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Joined: Nov 2016
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Well, plastic keys are hollow and wooden keys are solid, so who knows, maybe the only difference is due to hollowness vs. solidness.

We would need solid plastic keys and hollow wooden keys to rule that option out. 😉

Anyway, as for models with more or less wooden keys Yamaha did have the CP1 and CP5 stage pianos with a "NW-STAGE" action which I suppose was a variant of the NWX found in Clavinovas and such. Maybe ungraded(?) But those might still be considered too expensive by the OP. I didn't check any second hand prices though.

And of course they would need to be tried out first, so it would need to be something rather local.

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I can tell a difference I think it is how the key vibrates and the actual weight of the key.

Or more precisely the moment if inertia

Note that would be different then the key weight


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Well, "different" is different than "better", no pun intended. Certainly a GF-action might feel different than a RH-action. The same way a RH-action will feel different than a Yamaha GH-action. FWIW, I find the Yamaha NWX on a P515 to feel more realistic and having similar weight and inertia to a real piano than a GF-action that feels way too smooth and light.


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I guess the full-length grand piano style keys from Yamaha or Kawai are all solid wood. The only scenario we need to clarify is the folded action.

So here is how Yamaha is making its NWX:
Yamaha has a platform for this action. Both NWX and the lowest end Graded Hammer action (e.g. MODX8) use the same "platform". For NWX, Yamaha adds the wooden inserts, weights and few more items that are missing in the GH.

If you have hard times believing me inspect the actions yourself. They also save a good amount of money this way.

Last edited by Abdol; 06/16/21 09:26 AM.

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the thing is, I like the GH action. It's maybe over 20 years old, hollow plastic, "stiff on the top", but I'm still fine with it. Put some wood on the keys and the illusion is - to me - far better that everyone seems to make it out to be

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The action schematics of NWX and GH3X are very similar. But the feelings are very different. And I put more importance on the feeling than on the schematic or the material.


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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by Abdol
The difference is that you hear the thumping noise when you play hollow keys. Other than that, no difference.

No no no. A huge difference!

I hear you but this feeling comes at the price of added weight and less affordability.

The OP is looking for the cheapest wooden key action and in my very humble opinions, it is quite possible for a hollow folded action to surpass the performance of a crappy wooden action.

It's just my 0.02


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I really have to test all of these, but as for a long-stick, wooden keybed midi controller (or slab piano), there is VPC1 (RM3) or MP11 (GF) and that's it. Both still produced, as much as I know

Last edited by Nigo; 06/17/21 01:48 AM.
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Originally Posted by Purdy
I can tell a difference I think it is how the key vibrates and the actual weight of the key.

Or more precisely the moment if inertia.

There is also sound. In Digital Pianos with built-in amplification, the keybed material serves as tonewood. Plastic isn't a really great sounding material.

The bottom of a P-515 is made of wood too, while the front is black metal. And that makes a huge difference to an all-plastic solution like the ES series.


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I am quite lost with the arguments. 1kg of wood makes as much inertia as 1kg of plastic (eventually completed by steel or lead).

Then the best things to do is try and compare multiple keyboards (let’s say P515 and ES series) and don’t bother with the materials. Perhaps some makers improve the action while introducing wood - it is the case of Yamaha with NWX - perhaps not.

I don’t know about tonewood… on an acoustic piano the sound characteristics is mainly made by hammer felts, strings and the soundboard, then why making a relationship with the key material. (On a DP, the tone is made by the sound engine, the speakers, and that’s all) We can even see Kawai replacing action wood of acoustic pianos by ABS-Carbon.

Last edited by Frédéric L; 06/18/21 04:14 PM.

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Okay, lets steer this conversation a little differently.

Ivory feel keyboard vs wood. Which models do you prefer and why? What are the main differences? I really am trying to avoid a plastic feeling keyboard and I would like something that is authentic feeling. Even if it is not solid wood! I just want the feel of a good acoustic piano.

I might even just say screw it and buy an upright acoustic with silent, so I can use it as a midi controller as well. The idea of having both is very very appealing!

But then, I could also just get a used upright and a good midi controller.... Hmmm

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Ivory feel is only about the surface of the key and wooden key is about what is under the surface… two different things and we may have both…

Ivory feel doesn’t change the balancing of the key, it just makes the key less slippy.

Wooden key may only change the balancing of the key (NWX is balanced differently than GH3X), but the material should not be the criteria (What should care about is if the action feels good to you. Period).

My N1X has no ivorite key surfaces (just acrylic resin) but I am happy with it.

Last edited by Frédéric L; 06/20/21 04:26 AM.

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Looks like Yamaha CP1, CP4, CP5 and CP88 keys are wooden
I have also heard great things about these keys. Any thoughts?

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I was about to buy a CP5 once it felt so good and well connected to the piano sound.


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