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Hi There,

I recently got to play the Roland PHA-4 and love the action and feel of keys significantly more than my "plasticky" Yamaha S90ES.
The S90ES has served me well but I am looking to retire it and buy a keyboard that has better feel and is more piano focused.

I've never tried the PHA-50 but from what I've read, its just better all around than the PHA-4 so there's no need to tell me that the PHA-50 is better. I am just trying to justify the premium I would have to pay for what would probably be the FP-90X over the stationary F-701.

For some reason I cannot find a place in NY that has the FP90X on display. That place would ideally also have a PHA-4 keyboard I could try at the same time. I guess it does not have to be the FP90x specifically and any PHA-50 piano would do to test the action alone.

Any New Yorkers here who know of a place, ideally, in Westchester County of nearby CT that meets that criteria? Manhattan would still work even though I've been struggling to find it in stock as floor model there as well

Thank you!

Last edited by Amiro555; 05/12/21 12:35 PM.
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You could check the following stores.

Sam Ash, 333 West 34th
B&H Photo and Video, 349 West 34th
Guitar Center on 14th (maybe the 44th street store closed)

Most of the music studios & stores in midtown closed in the last decade, including the big sheet music store in Times Square.

Call ahead and speak to the digital piano manager as the inventory lists online (and on the store terminals) are inaccurate. Kindly ask the manager to visually confirm the models are on the floor.

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Of those, Sam Ash is probably your best bet. Their keyboard department has historically been pretty decent, although I have not been there post-COVID. B&H is just right around the corner but I’ve been less impressed with their display inventory.

Last I saw, neither GC was worth visiting.


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And don’t forget, many people prefer PHA-4 to PHA-50.

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Originally Posted by Fleer
And don’t forget, many people prefer PHA-4 to PHA-50.
I was not aware of that. I did read that the action on the PHA-50 is heavier but thought that it still always came down to whether or not it was in the person's budget to get...

On a different note, I've had my S90ES for 12 years now and have not had any problems with the keys. Before that, I had the Yamaha P-80 and I experienced some issues with keys becoming sticky, etc.

I did read one single comment eluding to it, but can anyone please confirm that the PHA-50 is more durable than the PHA-4? I do read about some rubbing and clicky keys on the PHA-4 but perhaps those are mostly common on older production models.

Last edited by Amiro555; 05/13/21 08:49 AM.
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I've had both for about a year or so. They're both holding up well, though I think there may be a tad of looseness starting in a few keys on the PHA-4. The PHA-50 is still solid as a rock (and I even play that one more). I personally find the PHA-4 heavier than the PHA-50: it's quite noticeable how much quicker my hands get tired on the PHA-4. However, I have seen some folks say that they feel that the PHA-4 is heavier, so you'll definitely want to take all that with a grain of salt and try them both with an open mind. To me it's no contest: the PHA-50 is far more piano-like. Having said that, the PHA-4 is quite good too.


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According to Roland the PHA-50 is more durable. I have no idea if that it true.

I have a preference for the PHA-50 over the PHA-4

The velocity curve has a big impact, at least for me, on how light a keyboard feels.

When you consider that in the USA that a FP-90x is twice the price of a FP-60x I think it becomes a tough value decision.

I have no regrets about my FP-90x purchase.

I think you will have a hard time finding a FP-90(x) to play. But the RD 2000 seems easier to find.

Good luck on your quest.

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Thank you all for your valuable feedback!
Seems like Sam Ash in Manhattan would be the place to go to try both piano actions in person.

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I have a Roland Fp90X and bought an FP30X a couple of weeks ago.

I wanted a backup/travel extra piano.

I returned the Fp30X.

I did not like the action, it felt too heavy.

I really like my FP90X.

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Originally Posted by Fleer
And don’t forget, many people prefer PHA-4 to PHA-50.
This is not a thing I remember hearing anywhere. Granted I don't have a ton of hours on the PHA-50, personally.


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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Originally Posted by Fleer
And don’t forget, many people prefer PHA-4 to PHA-50.
This is not a thing I remember hearing anywhere. Granted I don't have a ton of hours on the PHA-50, personally.
I think I remember one person saying it once ... wink


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My understanding is there are two or three versions of PHA-4, so which one was being referred?


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I’m guessing the current in production pha-4a as in the fp-30 fp-60 etc.

Last edited by Purdy; 05/13/21 04:48 PM.
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I think the PHA-4 standard is the only one made anymore. The others may still exist in older models.


Decent upright bassist; aspiring decent pianist
Present: Roland DP-603, Roland RD-2000, Yamaha MX61, Casio CDP-130
Past: Roland FP-30, Casio PX-160, Casio PX-830
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Okay, I'm sold on the PHA-50 after trying it at Sam Ash. grin

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Originally Posted by Amiro555
Okay, I'm sold on the PHA-50 after trying it at Sam Ash. grin


I approve. laugh Enjoy!


Decent upright bassist; aspiring decent pianist
Present: Roland DP-603, Roland RD-2000, Yamaha MX61, Casio CDP-130
Past: Roland FP-30, Casio PX-160, Casio PX-830
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After two PHA-50 actions I still prefer the PHA-4, primarily for its lighter action. Personal preference, of course. While I agree that the PHA-50 is more piano-like, I find the PHA-4 allows me to do electric pianos as well as acoustics.

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@Fleer
although the PHA-4 Standard indeed weighs less (is a lighter action wink ) than the PHA-50 it is actually heavier in terms of touch weight.
Are you sure that you are talking about the PHA-4 Standard and not the Premium or Concert PHA-4s which have motw in common with the PHA-50 than with the PHA-4 Standard?

Last edited by brennbaer; 05/15/21 03:08 AM.
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motw in common = more in common...

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Playing a fp30 (pha-4) with a rd2000 (pha-50) with the sound off, I would say the pha-50 keys have more mass.

However, when producing sound, the velocity curve has to me at least a profound impact on how light I feel an action is.

I can see why some people might prefer the pha-4 especially if you have played it for awhile and it might be more suitable for synths or organ.

But both pha keyboards are still hammer action.

I think electric pianos work well with hammer action keyboards and I would still pick the ohs50 for that use.

But ripping through a scale in a synth or organ, I prefer a non hammer action keyboard.


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