30 Comments

  1. Rob

    I’ve noticed that when keys on the ES110 are pressed lightly (gently) they bounce somewhat when released, especially with the higher notes. Is this normal and would it impair development of good playing technique?

    • Hi Rob,

      It’s an common issue for the ES110. Although it wouldn’t hurt your performance nor technique. I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

  2. Linda

    Hello Wei,

    Thank you for your useful reviews. In your review I read: “The weight of the keys are on the heavy side. I find it tiring to play for long sessions“. I’am looking for a portable digital piano with ‘light’ keys, which make it less tiring to play. Can you give me some advise? Is the Roland FP 90 a better alternative or do you have other suggestions? Thanks in advance!

  3. Xiaoning Liao

    Hi Wei,
    Thank you for your excellent review! I am trying to get a entry level digital piano. The top two on my shopping list are Casio px160 and Roland fp10. In your reviews for these two DPs , you gave a mark of 8 to Casio px160 and 6 to fp-10 for key action. But in your reply to Ori, you said the key action of px160 is somewhat between Yamaha P45 and fp-10, suggesting key action of fp-10 is better. This is confusing me. Could you kindly let me know, which one has better key action? Px160 or fp-10?
    Thank you very much!
    Xiaoning

    • Hi Xiaoning,

      Key action is a very subjective matter. While the PHA-4 standard is generally considered more advanced than the action on the PX160, I simply find it too clicky. This is why I gave it a lower score. Many people fight me for it. A lot of people love the action on the Roland and swear that they don’t feel the simulated ‘let-off’.

      This is why I always encourage my readers to find a physical shop and try the key actions. I simply can not answer the question about key action for you.

      Meanwhile, do check out Casio’s 2019 new model the PX S1000. The key action is in my opinion better than both the PX160 and the FP-10.

  4. Ori

    Hello Wei.

    Thank you so much for all you have written.

    I am a bit indecisive as I am learning to play piano and it is something I have wanted since I was a child. Now I can afford it 🙂 and I want to do wthat’s best.

    Last week I went to buy the Yamaha p-45 (369€ fairly good price). The salesman showed me the Rolland FP-30 was a better choice (as well investment 505€) and I am waiting for it to be available.

    Reading all this, I kindly ask you to advise me what is the better choice between all brands and to no more than 500€ (+/-)…?

    Thank you so much.

    • Hi Ori,

      I was exactly where you are at right now. I chose the Yamaha P-45 to start my piano journey. It’s a good beginner piano but back then there weren’t many other choices.
      Now, all the brands are aware of the lower end of the market and they all have something to offer. I hereby list some of the options around €500:

      1. Yamaha P-45 (Full Review): unbeatable price with adequate key action and sound. Comes with an awful foot-switch, something you will have to upgrade in the future. It also does not have internal recording capability and a really bad polyphony of 64.

      2. Roland FP-30 (Full Review): Much more sophisticated model. It has the PHA-4 key action that features synthetic Ivory key tops, triple sensor and simulated escapement. If it’s within your budget, it’s a much better piano than the P-45. It also comes with the foot-switch that you will have to upgrade.

      3. Roland FP-10 (Full Review): This is a brand new 2019 model from Roland. It features the same key action and sound engine as the FP-30, which make it a steal for its price. It lacks internal recording capability but like the FP-30, it also has Bluetooth, which is a really nice feature on such a cheap piano. The polyphony number of the FP-10 is 96, a bit on the low end but still better than the P-45.

      4. Kawai ES110 (Full Review): This popular model from Kawai is slightly over your budget but I think it’s still worth a mention here. This models comes with a proper piano pedal so that would save you some money from future upgrades. It cost about €585 and it has probably the best key action among all the models I list here. It also has Bluetooth and an impressive 192 polyphony.

      5. Casio PX-160 (Full Review): Last but not least, the PX-160 is another cheap digital piano worth a mention. It has good key action, somewhere between the P-45 and the FP-10. It also can record internally but does not have Bluetooth. The pedal that comes with it is also something you will want to upgrade as soon as possible.

      I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck finding the piano that’s right for you. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

      And do come back and share with me which model you get and what you think about it.

  5. re: Roland FP-30
    Definitely a lot of bang for the buck. It’s worth trying out various arrangement of piano settings, keyboard touch and reverb (hall ambience) to arrive at the precise combination to suit your individual playing style. For being on the road I take along two good monaural keyboard amps, and, using the 1/4″ headphone jack, i wired up (and then bought — there some some available on eBay), the 1/4″ stereo splitter (which takes 1/4″ stereo male plug and converts it into two MONAURAL 1/4″ jacks — one for each channel). This arrangement works out out well for driving the two monaural amps in stereo. I also own a Roland FP-90 and a Roland V-Piano (the king of the castle!). The feature set on the FP-90 is richer and tweeky-er, but, at 52 pounds plus extras, it’s a bit of a lug to carry around. On top-notch gigs I would do it, but the FP-30, at 32 pounds = a world of difference in trasnportability, and is a very capable keyboard for meeting the needs for most playing environments. One more hing to mention: The music rack lacks a “comb” to keep lead sheets from sliding off it. I remedied this by getting some really good “tube” epoxy, squishing it into a long, thin snake, and applying the snake as a bead at the edge of the rack. After it set, I spray-painted the rack a very nice navy blue. Voila!!

    • Hi Stephen,

      Welcome to my Roland FP-30 review and thanks a lot for sharing with us your user experience with this instrument.

      It is recommended to use external monitors with these portable digital pianos. I myself use a splitter just like yours.

      FP-90 is not doubt a better instrument. But just like you mentioned, it’s significantly heavier.

      Thanks for sharing the issue with the music rest. I missed it in my review. I think Roland did this for the look. It’s not a deal breaker and can be fixed like what you did. But could be annoying.

  6. Sam

    hi Wei,

    Im totally new in piano world , and wish to buy either FP-30 or P125 for self learning, but hard to make decision which one to choose, can you tell me more specific about what kind of reason to buy p125 or fp30. Or any comparison I can review?

    • Hi Sam, welcome and thanks for your comment. Glad to hear that you want to give piano a try. There are many benefits of learning this amazing instrument!

      At the price range of around $700, there are three popular models I would recommend. The Yamaha P125, Roland FP-30 and the Kawai ES110. All three are very good instruments and you can’t go wrong with either of them.

      Click here to see my review on the P125 and at the bottom you can find a comparison between the P125 and Kawai ES110.

      Click here to see my review on the Kawai ES110 and at the bottom you will find a comparison between the ES110 and the FP-30.

      Personally, I would go for the Kawai ES110 for its slightly better key action and vast superior sustain pedal. If you are only deciding between the FP-30 and the P125, I recommend the FP-30. The P125 is a solid digital piano but the key action is way too basic. You pay a lot premium for the brand.

      I started to learn piano with the Yamaha P45, which has the same key action of the P125. Once I got my hands on more expensive models, I realize how unrealistic the key action is. The action on the FP-30 is not my favorite but is definitely much better than the P125.

      The FP-30 also has Bluetooth and a stronger speaker system.

      Just make sure you upgrade the sustain pedal. The included pedal of P125 and FP-30 are terrible binary foot switch. You want one that supports half pedaling as pedaling is a crucial part of piano. The pedal that comes with the Kawai ES110 is a much better one and that’s one of the reasons that I would go for the ES110.

      Come back and let me know which one you end up with and share your experience here.

      • Tan

        Hi Wei,

        Does the FP 30 speakers sounded significantly more powerful then P125 and FP10. What i read seems like FP30>P125>FP10.
        Does the 4speakers of P125 really helps on the sound stage wise?

        • Hi Tan,

          Yes, the speakers on the FP 30 is indeed significantly more powerful. It is quite obvious when you put these models side by side.

          The 4 speakers on the P125 is more designed towards the player rather than the audience. So on stage, it doesn’t make much difference.

  7. Ngonidzashe Manzwangani

    I have been using the Roland FP-30 from 7 May 2018, I usually use it at my church on Sundays, Wednesday and Fridays. The key action and sound quality is awesome. I had used the Acoustic Piano prior to this and they almost feel the same, I was expecting to see a big difference considering FP-30 price. When you play it with headphones, the sound is even more than amazing.

    Thank you so much for such great review

    • Wei

      Hi there, welcome and thank you for sharing your experience with the Roland FP-30. It is indeed a great instrument. 

      When you perform at your church, do you hook the FP-30 with external speakers or do you just use it’s built in speakers?

  8. Rich-allee

    Does the FP-30 let you record and save your own tunes? I remember I used to use these a lot when I was younger, especially in church, we had one that let you freestyle and recorded the freestyle so that you could save it on a computer as an mp3, made it so much fun to just play around and create random tunes. Does it come with a carrying case? 

    And explain the touch feature, is it literally touch sensitive like a smartphone, or do you mean it responds to different levels of pressure pushing on the keys? 

    Also with the Bluetooth, I assume I can play my own music through the keyboard and play along to it? 

    • Wei

      Hi there, welcome and thank you for your comment. You ask some really good questions. 

      The Roland FP-30 does allow you to record your play and then export that to a USB stick. What it doesn’t support is multi-track recording. This is a function that allow you to record on top of an existing recording.

      Carrying cases are sold separately. 

      Touch sensitive is not the same term on smartphones. It means on a digital piano, the sound produced is in relation to how hard you push the keys, like like an acoustic piano. 

      Yes, you can play much though the FP-30 with Bluetooth and play along with it.

  9. Denis

    Hey there,

    I was looking to buy a Christmas gift for my daughter, as she has been playing piano/keyboard for a little while now, and from your review here, it seems that the Roland FP-30 is a good choice, except for a few minor inconveniences like the music rest and the lack of audio outputs.  But I really like the Bluetooth option. She has a friend who has a similar digital piano, and she has a bunch of apps that does keep her involved and practicing.  The price is also reasonable.  I know that you say in your review that it is best suited for a beginner, but how long do you think it would be good for? Will this one last a few years at least, before she wants a better one?

    • Wei

      Hi Denis, thanks for dropping by. You can’t go wrong with the Roland FP-30. There is another model at the similar price range that has Bluetooth. It’s the Kawai ES110. I also really enjoy Bluetooth and I believe there will be more and more apps on our smart devices to keep us motivated for practicing. 

      As for how long your daughter will out grown the Roland FP-30, that is a question I do not have the answer. If depends how your daughter progress her musical journey and her currently skill level. If you want future proof, it will cost you significantly more. 

      What I can advice is that if your daughter is persistent with her piano practice and wants to further improve her skills, get her the best digital piano you can afford. Not only will the instrument last longer, it will certainly make a difference for her performance and practice. A good digital piano might even encourage her to practice more often.

  10. Tom

    Hi Wei,

    This is a great article. I am more of a guitarist, but am looking to get some old piano skills back. It has been a few years since I have played keys, and reading this shows to me how far keyboards have come. Touch sensitive and hammer actions are pretty impressive. Would you suggest that this piano Is a good one to buy to get back in to playing keys? 

    Thanks

    Tom

    • Wei

      Hi Tom. Thanks for dropping by. Digital pianos has come a long way in the last couple of years. The Roland FP 30 is a popular choice among them. Personally, I would recommend the Kawai ES110 or the Yamaha P125. But you can’t go wrong with any of these models. It comes down to your preference in regard to the sound and key action.

  11. Nathalie

    Hello Wei,

    Thank you so much for this post. 

    I bought my son a digital piano a few years ago and he LOVED it. One of MY favourite features was that we could lower the sound level when he was playing, at times when we did not really want to hear loud music. You cannot do that with a real piano! 

    That was also a Roland (I do not remember which model) but it was a second-hand one, so we did not have much choice in the model. 

    I have been wondering for a while which one we should buy if we were to buy a new one now. That’s where your post and whole blog comes in so handy! Thanks a lot for doing this work for us!

    I’m also wondering… What would be the best alternative to this Roland FP-30 if we could spend a little more for even better quality?

    Thanks!! 🙂 

    Nathalie 

  12. mzakapon

    Roland FP-30 is popular and one of the best digital piano in the world. But it is little bit costly than other piano. Thanks for posting this article with resourceful information of this type of piano.

    Those who love music and want to play with piano, will get some important concept and knowledge here for buying and using this type of piano.

    • Wei

      Hi, welcome and thank you for your comment. Roland has been a good brand in the music instruments industry. Like any other industry, you pay a premium for a good brand. 

  13. Dany

    Another good review about pianos. The other day I was looking into your website, and I thought the Yamaha P-125 is the solution which I will go for, but after reading your new review about Roland FP-30, I guess I must think and take a decision, My daughter takes piano lessons, she is still a beginner, and I would like to purchase something useful for now and for when she will be more experienced.

    What would you advice me? Which model shall I purchase?

    • Wei

      Hi Dany, welcome back and nice to see you here again. The P-125 and the FP-30 are competitors and they are both really good instruments. Since your daughter is a beginner, I guess she doesn’t have the need for a portable piano. In that case, I would recommend upright style models. They are usually better with speakers and functions. Also they come with three pedal unit that will be important once your daughter reaches a certain skill level. 

      Some upright style digital piano models for you to consider:

      Kawai CA48: really good piano with full wooden keys.

      Yamaha YDP-184: flagship of the Arius line. Solid in every way.

      Casio PX870: almost as good as the two above but only half as expensive

      Roland F-140r: a very popular choice. Though I don’t like the key actions, some love it.

      Yamaha DGX-660: tons of fun function beyond piano. Would be a good choice to keep your daughter motivated.

  14. los

    Hi Wei,

    Thanks so much for this review. I really enjoyed reading it. I am still a beginner with very little experience. However, I need something to practice with at home. This seems to be an okay option. Do you have any other recommendations that you would recommend over this for me as a beginner?

    Thanks in advance!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *