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Yamaha CX Silent Feature
#2499526 01/12/16 12:53 PM
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This might be a technicians'question, but I thought this question might be best addressed by one who owns or has played a Yamaha CX acoustic piano outfitted with the Silent Piano device (not to be confused with their Disklavier models). The CX models with the silent feature have the achronym "SH" following their typical model number (i.e., C7XSH).

Question: When the silent feature is engaged is the action and touch of the piano affected in any way? Dealers tell me that the action of the CX series is absolutely NOT affected when the device is engaged--that the instrument's touch is identical to the natural touch without the device engaged. This seems hard to believe since when the device is engaged a hammer stop wire keeps the hammers from striking the strings thereby cancelling somewhat the natural resonance, tonal movement, and reverberation of the instrument. This would seem to affect the touch and feel of the piano. In the Yamaha literature, Yamaha sort of fudges a bit on this issue. In describing this feature they state, " . . . unique technologies that allow them to offer a touch that is astonishlingly close to that of an acoustic grand piano even when in "Quit" mode."

I've yet to play one and any comments will be appreciated. The Silent feature is nice but not at the expense of a natural CX touch.

Re: Yamaha CX Silent Feature
BOREGARD #2499661 01/12/16 08:30 PM
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I am an owner of a standard C3X. While shopping I seriously considered buying a C3-Silent and tried one out extensively. My observations were that the action of the silent CX series is exactly the same when the silent mechanism is engage and dis-engaged. The silent mechanism does not change the feel or touch of a silent piano compared to itself in silent or acoustic modes. However, the action regulation is actually slightly different from a standard C3.

The silent and Disklavier CX action regulation have been adjusted in order to accommodate the optical sensors and silent mechanism bar, and this slight difference in regulation of the action means it is harder to play ppp (with silent mode on or off). Try this the next time you're at the store. Try playing ppp at a standard CX and a CX-SH (preferably same size and model otherwise) without engaging the silent mode. You'll find that the silent model's regulation is different especially noticeable when playing softly. Otherwise, at all other dynamics, it's not noticeably different. Whether this is deal breaker for you is hard to say.

It all depends on your playing style and your skills in adapting to the action and whether the silent feature is a high priority. By the way, the better your skills, the less this would matter. For a concert level pianist, the difference is probably not worth mentioning. I have done some homework including asking a concert pianist (http://lisayui.com/) who owns such a piano whether it makes much difference and she told me it does not. The difficulty in playing ppp on the SH may well be something that someone like myself who is less skilled have more trouble with.

I have to say that the binaural recording in the SH feature is so well done that I've heard many forget they were wearing headphone and often stood up and started walking away from the piano with the headphones still on and plugged into the piano.

If you decide to purchase one, make sure your tech knows the different specs for action regulation of a CX-SH versus standard. Also, there's a cable that needs to be unplugged from the action first before removing it completely for voicing and adjusting the hammers.

Hope this helps.

Re: Yamaha CX Silent Feature
BOREGARD #2500152 01/14/16 08:45 AM
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I have a Yamaha C2 SG (the model preceding the CX / SH series), and I don't feel there is a significant difference between playing with silent or non-silent mode. But that's just me.

Like the previous poster said: Best is you try them out yourself.


My grand piano is a Yamaha C2 SG.
My other Yamaha is an XMAX 300.
Re: Yamaha CX Silent Feature
patH #2500188 01/14/16 10:58 AM
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Dear Path: Thanks for your help on this issue.

Re: Yamaha CX Silent Feature
BOREGARD #2500297 01/14/16 04:26 PM
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I have a C3XSH, I feel there is a slight difference when the silent system is engaged, which might be due to the fact that you hit a plastic bar rather than the strings, but sometimes I think it's 'in my head'...and it might be also because the sound is not at the same level, which makes the action 'feel' either harder or lighter (harder most of the time)...Of course the mechanical sound that the action makes is not the same as well (the SH is obviously louder with all the bar hitting), so that also plays a role.
You can all feel the other keys more in SH mode because (I think) the bar transmits the impacts more than in acoustic mode).
I don't really feel any difference with the non SH C3 action, but maybe it's there, anyway I am extremely happy with my SH's acoustic action, I can play from ppp to FFF without undue effort, it is very reactive and smooth, not too hard (like Kawai usually) and not too soft (older grands perhaps). Yamaha has a good reputation for action and it seems fairly acquired (at least for grands).


Yamaha C3X-SH. Pianoteq V5. Steinberg U22 USB.
Re: Yamaha CX Silent Feature
BOREGARD #2500361 01/14/16 09:26 PM
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A difference in touch would be a good thing, not a bad one. If you only practice on one instrument, you don't develop the ability to adjust to the different response you'll get from any other piano.



-- J.S.

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Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Re: Yamaha CX Silent Feature
BOREGARD #2500816 01/16/16 04:27 AM
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Practicing on a high quality, yet challenging instrument does help to adapt to others.

Re: Yamaha CX Silent Feature
BOREGARD #2500948 01/16/16 04:38 PM
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Hi Boregard - pianos have something called "escapement". This is where the jack disengages just before the hammer makes contact with the string to allow the hammer to fall back and allow the string to vibrate freely.

Yamaha's silent system engages the hammer just after letoff by moving a bar with a rubber rail on it to intercept the hammers after letoff, but before they touch the strings.

the bar isn't the sensor though, there are optic sensors in the action that transmit the MIDI data to the cpu.

in previous versions of the silent - techs would set the letoff to be a further distance from the strings than regular to allow space for the silent system to engage. This poses a problem because that will rob the piano of some power at higher dynamic levels.

The new SH features a rotating escapement jack that makes up for this difference by adding two levels of escapement for silent mode and regular mode. It's a bit tech-y to explain, which is probably why they don't spend a whole lot of time on it in the literature. Regardless, the purpose of this is to give the technician the freedom to have the letoff at a regular amount so you don't sacrifice power in acoustic mode.


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