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Key length comparisons #2160906
10/02/13 03:11 PM
10/02/13 03:11 PM
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doremi Offline OP
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How do the key lengths (from front of key to pivot pin) of the GF and RM3 actions compare to those of Kawai acoustic grand pianos?

Related, the AvantGrands seem to have the action of a C1, a pretty short 5'3" acoustic grand piano.


I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked
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Re: Key length comparisons [Re: doremi] #2160955
10/02/13 06:29 PM
10/02/13 06:29 PM
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Marcos Daniel Offline
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I believe I've seen somewhere that GF had the same length as Kawai Ex

Last edited by Marcos Daniel; 10/02/13 09:16 PM.

Pianoteq / Kawai CL 35 & MP11 / Old 1920's Upright Zimmerman
Re: Key length comparisons [Re: doremi] #2160961
10/02/13 06:56 PM
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There's pretty much no chance of that. I'm sure it's the same length as some grand...most likely a baby grand or 6 footer. EX's have very long keys indeed (as do all full concert grands).

Kawai's wood action keys are long from front to back but the most relevant measurement is from the front to the pivot point. By the measure RM3 is significantly shorter than any acoustic piano.

Last edited by gvfarns; 10/02/13 06:57 PM.
Re: Key length comparisons [Re: gvfarns] #2160993
10/02/13 09:16 PM
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Pianoteq / Kawai CL 35 & MP11 / Old 1920's Upright Zimmerman
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Re: Key length comparisons [Re: Marcos Daniel] #2161010
10/02/13 10:29 PM
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doremi Offline OP
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Wow, good find, Marcos Daniel! Now we need to find out which grand piano model it is smile

[Linked Image]


I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked
Re: Key length comparisons [Re: doremi] #2161012
10/02/13 10:52 PM
10/02/13 10:52 PM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Online content
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Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Key length comparisons [Re: doremi] #2161020
10/02/13 11:12 PM
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I thought someone who owns a CA95 or CA65 had opened it up and measured the key length but I'm not able to find the thread. I see a post in the "DP's Exposed" thread about some CA95 internals but the poster doesn't seem to have measured the keys. Anyone else recall a thread in which someone has measured it?

If we have that length we can compare against the various lengths of acoustic action keys.

Re: Key length comparisons [Re: doremi] #2161024
10/02/13 11:18 PM
10/02/13 11:18 PM
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Marcos Daniel Offline
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@gvfarns you are right, Kawai doesn't claim that the GF key length is the same as EX's, and if it was the case I do believe that they would remark it...
By de way, until today I thought that all grands had about the same standard key length shocked
(I believe that except Yamaha and Kawai, other brands use almost identical Renner actions)

edit: quote from kawaius.com about GX series

Extended Length Spruce Keys
The overall length of each key has been extended to make playing easier and provide more even response from the front to the back of the playing surface. In addition, the keysticks are designed with a slightly taller profile for maximum rigidity to deliver greater power. Spruce is the ideal key material – light, yet extremely strong for its weight. It responds with minimal flex and exceptional consistency, transmitting every subtle nuance of the pianist’s performance while remaining stable through
years of heavy use.

Last edited by Marcos Daniel; 10/02/13 11:25 PM.

Pianoteq / Kawai CL 35 & MP11 / Old 1920's Upright Zimmerman
Re: Key length comparisons [Re: doremi] #2161170
10/03/13 10:50 AM
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All those actions are made by Renner, but they are all different lengths, depending on the size of the piano. There is an optimal location for the hammers to hit the strings. On a larger grand that location is farther away, so the whole mechanism has to be pushed out, which means longer keys.

Kawai and Yamaha make their own actions, but the basic dimensions vary in the same way as the Renner actions do with the size of the piano.

There is no major geometrical difference that I'm aware of between the keys/actions of the various manufacturers.

Last edited by gvfarns; 10/03/13 10:51 AM.
Re: Key length comparisons [Re: doremi] #2161213
10/03/13 12:29 PM
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doremi Offline OP
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The Kawai brochure compares the SOUND to that of a 9’ concert grand piano, but compares the ACTION to that of a grand piano of unspecified length.

The same marketing language was used for the Avantgrands, i.e. the sound was compared to a 9’ concert grand piano, but the action was compared to that of a grand piano of unspecified length. It turned out the action was of a 5’3” grand piano. BIG difference!

The question remains, as to key lengths of the GF and RM3 actions, what lengths of grand pianos in feet and inches, do they compare to?


I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked
Re: Key length comparisons [Re: doremi] #2161289
10/03/13 03:38 PM
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Couple of references. We had a similar discussion about this two years ago.

I in this post we learn some key lengths for standard piano sizes. They are as follows:

Quote
A nine footer's key length would be about 623 mm \ 24.5 inches
A seven footer's key length would be about 523 mm \ 20.5 inches
A five footer's key length would be about 480 mm \ 19 inches


Also at the same time we had a key length discussion in the tuner's forum and they told me that the fulcrum in an acoustic is right around the middle of the key, so divide those lengths by 2 to get the relevant dimension.

So now we just need someone to measure their GF keyboard from the front of the key to the fulcrum and we can compare at least against these measurements. If GF is similar to the keys of a 5 footer (I will be pleased if it is that long) then it should be around 9.5 inches from the front of the key to the fulcrum.

Based on this post this length for an RM3 key measured this way is about 7.25 inches. So GF needs to be 2.25 inches longer between the front of the key and the fulcrum to compare with a 5-footer. My guess is that that's about where it is.

GF would need to be a full 5 inches longer between the front of the key and the fulcrum to equal a concert grand length.

Last edited by gvfarns; 10/03/13 03:46 PM.
Re: Key length comparisons [Re: doremi] #2161301
10/03/13 03:51 PM
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Ahh, I found the info for the AG. In this post we measure the AvantGrand Key length as 9.5 inches. That's about the length of the "five foot" grand mentioned above. I guess now we just need to know if GF is longer than that.

In a later post someone looked at the pictures and guessed that GF is about 9 inches long. There's some leeway in our various measurements, so it could easily be the same length as the AvantGrand.

Last edited by gvfarns; 10/03/13 03:54 PM.
Re: Key length comparisons [Re: doremi] #2161353
10/03/13 05:36 PM
10/03/13 05:36 PM
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doremi Offline OP
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Kawai's shortest grand pianos are 5'0" and 5'5" long.

From memory, GF actions feel just a little different, but not inferior to those short grand pianos. Kawai did thus a good job with the GF actions, at least according to my fingers.

Now, if we could establish a similar reference point for the RM3 actions in the acoustic piano world ...


I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked
Re: Key length comparisons [Re: doremi] #2161489
10/03/13 11:10 PM
10/03/13 11:10 PM
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Marcos Daniel Offline
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I'm thinking of patenting a keyboard with "virtual pivot point", this way pivot point could be at infinitum :P
(I mean a key mounted over two levers istead of having a single pivot point wink )
I don't understand well what is the advantage of using wood instead of plastic, can anyone explain?

Last edited by Marcos Daniel; 10/03/13 11:12 PM.

Pianoteq / Kawai CL 35 & MP11 / Old 1920's Upright Zimmerman
Re: Key length comparisons [Re: Marcos Daniel] #2161525
10/04/13 12:48 AM
10/04/13 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcos Daniel
I don't understand well what is the advantage of using wood instead of plastic, can anyone explain?


It's the same material used for acoustic piano keys.

James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Key length comparisons [Re: doremi] #2161535
10/04/13 01:11 AM
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Thanks James, but assuming that the keytops are made of the same material, do you know if there is any other advantage?
I mean a mechanical advantage, perhaps related to elasticity or something like that...

And about virtual pivot point I was being almost serious, it is used on some bicycle's suspension, is a system where the instant centre of rotation is farther than in a suspension with a single pivot. (Of course it adds complexity)

Last edited by Marcos Daniel; 10/04/13 01:18 AM.

Pianoteq / Kawai CL 35 & MP11 / Old 1920's Upright Zimmerman
Re: Key length comparisons [Re: doremi] #2161545
10/04/13 01:29 AM
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Marcos Daniel, I wrote a short explanation entitled 'The significance of real wooden keys' in the CA95/CA65 brochure:

http://www.kawai.co.jp/worldwide/support/catalogue/CA95_CA65_brochure_EN.pdf

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Key length comparisons [Re: Marcos Daniel] #2161675
10/04/13 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcos Daniel
I don't understand well what is the advantage of using wood instead of plastic, can anyone explain?


It feels different. Wood and plastic have two different hardnesses so they transmit vibrations differently. When you bottom out a wooden key action you get the same kind of impact (more or less) as you feel on an acoustic, while plastic has a different feel at impact, regardless of the surface it's hitting.

It's also a pretty robust setup. If you look at the action on a Kawai wood action piano, it's on long, thick piece of wood and a relatively simple mechanism. Has the same little paper circles under it to even the keys that acoustics have. The key is unlikely to deteriorate with age or break (I've heard of no such report ever). We don't see a ton of broken pianos, but occasionally the plastic ones will break at their various weak points.

Last edited by gvfarns; 10/04/13 09:07 AM.
Re: Key length comparisons [Re: doremi] #2161967
10/05/13 01:01 AM
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Thanks James and gvfarns for your kind responses!


Pianoteq / Kawai CL 35 & MP11 / Old 1920's Upright Zimmerman

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