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best key action for the price thats repairable
#3013239 08/12/20 09:50 PM
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I will be investing in my first digital piano soon and I want it to be something that will last. my budget is $1500 - $2500 and the action and feel of the keys is important along with the ability to repair when the inevitable clickey, sticky or tricky key issues arise due to everyday use and abuse. I like what I hear about kawai's actions but the complexity of the action of their plastic keys looks to me to be not as reliable as the grand feel compact's simplicity.

Can I get some of yalls thoughts on the subject and some advice on what to buy? I like the looks and sound of yamaha pianos but the key action of their pianos in my price range just doesn't seem as good as the Kawai's in my price range.

i am thinking about buying the kawai ca49 and will be using it with midi software for teaching my 9yo to play and music production. also I have 6000w JBL pa and daw software with vst plugins so I am not as concerned with the included samples or how the speakers sound. so if anyone has any experience with using a digital console piano with a daw and synth software I'd be interested to know your thoughts on compatibility.

Re: best key action for the price thats repairable
crazymike #3013258 08/12/20 11:58 PM
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I repaired my Kawai ES8, replacing worn out rubber sensor strips. Wasn't too hard, and I imagine other keyboards are similar. The key mechanism isn't likely to wear out unless you drop it or otherwise abuse it. The nice thing about Kawai was that I could reach tech support on the first call. I haven't found that with other companies.


Rodney Sauer
Kawai KG-2E • Kawai ES8
Re: best key action for the price thats repairable
crazymike #3013345 08/13/20 08:28 AM
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If the ability to repair it yourself is on your list of priorities, then as well as asking here, I would do some direct research on support from different companies, and availability of parts from same or third parties. In my experience some make it difficult to get such support, without jumping through hoops, or following their possibly quite bureaucratic processes. This may vary in different geographies too.

Re: best key action for the price thats repairable
spanishbuddha #3013451 08/13/20 02:18 PM
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@spanishbudda - i have had conversations about the availability of parts to do my own repairs with my local kawai shop. I was more interested in the experiences people have had with kawai's plastic key actions compared to the less complex actions of their wooden keys. looking at the complex engineering required to get the compact actions of the plastic keys to feel more like a real piano seems to me adds more points of failure per key x88 keys. the wooden keys look to be easily serviced by replacing felt pads where the plastic keys have plastic on plastic contact points that when issues arise the entire key will need to be replaced with oem parts that may not be as easily sourced when the manufacturer updates the design and no longer makes the older model keys. I can 3d print any internal plastic parts but the finish and color of the plastic keys cannot be reproduced without oem manufacturing techniques.

Re: best key action for the price thats repairable
crazymike #3013452 08/13/20 02:24 PM
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Replacement keys for Yamaha's GH and GH3 actions are available today.
They're the same parts they've been using since the late 1990s (at least). No worries.

Anyway ... I've never had one break.

So ... play piano more. And worry less.
The piano won't break down soon.
And when it does there will be parts.

In the very distant future when parts are not available you'll just buy a new piano.
But odds are you'll want a new piano before this one becomes unusable.

Re: best key action for the price thats repairable
crazymike #3013453 08/13/20 02:25 PM
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Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
Re: best key action for the price thats repairable
crazymike #3013469 08/13/20 03:39 PM
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Nice prices! Yamaha gets around $20 for each white key. Your vendor sells them for £6. CHEAP!

Re: best key action for the price thats repairable
crazymike #3013473 08/13/20 03:46 PM
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The last time I have purchased a GH key from an agreed service center of Yamaha, it costs me

5€ (the key),
5€ (transportation fee),
5€ (file process fee - I suppose the service center prefers to deal with people which have a more valuable contract and includes a fixed fee),
... the VAT (+20%)

(And yes, GH keys can broke, but I think I have bought a defective series... my keys broke one after one until the service center change all the keys with no charge)

Last edited by Frédéric L; 08/13/20 03:46 PM.

Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
Re: best key action for the price thats repairable
Frédéric L #3013480 08/13/20 04:09 PM
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An early 2000s model? Keys were breaking all the time. A bad time for Yamaha.
Originally Posted by Frédéric L
... GH keys can broke, but I think I have bought a defective series... my keys broke one after one until the service center change all the keys with no charge.

Re: best key action for the price thats repairable
crazymike #3013481 08/13/20 04:13 PM
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Yes, indeed. A CLP150 (2002), bought in 2003.


Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq

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