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Why do some digital pianos have "ivory" feel keys? #1810045
12/21/11 04:11 PM
12/21/11 04:11 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
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Amaruk Offline OP
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Amaruk  Offline OP
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It just struck me as odd that many high end DPs have "ivory feel" type keys. I haven't looked at current APs offerings but do they have the same keys? If not, why did the manufacturers put that in their DPs?


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Re: Why do some digital pianos have "ivory" feel keys? [Re: Amaruk] #1810055
12/21/11 04:23 PM
12/21/11 04:23 PM
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gvfarns Offline
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Higher end acoustic pianos typically have an ivory feel key. James was just saying in Kawai the higher end uprights and all the grands have keys of NEOTEX, which is some kind of ivory feel. Yamaha's ivory feel for acoustics is called Ivorite. I've felt both and they are both pretty good (much better than real ivory in my opinion). Little bit of texture. Though personally I have no problem with good old acrylic resin (i.e., plastic) either.

Most digitals have plastic keys but the higher end ones in all three brands have an ivory imitation coating. These are not as high quality as the synthetic ivory on the acoustics. I have felt Rolands and I definitely did not like it. I felt it on the Yamaha's but didn't pay enough attention to it to notice it one way or the other. I haven't tried Kawai's digital ivory-feel.

I'm not sure what acoustic synthetic ivory like Neotex and Ivorite is made of (crushed unicorn horns?) but apparently it's too expensive to put on digitals. Hard to believe but true.

If I understand correctly, the AvantGrand N3 and N2 have Ivorite, apparently and the N1 has acrylic resin.

Digital piano makers have to put some kind of Ivory-imitation on more expensive digitals because people are already afraid that digitals are cheapo products, and pure plastic keys only reinforce that fear, though I am skeptical about their effect on performance.

Last edited by gvfarns; 12/21/11 04:39 PM.
Re: Why do some digital pianos have "ivory" feel keys? [Re: Amaruk] #1810063
12/21/11 04:34 PM
12/21/11 04:34 PM
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Ocngypz Offline
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IMHO it's marketing fluff - people think their digits will slip off some shiny plastic.

Doesn't feel like ivory either.

Re: Why do some digital pianos have "ivory" feel keys? [Re: Amaruk] #1810067
12/21/11 04:39 PM
12/21/11 04:39 PM
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gvfarns Offline
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Big downside of ivory-like coatings: they can get dirty and look yucky, unlike plastic. Real ivory has this property as well.

Last edited by gvfarns; 12/21/11 04:43 PM.
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Re: Why do some digital pianos have "ivory" feel keys? [Re: gvfarns] #1810143
12/21/11 06:47 PM
12/21/11 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by gvfarns
Higher end acoustic pianos typically have an ivory feel key. James was just saying in Kawai the higher end uprights and all the grands have keys of NEOTEX, which is some kind of ivory feel. Yamaha's ivory feel for acoustics is called Ivorite. I've felt both and they are both pretty good (much better than real ivory in my opinion).
Don't let an elephant hear you say that!


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Re: Why do some digital pianos have "ivory" feel keys? [Re: Amaruk] #1810149
12/21/11 06:52 PM
12/21/11 06:52 PM
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EssBrace Online content
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The Yamaha Ivorite is totally different to the simulated Ivory found on typical DPs. I find the N3's key surfaces (Ivorite) to NOT have the matte finish and exaggerated "grain" found on DPs, especially Roland's Ivory Feel. Ivorite looks smooth and creamy. Very classy.

The last time I fiddled around on a nice 6' brand new Bechstein it had horribly cheap looking plastic keys that were too white, like toy plastic. If Bechstein aren't bothered I don't really think it can be a big deal.

The grain on the Roland DPs looks absurd and is totally over-done in my opinion. It feels nice when new but no wonder it gets filthy and wears.


Roland RD-1000 | Yamaha CLP 645 | Broadwood Barless 7' 6"
Re: Why do some digital pianos have "ivory" feel keys? [Re: Ocngypz] #1810155
12/21/11 07:00 PM
12/21/11 07:00 PM
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voxpops Offline
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Originally Posted by Ocngypz
IMHO it's marketing fluff - people think their digits will slip off some shiny plastic.

Doesn't feel like ivory either.

I, for one, am very thankful for textured key surface. Having somewhat sweaty paws, during gigs (particularly in the summer) my fingers would be slipping and sliding all over the place with the shiny plastic keys. Now, I have only my poor technique to blame...


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Re: Why do some digital pianos have "ivory" feel keys? [Re: Amaruk] #1810184
12/21/11 07:57 PM
12/21/11 07:57 PM
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Sofia, Bulgaria
CyberGene Online content
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voxpops already answered that but "ivory feel" refers to a surface which is able to absorb the moisture and thus the grip is better. And it doesn't matter if you have dry or sweating palms. I have extremely dry palms, for example and can still notice the difference in grip between pure plastic keys and ivory feel keys.

Last edited by CyberGene; 12/21/11 07:58 PM.

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Re: Why do some digital pianos have "ivory" feel keys? [Re: Amaruk] #1810186
12/21/11 07:59 PM
12/21/11 07:59 PM
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EssBrace Online content
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I'm not saying there is no benefit at all but the makers of some of the best acoustic pianos don't use a simulated ivory key surface. Why would this be?


Roland RD-1000 | Yamaha CLP 645 | Broadwood Barless 7' 6"
Re: Why do some digital pianos have "ivory" feel keys? [Re: Amaruk] #1810187
12/21/11 08:02 PM
12/21/11 08:02 PM
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CyberGene Online content
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What do they use instead? I am sure they use some kind of moisture-absorbing surface even if they don't mention anything ivory-related in its name.


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Re: Why do some digital pianos have "ivory" feel keys? [Re: Amaruk] #1810215
12/21/11 09:01 PM
12/21/11 09:01 PM
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I think essbrace said that bechstein just uses good old non-absorbent plastic.

I agree that the stuff Yamaha and Kawai use on their acoustic grands is classy. The stuff on Roland digitals (at least the ones I tried) had actual grains...like maybe left over from use of a piantbrush or something. I (obviously) was not a fan.

Can someone with an RM3 action comment on the Kawai DP ivory surface?

Re: Why do some digital pianos have "ivory" feel keys? [Re: Amaruk] #1810235
12/21/11 09:28 PM
12/21/11 09:28 PM
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It has a good tactile feeling, doesn't wear out, looks good... what else smile


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Re: Why do some digital pianos have "ivory" feel keys? [Re: Amaruk] #1810243
12/21/11 09:53 PM
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gvfarns Offline
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Sounds good. So I assume there's no grain in it, then. Just a matte off-white plastic with a little bit of texture.

Re: Why do some digital pianos have "ivory" feel keys? [Re: Amaruk] #1810577
12/22/11 12:58 PM
12/22/11 12:58 PM
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Different surfaces are used on keytops by different manufacturers, both AP and DP, but to be frank, I don't have any problem with any of them - except for chipped ivory, which can cut the fingertips.

Of the well-known acoustic brands, only Fazioli stands out for their off-white sticky keytops; all the rest feel like plastic, including Steinway. As for DPs, Roland's original Ivory feel stands out from the others but its texture makes it prone to retaining dirt. But the new version (which I now have) is not quite so textured and also doesn't roughen with use, unlike the old one.


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Re: Why do some digital pianos have "ivory" feel keys? [Re: Amaruk] #1811380
12/23/11 07:18 PM
12/23/11 07:18 PM
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leemax Offline
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I have the ivory feel keys on my AP-620 and I really like them. I've played on real ivory keys on my old acoustic piano (which I no longer have) and have played plastic keys on some other keyboards. I definitely like the ivory feel keytops the best.


Lee

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