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Roland RD 600 vs Roland RD 300 SX


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  • Roland RD 600 vs Roland RD 300 SX

    Hi everybody,

    I am going to buy a stage piano that I'll use in a pop/rock band, but also at home to play classical piano music. I have had some experience on a Roland RD 300 SX and I like it, quite a nice piano sound, nice touch, and just enough other sounds and features to use it on stage. So I have started saving for it (1250 euros). However, today I ran into an ad for a second hand Roland RD600 for 850 euros (including a flight case). I find it hard to compare these two, this is how far I got:

    RD600 vs RD300SX
    1997 vs 2005 (?)
    25 kgs vs 15 kgs
    64 vs 128 polyphony
    other samples

    RD600 seems to have a lot more customizable stuff.

    My questions are: does anyone know how these two pianos differ in sample quality and touch? I have read some enthousiastic reviews on the RD600 samples, but they were from some time ago.

    Are there perhaps any other important differences?

    Thanks in advance,

  • #2
    The rd600 came out in 1997, I believe. It was then replaced by the rd700, which was replaced about 3 years ago by the vastly superior IMO rd700sx.

    I have not played a rd600, but have played several rd700's, and I find their touch and tone to be unsatisfactory. I presently own a rd700sx, which I love.

    However, all of this is subjective...touch and tone are the major factors to consider when buying a piano...and each person's preference is unique. And you cannot get touch and tone from a specifications sheet.

    The rd300 is contemporary, as is its big brother the rd700sx. I have played a rd300, and wanted to buy it, but it has a different keybed than the rd700sx, and thus played very differently.

    With pianos, I always look for instruments that draw music out of me. After playing a piano for about 10 minutes, it either is doing that, or doing the opposite, that is the piano is becoming harder and harder to play to the point that I literally cannot play it much more in a musical way.

    I found the Rd700 was a drag to play, as was the Rd300. Only the Rd700sx proved satisfactory, again in my humble opinion.

    Here is a Blues tune I do w/my trio to warm up:


    Music teacher and piano player.


    • #3
      Thanks for your useful reply.

      Ik have read very good things about the 700sx, but unfortunately it is out of my budget at the time. Actually, I was aiming at the Casio Privia series at first, but playing on the 300sx for some time has scaled up my demands. So I'd better not touch a 700sx then.

      I am wondering how fast technique gets better, or more specific, is 850 a reasonable price for a 4 year old rd600?


      • #4
        get a Roland FP4 instead.

        seriously, though, I think it's necessary to try something out before buying it. Some of those Rolands have GREAT piano tone and some are not so hot. (Personally, i've never played a RD600 but I've played a few RD700s and have never been too impressed with their tone. The RD100, on the other hand, has the best piano tone of all to my ears.) But I digress. The point is, make sure you like the tone of the patches you will be playing before you buy it. Tone is ultimately the most important thing, IMO (followed by action) - you want to make sure that you sound good when you're playing!!
        woozle wuzzle?


        • #5
          About 12 years ago I owned and played an RD 600. I remember the piano samples being quite good for that time. But if compared to the piano sounds on the new Rolands and Yamahas they would pale in comparison.The EP's were also very good and it was easy to do set-ups and get to sounds. I found the keyboard action quite good and easy for me to play. However I got very tired of hauling it around. If I remember it was 55lbs without a case. In fact this was the last keyboard I owned that weighed over 50lbs.

          I have the RD 300SX and have been gigging with it for 2 1/2 years. Athough it only has the Fantom Piano and not the Superior Grand found in the RD700SX, I find that it is quite good and especially so when played in stereo which I'm able to do 75% of the time.

          The action is a little light and "spongy" compared to say it's big brother the 700SX but I've grown used to it and I love the fact that this board only weighs in at 35lbs. The rhodes sounds are usable not great, the wurlie is weak but the organs are not too bad. It is very sturdy, makes a great controller ( I sometimes use it to control my Nord Electro rack when I dont feel like bringing a 61 key controller for the Nord) So this combination gives me a very good piano sound, and with the Nord, great organs, Ep's Clav's and all around 40 lbs of gear to move. I'm working about 15-16 gigs a month in all kinds of situations so easier load in/load outs are essential.

          There are so many choices out there now if you dont go with the used RD600 you should check a bunch out and not limit yourself to the 300SX. But for my needs and tastes, I really like the RD300SX. Hope this helps


          • #6
            Thanks for your replies. I am seriously considering the rd600 as a cheap alternative (so I don't have to save up some more months) and I have offered the guy 700, including the flightcase. Of course, I have asked to play it before I buy it.

            My budget is around 1000 euros and I got the idea that for my needs (playing at home, once a week at a rehearsal studio and an incidental gig), the Roland RD and the Yamaha P series are the obvious choice (Yamaha having better piano samples, Roland being more multifunctional). I am not familiar with the Roland FP series btw, maybe I'll have a look at that one too.


            • #7
              to be honest the RD600 is worth less than 500 euros in my opinion.

              I have a GEM Promega 3 which is regarded as one of the premier pianos out there, but I really enjoyed playing the RD300SX... I found it very musical and the key action felt pretty nice if not like a piano... I found playing the Yamaha P140 a chore, but my ears are fatigued by years of Yamahas...

              There must be better options for your 800 Euros than the rather old RD600 IMHO... I'm surprised the seller did not bite your hand off to be honest...

              Why not think about the GEM PRP 700... this is the exact same piano sound as the Promega 3 in a smaller package... around 800 Euros new I believe...

              some mp3s here.