Roland RD-300NX Reviews4.2/5.0 based on 5 customer reviews
Sort By Date Sort By Rating
from NC, USA
August 30, 2012Music Background:
excellent pianobrand new and still learning how to manipulate the midi implementation but as for sounds and programing - all great stuff. and it's light
But of course the grand feature is the piano sound and the Roland keyboard feel. Thank god for the easy keyboard splits and layers
from san diego california
August 18, 2011Music Background:
RD 300nxreplaces my RD 600; less than half the weight for stage and moving, easier to use with some presets of which i bought this piano for are used without any further adjustment or reservation. the piano sounds are always secondary to what you reproduce them through i.e. amplification, but all that being equal this piano and organ sounds from this instrument are as realistic as it can be when i play them through a bose double bass system. I am a multi-keyboardist, this one is the one i use primarily for piano, electric piano, organ, piano left- organ right split. It's the foundation to my performing live.
from Gasquet, CA
July 8, 2011Music Background:
Great board!I am fortunate to have both the 300NX and 700GX. The 300 is a wonderful compromise between functionality and weight. At 38lbs the 300NX is the same weight as the PC3 Kurzweil yet the Roland delivers the same quality tones found in the 700GX model I have - with a few exceptions. Those exceptions are insignificant especially since the bread and butter tones of the 700 (i.e. the pianos) are in the 300 along with many other tones that can combine and layer just like on the 700. The action of the 300 is surprisingly good, though different from the 700. Moreover, it is not a spring loaded action like on the Kurzweil. Rather it is progressively weighted but employs a different mechanism (lighter and a bit slower) than the 700GX. Though tones are subjective I suspect this is the best bang for the buck as far as quality of tone and portability. If you're a 'pianist' (as opposed to a 'keyboard' player) you won't be disappointed. The reason I gave it a 4 star instead of 5 is simply because I have the 700 and was therefore not surprised at how good the 300 is - I got what I expected - it's great! The only downside is, in order to reduce weight, the power cord is external with an adapter - not a big deal. ~Best
June 27, 2011
Slow Learning Curve - Excellent KeyboardA rating is obligatory here, yet in fairness, it's too early in the game to give a learned rating. I acquired this keyboard just a month ago to supplement my Nord Electro and "Ventilator" Leslie Speaker simulator, wanting a good weighted keyboard with good piano and other sounds missing in the Nord, which itself is an excellent board which I've had for 5 years and love it. Internet research seemed to indicated that the RD-300GX probably had what I wanted with the most bangs for bucks , and then the NX was announced so I decided to wait for it to come out. A comparison side-by-side in the music store had the NX sounding better, so I decided to plunge for it.
As far as I can see, I didn't go wrong.
My only gripe is that the instruction book is skimpy and I've really had to sweat and guess through trial and error to figure this board out. Something with all the features and the intricacies that this board has, should have at least 200 friendly pages to guide you through it, and the 300 NX's book is about 60 pages, very skimpily worded, and not very well explaining itself.
It's chock full of sounds (about 900 if you go deep into the menus) albeit probably most of them are not keepers. The pianos are very good, and you can go deeper into the parameters and do a lot of fine tweaking to get that sound you want. Indeed, like the previous reviewer said, forget about the organs if you're serious about Hammond sounds, yet this is no problem for me, as my Nord is a superb Hammond clone. I didn't buy the RD300NX for its organs, tho I had hoped that they would be better or at least usable. The Nord also has superior Fender Rhodes samples than the 300NX, and using the MIDI output of the RD300NX weighted keyboard really makes the Nord EP's sing even better! Having said this, you can get some good acceptable EP's out of the 300NX,. Very good bass voices, a few uncanny horns, and the "scat singing" voice is a lot of fun, tho probably no more than a novelty. Thee is a great sounding French Accordion - also a lot of fun. The bottom line, the meat and potatoes, are the acoustic pianos, and no complaints here. Of course it'll never be the real thing, yet it's very good with all the fine resolution details that have been put into the sounds.
The drum samples are very nice on the 300NX, and also tweakable.
I've just done some presets for the 300NX to split its keyboard so the left half becomes the MIDI'ed lower manual for the Nord's Hammond, and the right half plays a nice piano sound which I've transposed 2 octaves down, so it's like playing a two manual Hammond and having 4 octaves of excellent middle range piano to add riffs and solo melodies on to the organ playing, and coupled with a nice drum rhythms, you can do some very convincing one-man band stuff.
It looks to me at this stage of the game that the way to go with this board is to program as many of the 60 available presets to do the combinations you want, as this board doesn't seem to be made so you can do that easily on the fly.
A blind musician friend of mine dropped in to "see" the board, and immediately commented on how it felt like ivory piano keys, being totally unaware of Roland's advertising!
I bought this because I wanted a relatively light carry-able weighted piano keyboard, at an "affordable" price with enough bells and whistles (which are amongst the sounds in it :) to make it more fun, with professional quality, and this keyboard seemed make the most sense.
This is not a professional review, and I'm not a professional musician - rather a serious amateur playing an hour or two a day, and participating in regular jam sessions and gigging occasionally. I await to see the reviews of the more seasoned players, and it would be great if there was a users forum someplace to compare notes and give a helping hand where the user's manual seems to fail.
from Santa Barbara, CA
May 7, 2011Music Background:
Pro Musician & Recording Engr
RD300NX user reviewWell... Roland giveth and Roland taketh away. Some of their design choices going from the GX to the NX leaves me scratching my head.
First, the piano sample is an improvement. If you like a light-weight gigging kbd with a decent pno sample and improved touch (the keys feel like it has some weight associated with it - piano tuners call this "momentum" - vs. oil damping used by most).
When you bear down on the kbd - fortisimo - the sample goes into harmonic overdrive/opening, just like on an acoustic piano. It's not perfect (the overdrive is either on or off) but it does add to the realism. For me, the better piano sound made the upgrade from the GX to the NX worthwhile.
(One of my beefs with the GX: when you run a mono cord from the kbd, the L/R stereo samples were merely combined - which resulted in an unpleasant phasing effect. They fixed this on the NX. When you run the kbd mono - which is most of the time for gigging musicians - the phasing is gone on the NX).
Now - some odds and the bads.
- The took away GM soundset and drum sound access from the front panel. Most of us probably won't miss it but it was, for me, nice to have on occasion on the GX.
- As others have reported, the organ sound set totally suck. There are 18 organ samples, the bulk of which are comprised of distorted rock organ, church/pipe organ or cheesy 70s organ. C'mon Roland. Would it that hard to included some warm jazz organ, or some punching R&B organ? Or just a round B3 round? And - none of the samples, at least in the factory preset, have variable leslie rotary control (which the GX did have). There are a lot of user-created sound bank space so I suppose one can create some custom organ sound sets with variable leslie but why not provide this from the word go. Organ sounds are a staple part of everyday gigging. Why fall so short here?
- For those of use who use drum machine on gigs, the drum patterns are easier to access (front panel start/stop) and it looks like one can assign drum patterns to one of the sound selection buttons. So you could foreseeably create your basic working drum pattern set for quick access on gigs. However, if you're in the drum section, you can't change instrument sound (Ac. Pno to EP for example).
- Some of the design UI and language is strange. For example, you can STORE user settings or you can REGISTER user settings. It's not clearly explained what the difference is.
- Having 3 equalizer knobs is nice. However, these are "soft" knobs, which means their last position is not stored at power down. In another words, if you had the treble knob at, say, 3 o'clock position and then shut of the NX, it won't be at that setting when you turn the NX back on. You have to twist the EQ knob to reset it. A drag.
- There are now about 200 samples in the NX - a big jump up from the GX. However, most of the samples sound like a typical $300 budget sound module, i.e., mostly unusable. They took away the sample that combine ac. bass with cymbal ride. No big loss but it did come in handy at times. Then, one of the samples is a split pno/ac.bass. Huh? You can get this by simply hitting the split button.
- I'm not sure if the new system of accessing split/layer sounds is an improvement. You now have to select the sounds via a menu by hitting the "layer edit" button. I think the GX system was better and faster in this regard.
So them are my two cents. If you already have a GX and want a better, more real-world, acoustic piano sound, I think the NX is worth the upgrade just for that. All the other stuff is.... "meh."