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#1377163 - 02/18/10 08:09 AM Shock when trying AvantGrands!
BazC Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 711
Loc: Cambridgeshire, UK
I was in my local music shop yesterday and they had a much better range of instruments than last time I was there, I got the chance to try a P155 for the first time - very nice! They also had a battered old B3 which was gorgeous, didn't get a chance to play on it though.

I did get to try two AvantGrands though, they had an N2 and an N3 and I got a real shock when I played them. The N2 felt wonderful, crisp and responsive but the N3 was horrible, spongy and vague. I didn't to hear either properly (too busy and noisy) but I couldn't believe the dramatic difference in the actions.

Any thoughts? Maybe a faulty instrument? though it felt uniformly awful across the whole board.
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#1377174 - 02/18/10 08:27 AM Re: Shock when trying AvantGrands! [Re: BazC]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9402
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
I believe the N2 and N3 share the same keyboard actions, which suggests that the N3 was either faulty, or just needs to be (re)regulated.

Cheers,
James
x
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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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#1377182 - 02/18/10 08:37 AM Re: Shock when trying AvantGrands! [Re: Kawai James]
BazC Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 711
Loc: Cambridgeshire, UK
Ah that sounds reasonable I wasn't aware that they needed or even could be regulated like an acoustic. Thanks James!
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#1377199 - 02/18/10 09:22 AM Re: Shock when trying AvantGrands! [Re: BazC]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
Since the N3 was available only shortly before the N2, and both of them haven't been on the market for more than 6 months, I'm surprised that the N3 you tried could be out of regulation that quickly. But yes, they can be regulated like an acoustic because they have the real acoustic grand action inside. My N3 keyboard so far feels pretty good just the same as from day 1, and we put an average of 2-3 hours of use on it every day so far.

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#1377210 - 02/18/10 09:41 AM Re: Shock when trying AvantGrands! [Re: Volusiano]
BazC Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 711
Loc: Cambridgeshire, UK
Maybe it wasn't set up properly at the factory or the shop hasn't got round to checking it over?
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Korg SP200, Pianoteq

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#1377215 - 02/18/10 09:43 AM Re: Shock when trying AvantGrands! [Re: BazC]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
It certainly wouldn't be the first C3 keyboard action to play like hell in the store.

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#1377219 - 02/18/10 09:49 AM Re: Shock when trying AvantGrands! [Re: theJourney]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Whoever is running the place either has a product on the floor that isn't set up properly, or is defective.

Either way, he isn't doing the product or himself any favors.

Very unprofessional.

Snazzy
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Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1377335 - 02/18/10 12:12 PM Re: Shock when trying AvantGrands! [Re: Volusiano]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Volusiano
But yes, they can be regulated like an acoustic because they have the real acoustic grand action inside.

This is why I love plastic keys in DPs.

They may not feel as nice as a real wooden piano key (insufficient R&D IMO) but they are highly consistent and generally behave themselves.
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#1377483 - 02/18/10 04:23 PM Re: Shock when trying AvantGrands! [Re: dewster]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: Volusiano
But yes, they can be regulated like an acoustic because they have the real acoustic grand action inside.

This is why I love plastic keys in DPs.

They may not feel as nice as a real wooden piano key (insufficient R&D IMO) but they are highly consistent and generally behave themselves.


You don't really mean plastic vs wood, do you? Since the material type has nothing to do with consistency. Do you mean spring-based mechanism vs acoustic grand mechanism instead? In that case, I will give you that the acoustic grand action is a lot more complicated than the spring-based action for sure. But less consistent and misbehaving themselves? I wouldn't agree. I'd agree that they may need more adjustment by way of regulation every few years depending on use compare to the spring-based mechanism.

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#1377488 - 02/18/10 04:37 PM Re: Shock when trying AvantGrands! [Re: Volusiano]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Quote:
I'd agree that they may need more adjustment by way of regulation every few years depending on use compare to the spring-based mechanism.


I don't think any digital piano uses spring based key actions. I could be wrong as I don't know every one of them. But certainly none of the big three are using springs on the medium to high end digital pianos. They all use weighted hammers.

Spring based keys are used in synth action keyboards and organs. Many synthesizer players like the spring keys because they are faster than a piano keyboard.

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#1377512 - 02/18/10 05:06 PM Re: Shock when trying AvantGrands! [Re: Volusiano]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Volusiano
You don't really mean plastic vs wood, do you? Since the material type has nothing to do with consistency.

When DP manufacturers "pull out the stops" on a particular model, they tend to put real wooden keys in there. Those wooden keys are of a higher quality mainly due to greater R&D put into them, not the wood so much. But this creates a correlation between wooden keys and quality, and so people generally (and rightly in this case) interpret wooden DP keys as a good thing.

On the other hand, wood density and other variables can be different from key to key, which I would argue tends to make them intrinsically less consistent than injection molded plastic keys. They are also less dimensionally stable, and they make the DP weigh more. For all of these reasons I don't want wood anywhere near my DP keyboard.

I'm not sure what to think about having acoustic grand mechanisms in DPs. On the one hand it must feel pretty damn real, since it is by definition the real thing. On the other hand it must weigh a ton and require periodic maintenance, which is a huge turn-off. A DP is already an imitation, putting real mechanisms in them strikes me as going in the wrong direction. I guess that's why I have a visceral dislike of DPs with cabinetry, and upright or grand piano physical shapes. No one will ever be fooled into thinking it's the real thing, so I guess I don't see the point.
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#1377531 - 02/18/10 05:40 PM Re: Shock when trying AvantGrands! [Re: ChrisA]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Quote:
I'd agree that they may need more adjustment by way of regulation every few years depending on use compare to the spring-based mechanism.


I don't think any digital piano uses spring based key actions. I could be wrong as I don't know every one of them. But certainly none of the big three are using springs on the medium to high end digital pianos. They all use weighted hammers.

Spring based keys are used in synth action keyboards and organs. Many synthesizer players like the spring keys because they are faster than a piano keyboard.


You're probably right, Chris. I don't really know any better what they use in DP, so when I hear "weighted hammer", I just incorrectly assumed (mainly from ignorance) that it's just a fancy name for some kind of spring-based mechanism to simulate the weighted feel. So you're saying that high end DPs actually have some kind of actual hammer on the other end of a pivot for a key to give it that weighted feel? That makes more sense to me, I guess. Is there an inside picture of one to show what it looks like? The Kawai action picture I saw posted by Kawaiian from another thread looks pretty cool and elaborate.

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#1377542 - 02/18/10 05:52 PM Re: Shock when trying AvantGrands! [Re: Volusiano]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California

Kawai makes two types. This describes both. The more compact design with the hammers under the keys is the most common type

http://www.kawaius.com/main_links/digital/Features/actions.html

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#1377672 - 02/18/10 10:00 PM Re: Shock when trying AvantGrands! [Re: BazC]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
Originally Posted By: BazC
The N2 felt wonderful, crisp and responsive but the N3 was horrible, spongy and vague.

Any thoughts? Maybe a faulty instrument? though it felt uniformly awful across the whole board.


Based on this statement that it's uniformly awful across the whole keyboard, it sounds like it's not regulation issue of individual keys, but something wrong across the whole keyboard. The only obvious thing I can think of is that maybe the top piece that contains the hammer shank stoppers is not installed properly (maybe not at the proper height). So if the hammer shanks don't get stopped at the proper height, it may result in the improper feel.

Did you point out this difference to the dealer between the N2 and N3 to see what they way?

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#1377876 - 02/19/10 04:18 AM Re: Shock when trying AvantGrands! [Re: Volusiano]
BazC Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 711
Loc: Cambridgeshire, UK
Originally Posted By: Volusiano
[quote=BazC]Did you point out this difference to the dealer between the N2 and N3 to see what they way?


I'm afraid not, I didn't think too much about it until after I'd left the shop. If I go in there again soon (it's a 40min drive away) I'll certainly speak to someone and get their reaction.
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