Casio SA76 Casio might have been known as the company that makes toy keyboards. And maybe antecedents have made it seem like it deserves the tag. But slowly this brand is redeeming its image. You only need look at the Casio PX-130 to see how.
If you’re one of the skeptics and are consequently, doubting the PX130, you’re right on time. In our review today, we will be presenting you the facts, so you make an informed judgment call for yourself.
From the quality of its keys, to the built-in tones, to other functions in this instrument, we will show you areas where Casio did it for us. And areas where we’re less than impressed.
As they say time waits for no man, so let’s get this show on the road already.
The Bottom Line For Those In A Hurry…
So, if you do not have the time to read our thoroughly researched review, here’s the bottom line…
The Casio PX-130 is an entry-level piano best for beginners.
First of all, this piano belongs to Casio’s Privia series which means that it is portable and compact. And so, it is not space hungry. It will fit into any space easily and even add some oomph to the space. Because this piano looks good!
The sound quality is also great, as close to an acoustic piano as Casio could manage. You’ll find that this transitions from soft to powerful relatively smoothly.
The keys feel totally great too and come with Casio’s Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer action. So, they do feel like an acoustic piano in some sense. And even more because, Casio gave them simulated ivory keytops. So, there’s none of that plasticky feel that most digital pianos give.
There’s a split/layer mode, plus a duet mode too. And there are about 16 built-in tones with different sound effects including the Acoustic Resonance DSP.
Altogether, this is a fantastic entry-level piano. So, we will recommend this for beginners. Pro players will definitely need more. But if you’re a beginner looking to get something good to begin your journey, this makes a fine choice.
And now to the full review…
Features Of The Casio PX-130
In the bottom-line section of this review, we did mention that the PX-130 is for beginners and that hasn’t changed. So, as you go through the features, keep in mind that this is for beginners and just maybe you might love this enough to make it your next piano purchase.
We repeat, it is not for pro players.
Design – Compact, Portable, And Sleek
As a beginner, you’ll probably be going from practice to home a lot. Or you might have to go from gig to gig to practice to home. Or you might be staying in a dorm and therefore, cannot afford the space for a really heavy, space-consuming unit. And that’s where the PX-130 shines.
It is compact and portable, making this totally up to the task for convenient storage and portability. However, what you should be even more grateful for, and what impresses us to no end, is how Casio still manages to deliver on major features.
Check it out. The keyboard comes with 88 piano-sized keys. So, you don’t feel like you’re playing on a toy or something. It’s also important if you’re going to build correct piano skills. And yet, it is compact enough to rest on a desk in your dorm without making your roommate call you a space hogger.
And despite all this, this keyboard still weighs a mere 25 pounds. So, carrying this will never be a problem. And it’s not just about weight, the depth of a keyboard is also very important in determining whether it will be awkward to carry the piano or not. This measures at just 5 inches. So, it’s going to feel like carrying a textbook, except for the length of course.
And, of course, we are not going to forget that this piano does look good,. It’s not ugly at all and you’ll be proud to own this.
Control Panel And Interface – Intuitive
We like how Casio makes the interface of this keyboard very intuitive and easy to navigate. And that’s because there are quite a number of features and functions on the PX-130. So, it’s only right that navigating is easy. Interacting with a digital piano should never be that hard.
Any who, the control panel resides just above the keybed. And you can even use the keys as a shortcut to select the functions you want per time. This seems to be a trend with piano makers these days. And we are loving it because it just makes things a whole lot more convenient for all involved.
In all, the layout of this piano looks clean, well thought out, intuitive, and easy on the eyes. And this is important, because you don’t want to scare beginners off with too cluttered a layout.
60 Demo Songs, Duet Mode – Features For The Beginning Pianist
We did tell you that this is for the beginners, right? Now, here are a few ways Casio looks out for beginners on this keyboard.
First, let’s talk about the 60 demo songs. The Casio PX-130 comes with 60 demo songs. And why are demo songs important? Well, for two reasons actually.
First, demo songs are there for entertainment. You know, after a long day at practice, you can just kick back and enjoy some demo songs. Okay well, to be honest, we know you’d rather just listen to your own playlist on your phone. But hey, if you ever develop the hankering for some beautiful demo music, they will be there for you. lol.
Next, demo songs are important for practice. And here’s where it really concerns you as a beginner. Demo songs give you something to practice with on your own even when your tutor is not around. Or even if you’re just learning on your own, they do come in handy either way.
Now, unlike Yamaha, the Casio PX-130 does not come with a learning suite. So, you’d either have to take online piano lessons or get a tutor. But, at least, it does make provision to enhance and facilitate productive lesson.
And one way it does that is with the duet mode.
The duet mode means that you and someone else can play side by side on the same keyboard. So, that someone else can be your tutor. Or say you have a duet performance planned, that other person could be your partner too.
Sound Quality – Good Enough, Great Transitions
We will be straight up with you. There’s only so much an entry-level piano can do for you in terms of delivering sound close to that of an acoustic piano. But where you see an effort, you’ve got to commend it.
And that’s why we commend Casio. For an entry-level piano, this did a pretty decent job. It might not be a Korg but you can’t deny the quality at work here.
Casio uses a Linear Morphing System as the sound engine and it does a pretty good job. It also sourced the samples for this piano from its concert grand under four different key pressures. And to smoothen it all for a beautiful continuity, Casio uses what it calls a morphing technology.
In the end, you get smooth transitions from soft pianissimos to powerful fortissimos. We must add here that it is quite difficult to achieve a smooth transition like this on a digital piano. But it seems Casio has worked a miracle here. It’s amazing!
Built-In Tones And Sound Effects – Decent
There are only 16 tones on the PX-130 which is not mind-blowing. But at this price point, who are we to complain? Here are the built-in tones in the Casio PX-130:
- 3 Electric Pianos.
- 3 Grand Pianos: Classic, Modern, and Variation.
- 1 Vibraphone.
- 1 Harpsichord.
- 2 strings.
- 4 organs: 1 Pipe, 1 Jazz, 2 Electric.
- 2 Basses.
Now to the sound effects, you’ll find the chorus, reverb and the Acoustic Resonance DSP which should help you dress up your tones and give them a bit of oomph!
Keys – Great Action, Great Feel
All digital piano makers know it. If you’re going to make your digital keyboard feel even remotely close to an acoustic, then you need hammer action. Yep, you’re going to have to put some tiny hammers into your digital keyboard.
And yes, it will make your piano somewhat heavier but it seems they’ve found a way around that because many portable keyboards today come with hammer action. Just ask Yamaha.
And you also have to make the action graded for the same reason. A graded keyboard gives the you the heavier feel on the low ends and the lighter feel on the higher ends just like what you have on the acoustic piano.
Does the PX-130 deliver on both? Of course, it does. But here’s the icing on the cake – the ivory and ebony keytops. It’s what makes this keyboard feel so great to the touch without feeling plasticky.
Now, in all honesty, they might not feel as great as those on the Casio PX-160 and those who have played the latter would know. But they are by no means bad either. They actually do really great.
And here’s something else. Because of the ivory/ebony keytops, even if your hands get moist from a prolonged practice, they won’t start to slip off from the keyboard.
Good news, init?
- Great sound.
- Can connect to an MIDI controller or computer thanks to the USB port.
- Keys feel pretty good to the touch with a nice response.
- Compact, lightweight, and portable.
- Does not come with any on-board learning program.
- Features only one USB port.
Now for the techies among us who need more detail, here are the specs of the Casio PX-130. If the review above is enough, you can just skip this and jump straight to the conclusion part.
Casio PX-130 Specs
- 88 keys with Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer action.
- Keys come with 3 level touch sensitivity.
- Max Polyphony: 128 notes.
- Sound engine: Linear Morphing AIF.
- Modes: Split, layer, and duet.
- Built-in tones: 16.
- Sound Effects: 4 Reverbs, 4 Choruses, Brilliance, DSP Acoustic Resonance System.
- Metronome and Transpose functions.
- 60 demo songs.
- Connectivity: 2 headphone jacks, 1 damper pedal jack, 3-pedal unit connector, Type B USB port.
- 2 speakers: 13 x 6 centimeters, 8W + 8W.
- Dimensions: 52 x 11.3 x 29.9 inches (with stand), 52 x 11.3 x 5.3 inches (without a stand).
- Weight: 46.7 pounds (with stand), 24.7 pounds (without stand).
This is a great piano for the beginner looking for something that feels close enough to the real thing. It works in any space and you can even play this in a bus because of its size. Plus, it’s definitely good to know that it isn’t so tough on the pocket either.
Altogether, not a pro-level piano, but great job for an entry-level piano all the same.