Roland RD-700NX
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Roland RD-700NX

RD-700NX, Digital Piano from Roland in the RD series.

gnoulie 08/27/2014

Roland RD-700NX : gnoulie's user review

« Least perfectible digital pianos »
5

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Ivory heavy touch with Escapement; 128-voice polyphony; 4 multi-timbral voices LiveSet + midi file 16 votes; SuperNATURAL (3 + 3 acoustic pianos electric pianos); Tone Wheel Organ emulation; Effects 1xEgaliseur 4-band tri-band 1xCompresseur, 1xReverb, 1xChorus, 8xMFX (2 per layer); keyboard master 4 lanes (2 +1 twelve o'clock twelve o'clock OUT OUT / THRU USB + midi); MIDIFILE, WAVE and MP3 playback; (USB connection key + PC) ports; User memory for 100 LiveSets (numbering 200 in the soft version 2, these are LiveSets terminological equivalent performance).

UTILIZATION

Very easy to use, except perhaps browsing USB key, a little farfetched. Excellent keyboard master in each LiveSet (and this for each of the 4 channels) can be stored parameters as Program Change, Velocity Sensitivity (to reduce eg the velocity response of a sound without forcing it to a fixed value) , envelope, cutoff, reso, transp, pitch bend, dosage chorus / reverb, 2 control change choice, midi channel output DIN +, etc ... very useful for the expander control without having to create a Combi (or perf). Moreover, the whole registration RD (except compressor "master", and rare common settings / system) is saved (EQ settings, based on all pedals, etc ...). Each channel has a slider. The downside, however, prevents the faultless in this area: no aftertouch ...
The Ivory keyboard is very nice, and when we got into the habit of practicing RD700, the occasional passing on real piano is no problem (having previously owned a CVP401, so I admit I was often baffled by the game a real hammer mechanics). The finish of this keyboard is exemplary: no excessive play between the keys, as on a SV-1, or even a Physis. However, under the synthetic ivory, the keys are made of resin, not wood (like a high-end Kawai, reference material). This poses no problem of course, this keyboard is perfectly associated with the sound engine, even if the touch is one of the heaviest I have ever met.

SOUNDS

Excellent for acoustic pianos, Tone Wheel and various sound board; disappointed with electric pianos; the latter, although remarkably served by SuperNATURAL technology (expressiveness and dynamic), ring cold: in fact, the harmonic content that wins the timbre according to the increasing velocity is too high rank to match Rhodes Tines in their forms most heard.

Each of the three acoustic pianos course comprises of small flaws, but almost imperceptible: the Concert Grand lacks a bit of roundness in the bass and sounds so "cartoner" rating on 2-3 ds the lower midrange, Studio Grand lack of veracity in acute attacks, and Upright, uniformity in the response curve to the velocity (this is compensated quickly). But it is rare to meet as few defects on a digital piano.
Whenever I had the opportunity to try a competitor, I was initially attracted (the grass is always greener on the meadow nearby) because it sounded different from RD700NX (all like a real piano sound different a little different). Then I detected one or more fatal flaws there.
The headlight of a Grand Piano Nord Piano slap beautifully, but only slam, and more poorly balanced attack / sustain.
A SV-1 is clearly feels the lack of velocity layers (by the way, sounds remarkable Rhodes Korg!).
The piano samples are lovely at Yamaha, but it feels different niches velocity levels (between 3 and 5 depending on model), and when we got into the habit of SuperNATURAL Roland (timbral variation substantively continuous function of the velocity, velocity layers 100!), it is easier to detect this kind of weakness.
The Physis seems to induce some latency calculation, and although expressing a natural musicality (the head proves workable range), it lacks a bit in his equations, the "wood" and mixing / harmonic evolution that is expect at this price level (to watch, however, physical models grew over the updates).
I would say that Kawai (MP10, CA93) has been my best experiences after RD700NX in the range of digital PCM (I forget Kurzweil, but have never tried it).
There are probably about three pianos RD700NX, what you need at time T (except perhaps a good emulation CP80, it's true ...) and there are all of musicality and expressiveness (accuracy shades) unparalleled in a digital. No discernable closure, despite the considerable length of the held note (especially for the Studio Grand).
Plan studio monitors (the Prodipe Pro Ribbon 8, for example, are already well) to honor the rich harmonics of piano samples RD, otherwise the machine may prove disappointing on your stereo Salon ...

Other sounds available are of unquestionable quality, and are much more numerous than suggested by the 300 LiveSets presets (nearly 1,000 sounds, many of which are actually dynamic). The number of 2 per channel / voice, multi-effects available are 8 in total (8 x 83 well-known types Roland for many years, developed and precise)! Chorus and reverb are as usual, parallel and shared. The noise level, so it makes a very good sound module, although its architecture is better tailored to the midi out for MIDI in.

It is therefore a real keyboard scene, combining excellent digital piano.

OVERALL OPINION

Not perfect, but least perfectible digital, its expressiveness is its greatest asset, and is even higher than most pianos. Indeed, the Uprights, the limited length of the keys affect the amplitude of possible shades. Unless you towards the high-end Schimmel / Skip (15-17k €) or Yamaha SU118 (€ 11k), you will not find any oncoming expressiveness. However, these new rates, you will have beautiful and authentic instruments of incomparable class, inimitable sound resonance, high durability, that they can not discuss their electronic rivals.
But do not forget that if a good piano happily reached a longevity of 5 decades, its strings and soundboard are aging; the sound is changing, becoming more "wealth" but not in the direction of the sound quality (loss of accuracy, then what about the sound resonance?).
Gare therefore false good opportunities; I think (and this is only my opinion) is better for good musicianship, a good present a Yamaha U1 (or other brand) quarantine digital, especially since this solution brings lightness (relative: 25kg for RD700), versatility, and low maintenance for probably a good 15 years.
The obsolescence of digital devices compared with galloping technological developments, this is yet another question. That said, the asymptotic curve of progress, we stand today, probably closer to the unattainable perfection, as infancy sampled piano. Let's see where we will conduct physical modeling ...