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#1339243 - 01/02/10 02:56 PM Roland HP series  
Joined: Oct 2009
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Physics Offline
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Today I went to the store to check out some piano's in the €1500-2000 price range. I tested the Yamaha CLP 330, 370 (out of my price range, but still wanted to check it out) and the Roland HP 203, all with the same headphones. Unfortunately they didn't have the CLP-340 and HP 204 on display. I liked the sound and touch of the Roland best. Compared to the CLP's however, which sounded very clear, the sound of the HP 203 was rather dull. Has anyone else experienced this? If so, is it any different with the HP 204/207? I've really fallen for the Roland sound and I much prefer it over the Yamaha's, but the HP 203 I tested was just way too dull/dim for my taste.

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#1339260 - 01/02/10 03:23 PM Re: Roland HP series [Re: Physics]  
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MacMacMac Offline
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Originally Posted by Physics
The sound of the HP 203 was rather dull.
That was my exact word when I tried the HP203 ... dull. This piano has only a single pair of speakers, lacking the dual tweeters of the more expensive HP207 or the CLP340 and up.

Here's my take. Aside from the extreme high end pianos, all digital pianos will benefit from an external sound system (even if you only use headphones). An excellent amplifier can be had for well under $100, and good speakers for not much more than $100. I'd add an equalizer, too.

Buying on ebay, I've outfitted my Clavinova with a Yamaha receiver, dual equalizers, JBL speakers, and a CD player (for play-along) ... all for just over $200.

So go ahead and buy the HP203, add the external sound equipment, and enjoy. I don't know what prices are like in the low countries, but with US prices, you've save about $1000 vs. the HP207 (and your sound system might be even better than the 207's built-in speakers).

#1339292 - 01/02/10 04:26 PM Re: Roland HP series [Re: MacMacMac]  
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I think the HP 204 uses better speakers.

Also, Mac, my HP 203 has 2 speakers on the front panel and 2 speakers on the bottom, so it doesn't use a single pair.

#1339312 - 01/02/10 05:10 PM Re: Roland HP series [Re: Physics]  
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Tony Lau Offline
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Originally Posted by Physics
I've really fallen for the Roland sound and I much prefer it over the Yamaha's, but the HP 203 I tested was just way too dull/dim for my taste.

Hi Physics, you mentioned you like the Roland sound but find it too dull/dim. Is the sound you described from the headphone or from the speakers?

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#1339330 - 01/02/10 05:26 PM Re: Roland HP series [Re: Physics]  
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I've not played the HP series but tried the RD700GX and the FP series pianos. I found there is a huge range of adjustment. You can first select from many different piano samples and then can make each one brighter or not and adjust several parameters of the sound

So I'm thinking maybe what you heard was simply the sound the last person had dialed in. Did you attempt to adjust it?

Not having seen an HP it could be they are simpler and do have such a wide range of sounds but I'd be surprized

#1339396 - 01/02/10 07:04 PM Re: Roland HP series [Re: ChrisA]  
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^Well, tha HP 207 has the piano editor, but my HP 203 only has some different pianos (some are in the "others" section), and you can adjust stuff like brilliance, resonance and so on.
Also, adjusting the keytouch makes the piano sound quite different, set it to something lighter and the piano is very bright, but setting it to heavy, makes it more mellow.
I found this actually works better than the brilliance setting.

#1339435 - 01/02/10 08:08 PM Re: Roland HP series [Re: Tony Lau]  
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@MacMacMac: Thanks for the tip. I'll look into the items you mentioned, but to be honest I think I'll be happier to just have a piano I can play on without using a host of other equipment. For now at least.

Originally Posted by Tony Lau
Hi Physics, you mentioned you like the Roland sound but find it too dull/dim. Is the sound you described from the headphone or from the speakers?


From headphones. They were the same ones I used for the Yamaha CLP's, which sounded much more clear.

Last edited by Physics; 01/02/10 08:16 PM.
#1339440 - 01/02/10 08:14 PM Re: Roland HP series [Re: Physics]  
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EssBrace Online content
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So how can you fall for a sound that is way too dull/dim for your taste? Doesn't make sense, especially as its shortcomings are nothing to do with the amplification or speakers.

Steve

#1339445 - 01/02/10 08:27 PM Re: Roland HP series [Re: EssBrace]  
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Physics Offline
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
So how can you fall for a sound that is way too dull/dim for your taste? Doesn't make sense, especially as its shortcomings are nothing to do with the amplification or speakers.

Steve


The dullness I'm speaking off has nothing to do with the actual sound of the HP 203, as in the way that I like the softness of the sound. It has to do with the way that sound is transmitted which makes it sound dull, I don't know any other word for it.

#1339641 - 01/03/10 06:52 AM Re: Roland HP series [Re: Physics]  
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EssBrace Online content
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Suffolk, United Kingdom
Ok well you could maybe change the key touch setting on the piano...not sure really if this will sort the problem but perhaps the key touch on the piano you tried had been changed in the shop?

Steve

#1339644 - 01/03/10 07:16 AM Re: Roland HP series [Re: EssBrace]  
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What you experience as dull, others find soft and warm. In my own experience it took some time, but now I love the warm and rich sound of my Roland HP203. In comparison, I now find the Yamaha sound too bright.


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