I’m not only a pianist, but I had the wonderful opportunity to sell the KR division of Roland digital pianos, for a retail piano store. I still love this brand for many reasons! Perhaps it is the 9-foot Steinway concert grand recording, or the weighted keys with the same resistance as Steinway? The KR division is the most expensive for Roland, and often more expensive than their competitors. But there came a time I made a switch from this fantastic company to the Italian Manufacturer, Galileo Music!
Sure, Roland may have more “bells and whistles”, as well as Kawaii and Yamaha in comparison to Galileo; yet there are some subtle facts that are quite interesting to know, that may inspire you to choose the Italian brand over the Japanese. The 1st is the quality of the stands. I can testify that Roland uses particle board which breaks very easily. Galileo stands are solid, and it gives reassurance for moving your digital long distances or just a few feet. Also, the European Union has higher environmental standards than the rest of the world, so the small parts on the inside of your instrument, are high quality. Many similar features of the upper end models will entail USB, MIDI Ports, and even MP3 docking stations. So regarding the extra “bells and whistles” that Roland offers, I can assure you that you won’t use even half! They are loaded with tons of “cool” features for sure. But really, before you make a decision to buy based on these, asses what you are actually going to use. Most of my customers didn’t end up using those features that won them over in the sales pitch. They could have saved a few thousand in the process if they chose a different brand or model!
The quality of touch on the upper end Roland models and the upper end Galileo, should be the same! Why? Because they both use an action purchased from an Italian manufacturer called Fatar. These actions have the weight of a Hamburg Steinway concert grand, and the electronics are both programmed with Steinway sound as the default piano setting. Neither Roland nor Galileo make acoustic pianos. This is what sets them apart from Yamaha and Kawaii. Those two model their digital pianos after their very own acoustic ones. So essentially, when you ask yourself the question, “Which digital piano should I buy?” you should realize that you are comparing Yamaha and Kawaii to Steinway. I realize that there are strong opinions as to which acoustic piano is best. Asian pianos tend to have a much lighter touch than European. Therefore, if you know for certain you like more resistance on the touch and a deeper tone quality, then Roland and Galileo are your choices. But remember, if your main goal is for pure piano sound that you don’t have to tune over and over again, you will get the same quality sound and expression from Galileo upper end digital models! And not only will you save a ton of money, but you’ll even feel like your dollars went a lot further, due to the quality of parts. And like I mentioned before, the durable stands are standard for Galileo (no pun intended).