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Roland A-80 vs. Roland A-90

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  • Roland A-80 vs. Roland A-90

    Sorry if this has been discussed before, but I can't search for A-80/A80 or A-90/A90 (doesn't consider words with dashes, doesn't consider words with 3 characters).

    I might be able to trade my bass for a Roland A-90 + JV2080, if this guy accepts my offer (he says he's considering it). I'd take that A-90 to my church to leave it there, and I'd be able to play a nice 88-key weighed keybed there (right now I have to carry my Fusion back and forth). I might just play it with the JV2080 and add a Kurz ME-1 for pianos if I feel the pianos aren't up to scratch.

    I've heard though, that the build quality of the A-90 is not the same as the A-80 and that these units have been known to give some problems after some years. Also, that the keybed feel is even heavier than the A-80 - is that true? Does anyone have experience with both boards and would be able to tell me whether this is true?

    Over the years, I've seen these sell for higher on Ebay than the A-80 (even without the expansion), so there's gotta be some goodies in there that I don't know about?


  • #2
    Hey there,

    i owned both.
    I prefer the A-80 keys over the A-90's.
    The A-80 keys bottoms out a little bit too hard but the A-90 keys are a little bit wobbly.
    I also think the A-90 played a little lighter if i remember correctly.
    Both are incredible controllers and if you can have one of them for a good price just do it.
    Please for a piano module also consider the GEM RP-X.
    I never had anything better sounding in my rig than the RP-X.
    ( I also owned the Promega 2 and 3).

    PS: i like your avatar, what a beautiful face.

    greetings from Antwerp,


    • #3
      + A90 has those fantastic JD800 style buttons...


      • #4
        I already have the A-80, but I don't carry it around unless it's a very special occasion. In fact it's not even in my basement studio right now, I have it in my office for easier piano practicing, I can practice and watch the baby sometimes.
        But I play at my church twice a week (about 20-30% of what I play now is keys) + 1 rehearsal during the week and it would be excellent to get this just to leave it there.
        How wobbly are the A-90 keys, does it affect playing much?


        • #5
          A80 has polyphonic aftertouch, if that matters to you.
          Live for Nothing, or Die For Something - John Rambo


          • #6
            Yeah I know, and I don't really use it because I pretty much just use the A-80 to play pianos and orchestral sounds. To be quite honest, I haven't even tested it to see if it works.
            I do use the channel aftertouch in the Fusion though, and eventually if I get deeper into programming, I might try and see what the poly aftertouch can do to a sound.

            By the way, would anyone know how much an unexpanded A-90 would be worth? The only A-80 in Ebay's history right now sold for 214.50


            • #7
              I told the guy I didn't want it because I decided not to be bass-less (truth is, I'm not hot on the JV2080 at all) and now he's throwing in a 300 dollar bass on the deal (Squier Deluxe Jazz 5). I might have to get that A-90 after all.

              He got the A-90/JV2080 in a trade and I asked him if it had any expansion cards and he had no idea. He doesn't play keys, he's a touring bass player and this stuff was just laying in a corner for years. I wonder if I'll get a bonus in the box? Probably not...


              • #8
                By the way, I forgot to say thanks to Ivercaut for his A-80/A-90 comparison. Thanks, man


                • #9
                  Sorry to spam ya Christian, but I am in ATL also and have an A-90EX for sale. Don't need a bass or anything, just looking to upgrade to a 700sx or gx soon and have to downsize. Incidentally, the "wobbly" nature of the keys isn't bad...just a little noisier than you'd expect.


                  • #10
                    By the way, I forgot to say thanks to Ivercaut for his A-80/A-90 comparison. Thanks, man


                    • #11
                      halluxone, I ended up getting the unexpanded A-90 and I mentioned it in the new gear thread but not here... the "wobbly" nature of the keys is part of the realism, this is a very well built, extremely precise keybed. I'm very, very impressed.
                      I'd hold on to it if I were you... it's not going to cover a big part of your upgrade anyway, and who knows, in 2-5 years we might have extremely realistic gigabite piano hardware modules, and you'll find yourself wishing you had this keybed to play them with... unless you don't really like the A-90 keybed that much. I've found the RD700GX to be a bit too much on the light side (though I'd get used to it I'm sure if I had one).