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Hello there, everyone.

Today I received my brand-new Kawai K-300, delivered to my home. Overall I am very satisfied with the tone of the piano, but that is besides the point. I noticed very quickly that all 88 keys have quite a difficult time repeating notes when pressed slightly. Put another way, if I depress a key, sometimes it will not return to a position that will allow its strings to be struck again, meaning I can repeatedly press down the key but not hear any sound after the first time I press it. I've found one or two other threads on this issue specifically regarding the K-300 here on the Piano Forum. Is this a common issue on this model of piano, or on uprights in general? Surely it cannot be a home-specific climate issue, as the piano has only been in my home a few hours? Should I contact the dealer I purchased the instrument from requesting a regulation? Will the issue fix itself? I've heard that often the action needs to be broken in before the notes will repeat themselves properly, but I wasn't expecting to need such vigorous break-in on an instrument of this caliber. Thanks for any help you all can provide.

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What you're describing seems to be the fundamental limitation of upright piano action, i.e. a key needs to be released completely before it can be properly engaged again. This video may be useful



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Originally Posted by cygnusdei
What you're describing seems to be the fundamental limitation of upright piano action, i.e. a key needs to be released completely before it can be properly engaged again.
Maybe. Maybe not. I would wait until the piano has settled and acclimatised in your home for a couple of weeks, and inform the store that on its first free tuning some regulation of the action might be needed.

This statement is not correct : a key needs to be released completely before it can be properly engaged again. For sure it needs to be released more than it would be on a grand action, but somewhere between 80% or 90% on most uprights is possible with good regulation.

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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
This statement is not correct : a key needs to be released completely before it can be properly engaged again. For sure it needs to be released more than it would be on a grand action, but somewhere between 80% or 90% on most uprights is possible with good regulation.

That's interesting - is there a demonstration, for curiosity's sake? FWIW, this is what the video says, verbatim:
Quote
A grand piano has a mechanism in which you can hit the same key again when one-third of the key returns to its original position.
But in the case of an upright piano, when you hit a key once you cannot play it again until it completely returns to its original position.


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If you press a key then take your finger off it does the key quickly return to its original position or is it sluggish or not fully returning? If that is the case it may be there has been some high humidity and the bushes have tightened. If not then it may well be either your technique or the regulation of your K300, are you familiar with how other uprights play or is this your first piano?

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Did you buy the specific piano whose touch and tone you liked in the store?

To some extent, most new pianos will benefit from having the regulation tweaked (and most vertical pianos never receive any regulation after they leave the factory). And also there are limitations to the vertical piano action, in terms of how far the key needs to return before it can repeat. Without knowing exactly what you’re doing, and not knowing your ability level or technical approach to repeating notes, it’s sort of hard to make a pronouncement here.

It has been my experience that action performance degrades with break-in, it doesn’t improve without a little intervention from a technician.


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I har this issue when my K-200 was delivered to and it came straight from the factory. I called the dealer and they sent out the technician and he noticed fast that several keys had screws that was to tight they didn’t permit the hammer to reloading properly.

Hi fixed these issues I 30 minutes and now it’s just fine.

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Originally Posted by TFF
Hello there, everyone.

Today I received my brand-new Kawai K-300, delivered to my home. Overall I am very satisfied with the tone of the piano, but that is besides the point. I noticed very quickly that all 88 keys have quite a difficult time repeating notes when pressed slightly. Put another way, if I depress a key, sometimes it will not return to a position that will allow its strings to be struck again, meaning I can repeatedly press down the key but not hear any sound after the first time I press it. I've found one or two other threads on this issue specifically regarding the K-300 here on the Piano Forum. Is this a common issue on this model of piano, or on uprights in general? Surely it cannot be a home-specific climate issue, as the piano has only been in my home a few hours? Should I contact the dealer I purchased the instrument from requesting a regulation? Will the issue fix itself? I've heard that often the action needs to be broken in before the notes will repeat themselves properly, but I wasn't expecting to need such vigorous break-in on an instrument of this caliber. Thanks for any help you all can provide.

Toby
I read that you are playing advanced music so ask if you only have been used to playing a grand piano? Grand pianos correctly regulated will permit repeat key action even although the hammer has barely started its return from the string. On an quality upright that has been finely regulated a key repetition can be done after the key has been allowed to return at least halfway up. That is how it is with my upright Blüthner.
The problem is that the hammer and other felt on new pianos is constantly compressing for several years before it slows down the compression rate. My new piano took three years to do this.
You can get the regulation repeated as often as you wish but this costs at least the same as a tuning. This is one reason why I now regulate and tune my piano.
There may be other issues here such as
- has the piano been on a recent sea journey where if it had not been hermetically sealed the wood and felt will have absorbed moisture.
- alternatively has the piano been stored in an unheated warehouse
- Is your location subject to humidity variation.
Your dealer should be well aware of the issues I mentioned.
Hope this helps,
Ian


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Upright repetition has been discussed recently in this thread: http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/3186551/high-speed-kamm-action.html#Post3186551

Bill Bremmer described how to regulate an upright to repeat in this post: https://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthr...for-fastest-repetition.html#Post2334012. My upright repeats very well when regulated along those lines.

His caveat was, on a grand or vertical, regulating to very close tolerances will have the pitfall that the precise regulation has to be frequently maintained or it will start to fail very soon. So, there is what many technicians consider to be a concert/artist regulation and a normal use regulation. In those terms, manufacturers supply uprights with normal use regulation so they do not repeat and never fail through lack of regulation.


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My K300 also had the same problem. I just hired a tech to do full action regulation. I remember a guy posted similar issue few months ago too for his brand new K500. I think he also solved the problem after regulation.

Last edited by JerryFan2000; 02/02/22 11:57 AM.

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Originally Posted by cygnusdei
[quote=spanishbuddha]
This statement is not correct : a key needs to be released completely before it can be properly engaged again. For sure it needs to be released more than it would be on a grand action, but somewhere between 80% or 90% on most uprights is possible with good regulation.

"That's interesting - is there a demonstration, for curiosity's sake? FWIW, this is what the video says, verbatim":
[quote cygnusdei]


Conspiracy theories against uprights? It must be the case! 😲 😐😳

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I had the same problem you describe in my new K300. Since then I have seen more people here on PW reporting similar problems. You probably found those threads. I can say that in my case the problem became worse at higher humidity and better (but not fully gone) at lower humidity. In the worst case, the key doesn't 'reset' completely and you get a silent note on the next press, and otherwise it leads to sluggish keys.

In my case this had nothing to do with the limitations of an upright, and everything with felt bushings being too tight. They swell a little in any piano when humidity is high, and apparently on the K300 the factory tolerance is (sometimes?) too tight to start with (because in my case problems already started at 60% RH, which is not abnormal).

You can let the piano settle for a few days, but I would immediately inform the dealer of this problem. Chances are that they'll have to do a regulation (for free of course) soon. But it might also be that you piano was in a humid environment recently during transport, and the problem will disappear by itself soon.

In my case the dealer fixed it swiftly and now my K300's touch is very nice and responsive. I keep humidity strictly under 55% now though.

There is a nice article on sticky keys: https://www.lapianotuning.com/wordpress/?p=213

But essentially its is the dealer's job to see what's going on and to fix this immediately, whatever the cause is. A new K300 should play really well, and they should be a little ashamed to deliver a piano with sticky keys.

I have the impression that at least some dealers spend very little time on regulating or even looking at a new K300 when they deliver it. It is probably more economical for them to wait for any complaints and then address that.

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I was in a piano shop recently and wanted to buy a Kawai 300. All Kawai's there in the shop (K15 to K500) had a similar repetition issue. The dealer said, that is typical for this type of action, but it's just a matter of time to get accustomed to that.

Other uprights in the shop didn't have these issue. Even cheap sounding Rithmullers.

Aside of that it was a very fine piano and I was very impressed with the action, very light and responsive and also very controllable. But than I decided to buy an used upright. It was a surprising moment, because I was very certain that I will buy a new Kawai before I visited this shop.

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About six months into owning my new K800 it developed three or four sticky keys that needed easing for them to return as smartly as normal. (to be fair this was only detectable when the keys were released abnormally slowly but if unattended to I guess it would have got worse). The same happened after a couple of years on my old UX3 as well - it's something that just gets sorted in a few minutes as part of its regular tuning and, presumably, due to humidity changes.

If it is a new piano in a shop then the dealer should already have sorted this out. Poor show if they haven't, were the pianos otherwise in a good state of tune and regulation?

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I recently tried an 80's Japanese upright (I shall not say which one in case of conflict), and found that really rapid repeating notes were almost impossible.It was apart from that a very nice instrument.It was apparently well taken care of and always carefully tuned, apparently never regulated nor properly serviced though.I think there are quite a few grands around which are in a similar condition.

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[quote=bwv543]I was in a piano shop recently and wanted to buy a Kawai 300. All Kawai's there in the shop (K15 to K500) had a similar repetition issue. The dealer said, that is typical for this type of action, but it's just a matter of time to get accustomed to that.

"ALL KAWAI UPRIGHTS even the K500 have this issue???"
I would say that was UNTRUE.A Kawai dealer told you this? That sounds very, very STRANGE!

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Originally Posted by tre corda
[quote=bwv543]I was in a piano shop recently and wanted to buy a Kawai 300. All Kawai's there in the shop (K15 to K500) had a similar repetition issue. The dealer said, that is typical for this type of action, but it's just a matter of time to get accustomed to that.

"ALL KAWAI UPRIGHTS even the K500 have this issue???"
I would say that was UNTRUE.A Kawai dealer told you this? That sounds very, very STRANGE!
When I was talking to my tuner last June and I mentioned Kawai and problems he said that they had recently had in a batch of K300''s and they all needed work on them. Didn't say what the problems were.


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Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Originally Posted by tre corda
[quote=bwv543]I was in a piano shop recently and wanted to buy a Kawai 300. All Kawai's there in the shop (K15 to K500) had a similar repetition issue. The dealer said, that is typical for this type of action, but it's just a matter of time to get accustomed to that.

"ALL KAWAI UPRIGHTS even the K500 have this issue???"
I would say that was UNTRUE.A Kawai dealer told you this? That sounds very, very STRANGE!
When I was talking to my tuner last June and I mentioned Kawai and problems he said that they had recently had in a batch of K300''s and they all needed work on them. Didn't say what the problems were.
Hi Colin,
Does the technician work for a Yamaha dealer? Could it be a rumour? It would be nice if Kawaidon or some informed person could comment.I am sure he knows more than anyone about this situation.Since the pandemic I have noticed many people order pianos they have not tried.Kawai pianos are extremely popular pianos ( perhaps more so than Yamaha) and I have seen a number of them sold this way here on PW.


My piano's voice is my voice to God and the great unknown universe, and to those I love.In other words a hymn.That is all, but that is enough.Life goes on, despite pain and fear.Music is beautiful,life is beautiful.


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Honestly, if this same issue has been brought up so many times by different new Kawai owners once in a while, then I think it is probably not a rumor. So, probably the Kawai dealer told the truth.

Last edited by JerryFan2000; 02/04/22 12:51 AM.

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Originally Posted by tre corda
"ALL KAWAI UPRIGHTS even the K500 have this issue???"
I would say that was UNTRUE.A Kawai dealer told you this? That sounds very, very STRANGE!

It was more like I said "I can control other pianos better and if I play fast improvisational runs, than every note I play will sound, but on Kawai's some notes will not sound, especially on repetitions or trills" and he said "Yes, some people have this issue, especially with Kawai actions, but the action is fine, it's just because your technique is sloppy from digital piano playing".

I played the K300 the most, because I wanted to buy that model, but the feeling of the K500 was similar to the K300 - nearly perfect action, but some notes were missing. It was very possible just a matter of my bad technique, but there was for a example a new Sauter (more than twice as expensive), that was also very light and responsive to play, like Kawai's, but I could control every note of it, or at least I felt so.

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