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To put my question into context:
I first learned to play in my early 20s. I went the traditional route of weekly piano lessons, and got my ABRSM grade 5 within a couple of years. I bought an old acoustic upright to play on; however, it had a very light touch, and I found that whenever I played other acoustics, such as my piano tutor's, I found them harder to play as I hadn't developed the necessary finger strength. I also learned a few "show" pieces, such as Maple Leaf Rag. However, that's as far as I went. Life took over: I got married, had kids, and found no time to play piano any more - I always struggled with the sight reading anyway, and I soon forgot the pieces I'd learned by heart. 

Over the years I've had every good intention of picking it back up again: 20 years ago we bought a new acoustic for the family home - I made sure to get one with a much heavier action this time, to ensure I didn't make the same mistake again. However, although my son has learned to play, I still never found the time.

I'm now about to turn 50 and the kids have either left home or are about to, and I have more time to be able to re-learn. I'm starting with the Maple Leaf Rag in order to prove to myself that I can get to where I was 25 years ago, before (hopefully) then moving on to other pieces. It's going well in that I can play half of it so far within a month or so of a few hours' practice per week. However, I think what's really holding me back is that I'm very conscious of the noise. It has a practice pedal, which lowers felt between the hammers and strings to make it quieter; however, it's still fairly loud even then, and it also changes the way it feels - I have to hit the keys much harder. My wife is going to get pretty fed up of me going over the same notes over and over again, and I'm conscious that, although the walls are good, noise does sometimes seep through to our neighbours.

So, although I very much enjoy playing the acoustic, and I like its sound and touch, I feel I need to buy a digital so I can play whenever I want to without being conscious of the noise. I would like it to feel as much like an acoustic as possible, so that I can build finger strength and not be phased if I ever were to play on a different instrument (e.g. friends or family) - and also have a heavier, rather than a lighter touch. 

From my research, it seems that Kawai have the most realistic acoustic-like action. My current favourite choice is the CA59 with the Grand Feel Compact action. However, at £2300 this costs a lot more than the CA49 at £1700 which has exactly the same action. You could argue that if I have an acoustic as well anyway, then why don't I just get the cheaper one? Well, it's likely that we'll eventually get rid of the acoustic altogether due to the size (and volume) of it, and replace it with the digital - therefore, I think the extra features the CA59 offers will become beneficial: better speakers, better samples, higher polyphony, line outs, etc.

An alternative argument could be: if I'm spending £2300 anyway, then why not spend the extra £300 to get the CA79 which has the Grand Feel 3 action, which has longer keys and is apparently even more acoustic-like. Although from what I've read, it has a lighter touch than the Grand Feel Compact, and I really would prefer a heavier touch. I don't particularly aspire to having a "grand" piano anyway - an upright has always been fine for me; I wonder which feels more like an acoustic upright: the GFC or the GF3? 

And then I think to myself: wow, we're talking a lot of money now. Do I really need the GFC or GF3 action at all anyway given the level I'm at (i.e. essentially a beginner), or should I just go with the new ES920 at only £1400, which has the RH3 action? Presumably not as good as the GFC, and plastic instead of wooden keys, but how much difference will I really notice, as a beginner?

The trouble is, there's no chance of me trying these out in the shop as they're not allowing that due to covid, so I can only go with what the reviews say. And in any case, given my inexperienced playing, I trust what far more experienced reviewers have to say over my own opinion.
Which digital piano do you think I should buy? I've tried to use my back story to explain where I've come from. In terms of where I'm going to - I know that at my age I'm never going to be that competent, but I would like to be able to play a mix of pieces and styles, from classical to contemporary, just for my own pleasure. 

Thanks for any advice you can give!
Prepare for a wide range of answers, that will boil down to: Go and try it out to find out what you like best.

My parents own two grands that have a VERY differnt action. A C. Bechstein and a Yamaha. I own a Yamaha 675, and not surprisingly the action is rather close to the Yamaha grand, but completely different to the C.Bechstein. So you could say the 675 is very close and very far off to the real thing at the same time.
Originally Posted by mats24
Which digital piano feels most like an acoustic?
Obviously those with a real action from an acoustic piano: Yamaha Avant Grand, Kawai Novus.
Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by mats24
Which digital piano feels most like an acoustic?
Obviously those with a real action from an acoustic piano: Yamaha Avant Grand, Kawai Novus.

When it comes ro "feel" only i"d say the kawai wins, because it has the real damper pedal action, which is extra realistic. But of course there's much more to it than that aspect.
Why are you aiming for a heavier action when Ur not playing on Ur teachers piano anymore (20 years ago). Ur most likely only going to be playing at home anyway unless you start lessons again. I'd say pay a little more for the gf3. I've played both in the shop and the gf3 is miles ahead of the GFC.

GFC still feels too much like a digital. Gf3 feels a little more like abdigital pretending to be an acoustic ...if that makes any sense
Acouctic piano is, as its name suggest, a musical instrument. Its purpose is to generate some kind of music (sound). The generation process is caused by user interaction with the instrument. So 2 most important aspects are:
1. What kind of sound it produces?
2. How you make the instrument to produce the sound?

For me the 'feel' is the combination of two of the above. Which is more important for you is the matter of preference. If 2., then DPs with real action like Yamaha AG is the answer. If 1., then it's using VST.
Originally Posted by U3piano
Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by mats24
Which digital piano feels most like an acoustic?
Obviously those with a real action from an acoustic piano: Yamaha Avant Grand, Kawai Novus.

When it comes ro "feel" only i"d say the kawai wins, because it has the real damper pedal action, which is extra realistic. But of course there's much more to it than that aspect.

The main aspect is real hammer escapement.
Whether grand or upright, real actions themselves vary a lot. Feeling like a "real" piano stops being a virtue if it feels like one you don't like. ;-) But as JoeT said, the most real feeling ones should be the ones with real piano actions.

Closer to the price range you're looking at, I'd also check out the Casio Grand Hybrid. They start at £2699.
Originally Posted by JoeT
The main aspect is real hammer escapement.

Agreed, and both kawai and yamaha hybrids have this, as these are real actions, while the casio "hybrid" is not.
I could never translate another person's description of a keyboard action into anything meaningful to me.

Research is not very revealing. I have to try a piano for myself.

IMO, no try = no buy.
Is escapement the "main aspect" when the reference point of the OP is an upright, which doesn't have the same escapement as a grand?

Regardless, even if Yamaha and Kawai are still top of class, based on the models and the price range discussed in the OP, the Casio is likely to get him to a more faithful acoustic-like feeling than what he's looking at, at less of a budget stretch than going to an Avant Gramd or Novus. Though I haven't yet had the opportunity to play one myself.
Originally Posted by mats24
To put my question into context:
I first learned to play in my early 20s. I went the traditional route of weekly piano lessons, and got my ABRSM grade 5 within a couple of years. I bought an old acoustic upright to play on; however, it had a very light touch, and I found that whenever I played other acoustics, such as my piano tutor's, I found them harder to play as I hadn't developed the necessary finger strength. I also learned a few "show" pieces, such as Maple Leaf Rag. However, that's as far as I went. Life took over: I got married, had kids, and found no time to play piano any more - I always struggled with the sight reading anyway, and I soon forgot the pieces I'd learned by heart. 

Over the years I've had every good intention of picking it back up again: 20 years ago we bought a new acoustic for the family home - I made sure to get one with a much heavier action this time, to ensure I didn't make the same mistake again. However, although my son has learned to play, I still never found the time.

I'm now about to turn 50 and the kids have either left home or are about to, and I have more time to be able to re-learn. I'm starting with the Maple Leaf Rag in order to prove to myself that I can get to where I was 25 years ago, before (hopefully) then moving on to other pieces. It's going well in that I can play half of it so far within a month or so of a few hours' practice per week. However, I think what's really holding me back is that I'm very conscious of the noise. It has a practice pedal, which lowers felt between the hammers and strings to make it quieter; however, it's still fairly loud even then, and it also changes the way it feels - I have to hit the keys much harder. My wife is going to get pretty fed up of me going over the same notes over and over again, and I'm conscious that, although the walls are good, noise does sometimes seep through to our neighbours.

So, although I very much enjoy playing the acoustic, and I like its sound and touch, I feel I need to buy a digital so I can play whenever I want to without being conscious of the noise. I would like it to feel as much like an acoustic as possible, so that I can build finger strength and not be phased if I ever were to play on a different instrument (e.g. friends or family) - and also have a heavier, rather than a lighter touch. 

From my research, it seems that Kawai have the most realistic acoustic-like action. My current favourite choice is the CA59 with the Grand Feel Compact action. However, at £2300 this costs a lot more than the CA49 at £1700 which has exactly the same action. You could argue that if I have an acoustic as well anyway, then why don't I just get the cheaper one? Well, it's likely that we'll eventually get rid of the acoustic altogether due to the size (and volume) of it, and replace it with the digital - therefore, I think the extra features the CA59 offers will become beneficial: better speakers, better samples, higher polyphony, line outs, etc.

An alternative argument could be: if I'm spending £2300 anyway, then why not spend the extra £300 to get the CA79 which has the Grand Feel 3 action, which has longer keys and is apparently even more acoustic-like. Although from what I've read, it has a lighter touch than the Grand Feel Compact, and I really would prefer a heavier touch. I don't particularly aspire to having a "grand" piano anyway - an upright has always been fine for me; I wonder which feels more like an acoustic upright: the GFC or the GF3? 

And then I think to myself: wow, we're talking a lot of money now. Do I really need the GFC or GF3 action at all anyway given the level I'm at (i.e. essentially a beginner), or should I just go with the new ES920 at only £1400, which has the RH3 action? Presumably not as good as the GFC, and plastic instead of wooden keys, but how much difference will I really notice, as a beginner?

The trouble is, there's no chance of me trying these out in the shop as they're not allowing that due to covid, so I can only go with what the reviews say. And in any case, given my inexperienced playing, I trust what far more experienced reviewers have to say over my own opinion.
Which digital piano do you think I should buy? I've tried to use my back story to explain where I've come from. In terms of where I'm going to - I know that at my age I'm never going to be that competent, but I would like to be able to play a mix of pieces and styles, from classical to contemporary, just for my own pleasure. 

Thanks for any advice you can give!

There are plenty of exactly identical threads on this forum. Have you read them? I don't see a single reason to have one more dedicated thread for this topic.

The big surprise is how older members are eager to participate in topics like this that has no end to it. The best thing to do is to first educate the OP that s/he should learn how to use the forum tools before asking in an inapproprate place.

Threads like these needs to be either deleted or merged.
The discussion keeps the forum 'alive'. Look what happens with forums where 'older members' respond to every new question in a manner like 'it has been already discussed, close the topic'. Those forums usually die.
Originally Posted by anotherscott
Is escapement the "main aspect" when the reference point of the OP is an upright, which doesn't have the same escapement as a grand?

I think the difference between the escapement in an upright and a grand isn't that significant, the grand just allows for better repetition.

But, the difference between any of these 2 types of escapement compared to no escapement like on non-hybrid digital actions is significant.
Originally Posted by Abdol
There are plenty of exactly identical threads on this forum. Have you read them? .

Thanks for the helpful reply. Would you mind pasting me the links to them, because I did have a good search before but found nothing similar. I guess it may be due to my advanced years.
Originally Posted by FloRi89
Prepare for a wide range of answers, that will boil down to: Go and try it out to find out what you like best.

I really do wish I could, it would be so much easier. Alas, with covid...
Originally Posted by anotherscott
Is escapement the "main aspect" when the reference point of the OP is an upright, which doesn't have the same escapement as a grand?

An upright piano has the same hammer escapement as a grand. Otherwise it wouldn't function properly. Hammer escapement is technically required to prevent strings getting into mechanical contact with the key mechanism, which would mute them after being hit.

The latter is exactly what would happen if you would put felt on the hammers of a digital piano's folded action and let them hit actual strings. So it's not the horizontal or vertical (upright) alignment of the action or being folded above or below the keys what matters.

BTW: There is literally nothing stopping manufacturers from building real escapement into compact folded DP actions. They just decided to advertise "escapement", when there is actually none and they get away with it.
They are all pretty good these days, I think auditioning them with an open mind is important. To me all top quality digitals feel accurate. I have keyboards with and without escapement and to be honest, the difference in feel, while it is there, is of no concern to me and certainly would not be a deal breaker.

A few minutes on any acoustic and I am used to it, provided it isn't too light. If it is too light it may take 15 - 30 mins to get used to, no more.
If you like upright pianos anyway, maybe look at the AG-NU1x. Would that be out of your budget maybe? You will acquire a true upright piano action at the lowest price currently available.
Test the following

Top end:
Yamaha Avant Grand N1X, N3X
Kawai NV10

High end:
Yamaha CLP785
Kawai CA99
Casio GP510

Totally modelled:
Roland V-piano/Roland V-piano grand

Mid range:
Kawai ES8/ES920
Kawai CA59
Yamaha CLP765

Get a good feeling for the best, the high end, the mid range and the low range in a music store.

There is no one right answer, same as if you were shopping for Grand Pianos: what ever one person likes, another prefers something else.
More or less related:
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...option-for-classical-music-practice.html
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/1712982/most-realistic-action.html
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...ich-one-has-the-most-realistic-feel.html
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2162547/realistic-isnt-real.html
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...pc1-vs-mp11-which-is-more-realistic.html
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...-action-with-realistic-piano-action.html
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2871891/most-realistic-pha-50-vs-gfii-keys.html
I just had a neighbor coming up to complain about me playing at late night (post 11 p.m) and I apologized to her and decided to shift most of my practice time to mornings. Still I might want to practice during the night so I lowered the volume on my DP to half but the problem is that it doesn't feel quite like a piano, much less than before, being a mid-range DP (Korg C1).

What I'm trying to convey is that it's a compromise between respecting your neighbors and enjoying piano practice and I'm pretty sure you know that.

That being said, you can always use a good quality headphone, which could improve the "piano feel" a bit, but then you need to worry about damaging your hearing if using it with a high volume for a long time. So it's again a compromise of different kind. (and yes I know that loud sound could do bad to your ears regardless of the medium (acoustic piano or headphones), but it's the degree of harm that's definitive in this context)
Sounds to me from your writing that you're British; you should be able to try stuff out now; I can at my local dealers although local lockdowns may sffect this.
Originally Posted by AlphaBravoCharlie
The discussion keeps the forum 'alive'. Look what happens with forums where 'older members' respond to every new question in a manner like 'it has been already discussed, close the topic'. Those forums usually die.

No one said to put a ban on the discussion. This question has been asked and will be asked infinte number of times. The best thing to do is to have everything in one place. Like "digital piano action comparison section".

Believe it or not, it is much more informative than the way it is now.
@clothearednincompo - thanks for all the links; very helpful, particularly the more recent ones. It certainly demonstrates what @Abdol says about the number of times action in general has been discussed previously, and that a dedicated section in the forum would be useful.

@peterws - yes, I live in the North of England. My nearest stockist is Gear4Music - I phoned them to check if I would be able to try the pianos out in the store and they were clear that would not be possible. I'll see if I can find another store nearby, who may have a different view.

And thank you everyone else for your helpful replies. My budget is around £2500 max, so that excludes some of the high ends and hybrids. It's evident from all your comments that there really is no substitute for trying them out myself, as to a large extent it's a very personal decision.
I can vouch for the N3X and the NV10.
Originally Posted by Doug M.
Top end:
Yamaha Avant Grand N1X, N3X
Kawai NV10

High end:
Yamaha CLP785
Kawai CA99
Casio GP510

Totally modelled:
Roland V-piano/Roland V-piano grand

Mid range:
Kawai ES8/ES920
Kawai CA59
Yamaha CLP765
Any other digital is like a cheap bottle of bathtub wine.
Playing the N1X or NV10 is like sipping the finest import wine.
After playing those you don't want to touch any other digital piano.

Sigh. Me wants one. (Only a few more months ...)
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I can vouch for the N3X and the NV10.
Originally Posted by Doug M.
Top end:
Yamaha Avant Grand N1X, N3X
Kawai NV10

High end:
Yamaha CLP785
Kawai CA99
Casio GP510

Totally modelled:
Roland V-piano/Roland V-piano grand

Mid range:
Kawai ES8/ES920
Kawai CA59
Yamaha CLP765
Any other digital is like a cheap bottle of bathtub wine.
Playing the N1X or NV10 is like sipping the finest import wine.
After playing those you don't want to touch any other digital piano.

Sigh. Me wants one. (Only a few more months ...)

Can't afford any of those in cash, just possible with a high interest rate loan or... stealing.
P-515!
Originally Posted by mats24
@peterws - yes, I live in the North of England. My nearest stockist is Gear4Music - I phoned them to check if I would be able to try the pianos out in the store and they were clear that would not be possible. I'll see if I can find another store nearby, who may have a different view.

.

Promenade Music. Give 'em a ring first to be sure. Good luck!

https://www.promenademusic.co.uk/
N1X, NV10, N3X
Originally Posted by meghdad
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I can vouch for the N3X and the NV10.
Originally Posted by Doug M.
Top end:
Yamaha Avant Grand N1X, N3X
Kawai NV10

High end:
Yamaha CLP785
Kawai CA99
Casio GP510

Totally modelled:
Roland V-piano/Roland V-piano grand

Mid range:
Kawai ES8/ES920
Kawai CA59
Yamaha CLP765
Any other digital is like a cheap bottle of bathtub wine.
Playing the N1X or NV10 is like sipping the finest import wine.
After playing those you don't want to touch any other digital piano.

Sigh. Me wants one. (Only a few more months ...)

Can't afford any of those in cash, just possible with a high interest rate loan or... stealing.

You should try the high end ones anyway. It helps to put the other models in perspective.
Originally Posted by CyberGene
N1X, NV10, N3X

.....NU1X?
Originally Posted by mats24
And thank you everyone else for your helpful replies. My budget is around £2500 max, so that excludes some of the high ends and hybrids. It's evident from all your comments that there really is no substitute for trying them out myself, as to a large extent it's a very personal decision.

Your budget indeed excludes hybrids, but already own an acoustic piano anyway. One option to consider is to spend the budget to get that retro-fitted with silent piano.

Otherwise discussing the pros and cons of various folded actions is mostly a waste of time, they are not like an acoustic anyway. A standard-issue slab like Yamaha P-515, Roland FP-90 or Kawai MP11SE should serve you well for silent practice. Spending more on fancy upright-piano-styled consoles gets you the same kind of action with more beefy amplification (for what?), touchscreens and glossy paintjobs.
Try NV5 if it's within your budget. Whether action or sound in the DP, it'si more close to the acoustic piano.
OP already said his budget is £2500 so the NV5 is totally out of the question.
Hello mats24,

Originally Posted by mats24
@peterws - yes, I live in the North of England. My nearest stockist is Gear4Music - I phoned them to check if I would be able to try the pianos out in the store and they were clear that would not be possible. I'll see if I can find another store nearby, who may have a different view.

If you haven't done so already, please check the dealer locator on the Kawai UK website:

https://www.kawai.co.uk/dealersearch/

Covid undoubtedly complicates the "play-test all of the pianos that you are considering" recommendation, however there are still some dealers who are remaining open for business, and allow customers to visit on an appointment basis.

Hopefully you are able to find a dealer within driving distance and schedule a visit.

Best of luck!

Kind regards,
James
x
Most of these discussions are more than a few years old and therefore they do not focus on current models.

We need one discussion per year, e.g. 'Key action comparisons for digital pianos in 2020', 2021 etc.

I don't think 1 per year would be overdoing it. Other forums implement this strategy. Also each new discussion could also have a link back to the previous one, enabling easy browsing for newcomers.
Originally Posted by Beowulf
OP already said his budget is £2500 so the NV5 is totally out of the question.

I'm sorry that I didn't notice it, but within this budget, I think the flagship DPs are not too different from each other.
There should be some partss close to the AP, but still big differences.
If you really want a hybrid with a real action, £2500 should get you a used Yamaha Nu1, which is a very nice dp. You could always add different piano sounds by connecting it to a pc and using a vst later on.


Something like yamaha p515 or kawai mp11se could also be a great option.

Personally i'd go with kawai for their top-end non-hybrid actions.
There's also the option of buying something cheap (£500...1000) at first and waiting for the pandemic to cool down a bit after which you can perhaps visit piano stores again.

E.g. a Roland FP30 isn't "as close as possible" to a real piano but maybe enough as a short term compromise.

It will devalue a couple hundred pounds then in half a year, so that's the price to pay for such experiment.
I've been in a very similar situation only last year when I decided to take up piano studies again after an eternity of not playing. At that time I knew absolutely nothing about DP:s and turned to my piano contact at Steinway in Stockholm asking for advice on a good DP. I also wanted a nice living-room worthy cabinet.

He recommended the Kawai CS11 (think it's a GF2) which I bought new for about £3.300. After that I've purchased one 1982 Yamaha U1 acoustic and one new Kawai MP11SE (£2.000). And my impression is that these three pianos are remarkably similar as far as touch is concerned. So within your budget I would recommend the MP11SE, which sports a GF mechanism that feels just wonderful for my fingers. Others MMV of course, but I thought maybe this comparison could be of some use to you. Good luck in your search.

BTW - I tried out the U1 before I bought it, but both DP:s were bought unseen online. A bit scary, but worked out fine (for me).

PS. A low budget alternative that I used for some time was the Korg D1. Not bad at all for around £520.
Which digital piano feels, and sounds, exactly like playing a Steinway Model D? If there isn't one there should be, that'll be the only next DP I'll be buying.
Originally Posted by bluebilly
Which digital piano feels, and sounds, exactly like playing a Steinway Model D?

A Steinway D retrofitted with Silent Piano connected to Ivory 2 American Concert D or another VST (there are plenty Steinway D libraries available).

I know you tried being hyperbolic, but the task isn't actually hard to accomplish. If you want something to play like your grand, you MIDIfy your grand (either in the factory before buying it or aftermarket), then connect it to a digital piano of your choice.

There is really no need to play folded actions or listen to Casio sounds, if you don't want to and can spend the budget.
Alpha Piano uses an expensive Renner action, maybe very similar to the Renner action in a Steinway D.
I have a similar profile as OP.

My realisation was kawai NV10 has "real damper pedal action" which is important for my learner child, enough that I consider the us$11000odd price tag. Only thing holding me back is durability - how much faster does it wear and tear? If it can last with similar action for 15 years, i would go for it. But I suspect even if I want to spend to refurbish the action after 10 years, it may not be practical or affordable considering a model like this with a small market doesn't get good support in my country Singapore. Another worry is, no show room model to try, just in case the action somehow missed my expectation of what realistic means. Pity because if local distributor realises how strong this pedal selling point is, they would consider bringing in a show room demo piece. Problem is, most people don't seem to appreciate the usefulness of damper pedal action simulation.

Check that feature our, it's the only model that has it. It simply means, it has key action like acoustic when you don't press the sustain pedal. And it also has same action like acoustic when you press. No other DP yet does this.

Other DPs can only best do this: have a very similar action matching an acoustic with sustain pedal pressed all the time. This is because acoustics keys lighten when you press sustain pedal. If you don't mind this, and most hobbyists don't, CA79 is my recommendation followed by CLP-745.

Buyers of CLP-785 are trying to replicate acoustic action without pressing sustain pedal, which means it stimulates the heavier key action of an acoustic when played with no sustain. 785 is still a little lighter than acoustics with sustain not depressed, but very close.

I wish there is a silent piano that does not have the problem of increased distance between hammers and strings due to the silent bar. This is a significant limitation to play I suppose the pp and the ppp dynamics. Just single p is still ok but try playing softer and compare with acoustic. The keys don't hit the same way as you slowly gently depress. It's obvious.
Originally Posted by kailord
My realisation was kawai NV10 has "real damper pedal action" which is important for my learner child, enough that I consider the us$11000odd price tag. Only thing holding me back is durability - how much faster does it wear and tear? If it can last with similar action for 15 years, i would go for it. But I suspect even if I want to spend to refurbish the action after 10 years, it may not be practical or affordable considering a model like this with a small market doesn't get good support in my country Singapore. Another worry is, no show room model to try, just in case the action somehow missed my expectation of what realistic means. Pity because if local distributor realises how strong this pedal selling point is, they would consider bringing in a show room demo piece. Problem is, most people don't seem to appreciate the usefulness of damper pedal action simulation.

Any particular reason you think this? The Millennium III action in the NV-10 is exactly the same as in Kawai's acoustic pianos, so if the acoustics can last 15+ years (and I suspect generally they last MUCH, MUCH longer than that), without major regulation needed, the same would hold of the NV-10. In fact, I would suspect that the hybrid may require less regulation, since there are aspects to acoustic regulation that don't affect the hybrid (e.g., hammer shape, shank position, damper wires/felt position, etc.).
Originally Posted by kailord
Kawai NV10 has "real damper pedal action" which is important for my learner child, enough that I consider the us$11000odd price tag. Only thing holding me back is durability - how much faster does it wear and tear? If it can last with similar action for 15 years, i would go for it. But I suspect even if I want to spend to refurbish the action after 10 years, it may not be practical or affordable considering a model like this with a small market doesn't get good support in my country Singapore. Another worry is, no show room model to try, just in case the action somehow missed my expectation of what realistic means. Pity because if local distributor realises how strong this pedal selling point is, they would consider bringing in a show room demo piece. Problem is, most people don't seem to appreciate the usefulness of damper pedal action simulation.

Check that feature our, it's the only model that has it. It simply means, it has key action like acoustic when you don't press the sustain pedal. And it also has same action like acoustic when you press. No other DP yet does this.

Doesn't the NV5 also have a real damper action?

But yes, if you want a real grand piano action then the NV10 is the only one at the moment.

But for me the limitation on speed/efficiency of learning by having two different actions depending on whether the pedal is depressed is a reason not to own an acoustic - a big advantage of a digital, especially for beginners.

For a beginner musician you want the very least number of reasons why they won't fall in love with playing the instrument.
Originally Posted by Burkie
Does the NV5 also have a real damper action?

Yes it does.
Speaking of actions - has anyone heard/seen what action is inside the new Dexibell H10?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OomaW_-Ief4

Is it an existing Fatar, a new Fatar, or something like a Renner?!

Interesting how Dexibell are former Roland staff.
Originally Posted by Burkie
has anyone heard/seen what action is inside the new Dexibell H10?

The tech specs state "TP-400 W (Hybrid, Wood & Plastic): 88 Keys - Weighted, Hammer action,Triple contact Ivory & Ebony feels Escapement".
https://www.dexibell.com/prodotto/vivo-h10/?lang=en

It mentions user temperaments too, interesting since Roland's are usually fixed to ET.
Hmm, and from the manual the H10 offers -99.99 to +99.99 cents per note. KJ take note :-) Looks interesting to me, though here in Aus it seems to cost almost double the CA79.
Originally Posted by Burkie
Speaking of actions - has anyone heard/seen what action is inside the new Dexibell H10?

Is it an existing Fatar, a new Fatar, or something like a Renner?!

I don’t know, but it is cut under a waning moon, the wood!
Thanks! Good to stand corrected there are 2 models with damper pedal key action, NV-5 & NV-10 ! Really hope we get to the day when competition arrives.

Great to also know that with that significant investment, millennium key action being the same, and potentially being exposed to less wear due to no actual hitting of strings, might even have a chance to outlast acoustic keys? And since it's almost the same action, perhaps repairs may be nearly just as available as for millennium acoustic pianos, except maybe for some parts unique to digitals. The local distributor provides only 1 year warranty which is really unfair for the price being charged.

Children would mostly be exposed to one key weight until they get tall enough to reach pedals or use extenders, so the confusion with two weights may not come so early. By the time they get to try sustain, they are probably experienced enough to be able to handle two different weights. I'm lucky to not yet face a problem inspiring one of my children. Have to prep for the second child - boys are little harder to convince ... My portasound is on standby to help inspire.

I hope to one day but something like NV-10 but whole waiting to commit and for market to compete. I'll aim for a US$2000-4000 used acoustic.
Originally Posted by kailord
Thanks! Good to stand corrected there are 2 models with damper pedal key action, NV-5 & NV-10 ! Really hope we get to the day when competition arrives.
I'm actually hoping for the opposite:
The day they solve this problem in acoustics!
E.g. they have power-dampers that raise automatically when keys are pressed, rather than sapping the energy from the player's fingers smile
Originally Posted by Burkey
I'm actually hoping for the opposite:
The day they solve this problem in acoustics!

This is not "problem" in acoustic pianos. When the pedal is down, a light touch is preferable, as it eases playing virtuous literature.*) When playing older polyphonic music OTOH, a decent key weights helps with not accidentally raising a damper (which doesn't matter for works using pedal).

So, while everyone wants to have his digital play like a grand, nobody whats his grand piano play like a digital.

*) The hammer escapement missing in folded action helps further with it. Playing virtuous on a escapement-less, damper-less digital is a strain with a big risk for injury.
Though this might be possible, wouldn't it make a digital piano LESS like an acoustic?
And ... isn't the lack of actual dampers already a "feature" of nearly all digital pianos ... EXCEPT FOR the Novus?

(Or were you seeking these "power dampers" in an acoustic piano?)
Originally Posted by Burkey
... power-dampers that raise automatically when keys are pressed, rather than sapping the energy from the player's fingers smile
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Though this might be possible, wouldn't it make a digital piano LESS like an acoustic?
And ... isn't the lack of actual dampers already a "feature" of nearly all digital pianos ... EXCEPT FOR the Novus?

There are four occasions where we can measure key weight of an acoustic piano:

1. Key up: heavy (hammer and damper weight on the key)
2. Key down: lighter (hammer escaped)
3. Key up with pedal: less heavy (damper lifted) - here we get the 50 grams number
4. Key down with pedal: lightest (damper lifted and hammer escaped)

Digital piano folded actions get three of those four wrong:

1. Key up: heavy - right
2. Key down: heavy - wrong (hammer weight still on)
3. Key up with pedal: heavy - wrong (hammer weight doesn't get lighter)
4. Key down with pedal: heavy - wrong (hammer weight still on, doesn't get lighter)

No wonder that people consider digital actions as "too heavy". They are. Obviously you can make the digital action lighter, by turning the first right into a wrong as well.

Key weight on an acoustic piano varies all the time and from bass to treble as well, which integrates well with actual music written for the instrument. That's why the idea of making the keys all the same weight is just stupid. You can have that by simply buying an organ/synth action.
Originally Posted by JoeT
Digital piano folded actions get three of those four wrong:

1. Key up: heavy - right
I understand the theiretical point you're making, but in practice, one of the biggest issues I have with many of the compact (slab style, i.e. folded) actions is that the push back is too severe. On a real piano, it takes almost no effort at all to keep a key pressed down, iand as you lift your finger, you don't feel "pushed" up at all. On lots of these DPs, the keys do push up at you.

Originally Posted by JoeT
the idea of making the keys all the same weight is just stupid. You can have that by simply buying an organ/synth action.
The biggest basic design difference between piano and organ/synth actions has nothing to do with whether or not all the keys are the same weight. The relatively few "balanced" (non-graded) hammer actions still feel MUCH more like a piano than an organ/synth action does.
Originally Posted by JoeT
... That's why the idea of making the keys all the same weight is just stupid...

If you split the keyboard in different zones for different voices, it wont feel natural. That's why usually high end synths don't have graded hammer actions so that the zones feel the same while you're playing different voices.

To me it doesn't matter but to some it matters. I learned this here.
Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by JoeT
Digital piano folded actions get three of those four wrong:

1. Key up: heavy - right
I understand the theiretical point you're making, but in practice, one of the biggest issues I have with many of the compact (slab style, i.e. folded) actions is that the push back is too severe. On a real piano, it takes almost no effort at all to keep a key pressed down, iand as you lift your finger, you don't feel "pushed" up at all. On lots of these DPs, the keys do push up at you.

You misread it: "Key up" means the key weight when "key is up". The weight force needed to hold the key down is designated as "Key down". And of course that weight is wrong on a folded action: way too heavy.
Originally Posted by JoeT
Digital piano folded actions get three of those four wrong:

1. Key up: heavy - right
2. Key down: heavy - wrong (hammer weight still on)
3. Key up with pedal: heavy - wrong (hammer weight doesn't get lighter)
4. Key down with pedal: heavy - wrong (hammer weight still on, doesn't get lighter)

No wonder that people consider digital actions as "too heavy". They are.

BTW: I see no reason why everyone needs to buy a hybrid with a full grand action just to get these right. You could get all four of those right in compact folded plastic action inside a slab without inventing any new technology.

All you need is:

1. Proper mechanical hammer escapement mechanism build out of plastic or metal below the keys.

2. Metal damper weights on the keys operated either mechanically by a damper rail (inside consoles) or by a voice coil actuator (aka electromagnets) according to pedal input (inside slabs).

3. Hall sensors for the keys to get rid of those embarrassing rubber strips, which belong to cheap computer keyboards and influence the weighting as well.

This action actually doesn't need to be heavier, because you can subtract the damper weight from the hammer weight. Also the weight of the two upper octaves is going to be correct (without dampers), so the end result will even be lighter.

One question about the NV-10: Does the Sostenuto pedal work correctly key-weight-wise?
Feels..... hmmm........

I will assume you are implying the total experience..... playing and the feedback loop of hearing.... i.e., FEELS.

For that, you will need an excellent playback system. The amplifier/speaker setup is very important and way overlooked in my opinion. Others here have noted many aspects, one that is close to me is the amplifier speakers. For that, bigger and more expensive is better. Just is.

Notice the most expensive home digital pianos have large, multi speaker arrays. Note I wrote "arrays". The placement of the speakers, their orientation, the baffles they are mounted to and many other construction aspects are all directly related to feel. If you choose to not buy a keyboard with speakers, then I propose a system like I built for myself at home.... made up mostly of used, cobbled together bits.... the feel is outstanding and I wish everyone who plays a digital keyboard could experience my setup. Not perfect at all, but better than any I played.

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2915938/my-updated-rig-added-more-speakers.html

(check back to that link for a picture.... my website is down due to a technical issue... I am working with my hosting vendor to get it back up... crazy issue.. may take some days to resolve).


Peace
Bruce in Philly
Thanks for the clarification, Joe.
Originally Posted by JoeT
One question about the NV-10: Does the Sostenuto pedal work correctly key-weight-wise?

Nope, there's no sostenuto bar/mechanism on the NV-10/NV-5 dampers. While it'd be nice to have this (and the soft pedal) implemented to get a "full" action, I personally never use any pedal other than the sustain so at least for it's not a particularly big bang for the buck.

OTOH, I'd really love to see per-key damper sensors for key-off sensing and velocity. The functioning damper weights are already there, just waiting to be used...
Originally Posted by JoeT
There are four occasions where we can measure key weight of an acoustic piano:

1. Key up: heavy (hammer and damper weight on the key)
2. Key down: lighter (hammer escaped)
3. Key up with pedal: less heavy (damper lifted) - here we get the 50 grams number
4. Key down with pedal: lightest (damper lifted and hammer escaped)

Digital piano folded actions get three of those four wrong:

1. Key up: heavy - right
2. Key down: heavy - wrong (hammer weight still on)
3. Key up with pedal: heavy - wrong (hammer weight doesn't get lighter)
4. Key down with pedal: heavy - wrong (hammer weight still on, doesn't get lighter)

No wonder that people consider digital actions as "too heavy". They are. Obviously you can make the digital action lighter, by turning the first right into a wrong as well.

Thanks that summaries very well! Didn't realise weight 2 and weight 4 also needs to be different to complete the simulation of acoustic action. It seems then that NV-5/10 manages to simulate all these and also the rest of the finer differences between acoustics and digitals except for sostenuto weight and quiet pedal touch. I guess quiet pedal is something not really worth replicating and sostenuto pedal is limited use enough such that the release of the NV models marks a significant milestone in DP technology not achieved previously. Just hope competition catches up to benefit buyers. It seems kawai marketing doesn't emphasis this clearly enough to win market share.

And looking back at DPs in the market, heavy action models like CLP-785 seek to replicate heavyiness of weight 1 but key upweight ends up being too heavy beyond weight 2. Lighter models like CA79/99 CLP-745 seek to replicate the less heavy of weight 3 but key upweight ends up closer to weight 2 instead of weight 4.

What else does NV-10 lack in terms of key action? Did it file replicate all 4 weights of kawai grand? Including keybed feel which sounds like it's easily replicated by having a millennium action keybed? The deviation of NV-10 from actual kawai grand would then only lie in the actual impact of hammer with strings which may not be any perceptible difference as the hammer rebounds and the rebound gets transmitted back up to the key.

Key durability was mentioned earlier that it potentially could be higher than acoustics due to lack of contact between hammer and strings. Key sensors are optical (?) which adds to durability I suppose. That means the only thing left is durability of electronics and speaker material.

I think speaker material might degenerate after 20-40 years and by then, like for like replacement might not be easily sourced from kawai. But by then it's really time to reward ourselves with the next latest toy.

I'm more inclined now to consider an NV-10 even without having a chance to try out in showroom. Perhaps the only practical fear left is mishandling during shipment and inadequate support to rectify faults resulting from that. This we would be at mercy of distributor honouring warranty terms lasting only 1 year.

And maybe how close a competitor would come along.

Appreciate further advice on these last considerations of go no go! Thanks everyone!
Originally Posted by kailord
I think speaker material might degenerate after 20-40 years and by then, like for like replacement might not be easily sourced from kawai. But by then it's really time to reward ourselves with the next latest toy.
Are you seriously considering using a digital piano for 20-40 years?
Good point. My twelve-year-old Clav is overdue for replacement. I cannot imagine owning it for 20+ years.
Originally Posted by Beowulf
Originally Posted by kailord
I think speaker material might degenerate after 20-40 years and by then, like for like replacement might not be easily sourced from kawai. But by then it's really time to reward ourselves with the next latest toy.
Are you seriously considering using a digital piano for 20-40 years?
I am trying to justify an investment of US$12000 on an NV-10. I'm no professional and would normally not consider purchases such as acoustics beyond the price of US$5000 (upright) but this is because traditionally there is only so much money can buy. But it seems tech has caught up with acoustics such that I see reason to dump US$12000 because the value is so much more - with this doubling of investment, the returns are invaluable - a grand action that only can be obtained on used acoustics from US$7000 and up, sound output of a quality (grand-like) beyond what upright grands can arguably achieve, the ability to switch high quality piano samples to effectively enjoy multiple instruments instead of being chained to one sound for US$7000+, the usability features of DP playing that greatly enhances experience (split keyboard, non piano sounds, silent or lower volume playing, recording, layering for training purposes). Space savings compared to baby grand footprint.

Maybe I am being greedy. As I list the above, I feel enough justification already to place the order. Just trying to suss out the level of confidence I can get to have a 20 year lifespan to amortise this investment and tell myself it's only US$2 a day over 20 years! (similar cost c.f. acoustic rental of an equivalent acoustic product).
@kailord: You didn't say where you're located. But in the US I don't think you'd need to pay $12,000.
The prices paid thread shows prices ranging from $7500 to $11,000.
Average $9,281 and standard deviation $1,038
Originally Posted by kailord
I am trying to justify an investment of US$12000 on an NV-10. I'm no professional and would normally not consider purchases such as acoustics beyond the price of US$5000 (upright) but this is because traditionally there is only so much money can buy. But it seems tech has caught up with acoustics such that I see reason to dump US$12000 because the value is so much more - with this doubling of investment, the returns are invaluable - a grand action that only can be obtained on used acoustics from US$7000 and up, sound output of a quality (grand-like) beyond what upright grands can arguably achieve, the ability to switch high quality piano samples to effectively enjoy multiple instruments instead of being chained to one sound for US$7000+, the usability features of DP playing that greatly enhances experience (split keyboard, non piano sounds, silent or lower volume playing, recording, layering for training purposes). Space savings compared to baby grand footprint.

Maybe I am being greedy. As I list the above, I feel enough justification already to place the order. Just trying to suss out the level of confidence I can get to have a 20 year lifespan to amortise this investment and tell myself it's only US$2 a day over 20 years! (similar cost c.f. acoustic rental of an equivalent acoustic product).
Tech has definitely not caught up with acoustics. At least not sound-wise. The highest end digital pianos are the Novus and AvantGrand even these do not come close to being able to produce certain harmonics and expression which you can do even on a low end acoustic upright. You are paying for the Novus for the fact you can practice without disturbing others and still be able to enjoy an acoustic touch. Technology goes out of date relatively quickly. Even a 2011 digital piano is rather outdated now and that's less than a decade ago. But hey, if you don't mind outdated tech, I believe the Novus should still be an enjoyable experience for you 30 years down the road, barring a few wear and tear that may occur on the key sensors and stuff. The keys themselves would probably need regulating from time to time but it shouldn't be a big issue if not for any serious mishandling.
Originally Posted by kailord
I am trying to justify an investment of US$12000 on an NV-10. I'm no professional and would normally not consider purchases such as acoustics beyond the price of US$5000 (upright) but this is because traditionally there is only so much money can buy. But it seems tech has caught up with acoustics such that I see reason to dump US$12000 because the value is so much more - with this doubling of investment, the returns are invaluable - a grand action that only can be obtained on used acoustics from US$7000 and up, sound output of a quality (grand-like) beyond what upright grands can arguably achieve, the ability to switch high quality piano samples to effectively enjoy multiple instruments instead of being chained to one sound for US$7000+, the usability features of DP playing that greatly enhances experience (split keyboard, non piano sounds, silent or lower volume playing, recording, layering for training purposes). Space savings compared to baby grand footprint.

Maybe I am being greedy. As I list the above, I feel enough justification already to place the order. Just trying to suss out the level of confidence I can get to have a 20 year lifespan to amortise this investment and tell myself it's only US$2 a day over 20 years! (similar cost c.f. acoustic rental of an equivalent acoustic product).

I think it's entirely fair to look at a ~$10k digital piano purchase and compare the advantages and drawbacks of a ~$10k acoustic grand, including longevity. With that said, the simple answer is that the digital is like a computer, it'll be subject to all of the plusses and minuses of electronics, including storage medium degradation, heat/electrical cycling, component MTBF, etc. And maybe it'll last 20 years. Maybe it'll even last 50 years, but I wouldn't bet on those levels of lifecycle. A computer won't last as long as a paper notebook, but you're ultimately paying for something other than longevity.
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
@kailord: You didn't say where you're located. But in the US I don't think you'd need to pay $12,000.
The prices paid thread shows prices ranging from $7500 to $11,000.
Average $9,281 and standard deviation $1,038
I believe he's from Singapore which is also where I'm from. Unfortunately, our only dealer for Kawai here refuses to have the Novus line in their showroom for trying out as the market is too small for it. I might have chosen the NV5 or NV10 over the N1X had I gotten the opportunity to try but it's risky paying more for something I may not find satisfactory.
Originally Posted by kailord
Thanks that summaries very well! Didn't realise weight 2 and weight 4 also needs to be different to complete the simulation of acoustic action. It seems then that NV-5/10 manages to simulate all these and also the rest of the finer differences between acoustics and digitals except for sostenuto weight and quiet pedal touch. I guess quiet pedal is something not really worth replicating and sostenuto pedal is limited use enough such that the release of the NV models marks a significant milestone in DP technology not achieved previously. Just hope competition catches up to benefit buyers. It seems kawai marketing doesn't emphasis this clearly enough to win market share.

And looking back at DPs in the market, heavy action models like CLP-785 seek to replicate heavyiness of weight 1 but key upweight ends up being too heavy beyond weight 2. Lighter models like CA79/99 CLP-745 seek to replicate the less heavy of weight 3 but key upweight ends up closer to weight 2 instead of weight 4.

It should be noted that it is not that revolutionary, as any upright with silent gets all four weights right and modern grand piano with silent also provides a shifting action and sostenuto.

That's why my recommendation is to get an ATX/AURES/SC2/SH2/TA acoustic upright or grand, which do everything Novus and Avant Grand do, but better.
Originally Posted by JoeT
Key weight on an acoustic piano varies all the time and from bass to treble as well.

Actually no: the weight difference between A0 and C8 on both acoustic grands and uprights is very minimal (imperceptible).

Steinway & Fazioli have about a 3-4 gram difference. On a C.Bechstein A124 upright it is 5-6 grams.

This is a very common misconception, and a common flaw in digitals to have large weight gradations.

Acoustic manufacturers have always tried to minimize/eliminate this weight difference across the keys - it therefore makes zero sense to treat it as a necessity/feature.

Originally Posted by JoeT
which integrates well with actual music written for the instrument. That's why the idea of making the keys all the same weight is just stupid.
Actually Mozart didn't even have a damper/pedal for most/all of his instruments!

Perhaps calling the idea stupid warrants some thought and reconsideration.
Originally Posted by JoeT
There are four occasions where we can measure key weight of an acoustic piano:

1. Key up: heavy (hammer and damper weight on the key)
2. Key down: lighter (hammer escaped)
3. Key up with pedal: less heavy (damper lifted) - here we get the 50 grams number
4. Key down with pedal: lightest (damper lifted and hammer escaped)

Digital piano folded actions get three of those four wrong:

1. Key up: heavy - right
2. Key down: heavy - wrong (hammer weight still on)
3. Key up with pedal: heavy - wrong (hammer weight doesn't get lighter)
4. Key down with pedal: heavy - wrong (hammer weight still on, doesn't get lighter)

No wonder that people consider digital actions as "too heavy". They are. Obviously you can make the digital action lighter, by turning the first right into a wrong as well.

Thanks JoeT - is is a good summary.

We should pin this up the top in a FAQ page.

I'm sure 99% of beginners/the general public do not understand how keyboard actions work!

Although I recommend changing 'right' and 'wrong' to 'lighter' and 'heavier' - as perhaps their are some people who prefer heavy actions! But I'm with you - I find it more enjoyable to play when the action is less tiring.
Originally Posted by Burkey
Originally Posted by JoeT
Key weight on an acoustic piano varies all the time and from bass to treble as well.

Actually no: the weight difference between A0 and C8 on both acoustic grands and uprights is very minimal (imperceptible).

Imperceptible for you.

Quote
Steinway & Fazioli have about a 3-4 gram difference. On a C.Bechstein A124 upright it is 5-6 grams.

Perfectly perceptible for me.

Quote
Acoustic manufacturers have always tried to minimize/eliminate this weight difference across the keys

Citation needed. Making the necessary grading linear is what it is about.

Might remind you, that there is not only a hammer weight difference, the is also a damper weight difference (both technically required in acoustic instrument), for which is accounted for in digital emulations.

Quote
This is a very common misconception, and a common flaw in digitals to have large weight gradations.

No, their flaw is being graded in large groups with awkward transitions.

Quote
Originally Posted by JoeT
which integrates well with actual music written for the instrument. That's why the idea of making the keys all the same weight is just stupid.
Actually Mozart didn't even have a damper/pedal for most/all of his instruments!

And Bach didn't even write music for the pianoforte - because it didn't exist yet. But there still is lots of music explicitly written for it and not for late 20th century digital synthesizers.
Originally Posted by JoeT
Quote
Acoustic manufacturers have always tried to minimize/eliminate this weight difference across the keys

Citation needed. Making the necessary grading linear is what it is about.

Might remind you, that there is not only a hammer weight difference, the is also a damper weight difference (both technically required in acoustic instrument), for which is accounted for in digital emulations.
This has been discussed on the forum many times over the past year: the only reason for the difference in weights is the difference in strings.

I.e. it was never a design choice - it was always a design limitation.

And therefore it is certainly not something that should be blindly perpetuated or endorsed as 'correct'.
Originally Posted by Burkey
I.e. it was never a design choice - it was always a design limitation.

Since I started playing multiple acoustic instruments instead of just digital synthesizers I started to think differently on what people on this forum like to call "design limitations".

For example the guitar fretboard features frets which naturally aren't spaced apart evenly, due to the fact how intervals relate to string length. This makes chords a stretch on one end and kinda fiddly on the other end.

Yet, if you would change that digitally to make the instrument easier for beginners, it would make some repertoire unplayable.

Quote
And therefore it is certainly not something that should be blindly perpetuated or endorsed as 'correct'.

It is correct for the music written for that "design limitation" and correct for digital replica of it.
sorry for mis-estimate of price - it's US$10630 (there's tax 7% which i'm not sure the dealer is going to charge or not, haven't asked).

about silent pianos - i realised about the increased distance between hammer & string on the silents, and only had the chance to try it out on a used U1 silent once, and the limitation was perceptible. definitely for my ordinary skills having problem playing ppp on the U1 silent, and even for pp, may have some difficulty consistently. single p should be fine. so i can't get it, since playing pp is a necessity, and some might say, ppp is also important to play a nice smooth fade out.

as for the design limitation, a few things are recently changing which theoretically swings in favour of ordinary DPs. due to covid, ABRSM exams have become online, and they accept weighted DPs. theoretically u can go grade 8 with your home favourite DP that is reasonably recognised by ABRSM. right now diploma level mandates acoustic. judging by this, and the training is for my child, not myself, if my child is so fortunate to attain grade 8 (i never did) being slick on the DP, there'll be a learning jump to take on acoustic if going further. also, the grade 8 DP skills may be hampered whenever playing on acoustics at other venues, or even DPs with different weights. i for one stumbled in my past on a softer acoustic, when exam pianos were consistently harder, and unless i rented lots of practise time, i recall it was persistently one of my my stumbling blocks. so for a kid purely on DP, using acoustics elsewhere would be fine for just playing, but tricky for performance. and acoustics aren't going anyway. they're the gold standard, where the digital is trying to emulate. and no matter how many speakers u place on how many soundboards, a DP grand will be hard pressed to replace an acoustic grand - but a DP grand can make many other sounds an acoustic grand can't. but if it's a piano recital on acoustic grand, u need the skills to handle it, pedaling keys and all.

how does the linear key weight happen in an acoustic, the hammers are slightly different? cos the strings don't weigh on the hammers. or the dampers are slightly different to damp the heavier thicker strings? or it's a deliberate design to weigh down the lower keys to help tame the volume of loud low notes, so that it helps balance bass-treble from the performer's fingers?
Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Burkey
I.e. it was never a design choice - it was always a design limitation.

Since I started playing multiple acoustic instruments instead of just digital synthesizers I started to think differently on what people on this forum like to call "design limitations".

For example the guitar fretboard features frets which naturally aren't spaced apart evenly, due to the fact how intervals relate to string length. This makes chords a stretch on one end and kinda fiddly on the other end.

Yet, if you would change that digitally to make the instrument easier for beginners, it would make some repertoire unplayable.

Quote
And therefore it is certainly not something that should be blindly perpetuated or endorsed as 'correct'.

It is correct for the music written for that "design limitation" and correct for digital replica of it.

I guess music, maybe all music is subconciously at least, written with those limitations in mind . . .or those of the composer!
Just imagine writing this masterpiece. The best! Then someone asks you to play it; you then hand it over to the wife . . ."Gerronwivit!"
Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Burkey
[quote=JoeT]
Key weight on an acoustic piano varies all the time and from bass to treble as well.

Actually no: the weight difference between A0 and C8 on both acoustic grands and uprights is very minimal (imperceptible).

Imperceptible for you.

Quote
Steinway & Fazioli have about a 3-4 gram difference. On a C.Bechstein A124 upright it is 5-6 grams.

Perfectly perceptible for me.

Quote
Acoustic manufacturers have always tried to minimize/eliminate this weight difference across the keys

Citation needed. Making the necessary grading linear is what it is about.

Might remind you, that there is not only a hammer weight difference, the is also a damper weight difference (both technically required in acoustic instrument), for which is accounted for in digital emulations.

Quote
This is a very common misconception, and a common flaw in digitals to have large weight gradations.

No, their flaw is being graded in large groups with awkward transitions.
[quote=JoeT]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Claims can sometimes be verified. Some have even been scientifically examined many times.

The question of which smallest differences in stimuli people can still distinguish with their sensory organs is not only of scientific interest. Business and industry also need reliable data from such so-called JNDs (just noticeable differences) in order to be able to appropriately design machines, devices and objects of daily use.

The ability to sense minimal differences in weight or strength with one finger has therefore often been carefully examined scientifically. For this purpose, different weights were used in each case (even down to 50g) and then experimentally checked which minimal deviation from this respective weight could just be recognized by different healthy test persons.

The result, which has been confirmed again and again, was that the JND when pressing a spring-loaded button or lifting a weight was always almost exactly 10% of the applied force in all test subjects. In other words, if you press a piano key with a down-weight of approx. 60g (with the pedal depressed, 80-100g without the pedal), the weight of another key must differ by at least 6g (8-10g) to make up the difference to notice. Smaller differences in weight are simply not noticed.

So I believe Burkey's remarks are correct, and it is no coincidence that the measurable difference in the weighting of keyboards lies on this imperceptible border. And weighting in groups which differ by even less should not be a problem because there should be no perceptible awkward transitions, so more linearity would be not noticeable.

As an example, a reference of such investigations (from many) as requested by JoeT:

Brodie, E. & Ross, H. "Sensorimotor mechanisms in weight discrimination." Perception and Psychophysics, 36, 1984, pp. 477-481
Originally Posted by Burkey
Actually no: the weight difference between A0 and C8 on both acoustic grands and uprights is very minimal (imperceptible).

Steinway & Fazioli have about a 3-4 gram difference. On a C.Bechstein A124 upright it is 5-6 grams.

This is a very common misconception, and a common flaw in digitals to have large weight gradations.

Acoustic manufacturers have always tried to minimize/eliminate this weight difference across the keys - it therefore makes zero sense to treat it as a necessity/feature.

Unless you are playing extremely softly, the difference between the bass and treble is very noticeable on an acoustic grand. This is especially true on concert grands.
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by Burkey
Actually no: the weight difference between A0 and C8 on both acoustic grands and uprights is very minimal (imperceptible).

Steinway & Fazioli have about a 3-4 gram difference. On a C.Bechstein A124 upright it is 5-6 grams.

This is a very common misconception, and a common flaw in digitals to have large weight gradations.

Acoustic manufacturers have always tried to minimize/eliminate this weight difference across the keys - it therefore makes zero sense to treat it as a necessity/feature.

Unless you are playing extremely softly, the difference between the bass and treble is very noticeable on an acoustic grand. This is especially true on concert grands.

Indeed, if you're unable to sense the weight differences, you will never sound even on an acoustic. You can already tell who on this thread has actual grand piano experience and who only looks at fancy VSTs on their computer.
Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by Burkey
Actually no: the weight difference between A0 and C8 on both acoustic grands and uprights is very minimal (imperceptible).

Steinway & Fazioli have about a 3-4 gram difference. On a C.Bechstein A124 upright it is 5-6 grams.

This is a very common misconception, and a common flaw in digitals to have large weight gradations.

Acoustic manufacturers have always tried to minimize/eliminate this weight difference across the keys - it therefore makes zero sense to treat it as a necessity/feature.

Unless you are playing extremely softly, the difference between the bass and treble is very noticeable on an acoustic grand. This is especially true on concert grands.

Indeed, if you're unable to sense the weight differences, you will never sound even on an acoustic. You can already tell who on this thread has actual grand piano experience and who only looks at fancy VSTs on their computer.
Which user are you claiming 'only looks at fancy VSTs on their computer'?! I hope you're not trying to be a snide Mr jump to conclusions!

My point was that whilst the difference in weight between A0 and C8 is obviously perceptible - most of the music I play does not jump 8 octaves in one hand from A0 to C8! I'm guessing you must be playing some very contemporary/futuristic music to be doing that!

A jump of 2 octaves from say C4 to C6 is only about a 1 gram difference in weight.

Again: imperceptible to most, certainly for beginners - despite your claims to the contrary.

Weight grading is certainly not some 'feature' of acoustic pianos, nor something that any digital piano should be marketing as a distinguishing feature!
In the field of psychology it is actually a well known cognitive bias called 'functional fixedness' that limits people from realizing that digital pianos are not bound by the limitations of acoustic pianos:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functional_fixedness

In an acoustic piano the sound output is limited by the ability of the action to impart energy into the strings - and likewise the action is limited by the hammer weights and damper weights.

A digital piano has both of those limitations removed - the sound and action are completely decoupled from each other.

Often people looking to purchase a piano don't understand this due to functional fixedness.
I think this is an interesting observation:
Quote
The question of which smallest differences in stimuli people can still distinguish with their sensory organs is not only of scientific interest. Business and industry also need reliable data from such so-called JNDs (just noticeable differences) in order to be able to appropriately design machines, devices and objects of daily use.
To me that notion brings into focus two "camps" of thinking.

The quote above bring to mind those who think about and describe the physical world. Here that refers to the trappings of piano mechanics, from the ivory to the soundboard, and everything in between.

On the other hand there are those who focus upon the perceptions of the performer, his experience at the piano, and his reaction to it.

It seems clear to me that no cogent argument can take place across that divide without first recognizing that the points made in any such discussion stem from these two, very different viewpoints.

What do you think about this?
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
What do you think about this?

I'm sure some people can tell the number of hammer weight zones and their transition points in a digital piano action.

...even if it's linearly graded and they just don't know it.
Originally Posted by Kammerklang
In other words, if you press a piano key with a down-weight of approx. 60g (with the pedal depressed, 80-100g without the pedal), the weight of another key must differ by at least 6g (8-10g) to make up the difference to notice. Smaller differences in weight are simply not noticed.
In a system with 88 gradual (individually imperceptible) shifts of weight, the inability to notice a difference from one key to an adjacent one does not mean you would not be able to notice the difference from one key to another that was some octaves away.

Originally Posted by Burkey
My point was that whilst the difference in weight between A0 and C8 is obviously perceptible - most of the music I play does not jump 8 octaves in one hand from A0 to C8!
No, but there are certainly runs and arpeggios that quickly cover numerous octaves, as well as of course where each hand is playing at a point octaves away from the other.

Personally, I barely notice any of it. Though when I was very young, I remember wishing that the bottom keys were as easy to play on our acoustic as the top octaves were!

If heavier bottom keys are an unnecessary impediment forced on us by the physics of designing pianos, something builders of better pianos tried to find ways to minimize, then you can argue as to whether we should keep untentionally replicating that flaw when we don't need to. The best argument in favor of it is probably that it prepares people for when they will play a real piano, if that's their goal. But my issue with that is that these actions (in lower cost models at least) don't typically feel like the real thing in the first place. As described earlier in this thread, most of the time (at least with the compact folded actions), ALL the keys ALREADY feel heavier to play than they do on a quality acoustic. Making the bottom keys even "heavier" in the unnatural DP-simulated way probably just makes the actions even worse overall. Better emulating the difference between top and bottom keys may be counter-productive if it makes those bottom keys feel even further from how they would feel on an acoustic. Maybe "grading" an action, even if you desire it, should be reserved for actions that are already sufficiently close to that of an acoustic in other ways. At least on a low cost action, I think making the low keys heavier might be more likely to cause *greater* deviation from the feel of a good piano than it is to get you closer to it, by getting you closer in one respect that makes it feel worse in another.
I remember well before the turn of the century I'd bought a Yamaha CLP 820 which had HE action (hammer effect probably) and it wasn't graded. The more expensive models were, and they had the GH action we know today.
I didn't like them; they were heavier pianos anyway and I needed to carry the Clav around from time to time when working.
Nor did I notice the lack of graded hammers in those days when i was young (lol)
I notice it now. Can't get away from it! Even the P45 has 'em.
There was a CP5 in the shop last year when I bought my P515. Tempting.
Originally Posted by JoeT
Indeed, if you're unable to sense the weight differences, you will never sound even on an acoustic. You can already tell who on this thread has actual grand piano experience and who only looks at fancy VSTs on their computer.

It's not all about "feeling the differences". It's more how expressive the action is rather than how you can feel the difference actually.

If the keys are heavily weighted, it's hard to feel the difference because you constantly have to pound on the keys and there is no delicacy and expressiveness when force is involved.

One of the characteristics of a well desinged action is that you can feel the differences better than the inferior ones.
Originally Posted by peterws
I notice it now. Can't get away from it! Even the P45 has 'em.
There was a CP5 in the shop last year when I bought my P515. Tempting.
That's a good example. The ungraded CP1/CP5 feel a whole lot better to play than so many graded actions do. I believe the reason graded actions became such a focus in the DP world is that manufacturers realized it was somethething they could do cheaply that better emulated one, relatively minor (and even arguably not particularly desirable) aspect of a real piano... and it was something consumers could understand and so it became a selling point. I'd say--especially when it comes to portable slabs--just buy what you like the sound/feel/operation of... and if it happens to be graded, fine, and if not, that's fine too.
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