The Roland RD88 is the latest entry in Roland’s long standing RD series of professional stage pianos. Lighter and more affordable, the RD88 has been designed as a slightly simplified alternative to the flagship RD2000, while still offering the great tone, touch, features and durability the RD series instruments are famous for.
Roland’s current line up of digital pianos incorporate their expressive SuperNATURAL™ Piano Sound with Progressive Hammer key actions to faithfully recreate the grand piano experience while providing all the advantages of the digital world.
The RD series stage pianos have been an absolute staple on performance stages all over the world for more than 30 years now. Next time you’re on YouTube watching live music performances pay close attention to the various keyboard set-ups and you’ll see for yourself just how prevalent Roland’s RD stage pianos truly are.
The RD88 is a brand new entry to this fabled line, and while still a fully professional instrument, it costs about half as much as the top of the line RD2000. Roland’s mission here was to bring the famous RD series experience to a different part of the market, as well as offer a 29 lb lightweight alternative to those not wanting to lug the RD2000 and all of its 60+ lbs around.
With Roland’s trusted PHA-4 action, SuperNATURAL piano sound engine, a whopping 3000 sounds, all kinds of effects and controllers, and even a double speaker system when an amp isn’t available, the RD88 is probably the best stage piano on the market for under $2,000.
The RD88 Stage Piano features Roland’s PHA-4 Ivory action with escapement, which is a pro-level action found in instruments all the way up to (and above) the $2000 price point. This 88-key, fully weighted action with high-resolution sensing is the exact same action that you’ll find in the FP30 and FP60, among others. It has a very well executed ‘faux’ ivory keytop feel and ebony feel on the black keys, a believable escapement simulation, and rugged physical construction that doesn’t give off unreasonable mechanical sounds or ‘clunks’.
Although it doesn’t list it in all literature, the PHA-4 Standard Keyboard is a triple sensor action, meaning that the midi output from the RD88 is ‘studio-grade’, making it a great home-production companion as well.
The tone engine here is Roland’s widely-acclaimed Supernatural Sound Engine, with 128 note polyphony and tons of editable onboard effects parameters, such as 90 types of Zone multi-effects, Zone EQ’s, Scene multi-effects, Chorsus’s, delays, and reverbs.
The basic piano sounds are quite good, and there’s a huge variety of E piano tones, ranging from contemporary sounds to very authentic reproductions of vintage sounds as well. Looking past the traditional keyboard sounds, there’s a huge collection of synths, leads, pads, strings, brass, and percussion sounds on-board, with over 3000 sounds total. There are 8 assignable control knobs and 2 assignable tone wheels, so there are lots of options for customization here.
Interestingly, the RD88 also boasts a set of onboard speakers, which is of course relatively rare among designated stage pianos. The speakers boast a meager 12 watts of power so you’re going to be connecting to an amp the majority of the time, but for certain types of rehearsal, performance, and practice situations, you’ll be able to get by without an amp.
You’re pretty much covered for all scenarios when it comes to the connectivity options here. There’s a ¼” line out, stereo miniature line in, various inputs for pedals, MIDI out, USB memory and computer ports, and a DC-in jack. There’s of course a headphone input jack as well.
While Roland opted to not include any Bluetooth connectivity here, they do in their FP series instruments, so if that’s a deal-breaker, something like the FP60 may be a better option.
Even though we’ve already covered it, it really does bear repeating how cool it is Roland has included an on-board speaker system here. It’s comforting to know the speakers are there since you never know what might come up! We should also point out once again just how light the RD88 is, coming in at under half the weight of the RD2000. That might be the most critical selling feature to some folks who want the musical quality and durability Roland offers, without wanting to lug a heavy instrument around.
- Roland’s acclaimed SuperNATURAL Piano engine
- PHA-4 Standard 88-note keybed with escapement and ivory-feel keytops
- Onboard 12W stereo amplifier with two stereo speakers
- Compact and lightweight for easy transport
- A broad selection of non-piano sounds, including strings, voices, organ, drums, and more
- Variety of Zone and Master effects including EQ’s, reverbs, compressor, and more
- Variety of controllers including; Assignable Wheel x 2, Assignable Control knob x 8, Master Volume knob, Assignable Pedal x 2
- MIDI Master Keyboard
- DAW Control
- USB-to-host port lets you connect with your computer
- Compatible with DP10 sustain pedal with half-damper control
Another all-around great offering from Roland, the RD88 is a professional quality, lightweight option, available at a price point previously void of a Roland RD stage option.
Roland RD-88 Owner’s Manual
Roland RD-88 Related Resources
|Keyboard||88 keys (PHA-4 Standard Keyboard: with Escapement and Ivory Feel)|
Tone: Over 3,000
|Effects||Zone Multi-effects: 3 systems, 90 types
Zone EQ: 3 systems
Zone Tone Color: 3 systems
Scene Multi-effects (IFX): 90 types
Chorus/Delay: 8 types
Reverb: 6 types
MIDI Master Keyboard
|Controllers||Assignable Wheel x 2
Assignable Control knob x 8
Master Volume knob
Assignable Pedal x 2
|Rated Power Output||6 W x 2|
|Speakers||Full Range 12 cm x 2
Tweeter 2 cm x 2
|Display||Graphic LCD 128 x 64 dots|
|External Storage Device||USB flash drive|
|Connectors||PHONES jack: stereo 1/4-inch phone type
OUTPUT jacks (L/MONO, R): 1/4-inch phone type
MIC INPUT jack: 1/4-inch phone type
LINE INPUT Jack: Stereo miniature phone type
Pedal (DAMPER, FC1, FC2) jacks: TRS phone type
MIDI OUT jack
USB MEMORY port
USB COMPUTER port (supports USB MIDI/AUDIO)
DC IN jack
|Power Supply||DC 12 V: AC adaptor|
|Current Draw||1,500 mA|
Leaflet "USING THE UNIT SAFELY"
|Options (sold separately)||Stand (KS-12, KS-10Z)
Pedal (DP-2, DP-10, EV-5, RPU-3)
Carrying Bag: (CB-88RL, CB-76RL)
USB Flash drive (*)
|Dimensions||1,284 (W) x 258 (D) x 159 (H) mm
50-9/16 (W) x 10-3/16 (D) x 6-5/16 (H) inches
|Weight||13.5 kg / 29 lbs 13 oz (excluding AC adaptor)|
|Dimensions||55 × 16 × 12 in|