During practice today, my Nord Piano, a keyboard that I've used for nearly five years and recorded three albums with, played its last note.
Over the past few months, I had noticed that a few keys were clicking or squeaking when played. Mechanical noise isn't uncommon in an instrument that you use every day for close to half a decade. So I contacted a lot of local shops to see if anyone could check it out and fix anything before it turned into a major issue.
After finding somebody who actually does work on digital keyboards, I had it fixed without issues. For a few weeks. This is why I'm going to leave this particular business nameless. A few weeks after the first clicks were fixed and the keys tightened, I noticed my middle-C key was doing the same, but like really, really loud and annoying. I had it fixed again, from the same business. That lasted an hour before it started clicking again, and the last C on the board, the very top key, was now clicking when it never had before. The technician had a very hard time removing the keys in the upper register, and was very aggressive in doing so. But he managed to remove and tighten them all, which I had requested since I figured it may as well be done to rule out this happening again anytime soon.
Today, while playing Chopin's Waltz Op. 34 No. 3 in F, that A key you see in those images just shattered under my pinkie. Yes, my pinkies are that strong, I am a Super Saiyan or something. Never mind. The reason for this is because the clip that connects the key to the rest of the lever mechanism has completely sheared.
I keep my instruments in the best care possible. Nothing is ever left to chance and I always protect them, clean them, and maintain them on a regular basis. This thing fell apart like paper when I touched it. The only thing that could have done this was the aggressive removal of the key a few weeks back to adjust its action, and now I'm paying the price for poor workmanship on the end of the technician.
I love Nord keyboards. I would have gladly gotten a Nord Piano 2 or a Stage HA88 (which could also serve as a master MIDI controller capable of sequencing anything with its synth controls, aftertouch and weighted keys) to replace this but it's just too much money right now. I still have my old Electro 2 (predating Nord's application of physical draw-bars) and would love to get the dual manual organ from them as well. This is not a Nord issue. Nord is all about quality and I've never had a problem with any of their equipment. This is nothing but bad performance on the end of the guy who I trusted to properly adjust some of the issues the instrument was having from frequent playing and age.
I am hoping that I can get this repaired and get it back on the road. I have already ordered a Kawai KDP90 to replace the Nord in the studio, but this thing weighs around 100lbs and is in no way fit for gigging. That's what a solid stage piano is for. If I can get it repaired correctly, I will reserve the Nord for gigging and travel use since it has such an awesome sound palette and all three pedals with half-pedal function. If, and this is likely, repairs are too much money or not possible, I may have no choice but to have the piano recycled at the next electronics dumping day.
I ended returning the Kawai after a day since it was garbage. The sound was terrible due to having the speakers built underneath the keybed instead of over or behind it, the instrument was damaged in shipping and had missing bolts. I ended up getting the Nord Piano 2, but that was also crap due to a factory defect in the keybed that set it forward by about 1/16th of an inch so some of the keys got stuck or audibly clicked as they grazed the casing of the piano.
After a long fight with Kraft Music to return the Nord Piano 2, I got a Roland RD 800 from Sweetwater and it's the best digital piano I've ever played. I will never use Kraft Music again after they refused to let me return the defective piano for four months, even though I reported the issue within a week of purchase and asked for a refund.
Sweetwater has never let me down.