Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Roland VR-700 or VR-09?


iluvchiclets

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

 

I have always been interested in the versatility and wonderful price of Roland's VR-09. Each time I visit my local music store, I always take a moment to play it.

 

Lo and behold today they have a 2nd hand VR-700 in the store for almost $250 less than the VR-09. I didn't have time to try it out, but I recall it having the same organ sound-engine as the VK8 (Which I fondly owned at one time)

 

Does either the VR09 or VR700 have some quality or feature that would make it a much better value than the other?

 

Thanks in advance!

Electro 5, NI Kontrol S61/49, MX49, PC3, Rev2, Prologue, Pro3, Juno-DS, Mopho Keys, SE02, drums, tons of synth software, guitars, amps, and pedals...help me!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 85
  • Created
  • Last Reply

VR 700 has much better action (for both organ and piano, if you must play piano from an unweighted board), more authentic drawbar size/feel/spacing, more "professional" build (balanced outs, internal power supply), the ability to run separate effects for the organ and non-organ sound at the same time, and better (or at least far more customizable) tonewheel organ emulation. For example, you can select tonewheel models based on 1960s or 1970s models, a variety of different amp emulations (also means a lot more flexibility in overdrive), and variable leakage and key click levels, which I think is all beyond the VR09. Also, for purists, I don't think the VR700 processes the percussion through the CV the way the VR09 does, but maybe someone else can confirm.

 

VR09 has a full VA synth function (editable via iPad), transistor organ emulations, and probably most appealing, is small and light. The VR700 is a bit of a bear to move around.

 

This is not an exhaustive list of differences, but I think those are the highlights. If you can deal with the weight/bulk, and don't need some 09-specific feature, I think the 700 is a better clonewheel and is a particularly enjoyable board to play. Maybe a tough sell at double the price of the 09, but a bargain at $250 less.

 

edit: correction, VR09 also has leakage and key click adjustments.

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. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

700 is nice. One of my favorite Roland products. The cheap Juno organ I don't like no matter how good it sounds.

 

I recommend the 700 a lot as a general all purpose instrument.

"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

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I sold my VR09 to get a used VR700 and never looked back.

 

I really enjoyed the VR09 but for AP.. EP.. Organ.. Strings.. and playability.. in my opinion the VR700 is superior. Without repeating myself here is the thread I started which should cover any questions you might have.

 

clonk

 

The VR09 has nice VA synth capability and Ipad editing capability that the VR700 doesn't. I ended up pairing my VR700 with a korg microstation. The 2 together gives me all the sonic pallet I need in a decently ergonomic package. I even pack both keyboards in the same gig bag. Below is how I have things setup.

 

clonk

 

I just want to add that I purchased both keyboards for the same price I paid for the VR09... And now have a ton more flexibility. I also want to say that I do not find the VR700 that much of a burden to carry around... And I have 76 keys with a fantastic waterfall feel. I was apprehensive about the mini keys on the micro.. But after only 1 night.. I have no problem transitioning between the 2.

 

 

 

Jay

www.soundcloud.com/high-diving-act

www.yournewneighbors.com

www.mclovinmusic.com

Nord Stage 3 Compact, Korg Krome EX, Novation Summit, Roland RD88 & Edge, Spectrasonic Keyscape

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the replies,

 

High Diving Act - it is late, so I will read your earlier posts tomorrow. Funny you mention the Microstation...I bought one of those new when it first arrived, and liked it so much I bought an M50 a little while later. I have very fond memories of that keyboard.

 

Nice to hear from you AnotherScott. I was hoping you would post something, as I have enjoyed reading through your experiences with the VR-09. I am really looking forward to Monday to try the VR700 out. I owned the VK8M, so I am familiar with the different amp and organ models included.

 

I must add that I just discovered the release of the Roland FA series, and that has blown my mind. I might have to try and find out a bit more about this about-to-released keyboard before I commit to anything. (Most notably what kind of organ-engine it is using?) What a great age to be buying gear in! When I think of what I paid for my original Motif!? Or my Korg X3 many years ago...

Electro 5, NI Kontrol S61/49, MX49, PC3, Rev2, Prologue, Pro3, Juno-DS, Mopho Keys, SE02, drums, tons of synth software, guitars, amps, and pedals...help me!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would take the VR700 over the 09 for the action and also for the older VK8 organ engine.

 

The lack of separation between the chorus vibrato and percussion is a huge oversight on the VR 09. If you play any jazz organ at all, you are going to miss the C/V doing what it should.

 

The VR700 also does not do the double triggering the way the VK8 did. So in many respects it gives the best representation of the VK8 engine. I am a huge fan of that because of the excellent overdrive and chorus vibrato properties.

 

The VR 700 is heavy but it is build like a tank. Some day I would like to have one. I think it is a classic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

VR-09 has variable leakage and key click (both note-on and -off).

Thanks for the correction.

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. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry for getting in here a bit late..

 

There are lot's of advantages that the VR-09 has over the VR 700.. not the least of which are less weight (VR-09 = 12 pounds, VR-700 = 35 pounds that's a BIG difference).. Vr-09 has updated leslie sim, it's organ is based on vk7 organ (grittier), it has a full Jupiter based Virtual Analog synth, iPad editor, looper (I don't think the VR700 has this feature), the "live" interface (mostly live effects tweaking).. LCD display for editing various parameters. Downloadable sounds/registrations from the Axial site.

 

The main advantages that I see of the VR 700 are the nice waterfall keyboard, real drawbars (not drawfaders), and for some the extra keys are an advantage..

 

Disadvantages of the VR-09 are it's lack of waterfall keys, the fact that the percussion goes through the C/V (LX88 always makes a big deal out of this.. I don't even notice it).. and when layering the organ with other sounds the other sounds go through the leslie sim.. (I don't think that the VR-700 has this problem)..

 

From my perspective.. lot's of advantages for the VR-09, however depending on the price for the VR-700 it might be a better choice for some..

 

The biggest difference is no doubt the weight and the waterfall keys. Hope this helps.

Craig MacDonald

Hammond BV, Franken-B (A100 in a BV cabinet), Leslies 122/147/44W, Crumar Mojo, HX3 module, Korg Kronos, VR-09, Roland GAIA, Burn, Ventilator

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd add that the better keyboard of the VR700 isn't just that they're waterfall, they're just... better. Better than the waterfall keys on a Nord or SK1, for example. And as unweighted actions go, it's actually decently playable for piano, which I don't say about many unweighted actions.

 

Which organ sound is better is probably a matter of personal taste. The 09 has an updated leslie effect, the 700 has the various amp simulations...

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. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't disagree that the VR-700 is a really nice quality keyboard.. maybe one of the nicest available on a clone these days.. HOWEVER, for acoustic/electric pianos and clavinets, it's still a compromise, and so is every keyboard these days.. There is no one keyboard that will do it all, so it's really just a matter of which is the right compromise for each of us..

 

I agree that the sound is a matter of personal taste, and Anotherscott is right that the VR-09 has an updated leslie sim, wheres the VR-700 has some extra amp sims.. but there are other difference as well including the fact that the VR-09 has 3 different organs Jazz, Rock, and Transistor (I don't believe the VR-700 has the transistor organ at all) and I would have to say that the VR-09 is a newer incarnation of the Roland VK engine, and with the exception of the Percussion/C/V issue, I think that for the most part, it's better.

Craig MacDonald

Hammond BV, Franken-B (A100 in a BV cabinet), Leslies 122/147/44W, Crumar Mojo, HX3 module, Korg Kronos, VR-09, Roland GAIA, Burn, Ventilator

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't disagree that the VR-700 is a really nice quality keyboard.. maybe one of the nicest available on a clone these days.. HOWEVER, for acoustic/electric pianos and clavinets, it's still a compromise, and so is every keyboard these days.. There is no one keyboard that will do it all, so it's really just a matter of which is the right compromise for each of us..

Yes, and it also depends on whether you're using the board alone or with something else. If I was looking to add one of these boards as something to use in combination with a weighted piano board, then the 76 keys and better action could be less important to me than if I was gigging with just the one board.

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. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to say that the 09's keys are a limitation. Try to play a five-finger chord including black keys, and sometimes the black keys don't trigger because the tips of your fingers are too near the pivot point. But at least they're smooth and rounded on the edges.

 

The poor overdrive implementation is also a bit of a letdown, but purely as an organ the 09 has a lot going for it. I was listening to some tracks of Barbara Dennerlein playing her B3 this afternoon, and it was possible to get the VR closer to that greasy, gritty, electric vibe than even my recently-departed Numa. That said, I'm ignoring percussion and C/V in that analysis, which is not the 09's strong suit (although may be sufficiently adjustable to be passable if you're not being too purist). Also, the 2 Leslie variants both work well for creating different vibes.

 

From what I've heard, the 09 is a little thinner sounding than both the 700 and some other clones (and that's certainly true of the 09's pianos, too), but it has a lot of presence. I would love to have a 700 for direct comparison, but I wouldn't want to use the 700 as my main keyboard, and I no longer want to have a 35lbs second-tier board. A 12-lbs, $999 board is all about compromise, but I think it very slightly beats the drawbar sound of the XK-1c in the upper octave or two, even if it suffers in the C/V / percussion / overdrive comparison.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the info to think about...

 

I have to agree, the VR700 and 760 had a keyboard action that I just love. A nice blend of piano and organ feel, I always instantly enjoyed the feel of them. It the stiff organ feel (SK1, Nord) that I can't deal with when playing pianos or EPs. I wish those companies would release a VR700 style action.

 

Interesting Craig mentioned that the VR09 is based on the VK7 organ. That seems odd to me, I thought it was generally accepted that the VK8 organ engine was better? Would they actually use that old an organ engine in a new keyboard?

 

I quite enjoyed my VK8M...the C/V on it was fantastic, whereas any VK7s I have played I thought were missing quite a bit.

 

Can't wait until tomorrow! I should have a VR700 and a VR09 side-by-side to try out. (unless it sold on Saturday)

Electro 5, NI Kontrol S61/49, MX49, PC3, Rev2, Prologue, Pro3, Juno-DS, Mopho Keys, SE02, drums, tons of synth software, guitars, amps, and pedals...help me!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting Craig mentioned that the VR09 is based on the VK7 organ. That seems odd to me, I thought it was generally accepted that the VK8 organ engine was better? Would they actually use that old an organ engine in a new keyboard?

 

Can't wait until tomorrow! I should have a VR700 and a VR09 side-by-side to try out. (unless it sold on Saturday)

 

I was told this by my Roland Rep.. he said that the developers based the VR-09 engine on the VK7 because it was "grittier" (his words) and preferred based on user feedback.

 

It will be interesting to hear what you think of the two when you have them side by side.

Craig MacDonald

Hammond BV, Franken-B (A100 in a BV cabinet), Leslies 122/147/44W, Crumar Mojo, HX3 module, Korg Kronos, VR-09, Roland GAIA, Burn, Ventilator

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It the stiff organ feel (SK1, Nord) that I can't deal with when playing pianos or EPs. I wish those companies would release a VR700 style action.

Roland makes their own actions; Nord and Hammond are dependent on Fatar (though Hammond also uses their own action on pricier boards). The Nord seems stiffer/springier than the SK1, which in turn seems a bit stiffer than the Numa Organ, even though they are all based on the same Fatar mechanism... and they all feel more resistant than the VR700/VK8.

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. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just noticed this gem, listed above: iluvchiclets, you might want to check out AlanV's VR-760 listed in the KC Garage Sale. To me, that's a very cool option that covers much of the ground between the VR-700 and VR-09 - especially if you take advantage of the SRX expansions slots. I had a VR-760 from '03 to '06, and had, IIRC, the Ultimate Keys SRX card (the one with the uber comprehensive set of acoustic samples and synth tones). The VR-760, with a synth heavy SRX card, would be my choice over either the VR-700 or VR-09.

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Geeze I'm actually excited to see what you end up buying also. I've owned both of these boards back to back and it's a no brainer for me.. At least for my application. The 700 keybed is a pure joy to play.. Can really dig into it. I have also owned the vk8m and prefer the vk8 engine more than the VR09.. If the overdrive on the VR09 was friendlier.. I would probably have enjoyed it more. The clean Organ sounds on the VR09 are nice. Which one has the better rotary Sim.. Pretty subjective I think.. I think the VR700 edges ahead a bit but some might disagree. It might be more how the overdrive on the VR700 interacts with the rotary Sim is what I am liking. The VR09 effect knobs were pretty nice.. And I found some nice uses for the dual rotary effect.

Jay

www.soundcloud.com/high-diving-act

www.yournewneighbors.com

www.mclovinmusic.com

Nord Stage 3 Compact, Korg Krome EX, Novation Summit, Roland RD88 & Edge, Spectrasonic Keyscape

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know it's not out, yet,but doesn't the new fa06/08 have a better organ engine than the 09, minus the drawbars? The 2000 sn and pcm sounds notwithstanding, and the 06 weighs the same as the 09.

RIght... if you don't actually need to adjust drawbars mid-song, it looks like the FA-06 will generally be much better than the VR-09. (With the possible exception of a report about possible MIDI limitations in the FA.) The VR sill still be cheaper, and have those drawbars for real-time manipulation; but overall, the FA seems to have it all over the VR-09.

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. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anyone know, do the VR-700 and VR-760 have the same keyboard feel? Are they in fact the same action, apart from the fact that the VR-760 has aftertouch?

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. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know it's not out, yet,but doesn't the new fa06/08 have a better organ engine than the 09, minus the drawbars? The 2000 sn and pcm sounds notwithstanding, and the 06 weighs the same as the 09.

RIght... if you don't actually need to adjust drawbars mid-song, it looks like the FA-06 will generally be much better than the VR-09. (With the possible exception of a report about possible MIDI limitations in the FA.) The VR sill still be cheaper, and have those drawbars for real-time manipulation; but overall, the FA seems to have it all over the VR-09.

I think that the original question was whether or not the FA has a better organ engine than the VR..? I'm not certain, but I think the answer is no... obviously there is no drawbars for live manipulation, and neither are there the same dedicated buttons etc.. I also expect that, like the Jupiter series, the FA organ probably lacks certain features (although I can't say that for sure because I don't know and haven't read the full FA thread)..

 

I do think that the introduction of the FA series, and it's price point, does make you ask yourself whether you prefer a "workstation" or a "bread n butter" all-in-one keyboard.

 

There are advantages, and disadvantages to both. The VR is an organ first, with it's drawbars and other dedicated buttons/controls, and the FA is a workstation that may have an accessible drawbar organ within it (that perhaps can be made to work/sound as good as the VR with an external set of Ocean Beach Drawbars etc)..

 

It is really nice to have all these options, from the same company, not to mention all the other sub-$1500 boards!!

Craig MacDonald

Hammond BV, Franken-B (A100 in a BV cabinet), Leslies 122/147/44W, Crumar Mojo, HX3 module, Korg Kronos, VR-09, Roland GAIA, Burn, Ventilator

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't say for certain. I'm guessing that since they're still the flat-front keys, they most likely are but I haven't spent enough time in a store toying with the action on a VR-700.

 

To me, the VR-760 feels more like a B3 action with a little more resistance to make it a bit more friendly for piano stuff, but still quick enough for organ licks.

Nord Stage 2 SW73, Kurzweil PC3LE7, Moog Sub 37, Alesis Ion, Rhodes Stage 73, Moog Werkstatt-01, Yamaha CP-300

-------------

Knock knock

Who's there?

Interrupting synthesizer

Interrup-MOOOOOOOOOG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ultimately I was unable to make a decision on one or the other while playing both the Roland VRs. Because I was looking at between $850 and $1130 (which is a heck of a lot of money for me!) I decided to let my emotions cool for a bit before committing to a purchase.

 

- I loved the immediacy of all the controls on the VR09. I did a bit of editing on the VR700 while I was playing, and I could figure out for the most part what I was doing without a manual in front of me (leakage level, click-on click-off level, Organ Type, Leslie type, etc.) but it sure was nice to have a screen on the VR09!

 

- I might actually prefer the organ engine on the VR09!? I can't quite put my finger on it, but it did sound different. One play on the VR700, and I remembered my VK8M instantly whereas the VR09 makes me play a bit differently and takes me different places...

 

- Prefer the action, build, and almost all the real-EP sounds on the VR700 over the VR09. (Preferred the Wurli on the VR09 I think?)

 

It was very difficult to walk away from such a great price on the VR700, but I was getting the impression I wanted to buy something just because it was a good price. Coupled with the thought of the FA06 around the corner made me think I should hold off until that arrives. I am really interested in hearing the organ engine included in that keyboard. (Does anyone know of any clips where they demonstrate the organ on the FA? Especially if they have any C/V going on?)

 

Thank you all again for the great insights in this post. I have learned a lot more about these two keyboards in a very short period of time.

Electro 5, NI Kontrol S61/49, MX49, PC3, Rev2, Prologue, Pro3, Juno-DS, Mopho Keys, SE02, drums, tons of synth software, guitars, amps, and pedals...help me!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand that this is a very hard decision.. and yes it's a lot of money (and lot's of money is a relative thing) however, if you put this into perspective comparing either of these against the prices of clones 4-5 years ago.. you couldn't get any drawbar organ for much less than $2500.. That makes these fantastic options.

 

As I said I think the VR-09 sounds better (for the most part) but the VR-700 will play better given it's keyboard... Beyond that, the VR-09 has a lot of other advantages over the 700, and we've already gone over that so I won't repeat myself.

 

I think the FA is a big question.. as a workstation it has a lot of advantages over the VR.. and if it's organ engine is good, and it can be addressed by an external set of drawbars (or inexpensive fader controller) it might well be a great option. My sense is, is that the FA organ will lack some functionality, like the implementation in the Jupiter series.. which if I'm not mistaken lacks C/V?

 

Keep us posted on how things are progressing for you.. and if there's anything else we can help with just ask.

Craig MacDonald

Hammond BV, Franken-B (A100 in a BV cabinet), Leslies 122/147/44W, Crumar Mojo, HX3 module, Korg Kronos, VR-09, Roland GAIA, Burn, Ventilator

Link to comment
Share on other sites

agitato,

 

I'm not sure that any of us know the answer to that question, yet, but I was suggesting that the FA organ will not be better. I think its more likely that the implementation of the VK/R organ in the FA will be the same as the Jupiter series where some functionality was lacking (C/V).

 

I don't think it makes any sense for Roland to put a "better" organ in the FA, when the FA lacks drawbars and other dedicated organ controls.. just my opinion.

 

I think we will have to wait until we see/hear some FA organ demos or we get our hands on one..

Craig MacDonald

Hammond BV, Franken-B (A100 in a BV cabinet), Leslies 122/147/44W, Crumar Mojo, HX3 module, Korg Kronos, VR-09, Roland GAIA, Burn, Ventilator

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds are irrelevant if you want to play real organ parts.

 

Functionality is more important than sound quality. Played a super simple tune last called Jingo. Right hand 1,2,and 3 plays a Bm triad. 3,4,5 fingers are used to morph through Bm, Bm6 and Bm7 through the whole tune. What makes the organ part are the on the fly tonebar adjustment. Especially on the intro when the organ is kind of out there nekkid and alone.

 

For Organ stuff, interface and functionality is the instrument. It is better to play on an old Hammond B-3000 than the latest version of VB3 with no controls.

"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

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keep us posted on how things are progressing for you.. and if there's anything else we can help with just ask.

Thank you for the kind words, Craig.

 

I couldn't agree with you more about the wonderful gear we can get our hands on these days. Interesting point about the FA organ...if there was no leakage or C/V I wouldn't even consider it. I did notice on one demo clip there was someone adjusting drawbars in groups of 3 (or was it four) using sliders I think? That would probably do for me, as I mostly just use the first three drawbars!!

Electro 5, NI Kontrol S61/49, MX49, PC3, Rev2, Prologue, Pro3, Juno-DS, Mopho Keys, SE02, drums, tons of synth software, guitars, amps, and pedals...help me!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...