Roland FP-30X REVIEW | Digital Piano 2022 | The Pros & Cons



Roland FP-30X digital piano review 2022
REVIEW UPDATE
- June 1, 2022 - Roland FP-30X Digital Piano - The Roland FP-30X portable digital piano at $899 internet discount price (stand & triple pedal optional) is the 2022 update of the previous FP-30 which was out for a number of years and is now discontinued. The new Roland "X' series portable digital pianos for 2022 consist of the FP-30X, FP-60X at $1249, and FP-90X at $2499. The FP-30X and higher priced FP-60X have a lot of similar features but the FP-90X is entirely different when it comes to the actual piano playing experience and it has additional features the FP-60X does not have. 

But in the price range under $1000 the newer FP-30X is Roland's newest portable 88 weighted key digital piano with built-in internal speakers and comes in both a black cabinet and white cabinet. Below the FP-30X is the Roland FP-10 at $499 but the new Roland FP-30X will be the more popular model. (please click on pics for larger view) If you want to read my review on the FP-60X then go to the following link: Roland FP-60X Review

FIRST IMPRESSIONS


First Impressions of the Roland FP-30X
After playing this new model for many hours (yes, I have actually played it unlike most other reviewers out there who rarely ever play what they talk about because they just make stuff up) I came away from it with a few immediate impressions as compared to the previous model FP-30 (no X).
At first I thought I liked this piano overall and for its $899 price as was definitely competitive in this price range. It had a responsive key action, big, full piano sound coming out of its powerful internal speaker system, a Roland FP-30X piano with music rack
wide and expressive dynamic piano tonal range from mellow to bright depending on how hard you strike the keys, and had long, lush sustain and decay time when using the sustain pedal or holding down a key. So at first I was impressed and it even seemed to be more expressive with a greater range of dynamics and musical colors than the previous FP-30 model. I definitely had high expectations for this new piano because the previous one had been about 6 years so I was looking to see if Roland had upgraded and corrected certain things from that model on this new FP-30X. Unfortunately there are a few items that did not get changed that I was hoping to see, so I am disappointed in that way. Check out my 3 concerns below.

Lower Prices than internet or Amazon


Roland FP-30X speaker under piano
1.
Internal speaker system: Although the internal speaker system is powerful and gives great bass response, the 2 speakers themselves are underneath the piano near the ends of the piano and pointing downward towards the floor. This does not position the sound to come up and out of the piano towards your ears in a distinct and clear manner as digital pianos with upward facing speakers can do. So what happens is that the piano sound is somewhat boxy and distant (although it can get plenty loud) because the sound is going down towards the floor rather than (also) coming up towards your ears. You can hear the sound fine and its got plenty of volume and bass as I already mentioned, but it just feels somewhat removed and closed in. 

Again, excellent volume and bass response, but just missing that immediate sound that should otherwise come up out of the top of the piano as well. In this price range for other brands, Yamaha does a good job on their competitive model with their internal speaker system as does Casio on their models with regard to having top speakers. Yes, adding features like extra speakers adds cost to the product, but in my opinion it would have been well worth it.

Roland FP-30X Control panel - no display screen
2.
No LED/LCD display screen: On the FP-30X control panel there is no display screen nor was there on the previous FP-30. Why couldn't Roland have added an updated small display screen on top of the piano and saved me a lot of time and grief? There are many features and functions on the FP-30X (as there were on the former FP30) and when selecting those functions and features its helpful to know what you have selected, so it's just not very intuitive using the current operating system. You have to press a function button (or another button) and then press certain keys on the keyboard in certain octaves to activate the function/feature that you want. It can be confusing, take a bit of time to figure out, and then when you make the change you don't really know what you got. With a  display screen it can display the name of the function, sound, or feature so you know what you have selected and can be reminded of it when you look in the display screen. 

Roland Piano Everyday App
If the FP-30X only had a few sounds and functions then a built-in display screen would not be necessary. But the FP-30X has over 50 instrument sounds along with all kinds of cool "bells & whistles" which are just more difficult to access from the piano itself without a display screen and when you do access those sounds and features you usually don't know what you have or how much of something you have.
Roland actually has a solution to this situation using a tablet/mobile so you can connect your external device such as a tablet to the piano USB output jack and then bring up all the names of the instrument sounds on the Roland proprietary "Piano Every Day" app and easily select them from there. 

This is true of other (but not all) functions and features on the piano where you can select many of them from the Roland apps...and they work well that way. But...without the app on your device and your device being used to control the piano features and see what you are getting, the piano alone cannot do that in a visual or intuitive way. 

LCD display screen
For me I don't always want to rely on an external device to more intuitively access functions on the piano, plus the app has different pages and areas that you need to navigate through to get to where you want to go. An LED/LCD screen on the piano such as the one in this example from another brand and model would have made the experience so much better and more immediate. The digital piano companies who do the best job with regard to offering a really good intuitive navigation experience of their features and functions in this general price range under $1000 is the Casio with their PX-S3000 and the Yamaha with their DGX-670. 

I was really looking for that to happen in this new Roland...but it didn't. If Roland could have offered that feature, even for $50 more at $849, it would have been more than worth it in my opinion. I will say that a couple other digital pianos in this price range have the same issue with no display screen so Roland is not the only one. 

Stretch tuning in the Roland FP-30X
3.
Piano Stretch Tuning: This is a feature that many digital pianos have in trying to recreate the way piano tuners tune real acoustic pianos. When a real piano is tuned, the technician who tunes the piano generally uses a process called "stretch tuning." In essence this means that the higher octave strings are tuned somewhat sharp and the lower octave strings are generally tuned somewhat flat to even out the frequencies and different pitches the vibrating strings create. This type of tuning allows the piano sound to be more resonate and full and still be in tune when playing various notes together at the same time such as full chords or partial chords. Doing the stretch tuning method in the proper way is critical because if not done right, the piano can sound "out of tune" or "sharp" to some people when playing certain notes or chords together at the same time. 

Piano tuning pitch
In the Roland FP-30X as it was in the former FP-30, the stretch tuning mode is permanent and cannot be shut off...and that's not a good thing in my opinion. In a real piano if you don't like the stretch tuning your piano tuner did in the piano, you can have it redone or changed, or just hire another tuner to do it differently so it sounds better to you. But in many digital pianos you cannot change it or shut it off if they have used a stretch tuning method for the general piano tuning of that model. 
When I play certain notes together on the FP-30X, especially when one or more of those notes are in the lower octaves combined with playing one or more notes in higher octaves, it sounds like the piano is out of tune or too "sharp" when those notes are played together. In fact, Roland specifically addresses this situation in their owners manual by saying that a person might "perceive the pitch as being incorrect," but that is the way a real piano is tuned, so it's normal and Roland says that's the way a real piano should sound. 

piano stretch tuning chart
The problem with that statement is that tuning a real piano using the stretch tuning method is somewhat tricky and if not done right the piano will actually sound "out of tune" or sharp when playing certain notes together, as I just previously described.
In other words, on the FP-30X some notes when combined together as part of a chord (whether the notes are played one at a time or altogether) sound way to "sharp" for my ears. I am not talking about just "regular piano tuning" but the particular process of the "stretch tuning" model that Roland employs in this model. I personally know good piano tuners as well as having played many fine acoustic pianos myself, so I know what a piano tuning can sound like when it is done well, especially for the recreational player. 

I have also played all of the major digital pianos out there and I can tell you from my personal experience the Roland FP-30X (like its predecessor) sounds much more "sharp" to my ears when I play certain notes together (using the preset piano sounds) than other digital pianos do, and quite honestly it bothers me and that is why I am mentioning it. In fact, I have not talked about the subject of piano "stretch" tuning on any other brand of digital piano because I have not had issues with it like this one.

Roland FP-30X stretch tuning disclaimer
Knowing that Roland has mentioned this "issue" in their owners manual means that they are aware of it, but they suggest that it is the piano owner's hearing (their ears) and the way they perceive the sound and it is not the fault of the FP-30X.
So in other words...it's your problem and not theirs. I am here to tell you that although there are people out there who may not be as sensitive to the stretched tuning (sharp notes) in the FP-30X and the prior FP-30 as I am, and they may not necessarily hear it being that "sharp" in a relative way when playing certain notes together, there are other people who are definitely more sensitive to it and definitely hear it. 

For them, it is out of tune (sharp) when they play certain notes in certain octaves together when playing a song. I can easily replicate this situation on the FP-30X but on other digital pianos that use the stretch tuning method, either they do a better job of it than Roland in this case, or they have a "user" way of shutting off the "stretch" tuning mode and just have it be regular tuning, if it should bother you.  

Piano stretch tuning chart 2
So for me personally, I am disappointed that Roland did not improve the stretch tuning results from the previous FP-30 on this new FP-30X, or at least include an "off position" for the stretch tuning mode so that you can have that option and instantly take out those sharp notes by doing that.
 I do expect the stretch tuning for the piano sound to be a little bit sharp on occasion when a variety of notes are played together, but definitely not this sharp and noticeable to where it distracts me from playing it. Just to be clear, all 88 notes sound in tune when played one at a time up and down the keyboard, so that's not the issue. 

It's just when 2 or more specific (not all) notes are played together or arpeggiated one at a time in various octaves that this relative "out-of-tune or more sharp" is noticeable and I for one can easily hear it and when it happens it just does not sound good to me. It is especially noticeable on the main "Concert" piano sound setting although I hear it on all the acoustic piano tones. But for other people it may not be an issue at all...just depends on who you are, your expectations, and your piano playing and listening experience. 

By the way, the specific notes that are sharp when played together can vary depending if you are using the "Concert," Ballad," Mellow," or Bright" piano settings. Not totally sure why that is...but it differs in which notes are sharp depending on what piano sound you are using. Anyway, enough said about that. 

* Want to know more about "stretch tuning" and why it can be a mysterious subject? Check out the following links to two short, concise videos explaining why stretch tuning is necessary in acoustic pianos and what is done to get it. By the way, if you don't totally understand these video explanations then I will not be surprised...it is not an easy subject to learn about...but they should help. Stretch Tuning video #1   Stretch tuning video #2

PHA-4 STANDARD KEY ACTION


Roland PHA-4 standard key action
The Roland FP-30X graded and piano weighted key action is the same as they had in the previous FP-30 and that key action is called PHA-4 Standard all plastic key action. The PHA-4 Standard is used in 5 Roland digital piano models around or under $1500 and one model that sells for around $2300 called the HP702. So the FP-30X is not the only model that has it. 
The white keys on this key action have a synthetic ivory coating on top of them to give it a more of a smooth classic feel and the black keys have a top matte finish that is very nice and feels good under the fingers. Also within this key action, Roland has an "escapement feature" which tries to recreate the notch or slight hesitation why pressing the keys down very slowly about half way. 

This "feeling" that you get when playing in this way from the escapement simulation is OK and the goal is to give you the same feeling you would have when doing this on a real acoustic grand piano. It does give that feeling in a small way but really isn't critical to playing in my opinion and for most people it will not make a difference because you only feel this sensation when playing very slowly and softly and then it's like there is a slight momentary bump when the key gets down about half way. 

If you are just playing normally with regular key action movement then you don't feel this escapement sensation at all and it is that way on a real grand piano. On real upright acoustic pianos you never feel any escapement because there is none to feel. It's only a characteristic of a real grand piano. So as far as this "escapement feature" goes, it's fine to have it but for me it is more about marketing and not as much about giving you a noticeably better playing experience, and that goes for the other brands who have this feature as well.

Moving key upweight and downweight
One of the biggest concerns in any key action is how it moves and how light or heavy it might be. What I mean by light or heavy is how much finger force it takes to press down the keys from a key resting position and that is called "down-weight" or "touch-weight."
In a real acoustic grand piano (and any acoustic or digital piano) the finger force on middle C is measured in grams. The average gram down-weight force on middle C in a good grand piano is about 55 grams or a bit less ) based on my experience with them), and the key action weight for all 88 keys can be set up by a trained piano technician. 

One of the reasons for this kind of "proper weighting" is so that your fingers, hands, and wrists don't get fatigued and tired out after playing for a while and that there is enough key weight to move in an expressive way. There is also something called "up-weight force" which is how much force the keys will push your fingers back up once you press the key down. It's kind of like what a spring would do to your fingers if you pressed it down...but piano key actions are specially weighted and are not controlled by springs. 

Roland PHA-4 standard black & white key weight
On the new Roland FP-30X the down-weight force is about 64 grams on middle C and upweight force is about 34 grams based on my measurements.
That's actually pretty good overall and it's responsive, although this measurement does make the key action a bit heavier/firmer than a couple other brands out there and definitely a bit heavier than many real acoustic grand and upright pianos I have played. For instance, the Kawai RHC key action in their ES110 digital piano at $899  measures approx 56 grams down-weight on middle C and about 36 grams for up-weight based on my measurements, so that key action is lighter and easier to play if that is important to you. Some people definitely enjoy playing lighter key actions better and there are others who want it to be somewhat firmer under the fingers. Regular pianos can vary a bit in terms of the key weight and so do digital pianos as in the ones I mentioned. 

Roland FP-30X key touch
However, there is a digital touch curve setting on the FP-30X that can be set and adjusted for a quicker sound reaction to the keys going down or a slower sound reaction (when and how much sound comes in) when pressing down the keys, and that feature can help a little bit.
 You can set it for light, normal, heavy, etc. But it does not change the actual physical weight of the keys, so it just depends on what you want with regard to how loud the sound comes in when you initially press a key down. 

However, some people say the Roland key action feels a bit heavier to them than what they are used to playing on a real acoustic piano. Regardless, the Roland FP-30X key action is overall responsive, not real heavy, and it moves good in our opinion, especially once you get it going and are playing. Both the black & white keys are balanced well and have a similar down-weight force which is good.

Roland PHA-4 standard triple sensor
This PHA-4 Standard key action also has 3 electronic key sensors under each key which can help with giving you a quicker reaction to key repetition.
When you are playing faster pieces of music and the keys are moving quickly, key sensors sense where the key is located at any given moment. Some key actions have 2 sensors per key and others have 3 key sensors per key. Having 3 key sensors is a good thing and can help in key repetition recognition when playing faster or when the key is about halfway down and you are repeating the note at that point. Roland offers the most sensors in this model with 3 of them per note whereas other brands may not have 3 key sensors. So in the case of the FP-30X this PHA-4 key action does a very good job in that way.

Roland PHA-4 standard plastic key action
With regard to key action noise that can occur in digital piano key actions, when the keys are actually moving, some of the key actions out there are physically noisier than others.
When the keys go down and hit bottom then they can make noise or when they are coming back up to resting position then they can make noise that way as well. In my opinion the less noise the keys make, the better, as long as the keys move as much like a real piano as they can without feeling fake or springy. It's always about realism in key movement vs the noise that the keys can make when moving. In the case of the FP-30X, when the keys go down and hit bottom at a medium speed you can hear a somewhat noticeable thumpy sound, especially when playing the piano at lower volumes or using headphones. 

When using headphones other people in the room can hear the keys hitting bottom when you are playing, but as the keys come back up they are quiet so no problem in that way at all. The noise from playing the keys as they go down and hit bottom is fine if you do not play the keys very hard and also if the master volume of the piano sound is at about medium volume, then you really don't hear key noise at all even if you are playing somewhat hard because the piano volume covers up any key noise. So overall I think Roland did a good job, especially as compared to some other brands of digital pianos in this price range like Yamaha.

THE FP-30X PIANO SOUND


Roland SuperNATURAL sound engine
When shopping for a digital piano, the piano sound realism is very important so that you can get good dynamic expression, good smooth tonal changes when playing the keys lightly and increasing velocity by playing with more force, and be able to get
Piano sound wide & smooth dynamic tonal range
great colorful expression.
To that end the FP-30X does an outstanding job and the Roland FP-30X clearly excels in this way when it comes to dynamic tonal expression. Roland calls their piano technology in this model their "SuperNATURAL sound engine. There are 10 total "acoustic piano type sounds" in this piano with 4 of them being the main acoustic "grand piano" sounds which are labeled Concert, Ballad, Mellow, and Bright. 

There are a few other piano sounds including some "upright" piano tones which are good and a very bright rock style piano sound along with a "ragtime" and "magical" piano sound which is like a combination of a plunky sounding upright piano and synthesizer sound mixed together. The stereo sound sampling in this model is very good when it comes to offering a wide dynamic tonal range in the main piano sounds from playing very quietly and softly with more muted tones coming out, all the up to big, bold stereo piano sound as you increase the finger force playing the keys. The main piano sounds really are very expressive and offer noticeably good musical color and I enjoyed that aspect of this piano. 

Piano sound metallic & twangy
However, I did notice that the 4 main piano sounds were basically the same as the previous model FP-30 in that they are still somewhat metallic and twangy in tone when you are playing with a little more force and you hear the more mezzo forte to forte piano volume start having a brighter and noticeably more metallic tone to the sound, especially in the middle octaves on down where many people play.
When you are playing on those keys lightly then it sounds more mellow and normal and I like it, but when you increase finger force playing the keys and start to put some emphasis on getting out a bigger, stronger sound, the results are not only more noticeable dynamic tonal changes on 3 of the "grand piano" tones, which is a good thing, but at the same time striking the keys harder produces a much more metallic and very bright and twangy tone on the Concert, Ballad, and Bright piano sounds. 

This just sounds way too artificial to me. I do expect to hear more metallic sound in the 1st lowest octave because those bass strings are significantly more metallic in sound...but not so much in the higher octaves. The "mellow" piano sound selection is especially mellow and muted when played at different velocities on various keys. 

There is not near as much dynamic tonal change or expression as the other piano sounds have and also sounds unnatural/artificial to me even though it is more mellow and muted...it's just way too muted. I have played other digital pianos with mellow/warm piano sound settings and even though the tone is more mellow which is what you want, you still have a good dynamic tonal range of expression and not just mostly muted.  

Is the FP-30X good for classical music?
In other words, when it comes to the overall 4 main piano sounds, 3 of them are very expressive and fun to play but because of having that more metallic tone to them, in my opinion they are much better for pop, country, ragtime, or Latin music, etc and not as useful for classical music, ballads, or softer music because they are just overall too metallic, twangy, and bright in my opinion.
Other people might disagree with me on that assessment but I have played enough Steinway, Bosendorfer, Bechstein, and Kawai (and other good) acoustic grand pianos to know what sounds more "classical" or natural, and to me the FP-30X piano sound engine could be much better in that way. 

It is true that real piano have some metallic strings in them and when the hammers hit them harder those metallic strings become brighter and sound more metallic, but not to the extent that I hear in the FP-30X. The piano sound sample is just way too overdone and unnatural for my ear. 

The FP-30X does have a digital "brilliance" feature where you can add or subtract some brightness or brilliance to the overall sound of the piano but that does not help the situation I am describing because brilliance control is an overall global effect and doesn't tone down that metallic sound that I am hearing, especially in the middle octaves when using those pianos sounds. 

Roland Piano Designer single note character
Just to let you know, there is a way on the FP-30X to somewhat mitigate this overly metallic sound. You can go into the Roland Piano Designer app on your tablet and connect to the piano and then you can individually change the "single note character" of the piano sound you are using. You can alter the sound character of specific notes and try to reduce the twangy tone of those notes in that way. It actually does work to some degree if you know what you are doing and have a really good ear to manipulate those individual settings so that it comes out good instead of bad. It can be done but it does not totally eliminate the issues but it can help. 

PIANO SOUND POLYPHONY


Digital Piano Polyphony - What does it mean?
Polyphony is another item that shoppers look for in digital pianos when comparing one digital piano to another. The general definition for polyphony is the number of notes or "voices" that can be played simultaneously without any loss of notes that are being heard.
 The word "polyphony" usually applies more to the acoustic piano sound as opposed to the non-acoustic instrument sounds such as strings, choir, organ, etc. In other words as an example, if you were to combine two or more instrument sounds together and play many notes simultaneously on the left and right hand and also use your sustain pedal all at the same time, all of that uses piano processing memory (aka: polyphony) and that processor needs to keep up with the music you are playing. If it cannot keep up then you will hear certain notes suddenly drop out and stop playing. 

Typically digital pianos with more polyphony processing memory can handle more complex music and playing styles as opposed to digital pianos with less polyphony, but even that definition is not always completely true because there are digital piano such as the Korg G1 Air which has a specification of 120 notes of polyphony but the way they do their sound samples adds to that polyphony and makes it work and sound like there is 256 notes. 

The amount of polyphony specification is also more important when you are using sounds layered together or using additional functions and features. However, this does not mean that digital pianos with less polyphony such as 192-note polyphony or 120 notes polyphony (as I just mentioned) cannot do the job and keep up with the music you are playing (even complex piano music) without "note dropout."  

Roland FP-30X is 256 note max polyphony
The FP-30X has 256-note piano polyphony memory which is the most a sampling technology digital piano typically has...and that's in any price range and from all the brands. So as far as polyphony goes, the FP-30X offers the most in its price range over any other brand out there.
The Polyphony specification is based on whether you are playing stereo piano sounds, mono piano sounds, or stereo or mono instrumental non-piano sounds. Also, the way a sound has been sampled and how many individual sampled parts it has will have a bearing on polyphony. 

The FP-30X has up to 256 notes of mono polyphony for a piano tone and it can be a confusing subject but at the end of the day, if the notes don't drop out when playing them in a complex way then you have enough polyphony to do the job, and that's what really counts. In the previous FP-30 model Roland had 128-notes of polyphony and I never had any trouble playing music on that model in terms of the polyphony and did not notice any note dropout or sudden loss of notes being heard. 

Having 256 notes of polyphony in this new model is great but for me having less is definitely not a deal breaker as long as there is no note dropout when playing. Many fine digital pianos have 192-note or 128 notes of polyphony and I have not had issues playing most (but not all) of those pianos, even if I was playing more complex piano music.

PIANO PEDALS


Roland DP2 sustain pedal for FP-30X
When it comes to the 3 pedals on a piano and specifically the sustain pedal, that can be an overlooked item especially when you have never or seldom played piano before.
The sustain/damper pedal is actually very important when playing piano and is definitely one of the fundamental things that needs to work well and work correctly so that your piano music sounds good. The FP-30X comes with one square lightweight plastic pedal called the DP2 that is a basic on-off switch. As those inexpensive small plastic pedals go, it's better than most. The FP-30X is capable of continuous detection variable pedal sustain which can be important to the music you are playing, especially as you become a bit more advanced in your playing skills. When you only have a simple on-off switch sustain pedal then you cannot reproduce what an actual acoustic piano sustain pedal can do. In other words, the basic included pedal will be fine for beginners but because it is small and very lightweight, it will scoot around on the floor when you go to use it and that can be a bit distracting because it never seems to stay in one place. 

Roland DP10 piano style sustain pedal
Roland produces an optional and vastly upgraded piano style single metal sustain pedal called the DP-10. Not only is that pedal heavier, longer, and more robust, the bottom of the pedal can grip more easily to the floor and not move around.
Besides the practical side of this much improved pedal, it can trigger the continuous detection/half-damper sustain effect giving you a more natural piano sustain pedal playing experience. The cost of this optional DP-10 pedal is $54.99 plus tax and personally I think this pedal is a "must" for anyone using a single damper pedal on a Roland portable digital piano. So in my opinion you should definitely add that cost onto your purchase. The Kawai ES110 digital piano at $699 which competes with the Roland FP-30X already comes with a heavy duty single sustain pedal which can trigger the amount of variable sustain/decay that you get when pressing down the pedal so there is no need to spend extra money on that model. Roland should have done the same thing but they didn't and left that expense to you.

Roland KPD70 triple pedal
Roland also has an option furniture triple pedal unit available which gives you all 3 pedals including sustain, sostenuto, and soft pedals and the sustain pedal portion of that triple pedal unit also triggers the variable sustain effect.
The triple pedal unit can also be programmed for 2 of the pedals to trigger specific functions on the piano by pressing down one of those pedals so you don't need to trigger the functions with your fingers on the piano itself. You would need to connect the triple pedal unit directly to the optional furniture stand that Roland produces for this model or the triple pedal unit won't work and be secure. The triple unit is priced at $120 and the optional furniture style stand is priced at $140. But as far as the physical sustain pedal goes, any of the pedal options will work but in the long-run the optional DP-10 pedal is best if you don't need the furniture stand and triple pedal setup. 

PEDAL SUSTAIN-DECAY TIME


Long pedal sustain-decay time
As for the piano sound when sustaining that tone, when you hold down the piano the piano sound is supposed to be big and full and the sustain-decay time should be long and fluid with good sustained volume as well.
In some digital pianos out there the sustained tone and sustain length of time is not very good with low
Pedal sustain time graph
quality sustain and only lasting a short amount of time. With the FP-30X, the quality and quantity of the sustained piano sounds are excellent and far better than most of the other portable digital pianos out there, especially under $1000. The sustained piano tones are lush, big, full, and resonate, and they are balanced well from lower to upper octaves. when notes are played together as chords. You can even hear some of the sympathetic vibrations from the piano sounds as they are sustaining. The sustain-decay time on measured on middle C is about 12 seconds when the sound fades out as you are holding down the pedal, and that's a fairly long time for a digital piano in this price range. The sustain time is longer on lower octaves and shorter on higher octaves and that's typical of all pianos in terms of lower and higher octaves and the amount of sustain you can get. The Roland FP-30X is a winner in this area and I like it very much.

INSTRUMENT SOUNDS


Roland FP-30X instrument sound chart
Ok, now we're going to get off the piano parts of this instrument and onto the other stuff. There are 46 (non acoustic piano) instrument sounds in this instrument including harpsichords, organs, electric pianos, strings, brass, harp, choirs, synthesizers, voices, jazz scat, guitars, and bass.
Other than the competitive Casio PX-S3100 at $879 and Yamaha DGX-670 at $849 having many more instrument sounds, the FP-30X has the most non-piano instruments in its price range. Those instruments also happen to be very good, many are in stereo, and they are a pleasure to play either by themselves or in combination layered with another sound. I really like the string and brass tones along with authentic sounding harpsichords and harps. The synth and pad sounds are also great and fill in nicely when layered with a grand piano sound. Also, I love the jazz scat vocal sound and this setting gives you many velocity triggered voices just like an Acapella jazz vocal group and Roland has had this sound proprietary sound out for many years in a number of its digital pianos and it is definitely one of my favorite sounds to play with...definitely fun stuff. 

Roland FP-30X sound category buttons
To select all these instrument sounds you only get 3 sound category buttons on the piano control panel to do that which include the piano category, electric piano, and other. But within the piano category there are also harpsichords and within the electric piano button there are organs, and within the "other" category there are a variety of strings, pads, synths, and others. This is definitely not an intuitive way of selecting sounds especially when you have to look at the owners manual or memorize where that one sound is located that you want to use by pressing a function button and the correct black or white key at the same time to get that sound. What a mess...I definitely am not a big fan at all in the way you access these instrument sounds. Why not just add some more category buttons to make life easier? But even then you still have to "guess" where the sound is accessed on the keyboard to get it.

Roland FP-30X sound category buttons
So it is real important to use the Roland Piano Every Day app on a tablet or phone so that you can much more easily access these different instrument tones and know what you are actually getting, and you can do it using a specific category that coincides with the sound which is the way it should have been on the piano. By the way, many of  the actual instrument sounds themselves are really good and produce a big, natural sound such as the strings, choirs, synths, and organs among others as I mentioned earlier. Some of the electric pianos are also very good and have a wide and very smooth dynamic tonal range on the vintage Rhodes electric and Wurlitzer electric as well as for the vintage DX7 electric piano/keyboard sound. The phaser (effect) electric piano is also very impressive and fun to play with lots of musical color in it. However, there is not a separate chorus effect independently applied that I would liked to have seen on this model. 

The pop/jazz organ Hammond B3 type sounds, which are also really nice, have a rotary speaker effect built in and you can quickly change that rotary (Leslie) "speed" effect by pressing the electric piano button while you are playing the sound and it really works good and you can hear that speaker effect slow down and speed up like the real thing. Also, there is no "stretch tuning" issues with any of the non-piano instrument sounds here because those sounds are not stretch tuned and so they are in perfect tune. Only acoustic piano sounds are stretch tuned and have the issues on this piano I previously mentioned.

General MIDI sound set
Besides the proprietary instrument and piano sounds in this model, it also has the full set of General MIDI instrument sounds which are additional instruments, sounds, special effects, and percussion not accessible from the front panel of the FP-30X, so you would never know they exist in this piano.
To access these additional 100 plus sounds you need to do that from the proprietary app on your iPad or android tablet or phone that I mentioned earlier  called "Piano Every Day," which I will talk about more later. The 100+ General MIDI instrument sounds include more pianos, more strings, brass, woodwinds, guitars, choirs, etc, etc, but the sonic quality is not as good as the proprietary FP-30X instrument sounds, but they are still fun to have. So not only do you get all of the main instrument sounds I mentioned, but you can access the General MIDI sound bank from the Roland app on your color touch screen in your external device. 


EXTRA "BELLS & WHISTLES"


Extra Bells & Whistles for Roland FP-30X
As far as "bells & whistles go, the FP-30X has a lot of them but you wouldn't know it from just looking at the control panel.
Even though you can access some of these extra functions and features from the panel, as I mentioned earlier near the beginning of this review, since there is no digital display screen it can be difficult to tell where things are or what you did when you made a change. Nevertheless, the FP-30X does many extra things such as having the ability to layer/mix any 2 instrument sounds together and it can split any 2 instrument sounds with one on the left hand and one on the right and you can set the split point of the keyboard. Most all digital pianos now have a function that let's you digitally split the 88 keys into 2 equal 44-note keyboards so that 2 people (mainly for students) can play the same notes sounding in the same octave at the same time. It's a way for 2 people to practice the same music at the same time and Roland calls it "twin piano." 

I don't personally see that feature used very often on any digital piano that offers it, but it's there in case it would be of benefit to you. What definitely is a benefit is that this model (like most digital pianos) has an adjustable digital metronome for timing and learning rhythm and that metronome expands in an impressive visual, and easy to use way when accessing it from the Roland "Piano Everyday" app on your iPad/Android device.

RECORDING & PLAYBACK FEATURES


FP-30X recording and playback features
The FP-30X has a 3-track MIDI recorder and playback system which can hold about 70, 000 notes as opposed to the previous model that could only record one MIDI track.
This new model can also playback audio wav and MP3 files from a USB flashdrive which is very cool along with playing General MIDI song files as it has the General MIDI sound set like the previous model did. Therefore you can download songs off the internet in the GM format and transfer those files to a thumb-drive and then into the FP-30X for full multi-track instrument playback...and it really sounds good. There are MIDI song files for all types of music so this can be a useful feature to
USB flashdrive port
have. 

The popular Casio portable digital piano PX-S3100 at $879 can do this as well and that model weighs in at just 24 lbs so easy to carry around if necessary. The Yamaha DGX-670 at $849 is another model that has the General MIDI playback and flash-drive connector, although that model weighs in at 47 lbs so not as portable. On the FP-30X the General MIDI files would be loaded onto a USB flashdrive that you put into the USB memory slot in back of the piano and then the songs would play directly off the flashdrive and you go from one song to the next by selecting the USB song song play control on the right side of the front panel just above the keys by pressing a function button and a +/- key on the keyboard. You can go from one song to the next but you won't know what song you are selecting because, again, there is no display screen on the control panel to tell you what you are getting.

OTHER USEFUL FUNCTIONS & FEATURES


Other useful features on FP-30X
Other things the FP-30X has are special sound effects that can add to the realism of certain instrument sounds such as acoustic pianos, organs, electric pianos and a few other instruments. Those effects include ambience/reverb, rotary speaker effect, and modulation speed for electric pianos.
You can adjust the depth of those effects from the piano although it is much easier to do on the Piano Every Day app. This would also include the transpose key-change feature which allows you to modulate to other keys without changing your playing position. This is particularly good when singing along with a song because that song may be out of your vocal range, so being able to digitally change keys up or down can be very useful in a number of ways. This model also has touch sensitivity controls so that you can digitally change the sensitivity of the keys from a lighter touch up to a heavier touch. As I previously mentioned, this does not physically change the key weight but is does change how sensitive the piano sound is and how quickly the sound comes in when the keys initially go down. 

BLUETOOTH WIRELESS STREAMING


Bluetooth Wireless Audio Streaming
The previous FP-30 had some good connectivity in it and the new FP-30X has added seven more new features that I have been hoping to see for a while. The 30X already has Bluetooth wireless MIDI to connect wirelessley to external devices to control MIDI related apps and content.
But now Roland has added Bluetooth wireless audio so that you can stream music from your external device into the Roland piano coming out of the stereo piano speakers which essentially turns the FP-30X into a home stereo speaker system. This is especially useful if you are standing somewhere else in the room and want to hear music from your phone or tablet come out in a bigger way. The Bluetooth audio feature works good and the FP-30X definitely puts out a big, full volume in that way. There is still a bit of an issue with the fact that the internal piano speakers are under the piano pointing downward as I previously mentioned which makes the audio streaming music being heard still somewhat boxy and restricted, and it is more noticeable if you are at or near the piano itself. If you are in another part of the room than it really doesn't matter. Again, I wish Roland had included top speaker ports on this new model to give the sound more clarity and directional movement towards your ears instead of away from them, even if it slightly raised the cost of this piano.

USB WIRED AUDIO STREAMING


FP-30X USB audio streaming
Another technological connectivity feature that I really like and feel all digital pianos should have (which many don't) is USB wired audio streaming from an external device and directly into the piano speakers when using an app in real time.
This is different than Bluetooth because Bluetooth is a wireless technology whereas USB audio streaming uses a standard USM/MIDI cable to transmit the audio signal in real-time. With Bluetooth, the audio signal is delayed a fraction of a second coming from an external device into the piano so that it is not practical for live real-time music and instrument apps when playing the piano live. To hear additional audio and instruments from an external device when you are playing on the FP-30X keyboard and wanting to trigger sounds on an external app such as the popular Garage Band, you need immediate audio transfer without latency or delay. Since Bluetooth cannot do that then you need either an audio input jack on the piano along with an audio output jack on the external device or you need the simpler and better USB audio streaming.

IPad app for USB audio streaming
The FP-30X has this newer USB audio streaming so you can have instant audio coming into the FP-30X, especially if you are using apps with additional instrument sounds or learning software that requires you to follow along with lessons.
In this way the Roland FP-30X does a great job and it is extremely useful for all the ways I mentioned. You just need a standard USB cable along with the proper accessory connector to the device (iOS would require a lightning camera kit) and then you're all set. This type of connection allows you to add on sounds and effects to the FP-30X (or any digital piano with USB audio streaming) such as what you would get when using Apple Garage Band, etc. So this particular "bell & whistle" is a very practical feature and I am happy that Roland has it on this model.

HARDWARE CONNECTIVITY PORTS


FP-30X headphone jacks
The hardware connectivity features in this model are also good including a USB output to external device, USB input port for thumb-drive so that you can play MIDI and audio files through the piano, 2 stereo headphone jacks for private practice including a mini jack and and a standard 1/4" jack, and the newest addition being 2 standard 1/4" audio line output jacks.
The line out jacks (or the lack of them) in the previous model was a very sore
Roland Dual output jacks
point for this piano and a big headache for people who owned the previous FP-30 and used it for "gigging" purposes or bigger events where an external speaker system was needed. There was no easy and practical way of connecting additional sound systems, so this time Roland (finally) got smart and included these standard audio connector jacks on the back of the FP-30X and now all is good. You can easily connect your external sound system or nearfield speaker monitors to this piano without the hassle of the previous model. There is no separate audio input jack or microphone input jack on this model. Some people may have wanted one or both of those jacks but the FP-30X does not support them. 

INTERNAL SPEAKER SYSTEM


Roland FP-30X Internal speaker system
The internal speaker system of the FP-30X is definitely a good one in terms of power and bass response and it's easy to immediately tell how good it is just by listening. The audio power is 22 watts total going into 2 smaller 4.7" speakers so by itself the speaker system is pretty good.
But what gives it the extra bass and volume boost that it has is the fact that Roland has increased the size of the area where the sound resonates inside of the piano and the previous model was the same way. If you look at the outer case area in front of the piano keyboard you can see that the bottom area of the piano is much deeper than other digital piano pianos. In fact it measures about 2.5" deep in extra depth (height) as compared with other brands and models of portables measuring in at about 1" in "extra" depth (height) from bottom to top of piano. In other words Roland has more inner compartment for the sound to resonate in as compared to other portable digital pianos which adds extra depth and bass to the sound and that design really helps a lot...and I like it. 

Roland FP-60X
But what Roland did not do with the internal speaker system is take it to that next level and add top facing speakers so it could better project clarity and be a lot less internalized and boxy with the sound pointing down to the floor. However, Roland's next model up called the FP-60X has those top facing speakers so that issue is not present on that model.
If you don't mind going up to the next price level at $1249, for about $400 more, the new FP-60X offers big upgraded benefits and features and is more than worth the additional cost over the FP-30X in my opinion. 

That model also has a user LCD digital display screen so you can see what you are doing and there's other features that definitely make it a more compelling purchase. However, it still has the same key action, piano sound engine, and some other features of the FP-30X, but it does come with that better, upgraded DP-10 piano pedal that otherwise would cost you another $55 on the FP-30X. 

If you are already at $899 for the FP-30X plus another few dollars for the better (and needed) sustain pedal then you are only about $350 away from the FP-60X and at that point if you are looking for a long term purchase, if you are wanting a Roland portable digital piano then do yourself a favor and go up to the FP-60X if you can increase your budget. 

ROLAND APPS - PIANO EVERY DAY


Roland Piano Everyday and Piano Designer apps
Before I get to the last couple of things with the FP-30X I want to briefly talk about the external proprietary apps that Roland has created for this and other Roland digital pianos models, and those apps are called "Piano Every Day" and "Piano Designer."
Piano Every Day is the "controller app" for the FP-30X using either iOS or Android devices (best for tablets) where you can control many (but not all) of the features of the FP-30X from your color touch screen on your device. These features and functions include accessing the instrument sounds, layer and split functions, volume controls, transpose and brilliance controls and other functions. 

Piano Everyday piano instrument sound chart
The 1st thing that most people would want to use is the instrument sound navigation chart inside the Piano Every Day app. There are 9 categories of instrument sounds that you can access in the app including Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Strings, Pad, Synth, Other, Drums, and GM2 (General MIDI sounds).
Once you select the instrument category you want then you select the specific instrument sound in that category and the the FP-30X will be instantly setup for that sound. For instance, in the Piano category there are 10 acoustic type pianos and 2 harpsichord sounds for a total of 12 sounds. Harpsichords have strings and keys like a piano so Roland included those 2 harpsichords in the Piano category so when you go to the list of pianos you will also see those 2 harpsichords. The list of those sounds are easy to access activate and work very well. The Piano Everyday app for all functions can only be used in the portrait position and not landscape position, unfortunately, probably because of the way they had to design and build this particular app. But that's OK because it still works good although I would prefer to have my choice of display positions. 

General MIDI sound list for FP-30X
Besides controlling the proprietary instrument sounds on the FP-30X, the Piano Every Day app also lets you access other features not built into the piano, so without using the app you would not have access to these features that can add more enjoyment to your music.
One of those items is the General MIDI instrument sounds that I previously mentioned. There are well over 100 additional instrument sounds including more and different electric pianos, acoustic pianos, strings, percussion, bells, etc. So if you are the type of person who thinks they would like many more instrument sounds and sound effects, then the Piano Every Day app will certainly do that for you and you just access those instruments live through a long list within the app and you can also layer and split those sounds as well. Those GM sounds also are the ones used automatically when playing GM MIDI song files from a flashdrive because without those sounds you would not be able to play GM song files.

Interactive rhythm styles
The Piano Every Day app also allows you to access and use interactive music style rhythms that play through the FP-30X in real time as if they were built into the piano when you play some chords but they are actually in the app. Those music styles include rock, jazz, Latin, country, waltz, etc, etc. and are useful when playing chord driven rhythmic music
 There are 21 of them and the tempo and volume of each style can be controlled along with
Rhythm styles
style variations, intros, and endings. All of the rhythm features are on your tablet touch screen so you just access them from there. You can also use any of the 21 rhythm styles to just their drum patterns so that you can have a drummer play along with your music as opposed to using all the instruments in the band. There's a lot of flexibility in that rhythm style feature but to make it work well you really need to play chord style and not do traditional bass-treble clef music because it just doesn't work as well that way. 

So if you are into playing chords and you like rhythmic styles of music, and also know how to improvise in some way, then the rhythm style portion of the app can be useful and fun and can make you sound better than you really are! Other digital piano brands & models have interactive music styles which can also be accessed from their proprietary apps, but they can also be directly accessed from the control panel of the piano so that you don't always have to setup your external device to use those features. I feel that allows the user more flexibility in getting into those features without having to open up and use the app on their phone or tablet. having it be only on the app does help keep down costs on the piano because you don't need as many buttons of controls to use the features directly on the piano...so I get that. But still...always needing an app to use features may be a cool and effective way of doing it, but I prefer access to more of those features to be available on the piano as well. Nevertheless, the interactive rhythm styles are only accessed off the app and are not directly accessed on the piano.

FP-30X digital metronome
The Piano Every Day app also offers a very cool visual digital metronome for rhythm and timing training for students.
This is helpful to visually see the timing of your music and be able to better stay with the beat through visual as well as audible training. There are also various time signature settings available and lots of flexibility within this portion of the app. I will also say that there are some very good 3rd party visual metronome apps in the app store that can be used with any digital piano and in some ways those apps offer even more useable training features than what this app has to offer. So the Roland Metronome feature in the app is not the only game in town, but it's within their app so it is definitely more convenient that way. The piano itself also can access the metronome feature and then you can hear the metronome counting off the beats and timing, but you don't "see" the metronome so there is no visual aspect that way. It's always easier and better to see the metronome moving as well as hearing the beats click to the timing you have set.

Piano Everyday sheet music app
On the Piano Everyday app you can also access a big library of songs with built in sheet music for those songs and then play along with it for learning and this can come in very handy if you are able to do that type of practicing and the app even keeps up with your daily/weekly practice and can save practice info within the app.
 The library of songs includes simple kids music such as "twinkle twinkle little star" along with classical piano music. With some of the non-classical music like "twinkle twinkle" or "Greensleeves" as examples, there is an orchestral accompaniment track that adds orchestral instruments and percussion to the piano parts which makes that song sound bigger and more exciting and also makes you sound better than you really are as you play along using the piano. You can mute the accompaniment track if you don't want it as well as either the left or right hand piano parts and also slow down or speed up the tempo of the music as it is playing.  

The song follow system even highlights where you are in the music at any given time. You can also record what you are doing so you can hear it play back and that is always helpful to students. There are also 3rd party apps such as the famous Faber Adventure series which displays digital sheet music from their lesson series and you can interact with it, change tempo, add orchestration, etc and utilize those methods of learning. But again, the Roland practice feature is convenient and works well and it is part of this comprehensive Piano Everyday app.

ROLAND APPS - PIANO DESIGNER


Roland Piano Designer app
The other proprietary app that Roland offers is called "Piano Designer." Piano Designer has been out for a number of years and works on nearly all of their digital pianos although you would use the settings and features for the specific Roland piano you are using assuming you set it up that way.
 Every Roland digital piano has their own settings and their own controls on this app. The Piano Designer app is actually pretty cool because you can get into more of the piano sound organic elements and customize them to your liking assuming you would want to do this. These
piano designer app 2
specific areas of the piano sound include lid, string resonance, damper resonance, key touch, key off resonance, single note tuning, single note character, and single note volume. You can control those individual aspects of the piano sound and increase or decrease the amount that you want of each one. 

The basis rule of thumb on these things is that you just experiment with them and see how it sounds to you. You may or may not like the results of what you have done with those specific app features but if you mess it up you can always reset it back to factory settings and start from the beginning. If you have altered the factory settings and you like what you hear, then you can save that setup into the piano memory or into the app memory, either way and then the piano will behave that way. However, you can still go back to factory settings if and when you want to do that.   

Other brands of digital pianos have similar proprietary app features for external devices including Yamaha (Smart Pianist), Casio (Chordana), and Kawai (PianoRemote), and you can control many of these same things on their digital pianos from their apps. But Roland certainly has a couple of the best apps out there in this way and they do a really good job of it. Whether or not you'll want to use the Piano Designer on the FP-30X is purely up to you but it is there in case you do. So when it comes to different apps and how they can help you interface with your piano, Roland offers a lot of variety and they design their apps really well. 

CONTROL PANEL


FP-30X control panel buttons
The control panel on this model is simple with small rectangular rocker buttons that click and light up when you push them down so you know that you can tell when you have pushed them and they are activated.
The buttons line up above the keys near the 2 lowest octaves in a button pattern of 1 button, then 2 buttons near each other, then 1 button, then 4 buttons near each other which are the instrument sound group buttons and split button, then 3 buttons which are the metronome and metronome speed buttons, and then 2 buttons which are the play & record buttons. The buttons mostly light up in an easy to see white color, the function button lights up blue, and the record button lights up red so that you can visually tell the difference. There are 5 small flush mounted white LED lights about the volume buttons so that you can visually see when you have increased or decreased the master volume and they work good.

FP-30 control panel access features
Just above the keys under the control panel are printed indictor words for some of the functions within the piano so that you can control them using the function button and then pressing a specific keyboard key to activate that function and change it.
For instance you can access the transpose feature and changing keys that
Piano everyday control app
you play in by holding the function button on the control panel and then pressing a specific white or black key corresponding to the key you want to be in which will then change the key lets say from C to C# or to F, etc. This way of digitally changing keys is not too bad but the light silver printing of those names just above the keys is not easy to see, especially when playing in a darker room. The same goes for brilliance, ambience, and other functions that you can access in this way. 

Even when you do make a change most of the time you really don't know what or how much you got because nothing is displayed as there is no LED/LCD display screen. The Piano Everyday app helps take care of that because you can manipulate those settings easily from your tablet using the color touch screen...but then you always need to use the app to more intuitively control function and personally I don't always want to use a tablet or phone to control the functions...just give me a small easy to read display screen so I know what's going on from the piano control panel.

FP-30X CABINET


Roland FP-30X cabinet in white
The FP-30X is a portable digital piano but with the optional KSC70 furniture type stand and KPD-70 triple pedal unit you can make it look more like a small piano, although it does not have a key cover like traditional cabinet pianos do.
 When you add the cost of the triple pedal and furniture stand to the cost of the piano the total price would be $1159...so close to $1200. This piano also comes with a detachable music rest so you have a place to put your music. The piano itself measures in at about 51" wide x 11" deep x 6" high and its weight is just under 33 lbs so it's not as light as other portable digital pianos in this price range which weigh in at about 26 lbs, but it is still light enough for many people who need to carry it around. The cabinet itself looks great with tapered and rounded edges and a smooth matte finish. I like the white color cabinet finish as well but the black finish (on any digital piano) is definitely more popular.

FINAL THOUGHTS


Roland FP-30X full size keyboard

My final thoughts on this Roland FP-30X are that Roland really has put out some nice upgrades to the previous model as I have outlined in this detailed review. As a competitive model in the "under $1000 price range" for portable digital pianos the FP-30X is a notable contender. Overall I do like it, but I just can't get over the stretch tuning issues which for me makes the piano sound noticeably sharp when I am playing certain notes together in different octaves of the piano. If Roland had been less aggressive on how far they stretched those "strings" when tuning this piano permanently, then that would have been great. 

Or if they offered a function where the stretch tuning could be switched off then that would have solved the issue. I love a good, solid acoustic grand piano with stretch tuning that is resonate and alive with musical color...but not like this on the FP-30X. Again, you may not experience this situation, especially if you are a beginner, but I did and I wasn't trying to pick it apart...it's just there. By the way, some of the Kawai portable digital pianos I have played  are "stretch tuned" and I don't hear this over-stretched tuning issue on their pianos. 

Roland FP-30X black on x-stand
As I have already stated, I am not a big fan of downward facing speakers under the piano if there are no top facing speakers along with them as is the case with the FP-30X.
The overall volume and bass response is amazing for the piano's smaller size, but it just sounds too boxy and closed in for me. Adjusting the "brilliance" function to add more brightness to the sound does help bring more clarity to the sound and give it some lift. But then the entire piano sound sample is just too bright and twangy at that point for my tastes when you do that, so it really doesn't resolve the issue with the speaker placement or the fact that Roland did not add a couple of top facing speakers. However, with that being said, you may like the way it sounds because it is certainly loud enough and big enough in terms of volume and sound and for many people who don't have experience with a real piano or are not as picky about sound projection or perhaps will be using headphones most of the time, the FP-30X may still be great for your ears and expectations.

FP-30X keyboard and control buttons
The lack of a display screen in this model is also another issue for me and I really was hoping that Roland would include on in this new upgraded model, but they did not.
You'll need to move up to the $1249 FP-60X model to get it but as I mentioned earlier, I think the FP-60X is a much better buy for the money over the FP-30X for that reason along with other reasons such as upward facing speakers. A display screen just really helps to quickly navigate the functions and features of the piano in a much more intuitive way and also help to see what's going on with your piano in a darker room as well. Yes, I can make my way around the piano with the navigation functions they have and by also using their apps, but I might not want to do it that way. 

Just give me a small, easy to use, easy to navigate digital screen (and more buttons) in the piano control panel with clear, concise controls and I am a happy guy. Without a display screen (and more navigation buttons) letting me know the names of the instrument sounds I am choosing and along with other features & functions, etc, then I have no idea what I am actually choosing unless I recognize that sound or feature or see it in the app when connected to the piano. But, again, you may be fine with what Roland is offering as far as navigation is concerned.

Roland FP-30X reliability & warranty
As for everything else this piano does, it really is pretty impressive. From the quality and quantity of the instrument sounds, to the connectivity features, to the big bold internal speaker system as far as bass and volume is concerned, to the feature rich apps that Roland supplies for this model and all the things you can do with them, the FP-30X offers a lot.
The key action is also overall enjoyable to play and very responsive, although I personally prefer a somewhat lighter key action more like the weighting of a real acoustic grand piano. The Roland company makes very reliable, robust products that many pros and studios around the world use. Their factory warranty on this piano is 3 years parts and 2 years labor. Based on all my years of experience playing Roland digital pianos and keyboards it is very unlikely it will need service be they are very dependable products and well made. 

I do recommend this new model because there will be people out there who will like it for their own purposes and musical tastes. Would I personally purchase it?...well...probably not because of the specific reasons I mentioned. But that's just me and it might be perfect for you if you think it will work well for your musical goals and needs.

Casio PX-870 digital piano
By the way, considering that the FP-30X with stand & triple pedal unit is nearly $1200, a few other good alternatives would be the popular Casio PX-870 at $1199 and the new Korg LP-380U at $1249.
  Also, there is a very impressive new portable digital piano by Kawai called the ES520 at $1299. You should definitely check that one out as well. If you don't need the piano to be "portable" and you don't need or want as many "bells & whistles" as the Roland FP-30X has, the Casio and Korg pianos would be very good choices as they both have internal speaker systems that are much more powerful at 40 and 44 watts respectively and also speakers that direct the sound towards you. Both of these models are focused more on piano playing and don't have near as many instrument sounds, no rhythms, no Bluetooth wireless audio, etc. 

But as far as piano playing they are both impressive, both compact with full stands, triple pedal, and sliding key cover, but are more permanent in the home and not portable or as lightweight. The Casio PX-S3100 would be another portable digital piano that I would recommend and it is priced at $879 without stand or triple pedal. 


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.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's quite a detailed review and I thank you for it. I've recently purchased an FP30X after pain staking research over months. Very interested in the tune stretching points you put forward. Can't say I've noticed it yet. Downward firing speakers are not good and I was deeply suspicious of this before purchase - they create a duller and hollow sound - looking to use the line outs to hook up something at face level for more colour, balance and clarity. I wouldn't swap my Kemble upright for any electric substitute, but wanted an alternative for late night and early morning practice and just messing about. FP30X will do that for me.

Thanks again,

Dave S (London UK)

Unknown said...

Thank you for the great review. Do you prefer the pha4 standard action to Korg's rh3 action?