Roland C30 Digital Harpsichord

Roland C30 Digital Harpsichord

Perfect for home or the travelling harpsichordist. No more tuning or temperature problems!
Includes Free Delivery & Stool

Key Points
  • 61 Keys With “Click Action”
  • Four Harpsichord Sets
  • 2 Positive Organ Sounds
  • 2 x 13W Amplification

Manufacturer: Roland
Availability: Check Availability 01524 410202
Discount Price: £3,329.00
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Roland C30 Digital Harpsichord

Perfect for home or the travelling harpsichordist. No more tuning or temperature problems!

A Beautiful Marriage: the Enchanting Harpsichord and the Wonders of a Digital Instrument

From solo performance to ensemble playing, the Roland C-30 provides the perfect sound and touch for baroque music. Enjoy the best of both worlds — a new-generation digital harpsichord with authentic sound and touch, excellent playability, and soul-stirring expression.

  • 61 keys with “click action” F-Scale touch
  • Four harpsichord sound-sets and two positive organ sounds
  • Plectrums and strings never need replacing, and no tuning is required
  • Five different classical temperaments with Baroque pitch support
  • Reverb effect enhances small room acoustics
  • Mahogany finish with optional picture board, decoration panel, and bench

    - Here Audio Demos at
    - Watch Video Demos at

    During the resplendent days of the Baroque Period, the harpsichord was the keyboard instrument that coloured music with its rich, distinctive tone. Through the generations, it has continued to charm music lovers all over the world. Now, you can easily enjoy its sophisticated sound and elegant form in your own home. While producing authentically exquisite centuries-old harpsichord sounds and drawing inspiration from 21st century ingenuity, the Roland Classic Series C-30 Digital Harpsichord uses digital technology to enhance playability and expressiveness.

    Roland 30 Digital Harpsichord Features

    Elegance and Class
    The C-30 is elegant and classy, and suitable for any size room. It allows images, paintings, or other artistic elements to be affixed to the keyboard lid and side panels (see Accessories). Roland provides a variety of image patterns, including paintings and stained-glass-type panels. Together with its matching stand (included) the C-30 is a gorgeous addition to any home or music venue.

    Roland Classic Series provides you with the opportunity to step back in time and become wrapped in the music of the ages.

    The simple and elegant styling suits modern interiors. Taking up little space, the styling of the C-30 is modeled on the virginal, an ancient rectangular type of harpsichord. With an authentic wooden cabinet and a high quality mahogany finish, the traditional and simple styling will be right at home in a classic or modern interior. The period styling is enhanced by stained glass on the stand, and the decorative panel on the keyboard lid, which reproduces part of a Baroque painting by Marcantonio Franceschini. From a range of optional alternatives, you can create the look you desire by customizing the stained glass and keyboard lid decoration.

    The compact C-30 can be made even more portable by removing the legs and stand. You can easily transport the unit (25 kg) and stand (13 kg) in a standard-size car. Getting the instrument to ensemble rehearsals or concerts is easy

    Click-Action Keyboard
    Not only does the C-30 look and sound wonderful, it’s a joy for the fingers as well. Roland’s newly developed “click action” F-scale keyboard provides the perfect, authentic harpsichord experience.

    Sensitive keyboard response ensures an authentic harpsichord playing experience.

    When played, the newly developed harpsichord keyboard of the C-30 actually feels as if plectrums connected to the keys are plucking strings. Just as with an acoustic harpsichord, if you press with a delicately light touch, you get the same key movement that occurs before the plectrum plucks the string. By designing the keyboard with a long distance to the key pivots, better playability is assured because the touch on the key feels more or less uniform whether you press the key near the tip or further in.

    Just as on traditional harpsichords, the black keys have a distinctive tip shape with flat tops, and a matte finish to provide a comfortable feel. The amount of dip when you press a key, the sensation you get when the string is plucked, and the springy feel when you release the key are all as they should be on a harpsichord. Because such attention to detail has been given to the keyboard's touch, you can enjoy and experience harpsichord playing as it was centuries ago.

    Dynamic harpsichord opens a new dimension of musical expression.

    While the time-honored sound of the harpsichord is enchanting just as it is, the sound dynamics of traditional instruments cannot be varied by strength of key pressure. Neither do they have a damper pedal to control resonance. Legato and other techniques have not been possible until now. Inside the C-30, digital technology has enabled the harpsichord to be played with different sound dynamics. Answering the calls of a vast number of harpsichord lovers, digital technology has ushered in the possibility of a brand new kind of harpsichord music that just can't be played on acoustic instruments.

    Classic Sounds
    Four types of sound-sets are built into the C-30: French-type harpsichord, Flemish-type harpsichord, Fortepiano and Dynamic harpsichord. Each has four stop variations: 8’I (back), 8’II (front), 4’ and Lute. It also has two positive small-pipe organ sounds, and a choice of five temperaments with Baroque pitch support.

    Rich sound that lets you experience ancient tones.
    When playing the C-30 you can easily switch between the built-in French and Flemish types of harpsichord. Both of these have four dispositions - 8' I (back eight), 8' II (front eight), 4' (upper octave), and lute (buff mute) - and each disposition has its own dedicated selection button. You can play with a single disposition or layer more than one. Also, as well as sound sets for two types of small positive organs, a fortepiano is also built in. You can play the Baroque music of Handel and Bach on harpsichord and organ, and then change to fortepiano for the early Romantic music of Mozart and Beethoven.

    In your own home, you can experience playing this historic music with the authentic sound of different period instruments. On top of all this, the C-30 makes one more groundbreaking type of beautiful harpsichord sound available. While the time-honored sound of the harpsichord is enchanting just as it is, the sound dynamics of traditional instruments cannot be varied by strength of key pressure. Neither do they have a damper pedal to control resonance. Legato and other techniques have not been possible until now.  Inside the C-30, digital technology has enabled the harpsichord to be played with different sound dynamics. Answering the calls of a vast number of harpsichord lovers, digital technology has ushered in the possibility of a brand new kind of harpsichord music that just can't be played on acoustic instruments.

    Classical Tuning & Temperament
    Available tuning options include baroque pitch (415Hz) and Versailles pitch (392Hz), which can be switched instantly without changing the temperament (classical tuning).
    Use a single button to cycle between five different tuning methods.

    As well as equal temperament, you can select Werckmeister, Kirnberger, Vallotti, and Meantone tuning schemes. Using one button it's easy to change the tuning scheme according to the piece you are playing.

    No need for tuning. Ready to play anytime, anywhere.
    Acoustic harpsichords are delicate instruments. They are even susceptible to going out of tune with a change of air. The digital C-30 doesn't need tuning. And you can simply switch the pitch between Baroque (415 Hz) and Versailles (392 Hz). If, for ensemble playing, you need to match the C-30 to other instruments, fine pitch adjustments can be made. You can easily take the C-30 with you to group rehearsals and live performances. Even if the temperature and humidity vary, you can be sure that the pitch will remain accurate because it's digital. Time-consuming maintenance is a thing of the past. Now, you can just turn on and play. This special feature of the C-30 is bound to make you, and your audience, very happy.

    Private Practice
    Music students will appreciate the ability to play day or night without disturbing their surrounding environment. But when it’s time to raise the volume, the C-30 can fill every corner of a medium-size hall with its built in speakers (without the use of an external PA). For larger venues, the C-30 can be connected to an external amp or PA for high-volume performance.

    Adjustable volume lets the harpsichord hold its own in ensemble playing with modern instruments.
    The ability to freely adjust the volume is one of the compelling advantages of the C-30. When playing ensemble music, you can even achieve a sound weighty enough to balance the power of the modern flute and recorder, or the violin and other loud instruments. When the volume is increased, the authentic harpsichord sound is still as captivating. Without extra help, the onboard speakers are capable projecting this magnificent sound to every corner of even a mid-sized concert hall.

    On the other hand, at home you can plug in headphones and play or practice as much as you like at any time.

    Solid and robust, the C-30 is also portable and easy to move — great for travelling musicians or music schools and churches. Simply unplug and carry the C-30 from room to room. Best of all, since the C-30 is a digital instrument, it is unaffected by weather, humidity, or transport. It never goes out of tune!

    Main Specifications

    61 keys (F scale, haprsichord action mechanism)

    Maximum Polyphony
    128 voices

    6 (8 feet I, 8 feet II, 4 feet, Lute, Organ I, Organ II)
    (4 types : French type, Flemish type, Fortepiano, Dynamic Harpsichord)

    Reverb (8 levels)

    Volume knob, Reverb knob, Tone knob

    Key Transpose
    -6 to +5 (semitone steps)

    5 types (Equal, Werckmeister, Kirnberger, Vallotti, Meantone)

    Baroque Pitch
    415 Hz/392 Hz

    Master Tuning
    440/415 Hz ±50 cents

    Damper/Tone change

    12 cm x 2, 8 cm x 2

    Rated Output
    13 W x 2

    Phones jack (Stereo), Output jacks ( L/Mono, R ), Input jacks ( L/Mono, R ), MIDI connectors (In, Out), Pedal jack, AC adaptor jack

    Power Supply
    AC Adapter

    Power Consumption
    25 W (AC 117 V/230 V/240 V)

    Cabinet Finish
    Simulated mahogany

    Owner's manual, AC adaptor, Power cord, Music stand, Damper pedal (DP-10), Picture board, Decoration panel

    Picture board (OP-C30PB series), Decoration panel (OP-C30DP series)

    Size and Weight ( Lid closed )
    1,100 mm
    43-5/16 inches
    380 mm
    15 inches
    830 mm
    32-11/16 inches
    38.0 kg
    83 lbs. 13 oz.
    Including Stand.

    Size and Weight ( Lid opened )
    1,100 mm
    43-5/16 inches
    450 mm
    17-3/4 inches
    1,170 mm
    46-1/16 inches
    38.0 kg
    83 lbs. 13 oz

    An Interview about the Roland C30 with Roland's Founder Ikutaro Kakehashi

    Q. How did Roland come to develop the digital harpsichord?

    A. Roland has actually been making digital harpsichords for 20 years. But with earlier models we didn't clearly know in what kind of place the instruments would be played and who would be playing them. Development reflected this lack of focus. So while absorbing customer feedback, we investigated how rental harpsichords were used. We found out that most often they were hired for small ensemble concerts with instruments such as violins, flutes, and recorders. So, for the latest harpsichord, we aimed to make things as convenient as possible for players in that type of situation, we set out with clear development goals.

    Q. What then, are its actual features?
    A. For a start, in the 17th century, harpsichords were not really loud enough for concert situations. That is why they moved from a mechanism that plucked the strings to one that hit them with hammers. And so, by chance, the piano was born. The first pianos were made by Cristofori, an Italian harpsichord builder. If Cristofori were alive today, we wondered how he would go about developing the harpsichord as an instrument. We thought about the development issues from the point of view of a harpsichord maker. Naturally, a digital harpsichord has to retain the virtues of the original instrument. But what about increasing the volume and making it simple to match the tuning for ensemble playing? We gave priority to features such as being able to easily switch between the major tuning methods used in Baroque music. Using digital technology, these things that have been so difficult to accomplish with acoustic harpsichords, can now be done simply. Moreover, the harpsichord is an extremely delicate instrument. Whenever a harpsichord is moved, the player has to go through a great deal of trouble to get it back to playing perfection. Reducing this high maintenance is of great value. But we can go even further and make the instrument smaller and easy to move. By maximizing the benefits of digital technology, we knew we could make a harpsichord that could reliably provide sound in any setting.

    Q. Roland is known for advanced instruments. Why is the company getting involved with such an old instrument?
    A. It is wrong to think that digital technology should just be used to keep adding new capabilities to musical instruments. It's also important to consider the musical sensibilities and playing skills that have been accumulated up to the present. As a musical instrument maker, our mission is to also use digital technology to fix problems with current instruments. Roland doesn't just lead with advanced technology and new capabilities, we also look to our musical roots. I think that's the reason that we got involved. It's not just the harpsichord. We have established a whole section to deal with developing products for the Roland Classic Series.

    Q. What was the actual development process like?

    A. We didn't set out feeling that we had to score a big hit with the product. It wasn't a case of having to use some special technology. Rather, we approached development by thinking deeply about the history of the harpsichord and what was right for the instrument. People of my age generally had very little leisure until we reached our 50s. Today, however, people have more spare time. During this time, many turn to music. We went about development hoping to allow them to take pleasure in the sound of the harpsichord. After all, the sound of the harpsichord is quite soothing and a perfect match for a settled lifestyle. If there's a harpsichord in the room, it's easy to try your hand and see, in a relaxed mood, what you can do. It's a great alternative, an ideal second instrument. By doing away with the things that don't match current lifestyles and retaining what is so wonderful about the harpsichord, I think that the good points of the instrument will exert a compelling appeal in the lifestyles of today. I expect it to be accepted both in Japan and overseas.

    Q. What does a finished C-30 look like? What do people think of it?

    A. Well, in my experience, the initial reaction of most people has been positive. They really like it. About eight out of ten people must have said the word "Cute!" (laugh). It's the first time I have ever heard that said of any Roland musical instrument. Just from seeing what it looked like. If people find it appealing enough to get it because of how it looks... well, I think that alone would make me proud. But the harpsichord has a keyboard. That means it's an instrument that piano and organ players already have the skills to play. It also has a familiar sound. I think that the design has been worked up to match how people would like an accessible digital harpsichord to look.

    Q. The design features a lovely picture and stained glass, doesn't it?

    A. Yes, a lot of effort was put into making the harpsichord as attractive as possible. These decorative touches were added to enhance the presence of the C-30. But, you know, the picture board and stained glass panel can be removed altogether, or swapped for designs that better suit the space. The picture boards are printed with a special technique that makes the subjects feel more real. This was achieved by using the technology of one of our group companies, Roland DG Corporation.

    Q. Doesn't digital technology have a number of advantages, such as a broader range of volume, no need for constant fine tuning, and easy transportability?
    A. The greatest thing digital technology did was to give variable volume to the harpsichord. I just don't think that there would be any point in Roland simply replicating of the sound of period instruments. But it wasn't a case of providing the unadulterated sound of the harpsichord and nothing else. After all, Cristofori was concerned to enhance musical expressiveness by enabling both soft and loud sounds. Piano (soft) sounds were not enough; he wanted to enable loud (forte) sounds, too. That's how the pianoforte got its name. Back in the early 18th century, this concern with volume led to the evolution of the piano, a completely different instrument. Today we can use digital technology to make the harpsichord itself capable of piano and forte sounds. You could call such an instrument a harpsichord forte. That's what we set out to make. For a pianist, the ability to play softly and loudly is taken for granted. They spend hours practicing to fully develop the skill of varying the strength of sound. I think that's why good playing sounds so natural. Besides, with the harpsichord, we are able to provide other instruments with sounds that are also likely to appeal to anyone attracted to the harpsichord. Just by pressing a button, you can switch to a pipe organ or fortepiano or other instruments that create sounds evocative of past ages. And this is a digital instrument, so you can use MIDI to take a recording or even produce a score there and then, right on the spot.

    Q. Much care has obviously gone into the C-30. What kind of people are going to want to play it?

    A. Obviously, anyone who loves the sound of the harpsichord is going to welcome the C-30 into their home. I can see its appeal as an element in small ensemble playing, too. How easy it would be to get together with a violin or flute player. A young musician can invite friends over. When they are ready to play for their family and friends, holding a home concert in the living room would be no trouble at all. The harpsichord is also a great instrument for accompaniment and ensemble playing.

    Q. I'm surprised to hear that. You don't think that the C-30 should take center stage?

    A. For the pull of number two to have any effect, the contribution of number one and number three are surely important. But I wouldn't say that the harpsichord is number three, more like number one (laugh).

    Q. Finally, what kind of other instruments are being developed for the Roland Classic Series?
    A.Because we want to make certain instruments more widely available at attractive prices, we are using the digital technology of today to improve instruments that are difficult to maintain and which were expensive even when they first came out. I'm confident that these products will gain widespread acceptance and that this will sustain the general appreciation and admiration of the sound of these classic instruments. Such historical instruments produce enchanting sounds and are part of our musical heritage. Even so, practically speaking, because they don't match the times or changing trends, they're in danger of being gradually overlooked. We could make any type of instrument. There's no limit. I mean, for example, thirty years ago, when the first synthesizers came out, they were prohibitively expensive. They were not something that ordinary people could afford. It's already possible to call the synthesizer a classic, don't you think. And, although it doesn't come under the Roland Classic Series, look at the accordion. It produces a full and attractive sound, but is handicapped by weight, price, and handling difficulties. With the V Accordion we have been able to use electronics to make the instrument more enchanting. It's another good example of how technology can make more users happier.

    About Roland
    Founded in 1972 by Mr Ikutaro Kakehashi, Roland celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2007. Roland's mission has always been "To Inspire the Enjoyment of Creativity and has become a true multi-national company with over 20 Roland companies, over five manufacturing facilities and five Research and Development Centres around the world.

    As you consider purchasing a new musical instrument, you should think about the support network behind it. With Roland, you are backed by the best team in the industry. More than a manufacturer of award-winning products, we are also internationally acclaimed as a leader in customer care. With a global network of product distribution and service centres, and with an expert team of support representatives, Roland is dedicated to your complete satisfaction.


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