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Nord Piano vs Roland RD-700gx

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  • Nord Piano vs Roland RD-700gx

    What I basically want is the best piano that I can carry around for gigging purposes. I play a mixture of classical, pop and folk piano so I need some good crisp grand piano sounds as well as more warm ones with depth. I have been happy carrying a Technics weighing 16kg but found my RD-150 too heavy at 22.5kg. However, maybe I just need a wheeled case. Anyway...

    Nord Piano

    pros
    - awesome selection of realistic piano sounds including models from Steinway, Yamaha and Bosendorfer
    - ability to download more programs as they become available
    - lightweight but solid construction (only 18kg: the lightest hammer action pro keyboard with internal power supply)
    - cool, red Nord design and the kudos that goes with it

    cons
    - no ability to seperate sounds into zones and for that matter, only piano/keyboard sounds available
    - questionable key action for piano purposes (medium weighted hammer as opposed to ivory touch fully weighted keys etc)

    Roland RD-700gx

    pros
    - ivory touch piano action
    - customisable piano sounds (hammer noise etc)
    - broad selection of quality "other" sounds
    - expansion slots
    - ability to split and layer with overlapping zones
    - built in usb thumb drive slot (a nice extra for saving setups)

    cons
    - piano sounds not as good as Nord in my opinion and they lack the variety of Nord's piano selection
    - too heavy at 25kg
    - too "Roland". Totally lacking the kudos of the Nord

    So, the Roland certainly has the greater feature set and that wonderful key action. However, the Nord has the awesome piano sounds, portability and that unmistakably cool design.

    Anything else crucial that I have missed out? I would appreciate hearing what you personally would rather have and also what you think would be better suited to me, given my needs. Thanks
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1">Keys:<br />
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    Amp:<br />
    <br />
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    <br />
    PA:<br />
    <br />
    - Mackie PPM1012<br />
    - Bose 802's</font></div>

  • #2
    a matter of taste/preference is 95% of one's choice on this
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><i><font color="Blue">I live a life of fearless self invention</font></i><br />
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    • #3
      I don't have a lot of the experience with the Nord, but your observations match what I've heard about its pros and cons--especially its action.

      Your criticisms of the piano sounds on the GX have been mirrored by many, but some folks think the piano sounds are fine. One thing you may want to explore further, which was discussed in a thread here a couple days ago, is the new piano sound patches that Roland is about to release, which can be installed into the GX. You might want to reserve judgment on the GX until you've had a chance to check out the new sounds.

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      • #4
        Despite not having the customizer features of the RD, the Nord pianos really are great. The only thing that the Piano 88 seems to miss is the piano unison (honky tonk) function found in the Stage EX. It should have a dedicated knob for adding specific amounts of unison, thus letting the user add just tiny bits of out-of-tune-ness to the grand pianos, adding to the character of the instruments. Oh yea, and a more pianistic action.
        No Bosendorfer samples from Nord, but for your purposes the absolutely fantastic upright samples (a huge bunch is on the way as we speak) may be a real treat - clunky and uneven yet full sounding with plenty of characteristics that the grands do not have.

        And as you mentioned, the RD isn't exactly portable - this certainly wouldn't be my preferred gigging solution. IMO, if you can get on with the Nord action it's a great option, but if you are only just able to live with it, better go for something else. Maybe waiting for the 12kg Numa Nano controller or getting a Casio and coupling one of these with a sound module might be another option?
        <div class="signaturecontainer">Niels Münster</div>

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        • #5
          They STILL don't have any info about the Nord Piano and it's polyphony. If it's the same as the Stage EX, which according to Nord's specifications is the vague "40-60 Voices", this may not be enough as far as I'm concerned. I've heard drop-off in the past using 64 voice pianos on certain songs.

          Certainly it may be enough for most things. But you should add to the "pros" of the 700-GX that it has 128 voice polyphony.
          <div class="signaturecontainer">Goofball's mood for today: <img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/mad.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Mad" class="inlineimg" /><br />
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          • #6
            in the RD series ,, you might want to play the RD300gx. It doesnt have as many sounds , but its lighter. More of a stripped down stage piano. cheaper. Gets the job done. I have the RD300sx. Its action is a little lighter than the 300gx ... play a bunch of stuff ,, you will find one you want. I guess it all depends on what you really need done. I like the simple not alot of frills of my RD300sx ,,, and its light weight. Its bone head simple to get the basic sounds on. I am sure if you start nit picking people can find somthing they dont like about it..... but i am not a real wonk on that stuff ,, I just need an instrument that will hold up to one nighter gigs and get the job done. i have been happy with it ,, owned it three years.

            Comment


            • #7
              the nord piano ..

              Comment


              • #8
                They STILL don't have any info about the Nord Piano and it's polyphony. If it's the same as the Stage EX, which according to Nord's specifications is the vague "40-60 Voices", this may not be enough as far as I'm concerned. I've heard drop-off in the past using 64 voice pianos on certain songs.

                Certainly it may be enough for most things. But you should add to the "pros" of the 700-GX that it has 128 voice polyphony.


                Yeah, but a 64 voice board that uses stereo samples reduces the poly to 32. I think, but don't know for sure, that the 40-60 poly in the Nords is true polyphony. I never had a note dropping off in the Electro 2 rack I had, and I would think that the Stage has more poly.

                Comment


                • #9
                  To get back on topic, I think the Nord sounds way better than the RD. If you're in a band you'd probably appreciate the fact that the nord cuts through the mix way easier than the RD.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I thing that the Nord Stage EX looks really cool but I have never had the opportunity to play one. The RD700GX is a great board but not mind-blowing in the synth area - not really designed for that anyway. I like mine very much; I use it for practice and enjoy the acoustic pianos, EP's, and tonewheel organs.

                    Edit - some cool introductory videos to the nord pianos are here. I think that the main reason why I like the videos are the organ and EP sounds.
                    <div class="signaturecontainer">Gribs<br />
                    <font size="3"><br />
                    <font size="1"><i>...Music can be used to stimulate mass emotion, while mathematics cannot; and musical incapacity is recognized (no doubt rightly) as mildly discreditable, whereas most people are so frightened of the name of mathematics that they are ready, quite unaffectedly, to exaggerate their own mathematical stupidity.<br />
                    </i><br />
                    G.H. Hardy in A Mathematician's Apology (London 1941).</font></font></div>

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                    • #11
                      Another Nord user here pointing out that polyphony is indeed not a problem. At least, I've never encountered note stealing anyway - except when I put both my arms across the keyboard and pressed as many keys as possible... but honestly, how often do we use that?

                      To me the only advantage of the RD is the keybed. But again, that keybed is absolutely amazing - every time I sit down and play it, I think I'm dreaming.
                      <div class="signaturecontainer">Niels Münster</div>

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have had an RD700GX for over a year now and have been very pleased with it. There has been a lot of talk about the stock Roland Piano sounds being - well shall we say 'lacklustre'.

                        I honestly don't know what they are talking about. Before I bought the GX I tried out all the major competitors, and spent a lot of time with the Nord Stage (the EX model wasn't out then).

                        (Be aware that with any keyboard the amplification can make a huge difference. At home I run my keyboards through a nice pair of studio monitors.)

                        I thought the Nord was a great bit of kit, but the keybed was - shall we say 'not good' if you want a piano. The GX gave me a connection with the instrument that was lacking with the Nord. I also thought the Roland was the most natural sounding - it wasn't too bright, which many other brands seem to do. I think it's similar to shops that show plasma TV's with the colour and contrast set too high - looks good in a superficial way.

                        Actually playing the keyboard on the GX is a real pleasure. However, last week a nice man delivered the new Supernatural Piano Kit to my door.

                        I was real happy with the stock sounds, but the new board brings thing on even further. And if you like those overly bright piano's that 'cut through the mix' you are also well provided for. If you can't get to play a GX with the upgrade board try a Roland HP307 as most places seem to have one of those.

                        I would say that it's not a lot of fun lugging the bloody thing about though.

                        If you are going to drop this amount of cash on a keyboard, you simply must audition them both - and then this is the important bit - trust your own ears rather than what 'the word on the street' is.

                        If I were buying now I would be waiting for the new Yamaha CP's that are coming soon.

                        (Played a Korg SV-1 the other day - rather liked it but wouldn't buy one.)

                        Enjoy you new keyboard - whatever colour it is !

                        Mike

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          in the RD series ,, you might want to play the RD300gx. It doesnt have as many sounds , but its lighter. More of a stripped down stage piano. cheaper. Gets the job done. I have the RD300sx. Its action is a little lighter than the 300gx ... play a bunch of stuff ,, you will find one you want. I guess it all depends on what you really need done. I like the simple not alot of frills of my RD300sx ,,, and its light weight. Its bone head simple to get the basic sounds on. I am sure if you start nit picking people can find somthing they dont like about it..... but i am not a real wonk on that stuff ,, I just need an instrument that will hold up to one nighter gigs and get the job done. i have been happy with it ,, owned it three years.


                          Does the Roland RD 300sx have tone wheel organs and the ability to layer and split ? How are the pianos and Wurlitzer's ?
                          I noticed it's priced reasonably unlike the Nord and RD700
                          <div class="signaturecontainer">Kurzweil PC2<br />
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                          • #14
                            As I've said before in regards to the Nord Piano in other threads is the reason I'd like to know more about the polyphony is more about what it will say about what engine is inside of it. If it's indeed the "40-60 Voices" as the Stage EX is, then that is a strong indication that this is just a repackaged Stage with the organ and VA taken out of it...which it pretty much is when it's all said and done.

                            Just was hoping they were going to bring something actually "new" out. But Nord is known for milking the most out of their hardware as far as they can go. I mean, for instance it's 2010 and they STILL can't do MIDI over USB yet, even though they have a USB connection, it's only for OS upgrades and loading sounds on and off. They've said in the past they can't just do an OS upgrade to enable MIDI over USB...and since the new boards are still like that, that again shows they're using their old designs and parts in the "new" instruments.

                            Not that it's a bad thing mind you....it's a way for them to save money and it's more efficient for them I'm sure.
                            <div class="signaturecontainer">Goofball's mood for today: <img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/mad.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Mad" class="inlineimg" /><br />
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                            <br />
                            <font size="1">How perfectly goddamn delightful it all is, to be sure...&quot; -- Charles Crumb (1942-1994)</font></div>

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                            • #15
                              There is a youtube demo showing supernatural piano upgrade kit for RD700GX.
                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDx44daGfgY

                              Please don't start "Youtube does not (or does) have sound quality of blah blah blah...". This is JUST FYI.
                              <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1"><b> Gears: I don't know why I have so many gears that I don't need<img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/facepalm.gif" border="0" alt="" title="facepalm" class="inlineimg" /> </b></font></div>

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