Slow Learning Curve - Excellent Keyboard
A 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.