Not a bad concept, feels super-cheap overall, knobs broke off in a week
By: Ondrej Pivec
Great concept, but needs some work......
By: keymused from Central New York
What is your overall opinion of this product?
The VR-09 performance keyboard has fantastic potential, but Roland needs to do some work to make this a exceptional product.
What is your opinion of the quality of this product? How does it work for different genres of music?
One of my biggest complaints with the VR-09 is that the keyboard feels like a toy, very much light weight plastic, and to me,definitely not constructed to handle the rigors of gigging, the very basis for the title, "performance keyboard." The onboard sounds, features,editing capabilities, are definitely useful for all types of music. I just don't see this keyboard lasting too many gigs with it's fragile housing.
Ease of Use
How user friendly is it? Would it work well for a beginner, intermediate or experienced player?
Very much geared to the hands-on keyboardist. All the controls, knobs, sliders are pretty self explanatory.
Are the features on the product what you were expecting? What are your favorite features?
The features were what I expected, especially after watching the youtube demos on the VR-09. I especially liked the drawbar sliders, and the ability to adjust the organ tones on the fly. My least favorite feature is the Looper, which I just don't see having much practical purpose in a gigging situation.
How is the sound quality? How does the sound compare to other products you've use?
The sounds are the VR-09's best feature. Roland got this part right with high quality piano/electric pianos/organs, which sound great through a keyboard amp, and even better through a PA. Also, good on board synth sounds too,as well as a smattering of other usable tones. Having used Kawai and Kurzweil gear for years, a lot of the the sounds on the VR-09 are, to me, comparable to what you would find on more expensive keyboards.
How is the feel of the keys? Are the controls laid out well?
A huge disappointment. I didn't expect semi weighted keys, but hoped for something more substantial. The keys feel, well, cheap, with no spring and quite noisy. Even playing organ style, with glissando's and chopped chords, the keys just aren't comfortable to play. Given that the keyboard lists for just under $1000, I would expect a better quality keybed, not this. If I decide to keep the VR-09, my best option will be to midi this to another keyboard with a better feeling keybed, and just use it for the sounds.
Did you get what you were expecting for the price? How does it compare to similar products in the same price range?
Aside from the quality sounds on the VR-09, the keyboards "cheap feeling" keybed and housing, make it seem overpriced to me. If Roland wants to make this a contender in the performance keyboard market, it's got a lot of work to do.