Pianos are known to be one of the most expensive instruments out there in the market, from traditional piano and acoustic piano to digital piano.
That is why it is important to do an intricate and extensive background check before buying to make the most of your penny.
This article will make a fun and exciting HEAD-TO-HEAD digital piano comparison of the best entry-level digital pianos — Yamaha P125 vs. Roland FP-30.
Let’s break down each one!
Roland FP-30 Overview
Let’s start with Roland’s FP-30.
The latest Roland FP-30 claims to be a compact and high-end piano perfect for playing piano inside apartments, condos, dormitories, and small homes.
Besides its LIGHT, PORTABLE, and space-saving features, this digital piano is also budget-friendly!
For the bonus part, it also has Bluetooth connectivity wireless support, which is unusual for digital pianos.
Let’s dig more into this promising 88-note instrument!
Main Features of the Roland FP-30
Here are the pros you can get if you opt for this piano:
1. Compact Design
The FP-30 is 51.2 inches wide, 11.2 inches deep, and 5.9 inches high, weighing 31 lbs (with music rest detached).
The best part is that you don’t have to worry about fitting it on your table while playing your piano. Rest assured that it will fit nicely and snug in your bedroom or apartment!
You will also love its classic and simplistic black and white colors!
2. Sound Rich Tone From Roland’s Renowned SuperNATURAL Piano Sound Engines
The Roland FP-30 has a POWERFUL onboard sound system pumped by its embedded SuperNATURAL technology sound engines.
Some of the benefits brought by this SuperNATURAL technology are:
- It doesn’t use sample looping.
- It controls how parameters react to performance dynamics and nuances.
- It translates what you’re playing into appropriate variations.
3. Twin Piano Mode
This is a Roland EXCLUSIVE great feature!
It allows 2 people to play simultaneously in the same pitch ranges with a different voice, which is good for piano lessons.
This mode lets the piano create two separate 44-key mini pianos, each with its middle C.
4. 35 Built-In Instrument Sounds
Aside from being a compact digital piano, the FP-30 also has a whopping 35 built-in instrument sounds, which are:
- 3 Grand Pianos, Ragtime Piano
- 3 Electric Pianos
- 4 Organs (Jazz, Church)
- 3 Strings
- 2 Harpsichords
- Accordion, Harp, Choirs, Bass, etc.
5. String Resonance Modeling
This is the only piano under $1000 with a string resonance modeling.
This feature makes a narrower band of frequencies pretty much audible when playing the piano.
Before buying a Roland FP-30, you should first consider the following specifications:
1. 88-Note Standard Keyboard with Four Modes
This 88-note full-sized piano has 52 white keys and 36 black keys.
The Roland PF-30 supports four modes for playing piano — whole mode, dual-mode (volume balance adjustable), split mode (split point adjustable, volume balance adjustable), and twin mode.
Split mode is where the keyboard is divided into two sections while allowing you to play a different sound in each section.
Meanwhile, dual-mode allows users to layer two different instrument sounds, such as layering piano sounds with an electric or acoustic piano.
2. Progressive Hammer Action (PHA) Keyboard
The FP-30 has a newly developed 88-note hammer action that gives off the same touch, escapement feature, and ivory feel keys only found in their high-end home pianos.
The ivory feels of the piano gives more resistance to the fingers!
Progressive hammer action keys are like acoustic pianos, which are heavier on the low-end and lighter on the high-end.
3. Redesigned Built-In Speakers
The FP-30 has a 2 x 12cm built-in speaker system and 2 x 12W amplifiers, which are great for delivering enough volume and an impressive and high-quality sound boost.
4. Bluetooth MIDI Connectivity
Traditionally, most digital pianos only provide USB connections for exchanging MIDI data.
The FP-30 decided to level 1-UP the competition with Bluetooth MIDI connectivity which wirelessly connects to your laptop or tablet.
Roland knows what we need because they provided us with a USB to host connectivity and a USB to device port, plus a sustain pedal jack.
5. Headphone Jacks
Let’s take the time to applaud Roland for letting us connect our headphone jack without using any adapters!
The FP-30 has two headphone jacks underneath — a standard jack and a mini-jack.
The downside is line-out jacks aren’t available for Roland FP-30.
To connect the unit to a mixer, one needs to use one of the headphones out connectors on the front.
- Four keyboard modes
- Comes with E-piano tones
- Ivory-feels keyboard
- Progressive Hammer Action Feature
- String Resonance Modeling
- SuperNATURAL Sound Engine
- High-Quality Sound Boost Speaker System
- 128-note Polyphony
- Bluetooth MIDI Connectivity
- Heavier than other digital pianos
- Lack of line-out connectors
- No built-in auto-accompaniment function (pianist styles)
- The pedal is a plastic on-off switch
- No support for USB audio I/O
Yamaha P125 Overview
Whether a digital or acoustic piano, Yamaha’s always gotta be our GAME-CHANGER!
Created after the best-selling P155 from the P-series, Yamaha P125 became the new midrange keyboard that has a sleek and modest design.
They are intelligently designed for beginners with their user-friendly features that help the pianist navigate the keys and functions in the EASIEST way possible.
Let’s walk straight through the main features of this entry-level digital piano!
Here are the pros you can get if you opt for this piano:
1. Smart Pianist App
While Yamaha didn’t bother to include Bluetooth connectivity, they still left us with their amazing app, the Yamaha Smart Pianist App.
The smart pianist app claims to be compatible with all devices, such as Apple and Android.
It lets you access the instrument’s functionality, such as reverberation from echoes in performance venues or the amount of chorus effect on a voice.
2. Slim and Portable
The Yamaha p125 is 52.2 inches wide, 11.6 inches deep, and 6.5 inches high, weighing 26 lbs. Ultimately lighter than most digital pianos out there.
Color options are also in white and black for those who are curious to know about this.
3. Stereophonic Optimizer
The Yamaha exclusive Stereophonic Optimizer adjusts your feeling of being enveloped in the music with headphones on.
This feature is commonly available only to higher-end digital pianos.
4. Pure CF Sound Engine
The pure CF sound engine is a unique feature of Yamaha. A by-product of producing acoustic pianos for more than a century.
This digital piano is no exception.
It features a piano sound recorded from Yamaha’s renowned CFIIIS 9′ concert grand together with its damper resonance function, which allows incredible dynamics to take place.
5. 24 Tones On-Board
Upgrading from the usual 14-tone keyboard, the P125 added 10 more to the list, making it a total of 24 tones which are:
- Piano Section:
Grand Piano, Live Grand, Ballad Grand, Bright Grand
- Electric Piano Section:
Stage E. Piano, FM E. Piano, Vintage E. Piano, Synth Piano
- Organ Section:
Jazz Organ, Rock Organ, Organ Principal, Organ Tutti
- Clavichord/Vibraphone Section:
Harpsichord 8′, Harpsichord 8’+ 4′, Clavichord, Vibraphone
- Strings Section:
Strings, Slow Strings, Choir, Synth Pad
- Bass Section:
Acoustic Bass, Electric Bass, Bass & Cymbal, Fretless Bass
Before buying a Yamaha P125, you should first consider the following specifications:
1. 88 Fully Weighted Keyboard
This fully-weighted piano has the typical 52 white keys and 36 black keys.
Unlike plastic keys, Yamaha P125’s fully weighted keyboard has a graded hammer action system identical to a traditional piano’s feels.
Like the Roland FP-30, the keys are heavier in the lower registers and lighter on the higher end.
Not only that, but it also has a feature of interchanging sound volume depending on how hard or soft you play.
For the bonus part, these weighted keys also have simulated ebony material, enhancing superior grip.
2. Powerful Onboard Speakers
The redesigned and newly-improved 2-way speaker system of the Yamaha P125 produces a RICH stereo sound while playing.
Entry-level pianos don’t often offer 4 speaker system, but Yamaha gave it to you!
The 14W power supply of the speakers gives you sufficient volume to fill in your room.
The Yamaha P125 also offers a sound boost feature that makes the sound slightly sharper/louder.
3. Intelligent Acoustic Control
The Yamaha is known for its P-series pianos’ intelligent acoustic control (IAC).
This feature allows the frequency response to be automatically adjusted, which makes notes more clearly audible even at low volume levels.
4. Support Four Modes
Like Roland PF-30, the Yamaha P125 also supports four modes; whole mode, dual-mode (volume balance adjustable), split mode (split point adjustable, volume balance adjustable), and duet play.
- 196-note Polyphony
- Fully Weighted 88-note
- Graded Hammer Action Feature
- Compact and Lightweight
- Good for Performances
- Smart Pianist App Feature
- Pure CF Sound Engine
- Flash Drive Audio Interface
- Compatibility issues with the smart pianist app
- Limited instrument sounds
- No Bluetooth feature
- Basic sustain pedal
Let’s Compare: Roland FP 30 vs Yamaha P125
Now that you’ve heard and seen the pros and cons of Roland FP-30 vs. Yamaha P125, we will proceed to the real deal comparison of the two digital pianos.
The base price is $649.99 for Yamaha P125 vs. Roland FP-30’s $699.99 base unit.
A 50-dollar difference is still big enough to let you buy some accessories you might need.
So for pricing, our winner is the Yamaha P125.
Build and Design
Both claim to have a minimalist and compact design, which shows they look identical at first glance.
However, in terms of weight, Yamaha P125 is a little lighter at 26lbs over Roland’s 31lbs.
But depending on how you’ll be playing with it, this won’t matter.
For stay-at-home players, Roland FP-30 would be a good pick. For performers outside their homes, you’d have to choose Yamaha P125.
So, for build and design, it’s probably a TIE for us!
Key Feel and Key Action
While our preferences may differ from one person to another, the Roland FP-30’s ivory feels keyboard offers a magnificent and amazing acoustic feel!
Nevertheless, the sustained ebony of the Yamaha P125 is also superb for your grip.
For key feels, Roland FP-30 is probably our best pick.
Of course, brands that offer sufficient volume and the BEST sound quality are always the deal-breaker for every other instrument, especially pianos.
In terms of polyphony, the Roland FP-30 only has 128-notes. Meanwhile, the Yamaha P125 has 196-notes.
This means that Yamaha will be able to sustain and play more notes while maintaining its accurate sound.
Regarding key sensitivity, 4 options are made available to Yamaha P125 vs. Roland FP-30, which has 5 options.
Roland also does best at tone versatility with 35 built-in musical instruments compared to Yamaha P125’s 24 built-in musical instruments.
Overall, for the sound quality, we’ll probably go with the Roland FP-30.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the frequently asked questions for this digital piano comparison:
What is Polyphony?
Polyphony is derived from the prefix “poly,” which means many.
Consequently, polyphony happens when two or more instruments, tones, lines, and even melodies are combined simultaneously.
Talking about polyphony, Roland FP-30 has 128-note while Yamaha P125 has 196-note.
The HIGHER the polyphony is, the higher notes can be sustained and played at the same time.
Is the Roland FP-30 Good for Beginners?
Value-money-wise and quality-wise, Roland FP-30 is the best recommended digital piano for a beginner.
Can Yamaha P-125 be Used as a MIDI Controller?
Yamaha’s P-125 enables you to transfer MIDI to your DAW. Aside from this, it also enables you to do an audio transfer.
In this sense, it would be great as a MIDI controller!
Final Verdict: Roland FP-30 vs. Yamaha P125
So, which digital piano will it be?
All things considered, such as the four main features, key feels, key action, build and design, and sound quality, we opted to go for Roland FP-30.
For a beginner, the features of the Roland FP-30 are much more needed, especially with its authentic sound and feel.
Furthermore, it has extra features such as Bluetooth, twin piano mode, and added instrument sounds.
HOWEVER! Let’s not discredit Yamaha’s pick!
The compact design that Yamaha offers is an extraordinary feat, especially for performers who play at gigs.
The Yamaha P125 also offers many advantages worth mentioning, like its application, CF sound engine, good quality speakers for music production, and the nice texture of keys.
While we think Roland FP-30 is the best piano for a beginner, we recognize our varying preferences.
The best pianos are made if you choose, study, love, and stick with them.
We hope this digital piano comparison has helped you decide which of the two instruments would work best for a beginner like you.
Pick one up now and let the fun begin!