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Has Nord Stage 3 88 Action Changed?


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I just had to have my Nord Stage 3 88 keyboard replaced by Sweetwater under warranty. The new keyboard"s action feels entirely different, and not in a good way. It"s very slow and sluggish feeling now. On my old one I felt it was a good compromise for playing piano, organ, and synth. Now it"s difficult to play as it just feel stiff and slow under my fingers. This is my fourth Nord Stage 88. I had an original Stage and now this is my third Stage 3 due to warranty replacements. All of them up until now felt the same to me.

 

Do they 'break in" after playing a short while and I should keep it under the assumption it will loosen up and get 'faster"? Did Nord recently change keybeds on the Stage 88? Or is it the same keybed being used and there"s that much potential for inconsistency from one to the next?

I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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All TP40s I have owned have felt really quick. Not at all sluggish. I do find the TP100 sluggish but that only goes in the HP models.

 

I know people speak about real variations in some keyboard actions... the Korg RH3 for example (which is based on an old Technics Action)

 

I always thought the Fatar TP40 actions were pretty consistent. I would worry you have been given a dodgy one, which if true, seems incredibly unlucky for you.

 

Others may help in specific relation to the Stage 3 88 as I have not played that one.

Kurzweil PC3x

Technics SX-P50

Korg X3

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TP-40 in the Stage models is a weighted action, I wouldn"t say it"s on the lighter side. But it is typically pretty fast, and preferable to the TP-100 by a long shot.

 

Rumors abound that Nord modifies their Fatar actions. I have never seen any copy from Nord that confirms or denies this. They talk a lot about, and have shared video, of their extensive calibration efforts. But mechanical modification or alteration, who knows.

 

That said, was this a warranty covered repair? Was it done by Nord or Sweetwater? Did Seeetwater order the replacement action from Fatar directly? If you"re not happy with the repair make some inquiries. I"d first want to know if the replacement action was calibrated using Nord"s calibration software. And can the tech account for why it feels so different from your previous models.

Yamaha CP88, Roland VR-700, Crumar Mojo, rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k, Casio PX-560

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The repair was not related to the action/keybed, it was the pitchstick, covered by warranty. Since they did not have the correct part, they gave me a brand new Stage 3 88.

 

And my previous Stage 88s all felt fast compared to this. It"s a very noticeable difference.

I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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Well, that is the great thing about buying from Sweetwater- they have the reputation of going the extra mile. Perhaps they'll send you another one? Though that'd probably mean you're eating the shipping back.

 

Another possibility is to contact Pablo? Years ago I know there was an AMS rep for numerous companies, including Nord, that was also a technician. He'd probably have more answers for you than anyone other than contacting Nord directly.

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The repair was not related to the action/keybed, it was the pitchstick, covered by warranty. Since they did not have the correct part, they gave me a brand new Stage 3 88.

 

And my previous Stage 88s all felt fast compared to this. It"s a very noticeable difference.

 

Ah ha. Thank you for clarification. Ok, with Sweetwater you have a trial period (as mentioned above) but you"d eat the shipping if it goes back. A Nord rep would be a good place to start with inquiry about why this one feels different from previous models you"ve owned.

Yamaha CP88, Roland VR-700, Crumar Mojo, rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k, Casio PX-560

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I"ve dealt with Pablo in the past and he was always helpful. I"ve emailed him. Hopefully he"ll have insight on this. Thanks for all the replies. Appreciated.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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Update: I"ve received responses from both Sweetwater and Nord regarding the slower action I"m experiencing on my replacement Stage 3.

 

Sweetwater says it"s normal for action to feel stiff or slow initially and typically will loosen up over time.

Nord makes no mention of weighted action loosening up. Instead they say the keybed could be mis-aligned or in need of additional lubrication.

 

This keybed action is definitely slower and more sluggish than previous Stage 88s I"ve owned or played. Songs and passages I could previously play with ease are now difficult to play up to speed.

 

Has anyone here experienced the Fatar TP40 loosening up over time? Is it normal to have noticeable inconsistency among TP40 keybed actions in the same model keyboard? What, if any, lubricant would you use?

 

Any other advice to offer? I"m genuinely not sure what to do here.

I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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I've always been skeptical of the idea that actions break in, especially 88-key hammer actions. If they did, one would expect the oft-played center area to change more obviously (sooner and/or to a greater extent) than the upper and lower extremes which are played far less often, and one never hears about that happening.

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The only one I remember experiencing this on was the venerable Kurzweil PC88 - but it literally would "break" in. The action would loosen up and start clacking like a manual typewriter - in the middle area first, where you play the most. You remember this, Scott? I think Fatar changed something about the TP used in that model, because I haven't heard about this complaint in a long time.

 

The Stage 3 I have played at my local shop showroom (before the closures) was a fast weighted action - typical of the TP-40 they use for this model.

Yamaha CP88, Roland VR-700, Crumar Mojo, rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k, Casio PX-560

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I've always been skeptical of the idea that actions break in, especially 88-key hammer actions. If they did, one would expect the oft-played center area to change more obviously (sooner and/or to a greater extent) than the upper and lower extremes which are played far less often, and one never hears about that happening.

My thoughts exactly. I feel much the same about actions 'breaking in".

 

In the interest of fairness, both Sweetwater and Nord have been helpful in all of this. I just know I don"t want to live with this action as is, and wanted opinions from others here so I feel more confident with whatever I decide to do next.

I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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I had a Casio WK7600, 76 keys, unweighted. Was never a great action, but after a couple of years it made my playing noticeably worse, I grew to hate playing it and sold it. I've only encountered a few keybeds that had this effect, this became one after several years. TBH though, I didn't check if the middle of the board felt the same as the ends.

Kawai ES110 & ES920 /// Casio CT-X5000

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Funny how the break-in is always longer than the return window.....;)

 

It's absurd, because your time on any given key is going to vary wildly. So anything that "breaks in" is going to get seriously uneven.

 

I don't have TP-40, but I have the older action of the SL-880, which is more sluggish than my upright piano. It always drops my jaw for the first few bars, but 30 mins in it seems very nice.

 

But this (maybe TP10) action is very adjustable with multiple criteria and curves. That is the secret to it. I am reminded of this every few years when I need to reset the board. "Oh this thing is awful!!!" Wait a min, where is the manual? 45 min later it is back to heavy cream sweetness.

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I don"t believe in the break in explanation.

I also read your posting over at Nord User Group.

Any chance that you can get your old board repaired and returned to you, as you was happy with the action on it?

Now they should have time to find the correct parts for it, and fix it properly while you have this board as an loaner.

/Bjørn - old gearjunkie, still with lot of GAS
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  • 1 year later...
  • 3 weeks later...
This is my fourth Nord Stage 88. I had an original Stage and now this is my third Stage 3 due to warranty replacements. All of them up until now felt the same to me.

 

Do they 'break in" after playing a short while.................

This probably won't be very helpful........

 

But after replacing 2 already ("warranty replacements") and now being on the 3rd -- it sounds like they just "break".

 

I wouldn't get a 4th Stage 3, and would be seriously considering another board.

 

Just a differing opinion...

 

Old No7

Yamaha MODX6 * Hammond SK Pro 73 * Roland RD-88 * Crumar Mojo Pedals * Mackie Thump 12As * Tascam DP-24SD * JBL 305 MkIIs

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Sorry I never posted a final resolution to this thread. Sweetwater replaced the part in my original Stage 3 88, then shipped it to me fixed. Then went the extra step of allowing me to keep both Stage 3s for 30 days to decide which one to keep, and which one to ship back, prepaid. I was able to play them both, side by side. Even invited a few keyboard playing friends to do the same. The difference was quite noticeable to everyone who tried.

 

I kept my original and shipped the one with the slow action back. Still have it and love playing it. Just one more instance of Sweetwater going above and beyond in customer service.

 

Oh, and they offered me a job if I wanted to relocate. I turned them down. I"m almost 67 and basically retired, working one day a week teaching music.

I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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This is my fourth Nord Stage 88. I had an original Stage and now this is my third Stage 3 due to warranty replacements. All of them up until now felt the same to me.

 

Do they 'break in" after playing a short while.................

This probably won't be very helpful........

 

But after replacing 2 already ("warranty replacements") and now being on the 3rd -- it sounds like they just "break".

 

I wouldn't get a 4th Stage 3, and would be seriously considering another board.

 

Just a differing opinion...

 

Old No7

 

Do you mean the Fatar part or the Nord part of the instrument keeps breaking?

 

Sorry I never posted a final resolution to this thread. Sweetwater replaced the part in my original Stage 3 88, then shipped it to me fixed. Then went the extra step of allowing me to keep both Stage 3s for 30 days to decide which one to keep, and which one to ship back, prepaid. I was able to play them both, side by side. Even invited a few keyboard playing friends to do the same. The difference was quite noticeable to everyone who tried.

 

I kept my original and shipped the one with the slow action back. Still have it and love playing it. Just one more instance of Sweetwater going above and beyond in customer service.

 

Oh, and they offered me a job if I wanted to relocate. I turned them down. I"m almost 67 and basically retired, working one day a week teaching music.

 

Strange to hear this type of feedback about Sweetwater.

 

In my case Sweetwater just outright ignored me.

 

https://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/3095101/is-fatar-tp40l-supposed-to-have-3-4-graded-spring-zones

 

I bet if you had disassembled them both you would have found out the pivot bushings problem like shown in the videos.

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I bet if you had disassembled them both you would have found out the pivot bushings problem like shown in the videos.

You may be right, but I didn"t feel comfortable disassembling a brand new Nord, when they had sent mine back with action I already liked. Sorry to hear your dealings with Sweetwater didn"t go well.

I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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Sure it's much harder to disassemble than when it's just a TP40L module like in my case. Even then, white keys are a nightmare to take off, much harder than black.

 

We should somehow bring this problem to public attention, it's been like this for an amount of years and Fatar have chosen to turn a blind eye to this problem.

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â¦We should somehow bring this problem to public attention, it's been like this for an amount of years and Fatar have chosen to turn a blind eye to this problem.

In my case above, Nord was made aware that there was a definite difference between the two Fatar keybeds, as was Sweetwater. Don"t know if that will make a difference. It won"t stop me from buying another Nord product, since this seems to be a Fatar issue.

I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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I have 4 different keyboards with TP40's and they all feel a bit different.

 

The Kurzweil is the lightest, Nord Stage second most and the SL88 grand is by far the heaviest, like way heavier.

 

Perhaps by coincidence that is also the order that I bought them in and there's some break in? No way to measure it, but in my mind, I think the Nord has actually loosened up a bit and it is probably my most played keyboard.

You want me to start this song too slow or too fast?

 

Forte7, Nord Stage 3, XK3c, OB-6, Arturia Collection, Mainstage, MotionSound KBR3D. A bunch of MusicMan Guitars, Line6 stuff

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Aren't these of different L / M / H / GH types? And yes, TP40WOOD is weighted absurdly heavy.

 

Spoke to a service person today - he recalled how they were drilling out the plastic pivot bushings in a CME(?) Fatar that had been staying unplayed for three years prior and grew stiff, apparently due to the plastic being so cheap that it swells from basic environmental factors over time.

 

Yet, break-in seems almost non-existent with Fatar. You either luck out or you don't.

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Is there still a way to contact Kurzweil directly when a defective item has been received and you are being largely ignored by Sweetwater, AM&S and Fatar?

 

The email address support@kurzweil.com that used to work earlier is just returning an automated reply now.

 

A vicious circle. And it's been seven months already. One more email ignored and I call them burglars.

 

PS: I just looked at the earlier correspondence, the support person was:

 

Jean Robert Bellefeuille

Manager of Technical & Customer Support

Kurzweil Music Systems

M-F 8a-5p PST

(310) 355-8052

support@kurzweil.com

 

Does he still work for Kurzweil? Perhaps I should make a phone call. The email wouldn't work anymore, that's for sure.

 

PPS: I just dropped him a line via his website. Any email info still appreciated.

 

J**@*****.com might or might not be JRB at Kurzweil, let's see. Phone numbers look different too, have they moved perhaps?

 

https://www.apollo.io/people/Jean/Be...68693a7e17fc1b

https://www.zoominfo.com/p/Jean-Bellefeuille/282108099

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Seven different addressees at sweetwater have ignored my letters up to now.

 

Then, the very Invoice turns out to have been forged. The date is wrong, and there are too many zeroes instead of the number. Can they be knowingly selling factory-second stuff that way?

 

I just realized I shouldn't have even touched the thieves at "sweetwater" for the mere fact of banning Russia by IP, and then some - for the very business name being idiotic.

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