ROLAND

Roland Corporation U.S.
5100 South Eastern Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90040
323-890-3700
www.rolandus.com


To simply say that Roland Corporation was established in 1972 is to ignore one of the most compelling stories in the realm of digital pianos. Ikutaro Kakehashi started down the path to Roland Corporation at the age of 16, when he began repairing watches and clocks in postwar Japan. However, his enthusiasm for music meant that his business soon evolved into the repair of radios. At the age of 20, Kakehashi contracted tuberculosis. After three years in the hospital, he was selected for the trial of a new drug, streptomycin, and within a year he was out of the hospital.

In 1954, Kakehashi opened Kakehashi Musen (Kakehashi Radio). Once again, his interest in music intervened, this time leading to his development of a prototype electric organ. In 1960, Kakehashi Radio evolved into Ace Electronic Industries. The FR1 Rhythm Ace became a standard offering of the Hammond Organ Company, and Ace Electronic Industries flourished. Guitar amplifiers, effects units, and more rhythm machines were developed, but as a result of various business-equity involvements, Ace was inadvertently acquired by a company with no interest in musical products, and Kakehashi left in March 1972. One month later, he established Roland Corporation. The first Roland product, not surprisingly, was a rhythm box.

In 1973, Roland introduced its first all-electronic combo piano, the EP-10, followed in 1974 by the EP-30, the world’s first electronic piano with a touch-sensitive keyboard. Japan’s first genuinely digital pianos for home use were released by Roland in 1975 as part of the early HP series. Next came Roland’s portable EP-09 electronic piano in 1980, and the debut of the wood-finish HP-60 and HP-70 compact pianos in 1981. In 1983, Roland released the HP-300 and HP-400, the very first digital pianos with MIDI.

When introduced in 1986, the RD-1000 stage piano was Roland’s first entry in what would become the digital piano category. Today, Roland offers more than two dozen models of digital piano covering every facet of the category: slab, vertical, grand, ensemble, and stage instruments.

Of particular interest to those looking for educational features is Roland’s HPi model, which includes a substantial suite of educational capabilities supported by an LCD screen mounted on a music desk. The new LX models add traditional-looking vertical pianos to the line. Roland offers one of the widest selections of digital pianos in the industry. The chart of “Digital Piano Specifications and Prices” will give you a clear breakdown of the various models and features.

The Roland V-Piano is the first digital piano to rely entirely on physical modeling as its tonal source. Physical modeling breaks down the sound of a piano note into discrete elements that can be represented by mathematical equations, and creates the tone in real time based on a complex series of calculations. There are no acoustic piano samples. For more information about physical modeling, please see, elsewhere in this issue, “Digital Basics, Part 1: Imitating the Acoustic Piano” and “My Other Piano Is a Computer: An Introduction to Software Pianos.”

The HP models are the core of Roland’s offerings in home digital pianos; the latest models, including the new GP607 Digital Grand, share the company’s hallmark SuperNATURAL® piano sound engine, premium Progressive Hammer Action with Escapement, and built-in Bluetooth wireless capability, and differ from each other primarily in the specifications of their audio systems and cabinet-types.



Digital Piano: Specifications & Prices

See the Introduction for an explanation of specifications and a key to the finish codes.

Prices in blue italics indicate MAP (Minimum Advertised Price). Other prices are our estimates based on normal retail margins. For more information on MAP and retail pricing, please see "Shopping Options" in our article "Buying a Digital Piano."

Click the Model link for additional specifications. Click the Product Page icon to go to the manufacturer's web page for that model.





  Model Form
Slab, Vertical, Grand
Ensemble Finish
See finish codes
Est. Street Price Voices Rhythms / Styles Polyphony Pedals
H = half-pedaling support
Speakers / Watts Recording
MIDI Tracks / Digital Audio (DA)
Bluetooth Vocal Support Educational Features Product Page
FP-30 S E Bk / Wt 699 35 8 128 1 (3) H 2 / 22 1 / DA Yes No Yes External Website Link
FP-50 S E Bk / Wt 1,299 372 90 128 1 (3) H 2 / 24 2 / DA No No No External Website Link
FP-60 S E Bk / Wt 1,399 355 21 288 1 (3) H 2 / 26 1 / DA Yes No Yes External Website Link
FP-90 S E Bk / Wt 1,799 355 21 UL/384 1 (3) H 4 / 60 2 / DA Yes Yes Yes External Website Link
RD-2000 S Bk 2,499 1100+ 200 UL/128 1 (3) H 0 / 0 1 / DA No No No External Website Link
V-Piano S Bk 6,999 24 264 3 H 0 / 0 DA No No No External Website Link
DP-603 V E Bk 2,399 319 21 UL/384 3 H 2 / 24 3 / DA Yes No Yes External Website Link
DP-603 V E EP / WtP 3,199 319 21 UL/384 3 H 2 / 24 3 / DA Yes No Yes External Website Link
F-140R V E ES / Wt 1,199 316 72 128 3 H 2 / 24 1 / DA Yes No Yes External Website Link
FP-30C V E Bk / Wt 875 35 8 128 3 H 2 / 22 1 / DA Yes No Yes External Website Link
FP-50C V E Bk / Wt 1,499 372 90 128 1 (3) H 2 / 24 2 / DA No No No External Website Link
FP-90C V E Bk / Wt 2,140 355 21 UL/384 3 H 4 / 60 2 / DA Yes Yes Yes External Website Link
HP-504 V R / ES 2,199 350 128 3 H 2 / 24 3 / DA No No Yes External Website Link
HP-601 V E R / ES / Wt 2,199 319 21 288 3 H 2 / 28 3 / DA Yes No Yes External Website Link
HP-603 V E R / ES / Wt 2,999 319 21 UL/384 3 H 2 / 60 3 / DA Yes No Yes External Website Link
HP-603A V E R / ES / Wt 2,999 319 21 UL/384 3 H 2 / 60 3 / DA Yes No Yes External Website Link
HP-605 V E EP 4,199 319 21 UL/384 3 H 6 / 74 3 / DA Yes No Yes External Website Link
HP-605 V E R / ES / Wt 3,699 319 21 UL/384 3 H 6 / 74 3 / DA Yes No Yes External Website Link
HPi-50e V E R 4,499 350 50 128 3 H 4 / 74 16 / DA No No Yes External Website Link
LX-17 V E EP / WtP 6,299 319 21 UL/384 3 H 8 / 74 3 / DA Yes No No External Website Link
LX-7 V E EP 5,799 319 21 UL/384 3 H 6 / 74 3 / DA Yes No Yes External Website Link
LX-7 V E W / ES 5,299 319 21 UL/384 3 H 6 / 74 3 / DA Yes No Yes External Website Link
RP-102 V E Bk 999 318 21 128 3 H 2 / 12 Yes No Yes External Website Link
RP-501R V E Bk / Wt / R 1,499 316 72 128 3 H 2 / 24 1 / DA Yes No Yes External Website Link
GP-607 (Mini Grand) G E EP / WtP 5,999 319 21 UL/384 3 H 5 / 70 3 / DA Yes No Yes External Website Link
GP-7 (V-Piano Grand) G EP 19,950 30 264 3 H 8 / 240 1 / DA No No No External Website Link

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