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Re: DPs Exposed! [Re: dewster] #1781935 11/02/11 05:59 PM
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dewster Offline OP
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After seeing a large variety of DP guts in many a nekid pichures post, does anyone have any idea why DPs retail for as much as they do? There's like $100 tops (it could easily be significantly less) worth of parts and labor in something very mass produced like a Casio.

I always feel bad for poorer students who need to pay >$500 for entry level and >$2000 to get decent keys & sound - it's a heck of a sticker shock for most parents.

I can buy an entirely playable and OK sounding entry level guitar (steel stringed acoustic or electric) for <$100, which surely must have more labor involved and at least $20 in parts - so why aren't there any acceptable entry level DPs for say $250?

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Re: DPs Exposed! [Re: dewster] #1781986 11/02/11 07:23 PM
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the research and development of technologies and the staff behind them?

( i have no idea )


Current: Kawai MP10, Alesis Q88
Has Been: Yamaha P85
Re: DPs Exposed! [Re: dewster] #1782011 11/02/11 07:41 PM
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How much does toothpaste cost?
The paste costs very little.
The plastic tube costs more!
The processes to make the product costs even more.
Transporting it from factory to distributor to retailer costs even more.
A dime of manufacturing costs can translate to a dollar at retail.

Take a business class and you'll see what it costs to run a business.

Re: DPs Exposed! [Re: Jdiggity1] #1782098 11/02/11 10:34 PM
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dewster Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Jdiggity1
the research and development of technologies and the staff behind them?

( i have no idea )

True, but amortized over tons of product this can't add up to all that much - unless things aren't being run very efficiently (which wouldn't surprise me actually - corporate jets, huge "forgiven" loans, and golden parachutes for our 1% betters don't come cheap).

Re: DPs Exposed! [Re: dewster] #1782133 11/03/11 12:09 AM
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I guess in my view DP's are not super high volume items. They last quite a while and not that many people have them (or upgrade them often). Think about how many friends you have who own DP's vs those who own other electronics that we may be comparing with DP's. Low volume means high prices to cover the fixed costs of design and manufacturing.

I think it's consistent with other musical electronics. Some of these DAC's, amps, headphones, speakers...not really much to them if you open them up. But they can cost a pretty penny. And those are more stable technologies, with relatively less R&D per year needed to stay in whatever niche they are in. That's just my impression. I mean, how much do the parts for a Sennheiser HD800 cost? And how long have people been researching headphones vs digital pianos? These items are not exactly made of unicorn tears, but they cost as much as if they did.

Last edited by gvfarns; 11/03/11 12:17 AM.
Re: DPs Exposed! [Re: dewster] #1788220 11/13/11 03:44 PM
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Kawai CA63 Key Repair Pix

PW forum member "Beco" recently had some work done to his Kawai CA63. During the repair induced nakidity, he snagged several compromising pix with his trusty Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX100V. Lets have a look!

[Linked Image]
This is a view of a small auxiliary PWB located on left side the DP. It is apparently associated with the button / LED / LCD festooned main control panel that consumes some of the keybed area. That's the keyboard assembly visible in the top of the photo, obviously using the same complex aluminum extrusion found in the MP10. Anyway, the two chips are old 74HC565 8 in / 1 out serializers. I assume they take the data from the push-buttons and convert it to a serial stream, which allows multiple simultaneous button pushes to be recognized correctly. Many jumpers, it's probably a single layer board. I wonder why they didn't integrate this functionality into the control board itself? The connectors alone here probably cost more than the rest of the board, and they introduce potential points of failure.

[Linked Image]
I believe this is a view of the power amplifier heatsink through some holes in the bottom of the case. To dissipate hot air to the upper internal chamber of the piano I suppose, though I wonder if there is an intentional and positive acoustic function to this as well?

[Linked Image]
A view down the exposed keys and hammers. Key pivot points are farther back for the black keys, keys are individually numbered. I think that's the side of a speaker magnet to the left of around key #10.

[Linked Image]
The problem key #59 (MIDI G5?) removed giving us a clear view of the pivot and pin, guide pin under the front of the key, and the key bottoming felt strips for the black & white key ends. The hammer seems to have fallen into the void. Note that the black key weights are smaller than the those of the white keys. I wonder how they are accomplishing the overall hammer grading from bottom to top? The weights seem uniformly sized, which I wasn't expecting to see.

[Linked Image]
That's the top board with music rest on the right, and the key cover board on the left. The gear on the long rod presumably makes the cover board move equally on both ends, keeping it from jamming during opening and closing.

[Linked Image]
Kind of a repeat of the second picture, but with more heatsink detail.

[Linked Image]
Problem key repair. The front guide pin was rubbing against raw wood rather than felt, so the felt is being replaced. The brown plug in the guide pin hole is pressing the felt while the glue dries, later the excess felt was trimmed off, I assume by "Fritz". Some dimensions for the dimensionally minded among us.

[Linked Image]
A very clear view of the problem key, the hammer pads glued to it, and critical dimensions. Note the angled black key relief cuts.

Many thanks to Beco for sharing these great shots with us!


Re: DPs Exposed! [Re: dewster] #1788227 11/13/11 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by dewster
I wonder how they are accomplishing the overall hammer grading from bottom to top? The weights seem uniformly sized, which I wasn't expecting to see.


Maybe it's not really graded in the keyboard and they just fake the "grading" by varying the velocity curves.


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Re: DPs Exposed! [Re: Brent H] #1788241 11/13/11 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Brent H
Maybe it's not really graded in the keyboard and they just fake the "grading" by varying the velocity curves.

I really doubt that, AFAIK graded always means physically graded, and this is Kawai's top of the line wooden ivory feel RM3 action (minus the let-off rubber thingies). Either the weights are graded and it isn't visible in the photos (most likely - the grading of the hammer weights on the Roland RD-700NX is only 5 grams difference top to bottom) or they are playing some kind of mechanical advantage game with the hammers.

I wonder if the let-off rubbers could be easily added to the CA63?

Re: DPs Exposed! [Re: dewster] #1788246 11/13/11 04:39 PM
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A couple of points to clear-up speculation

- The hammers are indeed graded - it's just not obvious from the photograph.
- Fritz Dobbert Pianos/PianoFatura is Kawai's official Brazilian distributor.

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: DPs Exposed! [Re: dewster] #1788274 11/13/11 05:10 PM
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Hi Dewster,

I agree with you about the graded thing. When i bought the kawai CA63 in Fritz Dobbert manufacture I saw a piece of the kawai system RM3 with and without the scapment in the same piece. To add the let-off rubbers it will be easy, but there is a plastic piece in the harmmer that should be added to touch the rubber (I think this part would be a little be difficult since the CA93 the plastic thing below to the hammer).
[Linked Image]

Best Regards

Beco smile




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Yamaha CLP 300
Re: DPs Exposed! [Re: dewster] #1788299 11/13/11 05:50 PM
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dewster Offline OP
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Thanks for that confirmation James! Could you possibly share with us why the weight grading isn't visible in the photos? Is it a depth or thickness thing? Just wondering... Also, is it possible to buy that entire key assembly as a spare part? If so, who would one contact? It looks quite advanced, kudos to Kawai for making such an interesting key mechanism!

And thanks for the added info (and original pix) Beco! I was scrutinizing the pix for "The piece of plastic" and couldn't detect it, but that didn't necessarily mean it was missing. But you have confirmed that it indeed is - thanks!

Re: DPs Exposed! [Re: dewster] #1788316 11/13/11 06:19 PM
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Kawai James Offline
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Originally Posted by dewster
Thanks for that confirmation James!


Well, that's what I'm here for.

Originally Posted by dewster
Could you possibly share with us why the weight grading isn't visible in the photos?


Because the grading is rather subtle. Seriously though, I believe if you were to compare the heaviest and lightest hammers side-by-side, you would definitely be able to spot the difference.

Originally Posted by dewster
Is it a depth or thickness thing?


It's more the size/shape of the weight.

There are illustrations of the different hammer weights in the Kawai service manuals, however I'm reluctant to post pictures in a publc forum.

Originally Posted by dewster
Also, is it possible to buy that entire key assembly as a spare part?


Dealers/technicians can order the necessary parts, yes.

Originally Posted by dewster
If so, who would one contact?


Typically, the technician would contact the dealer, the dealer would contact the distributor, and the distributor would contact their local Kawai Parts centre.

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: DPs Exposed! [Re: Kawai James] #1788662 11/14/11 09:21 AM
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dewster Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Typically, the technician would contact the dealer, the dealer would contact the distributor, and the distributor would contact their local Kawai Parts centre.

Short of buying a CA93 and ripping it out, is there any way for the average Joe to obtain a full RM3 key assembly directly from Kawai?

Re: DPs Exposed! [Re: dewster] #1788666 11/14/11 09:24 AM
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I very much doubt it.

James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: DPs Exposed! [Re: dewster] #1811251 12/23/11 02:49 PM
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NEKID PICHURES!! - Kawai MP8 -

Piano World forum member "gvfarns" recently coaxed his MP8 into a shameful state of nekidity and then, lucky for us, snapped some highly compromising pix! He posted them here, and I decided to present a sampling of the most lurid in this thread for all you twisted geeks to gawk at.

In his own words:

Originally Posted by gvfarns
I undressed my MP8 today and took some pictures, more or less similar to the MP10 thread. I know it's old tech but I thought it was interesting to compare to the MP10. Surprisingly few things changed between RM3 and AWA PRO. I opened it because I've had it a while and wanted to see if it needed cleaning out. It was pretty clean, though.

Additionally, I kind of feel like the E above middle C is mis-calibrated...it seems like it always plays a little quieter than the other keys. Opening it up, I see that that's where the keyboard splits and where the edge of the thing the sensors are mounted to is. Still, I couldn't detect it being out of alignment with my eyes. I was hoping there would be a piece of paper or something I could pull out and fix that issue.

Also I've been thinking about Keegan's question about swapping the action in a broken MP10 into a working AWA PRO piano (at the moment Musician's friend is selling 6 broken MP10). I wanted to take a look and see how feasible it is. It seems super feasible, though I'm not sure whether the fact that AWA PRO keys all have aligned fulcrums (fulcra?) while the RM3 action has staggered fulcrums is compensated for somehow in the electronics.

The only bit of info I would add is the way the keys and hammers come out. You lift the wooden key off its post, then the hammer moves down below its normal position, which allows it to fall right off. To put the hammer back on you put it way down low, press it into place, and then lift it up. Took me a few minutes to figure that out. It's all very easy to open up, mess with, and put back together. No force required.

They hammers were definitely not 100% straight. They keys are perfectly straight, so I'm not sure what's up with that. At first I thought it was because the black key hammers were higher or something (they have a different weight on them...in fact, the weights on each hammer are marked W1 through W4 and B1 through B4 as you go up the keyboard.

Each key has a varying number of (different colored) paper spacers under the fulcrum. Those that have no additional spacers have a black, slippery one (teflon maybe?). Other have brown or white papers spacers (or both) with the black one either underneath or on top of them. I kind of think they might have been evened out by hand (or by a machine that actually takes the keys off and puts them back on repeatedly like a human would).


[Linked Image]
Here the top section of the case flipped back to show the key assembly mounted on a massive slab of aluminized wood mill byproduct, upper left is the pitch & mod wheels, below that is the power supply, and at center are the front panel display / control printed wiring boards (PWBs). That looks like a bit of rust on the right end of the metal key assembly stiffener. As usual for Kawai there are lots of wiring harnesses.

[Linked Image]
This is a composite of two photos showing the analog power supply. That transformer has got to weigh several pounds at least. The two aqua disks on the right are either capacitors or MOVs (surge suppressors) and the fuse is mounted to the left of them - strange that they made it so hard to change fuse, I prefer them to be integrated into the power cord receptacle.

[Linked Image]
The pitch and mod wheels, sporting identical looking brackets.

[Linked Image]
Analog PWB. Many dual op-amps (BA15532N), a dual power amp (LA6517), several 8-to-1 analog switches (74HC4051), an 8-in-1-out shift register (74HC595), and some random transistors and caps. From the high jumper count I'd say this is an inexpensive single layer PWB.

[Linked Image]
Digital PWB "brain board". TSOPs and QFPs, unfortunately all are house-marked. The two QFPs marked "Kawai K022-FP" also appear in the MP6 and MP10, which leads me think they are processors of some sort. The TSOP II chips may be synchronous DRAM and/or Flash. There may be ICs mounted on the other side as well.

[Linked Image]
Here the highest key has been removed and the hammer is being manually pressed against the bumper and rubber switch. The hammers are plastic with through-riveted iron weights on both sides. Interesting how the hammer resting height is adjustable, I wonder why? Note the complex aluminum extrusion. Nice keys, though the solid wood must make the entire assembly quite heavy.

[Linked Image]
A different view, this time with one more key removed from the top. You can see what looks like a paper height adjusting washer on one of the pivot pins. The pivot pins look to be pressed into a nylon block, while the guide pins are anchored in what appears to be a fairly thin piece of plywood located under the steel sheet. From the numbering reported by gvfarns it seems there are 4 distinct hammer weight grading zones. The black keys have different hammers than the white keys - probably so that they can be weighted less and/or have a different mechanical advantage.

Note the unexpected unevenness of the hammers down the row, something kind of strange going on there?

[Linked Image]
The ol' white key & tape measure money shot. 7 1/4" from played end to pivot point, the same as the RM3 action in the MP10 I believe (though the RM3 black key pivot points are moved forward 3/4" IIRC). Nice that the hammer was included in this shot because careful dimensional analysis could easily yield a rough idea of the key / hammer mechanical advantage.

A round of applause to gvfarns for these awesome MP8 nekid pichures!

Re: DPs Exposed! [Re: Kawai James] #1811312 12/23/11 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by dewster
Thanks for that confirmation James!


There are illustrations of the different hammer weights in the Kawai service manuals, however I'm reluctant to post pictures in a publc forum.


I came across this picture recently showing the weighted zones on the keyboard. THis was from of a group of pics showing the MP10. I havent seen it part of any marketing material, though I don't think it came from any service manual!

[Linked Image]

James, let me know if this is incorrect, and i will remove the picture.

Re: DPs Exposed! [Re: dewster] #1811409 12/23/11 06:54 PM
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vegasE, may I ask where you found that image?

It appears to reference an older keyboard action, and may therefore not be applicable to the latest 'RM3 Grand' action.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: DPs Exposed! [Re: dewster] #1811411 12/23/11 06:59 PM
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James, are the touch weights public knowledge? I'm particularly interested in the difference between AWA PRO and AWA PRO II.

With AWA PRO no one ever said Kawai had a lighter touch than Yamaha and now they say it often (Yamaha has not changed their action in many years it seems).

I'm interested if the difference from version I to version II was one of static weight or inertia (or both) and also whether RM3 has approximately the same weights as AWA PRO II or perhaps something in between the two versions of AWA PRO (since I never hear people say RM3 is too light...perhaps because they don't remember the weight of AWA PRO).

Last edited by gvfarns; 12/23/11 07:03 PM.
Re: DPs Exposed! [Re: dewster] #1811420 12/23/11 07:09 PM
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gvfarns, I believe this kind of thing is a slightly grey area. I could probably find out, but would probably be asked not to post the information on a public forum.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: DPs Exposed! [Re: Kawai James] #1811460 12/23/11 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
vegasE, may I ask where you found that image?

It appears to reference an older keyboard action, and may therefore not be applicable to the latest 'RM3 Grand' action.

Kind regards,
James
x


http://www.francepianos.com/granex/kawai_mp10.htm

I found it strange that the image was named "awazones" as well. Thats why i ended my post asking whether it was correct.
The funny thing was, i came across it searching for the CA51 - not the MP10. Sort of makes sense given the image file name.

In the past few weeks i have been testing some new DP's. I have found a MP10 and a MP8ii in a store sitting side by side. The actions did feel similarly weighted (not definative by any means) but the biggest difference i felt was the left-off mechanism of the MP10.

I have also been interested in the differences between the actions - AWA ProII and RM3.



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