Roland FP Series Overview Video Transcription
Hi everybody, my name is Stu Harrison of Merriam Pianos. Today we’re are going to do an overview of the Roland FP Series of 88-key digital pianos. We’re gonna be looking at every single model of the series, the FP-10, 30, 60, and 90, outlining the critical differences between them and of course, discussing who Roland has made these instruments for. If you’re just starting your shopping process and you’ve been hearing about the FP series, we hope this is will help you take your research to the next level.
We should point out that we’ve already done individual review videos for every single one of the models that we’re about to look at in this article. If you do want to dive one layer deeper in terms of the detail and the specifications that we’re covering, do a quick search on our YouTube channel, of course, you’ll find our individual reviews and playing videos for FP-10, 30, 60, and 90, as well as other Roland instruments, from the Roland GO to the Roland RD-2000.
Now, what’s been Roland’s intention behind the FP series? Easy answer – portability and functionality. These instruments are designed as all in one units for easy transportation, and whether you’re talking about the FP-10 or the FP-90, Roland’s goal has been to deliver the best playing experience in as portable a package as possible for the price range. The success of the FP series has allowed Roland a prominent role in the highly competitive portable digital piano market.
The Roland FP-10 is the first entry in the series and lands well under the $1,000 price range. When it first came out in 2019 it completely took the industry by surprise and threw down the gauntlet for entry level digital pianos – a part of the market traditionally dominated by Casio and Yamaha. This is an instrument equipped with Roland’s PHA-4 hammer action, which features a triple sensor, ivory feel keys, textured ebony keys, escapement and an overall feel similar to that of a grand piano. The FP10 uses Roland’s SuperNATURAL piano sound engine, which is one of the things that Roland’s become so well known for in the electric piano world over the last 10 years. It’s got a pretty decent set of speakers, and you can of course use headphones alternatively as well.
What floors me about that FP-10 is that compared to any other instrument that you can find in its price range, it’s one of the only ones with a triple sensor, and it’s got exactly the same action as you get in the FP-30 as well as the FP-60, as well as home digital pianos such as the Roland RP102, Roland F-140r and Roland RP501r. Roland is clearly not cheaping out on components as it goes down to this price range. So, if you’re looking for the least expensive instrument that you can get that still feels genuinely like an acoustic piano, you should have the FP-10 on your shopping list to check out. It’s worth mentioning that while FP10 comes standard as a portable slab piano, like all the FPs, Roland does make a more permanent wooden stand that you can buy with it.
I would definitely recommend that you upgrade the little pedal switch that Roland packs with it up to their DP-10, which makes the FP10 closer to a proper digital stage piano because its capable of half-pedaling. We also need to mention that the FP10 is not compatible with a triple pedal unit, so if that’s important to you, the FP10 won’t be the right fit. The FP10 is available in a contemporary black finish.
Moving up to the next entry in the line brings us to the Roland FP-30, which has a lot of similarities with the FP-10. The FP-30 is a few hundred dollars more, which buys you greater wattage in the speakers, a heavier case as well as the option to add a triple pedal system to the matching Roland stand. The FP-30 also has more available onboard piano tones, other sounds and features. To boil it down, the FP-10 offers a basic piano sound built around that PHA-4 action, super easy portability and overall great experience for the price. The FP-30 offers a little more versatility, with better onboard speakers, the ability to add a triple pedal for classical music and more on-board features. Both instruments are capable of interacting with the Roland Piano Partner 2 app via Bluetooth connectivity. The FP-30 is available in both black and white finishes
Next up is the Roland FP-60. There’s a major jump here in terms of the integrated experience meaning the addition of control panels and surfaces that you have to work with on the FP-60, as compared to the 10 and the 30. This FP60 features on-board control over parameters like EQ, and other types of on-board effects processing. There is also a wider range of tones and the speaker system is very high-quality. The FP-60 is close to twice the price of the FP-30, also has Bluetooth connectivity and is a really nice upgrade for people who are going to be using this consistently in a live setting where the extra punch of the speakers will be helpful. The FP-60 is available in both black and white finishes.
The Roland FP-90 digital piano, in many ways, sits in its own category or subcategory within the FP series because of how much more you get with the FP-90. You go from the SuperNATURAL tone engine with gradually increasing polyphony that the other three have, to full sound modelling technology with the FP90. This is a really big deal – a sample-based digital home piano plays back a recording of a real instrument whereas modelling actually constructs the piano sound from scratch in real time when you hit the key. Not only does modelling give you more parameters to edit in the Piano Designer app, but it also gives you unlimited polyphony as long as you are inside the default piano patch.
The FP-90 also boasts Roland’s upgraded PHA-50 action, which is a hybrid wood and plastic action that feels even more like an acoustic grand piano than the PHA4 action. On top of that, the FP-90 features a microphone input, and you still have the EQ connections, a large number of onboard sounds, intelligent accompaniment options and of course, more powerful speakers for better sound quality. There’s a substantial increase in the wattage and you’ve got tweeters and mains as well as a very impressive bass response. Add all of this up and it’s clear that the FP-90 is built for pro players who need a portable option that doesn’t require an amp to function.
If you’re a serious home user and portability isn’t a primary concern, you can add Roland’s permanent stand and three-pedal system which essentially gives you a top-level home digital piano. The FP-90 is available in both black and white finishes.
We sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed this article and that its helped you during the research process. Check out our YouTube channel for more in-depth reviews of every FP series digital piano.