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Re: Key action feel terminology and description for DP [Re: Daniel Richter] #2197021
12/13/13 12:38 PM
12/13/13 12:38 PM
Joined: May 2011
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maurus Offline
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Originally Posted by Daniel Richter
This forum and many other places already been talking about this things for many years. Is about time someone make a "dictionary" about it, to standardize terms. Don't you think?


Allow me to remain unconvinced. The endless talk about these things proves, in my view, that language is not sufficient to convey in a transparent, intersubjectively understood fashion what is going on. I've seen the very same actions been described as 'heavy' or 'light', etc.

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Re: Key action feel terminology and description for DP [Re: Daniel Richter] #2197043
12/13/13 01:14 PM
12/13/13 01:14 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 744
Denton Texas
LesCharles73 Offline
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This one probably doesn't need to be added to the list since it isn't a DP, but I've heard harpsicords be described as "crunchy".


Les C Deal




Re: Key action feel terminology and description for DP [Re: LesCharles73] #2197078
12/13/13 02:15 PM
12/13/13 02:15 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 239
Venezuela
Daniel Richter Offline OP
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Daniel Richter  Offline OP
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crunchy? That is a new one for me. Maybe because I am not familiar with harpsichords.


Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

Owner of Kawai ES100
Re: Key action feel terminology and description for DP [Re: Daniel Richter] #2197099
12/13/13 03:00 PM
12/13/13 03:00 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,675
Northern NJ
dewster Offline
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Originally Posted by Daniel Richter
Confirm if you are sure about that. If you are, then is clear both types exist.

If you look at the pictures on my DPs Exposed! thread you'll see lots of "hammers" that aren't fully constrained by the keys. I think leaving the "hammer" free to do what it wants to do is more like a real piano action. Also, most sensors seem to be actuated by the "hammer" rather the key.

Other than measuring down weight and perhaps fulcrum distance, key "feel" is a fairly subjective thing. I'm sure it could be objectively characterized fairly simply, at least to a first order, but without "hammer" mass and lever ratios you're wandering around in the land of conjecture. That's why most "key feel" threads pretty much go nowhere and we always advise people to try before they buy.

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Re: Key action feel terminology and description for DP [Re: Daniel Richter] #2197136
12/13/13 04:17 PM
12/13/13 04:17 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,540
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gvfarns Offline
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I'd suggest that "weight" be separated into three subitems:

1. Upweight -- the amount of force necessary to initiate movement when the key is completely up. Pianos with high upweight and low overall weight can feel crisp and in the extreme, be difficult to control.

2. Downweight -- how much the key pushes back when it is in the completely down position

3. Dyanmic weight -- related to how much inertia is in the hammer/key. A given key could be balanced so that the up and downweights are almost nothing but have a lot of mass. So if you play a loud note it requires a ton of force, while playing something slow/light will require less force.


The other important and omitted characteristic is key length, which governs the ratio of how hard a key is to press at the very front vs at the back. This is related to how far it is to the fulcrum or pivot point of the key lever (not the hammer).

Last edited by gvfarns; 12/13/13 04:21 PM.
Re: Key action feel terminology and description for DP [Re: gvfarns] #2197292
12/13/13 11:28 PM
12/13/13 11:28 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 239
Venezuela
Daniel Richter Offline OP
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Daniel Richter  Offline OP
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Venezuela
Thanks gvfarns. I will see how add that. Maybe too specific issue because people overall just say "feels heavier or lighter", but I will still see how add that.

Reply to dewster: Maybe you are right. I don't know. Maybe my ES100 have the hammers lose and "my test" is not really accurate. Is subjective, unless I open my ES100 and see the action my self (I will not do that, unless is for repairing something).

Since I overall don't have much experience in this subject, and you have a lot more experience, I will take your word for it. Even if would be exceptions with keys constraining the hammers, I suppose most don't. The animation should show what most do. Will edit that as you mention.

Thanks you two for the help.


Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

Owner of Kawai ES100
Re: Key action feel terminology and description for DP [Re: Daniel Richter] #2197307
12/14/13 12:39 AM
12/14/13 12:39 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,675
Northern NJ
dewster Offline
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Originally Posted by Daniel Richter
Is subjective, unless I open my ES100 and see the action my self (I will not do that, unless is for repairing something).

Come on man, get a screwdriver, crack that baby open, and post some naked pictures!

It'll be just among us friends, no one else will ever know. wink

Re: Key action feel terminology and description for DP [Re: dewster] #2197371
12/14/13 07:21 AM
12/14/13 07:21 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 239
Venezuela
Daniel Richter Offline OP
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Daniel Richter  Offline OP
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lol. Yeah right. wink

My DP is new. I don't want to mess with it. I often damage things I disassemble (call me clumsy).

If in a few years from now I have wear problems with the DP, and warranty period ends, I definitely will give you all the "naked" pictures of the Kawai ES100 you can want.


Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

Owner of Kawai ES100
Re: Key action feel terminology and description for DP [Re: Daniel Richter] #2197444
12/14/13 11:20 AM
12/14/13 11:20 AM
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Posts: 3,540
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gvfarns Offline
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Originally Posted by Daniel Richter
and warranty period ends


This is the relevant issue, I'd say. These manufacturers are pretty good at honoring their warranty meaningfully, so there's actually some value in it.

Re: Key action feel terminology and description for DP [Re: Daniel Richter] #2197449
12/14/13 11:31 AM
12/14/13 11:31 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,409
Vught, The Netherlands
Dave Horne Offline
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Vught, The Netherlands
... organic ... smile


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Re: Key action feel terminology and description for DP [Re: gvfarns] #2197479
12/14/13 12:22 PM
12/14/13 12:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,675
Northern NJ
dewster Offline
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Northern NJ
Originally Posted by gvfarns
Originally Posted by Daniel Richter
and warranty period ends

This is the relevant issue, I'd say. These manufacturers are pretty good at honoring their warranty meaningfully, so there's actually some value in it.

I just looked at the ES100 US warranty - it reads much the same as Yamaha's warranty, which doesn't seem to explicitly disallow a simple opening up and buttoning back up. Of the few DPs I've opened up I haven't seen any tamper tell-tales in there (decals or stickers that get torn, etc.).

Of course, if one feels nervous about doing such things I'd recommend against it.

Re: Key action feel terminology and description for DP [Re: dewster] #2197485
12/14/13 12:27 PM
12/14/13 12:27 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 239
Venezuela
Daniel Richter Offline OP
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Daniel Richter  Offline OP
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Main reason is that I don't want to risk damaging something that works perfectly. There is always some risk on disassembling devices like this.


Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

Owner of Kawai ES100
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