NEW UPDATE: Roland has just upgraded and replaced their HP507 & LX15 with new improved models for 2014 which are called HP508 and LX15e. The all new key actions, piano sound dynamics, pedaling, and other aspects of these new models have been redesigned to offer even more piano playing realism. The differences between these 2 new models are cabinet and speaker system. Go to the following link to read my review of the new models: HP508 Review Continuing with this review, the HP507 is traditional cabinet is available in three finishes including the satin brown rosewood (left pic), satin black, and the higher priced polished ebony cabinet. The polished ebony finish is priced at about $700 more discount selling price (depending on the local dealer) than the standard satin brown rosewood & satin black color. For the standard colors the HP507 retails at $5499US and store discount price is approximately $4499US (depending on the local dealer). Other top of the line traditional cabinet digital pianos in other brands are around the same price for their models (give or take), so being at around $4500 and up for a top of the line traditional cabinet piano is not unusual.
|LX15 polished ebony|
I really like the LX15 because the sound has even more presence when playing through this upright cabinet and the design makes you feel like you are playing a real acoustic piano. Some people may ask, "at that price maybe I should just get a regular acoustic upright piano instead?" That's a fair question and I do personally play Yamaha, Kawai, and Steinway grand & upright pianos so I know what that playing experience is like. However, I would say in response that the Roland LX15 does give you a great amount of piano sound & key action control along with being able to practice privately through headphone jacks for silent practice. The playing experience is quite "organic" in my opinion and similar to playing a high quality upright or grand piano. In fact, these Roland digital pianos rival some of the most popular acoustic upright pianos that piano teachers own such as the famous Yamaha U1 & U3, and Kawai K3 & K5, as well as some of the Yamaha & Kawai baby grand pianos. This is because of Roland's accurate key action response and piano sound dynamics, along with an organic playing experieince that is hard to find on digital pianos.
The Roland digital pianos also have a USB output to connect with computers and iPad for useful piano education apps & software including writing and printing out your own music as you play, using built-in recording and playback functions to help you learn songs better, and just experiencing the shear fun of using other instrument sounds with the piano and creating music in a special way that you cannot do on a regular acoustic piano. In this way you can have a fine piano playing and listening experience along with utilizing technology in a way that motivates people to want to play music even more...and that's always a good thing.
|PHAIII Advanced key action|
The Roland key action also incorporates a grand piano simulation movement with a "let-off/escapement mechanism" (left pic) which allows for greater note repetition and dynamics. This key movement simulates the key action feel of a grand piano as opposed to an upright piano, and of the major brands, only Roland & Kawai have this feature in digital pianos retailing under $8000. When you press the keys down slowly on a real grand piano, you can feel a slight hesitation or notch about half way down when the key action is moving and this is called the escapement or let-off effect. Generally speaking, upright acoustic pianos do not have this feature but grand pianos do. Is this let-off/escapement feature a necessity for playing a piano?...not really...but it's cool to have because it does offer even better note/key repetition and playing accuracy, especially for more advanced players:) The piano key tops are coated in a synthetic ivory material which duplicates the feel of the older acoustic pianos which had real ivory keys. This substance helps absorb sweat from the fingers and offers a smoother playing experience. It also looks a bit classier than the all white keys and I personally like the ivory key playing experience.
info. The HP507 & LX15 have slightly better display screens than the lower priced Roland pianos which I have reviewed in an earlier post. You change change the "tonality" of these pianos by increasing or decreasing the brilliance or mellowness of the piano & instrument sounds and you can take any two sounds and layer them together or split them separately on either side of the keyboard. The pianos also have the duet twin piano feature which lets you electronically divide the 88-keys into two identical 44-key keyboards playing the same notes in the same octaves so that two people can play the same music at the same time. It's a great feature for teacher-student, parent-child, etc, and many of the top brands are including that feature in their pianos too. The HP307 & LX15 have 100 levels of touch sensitivity to give a person detailed control over the way the sound reacts to your touch as you play the keys. In other words, you can customize the reaction of the sound to your playing style depending if you normally strike the keys with more or less force. This can be helpful for not only professional players but also for beginners too.
|General MIDI sound|
|Roland iPad App|
|LX15 ebony with closed cover|
|Roland LX15 w/optional grand bench|
If you want more info on new digital pianos and LOWER PRICES than internet discounts, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call direct at 602-571-1864.