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As a new owner of the ES920, I bought the stand alone (no furniture cabinet) version of their triple pedal, the GFP-3 (I assume it means Grand Feel Pedal). It works with the ES520/920, MP7SE and MP11SE, as well as a few of the most current CA cabinet models.

I am rather flummoxed with design decisions and am wondering:
- Was it really necessary to use such stiff springs? For my use it's about 3xs stiffer than it needs to be, and about twice as stiff as their own sustain pedal that they included with the ES920!!! What!? If I need a toe/foot/leg workout I prefer to do it in other ways, I'm always striving to relax and use minimal effort.

- Is it common for AP pedals to be so wretchedly stiff? I don't recall even noticing it when I play an acoustic, this however is downright objectionable, esp the sustain, it's stiffer than the others.
- And just as bad, if you program it to trigger the start of the rythym pattern using the 'Soft' pedal, it must be pressed ALL THE WAY DOWN, you have to pretty well mash it to get it to register.

So.... any suggestions? Has anyone opened one up and successfully changed out the springs? It's pretty inconceivable to me that a pedal thats been out some years now would continue to have what I consider an undesirable design flaw, esp one that's easily fixed.

I had 5 years of classical training as a kid, but don't remember any particular foot pedal technique. And I do often play barefoot, using my big toe to press down. So perhaps others don't find it objectionable?


Also- I've never used the Soft pedal before and I can barely detect what its doing. Do any of you use it and find it useful? What am I listening for?

Slightly off-topic- given that the regular sustain pedal still works, it would have been helpful to have the option of using it for sustain, and all 3 of the GFP-3 pedals for the auto-accompaniment. Esp given that Kawai knows we have that included sustain pedal (at least for the ES520/920)


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On a more positive note, I'm looking forward to learning to use the sostenuto pedal. I play a lot of old time tunes and enjoy going for a big majestic sound, and I suspect I over use the sustain pedal.

I still haven't figured it out though. The Sostenuto pedal only sustains what you still have your fingers on, but totally non-sustains everything that follows. I'll need to tweak overall for a slightly longer release, overall it sounds overly dry when playing alone.

On another positive note, I've discovered that I can play the GFP-3 barefoot if I use the balls of my feet rather than just the toes. Not too bad!


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Originally Posted by Randyman
[...] about twice as stiff as their own sustain pedal that they included with the ES920!!!

Maybe the F-10H single pedal isn't "Grand Feel"(?)

I'd assume that to save costs Kawai uses the same triple pedal in all products and just the casing varies. Sometimes it's in a long particle board bar, sometimes inside a plastic enclosure, sometimes attached to a hybrid piano body...

So, others would complain too if there were something wrong with it.

(But I don't really know that.)

Originally Posted by Randyman
Also- I've never used the Soft pedal before and I can barely detect what its doing.

Yeah, the effect can be very subtle. But it can help playing more "softly" as if you used less velocity.

Originally Posted by Randyman
I've discovered that I can play the GFP-3 barefoot if I use the balls of my feet rather than just the toes.

So, the problem was that you had been using it wrong. 😉

Well, seriously speaking I haven't tried either a GFP-3 or F10H. I do have a Kawai triple pedal (F-300H), but I'm not sure if it's "Grand Feel".

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The GFP-3 uses optical sensors and is far more reliable than their F-30 triple pedal that still comes with the VPC-1. It is definitely not the same pedal in a different casing. According to reports the GFP-3 is far superior. If it fitted the VPC-1 I would have one tomorrow.
Never used my big toe on a sustain pedal but I imagine any model would feel stiff. Stick with the ball of your foot.

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I meant that Kawai might use the same inner stuff in their OWN triple pedals. The VPC-1 one is sourced from Fatar.

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Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
I meant that Kawai might use the same inner stuff in their OWN triple pedals. The VPC-1 one is sourced from Fatar.
Are the newer GFP-3 pedals built by Kawai themselves? If so, I didn’t know that. It would be a positive step to move away from Fatar pedals in my experience.

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They do say "Kawai produced" on the official product page.

And propably they'll move away from Fatar at some point. The old MP7 and MP11 used to the same pedal as the VPC-1 (right?) and their SE models switched to the new one. So, if there's ever a new version of the VPC-1 then...we'll see.

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Originally Posted by AndyE
Are the newer GFP-3 pedals built by Kawai themselves? If so, I didn’t know that. It would be a positive step to move away from Fatar pedals in my experience.

Please see this post (last paragraph)

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Originally Posted by AndyE
Are the newer GFP-3 pedals built by Kawai themselves? If so, I didn’t know that. It would be a positive step to move away from Fatar pedals in my experience.

Yes, the new GFP-3 pedal is optically triggered, and is "manufactured by Kawai," not sourced from a 3P as the Fatar unit was.

Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
And propably they'll move away from Fatar at some point. The old MP7 and MP11 used to the same pedal as the VPC-1 (right?) and their SE models switched to the new one. So, if there's ever a new version of the VPC-1 then...we'll see.

I recall reading that the original MP7 couldn't use the FP-3 unit from the MP11/VPC-1...but maybe Kawai James can confirm.

As to the pedal weight, I have a GFP-3, but it's actually internally integrated into the NV-10 and mounted upside down (which suggests the electronics inside may need to be reversed?). The NV-10's pedal weight is determined by an external spring rather than the GFP-3, and it was really stiff as well. I agree that at least part of it was due to feel (normally playing with APs with shoes), but I also had an MP11 with the old F-30 pedal and that was much lighter than the NV-10. So I wouldn't be surprised if there was a little bit of barefoot play at work, and a little bit of Kawai tending towards heavier, "grand feel" pedals.

Btw, on an acoustic grand, the pedal can really be as light as you want it, as it's fully regulated by a spring, and without the spring it's unbearably light.


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Originally Posted by 9190
Originally Posted by AndyE
Are the newer GFP-3 pedals built by Kawai themselves? If so, I didn’t know that. It would be a positive step to move away from Fatar pedals in my experience.

Please see this post (last paragraph)
Thank you for the link. Very useful information. I have pasted it below for others to read. Quote is from Kawai James,

The new GFP-3 pedal unit is engineered and manufactured by Kawai, affording us greater control over the production of the unit. Mechanically, the optical sensors are also more reliable, and should never require recalibration. Moreover, each pedal supports progressive pedalling, not just the damper pedal. Finally, the 'GFP' stands for 'Grand Feel Pedal' - i.e. we're essentially using the same pedal system hardware from our CA/CN instruments, meaning that the damper, sostuenuto, and soft pedals are weighted slightly differently to match that of a concert grand piano. It's a subtle feature, but I don't believe any other manufacturer's triple pedal units offer this level of detail.

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Originally Posted by Randyman
On a more positive note, I'm looking forward to learning to use the sostenuto pedal. I play a lot of old time tunes and enjoy going for a big majestic sound, and I suspect I over use the sustain pedal.

I still haven't figured it out though. The Sostenuto pedal only sustains what you still have your fingers on, but totally non-sustains everything that follows. I'll need to tweak overall for a slightly longer release, overall it sounds overly dry when playing alone.

Sostenuto pedal is mainly used with some Contemporary music : for example George Crumb, Duckworth, Kurtag, Abbott etc.., for the ones which need sympathetic resonances.
Unless you want to play this repertoire, I doubt you'll need to use this pedal

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Originally Posted by Randyman
I had 5 years of classical training as a kid, but don't remember any particular foot pedal technique. And I do often play barefoot, using my big toe to press down.

Well, there's your problem. You're supposed to use your whole foot to press the pedal, not just one toe. That's where 100% of your issue is coming from. I've used both of these and think they replicate a real piano quite well. Here's a pro pianist playing barefoot and you can see how he does it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SywaUbg5wU

next time you're in a piano store I dare you to take off your shoes and play the pedal with your big toe... it won't feel good either... wink

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Hey guys- thanks for all the useful input!

@ clothearednincompo re the soft pedal:
"Yeah, the effect can be very subtle. But it can help playing more "softly" as if you used less velocity"

I imagine that there are variances between different APs as to how much softness this pedal offers. This seems like something that could and should be a menu option. What good is a pedal if it's so subtle that you can barely barely tell it's being used? Answer: You wouldnt use it, so it's of no use.

My memories of using the soft pedal on an AP is that i could definitely hear a difference, and it changed the tone a bit, like a muffled sound. I would never use this implementation of it, even with solo piano it barely makes a difference.

@ Gombessa:
"Btw, on an acoustic grand, the pedal can really be as light as you want it, as it's fully regulated by a spring, and without the spring it's unbearably light."

Didn't know that. Even with the ball of my foot, which does make it very doable, if this is an arbitrary stiffness, I'd prefer to have it be lighter AND NOT SO TALL. Consider people who play, at least part of the time, standing up at a gig. Very few people have ankles that are that flexible, you end up supporting yourself mostly with one leg. But for me, I've always disliked pedals that go unnecessarily high.

In fact, for standing players, I've imagined a sustain and volume/mod pedal that was part of a slightly raised platform so that you could make it comfortable to use them and still put your full weight on your legs. In other words, the platform would give you the 'negative space' that normally is occupied by the floor.

@ doudou re:
"Sostenuto pedal is mainly used with some Contemporary music : for example George Crumb, Duckworth, Kurtag, Abbott etc.., for the ones which need sympathetic resonances.
Unless you want to play this repertoire, I doubt you'll need to use this pedal"

In starting to listen to some of the pianists you listed I came across this Chinese prodigy- Yuja Wang- wow! I'm going to explore these pianists more, thanks.

@ Littlefinger re:
"Well, there's your problem. You're supposed to use your whole foot to press the pedal, not just one toe. That's where 100% of your issue is coming from. I've used both of these and think they replicate a real piano quite well. Here's a pro pianist playing barefoot and you can see how he does it."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SywaUbg5wU

Thanks! Haven't seen heard this Peter Bence character before- entertaining and fun to watch / listen! Though I think a more proper way to say it is to use the ball of your foot, not your whole foot, because the heel stays planted.

Thanks again guys!
Randy


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I think the only classical piece I encountered that required sostenuto was Schumann’s “Papillons.” Since it’s usually used to sustain a note in the bass while you play unsustained notes high up, some uprights and inexpensive grands cheat by having the middle pedal behave exactly like the sustain pedal, but only for the left end of the keyboard.


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Originally Posted by ColoRodney
I think the only classical piece I encountered that required sostenuto was Schumann’s “Papillons.” Since it’s usually used to sustain a note in the bass while you play unsustained notes high up, some uprights and inexpensive grands cheat by having the middle pedal behave exactly like the sustain pedal, but only for the left end of the keyboard.

Interesting. Cool, it'd be great to have that as a menu option! I'm much more likely to use it like you described. Though once again, I'd create a Registration so that the right hand, esp for piano, has more damper resonance and a longer release-

Last edited by Randyman; 01/23/21 04:12 PM.

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Originally Posted by ColoRodney
I think the only classical piece I encountered that required sostenuto was Schumann’s “Papillons.” Since it’s usually used to sustain a note in the bass while you play unsustained notes high up, some uprights and inexpensive grands cheat by having the middle pedal behave exactly like the sustain pedal, but only for the left end of the keyboard.

you're talking about the end of the last piece (Finale),
but I doubt it is needed to use the sostenuto pedal, because it wasn't existing in the pianos during Shumann's life (invented by Boisselot in 1844, Steinway brevetted it during the 1870's), he's dead in 1856, Papillons composed between 1829-1831.

We could also use it for beginning 20th century composers (Debussy, Ravel), but we (pianists) use instead the forte pedal, with different levels of depression (1/2, 1/3, etc.)


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