Roland A-88 Reviews4.0/5.0 based on 3 customer reviews
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from Stratford, CT
January 10, 2013
Perfect for My NeedsThis keyboard is a fabulous unit for gigging. I purchased it to replace my TANK of a keyboard (the AKAI MPK 88) because it weighs about half as much. A robust MIDI controller? Definitely not. There's no display and limited flexibility. And programming via the keys themselves is simply awkward. But what you do is AMAZING feel. Despite the very heavy feel of the keys, the action is smooth as silk and surprisingly nimble. Because the control section is off to the left, this keyboard fits into the "extra wide" category, so be aware when purchasing a case. Speaking of which, at this time there aren't any truly good case options. Ultimately very happy with this unit so far - the feel is so nice, it actually makes me sound better!
March 14, 2013Music Background:
Almost Ideal But....This keyboard is an answer to my wishes of a simple, no frills keyboard controller with a good piano action where I can put my computer and other peripherals where I want them in front of me without the interference of needles bells and whistles. The keyboard feel is great, the D--Beam controller is a nice feature to have and the whole thing is surprisingly light making it fairly portable.
The only downside (at least with my unit) is that the side of the keyboard where the controls panel is tends to arch or bend downwards revealing a less that rock solid construction quality for the not-so-cheap price which is a real pity, otherwise I would've given it 5 stars.
from Bay Area, CA
April 24, 2013Music Background:
Almost great!I'd almost give it a 4 even though I don't really think it is "great!" because it's better than most other weighted controllers out there but then I don't think that would help to improve the product since they need constructive reviews (maybe 3.8 stars). What I like about it is that it is really light and compact for an 88 key controller. The key tops also feel really nice and the weighting is pretty good. The USB port and the ability to power it from your computer is priceless. Setup was fairly simple on my Macbook Pro Retina although there are several steps you need to follow in the MIDI device configuration utility just to get playing. I prefer when you can just plug a device in and it works (like when I use it with a MIDI to USB converter).
What I don't like is the velocity curve and the D-Beam controller. The D-Beam controller sucks pretty bad in my opinion. Totally uncomfortable to use and isn't useful for volume control since it goes full tilt once you pull your hand away. Seems to be more of a gimmick than a useful feature. It also doesn't seem to have a decoupled hammer and key-stick. This makes it play nothing like a real piano and that's all I really want it for. Real piano actions allow you to play harder based on the speed of the key, not the distance the key travels. Think about the repetition lever, for example, and how you don't need to release the key all the way before you can re-trigger a note. Because of this, it forces me to completely change the way I play and I don't want to play piano two different ways. The velocity curve also is a bit strange in that it plays really nice when playing softly but trying to gradually get louder is really tough. Instead it's nice and mellow when playing soft and when you try to build the dynamics, suddenly it's just SCREAMING LOUD! On the positive side, you can play softer classical pieces pretty easy; just don't expect the same dynamics control as a grand.