I have been using the RD-800 for a couple years now. I totally enjoy it! Does everything I need. Well thought out!
I have been using the RD-800 for a couple years now. I totally enjoy it! Does everything I need. Well thought out!
I love everything about the RD-800. I bought this to replace my 25 year-old FP8, and as much as I loved that keyboard, this is just light years ahead. I play a lot of classical to keep my chops in shape, and having the harpsichord for Bach and Scarlatti is amazing. Plus the touch response brings Beethoven to a whole new level. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this to Andras Schiff, but I'm not sure he wouldn't delight in it to some extent.
First of all, let me thank Justin @ ext. 1046 who is the head of Customer Service for sweetwater.
He went the extra mile in order to make me ( a first time buyer) a satisfied customer.... and it is his efforts that cause me to recommend Sweetwater Music as a source for your music needs and mine in the future.
Now, for the Roland Rd 800.
I will skip the story of my search to decide which keyboard to buy, and get straight to the results.
This keyboard is incredible !!!
The piano is the best I have ever heard .... just search youtube and listen to the piano sounds of every other keyboard .... no matter who records it ... the RD 800 sounds the best.
The wide range of tonal differences depending on your playing style are enormous ... and the quality in my opinion is better than a real grand piano because the quality is the same everytime you play and you do not have to tie up thousands of dollars in sound isolation, microphones, effects processors, not to mention the cost of the best grand piano.
I was going to add a link to someone who took the time to recored all of the sounds on this keyboard individually ... while most videos focus on the playing skills of the pianist, this guy just lets you hear the sounds... one by one.... but sweetwater does not allow links.... SO,
type this into your youtube search " ROLAND RD-800 - Total Presets " .... it is 1 hour and 6 minutes long... and is the best I have found anywhere.
There are over 1,100 instruments ( tones ) in this keyboard ... and almost all of them are excellent.
The keyboard is easy to configure for live performance, or in a studio.
To sum it up .... if you are looking for your next keyboard .... THIS IS IT !!!
I haven't yet had the time to read the manual to see how to unleash the power (sounds) out from this keyboard. However, playing around with the keyboard without reading the manual is easy, once you become familiar with the buttons. For example, layering is so easy. Also, because it's a "SuperNATURAL", it sounds like the real thing; as well as the feel of the keys and the action of the keys. And, it's very slim taking up a small amount of living and/or stage space. It's just a little bit heavy, but for two people to lift it becomes no problem. I'm very happy to have this instrument in my mix and I'm sure I'll be even happier once I learn how to unleash it's sounds!
I am not a keyboard player by no means.I took Organ all my life but Kinda got thrown into it.. So when we needed a new keyboard for my church they left it all up to me.. After doing some research on keyboards I figured I would go with the RD-800. And I AM SO GLAD I did. This keyboard is AWESOME !! I am still learning something new every week as I try different things. When I called customer service to order this my salesperson was awesom as well. Nick LaMendola was so helpful with all my questions I had.
I would RECOMMEND this keyboard to a beginner (like me) or to the best keyboard player around ! I love how I can add 4 different tones at one time. My church family have told me how wonderful the new keyboard sounds . THANK YOU SO MUCH SWEETWATER for all your help !! This is a awesome keyboard !!!
Let's face it, you can have the most amazing sound engine, tonal tweaking, effects, ect., but in the end musicians make the music. The action coupled with the response of the RD800 is sic in turns of musical control. I'm generally a classical player, and I feel like I'm cheating playing on this instrument vs my Kawai Rx1 in terms of the performances I can turn out; but the same can be said for my covers and jam sessions.
I floor tested it against comparable models from Yamaha, Casio, and Korg, and response and control won me over hands down.
Excellent "SuperNATURAL" piano sound and improved action as promised...Keyboard was purchased from Sweetwater...
I spent quite some time comparing the latest high end digital stage pianos before making a purchase. The Roland RD-800 was not a consideration at the outset. That's because I have traditionally purchased Yamaha digital pianos in the past. So obviously when I decided to purchase a high end digital piano, I looked at the Yamaha CP4. But wherever I looked, be it Youtube or in an article, the CP4 was being compared with the Roland RD-800 due to their similar price and features. Owners of the RD-800 were raving about its sounds and it's action. And while many were saying the same thing about the CP4, the glaring difference to me was the RD-800s piano string resonance and it's new PHA-4 concert grand action with escapement. When testing them both, it was clear to me that the slightly extra money for the RD-800 was worth it. The tones produced by the Super Natural sound engine for acoustic and electric pianos are the best I have ever heard. In fact, the RD-800 has the most organic feel for a digital keyboard I have ever experienced. Honestly, it feels as if I am playing a real concert grand piano. And the Rhodes and Whurley sounds are spot on, absolutely no difference compared to the real thing. Of course there are other pianos to consider. The Nord Stage is one of them but that keyboard is about 2k more and not sure it's worth the price when compared to the RD-800. The RD-800 also includes their Virtual Tone Wheel organ model. And while I don't think it's as good as my Nord Electro 3's tone wheel model, it's very good and to include it with a stage piano is a real plus. Is the RD-800 perfect? No. I find the OS confusing as many others have reported but certainly not impossible to master. I wish it were possible to save changes to Tones, the basic sound building block, but you can't. Any changes made must be saved to a Live Set but there are 200 Live Set locations. And you can download the live sets to a USB memory stick and create more. In this way you can have different setups for different applications. Certainly there are things to nitpick about but for me, a pianist and composer first, the RD-800 was a great addition to my home studio and gig setup. Two thumbs up from me.
I played on a Roland RD-800 Stage Piano at a Music Store. It has 1113 sounds on it, and you can get 4 sounds at the same time more than any other keyboard that I knew. I spent a lot of time with it. the piano sounds are great. I also like the organ sounds on it it has a cathedral organ to it, and I like the grand pipes, this makes it sound like a five manual pipe organ in a cathedral, a specially if you hook it up to a KC-550 amp or a Behringer K3000FX Amp. The only thing is the sounds you want get kind of tricky, if you select another instrumental then back to the other instrumental sound, you have to turn the dial on the right to get back to the sound you had, they should have preset buttons like set, 1,2,3,4 etc. to store each sound just like a Technics Pianos have. But over all it`s a pretty fun instrument to play on, you can enjoy hours of fun on it and learn the rhythms as the guy demonstrated in the video. This instrument would be fun to hook up to other instruments through MIDI, Id hook this up to a Technics PR-305 Digital Piano.
I purchased this to replace a 70's Wurlitzer Spinet, and couldn't be happier. This has much better touch than the Spinet ever had (similar to my old 6' grand I lost in the divorce) and you can customize the response curve in very small increments to be well suited to your expectations. The (stringed) piano sounds are wonderful, and there are quite a few pre-configured choices. Customization is extensive and I doubt I will ever bother with most of it, but it is there, even to a key-by-key basis. Want a brighter top-end and a more mellow bottom? You can do it. String resonance? Half damper? It's there. It's really a spectacular piano replacement.
As a big plus, it has a ton of other sounds. I personally dislike electric pianos, but there are zillions of those in here. They are modeled carefully and have nine drawbars that can be adjusted with the four sliders, as well as other stuff. I played with it a lot even though I'm not partial to electric piano sound, as it's really interesting. I really love the dozen or so pipe organ sounds. I was able to make a 4-way split of a flute, principal, reed and one other (don't remember offhand) and play some really wonderful Bach with a decent (albeit limited) registration.
The keyboard can do a 4-way sound split just by hitting buttons, or you can customize it to use different sections of the keyboard and even different velocities. With Logic Pro X & Mainstage, I could even have over a dozen different sounds playing, including a drum track on what seems to be the standard MIDI channel 10. The Mac recognized the keyboard straight off without problems. It has a bunch of preconfigured drum tracks which are fun to play with, but the Logic Pro X drummer is more interesting.
It has a number of "hard dials" for specific features, including tremolo and amp distortion (which I personally hate and leave off). They are dedicated and make it easy to access those functions, although they don't go out on MIDI which is a shame. The effects are very neat and each layer can have its own; I've played with a few like chorus, flanger, delay, etc.
All in all, I'm extremely happy with this keyboard and with the sales support Jace at Sweetwater gave me. It feels great, the pianos and many other sounds sound great, and it has more features and settings than I have been able to play with in several weeks. Just great.
The most amazing keyboard I have ever played on. Sounds are phenomenal, touch and response perfect, the Grand Piano has ever bit the feel of an acoustic grand including the sounds you make while playing.
I love the touch sensitivity of this keyboard. Thanks to Sales Engineer Stuart Niven for the recommendation!
Coming from Yamaha's S series of stage pianos the RD-800 blows them away. Sounds are better of course but the keybed feel and action is fantastic. I love the quick editing and access to the most important live dials. Turns on fast (yay!) and overall build quality and finish is very nice. Favourite sounds are the concert pianos and modern EP's. The tone control dial is just awesome.
I just switched from RD700 to RD800. I have a Fantom X8 and have had many other Roland keyboards. I am a Yamaha C7 grand owner, but have always preferred Roland stage pianos. This one is by far the best ever, and I have tried them all. The action is truly remarkable, and the sounds...especially Rhodes and Acoustic are perfect.
Just get one...you won't be sorry.
Also...Thank you Paul Lea for your always great service.
The RD800 is such an awesome keyboard. It has such wonderful sounds, especially the the grand piano and electric piano. The feel is unmatched!!
The grand touch and lustrous sound creates a connection in the RD800 is the best I've ever experienced in a digital stage piano in my 30 years of performance. Roland is always the go to for authenticity and the RD800 is is the pinnacle in the RD series.
Roland perfected the the RD line with this board. I had to replace faithful but damaged RD700GX and bought the RD800 without a test run. Im not going to compare the RD800 to the 700GX. It's to entirely different boards as the RD800 is exceedingly advanced in every way possible.
RD800 quick comments: I never played a digital piano where the action allows such precise control over the dynamics so nicely. Touch sensitivity and key weight are absolutely perfect. They really perfected the action with this latest PHA4. The sound of the new AP and Eps is where Roland really shines. Many new supernatural sounds to work with as well as hundreds of usable voices. Editing is simple and fast with a wide range of options. What makes me most happy is that I am getting acoustic pianos sounds that are just simply stunning and I didn't have to buy an expensive Nord to get this incredible sound. Not to mention the subpar action of the Nords.
The RD800 is a massive upgrade. It is concert and studio worthy in every way and should be the new standard for any advanced professional musician. Im grateful to own one.
I've been using a Roland RD700NX for over 3 years and loved it. The upgrades in the RD800 really perfected the few things that were missing on the RD700NX. The upgrades are not enormous, but very significant. The obvious, lighter weight and new look. Mostly, Roland added some features and editing functions that are so helpful for live performance and studio work. The soundguy at our frequent hall is thrilled with the sound of this over the RD700nx. I can quickly adjust tone and eq on the fly making easier for both of us to get precise sound and mix needed (even in mono). The new lighter chassis is beautiful and solid as rock. The new action is much quieter than my thumping RD700nx. This is really helpful for my studio work. My main focus is piano sound (my background) and the RD800 delivers that better than most Ive heard, stunning in fact. I tried the Yamaha CP4 which is another wonderful stage piano, but lacks a few significant features I need in piano. The RD800 is truly a cut above with rich piano sounds, full resonance, realistic action, ease of functionality, endless editing options, additional usable voices, and a fresh new style. The combination of it all just enthralls the performer. It's so enjoyable that it's hard to stop playing. Stage pianos are obviously subjective to your taste, but do a side by side test with the other high end stage pianos NS2, CP4, Artist, you will see for yourself what I mean. RD800 is absolutely fantastic on stage and a pure pleasure in the studio at a very fair price. Well done Roland! Great service Sweetwater! - LH
this piano is really good. no complain about that, the sound fantastic
Love the keybed, and the layering and overall controls layout is wonderful, the built in sounds are more than adequate. I would prefer a slide volume control instead of the dreaded rotating knob. a minor negative. The unit is very well built as one comes to expect from Roland. Thought the fact that they had to redesign it because someone was stupid enough to connect the AC cord to the XLR port was quite funny, but keeping ac as far away as possible from audio is always a good idea in general, so this is a minor negative as well. A well deserved 4.5 stars and Nich from Sweetwater was a pleasure to deal with.
I'm super happy with my Roland Rd 800. I'll probably be spending the next 20 years of my life trying to use all of the functions on this piano. That sounds terrific and I'm having a blast. Love the weighted keys and I think they're perfect. Big thanks to Stephen my technical advisor for steering me towards this stage piano. You can always count on the advice you get from the people at Sweetwater because they all are professionals. Keep on rockin everyone!
Presently using a Yamaha XF8 great machine but to take on the road it's heavy and the RD-800 is quicker to find patches and create patches. Half the weight and has great sounds.
I like the choices of piano and electric piano sounds especially. When playing the Concert Grand piano into AKG headphones, the sound is very natural and pleasant to listen to for long sessions. The only reason I did not rate 5 stars is the weight. I originally was looking for a keyboard about 10 lbs lighter, but choose the Roland for the feel of the keys, sound quality and excellent display. The keyboard looks and feels substantial. The more I play it, the happier I am about my choice.
I sold a Nord Piano 2 HA88 and bought this. I kept my Nord Electro 4 for the same sounds, but I get a MUCH better response from those sounds when connected via Midi to the RD-800. Solid Piano and EP sounds from this Roland. Really excellent response over midi with all software I've used, which I could not say the same for the Nord Piano 2. The non keyboard sounds of this Roland are very good I can't understand why they didn't include the Supernatural sounds from the Jupiter/Integra series. The Pads are much the same but synths leads and especially guitar and bass sounds on the RD-800 are just OK. The Jupiter and Integra sounds in those categories absolutely sing! Mainly what is missing is the supernatural nuanced articulations and the effects. This RD-800 has excellent effects it just tends to spread them out differently than you might expect. EQ, Reverb, Delay and Tremelo are all very good. The Organ sounds are good, but the leslie sim is not quite there. Strings are lacking but Roland seems to have included strings that are meant to serve as layers to the Piano sounds, and for that these are fine just don't expect any staccato stabs or attack type strings ala Viva La Vida. The Piano sounds and Electromechanical keyboard sounds are fantastic. The amount of editing you can do and the detail they allow you to dial in is rivaled only my modeled software. The Wurlitzer and Rhodes sounds are particularly good and lend themselves well to a bit of distortion and phaser and both of those effects (multiple versions of each are included) are top notch. It may sound like an odd thing to say but the BEST feature of this keyboard is, well.. the Keyboard! The feel of the keys and response of the action absolutely blows every Nord Stage 2 and Piano 2 out of the water. Yamaha has a slightly more clunky action that I find nice and heavy but lacking the escapement found here, and it really makes a difference. I have played every 88 key weighted action I could get my hands on by Yamaha, Roland, Korg, Kawai, Nord, Hammond, Akai and many others.. and nothing I've played strikes the balance of heavy but realistic quite like this Roland. It plays like a Steinway that has been well maintained and that is high praise! All in all a great keyboard but I really wish they had included the Jupiter/Integra Supernatural sounds. That said, I have Omnisphere and a million other soft synths that can cover that side of things.
By far the BEST keyboard purchase I have made to date! The sounds, feel, flexibility, functionality and play-ability of this board are each OUTSTANDING! In the RD-800 ROLAND presents us with a very intuitive user interface optimized for live performance editing. If you are looking to take your keyboard performance to the next level - this board is the most cost-effective option out there....
I don't mind admitting that I have always been an acoustic piano "snob"... until I demo'ed the Roland RD-800. And because I play in a live worship band, I wanted the sound and feel of an acoustic piano but the versatility and flexibility of a digital. After I tried out the RD-800, I just HAD to get one. I ended up buying one two weeks ago and love what this thing does and how amazing my performance sounds now. The tones are so rich and colorful. Pick almost any sound on this instrument, and you can change it to whatever suits you. I'm a huge fan!!! And Geoff is an awesome engineer to work with.
I gig all the time and most of the new keyboards require way TOO MUCH scrolling on a small screen but the RD-800 has the most practical layout so far ... not unlike the "combi" buttons on a pipe organ-- an instrument that has the best access of sound organization to this day.
I have and RD-700SX for over 12 years. I loved that board. I mostly used it for piano sounds, but found it remarkably adaptable for cover's type sounds. The new 800 does some things better and many things worse. I like the feel of the keyboard, the bigger screen is welcome, sounds are better or the same BUT a lot of convenient features are gone and not really thought out. Like:
1) It's harder (more buttons to push) to create layers/splits on the fly then the 700. The old shortcuts don't work and its easy to loose the layer you just created so you are forced into a lot of button pushing.
2) Its harder to switch setups. You can no longer use the tone buttons (which have LED's) to switch between setups. I guess you are suppose to use the live set buttons but each live set button has 10 setups in it, and you can't switch between them without using the inc/dec button or the wheel. its hard to advance just one with the wheel and...
3) The inc/dec is difficult to find in low light situations as it has no LED in it. (especially with another keyboard over it)
4) It is hard to figure out what connector is plugged into what without walking to the back. (no labels)
5) The outputs are now angled down. So if you put this board on top of a B-3 the XLR or 1/4 jacks slam into the lip on the B3 lid.
6) if you pick up the board the long way hand on each side there is no ridge to help you grip the keyboard. it is just a smooth round plastic surface now. I feel like I'm going to drop it. The old 700 was metal and had a ridge. but this board is lighter.
7) Volume is now a knob and not a slider. I prefer a slider. its easier to see the setting and to nudge just a bit with your pinky while your playing. now you will need your whole hand.
8) EFX's are not as flexible or as numerous.
9) You can no longer set a split voice to ignore velocity information (like a lead synth split with epiano).
10) No more arpeggiator. So no more "hungry like the wolf" patch...not that big a loss I guess.
11) No way to edit setups on your computer. So naming a setup is a chore. (1...A...B..C). Come on it's like 2016 now?
A Lot of negative comments I know. but its a nice board, it just feels like Roland went backwards in convenience factors.
The RD-800 is just another regular 88 weighted keys keyboard with the Roland factory sounds that are loaded in almost all Roland keyboards . The Jupiter 80 has it all plus a lot more .
As a pro musician I don't consider RD-800 the stage piano .
The keys have no special touching just regular weighted and plastic made of course .
The body is made with cheap plastic but in YouTube it looks durable ! Lol
YAMAHA CP1/CP4 , KORG SV1 , ROLAND V-Piano or Kawai MP11 are stage pianos not this one .
Anyways , I bought the YAMAHA CP4 .
I don't get what the big fuss is all about... sure, the key-bed feels great; but the sounds are thin. The functionality seems thin too... other boards in this price range allow for more than 4 programs to be setup in a combination.
I do like that it has balanced outputs, and they deliver; this thing cuts through the live mix very well.
Before committing to the Roland RD800, try out the Kurzweil Artis, or the Yamaha MOXF8.
Sweetwater's Sales Engineers are regarded as the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the music industry, with extensive music backgrounds and intense training on the latest products and technologies. They are available to offer you personalized product advice any time you need it.