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#673837 - 06/10/08 09:55 AM Casio SP-30 SERIOUS PROBLEMS
mckay69 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 2
Loc: UK
Hi Everyone,

I came across this excellent forum whilst looking into the problems I have had with my Casio SP-30 pedal board which I have been using with my Casio Privia Px-110 digi piano.

I think it only fair that I post this warning regarding the strength and reliability of the flimsy SP-30 pedal board as I have managed to break two of them in five months of playing.

The sustain pedal is not strong enough to withstand regular use, even when treated with great care. The device breaks at the pivot point of the sustain pedal and then is virtually impossible to repair! I am amazed that Casio believe that a very weak, brittle plastic would be tough enough to withstand the continual strong forces applied to it in normal, careful use. The pedal itself does not break, just the place where it pivots inside the SP-30. You first notice that sometimes the pedal does not respond in use. Then the plastic fractures completely and it becomes completely unuseable.

Firstly, let me say that I am delighted with the quality and sound of my PX-110. This budget keyboard is as refined in quality as much more expensive instruments. The main piano sound is very good indeed and the keyboard is better than that found on some 1000 pound pianos. The problem is that the optional SP-30 pedal board is rather weak.

I see that there are not many other complaints about the SP-30's strength but my guess is that many users of the SP-30 are either beginners or occasional players so the pedal board does not get really regular use. As a working classical pianist I play a lot, practising every day for hours. I chose the basic Px-110/SP-30 piano because of the quality and small size- I only have a small studio room.

Anyway; the shop where I bought the SP-30 is consulting with Casio to see what they will do to help me. Unless Casio offer a stronger pedal board, I'll probably be left with another replacement SP-30 which I will be scared to use. So I'll be forced to buy a tougher, after-market sustain pedal to use instead. Of course, I'll end up losing the Sp-30's half-pedalling function this way- and that was the main thing I bought this keyboard for!

Rather disappointed. Please do contact me if you have any questions. The SP-30 may just be OK for very occasional players but AVOID if you want to play for hours at a time. My SP-30s only lasted maybe 10 weeks each and I am a careful, gentle Classical player, not a blues-stomper!

Good Luck,

CJ.

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#673838 - 06/10/08 10:56 AM Re: Casio SP-30 SERIOUS PROBLEMS
epf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 658
Loc: Central Texas
Hmmm...I think the SP-30 is the same pedal board that is built into the PX-800 that I have. I've had this digital piano for about 8 months, I play it everyday for between 90 and 120 minutes at a time. I play mostly classical music. I've never had a problem with the pedal board although I agree that it looks flimsy.

If it's the actual pedal that is breaking one possibility would be to get a machinist to make a metal pedal that will fit into the bar. On the other hand, if it's the bar itself that's breaking where the pedal is pinned to it, consider having a machinist make a metal sleeve that could be fit between the pedal and the mount point so that the pin is rotating in the sleeve and not on plastic.

And, like I said, I've had no problems with mine...

Ed
_________________________
"...a man ... should engage himself with the causes of the harmonious combination of sounds, and with the composition of music." Anatolius of Alexandria

YouTube Channel

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#673839 - 06/10/08 10:33 PM Re: Casio SP-30 SERIOUS PROBLEMS
john_v_r Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/31/08
Posts: 15
Perhaps the piano gods are telling you to use less damper pedal? \:\)

Can you reinforce the pivot point with some metal? In other words, fix it before it breaks again? Maybe you have a mechanical friend who could tinker with it.

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#673840 - 06/10/08 10:40 PM Re: Casio SP-30 SERIOUS PROBLEMS
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2368
Loc: Denver, CO
If you still have the old pedal boards and a friend with experience with electronics, maybe you could rewire it to use standard piano style pedals - two switch and one variable one to continue giving you the half pedal.

If it were a standard connector I would be tempted to do this on my PX310.

On the other hand, I usually make my final recordings through TruePianos which does not support half pedal.

Rich
_________________________

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#673841 - 06/12/08 08:35 AM Re: Casio SP-30 SERIOUS PROBLEMS
mckay69 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 2
Loc: UK
Hi All,

Thanks for your replies. I had hoped to also hear from a few more people who had a broken SP-30 but never mind.. I now know of several other UK owners who have managed to break their SP-30 after only months of normal use.

I liked the comment about my 'using too much pedal.' I play mostly classical music so obviously I'm on and off the pedal continually through most of the pieces I play. Although my students never play my digi pianos, I am a teacher and I specialise in refining piano technique. I've been told that my sustain pedal technique is smooth and gentle - I teach that one should always use the minimum force required when operating any part of the piano.

Both of my previous SP-30 units broke after around three months of use. They both broke in the same place. Not the plastic pedal itself but the part of the internal casing where the pedal pivots. The pedal is secured to the SP-30 by a steel pin which passes through some very thin, brittle plastic inside the unit. This plastic is what breaks. It just crumbles away to nothing. I am also a fairly experienced materials engineer and I'd say that repairing/strengthening my SP-30 would be just about possible but would require chopping up the internals and building a new pivot point for the pedal. Even then I would not be surprised if the unit broke somewhere else eventually. Please do take a look inside your own SP-30 if you want to see how weak it is.. Look at the pivot point made from black plastic.. But bear in mind that you'll invalidate your warranty if your tampering is in any way visible afterwards..

I have been playing/practising for up to 6/7 hours a day lately as I had to learn a big batch of Chopin for a professional engagement. I simply cannot believe that any modern instrument would be so weakly designed. The problem lies NOT in the player using excessive force on the pedal. Even if you really stomped on the pedal the pivot point would experience the same forces as in a gentle operation. The problem is that the SP-30 sustain pedal has to have a big spring under it to provide the correct level of resistance for the player. Every time you press the sustain pedal you are overcoming the force of that large spring and that large force also runs through the fragile pivot point. Soon the pivot point fractures and the pedal starts to behave erratically. Eventually the plastic crumbles. One could fit a weaker spring to the pedal and the problem would most likely be completely solved but then it would not feel like a proper piano sustain pedal any longer.


If Casio try to blame this one on me then I fully intend to buy another SP-30 in order to do a 'destruction test' on it. I'll build a test rig which will automatically operate the pedal repeatedly and count the operations. Then, when it breaks after a short time, I will confront Casio with the data. Perhaps I'll film the whole thing with a video camera too.

All I really want from Casio now is another SP-30 so that I can at least sell the damn keyboard on. If I do keep it then I'll not be using the SP-30 sustain/damper pedal again; I'll get a better-built pedal and convert it with an extra switch so that I still have the half-pedal function. It's a breeze to connect such a pedal to the PX-110's SP-30 socket. The SP-30 sustain pedal is NOT a true 'variable' pedal but is simply fitted with two switches. The first operates when you press the pedal a little bit, the second when you press the pedal right down. This gives an OK recreation of half-pedalling, I find.


Thanks again for your replies. I am sure that there are plenty of people out there who have been using an SP-30 for some time with no problems but I really believe that it is only a matter of time before many more of these things break. After the first one broke I was extra-extra careful with the second one but that still broke after only 3 months of daily use. Even with heavy use that is not good.

Finally; I have owned and played many acoustic and digital pianos since the early 1980s and have never broken any pedal or anything else on any of them. I was already an experienced guitar teacher when I started to learn piano. The SP-30 is under-engineered and any cursory inspection will reveal this. I'd estimate that the pedal pivot point would need to be about twice as strong as it is to safely withstand the forces involved.

Cheers,

CJ.

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#673842 - 06/12/08 09:36 AM Re: Casio SP-30 SERIOUS PROBLEMS
BeowulfX Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/24/08
Posts: 263
You can try e-mailing Casio Customer/Tech support and perhaps leave a suggestion regarding improving their SP-30 (3-pedal unit). It's probably a long shot if the Casio architects would redesign their SP-30 right away but they do listen to feedbacks.

I was also wondering why Casio opted to have their 3-pedal unit manufactured with plastic material. But I'm guessing it's more about cutting costs.

But even the Yamaha LP-7[/b] 3-pedal add-on unit is also made of plastic (it's for use with the recently released portable Yamaha DP YPG-635). Check it out here:

Yamaha LP-7 3-pedal unit for YPG-635 digital piano

So assuming you sell the PX-110 once you have a new SP-30 replacement pedal, and decide to opt for a reasonably priced or sub-$800 digital piano and go for a Yamaha YPG series instead (for example only)...you'd probably still end up buying Yamaha's 3-pedal unit which is as much of a plastic as the SP-30 that you have been using. I guess its obvious to assume that in the budget digital piano offerings, manufacturers tend to "skimp" on some materials used.

However, if you can live without the sostenuto pedal, then you can also try out 3rd party damper pedals that have half-damper capability. (click each link):


1) BOSS DP-8 Damper Pedal

2) Korg DS1H Piano with Half-pedal feature

3) StudioLogic VFP310 3-pedal unit


NOTE: You may want to check the compatibility of each pedal with the digital piano. Some foot pedals might need to have their polarity changed in order to work in certain digital pianos/keyboards.

> as an example (although I can't be sure if this is still applicable currently), I used to have an old Yamaha sustain pedal switch (from an old PSR-640 that I already sold several years back) which won't work right away with my old Casio CTK-811Ex keyboard until I had the polarity reversed. Before changing the polarity, the sustain pedal won't function if I depress the pedal but when I actually release it (the exact opposite of normal sustain pedal use)...but when I was using it with the PSR-640 the foot switch functioned properly in that when I depress the pedal, it sustained the notes I'm playing. The opposite happened when I hooked it to my Casio keyboard until a knowledgeable salesman reversed the polarity of the pedal so that it functioned properly on my old Casio Keyboard.

Perhaps, Casio should make their pedal units more like these pedal units (click the link):

PX-720 with metal 3-pedal unit

Good luck and I hope you can have your SP-30 replaced.
_________________________
PX-5S PC361 PX-320 Graphite 49 Pianoteq 4.5-Standard+Bluethner EWQL Symphonic Orchestra Komplete Elements + other VSi TS110A KS40A DAW: AMD PhIIx4 16GB DDR3 1TB HDD 64GB+120GB-SSD Sapphire 6i6 EMU XMIDI 2x2 Sonar X3 Pearl Acoustic Drumset
Contemplating on: Yamaha MOXF6 or Roland FA-06

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#673843 - 01/17/09 07:04 PM Re: Casio SP-30 SERIOUS PROBLEMS
iroh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/09
Posts: 110
Loc: Toronto, Canada
can you post a pic of the Sp30 pedal jack? from what i've seen in the manual it looks like a proprietary jack.

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#673844 - 02/20/09 06:10 PM Re: Casio SP-30 SERIOUS PROBLEMS
Peter R Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/16/09
Posts: 3
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Hello,

I'm also having problems with a Casio SP-30 pedal board. I've had the first one replaced under warranty (at my local music store in Australia), as it broke after about 9 months of playing. Now the second one has broken, after about the same time, but because it isn't within the original 12 month warranty, Casio at the moment aren't going to replace it. I have a Casio Privia PX-410, and play most days, but certainly don't have a heavy foot.

I am now dealing with a Casio marketing and distribution company in Australia (called Shriro), who requested for me to send them a couple of pictures of the broken plastic pivot. It seems that part of the pedal assembly consists of one piece of moulded plastic, but at the pivot point, there isn't very much plastic to support the metal pivot pin. It seems under designed here!

It's been a couple of weeks since I sent the photos, and am still waiting on a reply from Shriro...

Any suggestions, thanks.

Peter R.

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#1188616 - 04/27/09 08:05 PM Re: Casio SP-30 SERIOUS PROBLEMS [Re: Peter R]
Peter R Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/16/09
Posts: 3
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Hello,

Shriro ended up sending me a replacement Casio SP-20, (instead of a SP-30).

Also, as an exercise, I decided to try and repair the existing SP-30 myself. This involved fitting (glued with Araldite) an aluminium block 40 x 17.5 x 10 mm into the pivot area, with a 4.7mm hole drilled through the block (across the 17.5mm width), and lined up with the existing plastic pivot support. The pedal was then fitted with extra strength! It now works fine!

Cheers.

Peter R.

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#2166584 - 10/15/13 10:03 AM Re: Casio SP-30 SERIOUS PROBLEMS [Re: mckay69]
Acca Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/12
Posts: 67
I have also had lots of problems with the SP-30 pedal set for the Casio PX-110. As experienced by many others, the plastic pivot point broke. I had to glue and reinforce the pivot point with an aluminum section and it worked for a year... until the plastic pedal itself broke right through at the fulcrum where the spring is (even across the factory reinforced section)! The plastic parts are just too weak for the spring and will not last under regular usage.

Faced with buying a replacement SP-30 for a lot of money but with no prospect of better working life, or buying an aftermarket pedal and losing the half-sustain functionality, I was looking for a better solution and found this thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post2009225

User joflah came up with a way to modify the M-Audio SP-2 pedal to work for half and full sustain for the SP-32. (see his excellent guide at http://www.joflaherty.org/PianoPedal/Pedals.pdf)

The M-Audio pedal is very solidly made, with a fully solid metal base, pivot, and pedal. And it's reasonably priced at $13 from Amazon.

However, I found that John's solution did not quite work for the SP-30.

On further investigation, I found that the Sp-30 pedals have the following characteristics:

1) Pin 1 (short sustain) had a resistance value of about 1800 ohms when the pedal is halfway, and about 1400 ohms when the sustain pedal is fully depressed
2) Pin 2 (long sustain) had a resistance value of 1400 ohms when the sustain pedal is fully depressed
3) Pin 3 (sustenuto) had a resistance value of about 10k ohms when fully depressed (this may just be my set of pedals because the rubber switch is dodgy)
4) Pin 4 (una corda) had a resistance value of about 1800 ohms when fully depressed

The key difference seems to be that both Pin1 and Pin2 have to be active (pulled down) for the long sustain to work on the SP-30, whereas the SP-32 seems to work with only Pin2 active and Pin1 inactive for long sustain.

Hence, I had to modify John's circuit for my SP-30 replacement:
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-6s3oS...sp30circuit.jpg

I have just implemented it and it seems to work beautifully.

John's detailed guide inspired me to this great solution, so I'm just paying his kindness forward. Hope it helps someone.


Edited by Acca (10/15/13 10:06 AM)

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#2166624 - 10/15/13 11:14 AM Re: Casio SP-30 SERIOUS PROBLEMS [Re: Acca]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1156
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Thank you for the full technical info!

I don't need it now, but (with the light construction of those pedals) I might need it in the future.

. Charles

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