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What kind of keybed do the Roland FA-08 and Juno DS 88 have ? Is this also some version of the PHA-4 or something else ? For what it's worth, both the FA and the Juno get praised a lot for the quality of the keybed, the 'Ivory Feel G' keybed...


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It's the replacement for the Ivory Feel G, basically. But I haven't tried it yet.


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The FA-08 & DS88 have the Ivory Feel-G Hammer-action. The RD-88 has the PHA-4 Standard Keyboard with Escapement and Ivory Feel which is the same as the RD800. I much prefer this action to the action on my FA-08! The action on those are the lower level, while the PHA-4 is in the middle between the Ivory G and the PHA-50. The key bed on the RD-2000 & FP90 have the PHA-50 keybed (weighted Progressive Hammer Action) but would be too heavy to be described as a light weight piano, FP-90 weighs 52lbs . Personally I like the PHA-4 better.

Last edited by Kbeaumont; 01/16/20 04:34 PM.

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The rd800 has the PHA-4 Concert, which is different from the PHA-4 Standard in the RD88


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Okay so what is the difference between PHA-4 Concert Keyboard: with Escapement and Ebony/Ivory Feel & PHA-4 Standard Keyboard with Escapement and Ivory Feel?
According to this from user Shawncou.zx not much:
[Linked Image]

It certainty isn't their cheapest action.


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Fleer #2934929 01/16/20 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Fleer
And again, same action as in the $1500 FP-60.


And the HP702 (and some other models if you want to include home pianos).

Peculiar - rather than realising that Roland has put a good action into it’s most affordable pianos... some people are calling it their ‘cheapest’ action.

So imagine Roland had put PHA-50 into the FP-10 (just as an example), instead of being excited that a very good action is in their most affordable model, people may complain that the FP-90 has the ‘cheapest’ action.

I guess perception works both ways... but there are more components/elements to a DP than its action.

PS - Personally, I found the PHA-4 standard a bit hard on my fingers but there are people out there who like it.

PPS - The action they chose to put in it may well have been to keep the weight down for portability. I’m not sure their plastic/wood hybrid action (I know, now I’m going to get shot for using the H word) would have been light enough.

Last edited by OscarRamsey; 01/16/20 05:14 PM.

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Hadn't realised that the PHA-4 had escapement as well as triple sensor... In conjunction with the RPU triple pedal, it might be something to consider for a DP to complement my MP11SE... Will need to buy a stand with a second tier to accomodate some kind of music rest, though...
Only thing to find out is if the speakers would be up to scratch for use for practice in a home environment...
Although, 2x6W, that's weaker than the PX-S1000.

Sigh, guess I'd better get the Casio, to tide me over until I move to my appartment in a couple of years. I'll sell both the Kawai and the Casio then and probably get a hybrid smile

Last edited by ChrisGoesPiano; 01/16/20 06:07 PM.

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If the RD-88 has 3000 sounds (as I read somewhere) and is able to run Roland’s newest Zen Core engine (and, who knows, even SuperNatural strings and brass) then I’m all over it.

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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Actually it is now that I realize SP6 is similarly priced, lightweight and supports VA-synthesis

Yes, SP6 would be a significant competitor here. But at current U.S. prices, the Roland costs about 20% less. And it has speakers, and probably better action. (The SP6 has other advantages of its own, of course.)

The closest direct competitor might be the Casio PX-560. Same price (U.S.) for a lightweight board with speakers and a wide variety of sounds. Each has some significant features the other does not. Roland has much better MIDI controller functionality, and when it comes to splits/layers, you can put independent insert effects on three parts (vs. only one part being able to have its own effects on the Casio), and of course the VA synth function you mention (PX-560 lacks even a monophonic synth mode). Casio has advantages of its own, though, including more split/layer parts (4, which can even be extended to 24 with hexlayers, whereas Roland is 3), full on-board sound editing (it looks like the only deep editing on the Roland might be to own another zen-core board that has editing), and built-in sequencer.

Originally Posted by ChrisGoesPiano
Although, 2x6W, that's weaker than the PX-S1000.

The difference between 6 watts and 8 watts does not tell you which speakers will have better sound quality, or better highe end or low end frequency response, , or even which ones will play louder (even if they're both measuring watts the same way, which may or may not be the case),since differences in speaker design (efficiency) can mean that some speakers can be louder than some other speakers at half the power (or less). People will need to use their ears to make a real comparison here. (Same when it comes to the actual qualities of the piano sounds, for that matter.)

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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Actually it is now that I realize SP6 is similarly priced, lightweight and supports VA-synthesis

Yes, SP6 would be a significant competitor here. But at current U.S. prices, the Roland costs about 20% less. And it has speakers, and probably better action. (The SP6 has other advantages of its own, of course.)

The closest direct competitor might be the Casio PX-560. Same price (U.S.) for a lightweight board with speakers and a wide variety of sounds. Each has some significant features the other does not. Roland has much better MIDI controller functionality, and when it comes to splits/layers, you can put independent insert effects on three parts (vs. only one part being able to have its own effects on the Casio), and of course the VA synth function you mention (PX-560 lacks even a monophonic synth mode). Casio has advantages of its own, though, including more split/layer parts (4, which can even be extended to 24 with hexlayers, whereas Roland is 3), full on-board sound editing (it looks like the only deep editing on the Roland might be to own another zen-core board that has editing), and built-in sequencer.

Hmm, well, that makes it a tough choice then. Seems like the RD-88 might not be so easy to be reconfigured with new patches (no external editor?) and depending on the quality of the internal patches one may end up disliking them and unable to upload new ones easily. SP6 has caught my eye for quite some time and to some degree I'm sorry I didn't research it a lot before spending on a SL73 and the MODX. To me it seems now that just the SP6 would have been better and cheaper for my use-case than these two boards. However the SP6 is also not easily programmable and would require an external editor on the computer which I'm not sure is something I'm keen of. On the other hand I don't create my own patches, I only need to be able to easily split and layer existing patches which I guess is possible on the SP6. On the other hand, I'm not sure I like the Rhodes patches in the SP6 and there's no memory for expansion to add external libraries. I don't like the ones on the MODX either but Yamaha released Chick Corea's Rhodes and I uploaded it to the MODX which solved the issue, something apparently not possible with the SP6. Am I a grumpy old man already? laugh Or there's no perfect board...


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CyberGene #2935296 01/17/20 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Am I a grumpy old man already? laugh Or there's no perfect board...

Both are probably true ...


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CyberGene #2935316 01/17/20 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
On the other hand, I'm not sure I like the Rhodes patches in the SP6 and there's no memory for expansion to add external libraries.

As I understand it, the SP6 can load programs from some other Kurz models. They use the same samples, but they can sound quite different, and would provide a range of additional EPs to an SP6 owner. I don't know all the details, though. Master Kurz programmer Dave Weiser has also programmed additional sounds (including EPs) for the SP6, see https://www.weisersound.com/kurzweil-sp6

Kurz recently added the SP4 to the line, which does all the SP6 does and a whole lot more, including that ability to load up to 2 GB of new sample data. Other differences from the SP6: a lot more front panel control and rear panel connectivity, aftertouch, FM synthesizer, better display, on-board editing, more polyphony, sequencer, more built-in programs, more space for user programs, 16-zone MIDI control instead of 4.

Originally Posted by CyberGene
I don't like the ones on the MODX either but Yamaha released Chick Corea's Rhodes and I uploaded it to the MODX which solved the issue,
Also for the MODX, check this out... https://www.purgatorycreek.com/index.php/montage-modx/ - I think those might be the best EPs for the MODX.

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^ anotherscott, thanks, that's useful. I see you have great knowledge about these keyboards. I have a more specific question related to my exact style of usage and music and wondering which keyboard will give me that in the best way.

- I need a great Rhodes sound where I can easily add/remove phaser and/or chorus on the spot. I also need to be able to easily add a delay with easily changeable free delay rate (not linked to tempo)
- I need to also have a pad sound layered with the Rhodes and be able to easily mix between them both going between solo/mute <-> mute/solo
- I need to be able to change the pad type easily
- I need to have various lead sounds that I can change during the performance including changing cut-off and resonance
- Preferably all in one keyboard in which case the lead would be a split in the upper part of the keyboard next to the Rhodes/pad and (would be great but I know is too much:) optionally being able to be muted and so the Rhodes would take the entire keyboard

As I have explained, the MODX splits and layers are awfully hard to program, they require programming at home, especially since I play the Rhodes/pad from the SL73 into a multiple zone setup on the MODX (one single pad is actually multi-part and the part MIDI channels are fixed) and even programmed at home there's no easy way to easily change the pad sound: I can put other pads in the same performance on other channels but that would require changing setup on the SL73 which I hate to do. Another way would be to create multiple performance with the same Rhodes and different pads and switch between performances. However when you add that I also need to change different leads on top and that multiplies into so many combinations and need for so many separate performances it looks like I need to be a robot and to spend days programming at home...

So, I was wondering whether a keyboard like the SP6 (and waiting for the RD-88 user manual) could make such a setup and task easier? CP4 is kind of too expensive though...

Last edited by CyberGene; 01/17/20 02:02 PM.

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CyberGene #2935510 01/17/20 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
- I need a great Rhodes sound where I can easily add/remove phaser and/or chorus on the spot. I also need to be able to easily add a delay with easily changeable free delay rate (not linked to tempo)
- I need to also have a pad sound layered with the Rhodes and be able to easily mix between them both going between solo/mute <-> mute/solo
- I need to be able to change the pad type easily
- I need to have various lead sounds that I can change during the performance including changing cut-off and resonance
- Preferably all in one keyboard in which case the lead would be a split in the upper part of the keyboard next to the Rhodes/pad and (would be great but I know is too much:) optionally being able to be muted and so the Rhodes would take the entire keyboard

Real-time effects controls, real-time split/layer, filter cutoff and resonance controls, that's a tough combination. All in one board, what comes to mind as best is the pricey Nord Stage 3! But looking for a low-cost option, I'd consider a Roland Juno DS, which I think can be set up to do everything you want (though it's always more effort to set up a board that has multi-purpose knobs as opposed to dedicated knobs)... the problem there being that I don't think Roland's Rhodes sound are all that great (even if you load in the EP expansion download). But that's subjective, so maybe you shouldn't rule it out. It is a very strong board for easy, quick manipulation of split/layer combinations, and you could probably define the knobs for all the effects/filter parameters you need.

The PC4 could probably do what you want... it does have the ability to load custom samples (well, technically, so does the Roland, but only a much smaller amount)... again it has controls you would assign rather than dedicated controls to do what you want, but I suspect you could indeed do it, andI think it has decent EPs. SP6 could do a lot of the same (though not the custom samples), but real-time control would be hindered by having far fewer simultaneously available knobs and buttons to manipulate during performance, which I think is something of an issue with the MODX as well. The split/layer operations are simpler/quicker on the PC4 than on the MODX, too.

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^ Thanks, really appreciate it!


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So, that $1200 RD-88 gets 3000+ Zen Core sounds. Color me interested.

CyberGene #2935938 01/19/20 03:03 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
^ anotherscott, thanks, that's useful. I see you have great knowledge about these keyboards. I have a more specific question related to my exact style of usage and music and wondering which keyboard will give me that in the best way.

- I need a great Rhodes sound where I can easily add/remove phaser and/or chorus on the spot. I also need to be able to easily add a delay with easily changeable free delay rate (not linked to tempo)
- I need to also have a pad sound layered with the Rhodes and be able to easily mix between them both going between solo/mute <-> mute/solo
- I need to be able to change the pad type easily
- I need to have various lead sounds that I can change during the performance including changing cut-off and resonance
- Preferably all in one keyboard in which case the lead would be a split in the upper part of the keyboard next to the Rhodes/pad and (would be great but I know is too much:) optionally being able to be muted and so the Rhodes would take the entire keyboard

As I have explained, the MODX splits and layers are awfully hard to program, they require programming at home, especially since I play the Rhodes/pad from the SL73 into a multiple zone setup on the MODX (one single pad is actually multi-part and the part MIDI channels are fixed) and even programmed at home there's no easy way to easily change the pad sound: I can put other pads in the same performance on other channels but that would require changing setup on the SL73 which I hate to do. Another way would be to create multiple performance with the same Rhodes and different pads and switch between performances. However when you add that I also need to change different leads on top and that multiplies into so many combinations and need for so many separate performances it looks like I need to be a robot and to spend days programming at home...

So, I was wondering whether a keyboard like the SP6 (and waiting for the RD-88 user manual) could make such a setup and task easier? CP4 is kind of too expensive though...


1- MP series Rhodes sounds better than Yamaha. You can add/remove the phaser chorus on the spot. You can add remove effects, also you can instantly access any parameter just by holding any of the effects buttons. All of these can be done without any cutting in your voice, which Yamaha recently added to CP88!
2- You have 4 sliders right under your fingers.
3- You can do this in MP series easily
4- The lead sounds in MP series have better punch and stereo image to them compared to any Yamaha stage keyboard. To set the ranges you only need to press one button and you have access to all 4 zones ranges individually, they all have their own specific button!
5- MP7SE is a great MIDI controller, quite powerful and you can do splits instantly on it.

Read the MP7SE's user manual. That's why I bought it. It does so much that leaves Yamaha behind.

The action beats any Roland, Yamaha or Korg in its price range and its piano sound is beautiful.

Overall, MP7SE is a badass master MIDI controller. I would highly suggest to try it out if you can find a used MP7SE or even MP7 it will beat CP4 in terms of functionality.

I don't think you can import samples into CP4. It's a static keyboard. Maybe anotherscott knows something, but as far as I know, it is not designed to load samples.


Last edited by Abdol; 01/19/20 03:10 AM.

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I’ve had a MP6 and the only good sound in it was the piano, the Rhodes and the pipe organs. Everything else: leads, pads, strings and other sounds I didn’t like. The interface was dated too and needed a lot of browsing/scrolling through. I don’t think MP7II improves much upon it in terms of sounds. It doesn’t even have any synthesis engine, just PCM samples. And no knobs, just 4 faders. I don’t see how I will easily balance between two sounds in a split and also control effect depths to many parts, etc with only 4 faders. And it was also quite heavy.

Last edited by CyberGene; 01/19/20 03:30 AM.

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P.S. Actually MP7 SE has 4 programmable knobs. Not bad. But still the non-piano sounds were not the strength of MP6 and I’m not sure if MP7 SE is any better. No extensibility for adding samples...

Last edited by CyberGene; 01/19/20 03:44 AM.

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Originally Posted by rintincop
Which action is it?


PHA-4 Standard Keyboard, according to the specs.


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