Loud key noise Yamaha Clavinova piano CLP-920

by sarah nunn
(Netherlands)

I have a second hand Yamaha Clavinova piano (Model CLP-920) which has graded hammer action keys. What noises (Apart from the piano sound) should these keys make. When i press a key i get a soft thud depending how hard i strike the key but when i release the key it makes a loud thud/knock as it comes to rest. It's loud enough to be heard over the piano sound and quite off putting.
Is this sound normal or does it signal that the foam/felt strip needs replacing ?

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Aug 14, 2015
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The way I overcame this probem
by: Peter, London

I also found the noise of the hammer action in my CLP-950 Clavinova was becoming unacceptable. Disconnecting power, unscrewing the 3 screws at the back and removing the top I could see that this was caused when the hammers returned to their resting position on the felt.
Using forceps and pressing 2/3 piano keys in turn, I was able to attach 1 or 1.5 inch strips of self-adhesive (5mm wide) brush pile tape draft excluder to this felt. Then – again using forceps – I placed 2 layers of 1mm thick felt fabric on each of these pieces of draft excluder (having previously cut these pieces of felt to size (23 X 1 inch; 14 X 1.5 inch in my case). The pile on the draft excluder holds these felt pieces in place.
The whole job took about one hour. The action is now almost totally silent, the pile on the draft excluder effectively providing an air cushion between the two layers of felt. The piano keys are lowered by 1-2mm but I can detect no difference at all in the way the instrument sounds or plays.

Oct 05, 2014
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tiny question for Angus
by: Dan

Hello -

Encouraging and richly informative thread, all.

So, just to clarify, is the rum for dissolving rust/crud, or to help the repairer celebrate?

Cheers indeed,

Dan

Dec 06, 2013
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Don't waste your time with DIY felts...
by: Michael

We bought a second hand Clav CLP-820s which suffered from key noise and worn felts. The top felts were ok, the bottom ones dire.

I called the friendly Yamaha GB helpline (we are based in the uK) and they offer these replacement parts for £15 each plus p&p. Since none were in stock and waiting time was 4-6 weeks, I decided to purchase them from Ebay, where they cost about £10 more but were immediately available.

The felts arrived next day, which gave me some time to study the video on Youtube which explains the repair steps fairly well (check Nathan's link further up in this thread).

The entire procedure took about 2h and the Clav now feels like new, I'd say. Make sure you remember where all the screws go as you have to put them back in the right sequence. The top felts can be a bit sticky; take care when you rip them off. A little gentleness will ensure you get them off properly. I also used some sticky label remover to ensure they come off easily. The bottom felt (the the upwards key movement) are easy to replace.

I managed to do this and I am no DIY king by any stretch of the imagination.

Oh and one last point: don't go and ruin your Clav by experimenting with some DIY insulation tape to replace the felts. £30-£40 for the original parts is not too much and a decent investment into a musical instrument.

Feb 06, 2013
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Felt vs Foam (Followup)
by: Studio472

I am only trying to replace the felt rests, not the lower key-stroke felt. My piano is about 12 years old but has had very little play. I think the bottom felts are in good shape.

Attempt 1 included weather stripping & self-adhesive felt strip (lowes). The felt strip was too firm and didn't help remove the noise.

Before attempt 2, I studied the original yamaha felt and noticed how soft it was. I then went to a fabric store (Joanne's) and got 9x12 sheets of self adhesive felt pages. I cut them into 1/2 inch strips with an exacto knife. I then stuck them to each other until I had the height correct. 6 strips was the magic number. Next I ripped out Attempt 1 and replaced with the new felt. Be careful to make sure that all hammers have solid felt to fall on, otherwise they can fall in between two strips. Used contact cement to reattach the plastic strip. The set it flat with weight on it for about an hour, otherwise the weight of the hammers will be too much.

Now the piano is back together and the key feel and sound is awesome. I'm VERY pleased. I made an extra couple sets of felt strips and stored them in the piano in case I need to do this again. Glad I didn't spend the $93 on parts. Project cost $10

Feb 04, 2013
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Felt vs Foam
by: Studio472

Very glad I came across this page! Just got a CLP-930 second hand and the keys sound & feel like rocks bouncing around. Extremely pleased to find that the worst case scenario is $100 in Yamaha parts.

With that said. I'd like to try to save the money and not pay that much for name-brand felt. I figure I can remove felt/foam and go genuine if it doesn't work out. There are two working ideas I've got from the comments.

1. Self Adhesive Felt Strips - Seems to be the safer way to go, but what would prevent any other felt (including Yamaha's) from hardening and creating the problem a few years down the road? Some have suggested putting in 1/2 inch of felt to give more buffer.

2. Weather Stripping / Self Adhesive Foam - Assuming I get the height of the foam correct, I worry about messing with the action of the keys. Foam has different characteristics than felt and will probably feel different. Those of you who tried the foam, how did the feel compare to when the piano was new? How much does the height affect the keys, some have said key height changes.


Jan 15, 2013
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CVP-94
by: Tim

I have a CVP-94 (about 16 years old) and have similar thumping/clunking sound on keyboard as described. I called Yamaha and they are sending me the service manual and two felts for about $93.00. I will comment after I replace the felts to see if this fixes the problem.

Jan 15, 2013
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CVP-94
by: Tim

I have a CVP-94 (about 16 years old) and have similar thumping/clunking sound on keyboard as described. I called Yamaha and they are sending me the service manual and two felts for about $93.00. I will comment after I replace the felts to see if this fixes the problem.

Apr 27, 2012
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Clunking keys no more!
by: Ronnie

What a wonderful thing the Internet!
My son's Clavinova CLP-820S had the clunking noise so terrible that I was thinking about a new piano for him.
Then I found this page, and saw the excellent report from Nathan. Less than a week later, having phoned the number he said, and received the 2 genuine felts from Yamaha for about £30, and following the video Nathan refers to on YouTube, we now have a completely different sounding Clavinova! Absolutely wonderful. Thanks to all of you and especially Nathan.

Apr 21, 2012
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Fixed with genuine parts
by: Nathan

Hi, I just fixed my girlfriends 12 year old CLP-820S using genuine yamaha parts. You can phone them on 0844 811 1116 (you need option 4). They are very helpful. With delivery, both the lower felt (noise when you release the key) and upper felt (when you press the key) comes to about £30. Parts are in stock, we ordered Monday and got them Thursday. For the CLP-8xx and CLP-9xx at least (probably others too) the part number is VU34210R (upper) and V764010R (lower). As all other comments in this post, you need to undo a few screws to gently disassemble until you can free up the keyboard (unscrewing the control panel earth helps you swing that out the way, and you need to unplug the bottom of the keyboard using a flat-head before you can remove the keyboard). Then you take the old ones off, put your shiny new ones on. There is a youtube video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7IXhThEpV4 that shows you exactly how it is done.

Apr 07, 2012
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keys not working right
by: Anonymous

change my dampen felt now the sound the keys are not working properly have to hit it hard some dont work and ideals.

Mar 19, 2012
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Key Noise
by: Warren

Hello to all, I have read your comments on these problems and owning a baby grand and also a CVP103M I have worked a way to make them perfect. Turn off the power then Remove the three screws from the back, then push the top so it comes off, then remove the screws that hold the electrics screen LCD pannel and then the two black key ends. then you will see several small screws that hold down the LCD, slide the panel back at each side, then with care place near speakers inside so it allows enough room to then get to the screws that hold the keyboard. remove these screws, with a little care pull the keyboard out, place upside down on the floor. you will see the metal key ends, that is the weight part of the key, you will see a very thin strip with a thin layer of foam and felt. this is why you have such a noise, now forget trying all other methods please. get a small thin strip about 1 inc and the total size of the 88 keys of "memory" foam, then from the left lip it over the felt and go down the key strip lifting it under each section joint. Do not glue it!!! their is no need, each section will hold it firm. when you come to the end of the 88 keys cut the end of the foam. with care turn the keyboard over and place back in the piano. replace all screws firm, and put all back together. ta DA!!!!!! better than new, finer than my baby Grand and forever more wonderfull playing !!!!!!

Mar 14, 2012
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Fixed my CLP 820
by: Anonymous

Mine was doing the same thing. Today I took the keyboard out and removed the felt strip that the hammers rest on. I replaced it with 3/4" wide, 5/16" thick weather strip from Home Depot. I covered this with thick felt from a fabric shop using spray adhesive. I added an additional strip of this behind the one I put in. I did this because I noticed the existing felt was narrow, about 1/4". over time the hammers compressed it flat. The much wider strip now (1.5") will help by distributing the weight of the keys, lowering the PSI on the foam. It is now very quiet and the action does not feel that different at all. The original felt was glued to a plastic strip that was attached to the key rack. I scraped this off with a razor and attached the weather strip with its own adhesive. Then I attached the felt to the foam and left it twice as wide as I needed to cover the second strip of foam, which was attached to the bed of the piano, awaiting the key bed to be replaced. I did this because the plastic strip could only fit one foam strip. It's now quiet as can be!

Feb 22, 2012
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Help to an older rookie
by: Mario

I have just bought a DGX620 from a shop in Prince Albert Sask. The store owner assured me that it was rarely used. I am in the DR and had a friend bring it down. What a disappointment to hear that key noise. I am going to try some of the suggestions found here... thanks to all posters. However, before I search for instructions... is it easy to remove whatever to get at the place where to install some more foam/felt pieces. Kinda lost at where to begin. A service manual?

thanks

Dec 24, 2011
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CLP-970
by: Angus

Comments for CLP-970 with loud and silent keys.

All you need is Phillips screwdriver and some alcohol,I used Rum.

As per these helpful web sites unscrew everything until you can turn the keyboard over; the only electrical connection to undo is the control panel earth.
Unscrew the circuit board covering the contact strip. Wipe the contacts gently with a cloth dampened with alcohol until clean.
Dampen a cloth with water, clean again and finally wipe dry with a clean cloth, then reassemble.

As all my keys were noisy when released, I stuck 8mm of self adhesive draught excluder onto the steel floor.
On a 12 year old piano there will be a clear mark on the steel where it has been protected by the original felt.
Clean this steel then line the draught excluder foam up to the mark
Then when the keyboard is replaced the draught excluder will be inside the existing felt towards the front of the piano.

Nov 25, 2011
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Any one know how to open a CLP860?
by: LK

Does anyone know how to open up a CLP 860? I know I can give it a go but I'd rather get the the lay of the land before just diving in. The keys are noisy and I'd like to try fixing that.

Many thanks,

L

Sep 27, 2011
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yamaha keyboard
by: Anonymous

I would call Yamaha support to get the genuine spare parts.They are very goood.

Sep 15, 2011
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Replacing Yamaha Keyboard assembly
by: Nathanb

I have a Yamaha P-250 keyboard with a 88 graded keyboard, but the keyboard has been broken and I'm looking to buy a used keyboard assembly, but I'm just wanting to confirm that any Yamaha 88 weighted key assembly will work with my keyboard. Does anybody know if the keybaord assembly is interchangeable between the different Yamaha keyboards.

Thanks,

Jun 13, 2011
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Solved with a couple of sponges!
by: Mike

I bought a secondhand CLP-920 today and noticed the key noise. I was able to solve the problem like this:

- Remove the top (3 screws at the back).
- Cut a cleaning sponge into slices of about 4mm thick.
- Now one slice is about the size of 5 keys/notes, cut it in half at 2/5 so you have 2 pieces, one for the space of 2 notes, the other for 3 notes.
- Stick these slices under the metal "hammers", with the soft side on top of the original felt and the hard side at the back (it will keep the sponge in its place, so you don't have to use glue/tape or anything).
- Repeat for all groups of 2 or 3 notes and put top back.

It works great now! I don't know how long it will last, but its very easy to replace if it wears out.

May 03, 2011
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Awaiting Bob's instructions
by: Anonymous

I would be very interested in Bob's digital instruc's on replacing the worn pad under the keys of the Clavinova. I had my felt pad replaced about six years ago by a technician who came to my house, but he is no longer available and I can't find another person who will make a house call for this. I would be willing to order the part but don't know how to open the keyboard and replace it safely. Thanks, Bob, for any help you can give. Hope it will be available soon!

Feb 14, 2011
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Can be fixed.
by: Bob

I had the same problem with my CLP-840. I chose to remove the entire keyboard for the repair.

I removed the keyboard, and added a layer of 1/16" think by 3/8" wide foam double-sided tape on the strip where the hammers rest AND the strip where the raised hammers strike. I then followed this up with another 1/16" by 3/8" wide strip, this time made of felt. You would think that this would change the travel of the keys and the feel of the action. I think that it simply corrected the travel back to when the keyboard was new. It has completely eliminated the issue. Removing the keyboard is quite easy if you are even mildly handy, and I feel that the access that full removal gives you enables you to effect a permananet rpair as you are then able to lay one continuous strip down over the foam on which the hammers rest. I am quite confident that this will not give me trouble for many years.

I plan a write-up with digital pictures, but i have not done one yet.

Feb 01, 2011
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Can you help me?
by: Paul

I too am having problems with my Yamaha YPG-625. The keys make a 'thunking' noise when released that sometimes overrides the music - very annoying!

Not being particularly adept at mechanical things, I'd like any advice you can give me on how to open up the case and fix the problem. There are an awful lot of screws on the underside, and I don't want to remove any more than absolutely necessary.

Thanks so much for your help!

Nov 27, 2010
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Key noise fix
by: Anonymous

I have a Yamaha CLP0840, 15 years old, with a very annoying "thunk" upon release of the keys. I read all of the above comments about the problem and decided to try a modification of Denis's fix. I removed only the lid (just 3 screws) to expose the key hammers. The felt that the hammers strike upon release is quite firm and doesn't provide any cushioning to dampen the strike. The "tip" or "distal end" of the hammer protrudes aft past the felt over a channel running just behind the length of the felt. I simply cut foam weatherstripping 3/8" wide and 3/16" thick, with the self stick tape on one side, into lengths that would fit into the "empty" channel between the groups of 2 and 3 hammers. I turned the weatherstripping pieces on their sides and stuck them to the back of the vertical divider between the channel holding the felt and the "empty" channel. The heads of the hammers fall upon the foam, which deadens the noise. It's an easy, cheap fix.

Jun 04, 2010
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Knocking sound on key release.
by: Denis

My wife's Clavinova,CLP 920 about 7 years old developed the same knocking sound on release of the keys. I had to remove the key assembly and fitted an extra strip of draft seal foam beside the existing felt strip. I stuck it to the base so that it finished up just beside the existing felt strip which is part of the key assembly. The existing strip is difficult to remove so I left it there. I used two rows one on top of the other of "weather seal foam tape" which was 12mm x 9mm high and sticky on one 12mm face. This made a strip 18 mm high and caused the keys all to be about 2 mm lower in their resting place. The anoyning sound has gone completely. The foam will probably settle slightly in time but I will keep this site posted on any difficulties that arise.

Feb 23, 2010
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My self repair
by: tj tn

I augmented the existing strip on top and bottom with self adhesive form padding strips from the Ace hardward shop. It was a tedious process making sure the foam did not distort the "hit" feel of the keys. It all turned out very satisfactorily and I'm am pleased even more than when initially purchased.

Feb 22, 2010
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what I did
by: colesen

Each key has 2 short thin pointy feet to rest on in a narrow strip of thick felt (red) along the metal frame of the keyboard assembly. The felt shows some permanent settling indentation under the feet and I think that is another cause of the increased knock.

What I ended up doing to reduce the knock is 2 fold
- shift the existing strip of thick felt that is rest stop for the feet along the keyboard by half the distance between white keys to bring unused felt under the feet. An alternative is perhaps to glue a thin crossbar over each pair of feet for larger cross section area of the rest area in the felt for reduced settling.
- add a new strip of self adhesive 1mm thick felt along the keyboard on top of the existing strip of felt that is cushion for the hammers. Any thicker and the keys start to dangle.

The knock is now less than it was but whether also less than when the piano was new I dont know because I did not notice at the time as I always used the piano with headphones.
Completely removing the felt between the hammers and metal frame is not a solution because there is not enough room for the hammers not to hit the metal frame.
I don't know why Yamaha chose this design because clearly enough space is available for a design with as much more gap as is required for the hammers not to hit the metal for no knock at all.
If anyone else has better ideas then I'm very interested in learning about it.

Feb 19, 2010
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noise origin
by: colesen

I have a Clavinova CLP-560 now 20 Yrs old. It makes that rather noticable knock on wood sound on key release. A repair shop I called said it is a known problem to develop with age and that replacement of the keyboard assembly is $895.
The top of the piano is hinged in the back and by unscrewing 4 screws underneath the keyboard (and unplugging any cables in the back) the top can swung open as the hood on a car to expose the keyboard assembly. Next I unscrewed the screws in the top back and bottom front of the keyboard assembly, disconnected its 2 plugs (followed by marking them left and right) and with that removed the keyboard assembly from the piano.
Underneath each key is a hammer (black). By pulling and releasing the hammer by hand I determined that the noise is coming from the hammer hitting its resting stop on the metal frame of the keyboard assembly because all though the stop is covered by a sandwich of 3 layers of felt (colored yellow, red and black) then those layers are very thin showing denting from being resting stop after all that time and are therefore probably hardened to not (any longer) provide enough cushion.
I think a fix might be to add (spot glue here and there between keys?) a fourth layer of felt perhaps as thick as and onto the existing sandwich of felt because a trial with some band aid showed promise.

Feb 03, 2010
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Yamaha Clavinova CLP 920
by: Alfred

Dear Tennessee-tj: Your input is constructive and much-appreciated. I'm sure the Forum members who have this problem will learn from your experience. As to the post by "Anonymous", his/her message is totally inappropriate This forum is not meant to be a meeting place for ACOUSTIC piano players who are entitled to their own views. Negative or sarcastic comments are sure to be noticed by the webmaster who will take steps to exclude them.

Feb 03, 2010
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plastic piano
by: Anonymous

dont buy a plastic immitation of a piano

Jan 20, 2010
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Same issue repair
by: tennessee-tj

I have the same keyboard and issue. If you remove the top and view the strike pad you will see the condition of the pad. Mine has deep groves in the felt padding and provides little in the way of softening the "thud" when the key is released. Time to replace.

Dec 04, 2009
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Noisey Keys
by: Alfred

Dear Deena: While I am not familiar with either your or Sarah's units, I'm willing to bet you Sarah's problem is identical to the one you had, and can be solved in like manner. You've made my day with your kind message. It makes looking for assistance through this Forum a real pleasure. Stay well.

Dec 04, 2009
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key "springs"
by: Deena

This same thing happened on my PSR-540 keyboard and I contacted Yamaha and ordered the key "springs" which come in strips of plastic/rubber. I also ordered the repair manual which tells you step by step how to take the keyboard apart. Wasn't difficult at all and fixed the key perfectly. I'm not sure if the Clavinova has weighted keys which would be a different issue.

Dec 04, 2009
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Noisey Keys Yamaha CLP 920
by: Alfred

Dear Sarah: A "first blush" guess is that noise suppressors (to be found under the Keys) have worn away. Get in touch with:
Yamaha Music Europe GmbH Branch Benelux
Clarissenhof 5b, 4133 AB Vianen, The Nederlands
Tel: (31) 347-358040 Fax: (31) 347-358060
tell them about your problem and ask them to recommend a technician who can be contacted to fix the problem. All of us Forum members will be grateful if you do the favor of posting a new message outlining the action required in effecting the repair. We will all learn from your experience. Thank you and good luck.


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