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Loud, thumpy keys on my electric keyboard #2952199 02/27/20 11:48 AM
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NaCl Offline OP
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So I started learning to play the piano on and off a couple of years back and bought a reasonably-priced, decent keyboard (Thomann DP-33 for 400€). I've got no complaints about its features as the keyboard is good for the price I paid. The mechanics of the keys however have started to annoy me more and more. I value silence and I live in a flat in which sound travels quite well through the floor. I can even hear my downstairs neighbor's phone's charging sound in the evening! I don't want to be a bother and I also don't want any extra attention paid to my practice and even though I can lower the volume or put on headphones, I cannot do anything about the loud keys on my piano. Most importantly the sound is annoying me and I've frankly had enough of it.

I know that it's normal for keys to make a sound when pushed down but that's not my issue. The issue is the sound the key makes when it returns to its original position. No matter how I play the piano, the key makes a very audible thump when I let my finger go of it. I have tried googling reviews of this piano but nobody seems to have criticized this feature (if you can call it that).

I'm thinking of getting a new keyboard and selling this one, for the sake of my comfort and the sanity of my unfortunate downstairs neighbour. Which model should I get and how much should I invest to get a quieter, mechanically more piano-like keyboard? And as an additional question: does anybody here have similar experiences or played the same model piano before?

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Re: Loud, thumpy keys on my electric keyboard [Re: NaCl] #2952278 02/27/20 02:59 PM
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Re: Loud, thumpy keys on my electric keyboard [Re: NaCl] #2952291 02/27/20 03:39 PM
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Quote
I have tried googling reviews of this piano but nobody seems to have criticized this feature (if you can call it that).


It probably develops over time, so it doesn't appear when people review their new(ish) piano.

Quote
Which model should I get...


Not Thomann. Maybe not Casio either.

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...and how much should I invest to get a quieter, mechanically more piano-like keyboard?


Maybe 700...1000 €. Or more ~1500 € isn't too salty. (Pun definitely intended.)

Re: Loud, thumpy keys on my electric keyboard [Re: clothearednincompo] #2952304 02/27/20 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Martinez


Thank you for linking that, Martinez! Indeed, I might need to simply get something dense underneath my piano and then something simple like a blanket/carpet underneath that. That would help a lot since the loudest vibrations go straight through the floor under the piano, though the sound made by the keys is still is pretty loud and annoying. Edit: I've already folded two bland-looking towels underneath the piano and that alone did nothing to reduce the noise. In the end, I too might have to invest in some kind of granite panel

Originally Posted by clothearednincompo


Not Thomann. Maybe not Casio either.
[...]
Maybe 700...1000 €. Or more ~1500 € isn't too salty. (Pun definitely intended.)


Haha, glad you noted my name! I'm always happy when people get it. So are you suggesting a Yamaha or a Kawai or something? I'm assuming by your post that Thomann and Casio's DPs are all similar in make mechanically. Did you have any specific models in mind or should I just visit a music store and try out some of the pianos in that price category?

Last edited by NaCl; 02/27/20 04:47 PM.
Re: Loud, thumpy keys on my electric keyboard [Re: NaCl] #2952309 02/27/20 05:08 PM
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Gombessa Offline
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Key return noise isn't all that uncommon, it tends to develop in DP actions over time. My anecdotal experience is limited but I've had it happen quite audibly on Casio and Roland actions. IME, Yamaha actions stay pretty silent, and of course the arguable king of silent actions is the Kawai Grand Feel, which in the MP11/MP11SE is at least among slabs the quietest by far.

Funny thing (full disclosure), is my MP11 had a couple of keys that had a key release noise (the other keys were dead silent). I took it apart to diagnose, and couldn't find any cause, it seemed to just go away on its own. Then after I put it back together, the noise came back, and I facepalmed as I realized it was being caused by the key hitting the top of the case/fallboard upon return. I didn't want to take it apart again to fix it, so I just decided to live with it.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Loud, thumpy keys on my electric keyboard [Re: Gombessa] #2952317 02/27/20 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Key return noise isn't all that uncommon, it tends to develop in DP actions over time. My anecdotal experience is limited but I've had it happen quite audibly on Casio and Roland actions. IME, Yamaha actions stay pretty silent, and of course the arguable king of silent actions is the Kawai Grand Feel, which in the MP11/MP11SE is at least among slabs the quietest by far.


Thank you for your input Gombessa! Although I'm not sure I'm willing to invest 2 000€ on a piano quite yet since I'm still quite unskilled, I do appreciate that you shared your valuable experience with me. I'm far less lost now. I think I'm going to start looking for a Kawai or a Yamaha in the price range of 700€~1 500€.

Originally Posted by Gombessa

Funny thing (full disclosure), is my MP11 had a couple of keys that had a key release noise (the other keys were dead silent). I took it apart to diagnose, and couldn't find any cause, it seemed to just go away on its own. Then after I put it back together, the noise came back, and I facepalmed as I realized it was being caused by the key hitting the top of the case/fallboard upon return. I didn't want to take it apart again to fix it, so I just decided to live with it.


Don't you think you could fix that issue by adding something soft as padding in underneath the case? Something simple, like a cloth?

Re: Loud, thumpy keys on my electric keyboard [Re: NaCl] #2952325 02/27/20 05:44 PM
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When I say under the case, I mean under the fallboard (the part of the case where the top of the keys disappear into the inside of the instrument. You'd have options to pad it more (but then the keys may not return to the same height as the others), or lower the keys resting on the balance rail, or even bend/grind the case a bit so it sits higher and the keys don't hit it on return....you get the idea. There are different ways to deal with it.

But MOST of the time, for any given action, the key return noise happens for the same reason that key-down noise does. There will be a felt/foam strip that the key mechanism bounces into that is intended to dampen the noise/vibration on key return. A noise on key return is very likely tied to compression of that strip.


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Re: Loud, thumpy keys on my electric keyboard [Re: Gombessa] #2952332 02/27/20 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa

But MOST of the time, for any given action, the key return noise happens for the same reason that key-down noise does. There will be a felt/foam strip that the key mechanism bounces into that is intended to dampen the noise/vibration on key return. A noise on key return is very likely tied to compression of that strip.


There indeed is a tiny bounce after the key returns up. The noise in my keyboard is louder than the key-down noise though. Seems like this is noise is common in DPs then?

Last edited by NaCl; 02/27/20 06:08 PM. Reason: cleaned up quote
Re: Loud, thumpy keys on my electric keyboard [Re: NaCl] #2952338 02/27/20 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by NaCl
... or should I just visit a music store and try out some of the pianos in that price category?

Yes, yes, yes!

Re: Loud, thumpy keys on my electric keyboard [Re: NaCl] #2952342 02/27/20 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by NaCl

There indeed is a tiny bounce after the key returns up. The noise in my keyboard is louder than the key-down noise though. Seems like this is noise is common in DPs then?


I wouldn't say it's inevitable. But the sound-deadening material in DPs (felt/foam strips and pads) compress and deteriorate over time with use/age, so noise will tend to increase somewhat over the years. Some keyboards are definitely better than others though. The difficulty is when you try a DP in a store, it's likely new so it doesn't tell you much about how it will behave when it ages...


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Loud, thumpy keys on my electric keyboard [Re: NaCl] #2952840 02/29/20 08:44 AM
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I don't have personal experience so can't comment on the usual suggested models from "reputable manufacturers" in the 700...1500 € range.

All Rolands, all Kawais and all Yamahas apart from the ones with the GHS action might be good candidates for something quieter and more piano like.

So, models like Roland FP-30, F-140R, RP-501R, FP-60, Yamaha P-255 (discontinued, probably out of stock), P-515, Kawai ES-110, CL-36 (if still available), KDP-110, CN-27/29, CN-37/39 (27 and 37 probably all sold by now).

I said "not Thomann" because they are (mostly anyway) made by the Hong Kong based Medeli who seems serious about making digital pianos, has made them for decades already, but seems to also focus on affordability, so probably some "cutting of the corners" happens in design. But I don't really know how each of their actions behave. The more recent ones are known as "K6" (Stage piano and economy model focused? Found in some Kurzweils too) and "K8" with longer keys and more features. I don't even know what they call the one in the Thomann DP-33 (HA88?), which looks like some Medeli CDP-xxxx model. An older one, already(?)

And I said "not Casio" because (*)they are known to develop some extra noises over time and it's not just due to a felt strip compressing. If it were, it might even be easy to repair like some do with older Yamaha Clavinovas.

(* I had one and I've read the Casio Forum. Such comments have appeared here too. But on the positive side: Casio has also replaced worn-out actions during the warranty period, people say.)

However the Casio CDP-S and PX-S models have a new action design and I don't really know anything about its durability. And won't pretend to know. smile

Last edited by clothearednincompo; 02/29/20 08:45 AM.
Re: Loud, thumpy keys on my electric keyboard [Re: clothearednincompo] #2952875 02/29/20 10:56 AM
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Thank you for clarifying! I'll look into those models and try to get a feel for them. Yes, the DP-33 (/HA88?) is a budget model for sure, it was a conscious purchase as my first piano a couple of years back. As for Casio models, I think I won't go looking for one since they are known to have this sort of issue. Based on Gombessa's information, I think I'll lean on getting a Yamaha or a Kawai but I won't know for sure before I get my hands on some DPs. I may well end up buying a Roland, who knows!

Re: Loud, thumpy keys on my electric keyboard [Re: NaCl] #2953275 03/01/20 02:29 PM
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I went to a large electronics store today to try out some of the DPs in the music section. I tried most of the pianos there. The ones that were on display that I tried were all Rolands, save for a singe Yamaha Clavinova clp-625. The Rolands made slightly more noise on key return than the Yamaha (which ended up being my favourite of the ones there), although said Yamaha made a little more noise on key press instead. The Yamaha felt the best to play to me. I'll visit a dedicated music store next week to try out some more, hopefully in a less noisy atmosphere.

Re: Loud, thumpy keys on my electric keyboard [Re: NaCl] #2953289 03/01/20 03:18 PM
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Not to spam/bump this thread but seems like there is a similar thread going on right now (http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...915/gonew/1/clp-645-keyboard.html#UNREAD). Seems like even a clp-645's keys produce quite a lot of noise. I think I'll have to also buy something dense like granite to put under the piano, as somebody suggested in the thread that Martinez linked here.

Re: Loud, thumpy keys on my electric keyboard [Re: NaCl] #2953345 03/01/20 06:16 PM
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They all do it eventually.


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Re: Loud, thumpy keys on my electric keyboard [Re: NaCl] #2953433 03/02/20 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by NaCl
As for Casio models, I think I won't go looking for one since they are known to have this sort of issue.
I would suggest NOT taking that approach just because online partisans pro and con say this or that. At this particular forum you're almost always going to be steered to Yamaha, Kawai and Roland. I've had a Casio PX-870 (under $1k US) for about a year and a half now and I'm still quite happy with it. I've read complaints about key noise etc for all makes. Within your stated budget I think Casios are among the best deals. Try whatever available models for yourself. Personally, I'd find a silent action to be artificial and un-pianolike.

Re: Loud, thumpy keys on my electric keyboard [Re: rmns2bseen] #2953570 03/02/20 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by rmns2bseen
Originally Posted by NaCl
As for Casio models, I think I won't go looking for one since they are known to have this sort of issue.
I would suggest NOT taking that approach just because online partisans pro and con say this or that. At this particular forum you're almost always going to be steered to Yamaha, Kawai and Roland. I've had a Casio PX-870 (under $1k US) for about a year and a half now and I'm still quite happy with it. I've read complaints about key noise etc for all makes. Within your stated budget I think Casios are among the best deals. Try whatever available models for yourself. Personally, I'd find a silent action to be artificial and un-pianolike.

Alright, seems reasonable at least, and it won't hurt to try out more models of course. I'm kind of new to this so I just took their word for it. As for silent actions, we have differing opinions. I very much value silence grin


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