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#2250484 - 03/22/14 01:24 PM How to make a digital piano action quieter?
baileypeterson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 26
Loc: Canada
I have a Casio PX 750. While I really like all the features, the sounds/voices, and the feel of the action, the action is VERY loud. when I release a key, there is a loud thumping sound on every single key (so I know it's not specific to 1 key) I know it's not a manufacturing defect. I also am aware that pianos have a little noise when you release a key, but this noise is much louder than all other pianos I've tried.
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Bailey Peterson

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#2250501 - 03/22/14 02:12 PM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2386
Loc: UK
I don't know if it's the same action, but someone else improved their Casio CDP120 noisy keys by doing some home surgery. See here.

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#2250544 - 03/22/14 03:37 PM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
o0Ampy0o Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/18/12
Posts: 473
I applaud the effort when people attempt something like this but it is criminal* to go through all of the process without taking pictures that not only would help you in the reassembly stage but also help others thinking about taking on the same process.



*"criminal" according to the unwritten book, Unwritten Laws of Practical Assistance for the Benefit of Mankind.......may have to publish such a book myself. smile

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#2250747 - 03/22/14 11:37 PM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
Joe Garfield Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/13
Posts: 156
Loc: Ohio, USA
I can tell you exactly what you are hearing as I went through this with 2 Casios.

The Casio outer shell is very thin plastic, especially on the bottom. The bottom is a very, very thin piece of plastic, and when you release the key the weighted metal hammers fall and land on a thin piece of foam and felt which is resting on the thin plastic.

If you put your hand on the bottom of the keyboard under a note you play, you can feel the plastic flex. The plastic has supports built in (folds/grooves) in the plastic but they run lengthwise and do nothing to support the plastic front to back. Sound is moving air. The flexing plastic is basically a diaphragm (like a speaker) that makes that horrible thunk when it gets hit by the hammers. You will see on the more expensive or heavier keyboards that the bottom is wither fiberboard (which inherently damps vibration) or at least a rigid metal frame.

You could use a board under your Casio with some kind of foam underneath to damp the vibration- you might need to take care to have the foam under the unsupported part and not under the feet.

Coating the bottom of the piano with Dynamat or a similar high quality vibration damping material will help, at least a little - it would have to be done from the outside as you need to cover roughly 75% or more of the plastic and there is no room inside to do that.

You can also try replacing the foam and felt inside with different materials, just make sure you get the height right. Another solution is to somehow fasten rigid supports across the bottom of the keyboard (front to back) to keep the plastic from flexing as much.

Unfortunately you can't get the sound to completely go away without a fancy homemade wooden bottom or something, but one or more of the above should help. I eventually gave up and gave up on Casio.

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#2250773 - 03/23/14 12:48 AM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3484
Loc: Pennsylvania
We often complain about the noise of digital piano actions because they can seem very obtrusive. Yet I'm confident that acoustic actions are louder than any currently made digital. But they have three advantages that our digitals may not:

1. Acoustic pianos are extremely loud. We don't hear the action noise because it's masked by the sound of the attack on the strings. Playing forte on a big grand can reach the point of causing hearing damage. On the other hand we tend to play digitals at low volume, sometimes through headphones. When I am playing my digital and the air conditioner turns on in the other room I have to turn the volume up to compensate.

2. The noises from acoustic actions may have a different pitch, which is less noticeable than some digital action noises. I have noticed that Kawai's wooden actions have a low pitched whump that is less obnoxious to me but nevertheless carries quite well around doors. On the other hand some other digitals I have played have a higher pitch that may be more or less noticeable, depending on how far away the listener is and what they are listening for.

3. The location of the noise in acoustics may be down low or far away, depending on the noise and on the piano in question. Digital noises are often right under the keys or very close.

Ok, nothing we can really do about those issues (except maybe turn up the volume). How to quiet it down? Depends on the source of the noise. Inserting felt or something else where the hammers drop may be an option if that is the issue. Usually DP's are pretty easy to open up (if you don't care about the warranty), though actually doing anything to fix it may require more skill/courage.

Otherwise the main things are making sure the keys are not using anything as a speaker. If the piano sits on rubber feet, try setting the piano on something soft that will support that actual bottom of the piano and stop it from vibrating. Or put something heavy on the top. Actually, now that I'm writing it, Joe Garfield seem to have a lot of good ideas. Why don't you try and figure out where the sound is coming from. Then we may be able to help you better.


Edited by gvfarns (03/23/14 12:51 AM)

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#2250786 - 03/23/14 01:37 AM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
Joe Garfield Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/13
Posts: 156
Loc: Ohio, USA
Casios are louder than the others due to the thin case.

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#2254877 - 03/31/14 03:40 PM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: Joe Garfield]
baileypeterson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 26
Loc: Canada
Which piece of plastic are you saying I should cover?

Thanks!
Bailey
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Bailey Peterson

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#2254879 - 03/31/14 03:44 PM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: gvfarns]
baileypeterson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 26
Loc: Canada
I've tried putting blankets/other things on every part of the piano to try to dampen it, but the noise still remains. I think it might be something inside the piano?
_________________________
Bailey Peterson

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#2254882 - 03/31/14 03:47 PM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
baileypeterson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 26
Loc: Canada
Just to clarify, the noise is coming from when I release the key, it's pretty quiet when I press it down. I've noticed that the keys bounce a lot when I release them, and on some, there's 2 thumping noises when I release the key.
_________________________
Bailey Peterson

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#2255008 - 03/31/14 08:12 PM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
joflah Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 315
Loc: St. Louis, MO, USA
My Casio PX-120 clacks when some keys are released, due to lateral movement of the keys, hitting their neighbors. It happens more if the key is released when the hand is moving to one side or the other, giving a sidewise push. It didn't bother me too much, so I never tried fixing it. Maybe some thin felt between the keys could help it.
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#2255281 - 04/01/14 11:05 AM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
Joe Garfield Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/13
Posts: 156
Loc: Ohio, USA
It is the bottom of the instrument. The hammers are weighted metal pieces that fall onto the thin plastic bottom of the Casio, and the plastic flexes. If you put your hand on the bottom of the keyboard while you play, you can feel it (assuming you have an X-stand or something where you can do that).

I would try putting the Casio on top of a blanket, or maybe a piece of dense foam. Ideally the foam would be under the keyboard but not under the feet.
You can also replace the foam and felt that the hammers fall on - with PVC weatherstripping. It helps a little. I recall still hearing some noise but only one thud instead of two, and it was not as loud.


Edited by Joe Garfield (04/01/14 11:06 AM)

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#2255948 - 04/02/14 02:10 PM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: Joe Garfield]
baileypeterson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 26
Loc: Canada
the bottom of my specific model is made of wood, not plastic. I tried covering it with everything I could find, but nothing helped frown Starting to wish I had bought a roland instead.
_________________________
Bailey Peterson

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#2256023 - 04/02/14 03:55 PM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2386
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: baileypeterson
the bottom of my specific model is made of wood, not plastic. I tried covering it with everything I could find, but nothing helped frown Starting to wish I had bought a roland instead.

Roland's with PHAII or PHAIII have a reputation for noisy keys too. Did you follow the link and advice I pointed too? But maybe you're right to think about switching if the noise annoys you. Kawai have a good reputation for quite keys.

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#2256038 - 04/02/14 04:21 PM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: spanishbuddha]
baileypeterson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 26
Loc: Canada
I did follow the link, but i'm scared to open the piano up. And I would switch if I could, but I bought it online after trying it in a store, so i'm not sure how returning would work, or if I even can return a year later. And all the rolands and kawais are out of my price range.


Edited by baileypeterson (04/02/14 04:22 PM)
_________________________
Bailey Peterson

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#2256085 - 04/02/14 06:06 PM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
Joe Garfield Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/13
Posts: 156
Loc: Ohio, USA
Well it is good that it's wood, bad that the noise is still loud and bothers you.

I would still try resting the piano on a soft comforter or something to see if it helps. I don't know how thick the wood is on the bottom.

Dynamat helps things like this, but you need to cover 75% of a surface area for it to work well. You could cover the bottom in Dynamat, it might help a tiny bit.

You could replace the crappy foam/felt they use under the hammers, this would help some especially since it's a wood bottom (use black PVC weatherstripping). You can also try to put a layer of foam next to the one that is there, so more surface area of the hammer contacts foam. Inside the hammers are very thin pieces of metal, and the thin edge is what is contacting the foam on the bottom. Spreading out the contact area will help.

Note that all pianos, acoustic and digital, make noise when you play them. Often the noise is overcome by the piano sounds. We notice it a lot on digitals because we play at lower volumes. Even my $2500 Kawai makes hammer noises when the hammers strike the surfaces. It is pretty apparent when the volume is low but I never notice it at normal playing levels.

I purchased the Privia service manual online for about $10-15. I think you can buy it from Casio, but try emailing Pacparts.com and see if they will send you a diagram or something for free. Taking the piano apart is not that hard but there are a ton of screws, and with some you need to be a little careful to not lose them when reassembling. Best to use tweezers where necessary.

I might still have the service manual for the PX330. Send me a PM if you're interested in taking a look at it.

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#2256185 - 04/03/14 12:50 AM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
baileypeterson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 26
Loc: Canada
I think i'm gonna look for a new piano, and return the casio to Costco. Looking at the Korg sp170dx, and the Kurzweil re220.
_________________________
Bailey Peterson

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#2256212 - 04/03/14 04:51 AM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
Joe Garfield Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/13
Posts: 156
Loc: Ohio, USA
The Kawai ES100 and CL26 are in a similar price range, and Yamaha P155. All are worth looking at. There's also Roland but I'm not as familiar with their models. I like Kawai the best.

Good luck! I didn't have my Casios for very long either.

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#2256541 - 04/03/14 10:07 PM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
baileypeterson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 26
Loc: Canada
Another update:

I looked around at my local piano shop, and changed my mind. I've decided that in my very tight budget, i won't be able to find something that i'd like(i tried a few kurtzweils, korgs, and yamahas, and still like my casio better(except for the loud keys), so I've decided to try and fix it. Does anyone know what i could use to replace the strip of felt damping the hammers? I've heard PVC weatherstripping works. also, does anyone know where i can find the px 750 service/repair manual?

Thanks again everyone.

(PS. I think in a year or two, i'll spend big and get a roland or kawai that will last me for many years,)


Edited by baileypeterson (04/03/14 10:09 PM)
_________________________
Bailey Peterson

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#2256644 - 04/04/14 04:56 AM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
Lester Burnham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/13
Posts: 282
Has it always been noisy in this way or has it become like this over time?

Surely it should still be under manufacturers warranty? They tend to have 3 years from Casio, don't they - and some retailers extend this themselves.

I know you are thinking it's not a hardware problem, per se, more likely a normal trait of it - but if it hasn't always done this, perhaps something has degenerated?

Are you quite percurssive in playing (some people seem to have a very heavy touch at all times).

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#2256936 - 04/04/14 09:02 PM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
Joe Garfield Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/13
Posts: 156
Loc: Ohio, USA
I used 3/8" PVC weatherstripping. I also have recently bought a Kawai and found some of their service bulletins which also state to use 3/8" PVC weatherstripping. It is available at your local hardware store.

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#2257201 - 04/05/14 02:07 PM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: Joe Garfield]
baileypeterson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 26
Loc: Canada
Ok, i'll try that.
_________________________
Bailey Peterson

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#2257209 - 04/05/14 02:32 PM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
Nigeth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 108
Today I sold my Kawai MP-6. I recently switched to a VPC-1 and didn't need it anymore.

The guy I sold it to sat in my living room for nearly half an hour going through all modes and patches and playing quite a bit. Just sitting right next to him and only hearing the noise of the keybed (he played with headphones) annoyed me already.

I couldn't bear to play it in the end even though the noise was muffled by the speakers/headphones. So I wish you the best of luck in making your piano quieter because there's a world of difference between my MP-6 and my VPC-1 as far as keybed noise is concerned and that alone made the experience a lot better.

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#2257400 - 04/05/14 10:34 PM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
rpw Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 79
Wow, finally some real advises. I own px150 and had been concerned about key noise for quite a while. All discussions on the internet I found usually ended up with "all DPs produce this noise, acoustics are noisy too, so just accept it". But after reading this topic I'm starting to think about disassembling it and replacing whatever can be replaced there to make it quieter. The only thing is that I don't want to mess with it just before restarting my lessons. Anyway, if you decide to take apart your piano, please make sure to take some pictures of its innards, especially of those noisy parts.

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#2257418 - 04/05/14 11:13 PM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
rpw Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 79
I just tried putting folded yoga mat underneath and it does make a little difference, at least key releases sound less thumpy.

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#2257530 - 04/06/14 08:12 AM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
rpw Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 79
Well.. I opened it. It wasn't that easy and at times I wished I had a spare pair of hands. Had to remove around 60 screws to get access to the key bed. There are two identical cushioning strips, one on the top and another on the bottom. Top one gets hit by a "hammer" when key is depressed, and bottom one when released. Bottom stripe is also the reason of key bouncing. When i put finger under the stripe it almost felt like there was no cushioning at all. So just like Joe Garfield said, hammers (through the stripe) strike thin plastic cover, which in turn amplifies the noise.

Few pictures of what's inside px150

Key noise while it's still assembled:


Key action:


Edited by rpw (04/06/14 09:01 AM)
Edit Reason: added photo & video

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#2257669 - 04/06/14 01:32 PM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: rpw]
baileypeterson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 26
Loc: Canada
Thank you, those videos were helpful. do you have any pictures of the bottom of the piano showing the screws you removed?
_________________________
Bailey Peterson

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#2257674 - 04/06/14 01:44 PM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
baileypeterson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 26
Loc: Canada
Also, my piano has clicking keys. Anyone know how to fix these?
_________________________
Bailey Peterson

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#2257703 - 04/06/14 02:52 PM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
rpw Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 79
I was wrong about both stripes being identical. the top stripe has additional layer of a different, denser, material.


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#2257714 - 04/06/14 03:25 PM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
rpw Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 79
Originally Posted By: baileypeterson
Thank you, those videos were helpful. do you have any pictures of the bottom of the piano showing the screws you removed?


Well, in the end I removed every single screw, but here are the screws which I think were holding the brains panel. other screws connect to keybed.

At first I didn't realize what those little windows were for, but they actually open access to the screws holding the top panel deep inside the case. I'm not yet sure how I'm going to put them back.

Back panel
Gate to the final boss screw


Edited by rpw (04/06/14 03:26 PM)

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#2257722 - 04/06/14 03:45 PM Re: How to make a digital piano action quieter? [Re: baileypeterson]
Joe Garfield Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/13
Posts: 156
Loc: Ohio, USA
You need to take all the screws you can see externally out, including the ones through the 'windows'.

It is important to get the height of the replacement foam correct - if you put in foam that is too tall, you will decrease the total key travel. It doesn't have to be perfect but it needs to be really close.

If you can fit a second strip of foam, that would benefit as well as it would increase the surface area at the contact point and 'spread the load' over the layers of foam.

For the keys clacking, there is not a ton you can do. I tried shimming the plastic/rubber guides in front that the keys slide on. Unfortunately I also went to clean off the grease so I could apply fresh grease, but it is impossible to find out the right kind of grease and I did more harm than good. If you could save the grease, you could try a shim under the guide. I popped them all off and put one wrap of clear tape around the inner 'tooth'. It made the action feel pretty nice, but that feeling was eventually lost because of the grease incompatibility.

My suggestion is to not mess with the keys clacking too much. There is not enough support at the rear pivot point of the key. Yamaha solved this issue by adding an additional contact point in the front of the key on their GH units, but have a similar issue with the GHS units over time.

If you don't mind the looks, you can cover the bottom (externally on the models with plastic bottom) with Dynamat or something similar. It will help. Just make sure you cut out the areas you need to for the screws. For the wooden bottom models, maybe you can get the inside sufficiently covered?

BTW I took off the whole bottom strip that the foam/felt is on. I used simple double sided tape to reinstall. Just hold it with your fingers when you turn the keyboard upside down. Over time the bond gets a little stronger, but really that's just there to guide it during assembly. Once the keyboard is assembled that strip isn't going anywhere. On older PX models, the foam was actually on the bottom plastic part, not on that thin strip.


Edited by Joe Garfield (04/06/14 03:46 PM)

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