Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"??

Posted by: Tritium

Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/11/13 05:04 PM

With all respect, I guess I have never quite understood this criticism. Granted, I have recently moved from a Yamaha GA-1 baby acoustic grand to a new generation DP (Casio PX-850). As a consequence, I am only familiar with the most current DP actions, which I demoed from Yamaha, Kawai, Roland and Casio...when I was selecting a Condo-acceptable DP piano, to replace my beloved GA-1.

However, I still am a bit perplexed by the types of dismissive comments of DP actions, as highlighted in my post title.

In my humble opinion, the keyboard actions on the latest generation of DP pianos are pretty friggin' remarkable. I argue that if one has adequate training and experience playing classical piano, on either traditional upright or grand style acoustic pianos...one should not have a particular issue or trouble in adjusting to these new DP pianos with quality actions (especially 3-contact sensor based actions).

The best DP action I played, was a high end Kawai. However, with that said, it was a relatively minor and arguably subtle (and subjective) improvement over the high end Yamaha's and Roland's, and in particular, the new Casio DPs...despite the rather significant difference in price. Again, my humble opinion.

In fact, I would be so bold as to state that I personally find it a more satisfying experience (in terms of responsiveness and expressivity) in playing on a DP with advanced action, versus a traditional acoustic upright with single escapement.

Admittedly, this may have much to due with my preference for more technically challenging classical compositions and repertoire, versus (for example) transcriptions of modern "popular" music. Nevertheless, it is an observation I wanted to make, and offer for reasonable (and hopefully cordial) discussion and debate.

P.S. -- I am not challenging the relative superiority of an acoustic GP action as compared to that of a quality DP. What I am trying to convey, is perhaps best accomplished with an analogy: If you took away the preferred racket from an advanced tennis player, and replaced it with a completely different and unfamiliar (and perhaps lower quality) racket...he/she should still be able to adjust, and make a good accounting of themselves in a match against their close peers. Or, alternatively, absolutely wipe the court against any less experienced competition -- despite the complete change of instruments (rackets).
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/11/13 05:33 PM

Despite appearances, you are with friends here. Take your argument to the piano teachers or pianist corner forums. Wear a flak jacket smile
Posted by: Tritium

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/11/13 05:40 PM

Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
Despite appearances, you are with friends here. Take your argument to the piano teachers or pianist corner forums. Wear a flak jacket smile


LOL. I hear ya'. grin
Posted by: xorbe

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/11/13 05:46 PM

Somewhere on this planet there are young individuals on out of tune pos spinets kicking my butt skill-wise. So I can't complain when I sit down at my wondrous electronic gadget, as I have no excuses ...

Also I suspect having a variety of acceptable actions to practice on is better than only having one superb action with which to practice?
Posted by: Tritium

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/11/13 05:54 PM

Originally Posted By: xorbe
Somewhere on this planet there are young individuals on out of tune pos spinets kicking my butt skill-wise. So I can't complain when I sit down at my wondrous electronic gadget, as I have no excuses ...

Also I suspect having a variety of acceptable actions to practice on is better than only having one superb action with which to practice?


Hi Xorbe, you raise an interesting point.

However, in general, I would submit that it may be preferable for a beginning pianist to learn and practice on a DP with a good action, than on an acoustic hunk of junk -- e.g. a dilapidated, non-maintained spinet or upright. In the latter case, it may actually hold back the development of a student's technique and progress, or worse.
Posted by: Vectistim

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/11/13 05:55 PM

Originally Posted By: xorbe
Somewhere on this planet there are young individuals on out of tune pos spinets kicking my butt skill-wise. So I can't complain when I sit down at my wondrous electronic gadget, as I have no excuses ...


I think I might have posted this before but (at least some of) those young individuals are in the Moscow conservatoire:
Moscow conservatoire pianos
Posted by: The Monkeys

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/11/13 06:15 PM

Here is a recent discussion on the teacher's fourm

I have no intention to start a debate, just that the teachers' perspective is quite different.
Posted by: Tritium

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/11/13 06:24 PM

Originally Posted By: Vectistim


I think I might have posted this before but (at least some of) those young individuals are in the Moscow conservatoire:
Moscow conservatoire pianos


Hi vectistim:

That is certainly an interesting and inspiring story, assuming it is 100% accurate and not in any way romanticized. However, assuming it is a completely accurate portrayal of the abysmal conditions at the Moscow Conservatory...it is far from representative of your typical "western" piano student. I wouldn't be surprised if many of these students felt as though they were basically forced into a piano "boot camp". They basically had little choice, except to sink or swim. It was either that, or return in shame to their most likely impoverished parents.

In other words, they had to make the most of a miserable situation. With this type of over-riding motivation, it is not surprising that the finest creme would rise to the top, regardless of the obstacles.

Take anyone else, without such similar pressures and motivations to succeed, and put them in front of a piece of crap piano, and see if you get another Ashkenazy.
Posted by: Vid

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/11/13 08:37 PM

Wow, a lot of strong opinions in that thread! What a sad thing that a piano teacher wouldn't accept a student based on their circumstance. I have come across piano elitism many times where the claim is that an artist cannot develop beyond a certain level unless they have the best instrument at their disposal. I think that is bunk.

Anyways, I will practice on what I can afford and have space for and I find nothing disparaging in that. In fact I quite enjoy it.
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/11/13 11:05 PM

Tritium, I have read your post, here:

Subject: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"??

With all respect, I guess I have never quite understood this criticism. Granted, I have recently moved from a Yamaha GA-1 baby acoustic grand to a new generation DP (Casio PX-850). As a consequence, I am only familiar with the most current DP actions, which I demoed from Yamaha, Kawai, Roland and Casio...when I was selecting a Condo-acceptable DP piano, to replace my beloved GA-1.

However, I still am a bit perplexed (as a classically trained pianist), by the types of dismissive comments of DP actions, as highlighted in my post title.

In my humble opinion, the keyboard actions on the current generation DP pianos are pretty friggin' remarkable. I argue that if one has adequate training and experience playing classical piano, on both traditional upright as well as grand style acoustic pianos...one should not have a particular issue or trouble in adjusting to these new DP pianos with quality actions (especially 3-contact sensor based actions).

The best DP action I played, was a high end Kawai. However, with that said, it was a relatively minor and arguably subtle (and subjective) improvement over the high end Yamaha's and Roland's, and in particular, the new Casio DPs...despite the rather significant difference in price. Again, my humble opinion.

In fact, I would be so bold as to state that I find it more a more pleasing experience (in terms of muscle memory and tactile "feeling" and response to notes struck and sounded) between a modern, advanced DP action -- in comparison to the difference between a traditional acoustic "upright" action versus a Grand Piano action.

Admittedly, this may have much to due with my preference for more technically challenging classical compositions and repertoire, versus (for example), transcriptions of modern "pop" music". Nevertheless, it is an observation I wanted to make, and offer for reasonable (and hopefully cordial) discussion and debate.

P.S. -- I am not challenging the relative superiority of an acoustic GP action as compared to that of a quality DP. What I am trying to convey, is perhaps best accomplished with an analogy: If you took away the preferred racket from an advanced tennis player, and replaced it with a completely different and unfamiliar (and perhaps lower quality) racket...he/she should still be able to adjust, and make a good accounting of themselves in a match against their close peers. Or, alternatively, absolutely wipe the court against any less experienced competition -- despite the complete change of instruments (rackets).

_____________________________________________________________________________________

as I understand your post, Tritium, you are commenting that digital pianos - using your phrasing "generation DP pianos" are words to the effect remarkable.

as a beginner piano player, I couldn't agree more that generation DP pianos are awesome in so many ways. I am not fussed at all about the action of any digital piano with weighted keys. In life it has been proven again and again that humans can adapt easily to differences and changes. Before most of the posters in Piano World were born, people like me were typing on all sorts of manual typewriters and they varied vastly from an Underwood to a Royal typewriter. My Clavinova CPL-50 I though was 20 years old but I check with google and it is more like 30 years old and its still works beautifully. The action is beautiful as well as the sound that it produces from the very large 18" speakers and I believe it cost $3,000 when I bought it in about 1985. My Yam P95 has tiny speakers of 4 to 6 inches and only weighs 26 pounds and only costs $600, so dirt cheap. I live in a shack with holes in the walls and a roof that leaks when it rains heavy near the back door - not near the piano in the front room. When I was 27, I bought the shack, 450 square feet for a mere 45,000 so payments of $450 a month - so as low as a cheap monthly rental. Today people in my city are paying half a million dollars for a tiny condo 450 square feet. So digitals are as good as sliced bread because piano players can play them anytime and move them around easily and are very affordable considering all the things that people have to spend their hard earned money on.

I am humbly grateful to have a secondhand acoustic Yam 3 legged piano, but if I did not live in this shack, I would being leaving in a condo or an apartment if I could afford it and so I would be grateful to have any digital of any price or quality just to be able to play it 24/7/365.

cheers,

3S11TLM
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/11/13 11:46 PM

Michael, I have to ask, but are you a real person?

James
x
Posted by: Tritium

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 01:13 AM

Originally Posted By: Michael_99


I live in a shack with holes in the walls and a roof that leaks when it rains heavy near the back door



Eric Idle: We used to live in this tiny old house, with greaaaaat big holes in the roof.

Graham Chapman: House? You were lucky to have a HOUSE! We used to live in one room, all twenty-six of us, no furniture. Half the floor was missing and we were all huddled together in one corner for fear of FALLING!

Terry Jones: You were lucky to have a room! We used to have to live in a corridor!

Michael Palin: Ohhhh we used to DREAM of livin' in a corridor! Woulda' been a palace to us. We used to live in an old water tank on a rubbish tip. We got woken up every morning by having a load of rotting fish dumped all over us! Shack!? Hmph.

Eric: Well when I say "house" it was only a hole in the ground covered by a sheet of tarpaulin...but it was a house to us.

Graham: We were evicted from our hole in the ground; we had to go and live in a lake!

Terry: You were lucky to have a LAKE! There were a hundred and fifty of us living in a shoebox in the middle of the road.

Michael: Cardboard box?

Terry: Aye.

Michael: You were lucky. We lived for three months in a rolled up newspaper in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six in the morning, clean the newspaper, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down the mill for fourteen hours a day, week in week out, for sixpence a week. When we got home, out Dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt!

Graham: Luxury! We used to have to get out of the lake at six o'clock in the morning, clean the lake, eat a handful of hot gravel, work twenty hour a day at the mill for two-pence a month, come home, and Dad would thrash us to sleep with a broken bottle, if we were LUCKY!

Terry: Well of course, we had it tough. We used to have to get up out of the shoebox at twelve o'clock at night, and LICK the road clean with our tongues. We had to eat a hand of freezing cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at the mill for sixpence every four years, and when we got home, our Dad would slice us in two with a bread knife.

Eric: Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad and our Mother would kill us, and dance about on our graves singing "Hallelujah."

Michael: And you try and tell the young people today that... and they won't believe ya'.


grin grin


Posted by: Clayman

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 01:15 AM

Originally Posted By: The Monkeys
Here is a recent discussion on the teacher's fourm

I have no intention to start a debate, just that the teachers' perspective is quite different.


Some opinions there I found pretty hard to swallow. I wonder if for some of them a DP equals "keyboard".
Posted by: LesCharles73

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 03:06 AM

Originally Posted By: Clayman
Originally Posted By: The Monkeys
Here is a recent discussion on the teacher's fourm

I have no intention to start a debate, just that the teachers' perspective is quite different.


Some opinions there I found pretty hard to swallow. I wonder if for some of the a DP equals "keyboard".


I think that is indeed what's going on there. Many of them probably tested one out in the 80's, hated it, and refuse to accept that they may have improved since then.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 04:50 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Michael, I have to ask, but are you a real person?

James
x


smile
Posted by: Doritos Flavoured

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 05:31 AM

Originally Posted By: LesCharles73
Originally Posted By: Clayman
Originally Posted By: The Monkeys
Here is a recent discussion on the teacher's fourm

I have no intention to start a debate, just that the teachers' perspective is quite different.


Some opinions there I found pretty hard to swallow. I wonder if for some of the a DP equals "keyboard".


I think that is indeed what's going on there. Many of them probably tested one out in the 80's, hated it, and refuse to accept that they may have improved since then.


my father gave me one such cheap casio keyboard back in the 80's and I began taking piano lessons. in order to give the device some weighted key action back at home, I used to put foam under the keys :p

thankfully, I got an upright not long after. my old DGX620 from some years ago had comparable light action to that -- though my teacher's piano had far more weighted keys. yesterday I finally got a go with the Casio PX-850 and was blown away both by sound and action. I'm getting it, if only to go full circle with a vengeance laugh
Posted by: Clayman

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 05:41 AM

You could "remove" the weighting on the PX-850 and replace it with foam. You know, for old times' sake. laugh
Posted by: Jean-Luc

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 05:44 AM

Playing on a digital beats not playing at all because you can't afford moving to an individual house and you respect your neighbors enough to think they don't have to suffer because you want to learn the piano.
It's funny a lot of people argument is "you can find a good second hand acoustic and it will be better than a digital but they never take into consideration that the price of the instrument is only a part of the problem.
If I lived in an individual house I would probably have bought a decent acoustic, I live in a flat and I have neighbors that I respect, so I bought a CA65 that I play with a headphone and that I really enjoy...
A lot of very arrogant people in the teacher thread, who seems to forget that you are entitled to want to learn music even if you are not wealthy
Posted by: Vectistim

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 05:48 AM

Originally Posted By: Jean-Luc
Playing on a digital beats not playing at all because you can't afford moving to an individual house and you respect your neighbors enough to think they don't have to suffer because you want to learn the piano.
It's funny a lot of people argument is "you can find a good second hand acoustic and it will be better than a digital but they never take into consideration that the price of the instrument is only a part of the problem.
If I lived in an individual house I would probably have bought a decent acoustic, I live in a flat and I have neighbors that I respect, so I bought a CA65 that I play with a headphone and that I really enjoy...
A lot of very arrogant people in the teacher thread, who seems to forget that you are entitled to want to learn music even if you are not wealthy


I wonder if they would do the same teaching other instruments, eg: I won't teach you on that $5 plastic recorder, I won't teach you on that $50 starter violin, etc.
Posted by: Doritos Flavoured

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 09:45 AM

Originally Posted By: Jean-Luc
Playing on a digital beats not playing at all because you can't afford moving to an individual house and you respect your neighbors enough to think they don't have to suffer because you want to learn the piano.
It's funny a lot of people argument is "you can find a good second hand acoustic and it will be better than a digital but they never take into consideration that the price of the instrument is only a part of the problem.
If I lived in an individual house I would probably have bought a decent acoustic, I live in a flat and I have neighbors that I respect, so I bought a CA65 that I play with a headphone and that I really enjoy...
A lot of very arrogant people in the teacher thread, who seems to forget that you are entitled to want to learn music even if you are not wealthy


perfect
Posted by: Doritos Flavoured

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 09:49 AM

Originally Posted By: Vectistim
Originally Posted By: Jean-Luc
Playing on a digital beats not playing at all because you can't afford moving to an individual house and you respect your neighbors enough to think they don't have to suffer because you want to learn the piano.
It's funny a lot of people argument is "you can find a good second hand acoustic and it will be better than a digital but they never take into consideration that the price of the instrument is only a part of the problem.
If I lived in an individual house I would probably have bought a decent acoustic, I live in a flat and I have neighbors that I respect, so I bought a CA65 that I play with a headphone and that I really enjoy...
A lot of very arrogant people in the teacher thread, who seems to forget that you are entitled to want to learn music even if you are not wealthy


I wonder if they would do the same teaching other instruments, eg: I won't teach you on that $5 plastic recorder, I won't teach you on that $50 starter violin, etc.


their public is then restricted to a few aristocrats with large mansions and grands. and those still willing to play 200+ music rather than some more modern 100+ years old jazz stuff

on the bright side, they can make a lot of money charging heavily
Posted by: Doritos Flavoured

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 09:50 AM

Originally Posted By: Clayman
You could "remove" the weighting on the PX-850 and replace it with foam. You know, for old times' sake. laugh


LOL

but that's naturally the partI want to avoid in my memories
Posted by: Sand Tiger

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 02:13 PM

Every one is allowed to have an opinion. And yes, it does extend to other instruments. And yes, spending some money on an instrument does tend to move a person up in terms of pecking order in many musical circles. Not always mind you, but there is a correlation.

Two stories: a relative of mine played french horn in band and violin for orchestra in high school. Even for the high school orchestra, the parents felt the peer pressure to buy a decent violin. Decent being a vintage (over 100 years old) violin costing several thousand dollars. After factoring in lessons, and time, the cost of an instrument is often a relatively small slice of total costs. For used instruments, a high percentage of that cost can be gotten back when it is time to sell.

The second story, I recently told on another thread. Another relative did youth piano competitions. He started on a keyboard, 61-keys non-weighted with a computer teaching program. When he showed some promise, the parents signed him up for teacher lessons, and bought a Baldwin acoustic upright. After a couple of years of casual youth competition, the teacher suggested a grand piano. The parents balked at the space requirements and the money. That marked the end of the road for competitions. Yes, he could have continued, but only with the understanding that he had little chance of doing well. At this slightly higher level, most of the other kids that he was competing against had access to a decent acoustic grand piano, so the teacher and others felt he would be at a disadvantage.

So as much as the regulars here love their digitals, in many circles they are still viewed a certain way.

Like I opened with, everyone can have an opinion. If a kid wants to play in a certain sports league they are expected to buy, or get sponsors to buy, certain equipment from certain makers. It is not all that different in music. There is a range, there are choices, but as a kid moves up in competition, the level of equipment often becomes more expensive as well. Anyone with a kid in an equipment heavy sport such as baseball or hockey can understand.
Posted by: peterws

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 03:01 PM

"So as much as the regulars here love their digitals, in many circles they are still viewed a certain way."

Digital piano-ists have their own pecking order! You don`t always get to hear `em . . . grin
Posted by: Tritium

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 03:25 PM

Originally Posted By: peterws


Digital piano-ists have their own pecking order! You don`t always get to hear `em . . . grin


Very true.

In any event, I began this post to encourage a debate and solicit different opinions.

So far, the most discouraging (and disturbing) information, for me, was contained in that teacher's forum link, in which elitist, stuck-up piano teachers were dismissing Digital Pianos, and those students who deigned to use them.

I have long experience with acoustic pianos, and a relatively new/recent experience with DP pianos. I also am at the level in which I could teach classical piano to new students. IMHO, based on the quality of current DPs from the leading manufacturers, I simply cannot fathom advising a student that they shouldn't or couldn't learn on such a DP. As others have already commented, it almost seems that these, for lack of a better term, "acoustic snobs", are basing their opinions on 20+ year old digital piano technology.

IMHO, a well designed DP has a unique and honorable position of providing a bona fide piano experience for those who are constrained by either budget and/or location -- or require portable and/or technical flexibility (e.g. stage pianos used for live performance). These legitimate attributes are just not available with traditional acoustic pianos.

In other words, as much as I love a fine acoustic GP, I feel very sorry for these "acoustic" snobs...and in particular, for these aforementioned piano teachers who should know better.

Posted by: Sand Tiger

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 03:42 PM

Originally Posted By: Tritium
Originally Posted By: peterws


Digital piano-ists have their own pecking order! You don`t always get to hear `em . . . grin


Very true.

...
As others have already commented, it almost seems that these, for lack of a better term, "acoustic snobs", are basing their opinions on 20+ year old digital piano technology.

...


That may be wishful thinking. I'm sure more than a few of them have played the latest and greatest digitals, but still find them lacking.

There is a thread on the beginners forum about a person with a relatively new digital, very excited about getting a used acoustic upright. I do not think this excitement is based on bias, or having an old beat up digital. It seems to be legitimate excitement about the acoustic experience. The story is not uncommon, so there is more to it than the regulars here might want to admit to. Acoustic instruments do tend to have a very different energy to them. The sound that a person hears is a small part of the overall experience.
Posted by: maurus

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 04:12 PM

The main issue holding back DP's these days is not the action but the sound technology. Going back and forth from acoustic pianos to DPs makes this embarrasingly clear.

Edit: I should add that I am basing this sentence on the better DP actions such as Kawai's or Yamaha's, not on cheapish ones such as Yamaha's GHS which are quite a distance from a decent acoustic action.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 04:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Sand Tiger


There is a thread on the beginners forum about a person with a relatively new digital, very excited about getting a used acoustic upright. I do not think this excitement is based on bias, or having an old beat up digital. It seems to be legitimate excitement about the acoustic experience. The story is not uncommon, so there is more to it than the regulars here might want to admit to. Acoustic instruments do tend to have a very different energy to them. The sound that a person hears is a small part of the overall experience.


If you're talking about Sinophilia, I think she used to use a Casio PX-135, not really a good example of the better of todays DP offerings, i.e. no contest.
Posted by: lizkey

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 04:35 PM

Originally Posted By: maurus
The main issue holding back DP's these days is not the action but the sound technology. Going back and forth from acoustic pianos to DPs makes this embarrasingly clear.


So true. Grand piano in house in L.A. with Kawai CA65 in San Francisco condo. Happy in SF until I am in L.A. on my grand.
Posted by: Tritium

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 04:36 PM

Originally Posted By: Sand Tiger


That may be wishful thinking. I'm sure more than a few of them have played the latest and greatest digitals, but still find them lacking.

There is a thread on the beginners forum about a person with a relatively new digital, very excited about getting a used acoustic upright. I do not think this excitement is based on bias, or having an old beat up digital. It seems to be legitimate excitement about the acoustic experience. The story is not uncommon, so there is more to it than the regulars here might want to admit to. Acoustic instruments do tend to have a very different energy to them. The sound that a person hears is a small part of the overall experience.


I won't deny that.

However, on the other hand, there is a significant segment of the "piano population" in which an acoustic piano is not a viable option. In those cases, the current DPs offer not simply a "good enough" alternative, but an alternative that is superior for their intended purposes and application.

Bottom line, I just do not view (in my experience) a quality, current generation DP in such narrow minded, dismissive and limiting terms.
Posted by: Tritium

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 04:40 PM

Originally Posted By: lizkey
Originally Posted By: maurus
The main issue holding back DP's these days is not the action but the sound technology. Going back and forth from acoustic pianos to DPs makes this embarrasingly clear.


So true. Grand piano in house in L.A. with Kawai CA65 in San Francisco condo. Happy in SF until I am in L.A. on my grand.


You can enjoy your CA-65 either in the house in LA, or a condo in San Francisco. However,you most likely can't enjoy an acoustic Grand Piano in the condo. Now, in this sense, which one has the limitation?

Again, my point is not which is the optimum solution given no constraints. I wish I was driving around in a shiny new Aston Martin Vanquish...but my Volvo S60 gets me from point "A" to point "B" in not only respectable comfort and safety, but with a satisfactory driving experience.
Posted by: Sand Tiger

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 04:41 PM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: Sand Tiger


There is a thread on the beginners forum about a person with a relatively new digital, very excited about getting a used acoustic upright. ...


If you're talking about Sinophilia, I think she used to use a Casio PX-135, not really a good example of the better of todays DP offerings, i.e. no contest.


Well there are different ways to compare. Entry-level to entry-level or by dollar cost. The PX-135 is an entry level digital, or was two years ago. The used upright might be considered an entry level upright, a used one.

By straight cost, digitals are going to win most head-to-head comparisons. Add in twice a year tunings for acoustics at $100 to $150 per, and it quickly becomes a runaway for digitals when a comparison is based only on cost.

Rule #1 is that no one wins an argument on the Internet, so I see it as a waste of time to argue. I have told my stories and hopefully they have added to a calm discussion. Digitals and acoustics are different, both have their fans and detractors. Many would like to have both an acoustic and a digital or perhaps several of each.
Posted by: Vid

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 05:50 PM

Starving Lion is back!

here
Posted by: Tritium

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/12/13 07:03 PM

Originally Posted By: Vid
Starving Lion is back!

here


Shhhhhh....

If you say his name three times, he will be summoned
Posted by: Bogs

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/13/13 04:57 AM

Sorry, but I'm in the 'good enough' camp.

Quote from your first post 'I argue that if one has adequate training and experience playing classical piano, on either traditional upright or grand style acoustic pianos...one should not have a particular issue or trouble in adjusting to these new DP pianos with quality actions'. I agree with this, but you need to have the proper training with a classical piano! My piano teacher can handle all digitals, from a Thomann DP with its awful action to my Kawai and still phrase the music as one should (of course the results are different from instrument to instrument, but far superior to what I can get).

The problem is with the learning part. Learning and practicing on an acoustic (the higher the quality, the better, as it has been said by previous members) can get you further and faster to where we all want to be than learning on a digital. That's not to say that people that learned piano on a digital cannot play an acoustic! Of course they can, but likely won't be able to take advantage of the acoustic at its fullest.

Here's my take on why this happens. I'm in the 'piano sound is influenced only by key velocity' camp. If correctly programmed, a robot could play the same as a concert pianist, without the extraneous hand movements and face gestures. However, because we're human, we need to learn 'tricks' to assure us we get the sound that we want out of the piano. We don't have the fineness to control the velocity of the key, especially at higher tempos, so we learn certain gestures that guarantee a better accuracy of the effect we want from the piano. For instance finger staccato (the whip-like movement), playing with forearm weight at pianissimo to be able to better control the sound, learning how to come down on a chord to play ff, etc.

On a digital piano these gestures are not required because it's far easier to control a digital (the sound generator is far more forgiving that the acoustic palette of the acoustic). For instance I can play pianissimo just by lightly pressing the key on my DP, but that would produce no sound on an acoustic, or produce missed notes in a passage on the acoustic. Or I can hear the thumb being louder on the acoustic, especially at turns, but not so much on the digital.

Of course, if you already have the technique, then it's easy to control a digital keyboard. But if you don't, the keyboard (+ sound generating system) is only 'good enough'.
Posted by: Doritos Flavoured

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/13/13 07:31 AM

Bogs, you talk like as if a DP player will ever play an acoustic. or as if Beethoven, Chopin and a career in concert halls is the only reason people should play a piano.

you guys should drop that bone
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/13/13 07:42 AM

Originally Posted By: Bogs

On a digital piano these gestures are not required because it's far easier to control a digital (the sound generator is far more forgiving that the acoustic palette of the acoustic). For instance I can play pianissimo just by lightly pressing the key on my DP, but that would produce no sound on an acoustic, or produce missed notes in a passage on the acoustic. Or I can hear the thumb being louder on the acoustic, especially at turns, but not so much on the digital.


I recognise the AP problem of ppp notes that don't sound - which is surely something that would be better designed out of an instrument than remain an essential part of it. And once achieved, no point in developing a skill that is no longer required. Oddly enough, the VPC1 is authentically unreliable; it will fail to sound if you're too stealthy, just like an AP.

As to getting the full palette out of the DP being easier, that certainly hasn't been my experience. For sure you can set it up for a nice easy-to-play range between ppp and mf/f. Ditto for the upper half (2/3 even). But try and set it up for the full ppp to fff and it's another story, a nightmare to keep disciplined in the middle range (although of course that depends on the curve, it's usually hard to control in some part of the range - not necessarily the middle). IOW, to play a DP well requires considerable skill in velocity control. Skills are required but they're of a slightly different nature from those demanded in playing an AP.

The thumb response too, I don't sense any shortcomings here.

My DP sits immediately next to a Knight k15 upright - very average but maintained as well as it might be by a technician BIL. I don't touch the AP now. It's unpleasant to play and the results are inferior, musically, in every respect to those I can coax out of the DP. The delivery of sound, of course, is another story. The Knight has a great sound stage and a terrible tone.

Whatever shortcomings might fairly be associated with DPs we could also justfiably say that an AP's action often isn't good enough. Surprisingly often, perhaps.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/13/13 08:15 AM

I grew up playing on a terrible spinet that couldn't hold its tune (not that it was ever tuned). The frustration at playing such a sub-standard instrument would drive me mad sometimes, wanting to give up playing piano altogether. I resisted practicing despite loving the instrument. Any chance I would get to play a decent acoustic I would grab onto, even to the annoyance of others around me (digitals back then were abhorrent). It wasn't until I was an adult and purchased a decent grand piano that I really began to improve at the rate I should have. I've upgraded since then, and my playing continued to improve with the improved instruments, plus my pleasure at getting a response was increased.

This summer I was forced to practice on my FP-7. While not top-of-the-line, it's still a decent digital. Playing advance classical repertoire on it for 3 months straight, however, was painful. A lot of tension creeped into my playing that I had to undo when I returned to my Petrof this month. Not to mention that the lack of expressive capabilities when compared with the AP made me play with less expression - why try something when you won't get any different response?

Yes, when I play any instrument I can coax out of it sounds that hopefully are close to what I want. The better the instrument, the closer to the actual sound I hear in my head. However, to constantly play something like that deadens the desire for those sounds, because no matter how much you coax, it's not going to do it.

So is an inferior AP a good instrument to play at your best? No. Is a DP a good instrument to play at your best? I don't think so, but I admittedly have not played any of the top-of-the-line models, so know my opinion is based on models in the $2k range and lower (I've played Casios, Yamahas, and Rolands in this price range). Are either of these instruments going to prevent someone from enjoying piano? Perhaps to some extent, but not completely. My piano growing up was frustrating, but I still loved playing. My DP was great to have this summer, otherwise I'd have no instrument at all. I still practiced and loved playing. Both instruments affected how I played in a negative way, however. That's all I'm saying.
Posted by: lizkey

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/13/13 10:52 AM

Originally Posted By: Tritium
Originally Posted By: lizkey
Originally Posted By: maurus
The main issue holding back DP's these days is not the action but the sound technology. Going back and forth from acoustic pianos to DPs makes this embarrasingly clear.


So true. Grand piano in house in L.A. with Kawai CA65 in San Francisco condo. Happy in SF until I am in L.A. on my grand.


You can enjoy your CA-65 either in the house in LA, or a condo in San Francisco. However,you most likely can't enjoy an acoustic Grand Piano in the condo. Now, in this sense, which one has the limitation?

Again, my point is not which is the optimum solution given no constraints. I wish I was driving around in a shiny new Aston Martin Vanquish...but my Volvo S60 gets me from point "A" to point "B" in not only respectable comfort and safety, but with a satisfactory driving experience.


I'm with you, Tritium, I'm with you.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/13/13 03:17 PM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic

I recognise the AP problem of ppp notes that don't sound - which is surely something that would be better designed out of an instrument than remain an essential part of it. And once achieved, no point in developing a skill that is no longer required. Oddly enough, the VPC1 is authentically unreliable; it will fail to sound if you're too stealthy, just like an AP.

.... an AP's action often isn't good enough. Surprisingly often, perhaps.


I'd have thought that good DPs should allow you to play notes without them sounding by pressing down gently, just like APs. I certainly have no trouble doing it on my V-Piano, so, presumably, all Rolands using the same PHA-III should have the same attributes.

And in case you're wondering why anyone would want to play keys without the notes sounding, it is required for special effects in some classical music, like in Schumann's Carnaval, to pick up on sympathetic vibration generated by other notes to give a ghostly sound. That of course requires that the DP can also do that.... grin

As for whether playing on a DP is "good enough", I can say that I've spent long periods (months) over the past three years without touching anything other than my V, and have absolutely no problems when I then go to a showroom to play their big grands. Nothing missing or difficult to reproduce in terms of expression, nuances, dynamics, articulation etc. As I mentioned several times before, I've frequently found more differences in action between different acoustic pianos than between my DP and some grands that I've played. But as the action is intimately linked with tone production (e.g. a bright-sounding piano feels lighter and sounds louder), I can't generalize and say that I'd find the same attributes for all other Rolands using the PHA-III.

For the past year, I've been giving a mini-recital once a month to a group of people, playing on an old but well-maintained six-foot C.Bechstein. Its key action is notably shallow, and though I love playing on it, I need a few minutes to adapt my touch to it every time. It also feels rather light, certainly lighter than my V. One day, I might bring a stack of coins to measure its key weight accurately.......
Posted by: peterws

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/13/13 04:13 PM

"And in case you're wondering why anyone would want to play keys without the notes sounding, it is required for special effects in some classical music, like in Schumann's Carnaval, to pick up on sympathetic vibration generated by other notes to give a ghostly sound. That of course requires that the DP can also do that.... grin"

Gordon Bennett, man . . . how many here would be bothered about the finer finer finer points of this stuff? Speaking as a typical Neanderthal (watch the insults, there are many of us around) I`m just glad to clonk out the right notes in nearly the right order . . . and have a lot o` fun doin` it . . .
Posted by: xorbe

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/13/13 09:10 PM

Originally Posted By: bennevis
And in case you're wondering why anyone would want to play keys without the notes sounding, it is required for special effects in some classical music, like in Schumann's Carnaval, to pick up on sympathetic vibration generated by other notes to give a ghostly sound. That of course requires that the DP can also do that.... grin

I noticed right away that Yamaha CP5 has a bug here -- if I hold the damper, whack a key, then quickly and gently press that key again, and release the damper ... boom note gets damped!
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/13/13 11:53 PM

Originally Posted By: bennevis

And in case you're wondering why anyone would want to play keys without the notes sounding, it is required for special effects in some classical music, like in Schumann's Carnaval, to pick up on sympathetic vibration generated by other notes to give a ghostly sound. That of course requires that the DP can also do that.... grin


You’ve reminded me of one of Oscar Peterson’s party tricks – I’m sure others have done it too – where he’d play a silent chord, hold it, then lightly strum across all the strings in the undamped region – usually a final chord at the end of a ballad. Like a harp, it’s a nice effect but somewhat gimmicky. I wasn't aware of the effect you mention in the Schumann.

Do you find let-off adds to the risk of producing a silent note when trying to play ppp?
Posted by: Jean-Luc

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/14/13 05:43 AM

Just as a side note, but the Kawai (at least C65 and C95 but maybe other recent models) have the silent key feature (and of course you can get that too with Ivory and probably some other software pianos) smile
Posted by: toddy

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/14/13 07:08 AM

All the major DPs have silent key stroke, don't they? Certainly the Rolands and Yamahas do. Regarding software, of the ones I have, Pianoteq has it, Native Instruments' Kontakt Berlin, Vienna & New York do not - presumably you can fix that if you want to, but the default setting sounds the note from /01/.

For me, a piano that cannot have the keys pressed silently is no good. It is not just the Schumann effect with sympathetic resonance, though that is worth having. It is probably pure sentimentality . But then, I am very sentimental.
Posted by: toddy

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/14/13 09:31 AM

Originally Posted By: Jean-Luc

A lot of very arrogant people in the teacher thread, who seems to forget that you are entitled to want to learn music even if you are not wealthy


Yes! And it's not only arrogant, it is also so narrow minded as to approach idiocy.

First of all, the greatest composers, Bach and Beethoven, wrote for keyboards which do not even remotely resemble the kind of 20-plus thousand dollar pianos that these teachers insist are obligatory. Neither the great piano composers Schubert, Schumann & Chopin. You have to come as far forward as Debussy & Ravel to find composers using pianos similar in power and facility to ours.

A lot of the wonderful piano literature of the 19th century was written because of the potential for a single composer/musician to be able to play, unaided, an entire piece expressively. This appealed to the Romantic world view - the individual pitted against the world, the ascendance of self-expression.

Today, these composers (Schumann, Liszt and the rest) would be using VSTs and midi.

But that is not the main point, which is that the finer points of the articulation of Schubert impromptus or Chopin studies is not the be-all and end-all of music. For those people for whom those things are of supreme importance: great! You are privileged and fortunate.

Some other people may wish to learn enough piano to play Elton John's or Randy Newman's song book - or to write their own. Or they might want to do Herbie Hancock solos - or learn how to improvise themselves.

A while back, I read a diatribe on a blog which said that all music produced by trained musicians reading the notes of DWMs was of no value - merely a tired re-enactment of outdated concepts. The only truly valid expression in his view was rock music or similar.

Well, that bloke was speaking out of his arse just as loudly as some of these snobby piano teachers - only they are aiming in opposite directions.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/14/13 09:38 AM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
I wasn't aware of the effect you mention in the Schumann.

Do you find let-off adds to the risk of producing a silent note when trying to play ppp?


It's at the end of Paganini, leading back to the reprise of Valse allemande. The furious (Presto) virtuosic display of Paganini (as befits the violinist himself) ends in pounding sf F minor chords, then the sustain pedal is released, revealing the ghostly E flat major 7th chord out of the pedal mist....

The 'let-off' feel (on my V-Piano at least) reduces the risk of inadvertent 'silent notes', because it allows you to play sotto voce from partially depressed position without pressing too softly for safety - just like on a real grand with its double escapement system.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/15/13 01:58 AM

Originally Posted By: bennevis

The 'let-off' feel (on my V-Piano at least) reduces the risk of inadvertent 'silent notes', because it allows you to play sotto voce from partially depressed position without pressing too softly for safety - just like on a real grand with its double escapement system.


Do you happen to know if the V-piano uses a similar means of simulating let-off to the VPC1? I've read it described as a notch, a slight extra resistance against depressing the key. I'm meeting the resistance at about 75% the way through the travel.

This might simply be a matter of my getting used to it but at the moment I'm finding there's still the risk - and I'm talking here about playing at the extreme end of sensitivity, it's not an issue for 'everyday playing' - that when playing softly enough and from a partially depressed position, that notch will either result in a final velocity low enough to produce either the silent note (when you don't want it!) and/or a troublesome delay in the sounding of the note whenever there's an unreliable gauge of what's required to overcome it.

IOW there's still the risk of a silent note but there's the added hazard of a risk of delay.
Posted by: peterws

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/15/13 03:46 AM

Well, isn`t that just like an acoustic? An imperfect one, mind . . . unless they all do it!
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/15/13 05:08 AM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: bennevis

The 'let-off' feel (on my V-Piano at least) reduces the risk of inadvertent 'silent notes', because it allows you to play sotto voce from partially depressed position without pressing too softly for safety - just like on a real grand with its double escapement system.


Do you happen to know if the V-piano uses a similar means of simulating let-off to the VPC1? I've read it described as a notch, a slight extra resistance against depressing the key. I'm meeting the resistance at about 75% the way through the travel.

This might simply be a matter of my getting used to it but at the moment I'm finding there's still the risk - and I'm talking here about playing at the extreme end of sensitivity, it's not an issue for 'everyday playing' - that when playing softly enough and from a partially depressed position, that notch will either result in a final velocity low enough to produce either the silent note (when you don't want it!) and/or a troublesome delay in the sounding of the note whenever there's an unreliable gauge of what's required to overcome it.

IOW there's still the risk of a silent note but there's the added hazard of a risk of delay.


Experienced (classical) pianists use the 'notch' to gauge from how far down the key can be played and still get the note to sound. That way (often in conjunction with the una corda pedal), one can obtain a myriad of tonal nuances between pp and ppp without risking 'silent notes', because you play the keys with firm pressure 'into the keybed'.

Try that for yourself (assuming your DP allows it) - feel your finger pressing right to the bottom from just after the 'notch'. If you do it right, there should be no delay (because you didn't 'hesitate' - you'd prepared the key from that position), and the note will sound. BTW, the position of that notch varies enormously between different acoustics.

I've never seen a VPC-1, and don't know anything about its action.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/15/13 10:43 AM

Originally Posted By: bennevis
Try that for yourself (assuming your DP allows it) - feel your finger pressing right to the bottom from just after the 'notch'. If you do it right, there should be no delay (because you didn't 'hesitate' - you'd prepared the key from that position), and the note will sound. BTW, the position of that notch varies enormously between different acoustics.


So, if I've understood; let's say the notch is at 75% depth, you're starting at e.g. 50%-60% and pushing with measured force through the notch, using it to reduce velocity? I'd be right in assuming this can never work for a passage with fast movement of notes or chords?

Quote:

I've never seen a VPC-1, and don't know anything about its action.


Very little resemblance to an AP action!

If you're interested.

http://www.kawaivpc.com/

- under the heading 'FEATURES', about 1/3 down the page, there's a little animation. The let-off is the little flange which 'strokes' the hanging appendage on the way up (almost unavoidable double entendre).

In fact, the vpc-1 let-off feels very similar to that on the Knight upright.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/15/13 11:44 AM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic

So, if I've understood; let's say the notch is at 75% depth, you're starting at e.g. 50%-60% and pushing with measured force through the notch, using it to reduce velocity? I'd be right in assuming this can never work for a passage with fast or even medium paced movement of notes?


You can only use this method of 'playing from partially depressed position' in slow music. But of course you can employ this, say, in a slow-moving RH melody over a fast-moving arpeggiated LH accompaniment, e.g. in "Chopin" from Schumann's Carnaval, or in some Chopin Nocturnes. However, it's only an adjunct to getting the quality of sound you seek, not an alternative to developing proper finger control when playing pianissimo! Many good pianists never use this feature at all.

But you don't specifically actually use the notch to reduce velocity, though (in effect) that does occur. In an acoustic grand, playing the note from a partially depressed position means that the hammer travels a shorter distance before striking the strings and that's what results in the controlled softer, gentler sound, which is reproduced in good DPs. (On my V-Piano, playing this way gives a less brilliant sound as well as being softer, i.e. the tonal quality is altered. I have no idea whether this occurs in software pianos). On good uprights, that's what happens when you press on the 'soft pedal' (which isn't actually 'una corda'): the hammers are brought forward nearer to the strings. (On cheap, bad uprights, like the one I grew up with at home, a felt strip is interpolated between the hammer and the strings....). On grands, only the Fazioli F308 with the fourth pedal does this, as using the normal 'soft pedal' (i.e. una corda) shifts the keyboard sideways so that the hammer strikes only one rather than three strings (hence 'una corda')
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/16/13 01:13 AM

Originally Posted By: bennevis

Many good pianists never use this feature at all.


Well that let's me off the hook a bit. I'll explore it and may try and adapt.

Quote:

But you don't specifically actually use the notch to reduce velocity, though (in effect) that does occur. In an acoustic grand, playing the note from a partially depressed position means that the hammer travels a shorter distance before striking the strings and that's what results in the controlled softer, gentler sound, which is reproduced in good DPs. (On my V-Piano, playing this way gives a less brilliant sound as well as being softer, i.e. the tonal quality is altered. I have no idea whether this occurs in software pianos). On good uprights, that's what happens when you press on the 'soft pedal' (which isn't actually 'una corda'): the hammers are brought forward nearer to the strings. (On cheap, bad uprights, like the one I grew up with at home, a felt strip is interpolated between the hammer and the strings....). On grands, only the Fazioli F308 with the fourth pedal does this, as using the normal 'soft pedal' (i.e. una corda) shifts the keyboard sideways so that the hammer strikes only one rather than three strings (hence 'una corda')


Over the years I've peeped into pianos' workings and am reasonably familiar with what happens at the hammer end (after the action). The Knight has both the shorter travel soft pedal and a lever under the keyboard to the right which drops the felt strip. I think they give it a name - celeste, maybe.

Thanks for the detail on the letoff.
Posted by: Tritium

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/16/13 01:24 PM

Originally Posted By: bennevis


Experienced (classical) pianists use the 'notch' to gauge from how far down the key can be played and still get the note to sound. That way (often in conjunction with the una corda pedal), one can obtain a myriad of tonal nuances between pp and pop without risking 'silent notes', because you play the keys with firm pressure 'into the keybed'.

Try that for yourself (assuming your DP allows it) - feel your finger pressing right to the bottom from just after the 'notch'. If you do it right, there should be no delay (because you didn't 'hesitate' - you'd prepared the key from that position), and the note will sound. BTW, the position of that notch varies enormously between different acoustics.

I've never seen a VPC-1, and don't know anything about its action.


Hi Bennevis:

I agree with your technical description of the "Let-off" notch...however, I cordially disagree that professional pianists are, in reality, actually using this "feature" (which is actually a design drawback/quirk), in any way, to execute subtle passages.

Even very slow phrases are still to fast for a human to discriminate the very faint feedback of this effect, and continuously modulate and adjust the momentum of their finger strikes (in real time), to "play off the jack".

What I believe is really happening (despite any claims to the contrary), is that an advanced/expert pianists are using their vast experience and muscle memory to adjust their touch, in order to maintain the necessary force to accomplish the pianissimo/sotto voce phrasing. Furthermore, it has a lot to do with their proficiency and practice of the particular composition in question.

In other words, they are not actively "feeling" for the notch/let-off...but rather intuitively know how far they need to allow the key to rise (without a full reset), in order to accomplish this effect. On a familiar piano, this becomes second nature. On a completely new piano, they most likely need to first rehearse and practice for a few hours, so they can gauge and adjust their technique to a new, and previously unfamiliar keyboard action.

And, to make a long story short...that is why this exact same technique can be accomplished by an advanced pianist on a good DP which has a 3-contact sensor keyboard -- even if it doesn't mechanically simulate the notch/let-off.

Of course, I reserve the right to be completely wrong in this matter.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/16/13 07:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Tritium

Hi Bennevis:

I agree with your technical description of the "Let-off" notch...however, I cordially disagree that professional pianists are, in reality, actually using this "feature" (which is actually a design drawback/quirk), in any way, to execute subtle passages.

Even very slow phrases are still to fast for a human to discriminate the very faint feedback of this effect, and continuously modulate and adjust the momentum of their finger strikes (in real time), to "play off the jack".

Like many techniques used in piano playing, classical concert pianists will use whatever 'feature' that is available on the piano at their disposal to achieve their goals, whether it is a special tonal quality in pppppppp or a tinnitus-inducing ffffffff (both dynamics have been used by György Ligeti); and not all pianists will use all of them.

For instance, many pianists never use the sostenuto pedal, ever (preferring to flutter-pedal or 'half-pedal' instead, e.g. in Rachmaninoff's Prélude in C# minor); while others will happily use all three pedals simultaneously, and smoothly move/slide from one to the other using the same foot (which requires very flexible ankle joints...).

As for me, I never used to use the 'let-off' sensation to play sotto voce, until I bought my V-Piano and discovered that it allowed me to use this feature very reliably (- until I bought it, I was playing on all sorts of acoustics with all sorts of actions, so could never rely on practising for long on one particular piano). Since then I always use it in some music, like the middle section of Chopin's Marche funèbre (Piano Sonata No.2 in B flat minor): it allows me to voice the RH tune clearly above the flowing LH accompaniment, yet still sound 'muted'.

On most pianos, the 'let-off notch' is obvious and consistent enough to be a reliable guide to how far down the keys are before you play the notes. And know that they will still sound.
Posted by: pv88

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/16/13 07:51 PM

Originally Posted By: bennevis
On most pianos, the 'let-off notch' is obvious and consistent enough to be a reliable guide to how far down the keys are before you play the notes. And know that they will still sound.


Yes, it appears the V-Piano and several other upper end digitals have the escapement simulation, including the older Clavinova CLP-990M, which happens to replicate it very well.

Most pianists will probably never implement the feature into their playing although it is there as needed.
Posted by: ando

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/16/13 10:17 PM

Originally Posted By: bennevis

On most pianos, the 'let-off notch' is obvious and consistent enough to be a reliable guide to how far down the keys are before you play the notes. And know that they will still sound.


It's a consistent pattern that the people who discount the possibility of the notch being useful are always the DP guys. They just can't stretch themselves to imagine it being useful, or even how it can be incorporated into their technique and certain pieces. They dismiss it as an undesirable artefact of the action. Now it is an artefact, but those who play real grand pianos are aware of its value.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/17/13 12:52 AM

Originally Posted By: ando
It's a consistent pattern that the people who discount the possibility of the notch being useful are always the DP guys. They just can't stretch themselves to imagine it being useful, or even how it can be incorporated into their technique and certain pieces. They dismiss it as an undesirable artefact of the action. Now it is an artefact, but those who play real grand pianos are aware of its value.


I question whether anyone reading this isn't a "DP guy" by your definition.

I certainly wouldn't consider myself a DP guy. I practice on one now because my kids won't let me do otherwise. But I always perform on acoustics and I grew up playing acoustics exclusively. I have far more experience playing them than playing digitals. Am I a DP guy by your definition? To me it sounds more like you are referring to people with little or no experience with acoustics or who learned on digitals. Digitals haven't been around long enough for this type of person to be very common.

I can imagine the notch being useful to someone, but I know it to be annoying to me. It's an extra bit of resistance to get through at the worst point in the stroke. It makes playing pianissimo more difficult. Also it's much more pronounced on some pianos than others and adds yet another dimension of variation across pianos. All things considered I agree that it's a shortcoming of acoustics, not a feature, despite the fact that some people can use it in some circumstances.

Whether it makes sense for DP's to emulate the shortcomings of acoustics (graded weighting being another example) so that adjusting to an acoustic after practicing on a DP isn't difficult is a different question. It probably does make sense to do so as long as a reasonable possibility of playing acoustics exists. And that will be the case for a long time.

I guess you could say I'm a DP guy in the sense that I don't think acoustics are perfect and I'm open to DP's having real advantages over acoustics. That must be nearly all people in this forum, though.
Posted by: ando

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/17/13 01:12 AM

I would say you grew up not being aware of how you could use the notch, therefore now you regard it as an irritation rather than a benefit. Please note that nowhere in my post did I denigrate DP players - I merely pointed out a difference between them and acoustic players. DP players just don't seem to appreciate this "feature", nor learn the technique that goes with it. Most teachers who teach on a grand piano will instruct on this technique of playing softly at some point if the student is of sufficient level. Whether or not you can be classed as a DP guy or not is hard to say - you are more DP than some, especially since one of the things you like about DPs is the lack of this notch in the action. That's your prerogative.
Posted by: Marcos Daniel

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/17/13 09:17 PM

Am I very abnormal if I grew up playing uprights and grands and never noticed the notch's utility?
My pianissimo is as impressive as horowitz's was :P
Posted by: Pete14

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/17/13 09:54 PM

Marcos, you might've grown up on uprights and horizontals, but you are a DP-Guy at heart.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/17/13 10:12 PM

Originally Posted By: Marcos Daniel
Am I very abnormal if I grew up playing uprights and grands and never noticed the notch's utility?
My pianissimo is as impressive as horowitz's was :P


Yes, apparently both of our piano teachers were very remiss and never taught us the secret tricks of the trade.

My pianissimo is pretty good when I play on DP's. Thank goodness for technological innovation.
Posted by: Tritium

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/17/13 10:13 PM

Originally Posted By: ando


It's a consistent pattern that the people who discount the possibility of the notch being useful are always the DP guys. They just can't stretch themselves to imagine it being useful, or even how it can be incorporated into their technique and certain pieces. They dismiss it as an undesirable artefact of the action. Now it is an artefact, but those who play real grand pianos are aware of its value.


Hi Ando,

I learned on acoustic grand pianos. I practiced for years on acoustic grand pianos. And, until recently, I owned a Yamaha GA-1 baby grand (made in Japan model, not Indonesia) for 13 years. So, I consider myself both an acoustic GP guy as well as a digital piano guy.

We are just going to have to respectfully agree to disagree on this issue.

My humble opinion is that the so-called "playing off the jack" ( i.e using the "Let-off" notch feedback to actively modulate one's playing of an intricate piece)...is simply not done in practice, in the real world. Pianists may be convinced that this is what is occurring, but I feel that they are mistaken.

I humbly submit that what actually is occurring, subconsciously, is you are using your mind's mental map, experience and familiarity of your piano's keyboard (in your case, the V-Piano) to allow the keys to rise to just the right height in order to still allow for quick repetition and/or soft, pianissimo texture.

Notice that I am not saying that tactile feeling of the Let-Off "notch" doesn't exist. What I am saying, is it is so subtle, that IMHO it is not something that can be actively exploited in real-time, during the execution of a medium to difficult (and especially fast) composition. Everything is simply happening too fast for the human brain to discriminate these subtle neural input signals coming through the fingers, followed by processing of this information, and then returning the correct nerve signals to the associative finger muscles.

It can be done when you are striking one or two notes, with no other distractions, and actively feeling for the subtle notch effect. But when you are involved in an actual performance and the playing of a complex phrase (involving multiple key strokes, all requiring precise timing)...I submit that you are actually relying on your memory/experience and familiarity with the piano's action, in order to play pianissimo / sotte voce passages.

It is similar to the phenomena of a composition that has been learned and committed to long-term memory. You can play through the piece, and your active consciousness is on auto-pilot. You aren't stopping to think about what is the next note I have to hit. It is just automatic. In fact, if you are in the middle of a piece, and all of a sudden actively concentrate your thoughts towards what you are playing, and what comes next...often, you will come to a screeching halt.

P.S. -- A hypothetical thought experiment...
I am pretty confident that if any and all physical sensation and feedback, caused by the Let-Off/repetition mechanism, were completely eliminated from a professional pianist's grand piano...they would still be able to execute their repertoire with the same precision and subtlety as before.
Posted by: Clayman

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/18/13 01:59 AM

Very well put, Tritium. Although I'm still far from learning/performing the complex pieces you have in mind, I too have already experienced the "phenomenon" where I botch even the simplest phrases when I start thinking too much about what note to play next.
Posted by: ando

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/18/13 07:18 AM

Originally Posted By: Tritium
Originally Posted By: ando


It's a consistent pattern that the people who discount the possibility of the notch being useful are always the DP guys. They just can't stretch themselves to imagine it being useful, or even how it can be incorporated into their technique and certain pieces. They dismiss it as an undesirable artefact of the action. Now it is an artefact, but those who play real grand pianos are aware of its value.


Hi Ando,

I learned on acoustic grand pianos. I practiced for years on acoustic grand pianos. And, until recently, I owned a Yamaha GA-1 baby grand (made in Japan model, not Indonesia) for 13 years. So, I consider myself both an acoustic GP guy as well as a digital piano guy.

We are just going to have to respectfully agree to disagree on this issue.

My humble opinion is that the so-called "playing off the jack" ( i.e using the "Let-off" notch feedback to actively modulate one's playing of an intricate piece)...is simply not done in practice, in the real world. Pianists may be convinced that this is what is occurring, but I feel that they are mistaken.

I humbly submit that what actually is occurring, subconsciously, is you are using your mind's mental map, experience and familiarity of your piano's keyboard (in your case, the V-Piano) to allow the keys to rise to just the right height in order to still allow for quick repetition and/or soft, pianissimo texture.

Notice that I am not saying that tactile feeling of the Let-Off "notch" doesn't exist. What I am saying, is it is so subtle, that IMHO it is not something that can be actively exploited in real-time, during the execution of a medium to difficult (and especially fast) composition. Everything is simply happening too fast for the human brain to discriminate these subtle neural input signals coming through the fingers, followed by processing of this information, and then returning the correct nerve signals to the associative finger muscles.

It can be done when you are striking one or two notes, with no other distractions, and actively feeling for the subtle notch effect. But when you are involved in an actual performance and the playing of a complex phrase (involving multiple key strokes, all requiring precise timing)...I submit that you are actually relying on your memory/experience and familiarity with the piano's action, in order to play pianissimo / sotte voce passages.

It is similar to the phenomena of a composition that has been learned and committed to long-term memory. You can play through the piece, and your active consciousness is on auto-pilot. You aren't stopping to think about what is the next note I have to hit. It is just automatic. In fact, if you are in the middle of a piece, and all of a sudden actively concentrate your thoughts towards what you are playing, and what comes next...often, you will come to a screeching halt.

P.S. -- A hypothetical thought experiment...
I am pretty confident that if any and all physical sensation and feedback, caused by the Let-Off/repetition mechanism, were completely eliminated from a professional pianist's grand piano...they would still be able to execute their repertoire with the same precision and subtlety as before.


I never said I use it for anything fast. I don't only for very slow/sustained passages. It's also not really applicable to upright actions, to those who mentioned them.

Tritium, you can "humbly submit" whatever you like about what you think I'm doing, but there is a glaring problem with that: you don't actually know me! I have used this technique at certain times - sometimes just for a pianissimo opening chord to make sure I don't fail to reach the strings from a cold start. But also at other times. This technique does exist - albeit not terribly frequently and I'm not suggesting it's a staple of piano performance.

I don't consider the current DP emulations of the notch to be authentic. I wouldn't care whether a DP had it because it doesn't feel like an acoustic piano anyway.

Oh, and when people say they will respectfully agree to disagree on something, it means they stop talking about it. I think what you meant was, "I'd like to talk about this some more", which is fine by the way. wink
Posted by: ando

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/18/13 07:25 AM

Originally Posted By: Clayman
Very well put, Tritium. Although I'm still far from learning/performing the complex pieces you have in mind, I too have already experienced the "phenomenon" where I botch even the simplest phrases when I start thinking too much about what note to play next.


To be frank, if you are far from learning/performing complex pieces, you really aren't qualified to judge this. So saying something is "well put" is irrelevant. This belongs to complex technique. The discussion about playing off the jack is for people who have actually tried it.
Posted by: Clayman

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/18/13 07:50 AM

I don't really care about what you think I am or am not qualified to judge. I was actually refering to Tritium's point about playing by heart instead of thinking about it but that's a moot point. At any rate, I will keep your attitude in mind next time.
Posted by: Pete14

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/18/13 08:31 AM

Now, now... Let there be peace between the AP Guys and the DP Guys. In the end we all have one thing in common: piano/keyboard obsession. Tomater-tomato; pianist-keyboardist, same difference. For the record, I'm a DP Guy!
Posted by: ando

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/18/13 08:37 AM

Originally Posted By: Clayman
I don't really care about what you think I am or am not qualified to judge. I was actually refering to Tritium's point about playing by heart instead of thinking about it but that's a moot point. At any rate, I will keep your attitude in mind next time.


You wanted to pull one sentence out of an entire long post about playing off the jack, and then say "well put"? Surely you can see that when you make a general "well put" with no further details, you are agreeing with the entire post? If not, why not say what it is you agree with?

What strikes me about these discussions, and it's happened many times now, is that those who are sceptical about this technique are happy to dismiss people who use it and suggest that they are either not doing it, or imagining something, or that it's completely impossible. Don't you think that is actually a bit disrespectful? It tends to happen more on the DP forum because most players here don't even have a piano with such a "feature", let alone use it.

I'm happy to accept that plenty of you people don't, and never will, use this technique, but I don't appreciate being told I'm in fantasy land because I say I can make use of it. Why would I bother writing posts about using it if I don't? What grounds has anyone got to suggest that I don't know what I'm talking about when I discuss my own playing?

How would you feel if somebody kept telling you that something you do fairly often was not actually happening? I think you'd get tired of it. I'm not talking about finding water with a dowsing stick - I'm talking about something you would clearly see if you saw me play on a grand piano.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/18/13 08:53 AM

Do there exist any video demos of what's being discussed? Would it even be possible to show anything of use in a video demo?

Do any of the renowned virtuosos or well-known and respected teachers say anything or demonstrate anything about it which might illuminate what most of us probably don't get?

How about audio. What does playing off the jack sound like when compared with not doing so?

Surely someone can give an idea?
Posted by: Clayman

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/18/13 08:56 AM

I should have been more specific. That much I'm guilty of. That does not change how I feel about your response, though.

Now if you have managed to make the let-off work for you and help you with certain elements of your playing style, that's all good. But I think it's you who needs to take the chill pill right now. Nobody accused you of dreaming things up. All of us just chimed in with their two cents. Only you started taking things personally.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/18/13 09:03 AM

- another quicky:

Is the letoff on an upright radically different from that employed on a grand piano?

Thanks if anyone can help...
Posted by: ando

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/18/13 09:25 AM

Originally Posted By: Clayman
I should have been more specific. That much I'm guilty of. That does not change how I feel about your response, though.

Now if you have managed to make the let-off work for you and help you with certain elements of your playing style, that's all good. But I think it's you who needs to take the chill pill right now. Nobody accused you of dreaming things up. All of us just chimed in with their two cents. Only you started taking things personally.


No, you also took it personally, it was quite clear by the way you marked my attitude for the future. And it's why you followed up with, "That does not change how I feel about your response, though." Telling people to take chill-pills is just passive-aggressive crap pretending to be cool.

This is not a "personal" discussion though. In a real factual sense, you can play off the jack, and some people do. Some people don't. The fact that some say they do should be enough to end the scepticism part of the debate. Another fact is that DP manufacturers are bothering to put a simulation of let-off, albeit a poor one IMO, into their products. Are we going to suggest they haven't done their research into this? They see it as a marketable feature. Who are they marketing it to? I assume acoustic piano owners, since most DP owners appear not to use it or find it annoying.

Conclusion: play off the jack, don't play off the jack. It doesn't matter much. But don't say it's not possible.
Posted by: doremi

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/18/13 09:48 AM

Originally Posted By: Clayman
I should have been more specific. That much I'm guilty of. That does not change how I feel about your response, though.

Hey, Clayman, no need to take ando's response personal, he does that to everyone, myself included.

Just keep enjoying the discussion on keyboards for prodigies with lighted keys and logos, and all grin
Posted by: Clayman

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/18/13 10:01 AM

I'm only allergic to arrogance, not a difference in opinions.

Okay, I'm through with this.
Posted by: Doritos Flavoured

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/18/13 10:32 AM

so, summing up: DP actions are only good enough for 1% of concert grand virtuosos who 1% of their time need some special effects as often heard as Cage's prepared pianos.

great for all the other non-concertist pianist population who only want to play pianos with good action for a fair price
Posted by: ando

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/18/13 11:44 AM

Originally Posted By: doremi
Originally Posted By: Clayman
I should have been more specific. That much I'm guilty of. That does not change how I feel about your response, though.

Hey, Clayman, no need to take ando's response personal, he does that to everyone, myself included.

Just keep enjoying the discussion on keyboards for prodigies with lighted keys and logos, and all grin


I don't even remember you - that's how significant you are to me. Put me on ignore if you can't take it. Or start a support group with Clayman.
Posted by: Carmien

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/18/13 07:50 PM

I own an ES7. My roommate has an older acoustic upright. Want to know what I practice on?

And I am the beginner.

Want to know what I've caught my roommate practice tricky grade 8 pieces on?

The ES7.

The difference in action is there, but it is minimal. The acoustic is not a concert instrument, but what stands out is this...

I've begun composing my own pieces. I've discovered that as I speed up I have finger speed. Every note is crisp, clear. The action never holds me up. And it is an engineered constant feel and sound on every key.

My opinion is that the average person that plays an ES7 is going to remark on how good it feels.

I recently found myself at a friends house and the conversation of my having composed my first piano piece, Soul's Echo, came up. Turns out they have a DP in the basement. I played it and I was shocked by how bad it was. The feel of the keys were plastic (spoiled by ivory touch I am), and the action was horrid. In fact, it was a stressful experience to play because I had to focus more on ensuring connection through some irregular sticky keys than allowing myself to express emotion.

Anyone who is going to say a high quality DP is unacceptable is voicing an opinion. And how many human beings are going to play at a level where any differences would really be a problem?
Posted by: Cmin

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/19/13 03:38 AM

I'm sure if Mozart had a choice, he would have picked a (modern) DP over one those old school APs. Not only because it's cool and modern (which he was too) but also because of the Midi functions. Just imagine what he would have produced. wink
Posted by: peterws

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/19/13 03:49 AM

He could`ve wrote and played his concertos without the orchestra . . . he`d be popular!

Many years ago, the local Musicians Union members were reluctant to play with organists. . . .
Posted by: peterws

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/19/13 03:53 AM

Originally Posted By: Clayman
I'm only allergic to arrogance, not a difference in opinions.

Okay, I'm through with this.


Verbal pugilistics can be fun, you know. "Ding ding" Round 2 . . . .
Posted by: Cmin

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/19/13 04:12 AM

Originally Posted By: peterws
He could`ve wrote and played his concertos without the orchestra . . . he`d be popular!

...yeah, some people might know him.

I just find it kind of ridiculous all this arguing about what is better, the action, the sound.... blah, blah, blah.

None is better! It's all a matter of taste, price, and what you want. Who cares what some say. If you like (A/D) piano x over (A/D) piano y, great! Go for it. It's called freedom of choice in this society.

Just take a listen to this. Almost any new DP's sound beats that (and probably feels better). That's a sound I got for free with Pianoteq, and will probably never even use it.

Just MHO.
Cheeerio

Edit: No hard feelings. I just wanted to show that even "gods" like Mozart or Beethoven were able to produce master pieces using what they had at the time. When some start comparing nuances of how the notes end or how the hammer hits, touches or releases the strings, I have to chuckle. Just play and enjoy.
Posted by: ando

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/19/13 12:22 PM

Originally Posted By: Cmin
Originally Posted By: peterws
He could`ve wrote and played his concertos without the orchestra . . . he`d be popular!

...yeah, some people might know him.

I just find it kind of ridiculous all this arguing about what is better, the action, the sound.... blah, blah, blah.

None is better! It's all a matter of taste, price, and what you want. Who cares what some say. If you like (A/D) piano x over (A/D) piano y, great! Go for it. It's called freedom of choice in this society.

Just take a listen to this. Almost any new DP's sound beats that (and probably feels better). That's a sound I got for free with Pianoteq, and will probably never even use it.

Just MHO.
Cheeerio

Edit: No hard feelings. I just wanted to show that even "gods" like Mozart or Beethoven were able to produce master pieces using what they had at the time. When some start comparing nuances of how the notes end or how the hammer hits, touches or releases the strings, I have to chuckle. Just play and enjoy.


Quite right. It's no skin off my nose if people like something different to what I like.
Posted by: toddy

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/19/13 01:38 PM

Originally Posted By: peterws
He could`ve wrote and played his concertos without the orchestra . . . he`d be popular!

Many years ago, the local Musicians Union members were reluctant to play with organists. . . .


As recently as the 1980s, the MU in Britain (& maybe the US too) tried to ban the use of synthesisers. This looks crazy from the point of view of rock bands to which synths were for additional colours and experimentation. But they were looking at it from the supported singer pov - Barry Manilow, for example. He could go on tour with 50 musicians or three keyboard players. To the union, it must have looked obvious that these terrible devices should never be allowed to be used in public - at least in that way.

But it's like horse men forcing everyone to go around in handsome cabs even after the invention of the bicycle.
Posted by: Tritium

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/20/13 12:15 PM

Yikes, I didn't intend for this topic to get so heated. I take some responsibility for this, in challenging/questioning the "playing off the jack" technique.

Ando, I meant no disrespect, and it wasn't my intention to ruffle anyone's feathers. So, in the spirit of the show "Mythbusters", I will keep an open mind, and conclude with the following verdict --> Plausible. grin cool

Getting back to original topic...

I feel that the quality of DPs has gotten so high, especially in just the past few years, that they offer a more than acceptable alternative for pianists who, for whatever circumstances, are unable to own or practice regularly on a traditional acoustic. In particular, it is remarkable to see the level of advancement in quality action, sound and features, that are now available in the $500 - $1,000 market segment.
Posted by: ando

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/20/13 12:24 PM

Originally Posted By: Tritium
Yikes, I didn't intend for this topic to get so heated. I take some responsibility for this, in challenging/questioning the "playing off the jack" technique.

Ando, I meant no disrespect, and it wasn't my intention to ruffle anyone's feathers. So, in the spirit of the show "Mythbusters", I will keep an open mind, and conclude with the following verdict --> Plausible. grin cool


It's alright, I think we've moved on from it now.

Quote:
Getting back to original topic...

I feel that the quality of DPs has gotten so high, especially in just the past few years, that they offer a more than acceptable alternative for pianists who, for whatever circumstances, are unable to own or practice regularly on a traditional acoustic. In particular, it is remarkable to see the level of advancement in quality action, sound and features, that are now available in the $500 - $1,000 market segment.


Yes, DPs are an acceptable alternative for most situations. They allow you to do most things you'd want to be able to do, and many things that acoustic pianos can't do. The only thing they lack is that highly resonant behaviour of real strings, and pedalling is still a bit lacking IMO. But there are quite a few very respectable DPs out there these days.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Damning with faint praise--DP action is only "good enough"?? - 09/20/13 02:15 PM

Originally Posted By: ando
and pedalling is still a bit lacking IMO.


This is the thing that bothers me most about most digitals. Hold down the pedal and play some notes. It doesn't sustain anything like as long as an acoustic grand would.