2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
Who's Online Now
48 members (A. Lucato, David B, CyberGene, c++, Burkey, 1957, anotherscott, dhull100, 36251, 10 invisible), 532 guests, and 470 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
New piano -- sustain pedal question
#2699401 12/24/17 10:27 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 199
L
Lotus1 Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
L
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 199
Hello, everyone! I just became a member of this forum, having recently bought a new Yamaha DGX 660, which I will review in a separate thread. It has been fun returning to playing the piano after 40 years away; I studied music for about 10 years as a child and progressed to an intermediate level.

The piano came with a square plastic sustain foot switch, which even Yamaha deigns to call a foot pedal, it being an on-off switch. I found this intolerable after just a few days and picked up a new Yamaha FC3A sustain foot pedal, compatible with the half-pedaling that the DGX 660 supports. This pedal stays put on the floor, unlike the foot switch, and offers a nice level of resistance upon depressing it.

My question relates to the half-pedaling function of the FC3A. While the pedal offers a good amount of travel, I have noticed that it seems to have no sustain effect for at least half its range, then gradually increasing sustain only over about the bottom half of its travel. While not impossible to modulate, it would have been nicer if the sustain gradually increased over its entire range of travel.

I returned to the store to check how the sustain pedals on consoles with built-in pedals work, and tried the Yamaha YDP 143 and 181 and Roland RP 102, the only ones on display. While I preferred the slightly heavier resistance of my standalone FC3A, it appeared that the sustain pedals on all three consoles started sustaining slightly on initial depression and increased gradually over their entire range.

Meanwhile, Yamaha's DGX 660 user manual says this about half-pedaling (via the add-on the FC3A single pedal or the LP7A three-pedal board): "This function allows you to vary the sustain length depending on how far the pedal is pressed. The farther you press the pedal, the more the sound sustains. For example, if you press the pedal and the notes you play sound a bit murky and loud with too much sustain, you can partially release the pedal to lessen the sustain (murkiness)."

My FC3A certainly does this -- if full sustain makes the sound murky, release it a bit to reduce the murkiness. But it does not gradually increase sustain over its entire range of travel. Is this behavior normal? Would a replacement FC3A work any differently? Should I try a Roland DP-10? Or should I just live with it, being certainly not intolerable, just more difficult to modulate.

Thanks for your help ... and happy holidays!

(ad)
Sweetwater Sale
Sweetwater Sale
Re: New piano -- sustain pedal question
Lotus1 #2699424 12/25/17 02:45 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 2,800
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 2,800
On a real piano, the range of modulation is limited by the elasticity of the dampers : you start to modulate when the dampers start to leave the strings, and you stop modulating when the dampers don’t touch the strings anymore.

Then, I would expect a digital piano to behave the same. On high-end piano, the feedback pressure curve is designed to match the 3 phase (strings fully damped, modulation, all strings undamped), with more pressure when all the weight of the dampers are lifted by the pedal.

Last edited by Frédéric L; 12/25/17 02:47 AM.

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: New piano -- sustain pedal question
Lotus1 #2699425 12/25/17 02:49 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 12,641
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 12,641
The user manual says that this piano has half-pedal function. So expect the "half" effect to appear somewhere in the middle of the pedal motion.

There will be no variation of the effect until you depress the pedal fully, or release it. It's not a graded pedal effect.

Re: New piano -- sustain pedal question
Lotus1 #2699459 12/25/17 08:46 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,647
A
5000 Post Club Member
Online Content
5000 Post Club Member
A
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,647
Originally Posted by Lotus1
Would a replacement FC3A work any differently? Should I try a Roland DP-10?

While I suppose there's a chance that your FC3A is defective, I suspect that's just how they designed it to work. The Roland DP10 and Yamaha FC3A are not interchangeable.

Re: New piano -- sustain pedal question
Lotus1 #2699467 12/25/17 09:48 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 199
L
Lotus1 Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
L
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 199
Thanks, all, for your kind responses.

Frederic L: Your explanation make sense to me and matches how the FC3A pedal behaves on my DGX 660. Though I find it odd that the built-in sustain pedal on Yamaha's YDP models has a graduated effect across its entire range of travel, unlike their standalone FC3A pedal. The FC3A seems to offer a little more resistance than the built-in YDP pedal and may be designed to more closely replicate the sustain pedal on a real piano.

MacMacMac: My FC3A does have a graded effect, but it is limited to the bottom half of its travel range. So it needs to be modulated carefully within that range -- not extremely difficult, but one has to be careful. The resistance the pedal offers helps in the modulation.

anotherscott: I think you are right in that they designed it to perform in this way. It is certainly much better than the sustain foot switch that comes with the DGX 660, without a sharp cutoff when one slowly releases the pedal. I had understood that the Yamaha FC3A and Roland DP10 have the same polarity, unlike similar Casio and Korg pedals. But perhaps there is some other compatibility issue of which you are aware.

Thanks, again. I expect to keep the pedal after reading your feedback, but thoughts from others are welcome.

Re: New piano -- sustain pedal question
Lotus1 #2699472 12/25/17 09:54 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,647
A
5000 Post Club Member
Online Content
5000 Post Club Member
A
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,647
Originally Posted by Lotus1
I had understood that the Yamaha FC3A and Roland DP10 have the same polarity, unlike similar Casio and Korg pedals. But perhaps there is some other compatibility issue of which you are aware.

You could be right, my memory might be confused.

Re: New piano -- sustain pedal question
Lotus1 #2699506 12/25/17 01:34 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 2,800
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 2,800
With on-off pedal, we can talk about polarity (normaly closed, normaly open), there are only 2 modes a switch can be made.

With a graded pedal, we have a potentiometer, and 3 wires to connect to the Tip, ring and sleeve of the jack plug. There are so many ways to connect them (6), that you would be lucky to find two compatible pedals from different brands.

(The resistance of the potentiometer may also differ from a brand to an other, but if we just have a voltage divider, it may not be so important).

Last edited by Frédéric L; 12/25/17 02:18 PM.

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: New piano -- sustain pedal question
Lotus1 #2699530 12/25/17 03:47 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 12,641
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 12,641
I think this is all moot. The Yamaha manual says that this piano has half-pedal response, not full graded pedal. So the OPs description of the pedal behavior is a reflection of the piano's design, not of any fault of the pedal.

Re: New piano -- sustain pedal question
Lotus1 #2699543 12/25/17 06:46 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 5,026
G
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 5,026
Afaik, "half pedaling" and "partial pedaling" don't have anything to do with when the pedaling function catches. Nearly all half-pedals have a pot that delivers graduated resistance throughout the range of travel. Different pianos do different things with the same signal though. Some will apply the pedal effect near the top of the travel, some will start it closer to 50%. Some will have 4 layers of half-pedaling, some will have 8+. A few will have non-linear response.

And some more advanced DPs let you customize the dead spot (so you can rest your foot on the pedal without activating it), the range of travel, and the curve of the effect.

The fc3a is one of the staple half-pedals out there; I've found it is very consistent and reliable to use. But the way the pedal is treated depends almost entirely on the piano it's connected to.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: New piano -- sustain pedal question
Lotus1 #2699554 12/25/17 08:13 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 199
L
Lotus1 Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
L
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 199
Thanks, everyone!

Frederic L's first post on an acoustic piano's sustain pedal's phases reflects exactly how the FC3A works on my DGX 660: a no-sustain period for the initial part of its travel, a period where graduated modulation between no-sustain and full-sustain is possible, and a period of full-sustain when the pedal is almost or fully depressed. His second post explains why continuous pedals might not be interchangeable across brands, even with the same polarity. I note that customers on the thomann.de website have said that the retailer advised them not to use Roland pedals on Yamaha pianos due to compatibility issues, just as anotherscott has cautioned. Gombessa, I appreciate the detail you've added, including your experience with the same model pedal.

I just wanted to make sure my FC3A was not defective and your explanations indicate it is probably fine. It is an elegant pedal with a curved metal tongue and angled sides, a nice weight and toothed rubber grips that help it stay in place, and offers reasonable resistance to help with sustain modulation. A huge improvement in appearance and function over the plastic foot switch that came with the DGX 660.

By the way, I did consider the optional Yamaha LP7A three-pedal unit that bolts onto the piano stand, but the mismatched backing board (colored gray instead of black like the piano), gray plastic pedals, higher position off the floor, and reports of squeaky plastic-on-plastic connections turned me off. I never used the soft pedal in 10 years of study as a child and neither my home nor my teacher's pianos had a sostenuto pedal, so I figured I would not miss the other two pedals.


Moderated by  Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
Our October 2020 Free Piano Newsletter is Here!
---------------------
3,000,000+!
------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Ivory ACD install without discs
by mwf - 11/28/20 06:52 AM
Mixing VST audio with external hardware audio
by Andrew_G - 11/28/20 02:42 AM
File, sand and/or needle inside my Baldwin?
by DanD - 11/28/20 01:18 AM
Hybrid piano too loud for my neighbor :(
by kiwibd - 11/27/20 07:19 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics203,090
Posts3,028,018
Members99,391
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2020 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4