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To escape, or not to escape? That is the question.
#2961705 03/29/20 11:46 PM
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I hope that paraphrase from "Hamlet" doesn't offend any Shakespeare lovers out there! laugh Let me explain below.

One of the pianos I am considering for purchase is the Casio GP-510 Celviano. It's wooden-key action, designed in collaboration with Bechstein, does not simulate the escapement (i.e. letoff) feature of an acoustic grand piano. I was told that Casio deliberately did not incorporate this feature into the GP series so as not to impede the ability of the action to handle rapid repeated notes. I was also told that, as the escapement simulation on other digital pianos is not very good, it was just as well that this feature was omitted.

I have two questions regarding this feature?
1) Is it true that no digital piano has a decent escapement simulation? If not, what is the brand and model of this piano?
2) Even if there is a digital piano that has decent escapement simulation, does it make any difference? Is escapement that important to playing rapid repetitive passages on a either a digital or an acoustic piano? Also, when I switch from a digital piano to an acoustic grand piano, will the fact that I learned on a piano that didn't have escapement impede my ability to play a piano that does?

Comments and questions are welcome from any quarter.

Re: To escape, or not to escape? That is the question.
Almaviva #2961709 03/30/20 12:10 AM
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Is escapement that important to playing rapid repetitive passages on a either a digital or an acoustic piano?


It's the ability to repeat a note without lifting the key more that a couple of mm that matters most.


Quote
Also, when I switch from a digital piano to an acoustic grand piano, will the fact that I learned on a piano that didn't have escapement impede my ability to play a piano that does?


You can't feel it on a grand unless you are playing very softly. For most playing it makes no difference.

The Casio doesn't use a grand action, so it's going to feel different. Whether that matters to you is a different matter of course.

Re: To escape, or not to escape? That is the question.
Almaviva #2961721 03/30/20 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Almaviva

1) Is it true that no digital piano has a decent escapement simulation? If not, what is the brand and model of this piano?

Kawai NV10 and Yamaha N1X/N3X have real escapement I believe.


Piano is one of the top human inventions of the past 300 years - help evangelize the magic!
Re: To escape, or not to escape? That is the question.
Almaviva #2961722 03/30/20 12:52 AM
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Escapement simulation is not necessary. during normal play you can't tell it is there.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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Re: To escape, or not to escape? That is the question.
Almaviva #2961731 03/30/20 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Almaviva
I hope that paraphrase from "Hamlet" doesn't offend any Shakespeare lovers out there! laugh Let me explain below.

One of the pianos I am considering for purchase is the Casio GP-510 Celviano. It's wooden-key action, designed in collaboration with Bechstein, does not simulate the escapement (i.e. letoff) feature of an acoustic grand piano. I was told that Casio deliberately did not incorporate this feature into the GP series so as not to impede the ability of the action to handle rapid repeated notes. I was also told that, as the escapement simulation on other digital pianos is not very good, it was just as well that this feature was omitted.

IMHO, I call this marketing BS. I have played Casio GP-51 in a store and it didn't impress me. Action was OK - but the sound was subpar, compared to other digital pianos in its price range.

Originally Posted by Almaviva

I have two questions regarding this feature?
1) Is it true that no digital piano has a decent escapement simulation? If not, what is the brand and model of this piano?

That is not true. Certainly, Kawai Novus NV* and Yamaha AvantGrand N* digital pianos have the actual escapement from the real piano action. Kawai CA-99/79/98/78,MP11SE etc. DPs with different versions of Grand Feel action pianos have a decent escapement simulation.

Originally Posted by Almaviva

2) Even if there is a digital piano that has decent escapement simulation, does it make any difference? Is escapement that important to playing rapid repetitive passages on a either a digital or an acoustic piano? Also, when I switch from a digital piano to an acoustic grand piano, will the fact that I learned on a piano that didn't have escapement impede my ability to play a piano that does?

This depends more on the player's skill level, repertoire being played and whether the player has trained to take advantage of the escapement. Certainly, for fast repeated notes, it can be helpful.

That said, you shouldn't look at escapement as the primary 'feature' of action. If anything, consider the pivot length of the action as the primary feature to 'compare' and look at escapement as an added feature to compare.

Osho

Last edited by Osho; 03/30/20 01:46 AM.

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Re: To escape, or not to escape? That is the question.
Almaviva #2961736 03/30/20 01:59 AM
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Real escapement is more than just feeling a bump. The key resistance and upweight change throughout the key travel on a grand piano. No DP, except the Kawai Novus and Avantgrands, which have a real grand action, have realistic escapement.

Re: To escape, or not to escape? That is the question.
johnstaf #2961737 03/30/20 02:04 AM
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Instead of this:
"No DP, except the Kawai Novus and Avantgrands, which have a real grand action, have realistic escapement.

Why not say this:
"No DP, except the Kawai Novus and Avantgrands, which have a real grand action, have escapement.

Re: To escape, or not to escape? That is the question.
MacMacMac #2961745 03/30/20 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Instead of this:
"No DP, except the Kawai Novus and Avantgrands, which have a real grand action, have realistic escapement.

Why not say this:
"No DP, except the Kawai Novus and Avantgrands, which have a real grand action, have escapement.


Just in case anyone confused simulated escapement with the real thing. That's another argument.

Re: To escape, or not to escape? That is the question.
Almaviva #2961780 03/30/20 06:56 AM
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Without a real jack that disconnects from the hammer knuckle you can call it whatever you like, but please NOT escapement. Actions without a real hammer, jack and knuckle or in an upright action hammer butt / butt skin have no need for whatever simulation. It only slightly slows down their plastic actions. I heard classic pianists claiming such a feature was needed to learn how to play ‘off the jack’.

It reminds me of the renaissance of tubes. Everything ‘tube’ was considered better warmer, more analogue.
Many clever companies sold glowing tubes behind a glass in their effect pedals or keyboards. But were some of those tubes used as a marketing gimmick ? It doesn’t really matter ...fact is that many people hear lots of positive things the moment they see a glowing tube behind the glass.

When people read specs in a digital piano... some clever marketing info alone lets them feel all sorts of goodies.
I wonder if anyone could feel the difference between full wooden keys and plastic keys with the same properties and action while being blindfolded.

Last edited by pianistje; 03/30/20 06:57 AM.
Re: To escape, or not to escape? That is the question.
Almaviva #2961782 03/30/20 07:27 AM
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Oh yeah, the famous ‘glowing-tube’ subliminal manipulation. And the thing is that at some level its implementation is so......subliminal that even the most discerning, knowledgeable, and cynical of all will fall for it.

I see many ‘glowing tubes’ ‘round here: “100 layers per key”, “longest pivot in town”, “SuperNatural behavioral approximation”, “OPP” (yeah you know me), and on and on.......

Re: To escape, or not to escape? That is the question.
Almaviva #2961783 03/30/20 07:29 AM
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If you want a digital piano really to feel like a proper acoustic, then it needs escapement and everything else that originates from an acoustic action.

Three things:

Remember that the escapement in a piano is there the let the hammer freely rebound from the strings.
In a digital there are no strings, so there's no need for the escapement.

The acoustic action's escapement makes repetition difficult unless steps are taken to mitigate.
The so-called double-escapement makes that possible.
But the no-escapement digital action renders unnecessary all of those mechanical accoutrements.

Playing off the jack is an artifact of the acoustic action.
Lacking the let-off you could just as well play off the no-jack.

Re: To escape, or not to escape? That is the question.
MacMacMac #2961786 03/30/20 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac

Playing off the jack is an artifact of the acoustic action.
Lacking the let-off you could just as well play off the no-jack.


There is some music that's much easier to play on an acoustic grand by bouncing off the bump in key travel if the piano is well regulated. Very fast and light pianissimo scale playing is one example of something that would otherwise be very difficult. You can give the key just enough momentum for the hammer to barely touch the string, but not enough that the key gets past the bump. It feels like having a shallow keybed. It's sometimes called playing on the second keyboard, or playing above the escapement.

Playing off the jack is used less frequently. I can think of one chord in one piece that I need to play that way.

The thing is that these artefacts provide advantages with no disadvantage. A stronger letoff simulation could in theory make these techniques work on a digital without an actual grand action, even if the action didn't feel the same as a grand.

Re: To escape, or not to escape? That is the question.
johnstaf #2961843 03/30/20 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Quote
Is escapement that important to playing rapid repetitive passages on a either a digital or an acoustic piano?

It's the ability to repeat a note without lifting the key more that a couple of mm that matters most.


The digital piano feature that allows you to repeat a note without lifting it so high as to silence it first (assuming no sustain pedal use) is a third sensor. That is, models with third sensors but no physical escapement simulation can still behave this way. Also, it's not really about rapid repeats... if you can play the (typically) two-handed intro to Billy Joel's Angry Young Man at all, the presence of a third sensor OR escapement simulation won't make it any easier. However, if you want to play softer (lower velocity) repetitions, the third sensor can come into play, as you will probably not want to lift the key so high between strikes.


Re: To escape, or not to escape? That is the question.
Almaviva #2961846 03/30/20 10:43 AM
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Does anyone chuckle when a new thread is started about a subject which has been discussed here ad nauseam.

I really don't care but I wanted to use the word ad nauseam.

crazy


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Re: To escape, or not to escape? That is the question.
Almaviva #2961855 03/30/20 10:56 AM
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This is simply par for the course!

I, too, do not care, but also wanted to use ‘par for the course’! grin

Re: To escape, or not to escape? That is the question.
36251 #2961865 03/30/20 11:22 AM
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laugh grin ^^^^ very funny the both of you !!

But i personally get poison oak when the OP is asking which digital piano to buy a for his daughter and wants to confirm here if the teachers input on the matter was correct. .....

It seems that lots of people avoid search functions in a certain way.

Re: To escape, or not to escape? That is the question.
Almaviva #2961896 03/30/20 12:21 PM
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The Great Escapement was a movie.
Par for the course belongs on the golf green.
I avoid ad nauseum by using an ad blocker.

Anything else? smile

Re: To escape, or not to escape? That is the question.
MacMacMac #2961899 03/30/20 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac

I avoid ad nauseum by using an ad blocker.


grin

BTW my ad blocker of choice doesn't block YouTube ads anymore.

Re: To escape, or not to escape? That is the question.
Almaviva #2961904 03/30/20 12:27 PM
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I don't think the escapement simulation in a DP should be the reason why you choose or forego a purchase. It's something you can feel in a grand, but it really isn't that important technique/feel-wise, and there are a dozen other things that can actually affect your playing and enjoyment of the instrument before the simulated escapement even comes into the picture.

Whether it's important to you to have a REAL escapement mechanism, then becomes a question of whether it's important enough to spring for a true "hybrid" DP with a real acoustic grand action (the Novus and the AvantGrand). Because short of these lines, nothing else has it.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: To escape, or not to escape? That is the question.
Almaviva #2961909 03/30/20 12:56 PM
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Bingo. It's just that simple.


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