Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Comparing the SGX-1 to the Roland Superior Grand

I thought it would be interesting to hear how the Kronos APs compares to other digitals. All I have at the moment is a Roland RD300GX so I used the Superior Grand. While it’s not the very latest and greatest from Roland, it has been the mainstay piano for the RD700s/FP7/FP4/RD300GX series.

In the example below, you’ll hear five phrases with the first being the Kronos German Grand followed by the Roland Superior Grand. Both were fed an identical MIDI file data. Default settings were used on both. The phrases were played while listening to the RD300GX.

Here are my observations:

  • The Kronos sounds like a high-quality recording/sampling of a piano; the Roland sounds like a digital piano/ROMpler—it sounds artificial.
  • The Kronos properly interrupts the phrase dynamics; the Roland does not and comes across as having a compressed dynamic range (the first and last phrases are best for this observation).
  • In the second example (Turn Out the Stars) the Kronos does an admirable job of reproducing these rich harmonies; the Roland sounds harsh and mid-rangy. The harmonies sound confused and anything but rich and beautiful. (IMO, the inability to properly reproduce more complex harmonies in this range is the Achilles Heal of every digital piano I’ve ever played).
  • In the first and especially the fourth example, you can clearly hear the artificial envelopes and sample loops on the Roland (extremely bad in the fourth example).

IMO, the Roland is bested in every observable area. This is what happens to audio when you compress, loop, add artificial envelopes and don’t sample at enough velocities.


1 comment:

  1. Wow. That is very different. I have a kronos on the way. Many demo's showed me this was the way to go but your comparison really makes the Kronos stand out.