Roland RD-88 Digital Piano – How Good Is It?

The Roland RD-88 digital piano belongs to the company’s RD series of pianos. These pianos have been the most preferred by professional pianists for over 30 years. The RD series pianos have appeared on stages around the world because they offer more functionality and flexibility. When it comes to design, these pianos truly stand out, plus they incorporate a wide range of unique and efficient sound features for excellent playability.

With the Roland RD-88, you get to have the acclaimed sound and playability, in a more accessible and affordable digital piano. In this review, we’ll go through all the features that this piano offers to help you understand it better.

Features of the Roland RD-88 Digital Piano

Similar to other digital pianos in the RD series, the Roland RD-88 digital piano brings with it a wide range of features, with the added advantage of sound quality and compact design. Let’s go discuss some of the features you can expect to find in this modern keyboard.

Specifications

Keyboard:

  • 88-key PHA-4 Standard Keyboard with Escapement and Ivory Feel
  • Speakers
  • Display

Sound Generation Section:

  • SuperNATURAL Piano
  • SuperNATURAL E. Piano
  • 3 parts

Tones:

  • Scene: 400
  • Tone: over 3,000

Effects:

  • Zone multi-effects: 3 systems, 90 types, Zone EQ: 3 systems, and Zone tone color: 3 systems
  • Scene multi-effects (IFX): 90 types
  • Sympathetic resonance
  • Chorus/delay: 8 types
  • Reverb: 6 types
  • Master compressor
  • Master EQ
  • Input reverb
  • Input EQ

Controllers:

  • Assignable wheel x 2
  • Assignable control knob x 8
  • Master volume knob
  • Damper pedal
  • Assignable pedal x 2
  • Rated power output 6 W x 2

Accessories:

  • Owner’s manual
  • Leaflet
  • AC adaptor
  • Power cord
  • Pedal switch

Dimensions: 50-9/16” W x 10-3/16” D x 6-5/16” H

Total weight: 29 pounds (13.5 kg)

Roland RD-88 Digital Piano Design

Roland RD-88 digital piano
Image Credit: Roland

Not only does the Roland RD-88 offer unique sound features, but it also comes in a design that gives you flexibility. The piano can easily fit your life because it comes in a clean and compact design that allows you to use carry and use it anywhere. The piano’s lightweight and sturdy build, makes it easy to transport and set it up.

The RD-88 can comfortably fit on small stages and even in cramped rehearsal spaces. It also features a room-filling integrated speaker system that is ultra-convenient. The speaker system enables you to the piano with less clutter and minimum fuss.

Keyboard

Roland RD-88 digital piano
Image Credit: Roland

The Roland RD-88 digital piano features an 88-key PHA-4 Standard Keyboard with Escapement and Ivory Feel. The ivory feel of the keys offers a world-class playability experience. The keyboard also includes speakers and an LCD display. The speakers help to deliver the best sound experience, while the LCD display offers intuitive control over the piano’s settings.

The good thing about this digital piano is that it has a user-friendly interface optimized for performance. The keyboard also offers an appealing look wherever you decide to keep the piano, and can easily complement your décor. Therefore, you get sturdy controls and smooth, reliable keyboard action that feels natural – it’s neither stiff nor spongy.

ALSO READ: Roland F-140R Digital Piano Review

Sound Quality

With the RD-88, you get nothing but authentic sounds. It’s a great stage piano that draws upon its rich heritage and features newly developed SuperNATURAL pianos and electric pianos that can easily go from sparkle to grit with only a few knob twists.

It also offers extra versatility through its curated selection of acoustic and electronic sounds from Roland’s rich historic legacy using the ZEN-Core Synthesis System. The ZEN-Core synthesis system is also found in Roland’s flagship synthesizers.

The Roland RD-88 digital piano also comes with a wide range of tones, effects, and a speaker system that helps to amplify the sound during performances. That means both you and your audience will get to hear what you’re playing. Other sound functions include rhythm pattern, song player, MIDI master keyboard, and DAW control.

Connectivity

RD pianos are popular for their ease of connectivity. This is all thanks to their intuitive controls and friendly layout. Fortunately, the RD-88 is no different. It gives you what you need to confidently expressive yourself through performances. You’ll have access to vital controls that are clearly marked and easily accessible, to quickly reach your favorite sounds, add effects, or even shape the tonal balance of the piano depending on your needs.

Some of the connectivity options included in the piano are; PHONES jack, OUTPUT jacks, MIC INPUT jack, LINE INPUT jack, pedal (damper, FC1, FC2) jacks: TRS phone type. Other connectors are; MIDI OUT jack, USB MEMORY port, USB COMPUTER port (supports USB MIDI/AUDIO), and DC IN jack. This allows you to use the piano with your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Extra Features of the Roland RD-88 Digital Piano

One extra feature you’ll find in the Roland RD-88 is the ability to integrate soft synths. Sometimes you only need specific sounds or the unique capabilities of certain soft synths or sample library. Luckily, this digital piano can help you achieve that effortlessly. The piano has three zones that you can configure with internal sounds.

You can also integrate and control soft synths from Apple MainStage. Therefore, this makes it easy to duplicate the sound of a track live or mix your favorite soft synths with the piano’s own palette of sounds.

Who Is the Roland RD-88 Digital Piano For?

The Roland RD-88 digital piano is ideal for most pianists, mainly because the sound quality and intuitive interface make it easy to use. Therefore, even if you’re a beginner, using this piano won’t be so difficult. Also, intermediate and advanced players can leverage the wide range of functionality and unique features that this piano brings to the table.

Pros

  • Ivory feel piano-touch keyboard (PHA-4) for world-class playability.
  • Lightweight and compact design for easy transport and setup.
  • New SuperNATURAL pianos and electric pianos based on acclaimed RD series.
  • Three zones with an external control and Apple MainStage integration.
  • It comes with a room-filling onboard speaker system.
  • The piano is easy to connect with. It features intuitive controls and a friendly layout.

Cons

  • Unfortunately, the standard speaker volume is low even at maximum. That means you would need external speakers if you want high sound.
  • The keyboard is unable to send/receive on all 16 MIDI channels.
  • There are no built-in drum kits. That means you need to use some VST drum software such as Addictive Drums.
  • Roland RD-88 also lacks a 10-key keypad to input the song number you want.

The Bottom Line

The Roland RD-88 digital piano is simply a magnificent modern piano. It has features that can satisfy most players’ needs. Aside from a few drawbacks that the piano has, it still ranks among the best options to consider buying. Considering its price point, the deal isn’t too bad for any pianist out there. Nevertheless, it’s important to always check what a piano offers to gauge whether it can satisfy your needs.

Hopefully, this review has helped you learn more about the Roland RD-88. If you have any questions or feedback regarding our post, feel free to reach out to us through email.