Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician

Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Modern Piano Moving
Modern Piano Moving
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2017
Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restorations and sales
Schumann's 4th Finger
Schumann's 4th Finger Enigma Resolved
Who's Online
123 registered (anamnesis, ashertob, Albunea, AB99, augustm, ando, 31 invisible), 2115 Guests and 11 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#1720647 - 07/25/11 02:44 PM Roland FP-4F Review
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
I am a professional pianist and play a variety of Steinway, Yamaha, Baldwin and Mason & Hamlin pianos and Roland, Yamaha and Casio digital pianos on a daily basis . I have owned the the older FP-4 model for years and have recently purchased the newer FP-4F model. The piano sampling is improved with a better longer sustain, more legato response, a darker and fatter tone, and more it seems more natural or "organic" sounding.... however the new FP-4F's action is very disappointing. It's sluggish and physically tiring to play. I can play Chopin Etudes on the old FP4 action with out straining but I become quickly tired on the over weighted new FP-4 action. It is a strain to play it for more than a few minutes. My wrist tendinitis came back after playing the FP-4F action for a for a few minutes. It feels stiff and resistant, the keys don't bounce back or move as fast as the easier to play FP-4 original action or as on my Mason & Hamlin grand or any of the acoustic piano I usually I play for that matter.

Two other complaints I have are that they have not included an editable Effects generator on the new FP-4F, whereas the old FP-4 had a sophisticated library of effects. Also, there is no volume balance control for when in Split Mode, so if the bass for the left hand is too loud or too soft for whatever sound you are using in right hand you are stuck because there is absolutely now way to adjust the balance.
Roland FP-4 digital piano, Mason & Hamlin acoustic piano.


Click Here

#1720663 - 07/25/11 03:07 PM Re: Roland FP-4F Review [Re: Jazz+]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3223
Loc: Wales
Jazz+, thanks for posting your thoughts. Your earlier posted concerns were helpful in steering me away from the 4F towards the 7F, but I'm sorry that you're still having problems with the action.

I totally agree with your complaint about the "disappearing" effects trick. It is such a shame that Roland decided to deny the user access to such a useful tool, especially since (in the 7F at least), the FX block is still there, but hidden. The only two explanations I have come up with are that either Marketing said: "Remove it as we're giving them enough already," or it would have entailed a redesign of the user interface to accommodate extra buttons or enhanced software for the screen. It's not as if you can buy an upgraded model with the effects restored (the RD series is aimed at a different market sector). It does also seem a little cheap to take away the balance control (edit: I thought it was still there on the FP-7F, but I'm wrong; it's only a balance between main instrument and accompaniment).

Having said that, the SN sounds are great, and I'm finding the 7F to be a major advance over previous incarnations. But I'm not going to be parting with my FP-4 any time soon, as the weight and functionality mean that it is still a very useful gigging board.

Edited by voxpops (07/25/11 05:52 PM)
"you don't need to have been a rabbit in order to become a veterinarian"

mabraman, 2015

#1720838 - 07/25/11 07:36 PM Re: Roland FP-4F Review [Re: Jazz+]
PianoWorksATL Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 3329
Loc: Atlanta, GA
To comment on your comparison of the action differences, I've always felt the older alpha-II action is a little on the light side, very noticeable when comparing to most good acoustic pianos. And I agree that the new FP-4F action is on the firm side of average, making the side-by-side seem more drastic.

You may just need to give yourself a little more time to adjust to it. We commonly hear complaints from customers adjusting from an overly-light acoustic upright action to a more typical grand action. For most better players, to fully adjust can take 3-6 weeks, and sometimes it is rough. But the good news is nearly everybody is able to adjust successfully. It will still feel firm, but the sense of sluggishness will usually disappear as you adjust. I hope this is the case for you.

Just curious, but have you compared the built-in speakers between the two? They spec differently, but from memory, sound very similar possibly due to the position and housing.
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop

#1721063 - 07/26/11 05:13 AM Re: Roland FP-4F Review [Re: Jazz+]
thomsurf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/01/10
Posts: 164
Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
My 300NX has the same action. I agree that it's not as nice as the 700/7f series, but it's still a high quality action. When compared to Casios, Korg SV, Fatar and the cheaper Yamahas the Roland wins IMO. But it's still too noisy and if you hit some keys in an uneven way they can woble a bit.
I don't see much bias towards the FP4-F when the 300NX is available. The speakers sound like crap and like other people mentioned, it's stripped down when it comes to editing. The 300NX has a lot of editing options, sliders, EQ knobs and so on. And for a few $ you can get some active monitors or even computer speakers that will outperform built in speakers.
Roland RD800, EV ZXA-1.

Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1721081 - 07/26/11 06:38 AM Re: Roland FP-4F Review [Re: Jazz+]
kiedysktos. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 425
Loc: Europe, Poland
Shame on you, Roland! You removed three most useful features on FP-4, and added 8,5% of weight!

1. They also removed on/off speakers switch! It was advantage in comparison with such boards like Yamaha P-140. I used it often - I switch them off during monitors setting, it will help them last longer; now to switch them off during the concert you have to plug some cable in to the headphones socket. I've done that with some old Roland with speakers, also because I don't want any unnecessary sound source on stage.
Many people say speakers are crap, but I don't think so - I use them on quick, quiet rehearsals (like to rehearse a single song with the vocalist), for practicing, or in other situations, like when soundman turns out monitors, and I want to have a few minutes of quiet warm up before a gig. I don't expect to have powerful volume or realistic bass in such speakers, they are just added feature, which may be turned off. (Oups, now it can't be done so easily)

2. Effects section really gives another life to some voices; for example try use humanizer (staccato playing on high notes), tremolo (set freq to 27) or wah-wah on rhodes sound on fp-4. Shame.

3. Balance knob plus split/layer plus transpose one part allows you to make sophisticated tricks on FP-4, lack of it makes this features almost unusable for a musician who knows what he wants.

Fortunately it still has session partner; though I think I'd trade it for the 3 mentioned features.

Now I'm happy I didn't wait for fp-4f and went for regular fp-4. smile
Roland FP-4

#1721098 - 07/26/11 08:04 AM Re: Roland FP-4F Review [Re: Jazz+]
Kawai James Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 12875
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: kiedysktos.
1. They also removed on/off speakers switch! It was advantage in comparison with such boards like Yamaha P-140. I used it often - I switch them off during monitors setting, it will help them last longer...

Until the switch breaks.

Originally Posted By: kiedysktos.
now to switch them off during the concert you have to plug some cable in to the headphones socket.

Hallelujah! Problem solved!

Originally Posted By: kiedysktos.
2. Effects section really gives another life to some voices...

Yes, the effects section disappeared on the FP-7F also - I can only assume there was a technical reason for this.

Originally Posted By: kiedysktos.
Shame on you, Roland! You removed three most useful features on FP-4, and added 8,5% of weight!

Originally Posted By: kiedysktos.
Now I'm happy I didn't wait for fp-4f and went for regular fp-4.

Much better keyboard action, much better piano sound.
I know which one I'd rather go for.

Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

#1721099 - 07/26/11 08:05 AM Re: Roland FP-4F Review [Re: Jazz+]
Peace-Piece Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/11
Posts: 40
I spent the afternoon testing pianos today. Among others I tested the fp-4f. Granted, I'm only a beginner so I might not be able to pick up on the nuances a more experienced player might. I was switching regularly between acoustics as well trying to find the closest action. Personally I liked the fp-4f. As far as being heavy, I wouldn't say that exactly. It felt comparable to many other dp's I tried. Perhaps on the heavier side, but I wouldn't say it was heavy. And I don't remember it being sluggish, though I don't really have the technique to push into high speeds. There was an fp-7f which I didn't get around to testing, and it's probably out my price range.

Out of curiosity, were you not able to test the fp-4f before you bought it?
My Alfred Book 1 recordings: http://soundcloud.com/betapi/sets.

#1721181 - 07/26/11 11:04 AM Re: Roland FP-4F Review [Re: Jazz+]
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
I have had the FP-4F for three months and the action is sluggish.
Roland FP-4 digital piano, Mason & Hamlin acoustic piano.

#1721211 - 07/26/11 12:13 PM Re: Roland FP-4F Review [Re: Jazz+]
anotherscott Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 4012
I tried the RD300NX which I think has the same action as the FP-4F, and found it kind of bouncy with a decidedly sluggish return. It somehow made playing feel "imprecise." I never played the old FP-4, but I didn't enjoy this action at all. The FP-7 and FP-7F both felt good to me. Too heavy for me to take to gigs, though.

There's no FP-4F manual on Roland's web site, so kiedysktos' post is the first I'm reading about reducing capabilities vis-a-vis its predecessor. I never went out of my way to check out the FP-4 because it was borderline too heavy and it lacked a feature I need, the ability to pan different sounds left or right (to send them out different outputs).

#1721241 - 07/26/11 01:08 PM Re: Roland FP-4F Review [Re: Jazz+]
suniil Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/09
Posts: 158
Loc: Parent of a Musician, London
I just ordered an FP4 for a bargain price under Take It Away finance scheme! Thank Jazz+ / Voxpops and other posters to sway my decision.

#1721266 - 07/26/11 02:11 PM Re: Roland FP-4F Review [Re: anotherscott]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4675
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
There's no FP-4F manual on Roland's web site...

They have one up now:
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

#1721471 - 07/26/11 08:56 PM Re: Roland FP-4F Review [Re: Jazz+]
36251 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 973
I owned a FP7 but got tired of the weight and the harshness of the keys, as they hit the base of keybed, and sold it. I ended up buying an FP4 (like new) one year before the 4F came out. I thought sure I'll upgrade mainly because of the Super Natural sound engines for acoustic and electric pianos, I thought. Then I found out the EPs were the same as before (acceptable at best.) Only the acoustic is SN. Then I play the action and it had the same issues as the FP7 and I personally thought the Ivory keys were to rough and fake-feeling. I then read this thread.

This was obviously done to save money and lose my business. No effects? The internal speaker switch gone. This axe has become a home model.

Right now the FP4 is an axe I really like. I would like more and will always be looking around the corner for the next big thing with built-in speakers (very handy, I think.)

Roland, I hope you're listening and reexamine what keyboard players really want and thanks for saving me lots of money.
AG N2 | CP4 | SSv3 | GK MK & MP

#1721526 - 07/26/11 11:07 PM Re: Roland FP-4F Review [Re: Jazz+]
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
Rolands are designed in Japan so I doubt they are listening.
I actually like how the key surfaces feel and the EPs are a somewhat better and I like them. The main problem is the sluggish key action.
Roland FP-4 digital piano, Mason & Hamlin acoustic piano.

#1721974 - 07/27/11 06:05 PM Re: Roland FP-4F Review [Re: Kawai James]
kiedysktos. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 425
Loc: Europe, Poland
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Until the switch breaks.

It won't, Rolands are very reliable, I've owned them. Even if, it's pretty simple to repair the switch.
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Hallelujah! Problem solved!

I've used it mostly, but still it isn't nice to have to do it. smile switch is so comfortable, and this thing can be lost or left when you use speakers, I did it a few times smile

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Much better keyboard action

Is that so? smile though fp-4f is affordable piano with one of best piano sounds, so if someone don't need very quick keyboard...
Roland FP-4


Moderator:  Piano World 
Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
What's Hot!!
New Forums Location & New Piano World Site
Why Do You Play The Piano?
Posting Pictures on the Forums
on Piano World

Piano Classified Ads
Pierce Piano Atlas

Sweetwater Hiring Keyboard Player!
Sweetwater Hiring Keyboard Player
Grotrian Concert
for Pianoteq out now
A. Geyer Pianos
A. Geyer Pianos
Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World) our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.

Music Theme Scarves

Free Shipping on Jansen Artist Piano Benches
New Topics - Multiple Forums
French Themed Recital - April 30, 2017
by PianogrlNW
6 minutes 34 seconds ago
My husband is playing now!
by sara elizabeth
Today at 07:31 AM
Working shedule and progress.
by PianoStartsAt33
Today at 05:29 AM
1942 Chickering 5ft baby grand
by Dantecomico
Today at 03:53 AM
aftertouch or something else?
by PlunkyPlink
Yesterday at 08:31 PM
Sheet Music Plus
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Forum Stats
87,549 Registered Members
44 Forums
179,300 Topics
2,620,805 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |

copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission