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Re: Lack of real escapement is why digital actions are bad
Tyrone Slothrop #2943486 02/06/20 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I believe on the FP30 where they emulate the friction of the escapement, they also are emulating the point at which pressing the key does not produce a sound. In this way, if you repeated press the key below the friction sensing point, there is no repeating note sound. In this case, being able to feel the friction is just a feedback mechanism for your nerves to train you to play above that point when playing fast repeating notes.

This is my theory, anyways. Feel free to disagree.

Ohh, right, so it denotes the position just before second sensor (or first in the case of two-sensor actions). Beyond that point a velocity can't be measured. So, there is off-the-jack playing.


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Re: Lack of real escapement is why digital actions are bad
CyberGene #2943488 02/06/20 11:49 AM
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P.S. But it still shows the weirdness of digital pianos and lack of escapement smile Because on the digital piano even after the notch you will feel the full hammer weight and you can throw it and it will make no sound. And that's weird and counter-intuitive. I mean, you feel a weight that you throw and it hits the rail but there's no sound. And sound should be generated by a strike, shouldn't it? smile On an acoustic, after the escapement the key suddenly becomes light, so there are no surprises, you know there's nothing to throw and it is why the strike will be silent.


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Re: Lack of real escapement is why digital actions are bad
CyberGene #2943522 02/06/20 01:19 PM
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OK so.... and why on earth did I play on 100ds of upright pianos that had worse actions as some DP? The escapement is only a very small point of a whole universe of different actions.

Last edited by aphexdisklavier; 02/06/20 01:20 PM.
Re: Lack of real escapement is why digital actions are bad
aphexdisklavier #2943530 02/06/20 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by aphexdisklavier
OK so.... and why on earth did I play on 100ds of upright pianos that had worse actions as some DP?

Because they were neglected and beaten up? Would be good to compare an upright with years of abuse and no maintenance vs a digital that has sustained the same level of abuse.


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Re: Lack of real escapement is why digital actions are bad
CyberGene #2943531 02/06/20 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Originally Posted by aphexdisklavier
OK so.... and why on earth did I play on 100ds of upright pianos that had worse actions as some DP?

Because they were neglected and beaten up? Would be good to compare an upright with years of abuse and no maintenance vs a digital that has sustained the same level of abuse.


The thing is that if you leave an upright alone for 10 years it will sound far worse, whereas you can just turn a digital piano on and it'll work as always. A DP is simply far more consistent.

Re: Lack of real escapement is why digital actions are bad
sleutelbos #2943539 02/06/20 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by sleutelbos
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Originally Posted by aphexdisklavier
OK so.... and why on earth did I play on 100ds of upright pianos that had worse actions as some DP?

Because they were neglected and beaten up? Would be good to compare an upright with years of abuse and no maintenance vs a digital that has sustained the same level of abuse.


The thing is that if you leave an upright alone for 10 years it will sound far worse, whereas you can just turn a digital piano on and it'll work as always. A DP is simply far more consistent.

Sure, but the touch will still be worse and it will still lack the escapement after 10 years smile Which is what this topic is about. Not general advantages and disadvantages of acoustic and digital pianos.


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Re: Lack of real escapement is why digital actions are bad
sleutelbos #2943540 02/06/20 02:00 PM
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Until the action wears out and there's no economical fix ...
Originally Posted by sleutelbos
... you can just turn a digital piano on and it'll work as always. A DP is simply far more consistent.

Re: Lack of real escapement is why digital actions are bad
CyberGene #2943550 02/06/20 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
P.S. But it still shows the weirdness of digital pianos and lack of escapement smile Because on the digital piano even after the notch you will feel the full hammer weight and you can throw it and it will make no sound. And that's weird and counter-intuitive. I mean, you feel a weight that you throw and it hits the rail but there's no sound. And sound should be generated by a strike, shouldn't it? smile On an acoustic, after the escapement the key suddenly becomes light, so there are no surprises, you know there's nothing to throw and it is why the strike will be silent.
That's probably the main thing on an acoustic grand that makes your fingers feel much more the connection with the generated sound. Is it the same with an acoustic upright?

Re: Lack of real escapement is why digital actions are bad
magicpiano #2943561 02/06/20 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by magicpiano
Originally Posted by CyberGene
P.S. But it still shows the weirdness of digital pianos and lack of escapement smile Because on the digital piano even after the notch you will feel the full hammer weight and you can throw it and it will make no sound. And that's weird and counter-intuitive. I mean, you feel a weight that you throw and it hits the rail but there's no sound. And sound should be generated by a strike, shouldn't it? smile On an acoustic, after the escapement the key suddenly becomes light, so there are no surprises, you know there's nothing to throw and it is why the strike will be silent.
That's probably the main thing on an acoustic grand that makes your fingers feel much more the connection with the generated sound. Is it the same with an acoustic upright?

Yes, it’s the same on upright pianos. The problem with them is you need to release the key too much for the jack to go under the butt (yep, that’s how it’s called) since there’s no double repetition lever. But at least this weight change in your fingers is a good tactile feedback and you will quickly learn to expect when you have a hammer “under” your fingers that you can throw.

BTW, on my moms’s upright which is what I learned on, there’s almost no friction felt at escapement point. And I remember that playing on other uprights or grands felt like there was something really wrong with them 😀


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Re: Lack of real escapement is why digital actions are bad
CyberGene #2943621 02/06/20 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Yes, it’s the same on upright pianos. The problem with them is you need to release the key too much for the jack to go under the butt (yep, that’s how it’s called) since there’s no double repetition lever. But at least this weight change in your fingers is a good tactile feedback and you will quickly learn to expect when you have a hammer “under” your fingers that you can throw.
So, on an acoustic upright you cannot repeat the same note very fast?

Re: Lack of real escapement is why digital actions are bad
magicpiano #2943632 02/06/20 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by magicpiano
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Yes, it’s the same on upright pianos. The problem with them is you need to release the key too much for the jack to go under the butt (yep, that’s how it’s called) since there’s no double repetition lever. But at least this weight change in your fingers is a good tactile feedback and you will quickly learn to expect when you have a hammer “under” your fingers that you can throw.
So, on an acoustic upright you cannot repeat the same note very fast?

Well, that depends. In theory you will repeat faster on a grand compared to an upright due to this. But I’ve seen upright pianos that are otherwise pretty cr*ppy such as my mother in law piano (she’s a piano teacher and various kids abuse it on daily basis) but shockingly it repeats faster than my N1X although I haven’t measured it, just a feeling smile Repetition speed also depends on lightness of action and a grand is often optimized for loud sound, hence heavier hammers, hence lead counterweights and ultimately it can get sluggish. And an upright is limited in dynamics but the action can be very nimble.

And then there are many patents for devices that help for faster repetitions in upright actions such as magnets in Steingraeber uprights, special springs in Feurich, Seiler, etc.


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Re: Lack of real escapement is why digital actions are bad
CyberGene #2943641 02/06/20 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Kbeaumont
Of course they emulate it. They don't have hammers striking strings and strings aren't actually vibrating a soundboard. Everything is emulated. If that's not acceptable to you fine, don't buy a digital.


They don't claim to have real strings vibrating a soundboard. If they claim to have escapement, they are lying. They have a poor, and mostly pointless, emulation of it.

Re: Lack of real escapement is why digital actions are bad
magicpiano #2943650 02/06/20 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by magicpiano
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Yes, it’s the same on upright pianos. The problem with them is you need to release the key too much for the jack to go under the butt (yep, that’s how it’s called) since there’s no double repetition lever. But at least this weight change in your fingers is a good tactile feedback and you will quickly learn to expect when you have a hammer “under” your fingers that you can throw.
So, on an acoustic upright you cannot repeat the same note very fast?

The maximum single note repetition on an upright is approx. 7 Hz (7 repetitions of the same key per second). So for example, imagine a piece where crochet/quarter-note = 120 BPM and there are 16th notes repeating. that would require 2 x 4 = 8 repetitions per second which would be a problem for an upright. (Is there a Scarlatti that might trigger this issue?) Of course, probably most players on an upright of a piece demanding fast repetition like this would use some rubato and slow down the repeating notes and all would be OK.

In contrast, the maximum single note repetition on a grand piano, because of the double escapement design, is approximately 14 Hz (14 repetitions of the same key per second).


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Re: Lack of real escapement is why digital actions are bad
CyberGene #2943653 02/06/20 07:29 PM
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Are there any real measurements behind these numbers? I doubt it’s as mathematically precise for all upright pianos and all grand pianos. You can certainly make an upright fast repeating with light hammers and shorter blow distance at the expense of narrower dynamics.


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Re: Lack of real escapement is why digital actions are bad
CyberGene #2943656 02/06/20 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Are there any real measurements behind these numbers? I doubt it’s as mathematically precise for all upright pianos and all grand pianos.


+1. I can't play that fast, but I can bash keys pretty quickly, and there's a lot of variance between different pianos when I try.


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Re: Lack of real escapement is why digital actions are bad
CyberGene #2943657 02/06/20 07:43 PM
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There was one thread where we discussed that fast repetition can be made by quickly playing the key above the escapement which would use the bounce of the hammer between the string and the key and if a good synchronization is found, very high repetition speeds can be reached on both uprights and grands. In that case you don’t even use escapement but rely on the free flow of the hammer.

IMO double-repetition lever isn’t for quick repetitions but more for legato playing where you can only slightly release the key without damper touching the string and replay again the note, even when slow. In MIDI language that would be two note on events for the same note without a note off between them.

Last edited by CyberGene; 02/06/20 07:48 PM.

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Re: Lack of real escapement is why digital actions are bad
CyberGene #2943660 02/06/20 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Are there any real measurements behind these numbers? I doubt it’s as mathematically precise for all upright pianos and all grand pianos. You can certainly make an upright fast repeating with light hammers and shorter blow distance at the expense of narrower dynamics.


I would assume something like the NU1X/NV5 could benefit from using lighter hammers and shorter blow distance as it relates to improving fast repetitions; after all, there are no strings to strike; so why not?

Or is it all about ‘keeping it real’, and making the hammers for the NU1X/NV5 as heavy as their acoustic counterparts in case someone decides to compare the two (acoustic/digital hybrid)?

Re: Lack of real escapement is why digital actions are bad
MacMacMac #2943683 02/06/20 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Until the action wears out and there's no economical fix ...
Originally Posted by sleutelbos
... you can just turn a digital piano on and it'll work as always. A DP is simply far more consistent.


Or the power goes out. :-)

Re: Lack of real escapement is why digital actions are bad
jarobi #2943692 02/06/20 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by jarobi
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Until the action wears out and there's no economical fix ...
Originally Posted by sleutelbos
... you can just turn a digital piano on and it'll work as always. A DP is simply far more consistent.
Or the power goes out. :-)

Hey! I have something for that. It's a UPS, which I actually have so my DP doesn't lose the settings that can't be saved (sigh... that's another thing)


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Re: Lack of real escapement is why digital actions are bad
technomaster #2943714 02/06/20 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by technomaster


In my mind, it's actual great practice being able to adapt and execute your playing regardless of the instrument.
Definitely, it's even an important skill and value to cultivate (unless you are in a position to carry around a technician wherever you go).
Originally Posted by technomaster

One other thing I'd note is that from a keyboard action standpoint, my Yamaha DP actually feels quite a bit like the Yamaha pianos I played. I'm not completely shocked (feel-wise) going from my Arius to a U1 to the baby grand.

Exactly.

Originally Posted by technomaster

I think the biggest challenge for DPs is the sound quality - specifically this: I can listen to a recording of a DP and might be convinced it's a real piano. But when I'm actually sitting in front of the DP and playing it, it sounds LIKE a piano sound coming out of a speaker - at no point do I really believe it's an acoustic piano I'm sitting in front of.


I agree.


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