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Kawai GFC action soft bottom
#3032209 10/05/20 03:50 AM
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I just had my CA49 for a few days. After some playing, to me it feels a bit too squishy when the keys hit the bottom. The keys are not giving me a solid feedback I'd expect. In contrast, my other DP FP-30 is giving a pretty solid feel. I don't remember acoustics have such soft bottoms either. This really bothers me.

My questions are: do acoustics have similar soft bottoms? Is this something one can eventually get used to or should I just try to return the piano? The invoice has a "all sales are final", so I'll need to check with the store to see if return is possible.

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Re: Kawai GFC action soft bottom
wafer2 #3032222 10/05/20 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by wafer2
I just had my CA49 for a few days. After some playing, to me it feels a bit too squishy when the keys hit the bottom. The keys are not giving me a solid feedback I'd expect. In contrast, my other DP FP-30 is giving a pretty solid feel. I don't remember acoustics have such soft bottoms either. This really bothers me.
You're hitting the stop rail with the hammer, which needs to be soft, so the action is quiet.

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My questions are: do acoustics have similar soft bottoms?
Acoustic actions work entirely different: The hammer escapes to hit the string, then the key stops at the bottom of the keybed.


Richwood RD-17C-CE | LaMancha Rubi CM-N | Yamaha P-515
Re: Kawai GFC action soft bottom
wafer2 #3032230 10/05/20 04:57 AM
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I’ve played acoustic pianos with slightly soft bottoming keys but the GF-family of actions is IMO softer than the softest acoustic piano I’ve tried. I haven’t played hundreds of acoustic pianos though. I still prefer firmer bottoming. That being said, I believe you can get used to anything. If you like the responsiveness of the action, you shouldn’t worry too much.


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Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Kawai GFC action soft bottom
wafer2 #3032232 10/05/20 05:14 AM
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I, too, prefer a firmer bottom!

Re: Kawai GFC action soft bottom
wafer2 #3032234 10/05/20 05:29 AM
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GFIII, to me, fixes the squishyness completely.

Re: Kawai GFC action soft bottom
wafer2 #3032235 10/05/20 05:33 AM
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Ill add that maybe a comforting thought is that anything that's squishy would only get less squishy over time.

Re: Kawai GFC action soft bottom
wafer2 #3032241 10/05/20 06:11 AM
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You'll get used it it - and the upside is that the action subjectively is much quietier than most other DP actions I've tried - many of which are quite noisy. But you're absolutely right that the good Kawai DP actions bottom out quite softly.

Re: Kawai GFC action soft bottom
wafer2 #3032243 10/05/20 06:19 AM
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I personally love the soft bottom. I get used to it very quickly. I believe it may also be good for your finger joints smile

Last edited by Marcel M; 10/05/20 06:19 AM.

Kawai CA48
Re: Kawai GFC action soft bottom
wafer2 #3032381 10/05/20 03:49 PM
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Thanks all for the inputs! I guess I'll try to live with it and see how it goes...

Re: Kawai GFC action soft bottom
wafer2 #3032445 10/05/20 08:14 PM
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I find the brain adapts amazingly quickly, when I first got my MP11SE I noticed it was a bit more soft bottoming than my other keybeds, but now even when alternating between my harder bottoming keybeds and the GF, I have trouble picking it.
Another thing which I always think is a furphy when discussing this sort of thing, is the difference between pressing keys with no audio feedback and having a sound play. My mind perceives the feel of a keybed depending on what the sound feedback is doing.
I am often perplexed when people discuss the testing of a keybed when trying them out in the store, particularly when they are turned off, by just rattling a few keys. To decide, yep I like that one or no I don't. I don't think this is representative of the true experience.

To me the sound feedback, the velocity curves, and the mental state of the day, all have just as big an influence on how I perceive the keybed as the mechanical feel itself....maybe I'm unique this way, but it works for me!

If you pull the action out of an acoustic and play it, you get a completely different feel without the sound and hammer strike, even una corda feels different in the keys! My point is, there are so many variables even in a real acoustic, and our minds adapt to almost anything, that we can't really pin authenticity on any aspect of digital re-creations, and generalise it to an acoustic. Like many said though, it's whatever you personally like and come to terms with, that matters. None of my digital keybeds are like my acoustic, (even the GF), but to me what matters is that it feels nice to play and gives my muscle memory enough dynamics to still feel at home on my acoustic.


The companions I can't live without.........

Kawai GL30 Acoustic Grand. Kawai MP11SE, Korg Kronos 2-88, Montage8
Re: Kawai GFC action soft bottom
Deltajockey #3033235 10/07/20 09:17 PM
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I agree with you. It's more about the whole playing experience rather than a single key press. I'm still in the process of adapting to the mushy feedback though smile

Another thing I noticed is the keys feel very light. Just curious, how do you feel about the key weights of GF compared to your acoustic?

Re: Kawai GFC action soft bottom
wafer2 #3033239 10/07/20 10:46 PM
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The key bottoms on a GFC (or any other GF) aren't actually that mushy. The Casio Celviano Grand Hybrid keybed is mushier, to the point where it becomes much harder to play some things unfortunately.

The GFC weight is pretty reasonable. Acoustic pianos are usually around 45g with the damper pedal engaged. The GF1,2 as well as the Yamaha Grandtouch and N_ actions are all way heavier than that. For most players, I would say heavier keys are good for practice, and mushy bottoms are also good practice.

Last edited by trigalg693; 10/07/20 10:48 PM.
Re: Kawai GFC action soft bottom
wafer2 #3033242 10/07/20 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by wafer2
Just curious, how do you feel about the key weights of GF compared to your acoustic?

I think this is where it becomes futile trying to compare relatively simple weighted mechanisms of a digital action against the nth order physical response of a more complex acoustic action.

The GF does feel quite light, and overall it is still light when it's in motion, but my acoustic's static weight is close to the same if I were to push a key down very slowly, however..... the dynamic force I perceive as greater when playing keys at a faster rate due to the more complex forces vectoring as the mechanism swings the hammer and the escapement changes the dynamics during key travel. And then these forces will change over time as the action ages and regulation is performed etc. To put it simply, though the digital actions have simulated components, to give the feel of a more complex mechanism, my perception is more of a hinge with a balanced weight at the end, (exception being the higher end hybrids etc.) Even the escapement feels simplified with simply a ledge from my understanding. So from my observations, acoustic keybeds seem to exhibit greater differences between static and dynamic weight than digital weighted keybeds. Perhaps that is also the difference between a cheaper simpler weighted action and something like the GF....the slightly more complex action behind the keys will increase the dynamic force. In my view, if we want to take the authenticity to another level, I think digital keys could do with some sort of haptic transducer to simulate the feedback of the hammer hitting the string, and that "knocking force" which transmits back through the whole piano casing to the keys and into your fingers. Currently it seems to only be simulated by the samples themselves and the speakers that produce it.
Now I'm no expert on the technicalities, and a piano tech may shoot me down in flames! but this is personal perception based on my many years of observation smile


The companions I can't live without.........

Kawai GL30 Acoustic Grand. Kawai MP11SE, Korg Kronos 2-88, Montage8
Re: Kawai GFC action soft bottom
wafer2 #3033255 10/08/20 02:53 AM
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I do not own an acoustic, but I have the chance to play on one at least once per week, and it is usually a different model. I have therefore tried in the four months I have played piano several models, both grands and uprights.
In terms of weight, I find the GFC action not that far away from what I have experienced so far when playing on acoustics. Mostly compared to grands, the weight seems pretty similar. It's a bit different compared to uprights, the ones I have had the chance to play usually felt a bit heavier than the GFC.
I have owned my CA49 for a bit longer than one week and I also thought the bottom was a bit too mushy, but then after comparing with a couple of grands, I could conclude it is actually not that much. I actually enjoy a lot the GFC and as mentioned above by Deltajockey, it allows me enough dynamics and muscle memory to adapt easily to an acoustic. Or maybe as he also mentioned, my brain just adapted very quickly smile
IMO it is a beautiful action laugh


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Re: Kawai GFC action soft bottom
wafer2 #3033259 10/08/20 03:16 AM
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I have played on acoustics occasionally before but not so much in recent years. I was just curious about people's opinions on the GFC action. It's great to hear from different perspectives, thanks all smile


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