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#2704450 - 01/12/18 10:29 PM Key Sensitivity  
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NuggetSC Offline
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Hello audience,

I practice in an unexpensive keyboard at the moment, A Williams Legato 88 key, ~150$. The keyboard looks nice, have some basic functions and the sound is decent for the price. However it has high key sensitivity, in other words, you barely press the keys for the lower notes (LHS half of the keyboard) and it sounds overly loud. So when you are playing the chords with the left hand, you really have to focus and touch them very softly so that the accompanient doesnt take over the melody.

Now, that being said, i am going into my 8th month of practice so it might as well be that most pianos are that way and thati need to keep at it or if the unexpensive keyboard plays a big part of it.

I wonder if high end keyboards or digital pianos ( i.e Clavinova 545, etc) it is easier to manage the key sensitivity.

Thanks

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#2704455 - 01/12/18 10:51 PM Re: Key Sensitivity [Re: NuggetSC]  
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Michael. Offline
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I would think that higher end keyboards would have a longer pivot point and would give you more control. I have no problem controlling sound on my digital Kawai but I am afraid I have not seen a Willams digital to compare it against.


Acoustic: Cunningham Parlour Grand
Digital: Kawai ES-8 / Pianoteq 6

#2704471 - 01/13/18 12:26 AM Re: Key Sensitivity [Re: NuggetSC]  
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JohnSprung Offline
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Probably they are easier to control. You might just go to a Guitar Center or Sam Ash or whatever store of that sort is convenient for you, and try a few at all different price points.


-- J.S.

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Yamaha CP33
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#2704479 - 01/13/18 01:29 AM Re: Key Sensitivity [Re: Michael.]  
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keystring Offline
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Originally Posted by Michael.
I would think that higher end keyboards would have a longer pivot point and would give you more control. I have no problem controlling sound on my digital Kawai but I am afraid I have not seen a Willams digital to compare it against.

You are talking about the mechanical end - the physical aspect of the keys. "Sensitivity" is how they are designed to respond electronically as I understand it. The very first digital piano I had, a Samik, behaved that way. anything below middle C was super loud and I learned to become very gingerly in my touch, as if afraid of setting off a bomb. The day that 2nd hand instrument stopped working was a blessing in disguise. I paid around the same amount for it as the OP.

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#2704484 - 01/13/18 02:38 AM Re: Key Sensitivity [Re: JohnSprung]  
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Charles Cohen Offline
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung

Probably they are easier to control. You might just go to a Guitar Center or Sam Ash or whatever store of that sort is convenient for you, and try a few at all different price points.



+1.

An hour in the store (with headphones, ideally) is worth lots and lots of verbal description.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
#2704486 - 01/13/18 02:58 AM Re: Key Sensitivity [Re: NuggetSC]  
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peterws Offline
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Some of the latest DPs are indeed very dynamic, rather more so than most acoustic pianos. That also takes some controlling; I guess you can't adjust the level of dynamic clout either. So you'll need to check some out.
Try some acoustics too, in order to make a comparison. But it sounds like the Williams might have to move over . . .


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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#2704589 - 01/13/18 12:18 PM Re: Key Sensitivity [Re: NuggetSC]  
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Right now the cloest to an acoustic piano is a hybrid like the Yamaha NU-1 or Casio Celviano GP 300 / 500 (co-developed with C. Bechstein piano) with 88 hammers. Lower down you have some DPs like Yamaha, Roland or Korg with graded hammer that comes close to an acoustic. Some of the keys have a rough surface to simulate the acoustic feel than smooth like cheap plastic.

Came across the name Bl├╝thner from Leipzig, Germany in a piano store recently. It is a piano manufacturer originally and started coming up with a line of quality keyboards (including stage pianos). If you are willing to spend a bit more money, have to go to a piano store and try a few models to compare sound quality and the feel of the keys.

#2704730 - 01/14/18 03:05 AM Re: Key Sensitivity [Re: peterws]  
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Charles Cohen Offline
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Originally Posted by peterws
Some of the latest DPs are indeed very dynamic, rather more so than most acoustic pianos. That also takes some controlling; I guess you can't adjust the level of dynamic clout either. So you'll need to check some out. . . .
. .


I don't know if there's a DP that has an onboard sound generator that lets you adjust its dynamic range.

Pianoteq (a "modeled software piano" that runs on a computer) _does_ have a "dynamics" slider. Using that, it's possible to vary the sound from "dynamically dull" to "dynamically uncontrollable" -- that is, with such a wide dynamic range (and high sensitivity to how hard you strike the keys) that it's difficult to play a scale smoothly. Best advice for beginners:

. . . Don't touch that slider!

Good DP's do pretty well at generating a satisfying dynamic range, and being well-balanced (in tone and volume) across the whole keyboard. They also all have "touch settings", to adjust the relationship between how hard you strike a key, and how loud (and harsh) the resulting sound is.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
#2704796 - 01/14/18 11:33 AM Re: Key Sensitivity [Re: thepianoplayer416]  
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Alexander Borro Offline
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A quick google reveals that Williams keyboard is based on some spring based mechanism, not a hammer mechanism, described by most as a bad keyboard in terms of emulating the feel of a real piano.

I am not sure, but it is also quite likely that the keys are all weighted the same from left to right, this would make playing softly in the left hand harder also.

In any case, as said, try some better ones, compare with acoustics and take it from there. No doubt, even the cheaper Casio PX range of pianos, or something like a Kawai ES110 at the cheaper end of hammer actions (much cheaper than the Clavinova you mention) would already offer a substantial upgrade in feel compared to what you own.

Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Right now the closest to an acoustic piano is a hybrid like the Yamaha NU-1 or Casio Celviano GP 300 / 500 (co-developed with C. Bechstein piano) with 88 hammers.


IMO, One shouldn't rule out other brands when looking at the higher end. I would argue that the Kawai grand feel is right up there and more realistic feeling than the Casio "Hybrid" in ways, but I am not an expert on that matter, but it feels like that to me. Don't get me wrong, I like the Casio GP series when I tried it, it feels nice, it does have individually weighted keys, but it is no more a hybrid than what you find in a Kawai CA series, this is something Casio would like you to believe, but it is merely marketing talk.

Avantgrand or NU1 do have real piano actions representing a grand and upright respectively. The Casio hybrid does not have such an action, though it may superficially look like one in pictures, it is only the wooden keys that are used from a Bechstein, but it ends there, it does not even simulate escapement, or have an escapement mechanism of any sort, It is just a hammer linked directly to a key mechanism like many other digital hammer actions, not what you would find in a real piano.


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#2705229 - 01/15/18 05:43 PM Re: Key Sensitivity [Re: NuggetSC]  
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NuggetSC Offline
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Thanks for all the inputs.

I went to a music store and played on a Clavinova 545. The difference was very appreciable. The feeling was like playing a real piano.

Now, i am saving to get me a digital piano, maybe the 545 but that will not happen until about 1 yr from now.

Do you guys think playing the inexpensive keyboard will hurt my so far obtained skills as i would be used to a very different key sensitivity in a year from now.

Thanks

#2705553 - 01/16/18 08:43 PM Re: Key Sensitivity [Re: NuggetSC]  
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Charles Cohen Offline
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THat really depends on how far advanced you are.

If the Williams really is a "synth-action" keyboard (springs, rather than hammer-weight), you'll have some re-learning to do when you change to a weighted action. The longer you spend on a synth action, the more re-learning you'll have to do.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
#2705559 - 01/16/18 09:09 PM Re: Key Sensitivity [Re: NuggetSC]  
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Anita Potter Offline
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Originally Posted by NuggetSC
Thanks for all the inputs.

I went to a music store and played on a Clavinova 545. The difference was very appreciable. The feeling was like playing a real piano.

Now, i am saving to get me a digital piano, maybe the 545 but that will not happen until about 1 yr from now.

Do you guys think playing the inexpensive keyboard will hurt my so far obtained skills as i would be used to a very different key sensitivity in a year from now.

Thanks


I played on a no-sensitivity keyboard for 2 years until I got the Casio last year. There definitely will be some re-learning as Charles said. The biggest thing for me moving from my first keyboard to the one I have now was that my hands and fingers would get tired more quickly. It definitely took me awhile to build up finger dexterity.

I'm sure you'll do fine once you're able to make the switch. It'll take time to get used to it and you'll probably get a little frustrated but stick with it.


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#2705832 - 01/17/18 06:40 PM Re: Key Sensitivity [Re: NuggetSC]  
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NuggetSC Offline
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Sounds great, all good pieces of advice.

Thanks.

#2706123 - 01/18/18 02:15 PM Re: Key Sensitivity [Re: NuggetSC]  
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Originally Posted by NuggetSC
I practice in an unexpensive keyboard at the moment, A Williams Legato 88 key, ~150$.


I started out with exactly the same keyboard. After about 6 months of lessons, I was needing to understand how to play dynamics on the piano, and the Williams just didn't cut it. I did some research and found this forum, did a lot of reading I realized I needed a hammer action keyboard. As I was only a few months in, I didn't want to spend a fortune, so I wound up buying a Kawai ES110. This was a HUGE step up, and I was able to actually control the dynamics of the piece, and my teacher noticed an immediate huge improvement.

As I've stuck with piano for a few years now, and my kids and wife are playing as well, I decided to upgrade recently to something even more "realistic" and got the Yamaha CLP-685. It's again made a big difference in my ability to add expression to pieces when I go to play on acoustic pianos. Hopefully I'll stick with this one for a few years, it was a bit of a price leap laugh

Anyway, as you've stuck with it for 8 months, seriously consider investing $700-800 in an instrument with well respected key action, any less than that (unless you buy used) is going to continue to hinder your ability to learn to play expressively. You'll get a lot of different opinions here on the board, but you should definitely look at Kawai, Roland and Yamaha in this price range (with Casio a seeming up and comer, but I don't have experience with them.)

Last edited by squidbot; 01/18/18 02:15 PM.

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#2706239 - 01/18/18 08:42 PM Re: Key Sensitivity [Re: NuggetSC]  
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You'll find the terms "weighted" and "velocity sensitive" rather than "hammer action" used to describe what you need.


-- J.S.

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