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Lucanor Offline OP
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Hi.

As my knowledge of DPs is almost zero, I would appreciate friendly advice about the matter.

I have recently moved to a new town and I could not bring my vertical acoustic Yamaha (which I love), so instead, I had to use an old Yamaha P-125 as an alternative.

The thing is that I cannot stand the action of the P-125: maybe is just me, but is HEAVY.

Just before moving, I was working on Chopin's op 10 no 4 and Op 25 no 6.

On my vertical acoustic Yamaha, I was playing op 10 no 4 at a solid 140-150 bpm. On the P-125, I manage to play at 120 bpm (and suffering). The broken diminished chords on bars 42-44 are a pain in the ass when I have to use my 4th and 5th fingers on rthe right hand

The thing is worse on op 25 no 6, as I end up with pain in my fingers after an intense session of thirds trills.


I really need an alternative with lighter action. I dont mind if the sound is not Yamaha (I read that action is heavier on Yamaha DP): light action is a priority

Budget: 1000-2000€. I would rather spend those 1K, but if I have to go to the upper 2k, is not a problem

Thanks!

Last edited by Lucanor; 07/28/21 03:30 PM.
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The best way to judge the action weight is to try as many pianos as are available to you.

I could make recommendations ... but I don't yet know your price range.

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Yeah, finding DPs with actions as light as many acoustics is not so easy. Yamaha has a nice light feeling action in the pricey CP1... if you can find one of those to try and you like it, you could look for a used, much cheaper CP5 that used the same action. The old Roland FP-7 felt lighter than anything Roland makes today. Older Casio Privias where the middle digit was a 0, 1, or 2 felt lighter to me than their later models (e.g. PX100, PX110, PX-120 felt lighter/quicker than PX-130, PX-150, PX-160). Kawai MP7 felt pretty light, I'm not sure about the MP7SE. Kurzweil used the light Fatar TP/40L in many of their boards, so maybe a used PC3X, PX3K8, PC3A8, or Forte (not Forte SE).

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Lucanor Offline OP
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
The best way to judge the action weight is to try as many pianos as are available to you.

I could make recommendations ... but I don't yet know your price range.

As I said, something between 1k-2k €

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OK, I missed that.
Originally Posted by Lucanor
As I said, something between 1k-2k €
I don't know what prices are in Europe ... but the Roland FP-90 runs a bit over $2100, which translates to around 1800 EUR.

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Originally Posted by Lucanor
The thing is that I cannot stand the action of the P-125: maybe is just me, but is HEAVY.

I find this quite surprising. I have a Yamaha U3 and a P125 (to play when silent practice is necessary). Compared to the U3 action, I find the P125 action light as a feather. :-)


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Digital action and acoustic action are different - on an acoustic upright, the resistance is greater at the beginning, and the key is getting lighter as you press it further. On a digital, a key is as heavy at the beginning as when you press it all the way through. So it may even feel lighter (because it is lighter at the beginning) and you will still end up with the fatigue. I suspect that the people who do not notice this simply have healthier joints. Or use very light settings.
The solution is to not use heavier touch settings, and try multiple keyboards.
The alternatives are either silent acoustic or a hybrid - they have acoustic actions.


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Originally Posted by personne
Digital action and acoustic action are different - on an acoustic upright, the resistance is greater at the beginning, and the key is getting lighter as you press it further. On a digital, a key is as heavy at the beginning as when you press it all the way through. So it may even feel lighter (because it is lighter at the beginning) and you will still end up with the fatigue. I suspect that the people who do not notice this simply have healthier joints. Or use very light settings.
The solution is to not use heavier touch settings, and try multiple keyboards.
The alternatives are either silent acoustic or a hybrid - they have acoustic actions.

Well, I've been playing since I was a kid and playing and although I stopped playing from a year, I am right now at top repertoire again (Chopin etudes and late works, Rach, Liszt...) and I never had any joint issues

Do you know any digital with "light settings"?

Thanks!

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
OK, I missed that.
Originally Posted by Lucanor
As I said, something between 1k-2k €
I don't know what prices are in Europe ... but the Roland FP-90 runs a bit over $2100, which translates to around 1800 EUR.

Thanks! I live in a small town, but I guess I'll find a way to try it

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Pretty much all digital pianos have touch settings, at least three levels like: light, normal, heavy.

Of course they have no effect on anything in the mechanics, but with a "light" setting a certain velocity (p, f, ff etc.) is reached with a lower velocity.

I think people often say that the P125 action is light, but like someone already pointed out there are different kinds of "heavy".

Then one thing is the short pivot length of the P125 keys. There's more difference in the perceived heaviness between the tip and the end of visible part of the key. Many other digital pianos are more balanced in that sense but typically still have a shorter pivot length than acoustic pianos.

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Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
Pretty much all digital pianos have touch settings, at least three levels like: light, normal, heavy.

Of course they have no effect on anything in the mechanics, but with a "light" setting a certain velocity (p, f, ff etc.) is reached with a lower velocity.

I think people often say that the P125 action is light, but like someone already pointed out there are different kinds of "heavy".

Then one thing is the short pivot length of the P125 keys. There's more difference in the perceived heaviness between the tip and the end of visible part of the key. Many other digital pianos are more balanced in that sense but typically still have a shorter pivot length than acoustic pianos.

Maybe I am asking too much of a DP, but I feel my P-125 waaaay heavier than my vertical acoustic.

As you said, the pivot length is the key issue. In the OP I used the example of the borken diminished chords on Chopin's Etude op 10 no 4 (bars 44-46).

I dont know if you are familiar with the etude, but those broken chords demand playing the broken octave top note on the upper part of the C sharp key.

While this is easy on my acoustic, on my DP is insanley hard at something more than 120-130 bpm. While the tip of the black keys responds pretty well, the upper part feels way slower/heavier

I thought it was just me...

Last edited by Lucanor; 07/29/21 03:06 AM.
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It was a member here who suggested finger pain on digital paino usage was perhaps attributable to the different response between a digital and that of an acoustic.
One tends to play a digital too quietly, using more force than you would because of it.
Most digitals are like this, but others could advise on those that aren't.


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Perhaps we need a DP without a volume control . . .


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My Yamaha upright had a super light action! It was a U1–or rather a YUS. It was a joy to play. My p121 is definitely heavier feeling and my down weight measurements agree. That said, it’s still on the light side of things. some people do have trouble with digital actions and my best guess is the shorter pivot, higher upweight and lack of let-off. My current acoustic has a heavier action than the P121, but it still feels more comfortable to play. I actually think that’s because of the let-off and the lower upweight. The YUS had a similar downweight/upweight ratio to the p121, but it was still lighter than the 121 and it was definitely more comfortable to play.

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You can look at my measurements here BTW: http://dtmblabber.blogspot.com/

I’m not sure that they are done “correctly”, but they are done in a consistent way. I hope no one thinks that those weights tell the whole story for an action though.

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hmm.. with what you need, can't go wrong with Kawai ES-110, being at the same price point as the Yamaha P-125
21:42 - Keyboard Action
31:23 - Sympathetic Resonance as defined in the video
33:09 - Sympathetic Resonance Samples


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There are plenty of models in the 1000...2000€ range with longer pivot than the the P-125.

If you avoid anything with Yamaha GHS, Fatar TP/100, Medeli K6 and Casio(?) actions there will be at least some improvement.

(Casios with no "S" in the model name may be slightly better. I'm not sure. Worth checking out the Privias and Celvianos of course. They all have the same action, apart from the "Grand Hybrids".)

And the latest Yamaha Clavinovas (700 series) are said to feel lighter than their predecessors.

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Originally Posted by josh_sounds
hmm.. with what you need, can't go wrong with Kawai ES-110, being at the same price point as the Yamaha P-125
21:42 - Keyboard Action
31:23 - Sympathetic Resonance as defined in the video
33:09 - Sympathetic Resonance Samples

First off I would disagree that sympathetic resonance is most notable in the treble.

Again, notice 32:21 and jps talks about single key sympathetic resonance which the fp-30x has and the es110 does not have

This is not to say that one shouldn’t try an es110 but you also shouldn’t rule out the fp-30x

I agree some of the casios have a light feel and are a good value,

And again, Korg d1 at this price point which has their rh3 action which is the same action you find in their most expensive keyboards is worth a try.

I also agree that you should try the softest setting on the keyboard and turn the volume up on the p125.

Those two setting can have a dramatic influence on how heavy a keyboard feels.


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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Yeah, finding DPs with actions as light as many acoustics is not so easy. Yamaha has a nice light feeling action in the pricey CP1... if you can find one of those to try and you like it, you could look for a used, much cheaper CP5 that used the same action. The old Roland FP-7 felt lighter than anything Roland makes today. Older Casio Privias where the middle digit was a 0, 1, or 2 felt lighter to me than their later models (e.g. PX100, PX110, PX-120 felt lighter/quicker than PX-130, PX-150, PX-160). Kawai MP7 felt pretty light, I'm not sure about the MP7SE. Kurzweil used the light Fatar TP/40L in many of their boards, so maybe a used PC3X, PX3K8, PC3A8, or Forte (not Forte SE).

I consider the majority of the pianos referenced above to be marginal for advanced classical repertoire.

For advanced classical repertoire in the price range of €1-2K I would suggest Kawai ES920 or MP7SE for a lighter action, Roland FP90X as medium weight, and Yamaha P-515 as a piano absolutely to avoid if the P-125 is too heavy. I like the sound of the P-515 but the action is unusable for me based on downweight.

The MP7SE does not have builtin speakers, but has the same action as an ES920 and virtually the same piano engine. If you just want a piano, many of the added features of an MP7SE may go unused (e.g. virtual tonewheel organ, layering of up to 4 sounds with a midi mixer). A MP11SE would be preferred but it will be over €2K.

Keep in mind that (non-hybrid) digital pianos have no escapement so there is no reduction in weight to hold a key down after the point where escapement would occur. This can shorten the time to onset of fatique.

I use an MP7SE with velocity curve set to light-- to light+ for longer practice sessions. I would find the ES920 to be equivalent as a piano for all practical purposes, although the ES920 piano sounds may have some fairly minor improvements being newer (though nothing big enough for Kawai to call out in marketing materials that I've seen). Both have Kawai's HI-XL piano engine. I seriously considered the Roland FP90, a formidable competitor, but ultimately decided that I had to rule it out because the action is a little heavier than the MP7SE.

I would suggest trying the pianos first if you can.

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Kawai RHIII action is on the 'lighter side' giving a lot of control at the same time. I really liked it. Korgs RH3 is also quite light and fast.

Originally Posted by anotherscott
... if you can find one of those to try and you like it, you could look for a used, much cheaper CP5 that used the same action. The old Roland FP-7 felt lighter than anything Roland makes today.
You've just reminded me of my platonic retro-love, CP5. It's such a great looking and feeling instrument. I never owned it, just tried few times. Still waiting for it to appear at used-good condition at low price.


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