In a growing world where technology is king; we are seeing manufacturers starting to put out some high-quality instruments for relatively cheap prices. The Roland FP-10 was recently announced as the latest affordable digital piano, so I had to give it a try.
Excellent entry-level digital piano
The FP-10 is one of the best digital pianos for beginners that I have played to date. It absolutely crushes in the key-action department, along with the overall sound and speakers.
If you are curious about digital pianos similar to this, I recommend checking out the following options as they are the upgraded versions of the FP 10.
My opinion is that the Roland FP-10 digital piano is a major win for the company and musicians altogether. This is a streamlined version of the FP-30 which I thought was already a fantastic product. The FP-10 is the keyboard for serious pianists who are on a tighter budget but still don’t want to sacrifice with a lesser quality product. I believe this is a better version of the Yamaha P-45 for two reasons; Rolands key-beds, in my opinion, are better than Yamaha’s, and the FP-10 has Bluetooth technology. My full review is below.
Roland FP-10 Review
Slim, sleek, and relatively light in weight are how I would describe this instrument.
This is easily one of the slimmest digital pianos on the market currently with only the Casio PX S-1000 and the PX S3000 coming to mind.
In all of my years personally playing the piano, Roland has always been the company that sticks out for having realistic feeling keys.
The FP-10 comes with the Roland DP-10 sustain pedal which is not the greatest pedal. This isn’t the biggest deal as you can always get another one for a cheap price.
In a digital piano in today’s age, I think the most important thing is just how the instrument plays and feels.
You can always use it as a MIDI controller nowadays and find a better sound, but the keys a permanent.
If you are wanting to continue to browse more options, check out my guide on the best digital pianos where I go into depth on all of the popular choices.
For this price, I am honestly surprised at how good the keys feel. I think that this might be the best feeling keyboard near this price range and I believe because of this it’s going to attract a lot of pianists.
They have been hinting at the white keys being moisture absorbent. When you play this keyboard, you will notice that it feels like real ivory keys. This is because of a new technology they have tried out and I think this is great and you can definitely tell a difference in the feel here.
The hammer-grade action keys are becoming an industry standard, yes, however, not for keyboards in this price range. Roland has a big win in this department because of this.
Roland used their PHA-4 standard key-action for the FP-10. This is their most affordable option that they make and it is also found on the FP-30 and FP-60.
You can adjust the touch-sensitivity so it plays to the velocity of your keystrokes. This means that you can adjust to how hard you hit the notes essentially.
5 Pre-Settings For Touch-Sensitivity
You can switch between Super Heavy, Heavy, Medium, Light, Super Light, and Fixed. The default is going to be the medium and in all honesty, this is how I play on it.
My least favorite setting is the fixed setting. This makes it so you basically can’t have any dynamics. I don’t think this is a great setting as you won’t be learning proper mechanics if you have this turned on. This setting makes it there’s no difference in the sound whether you hit the key hard or soft.
Some people get super into messing with the touch-sensitivity, but I’ve always just found that Roland does a great job in putting it where most people will like it.
Overall, the FP-10, in my opinion, has the best key-bed for around this price range. If you enjoy running digital pianos as MIDI controllers, this is a great choice as it’s affordable and it plays extremely well.
Graded Hammer Action
The PHA-4 standard is an 88 key full-weighted action which aims to capture the realism that you get when you press down an actual piano key.
The lower notes feel heavier than the lighter keys do, just like on an acoustic piano. This is because the keys are individually weighted in the FP-10. Roland has truly nailed this on all of their digital pianos that I have played on.
Have you ever played a digital piano in which the keys play poorly and loud? The PHA-4 key-bed is designed to do the opposite. In this price range, I don’t believe there are any options that provide a more smooth play upon hitting the keys.
If you’re a pianist who has been playing for many years, you will notice that you can hit the keys further back easier than on other digital pianos. The keys won’t feel as stiff.
Note: I play on the Yamaha P-45 daily and I believe that the Roland FP-10 keys feel heavier and better overall. For a while there, the Yamaha P-45 was the standard for this price range, but Roland has taken this in my opinion.
I personally think the sounds are relatively good. With this being said, I do understand the price range and I also do consider this when I’m testing out new products. The sound system they used on this is their SuperNATURAL system. I watched a few videos where people were blown away by the sounds of it.
You will find 15 built-in sounds on the FP-10 including:
- 4 Grand Pianos
- 2 Electric Pianos
- 1 Beautiful Pad
- 1 Vibraphone
- 2 Organs
- 2 Harpsichords
- 2 Strings
- Scat Voice
When comparing this to the FP-30, you will notice that there are an additional 20 built-in sounds. To me, this isn’t a huge deal because I don’t think you should worry about the number of sounds on a digital piano. It’s much more important that the quality is greater than the quantity.
Note: You can use the Roland Piano Partner 2 App to access the additional 20 sounds that the FP-30 has for free.
The first piano on the FP-10 is in my opinion the best one on the instrument. It’s incredibly deep and warm sounding. I’m personally more of a fan of warm sound pianos rather than bright.
Note: The FP-10 is the only digital piano near this price range that simulated sympathetic string resonance and key off resonance. This makes for a full tone and a more organic feel overall.
For the advanced players: You will notice sympathetic string resonance which will occur when you hold down multiple notes and then play more notes on top of those. This sounds confusing, but what this does is it makes the other notes resonate sympathetically.
As far as key off resonance goes, I personally don’t really notice this. What this means is that when you release a note, the damper falls onto the note in order to silence it. This will then create a subtle sound that you won’t really hear, however, it adds to the mechanics to emulate a real piano.
Roland SuperNATURAL Engine
There are a couple of great things to note in this department. Most digital pianos only come with 4 different sensitivity levels for each key. Roland brings 6 to the table. These are:
- Pianissimo(Very Soft)
- Mezzo-Piano(Moderately Soft)
- Mezzo-Forte(Moderately Loud)
- Fortissimo(Very Loud)
The note decay is also different on the SuperNATURAL system because it allows for organic note decay. This emulates the sound of a real piano more so than the traditional digital piano would.
Most digital pianos just loop the same sound and have it decay in volume. The SuperNATURAL system allows the note to change in sound as it decays just like an acoustic piano.
I find this to be quite amazing as this leads to an extremely realistic play. If you’re playing a classical piano piece that calls for a lot of different dynamics, you will notice how well the FP-10 allows you to dig into the dynamics.
There is a built-in metronome and a new feature called the “twin piano mode.” This allows the student and teacher to play the same range of notes while sitting right next to one another.
Another option is to use a pair of headphones while you practice. Here are my favorite options for headphones.
The built-in music stand with the FP-10 is not the best. It has a flat design which can lead to the music falling off of the keyboard. This can be frustrating and it seems they did this to create part of the sleek design.
VS The Yamaha P-45
I wanted to include this section as I believe the P-45 is a popular model for a similar price. My opinion is that the FP-10 is better in every way. From the key-bed to the sounds and the design. I think this is impressive as the P-45 is no slouch and it has some great success in the community.
As far as the sounds go, I prefer the FP-10’s grand piano over the Yamaha’s. The reason being that it is a little less bright sounding. The P-45 to me has has always sounded a little too bright.
You can watch this video here to compare for yourself.
In comparison, here’s a little chart to make it easier for you to decide for yourself.
- Sounds: The FP-10 has 15 sounds whereas the P-45 has 10
- Preset Songs: The FP-10 has 17 and the P-45 has 10
- Polyphony: FP-10 has 96 note polyphony vs the P-45 64 note polyphony
- The FP-10 has Bluetooth capability, the P-45 does not
- You can adjust the brilliance on the FP-10 and not on the P-45
- The P-45 weighs 2 pounds lighter
VS The FP-30
The FP-30 is greater than the FP-10 in every category except for weight. However, I don’t think it’s worth the additional money. There’s no difference in the key-action and the big difference in the speakers. If you play with headphones, you will be more than fine.
Note: The wattage on the FP-30 for the speakers is 22 watts and on the FP-10 it’s 12 watts.
VS The Yamaha CP88
I’m comparing an entry level Roland digital piano vs one of Yamaha’s high-end digital pianos, I get that.
However, I wanted to pick a great keyboard to compare it against. It doesn’t win in any category, as expected. However, I do believe that the Yamaha CP88 is one of the best feeling digital pianos I have ever played.
This is where Roland has taken a big step forward. We are already starting to see Bluetooth technology in MIDI controllers, now we are seeing it in digital pianos. It’s really a great thing to have included as there are many things you can take advantage of with this technology. You can connect this to any educational apps by using your smart devices.
If you are looking for piano apps to use for learning, check out my post where I break down all of the popular apps out there.
It comes in weighing only 28 pounds. This is crazy to me as I have owned a lot of heavy keyboards in my time playing the piano. We are definitely seeing the industry starting to move to lighter options to accommodate for gigging and or touring.
Looking for a sustain pedal for your digital piano? Here are my favorite picks.
Included Foot Pedal
The FP-10 comes with the DP-2 foot pedal. This isn’t the greatest, but it can get the job done if you’re just a beginner. The DP-2 doesn’t allow for half-pedaling. Half-pedaling is a more advanced technique that is used for variation in the sound.
If you are someone who uses the damper pedal often on a piano, you will most likely want to invest in a different foot-switch. As mentioned above, this is okay for beginners to intermediate, but that’s all I would recommend it for.
I think it would be fair to say that this is an pretty affordable price. The FP-10 offers some state of the art technology for the price range. From the sound engine to the keys, I believe that you’re getting some extreme value for a low price.
While this can be used for beginners, it will also last them for as long as they want it to.
Note: When I started playing the piano, I had a cheap non-weighted Yamaha keyboard and I quickly outgrew it. You won’t find yourself outgrowing the FP-10 as it can be used for as long as you want it to be.
I think that this is a great product at a great price. Honestly, I think that Roland took some great steps forward with the Bluetooth technology here. I believe in the next couple of years we are going to see pretty much every digital piano having this ability as it really is nice for kids and just beginners.
When you compare the key-bed and the playability on the FP10 to others in its price range, it is going to be a whole different level. When playing all of the high-end digital pianos, I almost always lean towards Roland and Kawai as I feel they are the closest to the real thing.
If you are a fan of Roland, you can check out my favorite picks here. These are all reviewed and broken down in great detail.
Do you have any experience when it comes to playing the FP-10? Where do you believe this stands as far as with the other products available in this price range? I would love to know your thoughts below in the comment section!