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Re: Back in the market for a new digital piano after 10 years
CHpianoamateur #2895829 09/30/19 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by CHpianoamateur
- I DO care how well a DP emulates an acoustic grand just not HOW this is achieved. If a new company would come out with a cheap plastic action that would feel just like a grand piano I know some purists here would still pay many thousands more for “the real thing” in e.g. an NV 10. I wouldn’t.
If key length, namely playing up high on the keys, is not an issue for you, try to audition the Casio PX-s1000. If you're predominantly using headphones, you may like this action and save a lot of money!

Re: Back in the market for a new digital piano after 10 years
CHpianoamateur #2895833 09/30/19 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Burkie
Originally Posted by CHpianoamateur

Of course the length of the keys matter. That’s just basic physics. The point is that it’s not by making the keys longer that you’re necessarily making the action better

How can the length matter, yet at the same time not improve the action?

Are we still talking about pianos? smirk


I don’t know but for Burkie it seems clear: the longer the better and no other attributes matter.

Re: Back in the market for a new digital piano after 10 years
CHpianoamateur #2895838 09/30/19 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by CHpianoamateur
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Burkie
Originally Posted by CHpianoamateur

Of course the length of the keys matter. That’s just basic physics. The point is that it’s not by making the keys longer that you’re necessarily making the action better

How can the length matter, yet at the same time not improve the action?

Are we still talking about pianos? smirk


I don’t know but for Burkie it seems clear: the longer the better and no other attributes matter.

Where did I ever state that length is the only attribute that matters?!
Stop putting words into people's keyboards.
Also your memory is failing you as we had both discussed key weight being a crucial attribute earlier in this discussion thread :-p

Key weighting and length are both crucial attributes according to most accomplished pianists.

Last edited by Burkie; 09/30/19 10:53 AM.

Piano is one of the best human inventions of the past 320 years - help evangelize the magic!
Re: Back in the market for a new digital piano after 10 years
Pete14 #2895840 09/30/19 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete14
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Hi Pete! smile


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Re: Back in the market for a new digital piano after 10 years
Burkey #2895847 09/30/19 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Burkie
Originally Posted by CHpianoamateur

Of course the length of the keys matter. That’s just basic physics. The point is that it’s not by making the keys longer that you’re necessarily making the action better

How can the length matter, yet at the same time not improve the action?


Your question implies: longer keys = improved action. In my view longer keys matter in the sense that they change the mechanical properties of the action, but that does not necessarily make the action better.

Re: Back in the market for a new digital piano after 10 years
CHpianoamateur #2895912 09/30/19 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by CHpianoamateur
If a new company would come out with a cheap plastic action that would feel just like a grand piano I know some purists here would still pay many thousands more for “the real thing” in e.g. an NV 10. I wouldn’t.


FYI, the NV10 does use plastic in the form of ABS-Carbon in the Millenium III action:

The Millennium III ABS-Carbon Action

[Linked Image]

The Millennium III Action features components made of ABS-Carbon, a new composite material created by the infusion of carbon fiber into our existing ABS Styran. ABS-Carbon is incredibly sturdy and rigid, which allowed Kawai to make the action parts lighter without sacrificing strength. The lighter design makes the Millennium III Action tremendously fast and effortless for the player. The repetition and responsiveness are superb.

Re: Back in the market for a new digital piano after 10 years
CHpianoamateur #2895927 09/30/19 05:22 PM
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If it's good enough for a Shigeru Kawai grand, it's good enough for a NV10. grin



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Re: Back in the market for a new digital piano after 10 years
CHpianoamateur #2895937 09/30/19 06:17 PM
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Good enough is an understatement.

Re: Back in the market for a new digital piano after 10 years
CHpianoamateur #2896051 10/01/19 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by CHpianoamateur
I’ve had a CLP-380 for the past 10 years and I’ve been very happy with it. Lately, three black keys have come a little loose (sideways) and they sometimes end up clicking against the white keys. It’s not a big problem but it does sometimes bother me. I got a quote from a Yamaha affiliated technician of about $300-$400 to fix the keys (I live in Switzerland and service costs are universally high). Also the main pedal is starting to get a little worn. I figured now might be a good time to sell the piano (while it’s still more or less functional and before the new CLP models come out) and get a new one rather than investing in a 10-year old digital instrument. I currently live in an apartment in the city with noise-sensitive neighbours so I’m using headphones 95%+ of the time. This means I don’t need the bells and whistles of a CLP-380 anymore (especially all those extra amps and speakers). What I need is a good action, good headphone sound, and preferably a stylish, “light” design. With that in mind, I went to a local piano store and tried out the three brands they had on display (Yamaha, Roland and Kawai). Here are my thoughts and first impressions:

Yamaha
P-515
Great functionality in a relatively small box. I think the stand looks alright on photographs (the shop didn’t have one on display) although there’s certainly room for improvement in overall design. The NWX action feels very similar to the NW action of my CLP-380. The escapement is not really noticeable and the texture of the black keys feels better. I like this action although it remains somewhat heavy.

CLP-685
I was surprised by the strange action. As I already mentioned above, I think that the NW(X) action is a little heavy, i.e. it takes a little too much force to get the keys moving. I thought Yamaha might have fixed this with time but they appear to have made it worse on the CLP-685 with the Grand Touch action. Now it takes even more force to get the keys moving (especially the black keys it seems) and it does not feel right. After a while, I did get used to it but it does not seem like an improvement over the NWX action at all. The binaural CFX sound with the headphones is great though.

CLP-675

Funnily enough I liked this action better than the one on the CLP-685. However, it also does not feel like an upgrade of the NWX action to me.

N1
The action is simply fantastic; it really feels like you’re playing an acoustic grand. The N1 was just behind the CLP-685 so I could switch rapidly between them and it’s like day and night with respect to the action. The headphone sound on the N1, however, was quite flat compared to the CLP-685. I can understand why people are excited about the N1X/N3X. The combination of that action with the improved sound must be a dream. Unfortunately the store did not have an N1X on display so I was not able to experience the combination. For me though, these instruments are much too big and bulky (not to mention expensive) for my current needs.

NU1X
This feels just like playing a good upright piano. I don’t like upright actions so I don’t see the point with this model.


Roland
LX705 / DP603
I had done some research beforehand and was sure I would really like the HP704 or the LX705 because I had heard some good things about the action and the modelled sound. The store did not have the HP704, but it did have the LX705 and the DP603 (among other models). It was a good thing I came to the store to try because I did not like the piano sounds at all. After the Yamahas and Kawais, the Rolands sounded really artificial. They have some nice non-piano sounds but for piano, it’s not for me. The PHA-50 action felt strange at first – lighter and mushier than the NWX – but after a while I started to like it quite a bit. I think I really could get used to it.

FP-90
I think I might have preferred this to the P-515 it weren’t for those piano sounds...

Kiyola
I appreciate the beautiful, original design. I’d love to see more of this light/designer/modern style from other companies, not just the ubiquitous polished-ebony big-box-acoustic-upright-look.


Kawai
ES-8 / CA 98
Nice sound and actions that I could get used to. Nothing that blew me away though.

NV 10
Fantastic action! I even liked it slightly better than the N-1 action although the difference is marginal. Bottom line is that those two actions stand head and shoulders above anything else. The headphone sound on the N-10 is very good; I liked the Yamaha sound better though.


General thoughts / Conclusion
I thought that my CLP-380 would be totally outdated by now but actually it holds up fairly well even against the best of what's available today. If I could pick and choose characteristics from all of the digital pianos I tried, I’d take the NV 10 action, with Yamaha headphone sound, and Roland design. That’s not possible of course and since a hybrid is out of the question and sound is my most important criterion, it will probably have to remain a Yamaha. I’m now considering actually fixing my CLP-380 and to keep playing it until it breaks down completely. Either that or sell it and buy a P-515 (including pedals and stand) to get the nice CFX headphone sound. The NWX action is not that great but neither are the other available non-hybrid actions and all things considered, I think it is good enough. I might check out the Casios and the Korgs if I find a nearby dealer but based on what I’ve read and seen, I’m sceptical that this will change the picture. Please let me know if you think there are some other brands/models I should consider.


You have a lot of valid points throughout this thread. My old Yamaha P80 had sampled sounds that could rival much of what is produced in today's digital pianos. Not much has changed in sampled technology that would be audible to most listeners. Keyboard response and actions have improved somewhat but you will never escape the feeling that you are playing on a fake instrument when on a digital so if you are looking for a digital piano that completely replicates the experience of an acoustic you are searching for a unicorn. There are always sacrifices you must accept when going digital that it is no wonder as manufacturers try in vain to replicate the acoustic experience the closer they have to move towards borrowing acoustic technology like actions and soundboards. I've often joked that the ideal digital piano is an acoustic piano with a button you can press that says "on". Just get an acoustic piano if you want the acoustic experience.


Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Preludio: Bach/Rachmaninoff E Major Sonata for Violin
Chopin: G Minor Ballade


Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
Re: Back in the market for a new digital piano after 10 years
CHpianoamateur #2896055 10/01/19 08:56 AM
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I think I understand the OP's issues. I'm going to paraphrase here and OP can correct me if I'm wrong.

I believe the OP is saying that simply copying acoustical piano elements, such as borrowing the traditional acoustical piano action is not an advance in digital piano technology from their perspective. That the direction of digital piano technology should be to provide better action that simulates acoustical pianos but in a better way that technology can provide - new materials, new mechanisms, more economical size, even better/smoother actions. I believe the OP also means that simple improvements such as making a key stick longer also doesn't count as an improvement in his book because the technology is not being improved - like making a speaker louder by making it bigger - is it actually improved our only scaled? The OP appears to be seeking DP technology that is technologically improved and not just mimicked (e.g. hybrids) or scaled.

OP, have I restated what you are thinking properly? Because if so, it is definitely different than what the vast majority are seeking when they go to buy a DP.


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"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Back in the market for a new digital piano after 10 years
Tyrone Slothrop #2896058 10/01/19 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I think I understand the OP's issues. I'm going to paraphrase here and OP can correct me if I'm wrong.

I believe the OP is saying that simply copying acoustical piano elements, such as borrowing the traditional acoustical piano action is not an advance in digital piano technology from their perspective. That the direction of digital piano technology should be to provide better action that simulates acoustical pianos but in a better way that technology can provide - new materials, new mechanisms, more economical size, even better/smoother actions. I believe the OP also means that simple improvements such as making a key stick longer also doesn't count as an improvement in his book because the technology is not being improved - like making a speaker louder by making it bigger - is it actually improved our only scaled? The OP appears to be seeking DP technology that is technologically improved and not just mimicked (e.g. hybrids) or scaled.

OP, have I restated what you are thinking properly? Because if so, it is definitely different than what the vast majority are seeking when they go to buy a DP.

I think the very purpose of a digital piano is an attempt to recreate the acoustic experience as accurately as possible so it stands to chance that you would invariably have to borrow quite a bit of its "technology"

If the DP was trying to be anything other than that then why only 88 keys? Why are the keys so ergonomically difficult to play? Surely we have learned more about ergonomics in the past 200 years that we no longer have to rely on a keyboard shaped exactly as it was 200 years ago. Redesign that thing. Make it more ergonomically advantageous so we can play at ungodly speeds. And why copy the piano sound? Surely with digital's capability to produce any sound audible to the human ear we can come up with more interesting tones. Heck the synthesizers had been doing this decades ago. Why did we go backwards?

The DP exists because people want an acoustic piano but don't want to make the sacrifices that's involved in actually owning one so they are asking these manufacturers to make it sound, feel, play exactly like the real article. But that's a request in futility and why would these manufacturers keep building products that potentially could make their more expensive "real" products obsolete?

They are selling you a portion of what you want and even throwing you a bone here or there with their fancy cases and borrowed "real" actions, but in the end they are selling you a lucrative counterfeit simply because it makes money. It's quite funny actually. Like watching people buying fake Rolexs and Gucci handbags in Times Square.

Last edited by Jethro; 10/01/19 09:14 AM.

Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Preludio: Bach/Rachmaninoff E Major Sonata for Violin
Chopin: G Minor Ballade


Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
Re: Back in the market for a new digital piano after 10 years
CHpianoamateur #2896062 10/01/19 09:20 AM
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Well, there are technological improvements, aren't there, even for the acoustical actions? Staying with acoustical actions for the moment, two improvements in acoustical piano technology which are more in keeping with my understanding of the nature of the OP's issues with DPs and what the OP is seeking would be:
  • the Millennium III acoustical action went to plastics to save on weight/size while maintaining the same or greater rigidity
  • Seiler adding magnets to their upright action to allow faster key repetition

So if we project these sorts of improvements into the DP technology space, I believe the OP is looking for more improvements such as what brought us folded actions in the first place in DPs to save on space, or what Casio has done in their PX-S line to make two sensors work as well (or almost as well) as three. Those improvements improve the characteristics of the DP (in form factor, behavior, weight, etc.) and aren't just a simple matter of scaling (e.g. making a key stick longer).


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Back in the market for a new digital piano after 10 years
Tyrone Slothrop #2896067 10/01/19 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Well, there are technological improvements, aren't there, even for the acoustical actions? Staying with acoustical actions for the moment, two improvements in the acoustical piano technology which are more in keeping with my understanding of the OP's issues and what they seek would be:
  • the Millennium III acoustical action went to plastics to save on weight/size while maintaining the same or greater rigidity
  • Seiler adding magnets to their upright action to allow faster key repetition

So if we project into digital piano technology, I believe the OP is looking for more improvements such as what brought us folded actions in the first place to save on space, or what Casio has done in their PX-S line to make two sensors work as well (or almost as well) as three. Those improvements improve the characteristics of the DP (in form factor, behavior, weight, etc.) and aren't just a simple matter of scaling (e.g. making a key stick longer).

Improving upon an original design in one thing, but improving upon a design that is in essence fake, unreal, and completely unrelated to the original design is absurd, but agreeably lucrative.

Mating an action as advanced as the Millenium III action with technology as limited as digital piano recordings is pure marketing brilliance. I congratulate Kawai on that one. I'm trying to patent the acoustical piano with the "on" button and upcharging it by 300%. I think that will be a killer.

Last edited by Jethro; 10/01/19 09:27 AM.

Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Preludio: Bach/Rachmaninoff E Major Sonata for Violin
Chopin: G Minor Ballade


Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
Re: Back in the market for a new digital piano after 10 years
CHpianoamateur #2896071 10/01/19 09:37 AM
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Jethro, as has become customary, I agree with you. However you forget a particular use-case: silent practice. I fully agree there's nothing better than an acoustic and I would have already purchased one if it wasn't for the fact live in an apartment and play only at night. I could have also purchased a silent grand/upright but the reality is I will probably never play it in acoustic mode, so nasty my neighbors are, they won't allow for any noise at all frown That leaves me only one option: a hybrid piano with real grand/upright action and that has been my choice and I can't be happier considering the limitations of my living environment. IMO the main advantage of digital pianos is the possibility to play either through headphones or with lowered volume. All other aspects such as no need to tune or maintain... well, I'm not sure many people buy digital pianos because of that. And of course the price which gives you an entry point that's hardly feasible with even the cheapest acoustic pianos. That is why there's no big incentive for digital piano manufacturers to improve the technology because they are not aiming at recreating the acoustic piano fully, since, as you say, they need to just add an "on/off" button to an acoustic in order to recreate it fully smile Instead, they offer some advantages which they have perfected many years ago (silent practice and low price), so why would they bother?


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Re: Back in the market for a new digital piano after 10 years
CyberGene #2896073 10/01/19 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Jethro, as has become customary, I agree with you. However you forget a particular use-case: silent practice. I fully agree there's nothing better than an acoustic and I would have already purchased one if it wasn't for the fact live in an apartment and play only at night. I could have also purchased a silent grand/upright but the reality is I will probably never play it in acoustic mode, so nasty my neighbors are, they won't allow for any noise at all frown That leaves me only one option: a hybrid piano with real grand/upright action and that has been my choice and I can't be happier considering the limitations of my living environment. IMO the main advantage of digital pianos is the possibility to play either through headphones or with lowered volume. All other aspects such as no need to tune or maintain... well, I'm not sure many people buy digital pianos because of that. And of course the price which gives you an entry point that's hardly feasible with even the cheapest acoustic pianos. That is why there's no big incentive for digital piano manufacturers to improve the technology because they are not aiming at recreating the acoustic piano fully, since, as you say, they need to just add an "on/off" button to an acoustic in order to recreate it fully smile Instead, they offer some advantages which they have perfected many years ago (silent practice and low price), so why would they bother?

Which is why I own and bought one recently- for silent practice. I understand why people buy digital pianos, but unlike you some are seemingly not accepting of their limitations and I cringe as people try in vain to perfect what is by definition imperfect. Why the never ending search for the perfect VST, the perfect touch preset, the perfect action? Just wait until you have the means and ability to buy/house an acoustic and like the OP is thinking about doing just enjoy what you have. And above all else- just practice.

Last edited by Jethro; 10/01/19 09:47 AM.

Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Preludio: Bach/Rachmaninoff E Major Sonata for Violin
Chopin: G Minor Ballade


Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
Re: Back in the market for a new digital piano after 10 years
CHpianoamateur #2896075 10/01/19 09:54 AM
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You are so biased against DPs, I have to ask, why are you even here in this DP forum, Jethro?

Some of us like our DPs and it's just not accepting second best. If I had the right environs, I could upgrade to a silent acoustic, but I'm not sure I would. Not even a Steinway with a Spirio. One reason is that I simply have not "grown up" on an acoustical piano. I don't need its "tail fins" to make me feel good.

[Linked Image]

I might eventually get an acoustic grand when I sell my business and move to Europe, and have been thinking about a Fazzioli F228, but such a purchase would definitely be in addition to keeping a fine digital. As long as I live in a place with other people in listening range, I doubt I would give up a digital. Besides, I can't drive VSTs with a Fazzioli!


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Back in the market for a new digital piano after 10 years
CHpianoamateur #2896078 10/01/19 10:13 AM
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I’m starting to prefer digitals over acoustics, but then again, I also prefer this forum over my wife.
Is this unnatural? Am I a freak? (No need to answer that one).
How much time do I have left on earth, and is it worth spending it on acousticals? wink

Re: Back in the market for a new digital piano after 10 years
Jethro #2896079 10/01/19 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Jethro
Just wait until you have the means and ability to buy/house an acoustic and like the OP is thinking about doing just enjoy what you have. And above all else- just practice.


Because life is too short....... frown



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Re: Back in the market for a new digital piano after 10 years
Tyrone Slothrop #2896092 10/01/19 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
You are so biased against DPs, I have to ask, why are you even here in this DP forum, Jethro?

Some of us like our DPs and it's just not accepting second best. If I had the right environs, I could upgrade to a silent acoustic, but I'm not sure I would. Not even a Steinway with a Spirio. One reason is that I simply have not "grown up" on an acoustical piano. I don't need its "tail fins" to make me feel good.

[Linked Image]

I might eventually get an acoustic grand when I sell my business and move to Europe, and have been thinking about a Fazzioli F228, but such a purchase would definitely be in addition to keeping a fine digital. As long as I live in a place with other people in listening range, I doubt I would give up a digital. Besides, I can't drive VSTs with a Fazzioli!

I am biased against DPs as a replacement of the acoustic piano as a musical instrument or as an instrument for children to learn on. I am very pro digital for their use of practice tools or for adult learners, or for people who are fully aware of their limitations and accept them for such, or for adult learners who want to eventually move up to an acoustic. I post in the DP forums because I use a digital piano extensively now but at the same time I cringe at budding pianists who are not accepting of the DP's limitations and who waste their time in search of the holy grail of digital pianos which is nothing more than a unicorn in actuality. We are all musicians here, I just want everyone to know what their options are rather than just settling or at worse spreading false information that others may be adversely affected by as I do care about the piano as an art form. There is no reason why anyone need pigeon hole themselves as one type of piano player or another. You are all welcome in the acoustic forums as well btw.

Last edited by Jethro; 10/01/19 10:55 AM.

Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Preludio: Bach/Rachmaninoff E Major Sonata for Violin
Chopin: G Minor Ballade


Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
Re: Back in the market for a new digital piano after 10 years
CHpianoamateur #2896096 10/01/19 11:01 AM
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Why cringe in PW's DP forum when you can binge in PW's PF forum ?

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