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I get the impression many keyboards billed as "semi-weighted" are either weighted or synth action. Curious to hear from people who have or have played semi-weighted workstations (eg Roland FA07 etc) just how weighted they really felt...stores here offhand aren't carrying any.
I have a Korg Pa3x arranger/workstation Style keyboard that has Fatar semi-weighted keys. The keys are still sprung (not gravity weighted) but they have metal weights underneath to give a feeling of more resistance than light plastic only keys.
It's of course a matter of taste and what you get used to but for me I have no problem with expressive playing and now prefer them over most weighted keys.
I often wonder if the piano was invented for the first time in this century whether all the nonsense of pedal noises and clunky gravity weighted keys would be bothered with.
I ha e a Roland FA-07. I don't really know about "semi-weighted" and all that, but I do really like the feel of the keyboard. I can practice on it for long periods without my hands getting tired.

Tony
They do vary in quality a lot. One important thing to look out for is the pivot point to be well away or back from the visible part of the keys so that key presses even at the back of the keys are without effort. Some cheaper models have the pivot so close that the first inch of the keys cant really be played.
Appreciate the replies. I guess I need to try and see if a big city not too far away has these to try.......ugh
Well, one thing about the Roland FA-07 is that it is the absolutely easiest to use workstation I have encountered. You can put together a completely orchestrated tune and output a stereo WAV file of it, or individual WAV files for each sequencer track and import those into your DAW if you choose to use a computer for the final mix.

76 keys has been enough for the music I am playing, and for prolonged practice sessions the lighter keys are easier on the hands. I can go back and forth between that and my regular DP.

I have been really happy with the FA-07 and suggest it is at least worth a look, though what works for you will be purely an individual choice. There is the FA-08 that is the same thing with 88 piano-like keys, but still a lighter touch than a fully weighted DP type keybed. There is also the FA-06, which has 61 synth type keys, but I really don't care for its action at all - way too light and the keys seem shorter than normal sized keys such as those on the FA-07 and FA-08.

Tony
Yeah, thx, again, I need a bigger town lol. GC and Sam Ash have the 08 and 06 on display but not the 07. If it's truly a semi-weighted feel I might take the plunge. I disagree on the 08, not a "light touch" at all; in fact it has some of the heaviest keys and action on anything I've tried (just as well didn't want to spend that much anyway).
Originally Posted by bill5
Yeah, thx, again, I need a bigger town lol. GC and Sam Ash have the 08 and 06 on display but not the 07. If it's truly a semi-weighted feel I might take the plunge. I disagree on the 08, not a "light touch" at all; in fact it has some of the heaviest keys and action on anything I've tried (just as well didn't want to spend that much anyway).


That is an interesting observation. I suspect the explanation for the "disagreement" on the perceived weigh of the FA-08 keys (at least on my end) is that I have the FA-07, the FA-08, and a Roland V-Grand. Going from the V-Grand to the FA-08, the keys seem light to me.

Your experience or what you have to compare the FA-08 to may be different from mine. So, what I am saying is that the FA-08 keys are what they are, but we perceive them differently.

Tony
Originally Posted by bill5
I get the impression many keyboards billed as "semi-weighted" are either weighted or synth action. Curious to hear from people who have or have played semi-weighted workstations (eg Roland FA07 etc) just how weighted they really felt...stores here offhand aren't carrying any.

Typically, weighted actions have hammer mechanisms, that's what makes them so different from "semi-weighted" actions, not actually additonal weight per se. Unweighted ("synth") and semi-weighted actions are broadly similar to each other, except weight is added to the semi-weighted action compared to the unweghted. (A more thorough discussion of this is at http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2908887/Semi_weighted_keyboards ) So when you ask "just how weighted" a semi-weigted action feels, don't expect it to feel anything lke a "fully weighted" action... not because of less weight, but because of the lack of the hammer mechanism.

Now, if your underlying question is, how amenable is a given semi-weighted action to piano playing, that's really a different question, as that is not necessaily defined by how "weighted" a semi-weighted acion is. In fact, the Yamaha NP-30 series is unweighted, but feels beter for piano than some semi-weighted actions, IMO.
Thanks. My impression is what is or is called "semi-weighted" varies in how weighted it actually feels (as with weighted). FWIW I recently tried the Yamaha 535 and that was pretty close to what I'd like...they advertise it as "Touch Response, Graded Soft Touch" whatever the frak that means...I guess "weighted but lighter than most weighted ones." smile At least that's my take. And I might buy it, except like most Yamahas, the keys make a loud KLUNK sound which I can't get past, so the search continues....
Originally Posted by bill5
Thanks. My impression is what is or is called "semi-weighted" varies in how weighted it actually feels (as with weighted). /quote]
Semi-weighhteds can vary from each other in how much weight they have, and also in how much push-back resistance (for example spring tension, which is not the same as weight), and also in exact key size/dimensions, and also in how even their response is from the front of the keys to the back. As you mention, weighted actions similarly vary among each other.

[quote=bill5]FWIW I recently tried the Yamaha 535 and that was pretty close to what I'd like...they advertise it as "Touch Response, Graded Soft Touch" whatever the frak that means...I guess "weighted but lighter than most weighted ones." smile

No, Yamaha's "Graded Soft Touch" is unweighted. The increasing resistance as you go from top to bottom is acheived by altering the rubber membrane strip the keys land on.

In the end, you should probably just choose an action based on how you like its feel, regardless of what they call it or what kind of mechanism they use.
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