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Roland RD 700/300 NX vs Clavia Nord Piano 88
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JacekH
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#1
5th October 2011
Old 5th October 2011
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Roland RD 700/300 NX vs Clavia Nord Piano 88

I'm planning to buy a stage piano. The main purpose is small live gigs (semi acoustic with an accoustic gtr and sax + vocal). My target sounds are ac. grand piano and el-pianos. My six year old son is starting piano lessons this month. Because I don't have any ac piano at home I'd like to use this stage piano with my near-field monitors. I've read a lot reviews, tests, listened to many samples and finally decided to choose from Yamaha stage pianos CP33/CP50, Roland RD 300 NX/700 NX. I played a couple minutes with CP50 and RD 700 NX. I do liked the keyboard of RD 700 NX. CP50 grand piano sounded richer, more powerful but less acoustical than RD 700 NX. Also using CP50 on a stage is not easy - terrible menu, hidden basic functions and so on.
I've decided to stay with Roland RD 300/700 NX. Unfortunately, I had no chance to compare them both. I know their specifications, read their manuals and I'm not sure if RD 300 NX keyboard is good enough. However, it's not as heavy as RD 700 NX - just 17 kg what is really nice
Reading some reviews about digital pianos I noticed that Clavia Nord Piano 88 seem to be very high rated. Especially for its sound.
Could you compare Nord Piano 88 with RD 300 NX? I know that Nord Piano seem to be 'just' piano (no dual, no split, no other sounds not-piano/harpsi related, no rhythms etc.) but I'd like to compare the keyboard and ac/el pianos when playing live.
?

Regards,
Jacek
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5th October 2011
Old 5th October 2011
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I think the Nord Piano sits somewhere between RD300nx and 700nx, when you weigh in all the features (sounds, keyboard action, price, etc..).

The action is different in all of these; not better or worse, just.. different.
I like the Nord action more, seems to "flow" better, but it does feel spongy when compared to the 700nx, which has a more clunkier feel to it, but also more precise.
It's not a wooden keyboard on the Roland, but it wants to be.. 300nx obviously has a cheaper keybed, but it's been a while since I've tested one.

700nx has the most sounds and editability, I view it as a cross between a stage piano and a synth. The SuperNatural sounds are a real improvement over the last versions.
The Nord's basic sound is so good.. you can really hear the hammers clunk away (in a good way). It's also lighter and smaller, as you said, but the price is pretty steep for what it is.

I read in a thread/post here somewhere describing the Roland sound as already recorded and mixed, whereas the Nord sound is more raw and closer to the real thing or something to that effect..
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JacekH
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6th October 2011
Old 6th October 2011
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Thank you. Finally, I've decided to order all of them I mean Roland RD 300 NX, RD 700 NX and Clavia Nord Piano 88 and decided which one should stay with me. Comparing them side by side is the only solution I think. I wish to have Yamaha CP33 and CP50 for tests beside Roland and Clavia but paying for all of them in the same time is too much for me :( Anyway, two Rolands and Clavia should be enough to decide.

Regards,
Jacek
#4
7th January 2012
Old 7th January 2012
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Alexmaid is offline
Hello, I've not found answer in forums, so may be You can start the new one...
I've bought a Roland Rd300nx (previously used Rd300sx for several years) and got a serious problem - You cant keep the rhythm tempo same when You change live set (it immediately resets to default value when You change live set). This effectively limits You to only one live set per song and is very unconvinient. Else You can program several user live sets with required rhythm tempo - but then you have to reprogramm all of them for another song. This a very serious limitation, may be some one knows a way out...

Regards in advance, Alexander.
JacekH
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11th January 2012
Old 11th January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexmaid View Post
Hello, I've not found answer in forums, so may be You can start the new one...
I've bought a Roland Rd300nx (previously used Rd300sx for several years) and got a serious problem - You cant keep the rhythm tempo same when You change live set (it immediately resets to default value when You change live set). This effectively limits You to only one live set per song and is very unconvinient. Else You can program several user live sets with required rhythm tempo - but then you have to reprogramm all of them for another song. This a very serious limitation, may be some one knows a way out...
As I mentioned above, I ordered RD 300 NX, Nord Piano 88 and RD 700 NX. I compared them using quite large FOH. It should be noted that factory settings of PIANO sound in RD 300 NX vs 700 NX differs. 700 has Sound Focus set to ON, while 300 to OFF. It causes that out-of-the-box-comparing shows that 700 sounds much more better than 300. The true is: they sound very similar. Of course, 700 has a better keyboard (touch, look). Nord Piano 88 is another beast I do like how it sounds. Its Rhodes programs are really great. Both Rolands sounded very weak beside Nord Piano when talking about electric pianos. Acoustic piano sound of Nord Piano is great for live performances. However, it seems be less natural from Roland NX series. I like their acoustic piano sound for home playing or recording.

Finally, I've bought RD 300 NX because of its features. I don't need these extras from RD 700 NX. Nord Piano 88 misses all these splits, duals, wave playing etc.

I've played already 15 2-hour performances (pop songs with classic guitar and vocalists) with RD 300 NX. My pros/cons:
+ the keyboard feeling: a little heavy, but good for live playing
+ 3 zones with volume sliders: fast change without sophisticated menus
+ acoustic piano sound: after small editing it really shines
+ the weight
+ playing wave files: I sometimes use percussion audio tracks instead of built-in rhythms
- electric pianos: maybe these old FM-like and reeds are useful, but Rhodes-like sounds thin, weak and lifeless
- audio/rhythm volume assigned to performances: when switching between live sets stored with different volume you have to remember about storing them with the same settings
- the same about rhythm selection and its tempo: this is what Alexmaid is talking about; I hate this also because I have to create/change many live sets with just different tempo...
- MIDI controlling: I wish to have simple Live Set to MIDI settings copy. I mean all split and volume settings.

Unfortunately, I'm afraid we cannot expect any new features for RD 300 NX. But who knows...

Cheers,
Jacek
#6
22nd January 2012
Old 22nd January 2012
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Interesting. I have a Nord Stage. Don't love the piano simply because I find the keyboard not so great and the sample staging to be a bit abrupt. So I still mostly use my trusty Yamaha CP 33 for allot of acoustic piano stuff. Yamahas have great keyboard feel.

That said I tried a Roland V Piano. It is somewhat overpriced however, generally speaking the Roland digital pianos are very smooth and the keys feel good.

Yamaha in line with the Roland digital pianos are the newer Yamaha CP1 and CP5 are a bit better than the CP33 particularly with regards to the tactile feel of the key surfaces themselves. The sounds are a bit better too. For the money though the 33 is still a great deal.

The only other digital piano in the ball park is the Kawai. Had an MP9000. It felt fantastic. This is a great consideration but not for moving around as the keys are actually made of wood and it is therefore very heavy.

Every other workstation piano sound has left me less than inspired.
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16th September 2012
Old 16th September 2012
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I have revised my opinion a bit. I recently down loaded some of the newer Nord piano samples and I like them quite a bit. I also tried the Roland 300 and 700 NX and limited to just the piano sounds I like the Rolands very much. However, I am reluctant to say better or worse because the Nord is great and the Rolands are great and context determines everything.

Overall though, the Roland NX series are very nice stage pianos but the Nord has so many useful and customizable sounds and functions that are just great for performance that I'm sticking with the Nord.

I will add though that were it not for the cost I would trade my CP33 for a Roland 700NX in a heartbeat.

The Nord is just a lisghtly different animal and one of the best performance keyboards I have ever owned and I have owned allot of them.
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16th September 2012
Old 16th September 2012
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I should add that my Nord Stage is the EX model so it can handle the larger piano samples but cannot load some of the better synth samples. That is a small matter though and overall, the Nord Stage really is a great and expressive keyboard.

The person that described the Nord as more raw and the Roland as more "already mixed" was not far from wrong. It does in a way define the differences.
#9
21st September 2012
Old 21st September 2012
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andi85 is offline
I think Nord Keyboards has really come to worship and celebrate the acoustic piano, which seems wonderful to me. I have "just" a little Electro 3, so I'm missing out on a few sound details, but the sound is there. I'm also happy that they look beyond the everyday standards, so it's not just the ubiquous Steinway/Yamaha/Kawai but also a few pieces from the rich and diverse European piano manufacturing tradition. I mean, they have all those Petrof, Schimmel, Gerbstädt and what not, whereas for example Yamaha basically bought Bösendorfer a few years ago but has never incorporated that sound into one of their digitals so far.

I'm particularly impressed by the ways they have incorporated the individual characteristics of the upright pianos. I used the Schimmel upright this week for accompanying a singer and was really, really happy with the sound.
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