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Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer #2601311 01/05/17 01:10 PM
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RickardNi Offline OP
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I must say I realize I have no clue anymore about Yamaha's different hammer actions.

For CLP-575 they are bragging with the "88 Linear Graded Hammer Action", and further explains:
"This action faithfully reproduces the subtle differences in the weight and return of every key. No two keys are exactly alike, giving the player the best possible feel and response from the instrument."

I thought this sounded great, and precisly what I needed in order to learn the proper way and preparing for a real acoustic piano. But then I realized that all the other actions they promote basically says the same thing.

Even my cheap DGX-650 that has GHS (Graded Hammer Standard) is explained as:
"The Yamaha Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) keyboard features a weighted action with heavier touch in the low end and lighter touch in the high end, just like the hammers inside an acoustic piano."

So what is the difference here really? Is the first one really noticeable better than regular GHS/GH3/GH3X? Can anyone tell a difference? I don't understand at all.

It seems that every digital piano from the major brands, like Kawai CA67/97, Roland HP603/605, Casio GP-300, have graded key action. So what would be thier equivalent to the "88 Linear Graded Hammer" that is so valuable it's only found on Yamaha's more expensive CLP-575/585?


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Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer [Re: RickardNi] #2601315 01/05/17 01:24 PM
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Counterweights (which the GHS does not have, it has only heavier weights (not "counter" at the end, i opened it)) allow for bigger dynamic resistance while keeping the static resistance down. Better acousic pianos have also counterweights. Not so good acoustics don't have countweights and are only heavier (more static force) in the bass because of the more felt around the hammers in the bass.

Daniel


KAWAI CS11 (sold KAWAI CA 97), KAWAI GX2 acoustic grand piano (sold SCHIMMEL acoustic upright)
Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer [Re: RickardNi] #2601316 01/05/17 01:28 PM
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Sure, Daniel, but the CLP-575 doesn't have counter-weights, but still have "88 Linear Graded Hammer Action". So what is the difference between that one and CLP-545 that doesn't have that feature?


Kawai CA97 + Sennheiser HD 650
Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer [Re: RickardNi] #2601317 01/05/17 01:28 PM
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Graded is not the same as counterwights. Graded just means that the static AND dynamic resistance inreases, while with counterwights the DYNAMIC resistance inreases (which one wants) and the static resistance kan be kept low (which one might want)

Daniel


KAWAI CS11 (sold KAWAI CA 97), KAWAI GX2 acoustic grand piano (sold SCHIMMEL acoustic upright)
Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer [Re: RickardNi] #2601319 01/05/17 01:32 PM
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Have you ever played a spring keyboard action (only static resistance). Then you know the difference. Nuanced playing with a keyboard action is nearly impossible.

Daniel


KAWAI CS11 (sold KAWAI CA 97), KAWAI GX2 acoustic grand piano (sold SCHIMMEL acoustic upright)
Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer [Re: RickardNi] #2601321 01/05/17 01:33 PM
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This is something DP manufacturers don't stress (unless, as you've noticed, they have a variant likthe the 575/585 that does more), but AFAIK most makers with "graded" hammer actions do not have a discrete weight per key. Rather, they divide the keybed into 4-6 zones, and have a different weight for each zone. From bass to trebel, the GF1 action in the MP11 has a 15-key zone at the bottom, then a 17-key zone, 31-key zone, and a 25-key zone at the top.

Honestly, I wouldn't have really noticed the zone layout if I didn't know the specs, but that's how it works.

Having a unique weight per key/hammer is more similar to real pianos, which (from what I've seen) have different hammer weights per key due to hammer felt sizing, but also makes inventory control, supply chain and support channels more complicated (since you can no longer reuse as many parts across different keys).


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer [Re: RickardNi] #2601323 01/05/17 01:34 PM
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I still don't understand. I know that graded is not the same as counter-weights, but the CLP-575 does NOT have it. NOT.

Still you say "Graded is this..." and then "while with counterweights".

Forget about counterweights, the CLP-575 does NOT have it.

But it DOES still have the "88 Linear Graded Hammer Action", which Yamaha markets as superior to regular GHS.

(I might be misunderstanding you here completely, but it still sounds like you are comparing graded to counter-weights.)


Kawai CA97 + Sennheiser HD 650
Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer [Re: Gombessa] #2601326 01/05/17 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
This is something DP manufacturers don't stress (unless, as you've noticed, they have a variant likthe the 575/585 that does more), but AFAIK most makers with "graded" hammer actions do not have a discrete weight per key. Rather, they divide the keybed into 4-6 zones, and have a different weight for each zone. From bass to trebel, the GF1 action in the MP11 has a 15-key zone at the bottom, then a 17-key zone, 31-key zone, and a 25-key zone at the top.

Honestly, I wouldn't have really noticed the zone layout if I didn't know the specs, but that's how it works.

Having a unique weight per key/hammer is more similar to real pianos, which (from what I've seen) have different hammer weights per key due to hammer felt sizing, but also makes inventory control, supply chain and support channels more complicated (since you can no longer reuse as many parts across different keys).


Thanks. That makes sense, even if it sounds like a qualified guess from your side. That's actually what I thought may differ.

Questions is if anyone can notice the difference and whether it's important or not. People seem to make a big deal about this feature for picking CLP-575 > CLP-545.


Kawai CA97 + Sennheiser HD 650
Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer [Re: RickardNi] #2601327 01/05/17 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by RickardNi
But it DOES still have the "88 Linear Graded Hammer Action", which Yamaha markets as superior to regular GHS.


Just a note--GHS is Yamaha's budget action and is found on their lower-end DPs like the P-45, P-115, DGX-660 and Arius YDP-143. None of the current CLP series has GHS (or for that matter even GH, the CLP-525 starts with the higher-end GH3 action).


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer [Re: Gombessa] #2601331 01/05/17 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by RickardNi
But it DOES still have the "88 Linear Graded Hammer Action", which Yamaha markets as superior to regular GHS.


Just a note--GHS is Yamaha's budget action and is found on their lower-end DPs like the P-45, P-115, DGX-660 and Arius YDP-143. None of the current CLP series has GHS (or for that matter even GH, the CLP-525 starts with the higher-end GH3 action).

Yeah I know, I just want to isolate it to the Graded vs "88 Linear Graded", since Yamaha and people makes a big deal out of it.


Kawai CA97 + Sennheiser HD 650
Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer [Re: RickardNi] #2601332 01/05/17 01:50 PM
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I know the 575 does not have countwights (which is bad in my opinion).

GHS is available with graded hammers and without.

A graded hammer puts more weight on ONE side of the seesaw in the bass section, (increasing both dymamic (second derivative for mathematicians) and static resistance (first derivative)) With Counterwights you add weights on both sides of the seesaw increasing dynamic resistance. This can be combined (and usually is) with graded hammers.

Daniel

Last edited by danielp11; 01/05/17 01:52 PM.

KAWAI CS11 (sold KAWAI CA 97), KAWAI GX2 acoustic grand piano (sold SCHIMMEL acoustic upright)
Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer [Re: danielp11] #2601333 01/05/17 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by danielp11
GHS is available with graded hammers and without.


I don't think this is accurate? GHS stands for "Graded Hammer Standard." By definition, GHS MUST have "graded hammers," unless Yamaha is being inconsistent with its naming in some of its synth keyboards?

If it's not graded, and/or it doesn't use a weighted hammer-action, Yamaha wouldn't call it GHS.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer [Re: Gombessa] #2601335 01/05/17 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by danielp11
GHS is available with graded hammers and without.


I don't think this is accurate? GHS stands for "Graded Hammer Standard." By definition, GHS MUST have "graded hammers," unless Yamaha is being inconsistent with its naming in some of its synth keyboards?

If it's not graded, and/or it doesn't use a weighted hammer-action, Yamaha wouldn't call it GHS.


Sorry you are right, my memory failed me. I thought there was a viriant where all the hammers weighted the same.

Daniel


Last edited by danielp11; 01/05/17 01:57 PM.

KAWAI CS11 (sold KAWAI CA 97), KAWAI GX2 acoustic grand piano (sold SCHIMMEL acoustic upright)
Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer [Re: RickardNi] #2601336 01/05/17 01:58 PM
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I have a GH keyboard which is divided in 4 zones... according to the service manual since I didn't manage to find the gaps between two zones.

A Linear GH would have 88 zones instead. wink


Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer [Re: danielp11] #2601341 01/05/17 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by danielp11
Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by danielp11
GHS is available with graded hammers and without.


I don't think this is accurate? GHS stands for "Graded Hammer Standard." By definition, GHS MUST have "graded hammers," unless Yamaha is being inconsistent with its naming in some of its synth keyboards?

If it's not graded, and/or it doesn't use a weighted hammer-action, Yamaha wouldn't call it GHS.


Sorry you are right, my memory failed me. I thought there was a viriant where all the hammers weighted the same.

Daniel



There very likely is--while not GHS, the Montage for instance has a "Balanced Hammer Effect" keybed that is not graded, and the CP1/CP5 have a "Natural Wood--Stage" keybed that is similarly ungraded (though I understand that they customize velocity curves for the AP tones to simulate grading). Though their base mechanism doesn't seem to change much, Yamaha has a ton of variants in their actions that aren't very well publicized...


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer [Re: Frédéric L] #2601347 01/05/17 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Frédéric L
I have a GH keyboard which is divided in 4 zones... according to the service manual since I didn't manage to find the gaps between two zones.

A Linear GH would have 88 zones instead. wink

Thanks for the information. However, I tried to find it, but were unable to do so. It only mentions that it "varies the key weight according to the key range". I look through all the downloadable documents for CLP-150.

--

I did some experiments now on my DGX-650 (GHS). It definitely has grading. The left most key requires more force than the right most key. I tried it by adding weights in grade of 10g over two keys (so essentialy increasing the weight with 5g per key) and the distance from the "bottom" was clearly different when measuring with an electronic caliper.

However, I were completely unable to differ any "zones" or sections in the keyboard. There were some points where I thought I had found them, but pressing down the key differently or less forceful could cause that difference as well, so it was within margin error. I could only find two of those "hard differences", which means:

- All Yamahas modern key actions are graded.
- The more expensive "88 Linear Graded" feature is totally bullshit. If I can't see any difference with an electronical caliper in 5g increases, I think there is no way anyone would notice a difference when playing.


Kawai CA97 + Sennheiser HD 650
Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer [Re: RickardNi] #2601352 01/05/17 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by RickardNi
The more expensive "88 Linear Graded" feature is totally bullshit. If I can't see any difference with an electronical caliper in 5g increases, I think there is no way anyone would notice a difference when playing.


Just to ground your expectations, the difference in static hammer weights in Roland's actions is on the order of 2.0 grams TOTAL (heaviest hammer compared to lightest). This is probably modified by lever action at the ends of the keys, but you shouldn't be expecting huge weight changes between keys.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer [Re: RickardNi] #2601357 01/05/17 02:45 PM
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Yes, but actually that should just further support my case!

Let me explain. The more sensitive the actions are, the larger difference should be noticable with my 5 gram increases. If the action on Roland differs as little as 2 grams, then I should have an easier time to differentiate between the zones if they exist.

The zones, or sections, might still exist, but the difference between having 4 zones instead of linear gradual increase should be unnoticable if you are not a very precise robot.

"Are you real?"
"Well, if you can't tell, does it matter?"


Kawai CA97 + Sennheiser HD 650
Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer [Re: RickardNi] #2601362 01/05/17 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by RickardNi
The zones, or sections, might still exist, but the difference between having 4 zones instead of linear gradual increase should be unnoticable if you are not a very precise robot.

That sums it up nicely, I think...

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer [Re: RickardNi] #2601373 01/05/17 03:31 PM
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Minor update: The difference on my GHS between highest keys and lowest keys (to inflict a slight press) is around 15g. That doesn't say anything about the force to fulfil the press, or anything about dynamic of course.


Kawai CA97 + Sennheiser HD 650
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