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Originally I was going to buy a Yamaha NP30 @ £230 but I wanted something with a bit more realistic hammer action. After a lot of thought I decided to pluck up the extra money and buy a Roland (i think it was a F-110) for @ £800/£900. However at the shop in Newcastle upon Tyne (J. G. Windows) was a HPi_6s and the rather attractive digiScore . This was priced in the sale at £1600.
Thinking about the possibility of getting my kids involved in music I decided (with the financial help of a family member) to go for the HPi_6s.
When it arrived I thought I'd bought a fine quality musical instrument. That night I switched it on and could distinctly hear a 'hum' sound coming form it. The 'hummming' sound did not go away. My heart sank, oh my god, I thought, this thing shouldn't do that...it's 'Roland' not Bontempi. I emailed the shop.
They sent a technician to look it over. His findings went back to the shop. I phoned the shop and they had also spoken to Roland about the 'hum' sound. They said there is nothing wrong with the instrument, the humming sound is not a fault, is within the parameters of their quality control and they have sold hundreds of them and no one's complained. They went on to say that J.G. Windows are a reputable company and they did not want to see me dissatisfied, would I like to come into the store and try the HPi_6f.
At the store I was surprised, the Roland HPi_6f also makes a low frequency 'hum' sound when I turned it on (this was also heard by the salesman Paul, too) however it was not apparent on the HP305 or the HPi_7f. What's going on?
I tried Casios, Yamahas, Kawais and non of them 'hummed'. I even tried other Rolands, non of them 'hummed' apart from the HPi_6 ???
I remember when the technician opened my HPi_6s up to examine where the 'hum' came from, we saw that the transformer was just open; nothing encasing it or soundproofing it. I find it hard to believe that Roland, who pride themselves on their 'attention to detail' could make such a fundamental gaffe with one of their pianos especially seeing as they must have already sorted this problem out on their other models.
I do not want to keep the piano that 'humms'. J.G.Windows are hopefully going to get me an ex-demo HPi_7 which (as I listened to already) does not 'hum'(this will still cost me an extra £1000.
Although the 'hum' sound on the PHi_6s & PHi_6f is relatively quiet, when i hear it, it really jarrs on my nerves (as does the digiScore when it automatically switches to demo mode and starts flashing 'Roland' in various psychedelic colors; who wants that visual intrusion of a color screen flashing the name 'Roland' in their home?)
As a student of Perfect Pitch and Relative pitch I have to especially listen to the 'Quality' of the sound during my practice periods; the constant low frequency 'hum' is a distraction to say the very least. A piano of this price range (and of this manufacturers claim to quality) ought not to be creating and distracting sound at all.
If I had have paid £160 for the piano from Argos I would have been able to understand the problem, but the fact is it cost £1600 and it is a Roland, that has left me soooo stunned. Then to even further the shock, I am told that Roland find this 'hum' acceptable???
Roland's supposed 'attention to detail' and claim that they provide quality 'musical' instruments does not coincide with the glaringly obvious flaw in the HPi_6s and HPi_6f.
Let's hope they will be brave enough to admit that this 'hum' is not up to standard. Either that or they have lowered their standards? It's either one or the other.
YOU MIGHT WANT TO AVOID THIS PIANO IF LOW FREQUENCY BACKGROUND 'HUMM' SOUNDS LIKE IT COULD ANNOY YOU.
Are you in time?