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digital pianos having a heavy feel (Read 6695 times)

Offline ssweeney43899

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digital pianos having a heavy feel
« on: August 19, 2015, 06:05:51 PM »
First post here! Basically I'm looking for some advice on an issue I've noticed with digital pianos. I've had a casio celviano ap-33, a yamaha p35, a yamaha clp (can't remember the number had gh3 action) and a kawai cl36 most recently. So far I've noticed:

1: playing quick passages/fast or repetitions was only possible on the yamaha p35, the others felt far too heavy compared to an acoustic.

2: The touch would diminish significantly with headphones plugged in

3: This is hard to describe, but using software such as ivory etc improved the feel and made it  possible to play fast and light e.g for long runs but still the keys feel sluggish in comparison to an acoustic

I'm now at the point where I can get to grips with pieces that are more challenging (for me!) such as schubert impromptu 2 and the revolutionary etude, and I'm looking to for recommendations for a digital that can cope with quick runs etc if anyone has experience? Been working on liszts vision etude also and feel these digital (except the p35 strangely) have been hindering progress. What digitals are recommended (if any!) for this type of piece or should they be kept for acoustics?

Thanks

Sam

Offline listesso_tempo

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Re: digital pianos having a heavy feel
«Reply #1 on: August 19, 2015, 08:22:30 PM »
I have at home Arius in the most sensitive setting and can confirm the keys feel heavier than most acoustics I've played. I can play for example the Op. 10/1 Etude with much better accuracy and much less exhaustion on pretty much any acoustic after having practiced on the Arius, and indeed I remember the Clavinovas I've played on to be even heavier, again in the most sensitive setting, to the point where I felt sore after some time.

But no, I don't think it's impossible to perform virtuoso stuff on a digital, nor that they hinder your progress, quite the contrary actually, at least from a mechanical perspective.

Offline dcstudio

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Re: digital pianos having a heavy feel
«Reply #2 on: August 19, 2015, 09:05:54 PM »


I agree that it's not impossible... I play all kinds of stuff on my digital

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Offline hfmadopter

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Re: digital pianos having a heavy feel
«Reply #3 on: August 20, 2015, 09:06:09 AM »
Try out the hybrids if you can find one in a store somewhere. They are $8000-$10,000 though so you may not want to purchase one. Just sayin. But I'm not sure they have come up with the digital with free "unconnected" hammer strike yet. On an acoustic you don't have to hit the key bed to toss a hammer freely up to touch the strings. Balance and weight is thus critical. And all the lesser digitals also have spring resistance in the keys not found in acoustic pianos. If you measure down weight on most digital pianos, even some costing over $2000 you will find that the down weight required to depress the keys varies from the top most position to the bottom. with the most resistance right at the key bed, because you are over coming spring pressure, which is an increasing pressure as you depress the keys. Quality acoustics don't work that way. And if you play on a digital enough when you then sit a quality grand piano the keys seem to almost fall away under your hands below the let off point. It's actually even pressure, you just got conditioned to feel the added spring pressure below the let off point of the digital.

Not sure what they have done with the hybrids but the keys should at least be more balanced, at least Kawai claims so.
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 dcstudio

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Re: digital pianos having a heavy feel
«Reply #4 on: August 20, 2015, 09:42:58 AM »
Try out the hybrids if you can find one in a store somewhere. They are $8000-$10,000 though so you may not want to purchase one.


I would love to purchase one....lol..  but that's kinda steep

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: digital pianos having a heavy feel
«Reply #5 on: August 20, 2015, 12:22:31 PM »

I would love to purchase one....lol..  but that's kinda steep

LOL ! I live with the added pressure, it's no worse than my teachers Steinway S was compared to my own grand piano way back when I took lessons ( decades ago now), in terms of weight. I get a pretty realistic touch all in all, very dynamic range, adjustable dynamic range using my Kawai Stage piano and Pianoteq software. And it absolutely never goes out of tune unless I de-tune it in Pianoteq ( has a slider for condition from pristine to worn out). And it's surprising but most piano sounds within Pianoteq sound best with some degree of less than pristine dialed in. Because lets face it, all acoustics have overtones, lose the edge of perfect tune if they were ever perfectly tuned, clinically that is. Digital's out of the box have a sterile sound to them, to sound good it needs to get a bit organic and organic always has a germ.

Just went off topic, oh well !!
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 ssweeney43899

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Re: digital pianos having a heavy feel
«Reply #6 on: August 20, 2015, 03:59:31 PM »
Try out the hybrids if you can find one in a store somewhere. They are $8000-$10,000 though so you may not want to purchase one. Just sayin. But I'm not sure they have come up with the digital with free "unconnected" hammer strike yet. On an acoustic you don't have to hit the key bed to toss a hammer freely up to touch the strings. Balance and weight is thus critical. And all the lesser digitals also have spring resistance in the keys not found in acoustic pianos. If you measure down weight on most digital pianos, even some costing over $2000 you will find that the down weight required to depress the keys varies from the top most position to the bottom. with the most resistance right at the key bed, because you are over coming spring pressure, which is an increasing pressure as you depress the keys. Quality acoustics don't work that way. And if you play on a digital enough when you then sit a quality grand piano the keys seem to almost fall away under your hands below the let off point. It's actually even pressure, you just got conditioned to feel the added spring pressure below the let off point of the digital.

Not sure what they have done with the hybrids but the keys should at least be more balanced, at least Kawai claims so.

I think this is spot on with what I'm experiencing with digitals: it's the clinical way you have to press the key all the way down to the key bed to produce sound. I think this is improved somehow when using software, not really sure how though. Seems to be not much of an issue for slower pieces though just for fast runs trills etc. For example, I was playing chopin minute waltz on a kawai cl36 and struggled with the trills in the first section yet when using software it was easier and on acoustic even easier to get that quick repetition. The piano was making it more difficult than needed! There's a video of a lad playing hungarian rhapsody no 2 on a digital and the runs and trills sound fluent so looking into whatever model he's playing on. Was disappointed  with the kawai as I'd heard good things about the action, may go back to the yamaha p35 or 155... Don't have a high budget atm!

Cheers for the inputs!



Offline hfmadopter

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Re: digital pianos having a heavy feel
«Reply #7 on: August 20, 2015, 04:32:22 PM »
The closest thing to my grand in digital that I've played in terms of action is the Roland RD 700 and assume the 800 is better yet. I have not played the high end Kawai with wooden full length grand piano keys as yet. Nor a Hybrid. I get along with my MP6 actually, on trills I've learned to not let the keys fully off but suspend right around the let off point. Todays triple sensor systems should be all the better. But that technique is opposite my grand where  I can trill above the let off point as long as the velocity is rapid enough. SO, a little retraining there. Actually with the grand I probably could do it either way but why both , I'd have to tune the thing first and it could use regulation work as well. I just keep it touch up tuned so as not to have a massive tuning if I ever want to play it. I'm on my digital 99% of the time these days.
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 Bob

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Re: digital pianos having a heavy feel
«Reply #8 on: August 22, 2015, 10:14:42 PM »
I've tried measuring the amount of weight it takes to press down keys using pennies, if that helps.  It's one quick way to compare pianos/keyboards.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline ssweeney43899

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Re: digital pianos having a heavy feel
«Reply #9 on: August 23, 2015, 08:18:53 PM »
Picked up the Roland f130 after trying out a few others, glad to say the action feels great and the sound is pretty amazing without even using software. After a good few hours practice the difference is night and day and it sounds even better with headphones in. Finally found one that I'm content with! Was deciding between it and the kawai cl36 a while ago and opted for the kawai due to reviews but liking the Roland action a lot more.

Offline kawai_cs

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Re: digital pianos having a heavy feel
«Reply #10 on: August 23, 2015, 08:38:15 PM »
I bought a Kawai CS and it has an option to adjust touch. Light touch is level 1 and heavy touch is level 5 if I remember correctly.  And there is also a possibility to set a custom touch.
I am using the heaviest one since my teacher's grand has a very stiff/heavy keyboard.
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