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#638522 - 02/10/09 08:18 PM how much of a change can one make on a "heavy" action?
2darnhot Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/07/09
Posts: 1
Loc: Ontario

I have been looking for a family piano for some time. Since I must travel to larger urban centres to shop for pianos (from Ottawa to Toronto), and it often takes several hours in each store, discussing and playing pianos, I cannot take my daughter with me. She's 10. My question concerns the action on a piano that I would buy at least in part for her development.

I have found all new and old Kawai's quite "heavy". While I have only played one 48" upright of each, I have also found this to be true for a Petrof, Bohemia and Knabe. A Perzina seemed to be poorly prepped, as the action seemed non-uniform. I loved the Schimmel, and alas can't afford it. The room that the piano goes in is ALL hard surfaces, so a bright piano like a Yamaha might be problematic.

I can move to a firmer action (we have a lovely Heintzman upright grand now), but my question is, if my daughter finds it too heavy, is it truly possible, as suggested by many posts on this site, that a good PT can soften the action of any piano - at least any new piano?


2darnhot = Elsa, my Bernese Mountain Dog.

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#638523 - 02/11/09 10:21 AM Re: how much of a change can one make on a "heavy" action?
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1735
Loc: Old Hangtown California
how much of a change can one make on a "heavy" action?
As much as is required.
How much money can someone spend to have an action redesigned? This should not be necessary.
Before you decide to spend money on custom work, the piano in question should have all excess friction removed and the action regulated.
If you still feel it as heavy, a tech needs to take some touchweight measurements and get an idea of what you want. Find a tech that will work with you.
In the world of uprights it should be easy to find one that feels good to you and your daughter.
For a new piano you might call the store and ask if they have one that is properly prepaired before you make the trip.
Why not include the Charles Walter in your search.
PTG Member

#638524 - 02/11/09 10:50 PM Re: how much of a change can one make on a "heavy" action?
KawaiDon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/02
Posts: 1266
Loc: Orange County, CA

A person's opinion of heavy can be different from actually measuring heavy, so one problem we will all have is knowing just what you want in touch weight. Your dealer, or their technician, needs to have you play multiple pianos, then check the action of the one you like best to find which parameters are making it seem light, and try to quantify what you are looking for. I have known people who wanted the touch weight on their piano to be unreasonably light, and this just doesn't work - piano actions need to have a certain amount of weight and resistance in order to function.

As for the new Kawai, they need not feel heavy, but I agree that sometimes they do feel heavy as they are shipped from the factory. This depends on which model you are playing also, of course. If the action really is too heavy, there are things that can be corrected to eliminate the heavy feeling. If you like the Kawai otherwise, ask your dealer to contact me at the Kawai office, and I will advise them on how to get the action set up correctly.
Don Mannino, MPA
Kawai America


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