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Kougeru #2934307 01/15/20 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Abdol, it’s the most compact and lightweight RD (i.e. professional, in contrast to home pianos from the FP-series) Roland stage piano that also adds speakers. The closest Roland piano is RD-300NX which is longer, wider and much heavier without even having speakers. It’s a very welcome addition to their RD-line and the price is very good.


RD-300NX is a much nicer keyboard. A good amp and a nice set of speakers are definitely heavy. Just by reading the weight I can tell you that those speakers are toys. RD300 is 3kg heavier and Roland could make a refined version of it instead of RD-88.

Originally Posted by Kougeru
It's always interesting to read a Roland thread online. They're extremely popular in the real world, I see them everywhere and honestly feels like I see them in YouTube videos more than any other brand besides Yamaha and yet on forums everyone seems to hate them and call them "metallic" and "synthy". V-piano sounds great to me in most videos (especially played by marasy) though I've never heard one in person, and so does the RD-2000. RD-88 sounds okay to me. Not the best but not awful. Most interesting thing about this to me is that it's compatible with Zen-Core https://www.roland.com/us/company/press_releases/2020/ROLAND-UNVEILS-ZEN-CORE-SYNTHESIS-SYSTEM/

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With the forthcoming system updates, owners of FANTOM 6/7/8 Synthesizers (Version 1.50*), JUPITER-X Series Synthesizers (Version 1.10) and RD-88 Stage Pianos will be able to start using the same compatible sounds across all models, adding a new collaborative capability to their instruments. An update for the MC-101 and MC-707 GROOVEBOXES will also be available in Q2 2020, with an update planned for AX-EDGE later this year.

ZEN-Core base engine tones created on one instrument can be shared with other users or transferred into completely different compatible Roland hardware. Performers can take sounds made on a FANTOM and play them in the spotlight on an AX-Edge Keytar, or perform a JUPITER-X synth patch on an RD-88, dramatically simplifying setup and expanding tonal options. Sounds are easily shared with a bandmate or co-creator, even when using different compatible Roland hardware. With ZEN-Core, users have access to the sounds they want, in the format they want, wherever they produce or perform.


It doesn't actually say anything about what ZEN-core is and I really don't want to waste my time with any articles from Yamaha, Korg, Roland etc anymore.


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I thought it was pretty clear what it was but if you don't want to read that's your decision.

Abdol #2934323 01/15/20 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Abdol
RD-300NX is a much nicer keyboard. A good amp and a nice set of speakers are definitely heavy. Just by reading the weight I can tell you that those speakers are toys. RD300 is 3kg heavier and Roland could make a refined version of it instead of RD-88.

It's a 4 KG difference, plus bulkier (about 6" wider and 3" deeper). And it has the Ivory Feel G which I consider the worst feeling hammer action Roland ever made. And it has fewer front panel controls. And no speakers (toy speakers can still be more useful than no speakers).

In a sense, this IS a refined version of an RD-300NX. A much improved version, as I see it.

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About the speakers, it may be that those apertures are for the tweeters. The specs say it has two 2cm tweeters (dome?) and two 12cm "full-range" speakers, probably pointed downwards.


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EssBrace #2934380 01/15/20 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
Originally Posted by Rusty Mike
...but the RD-88 may be a giggable version of the 800. Same action, which is pretty enjoyable to play and relatively accurate for a digital instrument..


But is it the same action? What's in RD-800 - PHA-IV Concert? If RD-88 has PHA-IV Standard then it's a completely different action with much shorter pivots and would be the same as FP10 and FP30, i.e., Roland's current cheapest action. It's perfectly fine for what it is but not the same as RD-800 (if my guess is right).


PHA-4 Standard action is the same of FP-10 and FP-30. Some of the cheapest models. Perhaps would be better to purchase an FP-10.


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So, ZEN-Core is a PCM + VA synth engine that allows patches to be interchangeable and the RD-88 allows for installing these patches. It remains unclear whether that means memory for additional waveforms or just reconfiguration of the existing ones and the VA-parameters. But even the presence of configurable VA-engine in a lightweight stage piano in the $1000 price range is already a serious thing. So, it’s much better than a RD-300NX.


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Roland gets a lot of flak in the synth community for not bending their knee to the analog/re-issue revival (and to some extent in the piano community for not using pure sample approach) but I have to admit I admire their tendency to not look back.

CyberGene #2934413 01/15/20 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
even the presence of configurable VA-engine in a lightweight stage piano in the $1000 price range is already a serious thing. So, it’s much better than a RD-300NX.

Yes... it looks like this will be the least expensive 88 that includes any kind of VA synth engine. The next ones up would be Kurzweil SP6 and Roland FA-08. Each will have its unique benefits, but besides price, this will probably have the best action of the three, and is the only one with speakers.

dihelson #2934433 01/15/20 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by dihelson
Originally Posted by EssBrace
Originally Posted by Rusty Mike
...but the RD-88 may be a giggable version of the 800. Same action, which is pretty enjoyable to play and relatively accurate for a digital instrument..


But is it the same action? What's in RD-800 - PHA-IV Concert? If RD-88 has PHA-IV Standard then it's a completely different action with much shorter pivots and would be the same as FP10 and FP30, i.e., Roland's current cheapest action. It's perfectly fine for what it is but not the same as RD-800 (if my guess is right).


PHA-4 Standard action is the same of FP-10 and FP-30. Some of the cheapest models.

And the FP-60. Not one of the cheapest models.

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Which action is it?


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RinTin #2934449 01/15/20 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by rintincop
Which action is it?

“PHA-4 Standard Keyboard: with Escapement and Ivory Feel” Same as on the FP10, FP30, FP60 and A88 MKII


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Fleer #2934450 01/15/20 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Fleer
Originally Posted by dihelson
Originally Posted by EssBrace
Originally Posted by Rusty Mike
...but the RD-88 may be a giggable version of the 800. Same action, which is pretty enjoyable to play and relatively accurate for a digital instrument..


But is it the same action? What's in RD-800 - PHA-IV Concert? If RD-88 has PHA-IV Standard then it's a completely different action with much shorter pivots and would be the same as FP10 and FP30, i.e., Roland's current cheapest action. It's perfectly fine for what it is but not the same as RD-800 (if my guess is right).


PHA-4 Standard action is the same of FP-10 and FP-30. Some of the cheapest models.

And the FP-60. Not one of the cheapest models.


Not the same action of RD-800, which have PHA-4 CONCERT. RD88 has PHA-4 standard, the cheapest one installed on FP-10, FP-30. RD 800 is another level.


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It looks like the RD-88 uses a tweaked version of the older SuperNatural sounds (sampling+modeling). But the Zen-Core engine can run the V-Piano/PureAcoustic piano models - on the Fantom series. Perhaps it's also true for the Zen-Core engine on the RD-88; which would be an interesting choice by Roland to make the V-Piano models optional ...

Quote
ZEN-CORE EXPANSION | V-PIANO | (FANTOM SERIES)
Natural. Seamless. Perfect. Piano.

Featuring Roland’s unique piano modeling technology, the V-Piano ZEN-Core Expansion for the FANTOM Series allows every note played to respond and evolve naturally, seamlessly, and perfectly. With V-Piano technology on the FANTOM, there is no velocity switching and it provides a smooth, natural decay that must be heard to be believed.

The V-Piano ZEN-Core Expansion offers unparalleled personalization of each Piano tone. Using the language of acoustic piano, V-Piano technology provides for customization of various overall resonance elements including string, damper, sound board, cabinet, and key-off, as well as key-specific control of tuning, level, character, and more.

The V-Piano Expansion for ZEN-Core takes full advantage of the immense processing power of Roland’s proprietary BMC chip to provide full polyphony for rich, authentic, and perfectly accurate performance.


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And again, same action as in the $1500 FP-60.

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Actually the announcement today about ZEN-CORE has huge implications for this board. One of the things I liked about my Kurzweil SP6 is the fact that it can be loaded with sounds created for any Kurzweil from the Forte SE to the PC3 series. With ZEN-CORE the RD-88 can use patches for the new Fantom and Jupiter X and you can openly collaborate and share sounds from any product. And the AXE-Edge and MC101 & MC107 will have this with upcoming updates. That makes this stage piano a whole lot more flexible.

Last edited by Kbeaumont; 01/16/20 10:36 AM.

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Kbeaumont #2934708 01/16/20 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Kbeaumont
Actually the announcement today about ZEN-CORE has huge implications for this board. One of the things I liked about my Kurzweil SP6 is the fact that it can be loaded with sounds created for any Kurzweil from the Forte SE to the PC3 series. With ZEN-CORE the RD-88 can use patches for the new Fantom and Jupiter X and you can openly collaborate and share sounds from any product. And the AXE-Edge and MC101 & MC107 will have this with upcoming updates. That makes this stage piano a whole lot more flexible.


Indeed! Actually it is now that I realize SP6 is similarly priced, lightweight and supports VA-synthesis (although that requires an external editor if you need to make your own synth patches). I'm not sure if the RD88 has sample memory for user libraries or it will allow only for patches using the present waveforms.

As to the keyboard action, one should not forget it's an entry-level and lightweight stage piano. Yamaha do the same, their CP73 also has the cheap GHS keyboard. And honestly, when testing GHS pianos against FP-30 in a store, purely from touch point of view to me the FP30 is superior than GHS-equipped pianos.

Last edited by CyberGene; 01/16/20 10:41 AM.

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CyberGene #2934798 01/16/20 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
As to the keyboard action, one should not forget it's an entry-level and lightweight stage piano. Yamaha do the same, their CP73 also has the cheap GHS keyboard. And honestly, when testing GHS pianos against FP-30 in a store, purely from touch point of view to me the FP30 is superior than GHS-equipped pianos.


The CP73 has the new BHS keyboard, Balanced Hammer Standard. What exactly that is, I'm not sure.


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torhu #2934816 01/16/20 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by torhu
Originally Posted by CyberGene
As to the keyboard action, one should not forget it's an entry-level and lightweight stage piano. Yamaha do the same, their CP73 also has the cheap GHS keyboard. And honestly, when testing GHS pianos against FP-30 in a store, purely from touch point of view to me the FP30 is superior than GHS-equipped pianos.


The CP73 has the new BHS keyboard, Balanced Hammer Standard. What exactly that is, I'm not sure.

It's not graded like the GHS emulating a piano. Simple as that.


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JoeT #2934820 01/16/20 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeT
It's not graded like the GHS emulating a piano. Simple as that.
Simple? If only...


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