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Different keyboards -- sharp key widths

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  • Different keyboards -- sharp key widths

    Is it my imagination, or do different organ keyboards have different sharp key widths, and thus differing amounts of space between the sharps?

    I don't recall noticing this in the past, but as my fingers get older (and wider and clumsier) it seems that I have a problem sometimes with my fingers literally getting stuck between the sharps while playing. This has happened to me several times during a service when playing a hymn or quiet piece of music. It seems to happen most often when playing in the key of E-flat or F. It's enough of an issue that I've put a small container of baby powder next to the organ at church and will sometimes sprinkle a tiny bit on my fingers before a hymn to dry them and make them slippery!

    When I played an Allen at my previous church, I don't remember this happening, but it has been troublesome ever since I began playing this Galanti. I had been laying it off on anxiety, since I'm much more "on the spot" in my current job than in the former one, but now I'm wondering if it actually is the keys.

    At the shop yesterday I was going back and forth between an Allen (MDS) and a Rodgers (80's analog) listening to various things, when I became aware that the Rodgers sharp keys seemed to be a tad wider. I was having no trouble fingering on the Allen, but would feel that "stick" when I moved over to the Rodgers.

    Can it be that some keyboards are actually that different?
    John
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    *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

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  • #2
    PS... I also seem to have no trouble at home on the Yamaha HX-1, and just looking at the keys it does appear to have fairly slim sharps. I'm also wondering if the texture of the key surface can affect the feel as well. However, all the organs in question have the typical hard, slick key material.
    John
    ----------
    *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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    • #3
      I once bought Vernier Calipers at the dollar store...should solve the width question quickly.

      Have you considered that the profile might be different too?

      Wes

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      • #4
        Both profiles and widths of sharps vary. When my shop was still making our own keyboards we made our sharps fairly narrow and with more side bevel than some. Most players very much liked the feel of our keyboards, but the occasional player absolutely detested them. You really can't please everyone! Our objective, of course, was to accommodate those with wider fingers who sometimes had difficulties with brushing the adjacent sharps. I knew someone with fingers so wide they simply couldn't play between the sharps on some keyboards. It was this person for whom I set our standard. My feeling was that it was better that everyone be able to play between the sharps. Others - get over it!

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        • #5
          Most definitely there are different sharp widths & profiles. Check out the Laukhuff keyboard catalog at: http://orgelbau.laukhuff-industries..../katalog/9.pdf and you'll see an immense variety.

          I first noticed this when I got a set of Pratt-Read Organ keyboards, and the sharp tops were particularly narrow compared to other keyboards I'd met.

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