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piano feel and sound Roland 700GX vs. G8 #669210
12/08/08 10:39 AM
12/08/08 10:39 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 44
pianomom24 Offline OP
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pianomom24  Offline OP
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Hi there,
The more I see and read, the more confused I get...My kids and I tried out the Roland FP-7, but felt that the keys kind of "clicked" and didn't feel smooth when we went fast on some solo pieces- no offense to FP-7 enthusiasts! I have found that I can get the Roland 700GX for about the same price as the Roland Fantom G8. I know that we don't need all the bells and whistles of either of them, but how would you say the piano feel and sound compares on these 2 instruments?

Thanks,
Meli

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Re: piano feel and sound Roland 700GX vs. G8 #669211
12/08/08 11:26 PM
12/08/08 11:26 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 81
Manitoba, Canada
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Discotheque Offline
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I think they are both designed with the same basic action (PHAII or something)... the Roland RD-700GX has escapement though whereas the Fantom has aftertouch (aftertouch is something used to play synth sounds). Also, the RD-700GX is designed to be a stage piano, whereas the Fantom is a synth/workstation. I think this means they have different sound chips, or whatever it is that produces the sound in them, it's different. So if they have the same samples, they will sound different. As for which you prefer you'd have to try them out.

Personally I'd recommend getting a good acoustic piano, especially if you're prepared to get an RD-700GX or Fantom G. I mean by the time you factor in decent sounding speakers... as good as teh action is on the keyboards, they are still keyboards and are still miles away from an actual acoustic instrument.

Re: piano feel and sound Roland 700GX vs. G8 #669212
12/09/08 12:43 AM
12/09/08 12:43 AM
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Posts: 44
pianomom24 Offline OP
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pianomom24  Offline OP
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Thanks for the info..so what would you recommend? I am becoming more and more clueless. We already have an Estonia grand piano and need a DP for when more than one child is practicing at a time, but since they are young, I really want good sound and action.

Thanks for any help,
Meli

Re: piano feel and sound Roland 700GX vs. G8 #669213
12/09/08 09:43 AM
12/09/08 09:43 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,379
Stockholm, Sweden
chrisbell Offline
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Stockholm, Sweden
I use the FP-7 for practicing as well as gigging. It's excellent! It has a slightly cumbersome menu system, but there's a lot there to change; hardness of key strike, touch, tuning, sympathetic strings, etc.

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Re: piano feel and sound Roland 700GX vs. G8 #669214
12/10/08 09:25 AM
12/10/08 09:25 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2
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polarsteam Offline
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I agree with Discotheque that it really comes down to preference, so the key is to try them out at a store, and with headphones, particularly if that's how it'll be used.

Of course, that doesn't necessarily make it easy... I've spent at least 10 hours over several visits to my local keyboard shop in my search for something similar (good sound and action for practicing, though in my case it's because I live in an apartment with paper-thin walls, making an acoustic a non-option).

For what it's worth, here's what I've tried and what I thought:

Roland FP-7: action bottoms out a bit hard (maybe this is the "click" you mentioned?) but other than that is solid. Menu system is a drag as chrisbell mentioned.

Roland RD-700GX: great action; the ivory-like surface is awesome, and I think I subconsciously dig the escapement. Easy to use menu system. Of the 3 main pianos, the Expressive has nice dynamic range but seems to have some static/artifacts in the samples that bother me; the Superior is pretty good but a bit "muffled"; and the Ultimate is *really* muffled. Tweaking the virtual lid height, EQ, and touch sensitivity helps, but I can't seem to get it as clean as I'd like.

Yamaha CP-300: not my favorite action, but a nice bright piano sound. Built-in speakers a definite plus. The low signal-to-noise ratio was a deal breaker for me, though -- I just couldn't get over the hiss when I plugged in my headphones. A real shame they didn't do a better job with the audio output.

Kawai MP-8II: Pretty good action (real wood!) but personally I like the 700GX action better. Sound seems almost too clean.. hitting the forte samples for the lower octaves seemed a bit over the top. Interface isn't terrible but not great either. Physical size (and weight) are both significant.

Kawai MP-5: Decent action, sound and UI is same as MP-8II.

They had a Fantom G8 as well, but I didn't seriously consider it as the only difference in the action is aftertouch vs. escapement (I'd rather have the 700GX's escapement), and the G8 is more expensive.

I'm still waffling between the MP-5 and the RD-700GX. In both cases my initial reaction is that it doesn't sound like I'm playing a real piano (MP-5 being too clean and.. gaudy? I don't know how to explain it, and the RD-700GX being too muffled/subdued), but after a few minutes of playing they start to sound great laugh

For you, between the 700GX and the G8, I think the 700GX is clearly the better choice in your case, since you wouldn't be using the additional features of the more expensive G8 anyway. But I'd certainly consider and try out other brands as well.

Re: piano feel and sound Roland 700GX vs. G8 #669215
12/10/08 12:22 PM
12/10/08 12:22 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 44
pianomom24 Offline OP
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pianomom24  Offline OP
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Thanks very much! Haven't tried out the Kawai yet but I will compare them. Let me know what you decide! This is so time consuming..

Re: piano feel and sound Roland 700GX vs. G8 #669216
12/10/08 03:16 PM
12/10/08 03:16 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 81
Manitoba, Canada
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Discotheque Offline
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Manitoba, Canada
I'd second the 700gx. The Fantom is a workstation/arranger. You'd have thousands upon thousands of voices that you'd be able to layer, split, to your heart's content, which you're not really interested in so it'd be a waste of money, whereas the 700gx is designed primarily to have good piano action/sounds.

Re: piano feel and sound Roland 700GX vs. G8 #669217
12/10/08 06:55 PM
12/10/08 06:55 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 257
Sweden
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Andree Offline
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Sweden
I would recommend the Roland FP7, it is the best piano for the price, compared with the pianos mentioned above.

/Andrée

Re: piano feel and sound Roland 700GX vs. G8 #669218
12/10/08 07:37 PM
12/10/08 07:37 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 428
Europe, Poland
kiedysktos. Offline
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kiedysktos.  Offline
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Europe, Poland
Hmm.. I know you try more expensive ones, but why not trying 300gx and FP-4?


Roland FP-4
Re: piano feel and sound Roland 700GX vs. G8 #669219
12/10/08 08:42 PM
12/10/08 08:42 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 537
The Boogie Down
jscomposer Offline
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The Boogie Down
Have you tried the RD-700GX? Because I find it odd that you think the FP-7 keys clicked, but would not think similarly of the keys on the 700GX, because of their "escapement" feature.

BTW, I forgot where I read this, but someone took apart the 700GX and found that the escapement effect was merely a little bump the key passes over. This is not at all what escapement is on a real piano. Consequently, you can feel this little bump even when playing hard. (Yes, I tried this myself at a store.) And that's not at all how a real piano feels.

This is based on hearsay and my own experience playing the 700GX without taking it apart. So if anyone else can corroborate this info, I'd appreciate it!

Anyway, as someone else pointed out, there are a lot to choose from. Best thing is to go to a store again and try some more.

Re: piano feel and sound Roland 700GX vs. G8 #669220
12/11/08 09:12 AM
12/11/08 09:12 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2
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polarsteam Offline
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The FP-7 is a decent choice in general, but the OP indicated she and her kids didn't like the action, and there's no sense in spending that much money on a keyboard you don't like, particularly since action is more personal preference than accurate vs. inaccurate.

That being said, jscomposer makes a good point about the RD-700GX action being somewhat similar to the FP-7 action. It's been a week or two since I tried them side by side, but if memory serves the hard bottoming-out was more apparent to me on the FP-7 than the RD-700GX. That may have been my mind playing tricks on me because my fingers liked the "ivory" coating on the keys, though. laugh

Re: piano feel and sound Roland 700GX vs. G8 #669221
12/11/08 10:34 AM
12/11/08 10:34 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 44
pianomom24 Offline OP
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pianomom24  Offline OP
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Yep, I need to find a store that has them side by side so that we can try them out. BTW, I'm even having a hard time interpreting specs..do you know if the FP-7 or 700GX are able to record onto a thumb drive while you are playing? My techie 13 yo son is also excited about the idea of an LCD, but looks like mostly the consoles have these, right?

Re: piano feel and sound Roland 700GX vs. G8 #669222
12/12/08 02:10 AM
12/12/08 02:10 AM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 58
Nashville TN
ginger_vitys Offline
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ginger_vitys  Offline
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Nashville TN
Just get a cheap $500 spinet on Craigslist for the kids. They might not stick with it anyway. I have a 700GX for live use, which is great. But the grands sound like crap compared to Yamaha CP300.


If you think education's expensive, try ignorance.
Re: piano feel and sound Roland 700GX vs. G8 #669223
12/12/08 03:50 AM
12/12/08 03:50 AM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 81
Manitoba, Canada
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Discotheque Offline
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Discotheque  Offline
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Manitoba, Canada
Hey pianomom, if you're willing to spend $2500 on an RD-700gx and however much on speakers/headphones, etc. ummm, why not just get an actual acoustic piano instead? You can get a good condition used upright for around there can you not? I grew up playing an actual piano... nothing compares to an actual piano.

The piano is several hundred years old... it was built long before electricity and recording etc. therefore it is difficult to record and create samples that accurately represent it (basically I'm saying all digitals still don't sound close enough to a piano).

And I'm sorry, I don't care how "good" the action of an RD-700gx is, it is still a long way off from being a piano action. There's thousands of moving parts in a piano that comprise, among other things, the action, that simply aren't there in digitals (they would weigh too much if they were there) so I definitely recommend going this route.

Re: piano feel and sound Roland 700GX vs. G8 #669224
12/12/08 09:44 AM
12/12/08 09:44 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 44
pianomom24 Offline OP
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pianomom24  Offline OP
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I'd love to get another piano, but we already have an Estonia grand and need a digital piano that has headphones so that 2 children can practice at once. Believe me, it hurts to spend so much $ on a piano that just can't compare to an acoustic piano...I know exactly where you're coming from on that! My 13 yo has been playing for almost 9 years and he is really good, and my 8 year old is up and coming; our current piano is always in use, so I don't worry about the issue of this not being a worthwhile investment.

Re: piano feel and sound Roland 700GX vs. G8 #669225
12/12/08 11:14 PM
12/12/08 11:14 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 226
oxford UK
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puff Offline
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oxford UK
Just to say I had the FP7 before the RD700GX and the hard thud as the keys kit the bed is a caracteristic of the FP - not noticeable on the RD.
The GX escapement feature semms cool at first but it can become a slight impediment when playing very gently. Or maybe I need to become a less wimpy player. laugh

Re: piano feel and sound Roland 700GX vs. G8 #669226
12/12/08 11:18 PM
12/12/08 11:18 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 226
oxford UK
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puff Offline
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Hey Discoteque,

This IS the DIGITAL piano forum!!! :p

Re: piano feel and sound Roland 700GX vs. G8 #669227
02/02/09 02:03 AM
02/02/09 02:03 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 1
Australia
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RoknRob Offline
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Australia
Here's a biased review:

We got an RD-700GX. We're renting our place and will have to move, eventually. So rather than lug a heavy piano around, I looked for a digital piano with good feel. One day maybe we will be able to get the acoustic, and have fun with this one attached to the computer.

In the store, while trying all the usual suspects, I kept migrating back to the 700GX. I got my Dad, a purist, to check out the keyboards, too. He discouraged me preferring I spend less money. I couldn't help myself, went ahead and bought the 700GX and have absolutely no regrets. I think the Superior piano sound is great in headphones (the Expressive too bright), but doesn't sound as good through my speakers. (My headphones are probably better quality than the speakers, though!) Like everything else, though, this is very subjective.

I will add this, though - my Dad, the purist, who discouraged me from getting this keyboard, now regularly comes over to play our RD-700GX (over his acoustic) as he loves the feel, and finds it easier to play than his acoustic. In fact, he is now making recordings of himself, and loves the clean sound compared to the sound of his mic'd acoustic. (He records from the line-out jacks - apparently the memory stick will record MIDI data only - but will play MP3s that you can play along with.)

Someone said this keyboard is the Rolls Royce of digital keyboards, and I couldn't agree more. As I said, I am smitten.

Re: piano feel and sound Roland 700GX vs. G8 #669228
02/02/09 10:45 AM
02/02/09 10:45 AM
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Posts: 72
Etobicoke (Toronto) ON
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Brian Taylor Offline
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I tried the Yamaha CP-300 and found the sound much too bright for my taste. I dreaded the prospect of practicing on it through headphones because I didn't think I could stand listening to that brightness for up to 2 to 3 hours per day, even if only in 1/2 hour stints. Both the FP7 and the RD-700GX are much easier on the ears for sustained periods and over the long haul.

Re: piano feel and sound Roland 700GX vs. G8 #669229
02/02/09 10:47 AM
02/02/09 10:47 AM
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Posts: 72
Etobicoke (Toronto) ON
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Brian Taylor Offline
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Sorry for the duplicate post -- when I used the BACK button on my browser in an attempt to return to the forum list of topics, it automatically (and without my prior knowledge and consent) reposted my addition to the thread. I have edited the duplicate post to replace it with this message.


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