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Joined: Feb 2021
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Hi,

Started on a Upright, been playing on a digital for 15.
My new Digital CA79 has escapement and I got all exited, cause I got something I never had before.
Then I find out most uprights don't even have escapement or am I wrong here
and since most of us will only play on a real grand 4 or 5 times in their lives, it got me to wonder...

How many of you really use escapement in your playing. (and not just for special songs, but really incorporate it in your playing.)

I am positive it has lots of merit, I just wonder how many people actually use it in their playing

Ron

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Hi Ron,
...every upright piano has escapement. It's part of the mechanical hammer action and means that the hammer "escapes" the rest of the activated key action at some point and travels from there freely to the wires.
Do you mean double escapement?
This is a design element of pianos (not uprights) and allows to re-activate a key before it is at its at-rest-position, normally a little bit more than half way up. This allows for very fast repetition of a note, e.g. fast trills.
Some digital pianos simulate this behaviour. If I'm right they would need 3 sensors per key to do so.

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Yes sorry, double escapement.

Ron

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CA79 doesn’t have escapement. If you press the key all the way down it will push the hammer all the way up and keep it there. Escapement is when the hammer detaches from the key before hitting the string and is caught by the backcheck when rebounding from the string.

What CA79 has are small rubber notches that imitate the slight increase in friction when escapement usually happens. However since there’s no escapement, that fake notch feeling serves no purpose. It’s a marketing gimmick. We’ve discussed this to death on the digital piano forum.

You don’t “use” escapement. It’s just a device on acoustic pianos that’s intrinsic to how acoustic pianos work. However due to its construction it has the desirable side effect of making the keys feel light when fully pressed (because the hammers are detached from the 1:5 leverage system when held by the backcheck). In contrast, on digital pianos the hammer always pushes back your fingers with the same weight which creates a weird feeling of spring-loaded keys that push back against your fingers and is more tiring to play, ultimately making some people to not like digital piano actions. It’s for reasons like that there are hybrid digital pianos utilizing real wooden acoustic piano actions (not just wooden keys), such as Yamaha N1X, Kawai NV10, etc.

Last edited by CyberGene; 03/07/21 05:09 PM.

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Well now that makes sense. No wonder I could not see the point.
Thanks.

Ron

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Originally Posted by CyberGene
In contrast, on digital pianos the hammer always pushes back your fingers with the same weight which creates a weird feeling of spring-loaded keys that push back against your fingers and is more tiring to play,
.
but on the other hand in acoustic pianos you have the dampers that have to be prevented from falling back to the strings.
This means that in acoustic pianos too there is some certain weight that pushes back your fingers even after the hammer has escaped from the key.
(not to mention the fact that the keys wouldn't return to their initial positions at all after lifting the fingers if there wasn't some weight pushing them upwards...)
So it would be interesting to find out with how much more weight the dampers and other mechanical parts of an acoustic piano's key are pushing back on the fingers compared to the "pushing weight" of a digital piano's key.
I suspect that there is not too much difference.

Last edited by brennbaer; 03/09/21 04:27 PM.
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Well, it’s not just the static weight though. On an acoustic piano the energy of the rebounding hammer is absorbed by the backcheck and that’s after the hammer has escaped the leverage system. On a digital piano the hammer will rebound fiercely against your fingers. They resolve this by putting a lot of cushioning around the hammer and the key but that makes the keys too mushy feeling.

If you’ve played a real grand piano or a hybrid for a while and then test a digital piano, you’ll notice this pushing against your fingers and it’s in a varying on different brands and models but is still there.

I’m not saying digital pianos are not good. It’s just that acoustic pianists sometimes report about digital piano keys pushing back against their fingers. And there’s an apparent reason.


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I first read the question as , who does actually need the double escapement for these extra fast repetitions. Or maybe for something else


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