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#1991262 - 11/26/12 11:07 PM Casio CDP-120 Noisy Key Assistance Requested  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 130
Michael H Offline
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Michael H  Offline
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Long Island, NY
I recently purchased a Casio CDP-120 while my PX-330 was out for warranty repair of a few very irritating noisy keys. Within two days of getting the CDP I was hearing key noise again, so I decided to look into it myself.

Key noise on the Casio's appears to be fairly common, just as it is with some other inexpensive keyboards. Personally, I feel the Casio actions feel superior to Yamaha's, but are noisier. Researching, I came across a few references to felt that's supposed to cushion each key as it returns, not doing an adequate job. One poster mentioned that gluing cloth on top of the felt made the keys almost noiseless. I don't know that I'd use cloth myself, but the idea is promising.

I'd like to find a fix, it's not rocket science. However I'd appreciate some advice on how to open the case. It's likely just a matter of removing all the bottom screws, as it is on the CDP-100, but if someone has firsthand knowledge I'd appreciate it.

Once I've worked it out, I'll share the knowledge, since I think some others might find it useful as well.


Last edited by Michael H; 11/26/12 11:08 PM.

2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelhagglund/from/greatindiemusic
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#1991280 - 11/27/12 12:35 AM Re: Casio CDP-120 Noisy Key Assistance Requested [Re: Michael H]  
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galaxy4t Offline
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galaxy4t  Offline
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Michael,
If the piano is still under warranty, have Casio fix it. If not, you need to open it up and inspect it. It could be the felt is compressed or beaten down from the hammer striking against it. Look for areas where it seems to be sagging. The noise is caused by the further hammer travel when you strike that key(s). There should be two long pieces of felt glued to a rubber strip. One is probably attached to the bottom of the case, the other is glued to the underside of the keybed. The hammer bounces between the two pieces of felt. Casio uses a rather soft material that compresses easily, especially if you hit the keys hard. I ended up replacing the felt with woven wool felt bought from a piano supply. Replacing the lower piece is easy and may be all you need to do. The upper piece is harder because you have to run it under the hammers. It is possible to do but you need patience. To disassemble you will need to remove a bunch of screws from the bottom sides and probably inside as well.

Last edited by galaxy4t; 11/27/12 12:38 AM.
#1991338 - 11/27/12 07:07 AM Re: Casio CDP-120 Noisy Key Assistance Requested [Re: galaxy4t]  
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Bigmark Offline
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#1991402 - 11/27/12 10:40 AM Re: Casio CDP-120 Noisy Key Assistance Requested [Re: Michael H]  
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Michael H Offline
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Michael H  Offline
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Thanks for the information about the felt galaxy4t. I do have some piano felt on hand, but it may be too thick, so I'll probably need to order some. The noise is on the key return, so it may be the more difficult of the two repairs. Thanks also for the link to pics of the PX-330, Bigmark.

If anyone has specifics on which screws to remove on a CDP-120 that would help, otherwise I'll just remove the bottom ones first and take it from there.


2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelhagglund/from/greatindiemusic
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#1991486 - 11/27/12 01:56 PM Re: Casio CDP-120 Noisy Key Assistance Requested [Re: Michael H]  
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galaxy4t Offline
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galaxy4t  Offline
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Michael,
Noise is common on Casio when the keys return. Seems there is more bounce with the key on the way up. The Casio I had used to clack badly until I replaced the felt.

#1991498 - 11/27/12 02:20 PM Re: Casio CDP-120 Noisy Key Assistance Requested [Re: Michael H]  
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Michael H Offline
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Michael H  Offline
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I've got it disassembled now, big job, and I've got a temperament strip that might do the job.

Looking at the hammers, there's another reason for the noisy-ness. The front of the hammer, where it contacts the felt, is very narrow, so the pressure on the felt is over a small area, therefore I expect it would compress more easily. They might could have used a little wider felt and it may have helped a bit.

Last edited by Michael H; 11/27/12 03:01 PM.

2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelhagglund/from/greatindiemusic
#1991553 - 11/27/12 04:09 PM Re: Casio CDP-120 Noisy Key Assistance Requested [Re: Michael H]  
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Michael H Offline
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Michael H  Offline
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Long Island, NY
*** UPDATE ***

Putting new felts on went fine, but that didn't solve my problem.

As it turns out, certain keys bounce more than usual when they return to a resting position. Those that are noisiest bounce the most (reminds me of center pins in an acoustic action- they can be too loose or too tight). This explains why the noise doesn't always happen when you're playing slowly, with less velocity, chordally, etc. Rapid playing and release is more apt to cause the noise.

So it seems that this is an action noise problem, at least in my case. And I realize it's unrealistic to expect a finely regulated action in this inexpensive an instrument. However, my more expensive PX-330 was prone to the same problem. I'm curious if the new PX-150 and PX-350 have this issue. Anyone?

In the meantime, since I've got it apart, I'll take another look tomorrow. Maybe something can be tightened up or otherwise adjusted. If a solution doesn't present itself, I'll just live with it.

Last edited by Michael H; 11/27/12 04:11 PM.

2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelhagglund/from/greatindiemusic
#1991646 - 11/27/12 07:34 PM Re: Casio CDP-120 Noisy Key Assistance Requested [Re: Michael H]  
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xorbe Offline
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Big props for the DIY attempt of DP improvement!

#1991654 - 11/27/12 08:03 PM Re: Casio CDP-120 Noisy Key Assistance Requested [Re: Michael H]  
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galaxy4t Offline
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galaxy4t  Offline
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Action might be quieter if they used plastic hammers like Roland does. Instead they use steel which is a harder material. I think the noise largely comes from the fact that it pivots on hard plastic and when it hits those felt coated rubber strips it really flies. You could try adding another strip of felt to help cushion it more.

#1991706 - 11/27/12 10:06 PM Re: Casio CDP-120 Noisy Key Assistance Requested [Re: xorbe]  
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Michael H Offline
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Michael H  Offline
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Long Island, NY
Originally Posted by xorbe
Big props for the DIY attempt of DP improvement!


Thanks, xorbe. It's just such a good controller except for the noise that it's worth some effort.



2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelhagglund/from/greatindiemusic
#1991709 - 11/27/12 10:14 PM Re: Casio CDP-120 Noisy Key Assistance Requested [Re: galaxy4t]  
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Michael H Offline
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Michael H  Offline
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Long Island, NY
Originally Posted by galaxy4t
Action might be quieter if they used plastic hammers like Roland does. Instead they use steel which is a harder material. I think the noise largely comes from the fact that it pivots on hard plastic and when it hits those felt coated rubber strips it really flies. You could try adding another strip of felt to help cushion it more.


I'm a bit concerned that building up the felt any more might throw off the key levelling, but I'll experiment.


2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelhagglund/from/greatindiemusic
#1992185 - 11/28/12 11:31 PM Re: Casio CDP-120 Noisy Key Assistance Requested [Re: Michael H]  
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Michael H Offline
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Michael H  Offline
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Long Island, NY
***UPDATE***

I've pretty much decided that my noise issue has nothing to do with the felt. The fulcrum area of the hammer mechanism (like the middle of a seesaw) appears to have a bit too much play in it, and it doesn't take much to throw the whole thing off.

The noise I believe is parts hitting each other when they're jarred by the hammer coming to rest. I put a temporary shim in place and the hammer bounced less excessively than before and the action was somewhat quieter, though not perfect. Now I'm looking for a permanent way to fix the looseness.

BTW, this Casio action really feels great to me, and looking at the innards of this instrument it seems very well designed.







2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelhagglund/from/greatindiemusic
#1992229 - 11/29/12 01:28 AM Re: Casio CDP-120 Noisy Key Assistance Requested [Re: Michael H]  
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galaxy4t Offline
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galaxy4t  Offline
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Lakewood, CA
I agree that it is built pretty well, and the feel is good. However the design while functional and simple is made cheaply. Would be nice to see Casio do more to quiet down the keybed.

Last edited by galaxy4t; 11/29/12 01:30 AM.
#1992421 - 11/29/12 02:27 PM Re: Casio CDP-120 Noisy Key Assistance Requested [Re: Michael H]  
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Michael H Offline
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Michael H  Offline
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Long Island, NY
***NOISY KEY ISSUE FIXED***

As I surmised in my last post, the problem WAS caused by looseness at the hammer fulcrum point. I used a shim to stop excessive motion and the problem is gone. Hallelujah!

So, it appears that presently there are at least two separate action issues that owners may have been experiencing related to noisy key action- compressed/ineffecive felt damping, and loose action parts.

Some people tolerate key noise better than others, and onstage it's pretty much a non-issue. But at home this was very distracting to me, and it detracted from an otherwise enjoyable playing experience, because the current batch of Casio's have a great feeling action. I was considering getting a Yamaha instead, but the GHS action is too light for my taste, and the GH(E) action seems too sluggish, or heavy. My opinion, of course. So, attempting a fix was worth the time, and next time I'll know what to look for.

A certain amount of generalized action noise is to be expected on lightweight keyboards like the Casio's and entry level Yamaha's, since there's less mass/weight to absorb vibration. But IMO one note, or several, shouldn't be a lot noisier than neighboring notes, when the action parts are identical. I agree with galaxy4t that this should be addressed.





2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelhagglund/from/greatindiemusic
#1992476 - 11/29/12 04:45 PM Re: Casio CDP-120 Noisy Key Assistance Requested [Re: Michael H]  
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galaxy4t Offline
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Michael,
Is there any way you can post pictures showing what you did?

#1992486 - 11/29/12 05:11 PM Re: Casio CDP-120 Noisy Key Assistance Requested [Re: galaxy4t]  
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Posts: 130
Michael H Offline
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Michael H  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2005
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Long Island, NY
Originally Posted by galaxy4t
Michael,
Is there any way you can post pictures showing what you did?


I took one picture of the action when I had it all disassembled, although my camera isn't great. Next time I take it apart I can take some more pictures, but for right now that's all I have.

Can you post pictures here, and if so, how? Would you be able to confirm whether the action is the same on all these Casio's once you see it? If there's no way to post a pic, I could email it to you if you like.


2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelhagglund/from/greatindiemusic
#1992549 - 11/29/12 07:57 PM Re: Casio CDP-120 Noisy Key Assistance Requested [Re: Michael H]  
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galaxy4t Offline
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galaxy4t  Offline
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Yes, you can post pics but they have to exist on your own website. The FAQ at the top gells how. It's looks easy.


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