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#2933157 01/13/20 05:13 AM
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Totally have G.A.S. for this one. A nice partner for a digital piano.



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I've always wondered, is there a digital keyboard with 88 weighted keys (to study piano) that can change the feel of the keys when playing organ?

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Organ keys are unweighted and use springs. The sensors are set high in the key stroke like on my Mojo 61 organ clone. I assume the YC has three sensors like high, mud and low positions along the key stroke. I wonder how the YC61 behaves for both piano and organ ( springs , hammers) which are somewhat opposite actions touch sensitive with leveraged pivoting, vs non touch sensitive unweighted spring controlled action. The Nord Electro tried to compromise it’s enhanced spring action to suit both, but I found it fatiguing to the point of unplayable after around 15 minutes.


Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.
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The Yamaha YC61 has semi-weighted keys; similar to the competition: Crumar MOJO 61, Hammond SK1, Nord Electro 6D, Roland V-Combo VR-09-B and the 73-key Korg Vox Continental.


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Originally Posted by TomInCinci
I've always wondered, is there a digital keyboard with 88 weighted keys (to study piano) that can change the feel of the keys when playing organ?


I'm afraid it's always been one or the other, i.e. the piano key action or organ.

Last edited by rio197; 01/13/20 08:52 PM.

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Yes, the piano feel is created by the presence of a physical hammer mechanism, and once that's there, it's not going to feel like an organ, there's no real way around it.

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Has anyone been to NAMM or seen one of these in the flesh yet? I live in London and am near the Yamaha flagship store, so I popped in, but they didn't have one on display yet. Looks like it could be a real competitor to the Nord Electro series, despite currently being about £700 more than the Electro 6D 61 key.

Very interested. Sounds great, and looks great too!

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Originally Posted by TomInCinci
I've always wondered, is there a digital keyboard with 88 weighted keys (to study piano) that can change the feel of the keys when playing organ?



I’m not an engineer, but I expect this would be like designing a pickup truck that also works as a bicycle. They have entirely different tasks, and entirely different design requirements.

How would you gracefully remove all of that weight/inertia simultaneously from 88 keys? how expensive, large, and heavy would that mechanism be, and how susceptible to mechanical failure? Wouldn’t it be easier to get one good pickup truck and one good bicycle?

If you are serious about organ, get a dedicated organ keyboard and stack it on your piano. If you are dabbling in organ, play organ sounds on your weighted keyboard. Unless you are playing real virtuoso organ music, you’ll be fine.


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Originally Posted by Guidos66
Has anyone been to NAMM or seen one of these in the flesh yet? I live in London and am near the Yamaha flagship store, so I popped in, but they didn't have one on display yet. Looks like it could be a real competitor to the Nord Electro series, despite currently being about £700 more than the Electro 6D 61 key.

Very interested. Sounds great, and looks great too!


Haven't seen it in stores yet. I read other people say that it will arrive for most stores in February or later.

This will DEFINITELY compete with the Electro. As usual, prices are weird here in the US. Nord Electro 6D 61 keys here has MSRP of $2,599.00 ($2199 actual price) while the YC61 is $2499 ($1999 actua price). So the YAMAHA has a rather nice price advantage here in America.

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Originally Posted by TomInCinci
I've always wondered, is there a digital keyboard with 88 weighted keys (to study piano) that can change the feel of the keys when playing organ?



The Alpha MPiano? It has servos for each key that can adjust spring pressure. Only 9800 euros smile

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My dream keyboard would be the Yamaha CP-4 with everything that keyboard had (Sounds-exact keybed touch etc.), in a 73 keybed with the YC-61 Organ engine!!

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Originally Posted by Kougeru
This will DEFINITELY compete with the Electro. As usual, prices are weird here in the US. Nord Electro 6D 61 keys here has MSRP of $2,599.00 ($2199 actual price) while the YC61 is $2499 ($1999 actua price). So the YAMAHA has a rather nice price advantage here in America.


Ah, strange that the prices differ so much from Europe to America. Great for people in the US who want to get this new Yamaha though. I do think that the Yamaha should be lower than the Nord here in the UK too - doesn't make much sense to me.

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I just had a chance to try YC-61 in a music store in Montreal.

The tonewheel organs are awesome and also the FM voices. I only tested the bread and butter voices and didn't bother to test the entire voice set.

The keybed felt cheap to me. At its best, it has the same mechanics as MOX/F/MODX which is a PSR quality keybed and I believe for $2500 it should have a key action like MOTIF/Montage 6.

Now speaking about the acoustic piano voices, the MP series has the upper hand by a large margin. The entire piano voice set in YC and CP series sounds thin. Too bright and lacks dynamics.

The piano voices in P-515 sound far better than CP and YC series.

I also didn't like the wheels and their locations. I don't think Yamaha has managed to reduce the menu diving reasonably. Anyway, I might be wrong since I didn't know how to operate the board properly.

On the positive side, the control surface felt premium. As much as I hated the keyaction, I loved the feel of the buttons, knobs, and sliders. Yamaha did a great job in that department and it really hurts to see an amazing board like this has lacked good piano voices.

Yamaha could easily make the best board in the market and it chose not to do so.

Last edited by Abdol; 12/18/21 05:10 PM.

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Originally Posted by Abdol
I just had a chance to try YC-61...At its best, it has the same mechanics as MOX/F/MODX which is a PSR quality keybed
I had it set up next to a MODX7... to me, it has a noticeably better action than the MODX. More "substance" to it, better control over piano dynamics. Also (unlike the MODX), it has a subtle escapement-like feel, where there is some initial resistance, which dissipates further down in the keys' travel, a little "hump" if you will. Of course, whether you like the feel or not is very subjective, no one is going to talk you into or out of liking it, but it definitely doesn't feel like the MODX. But personally, I consider it above average, as sub-$2000 semi-weighted actions go, better than any Roland, any Korg except the Vox Continental, and even going higher in price, better feeling than the Nord Electro or Dexibell J7 Combo.

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Originally Posted by TomInCinci
I've always wondered, is there a digital keyboard with 88 weighted keys (to study piano) that can change the feel of the keys when playing organ?

Highly questionable. As someone else already mentioned, totally different designs. Also: non-hammer actions are usually rather cheap, I simply put one on top of my MP11SE - that allows me to play a second voice without splits. And with the Arturia keyboard also came their Analog Lab V which contains most - if not all - of their VST plugin presets, at least as far as I can see.

Last edited by Marc345; 12/18/21 10:29 PM.

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Totally agree with A/Scott on this one. As I often do.

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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by Abdol
I just had a chance to try YC-61...At its best, it has the same mechanics as MOX/F/MODX which is a PSR quality keybed
I had it set up next to a MODX7... to me, it has a noticeably better action than the MODX. More "substance" to it, better control over piano dynamics. Also (unlike the MODX), it has a subtle escapement-like feel, where there is some initial resistance, which dissipates further down in the keys' travel, a little "hump" if you will. Of course, whether you like the feel or not is very subjective, no one is going to talk you into or out of liking it, but it definitely doesn't feel like the MODX. But personally, I consider it above average, as sub-$2000 semi-weighted actions go, better than any Roland, any Korg except the Vox Continental, and even going higher in price, better feeling than the Nord Electro or Dexibell J7 Combo.

I didn't have a chance to compare it side by side but I owned a MOX for years. YC61 felt identical to me. The key-action description is identical to the MO series in general. My humble guess is that there are no actual springs in the key mechanism. Just a bending plastic with a small metal weight glued to the bottom surface of each key. My MOX also had an initial resistance to it and it was noisy. I could hear the rubbers being pushed under the keys just like YC61.

The term "initial touch" comes from the PSR world, which basically means touch response...

Anyway, I may be completely wrong.


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Originally Posted by TomInCinci
I've always wondered, is there a digital keyboard with 88 weighted keys (to study piano) that can change the feel of the keys when playing organ?

In MP7SE, there is a mode called "fast mode". What this mode does is instead of using all 3 sensors, it uses only the first 2 sensors. This makes the keys feel shallow and quick. It won't feel like organ keys, but you can play real quick as you don't need to press the keys all the way down.

So this is the closest you can probably get and one of the reasons I bought the MP7SE.

Last edited by Abdol; 12/19/21 09:53 AM.

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