Roland is probably one of the best known brands in terms of upright and portable digital pianos. They have some fantastic models in their range, but the one that caught our attention the most was the Roland F-140R. This is not a budget model by a long shot. It’s definitely towards the high-end price range. However, after testing it for ourselves we were so impressed. Please carry on reading for our in-depth review.
This is certainly one of the stand out features of the F-140R. The design of this digital piano is beautiful. Rather than your typical portable design, this one is a cabinet design, meaning that it comes built in to a wooden stand. It looks very much like your typical acoustic piano except far more sleek and modern.
It looks very elegant indeed and is perfect for smaller rooms where there is a lack of extra space. One thing that is worth mentioning is that this particular piano does require assembly upon arrival, but the assembly is minimal and very easy to do.
Something that we really liked about the design is the key cover that comes with the piano. It is foldable and protects the keys from dust, which is a must with a piano of this calibre. All of the buttons that you need to operate the different functions such as recording and the metronome are easily accessed at the top left hand of the piano and are all really easy to use.
A few of the buttons even have tiny LED lights built in so you can see what setting you are using which is really helpful. Overall, the design of this digital piano is fantastic. It is available in both black and white. The white looks nice but personally, we prefer the black for the classic acoustic piano look.
In short, the answer is absolutely. This is as close as you can get to a real acoustic piano from a digital model. The 88 keys of this Roland digital piano have an ivory feel, are fully weighted and are also equipped with PHA-4 Standard. The sound produced and the overall feel of the keys and the pedals are so authentic, it really is hard to tell that you’re playing a digital piano rather than a genuine acoustic piano.
The built in speakers with this Roland digital piano are exceptional. With two 12cm 14w speakers and a 103dB volume level, this is incredibly close to the volume and clarity that you would expect with a standard acoustic piano. The bass notes are deep and rounded whilst the trebles are incredibly crisp. You really cannot ask for more from a digital piano. The cabinet design definitely helps the sound carry better and we had no issues with the volume playing in a large room.
As you would expect from a piano in this price range, there are a range of connectivity options with the Roland F-140R digital piano. Starting off at the front of the piano, you will see two headphone jacks; one of which is a standard jack and the other is a mini jack so you can use any headphones on them which is a nice feature. One thing that really impressed us was the 3D Ambience feature which offers a more realistic piano sound. The quality was brilliant. To the rear of the piano you will find a USB port which allows you to use the piano as a MIDI controller. You can also use it for pairing your piano with different MIDI software for editing your music. As an added bonus, there is also a Bluetooth connectivity feature which is fantastic for pairing the piano to Bluetooth devices like tablets or smartphones. Overall, really impressive.
As you can probably gather, this digital piano isn’t designed to be portable. However, it is still only 76lbs so it technically could be transported for live performances if you have a van to travel to gigs. The actual size of the piano is small enough for rooms where you are lacking space so you wouldn’t have any trouble putting it in the back of a van if it was protected.
Unfortunately, we felt that this is where the F-140R could have been improved a little. Rather than being able to record multiple tracks on one song, you’re only able to record 1 track per recording. That being said, you are able to store up to ten songs on the internal memory which could be useful if you want to record a backing track or simply want to listen back to your performances for practice purposes.
It is safe to say that Roland has really excelled with this feature. Rather than having a select few instruments to choose from, the F-140R has a staggering 316 built in instrument sounds including 11 grand pianos, 7 electric pianos, 5 strings, 4 organs, harpsichords, accordions and so many others. The options for playing different instruments are endless, which is perfect if you want to compose your own original scores. There are only 128 notes of polyphony which is a little less than we expected with a piano in this price range, but with all of the instrument sounds you definitely don’t miss out.
Because of the cabinet design of the Roland F-140R, there is a built in 3 pedal unit. The unit features a sustain pedal, a soft pedal, and a sostenuto pedal. Both the soft and the sustain pedal support half pedal playing which is a great feature to have. What we loved about these pedals is that they are metal. You can really feel the difference between metal and plastic when playing and it makes a huge difference, so this is another plus for Roland on this one.
All in all, Roland has really outdone themselves with this one. The design is incredible; it looks sleek, modern and compact. The connectivity options are fantastic, and this is as realistic as you could possibly get from a digital piano. If you can afford to spend a little extra money on your digital piano then this is absolutely one that is worth considering. We can’t praise the Roland F-140R enough.