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Topic: Roland "Ivory Feel-G with escapement" keybeds : What else differs ?

Hi,

I'm trying to establish if there are any Roland keyboards out there that share EXACTLY the same keybed as the one used in their Juno DS-88.

For having tried out in the same store yesterday half a dozen 88 note weighted keyboards, including the Roland A-88 and Juno DS-88, I reached the conclusion that the latter was the one I felt the most comfortable with. Yet, when I read the specifications of both products on Roland's website it appears that they share exactly the same keybed technology, namely "Ivory Feel G with escapement" ... And the difference between the action of the A-88 and the Juno DS-88 isn't exactly subtle either. It's night and day ... That's what I find so confusing / misleading about reading "Ivory feel-G with escapement" in their respective product specs, but nothing more to explain such a huge difference between both keybeds.

I could of course settle for the Juno as the price tag is relatively attractive, but I simply don't like the idea of purchasing a synth for which the internal sound synthesis has no use or appeal to me. I would have preferred to find this keyboard in the A-88 or in a piano-oriented instrument. Unfortunately I couldn't get my hands on a Roland RD 300-NX, which - at least on paper - would appear to match my requirements, only once again the brochure simply states "Ivory Feel G", so it could potentially be like the Juno, the A-88 … or neither !

If anyone could give me some guidance or insight on the subject it would be very much appreciated.

Cheers.

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Re: Roland "Ivory Feel-G with escapement" keybeds : What else differs ?

I`m of the opinion that any keyboard can sound and feel totally different depending what`s played through it, and how you set your velocity curve.  Pianoteq is a good example; if the latency is too high, it`s like trudging through mud whatever the keyboard you have in front of you.

I have the Roland FP50 with ivory feel G which works well and is quieter than most (with headphones that`s quite important for other people!) and it has loads of other sounds too.  Reasonable speakers (forward facing isn`t great) It`s piano based.

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Re: Roland "Ivory Feel-G with escapement" keybeds : What else differs ?

peterws wrote:

I`m of the opinion that any keyboard can sound and feel totally different depending what`s played through it, and how you set your velocity curve.  Pianoteq is a good example; if the latency is too high, it`s like trudging through mud whatever the keyboard you have in front of you.

Totally agreed Peter … I forgot to mention that the blatant difference between the action of the A-88 and Juno DS-88 came across to me before either unit was actually switched on, which therefore excludes the possibility that I might have been thrown off balance by the sounds in use ... There are definitely other physical and/or mechanical factors coming into play here, but for which I have found no documented explanation for now ...

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Re: Roland "Ivory Feel-G with escapement" keybeds : What else differs ?

I asked the Roland Tech Support and they said the Juno DS-88 has some improvements made to the Ivory Feel-G Keyboard with Escapement. As to what improvements all I was told is that it felt better. I doubt that the RD300NX would have these improvements. You would most likely get more for the Juno-88 than the other Ivory Feel-G Keyboard with Escapement keyboards when it comes time to sell.
I would like to see the action in the FP-30 show up in a economical A88 with the pitch-mod and S1 S2 buttons. Add Pianoteq and a used or B-Stock Roland Integra 7 and you have a whole lot of useful sounds for reasonable denaro.

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Re: Roland "Ivory Feel-G with escapement" keybeds : What else differs ?

brooster wrote:

I asked the Roland Tech Support and they said the Juno DS-88 has some improvements made to the Ivory Feel-G Keyboard with Escapement.

Cheers for that smile For me it definitely equates to an improvement as I found the action of the Juno DS-88 faster, lighter, more precise, making the A-88 feel somewhat sluggish in comparison. But I'm pretty sure that most pianists would deem this keyboard unsufficiently weighted, and seriously lacking any mid-stroke inertia. And truly enough, playing the Juno had me thinking that it was kind of midway between what I'd expect from a (very good) quality synth keyboard and a piano, making it a good compromise for someone who like myself intends to use it as much with external acoustic piano sounds as with other emulated instruments and sounds. Its responsiveness makes it very versatile in that respect. But of course that's all down to personal taste. I was also pleasently surprised by how quiet the keybed is. That's something that stood out against more than a dozen other (switched off) hammer-weighted keyboards that I could get my hands on within the same store and afternoon (including far higher-priced models). Having just parted with an Akai MPK-88 (a notoriously noisy master keyboard), that's a parameter that I simply can't overlook. Information gathered from forums elsewhere points to the idea that the perceived difference in noise-level between different Roland products that share exactly the same keybed technology can only derive from cabinet design and/or the way the action is mounted in the unit. I wish I had access to more detailed Roland specs than the ones found in their commericlal brochures or user manuals ...

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Re: Roland "Ivory Feel-G with escapement" keybeds : What else differs ?

Thank you for this thread! I got to play the Juno DS88 yesterday.  I am looking for a replacement for my Kurzweil PC3x.  I was considering the A-88 but I like the lighter, faster feel of this Juno keybed.  I would only be using it as a keyboard controller.  I started in the 70's with Roland keyboards, so the pitch bend / mod lever is something I would be comfortable with.  I would be giving up the after touch that my PC3x has.  I will post my thoughts here if I end up getting the Juno DS88.
   -Perry-

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Re: Roland "Ivory Feel-G with escapement" keybeds : What else differs ?

I've been looking at the Juno DS-88 for some weeks, and I bought it on sale this week (this week it's sale in almost every store in Sweden..).
And so far: I like it!
I've been playing a Clavinova CLP-150 (11-12 years old) and I've always thought that Pianoteq sounds a little bit hoarse, specially in mid-low velocity. I have figured that it somehow is connected to the velocity curve, but I haven't got it completely right... But when playing on the DS-88 I can feel that I got it right almost imidiatly!

I found myself really like the keybed (so far, hope it stay that way)!

Happy new year to all of You and God Bless you!

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Re: Roland "Ivory Feel-G with escapement" keybeds : What else differs ?

This looks to be a great choice because of the synth sounds.  It should augment the Pianoteq voices.  I used to use a Super Jupioter JX-10 which provides wonderful background washes that complement many orchestrations.

https://youtu.be/JjZxZwAJaM4

https://youtu.be/9SD3EzyPpXk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZcGx1VnYi4

Last edited by GRB (01-01-2017 22:26)
Pianoteq Pro 5.7.1 - Linux Mint 17.3 - Mate Desktop

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Re: Roland "Ivory Feel-G with escapement" keybeds : What else differs ?

I sold my Kurzweil PC3x and bought a new Roland Juno DS88.  I have had it for a week.  I really like the keyboard feel.  I have not even listened to any of the onboard sounds yet!  I will most likely be using it strictly as a controller keyboard.  I got a Roland RPU-3 triple pedal with the deal. Only two of the three outputs can be hooked up to the Juno.  I knew this.  smile   I am using one pedal for sustain and the other for after touch.   The pedals are (thankfully) not the tiny size offered by some other manufacturers. You can select an option for half pedaling in the Juno menu for the sustain pedal.  I have not tried that yet.  While the keyboard is designed as an entry level instrument, the keyboard action is among the best out there...at least in my opinion.  I hope it turns out to be durable.

Last edited by Studiocat (22-01-2017 08:51)

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Re: Roland "Ivory Feel-G with escapement" keybeds : What else differs ?

I found a concern with the Roland Juno DS88.  The "medium" velocity curve was fine for Pianoteq but was bad for most of my sample libraries that use velocity to trigger legato.  I found that the "light" setting with an offset of +6 in the Juno system setup page is a nice compromise for those libraries. I will just have to set up a new velocity curve in Pianoteq now.  Which is a great feature in Pianoteq, BTW.  smile
  -Perry-

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Re: Roland "Ivory Feel-G with escapement" keybeds : What else differs ?

I really like my Juno DS88! It's a really nice touch on the keys but sometimes, when I hit the keys hard, I can hear a little bit of rattling from the battery-cover...

I noticed that when I calibrate the velocity-curve, the velocity-data comes with 1 decimal like: 2.0 or 126.4 or something in between (yeah higher and lower too... but not much ;-) ). I like that! I must also say that I think Pianoteq actually sounds better from this keyed then previous ones (thats interesting...). Havin sad that I still admit that getting the right velocity curve isn't easy (on any keybed). I kind of think that also depend on my mood, if I for the moment want a softer or a brighter sound...

First I was kind of disappointed of the 2:nd pedal because it didn't handle soft pedal. But then I sett it to aftertouch and control soft pedal within Pianoteq with aftertouch (then I noticed that "Studiocat" did the same thing). This is brilliant because the keyed don't have aftertouch, and this way I can control both soft pedal within Pianoteq and controls aftertouch within synth-sounds of the Juno DS!

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Re: Roland "Ivory Feel-G with escapement" keybeds : What else differs ?

I notice that if you slide your finger off of the keys on release, they can make some noise.  Nothing is loose in the key action, they just rebound a bit differently when you slide your fingers off a key instead of lifting your fingers off of the keys. My Kurzweil PC3x was flat / linear for velocity response with Pianoteq.  I am still looking for the perfect velocity curve on the Juno for Pianoteq.  You may have noticed the Juno transmits "note off velocity" as well. You can calibrate this in Pianoteq like note on velocity.  There is also a setting in the Juno for switching the sustain pedal from "on-off" to continuous for half pedaling. The RPU-3 triple pedal supports this.  smile
  -Perry-

Last edited by Studiocat (03-02-2017 22:33)

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Re: Roland "Ivory Feel-G with escapement" keybeds : What else differs ?

Yes I noticed the note off velocity already in the store, so that's nice! Yes you're right, it sounds more and different when sliding off the the key... Hm... I think this is the reason it sometimes can feel a little bit plastic...

The continues half pedal is a very important thing in my point of view and I was surprised that it was ticked off when I bought  the DS88... But it wasn't hard to change! I use two Roland DP-10.

I also think that velocity curve and the hardnes of the hammer is linked together... I made a new velocity-curve calibration yesterday, which is totally different from the one before, but I like it, though it was a little bit dark in sound when playing really soft. But then I raised the piano hammer hardness a little bit and that made it...

I haven't bought the Grotrian yet but I found myself enyoj the Blüthner today!!!

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Re: Roland "Ivory Feel-G with escapement" keybeds : What else differs ?

I read the OP but only skimmed the replies, so excuse me if I am repeating stuff already said.

My impression is that Roland's Ivory Feel-G action is different between different models. For example, the IFG action on the FP-20 feels inferior to IFG on the RD-300. Maybe it's the keys (probably is), but I don't really know. All I know is the specs don't always tell the full story. You've got to try before you buy.

Anyway, the IFG is now outdated, so unless you're looking to buy used, stay away from it.

3/2 = 5

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Re: Roland "Ivory Feel-G with escapement" keybeds : What else differs ?

SteveLy wrote:

I read the OP but only skimmed the replies, so excuse me if I am repeating stuff already said.

My impression is that Roland's Ivory Feel-G action is different between different models. For example, the IFG action on the FP-20 feels inferior to IFG on the RD-300. Maybe it's the keys (probably is), but I don't really know. All I know is the specs don't always tell the full story. You've got to try before you buy.

Anyway, the IFG is now outdated, so unless you're looking to buy used, stay away from it.

  You are correct.  The IFG actions do vary between Roland models.  The Juno DS88 has a nice feel IMHO.  According to a Roland rep, the key escapement was modified on the Juno for a "better feel". I have friends who attended NAMM in January and actually preferred the Juno action to the new RD2000.
  -Perry-

Last edited by Studiocat (25-02-2017 19:03)