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#1333857 - 12/26/09 12:53 AM Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison  
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Psalm23 Offline
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For over a year, I have throughly enjoyed playing my Roland RD700GX. This Christmas I was blessed to obtain the Yamaha S90XS. These are two very different boards and in many ways are more complementary than competitors. Nevertheless, they do have some overlap. By owning both, I am now able to appreciate the strengths of both and recognize areas for improvement.

Clear advantages of the Roland RD700GX as compared to the Yamaha S90XS:

1. The ivory like feel and superior action
2. Much larger screen
3. Much easier sound editing. The Yamaha has equal or better editing but it must be done on a PC.
4. The Organs have tone wheel adjustments that are simple to view and manipulate.
5. The piano and electric piano adjustments options are superior.
7. Expandability with SRX cards
9. Saving and recalling setups are fast and easy
10. Owner's manual and instructions are much clearer


The S90XS has the following advantages:
1. A mind blowing number of voices, arpeggios, and performances
2. Intelligent arpeggios
3. Built in recording
4. Voice input
5. Software/drivers that work with Windows 7 (this has been the single most frustrating thing about Roland--I just don't understand why they are taking so long to get Windows 7 drivers developed.)
7. Guitars, Saxophones, and horns are incredible
8. Lower price
9. Much better at being a one-man-band
10. I love the "Master Mode" and "Favorites" functions

The S90XS has the new S6 piano sounds. To my ears, they sound great and so does Roland's. There is quite a controversy and debate over at the "S90 Site forums." Some are saying the new S6 piano sounds are horrible. I don't agree. When comparing the S6 sounds to the Roland's, I really can't say one is better than the other--they are different. Overall, the Roland is better at being a piano and the Yamaha is better at being a synth.

Last edited by Psalm23; 12/26/09 12:54 AM.
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#1335678 - 12/28/09 06:40 PM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: Psalm23]  
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How do the accompaniments compare?


P-85 cheap plastic imitation; not because of sound, but weight.
#1335826 - 12/28/09 10:37 PM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: Huygens]  
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Originally Posted by Huygens
How do the accompaniments compare?


It is really not much of a comparison, the S90XS wins hands down. This is by far its strengths. They advertises this Yamaha as being the ultimate combination of a stage piano and as synth. This is a true statement.

#1336209 - 12/29/09 12:46 PM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: Psalm23]  
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I'm not really familiar with the S90XS. What do you mean by "arpeggios and performances" and "Intelligent arpeggios?"


"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
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#1336360 - 12/29/09 04:12 PM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: gryphon]  
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This function if the heart of the board. Check out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2MuRGDroJ8

#1336419 - 12/29/09 05:35 PM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: Psalm23]  
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gryphon Offline
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Oh yeah. Vid #3 really made me smile. laugh


"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!
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#1337710 - 12/31/09 10:15 AM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: gryphon]  
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I've got both of these and as I see it the s90XS is really a Motif XS without the sequencer and on-board editor. The RD700GX is really more of a straight stage piano. I do know that since I have had the S90XS my Motif XS hasn't been used live as the S90XS is a far better live proposition. I too cannot see what the fuss is about the s6 sample in the S90XS I've played it live and in the studio extensively without hearing any glaring issues.


"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally associated with Arturia but my sentiments are my own only.
#1337947 - 12/31/09 03:49 PM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: Dr Popper]  
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Originally Posted by Dr Popper
I've got both of these and as I see it the s90XS is really a Motif XS without the sequencer and on-board editor. The RD700GX is really more of a straight stage piano. I do know that since I have had the S90XS my Motif XS hasn't been used live as the S90XS is a far better live proposition. I too cannot see what the fuss is about the s6 sample in the S90XS I've played it live and in the studio extensively without hearing any glaring issues.


I have owned the S90XS for less than a week. I am still learning the many functions and features. The manual is horrible as usual with Yamaha. I also own a SY-85 that I brought years ago. It needs a new home.

#1338003 - 12/31/09 05:28 PM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: Psalm23]  
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Thanks for starting this thread, Psalm! I was actually looking for a comparison between the 2, so your post was perfect.

I’m actually just looking for the best DP that mimics a grand in both feel and sound (for under $2,500). I had been considering a home DP for the longest time, but have decided to look at Stages, if only for the ease of transport.

Again, my primary interest is being able to feel like I’m playing on an acoustic piano. I don’t really care much about the other fancy functions offered by stage DPs. I’d appreciate any suggestions! Thanks.

#1338109 - 12/31/09 08:10 PM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: Psalm23]  
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Originally Posted by Psalm23


I have owned the S90XS for less than a week. I am still learning the many functions and features. The manual is horrible as usual with Yamaha. I also own a SY-85 that I brought years ago. It needs a new home.


Make sure you download the separate reference manual from the Yamaha website. It goes into a lot more detail then the standard manual.
Its pretty simple if you remember the performance mode is the key and set up your presets for each song via the editor. DAW connectivity requires some fiddling for Logic Studio but generally once you become familiar with it the S90Xs is pretty straightforward. I used it last night playing new years eve party in Sydney to 3000 people and live its fantastic to navigate. just plug in your USB and away you go .....



"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally associated with Arturia but my sentiments are my own only.
#1338111 - 12/31/09 08:12 PM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: peanutty]  
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Dr Popper Offline
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Originally Posted by peanutty


I’m actually just looking for the best DP that mimics a grand in both feel and sound (for under $2,500). I had been considering a home DP for the longest time, but have decided to look at Stages, if only for the ease of transport.



Currently that's the RD700GX (for feel) but soon Yamaha releases the CP-5 with wooden keys and that might indeed be even better.


"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally associated with Arturia but my sentiments are my own only.
#1339349 - 01/02/10 05:51 PM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: Dr Popper]  
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#1339972 - 01/03/10 04:56 PM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: Dr Popper]  
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Originally Posted by Dr Popper
Originally Posted by peanutty


I’m actually just looking for the best DP that mimics a grand in both feel and sound (for under $2,500). I had been considering a home DP for the longest time, but have decided to look at Stages, if only for the ease of transport.



Currently that's the RD700GX (for feel) but soon Yamaha releases the CP-5 with wooden keys and that might indeed be even better.


Thanks for the heads up, Dr Popper. I see that the release date for the CP-5 is March 2010. Guess I'll be waiting a few more months.

#1340060 - 01/03/10 06:44 PM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: peanutty]  
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btcomm Online content
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In the meantime, check out the 15 minute (3 part video - 5 min. each) video on the upcoming CP-1. Not the CP-5 but might be similiar. Click on the video link at the far right of the page.

http://keyboardmag.com/testsearch.aspx?searchtext=Yamaha%20CP-1

#1390864 - 03/08/10 12:50 AM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: btcomm]  
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Dr Popper

Just got my S90Xs last week and it rips - truly fantastic.
Do you know if you can get all 4 separate tracks of a performance into a DAW. I am sure I read somewhere you could do this. I am using Logic Pro 8.

Incidentally I really like the S6 piano sound!

#1390878 - 03/08/10 01:11 AM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: Ramsnake]  
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Dr Popper Offline
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You set it up using the MASTER program to enable the tracks in your DAW.


"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally associated with Arturia but my sentiments are my own only.
#1390881 - 03/08/10 01:17 AM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: Ramsnake]  
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I think I just found out how to do it.
http://www.sninety.com/forums/showflat.php?Cat=1,3&Board=S90S70XS&Number=447001&page=2&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1

#1390883 - 03/08/10 01:18 AM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: Ramsnake]  
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Oh Ok I will check that out

#1390897 - 03/08/10 01:32 AM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: Ramsnake]  
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Yeah sninety is a good resource for S90XS users. The S90Xs ..CAN ... be somewhat tricky in Logic and it took me a while to get the proper midi events registered but as a Keyboard controller using the master mode its probably the best board on the market. I use one as my main board both live and in the studio especially when i want to work out ideas without bothering to produce anything in the DAW. I find the record to WAV USB function to be very useful in this regard.



"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally associated with Arturia but my sentiments are my own only.
#1391045 - 03/08/10 07:33 AM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: Psalm23]  
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Originally Posted by Psalm23
Roland--I just don't understand why they are taking so long to get Windows 7 drivers developed.


They are available now.

#1391231 - 03/08/10 12:38 PM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: curt88]  
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I own the Roland RD700GX and am thoroughly satisfied with the action and feel of the piano, as well as the 'resonance' and the sound when you push the sustain pedal down (you get the sound like on a real piano when the dampers are released). Pretty cool digital trick. I think for $2500, right now, the RD700GX is the best DP for a stage piano as far as action and playability goes. That's just MHO tho. I played the S90XS for a while the other day and really liked the piano sounds and the EP sounds. The action however, is a step down from Roland's PHA II keys and action, and a big step down from the PHA III on the VPiano. I'm really interested to check out the new Yamaha CP5 with wooden keys...I wonder if it will feel like the Kawai MP8's used to feel. I wonder if Roland will respond with an RD700'VX' with the action and piano sounds of the VPiano...now that would be awesome!

With all this said though, I'm running my RD700GX through Logic 8 and the Steinway and Bosendorfer sounds are better than anything you can get from a production keyboard, so really for me, I want a keyboard that feels most like a real piano, and currently that's the RD700GX.


Yamaha AvantGrand N1
Nord Piano 2


"Be who you are and say how you feel. Because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss
#1391235 - 03/08/10 12:42 PM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: PianoZac]  
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If that's your intention then I suggest to try a CA63 / CA93...


<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>
#1391250 - 03/08/10 01:04 PM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: mucci]  
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Sorry I mis-said what I was thinking. I am most concerned with, first and foremost, action-touch-feel-expression, (as well as MIDI control, portability for gigging when there's no grand piano, syncing with Logic in my studio). I may opt for the Kawai MP8II or Yamaha CP5. I've heard lot's of good things about the Kawai stage pianos.


Yamaha AvantGrand N1
Nord Piano 2


"Be who you are and say how you feel. Because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss
#2039657 - 02/26/13 03:10 PM Re: Yamaha S90XS versus Roland RD700GX--A Brief Comparison [Re: Psalm23]  
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Thank you for the review. I am new at the piano and bought the Yamaha S90 XS. Began lessons recently so I cannot comment intelligently on very much for the moment however I surely appreciate anything you may have to offer in the way of advice as you can imagine this instrument can be very daunting and challenging at this particular time although I did not hesitate buying the XS.


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