“Roland FP4-F versus Yamaha P155 versus Kawai ES6 – it blew both out of the water!”
I decided on a Roland FP-4F. I tried out a number of pianos in the â‚¬1000-1500 range. I was going to buy the Kawai ES6 but upon playing it, while it sounds nice (especially the piano and strings combo) I didn’t like the feel. It felt quite “soft”, I’m not sure how else to describe it… there wasn’t effort required to press the keys down… a lack of inertia I guess. My next option was the Yamaha P155 and I did quite like it, the touch was good and it seemed to sound more like an acoustic than the Kawai, perhaps due to the reverb on the Kawai which made it sound more “warm”.
However, the Roland FP-4F, in my opinion, blew both out of the water. I wasn’t even going to try it as it was a bit more expensive than the other two and they were already stretching my budget. But I was glad I did.
Firstly upon playing it I thought it was going through a Keyboard amp. Right before trying it I had tried a Yamaha without speakers which was going through an amp and the Roland sounded similar. It is VERY loud. The speaker are only 12W each, the same as the Yamaha P155 but their performance is far greater. You could easily play a gig in an intimate venue without an amp. Even at the halfway mark it is quite loud, it is quite incredible.
Next the keys. The keys have an “ivory-feel” which I love. The keys of the other pianos have a cheap plastic feel to them and it was only upon playing the Roland that I realised how much I didn’t like them.
The action is quite heavy compared to other digital pianos including the Roland FP-7F which seems to be a step up from the 4F. I’ve read one or two reviews online that said they found the 4F tiring to play for long sessions. I prefer this heavier action though and the action can be changed using the function mode to change it to a lighter touch if necessary though I haven’t tried that yet.
I’m not an experienced pianist, having never had formal lessons but one thing I’ve learned from playing various digital pianos is that while it can be useful to separate action and sound (listening to someone else play was important, makes it a lot easier to tell if it sounds like an acoustic), I feel that it is the action and sound together that should guide your decision. As in how the action affects the sound. I didn’t necessarily really like the action of the Roland when I played the keys while it was turned off, it was only when the speakers came on that I fell in love with it.
Review by Steven Pillay, Ireland
“These are customer reviews from actual owners of this piano.
The most recent review is at the top of this page “, Graham Howard, Piano Advisor
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“I now have the piano and am extremely satisfied”
I bought a Roland FP-4F.
Wanted the 7F but the feature price difference did not give me the incentive to get it.
I purchased it based on recommendation from friends who have also bought it and reviews from the internet.
Though it had a few critical comments from several players about the noisy key action mostly from people who have had the FP4 before.
I now have the piano and am extremely satisfied. especially with the samples. I tried the P95 yamaha but just did not like the samples and also the number of touch sensitivity, 2 vs 5. its a easy winner.
Review by Ken Chew
“The keyboard is a luxury for the eyes”
Here are my impressions on the Roland FP4F.
First of all let me say Graham Howard’s piano buyer’s guide had a strong role in my final choice.
I am 68 years old and till 2 years ago I never played a keyboard.
I thought that once defined my objectives I could buy the cheapest piano
even if I colud have some reserve.
Reading the guide I changed my mind and I decided to buy the best I
could afford also thinking that I will not buy another piano for a long time
and my choice was Roland FPF4.
Now a review of an unexpert pianist, and the consideration that guided me.
1. The aspect.
Speaking of a piano one should start from sound and mechanics, but what I saw the first time is that this piano is beautiful, is narrow and slim, wery well finished in all details, the keyboard a luxury for the eyes.
It is also light compared to is competitors: 16.6 Kg against 18.6 of Yamaha P155 and 21.5 of Kaway ES6.
Now I think that if a brand invest so much in the aspect of their products this is an index of higher quality.
2. The sound.
I like particularly the sound of piano 1,2,3 but in general I like all the piano sounds, I also like the
reverb and equalizer functions. The equalizer I don’t know exactly what it meams,
but it gives to the sound a touch of brightness very nice.
Speaking of sound, the speakers give a powerful voice which is perfectely adeguate.
In general, even if I like the Rolnad sound, I have to say that this was what I expected
and one could prefer Yamaha or Kaway sound.
I have sone concern about the lower keys, they give some distorsion in the tuning,
especially the F1 key, but it seems that this was disappearing after some day of use.
This piano has something like more than 300 tones and I have not interest in that,
furthermore from number 51 they start again with a piano1 that I cannot
distinguish from number 1 piano1, so I wonder why they exist, perhaps I will discover
3. The keyboard and the touch.
The “Ivory Feel” keyboard is really a plus for that piano.
When you put your fingers on this keyboard you feel the real difference.
I also like the softness of this keyboard, but this is a personal feeling: someone
could prefer a harder weighted keyboard.
But what is really superb is the “Supernatural Piano” touch.
You really feel that the sound changes when you play hardly or softly.
It means that this keyboard has a real responsiveness to the touch.
4. The other features.
I will not speak of the plenty of others features that this piano has.
I verified the funtion of metronome and pedal, but there I stopped.
In my future I will look at session partner, rhythms, registration,
connectivity, midi and usb, all things that I suppose are very useful, but
in which I am not very interested.
So this is what I have experienced in the first days of use, and now
I will go on to play my piano very happily.
Review by Sergio
“Good for gigging”
I’m very impressed by the touch of the sound and weight (good for gigging) of the Roland FP-4F.
I found a decently priced one too!
Review by Veronica, Australia
“I immediately felt the improvement over the Yamaha”
I was looking for a digital piano so that I could practice with headphones on. I play classical music to LRSM standard and am an acoustic piano aficionado (or snob). So my main criterion was that the digital played as much like an acoustic piano as possible. I also wanted it to be portable, in case I get asked to play somewhere without a (decent) instrument.
I had tried out some Yamaha portables (P155) in a local shop and after initially thinking they weren’t too bad to play, got very depressed that it was a compromise too far when I returned to give them a proper work out with the pieces I was currently practising. I then came across the UK Piano website with its wealth of information and advice. I emailed Graham for his advice on my specific requirements and he promptly came back with his suggestion of the Roland FP-4F.
I then went to a local shop to try that out and immediately felt the improvement over the Yamaha, so I duly bought the FP-4F. It was more expensive than I’d originally anticipated spending, but it is worth it – I do use it to practise, when I can easily imagine spending less on a lesser piano but not playing it at all.
The touch is still not as good as an acoustic, but it is sufficiently close that I’m happy to play even the romantic repertoire, and not just practice fingerwork.
I don’t think anyone would be able to tell from its sound alone it is digital, and sampling Steinway makes it close to my acoustic Boston grand. The Roland FP-4F is not quite as portable as I’d envisaged – being able to lift it is not quite the same as manipulating it on and off the stand!
I am extremely grateful for the info and advice on the UK Pianos website and to Graham for cutting through it all to narrow down my search. If it weren’t for him I believe I would have made an expensive and useless purchase.
Review by Gillian Butcher
“There’s lots of things about the functions I don’t like, but the sound is good”
Thanks for your informative digital piano information, Graham.
I recently bought a Roland FP-4F. Two years ago I bought a Yamaha P155 which I will be giving to my daughter for her children to start lessons. I wanted something a bit better than the Yamaha as I found its sound and action a bit weak compared to the FP-4F. I also like the key texture better on the latter as I will be using it at my cottage in the summer where it is very humid and my fingers tend to grab on the Yamaha plastic when I sweat.
The action is somewhat springy compared to the Yamaha’s but I don’t find it tiring as some people seem to find it to be. I have always preferred Yamaha over Roland. Had a P200 which I gave to my other daughter and I still have a P90 with my home midi setup. But nowYamaha doesn’t make anything comparable to the FP-4F and that’s too bad.
There are a lot of things about the functions on the FP 4 I don’t like but the sound is better than the P155 when I compare them side by side in my home. However, neither of them really come close to a real piano. I have a 6 ft. Pleyel and will probably never really be satisfied with digital pianos. I have played commercially in groups and bars for many years so I have seen about everything in broken down pianos so I guess we must get used to the digital era.
Review by Peter Johnson, Canada
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