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Roland F-20

Graham Howard, piano author and advisor"The Roland F-20 feels firm, smooth and responsive. Its tone is warm,
resonant and round… Close your eyes, stroke the imitation ivories and
you could, for a moment, believe you're playing on a real piano",
Graham Howard, Piano Adviser, ukpianos.co.uk

Roland_F20

 Colour: Contemporary Black  |  F-20-CB

 

 

Availability: Discontinued, replaced by Roland FP30
As an alternative, look at Broadway BA1, Kurzweil MPS10

 

 

Optional Accessories:

Keyboard Carry Bag
Carry bag for the Roland F20. >Click here for more details

Other Colours

Roland F-20 Simulated Dark Walnut

Availability: Discontinued, replaced by Roland FP30

 

Read reviews of the Roland F-20

Buy a Roland F20 from UK Pianos and get the following:

Sustain pedal
Music book rest
Mains power adapter
 FREE UK and Europe Delivery (anywhere in the UK and most of Europe)
3 year UK In-Home Warranty (we come to you if it needs fixing)
60 Day Money Back Guarantee (return within 30 days for a full refund)

 

>> See all specifications

Howard Score  
// Rating out of 100, more info

Do you have a question about the F20?
Click the image below to talk with a piano adviser

>> Alternatively, Call 020 8367 2080 or email grahamhoward@ukpianos.co.uk

The F-20 is perfect if you are:

  • Learning to play
  • More advanced
  • On a limited budget
  • Don't have much space
  • Looking for something plain and simple
  • Need to store it away after use
  • Needing to transport it frequently

Key Feel

Fully-weighted, touch sensitive

Tone

SuperNATURAL sound, same sampling used in Roland's more expensive line

Space Saving

Easy to put away
Store under your bed
Can rest on any x-stand or a wooden stand (Roland KSC-68)
Ideal for the bedroom or a tight space

Never Needs Tuning or Maintenance

Headphones

Comes with 1 headphone connection

Easy to Transport

It's lighter than most of those bulky stage pianos

Clutter-Free Design

Simple, only a few buttons, wood effect cabinet (no plastic!)

Record your songs

Record your song/piece, then play it straight back
Record to memory stick

Lessons

Connect wirelessly to iPhone, iPad or iPod and play along with your favourite songs (free app.)
Develop music listening and reading skills with the free app.

Computer connection

Connect wirelessly to iPhone and iPad

List of Features

88 fully-weighted keys

Touch sensitive keys (4 dynamic levels)

Graded hammer action

Headphone connections x 2

35 Voices (grand piano 1, grand piano 2, grand piano 3, ragtime piano, harpsichord 1, harpsichord 2, electric piano 1, electric piano 2, electric piano 3, clav., vibraphone, celesta, synth bell, strings 1, strings 2, harp, jazz organ 1, jazz organ 2, church organ 1, church organ 2, accordion, choir 1, jazz scat, choir 2, choir 3, synth pad, nylon string guitar, steel string guitar, decay strings, decay choir, decay choir pad, acoustic bass, a.bass + cymbal, fingered bass, thum voice)

USB (save your own songs and play along in WAV or SMF format)

MIDI

Computer connection

Metronome

Rhythm accompaniment (develop your timing skills, play along with drum or bass backing)

Dual Mode

Split Mode

3 Year Home Warranty

30 Day Money Back Guarantee (try it at home for 30 days)

Choice of Colours: Black, Dark Walnut

Free delivery anywhere in the UK

Included Accessories

Sustain pedal (Roland DP-10)
Music rest
Power adaptor

Review

The Roland F-20 has a smooth and even key touch. It feels
firm and sure under the fingers. The resistance feels just
right when pressing down the keys. It also reacts in the
same way as a real piano when the key is released.
So there is no overly heavy springy feel to the keys.
Very much like a real acoustic piano. Nice.

The key tops are imitation ivory. This gives it a silkier
feeling than the usual plastic.

It also has escapement. This attempts to mimic the
real acoustic piano action.

The key touch is fully-weighted.
It has graded hammers.
4 dynamic levels (p, mp, mf, f, ff)
15 second sustain on middle C
Powerful rear-facing speakers (only 2 x 7 watts, but delivers a wide volume range) loud enough to fill a medium sized room

Comes with Sustain pedal, Music Rest, Power adaptor

Excellent repetition

Low key noise (play late at night without disturbing neighbours)

Correct amount of sideways key movement (unlike cheaper alternatives)

Even tone throughout (no notes jumping or standing out)

Tone quality gradation excellent from p to ff

Bass tone excellent

Steinway inspired sound (European sound, warm and resonant with a full-bodied round bass and crisp, clear treble)

Not so good

Well, there's not many negative things to say really.
If improvements could be made on such a low costing
instrument without having to increase the price then I'd prefer
a less harsh treble section. The two octaves above middle C
could do with toning down a little.

The bass is also a little overpowering. But only if you start
thumping it and get a bit carried away. Of course it can be
controlled easily.

Although the sustain is very good, and longer than other
pianos at this price point, the sound is a tad synthetic.
But again, without increasing the cost of the piano, there's
little that can be done to improve it.

Another thing is, you can't play pianissimo so easily as 
you can on more expensive pianos such as the FP-50.

I don't like the escapement feature on any piano.
The F-20 would be more enjoyable to play without it.

To improve the sound or get even more volume you can
buy a Roland KC60 or KC150 amp.

Customer Reviews

1) "Far Better Than an Entry-Level Piano"

Dear Graham,

I bought a digital piano at UK Pianos. I found your book very interesting and helpful. I moved house a year ago and disposed of my old not very good piano and I wanted to buy a keyboard mainly to substitute as a piano in my new house but because of space restrictions in my new house I wanted a keyboard to use on a portable stand. After studying your book I intended to buy a Yamaha P105 but when I went to UK Pianos to try it I was very pleased to find a Roland, the F20, that seemed almost identical to the Yamaha P105 (and a bit cheaper) so that’s what I chose.  

I am 77 years old and I have been playing piano for some 70 years. In the 1970s and 1980s I did a lot of gigging in Old Time Music Hall and Variety when I sometimes had to play on electric keyboards and I always preferred Roland electric pianos to Yamaha Clavinovas and such, mainly for reasons of touch, so that’s why I went for the Roland F20 in preference to the Yamaha P105.

I am basically very happy with the Roland F20 as a piano and I find both the touch and the tone much better than I was expecting for £479. I mainly use headphones, but the inbuilt speakers are also top class in a small room. For ease of playing I prefer to use LIGHT touch rather than MEDIUM, HEAVY or FIXED, despite what you say in your book about not recommending LIGHT.  The piano tones are excellent and I am surprised at how much I enjoy the ELECTRIC PIANO tones as well.  At the moment I am playing my ‘popular’ repertoire which is mainly old songs up to about 1970. In due course I will go back to working on some classical pieces, mainly Chopin (Waltzes, Mazurkas, Preludes, etc) but that will take more work. Meanwhile all my favourite old songs are sounding terrific and I find that the very realistic piano touch (on LIGHT) makes my playing surprisingly accurate.  And the fact that repeated notes play perfectly is quite amazing. I once went round testing all the pianos in the Harrods piano showroom and found almost none of them passed this test on repeated notes so full marks to Roland.  And the material from which the keys are made is also ‘perfect for purpose’.

Apart from the different piano and electric piano sounds, the other voices are a little disappointing, not for their sound but for the fact that they are mainly rather slow to ‘speak’, especially when played singly and not layered over the piano. The most exciting non-piano voice is the big church organ, but, like most of the others, it needs to be played quite slowly and carefully. But I am hoping to become more experienced to play solo with other voices like the jazz organs, the accordion and the harp.  I also greatly enjoy splitting the keyboard and playing acoustic bass with the left hand and one of the pianos or electric pianos with the right.

I do have one major complaint, which concerns the rhythm accompaniment. At present, when I use this feature I get bass, drums and a small instrumental ensemble which in theory plays in whatever key I am playing in, but alas it is not always successful in changing keys when I do and I don’t always like the melodic figures it plays because they clash with what I am playing.  The Roland website says that it is possible to switch off the instrumental accompaniment and play with just bass and drums or drums alone. The Owner’s Manual does not explain how to do this and I have just heard from Roland that to activate this I have to use the Piano Partner app, and as far as I can see, for this I need some kind of Apple device like an iPad or an iPhone or an Apple Mac laptop.  Eh? Why could this not be controlled from the keyboard itself?  I have no Apple devices – all I have is an android smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S III). I am now waiting for Roland to let me know whether the Piano Partner app can be used with this smartphone.  I found a website that indicated that the Piano Partner app can be used with android devices on some Roland pianos but it did not mention the F20.

There is also one small thing I have noticed, which is that some of the keys in the second octave above middle C respond a little more weakly that those in the first octave above middle C.  This is noticeable because the actual touch response of all the keys on the entire keyboard is so realistic, therefore unless I put a bit more force into my little finger when playing an octave chord in that part of the piano, the volume of the top note does not match the rest of the lower notes in the chord. How picky is that?!

So despite my minor criticisms, overall I am extremely happy with the Roland F20 as a piano, and I wonder why it is being presented as an ‘entry’ piano for inexperienced students?  It seems to me to be far better than that, certainly as a piano, especially at its low price.

Review by Tony Locanto (13/12/2014)

2) "So far we love it"

Dear Graham & Rena,

Thank so much for your assistance and efforts in getting the piano to us in Spain so swiftly! The problematic part was the delivery on the Spanish side but that´s normal.

Anyway, so far we love it and are all having a lot of fun with it already.

Thanks for all!

Kindest regards,

Review by Colleen & family (07/01/2015)

3) "Sounds different to more expensive Yamahas I have played"

An excellent purchase following very good advice
Bought a Roland F20 on the advice of UK pianos. Perfect for a church setting, providing accompaniment to a small choir where occasionally the organ is unsuitable for a more modern hymn or anthem. There is plenty of volume as the piano is used in close proximity to the choir (and also the local school choir of 20 when they visit). A good price, decent weighted feel and sounds little different to more expensive Yamahas I have played. I don't need lots of features so happy with a basic model. The loss of sound authenticity cf my own acoustic piano is acceptable given there are more electronic sounds I can use for different effects. The finance was very easy to arrange and happened in tandem with the purchase, UK pianos are a very "human face" given the nature of internet purchases and it was good to deal with named individuals throughout the process. I would definitely recommend them.

Review by Simon (12/03/2015)

4) "The F-20 was good enough"

Hi Graham,

The piano arrived at the expected time. Thanks.

I properly tried out the Roland F-20 and the F-130R at your shop in Enfield (also the Yamaha YDP-162 but quickly discarded it).

I knew about these pianos from reading about them on forums. I'd also watched videos on them and requested the Howard Score which helped make a choice and also choose your store to finally buy the piano (also the fact that the staff let me run up and down the store trying both pianos for about two hours).

I couldn't tell the sound apart between the two and none of the digital pianos I tried come close to the sound of a real piano, so I didn't give this too much importance. (Honestly with all the fuss about SuperNATURAL at first I was shocked by how artificial the sound is, even if the tone changes with the velocity).

I think the piano feel of the F-130R was slightly better (and grippier), but not worth the extra £200-300. I wanted something with a decent piano feel and the F-20 was good enough (in all honesty, better than the two second-hand acoustic pianos I've had which were old and irregular and incapable of pianissimo).

I wasn't looking for any other features like extra sounds. Things that were important for me: full size 88 keys, different levels of volume/tone (I think your website says four or five levels but I believe it's more gradual than that on the F-20), a continuous damper pedal and a few piano sounds.

I use the piano for practicing at home. I don't do concerts or gigs.

I like the modern and minimalist style of the Roland pianos. I even like that the F-20 doesn't have a display and that the volume control is a knob.

The pedal is great, I was worried it would move around. The recording feature is simple but nifty. The way options are selected with they keys is completely fine, kind of cool too. The speakers are more than loud enough (the volume hasn't been past halfway yet). I don't have an iPad to try the apps but I might try to connect the MIDI port to my computer, mainly just to see how that works.

So no complaints really. The only things I can say: the space where the F-130R is in the store is a little cramped, and the F-20 is on an very wobbly stand.

The reviews on the site are good. Overall it works very well.

I hope this helps.

Thanks again.

Review by Ivan (10/07/2015)

5) "Graham Howard can give advice that is tailor-made for you, unlike Amazon"

Full review:

Their webpage is full of useful advice and customers' comments, "The Digital Piano Bible" which is free to download from them is highly detailed and informative, and their expert (and the author of "The Bible") Graham Howard could not have been more helpful. I strongly advice anyone who is interested in purchasing a digital piano to contact Graham, explain your situation and requirements, and ask for his advice. While their webpages and "The Bible" are great, Graham has more up-to-date knowledge, and he can give advice that is tailor-made for you, unlike Amazon. Also delivery was fast and reliable, and unlike Amazon (e.t.c.), you can specify the delivery date.

Opinion in one sentence: Do ask their man Graham Howard for advice.

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

Review by Tet Amaya (18/07/2015)

Read more reviews of the Roland F-20

Questions and Comments

Hello. I am interested in a digital piano and I have my eyes on roland f20. My problem is with the output thing. This roland has a 1/8 " output.  
My question is: Can I use this roland f20 in a small church with a mixer and RCF speakers? Will it be compatible? If I put a 1/4" adaptor into the 1/8" output, will it work?
I'm hoping you can advise me into this matter.
Thank you.

Ovy

Reply/ Hi Ovi

I don't see a problem with this.

The signal coming out of the headphone socket can go into the AUX in on the mixer ( with adaptor ) – then the signal can be boosted from the mixer into the speakers.

You just need to balance the output from the piano into the mixer as not to overload the mixer, i.e a lower input from piano into the mixer, then ramp up the volume from the mixer.

John Morgan, UK Pianos

Here's what Roland have to say about it:

F-20 Digital Piano
    "The perfect first piano"

    If you’re looking for your child’s first piano, the Roland F-20 is the ideal
choice. Delivering Roland’s acclaimed piano technologies at an affordable
price, this compact and attractive digital piano offers best-in-class
performance that provides a solid foundation for learning the instrument
the right way.

    Its rich, authentic piano tone inspires young players to explore and develop
their musical expression, while the fine weighted keyboard action—derived
from Roland’s flagship models—provides a true acoustic grand touch that’s
essential for proper piano education.

    As a digital instrument, the F-20 presents many advantages over traditional
acoustic pianos to encourage learning and make playing fun, including
recording and metronome functions, onboard rhythm accompaniment, and a
wide selection of other sounds including strings, organs and bass.

    In addition, free Roland piano apps allow you to use your iPhone, iPad, or
iPod touch with the F-20, providing a great way to motivate kids with play-
along songs and interactive features that help develop their musical skills
and make learning fun.

Ivory Feel-G Keyboard with Escapement for an authentic grand piano touch

SuperNATURAL Piano sound engine from flagship Roland pianos provides the rich, expressive tone of a fine acoustic grand

Play along with favourite songs in your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch using the free Air Performer app

Develop basic music listening and reading skills with the free Piano Partner iPad app

Built-in Rhythm feature intelligently follows your playing, plus a wide selection of additional sounds such as organs, strings, guitars, choir, and more

Dual and Split modes allow you to layer tones and play different sounds with the left and right hands

Connect USB memory to save songs you’ve captured with the onboard recorder, and play along with songs in WAV or SMF format

Compact wood cabinet in Contemporary Black or Simulated Dark Walnut finishes; optional matching stands available for each finish

Included DP-10 Damper Pedal provides continuous response for half-pedaling and other traditional acoustic piano techniques

Great sound, compact, stylish and affordable

    Alhough it’s an affordable, entry-level piano, the F-20 delivers sound,
features, and performance inherited from Roland’s high-end pianos.
With its compact size and built-in stereo speaker system, the instrument
fits nicely into any home and is easy to move from room to room.
The stylish wood cabinet comes in Contemporary Black or Simulated Dark
Walnut finishes, so you can select the perfect colour to compliment
your living space.

Sound and touch that allows your child’s playing to develop

    With sound quality  and playing touch that surpasses other instruments in
its class, the F-20 delivers solid performance that will carry your child
through many years of musical development.
The Ivory Feel-G Keyboard with Escapement inherits the functions, appearance,
and texture of keyboards found in our flagship instruments, providing an
authentic grand piano touch for building fundamental playing techniques
quickly and efficiently.
    The acclaimed SuperNATURAL Piano sound engine—also derived from Roland’s
flagship models—allows students to develop their skills with the rich tone
and expressiveness of a world-class acoustic grand.

Air Performer and Piano Partner Apps make practise fun

    Roland’s free apps for Apple iOS devices will help keep your child motivated
by making practise engaging and fun. With the Air Performer app, they can
play along with their favourite songs from an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
wirelessly* through the F-20’s sound system. The Piano Partner iPad app
includes Flash Card, which challenges your child to identify notes that
are shown on the iPad’s display and sounded from the piano, with awards
given after five challenges.
    Available from the Apple App Store, these powerful apps use today’s mobile
technology to enhance your child’s piano development, and most importantly,
make playing piano fun.

*Wireless communication requires the Roland WNA1100-RL Wireless USB Adapter
(sold separately) and a wireless LAN access point with an Internet connection.

Intelligent accompaniment helps develop a sense of rhythm

    With its onboard Rhythm feature, the F-20 lets your child experience music
with a beautiful backing ensemble, so they can have fun and develop their
timing skills at the same time. The F-20 automatically accompanies their
playing, intelligently following with chord backing and rhythms.
32 different accompaniment styles cover a variety of musical genres, and
it’s simple and intuitive to select rhythms from the F-20’s panel or via
the Piano Partner app. Students can also play with drums and bass, or
drums only, without the other backing instruments; a great feature for
daily piano practise.

Digital advantages make learning piano at home easy

    Unlike acoustic pianos, which require regular tuning and maintenance,
the digital F-20 never needs to be tuned, so your child can enjoy
perfect piano sounds all year round. It also includes a wide range
of useful onboard features for practising, such as a metronome, a
recorder for capturing performances, and a Twin Piano mode that splits
the keyboard so two people can play side by side in the same octave ranges.

    You can easily adjust the piano’s volume to suit the room, or use headphones
for private practise without disturbing others. Additionally, separate
output jacks let you connect the piano to an external sound system for
parties and family gatherings at home. The F-20 also includes electric
piano, harpsichord, organ, guitar, strings, and even synthesizer sounds,
allowing students to explore a world of instruments beyond the piano.

>> See all specifications

Useful Resources

1) Click here to read the report: "Which Digital Piano To Buy" by piano advisor, Graham Howard.

2) Read all Roland digital piano reviews

3) Check out the 'ever expanding' piano questions section on this site.

4) Click here to read the report: "7 Things You MUST Know Before You Buy A Digital Piano"

View all Roland digital pianos