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Do wooden keys on digital piano require humidity control?
#3000404 07/08/20 08:31 PM
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Are the wooden key subjected to warping, leading to stuck key or uneven actions, by extreme temperature and humidity?

A slightly tangential question: If the keys are properly weighted and covered by ivory-like layer, why does it matter if the inner material is wood or plastic?

Re: Do wooden keys on digital piano require humidity control?
fakeChopin #3000413 07/08/20 09:21 PM
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They are mostly laminated, sometimes practically a veneer, and fairly impervious to humidity. There's a small amount of flex and an expected weight for the acoustic piano parts that's being emulated here, in addition to the visual aspect.

How extreme are we talking in terms of temperature and humidity? I think, so long as you're not leaving it outdoors, they should be fine. The closer the actions get to actual acoustic piano actions, the more careful I suspect you might need to be.


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Re: Do wooden keys on digital piano require humidity control?
fakeChopin #3000414 07/08/20 09:22 PM
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I own a P-515 with real wood keys. Don't need humidity control. I live in Arizona. I think black keys should stay synthetic on DPs because there's not really a big difference between fake and real wood (whole entire reason black keys are wood is for texture/grip, and synthetic wood feels exactly like real wood). Wooden keys tend to feel more realistic because, well, real piano keys are wood. They also look a lot more sexier than plastic keys. Synthetic ivory keytops aren't on all DPs. There's not much of a difference between synthetic ivory/plastic.


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Re: Do wooden keys on digital piano require humidity control?
joemama42O #3000420 07/08/20 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by joemama42O
Wooden keys tend to feel more realistic because, well, real piano keys are wood.

But do wooden keys offer more expressive playing than other non-traditional material, e.g., plastic? Or is that purely just to give the feel of a traditional authentic piano?

Has any piano maker explored non-wooden parts for the purpose of advancing piano technology and creating a more expressive piano?

Last edited by fakeChopin; 07/08/20 09:44 PM.
Re: Do wooden keys on digital piano require humidity control?
fakeChopin #3000421 07/08/20 09:46 PM
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Rule of thumb, if you are comfortable the piano will be.


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

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Re: Do wooden keys on digital piano require humidity control?
fakeChopin #3000425 07/08/20 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by fakeChopin
Has any piano maker explored non-wooden parts for the purpose of advancing piano technology and creating a more expressive piano?

In terms of keyboards, no (at least nothing that reached mass-market production that I know of). Most wooden key sticks can last 50 years or more, so there's not much incentive to change to something unproven or more expensive. Action parts, sure-- Kawai and Mason & Hamlin are using composites for action parts, standard on all their pianos. Soundboards, bridges-- only some of the more boutique or experimental makers are playing with this, but it's at a fairly stratospheric cost. Rims-- there are a few piano designs out there that don't use laminated wood for part of the rim (acrylic, for example), but it's not mainstream.


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Re: Do wooden keys on digital piano require humidity control?
joemama42O #3000426 07/08/20 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by joemama42O
I own a P-515 with real wood keys. Don't need humidity control. I live in Arizona.

Here's the actual quote from the P515 owner's manual:
"During extreme changes in temperature or humidity, condensation may occur and water may collect on the surface of the instrument. If water is left, the wooden parts may absorb the water and be damaged. Make sure to wipe any water off immediately with a soft cloth."

That sounds like something that's only a worry in extreme cases.


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Re: Do wooden keys on digital piano require humidity control?
terminaldegree #3000434 07/08/20 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Originally Posted by joemama42O
I own a P-515 with real wood keys. Don't need humidity control. I live in Arizona.

Here's the actual quote from the P515 owner's manual:
"During extreme changes in temperature or humidity, condensation may occur and water may collect on the surface of the instrument. If water is left, the wooden parts may absorb the water and be damaged. Make sure to wipe any water off immediately with a soft cloth."

That sounds like something that's only a worry in extreme cases.
You are right. I do not know a lot of people who own a DP with wooden keys and also live in a jungle.


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Re: Do wooden keys on digital piano require humidity control?
fakeChopin #3000436 07/08/20 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by fakeChopin
Originally Posted by joemama42O
Wooden keys tend to feel more realistic because, well, real piano keys are wood.

But do wooden keys offer more expressive playing than other non-traditional material, e.g., plastic? Or is that purely just to give the feel of a traditional authentic piano?

Has any piano maker explored non-wooden parts for the purpose of advancing piano technology and creating a more expressive piano?
The ladder. Yamaha uses fake black wood keys on all of their DP actions except for GHS, GH and certain AvantGrand action. GHS and GH have plastic black keys because they're cheap, and the certain AvantGrand actions use real wood black keys. All Yamaha Actions except for GHS, GH, GH3 and GH3X use real wooden white keys. On some Kawai models they use real wood keys AND real wood black keys. I didn't know the black keys on my P-515 were fake wood until I googled it smile


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Re: Do wooden keys on digital piano require humidity control?
fakeChopin #3000482 07/09/20 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by fakeChopin
Originally Posted by joemama42O
Wooden keys tend to feel more realistic because, well, real piano keys are wood.

But do wooden keys offer more expressive playing than other non-traditional material, e.g., plastic? Or is that purely just to give the feel of a traditional authentic piano?

Has any piano maker explored non-wooden parts for the purpose of advancing piano technology and creating a more expressive piano?

Apart from the keys, WNG and Kawai make several plastic action parts for acoustic pianos (and the Kawai Novus digitals).

Last edited by johnstaf; 07/09/20 03:09 AM.
Re: Do wooden keys on digital piano require humidity control?
fakeChopin #3000502 07/09/20 05:59 AM
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I ‘feel’ a difference with wood; whether it’s real or perceived remains a controversial subject ‘round here. Some claim that it makes no difference as long as the weighing is ‘right’, and that wood is only used for cosmetic reasons, once again, I disagree; especially as it relates to Yamaha and Kawai.

Re: Do wooden keys on digital piano require humidity control?
fakeChopin #3000525 07/09/20 07:56 AM
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I have a Yamaha CP4 Stage. Real wooden white keys:

https://www.fullcompass.com/prod/512208-yamaha-wh758801-white-g-key-for-cp4

Had mine for about 5 years and never had a problem with varying temperatures & humidity - the action has been extremely stable and reliable.


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