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#1715625 07/18/11 10:47 AM
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I am an adult piano student returning to playing after a break for 5 years or so. I used to have a Charles Walter upright piano, and it was great, but it needed to be tuned frequently due to humidity and I live in an apartment so I could never play it in the early morning or late at night. After months of reading posts, reviews, watching videos, etc. I recently purchased the Roland DP-990F digital piano and am absolutely delighted with the sound quality, touch, and overall physical construction of the DP-990F. It has all of the high end features of the expensive Yamaha Clavinovas I looked at but it cost much less and it's thin enough to sit unobtrusively behind my sofa. It's truly a beautiful instrument and a beautiful piece of furniture as well. I did not know that a digital piano could be this good. If you're deciding, don't dilly dally for months googling and reading every post you can find about SuperNatural and comparing one DP with another DP like I did, just get a DP-990F. You'll be very pleased.

RB435 #1715857 07/18/11 06:16 PM
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Congrats!

The DP990F is a great instrument, and looks particularly sleek in the polished finish.

Cheers,
James
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Considering the 990F.
In the event the sound is too small, what could I add?
What self-powered speaker? Is there an plug in for that or would I use the head phone plug in?


Kawai GX-2
RB435 #1839708 02/06/12 06:56 PM
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If it is the same as the hp 302 (and I think it is)the 990f has line out jacks. You connect a powered speaker or amplifier using these.


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

Reaper / Native Instruments K9 ult / ESQL MOR2 Symph Orchestra & Choirs / Lucato & Parravicini , trumpets & saxes / Garritan CFX lite / Production Voices C7 & Steinway D compact

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RB435 #1840391 02/07/12 09:29 PM
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If you're deciding, don't dilly dally for months googling and reading every post you can find about SuperNatural and comparing one DP with another DP like I did, just get a DP-990F. You'll be very pleased.

Hi, RB435. You sound like me, as far as your exhaustive researching! This evening my daughter just said that she thought she liked the HP302 (same features, action, etc of the DP-990f) the best out of all the digitals she has tried. (Too expensive for us, though.) It has the PHAII action, which evidently she prefers to the PHAIII of the FP-7f. By any chance did you compare the two? Did you find that you prefered the PHA II? Just curious. Both of these DP's (DP-990f and the HP302) are a bit higher priced than the RP-7f we have been looking at, but I know that there are older model Rolands with the PHA II that come up for sale used some times. I have been reading some posts about the PHA IIL " bottoming out hard."

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The PHAII action of the HP302 is ultimately what sold this piano to me. Although it's true that I slightly preferred the PHAIII action of the HP307 etc. However, where I am, the HP302 was by far the cheapest option with either of those two actions (FP7f would have been around 30 percent more). PHAII does bottom out hard - I like this characteristic very much: can't stand mushy or spongy feel to keys.

The HP302 is great as far as I'm concerned - excellent SN sound generator, fine action and plenty of useful facilities and extra sounds. Far from perfect, but it is after all relatively low down in the product range. My review of it is here. http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubb...20HP%20302%20-%20review.html#Post1794939

However, if I could do a straight swap for an FP7f, I probably would, based on what I know from this forum (though I haven't actually ever seen one)






Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

Reaper / Native Instruments K9 ult / ESQL MOR2 Symph Orchestra & Choirs / Lucato & Parravicini , trumpets & saxes / Garritan CFX lite / Production Voices C7 & Steinway D compact

Focusrite Saffire 24 / W7, i7 4770, 16GB / MXL V67g / Yamaha HS7s / HD598
toddy #1840426 02/07/12 10:58 PM
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PHAII does bottom out hard - I like this characteristic very much: can't stand mushy or spongy feel to keys.

Thanks, Toddy. OK- what exactly is "bottoming out"? I don't play piano- my daughter is the one who plays. It sounded like something undesirable, but you "like this", so now I am confused. I assumed it meant that it hit the bottom of the case too hard, or something like that.
It is very interesting that the HP302 was less expensive in your country than the FP-7f. Here, the HP302 is more money (about $2500 vs. $1900- plus $300 for a wood stand).
My daughter also liked the Kawai action, but couldn't find a dp in our price range with all the features she wanted.
thanks again.

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Fun2Learn, Well 'bottom out' is not my term, so I stand to to be corrected, but I understand it to mean the action of the key at its lowest point. PHAII and PHAIII keys make a 'pock' noise and come to an abrupt halt. I think some of the other keyboard actions are more cushioned and also make less noise, so the feeling is of a softer 'bottoming out'.

The noise, which puts some people off, does not bother me as it is completely covered when the piano volume is at a realistic level. (In any case, real pianos make a lot of mechanical noise and this does not appear to be a great issue). As for the hard feeling: yes, I prefer this to an indeterminate 'bottoming out'. On the other hand, Roland's actions feel 'lighter' in their downward (and upward?) movement than Yamaha's and Kawai's equivalent keyboard actions (GH/ RH etc). And this is what is important, and this is what I particularly appreciate about PHAII/ PHAIII

Last edited by toddy; 02/08/12 05:08 AM.

Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

Reaper / Native Instruments K9 ult / ESQL MOR2 Symph Orchestra & Choirs / Lucato & Parravicini , trumpets & saxes / Garritan CFX lite / Production Voices C7 & Steinway D compact

Focusrite Saffire 24 / W7, i7 4770, 16GB / MXL V67g / Yamaha HS7s / HD598
RB435 #1840532 02/08/12 06:05 AM
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Hi Toddy, what's the difference between PHAII and PHAIII? Is the difference easily detectable? Thank you!

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The only definite difference afaik is that PHAII has two sensors and PHAIII has three sensors. This allows rapid repetition of a single note (as is possible on better AP mechanisms). It's not a very important feature to me, although if were trying to imitate a mandolin, say, it would be useful. Certain advanced piano pieces would also benefit from this facility.(It's like the difference between Yamaha GH and GH3)

There is possibly a slightly lighter feeling to PHAIII than PHAII but I've not compared them enough to be sure about that.


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

Reaper / Native Instruments K9 ult / ESQL MOR2 Symph Orchestra & Choirs / Lucato & Parravicini , trumpets & saxes / Garritan CFX lite / Production Voices C7 & Steinway D compact

Focusrite Saffire 24 / W7, i7 4770, 16GB / MXL V67g / Yamaha HS7s / HD598
toddy #1840592 02/08/12 10:07 AM
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I also tried the DP-990F, but I only saw marginal differences compared to the F120, which is nearly half of the price. Or do I mix something up?

RB435 #1840659 02/08/12 12:55 PM
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DP-990F is very similar to the HP302 and HP305 - Roland's standard midrange pianos. They all have PHAII type action.

The F120 is a successor to the F110, I think. Now the F110 is a nice stylish instrument: compact, sounds good, not too expensive. But its PHA alpha II keyboard is poor. NOTHING at all like PHAII/ PHAIII. And the new F120 has a new keyboard called Ivory Feel G. Now this presumably has fake ivory as found on the top models and reputedly has a much better action than the F110's PHA alpha II. But I don't know personally what it's like....I'd be interested to find out!


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

Reaper / Native Instruments K9 ult / ESQL MOR2 Symph Orchestra & Choirs / Lucato & Parravicini , trumpets & saxes / Garritan CFX lite / Production Voices C7 & Steinway D compact

Focusrite Saffire 24 / W7, i7 4770, 16GB / MXL V67g / Yamaha HS7s / HD598
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Really? I thought the keyboard on the F110 was awesome. I played it at Best Buy the other day. How is the F120 a step up, it doesnt have the PHAII or PHAIII. What is "Ivory G-Feel"?

I cant wait to go home for summer break so I can check out the Roland dealer there.

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Oh toddy, I did not know that, thaught the keyboard would be the same. Will try both on saturday again (DP990, F120 together with Fp7f) and try to describe the actions soon.

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Our F120's just arrived. The Ivory Feel-G keyboard feels very solid + the textured keytops are a plus for most. The upgrade to SuperNATURAL is wonderful and they tweaked the control layout slightly which I think looks nice. A very worthwhile successor to the F110, IMO.

The Ivory Feel-G keyboard is standard in the FP-4F and RD-300NX stage pianos. It is firmer than the previous "alpha" action + has letoff feel ("escapement" is the buzzword). As is often the case with other actions, the console housings improve the sensation over the portable versions. It's also in the new RP-301 which also just arrived. smile It's fun to have new toys. I'm still trying to go over the differences between the RP-301 vs. the F120.

Okay, newsbreak over...now back to your regularly scheduled programming about the DP-990F. wink


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Thanks, Toddy for the explanation of "bottoming out". Also, thanks, Sam for the info on the F120. Please keep us posted on your opinion of this model and action, and how it compares to the RP-301.
I was initially disappointed that the F120 didn't seem to have as many voices(tones- 30)listed in the specs as the F110 (over 200). I called Roland to ask a few questions, and the rep said that the old F110 didn't really have that many voices onboard--that you had to access them via computer software (or something like that)and that the new F120 still has the same number of sounds on them, they are just listing it differently. Is this true, or ?
Also, please keep posted on the Roland RP-301R vs the RP301, too!
With all these new improvements coming along, I'm beginning to wonder if it wouldn't be a good idea to just rent a digital for 6 months to a year, until the technology reaches a point where the DP of my daughter's dreams is available for under $1500 complete (or I find one used, from an honest person?) Any opinions on renting?
Thanks.
(I hope I am not hijacking this thread too much.)

RB435 #1842578 02/11/12 01:44 PM
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Fun2Learn,

The F110 did have all of those extra tones on board versus the new models which focuses on the more used sounds + the SN piano. In playing the F120 & RP-301 side by side, I perceived a definitely better bass tone on the RP-301. I'm not sure why that is, though. They spec the same, the manuals are virtually identical, I couldn't sense a difference in the play, action or responsiveness. The cabinet on the RP-301 is nicer and I like having space beside the music desk for a laptop. The F120's wide music desk and tiny footprint offer a different tradeoff.

Perhaps the speakers on the RP-301 are nicer, but I can also point to the effect of the modesty panel to capture more of the bass out of the down firing speaker. I'm sure both would sound even better if placed up against a wall vs. free standing like we have them in our showroom.

I compared both on the factory settings, but I found each to sound significantly better by adjusting those settings. Put headphones on the F120 and you're getting the same performance from all I can tell.

Again, I found the action to be very nice, much nicer than in the FP-4F portable. The "escapement" feel is extremely subtle on these consoles. I did another comparison for our own benefit between the similarly priced YDP-181 vs. RP-301. They have many similar features but with the edge to Roland. I find the YDP-181 to have really easy to use buttons and noticeably better speakers. In all other respects, I gave the advantage to the Roland, though I admit some are purely subjective.

I know mine is a dealer review, but I honestly think they make for good competition.

As far as your under $1500 budget, I like the new F120 could make you very happy. If you are looking for even more tones and features, give a good look at Casio's AP-620. We have a hard time keeping those in stock.


Sam Bennett
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Thanks so much, Sam for the very helpful, insightful reviews.
My Daughter is looking for lots of extra features and sounds, as we already have an acoustic (I want those features, too, to justify the expensive of getting another piano!) I just found a shop not too far away that has a Roland fp-7f that was rented out for a while that they are selling with the wood stand and bench for $1700. They said it would still be under warrenty. I am tempted to just get it and be done with all this looking! Does that sound like a good price for a slightly used DP?
Quote
If you are looking for even more tones and features, give a good look at Casio's AP-620. We have a hard time keeping those in stock.

I had heard (from various internet reviews) that Casio doesn't have the best quality control, and that the keys start having problems after awhile. Have they solved those issues? How would you compare the action and sound of the AP-620 to the Rolands we have been talking about? Is it a noticable difference? Thanks.

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Fun2Learn:

I am coming late to the party ... but I happened to notice that you are considering the Roland FP-7F and then in the next breath you mentioned the Casio AP620. I once made the mistake of believing the hype surrounding the Casio AP620 and purchased on without playing it. Big mistake ! I would strongly suggest you do not make the same mistake.

Personally, I would not consider the CASIO in the same League as the Roland ... sound wise.

Anyway, that is my 2cents worth ... Good Luck.


Don

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I once made the mistake of believing the hype surrounding the Casio AP620 and purchased on without playing it. Big mistake ! I would strongly suggest you do not make the same mistake.

Personally, I would not consider the CASIO in the same League as the Roland ... sound wise.

Thanks for the warning, dmd. I only mentioned the Casio because Sam mentioned it, probably because it has lots of features for the price. Just curious--what was the disappointment with the Casio--was it mainly the sound? I had read some comments about the keys eventually becoming loose, or something to that affect. (Not here, but comments posted on some youtube ads for the Casios.)

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