Roland FP-60X Review: Is It Worth the Upgrade?

If you are in the market for a professional performance compact portable piano with all the high-end features and without the flagship price tag, the Roland FP-60X is a perfect option.

The FP-60X is a mid-range portable digital piano in the famous Roland FP X Series. It is an elegant compact instrument designed to fit any living space and backed by a wide range of features for both beginner and experienced piano players.

It is a perfect example of Roland's award-winning FP series digital pianos, thanks to its cutting-edge technological development and other features that are meant to give you the refined acoustic grand piano experience in your studio, on stage, or at home.

The Roland FP-60X is the successor of the popular FP-60 model. Roland has done a few improvements in this new model and even dropped the price without compromising on most of the key features of the FP-60.

The FP-60X comes with Roland's high-end signature features including the dynamic 88-key PHA-4 keyboard, SuperNATURAL piano sound, and several expressive acoustic pianos and personalization options through the Piano Designer application.

It also comes with a good selection of curated sounds that you can use to explore different music styles as well as ambiance effects that co-ordinate perfectly with the SuperNATURAL sound engine to enhance your production at home, stage, or studio.

The FP-60X also comes with a powerful stereo speaker system complete with massive headphones with a 3D ambiance.

In this Roland FP 60X review, we explore some of the key features of this portable digital piano and look at how it measures against other alternatives on the market today.

Design

In terms of design, the Roland FP-60X comes in an impressive sleek, compact style. It is an easily portable digital piano designed to give you great connectivity, the perfect keyboard bed, solid speakers, and still remain easy to carry around to your gigs or piano lessons. It is a perfect combination of quality and portability.

The Roland FP-60X compact design incorporates an excellent keyboard bed, powerful speakers, and great aesthetics. It comes in two different colors; black and white. Both colors look awesome, in my opinion.

In terms of weight, the FP-60X weighs 42 pounds, the same weight as the previous FP-60 model. Compared to other models in the same price range, the FP-60X is around 10 pounds lighter. This may not sound like a huge weight difference but it is easily noticeable if you gig or tour frequently.

If you like tweaking with the EQs on your tones, the FP-60X design gives you quick access to a 3-band equalizer that allows you to quickly ship your sounds on-the-go. Another notable feature of the FP-60X design is that all of its buttons are LED lit.

While this lighting feature may not look like a big deal to most people, anyone who has ever gigged will understand the importance of LED lighting on buttons. This is because you hardly get enough lighting when playing your shows.

The FP-60X gives you all the benefits of a full-size piano, which normally requires a dedicated music room, with the advantage of being highly portable and easy to move or store.

It is a versatile instrument that can't be extended for live performance as well as traditional playing techniques using the KS-20X and KSC-72 stands and the RPU-3 or KPD-90 three-pedal units. It has a modern styling similar to its award-winning FP-series predecessor.


Keyboard

The FP-60X features Roland’s PHA-4 Standard keyboard which comes with the company’s well-known Progressive Hammer Action with Escarpment.

The keyboard’s advanced sensor technology coordinates perfectly with Roland’s SuperNATURAL Piano Engine to give you the same expressive performance as an acoustic grand piano.

The keyboard has an Ivory Feel texture and appearance to enhance your playing experience. It comes with all the functionalities found on other Roland flagship pianos but at a lower price tag.

Like other premier Roland pianos, the FP-60X plays exceptionally well right down to the smallest click when each key is pressed.

It does not disappoint thanks to its hammer action and escarpment feature and the 88 ivory-feel keys. You can easily compose your tunes with great accuracy and unlimited options using the portable piano’s PHA-4 and SuperNATURAL engine.


Sound

The FP-60X comes with Roland's SuperNATURAL piano engine which can capture every little bit of your playing style from their slightest pianissimo to the heaviest fortissimo. There are not many digital pianos out there that can rival the sound and feel of an acrostic piano like the FP-60X.

Thanks to the pianos SuperNATURAL sound engine you can now get a customizable connection to the keyboard and shape each note to respond appropriately to your touch with the harmonic accuracy and tone that you desire.

The SuperNATURAL sound engine provides you with authentic pianos as well as electric pianos to play all your favorite tunes. You even get a curated selection of electronic and acoustic sounds from Roland's historic Legacy.


Piano Designer

The piano designer is an application that you can use to do a lot of things remotely and even change the tuning of your piano.

It allows you to sculpt and tailor your sounds simply by adjusting low, mid, and high-range tones using the equalizer panel. The piano designer app allows you to control many elements of the piano from a graphical touch screen on your smartphone or tablet.

With the piano designer, you can fine-tune the tone of every note to suit your needs straight from the app.

The app allows you to personalize the sound of your piano using a wide range of parameters just like an experienced piano technician does when fine-tuning an acoustic piano for a particular musical style or artist.

It comes with many ready-to-play settings for customized sounds developed by the best piano technicians in the world. These include parameters such as lid position, hammers, strings, pitch, level, and tonal character for each of the 88 notes of the piano.

You can easily edit and transfer all these parameters from your mobile device to your piano in an instant. The FP-60X also comes with the My Stage function which gives you selected piano tones and types of ambiance to give you an immersive playing experience in any environment from your practice studio to concert halls.


Polyphony

The FP-60X has a polyphony of 256 notes which include 16 piano notes and 18 E. Piano notes. This is an impressive range for a piano of its price. Polyphony is actually the number of notes a digital piano can play at the same time. Most digital pianos come with a polyphony of between 64 and 192 or 256.

One thing most people ask about polyphony is how you can play all those notes together at the same time from the piano’s 88 keys, which you don’t even play at once.

Well, actually the modern digital piano uses stereo samples that require two notes for every key played. The piano will also need polyphony for both the notes you play and the backing track.

A higher number of polyphony notes, therefore, helps because when you reach the limit of your piano’s polyphony, you’ll start losing the notes you had played earlier to free up memory for the notes you are going to play next.

The loss or drop of notes will adversely affect the quality of the sound. A piano with a higher number of polyphony notes ensures that you maintain the quality of your sounds even after you reach higher amounts of polyphony notes.

It is also highly recommended to go for a digital piano with at least 64 or 128 note limits for the best results. The FP-60X gives you up to 256 notes of polyphony which is sufficient to play your favorite tunes and record your music without reaching the polyphony cap.


Speakers

The FP-60X comes with an on-board 26-watt stereo speaker system that delivers a deep immersive rich sound for all your playback and recording needs. The stereo speaker system is made of two 8x12cm speakers with a speaker box. Each of the speakers has a power output rate of 13W giving you a total of 26W.

The FP-60X powerful stereo speakers are designed to give you the perfect 3D ambiance. They can support both solo practice and stage performance.

If you occasionally gig at a small venue, you can count on the speakers to give you a commanding expression and performance on the piano’s sound range. The FP-60X also comes with a headphones 3D ambiance feature that delivers deep immersive sounds, especially when you're practicing alone.

There’s a built-in speaker system so when you are playing the FP-60X you don't have to carry around or hookup external sound systems. The portable digital piano's speakers are strategically integrated into its chassis to ensure that your listeners appreciate the soundscape of gig or stage performance.


Features

The FP-60X also comes with more handy features to enhance your piano playing experience.

Other key features of the piano include the following:

Modes

The Roland FP 60X has 3 extra modes besides the standard keyboard mode. These are dual, split, and twin piano modes. The dual-mode gives you two instrument sounds layered over one another.

It's quite helpful when you're playing more complex tones. The dual-mode helps you to achieve unique combinations of, for example, string and piano or church organ and choir tones at the same time.

The split mode is also quite useful when you want to split your keyboard into two different sections and play a specific tone independently in each section.

For example, you can divide your keyboard into two sections then play the piano with your left hand while your right hand plays a bass tone.


Recording

The FP-60X comes with excellent recording and playback features. Its recordable software can record standard MIDI files and audio files in MP3 and WAV format which requires a USB flash drive. The piano comes with 32 internal songs.

The FP-60X is designed to help you record your performance using a built-in audio recorder that records the instrument’s sounds rather than MIDI data for high-quality audio recordings in WAV format.

You can let her play your recordings on any MP3 player, on your computer, or even share them online with your fellow musicians and friends.

The songs can be exchanged as MIDI files between your computer and piano or your piano and any device that can record and play MIDI files.


Other Features

The FP-60X comes with other features and convenient functions including the following:

  • A convenient metronome with adjustable tempo, beat, pattern, tone, and volume settings
  • Transpose for the keyboard or song in semitones
  • Twin piano
  • Auto tempo
  • Registration
  • Registration set
  • Automatic shut off
  • Tone demo

The metronome helps you to time your rhythm so you can practice more effectively. It is a useful timekeeping tool that comes with other features such as adjustable beat, pattern, tempo, tone, volume, and downbeat. Metronome is an important tool for those that want to perfect their piano playing skills.

The transpose is used when you want to play a specific song in one key without having to learn how to play the song again in the new key.

The twin mode feature is the same as the split mode, which allows you to split the piano into two sections and share the playing experience with a friend on the same keyboard at the same time.

The FP-60X also features an Auto-Off function which is quite helpful in saving power by automatically turning off the piano when it's not being used.


Connectivity

The FP-60X comes with all the advanced modern features and connectivity options to take your piano playing skills to another level.

It comes with the following connectors or ports:

  • A DC-In port
  • Pedal jacks for the damper/Sostenuto and TRS ¼-inch phone type port
  • An input stereo jack
  • Output R and L ¼-inch phone type jacks
  • A microphone input port
  • A USB B type computer port
  • USB A type memory port
  • Two phone jacks

The digital piano also features Bluetooth connectivity. It gives you Bluetooth connectivity for audio via support for Bluetooth version 3.0 and SCMS-T content protection and Bluetooth version 4.0 for MIDI files.

The FP-60X is compatible with Roland’s Android and iOS mobile apps such as Piano Designer and Piano Every Day. With Bluetooth audio connectivity you can easily play music streamed from your phone via the piano’s powerful speakers without connecting any cable.

Bluetooth connectivity also helps to fine-tune your techniques when taking online piano lessons. Bluetooth MIDI allows you to connect with your favorite music composition apps such as Piano Designer and Piano Every Day straight from your FP-60X piano.

The FP-60X also allows you to connect your microphone, amplify your vocals via the speakers, and even add effects when you want to sing along with your compositions. You can even capture your vocals and piano sounds using the FP-60X’s onboard recorder.

The digital piano comes with USB audio and MIDI connectivity that allows you to connect the piano with your computer when you want to access more professional music production software.


Accessories

The FP-60X comes with following accessories:

  • Owner's Manual
  • Leaflet "USING THE UNIT SAFELY"
  • AC adaptor
  • Power cord
  • Music rest
  • Damper pedal (DP-10)

Stand

The digital piano doesn't come with a dedicated stand. However, it can easily be configured for use with the KSC-72 stand or the RPU-3 portable stand or KPD-90 with a dedicated board pedal.

KSC-72 Stand

Sustain Pedal

The FP-60X comes with a sustain pedal, DP-10 but it's a single pedal unit. We recommend to upgrade to a 3 pedal unit like a RPU-3, it will be useful during performances. 


Summary

The Roland FP-60X is the successor of the popular FP-60 in the company’s award-winning FP series of digital pianos.

It comes with the benefits of Roland’s cutting-edge technology and developments designed to give you the refined performance of an acoustic grand piano in a portable digital piano at home, stage, or studio.

The FP-60X comes with Roland’s acclaimed SuperNATURAL piano sound engine as well as 256-polyphony that delivers authentic sounds in your home, stage, or studio.

You will enjoy the ivory touch and feel of the digital piano’s PHA-4 standard keyboard that comes with Progressive Hammer Action, escapement, and Ivory Feel. The FP-60 also comes with a powerful onboard speaker system that fills the room with deep, immersive, and rich sounds, whether you are practicing at home or studio or performing on a small stage.

Another great thing about the Roland FP-60X is its generous connectivity. It features great audio and MIDI connectivity via USB and Bluetooth for easy, convenient, and seamless wireless streaming to and from your mobile device or integration with your computer.

At its price, the FP-60X is a more affordable option for those that want to access the high-end features of a Roland digital keyboard in the FP-series such as the SuperNATURAL piano sound engine and much more.

If you are looking for an affordable option in Roland’s FP-series of digital pianos, the FP-60X is definitely worth looking into.

Pros

  • The FP-60X comes with a great PHA-4 keyboard with excellent performance and Ivory Feel
  • It comes with more preset numbers than its predecessor, the FP-60
  • Offers excellent connectivity with mobile apps for your online lessons and live performances
  • It comes with bundled software which is quite useful for beginners.
  • Features an impressive SuperNATURAL sound engine
  • Is available at a significantly reduced price

Cons

  • It has limited effects compared to pricier models such as the FP-90X
  • Comes with 256-note polyphony while the FP-90X has unlimited polyphony although the 256-note polyphony is sufficient for all types of playing and performances.

Alternatives

There are of course other alternatives to the FP-60X out there. Let’s take a quick look at how the Roland FP-60X compares to a few other similar digital pianos on the market today.

Roland FP-60X vs Roland FP-60

The FP-60X is the successor of the popular Roland FP-60. The two digital pianos have a lot in common although it is worth mentioning that the FP-60X is a more affordable option.

It has a cheaper price tag but with most of the functions and features found in the FP-60. For instance, both FP-60X and FP-60 are 88-key hammer action digital pianos although the FP-60 has graded or scaled hammer action.

They both come with all the basic and advanced performance features such as Dual Zone, Transpose, Split/layer, and Tuning Adjustment.

Roland FP60

The FP-60X has a maximum polyphony of 256 notes while the older FP-60 has a maximum polyphony of 288 notes. However, when it comes to price and accessories, the newer FP-60X is a clear winner.

For instance, if you are looking for the best portable digital piano for your gigs, the FP-60 is the better option because it gives you a pair of 1.4-inch line-outs that you use to hook up the piano to your amplifier or PA with ease.

Another great advantage of the FP-60X is that, unlike the FP-60, it comes with a Roland DP-10 sustain pedal included, which saves you around $50 if you bought the pedal separately.


Roland FP-60X vs Roland FP-90X

The latest model in Roland’s FP-X series is the FP-90X. When comparing the FP-60X to the FP-90X, the first thing you’ll notice between the two digital pianos is the huge price difference.

However, the pricier FP-90X has more to offer than the FP-60X. It is a more superior model in several ways.

Roland FP-90X

The two digital pianos also share several similarities including the following:

  • They both come in two colors, black and white
  • They have similar audio inputs and outputs
  • Have the same pedal units

However, the FP-90X is more superior because of the following reasons:

  • It comes with four more presets than the FP-60X although this not a very significant feature
  • It has a more advanced PHA-50 keyboard compared the FP-60X’s PHA-4 keyboard
  • The FP-90X has unlimited polyphony while the FP-60 gives you 256-note polyphony
  • The FP-90X has larger and better speakers
  • It also comes with larger amplifiers than the FP-60X

To be honest, the FP-60X is an excellent portable digital piano with all the key features of a high-end model as well as an upgraded keyboard bed and better action but it does not match up to the more advanced, and pricier, FP-90X.

About the Author Linda Ritter

Linda Ritter is a passionate pianist and a songwriter for more than 7 years. With a Masters in Music, she has explored the world of music and has collaborated with several musicians and brands like Roland, Tune Core, and plenty of blogs.

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