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#2874450 07/31/19 09:44 AM
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Just curious what other P-515 owners thoughts are on the action of this digital. I have had the 515 for only maybe 4 weeks and notice my hands getting tired after playing for maybe only 30 minutes or so. Not too bad but very noticeable and my hands go back to normal soon after. I know some people like heavier actions but maybe this might be a problem for me since I have been playing for years on a Roland FP-4 which may be the lightest action digital and now the Yamaha P-515 which I'm guessing is the heaviest action on a digital piano - one extreme to another. Just wondering if I will get used to this or not. I have been taking weekly lessons on a Yamaha acoustic grand (C3) for years and the action is so much better/lighter than the 515. I hate to think I might have to depart with this digital. I like almost everything about it but the heavy action is pretty extreme. Anyone else see this as a problem?

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Yeah, the Yamaha P515 is known for having a heavy action, heavier than what a lot of people like. There's another thread here with a discussion about it.

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I agree that the P-515 has a heavy action. It’s one of the reasons I ordered an N1X. But otherwise I really like my P-515.


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If you are not looking to play a variety of pianos (for whatever reason that may be) I'd say it's best to play/practice on an action that is lighter to allow for longer practice/playing sessions and less fatigue.

I practice on the P515 and wouldn't swap it for a lighter action but I much prefer to play on my HP605 (as opposed to practice).

Also, whilst everyones experience may vary, if you are practicing proper arm movement & using arm weight (as opposed to playing mainly from the fingers) this (heavy action) obstacle should subside. They say practice makes perfect but I was told practice makes permanent so make sure you are practicing correctly.

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To me personally the NWX action is stiff and unpleasant. I don’t have experience with many different instruments though and I would think I would have gotten used to it had I continued to play it.

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Those who are saying NWX action is heavy should try GH3X laugh It's like 1/3 heavier than NWX.
On a subject, I too found that the action isn't light for sure, but it's easy to overcome if you lean forward slightly while playing, thus putting more weight into your arms so you don't have to use finger muscles as much. And my teacher says that if you can play well on action like this, you can quickly adapt to most other piano actions, so it's it's not as bad I guess.


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Are you referring to your CLP-645? It's got an NWX action not GH3X, according to the Yamaha site. I have a CVP-705 that also has NWX and I like the action just fine. I have the impression that Yamaha uses the same names for actions that are implemented a little differently across their range, but that's just a guess.

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Sorry, I didn't make clear that I have NWX of course, but I also tried GH3X on CLP-635 in store, and it was substantially heavier.


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Yes I’m referring to the 645 - as far as I know it has the same NWX action as the 515 ?
Not saying it’s bad - but it certainly is unpleasant to <me>. As I have harped on about before there’s a weird initial resistance that doesn’t feel good to me.
The VPC1 that I have heard others describe as heavy felt really really good to me.

Last edited by Morten Olsson; 07/31/19 12:18 PM.
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The P-515 certainly has a heavy action (which I like, personally), but it’s far from being the heaviest around.


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The word "Yamaha" is Japanese for "heavy".
If you don't want heavy you don't want Yamaha.

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Darkwasp, in the store I played the CVP-701 which has a GH3X action. I don't remember it much (it's been 3 years) but I'm pretty sure I thought it was OK because we selected the CVP-705 on the basis of the better interface. But I don't remember much about the CLP line except that I didn't like the feel of the CLP-525 but it's a Arius in fancy clothes, so that's to be expected.

I haven't played the P-515 so I have no personal opinion on it. I just have my doubts that the NWX in a $2000 piano is being implemented the same as the NWX in pianos worth more than twice as much. All NWX means is that the keys are (at least partially) wood and there's an escapement mechanism so how Yamaha implements that in each piano, I have no idea. The problem with the weight of the action in the P-515 seems to be a common concern and I haven't seen the same concern in reviews of other pianos with NWX action.

The preference of key action is very personal. The action in my CVP-705 is not quite the same as an acoustic but I'm happy with it.


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I recently acquired a p 515 and will write a detailed review after I spend some more time with it, but in the meantime, I can certainly comment about the action: I think it is great.
At first, the keys felt different, a bit bigger, flatter, more substantial in general.
After three days, I felt a bit of fatigue.
After a week, the action felt easy! I got used to it. It greatly resembles the action of some acoustic pianos I've tried.
Of course, you need proper technique in order to get to the point where it feels easy.
I just love being able to put my hands on the keys without them moving. They support the hands as proper action should.
Also, playing near the 'fallboard' is not hard at all.

Overall, I think the action is one of the best features of the 515. The action on the clp685, in contrast, felt stiff and unrealistic.


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The acoustic Kawai K300 I had did not exhibit this initial resistance - I don’t think that means it’s not a “proper” action.
The (admittedly very old) grand I played a few days ago also had nothing resembling the initial resistance I feel with the CLP 645.

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Ido, not quite sure what playing near the "fallboard" is. Also, I guess I may have to re-evaluate my proper technique but like I mentioned I've played on an acoustic grand (Yamaha C3) and my teacher is very into proper technique and apparently I don't have an issue but I'll have to see if any adjustment would help with the 515's action.

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Originally Posted by btcomm
Ido, not quite sure what playing near the "fallboard" is.


I'll win the race to tell you it means playing at the "top" of the key where it goes in to the piano (on an acoustic or furniture cabinet DP, there is a wooden cover that goes over the keyboard called the fallboard.)


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Originally Posted by Morten Olsson
Yes I’m referring to the 645 - as far as I know it has the same NWX action as the 515 ?

Yes, they should have the same action, at least I haven't felt any differences regarding keyboard action between these two models.

Originally Posted by mimi9
...I just have my doubts that the NWX in a $2000 piano is being implemented the same as the NWX in pianos worth more than twice as much.

There might be differences between various NWX actions in different digital pianos, for example, keyboard action in CLP-545 (my teacher's piano) has slightly different feel than action in my CLP-645 (but so slight I can't even describe what it is essentially). But as I mentioned above, I didn't feel any difference between CLP-645 and P515 action. As for more expensive models, i.e. CVP lineup - I dunno since I haven't tried them. But I think it should feel more or less the same. There is just no reason for the action to be substantially different since all that price difference may be explained by presence of additional features of CVP pianos - more physical buttons, touch screen, more advanced sound engine, bigger samples bank, etc.


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True about the CVP features, but even the CLP-645 costs quite a bit more than the P-515. But if you don't notice much difference between the 2 actions, they must be quite similar. I do know that Tim Praskins thought the NWX action on the P-515 would be too heavy for many but I haven't seen him object to it on other pianos (maybe I missed it, his reviews aren't easy to scan), but who knows what that's about?

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Originally Posted by btcomm
Just curious what other P-515 owners thoughts are on the action of this digital. I have had the 515 for only maybe 4 weeks and notice my hands getting tired after playing for maybe only 30 minutes or so. Not too bad but very noticeable and my hands go back to normal soon after. I know some people like heavier actions but maybe this might be a problem for me since I have been playing for years on a Roland FP-4 which may be the lightest action digital and now the Yamaha P-515 which I'm guessing is the heaviest action on a digital piano - one extreme to another. Just wondering if I will get used to this or not. I have been taking weekly lessons on a Yamaha acoustic grand (C3) for years and the action is so much better/lighter than the 515. I hate to think I might have to depart with this digital. I like almost everything about it but the heavy action is pretty extreme. Anyone else see this as a problem?


The issue is your forearm muscles: they control the fingers. With greater resistance, the muscles are using up the stock of biochemical energy (ATP) more quickly, so you'll get lactic acid metabolism and that feeling of soreness. If you continue playing after this feeling of soreness, you'll likely develop issues with your technique because the muscular control is lost due to the inefficiency of muscular action under lower cellular energy conditions. Then the risk of injury is greater.

There are a few ways of improving things:
1) Consider trying less hard in the first instance, and play with the least effort possible so your hands have time to adjust to this higher resistance. E.g., less effort, greater endurance.
2) Play slower to give your muscles more recovery time (lower tempo, less effort over time).
3) Work on some training exercises that help you develop stamina and better technique control, to help you become more efficient and help reduce injury from poor form.

By analogy, consider how it is when you try and run a long distance marathon: when you start, it's all very easy, you can keep good form, and running feels easy. For an amateur, after 10 miles, the muscles have used up most of the carbohydrates, the body starts to burn free amino acids & fatty acid bi-products in the blood as the metabolism slowly shifts from carbohydrate to lipid metabolism. When you're only trained for a half marathon, this may occur a the 10 Km mark (out of say a 13 Km race). However, if you train for a whole marathon, you may hit the wall at around 18 to 20 miles. Until the body is trained to handle either greater resistance or longer endurance, you have to go carefully, increasing the resistance or the length of activity incrementally, and avoiding over-training---practising whilst sore.


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The surface resistance is something I encountered in many pianos.
The only point where I think the 515 is not fully realistic is that keeping a key down should be more effortless. But it doesn't really bother me.
I actually feel it's way easier for me to play this action than my previous DP (px-160) which has a really light action.


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