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Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer

Posted By: RickardNi

Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 06:10 PM

I must say I realize I have no clue anymore about Yamaha's different hammer actions.

For CLP-575 they are bragging with the "88 Linear Graded Hammer Action", and further explains:
"This action faithfully reproduces the subtle differences in the weight and return of every key. No two keys are exactly alike, giving the player the best possible feel and response from the instrument."

I thought this sounded great, and precisly what I needed in order to learn the proper way and preparing for a real acoustic piano. But then I realized that all the other actions they promote basically says the same thing.

Even my cheap DGX-650 that has GHS (Graded Hammer Standard) is explained as:
"The Yamaha Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) keyboard features a weighted action with heavier touch in the low end and lighter touch in the high end, just like the hammers inside an acoustic piano."

So what is the difference here really? Is the first one really noticeable better than regular GHS/GH3/GH3X? Can anyone tell a difference? I don't understand at all.

It seems that every digital piano from the major brands, like Kawai CA67/97, Roland HP603/605, Casio GP-300, have graded key action. So what would be thier equivalent to the "88 Linear Graded Hammer" that is so valuable it's only found on Yamaha's more expensive CLP-575/585?
Posted By: danielp11

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 06:24 PM

Counterweights (which the GHS does not have, it has only heavier weights (not "counter" at the end, i opened it)) allow for bigger dynamic resistance while keeping the static resistance down. Better acousic pianos have also counterweights. Not so good acoustics don't have countweights and are only heavier (more static force) in the bass because of the more felt around the hammers in the bass.

Daniel
Posted By: RickardNi

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 06:28 PM

Sure, Daniel, but the CLP-575 doesn't have counter-weights, but still have "88 Linear Graded Hammer Action". So what is the difference between that one and CLP-545 that doesn't have that feature?
Posted By: danielp11

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 06:28 PM

Graded is not the same as counterwights. Graded just means that the static AND dynamic resistance inreases, while with counterwights the DYNAMIC resistance inreases (which one wants) and the static resistance kan be kept low (which one might want)

Daniel
Posted By: danielp11

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 06:32 PM

Have you ever played a spring keyboard action (only static resistance). Then you know the difference. Nuanced playing with a keyboard action is nearly impossible.

Daniel
Posted By: Gombessa

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 06:33 PM

This is something DP manufacturers don't stress (unless, as you've noticed, they have a variant likthe the 575/585 that does more), but AFAIK most makers with "graded" hammer actions do not have a discrete weight per key. Rather, they divide the keybed into 4-6 zones, and have a different weight for each zone. From bass to trebel, the GF1 action in the MP11 has a 15-key zone at the bottom, then a 17-key zone, 31-key zone, and a 25-key zone at the top.

Honestly, I wouldn't have really noticed the zone layout if I didn't know the specs, but that's how it works.

Having a unique weight per key/hammer is more similar to real pianos, which (from what I've seen) have different hammer weights per key due to hammer felt sizing, but also makes inventory control, supply chain and support channels more complicated (since you can no longer reuse as many parts across different keys).
Posted By: RickardNi

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 06:34 PM

I still don't understand. I know that graded is not the same as counter-weights, but the CLP-575 does NOT have it. NOT.

Still you say "Graded is this..." and then "while with counterweights".

Forget about counterweights, the CLP-575 does NOT have it.

But it DOES still have the "88 Linear Graded Hammer Action", which Yamaha markets as superior to regular GHS.

(I might be misunderstanding you here completely, but it still sounds like you are comparing graded to counter-weights.)
Posted By: RickardNi

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 06:41 PM

Originally Posted by Gombessa
This is something DP manufacturers don't stress (unless, as you've noticed, they have a variant likthe the 575/585 that does more), but AFAIK most makers with "graded" hammer actions do not have a discrete weight per key. Rather, they divide the keybed into 4-6 zones, and have a different weight for each zone. From bass to trebel, the GF1 action in the MP11 has a 15-key zone at the bottom, then a 17-key zone, 31-key zone, and a 25-key zone at the top.

Honestly, I wouldn't have really noticed the zone layout if I didn't know the specs, but that's how it works.

Having a unique weight per key/hammer is more similar to real pianos, which (from what I've seen) have different hammer weights per key due to hammer felt sizing, but also makes inventory control, supply chain and support channels more complicated (since you can no longer reuse as many parts across different keys).


Thanks. That makes sense, even if it sounds like a qualified guess from your side. That's actually what I thought may differ.

Questions is if anyone can notice the difference and whether it's important or not. People seem to make a big deal about this feature for picking CLP-575 > CLP-545.
Posted By: Gombessa

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 06:42 PM

Originally Posted by RickardNi
But it DOES still have the "88 Linear Graded Hammer Action", which Yamaha markets as superior to regular GHS.


Just a note--GHS is Yamaha's budget action and is found on their lower-end DPs like the P-45, P-115, DGX-660 and Arius YDP-143. None of the current CLP series has GHS (or for that matter even GH, the CLP-525 starts with the higher-end GH3 action).
Posted By: RickardNi

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 06:48 PM

Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by RickardNi
But it DOES still have the "88 Linear Graded Hammer Action", which Yamaha markets as superior to regular GHS.


Just a note--GHS is Yamaha's budget action and is found on their lower-end DPs like the P-45, P-115, DGX-660 and Arius YDP-143. None of the current CLP series has GHS (or for that matter even GH, the CLP-525 starts with the higher-end GH3 action).

Yeah I know, I just want to isolate it to the Graded vs "88 Linear Graded", since Yamaha and people makes a big deal out of it.
Posted By: danielp11

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 06:50 PM

I know the 575 does not have countwights (which is bad in my opinion).

GHS is available with graded hammers and without.

A graded hammer puts more weight on ONE side of the seesaw in the bass section, (increasing both dymamic (second derivative for mathematicians) and static resistance (first derivative)) With Counterwights you add weights on both sides of the seesaw increasing dynamic resistance. This can be combined (and usually is) with graded hammers.

Daniel
Posted By: Gombessa

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 06:53 PM

Originally Posted by danielp11
GHS is available with graded hammers and without.


I don't think this is accurate? GHS stands for "Graded Hammer Standard." By definition, GHS MUST have "graded hammers," unless Yamaha is being inconsistent with its naming in some of its synth keyboards?

If it's not graded, and/or it doesn't use a weighted hammer-action, Yamaha wouldn't call it GHS.
Posted By: danielp11

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 06:57 PM

Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by danielp11
GHS is available with graded hammers and without.


I don't think this is accurate? GHS stands for "Graded Hammer Standard." By definition, GHS MUST have "graded hammers," unless Yamaha is being inconsistent with its naming in some of its synth keyboards?

If it's not graded, and/or it doesn't use a weighted hammer-action, Yamaha wouldn't call it GHS.


Sorry you are right, my memory failed me. I thought there was a viriant where all the hammers weighted the same.

Daniel

Posted By: Frédéric L

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 06:58 PM

I have a GH keyboard which is divided in 4 zones... according to the service manual since I didn't manage to find the gaps between two zones.

A Linear GH would have 88 zones instead. wink
Posted By: Gombessa

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 07:03 PM

Originally Posted by danielp11
Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by danielp11
GHS is available with graded hammers and without.


I don't think this is accurate? GHS stands for "Graded Hammer Standard." By definition, GHS MUST have "graded hammers," unless Yamaha is being inconsistent with its naming in some of its synth keyboards?

If it's not graded, and/or it doesn't use a weighted hammer-action, Yamaha wouldn't call it GHS.


Sorry you are right, my memory failed me. I thought there was a viriant where all the hammers weighted the same.

Daniel



There very likely is--while not GHS, the Montage for instance has a "Balanced Hammer Effect" keybed that is not graded, and the CP1/CP5 have a "Natural Wood--Stage" keybed that is similarly ungraded (though I understand that they customize velocity curves for the AP tones to simulate grading). Though their base mechanism doesn't seem to change much, Yamaha has a ton of variants in their actions that aren't very well publicized...
Posted By: RickardNi

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 07:19 PM

Originally Posted by Frédéric L
I have a GH keyboard which is divided in 4 zones... according to the service manual since I didn't manage to find the gaps between two zones.

A Linear GH would have 88 zones instead. wink

Thanks for the information. However, I tried to find it, but were unable to do so. It only mentions that it "varies the key weight according to the key range". I look through all the downloadable documents for CLP-150.

--

I did some experiments now on my DGX-650 (GHS). It definitely has grading. The left most key requires more force than the right most key. I tried it by adding weights in grade of 10g over two keys (so essentialy increasing the weight with 5g per key) and the distance from the "bottom" was clearly different when measuring with an electronic caliper.

However, I were completely unable to differ any "zones" or sections in the keyboard. There were some points where I thought I had found them, but pressing down the key differently or less forceful could cause that difference as well, so it was within margin error. I could only find two of those "hard differences", which means:

- All Yamahas modern key actions are graded.
- The more expensive "88 Linear Graded" feature is totally bullshit. If I can't see any difference with an electronical caliper in 5g increases, I think there is no way anyone would notice a difference when playing.
Posted By: Gombessa

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 07:33 PM

Originally Posted by RickardNi
The more expensive "88 Linear Graded" feature is totally bullshit. If I can't see any difference with an electronical caliper in 5g increases, I think there is no way anyone would notice a difference when playing.


Just to ground your expectations, the difference in static hammer weights in Roland's actions is on the order of 2.0 grams TOTAL (heaviest hammer compared to lightest). This is probably modified by lever action at the ends of the keys, but you shouldn't be expecting huge weight changes between keys.
Posted By: RickardNi

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 07:45 PM

Yes, but actually that should just further support my case!

Let me explain. The more sensitive the actions are, the larger difference should be noticable with my 5 gram increases. If the action on Roland differs as little as 2 grams, then I should have an easier time to differentiate between the zones if they exist.

The zones, or sections, might still exist, but the difference between having 4 zones instead of linear gradual increase should be unnoticable if you are not a very precise robot.

"Are you real?"
"Well, if you can't tell, does it matter?"
Posted By: JoBert

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 08:02 PM

Originally Posted by RickardNi
The zones, or sections, might still exist, but the difference between having 4 zones instead of linear gradual increase should be unnoticable if you are not a very precise robot.

That sums it up nicely, I think...
Posted By: RickardNi

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 08:31 PM

Minor update: The difference on my GHS between highest keys and lowest keys (to inflict a slight press) is around 15g. That doesn't say anything about the force to fulfil the press, or anything about dynamic of course.
Posted By: Gombessa

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 08:40 PM

I certainly have never noticed the grading steps on any of my DPs, or noticed anything weird when transitioning to a "real" linear graded action in an upright or grand. But I'm also a rank amateur player and don't think my standards/experience reflect active else's smile
Posted By: Frédéric L

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 09:01 PM

Originally Posted by RickardNi
I look through all the downloadable documents for CLP-150.


The CLP-150 service manual is downloadable wink But here : http://elektrotanya.com/yamaha_clp-150.pdf/download.html

You will find 8 part references about hammer : 4 for the white keys and 4 for the black keys.


If you are interested about your DGX-650, you should try http://elektrotanya.com/yamaha_dgx-650b_dgx-650wh.pdf/download.html

The GHS is also divided in 4 zones.
Posted By: Jasper E.

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 09:18 PM

15 g difference in weight sounds something like 0.015 kg * 9.81 N / kg = 0.14175 N difference in force, assuming you would like to use the piano on Earth smile
Posted By: RickardNi

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 01/05/17 09:21 PM

Originally Posted by Frédéric L
Originally Posted by RickardNi
I look through all the downloadable documents for CLP-150.


The CLP-150 service manual is downloadable wink But here : http://elektrotanya.com/yamaha_clp-150.pdf/download.html

You will find 8 part references about hammer : 4 for the white keys and 4 for the black keys.


If you are interested about your DGX-650, you should try http://elektrotanya.com/yamaha_dgx-650b_dgx-650wh.pdf/download.html

The GHS is also divided in 4 zones.

Thanks, that was extremely helpful! I only watched the downloadable documents from Yamaha's official homepage, didn't know the service manual differed so much.
Posted By: Shoveller

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 04/08/17 11:00 PM

So each 2014-2017 CLP-500 has slightly different key action.
CLP-525 GH3: 3 sensirs, plastic, group weighted.
CLP-535 GH3X: 3 sensors, plastic, group weighted, escapement.
CLP-545 NWX: 3 sensors, wood, group weighted, escapement.
CLP-575 NWX-LGH: 3 sensors, wood, individually weighted, escapement.
CLP-585 NWX-LGH-CW: 3 sensors, wood, individually weighted, counter weighted, escapement.
Posted By: Gombessa

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 04/08/17 11:17 PM

Originally Posted by Shoveller
So each 2014-2017 CLP-500 has slightly different key action.
CLP-525 GH3: 3 sensirs, plastic, group weighted.
CLP-535 GH3X: 3 sensors, plastic, group weighted, escapement.
CLP-545 NWX: 3 sensors, wood, group weighted, escapement.
CLP-575 NWX-LGH: 3 sensors, wood, individually weighted, escapement.
CLP-585 NWX-LGH-CW: 3 sensors, wood, individually weighted, counter weighted, escapement.


And here we all thought Yamaha never makes any changes to their actions wink

For the 2017 CLP-600 series, I guess you can also add the GrandTouch action variations to this list...

Posted By: Shoveller

Re: Difference between Graded keys and 88 Linear Graded Hammer - 04/08/17 11:37 PM

Originally Posted by Gombessa
I guess you can also add the GrandTouch action variations to this list...
Ah, well even as you were writing that, I was doing exactly that on the CLP-600 thread. I should get out more.
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