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Re: New Series of HP and LX Pianos from Roland [Re: JayGVan] #2516243
03/01/16 09:34 AM
03/01/16 09:34 AM
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Virginia
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Kawai MP11 (v1), iMac 2017, Yamaha HS8's, Sennheiser 650, Focusrite 2i4, Pianoteq 6.4.0, Steinway Model A, Mason and Hamlin Model AA
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Re: New Series of HP and LX Pianos from Roland [Re: ThatAdamGuy] #2516265
03/01/16 10:53 AM
03/01/16 10:53 AM
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Daryl D Offline
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Originally Posted by ThatAdamGuy
Hello! I'm a new member and longtime albeit lapsed pianist... and very grateful for all the details here! I've read through 10 or so pages already, and I hope you'll forgive me for jumping in before reviewing the entire thread.

From this thread + various blog posts & YouTube videos I've seen, I'm rather smitten by these new Roland pianos. I'm hoping to visit an authorized dealer here in the SF Bay Area this weekend, but I realize unfortunately that it'll be hard to compare the models in the showroom vs. my home.

Speaking of my home: it's a townhome, with the living room/dining room combo of modest length/width but big (2 story) height and a bit echo'y. Walls are also sadly a bit thin, so I don't envision playing anything at high volume (at least often :p).

So my questions to you:
  • I haven't bought music keyboards in years (yes, since the Ensoniq TS-12, Roland W-30, and Yamaha DX7... that should give you an idea ;-). How much haggling is typical... in store? online? Especially for these premium pianos. Though my gut suggests that -- given apparent capacity constraints for some models -- dealers may not be amenable at all to haggling frown
Thanks so much for your input!


ThatAdamGuy, may be a little too late for you if you already bought one, but in the U.S. you can definitely negotiate discounts on the mid-to-high end DPs because they are considerably marked up here, unlike in Europe, which has far greater price transparency. The Roland HP/LX series are only sold in stores by authorized dealers and many stores won't advertise, or even display, their prices. I bought a HP605, which I managed to negotiate about 25% off the asking price/MSRP. There's another forum on here called "DIGITAL PIANOS PRICES PAID" (the forum name is in all-caps, I'm just quoting it), where people often post what they paid at a given location for a given model. Warning - when you see what people pay in Europe for nice Rolands, Kawais, and Yamahas, you'll be disheartened at how much more we're expected to pay here in the U.S. There's more price transparency with buying cars than nice DPs here, sadly.

Re: New Series of HP and LX Pianos from Roland [Re: JayGVan] #2516278
03/01/16 11:38 AM
03/01/16 11:38 AM
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The MSRP for the LX-17 is $7,000; I believe someone here got a quote from a dealer for $6,000.

Re: New Series of HP and LX Pianos from Roland [Re: Composergirl] #2516283
03/01/16 11:52 AM
03/01/16 11:52 AM
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Alexander Borro Offline
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Originally Posted by Composergirl

If some of you here say that HP603 is kind of improved version of HP504 I want to believe the sound system on 603 is better and more authentic…? Do you really feel big difference?
I didn't have a chance to compare the new models with the old ones since they had only the new ones at the store.


I always feel that is a personal question, do you like it, is what matters. Some would say no, some would say yes. In a nutshell Roland have take a different approach to creating piano sounds, modelling versus mainly using recorded samples in the others to create sound.

I'll try to do a quick sum up how I see it. All that info is probably buried away in this huge long thread already, but not going to check that.

Essentially, the latest models in Roland 6 series do not use any samples at all, the previous models 5 series only used samples in the attack portion of the sound when the key is struck.

As a result of this change from the 5 series to the 6 series many will say it has improved ... but ... there are some that prefer the older models. FWIW I never played any of the roland models as yet, but based on demos, I think that modelling the piano key attack portion can be heard and the difference it makes to the sound, whether it is something you like more or less, listen and see. I think it comes at a cost in some respects, but it has also brought some new benefits too in other areas of the sound of these pianos.

If you peruse back through this thread a few have uploaded some samples directly recorded on these new pianos IIRC.

In very short but brief rough sort way if you like your piano to sound more like an authentic piano in terms of tone, like a yamaha, steinway or Kawai concert grand and that is what you like and find that important, you should perhaps look at such products. i.e. Kawai, Yamaha, Casio, Korg digital piano products etc. though many of those also fall somewhat short in replicating tone accurately I would say too, hence, many look at alternative software products on the market today that can be run from a computer to generate sounds connected to a piano, but that's a whole new topic.

Now, The latest Roland pianos have their own unique sound since they don't do that replication of authentic tone based on any particular model as such. On the other hand, the Roland pianos do other things very well people like, how the pedal resonance and string resonances sound and behave/respond when you play them, which IMHO brings a sort of a lively and very expressive nature to the sound that others products arguably lack when you hear them played.

Personally I think all of these products ( sampled versus modelled ) have merits, strengths and weaknesses, things I like more or less about them when I hear them. I would say with your new venture into digital pianos as I gather from you other posts, you will have to come to accept that none of them will exactly be like an acoustic or that you can expect that.

I gathered you played for a long time the other day, so I would argue try them in the shops at all costs since you must be the judge, a lot of it is about preferences that appeal to you.

My 2 cents

Good luck smile

Last edited by Alexander Borro; 03/01/16 12:04 PM.

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Re: New Series of HP and LX Pianos from Roland [Re: JayGVan] #2516290
03/01/16 12:24 PM
03/01/16 12:24 PM
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roytheboy Offline
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Originally Posted by Alexander Borro
Essentially, the latest models in Roland 6 series do not use any samples at all, the previous models 5 series only used samples in the attack portion of the sound when the key is struck.

Just to clarify, Alexander is talking about the four primary piano sounds here. There are also hundreds of sampled sounds that you can select and mix in, ranging from organs, strings and brass, to synth and percussion, and including at least 15 additional sampled piano sounds.

Re: New Series of HP and LX Pianos from Roland [Re: roytheboy] #2516329
03/01/16 02:28 PM
03/01/16 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by roytheboy
Originally Posted by Alexander Borro
Essentially, the latest models in Roland 6 series do not use any samples at all, the previous models 5 series only used samples in the attack portion of the sound when the key is struck.

Just to clarify, Alexander is talking about the four primary piano sounds here. There are also hundreds of sampled sounds that you can select and mix in, ranging from organs, strings and brass, to synth and percussion, and including at least 15 additional sampled piano sounds.


roytheboy, I have an HP605 on order (two weeks out) and didn't demo any piano voices beyond the four modeled pianos. I'm curious about your thoughts on how the additional sampled piano sound compared to the sampled sounds of a Kawai CAx, Yamaha CLP-xxx, etc...? I appreciate they're not sampled using the same sources (Yamaha CFX, Bösendorfer Imperial, Shigeru Kawai, etc.), but curious if the sound quality is about on par, or whether these are more akin to what you'd expect on a much cheaper digital keyboard? I wasn't too impressed with Roland's string selections (I thought the Yamaha Clavinovas and even the Kawai CA-series were better), but if the sampled piano sounds are about on par with comparable Yamaha and Kawai models, I'd think that'd be a huge selling point for Roland - i.e., "sampled piano sounds as good as the competition's, in addition to physical modeling w/four preconfigured modeled piano voices." Anyway, I've heard very little discussion about Roland's sampled piano voices on the new HP/LX series. Thanks in advance.

Re: New Series of HP and LX Pianos from Roland [Re: JayGVan] #2516330
03/01/16 02:35 PM
03/01/16 02:35 PM
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Having read this all, I am still confused, but certainly someone can help.

Regarding the sound generation, do the new Roland pianos we talk about here have physical modelling or not? It seems they have. It it unclear if this new modelling is similar to that of the V-piano.

Somewhere it is said that the new Roland pianos/action have a triple sensor, so the tone becomes velocity dependent. Was this not the case on HP5XX series, PHAIII action ? Is it the case on the v-piano ?

Somewhere it was said that the V-piano grand action is superior to even acoustic grand actions in regard of sensitivity of touch and control and precission. The PHA-50 action can compete or is even better ?

Regards
ap55

Last edited by ap55; 03/01/16 03:05 PM.
Re: New Series of HP and LX Pianos from Roland [Re: Daryl D] #2516338
03/01/16 02:53 PM
03/01/16 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Daryl D
roytheboy, I have an HP605 on order (two weeks out) and didn't demo any piano voices beyond the four modeled pianos. I'm curious about your thoughts on how the additional sampled piano sound compared to the sampled sounds of a Kawai CAx, Yamaha CLP-xxx, etc...? I appreciate they're not sampled using the same sources (Yamaha CFX, Bösendorfer Imperial, Shigeru Kawai, etc.), but curious if the sound quality is about on par, or whether these are more akin to what you'd expect on a much cheaper digital keyboard? I wasn't too impressed with Roland's string selections (I thought the Yamaha Clavinovas and even the Kawai CA-series were better), but if the sampled piano sounds are about on par with comparable Yamaha and Kawai models, I'd think that'd be a huge selling point for Roland - i.e., "sampled piano sounds as good as the competition's, in addition to physical modeling w/four preconfigured modeled piano voices." Anyway, I've heard very little discussion about Roland's sampled piano voices on the new HP/LX series. Thanks in advance.

Hi Daryl - I spent many hours in the showroom comparing the HP605 (which I bought) with comparable models from Yamaha and Kawai, and whilst I did indeed try many of the secondary sounds on just about all of the DPs on the showroom floor, I did not make any focussed comparisons beyond the primary grand piano sounds. In this respect, I preferred the Roland, but that is not to say that the others were no good.

It's only once you get the Rolland home and start playing it with soul that you realise what a huge leap forward the modelled tech is. Different people use different expressions for this, but I would simply say that I 'feel' (on many levels) like I'm playing a real piano (which I've had in my home all my life, but it's on its last legs), as opposed to a sampled representation. The difference is subtle, but HUGE in terms of how one engages with the instrument.

So in reply to your question, I can't really say how the sampled piano sounds compare, because I didn't put the effort into making exact comparisons, but there was a huge Yamaha 'mission control' DP that had additional non-piano sounds that blew me away. But the primary piano sound simply didn't compare to the HP605, and that was what we were buying it for, so the Roland won it.

All that said, when I want the sound of an upright, or a blend of two other piano sounds to give a subtly honky-tonk sound, for example, I am very impressed with the HP605's abilities, even though the sounds are sampled (unless you're blending a modelled and a sampled sound together).

The blending (dual) of sounds is, for me, a great plus, as you can blend two rich organ sounds together to raise the roof when playing Toccata, or two different strings sounds together to make up for the fact that you can't control the decay of any of the sampled sounds (which is a pain, but we wanted a piano first and foremost). HTH

PS: I hope you enjoy your new toy smile

Re: New Series of HP and LX Pianos from Roland [Re: Daryl D] #2516341
03/01/16 02:57 PM
03/01/16 02:57 PM
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I am also interested in opinions about the sampled piano sounds.
Can they really be as good as the "major" sampled sounds of the competitors? I don't know why, but I highly doubt it.
In any case, on the Clavinovas I liked both the Bosendorfer and the CFX, together with the generic ones (Mellow, Bright, etc...).
How do the sampled pianos on the HP/LX compare to all of them? or even the sampled pianos on the previous generation models.

Re: New Series of HP and LX Pianos from Roland [Re: JayGVan] #2516365
03/01/16 03:37 PM
03/01/16 03:37 PM
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I feel another sigh coming and it would be well justified. :))

Yes, ap55, the new HP/LX pianos have 4 different completely modeled piano tones (and hundreds of other tones, but those are not so relevant if you want a piano). No sampling is involved in the main pianos, just physical modelling, similar to the one in v-piano, although less adjustable, for good reason in my opinion.

The actions you named all handle very nicely and to my liking, they are all triple sensor and each iteration brings improvements over the previous one, although the differences aren't day and night. But they're definitely there.

For the ones asking about the other, sampled piano sounds in the new series. It seems a bit counter-intuitive to me. If you buy a piano who's biggest strength is the very responsive and natural feeling physically-modeled sound, why would you want sampled ones?
Kawai gives you that but I don't like them as much and find their behavior a little less natural, despite the great action and them being great pianos. Yamaha also gives you that, but I'm not fond of their action or sound except their high end models, which I still think cost way too much for what they offer and I would easily choose a product of the competition's.

If you want great sampled sounds, you can always connect your piano to the computer and you get the best of both worlds, because computer based samples are in another league compared to the ones in DP at the moment. At the same time, you have a standalone piano with physical modelling that responds beautifully and naturally to the playing, unlike some others.

@composergirl - how about on the headphones? The speakers themselves, although decent for the price, aren't the greatest and the same goes for the 603. If there is where the problem lies, consider a piano with a better sound system. To see if you like the sound of a piano, you should try it with good (great) quality headphones. You should thoroughly test the new range in person when considering a purchase, given the large expense. Also, you should test the offerings of all other manufacturers (with the same pair of quality headphones, to take the sound system and the acoustics of the stores out of the equation) and see which models are most to your liking.

My 2 (+2 +2 +2 ...) cents.

Re: New Series of HP and LX Pianos from Roland [Re: mcoll] #2516370
03/01/16 03:45 PM
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@mcoll - Regarding the sampled sounds - just interested in a comparison, mainly because I get a feeling that I want more than 4 pianos, and out of curiousity. (And probably because I feel that it's a "fallback" option)
About the high-end Yamaha models you mentioned - here the CLP-575 costs about the same as the HP605, and these are my two main competitors.
Regarding the "decent" speaker quality - what would you say about the speaker system of the HP605?
I am mainly interested in a GOOD speaker sound (without headphones, although I will play with them as well). The price difference between the HP605 and the LX7 is just too huge here...

Edit:
The general feeling and impression is important for me as well (ofcourse)

Last edited by barakbk; 03/01/16 03:47 PM.
Re: New Series of HP and LX Pianos from Roland [Re: barakbk] #2516374
03/01/16 04:14 PM
03/01/16 04:14 PM
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roytheboy Offline
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Originally Posted by mcoll
If you buy a piano who's biggest strength is the very responsive and natural feeling physically-modeled sound, why would you want sampled ones?

Not everybody is a piano purist; some of us like to experiment with sound (as well as having a great grand piano sound from their DP). I like playing organ pieces, and strings, and synth music too. That doesn't make me unable to appreciate a superior modelled piano sound.

Originally Posted by barakbk
Regarding the "decent" speaker quality - what would you say about the speaker system of the HP605?

The HP605 sounds better than the HP603, but not as good as the LX7, as you might expect, but the difference is not big enough to justify the price differences, IMHO, if you have to be careful with your cash. I settled on the HP605 because I wanted full bluetooth functionality. I am more than happy with the quality of the sound coming from the HP605, but if you are a audiophilic perfectionist (made up word), pop down to your local Roland dealer and try them out wink

Re: New Series of HP and LX Pianos from Roland [Re: JayGVan] #2516376
03/01/16 04:17 PM
03/01/16 04:17 PM
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For the modeled vs. sampled sounds question - I have written in my previous post that although I always was very picky about "the real piano sound", in case of HP605 I gave up smile At first I was not very happy with the realism of the modeled sound, but within first couple of hours I completely (and I mean COMPLETELY) forgot about it, since I was so blown away by the real "feel" of the piano, the combination of the physical aspect (keyboard, piano sound system) and the sound response of the piano (I am not sure about what exactly causes it, the resonances, the tone decay...). I would NOT change this for the 'real' sound by any means now. This is actually the first time I fell like playing a real piano, never happened to me before.

So for me it was a revelation of sorts that although the 'realistic' sound itself was the most important for me, I realized that by 'sound' one have to take also the 'response' and 'total feel' into account smile Hard to describe. If you are in any way unsure of the modeled sounds, do yourself a favor and TRY the new Roland pianos. Really. There is a great chance you will end up convinced and smiling.

As for the other (sampled) sounds, I am a bit disappointed. Most of the GM/GS sounds are, well, just complimentary (with few exceptions), especially acoustic sounds. Or maybe the gap between the modeled pianos and sampled ones is just too big to appreciate the additional sounds/tones. Just my opinion. Saying that, it really is nice to have sampled sounds too, by layering them you can get very nice combinations (organ sound, piano variations). But after all I consider HP605 to be PRIMARILY the great digital piano, not a synth.


Roland HP605
Re: New Series of HP and LX Pianos from Roland [Re: JayGVan] #2516423
03/01/16 07:01 PM
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MichaelIsGreat Offline
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Hello Jay,

I am planning to buy one of the new Roland digital pianos. But what is really extremely bad is that all the Roland apps are working only on Apple products using the mobile Apple iOS operating system!!

PiaScore, Piano Designer, etc., all running on an iPad. How could Roland be so blind?!!

I have always bought and used ONLY Windows computers and tablets. Do you know if Roland is going to open their eyes and discover that the majority of computer users are not Apple users but they are in fact Windows users running on Intel processors?!!!

Could you convey to the appropriate departments at Roland that they must create Windows versions of ALL their Roland apps, starting by the Piano Designer?!!

I would NEVER EVER buy an Apple tablet or an Apple computer or a Google Android tablet or a Google Android computer!! Why? Because the main OS is Windows and there are more than FIVE MILLIONS OF FULL PROGRAMS AND MANY APPS RUNNING ON THE WINDOWS OS, CURRENTLY VERSION 10.

Thanks for your feedback on this matter.

Michael

Re: New Series of HP and LX Pianos from Roland [Re: JayGVan] #2516430
03/01/16 07:28 PM
03/01/16 07:28 PM
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Vancouver, BC
JayGVan Offline OP
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In the tablet market anyways, Windows is a ways behind in terms of market share.

I'll pass it along.

Mobile computing is increasingly very important to us as evidenced by the selection of apps that started with iOS, are gradually making their way to Android. And maybe one day, on Windows/mobile.

Roland is always one of the first companies to have updated drivers available for our products when a new OS comes for either Windows or Mac.

To be clear, Roland Pianos can utilize PiaScore, but it is not a Roland App.

The apps are also an addition to a fine musical instrument. In fact, many (I would suspect a majority) of our users don't use any apps with their pianos.

i don't know what the development costs would look like for these things, but I am sure that the factory and the engineers have looked into it, and assessed the Return on making them. Whether or not that comes to fruition is a decision that gets made way above my pay grade.

Jay


Formerly in the business. Now just a piano fan.
Re: New Series of HP and LX Pianos from Roland [Re: JayGVan] #2516436
03/01/16 08:04 PM
03/01/16 08:04 PM
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Michael,

The point of these apps is so that users can connect to their DPs with their tablets or phones in front of them on the piano. According to netmarketshare.com, as of this month, Windows OS represents just over 2% of the total Mobile/Tablet Operating System Market Share. iOS and Android account for 92% of the market, so I think that Roland knows what it is doing on this score.

https://www.netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=8&qpcustomd=1

Of the two Roland apps for DPs, Piano Partner does not yet work with the new pianos, so you're not missing out on anything there. Piano Designer is only a more convenient way to change the sound parameters that you can already change via the piano's control buttons. In fact, all you are missing out on is the ability to upload a couple of parameter maps that you could configure manually if you want.

As for how great Windows is in your mind ...don't get me started! No, seriously, don't!

Re: New Series of HP and LX Pianos from Roland [Re: Nordomus] #2516441
03/01/16 08:25 PM
03/01/16 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Nordomus
Problem is with those few keys.

Nordomus, I've watched your video and from what I have seen you have a few keys, at least one whose sound is noticeably different! I tested once again carefully the keys on my LX-7, only white keys, black keys, and both playing chromatic scale and I haven't noticed anything, even slightest difference. I am sorry for you and hope you will get it sorted.


Zbigniew

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Re: New Series of HP and LX Pianos from Roland [Re: JayGVan] #2516523
03/02/16 02:56 AM
03/02/16 02:56 AM
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Daryl D Offline
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Just wanted to say 'thanks' to all for the thoughts/comments here - this is a great community! Can't wait for my HP605 to arrive - will share my thoughts on some of the questions I've been asking once I get to know it better.

I'm a novice pianist, unfortunately, but can attest like roytheboy and others that when I sat down at the Kawai (CA-67 and 97) and the Roland HP605 - while the GHII action was great on the Kawais - the details of the modeled piano sounds (resonances, decay, etc.) of the Roland blew me away. E.g., the Kawais and the Yamahas didn't seem to take into consideration whether you have other keys already depressed at the time you strike a new note/chord - whereas with the Roland, it was evident. I'm guessing this is a merit of physical modeling vs. sampling, although I'd imagine that you could apply modeling techniques against samples to arrive at something similar (I'm pretty certain the video game industry does what I'd assume to be somewhat analogous stuff with 3D graphics model rendering starting with actual picture models). Will be interesting to see where the DP industry goes - pure physical modeling or samples morphed by modeling algorithms.

Re: New Series of HP and LX Pianos from Roland [Re: Celdor] #2516527
03/02/16 03:22 AM
03/02/16 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Celdor
Originally Posted by Nordomus
Problem is with those few keys.

Nordomus, I've watched your video and from what I have seen you have a few keys, at least one whose sound is noticeably different! I tested once again carefully the keys on my LX-7, only white keys, black keys, and both playing chromatic scale and I haven't noticed anything, even slightest difference. I am sorry for you and hope you will get it sorted.

Thank you I've actually some troubles with that actually but I'll keep you posted. Don't want to start shitstorm prematurely smile

Re: New Series of HP and LX Pianos from Roland [Re: mcoll] #2516542
03/02/16 05:36 AM
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Composergirl Offline
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Composergirl  Offline
Full Member
C

Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 28
Norway
Yes, I do have very good Audio-Technica headphones that I always take with me when I test pianos smile

What I find strange is that almost everyone are saying that those pianos with a sound system like CA97 are much better, but I played them and it sounded like from a box and it was not authentic at all + too loud even when volume is down on like 30%. Acoustic pianos (upright) actually are not so loud and they don't have subwoofer effect. What I am expecting from speakers is clear sound, not necessarily powerful. Maybe my ears are too sensitive or maybe I still have to learn to like DPs in general... Tomorrow I have a chance to try Roland and Yamaha again. There are not so many Kawai dealers around me and since I live a bit far away from big cities like Oslo, I don't have an opportunity to test them often. And my local store have 5 pianos, (3 Yamaha, 2 old Kawai models, no Roland). So, sadly it's problematic to test all of them at one or two places and come back the next day for new testing again frown

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