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Upgrade from Roland FP-4 to Yamaha P255 - doubts #2738290
05/20/18 05:25 PM
05/20/18 05:25 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 428
Europe, Poland
kiedysktos. Offline OP
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kiedysktos.  Offline OP
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Hi piano lovers!

Currently, I have a Roland FP-4 and it's time to upgrade to a piano with a better keyboard. I see that I need this for technique development (articulation etc.). My criteria are:
- I gig a lot, and have 2 levels of stairs, so need to go lightweight. That's why I excluded Kawai ES8
- I need rhodes and piano sounds, one good for each is enough for practice. I play a lot with VSTs like Pianoteq, so for recording and performance will use my Mac as sound source
- I need speakers since sometimes I need to do some quick rehearsals.

I decided to go with P255, since it's 17.4 kg, has 30W speakers, very good rhodes sound and good piano sound. But... I didn't have opportunity to test it because no shop around has it... but I played a few Yamahas like P115 or YDP-143, so I imagine they sound a bit close.

My strongest doubt is the piano sound, since I'm converting from Roland to Yamaha, and I'm afraid that the piano sound will be too bright for me, especially when practicing jazz. Maybe that's something you get used to or even build your skills on to sound more mellow... I don't know.

Any comments or suggestions?


Roland FP-4
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Re: Upgrade from Roland FP-4 to Yamaha P255 - doubts [Re: kiedysktos.] #2738292
05/20/18 05:41 PM
05/20/18 05:41 PM
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America
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Jitin Offline
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If weight and bright sound is concerns look into Roland fp60 ,


P155
Re: Upgrade from Roland FP-4 to Yamaha P255 - doubts [Re: kiedysktos.] #2738293
05/20/18 05:44 PM
05/20/18 05:44 PM
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Cinjero Offline
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This opens up another "subjective sound" topic... Having a Roland myself, it was a difficult choice; even when I played the product at a shop. Now I use it as a controller to a Yamaha C7 (VI) ---- much happier. If I had a redo I might have selected the 255 (Yamaha), but I suppose it depends what else you're looking to get out of it----- strictly the DP itself or expanding to VI.

Re: Upgrade from Roland FP-4 to Yamaha P255 - doubts [Re: kiedysktos.] #2738308
05/20/18 07:52 PM
05/20/18 07:52 PM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 57
ottokeys Offline
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I cannot speak to the P255 but if you're gigging and looking for Rhodes (I and III, as well as Wurlitzer and CS-80 and Clavinet) and FX (drive, tremolo, chorus, reverb, wah, and 2 types of delay), take a look at the little $300 Roland Reface CP. It has mini keys and can output to a regular keyboard via MIDI. I own one and am delighted with its sounds (if not the little keys). Here's a direct comparison to a Rhodes:



Sustain pedal output with half-damper response, too.

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Re: Upgrade from Roland FP-4 to Yamaha P255 - doubts [Re: kiedysktos.] #2738314
05/20/18 08:34 PM
05/20/18 08:34 PM
Joined: May 2013
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Bay Area CA
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pwl Offline
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Originally Posted by kiedysktos.

My strongest doubt is the piano sound, since I'm converting from Roland to Yamaha, and I'm afraid that the piano sound will be too bright for me, especially when practicing jazz

These things are always subjective, of course - but as a former owner of a 255 I didn't find the piano sound particularly bright. (A little boring, maybe . . .) Compared to the Kawai ES8 which I now own, to my ear the Kawai is definitely brighter than the 255.

Re: Upgrade from Roland FP-4 to Yamaha P255 - doubts [Re: kiedysktos.] #2738335
05/21/18 03:03 AM
05/21/18 03:03 AM
Joined: May 2011
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maurus Offline
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The P255 should do fine for your puposes, actually. Before worrying too much, you can always try the built-in EQ.

Of course trying before buying helps; and different Yamahas do sound differently. I've owned a P155 and now the CP4 - both worked for me, including jazz.


Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.
Re: Upgrade from Roland FP-4 to Yamaha P255 - doubts [Re: maurus] #2738340
05/21/18 03:32 AM
05/21/18 03:32 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 428
Europe, Poland
kiedysktos. Offline OP
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kiedysktos.  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Jitin
If weight and bright sound is concerns look into Roland fp60 ,


Yup, I was thinking about this one but also didn't find it locally yet. Do you know if the piano sound is big upgrade from what I hear in FP-4? I suppose it has superNatural pianos and rhodes? I'm not sure if those are superior to Yamaha pure CF engine or not.

I'm a bit worried to stay in the world of Roland forever. When you don't have a grand and real Rhodes, you can start to perceive those sounds only from a single manufacturer perspective.... smile That's why I consider switching to Yamaha world and checking out a different perspective. Maybe that's just "Steinway vs Yamaha" sound issue, but for me it's hard to judge after a few hours in the store. For me some conclusions about the sound you draw after months or even years of playing a DP.

Originally Posted by pwl

These things are always subjective, of course - but as a former owner of a 255 I didn't find the piano sound particularly bright. (A little boring, maybe . . .) Compared to the Kawai ES8 which I now own, to my ear the Kawai is definitely brighter than the 255.


That's surprising, thanks!

Originally Posted by maurus
The P255 should do fine for your puposes, actually. Before worrying too much, you can always try the built-in EQ.

Of course trying before buying helps; and different Yamahas do sound differently. I've owned a P155 and now the CP4 - both worked for me, including jazz.


Makes me more calm, thanks smile


Roland FP-4
Re: Upgrade from Roland FP-4 to Yamaha P255 - doubts [Re: kiedysktos.] #2738344
05/21/18 04:10 AM
05/21/18 04:10 AM
Joined: May 2018
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kapeIIi Offline
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I would not buy P255. Unless you love he sound and action, it's years behind Kawai ES8 and Roland FP90, and latter two you will not not much more expensive than Yamaha if you will look good enough.

Re: Upgrade from Roland FP-4 to Yamaha P255 - doubts [Re: kiedysktos.] #2738346
05/21/18 04:30 AM
05/21/18 04:30 AM
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maurus Offline
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Well, kapelli, this "years behind" statement does not become more valid by repetition. For gigging musicians the criteria are different than for home users. Low weight, reliability, a good action and just a few sounds that do the job is what you need. In these respects some heavyweights for home use are out, quite simply.


Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.
Re: Upgrade from Roland FP-4 to Yamaha P255 - doubts [Re: kiedysktos.] #2738348
05/21/18 04:43 AM
05/21/18 04:43 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
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Suffolk, United Kingdom
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EssBrace Offline
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Suffolk, United Kingdom
Gigging = Yamaha in my opinion.

You just can't get a Roland to sound anything like the fat, ballsy, musical Yamaha sound. Technically, if one wishes to forensically disect the piano sounds then there are others that to my mind are certainly superior to Yamaha but if you just want it to sit in a mix without clashing with anything and yet remain articulate and easy for the audience to follow there's still nothing like a Yamaha.


Roland RD-1000 | Nord Piano 3 | Dexibell Vivo P7
Re: Upgrade from Roland FP-4 to Yamaha P255 - doubts [Re: kiedysktos.] #2738349
05/21/18 04:51 AM
05/21/18 04:51 AM
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maurus Offline
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I won't argue with that, Steve wink
Still, I've seen some musicians doing wonderful things with Nords and good amplification as well... wink


Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.
Re: Upgrade from Roland FP-4 to Yamaha P255 - doubts [Re: maurus] #2738352
05/21/18 05:28 AM
05/21/18 05:28 AM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 6
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kapeIIi Offline
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Originally Posted by maurus
Well, kapelli, this "years behind" statement does not become more valid by repetition. For gigging musicians the criteria are different than for home users. Low weight, reliability, a good action and just a few sounds that do the job is what you need. In these respects some heavyweights for home use are out, quite simply.



Thanks for clarification maurus. I agree, that for gigging, action and piano sound does not have to be perfect,as many of those delicate pianos aspects of resonances and so will will dissappear among other instruments.

6kg less than FP90 is a lot as well.

Re: Upgrade from Roland FP-4 to Yamaha P255 - doubts [Re: kiedysktos.] #2738357
05/21/18 07:03 AM
05/21/18 07:03 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 kiedysktos.
Hi piano lovers!

Currently, I have a Roland FP-4 and it's time to upgrade to a piano with a better keyboard. I see that I need this for technique development (articulation etc.). My criteria are:
- I gig a lot, and have 2 levels of stairs, so need to go lightweight. That's why I excluded Kawai ES8
- I need rhodes and piano sounds, one good for each is enough for practice. I play a lot with VSTs like Pianoteq, so for recording and performance will use my Mac as sound source
- I need speakers since sometimes I need to do some quick rehearsals.

I decided to go with P255, since it's 17.4 kg, has 30W speakers, very good rhodes sound and good piano sound. But... I didn't have opportunity to test it because no shop around has it... but I played a few Yamahas like P115 or YDP-143, so I imagine they sound a bit close.

My strongest doubt is the piano sound, since I'm converting from Roland to Yamaha, and I'm afraid that the piano sound will be too bright for me, especially when practicing jazz. Maybe that's something you get used to or even build your skills on to sound more mellow... I don't know.

Any comments or suggestions?


The Yamaha sound is a bit thin and as mentioned very bright.
TBH, portable pianos are not built for gigging and tend to be on the heavy side. A better option for you would be a stage piano. Many venues have a PA which you can jack into with a stage piano, or, you purchase a small PA of your own to take around.

Light weight stage pianos that have good Rhodes sounds and piano sounds include:

1) Korg Grandstage (or SV1) 20Kg
2) Kurzweil Forte SE (18.5 kg)
3) Roland RD800 (21.7 kg)
4) Kawai MP7 (21kg)
5) Nord Piano 3 (18,2 kg)


The only portable you might look at which gives you that Roland piano sound is:
Roland FP60 (19.0Kg) - Speakers: 8 x 12 cm (3-3/16 x 4-3/4 inches) x 2 (with speaker box); 13 W x 2. (26 watts).

This instrument has the advantage of a better action and newer sampling/modelling engines compared to the tired old Yamaha. Although the watt output of the Roland is slightly less, I'd wager that the speakers/amp are better in the Roland (worth testing).

I suspect you'll find the weightier pianos (21 kg or more) too heavy; however, the FP60 and the Kurzweil forte SE are probably competitive for your needs. The Nord would be perfect but it is expensive. The Kurzweil is a favoured brand among gigging musicians due to build quality and piano, organ, epiano sample quality. However, the Kurzweil action is probably slightly below the Roland (i.e., Kurzweil use Fatar action).

Last edited by Doug M.; 05/21/18 07:06 AM.

Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Upgrade from Roland FP-4 to Yamaha P255 - doubts [Re: maurus] #2738361
05/21/18 08:17 AM
05/21/18 08:17 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 3,567
Suffolk, United Kingdom
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EssBrace Offline
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Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted by maurus
I've seen some musicians doing wonderful things with Nords and good amplification as well... wink


Agreed. I still miss my Nord sometimes. It's worth bearing in mind that the Nord Piano 4 is almost £1000 more expensive than the P255. And as you said, the panel EQ on the Yammie is a doddle to use on the fly.

I also don't hold with the old mantra that Yamahas are very bright. To my ears most Yamaha concert grand samples are broadly neutral but, like their acoustic stablemates, they tend to have an unusual degree of clarity. It seems to me that some people mistake this quality for brightness. They get nothing like as bright as the sampled/modelled 'Supernatural' Rolands (such as FP30 and its brethren) that at higher velocities have a jarringly metallic character on some of the notes to my ears.


Roland RD-1000 | Nord Piano 3 | Dexibell Vivo P7
Re: Upgrade from Roland FP-4 to Yamaha P255 - doubts [Re: kiedysktos.] #2738366
05/21/18 08:39 AM
05/21/18 08:39 AM
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maurus Offline
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Yes, this matches my own impressions.

Edit: By the way, what became of the acoustic piano you once owned? Do you still have it?

Re: Upgrade from Roland FP-4 to Yamaha P255 - doubts [Re: maurus] #2738371
05/21/18 09:04 AM
05/21/18 09:04 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
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Suffolk, United Kingdom
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EssBrace Offline
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Originally Posted by maurus
Yes, this matches my own impressions.

Edit: By the way, what became of the acoustic piano you once owned? Do you still have it?


Well remembered! I had a Yamaha grand but really it was in a space that was possibly too small. The ceiling was vaulted and fired the piano sound back at me in a rather oppressive way due to the angle of the ceiling. I later had a Kawai K3 which was acoustically very nice but I wasn't mad about the action. Currently using mainly a Dexibell P7 and the Kawai CS11 (which is amazingly nice) but the Kawai is under a sheet due to ongoing building works.


Roland RD-1000 | Nord Piano 3 | Dexibell Vivo P7
Re: Upgrade from Roland FP-4 to Yamaha P255 - doubts [Re: EssBrace] #2738378
05/21/18 09:48 AM
05/21/18 09:48 AM
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Jitin Offline
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EssBrace: Do you miss having an acoustic compared to CS11 or even Vivop7 and korg g1 air?


P155
Re: Upgrade from Roland FP-4 to Yamaha P255 - doubts [Re: Jitin] #2738382
05/21/18 10:07 AM
05/21/18 10:07 AM
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EssBrace Offline
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Originally Posted by Jitin
EssBrace: Do you miss having an acoustic compared to CS11 or even Vivop7 and korg g1 air?


I miss the resonance and the ever-changing character of an acoustic. But the reality for me, with the particular instruments I had in the space I was using, just didn't work well enough for me.

I've just built a new house and there is space for a six foot grand in the middle of a reasonably large room. So when finances allow I'll have another go with the acoustic project!

When upright shopping a few years ago I played a well used Yamaha U3 and completely lost myself in it, in a way that has never happened before or since. It wasn't the greatest piano but there was something magical about it. Unbeknown to me another family had just tried it before my arrival and came back as I was finishing and they bought it right from under my fingers. My dream is to recapture that feeling in a new six foot grand.


Roland RD-1000 | Nord Piano 3 | Dexibell Vivo P7
Re: Upgrade from Roland FP-4 to Yamaha P255 - doubts [Re: kiedysktos.] #2738449
05/21/18 02:41 PM
05/21/18 02:41 PM
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ottokeys Offline
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If you consider Doug M.'s suggestion of a stage piano, take a look at Korg's recently announced D1. Around $800, and has the RH3 action also in the C1, SV-1 and Kronos X.

In this just-posted comparison review with the P125 the (Australian music store) reviewers preferred the action of the Korg to the Yamaha:


Re: Upgrade from Roland FP-4 to Yamaha P255 - doubts [Re: kiedysktos.] #2738501
05/21/18 06:51 PM
05/21/18 06:51 PM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Online content
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Nice comparison video.

Incidentally, I stumbled upon another one from the same guys comparing the Yamaha P125, P115, and Kawai ES110.



Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Upgrade from Roland FP-4 to Yamaha P255 - doubts [Re: kiedysktos.] #2738502
05/21/18 06:59 PM
05/21/18 06:59 PM
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ottokeys Offline
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Yes, I saw that one the other day. The man in the foreground owns the store and when the seated man said in the Korg shootout video that the reason the Yamaha P125 was in this second shootout because it had unofficially won the last one, the owner shrugged (in apparently polite disagreement) and said, "It depends." I LOLed.

If you watch the video of that first shootout you'll see that the Kawai actually seemed to win on sound and action and the better pedal.

Re: Upgrade from Roland FP-4 to Yamaha P255 - doubts [Re: ottokeys] #2738511
05/21/18 07:38 PM
05/21/18 07:38 PM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
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Originally Posted by ottokeys
If you watch the video of that first shootout you'll see that the Kawai actually seemed to win on sound and action and the better pedal.


Yes, that was my impression too, but I thought that was just my bias showing through...

James
x


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

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