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#1845537 - 02/15/12 06:50 PM Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments..
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
So I have a Yamaha grand at my parent's house, and I moved -and the last few months I have been practicing on my Roland FP-7F keyboard.

For a digital, it's pretty good - the touch is comfortable and the sound is nice. But I got kind of shocked when I went to play my Yamaha grand after a long time of not playing it.

The keys felt really heavy, and my playing, which was fine on the FP-7F, was a bit hindered by not playing the grand - and was a bit choppier at first until I got re-used to the keys again.

Is this something worrisome? The touch of the grand piano really felt like another thing entirely, the weight and response have nothing to do with how the Roland responds touch wise.

I wonder if heavy-duty practice on a digital, even one as good as the Roland, can be detrimental to playing on an actual grand.

Sure - you can adapt to it, but there is no denying a difference in the touch.

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#1845546 - 02/15/12 07:01 PM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: CrashTest]
PianoWorksATL Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2634
Loc: Atlanta, GA
The difference is mass...inertia. Any DP can simulate the up and down weight of a piano which is an issue of friction and balance. The reason better DP's are still so heavy is because they have to be to simulate reasonable. The weight doesn't improve the sound....

A real action is a long linkage and the total mass of each key, repetition, hammer and shank is probably double (or more) that of PHAIII in the FP-7F.

That said, if you want to be adaptable, you have to practice adapting to. If you only played on your Yamaha and then went to another nice but different acoustic piano, you would also have to adapt. My advice is play as many good pianos (real and digital) as you can as often as you can. (seems obvious, doesn't it smile )
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#1845585 - 02/15/12 07:54 PM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: CrashTest]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: CrashTest
I wonder if heavy-duty practice on a digital, even one as good as the Roland, can be detrimental to playing on an actual grand.


No. There's always an adjustment going from one piano to another but for a normal player the benefits of additional practice and the chance to play lots of different actions is a good thing.

I suppose if you were a high-level concert pianist who always played on a certain action you might not want to have to adjust, but that's an unusual circumstance.

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#1846027 - 02/16/12 12:15 PM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: CrashTest]
bennevis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4391
I play on a Roland with PHA-III action at home, and regularly play on acoustic grands and uprights elsewhere, though for a long time (until I bought my DP) I just played whatever piano (in whatever condition) I could get access to. There really is an unbelievable range of keyweights and actions out there, especially amoung acoustics, and my opinion is that all serious pianists should be able to adapt to anything (within reasonable limits....).

I've played on ultralight, sloppy actions on pianos of a certain vintage, and ultra-stiff and uneven ones on poorly maintained pianos. DPs tend to be more consistent, but frankly I find it easy to transition from my DP to an acoustic grand (Yamaha or otherwise) - easier in many respects than to transition from one brand of acoustic to another, or an old piano to a new one.

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#1846245 - 02/16/12 04:56 PM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: CrashTest]
moleskincrusher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/04/10
Posts: 169
I agree with the posters above who responded to CrashTest. Wisdom borne of wide experience.

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#1846464 - 02/16/12 11:07 PM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: CrashTest]
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
That is true - many pianos do have greatly varying actions even amongst grand pianos.

My only fear was that this isn't just a question of "adapting", it is a question of a digital piano vs adapting on an acoustic. I am always fearful that some detriment to technique can happen if extensive practice is done on a digital vs an acoustic.

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#1846582 - 02/17/12 05:33 AM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: CrashTest]
bennevis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4391
I can give you my own personal experience - my technique had been somewhat rough-and-ready from when I left the security of university life (and easy access to their well-tuned Yamaha uprights in their practice rooms), simply because my practicing went by the wayside, and I just had to play on anything I could get my hands on. It was mostly fast runs and intricate passagework that suffered - they lost their evenness; my octave and chordal technique didn't deteriorate much.

Then I bought my DP in 2010 and was able to concentrate on practising properly, at any time I wanted to (via headphones). I stopped going to churches and assembly halls and piano showrooms (and cruise ships and stately homes and shopping malls grin) etc where I used to practise sporadically on the acoustic pianos there. It wasn't till several months later that I thought I'd try playing on a real piano again to see what I've been missing.....and I found I could now do on the acoustics exactly what I'd worked on when practising on my DP. My fast runs were now faster - and smooth grin; thirds were no longer fudged, and my octaves were even faster and cleaner. In other words, I had no problems at all switching (back) to acoustics and carrying over what I'd practised on my DP. Since then I've stopped being a hermit again and delighted in visiting showrooms and concert halls to play on well-tuned and regulated acoustics - and even DPs (now that I've lost my previous contempt for them grin). But I longer wish to play on out-of-tune pianos with stuck/missing keys....

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#1846583 - 02/17/12 05:39 AM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: bennevis]
Anders M Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 18

Bennevis

Thanks your sharing an experience . Any chance of revealing which DP you were playing on ? A lot of us are probably thinking of using a DP as a practice instrument.

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#1846584 - 02/17/12 05:40 AM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: CrashTest]
Kawai James Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8388
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Anders, I believe Bennevis owns a V-Piano.

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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#1846587 - 02/17/12 06:06 AM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: CrashTest]
Gomtorus Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/12
Posts: 77
I had my first music lesson today. Teacher has two acoustic pianos in her office: a Yamaha grand piano and a Yamaha vertical piano. I played on both of them.

I feel a bit deflated realising just how far off the mark my Yamaha CLP 430 is. The acoustic Yamahas in teacher's office both felt and sounded so much better.

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#1846589 - 02/17/12 06:09 AM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: CrashTest]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1320
Loc: Portugal
This is mere speculation, but wouldn't the difference between a good modern practice instrument - a Yamaha U3 upright, say - and a piano from the late 18th or early 19th century be far more profound in various ways, than the difference between an similar acoustic piano and a good quality Yamaha, Kawai, Roland or Casio digital.

But that didn't seem to hamper the technique of Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert, Schumann or the 100s of thousands of pianists who played their works during that period.

....or maybe it DID hamper them. But they had neither knowledge nor solution so they just got on with it.

'Technique' (or the ability to play the piano) is partly the ability to move, unobtrusively between different types of instrument.
_________________________
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#1846596 - 02/17/12 06:34 AM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: CrashTest]
Dave Horne Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5261
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
I experienced the same thing last night. I spent a fair amount of time playing my CP5 trying to record something and after several hours I went back to my N3 and I really felt the difference.

I don't normally spend hours on the CP5 and I was truly made aware of the differences between a digital action, a light one at that, and a grand piano action.
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#1846598 - 02/17/12 06:42 AM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: Gomtorus]
bennevis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4391
Originally Posted By: Gomtorus
I had my first music lesson today. Teacher has two acoustic pianos in her office: a Yamaha grand piano and a Yamaha vertical piano. I played on both of them.

I feel a bit deflated realising just how far off the mark my Yamaha CLP 430 is. The acoustic Yamahas in teacher's office both felt and sounded so much better.


I vividly remember my Grade 1 piano exam (aged 10 3/4 grin): I played on a grand for the first time, with keyweights much heavier (and distinctly 'notchy' feel) than the Yamaha console-sized upright I've been practising on at home (my teacher had a slightly bigger Yamaha upright, with only slightly heavier keys). It was a shock to realize that pianos could be so different.......

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#1846599 - 02/17/12 06:43 AM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: Kawai James]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2328
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Anders, I believe Bennevis owns a V-Piano.

James
x


Really? What makes you say that James? wink
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1846600 - 02/17/12 06:48 AM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: Dave Horne]
bennevis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4391
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
I experienced the same thing last night. I spent a fair amount of time playing my CP5 trying to record something and after several hours I went back to my N3 and I really felt the difference.

I don't normally spend hours on the CP5 and I was truly made aware of the differences between a digital action, a light one at that, and a grand piano action.


I have to say that I do find that Yamaha's non-AvantGrand DPs, because of their lack of the 'notch' as the key is depressed, feels rather more obviously 'different' and lighter than the higher-end Roland and Kawai DPs, especially when playing soft, slow music.

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#1846615 - 02/17/12 08:10 AM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: bennevis]
Dave Horne Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5261
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
I experienced the same thing last night. I spent a fair amount of time playing my CP5 trying to record something and after several hours I went back to my N3 and I really felt the difference.

I don't normally spend hours on the CP5 and I was truly made aware of the differences between a digital action, a light one at that, and a grand piano action.


I have to say that I do find that Yamaha's non-AvantGrand DPs, because of their lack of the 'notch' as the key is depressed, feels rather more obviously 'different' and lighter than the higher-end Roland and Kawai DPs, especially when playing soft, slow music.


I've stated this more than once, the action of the CP300 was ideal for a stage piano. Why Yamaha switched to a lighter action for the CP5, I don't know.
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mp3\wav files

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#1846858 - 02/17/12 03:17 PM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: bennevis]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2328
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: bennevis
I have to say that I do find that Yamaha's non-AvantGrand DPs, because of their lack of the 'notch' as the key is depressed, feels rather more obviously 'different' and lighter than the higher-end Roland and Kawai DPs, especially when playing soft, slow music.


The opposite is true. Yamaha GH and GH3 are patently the heaviest DP actions, subjectively heavier and in fact considerably heavier than Roland PHA-II/III and Kawai RM3/RH actions.
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1846867 - 02/17/12 03:37 PM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: EssBrace]
Melodialworks Music Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 1309
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Yamaha GH and GH3 are patently the heaviest DP actions . . .


Which may explain the heavy action of the Avant Grand. Perhaps it is the Yamaha digital piano philosophy at work.
_________________________
Melodialworks Music
Yamaha C3X
Yamaha CP300 + Omnisphere
Yamaha NU1 + Production Grand

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#1846958 - 02/17/12 06:26 PM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: CrashTest]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1418
I actually really like the CP5 action and find it to be a superb balance between piano and EP playing. Since we can all agree that even the best DP actions don't feel or connect the way a good AP action does, finding a good action that works well for a variety of situations and sounds is my top priority. The CP5 is great compromise.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


"Life is a lot like jazz...it's best when you improvise."

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#1846969 - 02/17/12 06:40 PM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: Melodialworks Music]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2328
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Yamaha GH and GH3 are patently the heaviest DP actions . . .


Which may explain the heavy action of the Avant Grand. Perhaps it is the Yamaha digital piano philosophy at work.


Well my N3 is weighted at more or less exactly 50g on middle C. My MP10 is about 56g. If I remember correctly when I measured my old CP33 it was well over 60g at middle C and over 70g in the lowest notes - much heavier than all the others.
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1847047 - 02/17/12 10:26 PM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: EssBrace]
Melodialworks Music Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 1309
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Yamaha GH and GH3 are patently the heaviest DP actions . . .


Which may explain the heavy action of the Avant Grand. Perhaps it is the Yamaha digital piano philosophy at work.


Well my N3 is weighted at more or less exactly 50g on middle C. My MP10 is about 56g. If I remember correctly when I measured my old CP33 it was well over 60g at middle C and over 70g in the lowest notes - much heavier than all the others.


And my N3 feels way heavier to play than my MP10 . . . I think there is more to this than just the measure of weights.
_________________________
Melodialworks Music
Yamaha C3X
Yamaha CP300 + Omnisphere
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#1847268 - 02/18/12 12:19 PM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: CrashTest]
stringless Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 143
Loc: Idiocracy, USA
Static weight is measuring how much mass to gently sink the key. It doesn't measure how much the key resists your effort to push it down.

That resistance to your input is Dynamic Weight. This one can't be measured by putting weights on the keys to see how much it takes to push it down. The harder you hit, the more the key resists.

I rarely see discussions about this here. And this dynamic vs static weight thing, I bet, is at the very heart of all the "XXX is lighter than NNN!" discussions.

If I'm playing forte and beyond, my fingers definitely tell me it's a heavier effort than if I'm playing the very same piece on the same keyboard softly.

This goes for any piano-like mechanism (DP, AP, mechanical tracker organ) that actually lifts or moves a load. I don't think it'll apply to spring-loaded keys. They don't have to overcome the inertia of a hammer.
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A hammered piano, minus the strings. Brilliant!

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#1847281 - 02/18/12 12:39 PM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: CrashTest]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
Yeah we really need a standardized way of measuring dynamic weight. It would be so nice if for every piano we discuss here we had three reliable measurements: up, down, and dynamic weight. Then we could actually say something about the heavier and lighter actions available without having someone else completely disagree about which is the heavier.

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#1847306 - 02/18/12 01:34 PM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: CrashTest]
Melodialworks Music Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 1309
Loc: Canada
I've never heard of Dynamic Weight, but it makes sense.

A quick google search produced this article: http://www.bluebookofpianos.com/bbb.html
_________________________
Melodialworks Music
Yamaha C3X
Yamaha CP300 + Omnisphere
Yamaha NU1 + Production Grand

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#1847316 - 02/18/12 01:52 PM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: CrashTest]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1418
I think we're all thinking too hard about this. I'd be willing to guess most of the players here on the DP forums don't have to worry about going back and forth between DPs and APs, therefore to contiuously compare how authentic a DP action feels to a real acoustic action is a moot point, or ought to be. DP actions now days are far superior to many unkept AP actions and most importantly allow for very expressive AP playing. If you're in a situation where you are pursuing a career in a professional performance level of piano playing and don't have the space or money to get an AP, the top end digitals offer enough to get you a solid foundation of technique. It seems chasing down a DP with an action that will feel just like an AP is one in vain. There's a lot more to APs than just the sound or feel of the action. This of course is my 2 cents, but I was chasing down a DP for years that felt like an AP, and after thousands spent, even on the AvantGrand, and none of them give me a like-for-like experience to playing on a good AP. Like I said, there's quite a bit more to APs than the action or sound. There's a complex connection of the two that DPs haven't offered yet.

Sorry for the rant/ramble. smile
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


"Life is a lot like jazz...it's best when you improvise."

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#1847337 - 02/18/12 02:26 PM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: CrashTest]
Melodialworks Music Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 1309
Loc: Canada
I for one play DP and acoustic on a regular basis . . .
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Melodialworks Music
Yamaha C3X
Yamaha CP300 + Omnisphere
Yamaha NU1 + Production Grand

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#1847357 - 02/18/12 03:17 PM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: PianoZac]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 753
Originally Posted By: ZacharyForbes
There's a lot more to APs than just the sound or feel of the action.


Absolutely. Being an amateur going back and forth between my upright (a good one) and DPs almost every day what's annoying me with the DPs (P155 and a NE3HP) is not the action in itself but the sounds and the *connection* with the action. Even when my upright is a bit out of tune it's just so much richer and more expressive than even the best Nord sample I can run on my Electro.

However, there are things I can do with the keys of my piano that I simply can't on any of the plastic keybeds. It has to do with timing, dynamic expression, and bodily involvement, but I can't put my finger on it.

Edit: On the other hand I can carry the Nord with me and have a lot of fun at times and in places where I otherwise would not be able to make music at all smile


Edited by maurus (02/18/12 04:42 PM)
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#1847378 - 02/18/12 03:50 PM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: Melodialworks Music]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
I've never heard of Dynamic Weight, but it makes sense.

A quick google search produced this article: http://www.bluebookofpianos.com/bbb.html


Yeah, dynamic weight has only to do with the moment of rotational inertia, while up and down weight have to do with how much more weight is on the front of the key than the back.

Really the former is probably more important as far as fatigue and injury are concerned. Excessive down weight without too much inertia just makes a keyboard feel more crisp.


Edited by gvfarns (02/18/12 03:56 PM)

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#1847605 - 02/19/12 01:40 AM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: maurus]
LesCharles73 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 739
Loc: Denton Texas
Originally Posted By: maurus

...but I can't put my finger on it.


I see what you did there...? wink
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#1847645 - 02/19/12 03:54 AM Re: Roland FP-7F versus my Yamaha Grand, some disappointments.. [Re: LesCharles73]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 753
grin grin
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