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Roland FR-8x vs. Bugari EVO Haria P41

Alan Sharkis

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Hello All,

The Bugari EVO intrigues me on several levels. I will have a chance to see one this week because I will be visiting Petosa. At present, Petosa is a Roland dealer and also has the only Bugari EVO dealership in North America. But I will have very limited time to play either or both of them.

My accordion teacher, who has owned a Petosa accordion (acoustic) for a long time and has a relationship with Petosa has assured me that they will allow me to try both instruments even though I won't buy either from them for two reasons:

1. I live across the country from Petosa, so service will be a problem -- especially for the EVO since there are no dealers
near where I live; and,

2. Although I can afford either instrument, my playing level is not such that I can justify buying another accordion at this
time.

I have read the comments on this board about the EVO and I know that many of them were made by people who haven't played the EVO yet. Some of the comments were made by people who own an FR-8x and some by people who have examined the physical characteristics of both instruments but have not indicated that they have played the EVO.

I am concerned about the construction of the EVO's shell. The stated specs of the EVO places its weight at about a pound less than that of the FR-8x. Having owned another reedless that had problems and having discovered that its shell was made in Korea makes me skeptical.

I hope that somebody here who has played both the FR-8x and the EVO can give me their opinions of both.

Thanks.

Alan Sharkis
 

debra

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The electronics of both are identical. The EVO has more "real accordion" mechanics (I believe making it heaviers as well as feeling a bit more like an accordion.) I have only tried the Roland but have seen and heard the EVO, including "number 1" that was later stolen at the Frankfurter Musikmesse. Personally I find both too large for what they are (especially the CBA versions). The FR4x has a more reasonable size for a CBA. But for a PA the size of the FR-8X and the EVO are reasonable since they have to be large to fit the keyboard. The EVO looks a bit more bulky so sadly it did not appear to me at all (meaning less than the FR8x).
 

Alan Sharkis

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debra post_id=61343 time=1532281910 user_id=605 said:
The electronics of both are identical. The EVO has more real accordion mechanics (I believe making it heaviers as well as feeling a bit more like an accordion.) I have only tried the Roland but have seen and heard the EVO, including number 1 that was later stolen at the Frankfurter Musikmesse. Personally I find both too large for what they are (especially the CBA versions). The FR4x has a more reasonable size for a CBA. But for a PA the size of the FR-8X and the EVO are reasonable since they have to be large to fit the keyboard. The EVO looks a bit more bulky so sadly it did not appear to me at all (meaning less than the FR8x).

Thanks, Paul.

Again, the published specs of both instruments (PA) show the EVO to be LIGHTER than the FR-8x by about a pound. That defies logic. Im thinking that the only way that can happen is if a lightweight (think soft wood) shell is used. But I had an opportunity to pose this question to my teacher and he said, that where weight is concerned, published specs seldom match the actual weight of the instrument when weighed by a dealer or by the consumer.

Alan
 

JerryPH

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Alan Sharkis post_id=61347 time=1532294110 user_id=1714 said:
Again, the published specs of both instruments (PA) show the EVO to be LIGHTER than the FR-8x by about a pound.
That defies logic.
The EVO is 1 pound lighter, but why would that defy logic? A single pound is something that you can *maybe* just barely feel, it is nothing all that significant, as much as anyone will want to tell you.

Alan Sharkis post_id=61347 time=1532294110 user_id=1714 said:
Im thinking that the only way that can happen is if a lightweight (think soft wood) shell is used. But I had an opportunity to pose this question to my teacher and he said, that where weight is concerned, published specs seldom match the actual weight of the instrument when weighed by a dealer or by the consumer.

In the real accordion world, hes right. Manufacturers rarely post the real full weight of the accordion, but the weights of the Rolands have proven to be spot on, and if Bugari says the EVO is lighter, it will be lighter, but again... 1 pound is nothing to write home about.

The big thing that Bugari touted with the EVO was the far superior keyboard. People are now more and more playing the EVO, and most are saying that there is little difference. The weight is the same, the depth of the touch (mandated by the after-touch effect), is the same. The edges of the EVO are rounded and hooked and some players are getting stuck, causing errors and in some cases making glissendos harder to make sound smooth. Others are not experiencing this. In all cases, no one is saying that there is any major difference except being a little quieter. Big deal... play louder... lol.

Now... here is one major advantage, but for the 8X... PRICE. You are paying a huge premium for the name, and you are paying a huge premium for the look, but short of that, you are 100% getting a Roland FR-8X with a good paint job. The EVO is so new that getting a used one is going to be impossible... at least for the first 2-3 years, and then the cost of a used 8X vs an equally used EVO is going to cost you several thousand dollars.

Sorry, that accordion is NOT worth the extra cost compared to an 8X... and if you get lucky like I did (and this is going to become more common as more people sell their 8Xs to get EVOs), you will find big savings over getting an EVO... several thousands of dollars of savings!

I paid $3000 for an 8X that basically had 2 hours of use... less than if it was a demonstrator! Why would someone need to pay $6000 more to get *just* a paint job?

My opinion is that the smart people will sit back now, and wait for the used 8Xs to come on the market, and pick them up for bargain prices as people with huge amounts of disposable cash dump it in to the EVO. ;)
 

Alan Sharkis

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JerryPH post_id=61352 time=1532306507 user_id=1475 said:
Alan Sharkis post_id=61347 time=1532294110 user_id=1714 said:
Again, the published specs of both instruments (PA) show the EVO to be LIGHTER than the FR-8x by about a pound.
That defies logic.
The EVO is 1 pound lighter, but why would that defy logic? A single pound is something that you can *maybe* just barely feel, it is nothing all that significant, as much as anyone will want to tell you.

Alan Sharkis post_id=61347 time=1532294110 user_id=1714 said:
Im thinking that the only way that can happen is if a lightweight (think soft wood) shell is used. But I had an opportunity to pose this question to my teacher and he said, that where weight is concerned, published specs seldom match the actual weight of the instrument when weighed by a dealer or by the consumer.

In the real accordion world, hes right. Manufacturers rarely post the real full weight of the accordion, but the weights of the Rolands have proven to be spot on, and if Bugari says the EVO is lighter, it will be lighter, but again... 1 pound is nothing to write home about.

The big thing that Bugari touted with the EVO was the far superior keyboard. People are now more and more playing the EVO, and most are saying that there is little difference. The weight is the same, the depth of the touch (mandated by the after-touch effect), is the same. The edges of the EVO are rounded and hooked and some players are getting stuck, causing errors and in some cases making glissendos harder to make sound smooth. Others are not experiencing this. In all cases, no one is saying that there is any major difference except being a little quieter. Big deal... play louder... lol.

Now... here is one major advantage, but for the 8X... PRICE. You are paying a huge premium for the name, and you are paying a huge premium for the look, but short of that, you are 100% getting a Roland FR-8X with a good paint job. The EVO is so new that getting a used one is going to be impossible... at least for the first 2-3 years, and then the cost of a used 8X vs an equally used EVO is going to cost you several thousand dollars.

Sorry, that accordion is NOT worth the extra cost compared to an 8X... and if you get lucky like I did (and this is going to become more common as more people sell their 8Xs to get EVOs), you will find big savings over getting an EVO... several thousands of dollars of savings!

I paid $3000 for an 8X that basically had 2 hours of use... less than if it was a demonstrator! Why would someone need to pay $6000 more to get *just* a paint job?

My opinion is that the smart people will sit back now, and wait for the used 8Xs to come on the market, and pick them up for bargain prices as people with huge amounts of disposable cash dump it in to the EVO. ;)

Hello Jerry,

Thanks for responding. I agree with your one pound assessment. Even a rank amateur student like me knows that if the straps are adjusted properly, the weight of any accordion will not bother you while playing. (Of course, some of the cathedral bayans out there can weigh so much that you cant play them standing, but I doubt that Ill ever play the material for which those instruments are designed.)

But carrying an accordion is another story. For me, at age 78 with a long history of back problems that still kick up on occasion, every pound can make a difference.

Actually, as I explained in my first message, Im more interested in hearing from people who have played both the FR-8x and the Bugari EVO because Im more curious about the EVO than Im interested in buying either the EVO or the 8x at this time. Again, given the Roland electronics minus the Roland shell but with the addition of a Bugari shell, keyboard, keyrods and pallets, etc., and coming out a pound lighter is one of the things Im curious about and the reason I spoke about defying logic.

Getting to a dealer where I can try both was my goal, but as it turns out, my wife and I will be getting a late start that day and another place that shes interested in seeing is more than an hour away from Petosa and still more than that from our hotel. Since Im renting a car in Seattle (Petosa moved to Lynnwood and the yarn store my wife wants to see is in Bellingham) for just that day, my time with either or both instruments will be limited.

If it turns out that your opinion is matched by fact in a year or two, Ill look at the situation again with a view toward buying one or the other instrument.

Alan
 

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When many purchase a VAccordion, arrangers, synths, etc. much time is spent on programming. On my Korg arranger, I have a Whopping 1100 songs programmed. But that was over a 3 year period.

On our vaccordions, how many of us get into more then 10% of its’ features. I was even looking at the fr1x and use the bk-7m as sound module/styles backing. An inexpensive, compact solution if you do not need all those keys. I would not rule out the latest and greatest, if I was in the market to purchase and 10 years younger.

I do many assisted living centers (I sing 90%, not many registers are used).
If you do not sing, you have to keep up the interest for an hour with 10-50 eyes on you. Then maybe a latest greatest accordion. But, take the time to use it to it’s fullest. Impressed with those that loop and perform classic rock on these accordions.
 

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Hey Alan. :)
My info comes direct from people that either own an EVO or have spent at least several hours with it and are 8X or 4X owners themselves, so because I never touched an EVO doesn't mean my opinion will be far off from reality.

If every pound is a big issue, you should be looking at a 4X, its several pounds lighter than an EVO and playing standing up should be discouraged in your case no matter what you play and carrying may involve the need of a light custom case with wheels or some form of a wheeled carrier. ;)

Larry, I agree... I doubt 95% of 8X owners touch 25% of the capabilities it has!
 

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What makes these accordions difficult is programming with a little screen. Thankful for the now editor programs. Wonder if Evo is BlueTooth capable? That is what I am waiting for. No need then for computer usb connection. Like I said before in some of my threads, preprogram a song on iPad to trigger the particular register sets.
As in this article:
https://baumsoftware.freshdesk.com/en/support/solutions/articles/17000051000
 

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JerryPH post_id=61357 time=1532333420 user_id=1475 said:
Hey Alan. :)
My info comes direct from people that either own an EVO or have spent at least several hours with it and are 8X or 4X owners themselves, so because I never touched an EVO doesnt mean my opinion will be far off from reality.

If every pound is a big issue, you should be looking at a 4X, its several pounds lighter than an EVO and playing standing up should be discouraged in your case no matter what you play and carrying may involve the need of a light custom case with wheels or some form of a wheeled carrier. ;)

Larry, I agree... I doubt 95% of 8X owners touch 25% of the capabilities it has!

Hello Jerry,

As I explained, perhaps not adequately, Im really not in the market for another accordion at this time, but Im very curious about any new developments in accordions. The EVO attracted my attention since it was released, as did the the carbon fiber bodies that Beltuna (I think) is now selling has potential, and perhaps a few other innovations will grab my attention in the future. For now, I can carry my 25 pound Armoniosa by Cooperfisa with Master midi in a hard case or a soft bag for the few steps it takes from my house to my car and from my car to my teachers house without any problems, although Im always concerned that something in my back will give me a problem. If I have to go further than that, typically only two or three times a year, I use a MagnaCart, of which I have two. I am not a professional, nor do I intend to ever become one, so I dont anticipate getting out more than that with my accordion no matter how advanced I become.

So, until or unless Im chronically unable to use the accordion I have, or when a bug to buy another bites me real hard, Ill continue to explore innovations in accordions without actually buying a new one.
 

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I played the Evo a good one hour or more nonstop last year. It is definitely more balanced than the 8x, which makes it feel much more lighter than the 8x. The Evo is not as bulky as the 8x, either. If I am correct, they did away with the step motor in the Evo. As much as I liked the real wood keyboard and all that, it is still an 8x. The PC editor of the 8x does not work with the Evo. Just a number of things about it make me feel uncomfortable.

I have seen a little too many people around me that have injured themselves with heavy accordions. I inquired on Evo Facebook if a lighter model was coming out. My post was quickly erased. Then right after that, I saw Roland coming out with the FR4x. Evo obviously knew about the coming FR4x and blocked my post. I've seen a number of top of the line accordion models available in lighter, compact size. Roland went the other way with the 8x. I guess they tried to do too much with the step motor and all that.
 

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torch post_id=61377 time=1532389622 user_id=421 said:
I played the Evo a good one hour or more nonstop last year. It is definitely more balanced than the 8x, which makes it feel much more lighter than the 8x. The Evo is not as bulky as the 8x, either. If I am correct, they did away with the step motor in the Evo. As much as I liked the real wood keyboard and all that, it is still an 8x. The PC editor of the 8x does not work with the Evo. Just a number of things about it make me feel uncomfortable.

I have seen a little too many people around me that have injured themselves with heavy accordions. I inquired on Evo Facebook if a lighter model was coming out. My post was quickly erased. Then right after that, I saw Roland coming out with the FR4x. Evo obviously knew about the coming FR4x and blocked my post. Ive seen a number of top of the line accordion models available in lighter, compact size. Roland went the other way with the 8x. I guess they tried to do too much with the step motor and all that.

Weight has always been an issue with accordions. I remember when Lawrence Welk picked up my friends newly designed electronic accordion, on a local T.V. Show in Milwaukee, late 60s. His first comment, “this is heavy”. It was a version trying to compete with Cordovox. I think it was called Karpek Carousel? Never went anywhere...
When I was doing many accordion gigs last year, I developed a sore left shoulder. Took 6 months to heal after cutting back on playing.
I compare the VAccordion to synths, electronic keyboards, arrangers. And when you buy one, like me, spend hours setting them up. That is expected since I owned many keyboard, synths for the past 40 years. Even if you have someone else do the programming, you still have to remember what register to press. Rather do my own settings, more self satisfaction.
As a performer, I need the electronic accordion sound so I can easily connect to my arranger for the one Man band sound. If I was working with a band, 3-4 piece, acoustic would suite me fine.
 

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I had a chance to compare Bugari EVO Haria P55 and Roland FR-8x last Wednesday. Since then my wife and I were on a cruise to Alaska with very limited and sporadic WiFi and cellular service. I’ll post the results of that comparison after we get home tomorrow.

Alan
 

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Alan Sharkis post_id=61667 time=1533405471 user_id=1714 said:
I had a chance to compare Bugari EVO Haria P55 and Roland FR-8x last Wednesday. Since then my wife and I were on a cruise to Alaska with very limited and sporadic WiFi and cellular service. I’ll post the results of that comparison after we get home tomorrow.

I did not know that you were a button accordion player, for some reason I thought you were more a PA player? Anyway, looking forward to your impressions to see if they match or differ from the others that are coming in. :)
 

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I am more concerned with wireless connectivity. WiFi, Bluetooth Low Energy(BLE). Is there a link to spec sheet?
 

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Keymn post_id=61679 time=1533415018 user_id=2502 said:
I am more concerned with wireless connectivity. WiFi, Bluetooth Low Energy(BLE). Is there a link to spec sheet?

Electronically the EVO is identical to an 8X. In those areas, they are the same, ie: no integrated wireless, no WIFI, no Bluetooth.

You can view the factory original Bugari EVO PDF manual HERE.
 

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JerryPH post_id=61699 time=1533469892 user_id=1475 said:
Keymn post_id=61679 time=1533415018 user_id=2502 said:
I am more concerned with wireless connectivity. WiFi, Bluetooth Low Energy(BLE). Is there a link to spec sheet?

Electronically the EVO is identical to an 8X. In those areas, they are the same, ie: no integrated wireless, no WIFI, no Bluetooth.

You can view the factory original Bugari EVO PDF manual HERE.
I like the different colors available. Something different to see on stage. I will be curious on the factory sound settings? Many critiqued them on early Roland models?
 

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Keymn post_id=61703 time=1533482487 user_id=2502 said:
I like the different colors available. Something different to see on stage. I will be curious on the factory sound settings? Many critiqued them on early Roland models?

I love the looks of the EVO very much too, especially some of the premium styles... but if you close your eyes, you cannot tell apart the differences between an EVO and an 8X. Factory settings I was told by several people to be 100% the same, but I am a bit leary of, as I heard that the latest new expansion sets from Rolanddo not install on the EVO. They didnt change the factory sounds... but they might have changed *something* inside.

The one thing that I do absolutely love about my 8X is the Richard Noel sets. Not only do they totally transform the 8X up to the next level, they give TONS of ideas on ways you could make your own sounds. Id say that 90% of the time that I play, I am using a Richard Noel set, or one that I modified using his hard work as a starting point.

Here is a question... if you had a choice between a factory EVO and an 8X with all the Richard Noel sets, which would you choose? For me the answer is obvious... the 8X, but I bet not everyone would make that choice. What would you choose, nicer look or way better sound?
 

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JerryPH post_id=61704 time=1533484002 user_id=1475 said:
Keymn post_id=61703 time=1533482487 user_id=2502 said:
I like the different colors available. Something different to see on stage. I will be curious on the factory sound settings? Many critiqued them on early Roland models?

I love the looks of the EVO very much too, especially some of the premium styles... but if you close your eyes, you cannot tell apart the differences between an EVO and an 8X. Factory settings I was told by several people to be 100% the same, but I am a bit leary of, as I heard that the latest new expansion sets from Rolanddo not install on the EVO. They didnt change the factory sounds... but they might have changed *something* inside.

The one thing that I do absolutely love about my 8X is the Richard Noel sets. Not only do they totally transform the 8X up to the next level, they give TONS of ideas on ways you could make your own sounds. Id say that 90% of the time that I play, I am using a Richard Noel set, or one that I modified using his hard work as a starting point.

Here is a question... if you had a choice between a factory EVO and an 8X with all the Richard Noel sets, which would you choose? For me the answer is obvious... the 8X, but I bet not everyone would make that choice. What would you choose, nicer look or way better sound?

Sounds like a good start with Richard sets.
The factory growling sax, the violin (which I use as fiddle)and electric guitar, mandolin are awesome. Piano are my least favorite. What amazes me, the factory piano on bk-7m is great sounding, no programming needed.
 

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JerryPH post_id=61675 time=1533413115 user_id=1475 said:
Alan Sharkis post_id=61667 time=1533405471 user_id=1714 said:
I had a chance to compare Bugari EVO Haria P55 and Roland FR-8x last Wednesday. Since then my wife and I were on a cruise to Alaska with very limited and sporadic WiFi and cellular service. I’ll post the results of that comparison after we get home tomorrow.

I did not know that you were a button accordion player, for some reason I thought you were more a PA player? Anyway, looking forward to your impressions to see if they match or differ from the others that are coming in. :)

Whoops! I meant P41, not P55 (which should be B55) No, I dont play button yet, but someday ...

Alan
 

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Alan Sharkis post_id=61720 time=1533509291 user_id=1714 said:
Whoops! I meant P41, not P55 (which should be B55) No, I dont play button yet, but someday ...

So tell us how did the experience go and what were your impressions?
 

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