Jan 16

The second new Roland Product that caught my eye was the new Roland RD-800 Piano

This You Tube Clip from Keyboard Mag does an excellent job of showing just how good this Piano is. It is a quality instrument but will cost you £1799 but watching this I am sure you will think it is worth it.

I had an RD-150 some years ago and loved it. I always remember its simple quick two track recorder for quickly putting ideas. There is now a much better version on the RD-800 allowing you to record as a wav file on a USB stick.

The RD series has become famous all over the world as the ultimate stage pianos. They are built for Live Performance but I found that it equally worked well in the studio environment where you could MIDI from your sound modules to create an 88 note weighted synth.

The Rd-800 has taken the RD series to new dizzy heights and it really looks 2014 and has some sexy looking curves unlike the models before it. However, whenever I look at a Piano from a purchasing point of view, I would say the most important consideration for me is the keyboard action. Well at last Roland have listened, because yes at a cost, but this is the best and is not on any other Roland keyboard – It is their flagship PHA-4 concert keyboard with escapement and their ebony and ivory feel but it also has their latest touch-detection technology given you one of best feel from an electronic keyboard in the world. That really has captured my interest and I want to play it now and I am very interested in how it compares with the Roland V Piano?

My second requirement for a Stage Piano is its weight and the RD-800 is a very acceptable 21.7 kg which is 47 lbs. 14 oz.


What surprised me though are the amount of sounds on this stage piano and there are over 1100 additional sounds. This makes it just as much a synth as a piano. From a Piano point of view, you of course get Roland’s SuperNatural Piano engine but there is also a new concert grand derived from their fantastic V Piano Grand. If you love electric pianos there are some great new sounds created solely for the RD-800.

Like the FA-06 and the FA-08, the RD-800 has been designed for fast and efficient operation, especially for things like layers, splits, live set selections, part levels, FX etc.

Live Sets allow you to store your own setups for quick recall. I was very interested to see the amount of control you have to shape the sound of any Piano to your liking. It has a Piano Designer (would you believe) where you can change things like string resonance and hammer noise etc.

With an extensive effects section, enough sounds to make it like a Synth and a truly great top of the range keyboard action, it has got to be the best stage piano to date – excellent product.

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