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Roland

pentaprism

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I don't know of the Roland FX-1.

I think you mean FR-1b or FR-1xb. The former is the old model. The latter has a lot of improvements over the old one. Whether the improvements is worth the price difference is very subjective.

Any way, depending on what you need, either one is probably fine. I have an FR-1xb and an FR-2b (older brother of FR-1b). Just for the purpose of practice in silent, I prefer the FR-2b. It feels more solid.

Search and post this question on the "Digital & Midi Accordions" forum; you'll find many answers (that may not agree with each other).

Just don't expect the Roland V-accordions to behave like acoustic accordions, then you won't be disappointed.
 

SurreyAlan

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I bought a FR-1XB last week. Assume you've seen the videos at Roxy's Music where Leon explains the chromatic using the 1XB and last week Dale Mathis did one on how to work the FR-1X. I went for the Roland as it has a headphone socket which was the only way I was going to get an accordion past the wife otherwise I believe there are smaller and cheaper BCA's. Many years ago I bought a Chinese PA and during an illness it was put in the loft and didn't resurface till recently. I thought my short fingers would be better suited to the BCA and the logic of it appealed, as it's been years since I played PA and I wasn't very good I didn't think I had anything to lose in moving. After just a few hours I am finding it easier than the PA. The 1XB also has a better range than the 1X which was another factor. My Chinese PA was always a bit asthmatic and wheezy and only really sounded any good on the Master. By comparison the Roland sounds amazing and the build quality feels far superior. Most demos on You Tube seem to be played through amps or recorded directly from the outputs there's very few from the speakers but I've found it to be more than loud enough when my wife disappears in the garden, it can be quite loud. As for how it sounds, to me it sounds fine, perhaps to an experienced player it isn't quite like the real thing. As for behaviour, I suspect that refers to the bellows, you can adjust it to make expression harder or easy, my level of playing is never going to reach the level where that's going to be much of a problem. You can also set the bellows so you don't have to move it all all and if I want to concentrate on fingering I find that really useful and likely to become more so as I get older and weaker. I think the biggest difference is that unlike an accoustic no matter how many buttons you press you don't use any more air so the effort is the same, again that suits me. I really like the size and weight which suits me. There does seem to have been quite a price hike recently. I prefer the black to the red.
 
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Mozella

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I bought a Roland FR-1XB a year ago and I really like it. I also have a couple of traditional accordions (Piermaria and a Mosella). The value, to me, of the Roland is that I can play without disturbing anyone, I can use it through an amplifier on stage, and It is very light and easy to play. It does, however, have one major fault, in my view, and that is the battery system. The batteries, eight of them, are fiddly to remove and re-install, and seem to be an old technology. I have various power tools with physically small power packs that charge quickly and battery replacement is simple and swift. Why Roland didn't use such a system is beyond me. The end result is that I nearly always play with the accordion plugged in to the main power supply which is a shame.
Anyway, I would strongly urge you buy the Roland if noise is the issue. But I wouldn't want to be without a
 

oldbayan

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I have owned a FR-1xb for about a year and really like it. Big sound in a small package, easy to carry around. 37 treble notes (G3 to G6) and you can configure the bass side in many ways, free bass, etc so it's nice when you want to try something! I find the bellows a bit stiff but you can adjust the sensitivity, and I think it will get better with time. Good quality overall. I have two sets of batteries but it can of course be used on a power supply. I play both acoustic and digital, and so I am not expecting a digital to play and feel just like an acoustic! It's just that the Roland has nice features that acoustics will never have, like playing with headphones and changing the sounds. The FR-1xb is like having 16 accordions with 14 registers each! You can even edit and create your own sets with an editor. It also has orchestral sounds, organ, percussion, if you want to have some fun. Lots of possibilities.
 

jozz

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I have the FR-1x, among three acoustic models, and the Roland simply gets the most playtime.

This is hugely because: it has a volume knob.

And:
  1. It lends itself to quickly lay out some new ideas - with recordings, whereas with an acoustic that would be more tedious. I really use it as a creative tool, much more than I would an acoustic.
  2. Silent practice after hours.
  3. After a while, I got used to and appreciate its unique playing and feel, but I found myself comfortable to switch back to acoustic any time.
I cannot vouch for the playability of the older FR-1.
 

Thomas N

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"After a while, I got used to and appreciate its unique playing and feel, but I found myself comfortable to switch back to acoustic any time."

Completely agree - although since 95% of my practice and playing is on my FR-8X I find myself getting exhausted playing my acoustics. My arms get very tired very quickly.
 

Tom

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I'd like to buy a used fr1xb for $1500 if anyone has one in perfect shape...
 

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