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Swaffle88

Does anyone here play Piano?

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Hey guys/gals, 

I was wondering if anyone on here plays piano and if so could advise me on which digital piano to get, I was thinking the Roland FP90 or the Roland FP140. Does anyone have either of these?

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I used to play, and I recently started again.

I wouldn't be spending the sort of money you're talking about unless I was really a great deal better than I am.

[Please note that this argument does not apply to bass guitars.]

If you're a keyboard wizard then all well and good. If your skills are slightly more moderate than that, you may want to take a look at the piano I bought during Lockdown: https://www.thomann.de/gb/alesis_recital_pro.htm

For just North of £300 this is a staggeringly good piano, and the weighted key action is absolutely fine.

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Posted (edited)
On 18/06/2020 at 22:05, Swaffle88 said:

Hey guys/gals, 

I was wondering if anyone on here plays piano and if so could advise me on which digital piano to get, I was thinking the Roland FP90 or the Roland FP140. Does anyone have either of these?

Yup.
I can't find an FP-140. Does it exist or do you by any chance mean the F-140R?
In case, that's exactly the one I went for, after comparing with Yamaha, Kawai, Casio (some are good despite the name) and even out-there brands.

I'm a classical organ player by education, and my piano playing is sub-par. I appreciate a good keybed over a great sound, and demand nice electric piano sounds imitating Rhodes and Wurlitzer.

I'm willing to help to the best of my abilities if you wish me to, but then we should walk some metres together, like you answering what the preferred budget is, where the piano is to be used (must it travel easily), whether or not you wish to get the designated stand (allowing you to buy one with speakers at the bottom, which is very, very, very nice!), etc. etc.
I'd need to invent the questions as we go.


As to the F-140R, it's a dark horse in the Roland family, a bit outside the regular setup and naming conventions, and a stellar one at that. A colleague of mine who only does popular music (and therefore is on every goddemm album in Norway and is way richer than I am PLUS is married to the babe I wanted to marry 😡 😁) also went for it against the same competitors.
Like the FP-90 it has a good keybed with escapement (allowing fast and pianissimo playing to say it simply). Great sounds, great amps, great speakers, and the sound bouncing off the floor is a very, very good trick, making the thing give a much better impression than most with the speakers on top. IMHO of course.

It's a bit special in that:
- the lid must be up for note sheets to be placed there,
- the mentioned speakers at the bottom necessitating the stand (you can't buy it without) or a construction of your own choice that keeps the speaker cabinets free from the load of the piano as well as free to sound,
- its more than 300 different presets seem available only to the person willing to browse through them, which is silly. I haven't found any solution to this. Not a problem for recording sessions, but just not good enough for live situations.
That said, It has two groups of presets, and if you're after acoustic and electric pianos, then those are at the beginning of those groups, and therefore more easily accessible.

Anyway, that's all for now.

Edited by BassTractor

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1 hour ago, Happy Jack said:

I wouldn't be spending the sort of money

People are different though. I was a pro and spent 800 quid on my piano. Two people I know wanted a really lovely piano and each spent 8,000 quid. One of them is a beginner and the other a typical home player having some fun.

I'd say that too many people buy too cheap instruments, and it detracts from the fun and from the learning speed. Very cheap digital pianos tend to have either slow, syrupy keybeds or the keys make a lot of noise when they return.
Me, I'd never advise a beginner to go for the noisy or the syrupy ones if they can afford something better that will probably keep them happier longer.

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Bass tractor- Aye I probably mean the f-140r🤠

it will be house use only and I’ll get the stand with it. I’ve seen both for the same price so I really have to try them I guess to see which I prefer the feel of but this Covid kicking about has prevented me from going to any music shops!

I’m far from Pro (very far actually) but I agree with you saying about getting a cheap instrument dulls the experience a bit. I had a go at learning piano years ago on a rly cheap keyboard and I didn’t stick it so I would rather have a half decent one to play.
As for the money - £999 for something you could get enjoyment out of for years and years is a good deal I think, I got my favourite bass for about £800 and I still play it to this day, People advised me at the time that it was too much money to spend for a beginner but it’s over 13 years later and I still love and use it so anyone jumping in with “buy a cheaper one” will be swiftly ignored!😎

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Posted (edited)

I'm a dabbler rather than a player these days.

I have an FP-4, which looks like the equivalent instrument to the FP-60, one down from the FP-90 that you linked to. I've had my FP-4 for about 10 years now, it gets played every week (sometimes more than once) and is still as good as the day we picked it up. The action is superb and it has a wide range of non-piano and midi sounds. It's sort-of portable but if you need something just for home use the FP-60 might be a cheaper alternative to the FP-90.

If I need portable I have a V-Accordion 🙂

Edited by pete.young

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Posted (edited)
On 19/06/2020 at 01:33, Swaffle88 said:

I probably mean the f-140r🤠

it will be house use only and I’ll get the stand with it. I’ve seen both for the same price so I really have to try them I guess to see which I prefer the feel of

[...]

I’m far from Pro (very far actually) 

Both at the same price?
Wow.
That makes it harder. In my case the FP-90 was above budget, so I never looked at it. It's a well-known, highly regarded piano though. Though for its normal Norse money (not too far from 2K), I'd rather invest a bit more and get a Yamaha CLP-685 (or do I mean the 585? Can't remember).

Anyway,
The FP-90 is the better piano with the better user interface and the better connectivity. Slightly better keybed too IMS, but don't overestimate that aspect. The other one's really really good.
With the FP-90, here in Norway you'd have to buy both the stand (KSC-90) and the 3-pedal bar (KPD-90) in addition, which would cost another 350 quid or so.

The F-140R has better, larger speakers pointing downwards, it has a well-working lid (I love it), and the stand and the 3-pedal bar are in the package and in the box. Good instructions, BTW, and Roland even provide a drawing of the box content  -  just in case you need to break it down and put it back into the box. Everything's very well thought out.
One remark: the cabinet material is not a strong MDF for throwing around on stages. It's best for being built once and being placed in a living room... and then one forbids the kids to attack it with their three-wheeler.
 

For the FP-90 to sound best, I think one would need external amplification etc, but it remains the better piano with the greater promise.
So yes, do what you can to try them.
 

Oh, and don't overestimate the iPad/iPhone app stuff without checking what Roland apps actually do for you. An ad blob is not the same as practical use.
 

Edited by BassTractor

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Posted (edited)

The FP-90 has now gone at the same price (it was second hand) 😓

I can only see it for £500 more (new)

I see that the RP-501R isn’t much more than the F-140, is it worth the extra £122?

RP-501.  
https://www.kennysmusic.co.uk/roland-rp501r-digital-piano-contemporary-black

F-140.

https://www.kennysmusic.co.uk/roland-f-140r-digital-piano-contemporary-black

Edited by Swaffle88

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Swaffle88 said:

The FP-90 has now gone at the same price (it was second hand) 😓

I can only see it for £500 more (new)

I see that the RP-501R isn’t much more than the F-140, is it worth the extra £122?

RP-501.  
https://www.kennysmusic.co.uk/roland-rp501r-digital-piano-contemporary-black

F-140.

https://www.kennysmusic.co.uk/roland-f-140r-digital-piano-contemporary-black

Ah! Used!
I wondered about that.
Still, just before posting I deleted my original last sentence stating that I personally would still go for the F-140R over the FP-90  -  just because out of the box it sounds better without the need for external amplification, and you do get to keep the lid, the cabinet and the pedal bar. It's so good it's way more than good enough. It really is a dark horse.
I deleted the sentence only as I didn't want to steer you too much.
I hope this gives a certain comfort.
 

The RP501R is basically an F-140R in a different cabinet, with the more luxurious retracting lid that allows the note sheets to remain on the note stand when the lid is closed. Do not compare it with the RP401R, which is a cheaper model without the good speakers. You can see I like the speakers. 😁
Whether looks and retracting lid are worth 122 quid is up to you. Personally, I appreciate it enough that I almost sold my F-140R to buy it, but then I've lived 55 years with notes on note stands, so it feels like second nature.

We haven't talked about the feel of the keys. Simply: it really does feel like ivory. It's a great, secure feel, better than some in the price bracket and on par with some others.

BTW, I know I love these pianos, but I earlier forgot to tell you that Roland and the shops sell "SuperNatural" as if it's one thing along their whole range. Nope. I've been told SuperNatural comes in at least 5 quality levels. Nothing wrong with the cheap ones, but not identical to the expensive ones. Shop-owner was fuming about that aspect when he warned me against the marketing, after directing me to the dark horse in the corner his sellers had overlooked.

Edited by BassTractor

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It’s interesting that you say they are pretty much the same piano but with a different case because I have heard that in a lot of reviews I’ve read. As for feel of the keys that would mean they were the same no? I’m looking forward to getting to a music shop so I can try them! As I am at work just now in the north sea and won’t be home for another week so I’ll just have to keep watching reviews on YouTube till then 😀 

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Posted (edited)
On 20/06/2020 at 06:02, Swaffle88 said:

It’s interesting that you say they are pretty much the same piano but with a different case because I have heard that in a lot of reviews I’ve read. As for feel of the keys that would mean they were the same no? I’m looking forward to getting to a music shop so I can try them! As I am at work just now in the north sea and won’t be home for another week so I’ll just have to keep watching reviews on YouTube till then 😀 

Yeah, basically the same as to electronics, but there's a difference in the speakers and their surroundings. In a shop you'll probably hear the difference between an F-140R and an RP501R, the F-140R probably being more full and striking, but I don't expect that the difference is important once it's in your home. After all, at home you're not comparing.

The feel of the keys will be the same with the mentioned two Rolands. It's the same keyboard, the PHA-4, so I expect the surface ivory feel to be identical too.


I probably underestimated your will to really compare live. If you indeed go to a good shop, then do compare Roland with Yamaha, Kawai and Casio. They're all good, even Casio, just a bit different.
Me, I also looked at Korg, Kurzweil and Orla, but they fell through for me personally.
The Casio series that basically has the same set-up as the Rolands we talk about is the Privia. Their Celviano has a more luxurious cabinet at a cost. A Privia 8-series will probably be nicer to your ears than a Celviano 4-series.
Do not underestimate Casio. Yes, Kawai is the better brand, but in this price bracket I'd personally buy the Casio over the Kawai due to the keybed and the ivory feel, whilst its sound is more than good enough.
That said, it's 2020 now, and my investigations date to 2018.


When comparing, do remember the difference between a shop and your room - especially a hard floor versus carpets. Easy to forget, but important. The piano that sounds warm and full on a hard shop floor will probably sound muffled on thick carpets at home, etc etc.


An important aspect for me personally is in the noise of the key action itself. Twice! Often the release is a lot noisier than the attack. I hate release noise. Your mileage may vary. 


Oh, and don't forget what I said about sequential access to the different presets. It might put you off.
Me, I can live with it... begrudgingly. In everyday life it's really not a problem to me, but I'm a stickler for people using their brains, so what annoys me is that Roland make OS apps (one connects the iPad through Bluetooth), but don't seem to provide an app so you can quickly choose presets. Also, with 88 keys on the piano, they could've used those so one could choose presets by holding a button and pressing a key. 4 buttons, and you have 354 presets. Presto, and it's really not like rocket surgery.
Yamaha OTOH had an app where you could store your own presets after editing the built-in sounds. Neat idea, but I don't remember how well it worked.


Earlier, I mentioned connectivity. This may be unimportant to you, or it may be central. There are vast differences between different brands and model series in this regard, so be aware in case it's important.
For example an Orla I tried was good in this regard, IMS with MIDI, but its sound and keyboard were below par.


Yes, go to a shop and be confused. 🙂
Good luck, and enjoy!

Edited by BassTractor

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@Swaffle88, I now read the new Korg G1 Air and G1B Air are good competitors in their price bracket. My remarks about Korg were based on older models like the LP-380.

Just a heads up in case their price bracket is yours too.
Apparently, they do not offer ivory feel though. You be the judge.

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