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#1996521 - 12/08/12 05:42 PM Re: Escapement and double escapement in digital piano actions [Re: Gomer]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2100
Loc: Sydney, Australia
(note that I should not be quoting my measurements to 0.5mm accuracy, because the depth depends on how firmly the key is pressed. I didn't control this pressure)

Greg.

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#1996567 - 12/08/12 07:43 PM Re: Escapement and double escapement in digital piano actions [Re: Acca]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3329
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Acca
Originally Posted By: sullivang
I've seen that comment about the Rolands having a shallow key travel often. I measured one once, and I'm pretty sure it was about 9.5mm, which is quite normal for a real grand. However, it is a bit less than my Kawai MP9000, which is 11mm. I think my Casio is 10mm.

Greg.


Wow, that doesn't SEEM like a lot of difference... I'm also coming from a Casio Privia, but it's a perception that I never had when I tried the Kawai. (and obviously the grand)


A 10-15% reduction in key-dip doesn't seem like much? Sounds like plenty to me. I'm not surprised you noticed it. As Greg said, all are within the typical range, but Roland and Kawai seem to be on opposite ends of typical - so it's not surprising that some would prefer or dislike one over the other.

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#1996665 - 12/08/12 11:54 PM Re: Escapement and double escapement in digital piano actions [Re: Acca]
gvfarns Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Acca
The fake ivory also didn't look or feel right (does real ivory have grooves like that?) Kawai's fake ivory looked and felt a lot better, much closer to a normal grand (which I was able to compare almost side by side yesterday).


Yeah, I have always hated Roland's ivory. I personally don't agree with the whole notion of imitating Ivory. It was used because there was no such thing as acrylic at the time. Whenever I've played real ivory I have found it less desirable than plain acrylic resin or some of the less ivory-like synthetic ivories (of course, I have never played new ivory). Roland's stuff feels quite unnatural to me. No acoustics seem to have that kind of texture, so I'm not sure what they are going for.

The other day I went and played an FP7F for some time. I really wanted to love it but I just couldn't. Strangely, I don't really love my Kawai. If only I could cherry pick attributes from lots of different pianos...


Edited by gvfarns (12/08/12 11:56 PM)

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#1996777 - 12/09/12 07:22 AM Re: Escapement and double escapement in digital piano actions [Re: gvfarns]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2474
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Yeah, I have always hated Roland's ivory. I personally don't agree with the whole notion of imitating Ivory. It was used because there was no such thing as acrylic at the time. Whenever I've played real ivory I have found it less desirable than plain acrylic resin or some of the less ivory-like synthetic ivories (of course, I have never played new ivory). Roland's stuff feels quite unnatural to me. No acoustics seem to have that kind of texture, so I'm not sure what they are going for.


Not only does it not "feel" quite right, but I had a key bed (on the V-Piano) which had key tops that were showing dandruff coming off of them as the surfaces were flaking away... however, did receive a new key bed with better materials (not showing any wear) although the textured feel is about the same.

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#1996778 - 12/09/12 07:25 AM Re: Escapement and double escapement in digital piano actions [Re: gvfarns]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8380
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Strangely, I don't really love my Kawai.


May I ask why not?

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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#1996824 - 12/09/12 09:27 AM Re: Escapement and double escapement in digital piano actions [Re: Gomer]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1317
Loc: The Netherlands
Kawai RH-II key travel is also 10mm (bit less than the previous RH, which I assume was the 'standard' Kawai 11mm). Noticeable but it's up to what you prefer - deeper or more shallow key travel. I like my Kawai, though given enough room and money, I would probably liked a CA with GF even better. Be happy to swap if people have a 'problem' with their GF Kawai piano ;-)

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#1996907 - 12/09/12 12:11 PM Re: Escapement and double escapement in digital piano actions [Re: Kawai James]
gvfarns Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Strangely, I don't really love my Kawai.


May I ask why not?

James
x


It can be exhausting to play. The action feels very heavy (whether it objectively measures that way or not) after not too long playing it. I'm not sure whether this has to do with the physical weight of the keys/hammers, the configuration of the sensors, or what, but I definitely feel more fatigue when playing it than I do when playing the acoustics I normally use.

I like it better than my old Yamaha (P80), though that was a little exhausting too. I'm beginning to side with anotherscott (IIRC) and others who feel that many DP actions are too heavy.

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#1996998 - 12/09/12 04:28 PM Re: Escapement and double escapement in digital piano actions [Re: Gomer]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8380
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Hmmm...I believe the MP8 had a heavier action than the MP8II (some folks prefer the original MP8 to the MP8II for this very reason).

How about an MP10 or CA95/CA65? What do you think of the action weight on those models?

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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#1997039 - 12/09/12 06:16 PM Re: Escapement and double escapement in digital piano actions [Re: Gomer]
gvfarns Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
(apologies if anyone feels this is too much of a hijack)

Yeah, I think you are right. I remember when the MP8II came out and tons of people complained that it was lighter than the MP8. For many people the original MP8 is a classic piano that is better than its successors. I kind of want to find someone like that and swap. smile

Unfortunately, I no longer live near any Kawai dealers, so I haven't been able to play RM3. My budget has been easing up a little lately, so probably I will buy the replacement for the MP10, whenever it appears (assuming it has a GF action and is priced at all reasonably). Either that or I'll finally cave and get an N1, action noises notwithstanding.

I went to a nearby store the other day hoping to fall in love with the FP7F, but as I mentioned, I just couldn't.

Maybe I will need to do like pv88 and start a DP collection at home. smile Having a spare EP3 sitting around doesn't sound that bad to me.


Edited by gvfarns (12/09/12 06:22 PM)

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#1997054 - 12/09/12 07:08 PM Re: Escapement and double escapement in digital piano actions [Re: Gomer]
Acca Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/12
Posts: 67
gvfarns, have you tried or do you play regularly on a real grand? I have only ever had real experience on uprights before yesterday (never really tried grands because they were always way out of my budget), but having spent a good 30 minutes comparing the action in detail with other uprights and DPs, I have to say, there is no substitute for the delicate touch that popping a hammer up against gravity can give.

I've been considering the N1 (which I cannot try yet, hopefully when I go overseas in a couple of weeks), but the more I think about it, the more I'm leaning towards a REAL grand with silent action, since the pricing is no different! The only problem is space considerations! :P

People were talking (in another thread which I won't fan the flames on) about how DPs should dispense with all the "fake" feeling of escapement etc because it's an artifact of producing sound on a real piano... I totally disagree, especially for classical music. If anything they need to make it MORE accurately modeled after the real thing.

People who think like that might as well just go with unweighted keyboards, why bother with "weight" when it's obviously an artifact of having to push real hammers? The day that I see accomplished pianists like Hamelin, Wang, Lisitsa or someone like that saying "Forget the Bosendorfer or Steinway, give me a Yamaha P130 so I can get a PURE touch!", that's the day I will revisit my opinion.

You know I had a similar discussion talking to the owner of one of the boutique acoustic piano stores I visited. I mentioned how kids these days prefer to play Guitar Hero than learn real skill and nuance on a guitar, and she remarked that to her, playing on a DP is exactly like pressing a button on guitar hero compared to a real grand...


Edited by Acca (12/09/12 07:10 PM)

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#1997081 - 12/09/12 08:08 PM Re: Escapement and double escapement in digital piano actions [Re: Gomer]
gvfarns Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
Yes, I am lucky enough to have the chance to play regularly on both acoustic uprights and grands. Certainly my favorite pianos have all been grands, but I've also played some real dogs. A while ago I played a 9' concert grand in a church and one of the musicians there was boasting about how rare it is to see a grand of that magnitude in a regular church. The problem is, playing quietly resulted in silent notes a large percentage of the time, and some notes were worse than others. Drove me crazy. To me, good regulation is more critical than the upright/grand distinction. And it seems that a large percentage of normal-quality acoustics are poorly regulated.

In buying acoustics with silent options, space is quite a consideration indeed. I'm also suspicious about how well implemented the silent functionality is (both the midi recording and playback, if implemented). I played a silent upright the other day and also had it play back some recorded music and I was unimpressed with both. Of course, that was just one piano. I haven't played many silent pianos.

In principle I'm all for making digital feel like acoustics. I don't think anyone in this forum, for example, advocates unweighted keys. There is, however, a legitimate question about whether it makes sense to attempt to emulate the deficiencies of acoustics. I personally consider the little bit of friction right at letoff to be a deficiency. I'm also inclined to say the gradedness of acoustics (and digitals) from low to high notes is also a deficiency. The latter is important to have in a digital so you can easily transition from your digital to an acoustic--for this reason I'm wary of Yamaha NW-Stage actions, for example, despite high ratings by people who use them. The former (the friction thing) I don't feel is as important or useful. My digital doesn't have this feature and by no means do I consider that a bad thing.

A related but more extreme example: would it make sense for digital organs to add a ton of latency artificially in order to play the same way as their (large) pipe counterparts? Certainly that would be more authentic, but to me this seems like it would be pain with no gain. I feel the same way (but to a leser degree) about the letoff simulation we've been talking about lately. On the other hand, when I played the PF7F the other day, I didn't notice it at all, so it's clearly implemented in a scaled down fashion relative to acoustics. For that matter, it seems (to me) that digitals are not as graded as a typical acoustic

I think Kawai's move to gain authenticity in its GF action by increasing key length (so the mechanical advantage changes from the front of the key to the back only as much as it does on an acoustic) is a step in the right direction. Haven't tried it yet, but I definitely agree with the theory.

If they really wanted to make digital actions authentic, they'd figure out a way to make key downweight heavier than upweight. The next level after that would be making the weight of the keys slightly lighter when the pedal is depressed (as it is in an acoustic because the force on the key need not lift the damper). Even the AvantGrand doesn't do that. No dampers.

A guy can dream...


Edited by gvfarns (12/09/12 08:26 PM)

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#1997115 - 12/09/12 09:28 PM Re: Escapement and double escapement in digital piano actions [Re: gvfarns]
Pedro_Henrique Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/12
Posts: 74
Loc: Uberaba, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Yes, I am lucky enough to have the chance to play regularly on both acoustic uprights and grands. Certainly my favorite pianos have all been grands, but I've also played some real dogs. A while ago I played a 9' concert grand in a church and one of the musicians there was boasting about how rare it is to see a grand of that magnitude in a regular church. The problem is, playing quietly resulted in silent notes a large percentage of the time, and some notes were worse than others. Drove me crazy. To me, good regulation is more critical than the upright/grand distinction. And it seems that a large percentage of normal-quality acoustics are poorly regulated.

In buying acoustics with silent options, space is quite a consideration indeed. I'm also suspicious about how well implemented the silent functionality is (both the midi recording and playback, if implemented). I played a silent upright the other day and also had it play back some recorded music and I was unimpressed with both. Of course, that was just one piano. I haven't played many silent pianos.

In principle I'm all for making digital feel like acoustics. I don't think anyone in this forum, for example, advocates unweighted keys. There is, however, a legitimate question about whether it makes sense to attempt to emulate the deficiencies of acoustics. I personally consider the little bit of friction right at letoff to be a deficiency. I'm also inclined to say the gradedness of acoustics (and digitals) from low to high notes is also a deficiency. The latter is important to have in a digital so you can easily transition from your digital to an acoustic--for this reason I'm wary of Yamaha NW-Stage actions, for example, despite high ratings by people who use them. The former (the friction thing) I don't feel is as important or useful. My digital doesn't have this feature and by no means do I consider that a bad thing.

A related but more extreme example: would it make sense for digital organs to add a ton of latency artificially in order to play the same way as their (large) pipe counterparts? Certainly that would be more authentic, but to me this seems like it would be pain with no gain. I feel the same way (but to a leser degree) about the letoff simulation we've been talking about lately. On the other hand, when I played the PF7F the other day, I didn't notice it at all, so it's clearly implemented in a scaled down fashion relative to acoustics. For that matter, it seems (to me) that digitals are not as graded as a typical acoustic

I think Kawai's move to gain authenticity in its GF action by increasing key length (so the mechanical advantage changes from the front of the key to the back only as much as it does on an acoustic) is a step in the right direction. Haven't tried it yet, but I definitely agree with the theory.

If they really wanted to make digital actions authentic, they'd figure out a way to make key downweight heavier than upweight. The next level after that would be making the weight of the keys slightly lighter when the pedal is depressed (as it is in an acoustic because the force on the key need not lift the damper). Even the AvantGrand doesn't do that. No dampers.

A guy can dream...




Man... If this forum had a like button, sure i'd press it. Said everything.
_________________________
"But its got a crap keyboard action Dave ... no amount of great sounds help that."
Dr. Popper

Piano Student at State Conservatory Renato Frateschi - Uberaba - Minas Gerais - Brazil

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#1997192 - 12/10/12 01:31 AM Re: Escapement and double escapement in digital piano actions [Re: gvfarns]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2100
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Originally Posted By: gvfarns

A related but more extreme example: would it make sense for digital organs to add a ton of latency artificially in order to play the same way as their (large) pipe counterparts? Certainly that would be more authentic, but to me this seems like it would be pain with no gain.


IMHO, yes, it absolutely makes sense to allow a digital organ to have tons of latency like a real pipe organ, IF the player's goal is to be able to translate his practise time on the digital over to the real organ. If not, the player may develop bad habits, depending on how often they get to play the real organ.

If the player is not serious about playing the real thing, I'd agree completely that there's no need to emulate the large latency at all.

Greg.

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