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Kronos key weight changed
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savont



Joined: 27 May 2015
Posts: 13
Location: Melbourne Australia

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:13 am    Post subject: Kronos key weight changed Reply with quote

hi, I am a fond user of an 88 kronos but the key weight to me was too much, and just holding down F#G#A# at the same time and you may see what i mean but if you like heavy action then dont read this.

If I came across other keyboards with a lighter action I would wonder why the kronos was so heavy. So doing a test using a number of coins that could fit between keys, I weighed down notes until they touched the keybed and then with an accurate electronic scale i weighed the coins.
The result was a weight of 75g, to 80g of coins to get the key to the keybed.

On the internet I had read that some great pianos have an action as low as 50g.

So I went about working out how to change the kronos weight. Yeah i know it was crazy and risky. and the warranty would be destroyed, but i decided to do this as i really love the kronos technology.

After taking apart the kronos I noticed that the keyweights underneath on each key were a bent piece of metal. I initially thought it had been welded somehow and that this may not be a good sign.
I thought it a real risk but i went out and bought a dremel, cutting disks, and protection. (a dremel because the load in cutting would be absolutely minimal on the keys) I then cut one of these weighted steel things on its bend, and the result, a bit fell off.

That is, the piece that fell off was the piece that was bent around to obviously give that keyweight "extra" weight.
(note doing this, I did not take the keys themselves apart, I should have but theres way too much mechanical stuff in there, including a metal band spring which pushes the key forward and up too! so keyweight is not the only thing.

So before I went any further it was time for testing that modified key (the lowest "a"), in case i had really stuffed something. And to my surprise the key worked as before, it went down and back up as usual.

What I did see that was the action was noticeably lighter and a test showed it was now 50gms. Wow!
I did a few more keys and then tested again and again; along story short I did the whole keyboard. the average key weight of each key is now 50gms. All up, I took off 1.1 kilos of these metal offcuts!.
I took photos of everything along the way.
And each of these metal cut off bits weigh 10,14,15, 20 gms depending on where they came from.

And now "for me" the playability of the kronos is now fantastic.
The clavinets, the electric pianos all feel more natural to me for those instruments. The synth playing for me is lots easier and better too (i dont need to buy a 61 key now), and the string playing feels lots more natural.
The real piano sounds (German grand etc) are excellent for me and now have a fantastic touch as well. I can play alot faster now, more expressively, and triplets are a breeze, glissandos are real easy.

So now I wonder what was in Korgs mind (for that matter some other manufacturers) when they decide on a heavy action.
From what i have read on the internet about great classical piano players rave about the speed and touch of high quality grand pianos. So surely a lighter kronos keybed action would get an endorsement from them?
especially since the Kronos is such a brilliant and flexible instrument.

And surely why dont all makers of keyboards specify the keyweight in grams? eg 75g. It would make keybed choice so much easier.
And why dont keyboard makers make keyboards that you can adjust the weight to suit your playing.

Anyhow my fingers are no longer having to do excess weight lifting to get a sound now. To do the maths, before the changes, if there are 25-30gms extra on each note and I play 100 notes and I would have played an extra 3 kilos.
I am very happy with my results. I now have korg German grand and Austrian Grand sounds with a light action!
All up it took about 6 hours to do in two 3 hours stints of cutting, and alot! of care, patience and technique eg not taking the keybed totally apart.
As a disclaimer, [u]The risks of destroying or damaging the kronos was very likely and possible[/u], but it worked for me.


Last edited by savont on Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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BobTheDog
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Joined: 21 May 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess you have converted it from a Graded to non Graded keyboard!
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savont



Joined: 27 May 2015
Posts: 13
Location: Melbourne Australia

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the bits that were cut off are the same shape as the original, ie the original weight is a mirror bend if that makes sense, so i cant see how its not "graded" anymore, it didnt feel good the way it was anyhow, its now feels lighter to me across the whole keyboard.
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kamer



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 27
Location: Israel

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent savont . A good idea.
I also noticed heavy keys Korg Kronos x76.
I respect people who can do something with his hands.
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sP33DyEd



Joined: 31 Oct 2013
Posts: 29
Location: Belgium

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you do the mod on a New Kronos 2015?
Thanks Ed
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SeedyLee
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're a braver man than I...

Having said that, I do agree that the RH3 action on the KRONOS is very heavy. I thought my Kawai had a heavy action - then I tried the Kronos 2 73!
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savont



Joined: 27 May 2015
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Location: Melbourne Australia

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi the key mod was done on a kronos x, not the 2015 version. I dont think the keybed has changed between versions has it? I will be posting photos if i can put them in this forum, in the next day or so, after i have reduced the photo sizes to show things.
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kaptainkeyboard
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A simple "Velocity" tweak can often work.
If you reduce the amount of effort you have to put into achieving maximum velocity then you get the impression that the keyboard is lighter than it actually is.
I don't mean to get all phycho acoustic on your ass here, but it kinda works.
This probably won't work for seasoned piano players since we feel the sound thru our fingers, but for synth players it might just work for you.
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phenaste
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Joined: 16 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:15 am    Post subject: Re: Kronos key weight changed Reply with quote

savont wrote:

I took photos of everything along the way.


You're an amazing man ! Respect.

Please, let us see it Very Happy
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BobTheDog
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

savont wrote:
the bits that were cut off are the same shape as the original, ie the original weight is a mirror bend if that makes sense, so i cant see how its not "graded" anymore, it didnt feel good the way it was anyhow, its now feels lighter to me across the whole keyboard.


Quote:
And each of these metal cut off bits weigh 10,14,15, 20 gms depending on where they came from.


I would guess the bits you cut off are the bits that make it graded as they are different weights. The % weight for the difference between each key will now be different even if there is a mirrored side.
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NuSkoolTone
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interested to see this. Not sure if I could (would) do this myself, would rather see if there was a replacement Fatar I could drop in.

Personally I would have hoped for glued weights I could have removed and documented. Though keybed mechanics are not my expertise.

I mean that's a real killer to resale value perhaps!
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pedro5
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

savont

I applaud your ingenuity for doing this alteration and you're satisfied with the results.
Pleasantly surprised that there's been positive responses to your topic,half expected more criticism,gasps of horror….. Smile
Many owners appreciate most DIY mods which could provide alternatives for consideration….food for thought.
Thanks for sharing your efforts.

The idea of having adjustable key weights is something some players would want,as other RH3 owners also find them not light enough to play comfortably.
I would prefer to go the other way,personally,by having the keys heavier,especially for pianos…….and possibly as standard or slightly lighter for other sounds.

When I first played the Kronos 73,I couldn't detect any differences between the lower and upper keys regarding their graded "weight"…….but found out(as you did) that there are various
sized weights,in groups along the whole keyboard and only by careful key presses did it become more apparent.
My theory is that it's because of some anticipated expectation of how piano keys would feel anyway and probably I instinctively made allowances along the keybed,so it felt right…for me,that is.
Although I have smallish hands and of a slight build,I do tend to play with appropriate,proportional force accordingly (hard or soft sound producing etc).

I also have a PA900,listed as having a "weighted" keyboard……but I find it too light for my usual playing style (heavy handed,perhaps,especially having played a hammer action)….
However,as with any instrument,it improves with practice.
The Havian 30….with a RH3 keyframe,(which was released after I bought the PA900) probably would have been better suited in my case…..oh well….

Must add that the Kronos 73 is the only hammer action keyboard I've ever played,so there's nothing to compare it to……but I'm happy with it,though.

Looking forward to any photos that may be available.

Best Wishes.
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ferchis
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

just my 2 cents as a piano player, I actually found the key action in Kronos 88 to be lighter than I'd expected and wanted. A very light action is a put off for me since I can't go about playing pianos realistically with a synth-like action.

but, to each his own...
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savont



Joined: 27 May 2015
Posts: 13
Location: Melbourne Australia

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will post a photo of the finished insides later, but you can see the cut offs. Forgive the formatting here theres alot to do to show images etc, I had to create a flickr account as well...

2014-09-20 10.39.19
2014-09-20 11.07.20
2015-05-15 14.16.03


SAM_0240
SAM_0241
2015-05-20 16.58.40
2015-05-20 16.59.08
SAM_0219 SAM_0233  
SAM_0239
2015-05-15 14.14.35


Last edited by savont on Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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kamer



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
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Location: Israel

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many radical reworks , such as a serious gears of KORG, I think, come from the poor QUALITY.
Whoever saw how made and assembled keyboard KRONOS X inside? Disgusting.
I remember my Korg TRITON with keyboard Yamaha.
Yes, it was the unweighted key actions keyboards.
But the build quality, the company Korg was much higher.

I also have a lot of claims.
Recently, I myself have changed the main joystick. The problem was low quality the potentiometers ALPS company.
Parameters such as 'Total resistance tolerance +/- 30%' and 'Operating life 10000 cycles' are not complied with.
Therefore, after 1.5 years of my very careful attitude to the instrument, "the sound floated".
I have a question for what I bought such an expensive gear as Korg Kronos X76?
For changing parts?
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