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Compare: Is Roland FP-30X Better than Yamaha P-125?

Updated: Sep 26

Review:

Roland FP-30X

$750 USD


Yamaha P125

$699.99 USD

Roland’s recent release of the FP-30X has rendered the similarly priced Yamaha P125 a poor value proposition. In this article, I am going to tell you the 5 reasons why is that so and I will also tell you a hidden feature on the FP-30X which is not even listed anywhere on Roland's website or the owner’s manual.


Key Actions

While both these pianos have 88 fully-weighted & graded hammer key action, the key action on the Roland FP-30X is superior. The Yamaha P125 uses the GHS key action which is almost 2 decades old and has only dual sensors.

The FP-30X, on the other hand, uses a more recent PHA-4S key action and has a triple sensor system.

The FP-30X has textured simulated ivory keytops on the white keys, giving the pianist greater confidence.

Whereas the white keytops on the Yamaha are as smooth as a baby’s bottom. The black keys on the P125 have a matte finish.


There are 6 velocity curves on the FP-30X for more granular control over the touch response of the keys, versus the Yamaha P125 with only 4 velocity curves.

The biggest advantage of Roland’s key action over Yamaha is the escapement mechanism. This makes the FP-30X feel more like a grand piano than the P125.

If you like the Yamaha P125 or FP-30X, You might be interested in this recommended list of digital pianos as well.


Sound

Yamaha uses their Pure CF sound engine vs Roland’s SuperNatural technology. Deciding which sampling technique is better is more subjective than objective but one clear advantage the FP-30X has over the P125 is the sheer number of onboard tones.


Roland has 56-panel tones with an additional 127 general MIDI tones accessible via a mobile app, giving the FP-30X a total of 183 sounds available to you. The P125 on the other hand has just 24 tones. The voices on both these pianos can be layered and split. The volume mix of the sound layers can also be independently adjusted.


The FP-30X receives an upgrade in note polyphony to 256 notes versus Yamaha’s 192 notes of polyphony. This is important on the FP-30X as every key you play on the Roland actually contains multi-layered samples containing the piano’s lid position, string, damper, and key-off resonance which chews up polyphony.


The Yamaha P125, on the other hand, features only damper resonance. A plus point for the P125 is that selecting voices and setting a consistent master volume on the P125 itself is significantly easier than on the FP-30X.



Amplification

Most people who buy these digital pianos will most often be using the built-in internal speakers rather than a pair of headphones. It will not matter how good the internal sound samples are on a digital piano if the amplification system does not have the raw power to deliver the required sound fidelity.


The Roland FP-30X has a 22 watts amplification system versus the 14 watts of power on the Yamaha P125. Which makes the FP-30X definitely louder and more powerful.

However, at lower volumes the Yamaha speaker system, although less powerful, has a more nuanced sound due to the fact that the P125 has a 4 speaker system versus the 2 speaker system on the FP-30X.



Wireless Connectivity

Wireless speakers, wireless headphones, and wireless mobile phone charging are becoming the standard and Roland has also gone wireless on the FP-30X supporting both wireless Bluetooth audio and Bluetooth MIDI.


While Yamaha requires an additional purchase of an optional cable to connect the P125 to Yamaha’s Smart Pianist app. The FP-30X connects to Roland’s piano app on my mobile phone and tablet right out of the box, no additional purchase is required.

Streaming audio from the playlist on your mobile phone to jam along will be a breeze with the FP-30X wireless Bluetooth audio. This contrasts with the Yamaha P125 which has no way of streaming audio via the piano’s built-in speakers. The P125 does not support wireless audio and it does not even have a physical auxiliary audio-in jack for your OGs out there.



USB Audio Interface

One of Yamaha’s biggest selling points is that it has a built-in USB audio interface. A USB audio interface allows the digital piano to send and receive digital audio to and from a PC or Mobile DAW without the need to purchase an additional external audio interface.

Surprisingly, the FP-30X also has a built-in USB audio interface that is able to handle both MIDI and audio signals. Roland did not even list this very useful feature on their website, or in the FP-30X owner’s manual making a very good addition to it.



Headphone Jack

It is not uncommon for digital pianos targeting music students to have dual headphone jacks. While the Yamaha P125 features two ¼” headphones jacks.

Roland has made their dual headphone jack more useful by having both a ¼” and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Regardless of whichever pair of headphones you have, you do not need any adaptors to connect to the FP-30X. It is small, with little attention to details like these that make the FP-30X stand out. If you are interested, I also have recommendations for speakers, headphones, microphones, and other connectivity devices which you might be looking for.



Similarities

The rest of the features on both these digital pianos are very similar. Both pianos support an optional triple pedal system, have an optional wooden furniture stand, support half-pedaling, have dedicated ¼” stereo outputs, feature a built-in metronome, and have mobile app support for both the Android & iOS ecosystem.

While both these pianos have a built-in accompaniment rhythm function, the Yamaha P125 gets a brownie point because you can access the accompaniment rhythm on the piano itself.

Whereas on the FP-30X, the rhythm feature is only accessible via a mobile app.



Conclusion

I hope you found my review of the Roland FP-30X and Yamaha P125 useful! Do check out the links provided in this article for the latest and most updated information and prices of the Roland FP-30X and Yamaha P125. Do take a look at my other articles to find the best and most suited instrument for your personal need. Also, do check out my Piano App and beginner keyboard course available for you.


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