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Roland FP-90 Key Action/Bed Noise? #2742323 06/05/18 02:59 PM
Joined: Jun 2018
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Mugi-Chan Offline OP
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Hello everyone!

I registered on this forum to ask about the Key Action/Keybed found on the FP-90. I'll explain...

I went to the nearest music store to try out the LX-17 when it came out, not that I had any room for it or the finances to buy it but I wanted to try it out to see how good it was. And I thought it was great, but the pricetag was a bit much for me. Then Roland released the FP-90 which I was immediately very interested in so went in twice to try it out and then I finally went for it and bought it.

I would say it is as close to "optimal" for my personal needs. Sounds very good, and the PHA-50 key action is very smooth and easy to play, in fact it's probably the best feeling digital piano I've ever had the pleasure of playing on in terms of playing feel. But then here's the problem and what I want to ask you all about.

When I play the piano I hear this ever so slight swishing sound as I depress the keys. It occurs consistently across the entire range of the keyboard and to me it is audible even when I have the volume on.Coming from and having been a Yamaha-fan for all my life I have very little experience with Roland and their different keybeds, their quirks and noises so that's why I am asking here. The Graded Hammer (GH) key action from my Yamaha P-155 does not have a swishing sound on depressing the keys but is quiet until the key bottoms out.

Since I didn't hear or notice this when I auditioned the LX-17 and FP-90 in store I e-mailed the music store where I bought the piano a few days ago and their response was quite rude commenting how all digital pianos have a "swishing noise" to thier key actions and that if I thought there was a problem with the piano I had bought I should get in touch with Roland....

Now if the noise of the PHA-50 key action/keybed is supposed to sound like this I guess I'll just have to get used to it (because everything else about this digital piano I love. It's great!), I have also read places that earlier Roland keybeds were noisy in comparison to the PHA-50....

Sorry for the lengthy post and I hope someone can help answer my question.

//Mugi-Chan


Current: Roland FP-90 | Yamaha P-155 | Yamaha Tyros 2
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Re: Roland FP-90 Key Action/Bed Noise? [Re: Mugi-Chan] #2742388 06/05/18 07:54 PM
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Kawai James Offline
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Hello Mugi-Chan, welcome to the forum.

If you have any concerns with the your FP-90, I would certainly contact the Roland distributor/subsidiary in your country for reassurance.

Personally, while the response from the store may have been a little impolite, I'm inclined to agree that all digital piano keyboard actions produce some mechanical noise to a greater or lesser extent. It's often stated that acoustic pianos keyboard actions also produce a fair amount of noise, however this is usually masked by the sound produced by the instrument.

Given that the swishing noise produced by your Roland is relatively minor, I expect it will also be masked by the sound produced by the instrument's speakers, or completely inaudible when wearing headphones. In this case, I don't personally believe the minor noise should be a cause for concern.

Kind regards,
James
x


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

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Roland FP-90 Key Action/Bed Noise? [Re: Kawai James] #2742392 06/05/18 09:36 PM
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terminaldegree Offline
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
I'm inclined to agree that all digital piano keyboard actions produce some mechanical noise to a greater or lesser extent. It's often stated that acoustic pianos keyboard actions also produce a fair amount of noise, however this is usually masked by the sound produced by the instrument.


I agree. Many acoustic piano actions are louder than their digital counterparts.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
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Re: Roland FP-90 Key Action/Bed Noise? [Re: Mugi-Chan] #2742412 06/06/18 12:47 AM
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Learux Offline
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I agree with above posters. Digital piano's have the ability to play at very low volumes. Something their acoustic counterparts are incapable of doing the same way.

Key bed noise is part of creating a sound in a DP. If it is uniform among all keys consider it part of the action. Either turn up volume, wear headphones or ignore it. Nothing else can be done.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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Re: Roland FP-90 Key Action/Bed Noise? [Re: Mugi-Chan] #2742420 06/06/18 02:08 AM
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Rob Mullins Offline
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Originally Posted by Mugi-Chan
Hello everyone!

I registered on this forum to ask about the Key Action/Keybed found on the FP-90. I'll explain...

I went to the nearest music store to try out the LX-17 when it came out, not that I had any room for it or the finances to buy it but I wanted to try it out to see how good it was. And I thought it was great, but the pricetag was a bit much for me. Then Roland released the FP-90 which I was immediately very interested in so went in twice to try it out and then I finally went for it and bought it.

I would say it is as close to "optimal" for my personal needs. Sounds very good, and the PHA-50 key action is very smooth and easy to play, in fact it's probably the best feeling digital piano I've ever had the pleasure of playing on in terms of playing feel. But then here's the problem and what I want to ask you all about.

When I play the piano I hear this ever so slight swishing sound as I depress the keys. It occurs consistently across the entire range of the keyboard and to me it is audible even when I have the volume on.Coming from and having been a Yamaha-fan for all my life I have very little experience with Roland and their different keybeds, their quirks and noises so that's why I am asking here. The Graded Hammer (GH) key action from my Yamaha P-155 does not have a swishing sound on depressing the keys but is quiet until the key bottoms out.

Since I didn't hear or notice this when I auditioned the LX-17 and FP-90 in store I e-mailed the music store where I bought the piano a few days ago and their response was quite rude commenting how all digital pianos have a "swishing noise" to thier key actions and that if I thought there was a problem with the piano I had bought I should get in touch with Roland....

Now if the noise of the PHA-50 key action/keybed is supposed to sound like this I guess I'll just have to get used to it (because everything else about this digital piano I love. It's great!), I have also read places that earlier Roland keybeds were noisy in comparison to the PHA-50....

Sorry for the lengthy post and I hope someone can help answer my question.

//Mugi-Chan


Hi there,
and welcome to the forums.
I have a Kawai GS60 Grand that Keyboard Concepts and Kawai were nice
enough to give me that great instrument at a fair price when I was a Kawai artist.
I sat down this morning and played it.
There is an amazing amount of noise, false harmonics, key noise, imperfect
sound all over the place....that's what gives it a perfect character.
I've used it on more than 100 recordings. So far so good. I'll never sell it.


Rob Mullins
www.planetmullins.com
Recording Artist and Jazz Piano Instructor
Re: Roland FP-90 Key Action/Bed Noise? [Re: Mugi-Chan] #2742434 06/06/18 03:31 AM
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Doug M. Offline
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Originally Posted by Mugi-Chan
Hello everyone!

Since I didn't hear or notice this when I auditioned the LX-17 and FP-90 in store I e-mailed the music store where I bought the piano a few days ago



OK, try this: record a small video of the noise from your home; then record another at the store. If the noise sounds the same when you get home and compare the videos, then your model is maybe different.
Perhaps the new model will have stiffer keys than one that has been used as a demo model for a while; however, it is possible that your instrument is defective, and you'll only know by comparison.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Roland FP-90 Key Action/Bed Noise? [Re: Mugi-Chan] #2742439 06/06/18 05:03 AM
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EVC2017 Offline
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Also it is very likely the store is noisier than your home so the keybed noise outstands at home.


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
Re: Roland FP-90 Key Action/Bed Noise? [Re: Mugi-Chan] #2742445 06/06/18 05:36 AM
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mcoll Offline
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The recording won't provide an objective measurement, since the gain and background noise will likely vary, as Evc2017 pointed out. It's worth trying to asses the noise of the piano in the store, just to get an idea, but only if you try them side by side will it be a truly relevant comparison.
Imagine someone speaking at a normal level in a concert hall during a very quiet passage. It will stand out horribly. Now imagine somebody speaking at a normal level in a mall, maybe at the food court. You may not even hear them well.
I'm of the same opinion as the others. If all the keys make the same noise, it's probably normal and there's nothing wrong. Are you playing the piano at a realistic volume? (~70 or more)
Because if the volume is turned down low, it's quite normal to hear the action.

Re: Roland FP-90 Key Action/Bed Noise? [Re: Mugi-Chan] #2742586 06/06/18 03:14 PM
Joined: Jun 2018
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Mugi-Chan Offline OP
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Hello again and a BIG THANK YOU to every single one that responded to my question!

I've had a Yamaha CLP-811 (since 1997) which I just recently sold off, and I still have my previous digital Piano; the Yamaha P-155 that now has found its home at my parents place. It's nice to have something to play on when I visit there.

Both the CLP-811 and the P-155 did indeed have their key noise too. Just that it was different than what I am seeing (hearing) with the Roland FP-90, and it was in fact masked by the playing of the instrument to a greater degree than what I have found to be true with the FP-90. It's not like I will be returning the FP-90 because of the issue - I'm slowly getting used to it, however I guess the question asked was more if Rolands keybeds tend to have this sort of "swishy" noise when you depress the keys compared to Yamaha. I'm just trying to figure out if it is 100% expected to sound like what I'm hearing and if that is in the nature of the PHA-50 key action/key bed.

And yes the guy who responded to my e-mail (at the music store where I bought the piano) definitely had a point, but I felt like maybe he didn't take me seriously bringing up something like the sound of the key action itself (it was as if he thought I was kooky for even noticing something like that). Can't help I have sensitive ears. Had the same issue when I first invested in a Filco Majestouch (computer) keyboard with Cherry MX Blue switches. In the beginning the sound it made drove me nuts. Now though after having owned and used it for a good number of years I don't mind the way it sounds at all and rather enjoy it.

There was also a good point made that it could be this FP-90 is brand new, and never have been played (before I got my grubby little hands on it that is), so that maybe it needs a break-in period before the key action starts sounding as it should. I don't think that there is a defect with my particular FP-90, because the "swishing" sound I'm hearing is uniform and occurs across the entire key range. If there'd been something *wrong* with it Roland probably wouldn't have let it pass quality assurance. So maybe this is just something I have to get used to.

I also need to respond to whoever asked if I was playing this at the "normal" 70% volume, and no I absolutely do not. Since I live in an apartment and don't want to disturb the neighbors I keep it pretty low (it's still louder than my Yamaha P-155 by far!) but no. So that could definitely be a contributing factor to me picking up the noise the key action makes when playing.

In every other way I absolutely love the FP-90. It sounds so good to my ears, it responds in a way the Yamaha digital pianos (that I've owned) simply never could have done, and the key action is quite possibly the best I've ever played on. All Yamaha key actions have been "too heavy" for my taste, where the PHA-50 seem to strike a very nice balance.

I'm guessing maybe my question should have been "Do other FP-90 digital pianos also sound the same way as mine when the keys are struck."

In any case... Once again thank you for your valuable thoughts and suggestions shared with me.

//Mugi-Chan


Last edited by Mugi-Chan; 06/06/18 03:20 PM. Reason: Added more to my reply.

Current: Roland FP-90 | Yamaha P-155 | Yamaha Tyros 2
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Re: Roland FP-90 Key Action/Bed Noise? [Re: Mugi-Chan] #2742595 06/06/18 04:11 PM
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pianosx Offline
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Originally Posted by Mugi-Chan
All Yamaha key actions have been "too heavy" for my taste, where the PHA-50 seem to strike a very nice balance.

I'm guessing maybe my question should have been "Do other FP-90 digital pianos also sound the same way as mine when the keys are struck."



Odd, I found the Roland DP's FP-30/60/90 to have heavier action than their Yamaha GHS/GH counterparts.

It's why I like them, as well as CASIO, and Kawai DP's.

Swooshing noise of the hammer's resetting is normal, I find it gives the piano playing experience more authenticity, although much to the annoyance of everyone around you when you have headphones on.

The Roland FP-90 is a good slab, it was more expensive than the Kawai ES8 I ended up with, a little more complex than I'd like, and not as premium-quality feel/experience as I was hoping it would be for the price.

Last edited by pianosx; 06/06/18 04:12 PM. Reason: grammar

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Re: Roland FP-90 Key Action/Bed Noise? [Re: Mugi-Chan] #2742618 06/06/18 05:11 PM
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I have a Roland RD2000 which I am selling (for being too much Midi controller for my needs), which uses exactly the same PHA-50 keybed as the FP-90 so I can tell you a little about it.

Yes, I also did notice the swooshing sound when depressing any key on the RD2000, and in the beginning I also thought that it could be related to some kind of issue with the key mechanism since I have had trouble with clicking keys on a new ES8 and also a new MP7SE.

After trying ALL of the RD2000 keys, both white and black, I found with no reason of doubt, that ALL the keys when depressed made exactly the same noise. Dead on. So it is a normal noise machanism on the PHA-50, which you may like or not.

One thing I was sure. It was one of the most comfortable and effortless keybed I ever played in my life.

Last edited by Vadesriux; 06/06/18 05:12 PM.

Eduardo
Re: Roland FP-90 Key Action/Bed Noise? [Re: Vadesriux] #2743312 06/09/18 11:02 PM
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Mugi-Chan Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Vadesriux
I have a Roland RD2000..., which uses exactly the same PHA-50 keybed as the FP-90...
Yes, I also did notice the swooshing sound when depressing any key on the RD2000, and in the beginning I also thought that it could be related to some kind of issue with the key mechanism...

After trying ALL of the RD2000 keys ... I found with no reason of doubt, that ALL the keys when depressed made exactly the same noise. So it is a normal noise machanism on the PHA-50, which you may like or not.


Valdesruix! This was exactly the information I was looking for. Confirmation from someone other than myself that the "swooshing noise" was in fact normal.

I felt so stupid when I first discovered it when I got the FP-90 home, that I didn't thoroughly check the noise of the keybed in store (specifically), especially since I was coming from Yamaha gear which I of course had more experience with as far as what their keybeds sound like, and then not knowing if what I noticed was in fact normal (for a Roland type keybed) or not. And then - contacting the music store where I bought the FP-90 and this guy who replied to my e-mail not "getting" what I was asking made me feel worse...

However, now knowing this is how the PHA50 keybed -is supposed to sound- it's okay! I've played the FP-90 quite a lot since I got it (in fact I've played it more than I played the Yamaha P-155 over the course of the past year thanks to how it feels to play, and thanks to how it sounds and responds to my playing it. And the keybed noise I've started to get used to more. I would probably have been more upset had I bought the LX-17 (which was actually an option I considered before they luckily came out with the FP-90!)

Quote
... One thing I was sure. It was one of the most comfortable and effortless keybed I ever played in my life.


Oh yes I couldn't agree with you more on this. Having played (and tried out) the different keybeds that Yamaha offers from the simplest to the most advanced they always have felt too heavy to me. Even playing an actual Yamaha grand piano at church (no idea which model but it sure could go loud!) felt more effortless than the Yamaha DP keybeds.

Trying out Roland's DPs in the past (different HP-models as well as FP-50/FP-80) I did feel like the feel of the keybeds was nicer than Yamaha - but I didn't like the way they sounded [the piano sound not the keybed]. When I tried the LX-17 out in the music store that changed. And when they released the FP-90 it was more or less a done deal for me. The combination of the PHA-50 keybed and "SuperNatural Modelling" sound engine makes the DP come alive to me in a way that I never had before with the Yamaha's. It feels so much more like playing a real piano and it responds so much more like a real piano (that I couldn't have because I live in an apartment and a real piano don't have a volume knob)...

Sorry for the lengthy reply and once again thank you for verifying that there's nothing wrong with the keybed on my FP-90!


Last edited by Mugi-Chan; 06/09/18 11:06 PM. Reason: Edited for clarity. :)

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