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#3153831 09/06/21 03:57 PM
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Tim C Offline OP
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For the last 15 years, I've had a Roland HP107 which I've been quite happy with.

I'm planning on moving in the next year and would like to refresh to a more portable instrument. I play mostly classical, but would like to branch out into "trad"/folk, so just backing/vamping but would like an occasionally-portable instrument.

I've spent the last several months looking at Roland's FP-60X and FP-90X. I managed to try the 90X and 30X side by side a few weeks ago (I wanted the 60X but I know the 30X has the same action). I was surprised, the 90X was a clear winner for me in terms of action. Sound-wise, I didn't notice much difference.

So I'm about to pull the trigger on the 90X. It's more piano than I wanted, but comparing the action to the 30X/60X, it was a no-brainer.

I'm second-guessing at the moment, and considering stage pianos:
-99.9% of my playing is over headphones. If I ever travel with the piano, onboard speakers might be nice but all that might be a pipe dream too.
-Action is critical. I want the best action I can get. 88 keys is a given for me.
-3 pedals is a deal-breaker. I regularly use all 3 pedals.
-I will probably only ever use piano sounds. I don't care about 700+ sounds or drum tracks or anything.
-I like the idea of a more minimalist, compact instrument. That's kind of what's making me 2nd-guess the 90X: it's big and there's so many features (sounds, speakers) I don't care much about. The myriad controls on most stage pianos is a turn-off.

So with all that, is there a high-quality action stage or portable piano I've overlooked?

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FP30X/60X/90X are home slab DPs. The stage piano counterpart of the the FP90X is the RD2000. However, you might find it intimidating with the extra functionality, plus it seems to be due for a refresh (good deals?). The RD88 is a recent more portable SP counterpart to the FP30X/60X, with weak speakers (most SPs don't have them at all).

You might want to check the Kawai ES920 - at 17kg lightweight for a midrange slab DP due to more plasticky housing (vs 24kg FP90X), or the MP7SE. I think the RHIII key action isn't as good as Roland's PHA50, but try them yourself (I think the version in CN29/39 is quite good, while the one in the ES8 was bouncy upon key release). MP11SE has grand-long key action, is kind-of minimalist, but is hardly portable.

Check also the P515 if you happen to like "crusty" Yamaha action.

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Kawai MP11SE. Great action, great sounds, stupidly easy to manage, 3-Pedal Unit with optical sensors.


Kawai: NV5 | MP11SE
Pianoteq 7 Pro | Garritan CFX Full | Vienna Imperial | Keyscape Full | Ravenscroft 275 - Modern U - Model D - AG | Minigrand
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MP11se weight: 34 kg (74 lbs.)

FP-90x weight: 23.6 kg (52 lb)

So you need to figure out how important "portability" is, for you.


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq
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Hi there !

This is my first post on this forum.
I’m researching stage pianos for my next buy.

I already have a Roland RD2000 because it had the best piano action plus pianos sounds I liked (the best, or perhaps hated the least !).
I REALLY just wanted an amazingly realistic piano sound, with the most realistic piano action.
From my point of view, I’m paying for LOTS of stuff the RD2000 does that I’m never gonna use !!! And OMG ! If I find a piano patch’s reverb too overbearing, it’s a mind-boggling amount of programming to dial the reverb down AND keep it saved like that. The RD2000 is far too complicated for me !!
For this reason, I’m seeking a new board.

15yrs back, I humped a Yamaha P200 (32kg) to gigs in a Astroboard flight case (further 10kg). I loved that P200 for it’s twin 30watt on-board speakers. You could actually hear/feel the piano sound during play - and it sounded more natural than when piano sounds come upwards from a floor monitor, off to one side !!
The P200 evolved into the P250, then ended up as the CP300 - but was essentially the same keyboard with updated sounds. Having missed having on-board speakers for many years, I bought a used CP300 2yrs ago to have something with built in speakers again. With Covid, I’ve never gigged with it. Can’t say I’m a fan of the clunky piano action or the piano sounds (especially the highest 2 octaves). At 32kg, and being v bulky, it’s fairly difficult to lift and carry very far.
So this Kawai MP11SE, at 34kg seems to have reached the point I don’t want to even consider it !!

I am thus considering the Roland FP-90X, as it has the same keybed as the Roland RD2000 (Roland’s PHA-50, their most advanced keybed to date, as far as I know).
I had the Roland RD800 before the RD2000 - it used the PHA-3 keybed, I believe, which is also the same as in the new RD88.
I don’t remember enough about the RD800’s piano action to know if the RD2000 was a big jump in improvement or not. Would need to try the RD88 to figure out if I like it or not.
Roland’s FP-90X is heavy (circa 29.5kg, I think) but it does have built-in speakers.
Hmmmmm !!!!

I’ve only just found out about the Kawai CPV1 midi controller keyboard. The model was introduced maybe 7-8yrs ago - and no new version looks likely. It’s supposedly just an amazing piano action, with MIDI and USB outputs (no controls, not even a volume control !), and you need an external sound source eg.some fancy piano software on a laptop. Should I consider this ? I have no idea about piano software packages, and never used a laptop connected to a keyboard. Could that be trusted on a live gig ?? How about a piano software/app on an ipad ? No idea ! I’ll start a thread about it.
This keyboard is circa 29kg, so it going to have to be pretty damn amazing for me to consider something this heavy again !

Sorry for hijacking this thread, or giving you further ideas to make your choices even more difficult than they were already !


Roland RD 2000, Yamaha CP300 (for home use)
Mag C2 organ (great Hammond B3 clone) with built-in Mini-Vent leselie effect
Tornado T115 rotary speaker (all-valve 80watt amp head, with compact rotary cabinet - half the weight of a real vintage Leslie)
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Originally Posted by Snakehips
I am thus considering the Roland FP-90X, as it has the same keybed as the Roland RD2000 (Roland’s PHA-50, their most advanced keybed to date, as far as I know).
I had the Roland RD800 before the RD2000 - it used the PHA-3 keybed, I believe, which is also the same as in the new RD88.

The PHA-50 is very good. But it's not Roland's best action - that is currently not available in a stage or portable piano.

The RD-800 had the PHA-4 action - but it's NOT the same action as the 'PHA-4' in the RD-88 - not even close. What Roland currently calls PHA-4 is on their lower end instruments such as FP-10, 30, 60, RD-88 and quite a few cheaper home models. This action is a development of their low end action - it's perfectly okay (a tiny bit slow in my opinion). The RD-800's action was a lot better though and was itself a very minor upgrade from the PHA-III as fitted to the V-Piano and many other higher end Rolands.

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Originally Posted by EssBrace
Originally Posted by Snakehips
I am thus considering the Roland FP-90X, as it has the same keybed as the Roland RD2000 (Roland’s PHA-50, their most advanced keybed to date, as far as I know).
I had the Roland RD800 before the RD2000 - it used the PHA-3 keybed, I believe, which is also the same as in the new RD88.

The PHA-50 is very good. But it's not Roland's best action - that is currently not available in a stage or portable piano.

The RD-800 had the PHA-4 action - but it's NOT the same action as the 'PHA-4' in the RD-88 - not even close. What Roland currently calls PHA-4 is on their lower end instruments such as FP-10, 30, 60, RD-88 and quite a few cheaper home models. This action is a development of their low end action - it's perfectly okay (a tiny bit slow in my opinion). The RD-800's action was a lot better though and was itself a very minor upgrade from the PHA-III as fitted to the V-Piano and many other higher end Rolands.

PHA-IV Standard is the lower end action (still good) based on earlier Ivory Feel-G, while PHA-4 Premium and PHA-4 Concert were both based on <PHA-III> Ivory Feel-S and PHA-III.
The original PHA-III had faux wood (plastic in the color of wood) and I believe the Concert version of PHA-IV as well. IIRC the Premium action didn't have the faux wood and might not have ebony structure on black keys just like earlier Ivory Feel-S, called earlier PHA-III Ivory Feel-S. Correct me if I am wrong.


Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP, Korg SV-2 73, Hammond XK-1c
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MP11SE (bulky and heavy)
FP90x (still a bit heavy)
RD2000 (same keys as FP90x)
ES920 (touchwise different from the PHA50, but very nice to play and lightweight).
Dexibell S9 (TP400W) - very light and responsive touch , also good for non-piano sounds - only one with aftertouch.

In terms of feature sets , there are a lot of differences.
The Kawai's are actually true piano oriented machines - I wouldn't even use the ES920 for anything other than the SK5 EX grand. It has hardly any controls for anything other than true piano playing, no expression pedal input and such and no audio I.O over USB. The analogue input it more of a gimmick than usable.

The FP90x has the additional advantage of class-compliant audio I/O , so you can easily add more sounds and use it in a more versatile way (also extra pedal inputs). The RD2000 is of course a more allround stage piano , with more controls , more sounds and layers and audio I.O over USB , though not class compliant.

The Dexibell is still pretty portable (20kg) for it's feature set. Moving faders, some good sounds (pick your favourites) , class-compliant audio I/O , lots of pedal inputs , master keyboard controls etc. Only the repetition from a very low key position is better on the PHA50 and RH3 (Kawai). It's still good , but repeating on one key right from the bottom goes a bit easier on the Kawai / Roland. However the TP400W is very good en enjoyable and a ste up from the TP40W that is in the Studio Logic SL88 Grand controller. Also the aftertouch response is better.

I had them all / played them all. Currently I settled for the ES920 , because I want to concentrate om pure piano playing for now and needs something transportable. I am not disappointed. The FP90x is also very nice , but after years of Roland modelled sounds I was yearning for something more warm and natural. The ES920 has that tone. The Dexibell had exchangeable sounds - the American Grand Platinum is the best , most balanced and universal tone they offer. The RD2000 I got rid off , because I hated the fact that the USB audio was not class compliant . And I wanted to use my iPad instead of laptop , so...FP90x fixes that. Probably a RD2000 successor will be class-compliant as well. At that moment the S9 Dexibell ticked the most boxes and was very nice to have and play.

In general there is no one board that has it all - so make up your wishlist , tock some boxes and especially 'try before you buy'. Also , don't always rely on factory sounds and settings out of the box. Some more research and tweaking usually provides another experience that the default settings.


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