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Hailun piano with narrow keys for small hands... #2946580 02/13/20 10:20 PM
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Re: Hailun piano with narrow keys for small hands... [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2946585 02/13/20 10:36 PM
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Rich Galassini Offline
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Although 7/8 keyboards have been available for years - they are currently available in Cunningham pianos. This Hailun is a price break through piano. Custom work like this often costs $10,000. or more - over and above the piano.

We do not charge that - and neither does Hailun.

Cheers,


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
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Re: Hailun piano with narrow keys for small hands... [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2946642 02/14/20 03:22 AM
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doremi Offline
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Is this Steinbuhler technology that is being used? In Hailun? In Cunningham?

How about key lengths? For uprights? For grands?
Narrower keys give you a bigger span, but not necessarily easier playability if the keys are made shorter too, as is often the case with digital (non-acoustic) keyboards/pianos.


I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked
Re: Hailun piano with narrow keys for small hands... [Re: doremi] #2946818 02/14/20 12:16 PM
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Rich Galassini Offline
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Originally Posted by doremi
Is this Steinbuhler technology that is being used? In Hailun? In Cunningham?


Yes to Cunningham and yes to Hailun.

Originally Posted by doremi
How about key lengths? For uprights? For grands?
Narrower keys give you a bigger span, but not necessarily easier playability if the keys are made shorter too, as is often the case with digital (non-acoustic) keyboards/pianos.


The keys are not made shorter.


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
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rich@cunninghampiano.com
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Re: Hailun piano with narrow keys for small hands... [Re: Rich Galassini] #2946822 02/14/20 12:25 PM
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Very interesting topic. I wonder just how hard it would be if you had a 7/8’s keyboard on your Cunningham piano, to play on a piano teacher’s piano with full sized keyboard? Is transitioning difficult or can we adapt pretty quickly. I have larger hands but still can barely reach 10 key stretches, but I just wonder how “spoiled” my hands would become on a smaller keyboard?


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Re: Hailun piano with narrow keys for small hands... [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2946826 02/14/20 12:37 PM
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There are different key width standards, but in pianos, the current "standard" has relatively little variation across different makers. Looking back over the last century, the variations in the "standard" keyboard are noticeable, but not like the smaller standard sizes identified or created by Donison-Steinbuhler (DS) Foundation.

On the DS Standard scale, a typical piano keyboard is 6.5. The smaller keyboard installed on that Hailun is the 6.0 size. The 7/8's keyboard is even smaller, identified on that scale as 5.5 size.

To be clear, it is a custom keyboard for pianists with small hands, not a smaller keyboard for children to learn on. Pianists seem to adapt to it quickly and that that need it reap the benefits as their performances become infinitely more comfortable. The cost for the custom Hailun is significantly more than a standard Hailun, but still far less than the normal cost for such custom work as Rich indicated.

My sense of this product is that it serves a great need that many pianists have simply resigned themselves to struggle through.


Sam Bennett
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Re: Hailun piano with narrow keys for small hands... [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2946877 02/14/20 04:06 PM
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I'm very intrigued by this as it is a stretch for me to reach a 9th and the older I get the harder it seems to accomplish. But I have a very nice piano that I don't want to part with. I would love to try one out and see how it feels. I wonder, are the spaces between the black keys narrower? If so, that might be like trading one solution for another problem.


It’s never too late to be what you might have been. -George Eliot
Re: Hailun piano with narrow keys for small hands... [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2946893 02/14/20 05:01 PM
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Josef Hofman is said to have had custom made keyboard with narrower keys and since he's actually a Steinway patent holder to an action improvement, that sounds credible. However, I have never seen or even heard about an actual Steinway with narrower keys. Is this just an urban legend or is there an actual Steinway with a keyboard fitted to Hofman's needs?

Re: Hailun piano with narrow keys for small hands... [Re: John305] #2947153 02/15/20 09:37 AM
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PianoWorksATL Offline
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Originally Posted by John305
I'm very intrigued by this as it is a stretch for me to reach a 9th and the older I get the harder it seems to accomplish. But I have a very nice piano that I don't want to part with. I would love to try one out and see how it feels. I wonder, are the spaces between the black keys narrower? If so, that might be like trading one solution for another problem.
You are not alone...age affects the stretch for many pianists. With my grandmother, she managed her arthritis, but another hand condition eventually took away her ability to play.

As the head scale (width of the keys) is narrowed, the sharps and the space between is narrowed...but when you aren't stretching to reach, the angles available to your fingers improves your ability to "fit" the chords. If your hands aren't small, but your flexibility to stretch is reduced, maybe the 6.0 scale is a better fit for you?

I'm not a qualified pianists to comment on how much this benefits someone technically, but I can tell you the sensation of playing that Hailun with the 6.0 keyboard was foreign for a moment, but right after that, when playing any stretches, my hands felt relaxed. If I had small hands or struggled with octaves and other common stretches, I think that sensation would have been more dramatic.


Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
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Re: Hailun piano with narrow keys for small hands... [Re: PianoWorksATL] #2947203 02/15/20 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
...cost for the custom Hailun...

Are you referring to a custom upright?

For a grand, that would be a custom action (slide-in replacement) would it not?
Perhaps one that a local technician could swap in, adjust, maintain... ?
Any chance for a trial? I don't expect that a trial would entirely free, I would chance $1K or so for both 6.0 and 5.5 for a month or two. I have a fairly common Kawai RX-3 :-)


I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked
Re: Hailun piano with narrow keys for small hands... [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2947239 02/15/20 01:07 PM
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Narrower keys may well be a solution for some people. But in my case, I had this frustrating experience with the only one narrowed keyboard I had a chance to try two years ago, when I found a wonderfully sounding old Richard Lipp & Sons grand piano made around the beginning of 20th Century with narrow keys. I have not, by all means, fat fingers, but the experience of not being able to play properly between the sharps forced me to give up on buying that piano. If it just had a normal scale keyboard, I would seriously think of having it restored.

So this may be a really serious issue for many players. The best option seems trying the desired scale keayboard first, just to be sure.

My 2 cents. smile


Fluxo

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Re: Hailun piano with narrow keys for small hands... [Re: doremi] #2947281 02/15/20 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by doremi
For a grand, that would be a custom action (slide-in replacement) would it not?
Perhaps one that a local technician could swap in, adjust, maintain... ?
Any chance for a trial? I don't expect that a trial would entirely free, I would chance $1K or so for both 6.0 and 5.5 for a month or two. I have a fairly common Kawai RX-3 :-)

We've thought about a project where by we offer a concert grand with 2 different actions and voicings that could be swapped. Not 2 sizes, just 2 setups. The costs for that are enormous.

For an RX-3, I have to wonder how swappable the stack is to determine how much work would be required for the install. Future maintenance would be normal.


Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
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Re: Hailun piano with narrow keys for small hands... [Re: PianoWorksATL] #2947609 02/16/20 11:50 AM
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From my perspective, I do not want the original stack to be re-used (advertised on the Steinbuhler website for $9,800) in case I eventually decide to keep my original (and non-manipulated) action. I'd rather have a new action (advertised on the Steinbuhler website for $14,800) to try out. Frankly, the issue is not really $14.8K, the real issue for just about any prospective client is the real possibility of tossing $14.8K in the garbage bin.

From a supplier perspective, the issue is how to provide a trial in a cost-effective way. If a new action for a fairly common piano such as an RX-3 can be re-adjusted (can it?) to fit any other RX-3, then there is a chance for providing trials at say 10% cost.


I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked
Re: Hailun piano with narrow keys for small hands... [Re: j&j] #2947704 02/16/20 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by j&j
Very interesting topic. I wonder just how hard it would be if you had a 7/8’s keyboard on your Cunningham piano, to play on a piano teacher’s piano with full sized keyboard? Is transitioning difficult or can we adapt pretty quickly. I have larger hands but still can barely reach 10 key stretches, but I just wonder how “spoiled” my hands would become on a smaller keyboard?


I think it depends, j&j. Obviously, I play. I have 2 degrees in music, but when I have musicians around me of the caliber I do, I rarely demonstrate for videos anymore. Anyway, I thought it might be easier to understand what is happening in a 7/8ths keyboard by checking out these photos:

[Linked Image]

So in this particular set up, the action itself stays the same, but everything "under" the action changes. For instance, the keys themselves, the key frame, the bushing rails, etc. are all made custom to accept the new slimmer keys. By the way, it is difficult to see but there are also supports under the key sticks themselves because the the angle and extra length in some of them will also make flexing more of an issue (if there was no extra support).

[Linked Image]

A close up.

My 2 cents,


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for great content every week:
https://www.youtube.com/user/CunninghamPiano
Re: Hailun piano with narrow keys for small hands... [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2948661 02/18/20 05:08 PM
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Surprises me that there isn’t (?) a high-quality digital/hybrid with the 6.0 or 7/8 keyboard. Cheaper, and a good way to introduce the concept to a wider audience.

I might want narrower keys, but first I’d want a long trial. I’d also want to know how hard it would be to switch between standard and 6.0. I wouldn’t mind owning 2 pianos.


[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Hailun HG 178, Charles Walter 1500, Kawai CA63

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