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Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685)

Posted By: jamiecw

Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/01/19 02:46 PM

An observation made many times here with various actions but I thought this was an interesting video (from Tony at Bonners music)

https://youtu.be/dEKFGkR6KAk?t=278

Tony weighs the two actions and what I found specifically interesting is how even when he is dropping the weight from above the key of the 685 does not sink, in fact it barely budges...if I was looking to buy that piano I'd want to sit and play it for a prolonged amount of time before purchasing it as I am sure some finger fatigue might be involved there..
Posted By: KevinM

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/01/19 03:13 PM

Interesting for me to take note of, irrespective of the key action and I know I prefer the Kawai, but I much prefer the sound of the Kawai in that video as well.

Kevin
Posted By: Beakybird

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/01/19 03:20 PM

I saw that video too, and I saw another video where a reviewer mentions the heavy action. Too heavy, IMO.
Posted By: jamiecw

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/01/19 03:38 PM

Originally Posted by Beakybird
I saw that video too, and I saw another video where a reviewer mentions the heavy action. Too heavy, IMO.


True - will pop down to the Yamaha store tomorrow and try out...there's heavy and then there's HEAVY...this one seems to fall in that category.

I practice on a FATAR TP40W and I find that heavy enough...although I persist so I am specifically keen to compare how these two differ.
Posted By: JoeT

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/01/19 03:45 PM

Originally Posted by jamiecw

Tony weighs the two actions and what I found specifically interesting is how even when he is dropping the weight from above the key of the 685 does not sink, in fact it barely budges...if I was looking to buy that piano I'd want to sit and play it for a prolonged amount of time before purchasing it as I am sure some finger fatigue might be involved there..

Tony is wrong in his explanation though. A digital piano without a damper mechanism shouldn't have keys budging under just 55 g.

The downweight of an acoustic piano is measured without the dampers engaged.
Posted By: ShyPianist

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/01/19 03:49 PM

@jamiecw I haven’t tried the 685 but I tried the CLP675 yesterday, which I understand has an even heavier action for some types of playing. After about half an hour I was suffering from hand pain for more or less the first time in my (long) playing life. Not from anything onerous but from playing the Chopin E Minor prelude a couple of times. The control of the left hand chords required such tightening of my hand and finger muscles that pain across the top of my hand was the result. I am not prepared to suffer RSI for my art so I picked the Kawai CA78 (but not before trying a good acoustic grand to ensure it wasn’t just me!).
Posted By: jamiecw

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/01/19 04:04 PM

Originally Posted by JoeT
A digital piano without a damper mechanism shouldn't have keys budging under just 55 g.

The downweight of an acoustic piano is measured without the dampers engaged.


Hi Joe - yes from your original thread about the down-weight of the P515 I understood that. However, since DPs do not have a real authentic mechanism I assume (but stand to be corrected) that the manufacturers must try and find a middle ground in their DP actions as such that the player is not constantly fighting a resisting action as if the damper pedal is never used...so on that respect I would have thought that these DP actions should feel most closely as if you are using a real pedal - no?
Posted By: jamiecw

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/01/19 04:09 PM

Originally Posted by ShyPianist
I am not prepared to suffer RSI for my art so I picked the Kawai CA78 (but not before trying a good acoustic grand to ensure it wasn’t just me!).


Agreed - there is developing the hand and then there are injuries...to have to stop playing because of injury due to heavy action, when it can be easily avoided (by using a lighter action) is, frankly, stupid (I remember when I first got my hands on a GH3 Yamaha, anything more than 45-55 mins of playing felt like I've been using heavy machinery all day - suffice to say that DP did not last for very long in my place).
Posted By: JoeT

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/01/19 04:30 PM

Originally Posted by jamiecw
I would have thought that these DP actions should feel most closely as if you are using a real pedal - no?

Such an action is too light and once you switch to a real instrument, you're going to struggle with the damper weight.

Also people injuring themselves on pianos need to get professional advice on correcting their technique. Even if they find a model, where their wrong posture doesn't lead to immediate pain, continuing is still unhealthy in the long term.
Posted By: jamiecw

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/01/19 04:37 PM

Originally Posted by JoeT

Such an action is too light and once you switch to a real instrument, you're going to struggle with the damper weight.

Of course, such action (emulating the damper off the strings) would be far too light...hence why I said closely or even better, should've said, relatively somewhere in between - otherwise on the opposite side of your argument, if you are learning on DP that has full on heavy action without considering damper lifting off the strings, one would get used to that and then if/when they move to an acoustic will be pounding on them keys like there's no tomorrow...
Posted By: ShyPianist

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/01/19 05:31 PM

JoeT, given that I’ve played numerous acoustic pianos throughout my life and this DP was the first, to date, the only action to give me a problem I’m inclined to think on this occasion it was the DP at fault rather than my technique.
Posted By: Alexander Borro

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/01/19 05:32 PM

Lets say if not engaging the damper pedal adds 10 - 15 grams. I don't know how accurate that is , but I have heard it said, something along those lines, with the CLP 685 you would still end up with higher static touch weight (I think).

Way back someone measured the old CLP 585 and it got very high, 90 gr or more in the bass keys, and the grand touch is even heavier and has more inertia it feels like. IMO the counter weights help to smooth it out a bit to get over the initial static hump, quite frankly, the 675 to me felt like a dog of an action, but the 685 was better.

That being said, the dynamic weight is not too bad. Putting a bunch of coins doesn't give give a fair reflection of how it really feels under load. Personally, I preferred the older NWX to be more sensibly weighted for me, but the pivot is fairly short which you can feel and may bother some. GrandTouch does have longer keys and staggered black keys like acoustics, as do the GF kawai actions.

In the end it is not for the faint hearted. Some good experienced pianist will probably like it, if it is treated right with good technique it will treat you back. I feel those yammies do have a precision to them the way the sound engine is matched up with it, it feels very natural ( to me anyway) it has that over kawai for me personally as an all in one package, but others feel different.

I would think twice as a hobbyist something that heavy though, but, some people are heavy handed naturally, and some are not, so it may suit some players.

I think Kawai nailed a good balance with the weighting, static versus dynamic, for my taste anyway. Some may not like the spongy stop you get at the bottom of travel, that is quite unrealistic IMO, but it doesn't bother me at all.

Just my 02.
Posted By: EssBrace

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/01/19 05:45 PM

Originally Posted by Alexander Borro
I think Kawai nailed a good balance with the weighting, static versus dynamic, for my taste anyway. Some may not like the spongy stop you get at the bottom of travel, that is quite unrealistic IMO, but it doesn't bother me at all.


It bothers me. More than I originally thought it ever would. I really enjoy a very positive sense that the key has reached the bottom of its travel. The wooden Kawais have a bottoming out that feels so ill-defined and mushy. That's the only thing wrong with them for me. In other respects they are pretty much perfect.
Posted By: Gombessa

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/01/19 06:52 PM

Originally Posted by JoeT

The downweight of an acoustic piano is measured without the dampers engaged.



This is exactly the opposite of what I've heard in the past: static downweight should be measured with the damper pedal down (activated/engaged) so the damper weighting doesn't interfere with the measurement of the eyes. I'm sure there's benefit in knowing how the dampers affect the key weighting, but are you sure what you write above this is correct?
Posted By: Alexander Borro

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/01/19 07:16 PM

Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by JoeT

The downweight of an acoustic piano is measured without the dampers engaged.



This is exactly the opposite of what I've heard in the past: static downweight should be measured with the damper pedal down (activated/engaged) so the damper weighting doesn't interfere with the measurement of the eyes. I'm sure there's benefit in knowing how the dampers affect the key weighting, but are you sure what you write above this is correct?


Even if the wording is somewhat ambiguous, I think his intended meaning is what you say.

Originally Posted by jamiecw
Originally Posted by JoeT

Such an action is too light and once you switch to a real instrument, you're going to struggle with the damper weight.

Of course, such action (emulating the damper off the strings) would be far too light...hence why I said closely or even better, should've said, relatively somewhere in between - otherwise on the opposite side of your argument, if you are learning on DP that has full on heavy action without considering damper lifting off the strings, one would get used to that and then if/when they move to an acoustic will be pounding on them keys like there's no tomorrow...


Personally I have no issue going back to my Casio any time which has a lighter action under dynamic load than the Kawai, by quite a bit, there is much less inertia in that action.

Nevertheless I play both with default touch curve. Playing the kawai did NOT make me put the Casio on the heaviest setting I could find to make the transition easier, it is more that I am familiar how both actions respond, so I react accordingly. i think sometimes people worry too much about these things rather than adapting.

I rarely bother with touch curve tweaking at all, or any touch settings, because after a while you just adapt to another curve ( within reason ). There are some tweaks I might make like the max midi value I can reach, but other than that I leave them a straight line in software.
Posted By: karvala

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/01/19 07:33 PM

Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by JoeT

The downweight of an acoustic piano is measured without the dampers engaged.



This is exactly the opposite of what I've heard in the past: static downweight should be measured with the damper pedal down (activated/engaged) so the damper weighting doesn't interfere with the measurement of the eyes. I'm sure there's benefit in knowing how the dampers affect the key weighting, but are you sure what you write above this is correct?


I think that's what he meant, i.e. without the dampers engaged = damper pedal down so that dampers are not functioning, i.e. removed from the string. So I think you actually agree with each other, and indeed this is how static downweight must be measured.

I haven't watched the initial video, but it's also worth noting that downweight is usually measured from 4mm below resting position in order to avoid issues around initial inertia, and the typical 45g-50g comfortable range that people talk about is based on that methodology. If you're measuring from the top including initial inertia, the downweight would need to be somewhat more. Having said that, the Yamaha Grand Touch actions in the 675 and 685 (I've played a 645 as well but I honestly can't remember the action) are excessively heavy by any objective measure. You don't even need to properly test them; it's immediately apparent just playing them. I don't know what Yamaha were thinking; it's not like they don't know what the appropriate downweight should be, but for some reason they decided to make these very heavy. Perhaps it's a marketing thing, to make them feel more substantial?
Posted By: peterws

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/01/19 07:37 PM

Originally Posted by EssBrace
Originally Posted by Alexander Borro
I think Kawai nailed a good balance with the weighting, static versus dynamic, for my taste anyway. Some may not like the spongy stop you get at the bottom of travel, that is quite unrealistic IMO, but it doesn't bother me at all.


It bothers me. More than I originally thought it ever would. I really enjoy a very positive sense that the key has reached the bottom of its travel. The wooden Kawais have a bottoming out that feels so ill-defined and mushy. That's the only thing wrong with them for me. In other respects they are pretty much perfect.


I agree. And the weight required to press the black keys is inordinately light. Possibly because a) I'm not used to playing a concert or any other grand, and 2) They are inordinately light even when compared to acoustic grands. The second suggestion is a guess.
Posted By: Chili_Time

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/01/19 08:11 PM

Originally Posted by Beakybird
I saw that video too, and I saw another video where a reviewer mentions the heavy action. Too heavy, IMO.


I saw that in the Bonner's video also and it surprised me because the acoustic Kawai at my teacher's studio has (to me) much heavier action than the Yamaha Upright. My digital P-115 is lighter than both. I need a better piano so hope to play the Yamaha, Kawai and Roland this weekend.Okay I don't need a better piano, I just want a better piano.
Posted By: Alexander Borro

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/01/19 08:12 PM

Peter, It took me a few weeks to get use to the balance of the black keys versus white on the Kawai coming from my Casio too, where the black ones felt heavier compared to the white too, so that was the norm, so yes, I know that feeling when new to it. Nevertheless, today the transition between the two is fine, knowing the nuances of both, but I have wondered about your comment 2 Peter, you may be onto something.
Posted By: jamiecw

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/01/19 08:31 PM

I’m starting to agree with what user Erard said in this thread:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2812482/1.html

“I don't want to sound cynical, but I have to conclude that this high and non-standard touchweight is an advantage for Yamaha only, that will have to deal with less stuck keys, grease drying problems etc.”
Posted By: Gombessa

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/01/19 10:10 PM

Originally Posted by Alexander Borro

Even if the wording is somewhat ambiguous, I think his intended meaning is what you say.


Geez, now that I re-read it, it's plainly obvious that's indeed what he meant. Sorry for the misunderstanding JoeT!

Originally Posted by EssBrace

It bothers me. More than I originally thought it ever would. I really enjoy a very positive sense that the key has reached the bottom of its travel. The wooden Kawais have a bottoming out that feels so ill-defined and mushy. That's the only thing wrong with them for me. In other respects they are pretty much perfect.


Recalling from my MP11, my guess is that this is a specific decision by Kawai in order to fully damp the sound of the keybed. There are two felt strips near the front rail, the one closest to the front of the keys is extremely thick:

[Linked Image]

Replacing that with a flatter strip (such as that used on the back of the keys, from the picture) would certainly reduce the "sponginess" of the bottoming out action, though I imagine it would create more noise from the key and possibly at the hammer end as well.
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/01/19 10:21 PM

Originally Posted by Gombessa

Replacing that with a flatter strip (such as that used on the back of the keys, from the picture) would certainly reduce the "sponginess" of the bottoming out action, though I imagine it would create more noise from the key and possibly at the hammer end as well.


I might have bought one if they'd done that.
Posted By: Tyr

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/02/19 01:03 AM

Originally Posted by Chili_Time
Originally Posted by Beakybird
I saw that video too, and I saw another video where a reviewer mentions the heavy action. Too heavy, IMO.


I saw that in the Bonner's video also and it surprised me because the acoustic Kawai at my teacher's studio has (to me) much heavier action than the Yamaha Upright. My digital P-115 is lighter than both. I need a better piano so hope to play the Yamaha, Kawai and Roland this weekend.Okay I don't need a better piano, I just want a better piano.


Key actions are very different from manufacturer to manufacturer and from model to model. Yamaha has a special place because their key actions are totally different in their DPs. From GHS to NWX, GrandTouch, NU1(X) Upright Action, Grand Action in the N1(X), N2, N3(X) it varies alot in weight, pivot points, resistance on front or back of the keys. It's also a bit of how comfortable you are with the action over time. My NU1X feels light if i only play my NU1X. Since i have an FP-30 (my wife is annoyed by the knocking of the mechanic hammers) which i'm using mostly currrenty, the NU1X action feels very heavy. I have to play 2 or 3 days to getting back into it.
Posted By: JoeT

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/02/19 04:18 AM

Originally Posted by ShyPianist
JoeT, given that I’ve played numerous acoustic pianos throughout my life and this DP was the first, to date, the only action to give me a problem I’m inclined to think on this occasion it was the DP at fault rather than my technique.

No keyboard action is causing issues, when used in a correct manner. A 220 g church organ action might not be fun to play at first, but it doesn't cause injuries either, when your technique is correct.

That means, if you're struggling with below 100 g on digitals, you should get your technique reviewed, because even if it doesn't hurt on certain specific instruments, it doesn't mean that it's correct and doesn't cause long-term problems.

Originally Posted by karvala
I haven't watched the initial video, but it's also worth noting that downweight is usually measured from 4mm below resting position in order to avoid issues around initial inertia, and the typical 45g-50g comfortable range that people talk about is based on that methodology. If you're measuring from the top including initial inertia, the downweight would need to be somewhat more.

The touch weight of the P-515's NWX 4 mm below resting position somewhere around 55 g for middle C. Is this heavy?
Posted By: Tommm777

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/02/19 05:11 AM

Originally Posted by Alexander Borro
Peter, It took me a few weeks to get use to the balance of the black keys versus white on the Kawai coming from my Casio too, where the black ones felt heavier compared to the white too, so that was the norm, so yes, I know that feeling when new to it. Nevertheless, today the transition between the two is fine, knowing the nuances of both, but I have wondered about your comment 2 Peter, you may be onto something.

Just out of curiosity, why do you keep both the Casio and the Kawai?
Posted By: JoeT

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/02/19 05:46 AM

Originally Posted by Tommm777

Just out of curiosity, why do you keep both the Casio and the Kawai?

Why not?
Posted By: trigalg693

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/02/19 07:28 AM

I personally like the CLP685 action a bit more. It's hard to tell a difference but the keytops are much nicer on the CLP than my friend's CA78. The Yamaha pedals have a nicer feel as well.
Posted By: Alexander Borro

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/02/19 11:11 AM

Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Tommm777

Just out of curiosity, why do you keep both the Casio and the Kawai?

Why not?


a) Because I have enough room without it getting in the way.
b) It's a handy backup
c) The biggest reason, it is quite fun going back to a different action once in a while. it isn't a bad action at all. Of course not on the level of the kawai in terms of how close to an acoustic it feels, but very serviceable, and it works really well with midi too, even the pedal has good resolution, on the same level as the kawai.

I have thought of selling it. About 4 years of playing on it when I switched to the kawai, but the action was replaced last year under warranty, as well as the sustain pedal assembly, so it still plays like new now. That said, if someone came along and offered £250 give or take, no problem take it away. I just haven't bothered so far to advertise it. Note that this is much cheaper than anything you'll likely find on ebay for that model on average, it was £ 850 new. Excellent starter piano that has served me well.

I also offered it to my brother for his little ones overseas, but he hasn't taken me up on it or shown much interest as yet. I think his estate is big enough for it to go in the back, so he may well take it away some time this year, but he is also dabbling with the idea of getting an acoustic upright for the little ones.

Anyway, I am in no rush.
Posted By: ShyPianist

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/02/19 12:48 PM

Quote
you should get your technique revewed


Is that right? You’ve played the Yamaha CLP675 for a long period I take it, known to be a heavier action still than the CLP685 because they inexplicably left out some of the counterweights? I have never played any concert grand that felt like that. Guess what? Some instruments suit some people, perhaps well-built men who enjoy thumping away at virtuosic Rachmaninov or Liszt, and don’t suit others who have a different build, playing style and music preferences.

I really resent that comment JoeT. At my age I don’t feel the need to validate myself by being able to boast I can play for hours on any instrument no matter how poorly regulated. If one particular instrument would require fundamental changes to a technique that has served me perfectly well for decades then I will choose a different instrument.
Posted By: ShyPianist

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/02/19 01:05 PM

Another point (gosh I am riled!). Much as I now regret giving up professional level music many years ago, the fact remains that I do have to earn a living and playing the piano is not my primary occupation. Therefore other factors intervene, like potential tendon damage from using a computer keyboard and mouse 8 or 9 hours a day. That makes me a mere hobbyist these days, and boy is that a term and concept I hate, but the bottom line is I want to enjoy the limited time I have at the instrument. End of rant.
Posted By: JoeT

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/02/19 02:23 PM

I never intended to diss you, ShyPianist. This suggestion was on a purely out of concern, because it's based on personal experience. I also have a lot of history with computers.

Between my (very short) piano education and my restart I was playing on very light-weight digital keyboard actions for many years picking up somewhat insufficient technique. So once I moved to my still pretty light-weight Kawai hammer action of my first digital piano, hands started to hurt quickly. Didn't help that they are small, too, requiring large stretches even for octaves. It took me months to years to work on and correct my piano touch (on my own, no teacher), but it was worth it. It paid off, when I switched to an even heavier Yamaha action, which caused no issues for me. My hands still look as fragile as ever.

If I had ignored those problems, I might have risked severe long-term injuries after enough practice time, even on the lightest action.
Posted By: ShyPianist

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/02/19 02:42 PM

Yes, I do get what you’re saying JoeT and I do appreciate the concern but I don’t think I’m in the same position. I had 15 years of classical training with all kinds of acoustic pianos from uprights through to concert grands. I’ve had a long break from serious playing for sure, but always with access to a good acoustic upright. I’d never even touched a DP until a month ago!

The CLP675 in question caused me problems with one specific piece, the Chopin E minor prelude, which I find an excellent piece for flushing out any issues with regulation. On some basic uprights it’s really hard to play for the reason that you can’t repeat the soft chords with only a partial return of the key because the mechanism simply doesn’t allow it. On this DP I found a lot of effort was required to control those repeated chords, and it just didn’t sit well with my left hand (which is still a bit sore incidentally, I don’t think long hours of driving help either). There was no assistance from the damper pedal and in that sense the action isn’t true to any acoustic piano. Other pieces were no problem, and I’ve commented elsewhere that it felt like the instrument I *should* choose, but that specific problem with the action put me off. I think the Kawai action is closer to my acoustic but time will tell when it arrives!
Posted By: KevinM

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/02/19 03:24 PM

I was completely unsurprised at your reaction ShyPianist on that question of technique.
Posted By: terminaldegree

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/02/19 04:52 PM

Originally Posted by JoeT

No keyboard action is causing issues, when used in a correct manner. A 220 g church organ action might not be fun to play at first, but it doesn't cause injuries either, when your technique is correct.

That means, if you're struggling with below 100 g on digitals, you should get your technique reviewed, because even if it doesn't hurt on certain specific instruments, it doesn't mean that it's correct and doesn't cause long-term problems.


That's a rather sweeping statement with which I don't totally agree. Given enough practice hours, the wrong repertoire, and a particularly unkind action, I've gotten myself sore enough practicing on one digital piano that I was a little concerned. Luckily, it was only 5 days of work before I was able to return to my "regular" practice pianos. 100g is a ridiculous downweight, given many "modern" acoustic grand actions are weighed off to half that with the damper pedal depressed. The technique of playing keyboard instruments through history has changed as the instrument (including its touch weight) has evolved, however slowly. What organ has a 220 gram downweight?
Posted By: karvala

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/02/19 06:13 PM

Originally Posted by JoeT
[
Originally Posted by karvala
I haven't watched the initial video, but it's also worth noting that downweight is usually measured from 4mm below resting position in order to avoid issues around initial inertia, and the typical 45g-50g comfortable range that people talk about is based on that methodology. If you're measuring from the top including initial inertia, the downweight would need to be somewhat more.

The touch weight of the P-515's NWX 4 mm below resting position somewhere around 55 g for middle C. Is this heavy?


It's slightly on the heavy side of what is normal for acoustic pianos, but I don't think I've ever played a P-515 so I can't really comment on what it subjectively feels like.
Posted By: karvala

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/02/19 06:30 PM

It's an interesting debate on technique for different downweights. Historically pianos were much lighter, and much of the music currently played was intended for lighter instruments. The debate is nothing new; there is an account of a new prospective pupil of Liszt's turning up and playing Weber's A-flat sonata to him, and being horrified by how heavy the action on Liszt's piano was and barely being able to get through the piece. Like any athletic skill, you can learn to adapt to different conditions but it takes time, and it's not possible for most people trained on 50g to be able to play comfortably and without injury on 90g without a substantial training period.
Posted By: Ira Paul

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/02/19 06:45 PM

This is precisely why I won't buy a Clavinova CLP 695GP. It is an absolutely gorgeous piano. It also has a proper grand piano lid unlike comparable Kawais or even the Novus NV10. However, the stiffness of the higher end Yamahas that I've played is a deal-breaker for me. Kawai's Grand Feel Action has ruined me.
Posted By: Ira Paul

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/02/19 06:50 PM

Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Tommm777

Just out of curiosity, why do you keep both the Casio and the Kawai?

Why not?

I wish that I'd kept my Casio Privia PX560 when I bought my Kawai MP11SE. It's 25ish pounds was effortless to throw in the back of my truck. Not so with the Kawai. And it's more the size and balance than the weight.
Posted By: Alexander Borro

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/02/19 06:51 PM

Some of the stuff about weighting is discussed in this video, including what Robert thinks is sensible.

Good watch in any case.

Posted By: ShyPianist

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/02/19 07:05 PM

Thanks, I’ll try to watch that when there’s some free bandwidth here.

Quote
and it's not possible for most people trained on 50g to be able to play comfortably and without injury on 90g without a substantial training period.


Yes, and the point I was making is that such a training period seems to me totally unnecessary given that this weight is found on one or two synthetic actions and not on the vast majority of acoustic pianos.
Posted By: ShyPianist

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/02/19 10:38 PM

Fascinating video, thanks Alexander! I feel vindicated. 👍
Posted By: Colin Miles

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/03/19 09:50 AM

Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Fascinating video, thanks Alexander! I feel vindicated. 👍

Yes indeed. From around 16 mins onwards well worth listening to about playability and touch weight - and the differences between Steinway pianos.
Posted By: Alexander Borro

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/03/19 11:27 AM

Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Fascinating video, thanks Alexander! I feel vindicated. 👍


Glad you enjoyed. I find it a fascinating topic. It's one of my favourite piano interviews of all time in that channel, there so much golden information in there with some funny moments too.

Since I am just a hobbyist self teaching I wondered about these things as I went through my journey before that video came out, I am glad it did, a lot of the stuff confirmed at least what I already thought and learned elsewhere. Ultimately, there is a lot more what makes an action feel light or heavy besides measuring with a bunch of coins however, and upweights are rarely discussed, which is another contributor how an an action feels. Most digital pianos the upweight is far higher than acoustics, that can contribute to fatigue when sustaining notes ( I suspect). The Casio I own has an upweight close to downweight, OTOH, the kawai is much more reasonable in that respect and more representative of a typical acoustic .

I didn't find the NWX in 645 too bad at all mind you, but the new grandtouch a step too far for me with the 675 being the worst offender of the lot. A lot of reasoning went into why I picked the kawai in the end of the day, and not a yamaha for my daily praccy, it wasn't for the sound, but the action, but it wasn't an easy choice, The Roland PHA-50 action was also a contender at the time, but the kawai won for various reasons.

For me, years of typing, starting on those heavy dumb terminals have taken their toll over time. Sometimes I would feel it in my fingers with the Casio. Even though the kawai does have a heavier action than my previous Casio, I've had no issues with it whatsoever. The occasional pain I would get I've never experienced again with the Kawai. I also saw a teacher few times just to check I wasn't doing anything horrendously wrong with technique and posture, but she was very happy with my progress, apart from some minor suggestions which I incorporated since.

I also learned a lot from sports when I was younger about the benefits of low resistance training with faster repetition on bikes, versus higher resistance with lower repetition rates, the latter gave me knee problems at the time, which the former approach solved nicely. Learning from that, I am not a firm believer in the benefit of overly heavy actions, just for the sake of it, with the believe you'll gain strength more quickly versus getting injured.

I think with your experience you'll enjoy the kawai a lot ... I hope , I'd love to hear your feedback when you do get it.

Cheers.
Posted By: ShyPianist

Re: Kawai's GFII vs Yamaha's Grand Touch (CLP685) - 03/03/19 01:01 PM

Thanks Alexander, I can’t wait for it to arrive! The only problem is exactly where it’s going to go. The allocated space was filled up with, erm, “stuff” while I was away! In the meantime I am still enjoying my upright (pain free 😉).

PS I agree the 645 action was fine, it was just a bit “meh” compared to others.
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