Roland is a leading name in the market of digital pianos. Its instruments are known for their quality performance and exceptional features. The pianos from Roland are also affordable and are space-saving and thus ideal for home use and they also fit in seamlessly in the studios, practice rooms, and other educational settings.
The Roland RP102 is the starter model of the RP series from Roland. It was released in the year 2017, and soon it became the most affordable console digital piano in the Roland family. It packs very cool features and technology and is thus one of the most competitive pianos in this price range. It is available at a cost under $1000 and thus qualifies as one of the most favorite digital pianos among pianists within the budget.
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Table of Contents
Key specifications of the Roland RP 102
- The piano features an 88-keys fully weighted keyboard with ivory simulation.
- The piano features a PHA-4 standard key action with touch sensitivity and escapement.
- The sounds of the piano are sampled from the supernatural piano sounds
- The piano features a 128-note polyphony along with 15 instrument sounds.
- There are 213 built-in songs on this piano with 10 levels of ambiance and 21 levels of brilliance.
- The piano has two 6W speakers and there are metronome, transpose, and master tuning features in this piano.
- The connectivity features in the piano include USB to host features, headphone jacks, Bluetooth connections, MIDI port, etc.
- The weight of this piano is about 37.8 kgs, and thus it is expected to be extremely sturdy and portable.
The external design of the piano
The Roland RP102 digital piano features a traditional style cabinet, that is not very compact, but they have the look of a real acoustic instrument. The RP102 digital piano is only a few inches deep and they impose a traditional vibe on the piano appearance. The piano looks clean and minimalistic and this is one of the reasons why many piano players appreciate its design. The build quality of this piano is very heavy and thus it requires assistance in assembling the piano and for transporting it.
But assembling this piano is very easy and it hardly takes between 30 and 40 minutes. The pedalboard of the piano includes 3-piano style pedals that are made of metal, and are capable of replicating the feel of the real acoustic pianos. All the three pedals of this piano support half-pedal operation, which helps pianists in mastering the pedaling technique and helps them to play advanced piano pieces.
The Roland RP102 is available only in black finish and not in other color options. When it comes to controls, this piano is pretty straightforward. There are just four buttons located on the left side of the piano. But as it features only a fewer buttons, it is not possible to get the sounds and the settings of the piano quickly. There is also a power button, two volume buttons, and a function button on the piano. All these settings, sounds, and functions of the instrument can be accessed by using the Function button on the piano keys. We can also use the Roland free app on the mobile device to control the functions of the RP102 digital piano.
Roland RP102 keyboard
The Roland RP102 digital piano features the PHA-4 standard keyboard with realistic keyboard actions, available at an affordable price point. The piano features 88-fully weighted keys that feature a gradually weighted hammer action, that is designed to reproduce the feel of the acoustic piano. Its PH4 keyboard makes use of a 3-sensor detection system that is designed to capture the keypress and interpret the fast note sequences of the piano more accurately.
The keyboard also features an escapement mechanism that simulates the subtle clicking sensation on the grand piano. The surface of the keys features an ivory simulated material on the top of the white keys, instead of plain smooth plastic surfaces. This prevents the keys from slipping on hot days. The key actions are very quiet and they produce subtle clicking noise compared to other pianos that are slightly noisier.
The piano features the proprietary supernatural sound modeling technology that simulates the behavior of the acoustic piano. RP-102 also makes use of modeling algorithms to add certain elements to the raw sound recorded from a 9-foot grand piano, to make the piano tunes very live and realistic.
Four different piano sounds are sampled from a concert grand piano. The main Concert Grand piano will be the one that will be used often. The other piano tunes are Ballad, Bright and Mellow.
Along with the piano tones, the RP-102 offers a bundle of other instrument sounds, that including the sounds of organs, string sets, electric pianos, vibraphone, harpsichord, Celesta, and Jazz Scat, etc.
The piano features an exceptional speaker system and features two 12 cm speakers that are located on either side of the piano. Its speakers are good enough to fill a living room with high-quality music and a fair degree of realism. These speakers are great for performing in small to medium-sized spaces. This set of external speakers offers great sound quality and volume, which is great to perform in a hall in front of many people, without the need for external amplification.
The Roland RP102 offers ample connectivity features that include all the essentials, which include the USB to computer port, two headphone jacks, and a USB to device port. The headphone jacks feature different plugs that help in connecting the headphones without making use of adapters.
The USB type B port is great for connecting the digital piano to the computer to transfer the MIDI data. This helps in controlling different music-making and learning apps as well. There are indeed hundreds of apps that we can use together with an RP-102 in fun and creative ways. We can also connect the RP102 to the smart device with the help of Bluetooth through MIDI-compatible apps, that are available in Google Play and the App Store.
Roland has also created a Piano Partner 2 app, that opens up a set of digital features including songs, rhythms, flashcard games, and a lot more. The apps also give access to a bunch of additional sounds, split mode, MIDI recorder, and a host of other features that are not available directly on the piano.
Pros & Cons of Roland RP102
- The piano offers a rich and resonant sound that is complete with the natural resonances of the real piano.
- The piano features a traditional-style cabinet.
- The piano features a proprietary supernatural sound technology
- There are over 200 preset songs on the piano along with Bluetooth MIDI connectivity.
- The piano features a fully weighted keyboard with ivory feel keys.
- The controls on the piano are basic and are not easy to navigate
- The options for sound customization are limited.
Alternatives of Roland RP102
These are some alternatives to the Roland RP102 digital piano that come with similar features as well as a similar price tag.
For more options, you can also check this list of the best digital pianos for beginners.
Roland has always been a favorite instrument for most people for its features and its affordable price range. The pianos feature an authentic keyboard and a sound engine and are one of the best pianos that feels great to touch. The RP102 piano also sounds great and is indeed an instrument with a beautiful piano tone and higher polyphony count. The piano is also great for learning and its key features and functionalities help in enhancing our piano playing skills.