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FP-90 a few months later - thoughts
#3052943 12/04/20 05:07 PM
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I purchased an FP-90 several months ago, when I worked in a different location during the lockdown.
I purchased it blind online without trying first, as it was not anywhere in stock in physical stores. Anyway, I liked the responsiveness and the sound looked completely satisfying for a slab / travel piano.

Now that is it is in my permanent home, I have had the ability to compare it with other piano.
Comparison is to Roland HP-507.

1. Sound is worse from speakers on FP-90, but it was expected.

2. What was not expected for me at least, the sound from headphones is significantly WORSE on FP-90 when compared side by side with 7 year old piano. It is not my prejudice and not the question of preference, I like modelled sound quite a lot, but it looks like an amplifier on a slab is not on par with the older, but top-of-the line console model. It is like having a home theater / music system from a box vs building it from high-quality components.

3. Technology advancements and voices of polyphony do not make up for the quality of the audio components in a piano.

4. Buying a slab you won't probably get the same sound quality from headphones as with a console piano with the same technology. I think all agree here that quality from speakers is different, but with headphones the consensus here seems it will be the same.

5. HP-507 is a Super Natural piano with sampled sound with added resonance modeling via Piano Designer, is almost on par with modelled sound in terms of responsiveness, I found the difference is marginal and less than I expected when compared side-by-side.

6. Wooden keys are more pleasant on FP-90 though, but PHA-III is also very nice. Both have the same key length.

7. With a slab, you can adjust the height of the piano, but it proved to be quite a hurdle. I set the height of the stand based on measurements, but it still appeared 1 inch. taller than needed. It is also not easy to match the sustain pedal placement if you do not have a foot switch :), while on a console it is firmly attached where it needs to be. So you can have a comfortable sitting position if you have a Z or X style stand, but it is easier to achieve if you have a console-style stand.

8. Pedaling is closer to acoustic on HP-507, on FP-90 both pedaling and resonance are a bit exaggerated / make sound less clear, that is not necessarily the case with an acoustic piano.

Overall, FP-90 is my travel piano, but a slab is not a substitute for a high quality console which unfortunately cost so much more.

Last edited by personne; 12/04/20 05:11 PM.

Roland HP-507RW | Yamaha U1 | Roland FP-90
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Re: FP-90 a few months later - thoughts
personne #3052966 12/04/20 06:08 PM
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You're only basing your conclusions on two pianos. Better to compare with, say, an acoustic upright. Strength of bass, overtones, resonances, and similiarity to play. Roland consoles have an over heavy bass response which seems to be accepted these days. A slab will not display this to the same degree, though in a small room the sound will be adequate and pleasant, hopefully.


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Re: FP-90 a few months later - thoughts
personne #3052972 12/04/20 06:35 PM
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> 2. What was not expected for me at least, the sound from headphones is significantly WORSE on FP-90 when compared side by side with 7 year old piano.

I've noticed this depends a lot also on the headphones, which do you use?
Have you tried headphones with an external amplifier from line-out too? Folks here have complained over the built-in phones amp before.

> FP-90 both pedaling and resonance are a bit exaggerated / make sound less clear, that is not necessarily the case with an acoustic piano.

This can be adjusted in the piano designer I think. APs are also not all the same. With my AU, too much pedal is a lot more disturbing than on the FP90.

> a slab is not a substitute for a high quality console which unfortunately cost so much more.

In some cases, consoles don't cost much more than a similar slab + triple pedals + stand, and yes the speakers mostly sound better. Plus 24kg is hardly portable wink

Re: FP-90 a few months later - thoughts
personne #3052996 12/04/20 07:38 PM
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AFAIK, the FP-90 is not so much intended for home use as it is for gigging, whereas a console is more geared toward personal use in the home. So while you can use it at home, you shouldn't expect the same things a console has to offer. That's not to say you can't make it suit you - and perhaps even improve upon what a console can do.

Now you can choose your own headphone amp and bypass the onboard one, and get nice monitors and bypass the onboard ones. For pedals, there are ways of measuring where it should be a affixing it to the floor or a stand - maybe even make something that would hold it in place.

As for the sound, do you not have options to adjust? It's modeled, after all. If not, maybe consider using a software piano library. There are many that will knock the socks off of most consoles.


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Re: FP-90 a few months later - thoughts
_sem_ #3053001 12/04/20 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by _sem_
> 2. What was not expected for me at least, the sound from headphones is significantly WORSE on FP-90 when compared side by side with 7 year old piano.

I've noticed this depends a lot also on the headphones, which do you use?
Have you tried headphones with an external amplifier from line-out too? Folks here have complained over the built-in phones amp before.

Headphones are good, I do not have an external amplifier, so cannot say how it would sound, probably better.


Originally Posted by _sem_
> FP-90 both pedaling and resonance are a bit exaggerated / make sound less clear, that is not necessarily the case with an acoustic piano.

This can be adjusted in the piano designer I think. APs are also not all the same. With my AU, too much pedal is a lot more disturbing than on the FP90.

U1 has good resonances, and at the same time the sound is very clear, unlike FP 90 where resonances make sound a bit muddled and not very clear. The pedal on FP90 produces very unusual overtones and longer sustain than U1, that is why I said it is exaggerated. Depending on Piano Designer settings, yes, it can produce too much of resonances (and different from too much pedal on acoustic).
Piano Designer does not improve things a lot in terms of sound clarity on FP90, I am not sure if this is only due to the amplifier, or amplifier + the sound engine.
HP-507 fewer resonances, but very clear sound, both in headphones and speakers.


Roland HP-507RW | Yamaha U1 | Roland FP-90
Re: FP-90 a few months later - thoughts
peterws #3053015 12/04/20 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by peterws
You're only basing your conclusions on two pianos. Better to compare with, say, an acoustic upright. Strength of bass, overtones, resonances, and similiarity to play. Roland consoles have an over heavy bass response which seems to be accepted these days.

Both my digital are very similar how they play, since they are both from Roland, the upright U1 upright has heavier action and a tad different feel how it is bottoming, but digital is not alien, just a different variation.
U1 has very clear sound, and good acoustic overtones.
Switching from one to another requires some adjustment from me, but not too much, if I did not play it for a long time, and none when I am very familiar with the instrument.
Acoustic pushes volume and air in all directions, and has greater volume and projection than any digital, and resonance in wooden cabinet is different, hard to confuse with a digital. Bass is not strong point of 48" upright piano.
Also, with a lid closed, a cabinet is resonating into your face on an upright, it is better if you open it. Some people like it, some don't.


Roland HP-507RW | Yamaha U1 | Roland FP-90
Re: FP-90 a few months later - thoughts
personne #3053134 12/05/20 04:27 AM
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> Headphones are good,

I mean, here old Senn HD545 are okay, but similarly priced chifi in-ears are not (but they are okay with other sources for general music).

> I do not have an external amplifier, so cannot say how it would sound, probably better.

Maybe you can try plugging line in into a home hifi for a test?
I haven't got a proper phones amp either.

>FP 90 where resonances make sound a bit muddled and not very clear. The pedal on FP90 produces very unusual overtones and longer sustain than U1, that is why I said it is exaggerated. ...

There are considerable differences among digitals and among acoustics regarding this. I don't expect that a particular DP would be able to match any particular AP. To a point some things are editable in the piano designer (string resonance), but it is limited. Essentially you must assume that a DP is like a _different_ piano. If this bothers you a lot, you could try if Pianoteq happens to work better - with many piano presets and more elaborate adjustments (demo is full-featured for a short time). Or another sampled VST like Garritan CFX etc.

Re: FP-90 a few months later - thoughts
personne #3053135 12/05/20 04:33 AM
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Thanks, this is an interesting review which confirms my impression with latest Roland offerings. I like their keyboards but the fully modeled sound is not my cup of tea and in my own ranking system puts it far behind the sampled (with modeled resonances) offerings by Yamaha and Kawai.

Last edited by CyberGene; 12/05/20 04:34 AM.

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Re: FP-90 a few months later - thoughts
personne #3053225 12/05/20 11:01 AM
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I like the fp90 sound- I tweaked the settings - press registration and concert piano 1-1 sounds great with ambience turned up

Re: FP-90 a few months later - thoughts
personne #3053228 12/05/20 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by personne
2. What was not expected for me at least, the sound from headphones is significantly WORSE on FP-90 when compared side by side with 7 year old piano.

Could be an impedance matching problem between the two digital pianos and your headphones. (One might be better matched than the other; can make a BIG difference in sound quality.)


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Re: FP-90 a few months later - thoughts
personne #3053283 12/05/20 02:28 PM
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I like how FP-90 sounds standing alone, but in side-to-side comparison to older high-end piano the sound on FP-90 is a bit boomy, and not much of a scene, even in open headphones, but more resonance - I have over-ear open back (62omh) and closed back (55ohm) headphones.


Roland HP-507RW | Yamaha U1 | Roland FP-90
Re: FP-90 a few months later - thoughts
personne #3053284 12/05/20 02:33 PM
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The most important thing is Hows' that Pivot Treating ya. ??

Re: FP-90 a few months later - thoughts
personne #3053481 12/05/20 11:35 PM
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Most likely the FP-90 just has an under-powered headphone op-amp/output stage. If that is the problem, a Behringer AMP800 would be one solution. It is not a mixer, but you can connect two separate instruments in stereo and switch between them.


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Re: FP-90 a few months later - thoughts
_sem_ #3053728 12/06/20 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by _sem_
To a point some things are editable in the piano designer (string resonance)...

Yup - turning down string resonance, and cabinet resonance definitely helps. Go through the parameters in PD and have a good go at it (if you haven’t already).

Out of the box I found it a bit much (like playing on an acoustic with my head inside the lid).

Also, with boomy bass, see if you can find a suitable soundboard setting in PD which is a bit clearer.

RE headphones - it sounds daft, but turn all three EQ sliders up to the max then make minor adjustments to taste from there. Seems to improve the quality at lower volumes.


But yes, agreed - I’m much happier with my home piano as far as the sound is concerned.


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Re: FP-90 a few months later - thoughts
personne #3053733 12/06/20 03:43 PM
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I have some headphones arriving Tuesday for the fp90 - should be interesting

Re: FP-90 a few months later - thoughts
personne #3053791 12/06/20 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by personne
8. Pedaling is closer to acoustic on HP-507, on FP-90 both pedaling and resonance are a bit exaggerated / make sound less clear, that is not necessarily the case with an acoustic piano.

Follow up on # 8 - pedaling on FP-90.
I think I found a reason which contributes to a big portion of odd non-pianistic behavior - it turns out the pedal which comes with FP-90 (DP-10) only supports half-pedaling, and not progressive pedaling.
No wonder it is underperforming compare to the older piano, and behaves differently from acoustic.
To get progressive pedals with continuous detection you need either a triple pedal unit from Roland, or the footswitch which is attached to the Roland stand.


Roland HP-507RW | Yamaha U1 | Roland FP-90
Re: FP-90 a few months later - thoughts
personne #3053806 12/06/20 07:48 PM
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FWIW DP-10 is continuous.


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
Re: FP-90 a few months later - thoughts
EVC2017 #3053824 12/06/20 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by EVC2017
FWIW DP-10 is continuous.

Yes, it is (looked into the owner's manual).

But it does not have more resistance at the beginning (it looks).

Last edited by personne; 12/06/20 08:33 PM.

Roland HP-507RW | Yamaha U1 | Roland FP-90
Re: FP-90 a few months later - thoughts
personne #3053916 12/07/20 03:30 AM
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Originally Posted by personne
Originally Posted by EVC2017
FWIW DP-10 is continuous.

Yes, it is (looked into the owner's manual).

But it does not have more resistance at the beginning (it looks).

I had to look up the manual for this too, it seems quite binary to me, compared to my AU (which is likely not the best reference).
Would anybody know if the triple pedal KPD-90 or RPU-3 happens to feel more continuous?

Re: FP-90 a few months later - thoughts
Sweelinck #3054085 12/07/20 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Most likely the FP-90 just has an under-powered headphone op-amp/output stage. If that is the problem, a Behringer AMP800 would be one solution. It is not a mixer, but you can connect two separate instruments in stereo and switch between them.

I would be curious to try an external amp with FP-90, just wonder how best to connect it to the keyboard - headphone amps have linear RCA audio input, would it improve the sound if the on-board amp on the piano is not very good? Or should I look for other connection types?

Sorry if my question sounds too basic to you.


Roland HP-507RW | Yamaha U1 | Roland FP-90
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