Yamaha MODX Noisy Keys?

Covers the Yamaha MODX6, MODX7 and MODX8

Moderators: Derek, parametric, Saul

Does Your Yamaha MODX Have Unusually Noisy Keys?

Yes from new.
4
27%
Yes and developed over time
4
27%
No. Have not had any problems so far.
7
47%
 
Total votes: 15
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Re: Yamaha MODX Noisy Keys?

Unread post by EB5AGV » Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:41 pm

Fleer wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:36 am
The least of my worries. Quite pleased I could return it before this problem surfaced. TBH I had some other reasons as well. Found the whole thing too bulky (and the adapter too flimsy) yet still loved the MODX approach of bringing Montage quality to this price category. Definitely appalled that Yamaha is still selling these GHS keybeds when problems have been known for so long. As I wrote, I may be getting a sub $1000 MODX7 once it gets that low.
I don't have a MODX8 (could have a MODX7 in the near future, though :wink: ). But I have a GHS-equipped keyboard, a DGX660, and the keys work perfectly so far. And there are plenty of GHS units around, working nicely (I know several owners of P115 and P125). So I think it is not a matter of the GHS mechanism, it is more a case of the GHS version for the MODX8 which seems to be failing.

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Re: Yamaha MODX Noisy Keys?

Unread post by Saul » Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:23 pm

I think you are right Jose. The GHS keybed has been used in a LOT of Yamaha keyboards and although I know it has been mentioned that they all have issues I think some perspective is needed. How many have had issues? and are the numbers proportionally higher than for other types of graded hammer action keybed from KORG or Roland for example?

I did quite a bit of digging on this and I could not find droves of owners complaining about noisy keys. In fact the MODX8 is the first keyboard with these problems and going by the numbers here at the moment they are not that high. Bear in mind the MODX is the worlds biggest selling synth at the moment.
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Re: Yamaha MODX Noisy Keys?

Unread post by pax-eterna » Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:44 pm

It is there Saul, MOXF8 had issues, and I think the reason you don't see a lot is the GHS is used mostly on low end consumer devices and to a certain extent keybed noise covered by either the speakers or using headphones.

As I wrote earlier it is what it is and the GHS keybed DOES get noisier over time...whether there is not enough felt under the keybed return points or enough lithium grease, who knows but it is there! Every Yammie board I have had with the GHS has been perfect out of the box, but then over the course of 6-8 weeks, it gets noisier. It is quite insidious and you don't REALLY notice til you do a specific no sound test, but once you notice it it is there forever.
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Re: Yamaha MODX Noisy Keys?

Unread post by Fleer » Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:50 am

SoundOnSound have a huge review out in their Jan ‘19 issue. This is a small excerpt regarding the MODX keybeds: “The keyboards and actions betray some of the Montage-on-the-cheap cost-cutting. There's no aftertouch, and the MODX8's GHS keybed is at the bottom of the pile of Yamaha's 88‑note hammer actions (for example, it's also used in the £350 P45 electronic piano). As for the semi-weighted MODX6 and 7, those keybeds are functional but quite flimsy in appearance and feel. Where the keys disappear under the front panel the moulded plastic construction reduces to only a few millimetres in height, leading to a ruler-on-desk twang when you release keys rapidly. Also, after only a couple of days of testing, the gaps between keys had become quite uneven, out by various tiny amounts. Whilst this doesn't really affect playing accuracy it doesn't look great.“
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Re: Yamaha MODX Noisy Keys?

Unread post by EB5AGV » Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:18 am

Fleer wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:50 am
SoundOnSound have a huge review out in their Jan ‘19 issue. This is a small excerpt regarding the MODX keybeds: “The keyboards and actions betray some of the Montage-on-the-cheap cost-cutting. There's no aftertouch, and the MODX8's GHS keybed is at the bottom of the pile of Yamaha's 88‑note hammer actions (for example, it's also used in the £350 P45 electronic piano). As for the semi-weighted MODX6 and 7, those keybeds are functional but quite flimsy in appearance and feel. Where the keys disappear under the front panel the moulded plastic construction reduces to only a few millimetres in height, leading to a ruler-on-desk twang when you release keys rapidly. Also, after only a couple of days of testing, the gaps between keys had become quite uneven, out by various tiny amounts. Whilst this doesn't really affect playing accuracy it doesn't look great.“
I am beginning to rethink my MODX7 future purchase, thanks for this interesting information.

I have also a SY77 and wish the new synths used a similar keybed!

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Re: Yamaha MODX Noisy Keys?

Unread post by EXer » Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:22 am

In my opinion Yamaha should release a Montage Rack with the same touch screen (a 7" screen would fit on the panel of a 3U rack).

I already have 2 good quality synth type 76 keys (EX5s) and 2 good quality piano action type 88 keys (PHA II on my Roland RD700 and Fatar TP/40 on my Fusion 8 ). So, I do not need / do not have the space for / do not want to pay for another keyboard (be it the expensive one of the Montage or the cheap useless one of the MODX), and I guess I'm not alone.

But, to be realistic, that won't happen, unfortunately.
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Re: Yamaha MODX Noisy Keys?

Unread post by Saul » Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:54 am

I don't recognise those comments on the quality of the keybed. The MODX7 keys for example are no noisier than any other keyboard at this price point and in fact I found them to be fairly quiet but I guess it depends on how you play. Some people hammer the keys when there is absolutely no need to and then of course it will be noisy, much the same as any other keyboard.

I also didn't notice any change in gaps between the keys but of course I can only speak for the two models I have tested. It could well be that the MODX8 uses the cheapest of the GHS range of keybeds. Maybe that explains the problems some people have mentioned with the keys getting progressively noisier over time but I have not experienced this myself.

It might be more useful to compare with other hammer action keybeds that provide as much synth power and functionality as the MODX at the same price point?

I have only tried one other keyboard with a fully weighted action near the price of the MODX and that was the Roland DS88 which has a Balanced Hammer Action, Ivory Feel keybed and which I found to be excellent. However the DS88 does not combine two synth engines with a large touch screen, backward compatibility with the DX7 and 1GB of user ram. I could also never get the audio over usb to work. However it does cost considerably less than even a MODX6.

Anyway this is the reason I have the poll running. We are not going to cover up anything here. If there is an inherent problem with the keys on the MODX people need to know about it so please do keep the comments coming.
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Re: Yamaha MODX Noisy Keys?

Unread post by Fleer » Sun Dec 23, 2018 6:18 am

Would like to know too if other people witnessed uneven gaps between keys on the MODX6 and MODX7.
I did read about the problem in other forums, so the SOS-experience isn’t a one off.
Makes me think someone should tell Yamaha to up the ante on these keybeds. Even though they’re “Montage lite”, the MODX range could do with better keys it seems.
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Re: Yamaha MODX Noisy Keys?

Unread post by Stevie18 » Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:21 am

Personally I think that from the playing aspect the MODX8 keyboard is really nice. It gives me a very good response. I prefer it over the Nord Piano 2 HP which I sold a while ago. I think it is on par with the Roland FP7 which I had before that. This did not change even after the noise began. Since the noise is happening not when pressing the key but when releasing it, this does not really have any influence on the feeling when playing. But it was loud enough on some of the keys so that I heard it even when playing a piano sound with head phones on and pressing the sustain pedal, so that the sound continued when the key was released. So that‘s why I sent it in for repair. I hope the repair won‘t take so long. I really miss it :(.

The question is what would I do if it came back and then after a couple of weeks would develop the problem again on some keys? Would I send it back for repair again? Would I try to return it for reimbursement? Or would I just keep it? Probably I would just keep it. Still I hope that it comes back repaired and does never develop that problem again.

I don‘t have a MODX6 or 7. I did have a MOXF6, though. The keyboard did not feel as good as the Montage 6 by a wide margin (but then that keyboard is really great, the only one which I liked even better is that of the Ensoniq VFX, if someone remembers that one, still). I did not really like the MOXF6 keyboard. But it had no problem whatsoever, no gaps, no undue sounds, no functionality problem.
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Re: Yamaha MODX Noisy Keys?

Unread post by Saul » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:01 pm

Maybe my expectations regarding the quality of the keybed for the price point of the synth were not that high. I knew there would be compromises to bring Montage tech in at a price most could afford. Luckily I had no issues at all with the MODX7 or MODX8 in that respect.

People have said that the keybed in the MODX6/7 was better than the one in the MOXF but I didn't notice it and I owned the MOXF6. It felt the same to me and that was no bad thing because out of the three keyboards in that price group at the time of it's release, Roland FA06, KORG KROME and the MOXF the Yamaha had the best keys.

I guess time will tell if the MODX key issue is a batch thing or something inherent in the design. Given that the MODX was only released in mid Sept I think another few months should start to provide a clearer picture on the issue.
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Re: Yamaha MODX Noisy Keys?

Unread post by Fleer » Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:27 pm

You’re right, but I do hope Yamaha will take notice and look into the SoundOnSound review. Those guys are no amateurs so when they identify an issue like this, they’ll have done their research. Still also hoping it’s a batch issue though, ‘cause I loved the MODX8 for its playability (like Stevie18 above). Even though I’m now thinking of getting a MODX7 provided the unevenness issue gets solved. Mind the gap!
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Re: Yamaha MODX Noisy Keys?

Unread post by Saul » Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:29 pm

Agreed about Sound On Sound. They do give things more of a work over when reviewing products than most others do. However it IS still the opinion of one person and no matter how experienced they are they can still only go on the product they have in front of them and often, as in the case of the MODX, that will be from the many thousands sold across the world.

At least it does show that Yamaha are not cherry picking perfect examples to send out for review. Some brands go over their review samples with a fine tooth comb to make sure everything is perfect and of course that is not fair on the reviewer, who is putting their reputation on the line or the wider public who may make a buying decision based on that review.

It will be very interesting to see how this all pans out over the coming months.
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Re: Yamaha MODX Noisy Keys?

Unread post by Chummy » Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:12 pm

I don't think QC in China (MODX) is as good as QC in Japan (Montage). Although "made in china" now is much better than "made in china" in the 80s. Still, they have a way to go.

I heard there were many QC problems with other products unrelated to maker. For example I heard a series of Prophet Rev 2 keyboards were faulty and they don't make them in the US anymore, so.
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Re: Yamaha MODX Noisy Keys?

Unread post by pax-eterna » Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:14 pm

I keep seeing this - "for this amount of money" theme come up again and again...and really what we play with our hands, to me, is just as important, if not more so than what we hear. The keybeds are cheap, no amount of "spin" can change that. What is happening is that folks decide to compromise and some are happy with that and some are not, it still does not take away the fact these are the lowest grade keybeds Yamaha have and users are voicing theit thoughts.

I'd rather just have the one engine and the BHS (or balanced) keybed from the montage...but as the FM stuff is costing Yamaha nothing (I'd estimate that capital cost was recovered years ago) in terms of R&D (the BIGGEST cost in keyboard development) it probably would not create enough surplus in the construction cost to pay for the better keybed.

The gap in the price difference between the Montage and MODX is notable and I do believe that Yamaha COULD have put the better quality 'bed into the MODX 88. Hell they probably could have even afforded to put the FSX keybed in the 60 note boards too!
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Re: Yamaha MODX Noisy Keys?

Unread post by Saul » Mon Dec 24, 2018 12:18 am

If what you play with your hands is the main criteria for you then don't buy a MODX? Buy something that you love playing and are very happy with.

All the options are out there from Yamaha (Montage), Roland (DS88/FA08?), KORG (KRONOS and Maybe something for NAMM?), Nord, Dexibell (expensive but excellent) and so on. It just depends how much money you want to invest to get what you need.

Personally I am not in any way willing to lay down 2-3 grand for a keyboard so MODX is fine for me. My criteria has and always will be value for money. So Yamaha packing all this into a keyboard that doesn't cost 2 grand suits me very well indeed. The key action is perfectly adequate for my needs. Yamaha is not forcing people to buy the MODX if the quality is not up to their standards.

Yamaha are first and foremost a business. Their number one concern is to make a profit. It has to be otherwise there is very little point in continuing to run as a business. And I am sure that the idea behind MODX was to make a keyboard that does make a profit and that "MOST" people would be happy with. From the sales figures so far it looks like they have succeeded.

Who else produces a keyboard at this price with all these features? If all you want is one synth engine and a decent quality balanced hammer keybed at or below the £1000 mark then buy a Roland DS88. I don't know any other sub £1000 keyboard with a balanced hammer action keybed which feels that good and with such a wide range of sounds to play with.

It's horses for courses. You pay your money and make your choice. Yamaha are not going to put a more expensive keybed in the MODX. It is what it is.
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