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#1989887 - 11/22/12 06:45 PM Fixing digital pianos
justpin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 504
Loc: Holmes Chapel
I see cheap medium to high end digital pianos go for a song on gum tree and the local adverts. Quite often take it away I dont want it price.

But one catch, they are always broken in some way. A sunken key here and there.

My question I suppose is are digital piano sunken keys possible to repair? I was amazed at a Casio PX for £20, yep £20.

A0 C1, E1 and C8 were sunken.

I mean could I even butcher another borked DP and replace the keys? Or is it a case of no user servicable parts inside?

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#1989896 - 11/22/12 07:40 PM Re: Fixing digital pianos [Re: justpin]
MacMacMac Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 4801
Loc: North Carolina
It's fairly easy to replace keys on the Yamahas. There are plenty of videos online showing that. And replacement keys cost only a few dollars each.

I've not seen any similar information on Casios. But if I had to guess, I guess YES, quite possible. (Caveat: That would apply only to the "real" Casio keyboards, not the el-cheapo toy models they sell at department stores.)

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#1989941 - 11/23/12 12:08 AM Re: Fixing digital pianos [Re: justpin]
xorbe Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/12
Posts: 573
Loc: Mt View, CA
Could you even maybe move the "bad keys" to the far ends of the keyboard? £20 for an 84 key dp!

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#1989949 - 11/23/12 12:59 AM Re: Fixing digital pianos [Re: justpin]
LesCharles73 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 744
Loc: Denton Texas
It's always possible, and quite easy. Just make sure you can *actually* get parts for said piano before you buy it. Even within the same brand, parts are rarely universally interchangeable among models. I've repaired many a Kurzweil. They are the most difficult due to Fatar discontinuing parts and throwing away the molds. To get a replacement for an older SP, PC, or K-series you pretty much have to find one being parted out.

*In Fatar's defense, they aren't allowed to ship their older parts due to the actions using lead-weighted actions. I just wish there were retrofits available.

Anyway, sorry for the slight hijack. Basically I say go for it. But be aware that not every company stocks replacement parts like Yamaha. Some may also charge an arm and a leg for them. Be leery also of some Yamaha keybeds. If you do a search, there were some P-80 era keybeds that were completely defective and required total replacement. The company was good to their customers and issued a recall (and free field replacement), but buying second or third hand, your luck may be hit-or-miss. Also, a new action costs about as much as the keyboard would be worth total, once installed (if you can even buy a raw action). So only go after those that only need a small amount of TLC.

Keys playing at full volume are a relatively cheap fix, usually requiring a cleaning of the button contacts (at best) or replacement of the rubber membranes (which are fairly cheap) at worst.

I myself am too OCD to simply move a broken key to the top range, but it works fine for many users. All the best!


Edited by LesCharles73 (11/23/12 01:00 AM)
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#1989982 - 11/23/12 05:05 AM Re: Fixing digital pianos [Re: LesCharles73]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5601
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
*In Fatar's defense, they aren't allowed to ship their older parts due to the actions using lead-weighted actions. I just wish there were retrofits available.

Though I haven't done a metallurgy test on my N3, I'd bet the weights in the keys are lead.
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website | mp3\wav files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Yamaha CP5 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones

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#1989995 - 11/23/12 07:24 AM Re: Fixing digital pianos [Re: Dave Horne]
Kawai James Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 12091
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
*In Fatar's defense, they aren't allowed to ship their older parts due to the actions using lead-weighted actions. I just wish there were retrofits available.

Though I haven't done a metallurgy test on my N3, I'd bet the weights in the keys are lead.


Does Yamaha use lead weights in its acoustic piano actions?
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Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

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#1990052 - 11/23/12 12:07 PM Re: Fixing digital pianos [Re: justpin]
LesCharles73 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 744
Loc: Denton Texas
Regarding lead in acoustic piano actions, I'm about sure of it. In fact, we have plenty of lead items being imported regularly (usually certain construction and industrial supplies but heck, Walmart sells lead fishing weights). I'm not sure what the deal was with Fatar, but the consensus on the Sonikmatter (Kurzweil) forum was that Fatar had to redesign their TP-10 (already a flawed action) to use steel weights due to export restrictions, and eventually dropped the design all together. In my experience, the lead vs steel actions could be interchanged as a whole, but the keys and weights were built entirely differently.

One other thing; the lead would expand and contract more readily with temperature fluctuations, causing them to break free of their plastic casings.


Edited by LesCharles73 (11/23/12 05:10 PM)
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#1990069 - 11/23/12 01:05 PM Re: Fixing digital pianos [Re: justpin]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2875
Loc: UK
What's the problem with lead (if you don't eat or touch it)? In the UK you can buy it quite freely in DIY, craft and fishing shops.

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#1990071 - 11/23/12 01:11 PM Re: Fixing digital pianos [Re: justpin]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5601
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
I thought lead was used in pianos for basically two reasons - it's cheap, heavy, and somewhat flexible.

OK, three reasons. smile
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website | mp3\wav files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Yamaha CP5 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones

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#1990078 - 11/23/12 01:51 PM Re: Fixing digital pianos [Re: justpin]
MacMacMac Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 4801
Loc: North Carolina
What about surprise, ruthless efficiency, and near fanatical devotion to the Pope?
That brings us to six reasons. smile

As to the original question: I think all acoustic pianos are balanced by using lead weights.

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#1990111 - 11/23/12 05:12 PM Re: Fixing digital pianos [Re: justpin]
galaxy4t Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 866
Loc: Lakewood, CA
I recently asked Mike Martin about replacement parts for Casio digital pianos. He answered that he wasn't sure what was available in the way of parts but would look into it. I explained that there doesn't seem to be much available. I know the white and black keys can be replaced, but they don't stock hammers, (rubber strips and felt) which do wear out-the hammers and keys strike these. Part of the reason might be that Casio has a 3 year warranty on the digital piano. They come with a year and they extend it two years when you register your piano online. Casio does seem to be made decently-their hammers are steel not plastic. If there is a keybed issue they either replace it or exchange the piano. But on older product, you are looking at replacing the keybed which cost wise is nearly as much as buying a new piano from them. Would be nice to see them make replacement parts available.


Edited by galaxy4t (11/23/12 05:14 PM)

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#1990399 - 11/24/12 04:58 PM Re: Fixing digital pianos [Re: justpin]
justpin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 504
Loc: Holmes Chapel
Interesting, annoyingly the piano had been sold.... somebody else is reading this forum!

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