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"Hybrid" action maintenance
#2897445 10/06/19 12:29 AM
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Without getting into the never-ending definition of what a hybrid action really is, I'm wondering if the hybrid action generally (across Yamaha, Kawai, Casio and whoever else makes these things) need more or additional maintenance than a "regular" digital piano action.

As far as I can tell from what I've read here (and that's pretty much the extent of my research) it's my understanding that a regular action may eventually require a lube job and possibly a new felt padding depending on how it's used; anything past that means that your piano is pretty much junk and it's time to get a new one.

Hybrid actions seem to have a lot more moving parts (don't they?) so do they require additional maintenance? Are they more fragile overall than a regular action?

These pianos cost more than a regular one, Do they also wear out faster?


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Re: "Hybrid" action maintenance
FrankCox #2897506 10/06/19 04:36 AM
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Interesting question.
I'd expect the Hybrid action to need about as much maintenance as an acoustic's action because .. well.. that's what it is.

You don't need to tune it twice a year but I am sure you need to regulate it at some point.


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Re: "Hybrid" action maintenance
FrankCox #2897511 10/06/19 04:51 AM
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I don't buy the idea that hybrids need the same frequency of maintenance as an acoustic.

The acoustic's action requires initial fine regulation and slight adjustments (years down the road if it has been set up right in the first place) in order to ensure the hammers interact properly with strings. Hammers wear slightly over time. Strings provide a fixed strike point.

The pseudo hammers in hybrids don't hit strings. They don't have to interact with something that is a fixed point. Their movement is read by non-contact sensors.

The rest of the action does of course wear eventually but the acoustic action can go for decades before major work is required. By their very nature the materials used (metal, wood, wool felt and leather, and in some cases plastic) are very durable and stable.

I'm not claiming that hybrids will need no work at all many years after initial purchase (and of course it is entirely possible for the work to be done) but I think the concerns are exaggerated.


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Re: "Hybrid" action maintenance
FrankCox #2897512 10/06/19 04:54 AM
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What about the Alpha piano? There are real hammers striking ‘something’ in this digital piano.

Re: "Hybrid" action maintenance
Pete14 #2897514 10/06/19 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete14
What about the Alpha piano? There are real hammers striking ‘something’ in this digital piano.


I don't know anything about it really, other than if you can afford an Alpha you can afford a piano technician, permanently on your staff to make fine adjustments to the regulation whilst dropping grapes into your open mouth as you recline on your day bed, being fanned by eunuchs or hand maidens.


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Re: "Hybrid" action maintenance
EssBrace #2897515 10/06/19 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
I don't buy the idea that hybrids need the same frequency of maintenance as an acoustic.


+1

As I own the AvantGrand N2 and do not plan on having any regulation done to it unless something really goes badly askew or there are sticking notes or loud clicking / clacking sounds, etc.

Just play the piano and forget about it! grin

Re: "Hybrid" action maintenance
EssBrace #2897518 10/06/19 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
I don't know anything about it really, other than if you can afford an Alpha you can afford a piano technician, permanently on your staff to make fine adjustments to the regulation whilst dropping grapes into your open mouth as you recline on your day bed, being fanned by eunuchs or hand maidens.


Funnily enough -- it sounds like a fine way to spend one's day! laugh

Re: "Hybrid" action maintenance
EssBrace #2897521 10/06/19 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
Originally Posted by Pete14
What about the Alpha piano? There are real hammers striking ‘something’ in this digital piano.
I don't know anything about it really, other than if you can afford an Alpha you can afford a piano technician, permanently on your staff to make fine adjustments to the regulation whilst dropping grapes into your open mouth as you recline on your day bed, being fanned by eunuchs or hand maidens.

Will it be the customers choice whether the fanning is by eunuchs or hand maidens? Because I have a preference.


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Re: "Hybrid" action maintenance
Tyrone Slothrop #2897522 10/06/19 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by EssBrace
Originally Posted by Pete14
What about the Alpha piano? There are real hammers striking ‘something’ in this digital piano.
I don't know anything about it really, other than if you can afford an Alpha you can afford a piano technician, permanently on your staff to make fine adjustments to the regulation whilst dropping grapes into your open mouth as you recline on your day bed, being fanned by eunuchs or hand maidens.

Will it be the customers choice whether the fanning is by eunuchs or hand maidens? Because I have a preference.


Fussy!


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Re: "Hybrid" action maintenance
Tyrone Slothrop #2897525 10/06/19 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Will it be the customers choice whether the fanning is by eunuchs or hand maidens? Because I have a preference.


Here's your chosen maiden -- have fun!

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Re: "Hybrid" action maintenance
FrankCox #2897546 10/06/19 08:25 AM
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I agree that a hybrid arguably requires less maintenance. Much of the regulation that that is required in an acoustic is due to something happening to the sound, and the hammers' interaction with the strings. Take the strings away and the action works in a slightly more isolated fashion (so long as the proper hammer velocity is achieved, the piano should always sound the same; and on the NU1X the hammer is only used for feel, it doesn't really matter if it works so long as the key is pressed at the right velocity).


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Re: "Hybrid" action maintenance
FrankCox #2897548 10/06/19 08:27 AM
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As a follow-on question ... Does the digital grand action require more maintenance than a non-grand digital action?

Re: "Hybrid" action maintenance
FrankCox #2897549 10/06/19 08:34 AM
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Theoretically, the hammers don't "do anything" in a Yamaha upright hybrid, so they are arguably more resistant to drift (in tolerance, movement, loosening, etc). The upcoming Kawai Aures also has an upright action but it had hammer sensors so it's probably similar to the grand upright actions.

Which is the better method is a bit of a trade-off.

Another thing I forgot to mention is that hybrids, because they have digital tone generation, can also resolve some issues in software. Double strikes or hammer bounces can be detected and eliminated in the electronics, as can certain "loud note" phenomenon, as we've seen both Kawai and Yamaha do, no technician visit required.


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Re: "Hybrid" action maintenance
FrankCox #2897601 10/06/19 12:15 PM
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I have heard of people with old AGs that were uneven after years of heavy use, and were fine after simple regulation work. It must have been on the forum, as I don't think I've ever read about the AG anywhere else.

Re: "Hybrid" action maintenance
FrankCox #2897636 10/06/19 01:29 PM
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I think it was Dave Horne who had that work done, back in the early day of the AG series.

Re: "Hybrid" action maintenance
FrankCox #2897984 10/07/19 03:08 PM
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I had my NU1 serviced just prior to the expiration of it’s 5 year warranty. I play a minimum of 1 hour daily. There were a couple of slightly noisy clicky keys, and this was ‘fixed’ with some teflon spray lubricant. The feel of the middle keys are as good as the bass and upper treble, but there is now slightly more side to side play. To my OCD eyes the key spacing gaps remain perfect. I have the service manual and the regulation procedure and specs are in there.

Re: "Hybrid" action maintenance
FrankCox #2897986 10/07/19 03:13 PM
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Spray-on teflon? How accurately can someone apply a spray lubricant? The notion of spray in a piano makes me nervous.

Re: "Hybrid" action maintenance
spanishbuddha #2898006 10/07/19 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
I had my NU1 serviced just prior to the expiration of it’s 5 year warranty. I play a minimum of 1 hour daily. There were a couple of slightly noisy clicky keys, and this was ‘fixed’ with some teflon spray lubricant. The feel of the middle keys are as good as the bass and upper treble, but there is now slightly more side to side play. To my OCD eyes the key spacing gaps remain perfect. I have the service manual and the regulation procedure and specs are in there.

How did you get the service manual? I would love to get a service manual for my N1X.


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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: "Hybrid" action maintenance
FrankCox #2898035 10/07/19 05:55 PM
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