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#676736 - 08/27/05 02:38 PM bottoming out issue
barganax Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 200
Loc: Oakland/Santa Fe
I have read a few comments on this forum from people who noted that, on certain digital piano actions, they feel that they are hitting a hard bottom when they play. To me, this is an important aspect of the often-asked question, "which digitial piano action feels most like an acoustic?"

There has been a lot of discussion about which actions are light and which are heavy. But I just did a search on "bottom" and was surprised to learn that there are not many comments on the bottoming out isssue, and there is not a thread devoted to it. So now is your chance.

For which digital piano actions do you have discomfort from striking a hard bottom in the keybed? (Be sure to mention specific models, not just manufacturer.) Do you notice it immediately, or after long practice sessions? If you don't notice it all, what is your level of play (beginner, intermediate, advanced). Any other thoughts on the topic?


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#676737 - 08/31/05 10:03 AM Re: bottoming out issue
barganax Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 200
Loc: Oakland/Santa Fe

#676738 - 08/31/05 11:21 AM Re: bottoming out issue
Rodney Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 741
Loc: Caledon ON, Canada

I have many keyboards, and have tried many many more. Generally I prefer a wighted action and have come to like the Yamaha GH and BH actions although the GH3 on my CLP-170 is my favorite. I have only encountered the bottoming out issue on one and that is a Yamaha S08 which has a BH action. My son uses this keyboard now as it was causing me some pain in the wrists after playing for more than an hour. Keep in mind that I have other keyboards that also have the Yamaha BH action and DON'T have this problem so it may simply be this particular keyboard on not the model in general.


It doesn't seem to bother my son who has been playing for 7 years and spends 4 - 6 hours a day playing (at least 1-2 hours on this particular keyboard because he uses it as a contoller for other tone generators)


#676739 - 08/31/05 11:23 AM Re: bottoming out issue
kidblast Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 258
Loc: Leominster Mass.
I have an S08 too Rodney, I don't notice this,

I also have a Pf500, the action is quite a bit heavier on that... I like the S08 for live use as it's a better fit for string/pads/and organ sounds with BH action.

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#676740 - 09/01/05 01:19 PM Re: bottoming out issue
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
i don't really feel there's such an issue with my pf500, although the more i play the more i wish it has GH3 (for faster response action). i'm sort of intermediate player now...

#676741 - 09/02/05 01:28 PM Re: bottoming out issue
barganax Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 200
Loc: Oakland/Santa Fe
I've noticed the bottoming out phenomenon on my Kawai MP9500, and I've seen postings on other forums where it has been mentioned. In contrast, I've seen several on-line reviews by people who love the MP9500 action. (BTW my comment applies to the MP9500 only -- I'm told that the action of Kawai's current generation of cabinet-style digitals is not the same as on the MP9500 stage piano). Bottoming out is less noticable to me on my Roland F100. In this thread, one person (Rodney) says that he was feeling some pain after an hour using a particular digital with the Yamaha BH action (though it didn't bother his son who plays at least 1-2 hours/day on that keyboard); another (kidblast) says he has not noticed this. I found in previous threads that mrbungee42 wrote that he "felt like I was pounding away at the bottom of the keybed" on some Yamaha digital action. Ritincop wrote (regarding the Yamaha P120 and P90) that "...the bottom is hard. After 10 minutes I start to feel like my finger tips were going to get bruised." Groggy60 wrote that "Rintincop's experience is exactly the same as mine, when I demoed the Yamaha. I felt like my fingers were being pushed up and the bottom was like playing a desk top." There's a post over on the well-temperedforum where jon-nyc wrote, in regard to the P120, "I found that when I played more demanding repertoire my arms would get so sore I'd have to stop. It got so bad I thought I'd injure myself if I continued to use it."

And yet I've seen post after post in a number of places from people who sing the praises of various Yamaha digital actions. There's a discussion at http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Yamaha/P250-01.html where there are 2 posts that say negative things about the P250 action. But there are 21 extremely positive reviews, including things like "action is great," "I just love the keyboard action," "the action is great, graded, very like my grand," "It has the best action I ever played on an electric keyboard, ever.," "Keyboard action is OUTSTANDING," "Action is wonderful," "keyboard action is the best of all the keyboards I tested," "the keyboard action is really superb."

Signa -- Like you, I am also an intermediate player (classical). I notice this mainly on pieces that require fast, repeated play in the same hand. I agree with jon-nyc's comment -- it is mainly an issue in more demanding repertoire.

I am very impressed in general with the capabilities of modern day digital pianos. I think the actions are surprisingly good, especially given how inexpensive they are. I don't expect them to have actions as good as that of a well-regulated acoustic grand. I started this thread because, to me, the bottoming out issue is one of the things that I notice most (particulary after extended playing) when comparing digital and acoustic actions. I just wondered what other people thought about the issue, and how it varied among different brands of digital pianos.

#676742 - 09/02/05 09:33 PM Re: bottoming out issue
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
i remember Rintincop had mentioned a while ago that his hands had some medical condition with which he had to exchange his Yamaha p250 for a Roland model (for ligher action). so, it's not a normal case that everyone else is experiencing.

in general, a decent digital piano has pretty good action comparing with some acoustic pianos. i had no trouble at all playing on any acoustic whenever i have a chance, since i got my digital. sometimes, i'd rather to play on mine than to play on some crappy or out of tune acoustics.

btw, i haven't noticed 'hard bottom' thing on mine, and i'm currently learning Chopin op.10.9 and have to try to play it fast and so far i still don't feel that, except my left arm would get tired due to LH fast jumps/swing (but not hand).

#676743 - 09/03/05 01:58 AM Re: bottoming out issue
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4683
Loc: San Francisco

My P80 and P200 (now sold) both have/had a distinct bottoming out feeling, because---I think---of a hard keybed. But it's not bothersome until the 2d or 3d hour. At first, it just contributes to the pressing-on-the-end-of-a-lever feeling that characterized the graded hammer boards.

A distinct difference is that there's just not enough space in that digital stage piano's case for a full acoustic action. My Bachmann digital baby grand has the action from an acoustic upright, with little weights where an acoustic would have felts. When it was first set up, I could A/B it directly against a P80. The full acoustic action gives you the feel of setting a mass in motion---and is also less precise than a graded hammer board.

I've come to very much prefer the acoustic action, but played graded hammer actions for three years and would play them again if I ever had to give up the Bachmann.


#676744 - 09/07/05 07:13 PM Re: bottoming out issue
barganax Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 200
Loc: Oakland/Santa Fe
I agree -- I much prefer to play on my digital pianos than on a poorly maintained acoustic. Like you I don't have much problem switching between digital and acoustic, at least at my current level of play (intermediate classical). By that, I mean that I don't fumble around on an acoustic if, for example, I have been practicing on a digital.

The thing I am still not clear on is why some people are bothered by the hard bottom almost immediately, some (like you) don't feel it for hours, and others don't notice it at all. Besides the action itself, has it got to do with the player's technique? the player's level of play? the nature of the music being played? I suspect it is all of the above.

#676745 - 09/30/05 04:53 PM Re: bottoming out issue
jon-nyc Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/05
Posts: 2023
Loc: NY
Originally posted by barganax:
There's a post over on the well-temperedforum where jon-nyc wrote, in regard to the P120, "I found that when I played more demanding repertoire my arms would get so sore I'd have to stop. It got so bad I thought I'd injure myself if I continued to use it."
So I tried a Yamaha with the GH3 action and there was a huge difference. I got to try it right next to several models with the GH action. One of the things they improved was the 'bottoming out' issue.

I'm going to buy a Yammie with the GH3 action. Probably the CLP-230.
If you don't talk to your children about equal temperment, who will?


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