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Re: KAWAI CASIO YAMAHA - DP for classical pianist
hammerklavierx #2963579 04/04/20 07:56 AM
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Re: KAWAI CASIO YAMAHA - DP for classical pianist
hammerklavierx #2963590 04/04/20 09:32 AM
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Do yourself a favor and buy an upright piano

Re: KAWAI CASIO YAMAHA - DP for classical pianist
hammerklavierx #2963606 04/04/20 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by hammerklavierx

The difference with the my professor's Steinway Model D is that it has a heavy action but it's not stiff, and more importantly, once the finger depressed the key, it only requires very little effort to hold it down. Now that I'm expecting to be home for a couple of months, I DESPERATELY need a PROPER piano to practice on. Something that's similar to the character of a grand's action, (or something that wouldn't hurt lol).

so that's my dilemma. Any advices would be greatly appreciated!


As a piano performance major, you already have a very well-developed and precise sense to touch, and clearly you have strong preferences on how a proper action feels to you. Anything we can suggest here is just noise at this point. In reality, you really do have to test for yourself. Particularly in the $2000-3K+ range, everything you try will be high-tier.

All that said, If you're really stuck and need to order blind (recognizing it's really a crapshoot whether you'll like action A over action B), you may want to go for something like the MP11SE over the CA-48. Though it's a slab and has no speakers, the MP11SE has a better action AND more advanced sound engine, and many pianists love it.


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Re: KAWAI CASIO YAMAHA - DP for classical pianist
hammerklavierx #2963612 04/04/20 11:27 AM
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If the MP11SE has the same mushy feeling keyboard as CA78, I'd say it's a very risky blind purchase. I personally find it unacceptable and if I ordered it blindly, I would have been pretty mad. I prefer the RH-keyboards by Kawai much more than that. They say it has been fixed on the new CA-pianos. And EssBrace recently confirmed that VPC1 doesn't suffer from this problem either and many people swear by the VPC1 which would be a smarter choice than MP11SE IMO and is cheaper.

I will be repeating myself but since the OP seems very dissatisfied with the P515, I don't believe any of the regular digital pianos will work. Of course they feel different and different people prefer different digital piano actions but IMO all they feel much closer to each other than they are far from a real upright or digital action. With that in mind, I don't believe if one is not happy with a P515 when compared to a real grand, will find joy in another digital piano with standard digital action. Only a real upright or grand piano action will be good enough. Of course, a real upright piano or real grand piano would be the best thing smile If not, a hybrid is the best next thing. And then the regular digital pianos are somewhere far behind. All this is a personal opinion. People say I am biased, elitist, etc. smile So, take my opinion with a grain or more of salt.


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Re: KAWAI CASIO YAMAHA - DP for classical pianist
CyberGene #2963618 04/04/20 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene

I will be repeating myself but since the OP seems very dissatisfied with the P515, I don't believe any of the regular digital pianos will work.


That could very well be the case, but everyone is different. And I wager there are more professional pianists out there who own and regularly play "standard" digital pianos than hybrids. Part of it is getting used to the difference and being able to work around them.

The soft bottoming out may matter to some people, and may be a complete non-issue for others. As said before, at OP's level of practice/education, only they can say for sure.


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Re: KAWAI CASIO YAMAHA - DP for classical pianist
hammerklavierx #2963620 04/04/20 11:55 AM
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I would rule out the VPC1 and the NU1X if you don't like playing near the fallboard on the P515.

If an action isn't too heavy, the upweight isn't a big deal (for me at least). The keys on my Kawai MP10 are quite heavy and the constant upweight was too much, although I could get used to it. I could never get used to the short key sticks though. It just made too much music uncomfortable. The VPC1 has a similar but updated action (with better repetition).

Re: KAWAI CASIO YAMAHA - DP for classical pianist
hammerklavierx #2963621 04/04/20 11:59 AM
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I'm using a P515 here in the USA just now and I'm not having any trouble with it, although I did at first. I just had to get used to it. Basically you're right at first it feels like you have to hold all the upweight down, but actually I found that I just had to get over the psychological barrier of playing on a keyboard, relax into it, and just play it the same way as a grand piano.

I'm worried for you that you're getting pains in your forearms, you should rest first of all - it would be better for you to have even just a week of not practicing than to have some long-term damage from practising on a keyboard that's throwing you off enough to cause pain. Honestly these injuries can become a kind of 'attractor state' meaning that even when you recover from them, the body remembers and brings you back to them especially in times of stress.

I don't mind practising on the P515 but I do understand what you mean - and I find it with all digital pianos. Now I am perfectly used to the P515 but it does feel a little big like throwing my hand into a sponge.

There is one comfort you can take from all of this - we're all in the same boat, so you won't be any worse than any other piano student.

For what it's worth, the Kawai actions feel really nice but they don't have a sense of escapement on them, so they can feel a bit out of control, and sometimes they're not so good for virtuosic playing (nor is the NWX really but it's good for slow practice). The Roland pianos with the slightly longer keys feel much more comfortable to play on, they're a little lighter and on one hand they feel a little less like a piano but on the other hand they feel so comfortable to play on that there's really no transition required in the technique between a grand and the Roland - I know that sounds strange. I have a Roland in Scotland, an HP603, it's the PHA50 action on it. I think there's an improved version now.

If you want a grand piano touch the only solution is to go for a Hybrid, but the problem there is the sensors aren't always that accurate and you can get loud-note which I personally find more frustrating than when playing a normal Clavinova.

Listen to lots of music, keep up with your academic work, do a lot of analysis. What I like to do on the P515 is practice super slow and super soft, and that's of course a good habit on any piano. I find that sometimes when I play a note on the 515 I have to consciously relax into it and make sure my positioning on that note is optimal for comfort and sound. Comfort first than sound. Like Matthay or Taubman. You'll learn a lot if you can do this.

I do understand that any change in instrument can throw us off - it doesn't even have to be going to an inferior instrument - so I feel your pain, but you'll get there! Talk with your professor about it too, and they'll give you some support. Take my advice with a pinch of salt but maybe give some of these things a try, they've worked for me.

I am worried about sounding choppy when I go back to a piano..... but I'll deal with it.

Re: KAWAI CASIO YAMAHA - DP for classical pianist
Gombessa #2963624 04/04/20 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
And I wager there are more professional pianists out there who own and regularly play "standard" digital pianos than hybrids. Part of it is getting used to the difference and being able to work around them.

I’m sure this is true. But then if one specifically complains about a P515 which is a rather popular digital piano with well liked keyboard, then maybe he’s one of those pianists that are sensitive to touch. If you’re sensitive enough to be bothered by a P515 it’s highly likely you will be bothered by other digital pianos too.


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Re: KAWAI CASIO YAMAHA - DP for classical pianist
CyberGene #2963630 04/04/20 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene

I’m sure this is true. But then if one specifically complains about a P515 which is a rather popular digital piano with well liked keyboard, then maybe he’s one of those pianists that are sensitive to touch. If you’re sensitive enough to be bothered by a P515 it’s highly likely you will be bothered by other digital pianos too.


Not to get too far into a tangent, but I feel it's just as (or more) likely that OP may like some DP actions and not others. You find plenty of pianists here who simply despise NWX but love something else, and vice versa. Instantly assuming they won't like ANY DP action solely based on not liking NWX is a bit of a stretch, IMHO smile


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Re: KAWAI CASIO YAMAHA - DP for classical pianist
hammerklavierx #2963633 04/04/20 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Not to get too far into a tangent, but I feel it's just as (or more) likely that OP may like some DP actions and not others. You find plenty of pianists here who simply despise NWX but love something else, and vice versa. Instantly assuming they won't like ANY DP action solely based on not liking NWX is a bit of a stretch, IMHO smile

Correct me if I'm wrong but 100% of people who dislike NWX mention the high friction as a reason. This time we have something different:
Originally Posted by hammerklavierx
I have a Yamaha P515 right now but playing it is getting frustrating. The problem is not just the heavy downweight but also the similarly heavy upweight. It is very hard for me to keep holding a note.


It's the first time I see someone complaining about heavy upweight in P515. Something I described in that thread of mine about why digital actions are bad smile My conclusion here's not far-fetched but is based on a very fine and precise definition of why digital piano actions s**k. I stand behind my belief the OP will be similarly irritated by all other digital piano actions because they all exhibit the high upweight problem due to their inherent design.

Last edited by CyberGene; 04/04/20 12:35 PM.

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Re: KAWAI CASIO YAMAHA - DP for classical pianist
hammerklavierx #2963667 04/04/20 02:44 PM
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Well, you may be right. I think the unfortunate thing is it presents a bad situation to the OP--spend $4-8000 more, and there is no alternative.

With the possibility that they may find other DPs less objectionable, perhaps with a lower downright AND upweight, at least there's a path forward smile Especially since I don't think we have established that all DPs have the same upweight.


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Re: KAWAI CASIO YAMAHA - DP for classical pianist
Gombessa #2963674 04/04/20 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
With the possibility that they may find other DPs less objectionable, perhaps with a lower downright AND upweight, at least there's a path forward smile Especially since I don't think we have established that all DPs have the same upweight.

Actually I thought that myself too. Maybe the solution is just to find the DP with lightest downweight and naturally it would have also low up weight. Which BTW is exactly GF2 in MP11SE and CA78 😁 So, after all, despite the mushy feeling, I will agree that MP11SE might actually be good when one seeks lower up weight. But we need to measure it.

Furthermore, low up weight (compared to the downweight) is also a result of high friction. And the GF2 action probably has the same balance and front holes covered in felt as acoustic pianos which may actually increase the friction slightly and make the key more realistic in terms of friction. I need to check that myself but if that’s true, I will retract my opinion that the wooden actions of Kawai can be plastic as well. Maybe the usage of felt in the front rail and balance rail that comes with the wood is actually an advantage over plastic actions?

Last edited by CyberGene; 04/04/20 03:20 PM.

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Re: KAWAI CASIO YAMAHA - DP for classical pianist
hammerklavierx #2963682 04/04/20 03:35 PM
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The NWX does have more up weight than most other digital actions. In addition it has a weird feeling initial stiffness that I personally very much disliked.
In comparison both my VPC1 and ES8 felt much better to my fingers.
I don’t play advanced material so I can’t really chime in regarding the suitability of the action for advanced technique.
We have another user here - his name escapes me - who plays both a VPC1 and a high end Kawai grand who says the VPC1 is adequate for silent practice.
I loved the look and feel of the VPC1.
Beat of luck on your search - and don’t injure yourself in the mean time - slow down and take care.

Re: KAWAI CASIO YAMAHA - DP for classical pianist
Joseph Fleetwood #2963701 04/04/20 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by joe80

Listen to lots of music, keep up with your academic work, do a lot of analysis. What I like to do on the P515 is practice super slow and super soft, and that's of course a good habit on any piano. I find that sometimes when I play a note on the 515 I have to consciously relax into it and make sure my positioning on that note is optimal for comfort and sound. Comfort first than sound. Like Matthay or Taubman. You'll learn a lot if you can do this.


I'll try to do this. I know my technique isn't flawless yet so if I have no other options left, I'll just teach myself to relax on the P515 (I believe I keep on pushing the keys too hard). I'm taking a couple of days on a break to let my arm heal a bit.

Re: KAWAI CASIO YAMAHA - DP for classical pianist
Morten Olsson #2963706 04/04/20 04:50 PM
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It's funny because at first I found the stiffness satisfying, until I practiced something on a fast tempo and it felt like my fingers are slapping on the keys--like hitting something hard. I ended up hurting a finger.

Although I like the heaviness of the keys, felt like a concert grand with the dampers down. The initial stiffness, on the other hand, together with the upweight, is something to watch out for. I didn't know anything about these factors on the action when I chose the P515 out.

Re: KAWAI CASIO YAMAHA - DP for classical pianist
hammerklavierx #2963709 04/04/20 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by hammerklavierx
It's funny because at first I found the stiffness satisfying, until I practiced something on a fast tempo and it felt like my fingers are slapping on the keys--like hitting something hard. I ended up hurting a finger.

Although I like the heaviness of the keys, felt like a concert grand with the dampers down. The initial stiffness, on the other hand, together with the upweight, is something to watch out for. I didn't know anything about these factors on the action when I chose the P515 out.


Yes I know what you mean, there's that little inertia before the key goes down, but once the key is down, try to relax because it's not an effort to keep the key down after the inertia.

Your technique isn't perfect? Whose is??! Martha Argerich perhaps! Where in the USA are you?

Re: KAWAI CASIO YAMAHA - DP for classical pianist
hammerklavierx #2963710 04/04/20 04:56 PM
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I suppose setting the key sensitivity to light may also help. Of course it will not reduce the physical weight but you will need to push the keys not as hard to get the same loudness/dynamics.


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Re: KAWAI CASIO YAMAHA - DP for classical pianist
Gombessa #2963714 04/04/20 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by CyberGene

I will be repeating myself but since the OP seems very dissatisfied with the P515, I don't believe any of the regular digital pianos will work.


That could very well be the case, but everyone is different. And I wager there are more professional pianists out there who own and regularly play "standard" digital pianos than hybrids. Part of it is getting used to the difference and being able to work around them.

The soft bottoming out may matter to some people, and may be a complete non-issue for others. As said before, at OP's level of practice/education, only they can say for sure.



I've actually played on a CA78 before. I liked the action (but I was leaning more on to the K15 upright beside it, that thing's phenomenal considering the size and price). The action was great and I could play nicely on it, trills felt like how it would feel on a grand. I noticed the spongy feeling and it was annoying at first but got used to it after 10 minutes. What I'm more concerned about is the quality control issues. I've read about something wearing off inside. Partly my reason for going for a Yamaha is that they're believed to be durable.

Also tried the Ca58 beside that, I can't remember the difference.

Re: KAWAI CASIO YAMAHA - DP for classical pianist
Joseph Fleetwood #2963716 04/04/20 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by joe80
Originally Posted by hammerklavierx
It's funny because at first I found the stiffness satisfying, until I practiced something on a fast tempo and it felt like my fingers are slapping on the keys--like hitting something hard. I ended up hurting a finger.

Although I like the heaviness of the keys, felt like a concert grand with the dampers down. The initial stiffness, on the other hand, together with the upweight, is something to watch out for. I didn't know anything about these factors on the action when I chose the P515 out.


Yes I know what you mean, there's that little inertia before the key goes down, but once the key is down, try to relax because it's not an effort to keep the key down after the inertia.

Your technique isn't perfect? Whose is??! Martha Argerich perhaps! Where in the USA are you?


That will be observe with a magnifying glass on the next practice session.

I'm at an oil town in Texas--a weird place to have a college full of really beautiful Steinways. grin
Yes, Argerich is perfection. Maybe a little too perfect.

Re: KAWAI CASIO YAMAHA - DP for classical pianist
hammerklavierx #2963720 04/04/20 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by hammerklavierx

I've actually played on a CA78 before. I liked the action (but I was leaning more on to the K15 upright beside it, that thing's phenomenal considering the size and price). The action was great and I could play nicely on it, trills felt like how it would feel on a grand. I noticed the spongy feeling and it was annoying at first but got used to it after 10 minutes. What I'm more concerned about is the quality control issues. I've read about something wearing off inside. Partly my reason for going for a Yamaha is that they're believed to be durable.


In that case, you should absolutely consider an MP11SE, or a CA-78/98 or CA-67/97 of for can find them discounted, or new CA-79/99. They all have variations of the same action.

I personally wouldn't dismiss a choice like this based on durability concerns; we have a bit of a skewed demographic here (and Kawai service is known to be very good in case a problem does surface).


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