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Originally Posted by David Izquierdo
Hi there!

I'm recently having this "sticky key" problem on my CA97

I investigated how to solve it, and seems to be a solution for it (as mentioned here) but I don't seem to find any information about how to disassemble the CA97 to get to the keybed...

Any clue on that would be appreciated.

Thanks,
David


You will find there are metal corner brackets that hold the wooden case parts together. I suggest trying to leave the metal brackets in the piano, and unscrew only the screws that go into the piece you want to remove. Leaving the brackets in place helps prevent them from scratching things as they come out.

But as above, remove the piece above the soundboard. Then remove the wooden board with the speakers, unplugging and un-routing wires as necessary. It’s easiest to remove all the pieces at the top of the piano, and once they’re out of the way you can remove the fall board. It really is pretty easy and self-explanatory.

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Thanks all so much for the advices, now I've checked the link where the several issues of the CA95 GF keybed are explained and well documented, I'll try to solve it by myself.. just need now the time and the little will smile


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I have the sticky keys issue with my CA97. Took Kawai a few months but I finally had a technician call me tonight to schedule a repair under warranty. He said that he expects the job to take 8 to 10 hours because the tape on all 88 keys will have to be replaced. Sounds like a thorough job so no complaints from me other than the inconvenience of losing a weekend day.

My question is... will I have the same issue again in a few years when I am out of warranty? If that is the case, it might be worth it to sell it after it is repaired and pick up a CA99 w/ GF III...

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If there's no indication that the new tape is any better than the old ... then maybe you're right to think of selling this piano.
Just my opinion.

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Does the fact he wants to replace the tape on all keys and not just the affected ones imply there is a new 'fixed tape' which won't suffer from the same issue?
I currently have the same dilemma - my CA97 has a few 'scraping' keys and a few very mildly sticking, so I have a choice of whether to try and get it repaired or trade it in for a CA99.

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Originally Posted by Maartin
Does the fact he wants to replace the tape on all keys and not just the affected ones imply there is a new 'fixed tape' which won't suffer from the same issue?
I currently have the same dilemma - my CA97 has a few 'scraping' keys and a few very mildly sticking, so I have a choice of whether to try and get it repaired or trade it in for a CA99.


I had 3 repairs made on my CA65 whilst it was under warranty. Two months ago I had all of the slip tapes replaced by a service engineer and the piano now performs very well.

Interesting, the guy who did the repair (who I now know quite well!) told me that the replacement slip tapes are now very different from the ones they first used on GF I actions - being much bigger (hence larger surface area) then they originally were. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and I will hopefully upgrade my piano before the problem reoccurs.

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I wanted to give you guys an update on my repair. The technician came a week and a half ago, and really did spend 8.5 hours replacing the slip tape on every single key. He was an older gentleman and worked pretty slowly.

However, the repair came with a few issues so my piano is still not fixed:

1) He broke the hammer on the last key, and he said he ordered a new one and have to come back to finish the job when received.
2) Another key's action is not performing properly. The key is set lower than the rest, travels less when pressed down, and there is no bounce on the key when you let go.
3) The keys are no longer perfectly even, and there is variation key to key on height.
4) The piano is not put back together (at my request since it took him about an hour just to open the case, and I don't want him to spend an extra hour when he returns).

The key height variance really bothers me. I wrote Kawai US about the issue and hopefully they can take care of me, but just beware if you get your piano worked on. The repair technician works mostly on digital instruments and equipment, so I'm not sure what he knows about setting key height.

Here are some pics:
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So now we're almost in June, and Kawai has been silent on my piano. I last emailed them on April 12 and there has been no response that they will take care of this when everything opens back up post COVID. I chased again, to just ask if this is on their radar. I really hope they stand behind their product and warranty.

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Dave, I will send you a PM.

Kind regards,
James
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I feel for you man. KAWAI left me high and dry after several ‘slip tape’ replacements. Mines still under warranty but I’m not letting any of their techs touch my piano ever again. (Well, they said they can’t anyways due to C-19)

I found a great slip tape replacement at McMaster-Carr and since you seem mechanically inclined let me know if you have any questions. I’ll do my best to help.

Actually , I’m taking the piano apart this weekend as 4 more keys are stuck. I guess ultimately I should dump this piano but I’m not quite ready to do that yet. I should ALSO replace EVERY piece of slip tape but that will take quite some time.


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Seems like this problem is not an isolated one... I believe they fixed this faulty design with the slip tape in the CA79/99 at last. It's odd that the key leveling was messed up after replacing the slip tape though. Key leveling is done through the center pin felt washers. On the other hand, the hammers push the rear part of the keys through the capstan, hence through the slip tape. If that tape is too soft or something, it can add some variance to the level of hammer pressing on the key and lead to this irregularity. It's a tricky situation and I wouldn't mess it up further with the center pins. I'd rather request from Kawai a replacement, provided the piano is still in warranty.


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That's a wavy set of keys!

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Originally Posted by newer player
That's a wavy set of keys!

Agreed. I do not know how this happened, but I'm trying to reach out to DaveCSparty for more details about the technician's visit etc.

Hopefully he returns to this forum before too long.

Kind regards,
James
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It sounds like the regulation/repair isn't done yet. Just as with an acoustic piano, the Grand Feel action uses paper punchings on the balance rail to regulate the final key height, I would imagine this is the final step after fixing the hammer and the slip tape.

Most likely the tech hasn't done it yet because there is still more work to finish up first, but it would be good to confirm with him that it needs to be done before he closes the unit back up.


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
It sounds like the regulation/repair isn't done yet. Just as with an acoustic piano, the Grand Feel action uses paper punchings on the balance rail to regulate the final key height, I would imagine this is the final step after fixing the hammer and the slip tape.

Most likely the tech hasn't done it yet because there is still more work to finish up first, but it would be good to confirm with him that it needs to be done before he closes the unit back up.
The height of the keys shouldn't change if you change the capstan tape. On a real piano the leveling is done be attaching weights in the rear part of the keys with the action removed. The weights will simulate the weight of each hammer and whippen to the capstan and hence the rear part of key dip into the felt beneath the keys. Once leveled, this won't change unless the hammer weight is changed and is pressing the corresponding key more than usual, so the rear part will dip more and consequently the front part will stick up above the other keys. If only changing the slip tape between the capstan and the hammer caused this irregularity, then something is very wrong, although I don't know what.


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Originally Posted by CyberGene
If only changing the slip tape between the capstan and the hammer caused this irregularity, then something is very wrong, although I don't know what.

I assume the tech has to remove all the keys in order to perform the tape replacement, and who knows if he removed the punchings as well (though on my MP11 only one in every 3 keys or so needed punchings, it was nowhere near as bad as OP's). The hammer capstans sit against the slip tape at rest, and if the tape height is different, the keys may sit differently. I recall the capstans are adjustable for this very reason. Something is definitely awry here, but again the job isn't done and I would want to see the final regulation before calling it botched.


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The punchings are very lightweight paper and come out very easily. Kawai sent someone to work on my piano once and I found punchings all over the place - when you pick up a key there's a good chance a punching comes with it.

Straightening out the keys with punchings is not difficult but it takes a long time, and you need to have a few different thickness punchings which you can get from any piano parts supplier.

Hopefully the technician knew enough to NOT TURN THE CAPSTANS - thats another way to change key height but accomplishes something very different. If he did you have another adjustment mess on your hands.

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I talked to a guy at Kawai Service department and he said there have been changes to the slip tape. The older versions actually used felt under the tape. I don't know if there have been iterations in the rubber/slip tape combination - I hope so. Mine's getting fixed next week, I'll see what I can learn. The technician who's doing my piano has done slip tape repairs before so I'll talk to him about it.

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Good luck with that . I hope it works out. I finally found time to take my CS10 apart today to fix 6 more stuck keys.

I have an excellent slip tape replacement from McMaster-Carr (great name right? Since that’s exactly what the tape DOES! Either the whole piece slides off to one side or another or the little Teflon upper layer starts to separate and slip off). I’ve had a tech come over to my place several times and replace every keys tape and the problem has always persisted.

To my knowledge, and from what I can see, they’ve used the same tape every time. The tape is a BAD design. The stuff I found has none of the issues that theirs has. When I took her apart today none of the tape I used (I’ll find a link to it and post here tomorrow) If I forget please feel free to PM me. I can’t take credit for finding the tape as I have a materials expert friend who designs products for hi-tech companies and he gets all the credit for sussing this out.

When I looked inside today the new tape I used months ago was in excellent condition and hadn’t moved from the key. FIRST, the tape needs to STICK to the key. SECOND it needs to not separate from itself or the adhesive that’s holding the upper Teflon slippery part will seep out and stick to the little brass rounded head (looks kind of like the head of a round tack) here’s a video showing the area here:

https://youtu.be/pzHZgjhbFS4

The gentleman in the video uses paper to fix his issue but I wanted to go with a solution that would be more permanent.

I had the head tech come over after many frustrated bad fixes from others before him and when HE looked at what they did he said they did a shoddy job. But he also said something that in my opinion is bad advice when using KAWAI’s tape. He said the tape has to be cut as close to flush to the key as possible. Now, since their tape is inferior and the Teflon separates over time , if it’s cut FLUSH to the key then the adhesive that seeps will get onto that little rounded brass area and cause your keys to stick quicker. If the tape is cut a little oversized and the Teflon separates and the adhesive seeps then there’sa better chance that the adhesive may not reach the brass part and cause the keys to stick. The best solution is DONT USE THEIR TAPE!

I HAVE noticed that it is almost ALWAYS your most used keys that get this issue. (Imagine that)

My solution was, even though the piano is under warranty, (doesn’t matter at this point though as no one wants to come over as they claim to have no access to the warehouse and of course we have the Covid issue), was to find a superior tape that doesn’t need replaced.

I DO play the piano a LOT and if your not an avid player you should experience fewer issues (hopefully!)

If I were you I would make SURE the tape they are putting on this time around IS NOT their usual. And, if it’s NOT, ask them what it is that makes it improved. Keep track of the keys repaired and see if the same issues come back later.

After taking my CS10 apart for the 4th time we are seeing a few other design issues that are rather shoddy and are going to remedy those next week. That will just make taking it apart a lot faster and efficiently.

Overall, we are very disappointed in KAWAIs service but we do love their product (overall) .

We just need to find the time to replace ALL 88 keys with the new tape (YES, it is very time consuming).

Let us know how it goes!

Last edited by Terry Michael; 06/06/20 02:58 AM.

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What did you use between the wood key and the ptfe tape? Did you re-use Kawai’s foam?

The new Grand Feel 3 has a different design, looks like they went away from slip tape.

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