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Roland Classic Collection


Mark Schmieder

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Earlier this week, I accidentally discovered that Roland has reformed and restructured a new Roland Classic division that is devoted exclusively to the reproduction of historic instruments in the digital realm.

 

In conjunction with this, I found that they had a new keyboard as well as a major revision of their class organ, that were announced at MusikMesse but didn't make it to the radar of harmony-central or sonicstate:

 

http://www.roland.com/classic/c230/productinfo/index.html

 

I am intrigued by this model as it seems quite professional and a fairly large subset and cross-section of the separate dedicated organ and harpsichord models. And based on Euro pricing it looks more affordable than the dedicated harpsichord (C30).

 

Earlier, when I owned the 2nd edition of the Digital Harpsichord (the first edition never came out in the U.S., and this is now the thrid edition), there was a classic organ with an optional pipe system (non-functional and for aethetics only IIRC), but also an entry-level digital keyboard with cheesy sounds across the spectrum of celesta, harpsichord, etc.

 

This time, they seem to have parted with the cheesy arranger-style entry-level model and replaced it with the intriguing C230 model.

 

I would love to know if the C230 also has the harpsichord action, keyclick, etc., of the C30. It seems that it must not, due to the lower price. Yet it has such an excellent feature set that I am tempted by it even more than by the C30 (the C30 solves a lot of the problems that caused me to sell its earlier model a couple of years ago, after ten years of ownership).

 

The C230 is missing the organ stops of the C330, but seems to make up for it somewhat with a few "preset" buttons that engage certain stops or stop combinations.

 

I went through ALL of the videos on the C30 and found them an amazing introduction to the history of the harpsichord and its antecedents (who knew that it was based on the psaltry, which only now survives just barely as a folk instrument in the Appalachians?).

 

http://www.rolandus.com/products/productdetails.php?ProductId=938&page=video

 

http://www.musik-schmidt.de/Roland-C-230.html

 

http://www.rolandus.com/community/insider/article.php?ArticleId=110&tab=hands-on

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Reading between the lines on the spec sheets, it looks like the C-230 does not use the harpsichord action of the C-30 but rather a standard synth action. The C-330 uses a proper organ action (church organ, not Hammond B3). So the C-230 as a player's instrument might involve two many compromises after all.

 

I'm out of printer ink so can't print all the specs to compare, and it's hard to keep them in memory when going back and forth. It also looks like info on the C-230 and C-330 is evolving and that the products have just barely hit the marketplace.

 

I learned years ago that these instruments are what Roland's founder has always wanted to do, and are close to his heart. Hence the attention to detail, aethetics, workmanship, etc. -- qualities that unfortunately are no longer associated with many of Roland's consumer products (no chrome on these babies!).

Eugenio Upright, 60th Anniversary P-Bass, USA Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, D'angelico SS Bari, EXL1,

Select Strat, 70th Anniversary Esquire, LP 57, Eastman T486, T64, Ibanez PM2, Hammond XK4, Moog Voyager

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Roland owns Rodgers - makers of very fine church organs, some all electronic, some a mixture with electronics and wind blown pipes, and some strictly pipes.

 

A number of the different lower end Rodgers keyboards over the years have been modifications of Roland instruments (a different set of samples, different screened front panel, etc.

 

Might pay to check the Rodgers instruments also.

 

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Bother, I got all excited when I saw this thread's title, thinking that Roland finally released their classic synths as software instruments (like Korg's Legacy collection). Disappointing start of the week. :(

 

 

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home: Kawai RX-2 | Korg D1 | Roland Fantom X7

 

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Disappointing? This is the most exciting product line in years, from my point of view! Everyone has different needs and likes.

Eugenio Upright, 60th Anniversary P-Bass, USA Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, D'angelico SS Bari, EXL1,

Select Strat, 70th Anniversary Esquire, LP 57, Eastman T486, T64, Ibanez PM2, Hammond XK4, Moog Voyager

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