Roland DP603 review

Check out our Roland DP603 review to find out if this piano is worth your money

The Roland DP603 is slim, stylish and perfect for contemporary living spaces. This Roland 88 key digital piano comes in three finishes: contemporary black, polished white, and classic polished ebony. 

Please use the interactive guide below, which will allow you to directly compare the Roland DP603 to other notable digital pianos made by Roland and other popular manufacturers.

Yamaha CLP 735
Yamaha YDP 144
Casio PX-770
Yamaha YDP-165
Casio PX-870
Roland RP-102

Beauty of the Roland DP603

This digital piano has a linear cabinet design, which minimizes curves and embellishments. The Roland DP603’s design will especially appeal to those with a modern, minimalist aesthetic.

The Roland DP603’s integrated music rest is easily hidden away when not in use and the keyboard’s lid closes with a soft-fall motion to keep from smashing keyboardists’ hands. This feature will especially appeal to those with small children because it lessens the chance of curious kids having their hands smashed by the piano’s lid.

Below, please take a moment to view some of the best selling digital pianos online, and see how well they stack up to the Roland DP603.

1) Casio PX-770
2) Yamaha YDP-145
3) Roland RP-701
4) Yamaha YDP-165
5) Casio PX-870

The Sounds of the DP603

This digital piano is certainly visually appealing, but it is sonically astounding, too. The Roland DP603’s piano voices were created with the brand’s new SuperNATURAL Piano Modeling technology, which makes for richer, more detailed, and, therefore, more realistic acoustic piano sounds.

This digital piano also uses the same sound engine as Roland’s flagship LX/HP models; thus, owners of the DP603 can rest assured that they have their hands on a truly incredible instrument. 

This instrument contains 307 voices. With this amount of onboard sounds, players can experiment with what their music sounds like on different instruments and can use the numerous voices to spark their inspiration and creativity. 

The Keys and Action of the DP603

The Roland DP603 uses Roland’s new PHA-50 Progressive Hammer Action Keyboard with Escapement, which simulates the movement of a piano’s keys when they’re pressed down. Players typically notice that the piano’s keys seem to hesitate when they’re pressed down, and the escapement feature on this digital piano simulates that hesitation. This key action is the exact same as the key action on pricier Roland models, so owners of the DP603 know that they are getting a lot of bang for their buck.

The Roland DP603’s keys are made out of a combination of wood and plastic, which is something that Roland has never done before. This combination gives the digital piano’s keys a similar feel to those of an acoustic piano, and the plastic gives the keys additional durability. 

This digital piano has limitless polyphony for its piano voices and 384-note polyphony for its other voices. This amount of polyphony is truly astounding. With limitless polyphony, owners of the Roland DP-603 can expect to feel as if they are playing an acoustic piano. This amount of polyphony can support intricate chords, glissandos, and other advanced piano-playing methods and completely eliminates the fear of note dropout. 

Also, 384-note polyphony for the DP-603’s additional voices is quite impressive; again, this eliminates the fear of note dropout and leaves plenty of room for pianists to experiment with the Roland DP603’s ambience and brilliance effects. 

One issue with the Roland DP603 is its all notes off function. This function kicks in when players switch between the instruments’ voices. The keyed notes will not sound in the new voice until they are played again. This function is definitely not ideal for live settings and will not appeal to those who enjoy switching between sounds fairly often. As such, this digital piano might be more suited for the living room than the stage.

Notables Features, Connectivity and Price

The Roland DP-603 makes it incredibly easy for pianists to advance their skills and practice their craft. The keyboard can be split into two identical halves in Twin Piano mode.

Twin Piano mode lets pianists play along with their teacher, parent, or a more advanced friend, which is a proven way to quickly fix errors that arise when learning a new song.

Players also have the option to connect their iPad or Android tablet to the Roland DP-603 via Bluetooth to access music-learning apps or online piano tutorial videos. This digital piano can also be used as a speaker system; owners of this instrument can blast their favorite songs through the piano’s built-in speakers.

Part of the appeal of a digital piano is that it can be practiced at all hours without disturbing family members and roommates through the use of headphones. Sometimes, playing with headphones is an unsatisfactory experience because the headphones seem to alter the quality of the keyboard’s sound output.

The Roland DP603 has a solution to this issue; this digital piano is built with Roland’s Headphones 3D Ambience technology in order to produce a realistic, natural-sounding output when players practice with their headphones on.

The Roland DP603 costs roughly $3,099 for both the polished white and classic polished ebony models and roughly $2,499 for the contemporary black model. This price does seem a little steep, but the Roland DP603 is an extremely valuable and durable instrument.

With the same amount of polyphony as an acoustic piano, this digital piano provides piano players with plenty of room to experiment and advance their skills. This instrument is one that owners can get years of use out of, which makes it well worth the price.

This digital piano offers an extremely impressive amount of polyphony and is built with a solid sound engine that contains lots of realistic, powerful voices. Also, the keyboard is built to last with a combination of wood and plastic. 

Of course, the Roland DP603’s capability to connect to smart devices via Bluetooth is an added bonus and makes it easy for players to learn how to play the piano with the help of apps and tutorial videos.

The main issue with the Roland DP603 is the all notes off function. Although this function might not seem all that detrimental to beginner players and those who do not currently intend to bring their piano skills to the stage, the all notes off function can lead to awkward gaps in the music and runs the risk of throwing a stage pianist off.

Again, if one intends to play the Roland DP603 solely in their living room, this feature does not pose much of an issue.

Also, the cost of this 88 key digital piano might be a deterrent to beginners. There are quality digital pianos out there that cost far less. However, those digital pianos do not offer limitless polyphony, Bluetooth connectivity, or nearly as many voices as the Roland DP603 does.

This digital piano is a nice alternative to an acoustic piano at a fraction of the cost. When looked at in comparison to acoustic pianos, the value of the Roland DP603 is much more apparent than when it is looked at in comparison to other digital pianos.

Overall, the Roland DP603 is a high quality instrument and is perfect for beginners to the most advanced of piano players.

Roland DP603 vs Roland HP603

These two digital pianos are quite similar. Roland asserts, however, that the HP603 is the most exciting digital piano that they have put out so far.

Like the DP603, the Roland HP603 uses Roland’s SuperNATURAL Piano Modeling technology and has a PHA-50 Progressive Hammer Action Keyboard with Escapement.

This model includes 319 onboard voices as opposed to the Roland DP603’s 307 voices. While this is not a huge increase, it might make all the difference to players who love experimenting with the sounds that their digital piano has to offer.

The Roland HP603 comes with an included Progressive Damper Action Pedal whereas the Roland DP603 comes with damper, soft, and sostenuto pedals.

Both models are built with Roland’s Headphones 3D Ambience technology, which will definitely appeal to those who want to practice privately or want to practice at all hours of the night without bothering their family members or roommates.

Like the DP603, the HP603 is built with a modern aesthetic, but it comes in the following cabinet colors:

  • contemporary rosewood
  • contemporary black
  • white

Both the Roland DP603 and the Roland HP603 give players the option to connect their iPAD or Android tablet via Bluetooth, and both digital pianos have limitless polyphony for piano voices and 384-note polyphony for their other voices. 

The Roland HP603 costs $3,299, which is a bit more expensive than the most expensive models of the DP603. The only major difference between the two instruments is the slight increase in onboard voices.

Because Roland built the DP603 with the same technology as its more expensive digital pianos, digital piano buyers can rest assured that they will own a high quality instrument whether they go with the DP603, HP603, or a pricier Roland model.

Roland DP603 vs Roland DP90SE

The DP90SE is Roland’s premium-class digital piano, so it does cost more than both the DP603 and the HP603. The polished ebony model costs about $3,499 and the polished white is about $3,599.

The Roland DP90SE’s piano voices were created with the same SuperNATURAL Piano Modeling technology that those in cheaper models were created with, so the quality of the voices is the same in all of Roland’s digital pianos.

This digital piano does offer players more voices to experiment with, however. These voices include: 

  • 14 grand piano voices
  • 5 upright piano voices
  • 10 electric piano voices
  • 14 string voices
  • 307 additional voices, including 8 drum sets

The Roland DP90SE’s keyboard is a PHA-4 Concert Keyboard with escapement and ebony/ivory feel, which makes for a more accurate recreation of an acoustic piano’s keyboard than the DP603 and the HP603 offer.

This digital piano also offers more playing modes than the non-premium Roland digital pianos. On the DP90SE, players can use whole, dual, twin piano, or split mode (with adjustable split points).

Unlike the DP603 and the HP603, however, the DP90SE does not offer limitless polyphony. This instrument’s polyphony tops out at 128 notes. As such, this digital piano is not capable of supporting lengthy glissandos and intricate chords in the way that the cheaper Roland digital pianos do.

Roland DP603 vs Roland FP-90

The Roland FP-90 is created with portability in mind and is tailored to the performing musician. This digital piano is built with a flat, portable cabinet and is available in either a black or white finish. At about $2,299, the Roland FP-90 is the most affordable of the digital pianos included in this review.

Like the DP603 and HP603, the FP-90 is built with a PHA-50 keyboard with Escapement. This digital piano also uses SuperNATURAL Piano Modeling to power its piano voices. 

The FP-90’s voices include:

  • 15 piano tones
  • 16 electric piano tones
  • 11 string tones
  • 15 organ tones
  • 15 pads
  • 278 other tones, including 8 drum sets

Again, this digital piano is created for performing musicians who need a powerful instrument for live gigs. The FP-90 offers limitless polyphony in its piano voices and 384 for its other voices. With this amount of polyphony and the FP-90’s impressive library of onboard sounds, keyboardists can practically have a whole band at their fingertips.

The FP-90 features a central LED screen, has 8 faders, and has buttons that light up when touched; thus, this instrument is perfect for those who perform on dark stages and need to switch between sounds and settings at a moment’s notice.

The Roland FP-90 even includes a mic input and contains built-in vocal effects like compression, echo, and doubling. Those who sing while they play will especially enjoy this feature.

Even though this digital piano is stage-ready, it can be used for private practice, too. This instrument supports Roland’s Headphones 3D Ambience, so the sound output is just as clear in the user’s headphones as it is through the digital piano’s speakers.

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