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#162926 - 06/23/07 10:37 PM Digital Pianos
kwillmsn Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/22/07
Posts: 11
How well do digital pianos hold up in a auditorium that is not used for weeks at a time and the temperture in summer months gets up to 90 degrees and in winter months can get down to 40 degrees inside? Can a de-humidifier be used inside a digital piano?

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#162927 - 06/23/07 10:45 PM Re: Digital Pianos
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2250
Loc: Portland, Oregon
A digital piano such as the Yamaha DGT2IIXG, would hold up a lot better in an environment such as you described, than an acoustic grand. There would be no need for a de-humdifier in a digital piano unless there was an inordinate amount of humidity in the air and there were extreme fluctuations from hot/cold, cold/hot in very short time periods.

The kind of environment you describe would not be good for an acoustic piano.

The digital piano never needs tuning, so it should be fine for many months etc.

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#162928 - 06/23/07 10:48 PM Re: Digital Pianos
LesCharles73 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 739
Loc: Denton Texas
I would suspect a digital piano would hold up as good (or bad) as any other electronic piece of equipment in that type of environment. The only usefulness a dehumidifier would provide is perhaps keeping condensation from building up on the electronics. There's no wood to swell or shrink unless it's a Kawai wooden action, and doubt it would fit in unless it's a large console type. I once opened up the YDP-113 I used to have and there was alot of space, but on a stage piano - forget about it!
_________________________
Les C Deal





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#162929 - 06/23/07 10:50 PM Re: Digital Pianos
Casalborgone Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 1046
Loc: San Francisco Area
Many people buy digital pianos rather than acoustics to avoid the very problems about which you are concerned. \:D

By the way, Dampp-Chasers and other environmental-control systems were first used in environmentally-sensitive electronic equipment such as radio-frequency oscillators. Now such equipment, including digital pianos, is designed and constructed so that it is relatively resistant to environmental changes.
_________________________
Mike
Registered Piano Technician
Member Piano Technicians Guild
Not currently working in the piano trade.

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#162930 - 06/24/07 03:51 PM Re: Digital Pianos
kwillmsn Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/22/07
Posts: 11
 Quote:
Originally posted by Casalborgone:
Many people buy digital pianos rather than acoustics to avoid the very problems about which you are concerned. \:D

By the way, Dampp-Chasers and other environmental-control systems were first used in environmentally-sensitive electronic equipment such as radio-frequency oscillators. Now such equipment, including digital pianos, is designed and constructed so that it is relatively resistant to environmental changes. [/b]

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#162931 - 06/24/07 03:53 PM Re: Digital Pianos
kwillmsn Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/22/07
Posts: 11
 Quote:
Originally posted by Casalborgone:
Many people buy digital pianos rather than acoustics to avoid the very problems about which you are concerned. \:D

By the way, Dampp-Chasers and other environmental-control systems were first used in environmentally-sensitive electronic equipment such as radio-frequency oscillators. Now such equipment, including digital pianos, is designed and constructed so that it is relatively resistant to environmental changes. [/b]
Can you please tell me about how many years a digital piano like the Yamaha Clavinova should last before it will have to be replaced?

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#162932 - 06/24/07 05:06 PM Re: Digital Pianos
Casalborgone Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 1046
Loc: San Francisco Area
 Quote:
Originally posted by kwillmsn:
[Can you please tell me about how many years a digital piano like the Yamaha Clavinova should last before it will have to be replaced? [/b]
Sorry, I cannot. You might go to the digital piano forum (or the many non-PW forums on the net) and ask about longevity of such instruments under various regimes of use.

Certainly if the keyboards are constructed like acoustic piano keyboards, the key bushings will wear out in a few years of heavy use and need service.

You will need to inquire about what parts are most subject to wear and whether they can be serviced and restored to proper functioning.
_________________________
Mike
Registered Piano Technician
Member Piano Technicians Guild
Not currently working in the piano trade.

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#162933 - 06/24/07 07:48 PM Re: Digital Pianos
MoodyBluesKeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 258
Loc: Trent Woods, NC
>Can you please tell me about how many years a >digital piano like the Yamaha Clavinova should >last before it will have to be replaced?

I am a former Electronic Organ and Keyboard Technician, and my firm formerly was an authorized service center for Yamaha (among others).

Most of the actions in digital pianos, with a few exceptions, are not manufactured in a similar manner to the action of an acoustic piano (exceptions include the new Bosendorfer, but it is a very high priced item). "Weighted" actions use a lot of additional parts including weights and springs in order to attempt to simulate the feel of an acoustic.

In addition, instead of hammers striking strings, there are sensors which measure the time in microseconds between keypress a certain amount and a larger amount of keypress (this is how the computer figures out how hard the key is struck).

It has been my experience that these keyboard actions, under substantial use (such as being used in a piano teaching studio), wear out a lot quicker than an acoustic piano. In typical home use, where the keyboard is played for no more than an hour or two a day, the expected lifespan before significant repair would be a decade or so.

They are repairable (unless parts are no longer available - which is a problem with most electronic items). On a low price electronic weighted keyboard ($1,000 to 2,000) the cost of refurbishment may be considered excessive. On the high end Clavinovas, more money can be spent and still be reasonable. As an example, a recent check on a Kurzweil electronic piano revealed a price about $850 to get an entire new keyboard assembly (which is cheaper than tha amount of labor to disassemble and repair a lot of problems). Minor repairs, such as cleaning the keyswitches, can be done in a relatively small time. I recently cleared a problem in the C#5 key of a Kurzweil 2661 keyboard (the key sounded much louder than other keys with the same amount of pressure), it took me about 2 hours from start to finish, including all disassembly needed to get to the action. Only part I needed was alcohol and Q-Tips - some crud had gotten into the keyswitch for that key.

On your overall question - I serviced large church organs such as Rodgers as well - in many cases, they are still in service 40 years later. This is not a long time in comparison to large pipe organs (which are frequently maintained for centuries) - but large pipe organs also cost hundreds of times more than large electronic organs.

As long as control is made of rodents (mouse droppings cause a LOT of damage to electronics), temperatures from 20 deg F to 110 deg F will not cause significant problems. Extreme humidity will cause problems, so will salt water spray (I've worked on instruments in beach homes that were open to the Atlantic ocean spray).

Electronics are about the only rational choice in that type enviornment (unless one is inclined to spend much money on a continual basis repairing and replacing.)

HTH (BTW - my PF account was just cleared, this is my first post to any forum.

Jim
_________________________
Jim Cason
Promised LAN Computing, Inc.
Howard C171 Grand, Kurzweil PC3X, PC3, PC361, PC2X, PC2.
JBL 10&15 EONG2s, EV SxA100+s QSC K10s, HP & ThinkPad DAWs, eMu 1820M & 1616M.
Epi Les Paul & LP 5str Bass, Trace amp-cabinets.
Formerly in electronic keyboard repair trade - semi-retired

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#162934 - 06/24/07 08:20 PM Re: Digital Pianos
Anonymous
Unregistered


I don't want to change the subject so early but just how much IS the Bosendorfer Digital....some of us were wondering.......

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#162935 - 06/25/07 04:09 AM Re: Digital Pianos
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2250
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Hi Jim,

Welcome to the PW Forum!

Question, my Yamaha DGT2IIXG has an action that is like a Yamaha acoustic grand.

http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/CDA/Cont...ELECTED,00.html

Is it possible to repair and regulate this action as one would in an acoustic grand? Does it need regular regulation as you would do in an acoustic grand?

Thanks, GP

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#162936 - 06/25/07 11:25 AM Re: Digital Pianos
MoodyBluesKeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 258
Loc: Trent Woods, NC
karenabcde - I was giving an estimated price from a Google search, the main Bosendorfer link for the stage piano is:
http://www.bosendorfer.com/index.php?menu=275
Bosendorfer has not yet fully released it, so they may not have set a final price. It is just kind of exciting that they may finally have produced an electronic that truly fully simulates the acoustic.

***********

grandpianoman - Thanks for the welcome - I stopped as a Yamaha Service Center in 1998, the same year that my business changed from primarily organ service with some keyboards and amps to primarily computer training and networking. So I never worked on or got the factory manual for the keyboard you are describing. During the time, I did work on a number of Disclaviers, however, I never had to work on the keyboard portion. Most of the troubles that I remember were power surge related computer board or amplifier failures.

If Yamaha truly does use a grand piano action with electronic sensors, I would assume that it could be regulated in a similar manner as an acoustic grand. The only keyboard that was made in that manner that I have worked on was in some of the early Baldwin tube era organs. Their keyboard then was a section of a standard piano keyboard, with electronic switches instead of hammers. I did rebuild one of them (on an organ for myself), and got the parts from the piano repair stock of my local Baldwin dealer - they were identical parts to the normal piano parts.

Regular regulation - There is still a mechanical mechanism which will suffer wear as it is used. The wear will not likely be identical to an acoustic, because the pressure points will be somewhat different. However, there is still going to be wooden keys, supported on pegs with felt bushings. There will still be felt parts in the escapement mechanism that can be expected to stretch and wear. Also, in many environments, there will still be the damage done by rodents and insects. I would think that the "SmartKey" feature adds additional complexity in that there is some form of solenoid to partially depress the next key to play - and there would be wear there also. So - it is very likely.

BTW - I was authorized service for over a decade. during this time, 95% of my service problems had to do with various electronic damage, most frequently from power surges and lightning storms. There were a very few keyboard problems - and they usually fell into two categories: first failure during warranty - Yamaha field service during warranty has the technician order the entire assembly, remove the old, put in the new, ship the old back to Yamaha - they repair the old and put it back in stock. The second category was failure after warranty - in those cases, if the keyboard was any of the lower priced units, the labor required plus parts to do any involved repair frequently meant that the instrument was not repaired, but replaced by the owner. A fully weighted keyboard by any of the manufacturers can be a real time sink if it requires full disassembly and fixing a number of problems. On a moderately priced instrument - the resultant charge was too high - just like most spinet or upright pianos are not economically rebuildable.

Jim
_________________________
Jim Cason
Promised LAN Computing, Inc.
Howard C171 Grand, Kurzweil PC3X, PC3, PC361, PC2X, PC2.
JBL 10&15 EONG2s, EV SxA100+s QSC K10s, HP & ThinkPad DAWs, eMu 1820M & 1616M.
Epi Les Paul & LP 5str Bass, Trace amp-cabinets.
Formerly in electronic keyboard repair trade - semi-retired

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#162937 - 06/25/07 10:41 PM Re: Digital Pianos
ASL Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/01/07
Posts: 10
Loc: NY
Ok, I wanted to know something. I have a Yamaha Clavinova and they say you can tune the things. Is that true? I don't want to mess around with it, but I also don't want to play if its out of tune! You know? I really love it, cuz I can practice whenever with my head phones on. I'm a beginner, so its ok but I eventually want to get a Grand! \:\)

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#162938 - 06/26/07 01:29 AM Re: Digital Pianos
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2250
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Hi Jim,

Thanks for the info! I suspect that the action on my digital grand will someday need some work. Here is a cutaway pic of the exact action that's in my piano.



It looks like has some of the same inner workings as a normal acoustic grand action.

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#162939 - 06/26/07 01:55 AM Re: Digital Pianos
jazzwee Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
kwillmsn,

digitals can last a VERY long time. Let me tell you what typically breaks. I have significant experience with this. I have owned Yamaha digitals as far as weighted instruments are concerned. So far I've had to replace one of the keys. They keys can break from heavy use and I'm a heavy user. We've discussed this heavily in keyboard forums and the reason for breakage has been attributed to a sideways shear force. If you have pretty good technique and don't bang on the keys so far, it could last practically forever, except that it will not perform as well as instruments that are newer.

It seems like you're looking for the use of this keyboard for institutional use. Repair of broken keys in a popular brand like Yamaha or Roland should be quite inexpensive. In fact it can easily be done by a do-it-your-self-er.
_________________________
Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Piano 88
My Blog

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