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Casio PX 130
Next stop over at the Casio Privia Pianos looking for the Casio PX 130. Here we actually found a 88 note piano with weighted keys for under $500. The Casio PX 130 came as close to playing a real piano as you can get in this price range. Comparing it to a real acoustic piano is impossible though. In fact not even two real acoustic pianos feels the same anyway. Some are light in the touch others are harder. This digital piano certainly fells quite real when playing. We kept looking at the price tag in disbelief. Is this 88 note piano with real weighted keys really less than 500 dollars. You betcha.
Enough about the keys for now. How does this beautiful creature sound?
Not too bad actually when we played it! It has 16 different sounds but we were mostly looking for a great piano sound. We were curious to hear how it compares to the cheaper yet great sounding Yamaha NP-30? At first we were a little disappointed with the Casio PX 130. It didn’t sound as crisp and warm as the Yamaha. Although it does sound great in the headphones, having the speakers on the back is not the best way to amplify the instrument for the player. Yamaha’s NP-30 speakers are placed at the front facing the player giving a more direct sound. For the audience though, having the speaker on the back makes more sense and it did in fact compete better here. All in all it does sound nice specially in the headphones where it excelled. To be fair to Casio, a real acoustic piano also has the sound going away from the player.
An interesting thing about the piano sound is that it is created by recording 4 different dynamic levels for each note to better capture the changes in the timbre from playing softly, medium, loud and really loud. Casio actually incorporated a physically modeling technology to improve the transition between the different velocity samples. A much improved technology from the typically filter cut normally used.
Our conclusion about the sound of the Casio PX 130 is that thanks to the improved transition between pianissimo and forte playing it felt much like playing a genuine piano. If playing at a gig you can always add an external monitor for improved sound.
Casio PX 130 Cool Features
The Casio PX 130 has some really cool features normally not found in low budget pianos. One thing we loved was that it has a 2 track recorder you can use to record your performance for later playback. You can even save those recordings to your laptop or desktop computer for later playback via the USB midi interface. It can be quite educational to hear your own playing after wards. And if you are taking lessons from a piano teacher, the teacher can record the piece you are working on as a reference for you when practicing the piece. It also comes with 60 built-in songs and a matching songbook to learn from.
Another neat feature of the casio px 130 is that you can split the piano with two different sounds, for example bass in the left hand and piano in the right. You can also layer two sounds to give a fuller and bigger sound. As we did on the Yamaha we layered Piano with strings. Here again the Yamaha sounded slightly better we thought. Finally a unique feature on the Casio PX 130 is that you can split the piano into two identical parts so a teacher and a student can sit next to each other and play the same parts.
Unlike that Yamaha NP-30 the Casio piano does not have midi interface. Instead it has a USB port to your computer. The advantage here is that there is no need to buy a midi interface for you computer in order to connect it. You can simply plug it into an available USB port and it’s connected with midi. It also works with garage band and other music computer programs. Unlike Yamaha and it’s midi interface you cannot connect the Casio PX 130 to another midi instrument. You would need a midi out to be able to do that.
We liked the look of the digital piano. It looks sleek and stylish. It is made of plastic which makes it very portable. It only weighs 26 lbs which is unheard of for a weighted piano. Unlike the Yamaha piano there is no battery option on the Casio PX 130. So no playing outdoor at the bonfire at night unless you can find a very long extension cord. 🙂
Casio PX 130 Conclusion
We were very surprised to be able to find a 88 note weighted keyboard for under $500. And playing the Casio PX-130 was a joy. It felt just as close to playing a real piano with the Casio as it did with models costing twice as much or more.
The sound of the 4 velocity zoned piano was really good although we liked the general sound from the piano better on the Yamaha NP-30, mostly because of the speakers position. Most people will certainly love the sound of the Casio PX 130.
Unlike the Yamaha NP-30 this piano comes with an AC adapter and a sustain switch pedal. But consider getting a bundle pack. If you need a stand, piano bench and better pedals you can get a better deal buying a bundle package.
I choose to get most of my music instruments online. zZounds has great deals on not only new in stock but also even more savings on demo units. Also not only do I save the tax but shipping is also free.
David from Alabama wrote on zZounds: “Privia PX-130 Stage Piano- Exceptional value. A full 88 key, weighted action, stage piano that does not disappoint both the beg” .