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#2081070 - 05/11/13 10:10 PM Re: Kawai CA95 keyboard action vs. others [Re: Barnie]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2725
Originally Posted By: Barnie
I am the happy owner of the CA-65, and yesterday I had the opportunity to play several different Kawai grands including the SK-2. The "wobbliness" is very apparent on all of them as well as on the Steinways I played. So I guess it is a feature more than a fault. Actually I'm amazed how close the CA-65/95 action is on the real grand action.


The "wobbliness" occurs naturally in acoustic pianos so it should be no surprise that this is emulated in digital piano actions. I have just briefly tested the V-Piano, Kawai CA95, Clavinova CLP-990M, and, all three of these digitals (that I own) display the trait.

Looks like the V-Piano's keys wobble the least on fast repetitions although they still wobble just the same. This wobble appears to be an up and down bouncing motion of the key and not a lateral one from side to side. I would call this effect a "bouncing" key and not a "wobbling" key.

Also, this does not affect repetition speed on the CA95:

https://www.box.com/s/m2yf56x2926dyprrpl7s

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#2081080 - 05/11/13 10:42 PM Re: Kawai CA95 keyboard action vs. others [Re: pv88]
semo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/23/13
Posts: 38
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I think synth(organ) keyboards don't wobble, and some of the older weighted keyboards(like my old yamaha dgx-620) have less wobble. Personally I find my CA95's touch is just right. It is not a real grand, but the feel is close enough.
_________________________
CA95, Sennheiser HD598

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#2081121 - 05/12/13 12:34 AM Re: Kawai CA95 keyboard action vs. others [Re: Taylorius]
takura Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/13
Posts: 13
Loc: Japan
I see, I could have been more careful in choosing words. :-)

(1) PV88> I would call this effect a "bouncing" key and not a "wobbling" key.

Yes, my apologies, "bouncing" seems a better word than "wobbling" to me, too. (English is not my first language.)

(2) I completely agree that all pianos will wobble/bounce due to physics, and, as kapelli has written, it's a question of the amount. Some (including me) see the CA95/65 to wobble/bounce more than "other" APs/DPs, some don't. (Do not agree that therefore this is meaningless to discuss.)

Engineering-wise, I guess this could be measured as
- time until it stops (i.e. becomes not realizable)
- number of swings until stop
- frequency of swings (e.g. in Hz)
- size of wobble/bounce in vertical direction (i.e. measured in mm).

A comparison close-up video of keys in different pianos could clarify, but it will be necessary to hit the keys similarly, and that will be difficult. Just putting your finger off a completely depressed key won't probably be sufficient as it seems that the hammer is "hitting back" in (at least) the CA95/65 (not sure about others). I don't have a piano playing robot available to me (I know of university labs that have), and I don't think the piano shops I have access to will let me drop (calibrated) weights onto keys while recording that with a video camera. :-)

(3) Concerning the possibility of the hammer hitting back on the key and causing some more wobbling/bouncing in the CA95/65 than in other key actions: my thanks to Temperament for discussing further and putting up the pics. (The CA15 with similar action to VPC-1 does wobble/bounce more than I'd like it to, so that's currently the only concern I have about upgrading to VPC-1.)

Although it's still just an assumption and not proven that it really does so in the CA95/65, if someone knowledgable could confirm or negate whether hammers can hit back onto keys in real piano actions, I'd gladly appreciate to learn.

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#2081188 - 05/12/13 03:55 AM Re: Kawai CA95 keyboard action vs. others [Re: Taylorius]
takura Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/13
Posts: 13
Loc: Japan
Originally Posted By: Temperament
I had to conclude, that apparently no real CA95/65 owners have complained about wobbling keys yet. (Not even PV88 :-), or some people who traded in their CA95, some only to regret it later).

Reminds me a little on the birth of my first son. I was present at child delivery, and the first thing I could realise was some irregularities, deformities how his toes are grown, which I found a minor but lifelong affliction. The delivery nurse didn't seem to bother much - and my son is meanwhile 17 Years old and has no defects at all - at least with his toes not.


Completely agree ... if I bought a CA95 I myself might forget about this and be satisfied with it ..... or not. Anyone here who recognized this before buying and found it annoying, but then got used to it? :-)

Another analogy that comes to my mind: I believe most Toyota-owners are satisfied not only with reliability but also with the haptics and feedback to driving operations (steering, braking etc), but that doesn't mean that all BMW-drivers bought their cars only for the badge prestige and that there is no perceivable difference in driving responses. Measuring the difference and judging whether it is large enough to be perceivable is engineering, deciding whether or not the difference is significant to you everyone has to do for themselves.

So, a real measurement instead of subjective opinions (including mine!) would be nice to have. Just noticed that I could borrow the high speed cam in my lab to take comparison videos; if I record enough samples I might be able to just pick those with similar velocity for each piano, without having to control the velocity of pressing the keys using weights or robots. Will take me about a month to complete though.

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#2081191 - 05/12/13 04:12 AM Re: Kawai CA95 keyboard action vs. others [Re: takura]
spanishbuddha Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2472
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: takura


Although it's still just an assumption and not proven that it really does so in the CA95/65, if someone knowledgable could confirm or negate whether hammers can hit back onto keys in real piano actions, I'd gladly appreciate to learn.

You can see a piano action in action here , also check YT as there are some videos there.

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#2081212 - 05/12/13 06:22 AM Re: Kawai CA95 keyboard action vs. others [Re: spanishbuddha]
Temperament Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: Hun,EU
Look at this video, after 3:00 there is good depicting of key rebound behaviour



As it seems key rebound emulation is rather a feature than a bug. It can even help with repetitions, because the experienced player can make use of the little rebound energy when starting the next striking the key.

The importance of this initial position rebound will further put in perspective by using 3 sensors simply by the fact, that during fast repetitions there isn't necessary to return to starting key position. (As a matter of fact nor is it with 2 sensor systems either, only the starting point to start a repeated note is higher.) Its importance is only with true staccato repetitions.

What is more interesting, how much rebound force is present and will be felt during fast repetitions. Here are completely other mechanics emulating the functionality of the very complex Renner piano mechanics.
In original piano action there is mainly the felted back check is absorbing the energy of the falling hammer - a complex combination of friction and spring bending processes.

(But the emulating mechanics of a simplified DP action are complex enough with many parameters: foam elasticity which has a dampening effect on hammer impact, hammer geometry and weighting, felt placement and thickness, etc...).

There can seemingly be nothing more simple than the action of a traditional clavichord (no hammers at all) but even with the design of my clavichords were a lot of tricky decisions involved. Instrument makers did guaranteed no scientific measurements and calculations some 3 centuries ago when this keyboard instrument class was established. But they invented pivot point offset of black keys or weight compensation and variable lever geometry, and a lot of other things, which will be marketed now as the newest breathtaking innovation of the newest DP-generation! (Well, Kawai and the Yamaha hybrids and their meanwhile long ago discontinued CLP990 have already applied pivot point displacement, the others will follow next, to be sure.)

What really counts is how good, realistic, playable the DP actions feel. However some of us in this forum have just a special interest to know how clever and detailed their technical implementation is, what features were actively taken in consideration and how much optimized in the action design process.
_________________________
Acoustic: own clavichord!, Burger&Jacoby,Biel (nice vintage vertical)
Digital: CA65; Pianoteq; Sampled:Galaxy VintageD+Vienna(Bösendorfer)
Sampletekk Black,PMI, etc...
Harpsi: Beurmann Dutch+Sampletekk, Clavichord:PMI+Wavelore+organs

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#2081233 - 05/12/13 07:43 AM Re: Kawai CA95 keyboard action vs. others [Re: Temperament]
Clayman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/13
Posts: 300
Loc: Prague, Czech Rep.
Originally Posted By: Temperament

<snip>

However some of us in this forum have just a special interest to know how clever and detailed their technical implementation is, what features were actively taken in consideration and how much optimized in the action design process.


To me it sometimes seems more like chasing ghosts and tirelessly looking for flaws that actually are not there. confused
_________________________
-- Zbynek N.

Learning to play the piano since 06/2013 on a Kawai CA-95.

Music is what feelings sound like. ~ Author Unknown

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#2081291 - 05/12/13 10:10 AM Re: Kawai CA95 keyboard action vs. others [Re: Taylorius]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9684
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
^ This.
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2081296 - 05/12/13 10:14 AM Re: Kawai CA95 keyboard action vs. others [Re: Clayman]
Temperament Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: Hun,EU
Originally Posted By: Clayman
Originally Posted By: Temperament

However some of us in this forum have just a special interest to know how clever and detailed their technical implementation is, what features were actively taken in consideration and how much optimized in the action design process.


To me it sometimes seems more like chasing ghosts and tirelessly looking for flaws that actually are not there. confused

For my part quiet not. It is for clarifying questions about technology, both acoustic and its the digital emulation, seeking for a in-depth understanding of principles, the level of perfection in technologies. Asking questions and getting as I think thorough and unbiased answers to these or at least balanced opinions about the topic is useful for the general understanding and contributes perhaps to the development of technology.

One possible problem is that we are a completely mixed public,
some people seeking for simple buying advice, and they may be not so optimal served by too much scrutiny here, they would need more certainty for their decisions.

But the time is near when I'll retire from this forum, so You can be relieved - at least of my hair-splitting in some posts.
I could learn a lot by both reading and writing, but the learning curve is just beginning to get a little bit flat at last.

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#2081310 - 05/12/13 10:37 AM Re: Kawai CA95 keyboard action vs. others [Re: Temperament]
Clayman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/13
Posts: 300
Loc: Prague, Czech Rep.
Well, I'm all for research and understanding of the underlying designs of the various key actions out there but I get the feeling that more often than not our lack of deeper knowledge gets in the way and we sort of start to agree on that there must be something wrong with this or that aspect of a key action's behavior while the truth is that it's perfectly fine and that it's only our limited insight that has mislead us.

I do agree that this may prove harmful to people who maybe don't understand or care about all those details but who get a false impression that the key action of a piano is bad even though it actually is not.

Oh, and just for the record, my post was not directed specifically at you, Temperament. smile It was just something I had noticed in the past several months of my membership here on this great forum.
_________________________
-- Zbynek N.

Learning to play the piano since 06/2013 on a Kawai CA-95.

Music is what feelings sound like. ~ Author Unknown

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#2081743 - 05/13/13 07:38 AM Re: Kawai CA95 keyboard action vs. others [Re: Taylorius]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
Well , as the saying goes: "if it sounds right, it IS right" , I guess it's the same for keybeds & touch? "If it feels right , it IS right".

Don't care if its made of plastic, or wood, or has four hammers per key instead of one for that matter (as long as it doesn't have one meter deep keys weighing a hundred kilograms each).

Bit off topic maybe, but anyway...


Edited by JFP (05/13/13 07:39 AM)

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#2082959 - 05/15/13 08:07 AM Re: Kawai CA95 keyboard action vs. others [Re: Taylorius]
takura Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/13
Posts: 13
Loc: Japan
Originally Posted By: JFP
Well , as the saying goes: "if it sounds right, it IS right" , I guess it's the same for keybeds & touch? "If it feels right , it IS right".

Don't care if its made of plastic, or wood, or has four hammers per key instead of one for that matter (as long as it doesn't have one meter deep keys weighing a hundred kilograms each).

Bit off topic maybe, but anyway...


No, not at all off topic, I'd say.

Agree with "if it feels right, it IS right" ... in the sense that, if the touch of the DP someone is considering matches, say, the touch of the AP the person has most access to, just go for it! And, I guess, from that viewpoint this thread could be just anything from misleading to nitpicking ... or whatever. ;-)

And, without contradicting that saying, where I think it becomes more difficult is ... say, assuming that someone is willing to accept something that does not feel right at the moment, but will help him/her improve his/her technique(with the possibility that it might feel "more" right in the future), or, if he/her wants to listen to how others think about it and learn from them, or, if he/her wants to investigate from a more engineering-technical viewpoint what is causing that feeling, then I think it's not that easy, and something like "if it feels right at this moment, it might not open new, unknown worlds to you and help you improve the way something else might do" will hold.

So, that's "finding a piano that feels wrong now, but WRONG IN THE RIGHT WAY" ... I actually think that many forum readers are looking for that kind of information and that the capability to provide such information is what makes forums so valuable, but I could be wrong of course. :-)

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#2083062 - 05/15/13 11:56 AM Re: Kawai CA95 keyboard action vs. others [Re: takura]
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 453
Loc: Europe
Great post, takura, I see it exactly like this, and guess most of the others as well.
_________________________
learning Piano on my Roland HP-505
before playing Drums in adults bluesband on handpicked set; before crashing E-Guitar in kids garage band; raised on home entertainment Organ and Keyboard models Eminent Solina P240, Farfisa Maharani 259R, Technics KN800, and on Mouth Organ, Recorder and Accordion

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#2088394 - 05/25/13 02:13 AM Re: Kawai CA95 keyboard action vs. others [Re: Taylorius]
takura Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/13
Posts: 13
Loc: Japan
If anyone is interested:

Here is a high-speed movie of the Kawai CA65 key action model I recorded in my local piano store.
http://youtu.be/FR4hB7wWp94
#The CA65 has the same action as the CA95. How close the display model is to the real digital piano is another question though - the parts looked real to me, but e.g. the keys are not exactly horizontal.
#The explanation panel in the back is in Japanese, in case you are wondering what language that is. :-)

And here is a comparison of key bouncing between a Yamaha G5 Grand Piano and Kawai CA65 Digital Piano. Bouncing of keys differ between pianos and between different ways of playing on the same piano, so, this is in no way a precise or representative scientific comparison, but for an initial understanding of the characteristics of bouncing I hope it's still useful enough.
http://youtu.be/uSRKWy6j2Cg
(EDIT: first version had some errors that are now corrected.)

So, under the circumstances when this was recorded, the keys of the CA65 needed longer (in the case shown in the final part in the video, it's about 3 times longer) than those of the G5 to stop bouncing. (Which really is by itself neither negative nor positive for either of the pianos compared.)

Playing on the CA65 again, I noticed though that measuring key-position-vs-time (what it the essence of a high-speed video) might not be the best way to describe this issue; the (slightly but to some people noticably and in no way faulty) bouncy spring-like touch of the CA65/95 I found to be noticable not only during bouncing but already when pressing the keys down during the initial key stroke, so, a force-vs-key-position or force-vs-time measurement might be a better representation ... but require more equipment than I have now.


Edited by takura (05/29/13 10:57 AM)

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#2088438 - 05/25/13 06:54 AM Re: Kawai CA95 keyboard action vs. others [Re: Taylorius]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
Interesting video. You would need to sample several different acoustic pianos however to find out what the standard deviation is for rebound bounce across the board. For all we know, the CA95 could be significantly less bouncy than many acoustic pianos out there. I have been playing some very rapid passagework on my CA95 and I can't say I have noticed the key rebound impeding me in any way.

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#2089071 - 05/26/13 08:44 AM Re: Kawai CA95 keyboard action vs. others [Re: takura]
Temperament Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: Hun,EU
Very interesting analysis.

I am waiting for my new CA65 with the GF action, and am very corious about this behavior will be an issue or it is noticeable at all for me. I think if it were an issue, there would be such an easy remedy (by applying a limiter row of felt at the back end of the keys) to help absorb the energy on the hammer impact falling back to tho top of the key, that Kawai would have done it already.

The more pronounced bottoming rebound of the key (in comparison to the acoustic) is probably resulting from the fact, that the hammer part is not moving independently, despite of the apparently lacking fixed joint between the too parts, as very comon with digital actions.

A real imitation of a piano action should limit the key travel (by bumping to the bottom pelt), while letting the hammer to travel independently on its way further to bump to the fake string (elastic foam) and to rebound there.

I think there is enough room left for refining of DP actions in the future....

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#2092473 - 05/30/13 09:29 PM Re: Kawai CA95 keyboard action vs. others [Re: Taylorius]
takura Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/13
Posts: 13
Loc: Japan
Debrucey, completely agree. I do believe the Yamaha G5 is bounces a bit "less" than the "average" of all pianos. Curiously though the CA65 seemed to be slower to bounce than the Kawai acoustics I played recently, though I didn't have the euipment to measure it. And sure, it doesn't impede playing, and some won't even notice I guess.

Temperament, hope you will be satisfied with your CA65; I myself am considering switching to the VPC1 when it becomes available here. Interesting thoughts... I too have been thinking about the decision by Kawai not to add a limiter to the "feedback" from the hammer action to the keys...

Another think that I feel makes the CA65 feel less "snappy" and a bit "wobbly" is that the keys overshoot above the rest position during bouncing. This again is something that some acoustics do too, but some (like the G5) don't. And, it could likely be easily avoided with a limiter if one wanted too.

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#2092501 - 05/30/13 10:48 PM Re: Kawai CA95 keyboard action vs. others [Re: takura]
Daniel Corban Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/17/13
Posts: 215
Loc: Canada
Interesting video. It shows me that my Yamaha GH3 keys are actually more similar to their acoustic pianos than I expected. I noticed that my keys went down and only bounce slightly at the bottom, but come up and have a "pop into place" feeling at the top. Until now, I thought this was actually a deviation from an acoustic, but from your video, I can see that the acoustic keys do indeed have a "pop into place" when they return to the top. I guess another way of saying this is that the GH3 keys do not overshoot the top. They sort of "snap" back into place with minimal bounce.
_________________________
Playing: Yamaha GC2

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