Overall Rating: Good all round intermediate keyboard for a very good price. It has served my very well. Looking to upgrade to a workstation keyboard soon. By the way. this keyboard has a very low resale value. They frequently go for little over ¿¿1...
Overall Rating: Good all round intermediate keyboard for a very good price. It has served my very well.
Looking to upgrade to a workstation keyboard soon.
By the way. this keyboard has a very low resale value. They frequently go for little over ¿¿100 on ebay, so make your choice wisely.
Features: The keyboard has 76 velocity sensitive 'synth style' keys, unfortunatley lacking aftertouch, but you can't expect that in this price range.
These is a healthy selection of preset sounds (619 including drum kits) and 100 spaces to store your own creations.
There are 166 preset rhythm patterns (styles if you are a yamaha person) In my opinion there are not enough spaces for your own rhythms, only about 15. Also, the amount of dowloadable content from the internet is miniscule.
These is a nice big selection of DSP effects, 100 of them including reverbs, chouruses, flangers, phasers, tremelos, gates, rotary speakers, LFOs (non assignable), distortions and ring modulators. There are many combinations of these as well. Also there are 100 spaces to store your own.
The keyboard has pitch and modulation wheels, and the modulation wheel is assignable to different parameters on the DSP effects and vibrato. Unfortunately, you cannot assign it to the synth parameters, so no realtime tweaking which is a shame.
The synth function is very minimal. It is not even ADSR. only Attack, Release, cutoff, resonance and vibrato. Casio have also included octave shift, volume level, reverb and chourus send in this category.
The onboard speakers are good quality, but at only 6 watts each, dont expect thundering bass out of them.
The rhythm player only has 2 variations on each rhythm as opposed to 4 on Yamaha's PSR-S series.
THE STERIO OUTPUTS ARE REALLY BAD. THIS KEYBOARD SOUNDS AWFUL THROUGH A PA SYSTEM.
There is no midi ports, so you cannout use this keyboard to control a rackmount syth or another keyboard, but it does have USB so you can use it with your computer music software.
32 note polyphony will runout when playing with the auto accomp and usig auto harmonise with layered voices.
Sound Quality: Acoustic pianos: 7 - Good quality samples, but not perticularly expressive.
Electric pianos: 7 - Nice but not particularly inspiring. No Rhodes or DX EPs
Organs: 6 - Jazz organs are rather nice to play, some are fantastic. Rock organs are terrible.
Acoustic Guitars: 10 - Played with a sustain pedal, THESE SOUNDS ARE A KILLER
Electric/distorted Guitars: 8 - Nice expressive cleans and nice warm fuzzy overdrives. You can cet some really agressive distortion with DSP editing.
Basses: 7 - Do the job. Acousic bass lacks the nice woody sound. Poor. Electric basses are passable. Some nice synth basses.
Solo strings: 7 - Violin is below average, cello is really nice
Strings: 6 Realistic orchesteral strings, synth strings are not very good.
Solo Brass: 9 - Fantastic trumpets. especially 'orchesteral trumpets' trombones and tuba are also good. Classic synth french horns.
Woodwind: 10 - Breathy saxophones are awesome, jazzy, not cheesy. Fultes and clarenets, expressive and realistic. Great 80s panflute.
Synths: 3 - No portamento or monophonic = dull, flat leads. Preset pads are flat with no movement. With editing though, I have managed to make some very good D50ish (very ish) pads. other synth sounds not worth speaking of.
Drums: 5 - Acoustic drums are over complicated, and lack edge. NO GROOVE. Hip hop drums are nice. House and trance kits are also 'cheap' sounding. Whould have been better trying to emulate the industry standard 808 and 909 dance kits.
Reliability/Durability: Body entirely made from plastic, but feels tough. The keybed is REALLY noisey. You can hear the 'clack clack' noise they make even when wearing headphones, and they annoy the people watching TV in the next room.
There is nothing to stop the user memory from overloading, and I have accedently done this about for time whilst loading .wav samples (or 'User tone with wave files as casio likes to call them) to the keyboard. The firmware suicides and corrupts all the user files. MAKE SURE YOU BACK UP ALL YOUR FILES AS YOU CANNOT GET THEM BACK AND YOU HAVE TO RESET THE KEYBOARD.
Ease of Use: The front panel is very intuitively laid out, with the auto-accompaniment controls laid out nicely next to where the left hand is playing for quick access. Most of the commonly used controls are on the front panel. Choosing sounds and rhythms is quick and easy with the numerical pad. You soon learn the number codes of your favourite sounds. The registration buttons are a big plus, and the way theys are set out in 8 banks of 4 is really good for performing songs with complex voice changes.
To get the best out of this keyboard, you really need to use the DSP HOLD and MIX HOLD functions (located in the transpose/function menu.) These allow you to edit the individual tracks in the mixer and they will stay to what you set them even after a fill in whist playing.
My only gripes are that the manual is more complex then it needs to be at times, using complicated jargon when things could be explained clearly and simply. Also the provided IEDS software is quite outdated and a pain to set up. Once you get going its quite easy to use.