I was delighted yesterday to find and pick up a used Roland Fantom X7 at a local second-hand music shop here in Nagano-city, Japan. It was in mint condition with case and the Jon Lord’s Rock Organ SRX-97 board inside. It also had max memory and the audio track expansion kit included. Inside my Roland Fantom XR I have the SRX-12 EPs expansion board which I took out and put inside the Fantom X7. The setup is really nice and I’m quite excited to have it for composing songs, patterns, and backtracks. Having already a Roland Fantom Xa and XR, I am quite familiar with the X series and it’s been my favorite of the Roland workstations for some time.
I’m not going to compare the Roland Fantom X7 with other Korg or Yamaha workstations because I firmly believe that they are all different and best suited for those who like that particular style. Although I’m also a big fan of the Yamaha Motif series, In Japan I’ve had more access to playing Fantom X series keyboards. How everything is displayed on the Roland Fantom X7 is very intuitive for me and I especially like how the audio tracks and sequencer work. Plus the multi-sampling capabilities are excellent. The Fantom X7 has 76 keys and for me the action is very good. I should also add that finding a Roland Fantom X7 is not easy and they are quite popular here.
With regards to sound, I think the Roland Fantom X7 is pretty good and I particularly like the SRX-12 EP expansion board for Rhodes sounds. I must say that to my ears, the SRX-12 sounds much better in the Fantom X7 then in my Xa or Xr rack. It’s likely because you can easily tweak the parameters of the SRX-12 board using the X7 Piano Mode section. The Xa and Xr do not have this. Immediately when I started playing the various rhodes sounds with the Fantom X7, I noticed a pretty big difference. In fact, I think the SRX-12 board sounds noticeably better than my Yamaha ES Rack that I’ve been using for practice. I don’t know why, but getting a good EP or Rhodes sound on the Roland Fantom X7 is pretty easy. It’s a nice surprise.
I’ve heard the Fantom G is also pretty good, but I honestly have never played one although I have heard them. For me, I just simply like the layout, sound, and functionality of the Roland Fantom X7 Workstation series. Not to mention the reasonable cost of the X series today. It suits me well and it just plain works well for my musical interests. Like the Roland XP-80, some people say the Roland Fantom X7 is likely to become a classic. We’ll see about that. Like many have said already, the Roland Fantom X7 is simply a great all in one workstation that will do just about anything you need. It’s a classic in my book already.
Here is the Roland Fantom X7 in action.