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#2008855 - 01/04/13 05:49 AM Digitals with the LONGEST keys . .
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3119
Loc: Northern England.
before you get to the pivot. DP`s have always seemed to have a hinge too darned close to where your fingers get. Not many are that different; any suggestions as to those less expensive ones which are? (under £2k)
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

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#2008861 - 01/04/13 06:40 AM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: peterws]
Carlos-CR Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/12
Posts: 64
Loc: Madrid, Spain
I think CA-65 is the one with the longest keys.

Avantgrands are even longer, but they are well over 2k.

Carlos

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#2008864 - 01/04/13 06:52 AM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: peterws]
Kawai James Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8373
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Yes, the 'Grand Feel' keyboard action found in the new CA95/CA65 models features the longest keys and longest pivot of any digital piano (however the Avant Grand may have longer keys) - the pivot length is actually the same as a Kawai grand piano action.

Kind regards,
James
x


Edited by Kawai James (01/07/13 11:49 PM)
Edit Reason: Clarified reference to Avant Grand
_________________________
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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#2008933 - 01/04/13 11:08 AM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: peterws]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
James: While we are on the subject, do you know which Kawai grand has the same key length as the GF keys? I'm just remembering how everyone (including many salespeople) thought the AvantGrand keys were the same length as those of a CFX but they are really the same length as the keys in a C3. By no means trying to be hostile...just interested to know.

By the way it's not clear to me that AvantGrand's keys are longer than the GF. The revelant measurement is from the front of the playing surface to the fulcrum. The AvantGrand has significantly more stuff on the other side of the fulcrum but this doesn't matter (afaik). I'm actually interested in the actual measurements of these two.

Just for the information of anyone who may be reading, the reason key length matters is that it determines the relative leverage you get when pushing at the front of the key verses the back. If the key is short, it gets relatively difficult to play near the back of the keys. Kawai's recent innovations (the ones we can see, anyway) in their wood actions have had to do with key length. From AWA PRO II to RM3 they set the fulcrums back on the black keys, as they are in an acoustic, so their leverage would change the same way as the white keys. From RM3 to GF they have expanded the length of the keys.

With most other digital piano actions, there's a hinge and then the hammer portion of the key is underneath the playing surface. The hinges all line up in a row (that's bad) and typically are not that far away from the front of the key (also bad).

To be fair I didn't notice this issue until someone here brought it up. Most of the time you just get used to the way your piano plays.


Edited by gvfarns (01/04/13 11:12 AM)

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#2008937 - 01/04/13 11:42 AM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: peterws]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2630
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Any time you fixate on a single engineering spec, you run a real risk of being misled. Just like in gvfarns' example about the Avantgrand keys and the Avantgrand salesman, I could tell you endless stories about how specs are misused to sell acoustic pianos. I've even seen console pianos with spacers to make them studio height and satisfy school bid specs. The manufacturer drilled holes in the spacers to let out "tone".

As a spec, it is clearly part of Kawai's nice action design, but as a lone method of comparison, it's about as useful as the 87.21% of statistics that are made up on the spot.

Not long ago, we did some action work on an older Bosendorfer concert grand. The distance to the pivot point was very long but that actually created significant drawbacks to the design when replacing the hammers with newer Bosendorfer hammers that are in fact denser. To achieve balance, weights had been added to the keys to get correct touch weight, but this created too much inertia. We were the second shop to correct this action. Our redesign allowed us to remove over 20 lbs of added weights. Point being, it's not the lengths so much as what is at each end that determines if the feel is pleasant, efficient and responsive.

The customer is now happier than ever with the action. Just like in your search, it's the whole design that counts.
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bsendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
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#2008950 - 01/04/13 12:51 PM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: PianoWorksATL]
36251 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 646
Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
Any time you fixate on a single engineering spec, you run a real risk of being misled.
Nice post.
_________________________
AvantGrand N2, FP-4, Gallien-Krueger MK & MP

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#2009032 - 01/04/13 04:06 PM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: gvfarns]
Temperament Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: Hun,EU
Very good recapitulation of keyboard design - all is true. A little addition though: a keyboard engineer has the possibility to compensate for black keys shorter levers by attaching lighter hammer weights to the black keys. On acoustics You have the roughly same hammer weight and geometry (at least at the neighbouring keys) so there is the geometrical compensation (fulcrum displacement) the only measure at disposal - and is applied also in every weighted hammer action keyboard without offsetting.

While geometrical compensation is - as I think - slightly better, than weighting adjustment, to name it an "innovation" after having this on 350 Ys. old clavichords sounds somewhat exaggerating. Longer keys are better to a certain extent - they can mean more inertia, as correctly pointed out by PianoWorksATL.

Heavier weights near the axis are very efficient aid for balancing keyblocks without the need of springs.

_________________________
Acoustic: own clavichord!, Burger&Jacoby,Biel (nice vintage vertical)
Digital: CA65; Pianoteq; Sampled:Galaxy VintageD+Vienna(Bösendorfer)
Sampletekk Black,PMI, etc...
Harpsi: Beurmann Dutch+Sampletekk, Clavichord:PMI+Wavelore+organs

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#2009270 - 01/05/13 03:08 AM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: Temperament]
JohnSprung Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1035
Loc: Reseda, California
The issue with short keys is the great force it takes to play the part of the key nearest to the fallboard. If the axis of rotation is very close to the fallboard, that part of the key becomes nearly unusable.

For example, try to play an F#dim6 chord with your left hand on such a keyboard. Your 1 and 5 fingers are on sharps, forcing your whole hand closer to the fallboard. You can do it by scrunching your 3 and 2 fingers under, but it's more comfortable to do on a keyboard that has more vertical travel right up next to the fallboard.

(Well, OK, digitals don't have fallboards. But I think that the term clarifies the geography here.... ;-) )


Edited by JohnSprung (01/05/13 03:50 AM)
_________________________
-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690

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#2009485 - 01/05/13 02:32 PM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: JohnSprung]
Temperament Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: Hun,EU
Exactly, as gvfarns also pointed out, the difference between front and back of the keys can be compensated geometrically by applying longer keys.

Some experimental constructions exist, where even the pressure point of the finger could be captured (another extension for example to modify pitch other than aftertouch.)

In the same manner you could conceive perhaps a construct, where the keys are not rotated around a single turning point, but are lifting completely maintaining a horizontal orientation, but not a historically supported concept. Perhaps somthing for future DP marketing... Why not if a gain for playability?

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#2009819 - 01/06/13 03:08 AM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: peterws]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3119
Loc: Northern England.
In the same manner you could conceive perhaps a construct, where the keys are not rotated around a single turning point, but are lifting completely maintaining a horizontal orientation,

Spring is on it`s way . ..
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2010884 - 01/07/13 10:10 PM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: gvfarns]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2474
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
... do you know which Kawai grand has the same key length as the GF keys?


@gvfarns,

Just did pose this question to Kawai, and, the answer is:

"The CA95’s GF Action’s front pivot length is compared to our RX grand piano’s pivot length in the graphic. In other words, the pivot length is the same between the GF and RX actions."

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#2010899 - 01/07/13 10:43 PM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: peterws]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
Thanks for looking that up. Though the question of which RX is still up. Is it the RX2? RX7? They have quite different key lengths.

I compared this situation to that of the AvantGrands because Yamaha was purposely vague about which model was used as well, which made a lot of people think it was the length of a 9-foot concert grand action, but it's not. Since Kawai calls it the length of an RX, it's clearly not the length of the concert grand EX. So that means its somewhere between the length of the RX1 baby grand and the RX7 semi-concert, inclusive.

Since previous actions were shorter than any of these, it seems likely they would have gone with the shortest option. That's not to badmouth it in any respect, but it would give us clarity.

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#2010904 - 01/07/13 10:53 PM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: peterws]
mileojule Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/07/13
Posts: 6
the pivot length is actually the same as a Kawai grand piano action.
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Julie Miles

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#2010911 - 01/07/13 11:01 PM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: Kawai James]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2474
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Yes, the 'Grand Feel' keyboard action found in the new CA95/CA65 models features the longest keys and longest pivot of any digital piano (excluding the Avant Grand) - the pivot length is actually the same as a Kawai grand piano action.

Kind regards,
James
x


@Kawai James,

Specifically, which model of Kawai "RX" grand matches the pivot length for the "Grand Feel" action, in the graphic?



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#2010919 - 01/07/13 11:30 PM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: PianoWorksATL]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4264
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
Any time you fixate on a single engineering spec, you run a real risk of being misled.

Point taken, but this is key end to pivot in a DP, not an AP. Totally different animal.

Not badmouthing James, but from past experience of asking such questions, I have to assume he's contractually prohibited from responding to specification requests like this. But if he's saying it's shorter than an AG action that isn't very encouraging because the AG is based on a short-ish grand action.

Originally Posted By: Temperament
Heavier weights near the axis are very efficient aid for balancing keyblocks without the need of springs.

I don't understand the aversion to springs in AP or DP keys. They are the best answer to anyone who wants a lightweight (portable) realistic DP action, and they could help plenty of APs have quicker return time without the inertial sluggishness and possible injury that counterweights bring.
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The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#2010927 - 01/07/13 11:56 PM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: dewster]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2474
Originally Posted By: dewster
Not badmouthing James, but from past experience of asking such questions, I have to assume he's contractually prohibited from responding to specification requests like this.


@dewster,

Have asked all of the above questions about features in the Kawai CA95 that just don't correspond with the Kawai "EX" concert piano, although Kawai insists that these digital features are very acoustic-like.

At minimum, there are four features (listed above) that don't match up with an acoustic.

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#2010928 - 01/07/13 11:56 PM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: dewster]
Kawai James Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8373
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: dewster
But if he's saying it's shorter than an AG action that isn't very encouraging because the AG is based on a short-ish grand action.


My apologies for the confusion - I've just revised my initial post.

I intended to write that the 'Grand Feel' action has the longest keys and longest pivot of any standard digital piano.

The Avant Grand is a slightly different case as this is a hybrid piano. I expect the Avant Grand's keys are a little longer than that of the Kawai 'Grand Feel' action, however I do not have any measurements so cannot say for certain. Similarly, I do not know the pivot length of the Avant Grand action.

I hope this clarifies any confusion related to my initial post.

Kind regards,
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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#2010932 - 01/08/13 12:10 AM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: gvfarns]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2474
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Thanks for looking that up. Though the question of which RX is still up. Is it the RX2? RX7? They have quite different key lengths.

I compared this situation to that of the AvantGrands because Yamaha was purposely vague about which model was used as well, which made a lot of people think it was the length of a 9-foot concert grand action, but it's not. Since Kawai calls it the length of an RX, it's clearly not the length of the concert grand EX. So that means its somewhere between the length of the RX1 baby grand and the RX7 semi-concert, inclusive.

Since previous actions were shorter than any of these, it seems likely they would have gone with the shortest option. That's not to badmouth it in any respect, but it would give us clarity.


@gvfarns,

Yes, it seems a little odd to me that there have been a number of details that Kawai mentions about their digitals being just like a real "acoustic" although the features and specs don't match up, in reality.

1) "Grand Feel" action pivot length = "RX" grand (which one?) - however, it does not match the "EX" grand, instead.

2) No after-pedal sustain can be achieved when striking a key and depressing the sustain pedal, then releasing the key while holding it with pedal, then silently depress key again to hear its sound, by releasing the pedal. This is a damper effect that does not work.

3) No playing off of the jack (or, "let-off") is possible, as it is with a grand.

4) Pedal depth measurements are not like a grand, also.

And, are there any other features and specs in the Kawai digitals that don't behave or match up, compared to a Kawai "EX" concert piano?

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#2010940 - 01/08/13 12:54 AM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: peterws]
Kawai James Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8373
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: pv88
And, are there any other features and specs in the Kawai digitals that don't behave or match up, compared to a Kawai "EX" concert piano?


Price?
_________________________
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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#2010941 - 01/08/13 12:59 AM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: Kawai James]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2474
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: pv88
And, are there any other features and specs in the Kawai digitals that don't behave or match up, compared to a Kawai "EX" concert piano?


Price?


Very funny, James...

However, you are absolutely on the mark with that comment since the Kawai digitals are still really a great value for the money.*

Especially for those who can't afford the real thing.

Even so, I do enjoy the CA95 for what it can do.

*OT:

Here's 101 alternative words for money:

1. chips 2. bread 3. dough 4. roll 5. cabbage 6. lettuce 7. kale 8. bacon 9. clams 10. coconuts 11. beans 12. fish 13. potatoes 14. bananas 15. buckaroos 16. bucks 17. fins ($5-bills) 18. sawbucks ($10-bills) 19. C-notes ($100-bills) 20. hundies 21. Benjamins 22. Jacksons 23. grand 24. Gs 25. K 26. smack 27. smackers 28. wampum 29. bills 30. moolah 31. means 32. checks 33. drafts 34. shrapnel 35. wad 36. plaster 37. bankroll 38. capital 39. finances 40. currency 41. funds 42. gold 43. stash 44. cash 45. bundle 46. fortune 47. lucre 48. chump change 49. pin money 50. shekels 51. resources 52. boffo 53. spending money 54. doubloons 55. wherewithal 56. treasure 57. dibs 58. bits 59. dollars 60. dinero 61. pesos 62. bullets 63. coin 64. simoleons 65. silver 66. pelf 67. tender 68. scrip 69. pittance 70. guineas 71. gelt 72. bones 73. stake 74. pap 75. spondulicks 76. quid 77. pocket money 78. specie 79. jack 80. change 81. scratch 82. mite 83. king’s ransom 84. mint 85. paper 86. loonies 87. mazuma 88. pieces of eight 89. frogskins 90. long green 91. folding green 92. green 93. greenbacks 94. riches 95. rivets 96. big ones 97. banknotes 98. dead presidents 99. chits 100. scrilla 101. loot

And, the original website I took this list from:

http://lenpenzo.com/blog/id631-tired-of-money-heres-101-alternatives.html

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#2010967 - 01/08/13 03:18 AM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: pv88]
Hookxs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 241
Loc: Czech Republic
Originally Posted By: pv88
...
2) No after-pedal sustain can be achieved when striking a key and depressing the sustain pedal, then releasing the key while holding it with pedal, then silently depress key again to hear its sound, by releasing the pedal. This is a damper effect that does not work.
...


I believe this is solely a software issue and has nothing to do with the action itself. My explanation is that the programmers didn't really think it through and when implementing resonance simulation they did damper resonance and "string resonance" (when key is pressed) separately and didn't take into account that these two phenomena "overlap" in the aforementioned scenario. Should they put some work into the resonance computation algorithm, this is easily fixable, but as there is probably little pressure from the customers, I suspect thay will not do it:-(
Another blatant omision is sympathetic resonance of duplex scale (undamped high keys), which is even easier to implement.
Not to mention the (far more alarming) error in the damper resonance I reported in the "CA95 makes humming noise" (unrelated to the original thread topic). I STRONGLY do hope that this will be fixed in the upcoming firmware update!

Considering that Kawai DPs are very highly regarded (which is well deserved), with excellent action, speaker system, feature set etc. - the acoustic simulation programming department should really put in some serious work to keep up with the rest of the team:-/


Edited by Hookxs (01/08/13 03:18 AM)

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#2011067 - 01/08/13 08:40 AM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: dewster]
Temperament Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: Hun,EU
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: Temperament
Heavier weights near the axis are very efficient aid for balancing keyblocks without the need of springs.

I don't understand the aversion to springs in AP or DP keys. They are the best answer to anyone who wants a lightweight (portable) realistic DP action, and they could help plenty of APs have quicker return time without the inertial sluggishness and possible injury that counterweights bring.

Well, very true, keyboards engeneering has a ballast of tradition. A marketing issue also, a hammer action should distinguish itself from the bad reputation of artificial synth keyboards.

One more very desirable feature to implement (besides lifting horizontal keys): phyisically changing weighting characterisitics throughout the keyboard, perhaps per zone (there are typically some 3-5 weight zones )...

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#2011127 - 01/08/13 11:15 AM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: Kawai James]
Adro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 25
Loc: Northants UK
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: pv88
And, are there any other features and specs in the Kawai digitals that don't behave or match up, compared to a Kawai "EX" concert piano?


Price?


Brilliant James.

This is a great discussion, it not only highlites some of the technical challenges of producing a great DP but also the subtleties of marketing and target market perception.

Personally I never take any notice whatsoever of the marketing blurb .... ok I lied about that, it gets me hook line a sinker everytime. But when I stop and think about it, if I wanted a piano with exactly the same geometry as a grand piano i'd have to buy a grand piano. What I want from a DP is something that feels right for me and meets my needs at a price I can afford.

So am I bothered whether marketing dept says it's like a particular GP when it isn't quite? No I'm not, and in anycase the precise geometry of a GP action probably wouldn't feel right in context of a DP until it incorporated other features and became a Hybrid.

So I'm happy if Kawai, Yamaha, Roland etc tell me it's like a GP. I'll take that to mean 'it's modelled on' and modified to fit a DP. I'll know if I like it when I try it.

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#2012583 - 01/11/13 02:11 AM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: Kawai James]
JohnSprung Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1035
Loc: Reseda, California
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Similarly, I do not know the pivot length of the Avant Grand action.

Do all the keys have the same pivot length? On an acoustic grand they don't. The long bass strings require a deeper strike point, so the overall key length increases from treble to bass. Concert grands have the greatest variation, because they have the longest strings. The long keys have more mass, and move slower, but then again, who does fast trills in the deep bass.... ;-)
_________________________
-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690

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#2012646 - 01/11/13 08:03 AM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: JohnSprung]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3329
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Similarly, I do not know the pivot length of the Avant Grand action.

Do all the keys have the same pivot length? On an acoustic grand they don't. The long bass strings require a deeper strike point, so the overall key length increases from treble to bass. Concert grands have the greatest variation, because they have the longest strings. The long keys have more mass, and move slower, but then again, who does fast trills in the deep bass.... ;-)


Umm, no....

Have you ever actually seen an acoustic action? If you had, you'd know that the keys are all the same length and that the harp is shaped in such a way as to position the correct strike point for the different string lengths. The hammers are heaver and larger in the bass - that's why the action is heavier there. Not because of varying key length. Beats me how people come up with this stuff.


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#2012676 - 01/11/13 09:29 AM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: peterws]
Upright Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 129
Loc: Germany
In fact there exist grand pianos with longer keys in the bass region. See here

or here

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#2012687 - 01/11/13 09:49 AM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: ando]
justpin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 504
Loc: Holmes Chapel
I wonder with that picture, if you leaned a keyboard up and against the back of that setup so the hammers hit the keys, if that would make a cheapo hybrid piano grin

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#2012702 - 01/11/13 10:22 AM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: peterws]
Upright Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 129
Loc: Germany
Hammers never hit keys. But if you think, if it is possible to use a piano action to build a hybrid piano? Of course!. See

and

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#2012929 - 01/11/13 04:15 PM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: Upright]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3329
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Upright
In fact there exist grand pianos with longer keys in the bass region.


That is not a typical piano design though. 99.9% of pianos use same length keys.

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#2012965 - 01/11/13 05:14 PM Re: Digitals with the LONGEST keys . . [Re: ando]
KarelG Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/18/11
Posts: 132
Loc: Czech Republic
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: Upright
In fact there exist grand pianos with longer keys in the bass region.


That is not a typical piano design though. 99.9% of pianos use same length keys.


well, I've seen concert grand August Forster with this design and also C.Bechstein concert grand on their promotional video. So it looks like the design of difference in key lengths is not that un-typical at the end... See AF at least here: http://www.pianos.cz/sites/PIANOS.cz/repository/Image/galerie/images/img1532-large.jpg
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