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Tony Lu Offline OP
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This is a somewhat strange question to ask. But I was wondering if anyone knows the cheapest digital piano that has wooden keys (at least all white keys). A few more things to add:
1. it needs to be new
2. it needs to be no more than 3 years old (so we are not really talking about pianos that came out in 2015)
3. no needs to worry about other features BUT wooden keys
I use Pianoteq for more realistic piano sound, so no needs to worry about that either.
Again, quite strange question here but I am hoping to get some thoughts from others. Thanks.
Tony

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I know the Kawai CA49 at least here is one of the cheapest keyboards with the GFC action from the Kawai line-up. The P-515 also has wooden keys and is priced well in the US as well but that is now getting close to 4 years old I believe so I don't know how that fits for your criteria 2 but may be close enough to consider (Though some people find it heavy some people find it perfect always check it out as of course your mileage may vary). And of course, there is the VPC1 but it's definitely older than 3 years. I can't think of many others that fit the bill as cheap and has wooden keys.

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The CA49/59 have been released in May 2020.
The GP310 is also from early 2020.
The CLP745 is fairly recent too, but not sure if the keys can be described as wooden (there seems to be a wooden core but combined with plastic parts, and it is a folded action).

If you're looking for a less than 3yo slab DP with wooden keys, you may be looking for a unicorn. The MP11SE and VPC1 are much older. The P515 is older too, and not entirely wooden.

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Well

Roland FP-90x has white plastic keys with wood
Yamaha has white plastic keys with more wood but older than three years

Kawai CA49 2years old and has wood keys and if that is your number one criteria, i think that would be your best bet.

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Kurzweil MPS120 (wooden white keys): https://kurzweil.com/mps110_120/

Various Dynatone models with the RHA-3W action (wooden white keys): http://www.dynatone.biz/

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Originally Posted by Tony Lu
This is a somewhat strange question to ask. But I was wondering if anyone knows the cheapest digital piano that has wooden keys (at least all white keys). A few more things to add:
1. it needs to be new
2. it needs to be no more than 3 years old (so we are not really talking about pianos that came out in 2015)
3. no needs to worry about other features BUT wooden keys
I use Pianoteq for more realistic piano sound, so no needs to worry about that either.
Again, quite strange question here but I am hoping to get some thoughts from others. Thanks.
Tony

Wooden keys aren't going to make DG's action feel good. The choice of wood has zero contribution to how well an action is designed. If keys were made out of solid plastic they were going to be much more expensive than solid wood, that's why we don't have solid plastic actions (the industrial process of making solid plastic keys will be very expensive).

VPC1 is your best choice and don't even think of buying something cheap because you will be the first and the last owner of "strange" instruments.


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Like everything else out there, there are shades of gray in everything. OP, what do you mean by "wooden keys?" Does it have to be a full wooden keystick? Wooden core with some plastic OK? Half and half, or just some wood? Solely cosmetic/non-structural wood? Or just kind of look like wood even if it's all composite? And of course, does it matter for the black keys too, or is it OK just for the white keys to have/look like wood? There are actions that fit all of these criteria in various ways....


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Since you don't care about its sound and are using Pianoteq, maybe a soundless controller would do? The Studiologic SL88 Grand has the Fatar TP/40WOOD action described at http://www.fatar.com/Pages/TP_40WOOD.htm - I don't know when the SL88 first came out, though, or if there are any qualifications to how "wooden" it is as has been mentioned for some others. But to answer your initial question, it is probably the cheapest option, at least.

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If my memory is ok, Yamaha keys are in wood with a plastic part which surround the wooden core. Not a plastic core between two slim wooden sides.

But I confirm the point : the material doesn’t matter if the feeling is good.

Last edited by Frédéric L; 02/10/22 12:53 PM.

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I believe the fatar wood keys are not really wood but a “cast?” Polymer kostil.

You can see the new tp-400 wood clearly in this video at 3:13

[video:yahoo]
[/video]

And yes Yamaha has a solid chunk of would attached to plastic.

Roland smaller junks of would attached to plastic.

Kawai has the least expensive all wood keys,


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I actually prefer plastic over wood. It's not fully solid but good enough. Wood is not an ideal material and can be easily affected by moisture, heat, etc.


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Originally Posted by Abdol
I actually prefer plastic over wood. It's not fully solid but good enough. Wood is not an ideal material and can be easily affected by moisture, heat, etc.

IMO wood is overrated. It can make sense in some parts of an acoustic piano (and IIRC, even Kawai is using carbon fiber on some parts of its APs). Ofc some folks say the DPs feel different based on material and perception is OK, but I wonder if on a blind test, these folks would be capable of distinguishing two actions similarly built (same pivot length etc.), one full plastic and other with wood, from each other.

Last edited by EVC2017; 02/11/22 03:17 PM.

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Kawai has a full lineup of wooden keys and has been at this the longest. Low price is another matter. A VPC1 may be an alternative. A bit older but you may want to check it out.


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Originally Posted by EVC2017
Ofc some folks say the DPs feel different based on material and perception is OK, but I wonder if on a blind test, these folks would be capable of distinguishing two actions similarly built (same pivot length etc.), one full plastic and other with wood, from each other.

When I have tested GH3X and NWX, I had the a priori that the wood letter was simply a marketing thing made to make us buy the more expensive... what the point if they are balanced the same. Then I don't think thatt my conclusion about the difference was (too much) biased. But I have to admit I havn't made a blind test.

Same about AvantGrand... An a priori : what the point of duplicating the whole action if a simplified action is well balanced enough... I had big hope with Casio GP (named) Hybrid but a try made me conclude that the differnce is worth the difference of price.

Last edited by Frédéric L; 02/11/22 04:28 PM.

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Originally Posted by Frédéric L
Same about AvantGrand... An a priori : what the point of duplicating the whole action if a simplified action is well balanced enough...

Depends on what you're after I think, and how "balanced" is intended/defined. Presumably you can have very well balanced and also "not all that much like an acoustic piano" at the same time. In fact, I might suggest that the balanced feel of the keys isn't necessarily among most important things for at least some hybrid owners.


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I mean by « well balanced », « balanced in such a way the feeling is close to an acoustic ».


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Tony Lu Offline OP
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Thanks for all the replies, everyone. I will look into the Kawai.

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My vote for CA49. I have CA59 for 6 months already and I could not me more happy with the action (that is the same as on CA49).


Kawai CA59

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