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#1981275 - 11/01/12 09:36 AM - Life expectancy of a DP -
Clumsy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/01/12
Posts: 60
Loc: Bangkok, Thailand
Hi all! This is my first post here.

What's the "average" life expectancy of a decent DP? How many years before it begins to show signs of failure. Which part would normally fail first?

Tried out a few DP's today comparing the Yamaha YDP-181, Kawai KCP-80 and Kawai CN-24. I'm sorta sold on the CN24 and planning on getting it sometime soon for my new home. I'm in Thailand and the choices of DP are very limited. (And the prices are quite high, too.)

Cheers and thanks in advance.
_________________________
- Anirut J.
Out-of-tune mid 70's acoustic Bentley upright and Casio Celviano AP-450

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#1981350 - 11/01/12 01:47 PM Re: - Life expectancy of a DP - [Re: Clumsy]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2359
Loc: UK
The electronics should last for many years. Let's say bell curve middle 20 years so some more, some less. Speakers may age but can be replaced.

The keyboard action is the weak point, and that will depend on usage including 'style' of play. I would probably say the bell curve middle is 5 years, so some more, some less, before maintenance or repair is needed.

They are just my own guesstimates.

My experience is that GAS comes first for most people before either of these though, and those affected sell and upgrade before hitting either of these life expectancies.


Edited by spanishbuddha (11/01/12 01:48 PM)

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#1981354 - 11/01/12 01:59 PM Re: - Life expectancy of a DP - [Re: spanishbuddha]
Radion Romanovich Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/11
Posts: 39
GAS?


BTW, I've seen synths with semi-weighted keys than can still hold hard playing even after 10 years. I wonder if a DP's keybed mechanics is more robust than this, or on the contrary, more fragile and prone to degradation.

Which DPs have you seen to be still in shape after 5 years, especially in regards to action? Now I begin to understand the salesmen's faces when I state my expectancy to use my boards for +7 years.

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#1981356 - 11/01/12 02:01 PM Re: - Life expectancy of a DP - [Re: spanishbuddha]
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 451
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
My experience is that GAS comes first


Sorry, I don´t understand you. What does GAS means in this context? Could you please comment it in different words?
Thanks, and sorry for bothering.
Marco
_________________________
learning Piano on my Roland HP-505
before playing Drums in adults bluesband on handpicked set; before crashing E-Guitar in kids garage band; raised on home entertainment Organ and Keyboard models Eminent Solina P240, Farfisa Maharani 259R, Technics KN800, and on Mouth Organ, Recorder and Accordion

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#1981361 - 11/01/12 02:05 PM Re: - Life expectancy of a DP - [Re: Clumsy]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2359
Loc: UK
Sorry - 'gear acquisition syndrome', the urge, most common in the male, to have the latest technological gadget, justified or not.

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#1981369 - 11/01/12 02:13 PM Re: - Life expectancy of a DP - [Re: spanishbuddha]
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 451
Loc: Europe
Hahaha, I like this "GAS"!
_________________________
learning Piano on my Roland HP-505
before playing Drums in adults bluesband on handpicked set; before crashing E-Guitar in kids garage band; raised on home entertainment Organ and Keyboard models Eminent Solina P240, Farfisa Maharani 259R, Technics KN800, and on Mouth Organ, Recorder and Accordion

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#1981457 - 11/01/12 05:54 PM Re: - Life expectancy of a DP - [Re: Clumsy]
1John Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/25/12
Posts: 43
Loc: Adelaide, Australia
I'd expect the keybed to be the weak point, and the rest should be fine for 20 years or more based on the longevity of other electronic devices. The keybed would suffer wearing in the bushes making it sloppier, and breakage of parts from stress fractures. There are 10 year old DPs on the 2nd hand market that work fine, but of course these may be ones that haven't had that much use. Semi-weighted synth keys last for ages, but they don't have little hammers bouncing around inside.

At least in the more expensive pianos, it would be good to have some rating on expected service life, in a similar way to cameras have an expected shutter life. It would be rather hard to standardise though. It would be possible to design a DP with a life equivalent to an acoustic, but it becomes a cost/performance tradeoff.

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#1981463 - 11/01/12 06:04 PM Re: - Life expectancy of a DP - [Re: Clumsy]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5276
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
... on the other hand some Hammond organs are still going strong even after 50 years.
_________________________
website

mp3\wav files

AvantGrand N3, CP5

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#1981535 - 11/01/12 09:34 PM Re: - Life expectancy of a DP - [Re: Clumsy]
Clumsy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/01/12
Posts: 60
Loc: Bangkok, Thailand
Thanks to everyone for your input.

LOL, GAS -- I like that! I'm a tennis freak and can very well understand that syndrome. In tennis we call ourselves racketaholics.
_________________________
- Anirut J.
Out-of-tune mid 70's acoustic Bentley upright and Casio Celviano AP-450

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#1981553 - 11/01/12 10:25 PM Re: - Life expectancy of a DP - [Re: Clumsy]
McBuster Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/11
Posts: 232
Loc: St Paul Minnesota USA
Well Folks, I am a prime example of GAS.
_________________________
Jon ...

Kawai CA95
Sailor, Consultant, Gourmet, Dreamer

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#1981561 - 11/01/12 11:31 PM Re: - Life expectancy of a DP - [Re: Radion Romanovich]
LesCharles73 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 739
Loc: Denton Texas
Originally Posted By: Radion Romanovich
BTW, I've seen synths with semi-weighted keys than can still hold hard playing even after 10 years. I wonder if a DP's keybed mechanics is more robust than this, or on the contrary, more fragile and prone to degradation.


Synth action keyboards have far less moving parts and tend to hold up longer. A weighted action has an actual counterweight (specific design depends on the brand), which translates to more kinetic energy being thrown around inside. Digital piano actions are fragile, all things considered, but it's more the fact that there are so many moving parts that cause wear. A decent comparison would be a bicycle versus a car engine. A car engine isn't exactly fragile, but it has a much more finite life and needs to be treated with care.
_________________________
Les C Deal





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#1981567 - 11/01/12 11:53 PM Re: - Life expectancy of a DP - [Re: Clumsy]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
Notice that there is variety in how robust digital piano actions are as well. I can hardly imagine one of Kawai's wood action keyboards wearing out or breaking from being played. There are only two moving parts per key...a long wooden key and a big plastic hammer that's pretty robust. Other actions are much more complex and push weights up under the keys in a rather unexpected direction. Anywhere there is load bearing plastic that's pretty thin can break at some point.

The other possible issue is the breakdown of the rubber dome that makes up the switch. I've seen cases where those have hardened and broken, but it's not real common.

Most of the time it seems like the death of a digital piano is not wear-and-tear but simple obsolescence. Eventually newer models will be better enough that it's worth selling or chucking the current one.


Edited by gvfarns (11/01/12 11:53 PM)

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#1981614 - 11/02/12 04:53 AM Re: - Life expectancy of a DP - [Re: Clumsy]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1194
If I may put in my tuppenceworth here...

Acoustic pianos under hard playing situations have a longer life than digital pianos BUT:

The keyboards may have been re-bushed several times
The action will have been re-felted and re-centred
The strings, or at least some of them will have been replaced.

I have owned several acoustic and digital pianos in my life. I had a Roland HP-330e for 10 years and it gave me no problems at all. I only sold it because it became surplus to requirement. However, for durability, you couldn't fault it.

I know a church that has owned a Roland HP-4500s for 25 years and it still plays fine, they've had some repairs done on the keyboard, but that's the odd £100 every 7 or 8 years. They also have a Technics that they've owned since 1993, and the keybed is starting to get a bit rattled now, but other than that, it's fine.

The low point for digital pianos is not their longevity, it's their sound and touch when it comes to classical players, but as long as they're only in addition to acoustic pianos and not in replacement, there should be no problems.

Incidentally, I've found the new Roland pianos to be MORE playable than an acoustic piano - the action repeats faster, you don't tire when playing it (a MAJOR breakthrough for DPs) and the sound is almost there. The response is great. It's almost too good - in that - well, when you go back to an acoustic (that does trump it on sound), it's more difficult to play. Well done Roland.

My current DP is a Yamaha CP-300

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#1981615 - 11/02/12 05:11 AM Re: - Life expectancy of a DP - [Re: Clumsy]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 804
Durability is a concern in DP's. I own an upright that is close to 100 years now. Still going strong, with some regulation/maintenance work, sure, but on average over the years cost for this has been quite low. The DP's I owned, on the other hand, all got mechanical problems after a few years. And usually there is not a lot of sense in doing serious maintenance on a plastic action. I continue to hope that some of the better built DP actions for professional use will last longer, but let's see.

Does anyone know of a life expectancy database for keyboards/DP's? (If sufficiently many users would enter the date and type of first failure into such a database one could gain some statistical data that provides at least some orientation about what to expect.)
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.

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#1981617 - 11/02/12 05:18 AM Re: - Life expectancy of a DP - [Re: McBuster]
UK Paul UK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 396
Loc: Berkshire, England
Originally Posted By: McBuster
Well Folks, I am a prime example of GAS.


Yup, me too....
Are you happy with your ca95?

Ive been offered the option of replacing mine with anything else from the shop due to a sound issue/headphones crackle and chip on leg but im probably going to stick with a replacement ca95 ... trouble is that i prefer it to a clp480 (which is 1500£more)or anything else for the money... even with the niggles... i'd need £6000 for a half decent acoustic with silent function so to me there isnt anything better for upto £4000...
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/PaulGPiano

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#1981619 - 11/02/12 05:31 AM Re: - Life expectancy of a DP - [Re: Clumsy]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1194
Yes, the problem with repairing a digital piano is that it is often more economical to buy a new one.

There was a very old CLP-350 I think, in a theatre. It needed a new keyboard, which was going to cost £450 to buy - just the keyboard - and then another £300 or something to fit it. That is actually ridiculous. There is no way it should cost that amount for these parts and labour. Perhaps 2 or 3 hundred for a job like that and you might consider it (for 750 you can buy a complete piano that's better than the original).

It's not that these machines can't be repaired and go on, they can.

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#1981667 - 11/02/12 08:50 AM Re: - Life expectancy of a DP - [Re: UK Paul UK]
McBuster Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/11
Posts: 232
Loc: St Paul Minnesota USA
I am delighted with the CA95 I have. No issues, great sound, wonderful keyboard touch. Also, when the volume is above 1/3-1/2, the tactile feedback thru the keys the soundboard produces is wonderful. A nice touch ...
_________________________
Jon ...

Kawai CA95
Sailor, Consultant, Gourmet, Dreamer

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