Key Length Yamaha GC2 and Kawai RX2

Posted by: Scorchy

Key Length Yamaha GC2 and Kawai RX2 - 11/26/12 11:28 PM

I currently play a 48 inch upright and am considering purchasing either a Yamaha GC2 or a Kawai RX2. One of my primary reasons to upgrading to a grand is for the longer key length. I've been playing works in many flat keys such as Gb and Db and I am finding discomfort in my hands and arms as I have to play deep into the key closer to the fulcrum or pivot point of the key. I also find control and evenness difficult to attain. Larry Fine suggests a key length of 14 inches to 16 inches at a minimum in a vertical piano. I measured the key length of my upright and it measures at 14.5 inches, barely above the suggested minimum. I am curious to know what the key length is of the Yamaha GC2 and Kawai RX2. Does anyone know this or is willing to take measurements for me?
Posted by: Scorchy

Re: Key Length Yamaha GC2 and Kawai RX2 - 11/30/12 08:41 PM

So I bought the Yamaha GC2! I took a measurement and the key length is approximately 19.75 inches. The difference in control and ease of playing is just incredible. Not to mention the sound on this piano is fab. It sounds better in my house than in showroom even. I was apprehensive laying out that kind of cash and wondering if it would sound good in my house or not. I'm so happy I pulled the trigger on this. I've been playing the same upright for 5 years so I'm very much used to a certain sound. I sat down earlier at my Yamaha, and when I played I was very surprised at the sound that was produced - clear, crisp, full.
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: Key Length Yamaha GC2 and Kawai RX2 - 11/30/12 09:03 PM

Good for you! Fine's guidance on keylength was specific to upright actions which have different geometry that grands. However, that is irrelevant now that you are happy with your new piano.
Posted by: Supply

Re: Key Length Yamaha GC2 and Kawai RX2 - 11/30/12 10:01 PM

It is good to hear you are happy with your piano.

I don't have a Yamaha key in front of me, but I am convinced that the 19.75" you measured is a misleading number. Unless I am completely wrong, you measured the total length of the key. The "business length" of the key would be from the key front to the capstan which activates the mechanism. This is typically around 15". The key extends another 4.5" or so for the backcheck and to engage the damper mechanism. So I don't believe the 19.75 inches are the reason for control and ease of playing.
I am just writing this so that anyone who decides to measure their key length has a better picture.

As Sam Bennett posted above, one has to be careful in that many principles do not transfer well between uprights and grands. Have fun with your new grand!
Posted by: Scorchy

Re: Key Length Yamaha GC2 and Kawai RX2 - 11/30/12 10:17 PM

Thanks for the information regarding Fine's guidance. I did in fact measure the total length of the key. I would take another measurement to the capstan for the sake of providing the information, but I can't see into my piano to take it.