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#1328848 - 12/19/09 04:48 AM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: ChrisA]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9152
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
ChrisA, which Roland models use wooden keys?

Also, have you managed to find any pictures/video of the new 'NW STAGE' action in the new CP1/CP5 models?

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1328946 - 12/19/09 10:08 AM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: bachmaniac]
dewster Offline
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Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: bachmaniac
The wooden key issue is far from being a new one! But I have to agree with Vitog, it does make a lot of difference. Who would argue that playing a carbon-fiber violin is undistinguishable from playing a wooden one to the concert violinist?

I thought we were talking keys here, not soundboards.

Wood vs plastic keys is a completely and utterly different subject than wood vs plastic soundboards.
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#1328954 - 12/19/09 10:19 AM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: dewster]
dewster Offline
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Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
Obviously, there are differences in feel between DP keys and piano keys. Either one could easily be made of plastic or wood, but they they would still be connected to completely different mechanisms.

If DP manufacturers were given unlimited money, a Manhattan Project if you will, to develop and manufacture a DP key that felt just like a piano key, I'm sure they could come up with something. And if you told them you wanted a mechanism attached to a plastic key that felt just like a wooden piano key I'm convinced they could do that too.

Most of this "key feel" issue comes down to economics. They already have something that feels OK to most players, so they stop major development but continue to tinker around the edges in order to have something to talk about in their sales brochures.
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#1328962 - 12/19/09 10:36 AM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: dewster]
dewster Offline
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Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
And another thing... :-)

I have the same reactions to wood keys on a DP that I do to seeing a tube prominently displayed on modern musical electronics:

1. It's most likely a gimmick
2. I'll end up paying dearly for it if I buy the product for other reasons
3. It probably increases the weight
4. It probably reduces the reliability
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#1329310 - 12/19/09 05:06 PM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: dewster]
bachmaniac Offline
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Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 410
Loc: Montreal, CAN
dewster,

with all due respect, I believe you missed the point completely when I brought in carbon fiber violins vs wooden ones discussing piano keybeds. I merely meant that some traditionally wooden parts in musical instruments will never be satisfactorily replaceable by man-made materials, be it in soundboards OR mechanisms. And gimmickery or no gimmickery has nothing to do with that whatsoever.

Although this is a bit besides the digital piano forum's concerns, I would like to point out that K.Kawai, in their recent acoustic grands (and more recently some of their high-end uprights) are using a large number of carbon-fiber mechanical parts and links. Their RX series grands, for that reason, are universally acclaimed more and more for their smooth, almost "heavenly" touch, sensitivity, and mechanical stability as compared to comparable offerings from other manufacturers. Of course commercial rivals tore their shirts about it, crying "gimmick" as they insist on preserving tradition at the cost of technological evolution, and that debate will keep on raging for years.

But there is one thing that has not --and will not (ever, in my opinion)-- be done, and that's trading the spruce keybed levers against plastic ones. Nor do I believe they will ever trade the wooden hammers in acoustic pianos for carbon ones, or the leather and felt parts for ersatz (synthetic) stuff. There is a point beyond which it isn't just a matter of tradition anymore, it's the life or death of some very subtle though very real, very intimate connection between the artist and his instrument. THAT cannot ever be synthetized.

1. So when you say that wood in a keybed is most likely a gimmick, you are right only if you are referring to the cosmetic wood used on Yamaha's NW white keys (excluding the black ones, and then saying the wood makes a difference!!!) and basically remain the same folded-pretzel mechanism as the GH3 and as Roland's. I do agree that this is but a sales prank, but surely you cannot mean the long, spruce, centrally-pivoted levers that are found in Yamaha's AG and Kawai's CA digitals!

2. Sure you'll end up paying (though not so dearly) for it, it's clearly worth every penny it costs in terms of "communication" between the pianist and his instrument.

3. It definitely (not probably) increases the weight.

4. It doesn't reduce reliability any more than it does on an acoustic. How and why could it?

I know some people fought the compact disc for years when it appeared, saying vinyl was better, while others swore they could hear a difference if their interconnecting cables were gold-plated. Please don't carry that line of reasoning too far, do not generalize everything. There are rational, explainable and defendable reasons to some traditions. Not to all, but to some. We have to be very careful before we throw everything overboard and start from scratch every time we wish to innovate, if such innovation is going to constitute genuive progress and real, positive evolution.

Regards,

Claude
_________________________
K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7

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#1329316 - 12/19/09 05:13 PM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: bachmaniac]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Remember the Teflon Steinways?

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1329995 - 12/20/09 04:11 PM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: bachmaniac]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: bachmaniac
with all due respect, I believe you missed the point completely when I brought in carbon fiber violins vs wooden ones discussing piano keybeds. I merely meant that some traditionally wooden parts in musical instruments will never be satisfactorily replaceable by man-made materials, be it in soundboards OR mechanisms. And gimmickery or no gimmickery has nothing to do with that whatsoever.

Your original statement was:

"Who would argue that playing a carbon-fiber violin is undistinguishable from playing a wooden one to the concert violinist?"

When you're talking carbon-fiber violins, you're talking carbon-fiber soundboards. Quite different than the issue of wood or plastic keys, a non-acoustic mechanism.

Originally Posted By: bachmaniac
3. It definitely (not probably) increases the weight.

OK, right there I'm not interested. I want my DP to be as light as possible for portability reasons.

Originally Posted By: bachmaniac
4. It doesn't reduce reliability any more than it does on an acoustic. How and why could it?

Depends on how it is implemented & manufactured. Wood can warp, mold, etc. and isn't nearly as consistent from a strenghth / density standpoint as something homogeneous like plastic. For those reasons I just don't want it anywhere near my DP.
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#1330244 - 12/20/09 11:02 PM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: bachmaniac]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: bachmaniac
I know some people fought the compact disc for years when it appeared, saying vinyl was better, while others swore they could hear a difference if their interconnecting cables were gold-plated. Please don't carry that line of reasoning too far, do not generalize everything. There are rational, explainable and defendable reasons to some traditions. Not to all, but to some. We have to be very careful before we throw everything overboard and start from scratch every time we wish to innovate, if such innovation is going to constitute genuive progress and real, positive evolution.

This is what really bugs me about wooden keys on DPs. It reminds me too much of those golden-eared audiophiles that are always complaining about too much oxygen content in speaker cables ruining the sound. So they buy silver cables at $10 dollars an inch, but then have their turntable driving high distortion speakers via a Single-Ended Triode. I don't even know where to start with the chain of crazy there.

Snake-oil manufacturers encourage pseudo-scientific beliefs in their customer base, so they can cash in by catering to it. This is born a moron consumer faction, and the rest of us have to endure things like vacuum tubes in our new audio gear because everyone agrees that only tubes can achieve that mysterious "warmth" (whatever that is).

I don't care if the keys on my DP are made of pixie dust and rainbows, as long as they work and feel close enough to a piano action (and are reliable and aren't too heavy). Someone telling me that - because the keys are made of wood, an organic material - my playing experience will somehow be a more organic experience, I say it doesn't necessarily follow (i.e. it's crap). These are DPs we're talking about here, the very sound source in them is about as far from organic as you can get. But that's what we want, a reasonable facsimile of a real piano for a reasonable price - damn the construction materials.

I apologize and mean no offense - this topic pushes too many of my buttons.
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#1331139 - 12/22/09 12:13 AM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: dewster]
Tony Lau Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/16/09
Posts: 65
It is interesting that the keys of acoustic pianos are still made of wood, even though current technology allows plastic of almost any physical property to be made.

For example, Kawai's Millenium III action has certain critical components made of plastic, for its light weight, strength and stability.

Is it just tradition, or is it something else?

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#1331729 - 12/22/09 06:03 PM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: Tony Lau]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Tony Lau
Is it just tradition, or is it something else?

My feeling it is largely tradition. People have certain expectations when they interact with a traditional instrument, and I'm afraid wooden keys on pianos is one of them. I would think a foamed plastic of some sort could feel the same mass-wise and strength-wise, with some kind of fake ivory keytop added. Indeed, once you get rid of the variation that wood introduces, a set of plastic keys could easily be more consistent-feeling from key to key.

DP manufacturers only put wooden keyboards on their high-end models, and they probably put more R&D into those models, so it isn't exactly a level playing field when it comes to pitting them against the plastic keys on lower end models.
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#1331779 - 12/22/09 07:04 PM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: Tony Lau]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: Tony Lau
It is interesting that the keys of acoustic pianos are still made of wood, even though current technology allows plastic of almost any physical property...


Have you ever bought plastic? Plastics of equivalent materioal properties cost maybe three times the price of wood.

Plastic doesn't grow on trees. It's expensive. But then you can make complex shapes quickly and it's less labor intensive to work with.

Even cheap polyester goes for over $20 per gallon at the local hardware store. Raw epoxy is $100. The carbon, kevlar or glass fibers are not cheap and require time and skill to place into molds. This does not count the enginerring time. Wood parts can be cut out on CNC machines very inexpensively.


Edited by ChrisA (12/22/09 07:07 PM)

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#1331944 - 12/22/09 11:16 PM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: ChrisA]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Have you ever bought plastic? Plastics of equivalent materioal properties cost maybe three times the price of wood.

Plastic doesn't grow on trees. It's expensive. But then you can make complex shapes quickly and it's less labor intensive to work with.

Even cheap polyester goes for over $20 per gallon at the local hardware store. Raw epoxy is $100. The carbon, kevlar or glass fibers are not cheap and require time and skill to place into molds. This does not count the enginerring time. Wood parts can be cut out on CNC machines very inexpensively.

I was a CNC operator (3-axis vertical mill) for several years, and a CNC programmer after that. I would imagine that the setup and manufacture of wood keys, piece by piece on a CNC, even thought the speeds and feeds could be pretty fast, would lose on an economic basis when compared to injection molded plastic parts, even with relatively small lots, and even though the raw materials cost more. The wood would also need to be rather carefully selected, a QC nightmare compared to plastic resin.

Plastic however is non-renewable, a very good reason not to use it. But that unfortunately is never stopped by the power of capitalist economics.
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#1332185 - 12/23/09 09:55 AM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: dewster]
bachmaniac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 410
Loc: Montreal, CAN
Isn't it something that Kawai (in my subjective, biased opinion, one of the most innovative and artistically-minded piano manufacturers in the world) has had the guts to introduce the Millenium III action with its revolutionary carbon-fiber components in its best acoustic pianos while it remains adamant about using traditional, spruce keyboard levers on its best digital pianos? That, alone, speaks for itself.

Most famous world-class pianists, particularly classical, consistently shun digital pianos as we know them. Just try and hire a famous, world-class concert pianist to perform publicly on a DP, and find out whether that could ever be possible. Now why is that? Know any famous clarinet player who will perform publicly using and ABS instrument? Any organist who'll play Bach in concert on an electronic organ, even a digital one? I guess high-level musicians are not too keen on trashing everything traditional just because it's traditional...

There must be some middle road between prefering analog recordings to digital ones or finding an audible difference between grades of audio cables, and systematically throwing away anything traditional without first making sure whether some of the traditions might not happen to insure the safeguard of certain measurable, scientific and artistically defendable advantages inherent to "traditional" musical instruments. This is not the same as arguing that vacuum tubes sound warmer and better.

Wooden keyboards address two very different concerns of serious musicians as these try to accept digital pianos as usable, workable alternates to acoustic ones: one is purely psychological and is efficiently addressed by cosmetically simulating wooden keys much like Yamaha does in the NW keyboards; the other stems from a genuine effort to supply the artist with an interface (e.g. long spruce levers) that closely resembles --and feels like!-- the one he's used to on a "real" piano and better supports the sort of "intimate bond" that exists between the advanced pianist and his instrument.

So, Tony Lau, you very appropriately raise the question: is it just tradition, or is it something else? In my humble opinion it is quite definitely something else... and, sorry, some of us will have to agree to disagree.

Regards,

Claude
_________________________
K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7

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#1332200 - 12/23/09 10:11 AM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: bachmaniac]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
The use of Carbon fiber in wooden actions, brings to mind the Steinway pianos with the Teflon bits that ran from the 60's to the very early 80's.

It wasn't a good time for Steinway or it's customers.

Carbon Fiber may cause similar issues as wood expands and contracts with humidity, while the former does not.

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1332239 - 12/23/09 10:51 AM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: snazzyplayer]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3816
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
The use of Carbon fiber in wooden actions, brings to mind the Steinway pianos with the Teflon bits that ran from the 60's to the very early 80's. It wasn't a good time for Steinway or it's customers. Carbon Fiber may cause similar issues as wood expands and contracts with humidity, while the former does not.
Steinway's teflon problem arose from their use of teflon inserted into wood. The teflon would come loose when the wood expanded.

I don't think that carbon fiber is being used in that way.

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#1332258 - 12/23/09 11:07 AM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: MacMacMac]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Let's hope they aren't.

Does anyone know where we can see a view of the action?


Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1332262 - 12/23/09 11:12 AM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: bachmaniac]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: bachmaniac
Isn't it something that Kawai (in my subjective, biased opinion, one of the most innovative and artistically-minded piano manufacturers in the world) has had the guts to introduce the Millenium III action with its revolutionary carbon-fiber components in its best acoustic pianos while it remains adamant about using traditional, spruce keyboard levers on its best digital pianos? That, alone, speaks for itself.

I think it says that they want to reduce the cost of manufacturing and labor, and also maybe increase the consistency / quality of their pianos. Limiting the use of plastics or composites to items you don't normally see or interact with directly on the piano is undoubtedly the easiest way to not piss off / alienate the traditional players.

Originally Posted By: bachmaniac
Most famous world-class pianists, particularly classical, consistently shun digital pianos as we know them. Just try and hire a famous, world-class concert pianist to perform publicly on a DP, and find out whether that could ever be possible. Now why is that? Know any famous clarinet player who will perform publicly using and ABS instrument? Any organist who'll play Bach in concert on an electronic organ, even a digital one? I guess high-level musicians are not too keen on trashing everything traditional just because it's traditional...

Classical musicians are a tough crowd. Their entire existence is at this point rather artificial, it being tied to long dead composers, violins made 300 years ago, patron-funded symphonies, etc. Their adherence to tradition is fundamental. I do enjoy a lot of classical music, but rather in spite of all the snooty elitism that comes along with it.

Originally Posted By: bachmaniac
There must be some middle road between prefering analog recordings to digital ones

I think it is the intermodulation distortion introduced by the needle movement that some people like. Audiophiles chalk it up to magic or something. Signal processing theory proves that waveforms can be perfectly reconstructed from discrete samples, though many refuse to believe it because it conflicts with their world-view or lifestyle or something.

Originally Posted By: bachmaniac
or finding an audible difference between grades of audio cables,

No, no, that's crazy talk.

Originally Posted By: bachmaniac
and systematically throwing away anything traditional without first making sure whether some of the traditions might not happen to insure the safeguard of certain measurable, scientific and artistically defendable advantages inherent to "traditional" musical instruments. This is not the same as arguing that vacuum tubes sound warmer and better.

I was using the audiophile analogy to demonstrate how markets can become polluted with false believe, pseudo-science, and blind tradition. Consumers in those markets must then contend with products that are to some degree based on those false premises.

I'm all for making a more realistic DP both in sound and in feel. I'm just arguing that that doesn't necessarily require the use of traditional materials to achieve that result.
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#1332368 - 12/23/09 01:28 PM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: dewster]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: dewster

I think it says that they want to reduce the cost of manufacturing and labor, and also maybe increase the consistency / quality of their pianos.


Using plastic may or may not reduce the cost. Certainly carbon fiber composites can cost a lot more than wood and require more labor to produce. On the other hand many kinds of platic parts are very inexpensive to make.

Every time I've had the option to buy wood parts or carbon parts for sailboats, arrow shaft, racing canoe paddles, you name it. The carbon part was insanely expensive compared to wood. carbon requires a large investment on expensive tools and equipment and a much more highly trained and skilled work force.


Wood, even very high quality spruce is not expensive. I have some. It is easy to buy the UPS guy drops off a box on the door step and that box costs less than the other parts one might put inside a guitar amp. The wood is cheaper then the aluminum used to make a chassis or the G10 fiberglass used to build circuit boards.


Edited by ChrisA (12/23/09 01:29 PM)

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#1332394 - 12/23/09 02:00 PM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: ChrisA]
bachmaniac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 410
Loc: Montreal, CAN
_________________________
K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7

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#1332487 - 12/23/09 03:58 PM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: dewster]
Tony Lau Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/16/09
Posts: 65
Originally Posted By: dewster
Signal processing theory proves that waveforms can be perfectly reconstructed from discrete samples

Perfect only up to the 1/2 of the sampling frequency, and that's assuming perfect D to A conversion.
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: bachmaniac
or finding an audible difference between grades of audio cables,

No, no, that's crazy talk.

I am sure there are cables bad enough to cause a difference. For example, I thought there was something wrong with my TV until I found out it was the badly shielded video cable.

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#1332491 - 12/23/09 04:01 PM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: bachmaniac]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Originally Posted By: bachmaniac


Thank you kindly, Claude...I will peruse these later on this evening.

Much appreciate your detective work. wink

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1332525 - 12/23/09 05:01 PM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: snazzyplayer]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9152
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
snazzy, this YouTube video shows a close-up of the AWA Grand PRO II action in motion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxVGDdvkXhs

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1332530 - 12/23/09 05:11 PM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: Kawai James]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Thanks James...pretty cool setup.

I remember some of the earlier Yamaha hammer actions had the hammer striking upwards inside the key.

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1332559 - 12/23/09 05:46 PM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: snazzyplayer]
bachmaniac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 410
Loc: Montreal, CAN
Here is one reference that is pivotal, I think...

It does show you that carbon fiber action mechanics are indeed vastly superior to their wooden counterparts, but may I stress that even Kawai remains adamant about using wood for the

1- keys;
2- hammer shanks;
3- hammer heads;
4- and, of course, soundboards!

http://www.georgekolasis.com/piano-action-parts.html

Hope you enjoy this article, it's extremely enlightening.

Regards,

Claude
_________________________
K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7

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#1332560 - 12/23/09 05:48 PM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: snazzyplayer]
cjsm Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 134
Loc: Washington, MO
I have a Kawai MP9500 with wood keys, predecesor to the Kawai MP8. Comparing it to my other keyboards with plastic keys, a Yamaha P80, a Kawai MP4, and a Fusion 8HD, I prefer the wood keys on the MP9500. The wood keys are, I think, more shock absorbing than plastic keys. The plastic keys deliver more of a blow to your fingers when bottoming out, while the wood keys absorb some of the blow. Of course, some of this may be the design of the mechanisms. But as a shock absorber, hard plastic is like concrete, transmiting all of the force, while wood expands and contracts to absorb some of the force. Would you rather run in your bare feet on a hard plastic floor, or a wood floor?


Edited by cjsm (12/23/09 05:51 PM)

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#1332578 - 12/23/09 06:17 PM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: cjsm]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9152
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
I recently completed a PoP (point of purchase) display for the new RM3 Grand wooden key action (the successor to the AWA Grand PRO II). This piece is mounted to a three key sample action and should clearly highlight the similarities between a grand piano action and the latest KAWAI digital piano equivalent.

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1333251 - 12/24/09 05:54 PM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: cjsm]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: cjsm
But as a shock absorber, hard plastic is like concrete, transmiting all of the force, while wood expands and contracts to absorb some of the force. Would you rather run in your bare feet on a hard plastic floor, or a wood floor?

Or maybe a soft plastic floor like the one in your bathroom or kitchen made of sheet vinyl? There are billions of kinds of plastics other than the hard variety. You want something hard on top, yes, but I would think a foamed type might work well for the rest of the piano key - similar weight, density, and strength as wood, but with less variation.
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#1333381 - 12/25/09 01:34 AM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: dewster]
bachmaniac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 410
Loc: Montreal, CAN
Quote:
I would think a foamed type might work well for the rest of the piano key - similar weight, density, and strength as wood, but with less variation.


advanced, space-age plastics, as proven by Kawai's Millenium III action, add considerably to the cost of production. In complex, small and intricate parts and links, they improve the action considerably and therefore make a lot of sense. In the case of keys, it would only mean trying to imitate what wood has already been doing perfectly for centuries and at a much lower cost. Keyboard levers (the keys) cut from well-seasoned spruce in quality pianos have never been a troublesome part in the whole piano machinery. But tradition must be trashed at any cost, right?

Cheers,

Claude
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#1333534 - 12/25/09 11:47 AM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: bachmaniac]
Michael Darnton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 243
Loc: Chicago
This discussion reminds me of the metal vs plastic issues in cameras of a couple of decades ago. People had a natural resistance to plastic, not considering that "plastic" means a whole lot of different things. In cameras, the plastics chosen resulted in less friction, more stability, closer machining tolerances, lower cost, better durability, and allowed for a whole new technology level that had been difficult, expensive, or impossible in metal.

Though there are still hold-outs who view plastic as cheap, the simple fact is that many recent innovations in cameras wouldn't have been possible without it.

It's all in the proper choice of plastic, and the correct use.
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#1333558 - 12/25/09 12:43 PM Re: DP with wooden keys? [Re: bachmaniac]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4343
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: bachmaniac
In the case of keys, it would only mean trying to imitate what wood has already been doing perfectly for centuries and at a much lower cost. Keyboard levers (the keys) cut from well-seasoned spruce in quality pianos have never been a troublesome part in the whole piano machinery.

You've never seen a sticking piano key?

Originally Posted By: bachmaniac
But tradition must be trashed at any cost, right?

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