I had an A88mk2 for a couple months a while back and I don't recall any clicky keys. The board is silent, especially compared to my Kurzweil PC3x. the 8 programmable knobs do stick up higher than the keyboard by around 2 cm. In case you are factoring that into your sliding desk dimensions.Re-opening this (@shropshirelad , @Stephen Baysted ?) as I have a couple of questions about the A88 mk2. Actually I briefly owned one a couple of years ago but after barely using it I noticed some very ‘clicky’ black keys (not all). Roland Support got involved who confirmed it wasn’t normal so I returned. Sadly stock was low all round the UK (post-COVID etc.) so I ended up with a refund. What was odd though was lots of retailers had used/B-stock which made me wonder if there was a common quality control issue?
As such I didn’t get to play it much though I remember being impressed with it - I’m not really a serious pianist & in the end bought a Novation Launchkey 88 which I’m very happy with but for a couple of reasons I want a weighted hammer keyboard now & I do like the A88. The form factor suits me, & since I’m not a ‘live’ player the joystick isn’t an issue.
So my questions to A88 mk2 owners:
1. Is the ‘clicky’ black keys a thing? I’ve since found a few posts/YouTube videos complaining about it on Roland’s FP10 & FP30 pianos (same PHA4 keybed).
2. How’s the touchweight towards the back of the keys? Much different? I see some describe the PHA4 as being on the heavy side (& perhaps a tad sluggish) but I don’t recall feeling that. Other reviews of the PHA4 suggest it lightens up with use. I appreciate it will never be as quick as synth keys (or indeed my semi-weighted Novation).
3. Is full 1-127 velocity available for all velocity curves? I seem to recall that the full range wasn't available for some (or maybe all?) of the options. I may be misremembering that though...
4. Important question - what size gap will it fit into?! By that I mean total height from base to the highest point (presumably top of the knobs?). I know Roland provide dimensions on their website but it’s not clear if the height measurement includes the knobs etc. I’ve since got a new studio desk with a pull-out keyboard trolley (on wheels!) - the trolley height can be adjusted but the largest gap may be limiting…
I find the PHA-4 action very good for anything keyboard related. For playing quick orchestral runs, it works but not as quickly as semi weighted controllers or even the PHA-50 action found on the higher end Roland boards (RD2000, Fantom-8, FP90X)
My feeling is that the A88mk2 offers excellent build quality, very small footprint (it does have deep set keybed, so putting it on top of a desk won't be comfy to play), and some nice programmable rotary knobs. I have mentioned to the higher powers about adding sliders to the next gen- no word if Roland even plans to have a Mk3, just to be clear. All product development comes out of Japan. I'm in Canada so.... well you get the idea. I will say Roland is very open to employee input. It's a nice place to work for sure!