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Roland LX-17 action #2688323
11/09/17 02:56 PM
11/09/17 02:56 PM
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Osho Offline OP
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I was recently taking a look at the Ronald LX-17 action:

[Linked Image]

I noticed that the key pivot length is really short.

I have seen several discussions in this forum on how key pivot length is really critical to give a grand piano action feel - I am surprised that Roland has chosen to use such a really short key pivot length.

I have tried LX-17 in person - and I thought that while the action was decent, I didn't really think it was really fitting a piano worth $7000 MSRP (and ~$5k/$6k street price). It is supposed to have the escapement feature - which I could never feel. I could definitely feel escapement in the Yamaha AvantGrand N2 and N3.

On the other hand, I have seem some people who have LX-17 report how wonderful the action is - including how close to grand piano action it feels. For example, this 'reviewer'.

https://youtu.be/fNoNzlydylU?t=1m51s

What gives? Is key pivot length really not that critical?

Osho


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688330
11/09/17 03:05 PM
11/09/17 03:05 PM
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Just curious, why do you think the pivot length is short, and what is that in comparison to?

Don't forget, the pivot on most plastic actions is at the very end of the key, where the hinge sits. Some wooden key actions utilize a "see saw" balance rail as on acoustic pianos, which results in a noticeably longer key length, but the pivot should be measured from the rail.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50 || Kawai NV-10, MP11
Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688333
11/09/17 03:19 PM
11/09/17 03:19 PM
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Apparently it's the same as in PHA4 Premium/Concert:

[Linked Image]

(Image source: http://www.cndzq.com/bbs/thread-366722-1-1.html)

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688334
11/09/17 03:31 PM
11/09/17 03:31 PM
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EVC2017 Offline
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I wonder if those pieces of wood do make any difference (other than for those thet believe in marketing BS).

Last edited by EVC2017; 11/09/17 03:32 PM.

Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688335
11/09/17 03:31 PM
11/09/17 03:31 PM
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I think you're confusing the sort of stability pin Roland added to the pha 50 action to the pivot.

The pivot length is certainly no kawai grand feel, but it's long enough I think and a little longer I believe than the gh3/nwx series Yamaha use in most of the CLP series barring the grand touch actions in the 675/685.

The importance of pivot length is partly subjective and depends on the users thumb: finger length ratio and playing style, if you don't, or don't have to play deep into the keys it's not something that matters so much.

With escapement, it depends what you're after, it is an imperfection after all, work on grand piano actions has sought to minimise the notch feel. It's certainly on the subtle end with the pha50 but Roland generally seem more interested in making what they see as a good piano rather than replicating all the warts.

If the need is for practice for an acoustic, particularly less well regulated ones, then pha50 is not ideal but as an overall method of control I think it's pretty decent. It's smooth, fast and responsive, easy to play both soft and loud and decently weighted. Personally as far as digital actions go I slightly prefer grand feel 2 but I'd take pha50 long before the ones in the CLP series (barring grand touch which I've yet to try).

As for the n2/n3, they're basically grand piano actions so, oddly, will feel just like a Yamaha grand! They're not really comparable, the Avantgrand and now novus sit in a different market segment.

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Gombessa] #2688336
11/09/17 03:40 PM
11/09/17 03:40 PM
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Osho Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Just curious, why do you think the pivot length is short, and what is that in comparison to?


The distance from the end of the key (where fingers typically are) to the point where the key is pivoted is much shorter than, let's say in Kawai digital actions. For example compare it to the picture in this thread.

Osho


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: EVC2017] #2688337
11/09/17 03:42 PM
11/09/17 03:42 PM
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Osho Offline OP
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Originally Posted by EVC2017
I wonder if those pieces of wood do make any difference (other than for those thet believe in marketing BS).


I wonder that too. I think it is pure marketing stunt - so when one presses the keys, the adjacent keys are shown as wooden - giving the same look as what you would normally get in acoustic pianos with full wooden keys.

When I was at the local Roland dealer, the sales guy made a big deal about the little wooden pieces added in the top-end Roland action and asked me "if I can feel the wood when playing LX-17". I clearly could not.

Osho


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Bambers] #2688338
11/09/17 04:01 PM
11/09/17 04:01 PM
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Portland, OR, USA
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Osho Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Bambers
I think you're confusing the sort of stability pin Roland added to the pha 50 action to the pivot.

The pivot length is certainly no kawai grand feel, but it's long enough I think and a little longer I believe than the gh3/nwx series Yamaha use in most of the CLP series barring the grand touch actions in the 675/685.


I don't think I am confusing it with the stability pin. I am talking about the distance between the Fulcrum to the end of the key (Key tip). For example, this is Yamaha Clavinova (taken from CLP-685 specs)

[Linked Image]

You could see that Key tip to fulcrum distance in LX-17 is significantly shorter than Clavinova (and also Kawai Grand Feel actions - some of which are even longer than Clavinova).

Originally Posted by Bambers

The importance of pivot length is partly subjective and depends on the users thumb: finger length ratio and playing style, if you don't, or don't have to play deep into the keys it's not something that matters so much.


I have seen several strong opinions here in forums that the key pivot length is critical etc. etc. I wonder how subjective it really is.

Originally Posted by Bambers

With escapement, it depends what you're after, it is an imperfection after all, work on grand piano actions has sought to minimise the notch feel. It's certainly on the subtle end with the pha50 but Roland generally seem more interested in making what they see as a good piano rather than replicating all the warts.


I am after getting to feel when the key is pressed down enough - that helps for fast repeats or for soft playing.

Originally Posted by Bambers

As for the n2/n3, they're basically grand piano actions so, oddly, will feel just like a Yamaha grand! They're not really comparable, the Avantgrand and now novus sit in a different market segment.


That's a fair point - but N1/NU1 street price is in the same range as LX-17. And, I am hoping that NV10's street price will be within $1k range of LX-17. If that's the case, the really short pivot key length on LX-17 seems fairly disadvantageous for LX-17.

Osho


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688375
11/09/17 06:30 PM
11/09/17 06:30 PM
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I would encourage OP to get some actual measurements before making claims about X being shorter than Y.

For a start, the Roland key length from the end to the white keys to the fulcrum is 220 mm.


Kawai CA95 / Steinberg UR22 / Sony MDR-7506 / Pianoteq Stage + Grotrian / Galaxy Vintage D / CFX Lite
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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688381
11/09/17 06:39 PM
11/09/17 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Osho

The distance from the end of the key (where fingers typically are) to the point where the key is pivoted is much shorter than, let's say in Kawai digital actions. For example compare it to the picture in this thread.


Yeah, I created that picture wink But still, I can't see how you can tell from the PHA-50 pictures how long the pivot is? Or how long you think they SHOULD be? IIRC, they're actually quite long for a plastic action, and I think they're longer than the pivots in the RM3 II Grand action. They're probably not the *longest* out there, with the AvantGrands, Grand Feels, Bechstein Hybrids and GrandTouches of the world, but do they need to be, for the sake of nothing else? I think the more important question is how the action plays and feels, and I've never had an issue with Roland's long-pivot (PHA-IV Concert, PHA-50) actions myself.

Originally Posted by Osho
That's a fair point - but N1/NU1 street price is in the same range as LX-17. And, I am hoping that NV10's street price will be within $1k range of LX-17. If that's the case, the really short pivot key length on LX-17 seems fairly disadvantageous for LX-17.


Interesting to mention the NU1. That DP actually uses an incredibly short pivot length, and it feels far shorter than most digitals I've played. When I play the NU1, I can definitely feel a big difference in touchweight required at the back of the keys.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50 || Kawai NV-10, MP11
Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688386
11/09/17 06:59 PM
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Are we talking about who has the longest pivot, again?

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688390
11/09/17 07:17 PM
11/09/17 07:17 PM
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Am I wrong or the OP thinks those triangular shaped apendices are the pivot points of the keys? From the figures it is clear to me they push the hammers. The pivot point is at the keys end. And as pointed out above, they have a fairly even weight from the key front to rear.


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: EVC2017] #2688397
11/09/17 08:22 PM
11/09/17 08:22 PM
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I'd be surprised if he did think that: then quite often you would actually need to pull the black keys rather than push.

For some reason, I find the perspective of this picture misleading. Maybe because the whole outer part is plastic, so there is no clear end of the exposed part of the closest white key.

Last edited by winnyec; 11/10/17 04:48 AM.
Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688408
11/09/17 09:20 PM
11/09/17 09:20 PM
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Osho Offline OP
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Let me try to clear the confusion about my understanding.

I have marked where I think the pivot is in the following picture.

[Linked Image]

Length B is the visible part of the key - I think this length is pretty much the same across most pianos.

My point is that Length A is very short - roughly 1/3rd of length B - it matches more to the picture above where it says "Key tip close to the fulcrum". For a piano with $7k MSRP - I find this rather surprising.

Osho

Last edited by Osho; 11/09/17 09:48 PM.

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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688410
11/09/17 09:27 PM
11/09/17 09:27 PM
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BTW, this official video confirms (0:47 to 1:00) that the pivot is where it was mentioned in the image above.

Osho


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688417
11/09/17 09:53 PM
11/09/17 09:53 PM
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This is a different sort of action.

In a grand piano, as you press the key down at your side, the other side goes up. It acts as a lever, and the longer it is, the more power you have to raise the hammer _by lifting it from below_.

This action presses downward onto the end of the hammer with that pin you see in the middle in the photo's in the post by clothearednincompo. So it's exactly the other way around: the closer you are to that pin when pressing the key, the more power you can exert to raise the hammer by _pressing down on it's rear end_.

Imagine if you'd make the Roland key really long, with that pin really far away, you'd _lose_ more and more downard force as the key gets longer.

On the Kawai GF2, your most powerful depression point is right at the beginning of the key at your end, and the power decreases when you move towards the fallboard. On the Roland action, your most powerful point of depression is right above that pin, and it's somewhat less at the beginning or the end.

This is possibly the reason why the GF2 action can trill faster than the PHA-50 (more power and speed when at the beginning of the key), but the PHA-50 has more control over dynamics (because you're closer to the actual depression point, and is thus easier to control). Try to tap something very softly with holding a 4 inch stick at one end. Then try to tap something very softly using a 40 inch stick. You'll notice the shorter stick is easier to control. (If it's not really clear, just use a 400 inch stick. You'll probably break the thing you're trying to tap.)

So, I see these keyboards as different actions, both very well done, both OK to play high-level piano repertoire, but they both have advantages and disadvantages, just like everything else.

Last edited by Falsch; 11/09/17 09:59 PM.

Roland LX-17 PE == At GF's condo: Kawai MP7 == Currently in storage: Focal Alpha 80, Pianoteq with Kremsegg I, II and Ruckers II addons.
Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688420
11/09/17 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Osho
Originally Posted by EVC2017
I wonder if those pieces of wood do make any difference (other than for those thet believe in marketing BS).


I wonder that too. I think it is pure marketing stunt - so when one presses the keys, the adjacent keys are shown as wooden - giving the same look as what you would normally get in acoustic pianos with full wooden keys.

When I was at the local Roland dealer, the sales guy made a big deal about the little wooden pieces added in the top-end Roland action and asked me "if I can feel the wood when playing LX-17". I clearly could not.

Osho


I definitely do feel a huge difference between my MP7 with plastic keys and the LX-17 keys with wooden sides. The keys just feel nicer when sliding into the keys and back again. That's all. Wood has the advantage that it feels nicer, but it can warp. A plastic key does not warp. So I think Roland made the correct choice to create a plastic key with wooden feeling.

Kawai as caught quite some flack when they introduced their ABS/Carbon parts on their action, but I think it was genius. Exactly that part of the action is most affected by warping.

I don't care if they make the keys from wood, plastic, or make parts of it from ABS/Carbon, or concrete... as long as it plays nice and doesn't need too much (or any) maintenance.


Roland LX-17 PE == At GF's condo: Kawai MP7 == Currently in storage: Focal Alpha 80, Pianoteq with Kremsegg I, II and Ruckers II addons.
Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688430
11/09/17 11:22 PM
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How do you know the end of the wood panel is where the fall board starts? You would think the key "ends" forward of that spot so the wood seems to continue into the interior of the chassis.
Similarity how do you know that is where the black key lines up with the white?

Also, how do you know that image is isometric? At a "normal" FOV rendering, the farther the object gets from the camera the more compressed it appears.

In any case I would compare the pivot to other plastic actions. Are you sure it is really shorter?


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50 || Kawai NV-10, MP11
Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Falsch] #2688466
11/10/17 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Falsch
This is a different sort of action.

In a grand piano, as you press the key down at your side, the other side goes up. It acts as a lever, and the longer it is, the more power you have to raise the hammer _by lifting it from below_.

This action presses downward onto the end of the hammer with that pin you see in the middle in the photo's in the post by clothearednincompo. So it's exactly the other way around: the closer you are to that pin when pressing the key, the more power you can exert to raise the hammer by _pressing down on it's rear end_.

Imagine if you'd make the Roland key really long, with that pin really far away, you'd _lose_ more and more downard force as the key gets longer.

On the Kawai GF2, your most powerful depression point is right at the beginning of the key at your end, and the power decreases when you move towards the fallboard. On the Roland action, your most powerful point of depression is right above that pin, and it's somewhat less at the beginning or the end.

Both are levers actually, and if the key is rigid it doesn't matter which side of the fulcrum (pivot) the load point is, as far as force multiplication is concerned. The most powerful depression point will be the end of the key in both cases. (It's basically the difference between pliers and nutcrackers.)

If the key is not rigid, then it could matter because some of the effort will go into flexing the key rather than activating the hammer. I wonder if the wood added to PHA-50 is meant to increase the rigidity of the key (or at least to make it more piano-like).


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688471
11/10/17 02:46 AM
11/10/17 02:46 AM
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@Falsch, where the hammer is connected to the key doesn't affect the distribution of the force needed to depress it with regards to where you press. The key is a lever, and the needed force increases the more you approach the pivot. At the tip of the key it will always be lowest and at the base it will always be highest.
L.E: while I was looking for pictures and measuring pivots Alophaneko already explained this point in detail.

On topic -
As some have already pointed out, the oblique perspective induces a wrong impression. You need a perfect side view, then you can even calculate the pivot length based on the picture and known aproximate length of the visible white part.

For the Roland premium action (PHA4 premium, concert, PHA50) the length of the key is 22cm, which is superior to most actions on the market, except the GF, GF2, the new CLP675/685 action and those in the avangrands (except the NU1 which is really short at around 19-20, don't remember exactly).

The Yamaha GH, GH3x, NW, NWx are around 21.5.
Also, I don't appreciate how yamaha's marketing materials show you a pivot length of almost 30cm for "the clavinova piano" in a sketch on a CLP535 page:
https://www.reidys.com/pr/keyboards-and-digital-pianos/yamaha-clavinova-clp535-black-walnut-17895/
I can't find any picture of the CLP675/685 grandtouch action, but from materials seen a while ago, I expect it to be on par with Kawai's GF length-wise - and only length-wise! It's not receiving the best of reviews.
The RH3 in Kawais is also around 20.5.
The RM3-2 in VPC1, CA17 is 19cm.
The new GF-C is ~21.5cm.
The GF is the longest of which I know the length for certain at ~25cm.
The NU1 is really short, I once saw a model in a shop, but I don't remember the precise number. However, it was around 19-20cm.
The Casio-Bechstein key length isn't as long as people want to believe, at exactly the same 22cm of the Roland PHA top actions.
The avangrands N1, N2, N3 actions are ~23cm, but it's hard to find a good picture. However, there's a very small margin of error.
For the Kawai Novus NV10 it's hard to find a good picture, but the pivot length is ~25.5-26cm.

So, expept hybrids, Kawai GF, Yamaha grantouch, the PHA50 pivot point is on the long side. The grantouch receives quite a few negative reviews because of the weight and feel. That only leaves the Kawai GF action that is longer.
Also, the majority of uprights and some baby grands have shorter pivots than this. I'm quite pleased with the keylength of the PHA actions, to the point where I don't consider it hindering, as with shorter ones.
I wouldn't mind the longer GF keys, but they come with troubles of their own.

As for the feel of the PHA50 with the wood - I think it helps give the keys a little more inertia + the marketing bonus points. Maybe they also vibrate a little more due to the sound, but that may be just an impression due to the bigger sound system of what I've tested.
Speaking of which, just this weekend I went and tested the PHA50 (in an LX7) vs the PHA4 premium (HP504) side by side, because I'm preparing to move and I'm considering selling my HP504 and upgrading to an HP601 or 603, instead of transporting it. I only use it with VSTs, so I don't really care about the sounds.
The difference is really hard to discern, they feel almost identical, maybe with a little more solid and firmer keypress on the PHA50. But in a blind test, connected to the same sound engine I think I'd be really hard-pressed to tell which is which.

Last edited by mcoll; 11/10/17 02:48 AM.
Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688497
11/10/17 06:34 AM
11/10/17 06:34 AM
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Osho Offline OP
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I found a perfect side view of PHA-50 in this video at 30s. I added this to the excellent picture Gombessa had created comparing Kawai actions.

[Linked Image]

Basically, the pivot length is comparable to Grand Feel Compact, found in CA-48, which sells at Thomann for $1839 right now.

LX-17 is competing against CA-98 in the price range - which is Grand Feel II in the picture below.

I can't find out any such information about CLP-685 - or else it would be interesting to compare as well.

Osho


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: mcoll] #2688498
11/10/17 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Osho

I don't think I am confusing it with the stability pin. I am talking about the distance between the Fulcrum to the end of the key (Key tip). For example, this is Yamaha Clavinova (taken from CLP-685 specs)

<image snipped>

You could see that Key tip to fulcrum distance in LX-17 is significantly shorter than Clavinova (and also Kawai Grand Feel actions - some of which are even longer than Clavinova).



Ok, apologies, turns out you were getting confused by where the back of the key was instead. smile The white surface typically extends back so that you don't see bare wood or similar when the key is depressed. If eyeballing from nekkid actions, a better indication is the back of the raised part of the the black keys, the fallboard will typically be placed a mm or two back from this. Re the clavinovas, the much longer grandtouch action is only found in the clp 685 and 675, the rest of the 6x5s and the whole 5x5 series have actions that are a little shorter than roland's pha50. Also I'm not sure I'd trust that picture, grandtouch is certainly long but yamaha's marketing is often the 'worst' of the three big names, so until someone dismantles it and posts the photos, I'm considering it as having white keys longer than the grandfeels and unknown on the blacks.

Quote

I have seen several strong opinions here in forums that the key pivot length is critical etc. etc. I wonder how subjective it really is.


I think it depends on who's marketing it wink. I say that as someone who really dislikes playing on short pivots, but I know others don't even notice. Much comes down to playing style and hand geometry. I find that if I have to play on a very short pivot action such as yamaha GHS (found on P115 etc) my arpeggios in black note heavy keys become very uneven. To fish out a well known example, the middle part of claire de lune, left hand Db2, Ab2, Db3, F3. If I play that on something like GHS without having had time to adapt, the Ab2 will be late, and once I'm used to it and get the playing even. If I then go back to a (opinion) not dreadful action, the Ab2 will be early as I'll have gotten used to pressing that down with what had been the much higher required force.

Quote

I am after getting to feel when the key is pressed down enough - that helps for fast repeats or for soft playing.


I've always considered that to be marketing rubbish for digitals, you never see that written on marketing for acoustics! If the escapement can be felt in normal play I'd consider the piano in need of some TLC/maintenance. Where I've found escapement to be important is having to work around it. A consistent issue I had learning as a child was that the majority of my practice was done on an upright (where while the escapement of course exists, the geometry of the jack/hammer butt means it is rarely perceptible and certainly nowhere near how it is in a grand) while my tutor had a couple of grands and my exams usually were on grands as well. The tricky bit was soft playing, becasue I was not used to the escapement it could 'catch' a soft keypress entirely and result in non sounding notes. I'd personally consider escapement to be a hindrance to soft playing, not a help. Hence my point that it's good for practising for an acoustic. If the aim is to make a good keyboard it is rather undesirable, it's one of those things, like the difference in weight between bass and treble that acoustic piano makers have actually sought to eliminate over the decades that is then taken and touted as a good thing™ in a digital!

Quote
That's a fair point - but N1/NU1 street price is in the same range as LX-17. And, I am hoping that NV10's street price will be within $1k range of LX-17. If that's the case, the really short pivot key length on LX-17 seems fairly disadvantageous for LX-17.

Osho


Hmm, well the NU1(x), as mcoll, points out, is horribly short, on my own personal scale that action actually goes down the bottom with GHS in the 'junk' category. The N1, in the UK, retails for £6000, the LX17 for £4,400, the clp685 for £3,600 (for the polished), and the NU1X for £4,000. The N1 is really a step above pricewise and it's also not an 'X' so worth noting that the tone generation in it is pretty ancient by digital piano standards, I suspect the speaker system on the LX17 is at least equal and may well be superior as it is rather decent. As someone who is fussy on pivots, I do find that PHA50 is 'long enough', I really don't have a problem adapting to playing on that or any other roland action of the same length. All in all I find it a pretty nice action, I'd consider it superior to the GH3/NWX series from yamaha which seem to have this odd initial high resistance followed by the key just 'going' which makes controlling dynamics annoying.

Originally Posted by mcoll

<pivot lengths>


Probably worth noting that on all the non folded actions, the black keys are offset by ~2cm which does actually make a fairly reasonable difference, i find it's the blacks I really struggle with on e.g. GHS

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Falsch] #2688500
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Originally Posted by Falsch
This is a different sort of action.

In a grand piano, as you press the key down at your side, the other side goes up. It acts as a lever, and the longer it is, the more power you have to raise the hammer _by lifting it from below_.

This action presses downward onto the end of the hammer with that pin you see in the middle in the photo's in the post by clothearednincompo. So it's exactly the other way around: the closer you are to that pin when pressing the key, the more power you can exert to raise the hammer by _pressing down on it's rear end_.

In either of these designs (whether the hammer is after the pivot point or below the key - the fact remains the same that the longer the key pivot length is, the easier it is to play deeper into the key (i.e. closer to the fall board). Roland's own explanation of digital piano key actions mentions this:

Quote
The total length of a key is also important. When we say total, we mean including the bit you can’t see. The longer the total length, the further back you can have the pivot point which makes it easier to play and gives more expression when playing the white keys right up in between the black notes. This will be essential as you get more advanced.


Same point repeated by Roland in this video at 2:00.

Now, there are several other aspects of key actions that are important as well - e.g. how weighted they are etc. But, on key pivot length front (which is fairly critical IMHO) - Roland is falling behind the comparable top-end DP from Kawai. It is hard to say anything about Yamaha as one cannot find similar images of their latest CLP-675 or CLP-685 actions.

Osho


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Bambers] #2688502
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Originally Posted by Bambers
Originally Posted by Osho

I don't think I am confusing it with the stability pin. I am talking about the distance between the Fulcrum to the end of the key (Key tip). For example, this is Yamaha Clavinova (taken from CLP-685 specs)

<image snipped>

You could see that Key tip to fulcrum distance in LX-17 is significantly shorter than Clavinova (and also Kawai Grand Feel actions - some of which are even longer than Clavinova).



Ok, apologies, turns out you were getting confused by where the back of the key was instead. smile The white surface typically extends back so that you don't see bare wood or similar when the key is depressed. If eyeballing from nekkid actions, a better indication is the back of the raised part of the the black keys, the fallboard will typically be placed a mm or two back from this. Re the clavinovas, the much longer grandtouch action is only found in the clp 685 and 675, the rest of the 6x5s and the whole 5x5 series have actions that are a little shorter than roland's pha50. Also I'm not sure I'd trust that picture, grandtouch is certainly long but yamaha's marketing is often the 'worst' of the three big names, so until someone dismantles it and posts the photos, I'm considering it as having white keys longer than the grandfeels and unknown on the blacks.


The picture I posted above comparing PHA-50's side view to Kawai actions clears all the confusion I believe.


Originally Posted by Bambers

Quote

I have seen several strong opinions here in forums that the key pivot length is critical etc. etc. I wonder how subjective it really is.


I think it depends on who's marketing it wink. I say that as someone who really dislikes playing on short pivots, but I know others don't even notice. Much comes down to playing style and hand geometry. I find that if I have to play on a very short pivot action such as yamaha GHS (found on P115 etc) my arpeggios in black note heavy keys become very uneven. To fish out a well known example, the middle part of claire de lune, left hand Db2, Ab2, Db3, F3. If I play that on something like GHS without having had time to adapt, the Ab2 will be late, and once I'm used to it and get the playing even. If I then go back to a (opinion) not dreadful action, the Ab2 will be early as I'll have gotten used to pressing that down with what had been the much higher required force.


That's an interesting observation. For me personally, the short key pivot length is trouble-some when playing on white keys in between the black keys - for example F# minor chord - with F#, A and C# notes - the finger pressing down A is in between G# and Bb - and pretty close to the fall board. The shorter the key pivot length is, the harder it is for me to control how loud/soft I play such fingerings.

Osho


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688504
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So we obviously need different pianos with different actions and different sounds for different people!


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688505
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Ahh Colin Miles just beat me to it. I was going to suggest that a solution to Osho's problems could be to avoid buying an LX17, and perhaps get a Kawai CA ** instead, since they are better in terms of pivot to end distance.


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688509
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@Bambers, thank you for adding that piece of information. It is indeed relevant that the blacks are offset on a number of keys. I thought about mentioning it, but I forgot during the time spent estimating different pivot lengths smile

@osho - if you want to make the comparison, you would be more right to compare the CA48 to the HP601, which has Roland's top action at 1660$ and also a better sound engine. To get the GF2 you have to step up to the CA67 / 78, which is 2800$

Yes, all in all, maybe the GF2 is slightly superior, but it comes with it's own problems and I'm actively trying to decide if I should go for a CA67 for a midi-controller or a HP601. I'll open a topic on the subject one of these days. But as far as I'm concerned, Roland is offering its top action at a lower price point and I can only see it as a good thing.

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688513
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Thx mcoll for such a detailed and data-filled response BTW. It's great to have this info in one place (even if some of it is an estimate).

And your impressions of the pha-50 versus the pha-4 concert was exactly the same as mine. When the fp-90 and hp series came out I recall a lot of people who hasn't even laid hands on it yet simply declare that it is the second best dp action (going so far as to slot it just under the GF2 and above the GF, based completely on...idk?) I was really curious to try it and see how it has changed. When I finally got a chance to do so with an LX-7 and later an RD-2000, the most surprising thing was how indistinguishable it was from a new pha-iv concert. I mean really, both agree great actions, but they aren't very different from each other at all (which I would imagine is exactly what Roland wanted). Even an Ivory feel-G feels so much more unmistakeably like a PHA-50 than any other manufacturers' actions do, there is a "Roland dna" as there is with Yamaha, Kawai, etc.


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: mcoll] #2688515
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Originally Posted by Osho
...while the action was decent, I didn't really think it was really fitting a piano worth $7000 MSRP (and ~$5k/$6k street price)....


Originally Posted by Osho
...Basically, the pivot length is comparable to Grand Feel Compact, found in CA-48, which sells at Thomann for $1839 right now.

LX-17 is competing against CA-98 in the price range -...


You can get the same action as the LX17 (PHA-50) for $1600 in the HP601. So that price compares well with the Kawai Ca48.

Originally Posted by mcoll
...Roland is offering its top action at a lower price point and I can only see it as a good thing...


That's one (positive) way of looking at it. The other way is, that with Roland, the only upgrade you get when moving from ther low-tier $1600 piano to the top end $7000 piano is speakers and cabinet design. So you could say that while Kawai and Yamaha develop a top-end action for their top pianos, Roland shoves in their mid-tier action and focus on a shiny cabinet with lots of speakers in it.


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: lolatu] #2688528
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I'm with lolatu on this:
Originally Posted by lolatu
I would encourage OP to get some actual measurements before making claims about X being shorter than Y. For a start, the Roland key length from the end to the white keys to the fulcrum is 220 mm.
Lots of talk ... but, aside from his Roland/220mm, I see no numbers.

EDIT: I see a post here with a picture showing the RM3 Grand II action. It has a 7" (178 mm) pivot length. Much shorter than lolatu's Roland at 220 mm.

Also, I think this statement by Falsch is false.
Sentence one is true. Sentence two is not.
Originally Posted by Falsch
This action presses downward onto the end of the hammer with that pin you see in the middle in the photo's in the post by clothearednincompo.
... the closer you are to that pin when pressing the key, the more power you can exert to raise the hammer by _pressing down on it's rear end_.

As for the marketing hype ... I looked at that Kawai video. At 1:38 we hear about their "multi-channel acoustic projection system". smile
I like their pianos, but their hype/BS is over-the-top.

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688611
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I was happy to do the math, Gombessa. I checked the facts in the past, but many values I have forgotten and I was curious to settle the matter of the length :P

@alphonsus Another way to look at it, is that Roland provides a great action at a good price, while Yamaha holds back a decent action for the top of the range models, for marketing reasons. And even that action isn't as good as the PHA50, but this is of course, subjective. The only one I haven't played is the recent Grandtouch or whatever they call it, but reviews say that the touch is a little too grand, as in seriously overweighted even by the heaviest of grands standards. The NWX and their other actions are inferior from my subjective perspective. I feel they don't respond as well and are not as realistic. Others may feel differently, of course.

And Kawai does offer a slightly superior action, but only for models competing with the 605/lx7 and upwards. That is until recently, when they introduced the GFC, which I'm curious to try. However, they appear to have their problems as well, the wooden action having more variability in production quality and being in need of more maintenance / servicing. Or at least that's the picture I see on the forums, which is a worrying one, considering the practical lack of dealerships and services in Eastern Europe. I wouldn't want to pack and ship back a 70kg faulty CA67/78 or to ship it for repairing under warranty. There's no service or authorized technician for at least 500km,if not 1000.

So when I add it all up, I'm inclined to get another Roland, even though a CA67 for a furniture-style controller is tempting.

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688633
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I’m confused about the objective of this thread...
Is the OP question this: “Is key pivot length really not that critical?” ?
It seems he had already made his idea “there are several other aspects of key actions that are important as well - e.g. how weighted they are etc. But, on key pivot length front (which is fairly critical IMHO) ...”. It feels quite contradictory to me, or the key pivot length is critical or there are several other aspects that are important.
My opinion is that you have to compare the whole thing together the way you would use it (sounds or vst included). Comparison of one single point like pivot could be done only with all the other aspects equal.
Last point: the Roland marketing strategy to put their best action not only on a few top models could be confusing, but don’t made pha50 less worthy although it could be perceived in this way by some customers...

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688638
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For some reason, the image I had posted previously comparing PHA-50 action to Kawai actions got deleted. So, I re-uploaded it again.

[Linked Image]

Originally Posted by alphonsus

Originally Posted by mcoll
...Roland is offering its top action at a lower price point and I can only see it as a good thing...


That's one (positive) way of looking at it. The other way is, that with Roland, the only upgrade you get when moving from ther low-tier $1600 piano to the top end $7000 piano is speakers and cabinet design. So you could say that while Kawai and Yamaha develop a top-end action for their top pianos, Roland shoves in their mid-tier action and focus on a shiny cabinet with lots of speakers in it.

Exactly - Roland seems to have standardized on a mid-tier action across a range of prouducts.

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I'm with lolatu on this:
Originally Posted by lolatu
I would encourage OP to get some actual measurements before making claims about X being shorter than Y. For a start, the Roland key length from the end to the white keys to the fulcrum is 220 mm.
Lots of talk ... but, aside from his Roland/220mm, I see no numbers.

EDIT: I see a post here with a picture showing the RM3 Grand II action. It has a 7" (178 mm) pivot length. Much shorter than lolatu's Roland at 220 mm.

Numbers are hard to get at as manufacturers do not advertise it. But, the image shown above is a pretty solid quantitative data on relative pivot lengths of Kawai and PHA-50 actions.

Originally Posted by PianoVibe
I’m confused about the objective of this thread...
Is the OP question this: “Is key pivot length really not that critical?” ?
It seems he had already made his idea “there are several other aspects of key actions that are important as well - e.g. how weighted they are etc. But, on key pivot length front (which is fairly critical IMHO) ...”. It feels quite contradictory to me, or the key pivot length is critical or there are several other aspects that are important.

Yes, I have a particular opinion about the importance of key pivot length. However, I am interested in other opinions on this matter. The objective of this thread is to seek these opinions. More specifically, I have a chance to buy LX-17 at a really good price - and I started considering to purchase it as a second piano - but as I researched into it more, I got surprised by what I consider 'below the class' key action. Hence, I started this thread to seek others' opinions on PHA-50 action.

Originally Posted by mcoll
I was happy to do the math, Gombessa. I checked the facts in the past, but many values I have forgotten and I was curious to settle the matter of the length :P


That was quite interesting data - thanks for sharing!

Osho


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688641
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Osho, assuming the photo scale is correct, that Roland action is actually longer than the rm3 ii and also the new GF Compact (specifically for the white keys, where it matters most). It's not a "short pivot action" at all though, I guess your point is that you wish it was even longer (which is fine).


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Gombessa] #2688643
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Osho, assuming the photo scale is correct, that Roland action is actually longer than the rm3 ii and also the new GF Compact (specifically for the white keys, where it matters most). It's not a "short pivot action" at all though, I guess your point is that you wish it was even longer (which is fine).


Yes, the photo scale is correct. I wish it was comparable to GFII. I really like LX-17's speaker system though but the action is giving me a pause.

Osho


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688645
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Originally Posted by Osho

Exactly - Roland seems to have standardized on a mid-tier action


Originally Posted by Osho

I got surprised by what I consider 'below the class' key action.


Based on what you classify pha50 as mid-tier? Pivot length only or something else? What are the parameters that set an action as top-tier? There is a minimum pivot length? Should keys be made of full wood? Which type of wood and how old and dryed out?
I’m just stressing the concept, don’t want to offende anyone, but we always end in talking about pivot length because is one of the few things measurable from a picture. But there are so many other things... quality of materials (some woods are worst than plastic), building quality, precision, felts, sensors....
We could not judge only with pivot length and full wood keys, sorry.

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: PianoVibe] #2688653
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Originally Posted by PianoVibe
Originally Posted by Osho

Exactly - Roland seems to have standardized on a mid-tier action


Originally Posted by Osho

I got surprised by what I consider 'below the class' key action.


Based on what you classify pha50 as mid-tier? Pivot length only or something else? What are the parameters that set an action as top-tier? There is a minimum pivot length? Should keys be made of full wood? Which type of wood and how old and dryed out?
I’m just stressing the concept, don’t want to offende anyone, but we always end in talking about pivot length because is one of the few things measurable from a picture. But there are so many other things... quality of materials (some woods are worst than plastic), building quality, precision, felts, sensors....
We could not judge only with pivot length and full wood keys, sorry.


Based on how it felt when I tried it out in person - even before I looked into how the action actually looks. After being underwhelmed in person, I started looking into this a bit more online to see how exactly PHA-50 looks etc.

I don't mean to offend anyone - I am just sharing my personal opinion/preference - and I respect others' opinions and preferences on this matter as well.

Let me stress that I just want to learn more about these actions - rather than portray one as good vs. bad. In Kawai and Roland's case, we are actually lucky to have this level of information. I can't find any such information for Yamaha CLP-675 or CLP-685.

Osho

Last edited by Osho; 11/10/17 06:58 PM.

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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688721
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Originally Posted by Osho
In Kawai and Roland's case, we are actually lucky to have this level of information.

This level of information = pivot lenght ? I don’t feel lucky to know about it, it’s not enough to me to make reasonable comparison between brands. Are there other information that I’m missing and that we are talking about here? Thanks [/quote]

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688731
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@correction of my post with regard to the levers: thanks for sorting that out. I'll have a look into this, as I've probably got something somewhere.

@actions: is the 'new' GrandTouch action in the CLP-685 the same action as the one in the old GranTouch piano's that were the predecessors of the current Avantgrands? I don't know when those piano's first came out, but I've found posts on the internet asking about them since at least 2002. So Yamaha is using a 15 year old action in a new piano. Way to go.... it might have a very long pivot, but the action itself gets bad reviews.

@PHA-50 vs. GF2: The GF2 probably has a longer pivot. As I said in Epee's thread (about acoustics vs. digitals with regard to teaching), the GF2 allows me to trill faster than the PHA-50, but when trilling at the same speed, the PHA-50 allows me to go softer.

@pivot lengths and action construction: in the end, I don't even care, as long as the action can keep up with what I'm trying to do, and it doesn't wreck good technique. Both the PHA-50 and GF2 accomplish that, so to me, they're just different, instead of one being better than the other.

@LX-17: if someone rejects an LX-17 on the basis for not having the longest pivot point in the non-hybrid world or not having a completely wooden action, that would be very foolish. There's more to a piano than having a full wooden action and a very long pivot. When the action is good enough (good feeling, and a pivot length that's 'long enough'), then you quickly hit a point of diminishing returns.


Roland LX-17 PE == At GF's condo: Kawai MP7 == Currently in storage: Focal Alpha 80, Pianoteq with Kremsegg I, II and Ruckers II addons.
Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Falsch] #2688738
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Originally Posted by Falsch
@actions: is the 'new' GrandTouch action in the CLP-685 the same action as the one in the old GranTouch piano's that were the predecessors of the current Avantgrands? I don't know when those piano's first came out, but I've found posts on the internet asking about them since at least 2002. So Yamaha is using a 15 year old action in a new piano. Way to go.... it might have a very long pivot, but the action itself gets bad reviews.


Totally different. The GranTouch pianos were the AvantGrand predecessor and the action is almost identical to the AG. The new 'GrandTouch' action in the Clavinova 675 and 685 is an entirely different thing.


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688746
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I don't believe anyone here will tell you that the LX17 has the best action in its class. You will need to look elsewhere for that, mainly at the hybrid pianos from Yamaha (Avant Grand N2 or N3) or Kawai (Novus). But is it really a fair comparison when those pianos cost nearly twice as much?

Now, do consider the LX17 if you are looking for an overall well-rounded digital piano:

- A very good action with escapement feature. If you're used to an acoustical grand, obviously the escapement won't be so noticeable but it's definitely there.
- Amazing sound system for its console size that produces great bass, treble and volume that really envelopes the player and the listeners in the room -- really close to a larger acoustical grand.
- Limitless polyphony - compare with 256 tones of polyphony even on more expensive pianos.
- Bluetooth technology with Midi in/out and music sheet turning - many DP's still don't offer this.
- A vast number of sound adjustments to customize to your liking
- attractive minimalist design, and many more smaller fun features
- No maintenance whatsoever compared to a hybrid or let alone an acoustical. Depending where in the world you live, this can become a decisive reason to go with a a high-performance DP like the LX17.

It's the sum of all these that make the LX17 a strong contender in the choice of best digital pianos if you are in the market for one.

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Chris Pringle] #2688748
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@Chris Pringle. The LX7 is almost half the price of the LX17, so if you are mainly on headphones or find the speakers adequate enough for your room, then it is an even better bargain. And you forgot to mention the 10 year warrantee, which was an issue with me bearing in mind the problems I and others had with a certain other manufacturer.

But having said that, I sure people will take issue with you over the sound being close to a larger acoustical grand, and the number of adjustable sounds design, etc.

In the end you have to find one that suits your style of playing and enables you to get the most out of your instrument - within your budget.


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: EssBrace] #2688753
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Originally Posted by EssBrace


Totally different. The GranTouch pianos were the AvantGrand predecessor and the action is almost identical to the AG. The new 'GrandTouch' action in the Clavinova 675 and 685 is an entirely different thing.


That's confusing.

With regard to Yamaha, I haven't played the 685 yet, but I really, *really* disliked the 585. I've not spend a lot of time researching actions, with regards to pivots before I bought the LX-17. Somewhere (maybe in this thread even, can't remember) the 585 action was described as having a very high inertia, and then 'it just goes'. That's how I felt as well. The dynamics were very hard to control.

Last edited by Falsch; 11/11/17 07:41 AM.

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Originally Posted by Colin Miles


But having said that, I sure people will take issue with you over the sound being close to a larger acoustical grand, and the number of adjustable sounds design, etc..


Don't know if the LX-17 will come close to a grand sitting in the same room. Never had a chance to test something like that. What I can say with confidence is that it comes close to a large upright, namely a Kawai K-6 which sat beside it in the store.


Roland LX-17 PE == At GF's condo: Kawai MP7 == Currently in storage: Focal Alpha 80, Pianoteq with Kremsegg I, II and Ruckers II addons.
Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Falsch] #2688757
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Originally Posted by Falsch
Originally Posted by EssBrace


Totally different. The GranTouch pianos were the AvantGrand predecessor and the action is almost identical to the AG. The new 'GrandTouch' action in the Clavinova 675 and 685 is an entirely different thing.


That's confusing.


What's confusing about it?

The GranTouch was a range of complete pianos from the 1990s. The GrandTouch is a DP action from 2017.


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Ah, the action is called "GrandTouch", while the piano's were "GranTouch". I thought they were both called "GranTouch", and that Yamaha had used the GranTouch action in the Clavinova's. I don't know if the GranTouch action is an actual grand action, or a close implementation. I never played one of those piano's.


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688769
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It's an actual grand action, same as the AGs that followed. Keys were a bit shorter though and no key buttons over the pivots.

And yes the naming of all this can get a bit silly but there's a limited number of ways you can stick words like grand, feel, touch, hammer etc together smile

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688773
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As far as performance and overall build quality goes, there’s not much of a difference between the Grantouch and the AvantGrand in terms of action. Personally, I’d prefer a Grantouch DGT7 over an N3. The former uses a real baby grand cabinet, and would probably suit Pianoteq better because it uses a conventional stereo system. The N3’s multi-channel system is optimal for the outdated sample on board, but not for an incoming stereo signal.

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: EssBrace] #2688780
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
Originally Posted by Falsch
Originally Posted by EssBrace


Totally different. The GranTouch pianos were the AvantGrand predecessor and the action is almost identical to the AG. The new 'GrandTouch' action in the Clavinova 675 and 685 is an entirely different thing.


That's confusing.


What's confusing about it?

The GranTouch was a range of complete pianos from the 1990s. The GrandTouch is a DP action from 2017.


Well, I'm very confused indeed. GranTouch > GrandTouch looks like a mistake, or if not a mistake, a cunning piece of obscurantism.

What is confusing is whether these two 'different' trade marks are related. And if they are related, is it an ancestral relationship, a familial one or a kind of joint venture?

Bambers excuses Yamaha by conceding that:

there's a limited number of ways you can stick words like grand, feel, touch, hammer etc together

But is it beyond the wit of their marketing department to think of another three words out of the half billion or so available ones?

Authentic Action
Real Feel
Traditional Touch
Pivot Paradise
Harmony Heaven
I'm alright Jack
Arboreal Immersion

It's amazing how silly sounding names soon become second nature to say. And I'm sure others can do better if Yamaha need the help.

Last edited by toddy; 11/11/17 10:57 AM.

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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688789
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ARBOREAL IMMERSION! Excellent! smile

While we're at it ... how about claiming that the keysticks are made from wood taken from sustainable-growth tree farms (even if they came from old-growth forests laid bare by over-harvesting)?

And what about everything these days being described as "inspired by X", where X is something or someone well-thought of ... when in fact X played no role in the product whatsoever.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
And what about everything these days being described as "inspired by X", where X is something or someone well-thought of ... when in fact X played no role in the product whatsoever.


It's just more hogwash. They talk about 'marketing genius' and it sometimes happens, but it's very rare. Mostly it's hackneyed, tired old ideas, churned out without a thought. And this one you mention, 'by' such and such, is just more of the same old barnyard manure. Trying to pretend an individual, or big name, came up with the idea when it's just more mass production.

There was a TV advert back in the 1970s which did almost completely the opposite: it was for a line of Fiat (Uno?) which was 100% built by a production line of robots. And the commercial wallowed in the fact of there not being a human being in sight - just waltzing machines (with a famous Italian tenor aria as soundtrack). Seems they'll sell any old crap and we will buy any old crap.....so long as it keeps moving, noone notices.


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: PianoVibe] #2688809
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Originally Posted by Chris Pringle
I don't believe anyone here will tell you that the LX17 has the best action in its class. You will need to look elsewhere for that, mainly at the hybrid pianos from Yamaha (Avant Grand N2 or N3) or Kawai (Novus). But is it really a fair comparison when those pianos cost nearly twice as much?

I am comparing LX-17 to others in its price range such as Kawai CA-98 and Yamaha CLP-675/685 (and maybe N1 if one gets a good deal) - not to AvantGrand N2/N3 or Novus. They are comparable in price points. I think CA-98 and N1 have better actions - and LX-17 has better speaker/amps. The built-in Piano sounds are very different also (modelled vs. sampled etc.) I am sure there are several other differences as well - but these are the ones that matter the most to me personally.

Originally Posted by PianoVibe
Originally Posted by Osho
In Kawai and Roland's case, we are actually lucky to have this level of information.

This level of information = pivot lenght ? I don’t feel lucky to know about it, it’s not enough to me to make reasonable comparison between brands. Are there other information that I’m missing and that we are talking about here? Thanks

Not just the pivot length - but how the whole action is constructed, the 'model' of it so to speak. We don't always have this information (e.g. Yamaha CLP-685) and I find it useful.

Osho


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: toddy] #2688824
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Originally Posted by toddy
Well, I'm very confused indeed.


Are you really confused? Or are you 'confused' in order to illustrate your point? If you're telling me you are (or were) unclear about the difference between an ancient Yamaha hybrid piano and a brand new Clavinova key action I'd be rather surprised to be honest.


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OK - I do have an idea that the two actions are quite different but only because you told me so. When I first saw the name GrandTouch, of course I was wondering what its connection, if any, was with the same manufacturer's GranTouch from a previous high in the market piano.

It is extremely confusing, don't you think?


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: toddy] #2688835
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Originally Posted by toddy
OK - I do have an idea that the two actions are quite different but only because you told me so. When I first saw the name GrandTouch, of course I was wondering what its connection, if any, was with the same manufacturer's GranTouch from a previous high in the market piano.

It is extremely confusing, don't you think?


No. I think it could fairly be described as very very slightly confusing. For a moment or two until reasoning kicks in. The time lapse between the products; the different spelling of the term; the knowledge that the GranTouch piano had a real piano action in and was the predecessor to the AvantGrand and the absolute certainty that Yamaha would not equip a Clavinova with an action that would be the same as or extremely similar to the AG.

So, on the whole, not really confusing! Not to me anyway.


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Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2688838
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Well, I'm truly sorted out on the subject now. But, as you suggested, I was also making a point. And my point is this:

Why the blazes couldn't they have come up with a different, clearly distinct name for what is a clearly different system, rather than changing the name by one letter!? Then nobody - not even the slow witted - need have been confused.

Last edited by toddy; 11/11/17 05:19 PM.

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Honestly...I think it's because nobody remembers the GranTouch (outside of niche forums like this one).


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At least they are spelling 'Grand' properly now. I suppose that's progress. Maybe in the name's next incarnation it might have a space between the two words, like this: Grand Touch

Then we'll have reached the promised land.

Last edited by toddy; 11/11/17 07:46 PM.

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I've added some hard numbers here that may help (or simply exacerbate) the discussion.

But honestly, assuming the PHA-50 is really 22cm, is there a huge difference between 22 and 24.1cm? Maybe. But while the "pivot length" is an easy one to quantify, there's so much more to the feel of a keyboard than solely pivot length, so I hope we can start exploring some of these.


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Bring back Dewster! And get him to tally and track all the specs, including the keystick lengths and pivot lengths and hammer weights and everything else.

Ok, that seems far fetched. In which case we won't have much data.
And that brings us back to the traditional way of evaluating a piano: Try it for yourself!
Regardless of the numbers/measures, your likes and dislikes are what matter.

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It always boils down to what feels and sounds good to me and no one else. I tried the Kawai CS11 and a CP1, and preferred the Roland LX-17. I just liked it better, and I spent a lot of time on all three of them. After that I picked up the RD-2000 simply because I liked the way it sounded and felt, which makes sense, it has the same action. You can laugh but if and when I buy an acoustic, I'm looking for one that has the feel of my Rolands. I love them end of story, well at least for me it is.

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@Epee, try the small Steinways. I've tried a couple while travelling and the actions themselves were somewhat similar in feel. The sound and realism were another matter :))

Originally Posted by Osho

Exactly - Roland seems to have standardized on a mid-tier action across a range of prouducts.


I still don't see it as such. It's a different action, it's shorter than GF, longer than most others and it's great. As previously stated, the CLP range had the GH3, GH3x, NW, NWx actions until recently, and all of them are found to be lesser actions by a lot of people on the forum who are interested on the subject and tested a large variety of DPs. The description of high initial inertia of the GH3 especially, and in a smaller measure of the "higher end" actions is quite accurate. You have to push harder to get the key moving and then it feels like it's gliding without any mass to it.
Also, the newer GrandTouch already received its fair share of criticism, which may (or may not) be warranted, but actual measurements of the key weighting show it to be significantly above heavy grand actions.
So they have "higher" actions as they go up in price. Is that a good thing? Subjectively, for many of us, it appears they are still inferior, so, other than not having "higher end" actions with the more expensive Rolands, I'd say the action is pretty good. The best? Probably not. But I wouldn't call it mid-tier either. And the design decisions may come with advantages in durability, low maintenance etc.

Hard to say which one is the best. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. I'm trying as well to decide on which is the best for myself for the next purchase.

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I've just pasted and rescaled an image of the Kawai RH II action into the image above.

I've measured the distance of the beginning of the key to the pivot to be 503 pixels for the PHA-50, and 441 pixels for the RH II. Assuming the Roland pivot length of 220mm is correct, it would seem the RH II has a pivot length of 220 / 503 * 441 = +/- 192mm (19.2 cm).


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I will give the small Steinways a try mcoll, thanks for the advice!

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A couple days ago I went back to a local music store where I was able to test, for the fourth time, the Kawai CA 78 and 98 models and, again, I just could not stand the way they felt. The Grand Feel II action just isn’t for me (I really want to like it... but I’m unable) At least not yet. Anyway, as I walked about the store I was happy to finally get my hands on a Novus 10. The Millenium 3 action was beautiful and sounded great but out of my price range.

After this I found a Roland DP-603, HP 603 and HP 605 and I really liked the feel of the PHA-50 action. The day after I went to a different store and tested an LX-7. Again, I loved the action. Anyway, I’ve tried many models by Yamaha, Kawai and Roland. Until I read the posts in this thread I wasn’t aware of the distance to the pivot point on the PHA-50 action but I still thought it satisfied me the most. Actions - I either love ‘em or hate ‘em.

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Piano actions are indeed very subjective. Several decades of research has gone into Roland's PHA-50 action. Then package it with a top-of-the-line sound system like in the LX-17 or the GP609 and you end up with an overall satisfying experience for a digital piano.

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Originally Posted by SLQ
A couple days ago I went back to a local music store where I was able to test, for the fourth time, the Kawai CA 78 and 98 models and, again, I just could not stand the way they felt. The Grand Feel II action just isn’t for me (I really want to like it... but I’m unable) At least not yet. Anyway, as I walked about the store I was happy to finally get my hands on a Novus 10. The Millenium 3 action was beautiful and sounded great but out of my price range.

After this I found a Roland DP-603, HP 603 and HP 605 and I really liked the feel of the PHA-50 action. The day after I went to a different store and tested an LX-7. Again, I loved the action. Anyway, I’ve tried many models by Yamaha, Kawai and Roland. Until I read the posts in this thread I wasn’t aware of the distance to the pivot point on the PHA-50 action but I still thought it satisfied me the most. Actions - I either love ‘em or hate ‘em.


Fair play and congrats, and good for you for picking an action based on what you feel thumb rather than be entertained by looks of the action and marketing sheets, whether it has wooden keys and therefore feels closer to an acoustic action etc. I was back yesterday trying out the Roland PHA_50 and was reminded of how much I enjoyed it, In my case I like GF 2 also, but it could be a hard choice, not sure which of the two to go for right now, but in the end I don't care if the keys are wood, see saw versus folded, and therefore it is supposedly more realistic etc etc, I only care about how it feels and how it is weighted mainly.

In my case in neither the sound engine is that important, neither the roland nor kawai would be the top choice if it came down to that aspect, it is purely for the keys and to use mainly use as a midi controller. Just as well, otherwise I would be stuck with that issue, why do the nicest feeling actions never have the nicest sound engines ( for me that is how it turns out anyway ), gimme a Nord 3 any day over a kawai/roland and even the CLP range with the CFX I like more too, as much as the yam sound engine often gets criticised here, and If I want modelling I have pteq for that, I am happy enough with that for that aspect.


Selftaught since June 2014.
Books: Barratt classic piano course bk 1,2,3. Humphries Piano handbook, various...
Kawai CA78, Casio AP450 & software pianos.
[Linked Image] 12x ABF recitals.
My struggles: https://soundcloud.com/alexander-borro
Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: SLQ] #2732752
04/29/18 03:04 PM
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I love Roland piano actions, especially on the high-end model.
I chose GrandFeel 2 because it has the closest touch to our Yamaha C7, there is still some gap between them tho.
Pivot point? PHA-50 is way better than most upright piano (in my opinion laugh )
Pick piano you love the most wink


Let's help each other... laugh
Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2732763
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All the latest digital actions are good enough. In any case if you play on enough different pianos your technique will improve and you will adapt to whatever piano you play on.


Roland LX7

South Wales, UK
Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2732828
04/29/18 08:15 PM
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Good choice! I am another PHA50 fan here. I have a FP90 in my study for night time practice and I like it a lot. I spent quite a bit of time comparing to Kawai's GF2 action in store when I was shopping last year.

1. As far as key weight goes, GF2 was 50g at middle C while the PHA50 was 55g (yes, I carried small metal weights for actual measurements), so very similar.
2. GF2's longer pivot length does have an advantage for playing at 'back-of-key' but PHA50 is very good already.
3. PHA50 won me over because it was much better at fast repeats while GF2 felt a little "laggy".

To me, my curiosity was satisfied. Roland's PHA50 is in fact a very good key action; while the highly praised GF2 action here simply has own trade-offs


Yamaha U1 | Roland FP90+JBL LSR305
Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2732906
04/30/18 03:38 AM
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Just for info, the (baby?) grand piano action I have for my DIY controller has a pivot length of 23cm. Same as AG but shorter than NV10.


Soundcloud Profile - solo piano compositions, arrangements, reharms
Currently: Kawai ES7 -> Garritan CFX
Previously: Kawai MP6, Kawai CA63, Roland RD-700SX, Roland FP-5, Yamaha P90, Korg SP-200, Casio CDP-100
Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2732915
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Does anyone have a compiled list of key lengths for pianos?

It would be useful to know the typical range for grand pianos. For upright pianos. For digital consoles like the AGs and NVs. For the upper-range Clavs and CA-series. For the slabs.

In the end, all that matters is the "feel". But I'd like to get some idea of key length vs. feel.

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: WarrenY] #2732923
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Originally Posted by WarrenY

(...)
3. PHA50 won me over because it was much better at fast repeats while GF2 felt a little "laggy".

To me, my curiosity was satisfied. Roland's PHA50 is in fact a very good key action; while the highly praised GF2 action here simply has own trade-offs


The PHA50 is indeed a good action, very likely the best folded plastic action currently on the market. However, if you compare it with the GF2 then you cannot skip a major trade-off: the mechanical noise. The PHA50 is quite noisy and sounds plastic/hollow even when inside the Rolands with wooden cabinets whereas the GF2 is quieter and sounds and feels like a solid wood action. Whether this factor is important or not is up to you.

Note that very fast repeats can definitely be achieved on the GF2 with the proper technique as you can read in previous posts on this thread. Moreover, the pivot point on the PHA50 is quite shorter than the one on the GF2. It may be "good" enough for you but it does feel noticeable shorter than what you would get on any acoustic.

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: MacMacMac] #2732948
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Does anyone have a compiled list of key lengths for pianos?


Glad that you asked. I dislike adjectives from people without real data, so I have been keeping a short list for myself from real measurements and from info gathered online.

Here you go. Pivot length and force ratio from fallboard+2cm (playing at back-of-key) to front-1cm (playing at front), assuming exposed white key is 15cm :

- Yamaha GHS, 17.25cm [3.82]
- Casio Privia, 18.75cm [3.08]
- Yamaha GH, GH3, GH3X, NW, NWX, 20cm [2.71]
- Kawai RHIII, 20cm [2.71]
- Roland PHA50, 22cm [2.33]
- Yamaha AvantGrand, 23.5cm [2.14]
- Kawai GF/GF2, 24.1cm [2.08]
- Kawai Millennium III, 26cm [1.92]

See how PHA50 is the longest folded action in the market. And, once you get close to a force ratio of 2, the difference becomes small and likely buried in key weight variations of different actions.

EDIT: I expect the pivot length of Yamaha's GrandTouch to be closer to PHA50 than GF2 but I don't know until someone takes apart a CLP675 or 685.

Last edited by WarrenY; 04/30/18 09:12 AM.

Yamaha U1 | Roland FP90+JBL LSR305
Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: arc7urus] #2732951
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Originally Posted by arc7urus
Note that very fast repeats can definitely be achieved on the GF2 with the proper technique as you can read in previous posts on this thread.


Sure, I can "deal with it." but why? when I have choices.

Last edited by WarrenY; 04/30/18 08:24 AM.

Yamaha U1 | Roland FP90+JBL LSR305
Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: WarrenY] #2732965
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Originally Posted by WarrenY
Originally Posted by arc7urus
Note that very fast repeats can definitely be achieved on the GF2 with the proper technique as you can read in previous posts on this thread.


Sure, I can "deal with it." but why? when I have choices.


I think that is probably something that is situational. If I am just playing at home on my LX-17 then it does not matter at all. If I plan on also playing other pianos at recitals or whatever, then it could matter, and I would want what I am learning to be at least close enough to translate, and be able to play.

Adjusting to a different feel is expected, every piano is going to feel different. But, if it does not allow for a level of development of technique that is required on most other instruments, it would be limiting.

I love my LX-17 and don't really have an issue with adjusting when I play on a grand piano, although I find it harder to adjust to an upright (and that could be just the few uprights I play on more regularly). Whether or not it's actually limiting would take someone who is more advanced than I playing music more complex than I am currently playing.

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: WarrenY] #2732985
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Originally Posted by WarrenY

Glad that you asked. I dislike adjectives from people without real data, so I have been keeping a short list for myself from real measurements and from info gathered online.

Here you go. Pivot length and force ratio from fallboard+2cm (playing at back-of-key) to front-1cm (playing at front), assuming exposed white key is 15cm :
...
EDIT: I expect the pivot length of Yamaha's GrandTouch to be closer to PHA50 than GF2 but I don't know until someone takes apart a CLP675 or 685.


Fantastic, thanks for the sharing the list! Btw, I recall seeing GrandTouch keys here a couple of months back, I'll see if I can dig out the thread (I don't recall it having support length measurements though). Also, hopefully you're keeping an eye out for Grand Feel Compact (and older RM3-Grand) numbers too?


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50 || Kawai NV-10, MP11
Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: arc7urus] #2732999
04/30/18 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by arc7urus
The PHA50 is indeed a good action, very likely the best folded plastic action currently on the market. However, if you compare it with the GF2 then you cannot skip a major trade-off: the mechanical noise. The PHA50 is quite noisy and sounds plastic/hollow even when inside the Rolands with wooden cabinets whereas the GF2 is quieter and sounds and feels like a solid wood action


Yes, I’ve noticed this myself. It is on the noisier side and it may feel hollow. Still, the touch feels great.

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2743880
06/12/18 12:04 PM
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Just a few things to put pivot lengths in context.

I believe the pivot length of the Kawais is overstated. The key doesn’t pivot on the pin, but on the top of the balance rail (the shelf that the keys rest on) in a grand. In the GF, it looks to me like 23 cm or thereabouts, for the white keys, is probably a reasonable estimate. Both the Roland PHA50 and Kawai GF pivot lengths are much shorter than a big grand, but once we get past a certain point, small differences have very little relevance -even a concert grand’s keys feel different towards the fall board.

The issue of the offset for the black keys is more complicated. For the effect to be the same on different piano sizes, the offset would need to be proportional to key length. However, on a concert grand the offset is often no greater than on a smaller piano in the same series. This means that black key offset on a concert grand has very little effect on the feel of the action compared to a smaller piano. Some offset is necessary if we want the key travel to be the similar on the black and white keys, without having to have different leverage ratios.

On top of this, there is nothing in physics/mechanics that tells us that a folded action is inherently inferior. A grand piano is a folded beam with three levers with an action ratio of around 10:1.

If you like an action, it’s a good action. If you don’t it’s not. One way or another, the “spec” differences here are fairly trivial when it comes to explaining a preference for one of these actions over another.

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2743897
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In the above post, the 10:1 ratio is that between key and hammer travel. I wasn’t referring to the keystick length on either side of the pivot in the Kawai.

BTW I have an MP 10 and an FP90. Both companies make amazing products.

Last edited by johnstaf; 06/12/18 01:31 PM.
Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2743915
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Sorry I made a silly mistake. On my piano, the hammer travels 45mm for 10mm key travel.

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: johnstaf] #2743977
06/12/18 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Sorry I made a silly mistake. On my piano, the hammer travels 45mm for 10mm key travel.


Does this mean your post should have read:

Originally Posted by johnstaf
In the above post, the 4.5:1 ratio is that between key and hammer travel.


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: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2744025
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Yes James thank you. Although it’s probably closer to 5:1 when I take let off into account.

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: johnstaf] #2744064
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Just a few things to put pivot lengths in context.

I believe the pivot length of the Kawais is overstated. The key doesn’t pivot on the pin, but on the top of the balance rail (the shelf that the keys rest on) in a grand. In the GF, it looks to me like 23 cm or thereabouts, for the white keys, is probably a reasonable estimate.


It's 24.1cm. People have bothered to actually take the keys out and measure this in other threads on this forum, there are photos about.

And yes the actual pivot is the bottom edge of the key, but this would make it longer if anything as the you'd have to pythag the 24.1 with the key height. This is usually a minimal difference so everyone tends to gloss over it. At any rate, pha50 also pivots from the 'bottom' of the key.

Regarding folded etc, yes, strictly speaking, what happens the other side of the pivot is it's own thing. I've often wondered if it's perhaps the feel of the pin and felt bushings etc that is what people are actually picking up on.

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2744084
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My point isn’t about the pivot being at the bottom, but that it’s closer than 24.1 cm. The bottom of the pin isn’t the pivot point. The pin keeps the key in place, but when depressed, the key pivots on the support underneath and moves up slightly (on the pin). The Steinway accelerated action makes use of this fact, by altering the balance rail to maximize the key leverage for the same key length (and pin position). David Stanwood has a design where the position of the key balance rail (and thus the pivot point) can be changed under the pin (using a lever) to change the feel of the action.

I’d imagine a key difference in the feel between the Kawai and Roland is that the latter has a lot of plastic contact points, whereas in the Kawai the wood and felt contact points are like on an acoustic.

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: johnstaf] #2744104
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
My point isn’t about the pivot being at the bottom, but that it’s closer than 24.1 cm. The bottom of the pin isn’t the pivot point. The pin keeps the key in place, but when depressed, the key pivots on the support underneath and moves up slightly (on the pin). The Steinway accelerated action makes use of this fact, by altering the balance rail to maximize the key leverage for the same key length (and pin position). David Stanwood has a design where the position of the key balance rail (and thus the pivot point) can be changed under the pin (using a lever) to change the feel of the action.

I’d imagine a key difference in the feel between the Kawai and Roland is that the latter has a lot of plastic contact points, whereas in the Kawai the wood and felt contact points are like on an acoustic.


On the GF2 the distance from the balance pin to the actual pivot point is rather small. The 24.1 cm are not where the balance pin is but the approximate location of the felt under the key from where the key pivots. Pictures here, including the ones that Bambers referred to.

http://www.kawaius.com/digital/Features/actions.html
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...l-key-and-pivot-lengths.html#Post2688852

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2744132
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Thanks for the link. I’ve already seen these. 24.1 is the distance to the pin. I agree that the distance to the pivot is close.

Re: Roland LX-17 action [Re: Osho] #2744202
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I see what you mean about the bottom of the key essentially rolls a bit however I've not noticed that to be significant in acoustics, if anything the contact point is behind the pin slightly at rest as the keys are typically angled 'up' slightly at that point and moves infront of it when the key is depressed, however it never leaves the felt pad that the key actually sits on.

Steinways accelerated action strikes me as 90% marketing blab if I'm honest. If it was that superior, everyone would be using it by now and they don't (it's from the 30s (ish?), well out of any patent).

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