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Roland F-140R Review – 316 Instruments In One

Roland F-140R Review

Roland F-140R

6.9

Design

8.0/10

Key Action

4.0/10

Sound

7.0/10

Features

8.0/10

Accessories

7.0/10

Value

7.5/10

Pros

  • Good looking
  • 3 pedals with half pedaling
  • Internal recording
  • USB memory stick port
  • Bluetooth
  • 316 instrument sounds

Cons

  • No bench included
  • Key action is clicky
  • Can not record multiple tracks
  • Volume buttons instead of slider

The Roland F-140R sits in a sweet spot of the digital piano market. It’s comfortably priced and comes with tons of features. This would be the perfect digital piano at the price range if not for the escapement built in the key action. Let me explain in my Roland F-140R review.

Roland has been able to maintain an excellent reputation throughout the past by manufacturing some of the most beautiful digital pianos for the people in need. That’s one of the reason why this Roland F-140R is so popular in the market.

However, before we start, I want to make sure you understand that this review is purely based on my personal experience with the one F-140R that I tried.

Some of the comments and critics can be highly personal and it may even be that the one I tested is a faulty unit.

I do urge you to find one in your local dealer shop and try it out before make a purchase.

DESIGN


  • The Look

The Roland F-140R is a furniture styled piano featuring a modern look. Therefore, you would love to have it at your home.

The slim and modern design offered by this piano would definitely impress you. It will be a unique and a one of a kind addition to your home as well.

You can choose between black and white. The black version have that nice wood texture on the surface while the white version uses the stylish glossy finish.

Both look great and it boils down to your personal taste and how it fits your home decor style.

  • Music Rest

This piano comes along with a folding key cover, which can be used as the music rest. It is a versatile cover because it can provide enhanced protection to the keyboard as well.

The benefit of such design is that the music rest is very long and you can comfortably have multiple pieces on display.

The drawback however is that the music rest is very low profile that if you are using printed sheets on A4 papers, they will often fold the upper half over the music rest.

It’s not a deal breaker though. All you need to do is put a book behind your sheet and this is quite a common issue with folding key covers.

Roland F-140R music rest

  • Control

The control panel is not my favorite part of this digital piano.

To start, the power button sits alone on the left side with empty real estate all around. I feel they could better put a volume slide below the power button.

The rest of the controls are crowded on the left upper side next to the music rest.

I really do not like volume buttons. When it comes to volume control, I’d prefer a slider to a knob to buttons.

Good thing about the control panel is the display, it’s small and I like it that way. You wouldn’t notice it much while playing.

The layout is very clear. From left to right, there are volume control, record, playback, functions and sounds.

I would like to see half of it move to the right side though. Since again, it’s all empty space there and overall it just looks unbalanced.

Roland F-140R control panel
  • Keys

The Roland F-140R has what they call the ivory feel keys.

It is an artificial material that replicates the feel of ivory. It does feel slightly better than plastic. And it can help with grip and absorb moisture for long playing sessions.

However, one thing you need to know is that this synthetic material is only applied to the surface of the keys.

Beneath that it’s still plastic and you can certainly feel that while playing. Of course, at this price range, it’s not something anyone would complain about.

One tiny thing that I notice is the yellowish tint this ivory feel material has. It does make the keys look like ivory and it looks fine with the black body.

Unfortunately, on the white version, this yellowish tint becomes very obvious and the keys look old and dirty.

To be honest, I say let’s get pass this ivory nonsense. It’s so old school.

  • Size & Weight

This is a compact piano. Therefore, you will only need to allocate a little space in your home to accommodate it. You can even put it in the hallways.

The Roland F-140R weights around 34.5 kg(76 lbs)

This ninja like digital piano has the dimensions of 136 x 34 x 78 cm (53.5” x 13.5” x 30.6”).

KEY ACTION


This is the major part that my experience differs from many others.

The Roland F-140R uses their PHA-4 standard key action with escapement.

It’s a compact version of their key action and many people praise the feel of the F-140R. Some would even say it’s one of the best if not the best key action of the price range.

The PHA-4 is a triple sensor key action, which is quite rare in its price range. It feels light and responsive. You can also play really fast thanks to the triple sensor system.

What bothers me is the escapement also known as let-off. Read here to find out what an escapement is in an acoustic piano. And watch this video if you want to know more.

These are mechanics that were necessary in the physical world but serves no purpose in a digital piano. Instead of releasing the jack thus freeing the hammer, digital piano keys simply move between sensors.

Join the discussion here about whether escapement in a digital piano is just a marketing gimmick.

Regardless of what you think about escapement in a digital piano, the one implemented in the Roland F-140R just doesn’t feel right to me.

It supposes to be very subtle and you can only feel it when press the key really slowly. But on the F-140R, it’s very obvious even when playing with normal speed.

I think they have over-done it and makes the keys very clicky. And this clicky sensation is so strong that it distract me from playing. To me, it almost feels like typing on a computer keyboard!

Again, this is only my personal experience with the key action. Please take the time and effort to try it yourself in a store!

SOUND


The sound engine you would find in F-140R is called SuperNATURAL. It is Roland’s solution to re-produce realistic piano sound digitally.

The SuperNATURAL sound engine combines sound samples recorded on a grand piano with computer modeling. The result is pretty good.

Personally, I find the mid range sound best and the two ends are slightly off. But there’s nothing to complain about this sound engine.

Check this video to see which sound you prefer:

As for speakers, the Roland F-140R is equipped with two 12W speakers.

They can get quite loud if you want them to. Perfect for a normal sized living room.

The speakers are not just loud, they produce good sound quality as well thanks to it’s 12 cm drive.

I would say it’s significantly better than the speakers from Roland RP-102 or Yamaha YDP-143.

FEATURES


The Roland F-140R digital piano is packed with features. From Bluetooth to a whooping 316 instrument sounds, this one has it all. Check the full list here:

  • Sound:
    • Grand pianos × 11
    • Electric pianos × 7
    • Organs × 4
    • Harpsichords
    • Strings × 5
    • Vibraphone
    • and 287 more
  • Polyphony: 128
  • Key sensitivity: 1-5, fixed
  • Ambience settings: 1-10, off
  • Brilliance settings: 1-21
  • Modes:
    • Dual mode: two instrument sound simultaneously
    • Twin mode: divide the keyboard to identical halfs
    • Split mode: split the keyboard to different instruments
  • Recording:
    • 10 song
  • Internal songs
    • Piano Masterpieces: 69 songs
    • Czerny: 100 songs
    • Hanon: 20 songs
  • Headphone jack × 2
  • USB to Host port
  • USB to memory stick port
  • Bluetooth

 

ACCESSORIES


Inside the package, you will find an AC power adapter and the owner’s manual. In addition, a screw set, stabilizer is also being provided.

The Roland F-140R has three pedals. They are Damper, Soft and Sostenuto. Both the damper and soft pedal support half pedaling.

It does not come with a bench. So you will need to purchase one separately.

A good pair of headphone is recommended for practice.

External speakers/monitors are not necessary since the speakers on the Roland F-140R is pretty good.


WHO IT’S FOR


I feel the Roland F-140R is designed for people who are modern and who loves gadgets. It looks really good in a minimalism style room and it is packed with features. You can certainly have a lot of fun with it.

However, if you are looking for a digital piano mainly to play and practice piano, I honestly can not recommend the F-140R.

The key action is just too distracting and it gets really annoying really fast. To me, that’s a deal breaker.

CONCLUSION


The Roland F-140R has been praised by many and you can find tons of good reviews of it on the internet.

After testing and reviewing it myself, I would’ve probably agreed with all the good reviews if it weren’t for the key action.

The key action is just too clicky for me.

That being said, I again urge you to go to a store and try it for yourself.

Because if you are okay with the key action, it’s not a bad piano to have. The sound is good with decent speakers; the look is lovely and Bluetooth is nice to have. 316 instrument sounds are way too many but it certainly doesn’t hurt.


>> Click here to check price and availability! <<


OTHER OPTIONS

Roland F-140R vs. Yamaha YDP-143

Another similarly priced model is the Yamaha YDP-143. It has been very popular since its launch in 2016.

Compare to the Yamaha, the F-140R has so many more features. It has Bluetooth, a lot more instrument sounds and a USB to device port.

Both instruments sound excellent. However, the GHS key action on the Yamaha is a bit lacking compare to the PHA-4 action on the Roland. Even though I’m not a fan of the simulated escapement on the PHA-4, it does feel more responsive and expressive than the GHS.

I would recommend the Roland F-140R over the Yamaha YDP-143 for its superior key action and more advanced features.

For more details about the Yamaha YDP-143, click here for my full review.


Roland F-140R vs. Kawai KDP 110

These two are similarly priced and both are very popular instruments.

The F-140R has much more features than the KDP 110. Not only does it also have Bluetooth, the F-140R has 300 more sounds to choose from. It also has a USB to device port and can record more songs internally.

However, the Kawai KDP 110 wins on key action and sound. The key action is vastly superior in my opinion and the sound engine is also more advanced. The F-140R exhibit off balanced tonal characteristics that are common to group sampling. The KDP 110 does not have such issue thanks to each key being individually sampled.

The KDP 110 also has a more powerful speaker system of 40 watt compare to F-140R’s 24 watt.

I would recommend the Kawai KDP 110 over the Roland F-140R for its superior key action and sound engine. The F-140R does have more features.

For more details about the Kawai KDP 110, click here for my full review.


Leave a comment and let me know what’s your opinion of the Roland F-140R. If you have experience with the key actions, share with us your thoughts on the simulated escapement.

14 thoughts on “Roland F-140R Review – 316 Instruments In One”

  1. I just opened and set up my Roland F140R.

    The instruction book does not tell me what the 318 voices (sounds) are or how to access them. I can get the variety of piano sounds but I’m trying to get organ, string, etc sounds. Is there a list online or on a website that gives the codes? I’m an organist so I guess I’m just used to pressing a stop.

    1. Hi Jack,

      Congratulations on your new F-140r. On the second page of the owner’s manual, you can find the instructions to select different voices. Basically you first press the [piano] button and then use the [+] and [-] to change tones. For non-piano tones, press the [other] button and then use the [+] and [-].

      Also on page 19, there’s the list of tones.

      In case you don’t have the manual, here’s a digital version.

      Good luck and have fun with your new piano!

  2. This is completely inaccurate, it seems you never even played the F-140R. It feels much better than most other actions in this price range, and it’s one of the quietest actions I’ve ever played. Complete nonsense, there’s no way you can feel let-off when playing with normal speed, it’s just impossible. Either do you research and test the F-140R in person, or leave your thoughts for yourself.

    1. Hi Mike,

      Allow me to welcome you to my site and thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Like I emphasis several times in this review, it’s solely based on my experience on the one unit I tested. And like always, I recommend anyone reading my review to find a physical shop and try the key action before purchasing.

      I don’t know if my fingers are just sensitive, but I can definitely feel the ‘clicky’ let off on the F-140R. I could get used to it after playing on it for a while. But that sensation is always there.

      If you can’t feel that or if it doesn’t bother you, that’s great news for you. Because beside the key action, I do think the Roland F-140R is an excellent digital piano at its price range.

      1. Thanks for the support Mike. I do welcome all kinds of feedback on my reviews. Never have I claimed to be an expert on digital pianos and as you can see, quite a few people disagree with me on the key action of the Roland F-140R.

        The ONE thing that makes piano reviews difficult is the key action. I can list features with words, describe the design with images, showcase the sound with audio/video. But key action is not only hard to convey with words, but it’s also very personal. That’s why I always recommend anyone to find a store nearby and try the keys themselves.

  3. I love my Roland F-140R, the keys have very decent weight, just like a real piano(this is very important for any beginner, you don’t want to play on weightless keys and develop strengthless fingers), and the sound is just superb! I think overall Roland F-140R excel in it’s price range in every single way.

      1. I sort of understand why you say the keys are clicky, to me it is not clicky, it’s more that in very rare occasions the keys can bounce back a tiny bit delayed than you expect them to. But I’m not sure if it’s because of my way of playing is insufficient or it is the keys…. anyways, good rewiew Wei!

        1. Okay, good to know that it’s not just me who’s feeling the clicks in the key action. The keys bounce back delayed because the so called let-off. It introduces friction to mimic that escapement feel on grand concert pianos. I’m pretty sure it’s the keys and not the way you are playing them. I would suggest that you play the same passage on an acoustic piano and see if there’s any difference.

  4. This is a really great review of the Roland. I do not play the piano, but it is something I have always wanted to start playing. I would love to have one for my home that I could start using. This looks like a great choice! Being a beginner, I guess the key action would not be a huge deal breaker, or is there another piano you would recommend as a long-term purchase?

    1. Hi Matt’s Mom, cute name. Thanks you for your comment. If you have never played piano before, I would recommend the Yamaha P45. It’s a great digital piano for beginners and most importantly, you can’t beat the price of that one. It’s less than $400. See my Yamaha P45 review here.

    1. Thanks for dropping by Diego. I’m actually not so sure about my review. It’s very personal. Some pianists I talked about love the action on the Roland F-140R.

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