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Originally Posted by CarlH
The simple answer to the original question is that the lifespan of a digital piano is as long as the components hold out.

Except that that doesn't answer the question. That's like someone asking how long do people sleep and saying "they're asleep until they wake up." smile

I'll see if I can find anything on the net later...

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A good but a somehow inconvenient move would be to buy the next gen VPC1 with longer keys and connect to whatever digital piano soft you want and ugrade the soft at any point w/o much expense. From the keyboard point of view it is closest to a grand feel so no point in upgrade it. From the electronics it may last until next gen MIDI comes and becomes mainstream. Comparing to digital cameras good lenses are keepers and you upgrade the body.

DPs soundwise are too far away from the AP, so that piece will be updated when you can't tolerate their fake sound and go for the next incremental improvement

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Originally Posted by Bech
What is the life span of the average digital piano? What's it's mechanical weak points?


A friend has a Kawai DP that is about 15 years old and its a bit banged up, because he moved with it a number of times.

A friend has a old DP where some day one of the pedals stopped coming up. He fixed that with rubberband :-)

I talked to a technician who services multiple brands and although he did not want to comment on what holds up best, he stated that he recently services the DP of an old lady which was >5 years old and that he basically just had to grease the action to return it to "as good as new" status.


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Originally Posted by bill5
Originally Posted by CarlH
The simple answer to the original question is that the lifespan of a digital piano is as long as the components hold out.

Except that that doesn't answer the question. That's like someone asking how long do people sleep and saying "they're asleep until they wake up." smile

I'll see if I can find anything on the net later...


- while you're there, could you see if there's anything about the length of a piece of string?

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Originally Posted by bill5
Originally Posted by CarlH
The simple answer to the original question is that the lifespan of a digital piano is as long as the components hold out.

Except that that doesn't answer the question. That's like someone asking how long do people sleep and saying "they're asleep until they wake up." smile

I'll see if I can find anything on the net later...


It seems to me that a person really can't predict how long before a piece of equipment such as a DP will break down and not be fixable. You could talk to service people for a given product or range of products to ask which brands/models come in the most for repair at one end of the spectrum and which don't come back at all at the other end of the spectrum. You could ask the various manufacturers how long they stock parts for a given model (but there is no guarantee that their policy will remain unchanged in the face of changing economic conditions or ownership or whatever). You could take a poll here to determine how long people have owned their DPs without having trouble that can't be fixed anymore. However, none of these will tell you anything more than some sort of likelihood that the DP you own or are planning to own will last before becoming irreparable.

Therefore, I would say that there really is nothing wrong with CarlH's response UNLESS you really are looking for some sort of promise that the DP you own or plan to own will have a specific or at least general serviceable lifespan.

Tony




Last edited by TonyB; 04/18/15 12:19 PM.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Huh?
Originally Posted by 8 Octaves
It's much simpler issue than you think. The maximum life of a product is its warranty period + however long the company would carry parts in its inventory.
Either that's just silly, or your meaning of "maximum life" is different from mine.

8 Octaves spoke of his 15-year-old Yamaha CLP-550. It's ten years past warranty. But Yamaha still makes some of the frequently failing parts: keys and contact pads. Those are common across many of their mid- and high-end models, even today. Your definition puts his piano past its maximum life just as soon as Yamaha stops offering those parts.

But wait: Surely Yamaha doesn't stock the rarely-failing unique parts, like the many circuit boards in that 550, and so the piano is already past maximum life. Yet in his post, 8 Octaves describes the piano as "... the same as it was 25 years ago, no better no worse".

I hope I do as well I'm past my maximum life. smile


Btw, my CLP is not 15 years old. It is 25 years old. smile I was simply offering a different point of view. Already knowing I have a 25 year old DP that's working just as when it was new, I'm saying, the maximum life could be defined from the manufacturer's point of view. That's all. That's the max amount of years the manufacturer wants to deal with it. In my company we call this EOL (end of life).

As for the OP, he is asking something that is not knowable. Who knows if my DP will last another 5 more years and make it to 30 or just kick the bucket tomorrow. If you read the specifications of high end electronic components, they are all supposed to last 50+ years. However, we all know that individual sample fail sooner or later than the average. I am an engineer for a router manufacturer, perhaps the router manufacturer, and I know that MTBF calculations is not at all straight forward. Also, unlike ourselves, Yamaha and Kawai do not publish MTBF numbers for their products.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mean_time_between_failures

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Just as a data point, I currently own a Technics PX-103 that I bought in 1994 for $2,500. Given how old it is, it's still surprisingly playable (especially with headphones). It basically works as well now as when I bought it, the only exception being that some of the keys have become noisy, because the felt inside the piano that is supposed to keep them quiet has been wearing down. I suspect that for a lot of DPs this may be the first thing to actually wear out in a predictable way, rather than failing randomly.

At least on my piano this is actually fixable, if you are willing to open the piano and repair the felt. I've done this a couple of times in sort of a half-assed way, and a real DIY guy could probably do a better job than I've done, so I could see this piano lasting quite a bit longer. I've decided it's time for a new piano though, so I'm going to see if I can sell the old one on Craigslist for $150. To high? To low?

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Originally Posted by theJourney
Yeah, that's why we all are still watching our 9 inch black and white, rabbit ear television sets in our bedrooms. lol


I just checked and my old TV is a 9" while my new one is 55".

And yet both my old and new pianos have 88 keys.

According to your analogy pianos should have over 200 keys by now.


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Originally Posted by JEB NYC
Just as a data point, I currently own a Technics PX-103 that I bought in 1994 for $2,500...

...I've decided it's time for a new piano though, so I'm going to see if I can sell the old one on Craigslist for $150. To high? To low?

Well it looks like my question has been answered. I posted an ad on Craigslist yesterday and got a response within 4 hours. The piano walked out the door a few minutes ago. So it looks like I may have underpriced it.

(OTOH, some guy in Manhattan has been offering the exact same piano at $250 for over a week without selling it, so I probably didn't underprice by much).

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Well, My Roland xv88 has lasted some 17 years and is still in good conditon and I still use it. My Kawai MP11, which I bought as a second piano and controller for the xv did not even make it to its first power up frown

There are 2 data points for you to factor in...

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Originally Posted by jimb100
According to your analogy pianos should have over 200 keys by now.

LOL, arguing with someone who got banned 2 years ago.

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Quote
t's much simpler issue than you think. The maximum life of a product is its warranty period + however long the company would carry parts in its inventory.


It's no true.
I use a Digital Piano Gem Novopiano DP-30.
Something like the Baldwin here...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMvkYYdMvec
I bought for 100 euro 5 years ago. I think the piano has more the 25 years. The Company that produced this piano (GEM) doesn't not exist anymore. It's closed some years ago.
I don't know how long could be the life of this piano.
The piano it's playable (for my point of view), but it's has some little problem, for example the dynamic of sound of some keys, but I plays as it is.
If in future the piano broke, MAY BE it's possible that can be repaired by someone, may be by some technician who usually repair other brand of piano. Of course the cost of repair must be of no more the 50 or 70 euro, 'cause the value of the piano.
If the cost will be more than 100 euro sure will be better to buy another piano than repair this.

But I think that don't exist a exact time limit for the life of old digital piano. I have seen some old Fender Rhodes piano in some concert that may be are more than 40 years old.

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Originally Posted by Jack Elliott
My Kawai MP11, which I bought as a second piano and controller for the xv did not even make it to its first power up frown

There are 2 data points for you to factor in...

[Linked Image]


Hello Jack, I'm sorry to see that damage to your MP11.
It's difficult to tell exactly what's happened, but I expect the cause may be related to the reason your MP11 is not functioning. Please contact your dealer to inform them of this matter and request a replacement.

Kind regards,
James
x


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Originally Posted by dewster
Originally Posted by jimb100
According to your analogy pianos should have over 200 keys by now.

LOL, arguing with someone who got banned 2 years ago.


I discuss ideas. I try not to make it personal.


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Originally Posted by dire tonic
Originally Posted by bill5
Originally Posted by CarlH
The simple answer to the original question is that the lifespan of a digital piano is as long as the components hold out.

Except that that doesn't answer the question. That's like someone asking how long do people sleep and saying "they're asleep until they wake up." smile

I'll see if I can find anything on the net later...


- while you're there, could you see if there's anything about the length of a piece of string?

I can answer that w/o looking. It's as long as it was made to be. Or if it was cut, it's as long as it was cut to be.

wink

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One can look at the expected lifetimes (MTBF) of the aggregate components and do some statistics. I'm sure all manufacturers do this in order to tailor their warranties to the product or vice-versa.

If it's played a lot I'd expect the keys to go before anything else, particularly on low-end models. Even on the high end those rubber key switch boots can't go forever without leaching polymers onto the conductive surfaces inside - I do wish they'd come up with a higher quality, continuous position sensing, more durable solution for high end DPs.

All of these products were basically obsolete way before they were born though.

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Originally Posted by dewster


If it's played a lot I'd expect the keys to go before anything else, particularly on low-end models. Even on the high end those rubber key switch boots can't go forever without leaching polymers onto the conductive surfaces inside - I do wish they'd come up with a higher quality, continuous position sensing, more durable solution for high end DPs.

Like on the Yamaha AG's?

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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
Like on the Yamaha AG's?

I don't think the AG has continuous position sensing?

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Originally Posted by Bech
I've read that an acoustic piano has a life span of about 50 years and, perhaps, the first 10 years are it's best. Of course you can have them completely restored at great cost.

What is the life span of the average digital piano? What's it's mechanical weak points? I would assume the better digitals can be restored but not sure.

Bech


"Average" being the operative word ?
To get a valid answer you would need to do an analysis of a sufficiently large sample set, derive a confidence interval, etc.

OK, given that the data almost certainly isn't available to you it will come down to anecdotes, here's mine;

In the early 80's I "got into MIDI" (the term was in vogue at the time).
DX7s were around, I didn't want a "synth" per se, I wanted something more "piano like".
SGUs were changing rapidly, the conventional wisdom of the day was that a GOOD keyboard would LAST and the SGUs could be upgraded with advances in technology.

I don't think the Kawaii VPC-1 has REALLY overtaken my Yamaha KX-88 - and neither does anyone else who has played both. The FB01 was a DELIBERATE cheap stop-gap SGU and I replaced it with a Roland U-220 soon after learning the C major scale (-:

A single data point on a single sample, but I have no reason to believe that the KX-88 will NOT go the full 50 years without major repairs - myself on the other hand... equally unpredictable.

Over the years I have read a few reports of failures, but there has been good support from Roland and Yamaha on the now ~35 year old equipment.
The one time I needed help from Roland to do a 'factory settings reset' I got a response with the right answer within a couple of hours.
I had a couple of pots dry out on my Peavey keyboard amp and was able to get schematics from Peavey and pots from a local electronics store.

So, (unlike a certain well known tier one grand piano company that supports ONLY current production) I can say that Yamaha, Roland and Peavey provide support for 30+ years and I have had no reason to replace/update/upgrade, but I *PLAY* too much to get GAS attacks.

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If the action is well designed the keybed should last at least 5 - 10 years or more. I had a CASIO px-330 and 5 years later it still worked perfectly when I sold it. Acoustic pianos don't get moved much. So you have to take in to account how you use it. As a stage piano for gigging or a home console. I would expect a home console to last a minimum of 10 years. Now sounds are a different matter with memory getting cheaper by the hour and DSP chips improving exponentially, the quality of the sound gets better & better each product cycle.


A long long time ago, I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile....
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