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Action comparison: Casio PX-5s vs Roland RD-300


zahush76

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Hi everyone. I asked this on another thread that's on a different subject, and it was completely off topic. So i'm starting a thread specifically about this question.

Those of you who got to play with the new Casio PX-5s, and also had the chance to play with Roland's RD-300 (with the Ivory feel G)or the FP-50 - i would love some input on the difference in the keyboard action. I'm asking since i'm interested in either the PX-5s, or paying the extra to get the new FA-08, and according to Roland's site it has the same Ivory feel G action.

 

So i'm wondering how do these two compare. Would you say the Ivory G action is stiffer compared to Casio's? Lighter? Springier? More sluggish? etc?

 

Thanks!

Vermona Perfourmer mkii, Nord Stage 3 76
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I'll say this about the Ivory Feel-G: it's probably the strangest weighted action I've ever played. When you depress a key, there's a hiccup before it returns, as if the mechanism broke and the key is now stuck in the down position. You can feel a notch there that prevents smooth key return.
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I tried one of the RD64's which also has the G action. I found it weighty, but not in a good way. There was a lack of connection to the sound as well, which could just be an RD64 problem. I remember going straight on to an SV1 afterwards and thought the Korg was superb in comparison.

 

As for the Casio, I far preferred it to the Roland but felt it a little sluggish compared to the Korg. However, I have heard that tweaking the response on the Casio can negate the perception of sluggishness.

Kurzweil PC3x

Technics SX-P50

Korg X3

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I prefer the feel of the Casio action, but I wouldn't call either a "quick" action. Interestingly, people have had different reactions to the Ivory Feel G on different boards. Whether Roland has made slight variations in the board over time, or it's something about the way the board "connects" with its sounds on a particular board or who knows what... enough people have mentioned it that I think you'll want to try it ON the FA before assuming too much about how it feels on the FA.

 

I think the big advantage the PX5S clearly has over the FA-08 is that it's much smaller and lighter. 24 lbs vs. 36+ lbs is a big difference. In fact, you can get an FA-06 AND a PX-5S for a total weight of about the same as an FA-08.

 

Do you have an unweighted board you intend to pair with whichever of these 88s you get?

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The Roland action seems to be polarizing. It's not my favorite action ever, but I can work with it just fine. Doesn't feel "broken" to me, but it does require some recalibration of my technique. If I don't play it for a week or more and then come back to it, I feel a little lost and need to recalibrate the muscles which takes a day or two. Once calibrated, I find it is gratifying to play. Touch-to-sound connection is very good, imo. The bottom line, for me, was that Roland put this action in a board that in other respects suited my needs, so I adapted to the action and it's fine.

 

The Casio, by contrast, has a lighter action with a very familiar feel and was easy to jump right onto.

 

I'd caution against committing to the Roland without trying it out first. The Casio is going to be more universally acceptable.

Gigging: Crumar Mojo 61, Hammond SKPro

Home: Vintage Vibe 64

 

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Played the FP-7F ... I think that is what it is called.

 

It felt fine to me. Still liked the MP-8II better in terms of purism. But for a slab it was not bad.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Which RD 300 are we talking about? There are probably at least four of them.....

 

I am on record ( probably sounding like a broken record actually)for having stated numerous times how much I like the action on the RD 300 GX.

 

Other than on the Roland FP4 I am not aware that the 300GX action was ever used on any other board that Roland produced.

 

I much prefer the 300GX action to the 300NX. D Bon's comment of the "hiccup" of the 300NX seems accurate from what I recall.

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Besides weighing about the same, a PX350 plus an FA-06 is not all that much more expensive than an FA-08. Assuming the Roland is flexible enough to allow you to play its pianos/EPs from an external action while playing its other sounds from its own action, I think that might be the preferable way to go. (Or, of course, the PX-5S instead of the PX350 if you can swing another couple of hundred.) Unless the feel of the FA-08 surprised me, I would go for this kind of FA-06 combo unless I had some other unweighted action board that I really wanted to use with the FA, which would then kind of force the FA to be the 88 (assuming you don't want 3 boards in the rig).

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I've only played the RD300SX and GX and I didn't like either of them. "Spongy" was the adjective that came to mind. I felt it was unnatural in the manner in which it depressed and it sort of slowly returned on release....like a sponge. I played both for several hours one day and couldn't come to grips with them. Maybe the NX is better? I really liked the RD700S/GX/NX keyboard but i guess the big compromise between that and the 300 was the weight drop and hence a lighter and poorer action...IMO.

 

I have a PX5s and I really like the action. I was coming from a Yamaha S90ES which I loved and this was as good if not better. I use it as a controller for pianoteq which is great and I also use it live with MainStage and also just the stock PX5s piano sounds. Nice board and very light. The FA hasn't reached my shore yet so can't comment on that though the spec looks similar to the RD300 series.

Yamaha MODX8, Legend Live.
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First of all - thanks for all the replies! I guess there's no escape from trying the FA-08 when it comes out (as i understand, somewhere between late march and early april it's going to hit the stores). Though if i'm relying on Roland's declaration that the action is the same Ivory feel G, added with the responses here that this action is somewhere between "meh" and "acceptable", i think the general direction is clear.

 

As for the suggestion about getting 2 boards (a combo of PX-5s because of the action and FA-06 because of the sounds and extra functions) - it will be impossible and not something i'd want.

I'll explain my situation and needs, and perhaps then you'll have a better sense of what i need.

 

As i've mentioned on other threads, i'm not a gigging musician. Mainly working in my home studio, and need a central 88 good weighted controller which also have sounds if i want to gig now and then. But i also work as a teacher in a high school. As it seems, next year they want me to be in charge of working with the students on school shows, ceremonies etc, as a part of my job. It's not like gigging every week, but most certainly more than just 5 - 6 times a year.

In my home studio i have a place only for one keyboard on my desk. Even if i did have room for a second keyboard - i think that a digital piano and workstation combo is a bit overkill (even though i know these are not the same). If i wanted a second tier than i'd probably go for a dedicated synth, and not a rompler\workstation kind of keyboard. But it's not relevant anyway.

 

Added to that, it so happens that over here in Israel, the distributor for Casio has to add 18% VAT plus other taxes to the price of the PX-5s so in actuality it's going to cost a little more than 1200$. On the other hand the distributor for roland has a store in Eilat city, which is considered a free trade area, thus everything you buy there is VAT and Duty free. So it's more like 1200$ for the casio vs straight 1800$ for the Roland.

Soundwise, from the experience i had with the PX-5s it seems that it has good pianos and electric pianos, and good synth sounds. However it is clear that the FA-08 has the upper hand in that department, not to mention acoustic and electric bass sounds, strings, brass and all the other acoustic sounds which the PX-5s can't really compete. In addition it has a bigger screen, sequencer, pads, sampler, etc etc. But it's heavier, and as it appears - it is expected to have a keyboard action which is not as good as Casio's.

So that about sums it up in terms of pros and cons of each possibility.

Vermona Perfourmer mkii, Nord Stage 3 76
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I think you have a good handle on it. If you find the FA-08 action "good enough" (even if not as good as the PX-5S), you'll probably be happier with the FA for its sounds and functionality... but you won't know that until you get your hands on it.

 

One nice thing about the PX-5S, of course, is its suitability as a controller for external sound sources. So if budget permits, at some point you could add an Integra-7 and have the Roland sound set in a lighter, smaller package with the presumably better action. (Or even a used XV something will get you a lot of it.) Of course it doesn't give you all the FA's functionality, or its nice interface/ergonomics, but it is another route that somewhat splits the difference.

 

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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Which RD 300 are we talking about? There are probably at least four of them.....

 

On the SOS video, the roland rep says it's "based on the RD-300NX" action. Which makes me wonder if it's identical - or "based on", whatever that means.

Vermona Perfourmer mkii, Nord Stage 3 76
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Escapement simulation gone bad?

Escaped Michigan convict captured in Indiana after police chase

 

Coincidence? :laugh::facepalm:

 

On another note...

 

Why am I getting ads for DEPENDS adult diapers on the side of the screen?

 

Are advertisers targeting The Keyboard Corner because of an age-related thread that the rest of you guys fully populated the other day? :laugh:

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Just a wild guess, but if you've got great technique, you'll probably like the Casio action. It's crisp, for want of a better word. The newer Rolands feel a little sluggish in comparison. Personally, I prefer the RD300-GX action - discontinued in 2010 or so - because it faster and it doesn't make my hands hurt like the Casio, but I've got crappy technique. I really did like the Casio features. It would be a good idea to compare the features on the Roland and make sure it'll do what you want it to. The one big drawback to the Casio is the lack of an expression pedal input. There's a workaround via midi, but there are limitations compared to a full featured board with an expression pedal input and full routing capabilities.
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