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Disappointed with Roland piano #2900372 10/15/19 09:10 AM
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I bought a Roland HP601. I just started taking lessons, so this review may be premature. However, after about a month of use, I have to say that I am very disappointed. I think some type of calibration may be needed because some of the keys sound out of tune to me. The keys are heavy but there is a lot of play in them, so, for me, at least, this makes learning to play with dynamics difficult. There is also a significant amount of key noise. It’s not clicking but when not playing loudly, there is a sort of air sound.
The combination of heavy keys and a lot of play in the keys has been problematic for a beginner, as sometimes I don’t any or enough sound out of key presses.

As a comparison, I take lessons on a Yamaha digital or hybrid baby grand. Obviously, this is a much more expensive piano but it does feel better. I probably need to adjust some settings but at this point, I can see why traditional pianos are superior. I’m hoping that as/if I progress, I will be able to get what I want out of this piano.

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Re: Disappointed with Roland piano [Re: Mils] #2900420 10/15/19 10:56 AM
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Re: Disappointed with Roland piano [Re: Mils] #2900423 10/15/19 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Mils
I bought a Roland HP601. I just started taking lessons, so this review may be premature. However, after about a month of use, I have to say that I am very disappointed.

Is it already too late for you to return or exchange it.

If so, It will still be worth calling for service as it might actually have manufacturing or assembly defects that are contributing to your problems.


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Re: Disappointed with Roland piano [Re: Mils] #2900459 10/15/19 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Mils
I bought a Roland HP601. [...]The keys are heavy but there is a lot of play in them[...]The combination of heavy keys and a lot of play in the keys has been problematic for a beginner[...]

What do you mean with "a lot of play" in the keys?

Re: Disappointed with Roland piano [Re: Mils] #2900469 10/15/19 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Mils
I bought a Roland HP601. I just started taking lessons, so this review may be premature. However, after about a month of use, I have to say that I am very disappointed. I think some type of calibration may be needed because some of the keys sound out of tune to me. The keys are heavy but there is a lot of play in them, so, for me, at least, this makes learning to play with dynamics difficult. There is also a significant amount of key noise. It’s not clicking but when not playing loudly, there is a sort of air sound.
The combination of heavy keys and a lot of play in the keys has been problematic for a beginner, as sometimes I don’t any or enough sound out of key presses.

As a comparison, I take lessons on a Yamaha digital or hybrid baby grand. Obviously, this is a much more expensive piano but it does feel better. I probably need to adjust some settings but at this point, I can see why traditional pianos are superior. I’m hoping that as/if I progress, I will be able to get what I want out of this piano.

Not that I doubt you are experiencing issues, but some of these things could possibly be resolved with your current instrument.

How is the volume that you play at? It should be loud enough (75-80%) so that you don't hear the action. Acoustic pianos have a very loud action, but we don't hear it because the sound of the piano is louder than the action.
For the "out of tune keys" have you tried a factory reset? It's possible a different tuning has been accidentally selected and so that's why some notes sound "off". Doing a reset is the simplest way to see if it's the piano, or a setting.

As for the keys being "heavy" but with lots of play, it sounds to me like you need a lighter touch setting as well as adjusting the brightness, so that you can attain a brighter sound easier. Your DP is capable of these adjustments - I believe page 6 of the manual will tell you how.

Try these steps out and then see how you feel about it. smile


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Re: Disappointed with Roland piano [Re: Mils] #2900474 10/15/19 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Mils
. . . The combination of heavy keys and a lot of play in the keys has been problematic for a beginner, as sometimes I don’t any or enough sound out of key presses.

As a comparison, I take lessons on a Yamaha digital or hybrid baby grand. Obviously, this is a much more expensive piano but it does feel better. I probably need to adjust some settings but at this point, I can see why traditional pianos are superior. I’m hoping that as/if I progress, I will be able to get what I want out of this piano.


FWIW --

That Roland has a PHA-50 action. I've played it, and didn't find it especially heavy.

. . . Have you tried adjusting the "Touch" setting?

That won't change the actual "weight" of he keys, but it will change how the piano feels, when you play it.

Both acoustic grands, and acoustic uprights, require a certain "minimum key velocity" to produce a sound. If you strike the key really gently, they'll be silent.

It's possible that the HP601 has a higher minimum key velocity _by design_. You _might_ be able to change that with the "Touch" setting, or something else in the piano's menu system. Or you might just get used to it.

It's also just barely possible that -- if your "lesson piano" is an old digital piano -- it _doesn't_ behave like that:

. . . No matter how softly you strike a key, when it hits bottom, a sound comes out.

That behavior is _not correct_ -- but if you're used to it, it could be confusing. Remember:

. . . Your "lesson piano" is _not_ a "traditional piano" -- it's a digital piano, in a large case.

Another question:

. . . What is your volume knob set to?

To match an acoustic piano, it should probably be about 3/4 of the way up.

PS -- and yes, the action could be mis-adjusted, or mis-manufactured. Get a piano tech to look at it, or have an experienced pianist play it.


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Re: Disappointed with Roland piano [Re: Mils] #2900476 10/15/19 01:27 PM
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What do you mean they have a lot of play in the keys?

Roland PHA-50 keyboard is actually on the lighter side compared to other digital keyboard beds at least in my opinion it is.

Now for the sound you might not like that Roland uses modeling for the sound and not sampling. To different camps and some folks don't like the modeled sound of Roland. This has been debated here for quite some time.


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
Re: Disappointed with Roland piano [Re: Mils] #2900487 10/15/19 02:16 PM
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I will take all of your suggestions into consideration. Thank you.
What I mean by a lot of play, is that, again, compared to the lesson piano, there is a lot of movement in the keys that does not produce sound, a lot of extra movement. I’ll try to think of a better way to explain it.

Re: Disappointed with Roland piano [Re: Mils] #2900495 10/15/19 02:34 PM
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I'm not sure if this piano offers it, but some of the Roland pianos let you individually tune each key, so if there's a key that's off for you in tuning, you could be able to fix it using the Piano Designer app.


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Re: Disappointed with Roland piano [Re: Mils] #2900499 10/15/19 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Mils
I will take all of your suggestions into consideration. Thank you.
What I mean by a lot of play, is that, again, compared to the lesson piano, there is a lot of movement in the keys that does not produce sound, a lot of extra movement. I’ll try to think of a better way to explain it.


If you mean up and down before sound that is most likely normal. I have an old Technic DP that is 23 years old and if you strike the key as softly as you can it still produces a sound. It shouldn't but it is worn out. I have been looking for a replacement for a while. My Casio PXS5 is my go to at the moment.

How old are the Yamaha pianos?


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
Re: Disappointed with Roland piano [Re: Mils] #2900515 10/15/19 03:39 PM
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A factory reset should be the first logical step.
Second, would be why does it need it? if it did. The irem may have been a shop demo model which'll have been played by all and sundry.
The key action is light; you;ll prob. notice that best when it's not switched on.
Some of the other noises may be key clatter, pedal whoosh!, string and pedal resonances etc, which would be that company's attem[pts to emulat the acoustic instrument. They'tr all at it now, of course; but your teacher may have an older instrument which would not exhibit these "improvements".

Best of luck. I was thinking of buying one of those, just for the keyboard, which was Roland's very best until very recently so it's a good one.


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Re: Disappointed with Roland piano [Re: Mils] #2900519 10/15/19 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Mils
I will take all of your suggestions into consideration. Thank you.
What I mean by a lot of play, is that, again, compared to the lesson piano, there is a lot of movement in the keys that does not produce sound, a lot of extra movement. I’ll try to think of a better way to explain it.

Maybe you mean that to produce a sound you have to press a key from its highest position, but if you play from, for example, an already half pressed key, you cannot make the DP to produce a sound?

Re: Disappointed with Roland piano [Re: EPW] #2900747 10/16/19 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by EPW
Now for the sound you might not like that Roland uses modeling for the sound and not sampling.

If I am not mistaken, the HP601 use the "old" supernatural modeling that is sampled and not fully modeled.

Last edited by Etienne33; 10/16/19 09:24 AM.
Re: Disappointed with Roland piano [Re: Mils] #2900790 10/16/19 11:05 AM
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Yep you are right. the HP601 isn't fully modeled piano. That starts in the HP603 line.


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
Re: Disappointed with Roland piano [Re: EPW] #2900814 10/16/19 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by EPW
Yep you are right. the HP601 isn't fully modeled piano. That starts in the HP603 line.


It still has unlimited polyphony, I believe. Having played it, it's nice enough. Sounds similar to, say, the latest RDP or RP models but looks better, with the better action.


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Re: Disappointed with Roland piano [Re: Mils] #2900852 10/16/19 01:07 PM
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No it does not have unlimited polyphony. It has Max. Polyphony of: 288


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
Re: Disappointed with Roland piano [Re: EPW] #2900881 10/16/19 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by EPW
No it does not have unlimited polyphony. It has Max. Polyphony of: 288

Oh! I see. An FP50 with a nice cabinet and better action. It did sound similar.


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Re: Disappointed with Roland piano [Re: Mils] #2901854 10/18/19 07:50 PM
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When I mentioned the key noise before, I stated that it was loud. My mother was at my house today while I was practicing. I was using headphones, while she was watching tv and she asked me what the boise was. I stopped playing and asked her if it stopped and she said that it had.
So, the thumps from the key presses are so loud, that my mother thought the sound was loud, while she was watching tv in the next room. Could that be normal?
I think the other issues that I described as the keys having to travel a distance that is seemingly too far before a sound is produced and, the weight of the keys are contributing or part of the key noise problem.

I don’t know if this is normal for this model or not but from my recollections of the spinet we had when I was growing up, this is nothing like a traditional piano.

Last edited by Mils; 10/18/19 07:56 PM.
Re: Disappointed with Roland piano [Re: Charles Cohen] #2901886 10/18/19 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen

What is your volume knob set to?

To match an acoustic piano, it should probably be about 3/4 of the way up.

I did not know this (I have a different Roland.) Thank you!


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Re: Disappointed with Roland piano [Re: Mils] #2901912 10/19/19 04:00 AM
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Don't worry about that. A month is too little time to make judgments. You will get used to the sound of Roland. You and your family will get used to key noise. And concerning the action your perception of it will change dozen times before you become advanced.

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