Acoustic & Electronic Instruments, Musicians, News, Tutorials, Videos & Interesting Finds
Acoustic & Electronic Instruments, Musicians, News, Tutorials, Videos & Interesting Finds

Casio 88-note keyboards and digital pianos explored

Casio is a well-known brand offering a wide range of digital pianos and music keyboards. Here we look at the main ranges of instruments which come with 88 keys.

An electronic instrument with 88 physical keys most closely mimics the majority of acoustic pianos, and removes the need to transpose the whole keyboard up or down in octaves in order to play higher or lower notes.

Casio’s first digital piano was the CDP-100, launched in 2003. This is much later than many of its competitors such as Yamaha, Roland and Korg. Previously, Casio was best known for its mini keyboards, sampler keyboards and beginner home keyboards.

Casio’s digital pianos and keyboards are often appreciated by beginners and intermediate players due to their affordability, ease of use, and a good selection of features. They have a range of models that cater to different needs, from entry-level instruments to more advanced options. Casio has also been praised for providing good value for the price, offering a decent quality sound and a variety of built-in tones and functions.

They do not necessarily have the sound quality, premium build or playing action, but they still represent a good way to indulge in playing the piano or keyboard.

Current Instrument Offerings

Casio makes a range of different 88-key instruments including:

  • Privia Series: The Privia series is known for its slim and portable designs, making it suitable for both home and stage use. It includes models like the PX-5S, PX-160, PX-S1000, and PX-S3000.
  • Celviano Series: The Celviano series is focused on delivering a traditional and elegant piano experience. These models often feature a more robust cabinet design and premium keyboard actions. Some examples include the AP-270, AP-470, AP-710, and AP-760.
  • CDP Series: The CDP series combines affordability with quality sound and features. These models are typically more compact and lightweight, making them suitable for beginners or musicians with limited space. Examples include the CDP-S100, CDP-S350, and CDP-240R.
  • Grand Hybrid Series: The Grand Hybrid series represents Casio’s high-end offering, designed to replicate the sound, touch, and feel of acoustic grand pianos. These models incorporate Casio’s AiR (Acoustic and Intelligent Resonator) technology for an authentic playing experience. The GP-300 and GP-510 are notable models in this series.

Casio’s digital piano range spans from entry-level models to professional-grade instruments, catering to a wide range of musicians, students, and performers.

Casio does not currently make any instrument which might be considered purely a home keyboard or a dedicated synthesizer which comes with 88 notes.

It’s also worth noting that Casio has stuck with these named ranges for the whole time they have been involved in manufacturing digital pianos, although some ranges have a very large range of models, many of which have since been discontinued and would probably not be of as high enough quality when compared to current models.

Privia Series

The Privia series is one of Casio’s most popular and well-known lines of digital pianos. It is designed to provide a high-quality piano experience while maintaining a portable and affordable form factor. Here are some key features and characteristics of the Privia series:

  1. Authentic Piano Sound: Privia pianos utilize Casio’s advanced AiR (Acoustic and Intelligent Resonator) sound source technology, which faithfully reproduces the complex and nuanced sound of an acoustic piano. It captures the rich tones, resonance, and dynamics of different piano styles.
  2. Keyboard Action: The Privia series typically features a weighted keyboard with scaled hammer-action, emulating the feel and response of an acoustic piano. This means that the keys have varying levels of resistance, with lower keys being heavier and higher keys being lighter.
  3. Slim and Portable Design: Privia pianos are known for their sleek and slim designs, making them easy to transport and fit into different spaces. They are suitable for both home and stage use, providing flexibility to musicians.
  4. Diverse Sound Selection: In addition to piano sounds, Privia models offer a wide range of other instrument sounds, including electric pianos, organs, strings, and more. Some models also include layering and splitting functions, allowing you to combine different sounds or assign them to different areas of the keyboard.
  5. Built-in Speakers and Amplification: Most Privia models come with built-in speakers, eliminating the need for external amplification for casual playing or small performances. However, they also offer audio outputs to connect to external sound systems or headphones for private practice.
  6. Connectivity and Features: Privia pianos often include features like USB MIDI connectivity, allowing you to connect to computers and music software. They may also have recording capabilities, metronome functions, accompaniment options, and lesson modes to support learning and performance.

The Privia series offers a range of models at different price points and with varying features, allowing musicians of all levels to find a suitable instrument. From entry-level models like the PX-160 to more advanced models like the PX-S3000, the Privia series caters to a wide range of needs and preferences.

Celviano Series

The Celviano series is Casio’s line of digital pianos that emphasizes a traditional and elegant piano experience. It combines high-quality sound, authentic keyboard action, and a refined design. Here are some key features and characteristics of the Celviano series:

  1. Sound Quality: Celviano digital pianos are known for their realistic and expressive piano sounds. They incorporate Casio’s advanced AiR (Acoustic and Intelligent Resonator) sound source technology, which accurately reproduces the nuances of an acoustic piano, including string resonance and damper resonance.
  2. Keyboard Action: The Celviano series typically features a keyboard with a graded hammer-action mechanism. This means that the keys have a weightier feel in the lower register and gradually become lighter towards the higher register, mimicking the touch of an acoustic piano.
  3. Cabinet Design: Celviano pianos are designed to resemble the look and feel of a traditional acoustic piano. They often feature a cabinet-style design with a wooden finish, giving them an elegant and classic appearance that can complement any home décor.
  4. Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard: Many Celviano models feature Casio’s Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard. This technology provides a highly responsive and accurate playing experience, detecting subtle differences in keystrokes and translating them into expressive and dynamic piano performance.
  5. Concert Play: Some Celviano models offer a Concert Play feature, which allows you to play along with professionally recorded orchestral performances. This feature provides a unique opportunity to perform with an ensemble and enhance your playing experience.
  6. Connectivity and Features: Celviano digital pianos often include connectivity options such as USB MIDI for connecting to computers and recording software. They may also offer additional features like built-in metronomes, audio recording capabilities, a variety of instrument sounds, and dual/split keyboard modes.

The Celviano series is designed for those seeking a premium digital piano experience that closely resembles playing an acoustic piano. With their attention to sound quality, keyboard action, and elegant design, Celviano pianos are suitable for home use, performance settings, and professional musicians.

CDP Series

The CDP (Compact Digital Piano) series offers portable and affordable digital pianos with a focus on convenience and versatility. Here are some key features and characteristics of the CDP series:

  1. Portability and Compact Design: The CDP series is designed to be lightweight and compact, making it easy to transport and suitable for musicians on the go. These pianos are ideal for smaller spaces or situations where portability is a priority.
  2. Authentic Piano Sound: Despite their compact size, CDP digital pianos still aim to deliver a realistic and expressive piano sound. They often incorporate Casio’s AiR (Acoustic and Intelligent Resonator) sound source technology to provide a detailed and nuanced piano tone.
  3. Keyboard Action: The CDP series typically features a weighted or semi-weighted keyboard to simulate the feel of an acoustic piano. While the key action may not be as advanced as in higher-end models, it still provides a reasonable playing experience.
  4. Diverse Sound Selection: In addition to piano sounds, the CDP series offers a range of other instrument sounds, such as electric pianos, organs, strings, and more. These options allow for versatility in different musical genres and styles.
  5. Connectivity and Features: CDP digital pianos often provide convenient connectivity options. They may include USB MIDI for connecting to computers and music software, as well as audio outputs for amplification or headphone use. Some models may also feature recording capabilities, metronome functions, and accompaniment features.
  6. Affordable Price Range: The CDP series is known for its affordability, making it accessible to beginners, students, and musicians on a budget. These digital pianos offer a cost-effective solution for those seeking a piano-playing experience without the high price tag.

The CDP series is designed to provide a balance between portability, affordability, and functionality. While they may not offer all the advanced features and high-end components found in other series like Privia or Celviano, the CDP series remains a popular choice for entry-level and intermediate pianists looking for a portable and budget-friendly instrument.

Grand Hybrid Series

The Grand Hybrid series is Casio’s flagship line of digital pianos, representing the pinnacle of their technological advancements and commitment to replicating the experience of playing a grand piano. Here are some key features and characteristics of the Grand Hybrid series:

  1. Acoustic Grand Piano Experience: The Grand Hybrid series is designed to closely emulate the touch, sound, and response of playing a traditional acoustic grand piano. Casio achieves this through a combination of advanced technologies and careful craftsmanship.
  2. Multi-Dimensional Morphing AiR Sound Source: The series features Casio’s Multi-Dimensional Morphing AiR (Acoustic and Intelligent Resonator) sound source technology. This technology accurately reproduces the tonal characteristics, resonance, and dynamics of an acoustic grand piano, offering a highly expressive and nuanced playing experience.
  3. Natural Grand Hammer Action Keyboard: The Grand Hybrid series incorporates a Natural Grand Hammer Action Keyboard, which replicates the touch and feel of an acoustic grand piano. The keys have a weighted action with a textured key surface, providing a realistic playing experience and enhanced control.
  4. Wooden Key Action: The series features a key action that incorporates elements of an acoustic grand piano. The keys have a combination of wooden materials and specially developed materials to deliver a natural and authentic response.
  5. Concert Play: Similar to the Celviano series, the Grand Hybrid series includes the Concert Play feature. This feature allows you to play along with high-quality recorded performances of famous orchestras, providing an immersive and inspiring practice or performance experience.
  6. Premium Cabinet Design: The Grand Hybrid pianos boast an elegant and premium cabinet design, resembling the look and feel of a grand piano. They feature a polished wooden finish, a lid that can be adjusted for acoustic effect, and other refined details.
  7. Enhanced Connectivity and Features: The Grand Hybrid series offers advanced connectivity options, including USB MIDI and audio inputs/outputs. Some models may have additional features such as Bluetooth connectivity, compatibility with educational apps, recording capabilities, and more.

The Grand Hybrid series is targeted towards serious pianists, professionals, and enthusiasts who demand the highest level of authenticity and performance in a digital piano. With their advanced technologies, meticulous design, and premium craftsmanship, Grand Hybrid pianos strive to provide an unparalleled grand piano experience in a digital form.