Synth Site: Roland: RS-5: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.7 out of 5
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Damien a hobbyist user from Australia writes:
I don't know why some of you guys say it sucks just because you don't like the piano sound. You guys are tossers. The RS piano is actually very well sampled, it's just the cutoff was set too low when they made it. Solution: Use the next patch on the synth (Bright Piano). This is much better and if you listen carefully you'll notice it has the same multisampling as RS Piano except the filter problem is GONE...

Got that off my chest.

Overall I thought this synth was a joy to play. The sounds are excellent. For example. The Rhodes are better than my Proteus 2000 (and that has good rhodes), the Strings are top notch, the guitars are good, the Brass is great, flutes are lovely, drums are crisp and dynamic, the real bass tones are absolutely spot-on, and even the synths are good, + the pads and choirs are beautiful. Most of the tones aren't so cheesey compared to my Korg N5EX. You also get this brilliant XV-88 Arpeggiator which is the one used on the high end Rolands. It sounds trippy as hell. It is actually very usable unlike many arpeggiators I've come across. The FX are nice and deeply editable. There are two effects blocks + one multieffects block. You can only choose between off and on for the multieffects on each patch in multi-timbral mode (but the chorus and reverbs can have different send levels).. Not bad. It ain't no Triton but my Proteus 2000 only has 2 multieffects blocks and only 4 different send levels for the entire 32 channels in multimode. There is also another thing that my Proteus 2000 can't do (and many other high end synths) is change resonance settings without having to press the key down again. It behaves like the cutoff knob (like it should on analog and virtual analog synths).. Which is a cool bonus. There are 6 editable knobs and are assignable plus they would be great for controlling soft-synth parameters. The pitch bend is like a trinity (I think) with one lever to control mod and pitch bend. What could be a problem with this method is that the modulation amount switches back to zero when you let it go. So if you want a leslie cabinet to spin at a faster rate with Native Instruments B4 then you would have to program it. No serious problem. This method for live playing is actually better since you dont have to worry about switching your hand over to the modulation wheel when you need it.

This synth looks well sexy. It has a stunning alluminium coat which is inspirational just to look at and gives it a sense of value.

What could have been better: Maybe the Sitar (still better than the N5EX one), Bagpipes, and those crappy melodies when you Phrase Preview the instrument (atleast it does not effect the sound). Yes the first Piano sound should be better so use patch no. 2 one instead! What is this synths main downfall is it's editing capabilities. But at this price and the onboard quality sounds then who can complain. You can twist the quite a bit with the knobs (like envelopes and filtereds lfo's). Still quite a bit is possible if used properly. The actual keys could have been a bit better (the black keys mainly) but it is a synth and most synths can't compare to fully-weighted keys. There could have been more filters (it comes with Lowpass) but atleast it has resonance (unlike the Korg N5EX, N5, N1r etc).

I compared it to a CS1x - 4mb rom(I used to own one), CS2x - 16mb rom, Yamaha S03, N5EX - 18mb rom, Roland XP10, Roland JV1010 module, + some others and it whoops all their holes! The sounds are better (and their's a whopping 32 megs of them) + it comes with better arpeggiators, knobs and other features I've mentioned. For the price it is much better value than any of those (and definately the best value keyboard on the market) I don't work for Roland by the way :) What I like about this keyboard is that there aren't like 1500 shit sounds but around 500 good ones. So each sound will have a larger amount of memory dedicated to it.

For the price I give it a 5. A nice way of getting those roland sounds, a good 61 key controller (better than buying those Evolution 48 key ones with knobs). These knobs are much better and smoother than those. If it were more expensive (like 2 grand Australian) I'd give it a 4 .. But it's not.. Hehe.

Just buy one and forget what those other lamers said. I got this because I needed a controller with some sounds and nice Rhodes. If you absolutely need a Piano then maybe can get something else.. Still, the best pianos are for samplers. Synths can not compare with those.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-May-07-2002 at 22:27
martin a part-time user from USA writes:
IT SUCKS .The first thing i use to judge a good keyboard is the piano.Heres the story:- I like rolands XP line of Keyboards even the XP10 which I might buy soon but last Monday my friend(who plays bass and drums)and I visited a music store and i saw the rs5 and decided to try it out.Now I am used to good pianos from Roland but this was ridiculous so i messed around to find a better piano on it no luck while my friend and i were playing a jazz/reggae.So i messed around with its pianos then i thought it was the amplifier we were playing in......No luck to all muicians out there Dont BUY IT or you will be sorry. And to those who already have HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! GOOD LUCK?.........Yeah Right!!!!!! As for me I would prefer the XP 10 it sounds better and costs less. Oh PS although i said 3 as a rating its more like a 2.5

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Saturday-Apr-27-2002 at 17:42
Yeah! by Traun

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Thursday-Feb-28-2002 at 15:47
Robin a part-time user from usa writes:
Do not buy this keyboard!!! Roland messed up by creating the worst piano piano sounds that i've ever heard. They are hissy and not studio quality at all. When will one of these keyboard makers use common sense and make a piano tone that sounds like piano? And how about giving us a small number of high quality sounds over lots of poor quality sounds (ex. bagpipes, panflute, electric guitar ect.). Come on Roland get with the program like you use to (ex. Jupiter 8).

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Feb-26-2002 at 18:13
wily from indonesia writes:
I heard so much goodthings people said about this synth, and then i make the best mistake... i order one without listening! i thought it has the famous expresivenes of roland, but its just another beginner keyboard... dont get me wrong, i try very2 hard to love it... is wish i could love it but no such luck. i dont want to make a bad review but i cant help it... the building quality is very good, the sounds is clean but the output is so weak. keys are so-so, button is good... i got to warn you... dont buy this synth if you expect agood piano sounds!!!!! actually the sounds is quite nice but the playability is poor, the velocity switch between the mellow and bright sample is anoyying, it just doesnt mix right... the multisample zone is bad, try the C&C#5.. its really toy sounding... i thought since its sister RS-9 is 88 key semi digital piano it will have good piano but no such luck... sound canvas, or older JV30-90 has much more expresiveness in dynamic when you play the keys, but the RS-5 dont deliver those responses... i so regret purchasing it and having difficult time to sell it... i like a few of the sounds but it just cant make me keep it... if you already have many pro synth or soundsource the RS-5 is not a wise purchase, if you need budget synth with a little controller cappabilities it might serve you well...also for electronic music it has a potential... the worst thing about this synth is its limited edit option.. i'm much-much more satisfied with my trusty fully programmed X5D... I will never in my live gonnna buy any other synth that cant be fully edited... its a very good beginner budget synth, but if you could, save your money to buy the XP (30/60/80)those are much-much better synth... I already have a (KORG) TRINITY, i30, X5D, Roland XP-60, D-50, U-220, emu proformance 1+ ... i've prepare another room for the RS-5, but it just havent show its own character to make it stay. its the only synth that make me regret that i buy it.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jan-27-2002 at 11:18
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