Roland RD-2000 Digital Piano Review

Many have asked if the Roland RD-2000 digital piano is the ultimate stage piano. With plenty of valid reasons to think so, you should, first of all, have a clear view of this masterpiece.

Some of the highlights of the piano include two independent sound engines, premium keyboard action, and advanced controller features. With such attributes, the piano delivers unmatched performance both on stage and in the studio.

Merging evolved piano technologies with extensive modern control; this is a next-generational instrument that takes the industry-standard stage piano series to new levels.

Read on for an in-depth review of the RD-2000.

Features of the Roland RD-2000 Digital Piano

Known for their creativity, Roland equipped the RD-2000 digital piano with some of the most amazing features needed in stage performance. Here, we are going to look at the piano’s specs, design, keyboard action, sound, and the connectivity options available.

Specs

  • 88 full-size keys
  • PHA-50 Keyboard: Plastic and Wood Hybrid Structure, with Escapement Ebony/Ivory Feel
  • Sound Engine 1: V-Piano Technology
  • Sound Engine 2: SuperNATURAL, SuperNATURAL Piano, SuperNATURAL (E.Piano, Clav), Virtual Tone Wheel Organ, PCM Sound Generator
  • Polyphony: 128 voices for SuperNATURAL Sound Engine, Unlimited for V-Piano Technology Sound Engine
  • 1,100 + Preset Tones
  • Sound Effects: Reverb-6 types, Delay-5 types, 3-band Compressor, 5-band Digital EQ, Tremolo/Amp Simulator: 4 systems, 6 types, Sympathetic Resonance (Only for SuperNATURAL Piano), Modulation FX: 4 systems, 62 types
  • Controllers: 9 Sliders, 8 Knobs, Pitch
  • Bend/Modulation Lever, Modulation Wheel
  • Connectors: MAIN OUT (L/MONO, R) jacks: 1/4-inch phone type, MAIN OUT (L, R) jacks: XLR type, SUB OUT (L, R) jacks:1/4-inch phone type, NPUT jack: Stereo miniature phone type, Pedal (DAMPER, FC1, FC2, EXT) jacks: TRS phone type, MIDI (IN, OUT1, THRU/OUT2) connectors, USB (COMPUTER) port: USB type B, USB (MEMORY) port: USB type A, PHONES jack: Stereo 1/4 inch phone type, AC In jack
  • Display: Graphic LCD 256 x 80 dots
  • Piano’s Dimensions: W x D x H: 55.5” x 14.4” x 5.5” (141.2 x 36.7 x 14 cm)
  • 47.9lbs (21.7 kg)

Design

Roland RD-2000

The Roland RD-2000 digital piano is designed for the stage and features an intuitive interface that makes it easy to navigate during live performances.

There are eight knobs and nine sliders that provide instant control for sounds, effects, among other functions. Additionally, the knobs feature LED indicators for precise adjustments with immediate visual feedback.

The piano has eight assignable zones enabling you to map sounds to different key ranges, or if you want, create a combination of sounds with up to eight layers.

Moreover, the piano has a new Scene Function that can save up to 100 different snapshots of the whole keyboard setup and recall them instantly with a quick button command while on stage.

Since the RD-2000 features Roland’s classic pitch/mod lever and two modulation wheels, it provides expressive options for any performance style. The dual wheels are responsible for accurate sound adjustment on external synths.

They are also independently assignable per program. The piano also comes with robust encoder knobs to bring a new level of control, especially in live performances. With LED indicators to show the current knob value, you can play the Roland RD-2000 digital piano even on the darkest stages.

READ ALSO: Korg LP-380 Review

Keyboard

As earlier mentioned, the Roland RD-2000 digital piano uses the brand’s PHA-50 keyboard action. The Progressive Hammer Action is one of the best keyboard actions from Roland, and on the market as well.

It is ideal for playing the instrument’s responsive acoustic and electric pianos. Furthermore, this innovative keyboard that comes with escapement features hybrid keys constructed of wood and molded materials. The construction style has a classic feel with rugged durability.

The keys of the RD-2000 feel lighter than those found on upright pianos and are closer in feel to the grand piano action. Since the plastic keys have a textured surface of Ivory feel, they have a natural grip that prevents your fingers from slipping.

The escapement feature on the keyboard makes it easy to perform musical passages where quick note repetitions are required.

Roland’s advanced sensor mechanism and hammer-action design, together with the PHA-50 keyboard action, gives you authentic grand piano touch lacking in stage pianos within the same price range.

Sounds

Different from what we are used to in digital pianos, the Roland RD-2000 comes with two distinct sound engines.

The Roland RD-2000 digital piano has different classes of sounds, distinguished by unique abilities. A total of ten acoustic piano sounds rendered by the company’s characteristic physical modeling engine, the V-Piano. You can find these voices under the tag “MD” located on the control interface.

Produced by Roland’s SuperNATURAL sound engine, there are clavs, organs, electric pianos, and additional sets of acoustic piano voices.

You can find these sounds under the “SN” symbol on the control panel display. In total, the RD-2000 has 1,100 tones, which are more than what most digital or stage pianos offer.

Acoustic pianos available on the RD-2000 come in 10 different variations. They range from vibrant and full to bright and warm, which makes up a perfect acoustic piano tone for any song that you may want to play.

Unlike most digital pianos, the sounds here are more cohesive and offer more room for expressiveness. Above all, there is a feature on the Roland RD-2000 that lets you customize every aspect of each sound known as the Tone Designer. It allows you to adjust key-off noise, different types of resonance to lid positions, among other sound functions.

Via a second SuperNATURAL-based sound engine, the Roland RD-2000 digital piano gives you access to a wide range of classical electric pianos from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. The keyboard also offers a set of organ sounds that are fully adjustable thanks to the Tone Designer feature, and sound truly authentic.

So, does the Roland RD-2000 have built-in speakers? Unfortunately, no, it does not, and the reason behind this is that the keyboard is meant for stage life; therefore, it relies on external sound systems.

The sound library of the RD-2000 is an ocean full of rich, natural, and the most expressive tones you can ask for in a stage piano.

Connectivity

The RD-2000 comes with a full set of connectivity options and an addition of some that aren’t ordinarily available in most digital pianos.

There are two varieties of main outputs, which include a pair of stereo balanced XLR outputs and the standard unbalanced stereo ¼” jacks.

You can also connect your headphones using a ¼” Phones jack available on the piano. If you want to connect external sound sources or music players to the RD-2000, then you can use a 1/8″ Input Jack.

Pedal Jacks

There are four pedal jacks connectors on the piano that allow you to connect necessary pedals. They include; Foot Controller 1 and 2, Damper, and an External Controller. Moreover, the pedal jacks here are universal and can handle any pedal from any manufacturer due to the inclusion of built-in polarity switches.

USB to Host

With the use of a type B USB cable, you can integrate your PC with the piano in the USB Audio interface.

There’s also a USB Memory slot that allows you to plug in a memory stick to save your compositions. However, you’ll need a type-A USB cable for this to be possible.

MIDI Ports

The piano has standard 5-pin MIDI ports that include In, Out, Thru/Out 2. Therefore, you can connect the RD-2000 to other MIDI-based keyboards and devices without a hassle.

USB for Update

Located on the far left of the rear panel; this port is used for updating reasons only.

Extra Features

Audio Recording and Playback

located on the rear panel of the RD-2000 is a USB Memory port (USB type A). The port allows you to record songs directly in 44.1 kHz, 16-bit WAV files. Similarly, the port that you can use to playback songs off a USB drive with WAV files being the only accepted format. 

Splitting and Layering

Splitting and layering might be regular standards on any digital piano, but the RD-2000 takes them to new heights. With each program consisting of up to eight zones, you can change the individual presets to suit your preferences. You can use the key-range function to overlap zones, which allows you a reasonable degree of customization. 

In regards to layering, you can mix the individual layers easily using the zone-select buttons above each fader. The piano also has a mute button above the faders, which is a useful inclusion for sound design and on stage.

Benefits of the Roland RD-2000 Digital Piano

Performance Powerhouse – The RD-2000 features dual sound engines that power Roland’s best acoustic and electric pianos. Furthermore, this piano has the most excellent keyboard action that you can ask for in a stage piano. There’s also a massive selection of high-quality ensemble sounds to cover any of your musical tasks with wave expansions slots for additional sounds. And with its innovative modern interface, this piano is the perfect master controller for working with the latest software-based instruments on stage.

Superb Playability – The PHA-50 keyboard action with escapement is the ideal platform for playing this piano’s responsive electric and acoustic pianos. The RD-2000 features an innovative keyboard with unique construction combined with a classic feel and rugged durability. Therefore, this piano gives you an authentic grand piano touch needed in a stage piano.

Stage-Flexible – With an intuitive interface, navigating the RD-2000 during live performances won’t be a hassle. A total of eight knobs and nine sliders provide immediate control for sounds, effects, and more, and they feature LED indicators for precise adjustment with instant visual feedback.

Reasons You Should Buy the Roland RD-2000

Some of the multiple zones and scenes enable you to map sounds to different key ranges on the piano, or create combination sounds with up to eight layers.

Sounds for every music genre within the RD-2000 offer you over 1,100 additional sounds for playing any style of music with just one keyboard.

Unlimited connectivity options make it easier and more flexible to integrate the RD-2000 with just about any external sound source, computer, and digital devices.

Light and durable, this piano is easy to transport from gig to gig. To do this, you can use the specific case for the Roland RD-2000, designed explicitly for 88-key instruments.

The piano also features extensive foot control with four pedal units that you can configure for expression pedals, damper pedals, and more. You also get a DP-10 pedal for damper pedal operation.

Who Is the Roland RD-2000 for?

Without a doubt, Roland RD-2000 is a digital stage piano built for professional performers. It combines the traditional RD-series appearance with elements of the V-Piano to embody both tradition and innovation.

The keyboard comes from the ground up with the working pro in mind. Beginners would find this instrument too overwhelming, especially on the control panel.

Roland considered details regarding the interface workflow, physical layout connectors, sound organization, switches, knobs, and sliders. So, this is strictly an on-stage professional pianist keyboard.

Buyers Guide

Since it doesn’t come with built-in speakers, you’ll have to realize the best speakers for the Roland RD-2000 according to your preferences. 

The piano does come with accessories such as the Damper Pedal (DP-10), AC Power Adapter, and an Owner’s Manual.

For reliable support, there’s an optional KS-G8 stand that is a perfect match for the RD-2000. The stand features an open design and a sleek look.

It also has durable steel piping and rigid bracing to ensure the maximum stability of the piano. The KS-G8 folds easily for transport, and its height is adjustable for sitting or standing positions.a

How to Clean the Roland RD-2000 Digital Piano

  • Take a small bowl and add some boiled and precooled water
  • Dampen a lint-free, soft, and clean fiber cloth in the solution
  • Make sure it slightly dampens and not soaking wet
  • Use the fabric to wipe back and forth on top of the keys and edges (do not wipe from side to side)
  • Using another cloth of the same attributes, wipe any moisture that may have remained on top of the keys

Pros

  • PHA-50 hybrid wood keyboard
  • Wide-selection of high-quality tones
  • Excellent customizability
  • Eight zones per program
  • Strong aluminum chassis
  • Modeled and Sampled solid piano sounds
  • Multiple and detailed sound effects
  • Built-in Mixing features
  • Top-class connectivity

Cons

  • Small display
  • Limited accessories
  • Knobs aren’t spacious enough
  • Faders feel cheap

Conclusion

Whether you are a performing artist or are involved in music production, the Roland RD-2000 digital piano proves itself to be a convenient instrument. As mentioned earlier, the intended user of this instrument is the more advanced pianist or musician.

It has the most authentic keyboard action and the V-Piano sound engine mostly present on more evolved and expensive instruments from Roland.

From strings, organs, electric pianos, among others, the RD-2000 has an impressive sound library with world-class quality. Above all, this piano is control-flexible thanks to its many control capabilities that make it easy during on-stage performances.

Although the RD-2000 has its fair share of weaknesses, we still think that it is the best professional stage keyboard at the price range.

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