Roland CG-1 - REVIEW | Digital Mini-Grand Piano | Costco 2022

Roland CG-1 & GP607 photo
Roland CG-1
🎹 UPDATED REVIEW - Nov 1, 2022 - Roland CG-1 Digital Piano - $4999 Costco price | The Roland music & audio products company has been around for decades and is a very well known pro and home digital piano company. Roland international headquarters is in Japan but they do not make their products in Japan. They are produced in Malaysia, Indonesia, and China and have been reliable and durable instruments throughout the years. 

I have personally played on hundreds of Roland products in my long music career and I like their music technology and innovations. Costco is the place that has exclusively been selling this Roland CG-1 model although the mainstream version of the CG-1, called the Roland GP607, has been available at regular piano stores that carry Roland home digital pianos in the US and that model also sells for $4999 discount price, plus tax. There are obviously some advantages in buying products at Costco but there are also advantages to buying the upgraded mainstream model from a real piano store on-line or locally.

lower prices than Amazon or internet


Roland CG-1 & GP607 photo
Roland GP607
The Roland CG1 is actually not a new model as far as the Roland technology goes. In fact, this piano has been out on the market for over 6 years. The mainstream piano store model GP607 is identical to this CG1 at Costco in design, color, cabinet, bench, overall technology, external Roland proprietary apps for tablets, and has the same warranty. On the CG-1, Costco has been including shipping and delivery to your home street level so that has been a benefit to the purchase of that model. Of course the the local & state sales tax would need to be paid which can add another $300 to $500 onto the selling price. So this piano is no small purchase, that's for sure. 

Just so you know, the better, mainstream Roland GP607 mini-grand sells at discount price in piano stores at around $6300. So although the GP607 is more money than the price on the CG-1, the GP607 has some features and functions not offered in the CG-1, as I mentioned earlier. Also when you work with a Roland piano store then you get access to product specialists who can help you learn and understand functions & features on the GP607 which is a good thing and that can have extra value because there is no one at Costco who can do that for you. 

Roland CG-1 & GP607 photo
So why would someone want to buy a Roland CG1 mini-digital grand? Well, for starters, it looks attractive in its 3' deep polished ebony cabinet with a dark simulated mahogany color interior and 1-position lid. The speaker system is fairly nice but I have heard the speaker system in person and it is a bit weak in terms of bass response. The piano internal speaker system has 70 watts of total power going through 5 speakers (4 smaller and 1 larger) which is identical to the GP607 But in terms of a big, bold, rich sound this CG-1 does not come close to a real baby grand piano and other home digital grand pianos such as the newer Yamaha CLP-765 ($5999). 

 I would suggest that if you do want a baby grand cabinet digital piano, the much newer and more upgraded Yamaha CLP-765GP at $5999 is the better buy with regards to the actual piano playing experience. See my review of that model at the following link: Yamaha CLP-765GP Review

Roland CG-1 & GP607 photo
So what makes the Roland CG-1 different than its more popular counterpart, the Roland GP607 which is available at regular piano stores that carry Roland digital pianos? First of all, the CG-1 has 40% fewer instrument sounds on-board which makes the GP607 more versatile in what it offers in the way of non-piano instrument sounds. Since there are 307 tones in the GP607 then there is about 40% less than that in the CG1. There are 716 internal songs in the GP607 to listen to and play along with so you can learn to play different music by listening to the songs and also seeing some of them in digital sheet music form in your iPad or Android tablet in the GP607. 

But in the CG-1 there is about 80% fewer learning songs than that and there is no access to the more well known piano curriculum that the GP607 has such as Czerny and many more. The CG-1 has less digital memory slots to save your settings and the accessories that come with the CG-1 are cheaper quality and there are less of them. Both pianos have a small LCD user display interface and there are many other digital features on both models for recording and playback, sound editing, and other things.

Roland CG-1 & GP607 photo
However, as far as the piano playing experience goes on the CG-1, there is no difference between it and the regular Roland GP607 other than the internal speaker system which can definitely have an impact on the sound. It's the same key action, same piano sound chip, and same pedaling...so that is a good thing. Roland uses a proprietary piano sound chip, key action, and pedaling system and they are all good. Roland's key action is a somewhat firm as compared to most real acoustic grand piano (and other digital pianos) that I have played so there is a big difference there, but it is still overall enjoyable to play as far as key action goes. The piano Roland CG-1 & GP607 photo sound is different than any other digital piano brand because Roland is exclusively using only physical modeling technology rather than "sampled recording" so there is a noticeable difference in the realism of the piano sound. 

Piano sound in a digital piano is not only dependent on the internal speaker system, but it's also very dependent on the quality of the original piano sound in the sound chip. Since Roland does not actually sample record a real acoustic piano anymore, they have chosen to use a technology called Physical Modeling. Physical Modeling creates a sound from "nothing" In other words, the sound or sounds are done entirely with mathematical algorithms in the virtual world.  

Yamaha CLP665GP digital grand piano photo
Yamaha CLP765GP
However, in music and reproducing instrument sounds, Physical Modeling can sometimes sound artificial because the technology is not starting off with the real thing, namely an actual acoustic grand piano. I have played these Roland (and other) digital pianos that use only physical modeling technology and the result can sometimes sound good, but also sometimes sounds noticeably artificial depending on what how you are playing the piano, what notes you are using and how they are all resonating together, and also how you are using your sustain pedal with various notes sustaining together. 

Overall the physical modeling technology is pretty good but in my opinion it would be much better if it was a combination of Physical modeling and sampled recording combined together. This can be found in the Yamaha digital grand pianos such as the newer CLP-765 (as I mentioned earlier) which sells on-line at just $5999 internet discount price. Also, the Yamaha digital grand is about 9" deeper than the Roland so that increase in cabinet depth makes the piano look more realistic and sound more realistic. But it is the piano sound quality and realism in the newer Yamaha that really outshines the Roland in our opinion.


Roland CG-1 & GP607 photo
Roland CG-1

Personally I like the piano sound in a digital piano to be either sampled (but the sampling has to be high quality) and not what is in some of the cheap mini or micro grands, or have a combination of both sampling and physical modeling which a few of them do now. Having a combination of both sound technologies is the best way to achieve the most authenticity in a digital piano but that generally costs more money to do. But that's just my opinion as far as the piano sound experience goes in digital pianos and you may enjoy the Roland piano sound technology and what it does for you. So when you combine the look of the CG-1 cabinet along with the piano sound, key action movement, and pedaling along with a number of fun and useful features, the Roland CG-1 at Costco can be a good purchase, especially if you like the look of the smaller mini-grand piano cabinet. 

I will say that the lower priced Artesia mini grand pianos that you may have seen advertised at Costco come nowhere close to this model or any other others mentioned here in any way shape, or form as far as the authenticity of the piano playing experience you would get from it or those other cheaper pianos. The Roland and Yamaha blows away the Artesia and lower quality brands such as Williams & Suzuki. 

Roland CG-1 & GP607 photo
At the end of the day, if you want the look of a mini digital grand piano but you want it to be higher quality and stay under $6000, then there are really only a few good choices out there right now as far as I am concerned, and I have played all of them. Given that I am a long time piano teacher and pro musician, I have a lot of experience with these instruments. You can choose either the Samick SG500 mini digital grand, at $5299, the Roland CG-1 mini digital grand (the subject of this review) at $4999, the Roland Roland CG-1 & GP607 photo GP607 mini digital grand at $4999, the new Kawai DG30 micro digital grand at $5999, or the Yamaha CLP-765GP mini digital grand at $5999. Yamaha also makes a 4' deep mini digital grand called the CLP-795GP which recently came out and it looks beautiful and plays even more like a real grand piano than the others. However, that one sells for a higher price of $8199 internet discount price in polished ebony. If you intend for this purchase to be a long term investment, then I recommend you do it right the first time. 

Roland CG-1 & GP607
Whatever digital piano you decide to invest in, I suggest you do your homework, especially in this higher price range and then contact me before you do anything because I can help you with purchasing any of these models (with the exception of the Costco versions) for less money in the US than ad or internet discount price along with being able to get free shipping, no tax, and delivery, but only while supplies are available at the manufacturer US warehouses. I will also give you helpful free unbiased and experienced advice so you can make a good piano purchase decision.
 
If you want more info on new digital pianos and LOWER PRICES than internet discounts, please email me at tim@azpianowholesale.com or call direct at 602-571-1864.

3 comments:

Jakob said...

Need Advice From Professional. I want to buy a digital piano . Is it more physically difficult to play wooden keys , plastic weighted , or carbon fiber hybrid wood / plastic keys ? I have shoulder and wrist pain after playing for a few hours each day on a Casio Privia PX 750. I was wanting to purchase a Yamaha CLP 795 or a Kawaii CA 79 … I am an intermediate level player no lessons , play by ear . Can someone please get back to me about this ? I enjoy these reviews emmensely !

Tim Praskins - AZ Piano Reviews said...

The Kawai key action in the CA79 and CA99 has a lighter key action than the Yamaha CLP-795GP. Depends what you prefer in that way.

Anonymous said...

This was incredibly helpful. Thank you!