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Review: Is the Roland FP-30X best value for money?

Updated: May 2

Review:

Roland FP-30X

$750 USD


The Roland FP-30x is a value for money digital piano recently released in the market. An entry-level piano able to produce quality sounds and superior performance. It is also slim and portable making it easy to transport. It comes in 2 colors black or white





Build Quality

The Roland FP-30x comes with 88 fully weighted, graded hammer action keys with a simulated escapement mechanism which is one of the best replication of a grand piano. The keys produce a bump when pressed halfway just like how a jack on an acoustic grand piano disconnects from its knuckle. It also has textured keytops which are well implemented compared to Yamaha and Casio. This allows you to keep your fingers planted even after extended practices. This piano comes with 6 velocity curves that cater to all kinds of users.


The pair of 22 watts amplifier, 12cm speakers are powerful and well-tuned for a digital piano at this price point. The low-frequency bass notes and high-frequency treble notes are clear, warm, and solid. You will not get any distortion or buzzing even at a high volume. There is an added option that allows you to configure the speaker EQ according to how you use the piano. It also includes an on and off function for the speakers which are not found on all keyboards which makes this a useful and unique feature to this keyboard. It comes with an easy-to-use Bluetooth audio function that connects seamlessly but it only supports a 1-way input transmission. The FP-30X can playback audio & MIDI files stored on a USB stick as well.


Built-in Features

This keyboard uses a single sustain pedal that supports half-pedaling with the optional DP-10 pedal. It also supports a triple pedal system for soft, sostenuto, and half-pedal damper function which is great for classical and jazz pianists. However one of the limitations to this feature is that it has to be attached on the wooden stand. This is a disadvantage as Casio's digital pianos do not require it which makes it more portable.


Comparing it to the FP-30 which does not have the 1/4 stereo outputs that connect to a PA system. The FP-30X comes with a well-deserved pair of 1/4 stereo outputs. It produces crisp and clear sounds with a low noise floor.


The FP-30X comes with 2 headphone jacks on the front of the keyboard. One 3.5mm jack and the other 1/4 jack allowing you to be able to use any headphone with it without any worries.


It comes with a built-in easy to use song recorder which is great when you are sketching out musical ideas. With wireless Bluetooth MIDI , you can connect your apps such as GarageBand GarageBand & Bandlabs for complex music production.


The only downside to this keyboard is that it does not have battery operations which require the user to be at a power outlet to use this keyboard. Even though it pretty lightweight and portable for an 88-keys weighted keyboard, It would be nice if ROLAND made it battery-operated or rechargeable like CASIO or KORG. However, it is understandable why this keyboard requires a power outlet as the speakers are without a doubt much more powerful.



Sound Quality

The Roland FP-30x comes with 56 in-built tones, more than half of which are acoustics pianos, electric pianos, harpsichords, vibraphones, clavinets, strings, and organs. While the rest are a mixture of usable pad and synth sounds suitable for voice layering and keyboard splits. The most important tone on any digital piano is the default grand piano patch, psychoacoustics plays a huge part in determining if you prefer a certain tonal quality and color of a piano sound over another. Roland also does not dampen the samples on the high registers which is accurately implemented just like on an acoustic piano. However, these 56 tones pale in comparison with the similarly priced Korg XE20 & Yamaha DGX-670 which comes with more than 600 sounds.



Brighter and crisper CFX and CFS TONES


The volume mix of the voice layers can be adjusted through a couple of button combinations but the lack of an LCD screen and scroll wheel, it makes this process clunky and tedious. You will need to print a copy of the voice chart for reference as it is not indicated on the piano itself.


With the Piano Every Day app by ROLAND, there are additional features that can only be found using the app. Such as backing rhythms with auto-accompaniment and chord detection. You can also access an additional 127 General MIDI tones which you can play with on the keyboard.


Even with the app the process of adjusting the voice layers still took some time as the app was buggy and crashed often. The poorly implemented lessons that are only available in the app, it is better off that you use other learning apps to save yourself the frustration.


While the FP-30X supports voice layering, it is restricted to certain combinations. There are 3 button options, Piano, Electric Piano, and Others and you are unable to layer 2 voices within the same button. This will not be a limitation to those who are using the FP-30X for piano pieces but will be a deal-breaker for intermediate keyboardists and those who intend to gig with it.


The default grand piano tone can be tweaked in infinite ways, the option to alter the reverb and brilliance on the rest of the sounds but the amount of rotary effect and modulation applied to the patches cannot be decided or toggled on or off.


Conclusion

The Roland FP-30x is an affordable digital piano with quality built-in specification and a well-catered design to suit users of different needs. It is lightweight, portable and only with a few downsides to it.


I hope that this review of the Roland FP-30x has been useful for you. Do check out the links provided in this article for the latest updates and prices of the Roland FP-30x. If this keyboard is not for you, do look at the other articles in this blog to find your ideal instrument.
















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