The Roland FP-10 is the first entry-level piano to beat the Yamaha P-45 in my opinion. Roland has created a digital piano that will stand the test of time and beat quite difficult to match for other companies.
In this article, we are going to be taking an in-depth looking into the Roland FP-10 and talking about what makes it a great keyboard.
Note: the FP-30X is now available from Roland and I highly recommend checking out our review on it. It’s near this price point but has a few more exciting features to offer.
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Roland FP-10 Review
The FP-10 is one of the most popular digital pianos for beginners. From a solid key-bed, to incredible key-action, the FP-10 offers everything you need.
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 Roland 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 the FP-10 is a better version of the Yamaha P-45 for two reasons; Roland’s key-beds, in my opinion, are better than Yamaha’s, and the FP-10 has Bluetooth technology. My full review is below.
Quick Look At Similar Options
|Runner Up||Korg B2||
|Editor’s Pick||Yamaha P125||
Overview Of The Roland FP-10
Slim, sleek, and relatively light in weight are how I would describe the Roland FP-10.
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 Roland 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.
The Roland FP-10 is the top choice for my list of the best digital pianos under $500.
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 Roland 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 Roland 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 Roland 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 Roland 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 Roland 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 Roland 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 for digital pianos.
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.
With this being said, you should be fine with it. If not, you can pick one up for extremely cheap as well.
The speakers on the Roland FP-10 are located on both sides and they face downward. In my opinion, the one knock that people could try and make on the FP-10 is that the speakers are small.
There are 2 speakers, one on each side, and they are 6 watts each. While this is not a lot of power by any means, they actually sound fantastic. I also thought that with the placement, they could sound weird, however, not the case at all.
I never make a big deal about the speakers on digital pianos as I almost always run it through monitors or headphones.
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 Roland 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 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 is 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.
With this being said, the FP-10 isn’t so far behind when it comes to key-action.
You can read my full review of the Yamaha CP 88 here.
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.
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.
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 a pretty affordable price. The Roland 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 Roland FP-10 as it can be used for as long as you want it to be.
Overall, my review of the Roland FP-10 has been very favorable. 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 Roland FP-10 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.
Before heading out, be sure to check our guide on the best digital pianos for beginners.
Do you have any experience when it comes to playing the Roland 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!
I’M SOLD! Great review with in-depth analysis, much appreciative, thanks.
Thanks, AJ! I’m glad you like the review.
Thank you dude! Had a hard time to decide between FP-10 and P45 but this review helped me decide, thanks!
Tobias, Thanks! Yes, I agree with you on the FP-10. It’s such a solid digital piano for beginners!
Chris I appreciated your review for breaking with the “Yamaha” bandwagon. My Sweetwater sales rep did a good job of explaining to me how the Roland sound engine creates realistic acoustic-piano-like swells and falls, whereas he explained the “digital stepping” that Yamaha uses with its samples. I started on the Roland A-49 Keyboard MIDI Controller and I’m blown away with how good the keys feel on this $199 key bed. You’ve convinced me not to wait for my “FP-30 ship to come in”, and instead, take a leap of faith with the FP-10. Thanks for the very informative review!
Hi John! Thanks for the comment and I am glad that found this helpful!
Hi i read the review and really enjoyed it
I just purchased today the fp10
And all of a sudden a voice of i should have gone for the fp30 the yamaha p125 and even the casio pxs1000 came to mind but now o feel much better.
Btw is the music stand really that bad? I need to practice with sheet music….
The stand is definitely not THAT bad! Let me know what ya think of the keyboard.
I took four small binder clips, attached to the front of music stand lip, and removed the chrome wire clips by squeezing them. If the sheets slide down, they catch on the rolled lip of the clip and don’t slide off. Without the chrome handles, the black clips are near invisible.
The music stand is one of the few big flaws (fix this Roland, it’d be easy and cheap! And allow current owners to buy the updated stand!). Even mailing all registered owners a strip of ribbed rubber to lay down would be a decent fix.
Otherwise, after a month, we love this keyboard, as new & returning (from childhood) players.
In depth review, thx. You mention, “I never make a big deal about the speakers on digital pianos as I almost always run it through monitors or headphones.”……
The fp-10 & fp-30; unlike the fp-60 do not have Audio out. You could use the headphone jack for audio out…..but….
I see lots…..and lots of fp-10 refurbished 4sale on ebay.
Love the FP-10 for much of what you’ve highlighted here, thank you. I have worked with Piano Partner 2 and I just don’t see the 20 additional sounds you referenced as on the FP-30. Can you guide me to them?
Also, I’m not experienced with Midi Software or other possible apps available I could use with the FP-10, not sure if you’ve written about them or can point me in the right direction.
Hi! Thank you for an awesome review. I myself am a proud owner of an FP 10.
One thing I was wondering about is: how do you change key sensitivity (the one I have feels a bit too heavy and I couldn’t find a way to switch that to a lighter key action)
Not only is the FP-10 one of the best digital keyboards, it is the best value out there. Costco puts this on sale in a bundle every Holiday season, which is where i got mine in Oct 2020. You get a decent stand, a very sturdy bench, and quality headphones in the bundle. I began my lessons right away, and have played the FP-10 every day for 2 years. I’m not very good yet, but it is so much fun to play on this fantastic weighted keyboard. Whenever I’m in a store that has a real piano, i try to play something, and i can confirm that the FP-10 keyboard plays just as well. Roland really did consumers a favor by putting quality components into a budget-friendly model.
Hi Chris, Thanks, a really useful review but please clarify if you meant the Roland FP10 has a sustain pedal as you initially state, or is this only a damper pedal as described late in your review?
This is a make or break detail for me as the Yamaha P45 includes a sustain pedal that I want.
Thanks for a great review! Is this still a good option in this price range or has there arrived a better alternative since this review was written in 2019? I really need advice!
This is still my top choice for this price point.