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#2294386 - 06/24/14 03:58 PM If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice?
eagleleo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/09
Posts: 33
Grew up playing an upright piano, and have a natural preference for a lighter action. Considering buying the Yamaha P105 which felt really good in the store. Now, I seem to remember the GHS action receiving quite a bit of flack from the pianist community. Am I making a mistake here? Those of you skeptical of GHS; what would be an alternative in the same price range, which maintains the light touch?

Any input much appreciated.

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#2294394 - 06/24/14 04:16 PM Re: If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice? [Re: eagleleo]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2434
Loc: UK
GHS is considered by many to be lighter. What I don't like it is if you push down gently you can feel a springy push back. It's a different feel though IMHO from most DP hammer actions which also push back. But since you tried it in a store and liked it, you must know what I'm talking about and it wasn't a problem.

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#2294419 - 06/24/14 04:56 PM Re: If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice? [Re: eagleleo]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3804
Loc: Northern England.
I`ve lived with GHS for many a year. It`s light but there are other considerations. The black notes don`t leave enough gap for your fingers to play between them unless yo`re a young `un. I`m not. . . but I find out that whatever keyboard I do play on, my playing doesn`t improve!

All in all, I find it acceptable and light. Don`t plan on changing my piano for a few years; it`s a cracker.

But you`d be advised to try out a few. Everybody has their preferences.
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2294447 - 06/24/14 05:58 PM Re: If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice? [Re: peterws]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1495
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
I think, if you want a light action, the GHS should be fine.

It was too light for me. I picked the heavier action of the Casio PX-x50 series.

. Charles

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#2294513 - 06/24/14 08:26 PM Re: If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice? [Re: eagleleo]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3412
I would check out the Kawai ES100. It kind of feels to me like a more solid version of a GHS.

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#2294595 - 06/24/14 11:10 PM Re: If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice? [Re: eagleleo]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
GHS is light, but the mechanical advantage isn't the best. And for the sake of all that is holy do NOT look at how it's made, particularly the rather frightening molded-in key hinge (no wonder it feels kind of springy).
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#2294660 - 06/25/14 04:55 AM Re: If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice? [Re: eagleleo]
Lester Burnham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/13
Posts: 334
Having played several Yamahas (albeit briefly in stores) with GHS and GH action, I found that GHS felt just a bit too light - almost synth-y for me. I also found the key travel felt noticably shorter to me - whether that's because of some other aspect, or not, I'm not sure.

In comparison, the GH action felt slightly better - less keyboard-y, more like a piano - but still a little on the light side for me.

In contrast to the Yamaha action, I find the Casio action a delight. To my fingers, it just feels right. Some people point out there is some sideways movement of the keys - which if I try and move a key (I have two digital pianos with this action) sideways, there is a slight bit of movement - but two things: 1) it is truly very slight; 2) it's never something I notice when playing. I can't detect any slop or side-to-side movement when actually playing them.

And all that said, it's not something I've ever looked at when having the opportuinity to play any digital pianos with different actions - but next time I play other digital pianos, it's something I'll endeavour to check. I only really noticed it, from reading peoples' negative comments, so thought I'd check mine. But here's the thing, for any sideways movement there is, it's very minor (I've compared it with my real / acoustic piano, and whilst that has a tiny bit of barely detectable sideways slop in the keys, the Casio action has slightly more), and I hadn't noticed it organically or when playing, it's only something I've established after reading about it and then checking.

A question for those that have played / checked / owned digital pianos with the GHS and GH actions - do they exhibit any side-to-side movement in the keys?

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#2294679 - 06/25/14 06:19 AM Re: If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice? [Re: Lester Burnham]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3804
Loc: Northern England.
GHS now cannot exhibit sideways movement since there is no hinge in the normal sense. The keys are constructed in blocks for the black keys, and another for the white. The hinge is a thin section of plastic which works like the lid on a plastic box, or a plastic clothes peg. Semi impressive imo!

The 10mm key motion at the outside edge of the white keys is pretty much standard. Kawais are shorter at around 9mm. . . .
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2294712 - 06/25/14 07:50 AM Re: If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice? [Re: Lester Burnham]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Lester Burnham
In contrast to the Yamaha action, I find the Casio action a delight. To my fingers, it just feels right. Some people point out there is some sideways movement of the keys - which if I try and move a key (I have two digital pianos with this action) sideways, there is a slight bit of movement - but two things: 1) it is truly very slight; 2) it's never something I notice when playing. I can't detect any slop or side-to-side movement when actually playing them.

While on a recent used DP buying outing for a new student of my wife's, I ran into the newer Casios sitting nearby. After having just fiddled with some GH and GHS, the Casio keys felt quite loose and unmoored. Though I can't say I've felt that nearly so strongly when I've encountering the Casios by themselves in the past.

I'm not a huge fan of the GHS switches on the key rather than the hammer arrangement, and the somewhat unrealistic feeling captive hammer is likely a consequence of this. It's also springy feeling, and the whole thing is physically too high off of a standard stand, which is problematic if you don't buy the custom (and expensive for what little you get) legs.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#2294737 - 06/25/14 09:41 AM Re: If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice? [Re: dewster]
Lester Burnham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/13
Posts: 334
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: Lester Burnham
In contrast to the Yamaha action, I find the Casio action a delight. To my fingers, it just feels right. Some people point out there is some sideways movement of the keys - which if I try and move a key (I have two digital pianos with this action) sideways, there is a slight bit of movement - but two things: 1) it is truly very slight; 2) it's never something I notice when playing. I can't detect any slop or side-to-side movement when actually playing them.

While on a recent used DP buying outing for a new student of my wife's, I ran into the newer Casios sitting nearby. After having just fiddled with some GH and GHS, the Casio keys felt quite loose and unmoored. Though I can't say I've felt that nearly so strongly when I've encountering the Casios by themselves in the past.

I'm not a huge fan of the GHS switches on the key rather than the hammer arrangement, and the somewhat unrealistic feeling captive hammer is likely a consequence of this. It's also springy feeling, and the whole thing is physically too high off of a standard stand, which is problematic if you don't buy the custom (and expensive for what little you get) legs.

I've only played Yamahas with the GHS and GH action that were cabinet style - not any on X-frame stands or anything like that.

The thing with the Casio action and any sideways movement, to me, is purely an artifact. I'd been playing mine for a while and never noticed nor had any thoughts that way. The only thing that drew my attention to it was comments in this forum, which was the trigger for me to wiggle the keys myself.

I can honestly say it's not something that was apparent to me - ie that there was any slop or looseness - when playing.

The last few times I've been in a local music shop, with any time to spare, I've spent time sat at a few of the current Casio cabinet style digital pianos, and a couple of the Yamaha ones (GHS and a GH one), and the difference was quite stark - this would be pianos at much similar price points. The Casios feel quite natural - it's the best way I have of describing it, really. I wouldn't have been able to live with the GHS cabinet Yamaha - it just felt too light, too shallow, and too synth-y for me. The GH one felt marginally better, but again there was something artificial (which is an odd choice of word, I know) with it.

Soundwise I didn't really notice much diffence, to be honest - but then it wasn't the quietest environment, and I was mainly interested in the action.

I suspect for some, the characteristics of Yamahas' actions are fine - maybe optimum / ideal. I just think that at that end of the market, Casio have managed something quite remarkable - and I supposed bolstered by the fact that they use the same action across the Privia and Celviano range.

And yes, when you wiggle the keys, they move a bit more than you'd think they would, laterally - but that's the only time I notice it - when going looking for it. It would never have occurred to me from playing, because I play both of mine, for periods and the thought never enters my mind (ie that there's any slop or looseness when playing).

Maybe it's like Shimano's top jockey wheel - a bit of designed in "float"!

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#2294785 - 06/25/14 11:36 AM Re: If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice? [Re: eagleleo]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3804
Loc: Northern England.
"Maybe it's like Shimano's top jockey wheel - a bit of designed in "float"!"

I wrapped some 15amp fusewire around mine to stop that float. Got another 12 months out of the changer before it had to be replaced . . .
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2294791 - 06/25/14 11:52 AM Re: If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice? [Re: peterws]
Lester Burnham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/13
Posts: 334
Originally Posted By: peterws
"Maybe it's like Shimano's top jockey wheel - a bit of designed in "float"!"

I wrapped some 15amp fusewire around mine to stop that float.


There's an easier way, that people used to do all the time (albeit not intentionally)

Take the jockey wheels out to clean them, then put the bottom one back where the top one was...

Then post to loads of forums about how they couldn't get the indexing to work smoothly any more.

Originally Posted By: peterws
Got another 12 months out of the changer before it had to be replaced . . .


What were you doing with it?

;-)

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#2294813 - 06/25/14 12:37 PM Re: If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice? [Re: Lester Burnham]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Lester Burnham
And yes, when you wiggle the keys, they move a bit more than you'd think they would, laterally - but that's the only time I notice it - when going looking for it. It would never have occurred to me from playing, because I play both of mine, for periods and the thought never enters my mind (ie that there's any slop or looseness when playing).

The toyish Yamaha my wife plays at a local church is getting so loose side-to-side that it's starting to pinch her finger tips now and then - loads of fun. I wonder if the Casio movement gradually wallows out over time with use? That would be my main concern if it already feels kind of loose new.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#2294816 - 06/25/14 12:44 PM Re: If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice? [Re: dewster]
Lester Burnham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/13
Posts: 334
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: Lester Burnham
And yes, when you wiggle the keys, they move a bit more than you'd think they would, laterally - but that's the only time I notice it - when going looking for it. It would never have occurred to me from playing, because I play both of mine, for periods and the thought never enters my mind (ie that there's any slop or looseness when playing).

The toyish Yamaha my wife plays at a local church is getting so loose side-to-side that it's starting to pinch her finger tips now and then - loads of fun. I wonder if the Casio movement gradually wallows out over time with use? That would be my main concern if it already feels kind of loose new.


Well I can't speak for others' take on the action, but it doesn't feel kind of loose, new.

To play, I don't feel slop or any looseness in the action.

It's only if I stop playing, focus on an individual key, and try and move it laterally.

But here's the thing - when I'm playing on either, and one is a fair bit newer and has a lot less miles, so to speak - neither make me feel like there's some lateral give when I'm actually playing.

It's a similar thing to a watch I bought a while back. Somebody in a forum pointed out something about it, that's, how shall I put it, perhaps not ideal, or could be better. Before anybody had said such a thing, I'd never noticed. Now that they have, I can't help but notice it. But getting back to the Casio action, that only seems a factor when I go looking for making the keys move laterally. When playing I don't detect or notice that, or any slop?

Perhaps other peoples' mileage is different - there's plenty of people in the forum that have one of the current Casio actions.

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#2295170 - 06/26/14 03:50 AM Re: If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice? [Re: dewster]
eagleleo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/09
Posts: 33
Originally Posted By: dewster
GHS is light, but the mechanical advantage isn't the best. And for the sake of all that is holy do NOT look at how it's made, particularly the rather frightening molded-in key hinge (no wonder it feels kind of springy).


Not entirely sure what I'm looking at in these pictures. Mind clarifying?

Thanks for all the input, guys.

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#2295239 - 06/26/14 09:23 AM Re: If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice? [Re: eagleleo]
Kbeaumont Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 269
Loc: Virginia, USA
I believe this picture will clarify.
Look at the "thin" section of plastic in this pic:

_________________________
A long long time ago, I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile....

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#2295243 - 06/26/14 09:28 AM Re: If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice? [Re: eagleleo]
Kbeaumont Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 269
Loc: Virginia, USA
As for light action I own both an MOX8 with GHS and a Roland FA-08 with the Ivory Feel keys. I will take the Roland over the Yamaha any day of the week. I sold a Casio PX-330 to replace it with the FA-08, the Casio had better feeling keys than the Yamaha GHS.


Edited by Kbeaumont (06/26/14 09:28 AM)
_________________________
A long long time ago, I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile....

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#2295266 - 06/26/14 10:39 AM Re: If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice? [Re: Kbeaumont]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3412
Originally Posted By: Kbeaumont
As for light action I own both an MOX8 with GHS and a Roland FA-08 with the Ivory Feel keys. I will take the Roland over the Yamaha any day of the week. I sold a Casio PX-330 to replace it with the FA-08, the Casio had better feeling keys than the Yamaha GHS.

Showing again how subjective this all is... I found the GHS action to be better than the PX-330 action. GHS vs. FA-08 is a tougher call for me. There are definitely things I like better about the FA, but also things I don't like as much, i.e. it's a bit sluggish by comparison, and it doesn't do a thumbnail gliss as well.

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#2295500 - 06/26/14 08:18 PM Re: If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice? [Re: eagleleo]
motifmm6 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/12
Posts: 98
Main complaints about GHS are usually the slower key return and key noise. Lighter is also an issue for those who wants heavier actions. But newer actions, such as one on CP1, CP4 are also made lighter. So there is a trend to lighten the action. Perhaps easier for faster passages and many repeated notes.

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#2295506 - 06/26/14 08:37 PM Re: If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice? [Re: motifmm6]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: motifmm6
Main complaints about GHS are usually the slower key return and key noise.

I wonder if the slow return is due to the captive hammer (also clearly visible in the photo above)?

Originally Posted By: motifmm6
Lighter is also an issue for those who wants heavier actions. But newer actions, such as one on CP1, CP4 are also made lighter. So there is a trend to lighten the action. Perhaps easier for faster passages and many repeated notes.

Sky's the limit on lightness as the action doesn't have to really do anything with the likes of a hammer, string, damper, etc. I wonder where the consensus for optimal lightness will end up? Some sluggishness and depth of travel seems necessary to suppress the playing of keys brushed against while finding one's place or while playing adjacent keys.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#2295518 - 06/26/14 09:05 PM Re: If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice? [Re: dewster]
Possum SP280Krome Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 626
The SP-280 is somewhat light, despite it being NH it is not mushy compared to the SP-170. I find it comprable to the P95 I had.
The PX-130 is more realistic- yet I don't particularly love it.
PX-X50 series actions are decent.I find them realistic but not on the heavy side.

In the $900 range I prefer the P155 and F20 for heavier, for lighter I would look at the SP280 and even the P35 which feels decent for light
_________________________
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#2295732 - 06/27/14 10:51 AM Re: If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice? [Re: dewster]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3412
Originally Posted By: motifmm6
newer actions, such as one on CP1, CP4 are also made lighter. So there is a trend to lighten the action. Perhaps easier for faster passages and many repeated notes.

and also closer to many high quality acoustic pianos. The heavier action DPs feel heavier than most acoustics I've played.

Originally Posted By: dewster

Sky's the limit on lightness as the action doesn't have to really do anything with the likes of a hammer, string, damper, etc. I wonder where the consensus for optimal lightness will end up? Some sluggishness and depth of travel seems necessary to suppress the playing of keys brushed against while finding one's place or while playing adjacent keys.

You don't need sluggishness for that... at least as I interpret the term, slugishness refers to how quick the key returns after being struck. But you do need a certain amount of initial resistance.

Also, I think the shape of the key can be a factor there. On most organ actions, the surfaces of the side edges of the keys tend to be curved; on piano actions, they tend to be sharp. I think this also affects how easily one can trigger an adjacent key, something which is generally a positive in organ playing and a negative in piano playing.

The other advantage of weight is in dynamic control. A key with two little resistance (like synth/organ actions) make it virtually impossible to have smooth control of dynamics from quiet to loud. So I think we definitely want actions that somehow simulate the weight and feel of a hammer on our DPs, but within that spec, some of us like it to be light.

Getting back to sluggishness, it's a tricky problem. We don't want key return to lag, but neither do we want it to push back!

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#2295757 - 06/27/14 11:48 AM Re: If my preference is light action, is GHS a good choice? [Re: anotherscott]
doremi Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1758
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
...want actions that somehow simulate the weight and feel of a hammer on our DPs, but within that spec, some of us like it to be light.

Perfect, I want the feel of whipping up a light hammer smile

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Getting back to sluggishness, it's a tricky problem. We don't want key return to lag, but neither do we want it to push back!

I think I want the returning key to follow and gently butt against the releasing finger, however, without pushing up the releasing finger smile
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I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked

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