88-key Piano w/ Best Sound Design Possibilities? RD-88, RD-300nx, Juno DS88, FA-08?


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I'd like to upgrade my Korg SP170s to something that has a more realistic feel and piano sound, as well a broader sound palette, effects etc on the whole. I was initially leaning toward a workstation-type like the Roland Juno DS88, but after more consideration started believing I'd rather leave the workstation type stuff to external gear rather than trying to cram everything into one box. So I looked into the line up which is seemed like a more focused instrument. Watching some videos on the Roland RD-88 it just blows the Juno's sound design and effects possibilities out of the water imo (it's also better in terms of key action and feel from what I've read), and I love how interactive it's effect adjustments are (e.g, knobs). But I'm still kinda on the fence and not sure if I'm understanding this stuff right, and I don't really know how the RD-88 and RD-300nx, or if the FA-08 captures all my needs.

This video is what pushed me into dropping the workstations for something with better sound and effects:


Just wondering if there's anything better out there at a similar price point, and I'm not really sure what the RD-88 lacks over the RD-2000 as well (which has always sorta been my dream machine). There's an RD-300nx for sale me for a good price but I'm having a hard time seeing a feature comparison throughout the RD lineup.
 
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I'd like to upgrade my Korg SP170s to something that has a more realistic feel and piano sound, as well a broader sound palette, effects etc on the whole. I was initially leaning toward a workstation-type like the Roland Juno DS88, but after more consideration started believing I'd rather leave the workstation type stuff to external gear rather than trying to cram everything into one box. So I looked into the line up which is seemed like a more focused instrument. Watching some videos on the Roland RD-88 it just blows the Juno's sound design and effects possibilities out of the water imo
DS88 isn't really a workstation (based on its lack of a full sequencer), but I guess broadly-speaking it could be seen as a "workstation-type" board, at least based on its ability to split/layer up to 16 sounds and having full editing capabilities over those sounds.

But when it comes to sound design and effects, I'm not seeing where the RD-88 blows the Juno out of the water. To the contrary...

... for sound design, the single-sound Patches in the Juno DS are all editable on board (and also via computer editor). The equivalent in the RD88, Tones, can only be edited via the Zenology cloud service.

... also regarding sound design, a multi-sound Juno DS Performance, as mentioned, lets you split/layer up to 16 sounds. The equivalent in the RD88, Scenes, only lets you split/layer up to 3 sounds.

... in terms of effects, both models support up to 3 assignable MFX effects. But on the Juno DS, you can put all three MFX effects on a single sound if you want to. The RD88 only lets you put one of these effects on a sound (that is, the only way to use all three of these effects is to split/layer three sounds and put one effect on each; you can't gang up all three of the effects on a single sound as you can on the DS).

So to me, the Juno DS has the advantage in sound design and effects. Other DS advantages for some people could be the pattern sequencer, the battery operation, the ability to load custom samples.

OTOH, the RD88 does have other significant advantages of its own. It has a newer sound set, updated action, built-in speakers, lighter travel weight, better abilities to integrate external MIDI devices, and tone compatibility with other newer Rolands like Fantom. I haven't played one myself, but I would expect that the RD88 likely generally sounds and feels better than the DS. Though there's also always some subjectivity to that kind of thing.
 
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DS88 isn't really a workstation (based on its lack of a full sequencer), but I guess broadly-speaking it could be seen as a "workstation-type" board, at least based on its ability to split/layer up to 16 sounds and having full editing capabilities over those sounds.

But when it comes to sound design and effects, I'm not seeing where the RD-88 blows the Juno out of the water. To the contrary...

... for sound design, the single-sound Patches in the Juno DS are all editable on board (and also via computer editor). The equivalent in the RD88, Tones, can only be edited via the Zenology cloud service.

... also regarding sound design, a multi-sound Juno DS Performance, as mentioned, lets you split/layer up to 16 sounds. The equivalent in the RD88, Scenes, only lets you split/layer up to 3 sounds.

... in terms of effects, both models support up to 3 assignable MFX effects. But on the Juno DS, you can put all three MFX effects on a single sound if you want to. The RD88 only lets you put one of these effects on a sound (that is, the only way to use all three of these effects is to split/layer three sounds and put one effect on each; you can't gang up all three of the effects on a single sound as you can on the DS).

So to me, the Juno DS has the advantage in sound design and effects. Other DS advantages for some people could be the pattern sequencer, the battery operation, the ability to load custom samples.

OTOH, the RD88 does have other significant advantages of its own. It has a newer sound set, updated action, built-in speakers, lighter travel weight, better abilities to integrate external MIDI devices, and tone compatibility with other newer Rolands like Fantom. I haven't played one myself, but I would expect that the RD88 likely generally sounds and feels better than the DS. Though there's also always some subjectivity to that kind of thing.
Thanks for the detailed response. I guess I've just been more impressed by the quality of the RD-88 sounds despite it not really being as broad as the DS. I've basically ruled the 'workstation' types out after a lot of deliberation - if I want those features I can just pop grab my laptop (probably faster/easier than using the Juno's interface too), and I think I'd inevitably be disappointed if my expectations are anything other than simply a quality digital piano.

That said, I do want something with a good interface and parameters that are easily adjusted live. I really liked this video of the RD-88 for example where he can so easily adjust the effects:



But, I really like how the RD-2000 has so many knobs for all the parameters so you can adjust live. I've basically narrowed it down to these models, just have to find out if the RD-2000 is worth the extra $1000. Piano-like action/sound/feel and minimal menu hopping is pretty important to me, and AFAIK the RD-2000 is generally considered to have better action, but I'm not sure about the sounds. I don't ever really move my piano so being heavy and not having onboard speakers isn't an issue. But I'm not really sure what the RD-2000 brings to the table beyond more knobs and better action, is that really it? I'm coming from a Korg SP170s and have grown to really dislike it's action, feel of the keys and sounds and have decided that's #1 to me above all else.
 
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If you are mostly looking for quality piano/EP sounds with lots of knobs for real-time control of effects, and are willing to consider something up to the price of an RD-2000, I think the Yamaha CP88 and Korg SV-2 would be worth looking at.
 

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