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Yamaha KX-5 Aftertouch requires too much force
drakelacy Posted: 27 Dec 2022, 03:12 AM
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Joined: 27-December 22
Hi. The amount off force required to activate the aftertouch on my personal KX-5 is so great that it’s effectively useless. I’ve only been able to get a couple of other owners to weigh in on their experiences. One person has the same problem, the other says they have no problem at all (even though I’m not exactly sure that this person has tried activating aftertouch while the keytar is actually hanging from their body, and not laying on a hard surface, which would indeed make it easier)

So, I’d like to ask the site owner what his take is?

Additionally, since I know you’ve actually been inside your KX5 (albeit, presumably several years ago), I was wondering if you remember seeing anything in there that would allow adjustment to aftertouch activation. I’ll open mine up if I could make such an adjustment, but a preview of what I could be in for would be nice.

Any insight would be appreciated.

Last edit by drakelacy at 27 Dec 2022, 03:12 AM

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mit Posted: 27 Dec 2022, 09:12 AM
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yeah whatever

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Greetings.

It does take a bit of force to activate on mine, but not enough to be unplayable.

The aftertouch on the KX5 is different to other keyboards, there is almost no deflection, unlike my M-Audio keyboard which moves a lot as you press down (which I hate) and the Arturia keyboard which moves a bit. I have two KX5s and from memory they both require about the same force, although I've barely played one of them as I just kept it as a backup.

The electronics on board are quite primitive and the analog features, including after-touch, are handled with op-amps with a dual supply, created from the 9V input with a negative 5V regulator. I noticed when I was adapting my keyboard to be powered by the midi cable that if you provide the wrong power supply, most of the keyboard still works but the aftertouch and the breath controller input get confused. It's possible your keyboard has an electronic fault that is making it much harder to play. What power supply are you using?

It's also possible that internally there are some adjustment potentiometers that might control how much force is needed, and if not, there are probably some resistors that could be swapped out to adjust it.

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drakelacy Posted: 28 Dec 2022, 02:12 AM
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Thanks for the reply. I’ve learned more about my KX5’s internals by this post than I have in my hours of googling and forum diving…

I’m using the standard 6 AA batteries at 1.5 volts so I have the 9 volts.

However, based on your experience with your two KX5’s, I think I finally just have to admit my definition of unplayable has to be adjusted. My conclusion is my KX5 is most likely like everyone else’s, I’m just crying about it more than anyone else.

It would be nice if there were some adjustment potentiometers inside. I was in fact HOPING you saw as much all those years ago and had the photographic memory to recall it here 😂 There is such a aftertouch controller board in the KX5 contemporary DX7 and EX5 synths (both of which I own ironically), but I’m almost certain it’s not included in the humble KX5. I can’t find any documentation or images to support it being in there, and I feel had it been in there when you were inside of yours, I’m sure you would have taken the opportunity to make your aftertouching life easier.

As as you can probably tell, I’m a little loathe to crack mine open at this point, especially to go soldering around in there without guaranteed results. I’ll probably go your route and wait until I acquire a backup KX5 before I crack one open. I like it to much to risk screwing something up.

I’ll just stick to the pitch ribbon for vibrato, and a foot switch in lieu of aftertouch for anything more fancy than that.

But I appreciate your insight. It was extremely valuable.

I also recently just realized your the guy who made the xylophone business card video. I must have saw that not soon after you first published it. I always admired that one.

Thanks again.

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