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Or am I asking for the impossible, given the compression of felt and other mechanical limitations of piano keybeds?

Context: I’m in the process of replacing my Casio Privia PX-850 with a Casio PX-S3000. The key action of the 850, after 4 years of daily use, has become intolerably noisy. The S3000 was (and still is) awesomely quieter when I bought it over 2 weeks ago, but already it’s either getting noisier or I’m just getting sensitized to its minor (and acceptable) keybed noise. Either way, I’m now worried it may be destined to go the same thunky, clacky way of its predecessor within years, if not months. I can still return it within a week or so. But is there a better long-term option, or should I just settle?

I know the Kawai VPC1, which has long been on my want-to-buy list (but never played), is super quiet WHEN NEW. But does it stay quiet? Ditto for other high-end Kawais (or other brands) that may be quiet when new.

So (drumroll), my bottom-line questions:

If you own a relatively quiet keyboard that’s stayed quiet after many hundreds of hours of use, please speak up! Or if it hasn’t, please speak up, so I can be forewarned.

If you’ve been putting one of the new Casio PX S series boards through its paces for months, is the action still quite quiet or has it gotten much noisier?

All feedback much appreciated!


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How quiet is quiet? Are you looking for an action which is even more quiet than an actual acoustical piano action?


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My vote is for something with a Kawai Grand Feel or Grand Feel II action. By far the quietest I've ever played (and not just for the first few months).


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I'm curious about this as well. My PX-830 was great to learn on, but over time, the keys got loose, and would make clicking and clacking noises as they moved side to side and smacked against each other. My PX-160 is great, but I've been practicing on it for 10-12 hours a week for the last year, and I think I'm starting to hear a tad of the click-clack again ...

My guess would be something with a much more heavy-duty action would stay quieter longer: the Kawai GFs, the part-wood actions of the Yamaha P515 or Roland FP-90 for example. Can any long-time owners of any of them testify?


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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
How quiet is quiet? Are you looking for an action which is even more quiet than an actual acoustical piano action?


I don't think so (speaking from minimal critical experience playing acoustic pianos). In this comparison of a Nord and a VPC1, for example, I think even the Nord would be tolerable -- if it didn't get much noisier with time:
The Nord sounds like it might not be significantly louder than the S3000.


Originally Posted by Gombessa
My vote is for something with a Kawai Grand Feel or Grand Feel II action. By far the quietest I've ever played (and not just for the first few months).


Could you elaborate on that? How many hours do you reckon you've logged on any of those?

Last edited by Syd B; 09/30/19 10:24 PM.

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Originally Posted by Syd B

If you’ve been putting one of the new Casio PX S series boards through its paces for months, is the action still quite quiet or has it gotten much noisier?


Most of the Casios share the same action (a variant of Scaled Hammer Action), and they're all notoriously known to get loose and clacky after a few months.


Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
How quiet is quiet? Are you looking for an action which is even more quiet than an actual acoustical piano action?


Acoustic/hybrid piano actions are actually quite loud. They're louder than any digital action out there, the volume from piano just hides it when you play smile

Originally Posted by Syd B

Originally Posted by Gombessa
My vote is for something with a Kawai Grand Feel or Grand Feel II action. By far the quietest I've ever played (and not just for the first few months).

Could you elaborate on that? How many hours do you reckon you've logged on any of those?


Rough guess, maybe a few hundred hours over the course of a year and a half. I've also played on an older used MP11, and it was just as quiet. The GF action doesn't use multiple plastic-on-plastic joints, springs, or thin foam strips, so there's not much to become noisy over time. It's all felted bushings on wood against steel pins, metal capstans resting on foam pads, it's an elegantly simple pivot mechanism and it starts and stays very quiet.



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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Acoustic/hybrid piano actions are actually quite loud. They're louder than any digital action out there, the volume from piano just hides it when you play smile

I know. I just am curious when people want what is not achievable on a real piano.


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I've had my VPC1 for ten months, and have played it about 2 hours per day over that time. I have not noticed any change in the action, sound or otherwise.

FWIW, I played my Privia PX-760 for 2 years and was not aware of any action deterioration during that spell.


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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Gombessa
Acoustic/hybrid piano actions are actually quite loud. They're louder than any digital action out there, the volume from piano just hides it when you play smile

I know. I just am curious when people want what is not achievable on a real piano.


A question to the OP:

. . . Is there some reason you _need_ a very quiet action?

And another:

. . . If an action is just barely audible, when you're playing "pp", is that quiet enough?

Thanks --


. Charles
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Let's not kid ourselves. This is the only silent piano ...
[Linked Image]

This is not a joke.
All others produce some level of noise and will become noisier over time.

They're all mechanical. Mechanical equipment makes noise.
Mechanical equipment wears with use and with time, and so makes more noise.
You reduce the noise with appropriate maintenance repair.

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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by Syd B

If you’ve been putting one of the new Casio PX S series boards through its paces for months, is the action still quite quiet or has it gotten much noisier?


Most of the Casios share the same action (a variant of Scaled Hammer Action), and they're all notoriously known to get loose and clacky after a few months.


Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
How quiet is quiet? Are you looking for an action which is even more quiet than an actual acoustical piano action?


Acoustic/hybrid piano actions are actually quite loud. They're louder than any digital action out there, the volume from piano just hides it when you play smile

Originally Posted by Syd B

Originally Posted by Gombessa
My vote is for something with a Kawai Grand Feel or Grand Feel II action. By far the quietest I've ever played (and not just for the first few months).

Could you elaborate on that? How many hours do you reckon you've logged on any of those?


Rough guess, maybe a few hundred hours over the course of a year and a half. I've also played on an older used MP11, and it was just as quiet. The GF action doesn't use multiple plastic-on-plastic joints, springs, or thin foam strips, so there's not much to become noisy over time. It's all felted bushings on wood against steel pins, metal capstans resting on foam pads, it's an elegantly simple pivot mechanism and it starts and stays very quiet.


Thanks. That's very useful info.

Originally Posted by Ralphiano
I've had my VPC1 for ten months, and have played it about 2 hours per day over that time. I have not noticed any change in the action, sound or otherwise.

FWIW, I played my Privia PX-760 for 2 years and was not aware of any action deterioration during that spell.


Again, great to know. BTW, the key noise of my 850 may not have really started to bother me until I'd played it for two or more years.
Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Gombessa
Acoustic/hybrid piano actions are actually quite loud. They're louder than any digital action out there, the volume from piano just hides it when you play smile

I know. I just am curious when people want what is not achievable on a real piano.


A question to the OP:

. . . Is there some reason you _need_ a very quiet action?

And another:

. . . If an action is just barely audible, when you're playing "pp", is that quiet enough?

Thanks --




I'm not a perfection fetishist. All I want is an action that will allow me to play a full dynamic range in my home studio (moderately loud at ff-fff, not heavy-metal loud), typically through my monitors (I seldom feel like wearing cans), without being seriously distracted by key noises when playing softly, ppp-mp. I believe I had that comfort level for the first year or two with the 850. I have it so far with the PX-S3000, which brings me to the other thing I need: for that low/no distractability to be sustainable. I don't want to have to buy a new DP every few years, and I don't want to have to sell a used DP with action so noisy no one may want to buy it.


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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Let's not kid ourselves. This is the only silent piano ...
[Linked Image]

This is not a joke.
All others produce some level of noise and will become noisier over time.

They're all mechanical. Mechanical equipment makes noise.
Mechanical equipment wears with use and with time, and so makes more noise.
You reduce the noise with appropriate maintenance repair.

But where do you go to get that kind of service? DIY DP restoration is not an option for me.


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What about actions in newer Yamaha pianos? I had a bad experience about 20 years ago with a Yamaha DP, but obviously it was a very old keyboard. The action became very very noisy and clicky. Now I'm using a 10 years old Kawai for some hours a day and it's OK after so much time. Now looking for newer Yamaha. Any experience after some month/year of usage with latest Yamaha DPs? Thanks.

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That's a paper "keyboard" ... meant for practice.
Originally Posted by Syd B
But where do you go to get that kind of service? DIY DP restoration is not an option for me.

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I've had my VPC-1 for about three and a half years now. I play at least 10 hours a week, with a month or two off here and there. I haven't noticed that it is any louder than when I first got it. I had the Casio PX 150 before, and it got quite noisy after about a year and a half. I'm not a fan of the VPC-1 pedal though.

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From my own experience, new Casio actions are not the quietest but not intrusive, but they do quickly get noisy. The action on my AP-470 is far louder now than it was after 7 months of solid use and I guess it will continue to get louder with use. I can easily imagine the noise it makes will become intrusive with time. I don't think it is unreasonable to want an action to not get far louder than it was when the DP was purchased. I'm not saying somewhat louder with time.

I think this is a perfectly reasonable request for information about how much louder different DP actions get with use.

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Originally Posted by Pianofortissimo
Now I'm using a 10 years old Kawai for some hours a day and it's OK after so much time.


Good to hear!

Originally Posted by Pianofortissimo
Now looking for newer Yamaha.


May I ask if you're also considering Kawai? wink

Kind regards,
James
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I don't think does exist a plastic keyboard action (with weighted hammers, let-off mechanism, counterweights) that will sound and behave exactly like the first day after some years of regular use... I'm wrong?

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My ES7 was very quiet after I bought it but after less than two years some keys got clanky.


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Kawai's wooden actions, old or new.

Another very happy long term VPC1 user here. I should add that I also played a Yamaha GH action (in a P155) for many years that was absolutely fine in terms of noise, and very durable. Less sophisticated to play, though (two sensors as opposed to 3 in the VPC1).

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