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Roland E-A7 - 61-key Arranger Keyboard Reviews

4.5 stars based on 3 customer reviews
Questions about the Roland E-A7 - 61-key Arranger Keyboard?

Questions about the Roland E-A7 - 61-key Arranger Keyboard?

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  • from April 4, 2017

    Best In Price Range

    At first I wasn't so impressed but after going into the keyboard your opportunities are endless. Great for one man bands, etc. I TOTALLY RECOMEND. Its much better than my korg pa900.

  • from Levittown, PA September 3, 2016

    Roland E-A7

    My first impression of Roland E-A7...

    Well, it is small...it is light...looks like a toy..

    and a lot of fun to play..

    The keys ..yep , like the BK5, although they feel a bit stiffer..
    after you play a while , you get use to them,,they are more playable than my
    Edirol PC80 controller..

    The operating system became second nature after a couple hours,
    playing and editing..

    All the buttons are rubberized, feel good and perform perfectly..
    The sliders are firm and smooth..

    This E-A7 is loaded with goodies, just as many features as the
    BIG boys..

    Coming from a week with the Korg PA4x, I can tell you the E-A7
    competes favorably,,

    Same features, and they work just as well as the Korg..

    Many of the sounds , edge to Roland, drums, strings, E guitars, choir,
    scats, EP and Acc piano for starters..

    The sound is surprising..I was told they were shorter samples than the BK9 etc..
    Others on YouTube state they were as good or better than PA4x and Tyros5..

    Styles are plentiful and nicely done,,easy to edit on the fly while
    performing..Realtime mixing with the sliders..

    The new OS with two displays turned out to be a great idea, they work in
    conjunction with each other...and direct tabs on the display border, help navigation..
    The six assign buttons for pads, phrases , tones, work great...and are in sync with
    styles and songs..

    The 3 upper and one lower tones are easy to access and view..volume level via sliders ..
    Favorite tones section, also user tones and styles..UPG section that saves all panel settings..

    There is no sequencer, but make up tools do the job we normally do in the sequencer..

    The playback for SMF,Kar, MP3 and wav..works great, and feature chain play
    tempo change and transpose,,Parts mute also covered, as is center cancel..

    Search feature works great for any data , song, styles, Upg etc..

    Song play is easier and smoother operation than Korg..one button to play.

    SMF play sounds best of any board...

    Sampler improved with update 1.10....samples increased from 512 to 2,048...

    I will follow up after a few days...but it looks like a keeper..

    BTW: It looked like a toy, but anything but.....this is a very capable keyboard...
    ready for the stage, and a light traveler..

    Here is my follow up on the E-A7......

    When I started thinking about buying an E-A7, I thought it
    was primarily a European/Eastern keyboard, thus wasting
    control surface space and paging through tones, and styles
    I would not need as a USA player...

    But Roland handled this nicely, you select the language / country,
    and the tones and styles are organized, so the content covers the
    language selected...first..

    I thought the keyboard scale function would be useless, it doubles
    as the phrase/pad controls..

    You will be able to play the E-A7 and never know it can be an Eastern
    keyboard...for us Western players..

    The keys are definately better than the BK5, they have more dept,
    resistance, and more playable..

    Now about the sounds..
    I spent time comparing in detail the E-A7 to Roland's best (G70)..
    I believe the sample pcm waves are the same...I guess the digital
    converters could be better in the G70 (old argument when we compared
    the E60 with the G70)..
    The sound of the E-A7 are better than the E50/60...Similar to the E80..

    I compared my favorite G70 tones and other common tones with the
    E-A7 offerings....they are identical, ..
    The E-A7 tones have been changed via multi effects..For example most of the
    organs are using a leslie effect controlled by the bender..

    The styles are excellent, best to date...and the realtime mixer makes it easy
    to get the style to sound ..your way..
    I also really like the way the phrase player is in sync with the style..
    muting style parts and let the phrase play (pads)..is interesting.
    This is also available to use with SMF play...adding 4 markers with the pads
    and you can perform in a way to make it your own..

    The file utility is great, helps you organize files in your external and
    internal storage.
    I have over 40,000 files on my 32g micro usb drive, including 2,000
    custom /library styles..

    Search feature makes it easy to locate a request song..

    I also have songs to use in chain play..25 tunes for senior gigs..
    about 7 or 8 sets..

    Roland is still the only one that reads chords in SMF, without embedding..

    The lyric window is great, with a zoom to enlarge words, also
    showing the chords, even a measure ahead of the change...makes
    playing with a file a breeze..

    You have a favorite tone section for immediate selection..the tone incorporates
    the Multi effects..
    There is also a User tone section and user drum section...
    Sampling can also be stored as a user tone or user drums.

    EQ is available for every part, song, style and realtime parts..
    Compression and EQ is available in the mastering (overall output)...

    I really like this keyboard, much better than I anticipated..

    The German review that mentioned the E-A7 is a poor man's PA4X.....
    wasn't far from the truth...at 1/3 the cost...

    After a few days I can get around on it with no "oops"..I did install OS 1.10..

    This keyboard can serve as a primary for any gig..

    The mic/effects works great with plenty of gain..

    There also is a 1/8 inch stereo input for any source .tablet etc.

    There are seven assign buttons, and 100 user program locations.
    Additional banks can be loaded instantly...so 100 limit is not a factor.

    Thanks to Mike Arango, my Sweetwater rep..

  • from May 30, 2017

    Roland EA-7

    I've had my EA-7 for about three months now, so my review is based on an extended period of use. I'm going to give you the negatives first....and in my opinion there are plenty of them. I chose the EA-7 because I had good previous experiences with Roland equipment. I had a sound module that was great and my previous keyboard was an E-70....an old timer that lasted 20 years. The E-70, quite frankly, impressed me a lot more than the EA-7. I was really disappointed in the style arrangements. Many sounded like they were put together without much thought.. I continued to work with some of the styles, and after editing (changing instruments, etc.) I got to the point where I had something to work with. The techs at Roland were quite helpful the first couple of times I called them. By the way, one of the times I called them was when my keyboard just went bonkers. Every time I would press a key it would change styles, instruments, etc. They thought there was a short somewhere and recommended to have it serviced. Luckily, this occurred about a month after I got it, and when I told the team at Sweetwater about it they promptly sent a replacement that very same day. Kudos to Sweetwater for doing that. My further calls with the Roland techs was not as productive.....Especially when it came to working with the micro edit function. I called a couple of times about it and they said they would call me back ... I still haven't heard from them. In other words, they had no luck themselves. The keyboard itself is an enigma ....difficult to figure out. ..even for the techs.

    I liked the fact that the keyboard came with a microphone input. How it sounded though was again a disappointment. After much experimenting with different mikes and sound shaping with internal controls, I pretty much have resigned myself to use it only on an emergency basis. It sounds hollow, as if you're talking in a barrel. I just think Roland could have done much better. As far as I know this is the best arranger keyboard that Roland makes so I expected more.

    While I'm at it, don't expect to use the song function with any sense of it being reliable. I had planned to use this function to download some MP3 files from my computer using a flash drive and playing them before I started playing live. Sometimes it would work for a song or two, and then run slower or faster than normal. This happened with both keyboards and experimenting with a Roland and a couple other brands of flash drives. None of them proved they could be trusted.

    Having two screens sounds good, but in reality it makes things more difficult. You have to save things on both screens for certain functions.....including assigning names. Having one wider screen would have made much more sense.

    With all these negatives, you may ask why I kept the keyboard. Part of the answer is after working long and hard trying to use some of the functions, I didn't want to start over with a different keyboard. Also the EA-7 does have some good qualities. Key action is much better than my old E-70.....and there are more than enough quality sounds that, with some editing, sound really good.

    I've often wondered why this keyboard is available at only a couple of online retailers. I live close to a metro area of 750,000 plus, but no brick and mortar store had one in stock. In summary, I just expected, and thought that Roland could have done much better with this board. Perhaps I had to high expectations. Whether this is a long time keeper, I still haven't decided.

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