not, as far as I can see, associated with PHA II or PHA III.
Posted by: jhm

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/03/12 10:46 AM

Didn't you look at the links I posted a couple posts up in the thread?

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/827/ivorya.jpg/

Cheers!


Originally Posted By: toddy
Yes, thanks PianoWorksATL for your detailed explanation. In particular, for clarifying that PHA II and PHA III are mechanically similar except for the third sensor whereas Ivory Feel G has a different, lower mass mechanism which does however feel different on different models (eg RD300NX vs F120).

Originally Posted By: jhm
What I find particularly interesting, is that Roland implemented their Tri-Sensor technology in not only PHA III, but also in Ivory Feel-G....


Where is this actually specified?....I couldn't find this information.

Quote:
(What distinguishes the Feel-G from the Feel-S is still a mystery to me.)


S-Feel is associated with PHA III in Roland's own specifications. This is how they describe the FP7-f at Roland.com:

Newly developed PHA III Ivory Feel-S Keyboard with Escapement

Whereas G- Feel is not, as far as I can see, associated with PHA II or PHA III.
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/03/12 10:51 AM

I believe Ivory Feel-G has a third sensor because it behaves as if it does. I have one remaining model with a PHA II w/escapement action, and the primary characteristic of the 3rd sensor is the reset point for repetition. On the PHA II, the key has to return to about 80% before it can be restruck for sound. In the PHA III and Ivory Feel-G, the reset point is about 50% - 60%.

I think Marco's comments only serve to indicate that Roland would be well served to make a visual chart of their actions and the intended distinctions.

The Ivory Feel-S is the newest name for certain PHA III actions. So far, the only visual difference I can see is 1-piece keys in the S vs. 2-piece in the non-S (the sides of the keys are colored to look more like wood tone). There may be more settings available for the non-S actions, but now I'm speculating.
Posted by: ap55

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/03/12 12:17 PM

Great interesting communication here to get rid about the differences in the Roland actions. What I don't understand is the remark of Marco M on the S action, which will not appear in the new models and then toddy's remark on that the S is a new development. Even if I look into some new models like the DP 90, the ivory feel s is implemented. So it seems still some used action in the latest models. However I never can find it out whether the ivory feel s and the PHA III are the same. Nevertheless I understand that here in the forum it is agreed that PHAIII and S are different type of actions. Would be great if some Roland technician could join the discussion.

On the more practical side, my experience is up to now only on some short exercises on the V grand, the AG of Yamaha and the Nu1 and some others which I didn't remember. (At home I have an Yamaha acoustic Grand). Unfortunately there is no good DP dealer close to where I live, so I didn't have really a good experience, but during the short exercise PHA III gave the most easy feeling on the keys, while Yamaha Avant Grand was more heavier, but I liked it as well. The NU1 keys appeared to me, when I played it the first time more easy then the AGs, two weeks later more heavy then the AGs. Relative to the NU1 action the difference between the AGs and the PHAIII on the V was not really big, however the NU1 was quit different. The NU1 action made some more fun on the keys, compared to the two others, but that might be some subjective impression, since I learned for many years on an upright and NU1 is an upright action. Would be nice to hear also from others about their experience with PHA III, S and G, compared to other brands. bennevis gave already a good example. Thanks !
Posted by: toddy

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/03/12 12:32 PM

Originally Posted By: jhm
Didn't you look at the links I posted a couple posts up in the thread?

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/827/ivorya.jpg/

Cheers!


I did look at the links, but I have to confess I didn't read the bit about three sensors (my German is very poor indeed)...my mistake. So yes, that's pretty clear. Thanks for putting me right.
Posted by: toddy

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/03/12 01:23 PM

....another interesting point is that the photo of Ivory Feel G that jhm posted:

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/827/ivorya.jpg/

...seems remarkably similar to the photos of PHA III with escapement:

http://timtopham.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/pha3.jpg

There are several pictures of PHAIII (and PHA II) which are all pretty similar or the very same as this sample here from Tim Topham's site.
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/03/12 02:04 PM

Originally Posted By: ap55
Nevertheless I understand that here in the forum it is agreed that PHAIII and S are different type of actions
No, this is not my larger point.

Ivory Feel-S is a PHA III action. Ivory Feel-G is not. There is simply more than one configuration for the PHA III action. Not so obvious is how they differ.
Posted by: jhm

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/03/12 02:07 PM

It's on page 30 in the catalogue. smile

http://www.rolandmusik.de/downloads/prospekte/Digital_Pianos_mit_Stil.pdf

Originally Posted By: toddy
....another interesting point is that the photo of Ivory Feel G that jhm posted:

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/827/ivorya.jpg/

...seems remarkably similar to the photos of PHA III with escapement:

http://timtopham.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/pha3.jpg

There are several pictures of PHAIII (and PHA II) which are all pretty similar or the very same as this sample here from Tim Topham's site.
Posted by: ap55

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/03/12 04:59 PM

@PianoWorksATL:

looks that you are right. When I read this "http://www.rolandmusik.de/downloads/prospekte/Digital_Pianos_mit_Stil.pdf " and the technical detail description of the german website for some of the Pianos, it looks that there is a

PHA III at high level pianos
PHA III Ivory S on medium level pianos
and a Ivory G on the cheaper pianos

The G is not refered as to a PHA III, nevertheless from somewhere I've got this impressison, may be from the description that G is optimized for light weight and the fact that PHA stands for piano hammer action and the III for 3 sensors (I hope thats true).

For jhm's answer "it's on page 30 in the catalogue": This page doesn't indicate the G and even the S as a PHAIII action. The S is refered to a PHAIII in some German Website description, e.g. http://www.rolandmusik.de/produkte/FP-7F/index.php.

Regards
Posted by: ap55

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/03/12 05:10 PM

one more remark to this discussion: As long we do not know what are the mechanical differences for the different actions we are in danger to discuss about naming conventions. The only practical sense is to differentiate from experience based on exercises with the different actions. This has been reported to some extend already, but it seems that the interaction between acoustical instrument and mechanical action behavior puts in addition a factor that make the comparison not very unique. So I would appreciate some mechanical details on the differences from Roland to see what was the design target for the different actions and what is its mechanical compilation.
Posted by: jhm

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/03/12 05:16 PM

I'm not quite following you. No one so far, has stated that the Ivory Feel-G should be equal to PHA III. What is discussed however, is that Ivory Feel-G, Ivory Feel-S and PHA III all have three sensors, which is referred to as the "Tri-Sensor Technology" in the german prospect.

Originally Posted By: ap55
@PianoWorksATL:

looks that you are right. When I read this "http://www.rolandmusik.de/downloads/prospekte/Digital_Pianos_mit_Stil.pdf " and the technical detail description of the german website for some of the Pianos, it looks that there is a

PHA III at high level pianos
PHA III Ivory S on medium level pianos
and a Ivory G on the cheaper pianos

The G is not refered as to a PHA III, nevertheless from somewhere I've got this impressison, may be from the description that G is optimized for light weight and the fact that PHA stands for piano hammer action and the III for 3 sensors (I hope thats true).

For jhm's answer "it's on page 30 in the catalogue": This page doesn't indicate the G and even the S as a PHAIII action. The S is refered to a PHAIII in some German Website description, e.g. http://www.rolandmusik.de/produkte/FP-7F/index.php.

Regards



Posted by: toddy

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/03/12 05:23 PM

It seems to me that neither 'PHA', which means 'progressive hammer action' or 'III' which refers to the three sensors, is any guarantee of quality. These are after all just basic descriptions of the design of the keyboard. And it has frequently been observed in this forum that 'progressive' or 'graded' hammer feature is good to have, but not essential (Yamaha's CP5 doesn't have it, and that's one of the most highly regarded keyboards there is). And the three sensor system is also desirable and, for some, important. But it doesn't actually have any bearing on the tactile quality of the keyboard.

So any keyboard with 3 sensors and differently weighted keys, top to bottom, could technically, and 'honestly', be called PHA III. The problem is, that name (which may or may not be protected as a trade mark) is associated with Roland's best piano keyboard which has a high reputation - loved by some, not much liked by others (as is the case with Yamaha's and Kawai's equivalent products).

The real mystery is why Roland designate some keyboards PHA III S- Feel and others just PHA III. And why the photos of the Ivory Feel G keyboard mechanism (generally considered a lower mass compromise, to save on weight and price) is almost identical to the photo of the PHA III keyboard mechanism.

Curious.
Posted by: jhm

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/03/12 05:30 PM

Tomorrow I really have to get hold of someone at Roland, to surely elaborate on this subject. If I'm successful I will post my findings here. This is the only thing found on Roland's website so far, the rest is more or less marketing stuff.

http://www.roland.com/products/en/exp/PH_Action_Keyboard.html
Posted by: torhu

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/03/12 06:28 PM

Originally Posted By: toddy
The real mystery is why Roland designate some keyboards PHA III S- Feel and others just PHA III.

There really is no mystery. The "S-feel" is the slightly cheaper of the two PHAIII versions. Without the fake wood look, and with a smoother top surface on the white keys. I have played both, and they feel pretty much the same mechanically.

Originally Posted By: toddy
And why the photos of the Ivory Feel G keyboard mechanism (generally considered a lower mass compromise, to save on weight and price) is almost identical to the photo of the PHA III keyboard mechanism.
Curious.
They feel very different when you play them, that's all that matters, isn't it?
Posted by: toddy

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/03/12 06:58 PM

Originally Posted By: torhu

They feel very different when you play them, that's all that matters, isn't it?


Yes - I was just about to say something similar, but you got there first. Actually I'm perfectly happy with PHA II - it's firm, feels authentic enough and yet is not as heavy (leaden even) as some other DP keyboards. And it is way better than nearly all acoustic uprights I've ever played. So this is all idle gossip, really....or academic curiosity smile .
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/03/12 07:05 PM

Originally Posted By: toddy
So this is all idle gossip, really....or academic curiosity smile .


Well, it's a bit more than that. People always come by here asking for purchasing advice and we'd hate to give them advice like "well, these two have the same action, so you should only consider..." when, in fact, the two actions just have the same name but differ in some important respect.

Several times basic things come up like people feeling that RD700NX keys feel different than those of the FP7F, or that the V-Piano keys feel different from both. It would be great to know if that is just in our heads.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/03/12 07:25 PM

Which is why it's essential for consumers to play the instruments themselves, rather than relying solely on the subjective opinions of others.

James
x
Posted by: toddy

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/03/12 08:09 PM

Right. It is important to have this information out there especially for prospective buyers, I agree. Even so, it's best to experiment yourself on the keyboards as the feel and sound (not the manufacturer's spec sheets or publicity brochures) is what really counts.
Posted by: jhm

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/04/12 05:51 AM

I give up! I talked today with two different persons at Roland Sweden, and the answers I got were (to say the least) inconclusive. The marketing person claimed that Ivory Feel-G and S were both "new" technologies, inforced to succeed PHA alpha II and PHA II, and equally good compared to PHA III, but in a different form factor (because of different applications).

The second person was a technician, and found it hard to differentiate between the different models at all, and just kept claiming that the only interesting part regarding Ivory Feel-G and S, was in fact the ivory like surface material.

Any kind of "ranking" was pointless, since they all had different applications, but that they technology wise were equally good, since they all have the Tri-Sensor technology (and then I'm not counting PHA II, since it's soon discontinued).

That's all folks! wink
Posted by: ap55

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/04/12 11:05 AM

I also give up when reading jhm information about ivory feel surface material on G and S. For those familiar a bit with German, look at
http://www.rolandmusik.de/produkte/HP505/index.php
and find out that also PHAIII w/o G or w/o S has Ivory feel. But I am still speculating that we can not 100% rely that complete information is given in the online catalogue, maybe simply the S is missing for that instrument description.
Posted by: toddy

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/04/12 11:53 AM

Well actually, I don't think the matter of whether the keys are 'Ivory' surfaced or not is really a problem. There have always been Roland keyboards with 'Ivory', long before the 's' and 'g' designations came along. But there IS always the word 'Ivory' in the description, if the key tops have it.....

....mmmm, I realise that's a bit confusing. But I think it boils down to a confusion of two systems: (PHAII/III), and ('s', 'g')

So far, we can make these assumptions (or 'premises' if we are to make a syllogism):

*All lettered models (s, g) have ivory
*Not all PHA models have ivory.
*All 's' models are PHA III
*Not all PHA III models are 's'
*Some PHA II models are Ivory
*All lettered models have three sensors (at least according to German brochure)
*Although 'g' is ivory, progressive hammered and 3 sensored, it is not called PHA III
*PHA II is never 's' or 'g' but is probably identical to PHA III except in the matter of the third sensor.
*'g' has replaced PHA alpha II but is a different (better) mechanism.
*PHA II is gradually being phased out.
*'s' and 'g' are new developments.
*'s' is being phased out (according to some Roland sources, at least)
*'S-Feel' is sometimes CALLED "PHA III Ivory Feel-S Keyboard with Escapement" (FP-7f), but other times is just called "Ivory Feel-S Keyboard with Escapement" (HP-505) - but BOTH of those are Ivory, so that is not the difference, even if a difference exists.

The Roland sales department have provided us with hours of fun. And it's not over yet.


...oh and the conclusion from that snakes' bucket of premises: PHA III is boss! Beware of the rest, though you might be lucky.
Posted by: jhm

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/04/12 12:09 PM

Some parts are quite funny actually, some are not. For instance, on my question to the marketing lady, why the german brochure's are so much more detailed... Well, the germans like catalogues. crazy Ok, I know this a bit from my work, but that hardly explains why there is so little detail in the Swedish and UK versions.

I think this is all about "clever marketing" pushing for what they in one sentence refer to as entry level products, and in the other as something that "inherits the overall glory" of the more premium piano models.

This sort of fuzzy marcom, sure helps to preserve the mystique well enough, to make us customers get an exclusive impression from the entry- and mid-range models as well, thus selling more pianos. wink

I'm in marcom myself, but do prefer clear and consistent messages to customers.

Originally Posted By: toddy
Well actually, I don't think the matter of whether the keys are 'Ivory' surfaced or not is really a problem. There have always been Roland keyboards with 'Ivory', long before the 's' and 'g' designations came along. But there IS always the word 'Ivory' in the description, if the key tops have it.....

....mmmm, I realise that's a bit confusing. But I think it boils down to a confusion of two systems: (PHAII/III), and ('s', 'g')

So far, we can make these assumptions (or 'premises' if we are to make a syllogism):

*All lettered models (s, g) have ivory
*Not all PHA models have ivory.
*All 's' models are PHA III
*Not all PHA III models are 's'
*Some PHA II models are Ivory
*All lettered models have three sensors (at least according to German brochure)
*Although 'g' is ivory, progressive hammered and 3 sensored, it is not called PHA III
*PHA II is never 's' or 'g' but is probably identical to PHA III except in the matter of the third sensor.
*'g' has replaced PHA alpha II but is a different (better) mechanism.
*PHA II is gradually being phased out.
*'s' and 'g' are new developments.
*'s' is being phased out (according to some Roland sources, at least)

The Roland sales department have provided us with hours of fun. And it's not over yet.


...oh and the conclusion from that snakes' bucket of premises: PHA III is boss! Beware of the rest, though you might be lucky.
Posted by: toddy

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/04/12 12:20 PM

jhm, I agree with you compltetely, and probably Germans do, in general, appreciate details. The problem here is that some of the details seem rather contradictory. They certainly are not clear, and I believe Germans certainly expect clarity above all.

So, have you decided which piano to buy yet?...That's the main thing. smile
Posted by: ap55

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/04/12 01:43 PM

jhm and toddy I also agree, but not on the Germans feature. Nevertheless I had quite fun, when reading your posts - even if you gave serious answers.

You will probably find in all communities people who like to understand what they read, and if the brochure indicates a differences and went into details, you would probably like to understand what is explained. The only problem here is that the German brochure emphasis the ivory G technical description and treads in some none clear way the S model, while on PHAIII nothing is said.

If you look to the united kingdom HP, you will find in the catalogue (product page) the identical description. So I assume the german catalogue is only a excellent translation of the english one. Further more the digital piano brochure in english also give technical details on the actions, but this in a very short, but also very clear way. The amount of information is well balanced for all the three actual actions. Usually you have to create an account to get it. If have no idea if the link works for you:

http://www.roland.co.uk/MyRoland/DownloadBrochure.aspx? brochure=CAzjWUTO0W6al6W9cLccsqBfhlUe%2fW21OAkxOm1F%2b2%2f8gotZQNgZLA%3d%3d

So for me there is really no significant more information in the english version up to know, but I am going this evening to look more into their brochures. If I find out something new I will report.
Posted by: jhm

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/04/12 02:29 PM

Yes, I wan't a model with the keyboard prior to PHA alpha II... or NOT. wink Well, I actually phoned in my order to the musicstore today, and managed to get a total price that was less than Thomann wanted. (The guy owning the music store is an old friend of my musician cousins.)

I settled for the Roland F-120 (one reason for obsessing over the different keyboard types maybe crazy ) and the AKG K240 Mk-II headphones, as well as the new UM-ONE Mk-II USB to MIDI interface from Roland.

From my point of view this was the best combo for a guy that haven't played the piano now for almost 15 years, but is getting back in the music game. wink

When it comes to details germans and swedes have similar perceptions of order and detail. The german expression about Preussian order is actually a legacy from one of our kings in the past (Carl the XII). smile


Originally Posted By: toddy
jhm, I agree with you compltetely, and probably Germans do, in general, appreciate details. The problem here is that some of the details seem rather contradictory. They certainly are not clear, and I believe Germans certainly expect clarity above all.

So, have you decided which piano to buy yet?...That's the main thing. smile
Posted by: jhm

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/04/12 02:32 PM

You need to register with Roland to obtain the PDF (I'm a registered user). However, I still find the UK brochure less elaborate than the german "equivalent".

Cheers! smile

Originally Posted By: ap55
jhm and toddy I also agree, but not on the Germans feature. Nevertheless I had quite fun, when reading your posts - even if you gave serious answers.

You will probably find in all communities people who like to understand what they read, and if the brochure indicates a differences and went into details, you would probably like to understand what is explained. The only problem here is that the German brochure emphasis the ivory G technical description and treads in some none clear way the S model, while on PHAIII nothing is said.

If you look to the united kingdom HP, you will find in the catalogue (product page) the identical description. So I assume the german catalogue is only a excellent translation of the english one. Further more the digital piano brochure in english also give technical details on the actions, but this in a very short, but also very clear way. The amount of information is well balanced for all the three actual actions. Usually you have to create an account to get it. If have no idea if the link works for you:

http://www.roland.co.uk/MyRoland/DownloadBrochure.aspx? brochure=CAzjWUTO0W6al6W9cLccsqBfhlUe%2fW21OAkxOm1F%2b2%2f8gotZQNgZLA%3d%3d

So for me there is really no significant more information in the english version up to know, but I am going this evening to look more into their brochures. If I find out something new I will report.

Posted by: BeccaBb

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/04/12 04:16 PM

I've been reading this thread with interest. I have the RD300NX (which I know many dislike) and can not figure out the difference in keys either. I know that I like how my action feels. Hopefully someone will be able to figure out the actual difference? Roland is very vague on what the Ivory Feel G really is.
Posted by: ap55

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/05/12 12:48 AM

For me I get rid in mind for the differences from the different brochures and the great postings here - even if this is to be confirmed by some Roland action expert:

PHAIII is like the same as the S, but the keys are a two piece design, issuing some fake wood optic for the keys (somewhere found in the posts).
S therewith the same as PHAIII, but w/o the wood fake design. It is therefore a one piece design (one piece design information is available from the english brochure 2012).
G is a similar design as S, but for weight reasons with different mass, resulting from a different geometry (information found in the german brochure).

I had some samples of different actions in my hands one week ago in a store, but didn't know that this discussion is trying to go so deep in details. So I could have had a deeper look on these. I wonder if no dealer is here in the forum, that has action samples in the store and can find out/confirm the differences.
Posted by: JFP

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/05/12 02:57 AM

It would be better if a Roland official joined in and cleared up this keybed mess once and for all for everyone...
Posted by: bennevis

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/05/12 06:07 AM

I know I'm from a different planet to most of you here grin, being a techno-phobe and having no idea of what MIDIs are etc, etc, but surely we're talking about keyboard feel and action here, not about how to make a DP the Roland way?

In which case, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, not the temperature the pudding was cooked at, or how long it was cooked for, or what brand the oven/stove is, or even what its ingredients are. In other words, you judge a DP's action by playing it, not by the manufacturer's use of gobbledegook in its websites and brochures....
Posted by: jhm

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/05/12 06:32 AM

To a certain extent that is absolutely true. However there are many different "users" in this forum, from very advanced pianists to absolute beginners, and therefore it could be interesting some times to dig a bit deeper. smile

Originally Posted By: bennevis
I know I'm from a different planet to most of you here grin, being a techno-phobe and having no idea of what MIDIs are etc, etc, but surely we're talking about keyboard feel and action here, not about how to make a DP the Roland way?

In which case, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, not the temperature the pudding was cooked at, or how long it was cooked for, or what brand the oven/stove is, or even what its ingredients are. In other words, you judge a DP's action by playing it, not by the manufacturer's use of gobbledegook in its websites and brochures....
Posted by: Marco M

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/05/12 06:32 AM

Bennevis, I think discussion drifted somehow towards the curiosity, if the differences we imagine to feel when playing the different Roland actions are actually coming from different actions, or if those imagined feelings might be biased significantly by the resposiveness of the electronic and software translation of action to sound because we don´t separate finger feelings anymore well from already received ear experience. Finally there is also the curiosity on how far we are biased by the sales promotion.
If we would reliably know the mechanical facts of the different Roland keyboards, then we all could better derive our conlusions.
Posted by: jhm

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/05/12 06:34 AM

Originally Posted By: Marco M
Bennevis, I think discussion drifted somehow towards the curiosity, if the differences we imagine to feel when playing the different Roland actions are actually coming from different actions, or if those imagined feelings might be biased significantly by the resposiveness of the electronic and software translation of action to sound because we don´t separate finger feelings anymore well from already received ear experience. Finally there is also the curiosity on how far we are biased by the sales promotion.
If we would reliably know the mechanical facts of the different Roland keyboards, then we all could better derive our conlusions.


+1
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/05/12 09:01 AM

Originally Posted By: bennevis
you judge a DP's action by playing it, not by the manufacturer's use of gobbledegook in its websites and brochures....

I agree, but I would still find it useful to know the differences when evaluating models, because it is rare that you can find all the models you want in your local shop. So if, for example, you knew that Model X had the same keyboard as Model Y except that for, say, not having the ivory finish, or not having the third sensor, then having played Model Y, you would have a pretty good idea of how Model X would feel, without having to track one down to play it.
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/05/12 10:22 AM

Originally Posted By: Marco M
If we would reliably know the mechanical facts of the different Roland keyboards, then we all could better derive our conlusions.
I accept that there is a range for valid opinions on "feel" and that you don't have to be a pro pianist to have valid experience. I do not accept that we have a collection of engineering design experts out here equipped to evaluate the validity of another's design.

We're entitled to know a product is not dangerous or not making absurd claims like "spend a year on a ______ keyboard and you will have the skill of Horowitz". But do car manufacturers post their brake designs on forums for the public to decide their merits? In the end, all you get are specs, dimensions, and test drive reviews.

What if the 2nd pivot point in the "Deluxe PHA III action with escapement and ivory feel" is a milimeter smaller than in the "Ivory Feel-S PHA III w/escapement" to accomodate a 5% overall mass reduction and 10% thicker felt? Maybe the felt is 20% cheaper or there is one less step in the manufacturing stages or there is a machine that better automates the assembly of 1-piece keys but has some other hidden tradeoff?

Sorry, but go back to playing and choosing. If you want to comment on design, do like dewster, buy one, disassemble it and take naked pictures. I've noticed dewster is careful to be specific when placing value judgments on his own area of expertise.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/05/12 02:12 PM

Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
I believe Ivory Feel-G has a third sensor because it behaves as if it does.
...
On the PHA II, the key has to return to about 80% before it can be restruck for sound. In the PHA III and Ivory Feel-G, the reset point is about 50% - 60%.

The presence of a third sensor cannot really be tested that way... i.e. those result do not prove the presence of a third sensor.

The way to test it is to see if you can lift the key high enough to be able to restrike the note without hearing it go silent first (because it would be sending a second Note On without sending a Note Off in between the two strikes).
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/05/12 02:29 PM

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
The presence of a third sensor cannot really be tested that way... i.e. those result do not prove the presence of a third sensor.

The way to test it is to see if you can lift the key high enough to be able to restrike the note without hearing it go silent first (because it would be sending a second Note On without sending a Note Off in between the two strikes).
I can confirm that it does that, too.
Posted by: BeccaBb

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/05/12 02:44 PM

Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
[quote=Marco M]
But do car manufacturers post their brake designs on forums for the public to decide their merits? In the end, all you get are specs, dimensions, and test drive reviews.

Sorry, but go back to playing and choosing. I've noticed dewster is careful to be specific when placing value judgments on his own area of expertise.


Well I can't leave this alone. For the first part, I worked in the Auto Parts Sector until just a few days ago. You can go to any dealer and/or parts stores (the ones that have actual experts) and get this information directly. Yes they do provide it to the dealers and auto parts sector. They HAVE to. How each piece is built and what if is of extreme importance.

Secondly, I find it interesting that you are making judgements on those of us interested in knowing exactly what our actions are. Perhaps you should follow your own advice and go back to playing yourself? I know that I am quite capable of both playing my Roland and asking and reading about my action at the same time. And we DO HAVE THE RIGHT to ask what ever we please.

Butting out now...
Posted by: Marco M

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/05/12 04:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Marco M
If we would reliably know the mechanical facts of the different Roland keyboards, then we all could better derive our conlusions.


I mean, the manufacturer should be able to publish something like this: action A is optimized to be compact and light weight for best fitting the needs of easier portability of an instrument, its feel is intented to still meet the feel known from action B; action B is optimized to please the pianists who prefer lower resistant key movement; action C is optimized to please the pianists who prefer a higher resistant key movement; different dynamical yields are achievable due to the following types of electronics ... ; the following finishes are available... ;

Is this really so difficult to publish?

I guess that clearer information will attract customers while unclear information will let customers feel uncomfortable. This thread proofs it.
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/05/12 04:47 PM

Hello Becca,

The auto industry is 1,000,000 x bigger than the digital piano industry. As you were quick to indicate, relatively few of the people employed are experts in how the components are made such that not every big dealer will have one, let alone every small dealer, and so on.

I would be extremely impressed if anyone at Atlanta Toyota could describe how the factory that makes the brake calipers for the Camry uses a better standard or design than the one that makes the calipers for the Corolla. Instead, you'll get a mileage rating and dimensions and a nice shiny box that says Toyota. They can look up which model and year it fits. If there is an improvement, they analyze and test it behind closed doors and then incorporate it into the whole design for testing and reviews. I do not see a public symposium everytime they tweak the drivetrain. They provide marketing information.

Everything revolves around trusting Toyota to have reasonable quality/performance standards for competitive price. Performance reviews from Car & Driver don't devote more than a paragraph to improved braking, let alone an evaluation of how the calipers are made vs. another design. They use highly technical terms like "faster" or "roomier" and provide a chart cut & pasted from the manufacturer for cubic inches and wheel base.

My point is that your action is the movement, the feel, the control, the tool of expression. If someone prefers the feel of a action with wood keys, is it the wood they prefer or the geometry? Of course it can be a little bit of both, but the design details won't break it down for you. It's just marketing on a smaller scale.

I read in another thread someone commenting about the firm action in their P105, even calling it heavy. While certainly weighted and very firm for that user's experience, on the continuum of weighted actions, it is on the light side.

I would like clarity on the Ivory Feel-S vs. the other PHA III, but I know and accept that because of similar performance, the difference is not significant in the same way as the difference between the G and S actions. I would be curious to the companies' insight as to the possible source of variance in the portable G actions vs the consoles with the G action. Maybe that is a fine distinction, but I don't feel left out without it because I know how it feels to me.

I think the RD-300NX is a fantastic product overall. But like a lot of members here, I'm still waiting for the miracle action in lightweight, portable form.

I've spent most of my life observing and studying and working on acoustic pianos as a basis for expertise. For digitals, "what I know" changes faster than the time it took to learn "what I know". So what I care about is performance related and that will always have a subjective slant.
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/05/12 04:54 PM

Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL

I think the RD-300NX is a fantastic product overall. But like a lot of members here, I'm still waiting for the miracle action in lightweight, portable form.

Going (further) OT now, but recent discussions suggest Casio have it in the PX150/350 and other new models. I've not played them so cannot say myself.

BTW interesting thread, nothing wrong with the discussion, but I'm on the side of it's interesting to know about the actions, but the answer lies in the feel.

Posted by: bennevis

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/06/12 10:03 AM

Some may be surprised that I'm an inverterate collector of brochures on all sorts of products, including those from companies whose products I have no intention of buying (or more likely, cannot afford to buy cry) - everything from mountaineering gear and backpacks to photographic equipment to running shoes and mountain bikes to acoustic pianos and, er, digital pianos. Partly to admire the photography (and salivate over the gear grin), partly to see how big companies differ in their design parameters and emphasis, and partly to see how they like to bamboozle customers with all sorts of technical terms (mostly of their own invention).

What is obvious to me is that companies never, ever say that their cheaper products are in any way inferior to their flagship ones, or that they were designed down to a specific price point (which of course they are). They obfuscate and use ever more fanciful words to describe the differences without actually mentioning the fact that something's been removed from the cheaper product in order to make it cheaper. But you'll have to read far between the lines of the colorful prose in their websites/brochures (or penetrate behind them...) to realize that something is indeed missing from the cheaper stuff, much less find out what it is. So, if anyone thinks that people from Roland/Yamaha/Kawai/Korg/Casio/Nord/whatever are going to come on here and explain in plain English (or even American-English) what the differences are between their cheap stuff and expensive products, they're going to be waiting till, er, the acoustic piano goes the way of T. Rex (OK, I know said T. Rex is still with us, according to Spielberg... grin).

Which is why I reiterate what I said earlier - judge the key actions of DPs by playing them. If you're not happy, look elsewhere. No amount of technical explanation by any expert (real or otherwise) will change the fact that you don't like their feel. Unlike those of acoustic pianos, DP actions cannot be altered.......
Posted by: ap55

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/06/12 10:19 AM

Did you know ?

For the S-action, only the white keys are with ivory, not the black ones ? It was somewhere written in another forum. Can someone confirm. That would be a further difference, if the PHAIII have black and white in ivory feel.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/06/12 10:25 AM

No, PHA-III doesn't have black keys in ivory feel. The black keys are in simulated ebony.

On acoustics, only the white keys (used to) have real ivory plates.
Posted by: ando

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/06/12 10:25 AM

Originally Posted By: ap55
Did you know ?

For the S-action, only the white keys are with ivory, not the black ones ? It was somewhere written in another forum. Can someone confirm. That would be a further difference, if the PHAIII have black and white in ivory feel.


Why would you expect the black keys to have an "ivory feel"? If anything they should have an "ebony feel".
Posted by: ap55

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/06/12 10:48 AM

Ando,
I never would expect on an acoustic ivory for the blacks and I was clear that the blacks should be ebony. Even, if the color is different I would like the blacks to have the same ivory feel material then the white keys. It simply a feeling when you touch the keys, which is poorly subjective and might depend on the individual.

For bennevis
Now, on the digital piono, the strings are fake as well as the key material, which is now called at Roland "ivory feel". It is now very clear the white keys are for PHAIII as well as for S and G ivory feel key top material. But what about the ebony imitation on the black keys, is it the same for S and PHAIII. I was expecting up to know that all blacks have the same surface material as the white keys. For the S I assumed that the black keys are simply plastic and no fake ebony material. Can you confirm that S and PHAIII black keys are the same surface material ?
Posted by: bennevis

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 10/06/12 11:06 AM

Originally Posted By: ap55


For bennevis
Now, on the digital piono, the strings are fake as well as the key material, which is now called at Roland "ivory feel". It is now very clear the white keys are for PHAIII as well as for S and G ivory feel key top material. But what about the ebony imitation on the black keys, is it the same for S and PHAIII. I was expecting up to know that all blacks have the same surface material as the white keys. For the S I assumed that the black keys are simply plastic and no fake ebony material. Can you confirm that S and PHAIII black keys are the same surface material ?


I don't know about S - I may have played Rolands using them before, but haven't taken note. The PHA-III on my V-Piano has what looks like solid plastic black keys with non-slippery surfaces (ebony-like), but not the ivory-feel coating that is (or rather, was) on the white keys. I suspect that the only difference apart from the color between the white and black keys is the coating on the white ones, which, as I and a few others have found, can abrade with use. The replacement white keys that Roland fitted under warranty don't have the ivory-feel coating, but still feels great beneath my fingers, and aren't smooth shiny plastic either.
Posted by: rintincop

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 05/29/13 10:51 AM

Do you have any information or opinion on the action in the new Roland FP-50?

Thanks
Posted by: toddy

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 05/29/13 11:05 AM

Yes - the Roland FP 50 has Ivory Feel G so all of the conversations above are about it - especially in comparison with PHA III (which is supposedly the same as Ivory Feel S).

Quick precis: Ivory Feel G is certainly inferior to PHA II/ PHA III which are generally considered very good indeed as simulated grand piano actions, lighter in feel than the equivelent from Kawai & Yamaha (GH / GH3 etc).

It is the cheaper, lighter weight alternative and, thus, is not as good as the more substantial PHAII/III.

However, it is a big improvement from their previous cheaper action, which was called PHA alpha II - that was crap.

I'd say Ivory Feel-G is more or less like Yamaha GHS, but I've only tried it once or twice in a shop, so please don't hold me to that.
Posted by: rintincop

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 05/29/13 01:19 PM

Something has been updated and changed with "Ivory Feel-G", they have added "Escapement" to it.
They mention escapement for the first time regarding the FP-50 action, from Roland: "Ivory Feel-G keyboard with Escapement" , the wording otherwise is the same for the FP-4F action. The FP-4F and FP-4 did not have escapement in their actions. My friend has the FP-4F and the new FP-50 and he says the action is better now.
Escapement sounds promising... escapement is what I like about real pianos: I am able to throw the hammer at about the point of half way down into the key stroke and then the key feels like it flies away with little resistance the rest of the way down.
Do you get a piano tone from the FP-50 key stroke well reaching the bottom of the key bed? (like around half the way down like on a real piano?) It's playing to the bottom of the key bed while constantly pressing against a firm spring that never stops pushing back that makes my wrists so sore.
Posted by: toddy

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 05/29/13 02:33 PM

Not sure, but I don't think escapement makes any significant difference at all - it's a nice detail which mimics real grands, but nothing more. None of these actions, not real grand pianos, use springs in their action, anyway.
Posted by: rintincop

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 05/29/13 02:45 PM

My friend, who is a master jazz pianist, and has owned both the FP4 and the FP-4F writes: "FP4-F action feels much more sluggish than the FP-50 action. The FP-50 is more responsive than the 4-F, and repeating notes is faster. The sound seems to occur just as, or just before the key hits bottom. It's a very subtle distinction here... It just seems more controllable, less sluggish, and somewhat easier on the hands."

I myself have owned both the FP-4 and the FP-4F at the same time and can testify the FP-4f action is too jumpy and sluggish.
Posted by: toddy

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 05/29/13 06:08 PM

I agree that the Ivory Feel-G that I tried (before the fp50 existed) was a little sluggish - so this means then that not all Ivory Feel-G's are equal. The escapement action itself is just a small flap of plastic that very gently interrupts the progress downwards of the key. It has no effect on the other aspects of the action.

....unless, of course, the 'escapement' feature is something different from the let-off point simulation.
Posted by: rnaple

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 05/29/13 06:49 PM

Originally Posted By: toddy
...However, ... that was crap.


That's what I love about these forums. Such diplomatic, understated, and highly tactful responses. smile
Posted by: rintincop

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 05/30/13 01:52 AM

I have noticed that Roland is frequently updating their "actions" without renaming them. The FP4 went through several action updates over a three year period.

I have ordered a Roland FP-50 to give it a try. If they have gotten rid of the sluggishness that was in the FP-4F action it could be okay.
Posted by: JFP

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 05/30/13 03:59 AM

It seems the A-88 controller has the escapement features as well. It was a bit earlier on the market than the new FP-50.

- Any idea if the A-88 keyed is indeed the same and (more important) plays/feels the same as the keybed in the Fp-50 ?

From the posts above I understand the Fp-50 Ivory-G keybed is actually quite reasonable. Wonder if the difference between that keybed and the PHA-III S is still big enough to cover the difference in cost and weight (!). If it is almost as good - the FP-50 may be quite interesting compared to the FP-80 , if you don't need the better speaker or harmonizer. It's much cheaper and more portable.

- last thought ; any of you had a chance to compare the new Ivory-G with escapement against it's closest contender, the Casio PX-x50 series ? My feeling says the Casio plays better overall, but I wonder what other people think about that. In the end it's not only the short initial impression, but also factors like durability / key-noise / bottoming out that are a factor of consideration.

P.S. I personally only know the older RD300NX G-keybed to compare with. A-88 / FP-50 is not on demo anywhere near. The RD300NX keys are obviously inferior IMHO, so hope the later Ivory-G's are indeed better.
Posted by: thomsurf

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 05/30/13 05:43 AM

The FP-50 keybed feels better than RD300NX. Tried the FP in a shop a couple of weeks ago and it reallly is less 'sluggish' than the action on my RD.
Posted by: rintincop

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 06/05/13 10:18 AM

I received the FP-50 2 days ago and the action is too much work to play. I will return it and be sticking with the FP-4 and it's lighter action.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 06/05/13 10:54 AM

I had the RD-64 for a few weeks (returned because I found it a little too limiting). I agree that the newer "G" action is hard work - you kind of have to force each note down - but, paradoxically, I could also play expressively and swiftly on it. Comparing it to the PX-5S, which has a similar depth, and therefore key length, I'd say that the Casio is a more balanced action, but it may not be quite as responsive (repeated notes are slightly easier/faster on the Roland, despite the pressure required).

It's ironic that the old FP-4 used to get hammered for its action by its critics (pun not intended!), and yet a number of people (including me) found it remarkably responsive given the size and weight of that DP. There's always going to be a compromise with the smaller boards, and Roland responded to the criticisms of the Alpha action by trying to keep all the main features of the PHAIII keybed, while scaling it down to fit the reduced dimensions. Something has to give in that equation.

I did find that, after a couple of weeks, I had adjusted to the "G" action sufficiently not to worry about it while playing. If I stopped to think about it, it seemed overly heavy, and occasionally I'd lose the odd note in a fast run because I hadn't hit the key with enough force, or had struck it too near the pivot point. I had been thinking about replacing the RD with the FP-50, but I'm on the fence about it due to these slight qualms concerning the action. I think I was a little hasty in selling my FP-4...
Posted by: rintincop

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 06/05/13 05:14 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
I had the RD-64 for a few weeks (returned because I found it a little too limiting). I agree that the newer "G" action is hard work - you kind of have to force each note down - but, paradoxically, I could also play expressively and swiftly on it. Comparing it to the PX-5S, which has a similar depth, and therefore key length, I'd say that the Casio is a more balanced action, but it may not be quite as responsive (repeated notes are slightly easier/faster on the Roland, despite the pressure required).

It's ironic that the old FP-4 used to get hammered for its action by its critics (pun not intended!), and yet a number of people (including me) found it remarkably responsive given the size and weight of that DP. There's always going to be a compromise with the smaller boards, and Roland responded to the criticisms of the Alpha action by trying to keep all the main features of the PHAIII keybed, while scaling it down to fit the reduced dimensions. Something has to give in that equation.

I did find that, after a couple of weeks, I had adjusted to the "G" action sufficiently not to worry about it while playing. If I stopped to think about it, it seemed overly heavy, and occasionally I'd lose the odd note in a fast run because I hadn't hit the key with enough force, or had struck it too near the pivot point. I had been thinking about replacing the RD with the FP-50, but I'm on the fence about it due to these slight qualms concerning the action. I think I was a little hasty in selling my FP-4...


Good points, I agree. My problem is that the extra work required to play the FP-50 action tends to inflame my tendinitis.
Posted by: Dave Ferris

Re: How good is Roland Ivory Feel-G ? - 06/05/13 05:41 PM

I could never get comfortable with the FP4 personally, specifically because of the action. Didn't like the FP-4F or FP7 that much either. The only Roland action/sound connection I've found to be agreeable with me is the 700NX. PHA III is it ? Maybe to a lesser extent the one on the V-Piano.

I will keep an open mind and see if the FP50 or 80 agrees with me. Basically though, I think the main issue is- I'm not a Roland guy. wink

Have an offer out on a CP5 through CL . It's lower then seller wants. He has all these "accessories" (that I don't need) he wants to unload. He said he wanted to test the waters for a few weeks to see if it sells at his asking price. I said cool, get back to me if doesn't sell. I'm in no hurry, the Nord is working fine actually. I'm probably content to wait things out for a new CP line or another CP5 to come along. I know I don't want to pay more then $1500 for a used one.