Roland RD-800
Roland RD-800

RD-800, Digital Piano from Roland in the RD series.

sheene 04/29/2014

Roland RD-800 : sheene's user review

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88 keys
It has lots of sounds, but I'm especially interested in the pianos and EP


The keyboard is a bit better than the RD700NX, which is already very good.
Nice finish, the keyboard is a bit more sensitive and complex, the 700NX is a bit duller

Roland pianos remain the standard when it comes to imitating a piano, far ahead of the Nord Lead and others


The grand piano 1, without imitating the Vpiano gives me mixed feelings.
The sound is realistic, rich and expressive, but the connection to the piano itself is an exercise of fantasy and imagination for a pianist.
The velocity is exaggerated and you can trigger a FFF sound with a mF, it has Steinway Grand flair.

It's pretty awful to play because you need to control everything and limit your playing dynamics, unlike with a real piano.
In the end, you end up not profiting from the quality of this Grand piano 1, because it doesn't really respond in a "normal" and progressive way.
According to the specifications, it is possible to adjust the dynamics of the RD800, but it remains to bee seen how that is achieved, the relationship between sound and keyboard, with which curve, and whether it can improve the realism of this Grand piano 1.

Things settle with the revisited RD700NX piano sound.
The dynamics are more realistic, although still light for a pianist.
And you can finally profit from the sound quality and the playing comfort of the RD800
The sound is a bit more precise and well-defined than on the RD700NX, without being groundbreaking.

The Rhodes, Wurlitzer and EP are also slightly better.
The tremolo with the direct-access buttons is very practical for oldies.

Not so good is the disappearance of the direct access to the compressor, which comes in really handy when you play instinctively.
Now you have to go inside the settings and program things, which is a hindrance when you want to apply some feeling onstage.

The rest of the sounds are typical Roland: Very realistic pianos and EP, trivial organs, pads ranging from very good to kitschy.


In the end, the RD800 represents a slight progression from the RD700NX, which nevertheless remains relevant.

I'll finish asking why people insist on including 20 acoustic piano sounds that aren't perfect, rather than working on one single one that is realistic, like a Quantum Leap.
Which makes me think that these pianos still lag behind the realism of a true sample and it's a bit frustrating because I'm absolutely used to their ease of use.
You carry it with you, connect it and that's it.

I'm a bit disappointed because I always await new models with a lot of expectation, thinking that I will finally find a realist substitute piano, one that makes me feel good when playing.
But that's still not the case, even if I must admit that this piano is of a very high quality.

I'll be eagerly awaiting the RD900.