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roland rd-500 vs. rd-600


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I dont know much about the RD 500 but I owned and played an RD 600 for about 3 years from 1994 to 1997. I remember it being similiar in some ways to the new RD pianos. It was very easy to navigate and create splits, layers, set ups, add effects, etc.


It had several very good piano sounds that worked very well in a band setting. Also the Rhodes sounds were quite good as were the wurlies.

I remember putting on a slight tremelo to a dirty wurlie sound and using that sound alot.

The organ sounds were passable but I hardly ever used them, I had a dedicated clone for organ.


The reason I sold it was it weighed well over 60 lbs and at the time I was having trouble with my lower back and also my right wrist was hurting. For a few years I went with a light 76 key unweighted board. Since then I've learned how to treat and deal with both back and wrist and now both are in better shape and I'm now using a Roland RD 300SX which weighs in at 35lbs. While many find the 300's keyboard action lacking the feel of a "real acoustic" it's a good compromise for me and I've had no wrist problems while playing it and practicing on a Yamaha P70.


To this day once in a while I still see and hear someone using the RD 600 and I'm surprised at just how good it still sounds.


Maybe someone who has had a Roland RD500 can compare with the 600 for you.



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I currently own an RD-600 but stopped using on gigs due to the weight. I used it on single engagement gigs for years, but was starting to really dread moving it to the gig and back home. It now sits in my studio and I use it as a midi controller and it does that very well.


I replaced the RD600 with an RD300SX and the 35 pounds weight is wonderful. The excellent action and the great sounds on the 300SX are a definite step up from the RD600 on a live gig. The 600 has more midi controller options , a heavier action that the 300SX, but not as many voices, no rhythm, and only 64 voice polyphony vs the 300SX's 128 voices. You can hear note dropout on the 600 when playing, especially layers, but I never hear that on the 300SX. I think, but am not certain, that the piano samples on the 600 were improved from the RD500.

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I played the RD-500 starting when it came out (96??) until I bought the RD-700sx this year. There was basically 1 piano patch on the 500 that I really really liked, and used live/studio. When the 600 came out, it was improved in many ways, I felt. MIDI/controller features, newer sounds, action, etc. (I think the 500 got beat up a little in review on MIDI features). But the 600 didn't have my beloved piano patch - - so I stuck with my 500. If you're trying to decide between the 500 and the 600 - - you'll probably end up with the 600. But keyboards such as the RD700sx and the Yamaha SY90ES are so vastly enhanced in every way.
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