Roland FP-30 vs Yamaha P125

Roland FP-30 vs Yamaha P125

These are the best entry level digital pianos of the moment. When it comes to comparing the Roland FP-30 vs Yamaha P125, deciding on a clear winner is very hard. And for good reason. They both offer many advantages bundled together in a compact, portable format. And not to mention, in a price range that is hard to beat by any other competitors.

We’ve tested both, head to head to see exactly how they compare. These are our findings:

Roland FP-30 vs Yamaha P125 Comparison Chart

ModelRoland FP-30Yamaha P125vs P115
ImageRoland FP-30 Review
Sound EngineSuperNATURAL Sound EngineSampledSame
Key Action Weighted Induvidually PHA4Weighted in Blocks GHSSame
Key touch/weightIvory feel, 5 levelsPlastic feel, 4 levelsSame
Voices3524Upgraded
BluetoothYesNoSame
Speakers11W7WSame
Check PriceCheck Price

Design

Comparing the Yamaha P125 vs Roland FP-30, the aspect that makes a first impression is their appearance.

Right from the start, the Roland FP-30 looks cleaner and more modern. With a simplified dashboard, and an overall minimalist design, it is more attractive than the Yamaha P125. That is not to say that the Yamaha is more bulky or has an outdated look.

The P125 is the next generation of the very popular P115. You can imagine that Yamaha has kept some of the elements, that according to their research, made the former model such a hit. But in comparison, the Roland has a more modern looking style.

As for dimensions, they’re both very compact and easy to transport. The Yamaha, though, is 4 pounds lighter than the Roland, which might be a greater or lesser fact in your equation. It depends on the reason you want to buy one of these two digital pianos. If you will be gigging a lot or transporting it frequently, the 4 pound weight difference could make a difference for you. So, it seems that, although the design isn’t as sleek, with a small advantage in matters of portability, the Yamaha P125 vs Roland FP-30 battle is even again.

Sound

Sound is a pretty big factor in musical instruments. Along with playing experience, the most important I could say.

There is a pretty big difference in sound concerning the two digital pianos we compare in this post. The difference is not as much evident in the way they sound, but in the way they produce that sound.

The Yamaha, like most digital pianos on the market, uses samples recorded from concert grand pianos.

The curious thing about the way Roland decided to go about the process their digital pianos use to produce sound is that they developed and installed sound engines. These pieces of technology recreate every sound in a more natural way. Somehow, they tried to emulate the processes happening in a acoustic piano and translate them to a digital form.

Now, I’m not trying to say that the FP-30 sounds necessarily better, but strictly the way it produces sound is closer to the way a traditional piano does it. There are people who prefer this sound engine technology and some who don’t. Some professionals say that it lacks that certain something which keeps it from feeling completely natural. And then there are some who swear for the technology’s superiority to the sampling process.

What I can say at this point is that I like both sounds, but I tend to prefer the FP-30.

Speakers

There is a clear difference between the speaker systems of the two digital pianos. Both offer sufficient volume for home use. If you will be using it in an average size room, both speakers will do their job just fine. But if you want to play in bigger locations for bigger crowds, the difference might mean something to you.

On one hand, there’s the Yamaha P125 with its 2 x 7W speaker system. This is pretty good for an entry level digital piano. Most beginners and intermediates will find this to be well enough. You will probably use headphones while practicing at home anyway. So, for those occasions where you want to demonstrate your new ability to your family and friends, the 2 x 7W speakers will be great.

On the other hand, the Roland FP-30 has a 2 x 11W speaker system. That’s a pretty amazing 22W total output, which is more than you will find on competing entry level digital pianos. This speaker system, by itself, is enough if you want to use the digital piano for gigs.

In the case you plan on using one of these digital pianos for gigs, you might want to have an amplifier eventually. In that case, the power of the built-in speakers loses importance.

But overall, comparing the two speaker systems, this round of the battle between the Roland FP-30 vs Yamaha P125, goes to the FP-30.

Keyboard

Both digital pianos have weighted keys. But there is a technical difference between the systems used by each of the keyboards.

The name of the weighted keyboard on the Yamaha P125 is Graded Hammer Standard. I can say that in some aspects it’s a pretty good simulation of the way an acoustic piano’s keyboard works. Especially in this price range. The responsiveness is slightly better on the black keys. An inconvenience, according to my opinion, is the fact that they didn’t improve the surface of the keys. Actually the keyboard is the exact same as on the former model, the P115.

The Roland FP-30 uses the PHA-4 hammer action on its keyboard. 4 stand for the 4th generation of this technology. It’s a step forward from previous models, and the same type of hammer action as found on higher priced digital pianos from Roland. The key surfaces are simulated ebony and ivory, which aren’t only nice to touch but offer superior grip. Compared to the previous generation, this keyboard action produces less noise and has a better internal mechanism. All these characteristics combine to offer a very realistic piano playing experience.

Functions

A chapter where the battle between the Yamaha P125 vs Roland FP-30 is pretty even is functions.

As you might have expected of contemporary digital pianos, although entry level, there are multiple functionalities that can be pretty helpful while practicing.

They both offer a metronome function, which help you keep your rhythm more easily. This is especially useful while you’re in the beginning stages, when it’s not uncommon to lose the right rhythm.

There are also a number of voices offered by each keyboard. There’s a difference in this number, though. The P125 has 24 voices, whereas the FP-30 has 35. Although the Yamaha has fewer voices, there are 3 variations of each. I don’t know how big of a factor this is for you, or if you need any of these voices at all, but they’re quite fun to play around with.

Connectivity

Let’s start with the headphone jacks. Both pianos have two headphone jacks. These are great because two people can use them at the same time.

The unusual thing about the headphone jacks of the Roland FP-30 is that they’re located in the front of the piano. But when you think about it, they’re more convenient actually, because that’s where you’re going to need them. The other interesting thing is that they are two different sizes: a quarter of an inch and an eighth of an inch.

Both digital pianos have USB connections which enable you to save your recordings onto a computer. The Roland FP-30 has two ports USB type A and type B. Type A is for connecting a flash drive and type B for connecting a computer.

The notable difference between the Roland FP-30 vs Yamaha P125 in matters of connectivity is Bluetooth. With this functionality you can skip the corded USB connection altogether and connect the FP-30 wireless to your computer. Another point where the Yamaha P125 falls short, lacking an upgrade from the previous model.

Conclusion

Overall, both pianos, the Yamaha P125 and the Roland FP-30 are great choices as entry level digital pianos. If you are at beginner or intermediate levels, any of these two will cover your needs. But I have to say that the Roland is superior to the Yamaha because it’s just better at so many levels.

So, having in mind that they’re in the same price range, unless the 4 pounds weight difference is a deciding factor for you, I recommend you buy the Roland FP-30.

If you want more information about any of the two, you can read our full Roland FP-30 review or Yamaha P125 review.

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