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Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) #2821425
03/01/19 10:46 AM
03/01/19 10:46 AM
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jamiecw Offline OP
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An observation made many times here with various actions but I thought this was an interesting video (from Tony at Bonners music)

https://youtu.be/dEKFGkR6KAk?t=278

Tony weighs the two actions and what I found specifically interesting is how even when he is dropping the weight from above the key of the 685 does not sink, in fact it barely budges...if I was looking to buy that piano I'd want to sit and play it for a prolonged amount of time before purchasing it as I am sure some finger fatigue might be involved there..

Last edited by jamiecw; 03/01/19 10:47 AM.
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Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) [Re: jamiecw] #2821434
03/01/19 11:13 AM
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Interesting for me to take note of, irrespective of the key action and I know I prefer the Kawai, but I much prefer the sound of the Kawai in that video as well.

Kevin


Learning Mendelssohn Song without Words Op. 19 No. 2, Schumann Bunte Blätter Stücklein Op. 99 No. 1. Jensen Sehnsucht Op. 8 No. 5. Schumann Kinderszenen Op15 No1, Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen.
Digital piano: Casio Celviano AP-470. Headphones: Superlux HD681 EVO
Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) [Re: jamiecw] #2821437
03/01/19 11:20 AM
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I saw that video too, and I saw another video where a reviewer mentions the heavy action. Too heavy, IMO.


Roland FP-90; Pianoteq 6 + many add-ons; 2 Yamaha HS8s; ATH-M50X and Samson SR850 headphones; Xenyx Q802USB interface. 2; I make a living playing a Yamaha PSR-S970 with FBT Maxx 2a's, Crowne Headset Mic. I also play guitar.
Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) [Re: Beakybird] #2821442
03/01/19 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Beakybird
I saw that video too, and I saw another video where a reviewer mentions the heavy action. Too heavy, IMO.


True - will pop down to the Yamaha store tomorrow and try out...there's heavy and then there's HEAVY...this one seems to fall in that category.

I practice on a FATAR TP40W and I find that heavy enough...although I persist so I am specifically keen to compare how these two differ.

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) [Re: jamiecw] #2821446
03/01/19 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by jamiecw

Tony weighs the two actions and what I found specifically interesting is how even when he is dropping the weight from above the key of the 685 does not sink, in fact it barely budges...if I was looking to buy that piano I'd want to sit and play it for a prolonged amount of time before purchasing it as I am sure some finger fatigue might be involved there..

Tony is wrong in his explanation though. A digital piano without a damper mechanism shouldn't have keys budging under just 55 g.

The downweight of an acoustic piano is measured without the dampers engaged.


Yamaha P-515 | Kawai ES100 | Steinberg UR22 | Sony MDR-7506
Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) [Re: jamiecw] #2821448
03/01/19 11:49 AM
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@jamiecw I haven’t tried the 685 but I tried the CLP675 yesterday, which I understand has an even heavier action for some types of playing. After about half an hour I was suffering from hand pain for more or less the first time in my (long) playing life. Not from anything onerous but from playing the Chopin E Minor prelude a couple of times. The control of the left hand chords required such tightening of my hand and finger muscles that pain across the top of my hand was the result. I am not prepared to suffer RSI for my art so I picked the Kawai CA78 (but not before trying a good acoustic grand to ensure it wasn’t just me!).

Last edited by ShyPianist; 03/01/19 11:51 AM.

Pianist, independent music arranger, violinist, mother
Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) [Re: JoeT] #2821462
03/01/19 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeT
A digital piano without a damper mechanism shouldn't have keys budging under just 55 g.

The downweight of an acoustic piano is measured without the dampers engaged.


Hi Joe - yes from your original thread about the down-weight of the P515 I understood that. However, since DPs do not have a real authentic mechanism I assume (but stand to be corrected) that the manufacturers must try and find a middle ground in their DP actions as such that the player is not constantly fighting a resisting action as if the damper pedal is never used...so on that respect I would have thought that these DP actions should feel most closely as if you are using a real pedal - no?

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) [Re: ShyPianist] #2821463
03/01/19 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ShyPianist
I am not prepared to suffer RSI for my art so I picked the Kawai CA78 (but not before trying a good acoustic grand to ensure it wasn’t just me!).


Agreed - there is developing the hand and then there are injuries...to have to stop playing because of injury due to heavy action, when it can be easily avoided (by using a lighter action) is, frankly, stupid (I remember when I first got my hands on a GH3 Yamaha, anything more than 45-55 mins of playing felt like I've been using heavy machinery all day - suffice to say that DP did not last for very long in my place).

Last edited by jamiecw; 03/01/19 12:09 PM.
Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) [Re: jamiecw] #2821471
03/01/19 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by jamiecw
I would have thought that these DP actions should feel most closely as if you are using a real pedal - no?

Such an action is too light and once you switch to a real instrument, you're going to struggle with the damper weight.

Also people injuring themselves on pianos need to get professional advice on correcting their technique. Even if they find a model, where their wrong posture doesn't lead to immediate pain, continuing is still unhealthy in the long term.


Yamaha P-515 | Kawai ES100 | Steinberg UR22 | Sony MDR-7506
Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) [Re: JoeT] #2821475
03/01/19 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeT

Such an action is too light and once you switch to a real instrument, you're going to struggle with the damper weight.

Of course, such action (emulating the damper off the strings) would be far too light...hence why I said closely or even better, should've said, relatively somewhere in between - otherwise on the opposite side of your argument, if you are learning on DP that has full on heavy action without considering damper lifting off the strings, one would get used to that and then if/when they move to an acoustic will be pounding on them keys like there's no tomorrow...

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) [Re: JoeT] #2821486
03/01/19 01:31 PM
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JoeT, given that I’ve played numerous acoustic pianos throughout my life and this DP was the first, to date, the only action to give me a problem I’m inclined to think on this occasion it was the DP at fault rather than my technique.


Pianist, independent music arranger, violinist, mother
Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) [Re: jamiecw] #2821487
03/01/19 01:32 PM
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Alexander Borro Offline
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Lets say if not engaging the damper pedal adds 10 - 15 grams. I don't know how accurate that is , but I have heard it said, something along those lines, with the CLP 685 you would still end up with higher static touch weight (I think).

Way back someone measured the old CLP 585 and it got very high, 90 gr or more in the bass keys, and the grand touch is even heavier and has more inertia it feels like. IMO the counter weights help to smooth it out a bit to get over the initial static hump, quite frankly, the 675 to me felt like a dog of an action, but the 685 was better.

That being said, the dynamic weight is not too bad. Putting a bunch of coins doesn't give give a fair reflection of how it really feels under load. Personally, I preferred the older NWX to be more sensibly weighted for me, but the pivot is fairly short which you can feel and may bother some. GrandTouch does have longer keys and staggered black keys like acoustics, as do the GF kawai actions.

In the end it is not for the faint hearted. Some good experienced pianist will probably like it, if it is treated right with good technique it will treat you back. I feel those yammies do have a precision to them the way the sound engine is matched up with it, it feels very natural ( to me anyway) it has that over kawai for me personally as an all in one package, but others feel different.

I would think twice as a hobbyist something that heavy though, but, some people are heavy handed naturally, and some are not, so it may suit some players.

I think Kawai nailed a good balance with the weighting, static versus dynamic, for my taste anyway. Some may not like the spongy stop you get at the bottom of travel, that is quite unrealistic IMO, but it doesn't bother me at all.

Just my 02.


Selftaught since June 2014.
Books: Barratt classic piano course bk 1,2,3. Humphries Piano handbook, various...
Kawai CA78, Casio AP450 & software pianos.
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Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) [Re: Alexander Borro] #2821492
03/01/19 01:45 PM
03/01/19 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Alexander Borro
I think Kawai nailed a good balance with the weighting, static versus dynamic, for my taste anyway. Some may not like the spongy stop you get at the bottom of travel, that is quite unrealistic IMO, but it doesn't bother me at all.


It bothers me. More than I originally thought it ever would. I really enjoy a very positive sense that the key has reached the bottom of its travel. The wooden Kawais have a bottoming out that feels so ill-defined and mushy. That's the only thing wrong with them for me. In other respects they are pretty much perfect.


Roland RD-1000 | Broadwood Grand Piano
Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) [Re: JoeT] #2821532
03/01/19 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeT

The downweight of an acoustic piano is measured without the dampers engaged.



This is exactly the opposite of what I've heard in the past: static downweight should be measured with the damper pedal down (activated/engaged) so the damper weighting doesn't interfere with the measurement of the eyes. I'm sure there's benefit in knowing how the dampers affect the key weighting, but are you sure what you write above this is correct?


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) [Re: jamiecw] #2821543
03/01/19 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by JoeT

The downweight of an acoustic piano is measured without the dampers engaged.



This is exactly the opposite of what I've heard in the past: static downweight should be measured with the damper pedal down (activated/engaged) so the damper weighting doesn't interfere with the measurement of the eyes. I'm sure there's benefit in knowing how the dampers affect the key weighting, but are you sure what you write above this is correct?


Even if the wording is somewhat ambiguous, I think his intended meaning is what you say.

Originally Posted by jamiecw
Originally Posted by JoeT

Such an action is too light and once you switch to a real instrument, you're going to struggle with the damper weight.

Of course, such action (emulating the damper off the strings) would be far too light...hence why I said closely or even better, should've said, relatively somewhere in between - otherwise on the opposite side of your argument, if you are learning on DP that has full on heavy action without considering damper lifting off the strings, one would get used to that and then if/when they move to an acoustic will be pounding on them keys like there's no tomorrow...


Personally I have no issue going back to my Casio any time which has a lighter action under dynamic load than the Kawai, by quite a bit, there is much less inertia in that action.

Nevertheless I play both with default touch curve. Playing the kawai did NOT make me put the Casio on the heaviest setting I could find to make the transition easier, it is more that I am familiar how both actions respond, so I react accordingly. i think sometimes people worry too much about these things rather than adapting.

I rarely bother with touch curve tweaking at all, or any touch settings, because after a while you just adapt to another curve ( within reason ). There are some tweaks I might make like the max midi value I can reach, but other than that I leave them a straight line in software.


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: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) [Re: Gombessa] #2821552
03/01/19 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by JoeT

The downweight of an acoustic piano is measured without the dampers engaged.



This is exactly the opposite of what I've heard in the past: static downweight should be measured with the damper pedal down (activated/engaged) so the damper weighting doesn't interfere with the measurement of the eyes. I'm sure there's benefit in knowing how the dampers affect the key weighting, but are you sure what you write above this is correct?


I think that's what he meant, i.e. without the dampers engaged = damper pedal down so that dampers are not functioning, i.e. removed from the string. So I think you actually agree with each other, and indeed this is how static downweight must be measured.

I haven't watched the initial video, but it's also worth noting that downweight is usually measured from 4mm below resting position in order to avoid issues around initial inertia, and the typical 45g-50g comfortable range that people talk about is based on that methodology. If you're measuring from the top including initial inertia, the downweight would need to be somewhat more. Having said that, the Yamaha Grand Touch actions in the 675 and 685 (I've played a 645 as well but I honestly can't remember the action) are excessively heavy by any objective measure. You don't even need to properly test them; it's immediately apparent just playing them. I don't know what Yamaha were thinking; it's not like they don't know what the appropriate downweight should be, but for some reason they decided to make these very heavy. Perhaps it's a marketing thing, to make them feel more substantial?


Broadwood, Yamaha U1; Kawai CA67; Pianoteq Std (D4, K2, Blüthner, Grotrian), Garritan CFX Full, Galaxy Vintage D, The Grandeur, Ravenscroft 275, Ivory II ACD, TrueKeys Italian, AS C7, Production Grand Compact, AK Studio Grand, AK Upright, Waves Grand Rhapsody; Sennheiser HD-600 and HD-650, O2 amp
Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) [Re: EssBrace] #2821558
03/01/19 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
Originally Posted by Alexander Borro
I think Kawai nailed a good balance with the weighting, static versus dynamic, for my taste anyway. Some may not like the spongy stop you get at the bottom of travel, that is quite unrealistic IMO, but it doesn't bother me at all.


It bothers me. More than I originally thought it ever would. I really enjoy a very positive sense that the key has reached the bottom of its travel. The wooden Kawais have a bottoming out that feels so ill-defined and mushy. That's the only thing wrong with them for me. In other respects they are pretty much perfect.


I agree. And the weight required to press the black keys is inordinately light. Possibly because a) I'm not used to playing a concert or any other grand, and 2) They are inordinately light even when compared to acoustic grands. The second suggestion is a guess.


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Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) [Re: Beakybird] #2821572
03/01/19 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Beakybird
I saw that video too, and I saw another video where a reviewer mentions the heavy action. Too heavy, IMO.


I saw that in the Bonner's video also and it surprised me because the acoustic Kawai at my teacher's studio has (to me) much heavier action than the Yamaha Upright. My digital P-115 is lighter than both. I need a better piano so hope to play the Yamaha, Kawai and Roland this weekend.Okay I don't need a better piano, I just want a better piano.

Last edited by Chili_Time; 03/01/19 04:15 PM.

First Lesson Oct. 17, 2017. Currently in Faber Piano Adventures Book 3a. Yamaha P-115. I play a little bass guitar also.
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Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) [Re: jamiecw] #2821573
03/01/19 04:12 PM
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Peter, It took me a few weeks to get use to the balance of the black keys versus white on the Kawai coming from my Casio too, where the black ones felt heavier compared to the white too, so that was the norm, so yes, I know that feeling when new to it. Nevertheless, today the transition between the two is fine, knowing the nuances of both, but I have wondered about your comment 2 Peter, you may be onto something.

Last edited by Alexander Borro; 03/01/19 04:13 PM.

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: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) [Re: jamiecw] #2821581
03/01/19 04:31 PM
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I’m starting to agree with what user Erard said in this thread:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2812482/1.html

“I don't want to sound cynical, but I have to conclude that this high and non-standard touchweight is an advantage for Yamaha only, that will have to deal with less stuck keys, grease drying problems etc.”

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