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Joined: Feb 2017
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Dear all,

after about one year of regular usage (1-2 hours per day), some of the keys of my wife's NV5 have developed a very annoying rubbing noise. It's clearly velocity dependent and it sounds as if some extra friction would occur when these keys are pressed. There is no noise on key rebound.

Last week a technician came to check the action. The noise appears to be caused by tiny plastic pistons or cylinders. These are equipped with a spring and get engaged (or disengaged) when a key is pressed. I could see the movement by looking at an angle through the action. The technician took a video and will get in touch with Kawai to see what can be done.

My question is: has any NV5 owner experienced something like this? Is this a known problem that has been sorted out in the new NV5S? My wife loves the NV5 but she finds the noise extremely annoying. I am an absolute beginner and do not care so much but, even with my bad hearing, I can hear the noise very clearly when I play without headphones and the volume is not near the max.

Thanks,
nbpf

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Nv5 has a real wood action. Sometimes can fluctuate with humidity and temperature as a real piano. But disappointing if it happened a year after purchase.

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Originally Posted by Pianowill
Nv5 has a real wood action. Sometimes can fluctuate with humidity and temperature as a real piano. But disappointing if it happened a year after purchase.
Well the key is wood, and maybe the hammer shank, but the remainder of the Millenium 3 action is composite, felt, springs, leather/hide. But you're right that seasonal change may be a factor. Also there are no 'pistons' but possibly they or the 'cylinders' are part of the capstan/whippen? There are a couple of springs, one is the the coiled jack return spring that could be what the OP is referring to? Regardless, a piano technician (not a keyboard or digital piano technician) should be able to easily resolve this.

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If you want to use more standard terminology, a reference:
http://www.stevespianoservice.com/Diagrams/upright-piano-action-diagram.htm


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nbpf Offline OP
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Thanks for the feedback!

@Pianowill: the problem is not humidity or temperature: the rubbing noise has been there through spring, summer and meanwhile autumn!

@spanishbuddha, @terminaldegree: thanks! When the technician came and took apart the NV5, I hadn't enough time to understand the mechanics of the action, perhaps what I have described as pistons or cylinders is what is denoted as #17 in terminaldegree's link, but I am not sure.

Anyway, the bottom line is that different keys make rather different rubbing noise, that this was not the case when the piano was new and that, according to the technician sent by Kawai, this is not a problem that can be solved by regulation.

The other fact that I find annoying is that it is difficult to find precise pictures, drawings or documentation of the NV5 action with clear denotations of the different parts. This makes it difficult to describe the problem precisely. This is disappointing given that the NV5 is meant to be one of the best hybrid pianos available today.

Best,
nbpf

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I'm considering the NV5 vs Casio GP-310 / -510 and this is very concerning.
Of course the NV5(S) is very popular so issue(s) like these are likely to get reported compared to those of other manufacturers.


[Kawai VPC1 / ES100 - VSTs: VSL 280VC, Garritan CFX, VI Labs Ravenscroft 275 & Pianoteq 7 - Ableton Live Lite - Presonus iOne/iTwo - Tascam US1x2/2x2- Sennheiser HD700/6xx - Presonus E5+T10, iloud micro monitors]
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Hello nbpf,

Originally Posted by nbpf
what I have described as pistons or cylinders is what is denoted as #17 in terminaldegree's link, but I am not sure.

In the Kawai acoustic piano parts list that I have here, these parts are referred to as the "Regulating Button" and "Regulating Button Punching".

As I believe you're aware, the NV5 uses essentially the same action as a Kawai upright piano. So, if this is indeed the part that is causing the noise, I'm confident that it can resolved on the NV5 in the same was as on a Kawai acoustic piano.

Originally Posted by nbpf
The other fact that I find annoying is that it is difficult to find precise pictures, drawings or documentation of the NV5 action with clear denotations of the different parts. This makes it difficult to describe the problem precisely. This is disappointing given that the NV5 is meant to be one of the best hybrid pianos available today.

There is a high resolution picture of the NV5 action on the Kawai Global product page:

https://www.kawai-global.com/product/nv5s/#t06

Some parts of the action are obscured by the muting and hammer sensing components, however I believe the part "Regulating Button" part that you are referring to is visible here.

There are also illustrations of the action inside the instrument's service manual and parts list documentation, however these materials are not avilable to end user's I'm afraid.

Kind regards,
James
x


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@James: thanks! In order to see the parts that the technician said are causing the noise, one has to look from the front (more or less 90 degrees to the picture) through the 2 points of the keyboard where the ends of the keys are diverging and where there is a gap between the vertical elements of the action. By looking at an angle through these gaps, one can see the tiny black elements that are causing the noise. According to the technician, the problem cannot be solved by greasing or regulating the action. We will see ...
do you know whether the NV5 and NV5S actions are the same?

@TonyDIGITAL: the action and the functionalities of the NV5 are just perfect for me. A few months ago I bought a Roland FX30 for exercising on holiday. While the FX30 is fine as a mobile device, there is no comparison between the two actions. The NV5 feels like an upright acoustic piano and playing it's a pleasure, apart from the rubbing noise.

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Hello nbpf,

Originally Posted by nbpf
do you know whether the NV5 and NV5S actions are the same?

Yes, I believe they are the same.

Kind regards,
James
x


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My NV5 is nearly 2 Years old and i don't experience any issues.


Kawai: NV5 | MP11SE
Pianoteq 7 Pro | Garritan CFX Full | Vienna Imperial | Keyscape Full | Ravenscroft 275 - Modern U - Model D - AG | Minigrand
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@James: Thanks, do you know whether the headphones output voltage of the NV5S can be fine adjusted, e.g. to match a fixed (speaker + headphones) volume level? @Tyr: Glad to hear that your NV5 has no issues, it's a great device!

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So, the end of the story is that the report and the video of the technician Kawai sent about one month ago never reached Kawai or they reached Kawai and then were lost. Yesterday Kawai sent another technician who first took the whole action out of the cabinet and then did some lubrication work. I was not in the room and could not see what he did exactly but apparently some parts needed lubrication. That completely eliminated the rubbing noise and should be a permanent fix, he said. Thus, I hope this is really the end of the story.


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