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Brands good for repeated notes? (Read 5237 times)

Offline Bob

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Brands good for repeated notes?
« on: January 06, 2008, 04:27:03 AM »
I played on a Yamaha upright at school I was visiting recently.  I noticed it couldn't do repeated notes quite as fast as I would have liked.  Maybe it was just that piano, but even some keyboard repeat faster than that one.

In terms of brands in general, are there some brands that are better for repetition?
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Offline dan101

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Re: Brands good for repeated notes?
«Reply #1 on: January 06, 2008, 06:27:10 PM »
That's a tough question. Generally, I have found that the steinways, bosendorfers... the expensive pianos have responsive repeated notes. Baldwin also comes to mind as having a good repeated note action.
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Offline Bob

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Re: Brands good for repeated notes?
«Reply #2 on: January 06, 2008, 09:00:17 PM »
I just very surprised to find the notes wouldn't repeat well.  And that it was a Yamaha.  Could have just been that one though I suppose.  I was expecting better of the instrument.
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Offline quantum

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Re: Brands good for repeated notes?
«Reply #3 on: January 06, 2008, 09:58:46 PM »
Maybe the fact that it is an upright?  Their actions are designed differently from a grand, which allow a key to reset itself to play again before it has fully returned to rest position.
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Offline richard black

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Re: Brands good for repeated notes?
«Reply #4 on: January 07, 2008, 06:11:49 PM »
Practically no uprights repeat really well, and Yamahas do seem to be slightly worse than most. Steinways, in my (limited) experience likewise. My Ibach isn't bad (but then living with it day in day out obviously makes me more accustomed to it) and modern Bechsteins, old Blüthners and upmarket Welmars usually seem to work for me. Oh, and Steingräbers and the one or two upright Bösendorfers I've come across.

According to a friend in the piano business, some inventor came up with a proper repetition action for uprights but because it added a few $ to the build cost of a piano couldn't sell it to any of the piano action makers. Depressing if true.
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Offline stars1234

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Re: Brands good for repeated notes?
«Reply #5 on: January 07, 2008, 10:15:06 PM »
The Grand piano (vogel) came before the upright. Much care was put into making and refining the action. Friction at various points stop things from working. Some manuactures, such as Steinway have tried different things to help this. Other's haven't cared or if they did, the job didn't go to well.  Although these components and the friction or the distance between parts, can be very small, but makes a great difference in what you are able to do. 

In general, to do play repeated notes you need a great action. Most, I think will agree that is Renner. A Renner action and hammers, with properly weighted and balanced keys will take anything you can possibly through at it.

I was blown away when I went to a piano with the Renner action. It was like driving a sports car.

Step on the gas and Zoom, with a capital Z, let off on it and it coast or come back down immediately.  The action on my piano is Renner. It lets me go from a pp to ff and back to ppp in one measure--amazing. As for repeated notes, the only reason I can't play them as quickly as I want is because the key weight is a bit heavy for me. But they can still be played so fast that they blur.  --it does tire me out, though.

If you have a good technician, many things can be adjusted, to help you get a faster repetition. Tell your technician what you want and let him try to get it for you.  But no matter what you do to an upright, because of the way the action is built, the speed available, will never equal that of a really good, grand.

Offline rachfan

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Re: Brands good for repeated notes?
«Reply #6 on: January 13, 2008, 05:28:57 AM »
A well regulated artist quality grand should have no difficulty with rapidly repeated notes.   By regulation, I am referring specifically to the proper adjustment of the jack, let-off, spring tension, key dip, and back check.  Any one of those, or more than one in combination, can produce a sluggish note(s) or cause the hammer to double strike, thereby delaying its return to the rest rail.  Steinway and Baldwin grands perform particularly well in this regard.

Uprights actions by their inherent nature rely on a horizontal hammer blow rather than a vertical blow used in the design of grands.  Most pianists find that an upright action is  slower and more balky than that of a grand.  It's just the nature of the beast.
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Offline nyonyo

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Re: Brands good for repeated notes?
«Reply #7 on: March 09, 2008, 01:14:29 AM »
I played on a Yamaha upright at school I was visiting recently.  I noticed it couldn't do repeated notes quiet as fast as I would have liked.  Maybe it was just that piano, but even some keyboard repeat faster than that one.

In terms of brans in general, are there some brands that are better for repetition?

My MX100 II Disklavier, an upright, is also not responsive to fast repeat notes. I tried Steinways and they are able to respond to fast repeat notes. We got what we paid.... ;D

Offline jlh

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Re: Brands good for repeated notes?
«Reply #8 on: March 09, 2008, 01:32:19 AM »
It could just be the fact it's an upright... see what Yamahas grands are capable of:



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Offline bob3.1415926

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Re: Brands good for repeated notes?
«Reply #9 on: March 12, 2008, 09:42:54 PM »
From my experiments in many piano shops, the recent Kawai pianos with the Millenium 3 action are comfortably the fastest for repeated notes (faster than all the big names). Just look at the design of that thing. It looks so ridiculously complex, you know it has to be good. I speak only about rapid repeated notes here though.

Offline nyonyo

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Re: Brands good for repeated notes?
«Reply #10 on: March 13, 2008, 05:39:33 AM »
Today, I visited Yamaha dealer and tried YUS5. Wow, this piano is very capable in handling fast repeat notes. The action of this piano is even better than C1, C2, or C3s. The sound and action are also very amazing...It is an excellent piano.

The sound is very much like a Steinway sound...This piano has sound that is totally different what one expects from a Yamaha piano.

Offline jimhendricks72

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Re: Brands good for repeated notes?
«Reply #11 on: May 04, 2016, 04:10:26 AM »
Yeah, most uprights don't handle repeated notes well (I've found this especially true with Kawai and Yamaha).

There are a few uprights that are better for that - Baldwin, Acrosonic, and Everett.

I feel like the best grands for repeated notes are the older Baldwins (1950's) - even better than Bos and Steinway.

Hope this helps.

Offline withindale

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Re: Brands good for repeated notes?
«Reply #12 on: May 04, 2016, 04:24:32 PM »
It's down to regulation even if the last post in this thread was over 8 years ago !

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Brands good for repeated notes?
«Reply #13 on: May 05, 2016, 10:35:02 AM »
Some uprights are slow even with good regulation, never mind if unattended to. Probably one of the best that could be picked up in the used market would be the Baldwin Acrosonic which has responsive action and a bit lower key travel than some others ( or the ones I played did anyway).  A  brand I never thought highly of, Wurlitzer, can surprise you too. I got fooled by one of these in a console model that not only played well, repeated well, it sounded good too.

If you get a chance to try out a new Walthers that should be a treat.

Generally speaking, I just much prefer the action of a grand piano though. It's natural lift and drop motion of the hammers and having the function known as "let off" just changes the game too much. It's unreasonable to ask the same of upright action, because the hammers travel horizontally. And indeed, mid level and higher digital pianos do a better job of mimicking grand piano action than upright action, thankfully.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline withindale

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Re: Brands good for repeated notes?
«Reply #14 on: May 05, 2016, 05:59:25 PM »
The trick with an upright is to regulate it with closer checking by catching the hammer closer to the strings as it rebounds. That allows the jack to reset before the key is fully raised. Probably not so easy with a worn action.

If a piano has a "jack slap" rail it's possible to regulate it so the jack resets about half way, so I understand. These rails are common in European pianos, not so common in American pianos - not sure about Kawai, Yamaha, etc.

Hfmadopter is right that grand actions are different but uprights must "let off" too; otherwise the hammer would block against the strings when the key is fully depressed.

Offline indianajo

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Re: Brands good for repeated notes?
«Reply #15 on: May 05, 2016, 08:26:09 PM »
This myth that vertical pianos are slow gets repeated over & over.  Take index fingers of two hands alternate as fast as you can go on one note.  I can't outrun Sohmer, Wurlitzer(pre globalized) Baldwin Acrosonic or Baldwin Hamilton (pre-globalized), Steinway. Other brands with a Pratt Read action as the Sohmer might be as good.  Spinetts of any of the brands are slower by design, serious piano players don't buy a 36" piano even for $100.  Lots of great sounding Acrosonics out there for $100 because they are  36".  But for 99% of my repretoire even Acrosonic spinetts are fast enough.  
Winter, Betsy Ross, trash like that, sure they are slow, a lot of people bought furniture instead of a musical instrument.  
Nobody regulates vertical pianos in this flyover city of over 2000000.  The guy from the Steinway dealer wouldn't even take the time to tune my three year old Sohmer to A440.  He left it a quarter tone flat.  Time is money.    
***** grand pianos, they are mastodons that take $$$$ to move and $$$$$$ to house.  Every one available to use around here that is not $$$ per hour is a ***-**** oriental import. Let the oriental factory workers come do the volunteer performances if they are so so superior to mid-westerners.   99.99999% of my practice & performance time has been on vertical pianos.  Art for & by the masses. We're not all elite out here, and not all of us play the banjo either.  Duke Ellington was photographed playing a Wurlitzer; I saw it on PBS last week. 

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Brands good for repeated notes?
«Reply #16 on: May 07, 2016, 01:18:36 PM »
The trick with an upright is to regulate it with closer checking by catching the hammer closer to the strings as it rebounds. That allows the jack to reset before the key is fully raised. Probably not so easy with a worn action.

If a piano has a "jack slap" rail it's possible to regulate it so the jack resets about half way, so I understand. These rails are common in European pianos, not so common in American pianos - not sure about Kawai, Yamaha, etc.



Interesting info worth further investigation by those owning or wanting to own an upright.. 
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline irrational

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Re: Brands good for repeated notes?
«Reply #17 on: May 11, 2016, 01:11:42 PM »
The uprights I regularly play certainly differ but even though not a grand, they can be very good.

My R.Gors and Kallman (1912 Refurbished) has problems repeating fast, limiting what I can play at speed.
My Bosendorfer (Basically new) is beyond amazing. Its faster than my fingers at the moment. 8). It can keep up using both my hands to repeat a note. The trilling is also very accurate.
Steinway K (1920 unrestored) I play on sometimes repeats not as fast as the Bosendorfer, but is certainly capable. Perhaps with a refurbish it'll be as good as the Bosey.

I am sure any Renner action top name will be good. But as mentioned before, finding a technician that knows how to regulate properly is essential. I am lucky in having one in that regard.

Offline briansaddleback

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Re: Brands good for repeated notes?
«Reply #18 on: May 11, 2016, 03:25:27 PM »
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Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Brands good for repeated notes?
«Reply #19 on: May 12, 2016, 09:54:35 AM »
If you go back over the thread I don't think anyone said that all uprights have slow action, I didn't read one message that said that. That's purely an assumption of meaning from posts not well read . I'd suggest to Rise above it ( what ever "it" might be) and read the messages for what they really said, by the words written, not assumed. In fact some exceptions were even named by brand of uprights with good action and tone and play-ability and they were not all top brand names either. One was an under rated brand mentioned in three different posts. So I have no idea what the few tirades were all about.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline prateekgupta

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Re: Brands good for repeated notes?
«Reply #20 on: May 12, 2016, 09:55:47 AM »
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