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Thanks for the advice everyone! I'll talk to my tech when he visits in a couple weeks and see what his opinion is and see if any work could be done to improve it a bit.

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Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Longer keys certainly corresponds to greater control of sound, but it’s not the only thing.

Everyone know longer keys are an advantage. But how do longer keys give greater control over finger speed and dynamic range when the key dip is the same?
Longer keys have a longer pivot length. In essence, they are a longer lever. Also, you can move in closer without the pivot length being used at that oosition being too short. Key length matters, which is why piano vendors don't publish length spec.

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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Longer keys have a longer pivot length. In essence, they are a longer lever. Also, you can move in closer without the pivot length being used at that position being too short.

"Too short"?

Dr Owen Lovell described the advantages of longer keys in Piano Buyer by comparing a Kawai GX-2 with a Kawai RX-2 in Piano Buyer:

"Not surprisingly, given the increase in key length, it’s the performance of its action that distinguishes the new GX-2 from the RX-2. The differences in responsiveness and touch control are subtle; I’ll try to describe them using a familiar piece of repertoire. Haydn’s Piano Sonata in G major, Hob. XVI:6, a favorite early Classical work of my former teacher that I learned at the start of my doctoral studies many years ago, has never left my fingers. Ebullient and light in style, and littered with decorations, it requires great dexterity at the fingertip level and little use of arm weight. In terms of interpretation, the sonata seems to beg for additional ornamentation at the performer’s whim with each successive section repeat or da capo, and even a short cadenza or two placed after dramatic fermatas in the slow movement. The very sparsely notated second movement, a minuet and trio, easily incites in me a level of florid ornamentation that borders the fringes of good stylistic taste and drives my technique and the capabilities of the piano to the limits of control and intelligibility. In short, this sonata is perfect for this comparison.

Setting the keys into motion — for example, when carefully balancing the left-hand chords of the slow movement — required a subtly more deliberate effort on the RX-2 than on the GX-2. In actual playing, I found that very fast passages tended to “speak” a little more readily on the GX-2. For example, the RX-2 would repeat and reproduce fast passages with a high degree of competence, but in the ornamented second movement, and in the terrifically rapid finale, I found myself analyzing my posture and hand shape to reliably reproduce notes in passages that demanded the most finger dexterity — not so with the GX-2. Kawai notes that a very subtle difference provided by the longer keys of the GX-2 is greater leverage — and, by association, control — when playing the shorter black keys, or when striking the keys farther in toward the fallboard, something pianists often must do."

https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/review-kawai-gx-evolutionary-or-revolutionary/


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All K-series including the K200 (not sure about K-15 and can’t find any information) have information on Kawai Global site that they have longer key sticks. It might just be something compared to the previous k-series.

Interesting for sure and maybe that’s why there seems to be some confusion about k400’and k300 etc.

I have a K200 so could measure but i rather not take it apart if I don’t have to ☺️

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I would not expect any 45” piano to have a great action. Perhaps it is time to move up to a better piano.

I would have a tech check the letoff, which has probably drifted too far from the strings. Here’s another idea: does your piano have a practice muffler? It would be the middle pedal. These pianos often require a greater distance for letoff so the hammers won’t hit the muffler felt. If your piano has a muffler and you don’t use it, maybe a technician can set letoff closer than the original spec.

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Originally Posted by Withindale
"Too short"?
Yes, when you play in keys that require thumbs on the black keys, it is customary to move hands closer to the fallboard, sometimes called "playing on the blackkeys". The length of a lever determines how much leverage you get. The distance from where your fingertip contacts the key to the pivot point of the key stick determines the length of the lever.

So longer keys mean you can move close enough to the fallboard to play black keys with your thumb without losing to much leverage on the white keys you are also playing from that hand position.

Try auditioning a variety of digital pianos. Some have a short enough pivot length that it isn't possible to play on the black keys. The fingers pressing the white keys when your hand is in that position don't get enough leverage and rewuire too much force to play them.

You can also play a white key on an acoustic piano near the outer edge and all the way back by the fallboard and note the difference in force require.

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Originally Posted by Scott Cole, RPT
I would not expect any 45” piano to have a great action. Perhaps it is time to move up to a better piano.

I would have a tech check the letoff, which has probably drifted too far from the strings. Here’s another idea: does your piano have a practice muffler? It would be the middle pedal. These pianos often require a greater distance for letoff so the hammers won’t hit the muffler felt. If your piano has a muffler and you don’t use it, maybe a technician can set letoff closer than the original spec.

Interesting. I think i've heard someone else mention that as well. Yes, it does have the middle practice pedal. I guess that's one of the trade-offs i'll have to consider because I actually think that middle pedal will be useful when I have a baby soon. But that's great info to know either way.

Anyway, this K200 action really feels like you're driving through mud when playing a scale. So apparently it's just a combo of a few factors: inherent action limitations of an upright combined with it being a small upright combined with it having the practice pedal. I'll ask the tech if he has any ideas for small improvements. I just purchased a German 7 foot Seiler so it might be 10 years and a few salary raises before I can get the wife to approve another piano soon laugh grin I just have this upright in my practice room and got a little annoyed with it recently. Probably in the end I think the best option for me will be to just upgrade this upright to a better one on down the line (probably a German upright) with a better action and overall sound. Then i'll have a digital one as a backup when I need complete silence and want to practice.

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A practice pedal doesn’t make any difference to the action. If it’s a silent system in the Kawai aka ATX then yes it will make a small difference but not in weight but ability to play ppp. Most people don’t notice the difference and I could not either (I have a k200 atx3). But I guess you mean the cloth you pull down In from of the strings?

This is my first acoustic piano so I don’t have much references but I don’t feel it’s sluggish at all. But maybe I will feel differently after I had this for a year and had then possibility to try other acoustics 😊

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Originally Posted by Withindale
I can see a greater distance from the balance rail pin will increase the key dip towards the back of the key tops.

@Sweelinck. Thank you for taking the trouble to explain how too little leverage makes it impossible to play close to the fallboard. Still I am surprised Kawai would make their K200 pian with keys that are too short.

@Scott Cole. I am equally surprised to read the Millenium action in a K200 is unlikely to be any good.

@Dusty. In view of your comments I was also surprised to see another technician extolling K200 touch. I suggest you have yours regulated up to the Kawai standard.

Last edited by Withindale; 03/14/21 06:34 PM.

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Originally Posted by Scott Cole, RPT
I would not expect any 45” piano to have a great action. Perhaps it is time to move up to a better piano.

I would have a tech check the letoff, which has probably drifted too far from the strings. Here’s another idea: does your piano have a practice muffler? It would be the middle pedal. These pianos often require a greater distance for letoff so the hammers won’t hit the muffler felt. If your piano has a muffler and you don’t use it, maybe a technician can set letoff closer than the original spec.
I have never noticed that the practice pedal has caused any problems with touch or tone. I can play the piano quite easily at a fast tempo and at pp in tone. It very easy then to change to different dynamics . My piano has a celeste type of practice pedal , so the material used is much thinner than the thick felt use in Japanese uprights. The K200 could no doubt could benefit by some sort of adjustment of the "letoff".

Last edited by Lady Bird; 03/14/21 07:04 PM. Reason: missing text
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Originally Posted by Withindale
@Sweelinck. Thank you for taking the trouble to explain how too little leverage makes it impossible to play close to the fallboard. Still I am surprised Kawai would make their K200 piano with keys that are too short.
I agree the keys are unlikely to be too short to cause problems, but longer key sticks do provide more control, which was a separate question in the thread. I have not played a K200.

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