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#1864219 - 03/18/12 03:24 PM Kawai CA93 - varying gaps between white keys  
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 3
Gritpype Offline
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Gritpype  Offline
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UK
Folks,

Long time lurker, first time poster.

Last week, after six years, I took the plunge and moved up from a Yamaha P90 to a Kawai CA93. My decision was based in no small part on the level-headed support and advice from all the posters on this forum.

Well, the piano arrived yesterday and almost everything is wonderful. I love the look of it, the keyboard action and the sound.

However, there's a fly in the ointment - the gap between the white keys varies considerably, with some gaps up to twice the size of others. This doesn't directly affect my playing but it doesn't look very attractive. As luck would have it, the worst-affected area is around middle C, so it's right in front of me!

I've taken a couple of photos to show this:

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/TopB2C.jpg
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/SideB2C.jpg
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/TopE2F.jpg

showing:

- the gap between middle C and the adjacent B viewed from on top
- as before, but from the front
- the gap between the E and F above middle C

I know there was an issue a little while back with something similar on the MP10, but I understood that had been resolved.

I shall be contacting the dealer to flag that I'm not happy, but before doing so I would appreciate your thoughts on:

a) has anyone else encountered this?
b) is this sort of variation normal? (Am I simply being too fussy?)
c) might it 'settle down' after some weeks of playing?


Thanks,

Gritpype

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#1864220 - 03/18/12 03:27 PM Re: Kawai CA93 - varying gaps between white keys [Re: Gritpype]  
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Ovidiu M Offline
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Thats not nice for a flagship DP...

#1864223 - 03/18/12 03:34 PM Re: Kawai CA93 - varying gaps between white keys [Re: Gritpype]  
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spanishbuddha Offline
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The dealer should ask Kawai to service it in your home. I think all will be fixed to your satisfaction.

#1864237 - 03/18/12 04:01 PM Re: Kawai CA93 - varying gaps between white keys [Re: Gritpype]  
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DazedAndConfused Offline
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Greenwich, London, United King...
Originally Posted by Gritpype


a) has anyone else encountered this?
b) is this sort of variation normal? (Am I simply being too fussy?)
c) might it 'settle down' after some weeks of playing?


Thanks,

Gritpype


b) No. It shouldn't happen on any instrument let alone a previous one.

c) No. I would advise you to have it serviced at home or send it back. For the money, it ought to be flawless, out of the blocks.

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#1864243 - 03/18/12 04:11 PM Re: Kawai CA93 - varying gaps between white keys [Re: Gritpype]  
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Keegan Offline
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I've seen these gaps on a CA-93 I went to check out at my local dealer about a year ago. When I asked the salesperson about it, he seemed to be eager to dismiss my observation by stating it was a normal part of the design...I didn't bother to argue with him as I really had no intention to buy at that time. I am considering one now, and will certainly ensure these gaps do not exist as I found them extremely visually distracting for such an expensive model.

As far as I remember, the gaps appeared to occur where the "grading" steps would approximately occur on a typical graded hammer action DP (splitting the keyboard into 4 zones).

I've played many different copies of pretty well every DP except the Kawais and have NEVER witnessed such a silly thing as spacing between the keys like I saw on the CA-93 and in the OP's pictures.

Last edited by Keegan; 03/18/12 04:13 PM.

Kawai CA-65, AKG K702, M-Audio Fast Track Pro
Pianoteq, VI Labs Ravenscroft
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#1864245 - 03/18/12 04:12 PM Re: Kawai CA93 - varying gaps between white keys [Re: Gritpype]  
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gvfarns Offline
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It's not unusual for those wooden actions to have gaps like that. Acoustic pianos sometimes do as well. As long as it's not affecting your playing it's probably not a serious problem.

Having said that, it's brand new, so you can probably get a technician from Kawai to come make it better. RM3 is a very simple, easily maintained and fixed action. Probably the felt that holds the keys in position just needs smooshing or something. Even replacing a few keys--the most drastic measure I can imagine--is very easy. I would be comfortable doing this myself if I had a piano that was out of warranty. As it is, nearly brand new, it's better to let the dealer work with it.

Another possibility: it might be that the C key curves just a bit one way and unfortunately the B key curves the opposite way. Either curve could be acceptable but together they are not. The weightings for keys is in four groups, not continuous, so the technician could probably just swap your C key for a nearby F and/or your B for a nearby E and then everything would look even.

#1864286 - 03/18/12 05:50 PM Re: Kawai CA93 - varying gaps between white keys [Re: Gritpype]  
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Kawai James Offline
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Kawai James  Offline
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Gritpype, welcome to the forum, and congratulations on the purchase of your new CA93.

As you note, while the key gap doesn't affect your playing, it's not terribly attractive, so I can fully understand your desire to have it rectified.

Originally Posted by Gritpype
I know there was an issue a little while back with something similar on the MP10, but I understood that had been resolved.


Yes, it should be resolved on newly received stock, however it's possible that the instrument you received was from an older batch.

Originally Posted by Gritpype
I shall be contacting the dealer to flag that I'm not happy...


Yes, that would obviously be my recommendation. I'm confident that the dealer will be able to resolve the issue relatively easily.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#1864594 - 03/19/12 08:57 AM Re: Kawai CA93 - varying gaps between white keys [Re: Gritpype]  
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motifmm6 Offline
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Varying gaps is a common complaint, especially for 61-keys and 76 keys non weighted action keys, less common in weighted 88 keys. Lower end products at entry level prices might have a higher chance of having this varying gaps.

The technicians would probably need to open up the DP and re-position the keys, so that the gaps are more even.

On the higher end DPs, this should not be an issue.

It is quite a surprise that CA93, being a rather professional level DP, has this issue.

Last edited by motifmm6; 03/19/12 08:58 AM.
#1864602 - 03/19/12 09:20 AM Re: Kawai CA93 - varying gaps between white keys [Re: Gritpype]  
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MacMacMac Offline
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Not surprising, really. The high-end Kawais have wooden keys, which are probably bushed ... leading to variation.

The Yamahas and Rolands have plastic keys. The keys are not bushed, and the method of attachment makes uneven spacing very unlikely.

#1864608 - 03/19/12 09:34 AM Re: Kawai CA93 - varying gaps between white keys [Re: Gritpype]  
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Kawai James Offline
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Kawai James  Offline
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^ this.

The number of keys is irrelevant, as is whether or not they are weighted - I honestly don't know why motifmm6 makes this assumption.

The important factors are materials and mounting/attachment:

- Kawai's high-end keyboard actions use individually cut wooden keys that sit upon a central balance pin.
- Other manufacturers use vacuum/injection moulded plastic keys that essentially 'snap' into place.

That's not to say that large gaps in between keys are acceptable - they're not. And this is why I recommended Gritpype reports his/her concerns to the dealer, requesting that the issue be resolved.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#1864665 - 03/19/12 11:32 AM Re: Kawai CA93 - varying gaps between white keys [Re: motifmm6]  
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Manolios Offline
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Originally Posted by motifmm6
Varying gaps is a common complaint, especially for 61-keys and 76 keys non weighted action keys,


Hmm, that would be new to me, I seriously doubt that this is a common problem with non-weighted / synth keyboards. At least I have never seen or heard this problem occured often to synthesizer keyboards, and I've seen a lot of them throughout the last 25 years. But I certainly didn't see them all, of course. ;-)

For the record, I used and LOVED a Kawai MP9000 and MP9500 in the last 10 years, both had the AWA Grand Pro keyboard ( I guess ) and while they had little varying gaps between the keys, it never was a big problem for me.


Last edited by Manolios; 03/19/12 12:08 PM.
#1864690 - 03/19/12 12:25 PM Re: Kawai CA93 - varying gaps between white keys [Re: Gritpype]  
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motifmm6 Offline
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I made the assumption based on my observations in the stores and a 61 keys synth I owned which has the same problem. I play the MM6 synth and there is a significant gap between the B and C keys for almost all the 5 octaves, with the middle C being most obvious. It wasn't really a big problem for me, but in terms of aesthetics/looks, it's a little distracting. Then I went to the shops to check out the keys. I noticed that for the cheaper PSR models, this problem is more prevalent. However, on the higher end models like the MOTIF, I didn't notice this issue on the keys.

Also, I check out the 88 weighted keys on GHS (eg. MM8, MOX8, DGX, P95 etc). I didn't notice such problems on the GHS keys too. For the GH3 keys, like those on Clavinovas, I didn't see such problems too. So I assume that generally for 88 keys, the problem is less compared to 61 keys.

I guess it has something to do with the quality checks in place when fixing the keys onto the board.

For very discerning players, such gaps could affect the playability of the DP.


Last edited by motifmm6; 03/19/12 12:27 PM.
#1865393 - 03/20/12 03:17 PM Re: Kawai CA93 - varying gaps between white keys [Re: Gritpype]  
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Gritpype Offline
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Gritpype  Offline
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Originally Posted by Gritpype


I shall be contacting the dealer to flag that I'm not happy...


Thanks for the comments everyone - you've helped reassure me I'm not being unreasonable. I've contacted the dealer and he's arranging for a technician to visit and inspect/repair.
I'm away for a week, so it'll probably be ten days or so before anything actually happens, but I'll let you know the outcome. (And maybe a couple of pictures to show the 'after' results!)

Regards
Gritpype

#1865398 - 03/20/12 03:29 PM Re: Kawai CA93 - varying gaps between white keys [Re: motifmm6]  
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vegasE Offline
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Originally Posted by motifmm6
For very discerning players, such gaps could affect the playability of the DP.


Excuse #84 for a bad performance: it was the gaps between the keys.

#1865416 - 03/20/12 04:04 PM Re: Kawai CA93 - varying gaps between white keys [Re: vegasE]  
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andi85 Offline
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Germany
Originally Posted by vegasE
Originally Posted by motifmm6
For very discerning players, such gaps could affect the playability of the DP.


Excuse #84 for a bad performance: it was the gaps between the keys.


In that case, you're excused.


Best

Andreas
#2027836 - 02/06/13 03:32 AM Re: Kawai CA93 - varying gaps between white keys [Re: Gritpype]  
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Petro15 Offline
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Hi all, I have very similar gaps in my new Yamaha CLP 470.
I ve called to dealer and the reply was that various gaps are normal in digital pianos and also acustic grand pianos.

Gritpype, how did you solve the problem?

Regards,
Petro

#2027847 - 02/06/13 04:20 AM Re: Kawai CA93 - varying gaps between white keys [Re: Gritpype]  
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Dustin Spray Offline
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Central Illinois
I have some minor gaps on my new Kawai CA65 as well. The most noticable one is the "D" above middle "C", but it seems to be a common issue and people have said to not get too hung up on it and let it bother you. Im not going to worry about it because my piano plays wonderful and I would rather not have somebody rip into and "fix" something thats not really broke in my opinion........

Refer to this thread.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubb...20regulation%20&%20.html#Post2014743

It appears to be normal for pianos with wooden keys to have some small gaps.....

Last edited by Dustin Spray; 02/06/13 04:26 AM.

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