thanks mike. i have no objection talking roland in here, i just don't want it to be common knowledge in the lounge or i suspect it's all i'll end up talking about.

the rd-600 was a perfectly good piano but the short answer is yes, the rd700 is much better - as you would expect from a newer technology product.  the rd700 is, in fact, in it's 2nd incarnation as there was an rd700sx and now the rd700gx.

the main differences for out and out pianists is in the quality of the piano sound and the action.

the piano sound features an 88 key multi-sample which means that every key has been sampled individually from a grand piano.  the reason that the top and bottom of older digital pianos were so poor, even with sampling technology, was that limitations in memory meant the less commonly used notes were made by altering the frequency of samples from other notes.

however, you know as well as i do that middle c is not just bottom c but higher; there are a whole load  of different overtones, the strings may be made from different materials etc.  the 88 key multi-sample gives an incredibly accurate sound across the full length of the keyboard.  there are also 4 timbral samples per key, so that pp passages have a different timbre than ff - not just quieter.  

this means that the main piano sound features 4 x 88, or 352 individual samples of notes alone.

additionally, the main piano sound includes samples for hammer noise, damper resonance, duplex scaling, key-off resonances and all the other 'extra' nuances that make up an acoustic piano sound.

amazingly, the piano designer feature that i mentioned to 7 the other day will let you customise the sound to your own personal preference by altering all the above samples and altering eq settings etc.  

for example, it you wanted a really big bright grand for some boogie-woogie, you could open the grand piano lid full (done with a graphic on screen), tweak the eq up on  the bass and treble and add in some more hammer noise for effect.  very cool feature.

the action on the current rd700gx is different even from the rd700sx and is called phaii (progressive hammer action ii).  it is much more realistic than previous versions and 'progressive' means the action is slightly heavier at the bottom and lighter at the top, just as is is on an acoustic instrument.  the keys also has an 'ivory feel' coating which feels incredible and, as a bonus, it's also designed to draw moisture into the keys so your fingers don't slip if you're sweating a bit - excellent on a gig.

this probably sounds like a sales pitch but i'm really enthusiastic about the current top end piano sounds and if you get  chance to play an rd700gx, do so. i'm sure you'll be impressed.

of course, if you want to be blown away completely, go somewhere and see the new v-piano - it's unbelievable! ;-)
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