New Toy – Roland RD700GX Stage Piano

Well, I guess all the previous commentary about GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) must have had a lingering affect as I succumbed this past weekend to the newly released Roland RD700GX Stage Piano/Master MIDI Controller. Suffice it to say that this is a serious piece of kit, so I’m dividing this post into two sections: an easy non-technical read and another aimed more at fellow musicians because I know there’s lots of you out there waiting to hear some early reviews before pulling the trigger!

The new Roland RD700GX installed

And my view!

Click here to Expand/Collapse the non-technical review…

Click here to Expand/Collapse the musician’s perspective…

195 Responses to “New Toy – Roland RD700GX Stage Piano”

  1. Malcolm Haylock Says:

    Thanks Adrian – an excellent opinion. I am in a similar situation. I purchased the MP8 after waiting for the MP8II and being disappointed by the lighter action.

    I really enjoy the MP8 but am looking forward to playing the Roland.

    What do you miss most from the MP8?

  2. Slick Says:

    I’ve owned a 700GX almost two weeks. Thought I was going to get a CP300 Yamaha, but after considerable comparison in headphones and monitors, I decided on the Roland. Reasons: action, real-time access to performance params, 4 simultaneous layers over all keys, easier to transport. If the 700GX had the presence and warmth of the cp300’s pianos, I’d be 100% thrilled. Regardless, as a rock band stage “piano”, it works very well. Like the Yamaha, the built-in compressor works very well for regulating the overall level in live rock-band stage performance.

  3. Adrian Says:

    I share your opinions! In fact, I think the CP300 and the P250 are very close in comparison, and while the Yamaha has that added warmth, I credit much of that to the affect of the on-board speakers (vibration onto the keys). In a rock band configuration, the RD700GX should be diamonds… (and the real-time performance params is a must)! Enjoy

  4. Adrian Says:

    Malcolm, I would say the MP8 still strikes me as a better all around action. In one word, the “Weight” is what I anticipate missing the most. The real wooden keys really make a difference. But that said, the Roland has a faster action and it’s not so light that it takes away from the authenticity. I’m on the fence as to whether I’ll sell the MP8 or not. At present, it simply has a new room mate! Appreciate your comment – it’s good to know that I wasn’t imagining my disappointment with the MP8II!

  5. Charles S. Says:

    Your review is very helpful. I have been on the fence concerning a new synth or the RD700-GX. Currently, I have a Roland Rhodes and Baldwin L acoustic. Therefore, I am going with the idea of a synth. The Roland Fantom G8 has the same keyboard without the Escapement feature. I hope that in the end I won’t miss it.
    Your console setup looks very functional would you share some information about it’s setup and manufacturer.

    Thanks for the review. CS.

  6. Alan Keye Says:

    Hi Adrian,
    Just stumbled across your website in my search for info regarding the RD700GX. Here in Western Australia we always get new gear last of all in Australia. The RD700GX is now available on the East Coast of Australia but I am told that it will probably be mid July before I can try one out in Perth. They are also quite expensive in Australia.

    I enjoyed your well-balanced review of the unit and its comparison to the MP8. I am really hoping to get an RD700GX. I have owned a Roland JV1000 since October 1993 and a JV1080 sound module since 1996, and these two units have served me well over the years, and certainly have stood up to the rigors of gigging. I also have a 1995 model Roland KR4500 intelligent digital piano, and this has a superb action for something of that vintage…but alas, is not portable.

    My history is that I have had no formal lessons, cannot read a note of music, and actually first had a go at playing the piano when I was about 30. Since then I have played in a number of amateur bands and in the mid to late 1990s did a lot of live performances. I also immersed myself in the world of midi sequencing, and still produce the occasional backing track for one off occasions. As it is a hobby, I never charge a fee, despite some songs taking up to 40 hours to produce. In recent times I am starting to force myself to play live more, and although I love my old gear, I really want a great weighted action stage piano that also has the great Roland piano sounds, so I think the RD700GX should fit the bill. I have been in various gospel bands since the late 1970s ( yes, I am an oldie…coming up 49 years old ) and currently am enjoying the diversion of playing my Roland TD8 electronic drums in 2 contemporary worship bands…and occasionally play a nice Yamaha baby grand on stage for special items.

    Thanks again for your incisive review…it will certainly help in my decision making. Oh, and by the way, I was very impressed with the quality of your sample music. Very professional yet not overdone….good easy to listen to music!

    All the best. Alan Keye Perth West Australia

  7. Adrian Says:

    Hi Alan! Appreciate your feedback especially by way of Down Under :) I think it’s great that you’ve advanced your skills primarily thru “self-discovery”. Ironically, I just wrote a post reflecting on Learning to Play or Playing to Learn. Your journey provides yet another great example of taking the latter road. I think you’ll find the RD700GX to be a worthy road warrior. It’s fairly clear to me that this axe was principally designed for live stage performance – but it’s also a great master (studio) controller, particularly with the separate MIDI outs. Feel free to contact me directly if you’d like to further discuss… All the best!

  8. Adrian Says:

    Hello Charles… Thank you for your feedback! A friend of mine just went down the Fantom G8 road, and he LOVES it. I think it’s safe to say that the Fantom is a true workstation and the GX is first and foremost a stage piano; the action (less escapement) is a wonderful intersection. If not for the fact that the majority of my sounds come from external devices or software, I would have seriously considered the same. Regarding my “Console”… ironically, I was about to embark on a new post on that very topic so more to follow shortly, but my setup is built around an Argosy Console (http://www.argosyconsole.com/argosy_dual15k.html). I had them custom build a component that cleanly integrates the Yamaha 02r96 into the equation.

  9. Matt Says:

    Great overview – have one on order that should be in later this week. Like Alan, I’m down-under (but in New Zealand), and the release was only last month. As a working performing musician and session player, everything about this board seemed to be pretty solid – and like all GAS, part of the waiting process is looking up every review and photo to remind yourself what’s coming! Ha…

    Thanks for all the info!

  10. Adrian Says:

    Hi Matt! I’m glad you found the commentary helpful! I doubt you’ll have any regrets with the RD700GX. It really seems to be designed with the performing musician in mind… I’ve yet to find anything about the board that turns me off… And I completely understand the GAS containment challenge in the mean time. Drop me a line after you receive it and let me know what you think?

    Take care in the mean time!

  11. Jago Says:

    Hello

    I enjoyed your GX review and the comments made by other posters (thx guys).

    I have a question for you. I’d like to learn piano and take lessons – would the GX suffice for this purpose given its keyaction and on board piano sounds? I’d like to kill two birds with one stone by buying an instrument which is expressive enough for me to learn on/practice but also be of use in recordings later down the line. Im attracted to the GX because it appears to suit these needs….but before I take the plunge I need abit of reassurance from those who actually use it and have experience with these sorts of things.

    Secondly, if I do buy it….can you confirm what the best onboard piano preset is….in terms of realism and expressiveness…..what is it called? Also, what is regarded as being the best SRX piano expansion board? I also love 70’s style EP’s…..which do you recommend – SRX12 and the Supernatural ones? I need great Piano, EP’s and orchestral stuff. With regards to the Piano sounds….I guess I could use Ivory with the great action of the GX for recording. But in terms of practicing and jamming I need a decent ‘onboard’ acoustic piano….

    Apoligies in advance if I sound rambling…..its just that im quite excited about making the next step into the world or music…. – thanks for all your help.

  12. Adrian Says:

    Thanks Jago – appreciate you taking the time to post. I happen to think the GX would make an excellent keyboard for learning because of its action and onboard sounds – and size. But I would say that it might be worth giving the Yamaha CP series a look. The benefit here is the on-board speakers – which are very nice. But back to the GX… the onboard sounds are very adequate and there’s so much refinement you can add even to the presets. I usually just start with the Expressive Grand. You’ll be pretty happy with the 70s style EPs as well; in this regard, the Roland trumps the Yamaha (IMO). But as we were chatting about earlier, something like Ivory (which I use as well) is the best way to go for recording. But I think we’re comparing apples and oranges when discussing on-board sounds vs. something like Ivory… Best of luck and let me know how it turns out for you!

  13. Mark Says:

    A very helpful review Adrian.

    I use a live rig of the Roland Fantom X8 and an older Korg Trinity and Roland VK8 module. I am looking for a solution for my very young kids who are going to start playing. My wife is a piano teacher, classical. We can’t afford a decent acoustic piano and don’t really have the room. So we are looking for a digital that is closest in feel to playing an acoustic, so the kids will be able to migrate easily to the real thing. Sound is important, but secondary to the feel and touch and simulation of an acoustic.

    I was looking at the MP8II, but having read your comments I’m somewhat concerned. Not sure whether to stick with a stage piano (I have some decent reference monitors) or whether to go a digital piano like the Kawai CA91?

    Any comments appreciated.

  14. Adrian Says:

    Hi Mark – appreciate you taking the time to comment!

    In my opinion, the digital that “most closely” resembles a true acoustic piano is, in fact, the Kawai MP8 – unfortunately, the MP8-II falls way short. I have a Steinway grand in my living room and can say without question that the MP8 is the closest action I’ve experienced. For kids, I think it’s very important to use a keyboard with a heavier action; otherwise they’ll be unprepared for the real thing.

    The Roland GX is a great piece of kit, but for the applications I’ve explained in the post. Honestly, if I were in your shoes, I’d try and hunt down either an original MP8 ( but this may take some time) or consider the Yamaha CP series. I think both of those units would give the GX a serious run for its money given your application of interest.

    Of course, you won’t go wrong with the GX, but I can’t give endorse the action (in terms of weight); for speed and overall playability, however, YES. But for this reason, I’m not planning to sell my MP8. This will be the first time I’ve ever kept a master controller which I’ve replaced… (and I had the Yamaha CP before it).

    You might even consider the 9500 series (Kawai) that pre-dated the MP8-Mark I; pretty much the same action from what I recall. I believe the CA91 has the same action as the MP8-II. I have not tried it; but as mentioned, the MP8-II was VERY disappointing in contrast to the MP8.

    Hope this helps!?

  15. Adrian Says:

    Just one clarification… I really think the Roland RD700GX is the finest stage piano available today; otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered replacing my MP8. As an added bonus, it’s extremely ergonomic by comparison. But I believe its intended audience is the performing musician. The earlier question was specific to what’s best for children? I grew up playing on a Steinway concert grand and the action is very robust. No question that a heavier action makes one’s playing far more “transportable” and “expressive” – so for children, I think it’s a whole different kettle of fish. Just one person’s opinion…

  16. Mark Says:

    Thanks Adrian. Your comments were exactly what I was after.

    My wife is concerned about the transition to the acoustic and my thoughts were, you would be better off to err on the side of a heavy action rather than a lighter action. Having said that, I have played a few different acoustic pianos myself (Steinway included) and the action and weight of the keys does vary amongst acoustic pianos, I guess though more subtle differences and its usually the tone (and differences in the tone) of the piano that you get focused on.

    I think some of the other Kawai DP’s have the same action as the previous MP8, but I’m not sure which. I thought the only other Kawai DP which had the same action as the new MP8II was the CE200. I’ll have to check that out as well as the Yams. Which of the CP’s?

    As much as I would like to buy the wife and kids a Steinway Concert Grand D..it aint gonna happen any time soon!..and anyway she would prob want the Bosendorfer Model 290! There is of course EastWest Quantum Leap Pianos to midi in!

  17. Adrian Says:

    Hi Mark – you’re quite right: actions do vary across acoustics even of the same brand as much as they do across DPs… so it does come down to a personal preference in the end. I haven’t followed the Kawai DP line as extensively (beyond my MP8 and its successor), but if they still keep the older AWA action in other DPs that’s GREAT! I also think the authentic wooden keys makes quite a difference (in terms of weight/feel) – this of course is unique to the Kawai DPs you are considering. As far as Yams go, I was referring to the CP300. It has a very good (and reasonably heavy action) and wonderful tone. It’s less suitable as a MIDI controller, however, but that would seem to be lessor of your concerns.

    By the way, your wife would appear to have great taste: Bosendorfer 290! There you go!

  18. Matt Says:

    Hi Adrian

    Enjoyed reading your thoughts about the RD700GX. They encouraged me to go and check it out in the store and I have one on order currently.

    I’m wondering how you connect your 700GX with your studio setup? I want to use mine as a controller with Logic Studio on my MacBook Pro. Are there any interfaces that you’d recommend? Have been looking at the Apogee Duet online, but I don’t know if the 700GX’s USB output (the direct to computer one) would be sufficient for MIDI control etc…

    I’d really appreciate your comments/suggestions.

    Matt

  19. Adrian Says:

    Hi Matt- thanks for taking the time to comment, and glad you found the opinions helpful – and I’m sure you’ll love your new toy!!

    As far as my connections go: I route the analog XLR outs thru a patchbay that in turn brings the signal into my Yamaha 02r96 mixer. All of my outboard devices are controlled and routed into the mixer. The O2r96 is then routed via multiple ADAT channels into a digital patchbay (Frontier Apache) and which interconnects the 02r96 signals with a combination of other digital devices including my DAW. I use a RME HSDP 9652 (via ADAT) for everything coming into and out of the computer. In terms of signal quality, in my opinion, that really comes down to the AD/DA converters and as you can see my analog signals are all converted inside the 02r96. Once in the digital medium, there’s really nothing that makes it better or worse. The only other component that impacts quality is the clock source. Because I have a many-to-many type of configuration, I’ve found it very helpful to employ an external Digital Clock: Big Ben.

    So that’s basically it… all AD/DA and vice versa conversion done thru the Yamaha 02r96 and everything in the digital medium goes thru the ADAT patchbay including the computers and the Muse Receptor!

    I’ve heard nothing but GREAT things about the Apogee Duet. Obviously I would lean that way too if in your shoes based on my experience with the Big Ben!

    Hope this helps!!

    -Adrian

  20. Steve Rose Says:

    Hi Adrian – Thought I’d add my experiences with the RD700GX. I’m into my 3rd week with it now. I’ve had a Yamaha P250 for 3 years and despite the weight and the poor internal amp speaker performance, I love this instrument. When I bought it in 2005 it was a total revelation. It was head and shoulders above the old grand piano I’d had for the previous 15 years (A beat up 6’ East German classic from 1902) ! Suddenly there was a whole new landscape of pianistic things to live up to. It was a brilliant challenge to my playing. I was a 5 – night-a-week-pro 30 years ago – Fender Rhodes, Clavinet, Moog & Hammond, but I never really solved the problem of having a good piano sound and action on stage. The Rhodes had an awful action despite sounding wonderful, I’m sure it’s left me with some really bad habits + a bad back! I used to hate guitarists who could turn up at a gig get their baby out its case a sing all night. I wanted that relationship with the instrument I loved most – the piano. The Yamaha does this but its too heavy and it also tends to suffer from only having one piano sound – OK there’s plenty of presets but only one sound to die for. Live situations can create all kinds of phase distortions and cancellations making it sound less than cool. The Roland RD700GX fairs better. Out of the box it has more 3D quality to its best sounds. If you want a leaner sound then there’s always the RD Grand in there. The thing I’m most disturbed about in switching between the Yamaha and the Roland is the difference in the action. It isn’t just about weight or for that matter escapement. True the Yammy appears heavier at first feel, but what I’ve found is the RD is setup to have a light touch. Now I don’t like messing with the piano patch settings especially the dynamics, simply because I think the guys at Roland and Yamaha should not only have access to a proper set of references but also, they should know what they’re doing! After 2 weeks of having trouble with the RD sounding too nasal in the upper mid and generally washy when hammered, I stumbled on why. I’m over blowing the notes. I’m switching the thing to the balls-out, wack-sample too easily which is why it sound nasal (too many harmonics). Bingo! Turning the touch level up to heavy + 6 brings the instrument into my control range. Wow does it sing. The action is now about the same in terms of force to the Yammy, but it is much more controllable. It sounds brilliant too! A final point is that there is no such thing as a perfect piano or a perfect piano sound, what Roland have done is give you the whole thing warts-n-all right there in front of your nose. The P250 is, I think, the product of a different philosophy, namely that of wart-removal or ‘enhancement’ which is why it doesn’t sound so three dimensional. Clearly I’m still just beginning my voyage with this new board so there’s still much to learn. Cheers Steve

  21. Adrian Says:

    Hi Steve- this is GREAT and extremely helpful set of comments. I too owned the Yammy P250 before detouring to the Kawai MP8 (and now the GX). I’m definitely going to give your tips a go this weekend, because that’s indeed the one criticism I have for the GX in contrast to my P250 experience – which was a very similar revelation to yours! Sincerely appreciate you taking the time to post this because I know other readers will benefit. It’s clear to me that we are part of a niche segment within the digital/stage piano market. Our niche seems to demand an optimal action first and foremost closely followed by quality sounds particularly for live performers (less so for studio folks) and then the MIDI control. All three attributes are important, but it seems that’s how we (as a group) tend to stack rank it. How does everyone else feel?

  22. miko Says:

    Great choice of monitors! MM27’s — I’ve got a pair as well and they rock!

  23. Adrian Says:

    Miko – thanks for stopping by! F*ck yeah the MM27s rock! One of the investments I’ve made to date! Thinking about writing a post on these, in fact!

  24. victor yancovitch Says:

    i’m planning on purchasing the rd700gx mainly because of the feel of the keyboard….the best i’ve tried so far, and i was wondering if the piano sounds on the cards available are really better……. i sure wish someone would come out with some piano sound modules with some realistic sounds….i don’t want to have to carry a laptop around..i bought the ivory samples and i wasn’t happy with them for live performance…..now i’m just using a yamaha p80 with the sound of an old techniques piano…i got a hold of the pc board and midi’d it to my yamaha keyboard…its the best piano sound i’ve heard to date…even though the technology is maybe 20 years old….so….i know a good piano module could be built which would be accepted by most musicians….i’m so disappointed in most of the samples i’ve heard so far….anyways, any revelations would be welcome…thanks, vic

  25. Adrian Says:

    Hi Victor… I’d have to agree with you on the “feel assessment”. We all realize this is subjective, but the more I play the GX, the more I’m sold on the feel – even beyond that of my MP8. Regarding the piano sounds… again, this is just my opinion, but I’ve given up “on board” samples even with high-end boards such as the RD700GX. I strictly use software samplers these days. My favorite happens to be Ivory, which I run on a dedicated Muse Receptor, but interesting that you found an add-on board to be better. It indeed comes down to subjective opinion, but when I listen to the on-board pianos against something like Ivory it’s like a night and day comparison. I doubt the difference would manifest to the same degree in a live situation, but for studio recording, it’s the approach I use. So yes, the GX is basically a glorified midi controller when it comes to recording. Now as far as sketching things out, etc. the on board samples are more than sufficient for my ear. Hope this helps!

  26. victor yancovitch Says:

    thanks for you quick response …especially when i wasn’t even sure i would get one..smiley……the ivory samples i tried were the original ones on pc….i think there there was an added sample made available later….which do you use?….do you really think that those samples work in a live situation?…though i know the’re good for recording……i’m gonna try to dig up my mks 20 by roland …one of the original sound modules, to see what it sounds like now….just thought i’d mention for fun…..i play a grand, for an opera buffet in a hotel here in vancouver, but sometimes i have to use the digital when the grand is not available…not often thank god…..at 68, i don’t feel like carting pianos around, though i think this new keyboard would be an improvement………so if there are any super sounds for live performance that happen to drop out of the sky into your hat, let me know..smiley….

  27. Adrian Says:

    Hey Victor! Good for you still playing live at 68! I also noticed you mentioning the MKS20 by Roland… that’s one my favorite sound modules… one of the (in my opinion) best sources for lush analog pads. I must admit, I decommissioned mine a few years ago to save some space, but wasn’t aware that it had any piano patches on it?

  28. Brian Says:

    Hey Adrian,

    Thanks so much for all your insights on the Roland RD-700GX. I got mine in early November 2008, along with a pair of Mackie HR84 MKII’s. Currently using a t.c. Electronic Konnekt 24D firewire interface for audio and midi into a late model Intel iMac running Logic Express.

    I’m mainly a guitar player but took some keyboard as a child and in college. The RD-700GX really is a very fine instrument -especially the keyboard action and as a master studio controller.

    Like many, I wish that ROM/flash memory prices allowed the keyboard manufacturers to provide the HUGE sample sets that Ivory, B4, etc. can. I do believe that this will eventually come, but for now software seems to be the way to go in order to have the best non-looped sample sets and even models for recording.

    Even though the RD-700GX does not have the most optimal samples, I do find its sounds very usable -especially for what I do most: PRACTICE.

    The Expressive and Superior Grands are quite adequate for this. The EP’s seem even better. I owned an old MKI Rhodes back in the late 70’s and I’m really impressed with the dynamics and realism of these sounds in the RD. The GX clavs are not bad either and the TW Organs are a pleasant surprise too. I had a Roland VK-7 several years ago and the RD’s organ and rotating speaker sounds seem to be on par.’

    I probably won’t gig live with my RD-700GX so for the foreseeable future, it’s gonna be my studio board. Eventually I’ll pick up some great Software Instruments to fill in where it lacks in sound quality for recording.

    Peace,

    Brian

  29. Adrian Says:

    Hi Brian, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment! Sounds like you picked up a nice setup there too :) Must say, that I find myself agreeing with all of your commentary. Indeed, I too look forward to the day when the board builders begin putting higher capacity storage (hence better samples) into these units. It would be really cool, IMO, if something like the Receptor concept could be merged into a high-quality board – not from a workstation concept as has been the focus to date, but to your point, a sampling powerhouse. Oh well, time will tell. But as a result, I also use my GX in a similar capacity: primarily as a MIDI controller, and also for quick practice. I agree that the on board sounds are fairly good, but they sure don’t compete with multi gigabyte sample libraries. Nonetheless, I place a premium on the feel of the board, and as the GX continues to please my fingers so it’s not going anywhere soon.

    Happy holidays!
    Adrian

  30. Brian Says:

    Adrian,

    Thanks for the quick response. I’m curious, have you added any of the SRX Expansion cards to your RD700-GX? I would imagine that they pale when compared to what can be obtained from software samples these days. But for around $200 a pop (on ebay anyway) they might be a good value even if only a handful wound up be “killer”.

    Brian

  31. Adrian Says:

    Hi Brian,

    I have not. I do use some the Roland expansion cards in my XV3080 rompler, and I must agree that they are better than the built-in patches. I’ve gotten to a point where I now contract out professional musicians to record various parts for the tunes I write – stuff that just can’t be faked on a keyboard (well at least with my skill level…). Hence, it’s kind of taken me off the “gear acquisition” mode I was previously on with respect to finding that perfect sound. Now piano and keyboard stuff, different story. I use a combination of Ivory (on a dedicated Muse Receptor) and various GigaStudio libraries. But back to your question… in my experience, the Roland orchestral libraries are pretty darn good, but if I’m not mistaken, the piano and EP libraries built into the GX are actually later (and improved) samples. So I think it kind of depends on the particular SRX you’re thinking of…

    I know this hasn’t really helped, but that’s my personal take on it. Maybe give one of them a go? Like you said, for $200 it’s almost worth the “experiment”?

  32. Brian Says:

    Adrian,

    Yes, the Piano and EP sounds in the GX are supposed to be superior to anything in the SRX cards.

    I’d be interested in the SRX-07 “Ultimate Keys” board for its vintage Mellotron and Prophet 5 sounds as well as the SRX-06 “Complete Orchestra” because I’ve heard rave review about it and the on-line sample sounds at rolandus sound pretty dern good to me.

  33. victor yancovitch Says:

    so sorry adrian….i bought and returned the 700gx….i really didn’t like the piano sounds, which is all i use, and roland told me that the samples on the card for that keyboard are basically the same…just manipulated……i stole and midi’d a pc board from a technics sx p-30….and have been using it for years….it is the best piano sound i’ve ever heard to date…amplified, not just in the earphones…..i think…even with limited polyphony… if it wasn’t for that, i would have given up playing, since i’ve no room for a regular grand….but when i used the gx as a controller, it didn’t quite sound as good, even with manipulating the touch etc…..anyways i found out that yamaha is replacing free of charge, the keyboard action on my yamaha p-80….kinda like a recall…..so i’m sticking with that…i may get a cp-33 as a backup, although i don’t know if its as good a keyboard as the p-80…….thanks for letting me blow some steam…no one to talk to here :) .signed…over sensitive…..vic
    ps…friend is returning my mks-20, which is soly a piano module and i’m curious to hear what it sounds like after20 years……

  34. Adrian Says:

    Hiya Victor! Well, sorry to hear that it didn’t work out for you. Naturally, each to his/her own when it comes to evaluating the fitness of the sounds. I tend to use the GX more as a controller than a sound module per se (inside the studio), and I bet there’s a lot of people out there that prefer the Yamaha CP series. I owned the Yamaha P250 before purchasing the Kawai MP8 (that superseded the GX) and while these boards are the best-in-class today, I agree with you that the onboard sounds have a long ways to go. For me, I rely upon Ivory or PMIs Bosendorfer played thru GigaStudio. I would never expect an onboard ROM-based sample to compete with a multi-gigabyte library, and they don’t. But depending upon the live situation, the onboard stuff “may” suffice. If I were performing live, I would probably employ a Muse Receptor so that I could have the best of both worlds; but again, I think that would also depend on the type of music being played. Best wishes to you and good for you on scoring back that MKS-20. Fantastic board – some of the best PADS around, in my opinion!

  35. victor yancovitch Says:

    thanks adrian……is a muse receptor a computer witout the monitor? or?…i have the ivory samples which i never used…..but, regarding your bosendorfer…(what a name!)….have you played it live?…what does it sound like in that situation?….i think there may be a big difference live or recorded….i truly don’t know why someone doesn’t come out with an excellent piano module…they would make a killing….the kind of sounds the orientals are putting in their keyboards are ridiculous considering the technology we have today…i know they can do it with all their brilliance…when i was young i always thought the usa were the forefront of innovation and creativity and the japanese etc. were great at refining a particular product…i didn’t think the orientals were as inventive or creative,….this is probably false, but if true….why can someone in the usa or wherever get their ass together and make a super piano module?….my technics pc board sounds very good..much better than any of the sounds on the keyboards today, so i KNOW it can be done….there must be some kind of conspiracy to prevent this from happening…..anyways my p-80 yamaha is in for repair…more notes breaking…they may..i say may, replace the action free, but i’m not holding my breath…i’ve rented a cp-33 till i get it back…i like my p-80 better….(not referring to the sound) i would have liked to keep the gx for the piano action, but $3000cdn is too much to spend for just the keyboard……thank you for your site here…you obviously are one of a kind….glad i tripped over it….cheers vic…..

  36. Adrian Says:

    Hello Victor, Yes, essentially the Muse Receptor is a computer that runs an optimized version of Linux and is solely designed to run VST instruments and plug-ins with high reliability and speed. It is basically an integrated system, and in my opinion, there is no better solution for playing sampled instruments live, and it runs Ivory particularly well! This is pretty much my goto piano source in the studio – albeit you still need a MIDI controller and the RD700GX does a fine job with that. You’re right about the sub-standard piano samples… I would like to think that better days are ahead. Ironically, Bosendorfer may lead the way, but their solution is a fairly radical departure, running in the neighborhood of $30K USD – I am not even sure if this product is shipping yet. For now, the best sounds, in my opinion, come from the premium sample libraries such as Ivory, Garritan, or PMI… the trade-off comes down to this: use ONLY a board such as the GX or one of the Yamaha CP line, and you have the benefit of convenience, but less than stellar sounds; add something like the Receptor in the mix (as a MIDI device) and you solve the sound dilemma but at the expense of requiring what amounts to a computer. At least the Receptor was purpose built, rugged for live use, so there is a solution, but not in a single product… Appreciate you staying in touch and sharing your candid thoughts. This has indeed turned into a lively discussion – and I appreciate the inputs!

  37. Wayne Says:

    I just stumbled on this thread and wanted to make a couple of comments. First, Adrian, you’ve been offering some really good insights here and you obviously know your stuff. That being said, I’m an old timer (53 and counting) who has spent my entire professional life as a piano technician and a studio engineer. As such, I tend to be VERY fussy when it comes to anything to do with pianos. I was very encouraged, even relieved, to see that there was at least one other person out there who recognized just how good of an action the Kawai MP8 has. I’ve spent many disappointing hours/ days visiting the local Guitar Centers and other “generic” music stores attepting to justify the expense of a new master keyboard that had a “reasonable” piano touch. I have come to the disappointing realization that most people under 30 don’t have a clue what a piano is supposed to feel or sound like. It seems that their entire “playing experience” has been on synth type keyboards or very poor, low end digital pianos. I spent years and countless thousands of dollars based on salesmans reccomendations trying several digitals, always hoping that I could learn to live with their shortcomings. Sold them all. I’m not trying to come across like a snob here but, as a piano tech, I feel a bit better qualified to make judgements on a keyboard’s ability to replicate the characteristics of a real, quality piano than the average person. Sad to say, I feel most manufacturers have failed us miserably. Take, for example, the new Roland Fantom G8. It comes SO close to being a great keyboard workstation with all it features/ functionality but misses the mark (again)! Roland gives us the “ivory feeling” keyboard and could have easily included the escapement aftertouch in the design and production of this keyboard. Failing to do so (again) makes the keyboard fall short of the hopeful expectations of anyone who plays PIANO. Let’s face it, if you don’t play piano, you don’t really need (or want to pay for) 88 keys. And I’m so tired of the “additional cost” argument they use. Most of us who are in need of such a keyboard would gladly pay the extra couple of hundred dollars (if it really would cost that much more at the manufacturing level). Please understand, I’m not singling out Roland here. Seems that all the manufacturers do this to us in some way. Fact is, I actually played the Roland digital home piano, model 207, today and was very impressed with the whole thing. Great touch. Beautiful sound. My question? Why didn’t they put that action and piano sample in their pro stage keyboards? Anyway, MY quest for an excellent stage instrument finally ended in delight with the Kawai MP8. While it still leaves a little to be desired in the piano sample ( I think it was too “close-miked” in the sampling process), the keyboard on the whole is amazing. I’ve used it to perform concerts when an adequite acoustic piano wasn’t available and there has always been someone in the audience who asks about this keyboard. It does quite well in live performance once you’ve got it properly EQ’d and playing through a good sound system. It spends the rest of the time in my studio and funtions beautifully in that capacity too. All this to say, as you’ve already said in your own way Adrian, newer isn’t always better. For those of you looking for the closest thing to a real piano action, try to locate a good, not-abused MP8. Even if the keyboard is showing some wear in the form of loose or wobbly keys, it can easily be fixed by any competent piano technician. They are a truly remarkable product and a joy to play. And, NO, mine’s not for sale :)

    P.S. One of the many keyboards I owned was a Yamaha CLP 990 and loved it except for the old floppy disk drive and the out of tune sample in the upper middle register. If I didn’t own, and couldn’t find an MP8, I’d be looking at the newer model CLPs. Tuning-wise the new samples are more accurate and they feel great to play. Best of luck to all in our never ending quests!!

  38. Adrian Says:

    Hi Wayne, Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed post! I think it’s safe to say that your (opinions) are in good company here; judging by the types of comments and email I’ve received on this topic… You’re right in that manufacturers continue to fall short in the various aspects you’ve outlined, and I can only assume that they collectively believe that the market dynamics do not warrant the additional investment. After all, we are talking about mass producers here… I suspect that it will require a boutique manufacturer to come along and recognize this niche, much in the same way that Bricasti founders broke away from Lexicon for the same reasons. I also agree that action trumps samples, but it would be nice to have both.

    Interesting points you raise on the MP8! I trust that, by this, you are referring to the original MP8 correct? For what it’s worth, I have no intention of selling mine either, and I have to agree that in terms of most authentic action, the MP8 is unrivaled. I find myself switching between these boards (the GX and MP8) on occasion, but am sticking to the GX (for now) mostly because it’s a more advanced controller and, of course, the smaller form factor helps as well. But your post helps confirm my decision to not part with my MP8 – I suspect that these will be in high demand over the long run especially since they were only on the market for a few years before the MP8II came along…

  39. victor yancovitch Says:

    hey…thanks wayne…so happy to hear your comments!! and thanks adrian for providing this posting opportunity…

  40. Dennis Says:

    Hi Adrian, thanks for taking the time to write about your RD700GX. I have been scouring messageboards and usenet for opinions, and I’d like to ask a few questions mainly pertaining to the use as a master keyboard controller. I compose electronic music, and have for years been using traditional keyboard controllers with flimsy keys (Juno 106, multiple Alpha Junos, Korg prophecy, Korg Triton, Nord Lead 1,2,3 Modular, etc) but have (in the last 3 years) a need now for a very professional action due to my wife having been trained on piano, and not being able to play on any of the sub-par controllers that I’ve had around, not to mention having only 49 keys when she wants to also continue to use her skillset (i.e. not lose the touch of playing piano). My main questions reside within the realm of how the RD700GX performs as a keyboard controller. I’ve heard loads and loads of praise for the feel of the board itself, but I’m concerned with being able to control all functionality of my current setup (Logic/Ableton on OSX with loads of plugs, including the Ableton Electric module which is a molded virtual keyboard synth). Does the RD700GX allow for the 4 zone split for midi to be assigned as one split per MIDI out? Does it offer MIDI through? Do you use a pedal/pedals with your setup at all? I’ve narrowed down my options to the RD700GX and the Nord Stage EX 88. I’ve been favoring the Nord Stage, simply because I’m a longtime fan of their products and service (having owned a boatload of the Lead series), and I’ve had a rather poor experience with the only modern Roland piece that I’ve owned (JV1080 module that had to be replaced twice due to internal electronic issues). The Nord also presents a very intuitive manner for handling the master keyboard controlling, as it has a section on its face dedicated to the function. I’ve been reading that the action on the Nord series is lighter than the PHA II on the Roland series, so I’m wondering first, if you know anything about the action on the Nord series, and second if you could give me a more in-depth view of how you find you RD700gx as merely a controller, so I can weigh the pros and cons. The Nord is also more expensive than the GX, but with the recent OS update, it now has a very robust onboard sound module (even though I probably won’t be swayed by the on-board sound of either). Thanks so much for your time in blogging this!!

  41. Adrian Says:

    Hi Dennis! Welcome, and thanks for stopping by! As you point out, the “feel” of the GX is generally regarded as very good to exceptional – it’s right up there in the top 3 (Kawai and Yamaha being the others). Your question regarding the fitness of the GX as a MIDI controller is a good one because I don’t think anyone’s probed that as much as you are; I’ll do my best to answer, and invite the others to add/correct as they fit! In general, I believe it performs very well as a MIDI controller, and this was one of the reasons I made the switch from the MP8, in fact. Yes, each of the 4 zones can be assigned to separate MIDI outs – the GX has 3 physical MIDI outs as well as a USB/MIDI totaling 4. I do not use pedals in my setup, but yes, it also offers MIDI thru on at least 1 of those additional outboard ports – I’m doing this off of memory because I’m overseas at the moment. And, all of the functionality is easily accessible… large buttons, definitely designed with live performance in mind. Also, very fast switching as well – I’m not sure what the term is but you don’t get that latency between program changes that is oh so common in other board. I am not qualified to render an opinion on the Nord other than I very much like how it sounds, but I would “suspect” that put to test, the Roland would likely edge it out. Perhaps you could give it a serious try? I bought mine with the understanding that I could return it if not satisfied and as you can probably tell, I’ve opted not to exercise that option. I’d be curious as to your final decision, however, so let us know??

  42. Steve Rose Says:

    Hi Adrian
    More feedback on the RD700GX. Firstly after a few weeks of playing it I got used to the action and brought the touch levels back down to just above factory default. I think its a case of getting the muscles toned to suit the action! I have had to upgrade my monitors. The difference in the sound experience is amazing. The Roland begs good speakers.

    Bad news though after 3 months I’m noticing considerable wear to the ivory key tops in the heavy traffic areas of the keyboard. This wear shows up as extra roughening of the key surface and is already quite noticeable to the touch in comparison with keys that are less well used. The wear marks are visible too. No they’re not dirt marks either!

    Previous to the Roland I had a Yamaha P-250 stage piano for three years. When I sold it in October 2008 the keyboard was still in pretty good condition despite regular heavy use. I can’t see the Roland lasting that long! It is a real shame because otherwise I think it is really very good. I’m thinking would the SX have worn like this? Have you noticed any surface roughening on the mock ivory?
    Cheers
    Steve
    PS Still wouldn’t swop it for anything else though!

  43. Adrian Says:

    Hey Steve, appreciate you taking the time to update from your end! That’s very interesting (the key top wear) because I made a mental note of that just last week before I left on my business trip. Sounds like you’re playing yours on a much more frequent/daily basis than I, but I concur, those wear marks are exactly what you describe. I haven’t noticed roughening that affects the feel, but it seems (as you state) that with enough pounding, it wouldn’t take long to get there. Roland HQ is very accessible to me in LA, and they are previous “client” of mine, so I’m tempted to drop in and inquire about this. Curious… On a scale of 1-5 (1 being “visible, but no impact on playing” to 5 “extremely noticeable, impacts playing”) how would rate the degree of wear?

    I’m in the same boat with overall satisfaction, and also owned a P250 before I went to the MP8 – I kept the MP8, however. It would seem that Roland would have to perform some sort of replacement (even if not covered under warranty) – I kind of view this like tires on a high performance sports car… no escaping the fact that you’ll replace them faster than most, and not without cost. That said, if you find yourself at a “5″ in just 3 months, that’s a bit over the top (meaning Roland, hopefully, will recognize that such a trend is not in their best interest). The amount of traffic that this “little post” continues to generate on my humble little blog amazes me, so clearly, there is a worldwide audience of interest in the GX.

    Anyone else care to chime in on this experience (with ivory top key wear)?

  44. Wayne Says:

    Hi again Adrian. I’m glad I took a look back here to see the last comments made by yourself and Steve concerning the GX key wear. I’ve almost cemented a deal with a local distributor for a Roland HP 207 home piano, which has the same PHA II action. As a pianist I’m very concerned with having to potentially replace the keyboard within a couple of years. I mean, as a technician, I’m not daunted by the physical task of doing it. I’m just feeling sick at the thought of having to do it AT ALL for many, many years. Having to pay for it after such a short time would be totally unacceptable as well. No acoustic piano manufacturer could EVER get away with this. Look at the warranties offered by acoustic manufacturers. One would have hoped that Roland would have been more careful in their R&D of such a “highly acclaimed” keyboard before they put it in a home style piano …. something they should presume would get regular, aggressive use. I’m feeling really disappointed as I was ready to make the purchase this week. Adrian, one question I hope you might be able to answer is ….. Is it safe to assume that the piano sample in the GX would be the same as the home piano series? The HP 207 has such a beautiful “Steinway” sample that I’m almost willing to buy it (or the GX) regardless of it’s potential shortcomings. Thanks again for your input. (you too Steve)
    Wayne

  45. victor yancovitch Says:

    wow….well that’s something new!…..nice if more gx fans pick up on this post……

  46. Adrian Says:

    Hi Wayne, I concur with your thoughts. Steve referenced his previous ownership of a Yamaha P250; I’ve had that board as well as the Kawai MP8, and there’s no way that either would suffer such a wear and tear issue. That said, the “Ivory Touch” concept is new and unique to the Roland models being referenced herein, and I suspect that because it’s a “generation one” offering they haven’t worked out all the “bugs” in formulating this material. The reality of it is that we are the “early adopters” of the new product lines, so that’s part of the risk we take. For me, would I have still made the same decision knowing this risk as I do now? Yes. I suspect that should this be a consistent symptom across the GX ownership base, Roland will be forced to re-examine the formulation of this “layer” (improve it) and then provide a way forward – perhaps meeting somewhere in the middle of “doing nothing” vs. “full warranty coverage”. The best thing about this type of thread is that we are ALL using the power of “word of mouth” to increase awareness. Turns out that the post/thread is now ranked at #2 on the Google search rankings when “Roland RD700GX Review” is keyword searched! That’s really because of ALL OF YOU making these supplemental comments!

    So this a very good thing we have going, in my opinion, because it means we really can get the word out and use strength in numbers to (hopefully) protect ourselves from typical non-responsive manufacturers. Very few rocks to hide under nowadays thanks to the Internet! So to everyone who has taken the time to post, I want to again express my appreciation, and hopefully we’ll win together on this one – should the key wear issue indeed result in a need to prematurely replace keys.

    Regarding the sample question: does the GX use the same as the HP series… I “think so”, but there could be some differences in the programming/patches. But, I’m honestly not sure. It’s been my experience that the base samples are frequently re-used, but tweaked every so slightly across different models. But sometimes, the product lines sit in entirely different silos. In Yamaha, for example, there entirely different product management between the Motif, CP, and Clavinova series… Not sure how Roland approaches this. However, to my ear, the GX samples are very acceptable (as far on board stuff goes); but tested against a multi-gigabyte library such as Ivory, still steps below…

  47. Steve Rose Says:

    Hi Adrian
    Thanks for your comments. Being at the leading or bleeding edge comes as rather a surprise. On your 1 to 5 wear scale I’d say it is probably a 2. That is visible and slightly obtrusive to the touch. If it got no worse that would be fine. But the fact is on my GX it has gone from nothing to this in 3 months. I have taken a series of photos which were sent to Roland (UK). They are available here: http://www.romanviii.co.uk/bp/activefolder.asp?pcat=rolandrd700gx_keywear

    I have been in touch with Roland UK via my dealer. I’ve been told that so far they haven’t received any other complaints about the ivory tops. I’m prepared to believe them, as it is still early days for the GX. I would been interested to hear what Roland HQ in LA have to say. I’ve no wish to damage Roland’s success with the GX. This is why there is a need for real user feedback on this topic.
    Cheers
    Steve

  48. Adrian Says:

    I completely agree Steve… besides, if not done with courtesy and professionalism, chances are it won’t go anywhere. Good idea about the pictures. I’ll shoot some on mine next week and post a link so we can compare notes!

    Cheers,
    Adrian (by the way, I’m in London this week – turn up the temp please!!)

  49. jayson vannini Says:

    Hello Adrian,

    Nice review. Where did you get your workstation desk?

    I have virtually the same set up and have been looking for something a bit more ergonomically arranged like yours. Please let me know.

    Best,
    Jayson

  50. Adrian Says:

    Hello Jayson- Appreciate you stopping by and commenting! My desk is from Argosy Console, with a few “customizations” to house the Yamaha 02r96 mixer. It was definitely a worthwhile purchase, adn the folks at Argosy are wonderful people to work with. Let me know if I can be of further help?

    Best, Adrian

  51. Matthew Says:

    Hello Adrian, hello Steve,

    I must say I’m slightly confused about the apparent key wear issue: I couldn’t find the hint of a single other Ivory Feel user on the ‘net describing something like it yet, and I was looking quite hard. So it seems I have to bug you guys then.

    @Steve: In the 2+ months since you shot the photos, have the keys deteriorated any further?
    @Adrian: How are your keys doing?

    Thanks,
    Matthew

  52. Steve Rose Says:

    The GX keys are continuing to degrade at about the same rate. Once the surface has roughened though you don’t notice it so much. I was in London earlier this week and popped into Rose Morris to try out the Kawai MP8II etc.. They had a GX in there that the sales guy said had been on demo for 6 months, the keys were showing the same wear signs as mine. More interestingly upstairs they also had a Roland HP207e with ivory keys that was also showing them same wear patterns. BTW I did like the Kawai but felt the action wasn’t as direct and precise as the Roland. From what I could hear the samples are pretty consistent across the board and at least one of the grands has some nice qualities. I reckon much of it is down to what you get used to. Playing jazz this means changing voicings and reorganising solos to suit the instrument’s qualities. I think the Roland pushes me further and demands more.
    London was cold even after Glastonbury!

  53. Brian Says:

    Hey Adrian (and others),

    I’m curious what you think of the new Roland V-Piano. Will this be the “solution” to having both a a great felling keybed and samples good enough to record in the same unit?

  54. Adrian Says:

    Hi Brian! Tell u what… reading over the specs, I’m very encouraged (and beyond curious). It will be interesting to watch the market reaction because the price point won’t be “your average board” – I’m betting on somewhere in the $6.5- 7K USD range? Given today’s climate, that may well put it out of reach for many especially since this is “just a piano”. The other issue, IMO, will be size. For me, that’s going to probably determine whether I go with this thing or not but having checked the measurements, it will “just fit” into my master controller space. But most importantly, sound and feel… that will be very interesting indeed. I think these will be hitting the retail channel sometime in April (?) so I will certainly try it and report back to everyone!

  55. Brian Says:

    Adrian,
    Thanks for your insight and comments. However, at a cursory glance, I don’t think the V-Piano is a very complete MIDI controller.

    I’m also interested in your comparison between the V-Piano and the software based Instruments like Ivory.

    Given my modest home studio geometry and budget, I really need to stick with my RD-700 GX as the MIDI controller, use the few sounds that are very “recordable”, and augment this with great software instruments.

    Brian

  56. Adrian Says:

    Brian, I would have to agree with your observations on the MIDI controller capabilities (lack thereof on the V-Piano spec). The RD700GX clearly provides for more robust controller capabilities – multi-zone and multi-MIDI outs to begin with. In many ways, I found the same necessity to compromise when I went with the Yamaha P250 for a period of time – great action, very good sound, but very limited controller capability – one of the reasons I opted in the MP8 before arriving at the GX. I haven’t had the opportunity (yet) to play the V-Piano so I cannot comment on the sound, but sound design would seem to be its main emphasis, so I anticipate being pleasantly surprised. The question is: Will it be that much better than software equivalents such as PianoTeq (also uses the same approach/modeling) or something like Ivory (sample library). I suspect it will at least be at that level, but doubt it will vastly exceed… which is why for me, I anticipate sticking with the GX because it *does* provide great contoller capability, “good enough” on board sounds which I use during the “development” phases of my music (before recording with things like Ivory), and a fantastic action. I am a bit leary of an “all in one” approach because something has to give, right? In the case of the V-Piano it would appear that we’re pushing a pricing threshold potentially out of reach for many and a footprint (size) that may be less than ideal for many folks…

    Guess we’ll have to see… but given this is a first generation model, I would suspect that the above two “negatives” could very well improve over time…

  57. victor yancovitch Says:

    thanks for informing me about the v-piano….never heard of it….sounds promising…..looked it up and i couldn’t figure out if it had onboard speakers…..is this just a computer controller which sounds great on a disc and crappy in a live performance?…..if it sounded good live, it would certainly be something to look forward to….if its not amplified, i wonder how much you’d have to pay for speakers to give it justice…..hmmmmm

  58. rik Says:

    Hello Guys

    I’ve been in a real quandry – whether to upgrade the keyboard quality by moving back to a piano style keyboard form Yamaha, Technics, and Korg keyboards for a while now.

    I came across the RD – 300/700 SX models from Roland a few months back and since then learn the SX is being replaced by the GX. The basic feel of this as a piano keyboard is satisfactory – I was brought up playing acoustic piano with decent / reasonable quality feel and touch. Moving to also play organ some 30 years ago I have coped with the lighter keyboard feel in recent years, but never felt really comfortable with it.

    I play in halls occasionally for dances, so need to consider moving the things about. I realised the option of a midi style control keyboard but have worried about the overall costs involved in adding sounds and rhythms to this. So you posts have been extremely valuable to me, thank you all very much

    sincere regards
    rik

  59. Adrian Says:

    Hello Rik, Welcome to our ever growing discussion thread! I think you’re right by pointing out the difficulty of balancing “quality feel/action”, “sounds”, and portability all in one unit. For example, the soon to be released Roland V-Piano would seemingly promise a new benchmark for sound quality (and perhaps feel), but forget out portability. My personal thoughts on this is that, assuming those 3 main factors being ideally optimized across the board, today we can really only optimize 2 out of the 3 – based on what’s available on the market. Do you agree? So if that’s the case, best to the clear on what’s most important for your application and go from there.

    I’ve personally found that Roland, Yamaha, and Kawai collectively provide the best combination of feature/functions/value but it’s truly a subjective call as to which model is the *best* – best for one is not necessarily best for another… Many people who have taken the time to post here (thanks again) have owned multiple boards from numerous manufacturers and I always welcome the input because technology will continue to evolve and it’s simply too expensive to own them all :)

    All the best,
    Adrian

  60. MaxG Says:

    Well, back to the key top issue on the PHAII action.
    I noticed the keytop issue after some 25 hours of playing… I bought mine late November 2008 … noticed it in January 2009. I am waiting for a response from Roland on how they want to deal with this.
    You can find more info on my web site http://www.max.grenkowitz.net/show.asp?topic=769&r=6 or on the PianoWorld forum: http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/6/6030.html where i found a link to this site.

    I like the HP207, but I am really worried about the keytops… I play the piano for 1.5h per day… I reckon its a matter of time when I have worked / played my way through the key tops :(

    Cheers,
    Max

  61. Adrian Says:

    Max, thanks for stopping by and sharing the Pianoworld link. I am definitely experiencing the reported key wear issue on my GX, but perhaps to a lessor extent only due to my busy schedule (outside of the studio). It seems that Roland is acknowledging the issue per the comments of Steve and others, but wondering how much hassle we’ll have to go through to get a proper response from customer service on a case-by-case basis? Thank goodness for these threads as we can use them to support our case should it (hopefully not) come to that. Again, thanks for stopping by! -Adrian

  62. victor yancovitch Says:

    come to think of it…i remember old pianos with ivory keys which were worn down in the centre :) but of course it took a lot longer for that to happen…..what are the keys on most of the grands today made of??…

  63. victor yancovitch Says:

    by the way yamaha replaced free, the keyboard action on my p-80 due to frequent key breakage….maybe it will come to that on the rd700gx…

  64. Adrian Says:

    Hey Victor… welcome back… you’re right, old ivory keys (which thankfully are no longer “produced”) would have wear issues, but over the course of decades not months. I concur with Max and Steve that this is an issue with the Roland “Ivory Feel” keys. Seems that it’s beginning to get enough momentum out there that at least for those (like us) experiencing this, we have the benefit of this sort of leverage with Roland. Hopefully, they’ll do the right thing and realize that they’ll be MUCH better off retaining long-term customers by offering up a recall/replacement program of some kind. We shall see….

  65. Pete Rhode Says:

    Hello, Thank you so much for your site. I eat up your advise, all the reviews, and your expertise! I bought the Roland 300GX and I absolutely love it. I use it as my “practice” piano, and I play it at LEAST three or four hours a day. The pianos to me are excellent-I personally like the #3 choice, the “Grand RD.” I love the “split” function as well. I do alot of acoustic bassin’ on the left, and saxing on the right! I’ve really come up with some late night jazz masterpieces (in my mind anyway!). Anyway, I was looking at the Kawai MP5 and MP8ii for my home piano and using the Roland 300GX for playing out, but I also have seen a few Roland 700SX’s going pretty reasonable lately. I like the option of the SRX slots, which unfortunately are not offered on the 300GX. I have had a few other pianos, such as the Yamaha CP33, the Yamaha M08, and a Korg SP250, and I sold them all because of annoying keyboard “thump,” or poor piano sounds. And believe it or not, if anyone is on a budget and wants an excellent gigging piano for under $700, check out the Casio PX-320. I know, your’re probably laughing but seriously, I love them. I have a buddy that plays professionally in the SF Bay Area jazz clubs and he has toured with the PX-320 for the past two years-he plays out three times a week with it. Anyway, just a perspective from a bottomfeeder! Cheers to you and your contribution.

  66. Adrian Says:

    Hiya Pete! Appreciate you taking the time to post :) Sounds like we’re in the same boat as many others here having owned a variety of other models before arriving at the latest Roland gear. As far as a “home piano” my guess is that you’d be much happier with the MP8ii than the MP5 – especially with the substantially better feel of the MP8 line… but if memory serves me, the MP8ii is pretty close to the RD700GX price point so perhaps you could compare between those two? In my opinion, there’s enough improvement in the GX to justify the price difference between the 700SX – that said, the 700SX is no slouch! I’m going to make a note of your Casio suggestion and take a look at one of these when I get home… I spend a lot of time in Europe and was just thinking the other day how nice it would be to have something *inexpensive* out here just to fiddle with during some of my downtime! Take care in the mean time – and best regards!

  67. Graham Says:

    Hi guys,

    I cant add anymore to the rd700gx keytop wear issue, other than to say its happening to me on my GX as well. I am in the UK and have left a note on the Roland Uk forum, in the hope one of the moderators/Roland make a useful comment

    http://www.rolandforums.co.uk/forums/viewthread/402/

    I will come back if this gleans anything useful.

    Thanks
    Graham Sherwood

  68. Graham Says:

    I have had an interesting reply on the above thread from a guy who says he had to have his rd700gx keybed changed by Roland because of a wear issue in the action ( something to do with key felts ) , over and above the keytop wear problem.

  69. Danny Says:

    Hello!

    I’m completely new to digital pianos, though I’ve been playing classically for the past 17 years.

    I’d like to purchase my first digital piano…however, I’ve heard that software samples like Garritan are much better than anything I could find in a keyboard. However, in my opinion, it’s a pain in the butt to switch instruments and control their sound using a mouse and computer.

    Is there some sort of hardware option that allows me to control all the sounds in a software library? For example, scroll through the sounds using a scroll wheel, or change their town using a wheel as well? What kind of a device would this be, and what would you recommend I get? Could I use this hardware option on pretty much any keyboard such as the GX or the Yamaha CP33?

    Thank you!!
    Danny

  70. Adrian Says:

    Hi Danny, thanks for stopping by! Sounds like you have three concerns going on here… (1) finding an adequate CONTROLLER not just a digital piano as the feel will more than likely be a key criteria for anyone versed in classical… (2) finding an adequate SOUND SOURCE – to your point of larger sample libraries providing better sound… and (3) simplified WORKFLOW to your point of wanting to avoid “keyboard mouse” interaction. Finding all three of those criteria optimized in a single digital piano might be difficult unless you consider the Roland V-Piano? It’s priced significantly above a GX or CP33, but IMO, you may end up saving money by going that route. If not, you’re more than likely going to invest (at minimum) into a GX or CP33 type board and still find yourself not entirely satisfied as this will likely only address criteria #1… What you described in your post sounds to me at least like you might be a good candidate for a Muse Receptor coupled to a board like a GX… but by the time you go that route, purchase the (hardware) Receptor and then the accompanying software, you’ll easily have invested more than the V-Piano. IMO, the Roland V-Piano is a potential game changer at least for digital pianos… I trust you can do your homework via Google, and it’s set to hit the streets this month. For me, it’s a non-start because the V-Piano is more of a piano and less of a MIDI controller so I’m going to be sticking to my GX. But if I were in your shoes with the above criteria, I would definitely give it a serious consideration. Let me know how it goes?

  71. John Ackroyd Says:

    Hi, Interesting to hear the keywear problem on the 700gx.I thought mine was the only one.Having seen other comments I’ll contact Roland UK and see what happens.As I only use it occaisionally I find it a worry that it”s deteriorating so quickly. Can anyone advise me on a suitable amplifier to get a good piano sound at high volume? I’ve tried the Roland kc550 which was hopeless,Currently using a roland kc350 which is an improvement, until you turn the volume up and then all the piano sounds are very brittle with no tone range. If i can get the piano stage sound sorted out I will be very happy and even more so with a set of keys that don’t wear out in 3 months.

  72. victor Says:

    i think i read that the roland v-piano, will be using the same type of keys…o me, o my….

  73. Jaka Bac Says:

    Hi everyone!
    I am also considering to get a new digital piano which could be a decent master keyboard as well. And after trying the Yamahas I was also drawn more towards the 700GX. I would like to thank you all for providing your personal views on this. Nice to get that sort of a community confirmation :)
    But after reading about the keytop wear issue, my “gear acquisition” phase was paused a bit. After trying Yamahas (CP33,CP300) I really prefer the 700GX a lot. But being a hobbyist and the fact that there is no local Roland representative here to pester in case of the keyboard problem stopped me a bit. But after re-evaluating other options I always come back to the 700GX. But since I am not in a hurry. I decided to wait until this wear issue is sorted out. I even tried the FP-7 which has the PHA II action without the “Ivory feel”. And the action is very close if not identical to 700GX, but it is clearly not as good as a master keyboard. I also considered a Yamaha S90ES, but this idea was quickly abandoned after touching its synth like keyboard.
    The “Ivory feel” problem is a shame since I don’t think it is so important to get the “I am touching an elephant” sensation when playing the piano. Besides I guess that lots of people never played a piano with real ivory keys in their life (myself included). But anyway.If anyone has more information how Roland is sorting out this issue I would be happy to hear it.

  74. Mark Stothard Says:

    Oh My,

    I was just about to purchase this online after reading reviews and such on the internet. Before i went to click “pay now” i thought i would just have a final look on the net.

    This is when i came across this site, and thank goodness i did.

    The wear issue of the keys has put me off completely, so i thank you all for pointing that out.

    Now I’ll have to search for something else now.

    Regards
    Mark.

  75. nick chan Says:

    Mark Stothard, I had to forget about RD700GX too. It’s a shame really, would have been the perfect one.

  76. Mark Stothard Says:

    Thanks for your reply Nic. Can i ask what you went with in the end?
    What i’m looking for is this:

    88 keys with nice weighted action, decent midi controll (i will be composing on PC most of the time) A ribbon controller if possible, and mod wheels.

    I’m not too fussed about the piano sounds, as i wont be taking it on the road or anything like that. It will used at home by my daughters and me. The most important thing for me is the keys, and MIDI. I have around £2000 to spend.

    Thanks
    Mark.

  77. Joe Jackson Says:

    Hi Everyone

    I just got off the phone with Roland concerning the key surface ware issue on the RD700GX. I had a short cordial conversation with their tech department wherein I introduced myself as a potential keyboard customer which I am. [I was just about to pull the trigger on the RD700GX when I decided to read every post on Adrian Sakashita's site and was made aware of the key surface ware problem.] The tech’s answer was that “some RD700GXs in the first wave got out the door with a substandard formulation and that the problem has been fixed.” I called Roland again to get a serial # over which one would be safe buying and detected a note of defensiveness so I stayed polite and backed off. So . . .. Roland is aware of the problem. Has it been fixed? Is it being fixed and I just got read the party line? If anyone with a problem machine could post their S #, we might be able to sus out the zone of machines with the bad formulation. Then again, it could be all of them. Roland is a pretty good company, are they not? I’ve loved them ever since “Roland Strings”. Yikes! I’m old.

    Adrian, great site. You attract great quality posts. I read Wayne’s post [it's a large one if your scrubbing the site] and as a result, I’m yearning to touch a Kawai MP3 to add another data point to my lexicon of keyboard feels while I’m again back on hold.

    Joe Jackson

  78. Adrian Says:

    Thank you, Joe, for taking the time to update and comment! I’ve heard the same from Roland as well – for what it’s worth, the wear issue seems to have stabilized on my unit. Meaning, it began to exhibit some of that surface wear but then leveled off; haven’t noticed much degradation since. But alas, I don’t play professionally so probably have a lighter playing regimen than many of those who’ve shared their frustrations on this topic…

  79. nick chan Says:

    Mark Stothard, i read that Roland offers 3 year warranty for the RD700GX (Depending on country maybe). So you can buy with confidence. I haven’t bought anything yet, selling my motif xs and korg sp250.

    And don’t listen to craps about Kurzweil piano sounding good. So you can forget about the new SP/PC series if you’re looking for piano sound. Kurzweil makes the best sounding fake piano.

  80. PJ Says:

    What a great site this is Adrian. It is refreshing to be able to get opinions from established pianists and musicians without the usually lame slating of equipment by people who have probably never even used it let alone owned it.

    Although a professional musician for over 30 years I haven’t owned that many keyboards. I probably started as most did with a Rhodes, which I incidently still own. I was lucky enough to play many venues where a grand piano was on the stage and sometimes the old Yamaha Electric Grand. About 12 years ago I bought a Roland A80 master keyboard and a Yamah P50M – I soon got rid of this after regular skinning of my fingers anytime a gliss was attempted. It was replaced with an A90 Ex which I still use and quite like. I did have to spend a lot of time setting up the sounds, especially layering electric pianos to create anything like it, but I never really achieved a versatile organ patch. I hence added an OB3 squared and later a Roland VR760.

    I now want to get something which does all the jobs and had almost settled on either the Yamaha S90ES or Nord Stage 88 Ex or Roland RD 700GX. I live in the extreme south west of England which is remote enough to make trying these keyboards side by side is practically impossible. I therefore rely on the reviews of others to help me decide and would appreciate any further input anyone could give on the these instruments.

    Is this key wear on the 700 still a major issue?

  81. Adrian Says:

    Thanks PJ for stopping by and welcome to our discussion thread! To the best of my knowledge, presently shipping models of the 700GX do not have the wear issue. I was one first to get one because I was on a waiting list, and whilst I can attest to the wear issue, strangely enough it seems to have subsided in the sense that it hasn’t gotten any worse… so I think what I would say is that they’ve become worn to a point, and candidly (even for a picky person like myself) not so much that I feel compelled to do anything about it. I think you would very pleased with the GX especially vs. the others you’ve referenced. Let us know what you decide?

  82. Adrian Says:

    Hello everyone! Speaking about the RD700GX, appears Roland has a $100 cash back special going on for a limited time! Here’s the link to the description at Sweetwater http://tinyurl.com/kvjt9g

  83. Gareth Says:

    Hi Guys,
    Some really useful reviews here guys, thank you!

    My situation is one of being the keys player in a Rock/Pop covers function band, and also a pit player for musical shows. Currently I have a pretty amateurish SL880 controller, connected to an expanded JV1080, with a second Triton 61 key.
    What I’m looking for is a Stage piano with a great feel, suitable for gigging, but a host of sounds suitable for both gig and pit work. I often need to call up Brass, Strings, Synth leads, all sorrts of stuff… I’ve been focusing on two options so far, the RD700GX and the Fantom G8. I appreciate the G8 is a monster of a instrument to carry around, but it should cater for every sonic requirement I should ever have in either of my fields. Would the RD be a better bet? What are the rest of the sounds like? I don’t really need all the functionality of the Fantom, but I don’t want to spend that sort of cash on anything, unless it’s just right for me.

    Any suggestions guys?

    Thanks,

    Gareth

  84. Adrian Says:

    Hi Gareth,
    Just my opinion, but I view the RD700GX as more of a Stage Piano than a full-fledged sonic factory such as the Fantom G8. In this sense, the G8 is a superset of the RD700GX – and given that both share the same action, keys, etc, I feel you’d have more “upside” with the Fantom than with the GX. You’re right in that the drawback, of course, is the added weight. But from my experience, I certainly don’t rely upon the 700GX to supply me with my sound palette… I view it as more of a controller that happens to have fairly acceptable on board sounds, especially the piano patches. But even there, I tend to rely more on Ivory (for Pianos) sitting on a Muse Receptor. Bottom line is that you can either get everything in one box with the GX or go more modular with something like a Receptor and the 700GX. Hope this helps?

    Kind regards,
    Adrian

  85. Josué Says:

    Hi guys.

    Regarding the key surface ware issue on the RD700GX. I just talk with a Roland Sales Representative here in Portugal, who told me that the problem is fixed.

    So, i need send them my RD700 serial and then they will fixe my issue.

    Regards.

  86. Adrian Says:

    Thanks JD! Tudo bem??

  87. Josué Says:

    Ya. Tudo bem. :). Learning portuguese. Nice.

    Now you have to travel to Lisbon in order to practice. J

  88. Adrian Says:

    I like your idea (visiting Portugal soon)! But warning, I’d just assume play a Chopin Etude (and fail miserably at that) than test my Portuguese… meaning it doesn’t run very deep! haha

  89. victor Says:

    oh…..i just had a chance to try the v-piano by roland…..i hit one note and knew i wouldn’t like it….which was confirmed after playing for 30 seconds…..maybe i have old generation ears, and maybe the new generation ears would like it…but to me it seems like a lot went into this piano, but i’m afraid..a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing…..anyways, back to my happy keyboard……

  90. Adrian Says:

    Hey Victor, thanks for sharing. I know that sinking feeling you’re talking about but wasn’t expecting to find this on the V-Piano. Can you elaborate? Was it more regarding the tone or the feel (or dare I say both)??

    Thanks on behalf of the group!
    Adrian

  91. victor Says:

    oh…(again)….i forgot….the action seemed great from the short time i played it, so there’s no problem there….and….with a certain amount of tweeking, one may be able to achieve a decent piano sound….but i figure roland would choose one of there best sounds for the piano 1 patch, or whatever its called…so, i judged only from that point of view….speaking of view……i’m judging this from the point of view of a classical pianist….may work great for a jazz pianist……one of the most important things i would look for in a piano sample , is warmth…..even in a natural grand piano, that would be important…the sound on the v-piano seemed too metallic…..a technical achievement yes!!….i think though, i’d rather put the emphasis on the heart..on a sound which brings tears of longing and joy…….oops..maybe i’m getting too mushy…..or too old…..cheers, vic

  92. kelly Says:

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for providing such an in-depth and informative forum. :) I have been researching stage pianos for the last few months, and like someone mentioned previously, I have also narrowed down my search to the Nord ex, Yamaha s90 es, and the roland rd700gx. I will be using it mainly for gigging purposes(rock band), and will average a few hours a day on it. I am mainly concerned with authentic piano feel, authentic piano quality sounds, excellent organ sounds, and something that will be rugged. I would also prefer to save some $$ and buy a b-stock or slightly used on ebay. I am leaning towards the GX, but after reading all the posts here, i am a little skeptical of the key wear issue. Was there a definitive conclusion to the key wear issue? I don’t really want to take a chance on the GX if it hasn’t been resolved. If it has been resolved, how will I know when purchasing online if i’m getting a new key-wear-free keyboard, or one of the old problem ones? Is there a serial # marking the “everything after this serial # is fine” type of a thing? The 1600-2000$ is a lot for me, so I really need to choose something that will not only be the best bang for the buck, but the one that will be the most reliable. I have played the s90es which is cheaper(easier on my wallet), and it is ok, but i like the feel of the gx better. I haven’t had an opportunity to play the nord ex, but it is almost out of my price range. Thanks again for all the posts and to Adrian for having this site!! Any advise/information is very appreciated :)

    -kelly

  93. Adrian Says:

    Hi Kelly – thanks for stopping by and posting your comment! From everything I understand (and having Roland US HQ in my “backyard”), the key wear issue has been resolved. Roland has not been clear, however, in calling out the serial number range for suspect boards. In my case, I happen to have on of the earlier boards, and thing I can report is that key wear seems to stop at a certain point, meaning it’s just the micro surface that gets affected and being a fairly picky person, if was really a bother, believe me I would first in line to have it repaired. Thus far, it just hasn’t been a big enough distraction. So I guess you’re talking to someone who’s affected but not overly bothered (and in most circumstances would be). Keep in mind that Roland will repair these so provided that you purchase one in warranty you should be covered to the best of my knowledge. Now with regards to comparing it to the Nord or S90es, can’t speak for the Nord, but I’ve owned the S90es and no question to GX provides vastly superior feel and sound – especially for live playing – it’s very clear this piano was made with the gigging player in mind… fast switching easily accessible controls, relatively portable… If your leaning towards to GX, I doubt you’ll be disappointed, but you’re right to do your homework and my suggestion would be to hold the line when it comes to buying one (used) in warranty.

    All the best,
    Adrian

  94. kelly Says:

    Adrian-

    Thanks for the input, advice, and information.

    The nord seems to be overpriced and even used is more expensive than the GX. I’m not crazy about the organ/electric piano sounds or key action of the s90es. I think my mind’s made up my mind. ;) The GX it is. I will just make sure i get one with a warranty.

    I had an old band member who had the SX and I liked it for the most part. Everything I’ve read suggests the feel, action, and piano sounds on the GX are far superior than the SX.

    Thanks again!

    Kelly

  95. Adrian Says:

    You’re most welcome, Kelly. I agree – the GX is a significant step forward from the SX and the SX was no slouch!

    Best,
    Adrian

  96. Adrian Says:

    Everyone – I just took note that this thread has been now running for over one year! Clearly, the RD700GX review and commentaries are dear to many as this is the principal draw to my humble little blog. I want to thank everyone again for having taken the time to post commentary and opinions. Thanks to your efforts, we’ve had a very enjoyable (and hopefully insightful) exchange! Let’s continue!

  97. Jean Vignes Says:

    Thanks for this timely review. I spent about an hour yesterday checking over (OK, drooling over) the Roland RD700GX. I am a novice with electronic pianos and MIDI controllers; your review (and the comments) were very helpful to me. I’ve bookmarked your site for future reference.

    That said, I’ve been banging on pianos for (ahem) a few decades and I loved the feel of the thing. I can’t really stand the “plastic toy” feel of so many electronic pianos (no offense to those who love lighter keys!) The feel of the RD700GX was a huge selling point for me. I would like to be able to switch between acoustic and electronic without losing my touch and I’m sure that this would not be a problem with this keyboard.

  98. victor Says:

    yes that is the challenge…to have a keyboard which will not compromise one’s technique when switching to the acoustic….that is the problem i face when i have to play a grand at the pan pacific hotel a couple of times a month, after praticing on my yamaha p80…it takes me half the night to adjust to the grand’s keyboard smiley smiley….

  99. Wayne Says:

    Victor ….. try to find a way to play a Kawai MP8. You will NEVER find a more uncompromisingly realistic, wooden key, grand piano style action. I wrote a post here a while back about this keyboard and I’m standing by my previous comments well as my 36 years as a piano technician. MP8 is the one to own if you’re an accomplished acoustic pianist. Don’t even waste your time looking at lower end, spring loaded, “weighted” plastic actions. You can try them all and never be satisfied. The Kawai MP8 is a wooden key, mechanical action, much like the Fender Rhodes of old, but much more refined (and durable). Kawai has captured the touch of their concert grand beautifully and it’s worth a little extra money for that action as well as the peace of mind knowing you’ve got a key surface that won’t wear out on you after a few months of heavy playing. Mind you, I’m talking about the MP8, not the newer MP8ll. Find one, play it, fall in love with it and buy it. It will likely be the last money you spend on a keyboard so in the end … you actually save BIG time. Like me, you may wind up using a sampled grand like Ivory to do serious recording but with proper tweaking the onboard piano is very acceptable for live playing. Good luck,
    Wayne

  100. Adrian Says:

    Hi Wayne… Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views. Suffice it to say that your post is a thorough explanation as to why I did not (and will not) sell my Kawai MP8 (that which the GX replaced). I agree, from an action perspective, the MP8 is the closest thing to an authentic concert grand. I have a Steinway grand in my living room and fully attest to your comments. Question for you: do you have any idea what Kawai had in mind with the MP8II??? I played that board when it hit the market and was thoroughly turned off within 30 seconds. All said, I do believe the GX is a better MIDI controller than the MP8 and the only other (very light) criticism is speed of the action (but that only comes into play in extremely fast passages). Regardless, I use Ivory for all of my recording so really it comes down to the action and the MIDI control for me.

    All the best,
    Adrian

  101. victor Says:

    thanks so much for the heads up!!….would love to find one….they don’t sell kawai keyboards here in vancouver bc area at all…..would have to find one in the states, and shipping may be outrageous….but i’ll keep looking…..have discovered that extreme heavy legato praticing on my yamaha p80, is making it much easier to adapt to the grand, so it’s ok for now…thanks, vic

  102. victor Says:

    oh….what’s the difference between the awa pro and the awa proII action??

  103. Adrian Says:

    Victor, the Kawai MP8 (has the older and much preferred/heavier action awa pro). Unfortunately, the MP8 is no longer in production having been replaced by the MP8II and the (IMO) inferior awa proII action. Wayne was referring to the MP8 and I wholeheartedly agree with his assessment of the MP8 vs. the MP8II and from an action perspective, the MP8 really has no equal. That’s why I’m not intending so sell mine, although for studio work, I find the GX to be more suitable especially from a MIDI controller perspective. The GX also has superior sounds – again just one person’s opinion. Between the Yamaha CP series, the Kawai MP8, and the Roland GX, you really can’t go wrong. I own all 3 and use them for different applications.

  104. Johan Says:

    Adrian and all Others,
    The maturity of responsible views expressed in you site has benefited me greatly. My situation is somewhat unique, and your input will be greatly appreciated.
    I’m a 64 years old South African; grounded in classical music and adapted to playing by ear in my adult years; regularly played together with my dad for shear enjoyment of music, him on an upright piano and me on the keyboards of the 70’s and 80’s and Hammonds. After his death in 1988 I acquired a new Kawai GS-60 (6′9″) and played it as a lonely musician up to now — but it’s getting very lonely!
    Sooner or later I will have to move to premises too small for my Grand, and meanwhile my financial situation will force me to sell it in order to acquire worthwhile electronic gear…
    Two days ago I stumbled across an advert for a MP3 in excellent condition; directly went to a shop to evaluate a new MP3-II, and then last night spent 2 hours playing and checking out the 2nd hand MP3. Just ‘digging’ into the keys I also agree it is the superior. Today I spent some time playing the RD700GX, and in a different fashion just loved it. That, regretably, is the essence of my current quandery: ‘the Roland or any other keyboard I can buy in the future, but not the MP3′!
    Adrian says that he keeps the MP3, which he employs for different purposes. Which are these, Adrian, seeing that you have your Steinway? Say you had no other musical interest than playing for your own personal enjoyment, laying down some backtracts (maybe either hand of Bach, and then playing the other part together with yourself), or simply trying to be creative in a relatively simple and non-competitive way, which of the keyboards would you have kept? (Forget about the ‘weight’ and ‘touch’ issues — I can live with both).
    I can get the 2nd hand Mp3 at approx. 70% of the cost of a new RD700-GX. More relevant, though, is which of these keyboards will give me maximum long term emotional joy at minimum brain effort (and expenditure on additional gear)?
    Finally, I will not ask you when to sell my Grand — that would be unfair!

  105. Adrian Says:

    Hello Johan,
    Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment (and question) – I must agree, the quality of this thread (really owed to the participants) has been very humbling. It’s been going on now for over a year!

    You pose a very good question; particularly as you phrase it (a MP8 that you buy today at 70% of the cost of a new RD700GX) also taking note that you can always buy the Roland (or a successor) in the future. Candidly, the answer to your question as posed to me would be to go with the Kawai MP8. The biggest clue for me is the fact that I haven’t (and won’t) sell the MP8. Like you said, I appreciate (and still use) the RD700GX for different reasons. But simply put, the MP8 is the closest thing you’ll find to an acoustic grand. One common denominator between both the GX and the MP, however, is that *neither* has the sound quality of top-end software sound libraries (i.e. Ivory by comparison), but they are by no means a distant second. I make the point only to convey that the satisfaction principally comes from feel first and sound second; to get the best of both worlds, you may find yourself eventually resorting to an independent sound module like Ivory.

    The reason I find myself personally endorsing your question on the MP8 is simple economics… at 70% of the cost of a GX, how can you go wrong? You can eventually buy the GX down the line as you rightfully state (or an improved successor), but I highly doubt you’ll lose money on the MP8.

    I’d be curious as to what you decide so let us know?

    All the best,
    Adrian

  106. Diederik Says:

    Hi Adrian and others,
    Great blog!
    I am about to buy a stage piano that also has other sounds (strings, guitar, synth pads etc). Plan to use it mostly at home, for playing and also recording songs. I am a piano player with affection for synthesizers but do want a piano-feel keyboard.

    I hesitate between Yamaha RD300 and Roland RD700GX (about 100 euro difference). Yamaha has built-in speakers and 16-track recorder (these are convenience factors since I can use external speakers and a laptop for recording) and perhaps has better quality piono sounds. What I like about the RD700GX is that is is easier to control ‘live’ since not everything is hidden in soft menus but there are quite a few controls.

    I am ‘worried’ about statements of using the RD700GX as controller mostly – seems like a mightly expensive MIDI controller! Surely this instrument is a worthy stand-alone keyboard (actually used by many big acts)??

    Any insight in whether the CP300 or RD700GX would be better in my case? And yes, I should decide for myself but I have not seen much feedback on the Yamaha CP300 and an curious about owner’s experience.

    Thanks,
    Diederik

  107. Adrian Says:

    Hello Diederik,
    Thank you for stopping by and joining our conversation! Clearly, you are considering high-end stage piano options and I believe you’ll find either choice from Yamaha or Roland to have its pluses and minuses, BUT having said that, I personally believe the RD700GX is first and foremost designed for precisely what you describe: live performance. Sure, it has great MIDI control features (better than the Yamaha) but it seems to me that its design is all about live stage performance… easy access, large buttons, very fast switching, and compact footprint – especially in contrast to the CP300. This is why you won’t find any built-in speakers etc on the Roland line; unlike Yamaha, the Roland units are geared for a specific audience and they don’t straddle between the two.

    I’ve owned the Yamaha P250, the earlier model of the CP300, and I really liked the action – it was tad heavier than the RD700GX (good), but the RD700GX still wins out in my book because of the overall features and playability. As far as sounds go, the RD700GX as a broader palette than the CP300 but in terms in piano, I would say they’re relatively close. You’re more than aware that the CP300 is a beast to carry I presume… So if it were me, and I was keen for stage performance use, the RD700GX would win hands down. Just happens to work very well in the studio as well!

    Hope this helps,
    Adrian

  108. Diederik de Bruin Says:

    Thanks for your elaborate (and fast) answer, Andrian.
    Indeed leaning towards the RD700GX now. After I have bought it I will let you know how I like it.

    Best regards,
    Diederik

  109. Wes B Says:

    Hello everyone. A quick note from me on owning an RD-700GX.

    A few weeks ago, mine was returned to Roland for some warranty work. I purchased the piano from new and after one year of 1 to 2 hours average practice per day (I’m quite a new player at Grade 3 Jazz), I noticed some of the keys were starting to sound “clicky” and “plasticy”. Having read elsewhere the new RD is susceptible to felt board wear, I reported the problem to Roland, who agreed the problem did indeed sound like felt wear and arranged to collect.

    I was in contact with the Engineer at Roland UK by e.mail, who having inspected the unit, advised the felt was not excessively worn. He stated that after some use, all Roland PHA keyboards start to “loosen up”. Despite not finding any particular fault, Roland agreed to replace the entire keyboard assembly. When my piano was returned, it felt like new again: solid keys and perfect feel :-)

    My dilemma is now on thinking 12 months ahead. If my RD starts to show the same “problem” again, it is for sale. No question. This “loosening” changes the feel of the keyboard entirely, from a solid, and obviously well engineered action.

    Throughout this, Roland UK have been a pleasure to deal with. Responsive with correspondence and prompt with with the repair. They were prepared to order a new front panel from Japan, having noticed a very small dent that they took responsibilty for. In fact the dent had been there for some time, I think I caused it, so did not feel it fair to put them to any unnecessary expense or inconvenience.

    PS. I notice when looking down the gap at the front of the white keys that the key number is embossed on the key itself, something I never noticed before!

  110. Adrian Says:

    Hi Wesley,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences re Roland warranty service and key clicking issue. Funny enough, I had the same problem with my GX early on (fortunately isolated to a single key in the upper registers). Did the same thing as you; took it in for repair, experienced the same high-level “no questions asked” service as you describe. Mind you, I live in LA so I went to the North American Roland HQ, but refreshing to see that the practises extend to the UK! They simply repaired my key since it was an isolated problem, but never mentioned that the GX was prone to degradation as described over time. But clearly, we had the same thing going on – your description fits exactly what I experienced, and it’s been fine ever since. The thing is, because it was the upper registers, my faulty key simply doesn’t get the same wear/tear as perhaps the keys affected in your case so please keep us informed?

    Again, thank you for sharing your experiences!

    Adrian

  111. Stagepiano gesucht - Musiker-Board Says:

    [...] Nr. 1! danke fuer die antwort hab mir mittlerweile auch dieses review hier durchgelesen … http://www.fastonkeys.com/studio/new-roland-rd700gx/ … er hatte anscheinend alle 3 (kawai mp8 (ohne II), roland rd700gx und yamaha cp300) u verwendet [...]

  112. Wes B Says:

    On another matter regards the RD-700GX, does anyone know which pianos were sampled for the 3 main voices? Expressive, Superior & Ultimate are all very different and I was also curious to know the answer to this.

  113. Deen Fox Says:

    I have just had my HP-207 keyboard replaced by Roland UK owing to wear of the ivory key tops, exactly as described by other users in your very informative web page. Apparently, the replacement keyboard has an approved resin on the keytops. My concern is if the new keys will wear in the same manner as the ‘faulty’ keyboard. It would be really appreciated if anyone who has had their keyboard replaced by Roland could provide an update on the durability they are experiencing with their replacement keys. Does it appear to have solved the problem?

  114. victor Says:

    slight diversion……just tried a roland fp-7, and the action seemed quite good….have you tried it, adrian?….sounds not too bad too……like it better than the rd700gx

  115. jeffrey Suyat Says:

    how can i purchase that roland rd 700gx. do you know of someone who can deliver here in riyadh, Saudi Arabia??

  116. Steve Rose Says:

    I had the keyboard of my GX replaced by Roland in March, with one of the new spec. By July it had similar wear problems to the previous one. I have had correspondence with others who’ve had a similar experience with the replacement. Although it isn’t particularly satisfactory, I’ve decided to live with it. I love the precision and feel of the keyboard, even if it is a bit flaky! I bought a second hand RD700SX to fill in while the GX was away being fixed. It has been fascinating having the two side by side. IMO the biggest surprise is the keyboard on the SX. Generally people say the SX is lighter than the GX. When you first touch it, yes that’s how it seems, but after spending many hours doing finger exercises on both I’d say that it is probably the other way around. The GX gives you more feedback and so enables you to control the key movement with less effort. The SX seems to demand more from your muscles to achieve a balanced performance. It isn’t a problem, in fact it’s like seeing the world though different eyes! Your playing gains practising on both because the control centre becomes you and not the keyboard. Beyond this I’d say that each instrument has its own character. The SX is more jovial the GX is more moody. I was really surprised by how good the SX is. New isn’t necessarily better just different.

  117. Adrian Says:

    Hi Steve – Thanks for the update. Your story somewhat parallels my own re GX as I’ve opted not to replace the keyboard and “live with it”, but at the same time, I’ve noticed that the wear issue seems to taper off – meaning it doesn’t get much worse beyond a certain point. The ironic thing is that even real ivory keys do this and I figure as long as the action is solid, it’s fine. Your comments on the 700SX are very interesting, because I was certainly one of those thinking along the lines of the action being much “lighter” than the GX. I think you summed it up the best with “new isn’t necessarily better, just different”. Thanks for taking the time to share this.

  118. Deen Fox Says:

    Just want to thank Steve for providing the update, even though it’s not what I wanted to hear about the new spec keys. I can tell there is some improvement in the new keys because the original keys had what I thought were dirty marks within minutes of using them, obviously things got a lot worse from there which is why I made the warranty call. But this time no ‘dirty’ marks after many hours use which is good and the keys feel a lot smoother, I suppose they would after using the roughened keys for a few months. Early days I know. I’m just hoping for the best. I definitely could not live with roughened keytops and it will leave me seeking resolution with Roland if it happens again. I mean this in a constructive way as I have many years of brand loyalty to Roland and have another Roland keyboard which I love using. I’d probably ask for another keybed if the new keys roughen up, surely they must get the formulation right at some point as they include ivory keys in all the top range pianos? Could be worth another try with Roland, Steve? I’ll provde an update in a few weeks time.

  119. Mark Randall Says:

    Hello Mr. Sakashita,

    I recently purchased a Roland RD700gx and have been searching the internet trying to enable a function I cannot find in the manual. You and your site seem to be a wonderful resource.
    I need this keyboard to TRANSMIT program change data to an external sequencer.
    I have successfully mapped the sliders to CC controller numbers and they transmit perfectly.

    Is there a way to use the 10 tone select buttons to transmit patch changes incrementally? I have mapped MSB to 0 and LSB to 32, and now would like a tone select key to send patch change 0-9.

    Thanks for any help in this.

    Mark

  120. Deen Fox Says:

    I said I’d postan update on the HP207 replacement ivory keyboard after a few weeks. I’ve not played it that much since my update in August, prefering to play my other Roland keyboard with plastic keytops. Unfortunately in spite of low recent usage some of HP207 white keys are now flaking. It does seem to be confined to 5 or 6 keys this time, and whilst they are visibly flaking they do not suffer the roughness feel as before, and the rest of the keys are still visibly ok. I really don’t know where this is heading so I will refrain from re-contacting Roland yet as I have 2+ years of warranty left. The new ivory surface is definitely an improvement over the original but still not perfect. I have little confidence in its longevity at the moment. The black key surfaces have rubbed off just as quickly as the original, I just do not know why they put that powdery finish on the black surfaces, but at least it rubs off to a smooth finish. I really wish I’d gone for the HP204 which has plastic key tops.

  121. Wayne Says:

    Hi guys. I haven’t stopped by here for a while now and I have to say, it’s been an interesting read since my last visit. I hope Johan went for the used MP8. Like Adrian, I have not (and will not) sell mine … EVER! Coupled with Ivory, it’s simply the best combination for the most realistic piano ever. I did purchase the Roland HP 207 about 9 months ago and, while I’ll admit it’s a very nice home piano, it still doesn’t come close to the Kawai MP8/ Ivory combo. It’s actually up for sale now. I haven’t played it enough to experience the “wear” issues that folks here have complained about but I CAN tell you that the local Guitar Center has had a couple of GX700’s that have had noticable keyboard problems on their floor models. Keep up your search guys. Merry Christmas and I wish you all well but in the end ???? MP8!!! Hands down!!

  122. Adrian Says:

    Thanks Wayne! And Happy Holidays to everyone! All the best, Adrian

  123. David Says:

    Thanks for this post Adrian. Question: How do you turn the local control off? I’m using my recently purchased RD700GX as a studio controller and can’t figure out how to turn off local control. The RD700GX is a great keyboard, but the manual isn’t very well written. Either that or I’m missing something very simple. Thanks for any help!

  124. Adrian Says:

    Local Control is indeed a nuance on the GX! It is buried way beneath the menus. Here’s how:

    From the GX, Select the EDIT pad (on top of the unit):

    next, select Utilities….

    next, select Rec Settings…

    There, you will see Local Control which defaults to Yes (meaning you have to switch it off for use in the studio world)…

    Here’s the kicker… the GX does not save this setting so one must repeat the above every time the GX is power cycled. Not convenient, but guaranteed you’ll memorize the command.

    I asked Roland about this and their reason was that the GX is primarily designed for stage/live use – I still don’t like the inability to save your own preferences, but alas, it’s not a perfect world.

    Hope this helps!

    -Adrian

  125. Peter Says:

    Hello Adrian,

    Great thread you have going here. Your responses have proved so valuable for so many, my hat off to you. My situation is that I want a stage piano, to save on space, max midi and my top two must haves are action & sound. Regarding action, I want something as close to the real thing as possible. Your top choice seems the MP8, with the 700GX second, were it not for the lighter feel. Steve Rose mentioned bringing the touch level up to heavy + 6 and his problems were solved. I’m wondering if you’ve had a chance to try the heavier touch settings and what your take is any improvement this setting offers to match the weighted feel of the MP8? Thanks

  126. Adrian Says:

    Hey Peter… Thanks for taking the time to stop by and post. It has indeed been a great (and very long running) thread, but credit really owed to all those, yourself included, who have made contributions! Actually, I’m quite happy with the Roland action… I tried to characterize it as being a faster action vs. a heavier more weighted of the MP8. The difference for me is akin to comparing a Yamaha to a Steinway. I happened to grow up playing on Steinway so the heavier action is something my fingers relate “authenticity” to… and the MP8 (owed to its wooden keys) resembles that heavier feel more so than the GX.

    But when you take all of the other GX benefits into account (better MIDI, space, arguably better sounds, clearly something designed for performance), I opted to use it and still do. The concept of using the +6 heavy setting doesn’t represent a workaround for me because while that will indeed affect the pressure one must apply to trigger a MIDI message from the key, it doesn’t affect the physical weight of the key (the sensation you feel when you’re playing)… I guess the easier way to explain it is the “feel” you have on a keyboard with the power off, just playing it physically on the keys… When you do this (MP8 vs. GX) the MP8 has a heavier physical action – what you feel between the time your finger hits the key and the point where the MIDI message is triggered – that’s what I was referring to in my original post.

    I just happen to believe it’s a trade-off… and to be fair to the GX, I can play at faster speeds with less fatigue on the GX. But I feel I can play more “expressively” on the MP8. I would just never use the MP8 for practicing technique and some of the thread contributors were inquiring from that perspective. When I was using the MP8, I found it equally suitable for practice — today, I jump on the Steinway for scales, etc. Hopefully this clarifies? Of course, I’d welcome opinions to the contrary coz maybe I’m missing something!

    Again, appreciate your inputs and encouragement!

    -Adrian

  127. Peter Says:

    Hi again Adrian, your replies along with the input of others have greatly helped me make the right decision. Your last post was most helpful to a newbie like myself. I gather there are two types of users who value the acoustic piano keyboard action on their digital keyboard. Firstly, those coming from an acoustic piano playing experience, wanting to retain their ability for expressiveness and familiarity with the acoustic keyboard action. Secondly ( I fall in this group) those looking to practice/learn on a digital piano and transition to an acoustic piano with the least amount of growing pains. The GX seems to provide a 8.5/10 acoustic piano action experience, while offering much more in other areas (space, midi, etc). Other keyboards may provide a close to perfect 10 in keyboard action, but lack in the other areas of consideration. For these reasons the GX seems like the natural choice for both a professional such as yourself, and amateurs like me. Thanks again to you and all the contributors!

    Let’s see if this thread can run well into 2010 :-)

    Peter

  128. Dan Says:

    I’ve been considering the Roland 700GX vs the Yamaha 90XS.

    The one thing that is holding me back on the Roland is the key surface problem.

    I’ve been playing the Rolands @ both my local Roland dealers and each piano has significant surface wear. On a scale from 1-5; I would say the issue is a 4.5. An absolute deal breaker for me. But I don’t like the plastic keys on any digital piano so I’m caught in a pickle. If the Yamaha had an Ivorite or wood key surface I would get the Yamaha because of it’s additional features. But the Yamaha plastic keys are a deal breaker for me.

    As per usual the sales guy know nothing and choose to ignore the obvious wear marks on the Roland 700

  129. Dan Says:

    One more thing I noticed on the store model RD700GX was once the key surface was worn down and pitted… you could see dirt get in the surface..

    I know the store model are heavily used by all kinds of nasty fingers…but…over time ?

  130. Adrian Says:

    Hi Dan… Thanks for stopping by… The one constant in all of this is that the “sales guys” will probably remain beyond useless. Your concerns about the key wear are so noted, and shared amongst many of the readers herein. Roland claims to have fixed this in later models – I have one of the earlier models and the key wear hasn’t been overly excessive, but to be sure, it’s there. That’s one of the reasons I intend to give the newly announced Yamaha CP1 a try. Just posted a summary article on that with several videos. The so-called NW ACTION should be interesting!

  131. Dan Says:

    I too am very interested in the new Yamaha CP models…

    It’s what I’ve been waiting for.. Wooden Keys and Yamaha Sounds.

    I’m leaning toward the CP5 for money reasons.

  132. Adrian Says:

    Hi Dan, thanks for stopping by! I agree, Yamaha has this uncanny ability to position and time a market just right… I too am leaning towards the CP5 because it’s a tad bit smaller and if the action and MIDI is control is truly the same, I can do without the high-end modeling features. I think the CP5 is more akin to the Roland GX whilst the CP1 is positioned against the V-Piano. That said, I’m not going to roll over on the GX… it’s been a great board and that (Yamaha) action is going to have to be damn impressive to make a switch worthwhile. If the action resembles more of the Kawai MP8-II (not original MP8) than count me out…. But, if its a fast responsive action like the Yamaha P-series or current CP series, hmmmm…. might be hard to resist!

  133. Joe Says:

    Adrian, your music on this site is out of site! Your horns and guitars…WOW! How much of this music is produced on the 700GX? I can’t believe all these sounds came from that instrument alone. Thanks….Joe

  134. Adrian Says:

    Hi Joe, I sincerely appreciate your compliment – but allow me to quell your (positive) anxiety and affirm that your suspicions of these sounds not being derived from the 700GX are spot-on. They are, in fact, live recorded acoustic instruments being played by professional studio musicians. Like many of you, I’ve spent a few nickles on my share of sample libraries etc, and finally resolved that there’s simply no substitute for the real thing. Don’t get me wrong, this is not meant to dish the 700GX, but even if the libraries existed, I lack the skill, time, and patience to learn the nuisances of articulation, even if the sampling technology was fully capable. Funny that you point out brass and guitars… I happen to believe these instruments are the most difficult to emulate so I use samplers (including the 700GX) to get my stuff to a certain point, and then I outsource to the pros to record their respective tracks with some added zip! Keep in mind, this is my hobby, so I also lean on these guys to bring the entire production up several notches :) As you can imagine, each song becomes a “mini-project” so that’s my excuse for taking my sweet time with each lol…

  135. Joe Says:

    Nevertheless, Adrian, your stuff is truly inspired! I only wish I had half your imagination and know-how….and this is only a hobby for you? Man, with your talent I hope you are doing movie scores and the like!

    I’ve been in a quandary until just recently as to what ONE keyboard I can use for my live performances. I do mostly senior venues, private parties, and really low-volume stuff. I was so hot on the 700GX until I learned how heavy it is! The 300GX looked like a nice alternative and sounds great, but then I had to consider the length of these machines with the wheels at the end of 88 notes! Then, all of a sudden, Roland comes out with this lighter weight, 76-key board which should be available next month… VR700. It is piano, synth and drawbar organ all in one. I am selling my Roland RD-170, Korg Triton, and Korg CX-3 for this! Can’t wait to get it, wish me luck!

  136. Adrian Says:

    Hey Joe… Honestly, that’s way more credit than I deserve… but I sincerely thank you for the encouragement! Keeping up this humble blog (time permitting) has been a great experience largely because of this unexpectedly long running thread! We’ve had fabulous insights from people all over world on this “topic” for nearly 2 years now! I’ve read great things about the VR700 – I think that will strike a great balance. Even though the 700GX is clearly built for live performance, I sure wouldn’t want to lug this around every night! It sits happily in my studio and never moves an inch! Let us know how you get on with the VR700? All the best!

  137. Joe Says:

    Nevertheless,
    Adrian, your stuff is truly inspired! I only wish I had half your
    imagination and know-how….and this is only a hobby for you? Man, with
    your talent I hope you are doing movie scores and the like!
    I’ve been in a quandry until just recently as to what ONE keyboard I
    can use for my live performances. I do mostly senior venues, private
    parties, and really low-volume stuff. I was so hot on the 700GX until I
    learned how heavy it is! The 300GX looked like a nice alternative and
    sounds great, but then I had to consider the legnth of these machines
    with the wheels at the end of 88 notes! Then, all of a sudden, Roland
    comes out with this machine which should be available next month…
    76-note VR700. It is piano, synth and drawbar organ all in one. I am
    selling my Roland RD-170, Korg Triton, and Korg CX-3 for this! Can’t
    wait to get it, wish me luck!

  138. juan Says:

    Hello
    I hesitate between the 700GX and Roland FP7, a cause of the problem of wear on the 700GX gx.
    What do you recommend?
    I am a pianist and I play on average 3 hours a day, I try Yamaha, Kawai, but at the sound I prefer Roland.
    What difference between FP7 and 700GX.
    Thank you

  139. juan Says:

    I just need a very good touch as close to a sound and a beautiful sound.
    So thank you for your advice. Kawai MP8 or Roland FP7, rd700?

  140. Adrian Says:

    Hi Juan, from a key perspective, don’t believe there’s any difference between the FP7 and 700GX. On the other hand, if I were in the market (as you appear to be), I would probably wait until the new Yamaha CP1 hits the street. On the surface, it sure seems to be Yamaha’s answer to the high-end Roland line-up. The CP5 (due later than the CP1) counters the 700GX whilst the CP1 counters the V-Piano. It appears that Yamaha has the same “ivory texture” concept but I’d to think it possible that the key wear issue might be less so? Plus, the fact that the Yamaha will have real wooden keys is what really has my interest. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy the RD700, but if I were playing 3hrs/day (like you), I’d probably share your concerns as well! Let us know what you decide?

  141. Michael Says:

    Hi Adrian,

    thanks for the nice homepage.
    One question concerning the MIDI-capability of the RD-700 GX.
    Is there a possiblity to use the original multi-effects when playing the RD via an external MIDI-sequencer?

    Thanks a lot!
    Michael.

  142. juan Says:

    Thank you for your reply
    I am waiting to try the CP5 next few weeks, and may buy it because I was not too fond of the action Keys on RD700 and gx fp7 and prefers the Yamaha WR, the more will CP5 also keys in wood and ivory sensation!

  143. Mark Says:

    Hi, great write up and responses to all on here. I hope I am not re-asking as I read most, but have you tried it in mono ?? We all have such a phase issue when going mono with so many stereo pianos especially through the likes of a Bose L1. Even when some are “mono” they are missing with the mids and getting all thin. I still use an old General Music pRP7 as it works better than my Yammy ES and XS. And I want something newer and this Roland might just be the ticket. Thanks.
    Mark

  144. Adrian Says:

    Hello Mark,

    Thanks for taking the time to stop by and post! I can’t say that I have tried mono with the GX because I’m recording straight into a studio environment, not using it for live performance. But I believe we do have people who are following this thread who are indeed live performers, and perhaps they can comment on any phase issues.

    Cheers,
    Adrian

  145. Grady Govindeisami Says:

    5 star article brilliant. I am not used to blogging and you simply used a langauge I could understand

  146. Nimrod Radian Gordon Says:

    I can’t even describe how much your review helped me
    excellent writing by the way:)
    I’ve been wondering about this stage piano for a while
    I’m a composer and I needed a stage piano for preformances and recording I’m about to do
    since I’m playing from an early age I didnt want to settle on a cheap stage piano
    and your review made it so much easier to decide.
    I have tested this stage piano before but didnt have too much time to explore it
    and after your review I realised that it suites all my needs

    Thank you so much for this amazing review!
    Nimrod

  147. Adrian Says:

    You are most welcome, and thank you for taking the time to comment. That said, the majority of credit, however, is really owed to the amazing continued contribution of others just like us. Thanks everyone for taking the time to share your Roland GX and other experiences!

    -Adrian

  148. Mike Says:

    I have a small home studio with Tascam 24 track HD recorder, Korg Triton and Korg CX3.
    These days I am leaning more toward acoustic piano, electric piano and organ based
    lead lines. I am not sure if I should replace the Triton with the Yamaha CP5, Roland 700gx or Korg SV1. Any advice from anyone who has used or owned any of these would by welcome

  149. steve Says:

    Hi Adrian I read the debate on the 700gx key wear with much interest. I was leaning towards a 300gx rather than a 700gx, since I only need a stage piano with great sounds and with hammer action with a good feel, not a midi controller and the lighter weight and portability appeals on the 300. I would like a keyboard with good tone organs though. Can you advise is the 300GX that inferior to the 700 in terms of playability. Also are the keys made the same and would the same problem occur on the 300. I would appreciate your views on the 300 versus the 700, since Roland seem to have slanted all their reviews and demo videos to the more expensive 700.

  150. Adrian Says:

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for stopping by and posting! You know, I haven’t spent enough time on the 300gx to provide an objective reply. I do know that the feel is slightly different, obviously because it lacks the “ivory feel” (which from a wear/tear might be better:); but my recollection in playing it ever so briefly way back when I got the 700GX was that despite having the same PHA II action, it just felt “different”. I recall it lacked the responsiveness of the 700GX but not by a large margin. Really, it could have been simply owed to the different feel under my fingers. My suggestion would be to spend some time A-B testing each; you’re right in that it’s far more portable and it does have a good % of the 700GX sounds. Again going off memory but I also recall the older 700 series feeling very close to the 300GX – so perhaps that’s the better comparison?

    Certainly would love for others to chime in on this coz I feel I’m not in a great position to advise Steve on this one….

    Many thanks,
    Adrian

  151. David Says:

    hi

    the rd300gx has a different key action (pha ii ALPHA) which is lighter than the pha ii of the rd700gx.

    If you want the best sound and portability, you should wait for the new yamaha cp50

  152. Adrian Says:

    David – thanks for chiming in and clarifying… It sure felt like a slightly different action so this makes sense. Of course, whether the difference is for the better or worse is subjective, but IMHO, the 700GX is a bit more responsive and better suited for faster passages.

  153. Paul Says:

    Hi Adrian

    Great idea for a site and all comments very useful. I just thought I would add my bit to the key wear problem on the 700GX. My first one had the whole action replaced after a few months use and I was told that it was an updated surface that would not wear. I could not play the old one as I could feel the wear under my fingers and it detracted from any enjoyment I was getting from the sound or the action. After 2 months the new one is going the same way, which is very disappointing. Looks like the Yamaha CP5 for me, unless this also has issues with the ivory feel keys. My 130 year old grand at home (and I’m sorry but it does have real ivory) is a pleasure to play, but really for a usable stage piano, I think I would rather have the plastic than the uneven graining feel of a worn action.

    Regards

    Paul

  154. Ilkka Says:

    Hello Adrian,

    and thanks a lot for your helpful insight! I just tested RD700GX and V-Piano with Synthology Ivory samples and was very impressed of the sensitivity. I preferred V-Piano – it seemed to have a wider dynamic range and a little heavier keys, though 700GX was not bad at all. My reference is Yamaha P-200, which I have used 10 years pretty happily. Now I feel it has a bit plastic touch compared to the new models, and it is harder to play with dynamics. I was wondering if you have any opinion about V-Piano or HP307 (the same PHA III keys) as a master controller for Ivory and other libraries.
    The sounds of the digital pianos are not quite to the level of the better sample libraries, I think. Also the issue of keys wearing out worries me – maybe it is fixed with the new PHA III?

    Actually the best option for me would be a gig piano with very good master controller capabilities (for sample libraries) and best possible piano-like touch. V-Piano though is too expensive, I can only afford about 2500 euros instrument.What would you suggest?

  155. Adrian Says:

    Hello Ilkka, and thank you for stopping by and commenting! I’m in the same camp as you with regards to having referenced the earlier Yamaha “P” models; I myself had the P250 before my Kawai MP8 (which preceded my Roland GX). I went to the GX for the same dynamic expression you refer to. I would tend to also agree that the newer PHA III action is a notch above the GX’s. For me, it came down to the size and expense of the V-Piano; while I (agree) it is better, it wasn’t so much better to warrant the stepped up investment; and again, the size would also be an issue. The ivory key wear problem is reportedly still in play at least with GX owners despite Roland’s respectable service/replacement. There’s not enough V owners unfortunately to ascertain the same, but I suspect it’s a potential issue.

    I also agree that sample libraries still rule the day although the margin is become increasingly narrow.

    For me, I’m still much more interested in the action/dynamics/and controller capability because my unit remains inside the studio. If, like you, a gig piano was also of interest, I would suggest comparing the Roland GX to the (new) Yamana CP5. The CP series is clearly going to give Roland some serious competition. That very well may be where I land next!

    Hope this helps!

  156. Ivan Says:

    Hi Adrian,
    your experience is very interesting for me, cause i’m going to make the same choices of yours! I would like to buy a new keyboard with the best piano touch feeling. I was thinking about MP9500/MP8 but I’m reading that you moved from Kawai to Roland.
    So, maybe, FP7 (with same PHAII action) could be a good choice?

  157. Adrian Says:

    Hello Ivan,

    Sure! Be happy to elaborate; but you might have also noticed that unlike the past, I have yet to sell my MP8 – and probably won’t do so. The decision to move to the Roland was a trade-off. I still believe the MP8 (not the MP8II) and the MP9500 have the most authentic piano action available. For most people, this is simply too heavy of an action, however. But if you’re accustomed to playing on acoustic grands, you’ll feel right at home – no question about it. The other argument against these older boards is the quality/range of on-board sounds; like you, I discount this completely because I use a variety of sample libraries – I view the sound argument as simply a trade-off. It also comes down to the type of music you’re playing/composing. I play jazz and mix in quite a few synths, etc so I needed a slightly lighter action and RD700GX provides that without a loss in playing dynamics.

    Roland’s V-Piano PHAIII is the corollary to the MP8 but its size and price tag just don’t suit me. If I were to fast forward to today, I’d certainly keep the MP8 in the running, probably compare it then to the GX700 and THEN add the Yamaha CP5 or CP1 (both have the same action) into the mix. The CP1 is interesting and may very well fit right between the GX and the MP8 having true wooden keys. My only hesitation with the CP1 is that it’s not a graded action, and I believe this is important for creating that authentic feel you’re striving for.

    That said, everything above is just my humble opinion… but hopefully that gives you a range of choices to “road test”. Let us know what you ultimately decide (and why)?

    Many thanks,
    Adrian

  158. Ivan Says:

    Hi Adrian,
    thx for the response, but I’ve just bought my second-hand FP7 yesterday. It’s really like new and I’m astonished by the touch feeling! So far, I put my hands on some Yamaha CLP pianos. Nice sounds and keboards, but GH and GH3 didn’t convinced me at all. Too light GH and too unreal GH3 action. Kawai CA series were rather better… and not only for the wood keys. Maybe new CA63 will be fabulous but I couldn’t find it in my neighborhood so far.
    Well, FP7 is simply PERFECT! The action is the right compromise between GH and GH3. It was hard yesterday to stop playing and go to bed! My only concern… too many feauters for the scraggy swithces available. RD700GX will be my next step! But you made me very curios to test mp9500/mp8.

  159. Ivan Says:

    BTW, have you any idea about SuperNATURAL Piano Kit for RD700GX? Does it worth the cost?

  160. Adrian Says:

    Ivan,

    We’ve had one of our contributors here give it (SuperNatural Piano Kit) pretty high marks. I plan to buy it shortly and give it a go as well! Will post back when after! From everything I’ve heard, yes, it’s worth the upgrade!

    Cheers,
    Adrian

  161. Timothy Says:

    Adrian,

    I have been searching for a used Kawai MP8 that is in great condition. Do you have any interest in selling it? If you do just name your price. I would love to take it off your hands.

    Thanks!

  162. ken africano Says:

    Great forum. I have an FP 5 and love it but I am thinking it will soon be time to move to newer technology. I expect I will wait a bit longer and make sure some kinks are worked out. Is the FP7 enough improved to make the move now? I have always thought that Roland cuts through a band better than Yamaha does. Do folks still think that is generally true? For those of you who do not know this, I wanted to talk about the importance of running stereo in live performance. I run through a stereo Yamaha PA and two 12 inch Yamaha speakers. This is also critical for giving me a good leslie effect on my Hammond xk-3 which I run through a roland stereo sound module. Sending the leslie sound back and forth through stereo speakers is still not a leslie but is much lighter than a leslie and works well. In addition too many of the keyboard amps are terrible. The small but powerful PA has solved many problems. I think that having stereo amplification is almost as important as having good sounds sources.

  163. vinnie dublino Says:

    Are you sure the CP1 and CP5 have the same action? They don’t weigh the same for one, and also the CP1 costs twice as much, which I believe is partly due to the wooden keys, which the CP5 does not have. Speaking of wonderful actions, have you ever played a Roland A-90? Most powerful and flexible controller ever, and the action is just beautiful. A natural fit for so so many keyboards, including sampled pianos like Ivory if you don’t mind a lighter action.

  164. Adrian Says:

    Vinnie! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comments… You know I haven’t even managed to try a CP5 yet and was actually very curious if indeed the actions were the same because on marketing literature, they sure as hell imply as such. So you are saying for certain that wooden keys are not part of the CP5 action? Interesting… because that would indeed create a vast separation – the wooden keys on the Kawai MP8, for example, made a huge difference in the weight and feel. That said, I remain perplexed that Yamaha opted out a graded action on the CP1… it seems like there may be a bit of excessive “divide and conquer” going on instead of targeting a specific user without compromise? It also seems that most of the contributors to this discussion place a higher value on feel and action (and controller capabilities) than on-board sounds – and I would certainly include myself in that lot.

    Regarding the A-90… Yes I have and agree that from a controller standpoint, it was one of the best ever produced. Shame that some of the MIDI control became diluted in the RD700 series but I believe the action is a moderate improvement since that time… but yes, it’s a great board, and I wish it were still available too!

  165. ken Says:

    I went and tried the RD700GX, RD300GX, the FP7 and the CP5. The RD700GX was my favorite by far and my favorite digital piano ever. I love the feel (very similar to my Yamaha grand) and I love the sound. This is the first digital piano that made me want to play on it hard (like I do on the grand). The more intense you played it the more it roared. I am in love. Now, how significant is this wear of keys problems. I tend to play my grand piano most of the time and use the digital for band practice and gigs. I probably play the digital 3 hours a week.

  166. Adrian Says:

    Thanks for stopping by and posting your comments, Ken!

    It just goes to show… when it comes to this topic, it’s a subjective personal opinion in the end. The economics of the music industry depends on such a debate!

  167. Teddy Says:

    An amazing forum, Adrian. I’m on a quest to find what appears to be the best compromise I can find. I need an action that’s not too stiff because my hands tend to get fatigued, and I have been debilitated in the past with tendonitis.

    Also, I have recently begun doing solo piano gigs which requires a huge step up in tone from my Yamaha S9, which when buried in a band situation got by. I tried the GX700 and was impressed by its action. I also liked the sounds – although, it appeared plinky in the upper mids, a seemingly unavoidable by product of digital pianos. Are there any digitals that don’t get thin and nasally in the mids?

    Apparently, from reading your forum, I’ve gathered that there are more realistic actions, which to me means too stiff. Also, there are better sounding boards, but that they come with stiffer actions and weigh too much. I gotta have something I can carry, and the GX is already 55 pounds. Do you use the sounds on board or are you midied to a library called Ivory?

    One of your responders mentioned increasing the stiffness of the GX’s action to eliminate overdriving the mids. I’d like to hear your response on that, please. How much stiffer does the action get when compensating for the plinkyness?

    Here are Steve Rose’s comments from Oct 2008:
    “After 2 weeks of having trouble with the RD sounding too nasal in the upper mid and generally washy when hammered, I stumbled on why. I’m over blowing the notes. I’m switching the thing to the balls-out, wack-sample too easily which is why it sound nasal (too many harmonics). Bingo! Turning the touch level up to heavy + 6 brings the instrument into my control range. Wow does it sing.”

    Also, it seems that the GX may be the best compromise for my needs: Easy but fairly realistic action, reasonable weight, and excellent sound. Whaddya think? Thanks for your consideration.

    PS: This board has been around for awhile. Do you know if something new and better coming out by any chance?

    TS

  168. Hugh Says:

    Has anyone noticed the following issues when playing their RD700GX’s?

    - Keys bouncing up too quickly and being difficult to keep down
    - A hard bottoming-out in the keybed

    One guy on the musicplayer forums preferred the MP8II’s action over the Roland (didn’t like the GX’s bottom-out factor). Someone else even reckoned the RD700GX action to be fairly meh even by cheap MIDI controller standards – I’m talking specifically about the Studiologic VMK188plus and one of the Casio CDP models (can’t remember which). Both were ostensibly comparable and, in the former’s case, superior to the GX! That particular claim really threw me for a loop. Maybe I SHOULD just get a super-cheap board, and all this high-end stuff is just a load of marketing BS… I’ve got no idea. It’s so subjective as to be utterly unbelievable, and a good number of these boards are either not availalbe to try out in my area or discontinued altogether. I’m just left with a headache after all this..

    Another thing that’s got me anxious (and this is something that you’d think would be pretty much numero uno criteria for judging a DP – this is just me checking the current standards) is this question that I’m about to pose – on the RD700GX and Kawai boards, is it possible to play a fast scale in pp across the board without having sudden notes go BANG or whatever due to an intemperate action? Because if you can’t, then good grief.

  169. Adrian Says:

    Hello Hugh… as you say, comparing actions is very subjective, but I’m very surprised to hear of this remote comparison (of 700GX action) to the likes of VMK188 or Casio CDP. For home use maybe, but many of our subscribers here play professionally and this is the first of such comparisons. I still personally own the Kawai MP8 (I not II) and as many have commented, the version I action is much better than MP8-II… but it is true that there’s a slightly less bottoming out feel on the Kawai than the Roland but this has nothing to do with the keys bouncing up too quickly. In fact it’s the cushioning feel of the Kawai that makes it more difficult to play faster passages as you also pose. That’s the reason why I personally changed to the Roland GX – it’s simply easier to play a broader range, and in particular in pp. No issue with a sudden bang or intemperate action at least based on my experience.

  170. dave Says:

    just want to mention to anyone thinking about buying one of these boards, that new models from kawai (mp10?) and roland(rd-700nx?) will be announced early september.

  171. Hugh Says:

    Thanks for your reply Adrian.

    Yes, it would seem that you have to trade one pro or con for another in these situations. What I’m after is an at-home, perfectly playable piano-style action for use as a MIDI controller, not dissimilar to your application of the RD700GX (correct me if I’m wrong). Built-in sounds aren’t a concern – I’ve got a whole slew of them on my laptop. Something I can play pianistically, banging out the etudes and so forth of Chopin, Scriabin, Debussy, Poulenc et al. on without, you know, literally having to bang them out. It seems to me a fairly round peg – if a keyboard advertises itself as having weighted, grand-style action you’d think classical music would be a shoe-in. I play some jazz, too, but am not especially picky about the keys when it comes to that (the great thing about jazz and blues is you can pretty much bang it out on anything).

    My main bugbear with so many weighted controllers (even some high-ends like the Kurzweil!) is that you CAN’T PLAY SOFTLY ON THEM. You can get the odd soft note out, but try actually playing quietly across the board and it feels like you’re hitting stiff, jam-lined buttons rather than playing a keyboard. So it definitely allays my fears to hear from you that the GX is an exception in this regard.

    All things considered I will probably end up going with an RD700GX, as there’s still no sign of an original MP8 anywhere and the former board seems appropriate enough for my needs. The CP300 looks interesting – I can get one for £1200 ( about $1861), which seems like a steal, about £200 / $310 less than the GX – though I’ve read that’s not perfect either and a few of your subscribers seem to prefer the Roland. The CP5 is an option too, though one I haven’t investigated extensively. And what of all these super-cheap holy grail boards!?

    Decisions, decisions… and of course I’ll continue to stalk the local stores for demo-able equipment.

    Sorry for venting in your comments section, by the way!

  172. Hugh Says:

    btw, for anyone interested;

    http://www.rolandconnect.com

    New RD model (RD700NX) with PHA III action. Not a whole lot of publicised info ATM, but it’s definitely an intriguing prospect.

  173. Robert Rotstein Says:

    Hi Adrian,

    I have a chance to purchase an RD-700GX secondhand, but supposedly in mint condition, for what seems like a reasonable price ($1775). But, like others, I’m concerned about the key wear problem that you and others have mentioned. I’ve contacted Roland (through one of their web sites) to find out where they stand on this. I haven’t heard anything from them. I’m wondering whether you have any additional information about this issue?

    Regards,
    Robert Rotstein

  174. Adrian Says:

    Hi Robert…

    Thanks for posting your question! You know I’ve had my GX now going on 3yrs and what I would say, even though I don’t play it every hour of the day, is that key wear issue seems to stabilize over time… meaning, you don’t wear the keys down to point of being unplayable at least in my direct experience. Honestly, I think we “musician types” can be overly sensitive at times with regards to our pursuit of perfection but the fact is it’s a mechanical device and over time, it will wear. For me, it’s been a very acceptable ratio BECAUSE the plus sides of the GX vastly outweigh the negatives.

    Now is a perfect time to consider picking one up used because of the forthcoming update coming from Roland. I would just suggest you play the instrument if possible before you buy and get an idea of the usage level and playing intensity of the original owner… In the end, it will probably come down to a subjective judgment.

    Hope this helps you?

  175. Robert Rotstein Says:

    Adrian, thanks for this prompt reply, and for this most interesting website. I will let you know.

  176. Robert Rotstein Says:

    I got it; perfect condition; I love it.

  177. Adrian Says:

    Awesome! Congratulations, Robert! Enjoy it

  178. Ken Says:

    I’ve had my 700GX since May and continue to be amazed. I have experience with many other DPs and the 700GX is my favorite. Someone was comparing it to the StudioLogic and Casio keyboards. There is no comparison. I bought the best Casio DP for my daughter a couple years ago and I have to say that Casio makes a nice DP for the money but that’s as far as it goes. The keys wiggle and make noise when you play them. Sound quality is decent but limited especially under quality loud amplification. The 700GX is the real thing and it is for professionals. It’s expensive but you get what you pay for. With that said I recomend everyone gets both the 700GX and a Casio because the 700GX is so dang heavy you will need the Casio for carrying around to practice and some “tough load in” gigs.

  179. mike Says:

    Hi Adrian
    My ensoniq KT76 has numerous faults now which no-one in Australia can repair so I’m in the market for a new keyboard and so far I am very impressed with the RD700GX which retails for A$3500. Is this model being superseeded and if so, is the replacement model so far advanced that I should disregard the current model? Are there any negative comments/features that I should be aware of prior to purchase?
    thanks

  180. Gareth E (U.K) Says:

    First things first. All due respect to Adrian and all the contributers making this site as great as it is!!!!

    CONTEXTUALIZATION:
    I am 22 years old. Grade 8 classical pianist, play Chopin, Liszt e.t.c (with some pop also under my fingers). I have been playing since I was 7 and I have grown up from the same age using studio equipment, Logic, ProTools Cubas stuff e.t.c.

    I am on the brink of purchasing a digital stage piano. At the moment the choices in no particular order are Roland Rd 700NX (if no one has used this please comment on the GX instead), Yamaha CP300, Yamaha CP5, Kawai MP8ii (i do not have the option of the mark 1).

    I am solely interested in this piano having an action as comparable to an acoustic as possible (obviously subjectivity is an issue). I only care about sound in relation to the action.

    I have to keep a good classical technique!!!

    Could I get some opinions. can I also please hear a bit more info on the CP300 from the people who have at least an understanding of what a classical pianist requires (which sounds slightly ‘daft’ as you all to be extremely inspirational in your knowledge and passion.

    RD700GX: I tried one in the store today. At first I was HORRIFIED at the “bottoming out feeling” it was like hitting my fingers on a table when I fully depressed the keys. I did adjust the setting for the tough but have not tried the HARD +6 yet.

    I was very impressed with the ability to control the fast runs when i played Fantasie Impromptu (Chopin).

    Please some more info about peoples views on the CP300 action!! I am also able to purchase RD 700NX

    Dont hesitate to get technical, im clued up. Thanks so much Adrian and all, I really appreciate the effort!

  181. Gareth E (U.K) Says:

    Sorry Mistake “I did adjust the setting for the touch but have not tried the HARD +6 advised earlier yet.”

    I also do appreciate the ivory key feel!

  182. mike Says:

    well Adrian, I couldn’t get the Ensoniq repaired so I parted with my cash today and have the rd700gx at home – time to play!!!

  183. Adrian Says:

    Enjoy Mike! And do let us know your opines once you’ve broken it in!

  184. Robert Rotstein Says:

    Hey, Adrian — maybe it’s time you jump-started this web site again with some new topic, or provocative hypothesis!

  185. Mathias Says:

    Hello there Adrian.

    My situation is that I think I may find an electric stagepiano very useful. I have been playing piano for around 9 years now, and I have always been practicing on an acoustic piano, and I always thought that nothing could replace an acoustic piano. But the thing is, that I might move into an apartment some time within the next year, so a piano with the opportunity to plug in earphones would be great. I also considered for a while to start recording some music on my computer for fun, so the ability to plug it into my computer would be great aswell.

    I also wondered if it is possible to get some pre-recorded tracks for the stage piano that I can practice with? And if there is, how is it to play along with?

    Now the reason I am in doubt what piano to pick, is that it matters alot to me, that the piano feels good when I’m playing it and that the sound is decent. The keyboards and stagepianos I’ve tried didn’t really convince me. They felt wierd and too much like plastic in the keys and the sound was nowhere close to the sound of an acoustic piano.

    So, what do you think? Is the RD700GX a good solution for practicing or would you recommend something else?

  186. victor yancovitch Says:

    hi adrian…..you’re still here i see :)….anyway i’m here in and out just to mention i purchased the new roland fp7f, and i am totally happy with it….the action’s great, the price is great, and the sound is quite acceptable, although i use the sound on a pc board from an old techniques piano too……so my odyssey is over at 70…..whew!….cheers, vic

  187. Joe Says:

    Adrian….I wrote to you a couple of times last year, I did buy the Roland VR-700. All-in-all GREAT organ, but otherwise the unit is so limited. No real editing of sounds, old sound set, so-so-pianos, no expansion capabilities and they have oneinternal EQ for ALL sounds, so you cannot individually EQ patches. But here’s the kicker….the pianos produce a very unpleasant delayed undertone when you turn up bass on the amp. I thought it was the amp at first, so I tried a different one, same thing! I have contacted Roland and If you know anything about this, could you please respond to my email? Thanks, Joe

  188. Kim G Says:

    Hi, just wanted to say that the issue with key wear Roland RD700GX has not been addressed
    as I have got the New RD700NX for two months to date, and have this problem starting to occur. Started with white spots noticed, now today I can feel roughness under the finger while playing and on inspection can see worn groove areas on a couple of notes in the heavily worked areas. Love the feel of this keyboard and am hoping that it doesnt get any worse. Roland needs to address this. I am a classical playerand bought this for the collection fo pianos on it, so touch is essential and this is quite off putting.
    thanks Kim

  189. Learn how to play a guitar today. Lots of video tutorials and guides Says:

    Learn how to play a guitar today. Lots of video tutorials and guides…

    Roland RD700GX vs. Kawai MP8 | Adrian Sakashita’s Music…

  190. Dan Says:

    Hi Adrian.

    Thanks for such a GREAT SITE!!!!!! It is appreciated!!

    I wanted to ask you a quick question….

    Should I get the roland RD-700GX?? or the RD-700NX??

    Which will be better & the best for gigging & studio recording??

    I can get hold of a rd700gx in BRAND NEW CONDITION with the supernatural upgrade srx card & also the ultimate keys card for around £1100 UK POUNDS!! (THIS IS A STEAL!!!!!! As the 700nx retails for £2085 alone!!)

    Now here’s my dileamma… Has the 700nx got a better touch than the 700gx?? I mean the 700nx is basically a 700gx but with the new alpha 3 keybed and no exspansion slots right??

    Would I be ‘missing out’ if I went for the gx over the nx?? And how much of a real difference is it??

    Also do you have any keywear of the ivory on your gx??

    Which would you advise me to go for??

    Please reply when you can!

    Thanks A!!

    Danny :-)

    P.S. I LOVE YOUR MUSIC COMPOSITIONS!!!!!!! KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK BROTHER!!!!

  191. Adrian Says:

    Many thanks Danny for your kind comments! Regarding the GX vs NX topic… all things being equal, I’d have to say the NX is a GREAT update on the RD700GX – but is it good enough to justify the price difference you’re contemplating? In my opinion, no. For one, the upgraded supernatural card brings the piano samples pretty much into parity, so the main difference (at least to me) is the action. The Alpha 3 action is indeed an improvement but in my case, I’ve opted to stick it out with my GX because it wasn’t so much an improvement to justify swapping out… Don’t get me wrong – I’m uber impressed with the NX but I figure waiting thru an additional revision may serve me well… AND, I don’t believe Roland has 100% addressed the key wear issue – so my theory is wait out the NX generation and contemplate what comes next – presumably to be introduced at Winter NAMM?

    I do have keywear on my GX but I must admit it’s not as pronounced as I sense being experienced by others. For one, I’m not pounding away at it every day of the week, and when I do, it’s not for prolonged periods… I can live it – given all the other advantages. I also upgraded mine with the supernatural srx card too so I guess it’s safe to say I’m content (actually very content) with the GX.

    Here’s another way to look at it… if Roland hasn’t 100% fixed the keywear issue, you’re making a wiser investment in the GX by definition. I believe this will be addressed although from everything I’ve read, not 100% so in the NX. Does anyone have differing experiences on the NX?

  192. Dan Says:

    Adrian!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks so much for your reply!!

    I DID IT!!!!!!!! I BROUGHT THE RD700GX TODAY!!!!!!! It took me a total of 10 hours driving, man I am so tired right now, I’ve literally just got back home!!

    It was a longggggggggggg way from me, I left at 6 am this morning, 400 miles from me, and 400 miles back to my house, 5 hours each way, even whilst driving at a not very recommended speed limit!!! :-p

    BUT IT WAS SO WORTH IT!!!!!!!!

    I have the super natural srx card installed, and the gentleman who I brought it from was ever so kind he also installed the ultimate piano keys & sold me the roland srx symphonic strings for £50 which is so CHEAP!!! The UK retail price is £255 (The strings sound so AMAZINNNNNNG by the way!!!! WOW!!! It sounds even better than philharmonic which I’ve been using)

    I am so glad I decided to buy this and here’s for why:

    1. I will be gigging very very soon with a band and as I am practicing away 8 hours a day on my other digital piano? I will not be pounding away the GX keys, but with that being said? I do honestly believe the GX ivory keys are able to take a good pounding every day & night & still not break or have much wear & tear, I mean after all? That’s what the keys are made for right?!! Practicing & Playing!!

    2. I have the super natural piano as you have mentioned brings the GX in line the NX. And will all the customizable options? It can get really crazy if you want it to.

    3. The NX has no expansion slots.. This is fine.. But man after playing around with ultimate keys, the strings & the super natural cards? It’s quite clear the GX is A LOT more expandable than its new big brother!! I think Roland have got it wrong with the NX, & I do expect they will bring out probably something to make it expandable or like you said, a newer model which will hurt the NX owners!!

    4. This is my 1st Roland & I have to say it won’t be my last.. The ivory key bed is beautiful, it has the perfect touch. I remember playing on a Roland HPi7 I thought this was good, but this GX is just PERFECT!! And now I have also found my 2nd perfect controller for logic to go along with my studio logic vmk 188 plus (check this out if you haven’t already Adrian) I wouldn’t be surprised if fatar didn’t make this key bed for Roland as they make them for all the other companies??

    5. I can now finally rest & stop the frantic searching!!

    6. Adrian is the best!!!!!! ;-)

    I would like to send you some pictures of this; I know you have 1 LOL but I am so excitedddddd it’s just so amazing as you already know!!

    I wanted to ask you, what can I use to clean these ivory keys?? And also could you recommend me a good stand for this? As the 1 I got with it is a bit flimsy and not really secure. Something by Quik Lok perhaps?

    Adrian thanks again so much for your brother!! I really appreciate it.

    I am off to sleep now, so I can be awake at 6 am to start putting this GX through its paces!! Bring on the chord progressions!!!!!!!

    Thanks A,

    Danny :-)

  193. Adrian Says:

    Hiya Danny!

    Glad to hear you’re the enthusiasm accompanying your purchase! Sounds like you made a great deal, and with no surprise, the GX will be a great instrument for years to come. I actually wasn’t aware of the NX having no expansion slots…. thanks for sharing that herein!

    All the best,
    Adrian

  194. brian Says:

    Hi Adrian,

    Great to be able to read all these comments about keyboards in general and Rolands in particular. I have come across your blog in the process of trying to find a replacement for my long suffering and now obsolete RD500 which is no longer supported by Roland Australia. It has been good overall but I’m hoping that the three main problems of constant mechanical breakages, rattly keys and overall weight will be solved. I have tried a few demo models recently and the RD700NX was nicest to play but it is still heavy and expensive plus I so far haven’t found anything to indicate the mechanical design of the action is different from the RD500. The RD300NX was good too but the concern I always struggle with is that of being able to switch from the digital to an accoustic piano but I suspect its all in the mind. I have come to the conclusion that I will choose a stage piano which weighs about 18kgs (40lbs) and feels good to play into the headphones and adapt to whatever feel comes with it. The Nord Piano88 seems to get good reviews .. any comments?

    Brian

  195. Danny Says:

    Hi Adrian,

    Hope all is good & well Brother.

    I have some bad news.. I am going to be selling my Roland RD700GX!!

    After the longggg journey to finally get this? It will now be SOLD.

    I guess it hasnt really lived up to what I thought it would be…

    In my honest opinion?? This piano is not the ‘BEST’ sounding, and at times?? Can sound really flat, dull, dark & un-inspiring.

    I have the ‘’supernatural” upgrade, this doesnt really sound that amazing anymore.. and I also have Ultimate Keys srx07.. Same with this.. It sounds like a regular home keyboard!!

    I am quite dissapointed as I was so hyped about this!!

    Looks like I will be going back to my beloveded and trusted Yamaha!!

    You just CANT beat their piano sound!! The S6 piano is 1 of the best i’ve ever heard!!

    I will most certaintly be getting an XF8 or if I can still get hold of 1? An XS8, Or I just may try the CP50/CP5/CP1… Hmmm…

    It’s back to ivory 2.0!! I should NEVER have left this & the mac book pro!!! ;-)

    I hope you dont mind me putting up a mini advert on here??

    Roland RD700GX FOR SALE
    In BRAND NEW CONDITION!!!!! ABSOLUTELY SPOTLESS!!
    SuperNatural Piano Upgrade
    Ultimate Keys srx07
    DP8 Sustain Pedal
    Original Manual, CDs, Audio Key
    Power Supply

    Contact me for more details/pictures/information

    Some one might like it!

    Thanks Adrian!!

    Danny :-/

Leave a Reply



I am a professional hobbyist when it comes to this.   Though my relationship with the piano began at a young age, I only recently pulled off the gloves to rekindle it and haven’t looked back since.   This was partly inspired by huge advancements in music production technology now available to all  – and from the comfort and privacy of your home!   I’ve never subscribed much to job titles so I won’t attempt to label my genre.  Besides, composing music mirrors life in that there are really only two ways to write a song: your way, and the wrong way. 

Thank you for your interest and encouragement.