Roland RD-500
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Roland RD-500

RD-500, Digital Piano from Roland in the RD series.

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All user reviews for the Roland RD-500

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M Elise12/09/2008

M Elise's review

Roland RD-500
This digital piano is from the 80s I think. It is a professional quality instrument. It has various piano sounds and the other limited choice of basic sounds like organs, harpsichord, strings etc. The sounds can be edited and saved. The instrument is multi-timbrel. If memory serves me correct it doesn't have a sequencer. It has facility for splitting the keyboard into parts where different sounds are triggered on different sections of the keyboard. It has some cheesy drum sounds. There are the usual line outs, pedal outs, midi in/outs. The keyboard feels like a real piano. The piano is heavy.

UTILIZATION

The one drawback of this keyboard is that it is not user friendly when accessing the deeper functions which requires the manual to figure out. It is also very heavy but it is transportable.

SOUNDS

This digital piano sounds great! It sounds very much like a real piano. And the fidelity of the output sound is extremely good. All the output sounds sound very solid and strong with very low if any background noise. On recordings it sounds like a real piano. Not all of the piano sounds are great but there are a few great ones.

OVERALL OPINION

I was fortunate enough to be able to borrow one of these for a number of years. Eventually I had to return it to the owner. I deeply miss the Roland RD 500. However I am not a true piano player. I'm a guitarist/composer who plays and records some piano and uses piano for composing. The best thing about this digital piano is that it feels and sounds like a real piano. I like to play in a beautiful romantic style using the damper pedal. With this piano I could easily get into and feel inspired by the sound. I have looked for another digital piano since losing this one but I have been looking in the $300.00 range. I have not found anything including the new Yamahas that feel or play as good as this piano. I believe the going rate for a used RD 500 is around $500.00. If I could find another used for a good price I would definitely buy it.
Alkyos11/05/2006

Alkyos's review

Roland RD-500
88 weighted keys, like a piano
32 non-editable sounds, 2 effects, independent non-editable Chorus and Reverb.
Super-precise low, mid, high mini equalizers.
64-note polyphony
MIDI In, Out and Thru
Stereo headphone output, mono (L) and stereo (L+R) output, everything on jacks.
Possibility to connect a volume, damper and sustain pedal.
No built-in speakers.

UTILIZATION

The keyboard of this piano is one of the best I know.
Roland remains the master in the subject. After having tested many others, this is the most faithful to a piano.
It is very simple to configure and use, which makes it even more enjoyable.
The user manual is clear and simple, as always with Roland.
Midi is very simple and the latency is almost 0ms.

SOUNDS

The sounds are a bit poor, this keyboard was conceived for live, the piano, Rhodes and organ sounds are ultra-faithful and unmatched up to this day.
As for the pads, violin and bass sounds, or the only drum kit available, they are just accessories, you will need a rack synth for your home studio.
The built-in chorus and reverb are very discreet and effective.
The velocity and aftertouch are perfect. Using it as a master keyboard, you can render very realistically the sounds of old rack synths.
Roland was intelligent enough not to include built-in speakers (like Yamaha and other brands), which reproduce sound very poorly and only do a disservice to the quality of the product.

OVERALL OPINION

I've used it since it came out in 1995, 11 years ago.
It has never broken down and yet I have never had a flight case, I've played lots of gigs with it, often transporting it under questionable conditions, and it has never left me stranded, the hammer action of the keys has not diminished in the slightest.
It cost $2200 back then and its current price of around $750 is quite fair.
If I had to, I would buy this piano again without hesitation.
If you are looking for a solid master synth, with an unbeatable keyboard for live or your home studio, don't think it twice, it will be a very good deal.
Its only drawback is the weight, but a weighted keyboard of this quality requires a heavy mechanism, so it ends up being just a minor detail.