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RD-2000 or CP4? #2617414
02/23/17 05:41 PM
02/23/17 05:41 PM
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Macsaint777 Offline OP
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Hello everyone. I am currently in the process of trying to figure out which of these two instruments to purchase. I have a pre-order in with Sweetwater for an RD-2000, but having recently become aware of the CP4, I am wondering if it would be a better option for me.

I love the many controller features of the RD-2000, and having previously owned an RD-800, I like many of the sounds, including the Supernatural Piano. From what I can surmise from YouTube videos, the V-Piano sounds in the RD-2000 sound good, but there is a realism to the CP4 sound that modeled pianos don't seem to have. Now, I know many of you here have the CP4 and love it, so what are your thoughts? Especially helpful would be thoughts from those of you who have played the RD-2000 and who own the CP4.

Here are my needs. Excellent piano sounds that include dark and bright pianos. Some pads and strings, some electric pianos. A killer key action, as close to a real piano as possible. Some external controls, particularly mod wheel as this was lacking on my RD-800. I will use this as a MIDI controller with Logic Pro X running plugins such as Omnisphere and Keyscape as well.


Thank you so much!


Ben



Nord Electro 5D, Roland RD-2000, Lots of plugins, MacBook Pro 2016 TouchBar, Focusrite Clarett 8Pre, Grace Design M920, QSC K 12s, Focal CMS 65s.
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Re: RD-2000 or CP4? [Re: Macsaint777] #2617421
02/23/17 05:51 PM
02/23/17 05:51 PM
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Gombessa Offline
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Not a lot of people have had the chance to play the RD-2000 (was NAMM the only event it's been generally available)? But I think Dave Ferris on here has played it and offered his thoughts compared to his CP4. If he doesn't pop in here maybe reach out to him directly?


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50 || Kawai NV-10, MP11
Re: RD-2000 or CP4? [Re: Macsaint777] #2617470
02/23/17 08:37 PM
02/23/17 08:37 PM
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Glendale, Ca.
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Dave Ferris Offline
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I think if you liked your RD800, I'd be shocked if you didn't love the RD2000.

Yes, I guess I'm one of the few around here that played it at NAMM. Even under noisy conditions, just barely passable Roland phones and only around 20 minutes time with it, I felt the quality of the V-Piano piano sound and player/instrument connection were on par with my CP4.

Of course I'd have to have the two next to each for an extended time, as well as hearing how the Roland sounded through my gigging speakers and preamp/Di (RCF TT08As & JMK Audio JM-110) to make a solid preference. Even then, I'm not sure I could. I felt the Roland was that good.

I'm more of a pure Acoustic piano player that plays Jazz. So I don't use or need any controller or midi functions, computer based software, pitch bend stuff you posted about. Also I rarely use the "other sounds" in my CP4 with the exception of an occasional Rhodes and the default synth pad to layer the CFX grand with so as to create a somewhat Bruce Hornsby / Don Grolnick / Steps Ahead vibe in certain musical contexts.

I do play LH bass from time to time and the Ac. bass on the CP4 is hands down the best I've ever played. The RD2000's was good and would do the job but it wasn't as strong as the Yamaha.

Also the CP4 has the best mono piano patch on a keyboard I've ever owned- the CFX mono. This is very important when gigging and there's only room for one speaker, or you're forced to play through the chick singer's $400 entry level mono PA system. frown

How did you feel about the CP4 vs your RD800 ? If you highly liked the Yamaha over your former board, that could be a sign of where your preferences are leaning these days. The Yamaha is 10 lbs. lighter then the Roland. For that reason alone, that precludes me replacing the CP4 with the RD2000.

I'll just mention that a friend in St. Louis just bought the CP4 to replace his RD800. He mainly plays RnB, Funk and a little R&R. Along with highly enjoying the lighter weight, he much prefers the action and acoustic pianos while playing live to his RD800. He did say he liked the EPs better on the Roland though. He felt they were more realistic sounding and had a better "bark" to them live. I think he uses the QSC K10s fwiw.

If it's Sweetwater, you could always order both , tell them upfront one is coming back after you make a decision and then just pay shipping back on the one. Probably really the only way to be 100% certain.

Good luck with it. Either way I can't seeing you being disappointed. I feel those are the two best stage pianos available at this present time.


https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D
Yamaha CP4, CP5
Re: RD-2000 or CP4? [Re: Macsaint777] #2617474
02/23/17 09:02 PM
02/23/17 09:02 PM
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Macsaint777 Offline OP
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Dave, I so appreciate your thoughts! Thank you very much!

Ben


Nord Electro 5D, Roland RD-2000, Lots of plugins, MacBook Pro 2016 TouchBar, Focusrite Clarett 8Pre, Grace Design M920, QSC K 12s, Focal CMS 65s.
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Re: RD-2000 or CP4? [Re: Macsaint777] #2617487
02/23/17 09:33 PM
02/23/17 09:33 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,348
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Online content
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Kawai James  Online Content
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I'm a big fan of the CP4, perhaps more so the EPs than the APs. I have yet to try the RD-2000, but wasn't bowled over by the RD-800's EPs.

The CP4 is an older model, but it's still a great board in my opinion. However, I doubt its MIDI controller features can match the RD-2000.

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: RD-2000 or CP4? [Re: Macsaint777] #2617497
02/23/17 10:04 PM
02/23/17 10:04 PM
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Macsaint777 Offline OP
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Just a quick response earlier, but I wanted to take the time to properly respond to Dave Ferris since he gave such a detailed response to me.

The fact that you speak so highly of the RD-2000 based on your short time with headphones that are very bad (I've heard them, you are correct) is encouraging. The player to sound connection is very important and something I felt was never quite right on the RD-800. My classically trained friends always commented on the attack of the piano sounds on the RD-800, so that was interesting to hear you praise that particular aspect.

That is a serious set of outboard gear you have your keyboards running through! Those RCF TT08As & JMK Audio JM-110 you mentioned are certainly something to be proud of! I personally use two QSC K12s playing live or a Focusrite 8Pre with a Grace Design m920 and Focal CMV2 in my home setup. It is good to see you have given such attention to the signal path for your sound.

Thanks also for mentioning your friend that replaced their RD-800 with a CP4. That was helpful information to have, considering that I may do the same.

Most of the "other" sounds I would use on the RD-2000, RD-800, or CP4 are good enough on all three that this is not really a huge factor, especially since I have access to software and usually have the Mac running something in Logic under the piano anyway. Still, the upright bass is important for left hand work, and I appreciate you mentioning it.

Lastly, your comment about Sweetwater is spot on, but I have such a good relationship with them that I try to avoid simply trying things out. They have already agreed to knock $500.00 USD off of the RD-2000 for me, so I think I would be wise to simply be patient and continue with that original plan. The CP4 is a temptation for me mainly because it is in stock everywhere. You see, I sold my RD-800 and that left me with a Nord Electro 5D, which is fantastic for organ work, but quite bad for playing piano. I don't regret selling the RD-800 when I did, mainly because now Roland has dropped the price of the RD-800 from $2500, to $1999, and now to $1799.00. I sold mine for $1600.00, so just in time!

I welcome the thoughts of anyone else who wishes to contribute, and thank you again Dave for your detailed and thoughtful response.


Blessings!


Ben


Nord Electro 5D, Roland RD-2000, Lots of plugins, MacBook Pro 2016 TouchBar, Focusrite Clarett 8Pre, Grace Design M920, QSC K 12s, Focal CMS 65s.
Re: RD-2000 or CP4? [Re: Macsaint777] #2617626
02/24/17 10:46 AM
02/24/17 10:46 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,020
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Doug M. Offline
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Cheshire, United Kingdom
Originally Posted by Macsaint777

From what I can surmise from YouTube videos, the V-Piano sounds in the RD-2000 sound good, but there is a realism to the CP4 sound that modeled pianos don't seem to have. Now, I know many of you here have the CP4 and love it, so what are your thoughts? Especially helpful would be thoughts from those of you who have played the RD-2000 and who own the CP4.

Here are my needs. Excellent piano sounds that include dark and bright pianos. Some pads and strings, some electric pianos. A killer key action, as close to a real piano as possible.



Subjective hearing


Firstly, sound taste is subjective, and YouTube videos vary in quality and won't tell you what it's like in terms of playing experience. You need to test these sounds out in a store!

A chap that plays Bach a lot at Dawsons music in Manchester likes the Yamaha digital piano sound, but told me he recognises that it's quite a thin sounding piano. I heard him play the CLP585, and it did sound nice with Bach, but not so great for something more meaty.

My testing

On my test, I didn't think Yamaha's piano sound was competitive with Kawai's, never mind Roland's. The modelled Roland pianos are so much better than the SN sampled grand in the RD800. The only thing about the SN grand piano is that it's dull sounding compared to the Yamaha/Kawai---a character that has vanished in Roland pianos since the introduction of modelled piano.

If you like bright sounding pianos, the Yamaha sound is very bright; however, you can hear how thin the Yamaha CP4 sound compares against the RD800, especially at the bottom few octaves. The Yamaha may sound good for Bach, but I didn't like the Yamaha sound for Rock piano or Jazz.

Piano action is also a subjective thing, but I wasn't massively impressed by my afternoon trial of the CP4 comparing it with the RD800. The CP4 wasn't bad in action terms, it felt quite light and quick at fast repetitive trills etc. I still preferred the PHAIV.

The other thing about the Rolands is that they have so many samples that relate to a specific sound from the past. You'll be trying out a patch and get that déjà vu feeling that you know the sound from a song. The number of sounds in the Roland RD800 was insane, but travelling through them was very fun and would allow a greater amount of creativity when seeking that sound you'd have in mind. The other way of course would be to use a Korg workstation or a Nord (which you can get such variety from the web and download it onto your board).

There were some sounds I preferred on the CP4, but in most areas, the Roland sound was superior or offered more variety.


Playability


The other issue (besides tone) is how responsive the piano is in it's dynamic response. Modelled piano's are known for excelling in this, and you won't be able to experience that dynamic response without playing the FP-90/RD2000.

Other considerations:


The CP4 is also a very old board now: long in the tooth technology wise. It's biggest fault (for me) is user interface with respect to functionality during live performance. In this regards, the RD2000 is much better than the RD800 (more sliders etc).

The CP4 is lighter in weight though, and if you like Yamaha digitals, maybe you'll prefer it.

Action speaks louder than tones.

If you want a killer key action, why not also test the Kawai MP11 and ES8. Both those actions are superior to the CP4, whist the PHA-50 action of the RD2000 competes ok against the MP11, but is a tad less realistic.

To gig or not to gig:

Another point is that if you are not gigging, you probably don't need on-board modelled piano sounds e.g., if you have a laptop with Pianoteq. Also, if you're not gigging, you could go with the MP11, and add your favourite sampled VST, whist getting the top action available on a slab piano.

Modify before you buy


Other than this, you have the ability in most modern slab pianos to modify certain characteristics to suit your own preference. The tonal character is not so easy to modify unless you combine two voices; however all the ancillary can be modified. If you like a brighter sound, you might be able to generate this with the modelled pianos: Physis, Rolands, Pianoteq etc. Only with time in front of an instrument in the store will you be able to explore how well the instrument can be suited to you.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: RD-2000 or CP4? [Re: Kawai James] #2617630
02/24/17 10:51 AM
02/24/17 10:51 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,020
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Doug M. Offline
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Doug M.  Offline
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Cheshire, United Kingdom
Originally Posted by Kawai James
I'm a big fan of the CP4, perhaps more so the EPs than the APs. I have yet to try the RD-2000, but wasn't bowled over by the RD-800's EPs.

The CP4 is an older model, but it's still a great board in my opinion. However, I doubt its MIDI controller features can match the RD-2000.

Cheers,
James
x


Agreed: the Yamaha EPs are probably their strongest sounds at the moment. I'd like to add that I played the Tyros 5. It had more EPs than the CP4. Is a pity that the CP4 doesn't borrow more from the Tyros 5.

On the other hand, the Kawai EPs are also awesome. The drawbar organ sounds on the MP7 put the CP4's to shame.

I need to get a hear of the RD2000 EPs, see if they have improved. I did play around with the sound editor in the RD800, and managed to improve the EPs to my taste.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: RD-2000 or CP4? [Re: Macsaint777] #2617639
02/24/17 11:17 AM
02/24/17 11:17 AM
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Posts: 104
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Macsaint777 Offline OP
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Doug and James, thank you both for your input! Doug, like Dave you have been very thorough in your response. I have played a CP4 for a bit in a store a few months back, I wasn't really considering it at the time, just messing around. I remember not liking the action very much, it seemed a bit too light for me. Speaking of weight, I do "gig" in a sense. I play around town doing blues and jazz, but mainly I bring all my equipment to church every Sunday, so the MP11 is definitely not on my list ha ha!

I am leaning strongly towards the RD-2000 at this point. With its many master controller features, it is better suited to my Logic setup with the Mac on stage.

Very good point regarding the YouTube sound quality. They do compress the heck out of things. The more I listen to the RD-2000 examples (with headphones on), the more I like the sound of the piano, specifically the way it decays and the dynamics to the sound. I recognize that sample based boards like the CP4 are more limited by design in that regard.

I keep reminding myself that I bought an RD-800 for its action and sold a Nord Piano 2 in the same week. They feel is very important, and I do have the Nord Electro 5D I can connect via MIDI to take advantage of their wide variety of piano sounds.

Good thoughts all!

Thank you again, very kind of you all to offer help and advice.


Ben


Nord Electro 5D, Roland RD-2000, Lots of plugins, MacBook Pro 2016 TouchBar, Focusrite Clarett 8Pre, Grace Design M920, QSC K 12s, Focal CMS 65s.
Re: RD-2000 or CP4? [Re: Macsaint777] #2617703
02/24/17 03:22 PM
02/24/17 03:22 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,861
Sydney, Australia
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sullivang Offline
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Originally Posted by Macsaint777


Very good point regarding the YouTube sound quality. They do compress the heck out of things.


Roland themselves are using YouTube to publish RD-2000 recordings - if it were as bad as you say, I think they'd provide separate uncompressed files for download.

https://www.roland.com/us/products/rd-2000/experience/

Greg.


Middle-aged Jeremy Clarkson acolyte.
Re: RD-2000 or CP4? [Re: Macsaint777] #2617793
02/24/17 08:13 PM
02/24/17 08:13 PM
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Macsaint777 Offline OP
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I'm not saying that you can't get a decent idea of how something sounds using YouTube or Soundcloud, but it will sound different with good headphones or through a good outboard system, simply because the compression inherent in both of those services (and others) changes the fundamental nature of what you are hearing. Some people don't notice, but I have very sensitive ears and can tell you I certainly do notice.


Cheers!


Nord Electro 5D, Roland RD-2000, Lots of plugins, MacBook Pro 2016 TouchBar, Focusrite Clarett 8Pre, Grace Design M920, QSC K 12s, Focal CMS 65s.
Re: RD-2000 or CP4? [Re: Macsaint777] #2617821
02/24/17 11:33 PM
02/24/17 11:33 PM
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Captured on a video camera from stage amplification and uploaded to Youtube.



Great example of how well the RD-2000 can potential speak in a room. I'm assuming this is the V-Piano engine. It has a lot of tone/colour variation depending on how the player is articulating the action. This short clip says a lot to me with that regard, with or without crappy youtube compression algorithms.

Re: RD-2000 or CP4? [Re: Macsaint777] #2617850
02/25/17 04:20 AM
02/25/17 04:20 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 3,572
Suffolk, United Kingdom
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EssBrace Online content
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Suffolk, United Kingdom
Yes, sounds good. Somewhat mellow, a bit woody and hammer-y. Not what you ordinarily expect from a modelled piano sound. Good work Roland!


Roland RD-1000 | Nord Piano 3 | Dexibell Vivo P7

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