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#1739698 - 08/24/11 01:12 PM Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F  
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Hi all,

So I have tried various DP's. First I went with FP4 and that sounded OK. Then I tried FP7F and while it was heavier and sound was a bit better (or "different" is more correct term), I'm now wondering what's the difference between FP4 , FP7F and FP4F. The thing is I don't have FP4F available locally but I could order it online at almost the same price I can get FP4 locally. So, what's the difference and what would you recommend? I will be using it for recording via line in and possibly later also with MIDI, so the sound/touch is important. Weight also matters but not very much (but I guess FP7F is too heavy).

By the way, on my way I tried Yamaha CP50 and I found it too "correct" and straight, while Roland is more "alive". I also tried Nord Piano 88 and while it had good sounds, there was some additional noise when pressing the button and action was light. I will also try to get to the yamaha cp300 before buying but at the moment I'm leaning forward Roland.

Thanks,

Last edited by EO3; 08/24/11 01:12 PM.
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#1739756 - 08/24/11 02:48 PM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: EO3]  
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The FP-4F specs with the SN piano (same as FP-7F) and a new action (not exactly like either). It's missing some features of the FP-7F (most notably the tone-wheel organs, bigger screen, Audio Key for one-touch samples, mic input).

Many places, the outgoing model FP-4 is selling cheap...clearance...often below wholesale. The action is a little too light for my taste, but at the giveaway prices, it's a steal and solves the weight issue for you.

The FP-4F is really about getting the SN piano sounds in a lightweight cabinet with onboard speakers. It's action is firmer like on the FP-7F, but not nearly as nice as the PHAIII action. That is the feature combination that matters most on that model.


Sam Bennett
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#1739764 - 08/24/11 03:04 PM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: PianoWorksATL]  
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
Many places, the outgoing model FP-4 is selling cheap...clearance...often below wholesale. The action is a little too light for my taste, but at the giveaway prices, it's a steal and solves the weight issue for you.


I am having a tough time trying to find an fp4 at these "give away prices". In fact, I'm having a tough time trying to find one period, it looks as though many of the major online distributors, musicians friend, music 123 etc. don't even have this model because it is discontinued and if they do it is still the same price of a yamaha p155 or cp33 which is around 1k.

#1739769 - 08/24/11 03:16 PM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: KHen]  
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Originally Posted by KHen
I am having a tough time trying to find an fp4 at these "give away prices". In fact, I'm having a tough time trying to find one period, it looks as though many of the major online distributors, musicians friend, music 123 etc. don't even have this model because it is discontinued and if they do it is still the same price of a yamaha p155 or cp33 which is around 1k.
I should have explained...$1k is a giveaway, below wholesale price for that model. I believe the street price used to be ~$1500 with retail price just over $1700. It's been discontinued for most of this year and any remaining dealer inventory is being liquidated. Most of the larger online companies have already emptied the warehouse.


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#1739777 - 08/24/11 03:29 PM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: EO3]  
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I've read posts on here of people getting a 1k price in 07. I would at least expect it to be around $800 or so in the 4 years since then, considering that technology has only gotten better.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/672588/6.html


#1739780 - 08/24/11 03:33 PM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: EO3]  
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Yes, I paid 1k for the FP-4, and I thought it was a steal (even when they dipped lower for a while after that). The FP-4's main piano does not have quite the variation of timbre across the dynamic range (fewer velocity levels?) as the 7F (and presumably the 4F), but the action is surprisingly playable for a lightweight board - some think it's better than the 4F. The 4 also wins in terms of having a fully programmable effects section (the others have fixed effects for certain patches), more versatile MIDI parameters, more comprehensive registration data, real-time layer/split balance control, and (IMO) better EPs.

The 7F has better speakers than the 4. The 4F has more powerful speakers than the 4, but not necessarily better, judging by user comments. The 4 is a little lighter than the 4F.

For recording, I would imagine that the 4F's and 7F's SN pianos will sound better (more authentic) than the 4's. However, it would be worth checking whether the 4F's DA converters are as good as the 7F's. I think that the original FP-4 and FP-7 shared exactly the same sound engine and signal processing, but that may not be the case for the 4F and 7F.


"you don't need to have been a rabbit in order to become a veterinarian"

mabraman, 2015
#1739795 - 08/24/11 03:55 PM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: KHen]  
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Originally Posted by KHen
I've read posts on here of people getting a 1k price in 07. I would at least expect it to be around $800 or so in the 4 years since then, considering that technology has only gotten better.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/672588/6.html

The price went up because of production costs and a weak dollar rather than down because of technology. Back then, $1k was an exceptional price as that old post suggests.


Sam Bennett
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#1740207 - 08/25/11 05:55 AM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: EO3]  
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Thanks for replies. But still haven't decided. I mean, easiest option would be just get FP4 rather than order FP4F, but I don't want to put in around 1000 EUR to soon find out I need an upgrade, BUT yes, I have read that there are opinion that FP4 to some sounds even better than FP4F and FP7F...
Speakers doesn't concern me as I have external speakers available , also mic input doesn't matter as I have external sound card.

Last edited by EO3; 08/25/11 05:56 AM.
#1740211 - 08/25/11 06:17 AM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: EO3]  
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IMO, the difference in playing experience between the 4 (or 4F) and the 7F is sizeable, and favors the 7F. Unless the greater portability of the 4/4F is a dealbreaker, I don't believe anyone would regret spending the extra $$ for the 7F.

#1740276 - 08/25/11 09:39 AM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: moleskincrusher]  
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Originally Posted by moleskincrusher
IMO, the difference in playing experience between the 4 (or 4F) and the 7F is sizeable, and favors the 7F. Unless the greater portability of the 4/4F is a dealbreaker, I don't believe anyone would regret spending the extra $$ for the 7F.

I totally agree with this. Leaving aside bells, whistles and tonewheel organs, the experience of playing the FP-7F as a piano is beyond anything I'm used to in a DP. Simply put, it responds. You can hear the family resemblance when playing the 4 and 7F side-by-side (what I term the Roland Sound), but in touch and dynamics the 7F is in another league.

However, the reason I will be keeping my FP-4 alongside my FP-7F is because it offers a lot of things that are useful for stage performance, which have sadly been removed (or hidden) from the new series - not to mention the weight.


"you don't need to have been a rabbit in order to become a veterinarian"

mabraman, 2015
#1740298 - 08/25/11 10:29 AM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: voxpops]  
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Originally Posted by voxpops

However, the reason I will be keeping my FP-4 alongside my FP-7F is because it offers a lot of things that are useful for stage performance, which have sadly been removed (or hidden) from the new series - not to mention the weight.


For example? It could be the case that I will be using DP on stage , so it would be nice to know.

Hmm, but if FP4F and FP7F both use Super natural engine, then should the feel (if not sound) while pressing the keys be the same?

I can compare FP4 and FP7F and soon will be going to do another test.

#1740302 - 08/25/11 10:45 AM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: EO3]  
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Originally Posted by EO3
Originally Posted by voxpops

However, the reason I will be keeping my FP-4 alongside my FP-7F is because it offers a lot of things that are useful for stage performance, which have sadly been removed (or hidden) from the new series - not to mention the weight.


For example? It could be the case that I will be using DP on stage , so it would be nice to know.

Hmm, but if FP4F and FP7F both use Super natural engine, then should the feel (if not sound) while pressing the keys be the same?

I can compare FP4 and FP7F and soon will be going to do another test.

This is what I wrote in a previous post:
"The 4 also wins in terms of having a fully programmable effects section (the others have fixed effects for certain patches), more versatile MIDI parameters, more comprehensive registration data, real-time layer/split balance control, and (IMO) better EPs."

These are all useful attributes for live performance.

As to feel, the FP-7F has a more sophisticated action than on the 4F. They will not feel the same, but they should sound similar.


"you don't need to have been a rabbit in order to become a veterinarian"

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#1740538 - 08/25/11 06:45 PM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: EO3]  
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For those of us who don't have the finances to support owning two digital pianos as some are suggesting here, I would suggest the FP4F is the best compromise, IF you need to shift the piano occasionaly.

I am a gigging musician and need to move my piano into a car from the 2nd floor of an apartment block once a week on average. I also want to practice regularly with a good, solid action and have a satisfactory playing experience at home. I owned an FP7F and whilst the action is indeed superb the weight was just too much to deal with in terms of moving the thing.

So I have sacrificed the better action of the FP7F for the - still very good - action of the FP4F for the sake of the easier lug. And it is an easier lug.

For info, the £250 difference in the two I put towards a set of decent monitors, so I'm getting a better sound from my FP4F than I would have from the FP7F and its inbuilt speakers.

#1742507 - 08/29/11 09:15 AM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: EO3]  
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Played FP7-F again today and I think I'm gonna go with it as it's unlikely I will find anything better in that price range. While FP4 might also be OK, FP7-F is relatively new technology and it's SN Grand piano sound I think is also good enough even for studio quality record making. Much more natural sounding and more expressive than FP4 Grand piano.One thing however - it seems that FP7F has unbalanced outputs as most DP's , I guess it won't be an issue while recording if cable isn't too long? I know that RD700NX has balanced outs, but it's too pricey and I don't think I need it's extra features as FP7-F has enough of them in my opinion. By the way, my best piano option budget variant would be FP7-F without inbuilt speakers and Mic input as I don't need it anyway, that would probably bring down the cost for at least 100$, but, really, don't see any other alternative as 700NX is even pricier than FP7-F.

Last edited by EO3; 08/29/11 09:18 AM.
#1743714 - 08/31/11 09:26 AM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: EO3]  
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All I would say is if you plan on moving the FP7F around a lot, or even gigging with it, seriously consider the FP4F.

You will get the same Supernatural piano sound - better than the original FP4 - but in a much lighter package than the FP7F.

I owned the FP7F and swapped for an FP4F and my back is already thanking me for it.

However - if you're keeping the piano in one location or not moving it much, the better action on the FP7F makes it worth the extra money...it's fantastic. (I should add the FP4F's Ivory Feel-G is still very good)

Last edited by sh1; 08/31/11 09:27 AM.
#1743720 - 08/31/11 09:37 AM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: EO3]  
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sh1, I believe dewster would be grateful to receive a DPBSD recording of the FP-4F - the jury is still out on whether it shares the same piano sound as the FP-7F.

Cheers,
James
x


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#1743742 - 08/31/11 10:17 AM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: EO3]  
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I would consider FP4F (lower price), but it's not available locally. So, I don't know if that's what I want. And I'm not sure it shares the same SuperNatural sound as the FP7F. It could be better than FP4 , but does it match FP7F...

Last edited by EO3; 08/31/11 10:18 AM.
#1743788 - 08/31/11 11:53 AM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: EO3]  
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Having owned both I can say they sound identical to me...it's certainly a 'Supernatural' piano and since there is only one offered on the FP7F anyway I'm assuming it's that.

I must say I doubt Roland would produce subtley different versions of their main piano sounds across four different models(700NX, 300NX, FP7F, FP4F). The difference seems to be in the number of variations available in the more expensive models ie the flagship 700NX includes Concert, Studio, Bright etc.



#1743815 - 08/31/11 12:37 PM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: EO3]  
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Yup, I looked it up and FP4F is also branded as SuperNatural piano. So sound for piano probably is the same, but action is different. So it might be that FP4F is not that expressive as FP7F. As for portability - currently I will not need to move it around, later it could be few times per year. I think this isn't the case that FP7F is not portable as such, it's just that it's a "headache" to do so.

#1743824 - 08/31/11 12:55 PM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: EO3]  
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Originally Posted by EO3
I think this isn't the case that FP7F is not portable as such, it's just that it's a "headache" to do so.


More of a "backache"! wink


"you don't need to have been a rabbit in order to become a veterinarian"

mabraman, 2015
#1743909 - 08/31/11 03:25 PM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: EO3]  
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Originally Posted by EO3
Yup, I looked it up and FP4F is also branded as SuperNatural piano. So sound for piano probably is the same, but action is different. So it might be that FP4F is not that expressive as FP7F. As for portability - currently I will not need to move it around, later it could be few times per year. I think this isn't the case that FP7F is not portable as such, it's just that it's a "headache" to do so.


Ah in that case go for the FP7F. It's worth it for the superb action. Plus it IS portable ie it can be lugged from room to room, but just not venue to venue! My problem was that I needed a home piano to double as my stage one, and the FP4F fits that bill due to its lighter weight.

#1743987 - 08/31/11 05:42 PM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: sh1]  
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Originally Posted by sh1
Having owned both I can say they sound identical to me...it's certainly a 'Supernatural' piano and since there is only one offered on the FP7F anyway I'm assuming it's that.

I must say I doubt Roland would produce subtley different versions of their main piano sounds across four different models(700NX, 300NX, FP7F, FP4F). The difference seems to be in the number of variations available in the more expensive models ie the flagship 700NX includes Concert, Studio, Bright etc.


Possibly, however my experience playing an RD-700NX and RD-300NX connected to the same amp/speakers was rather different - I preferred the sound of the 700NX.

A DPBSD recording of the FP-4F would confirm whether or not it is indeed the same piano sound as the FP-7F.

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#1744236 - 09/01/11 01:21 AM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: EO3]  
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I don't 100% agree with sh1 on the FP-7F backache factor, unless you have to contend with a lot of stairs at home or at the gig.

I have a Kaces Keyboard Porter (expensive, granted: cost me around US$180) which is soft but fits the 7F snugly and has wheels and stiff sides. At home I lift the 7F once, from my Roland V-Stand into the open Kaces bag. I wheel the bag to my wagon, pivot it in and out, wheel it into the gig venue and unpack it. At this point I do have to lift the 7F onto the stand, and for that one task I lift one end and get help on the other. After the gig it's the same routine in reverse.

So I never actually carry the 7F around -- if I had to do that I'd leave it at home and take my 12-1/2-lb Yamaha NP-30 ($269, springy unweighted action; I've come to tolerate, even half-appreciate the Yammie).


#1749617 - 09/09/11 02:02 PM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: EO3]  
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One thing more - what about FP7F low gain issues I have heard about (problems using it on stage, what about recordings?). Is it easy to fix?

#1749670 - 09/09/11 03:47 PM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: EO3]  
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Originally Posted by EO3
One thing however - it seems that FP7F has unbalanced outputs as most DP's , I guess it won't be an issue while recording if cable isn't too long?


EO3,

As long as you use good quality, shielded TRS cables and connect to a balanced input, then you can get a good quality signal. You can also avoid cabling/analog input by recording on the FP7-F and copying the wave file onto a USB-drive, then sneaker-net the file to your computer.


Regards,
Bob

NY Steinway A 1907, FP-7F wi RPU-3
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#1749729 - 09/09/11 05:33 PM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: EO3]  
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E03 wrote:

"One thing more - what about FP7F low gain issues I have heard about (problems using it on stage, what about recordings?). Is it easy to fix?"

Yes. The FP-7F has a Master Gain function (see Function menu) which allows you to boost gain up to +12 db. However, it does not survive power-off. I haven't used this in a recording context, but it's useful with quirky PA systems.

#1769209 - 10/12/11 11:30 AM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: EO3]  
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Hi,

Just to let you all know, today I got FP7-F! So glad this is finally over (for now smile ). Piano sounds great. One thing probably discussed previously - you really need to check it with good headphones. Because inbuilt speakers are much lover quality - when you plug in headphones (or good monitor speakers), quality difference is very noticable and that's a good thing, it just shows how capable SN piano is.
Thanks for your inputs and suggestions.

#1769213 - 10/12/11 11:37 AM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: EO3]  
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Congratulations, EO3! I think you made a great choice: the FP-7F is a really capable DP. I was playing jazz standards on mine for a couple of hours yesterday, accompanying a female singer in rehearsal, and it sounded and felt just great.


"you don't need to have been a rabbit in order to become a veterinarian"

mabraman, 2015
#1769216 - 10/12/11 11:46 AM Re: Roland FP4 vs 4F vs FP7F [Re: EO3]  
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Originally Posted by EO3
Hi,

Just to let you all know, today I got FP7-F! So glad this is finally over (for now smile ). Piano sounds great. One thing probably discussed previously - you really need to check it with good headphones. Because inbuilt speakers are much lover quality - when you plug in headphones (or good monitor speakers), quality difference is very noticable and that's a good thing, it just shows how capable SN piano is.
Thanks for your inputs and suggestions.


Congratulations, EO3!


"You are the music while the music lasts" - T.S. Eliot

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New Topics - Multiple Forums
Check this book out
by kjb1611. 09/21/17 09:48 AM
My Yamaha CLP-685 findings and observations
by Amirhsol. 09/21/17 09:28 AM
Interesting Service Done to My Charles Walter
by SonatainfSharp. 09/21/17 09:19 AM
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