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#2031070 - 02/11/13 11:09 AM New to PW, Casio PX150 action yay... speakers nay
Radian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/08/13
Posts: 23
Loc: Springfield, OR
I've been a lurker on this forum for a few months now, and I've learned a great deal!

I just purchased a Casio PX150, so I wanted to share my findings. I've seen a great deal of questions about which budget board is better; the PX150, Yamaha 105 etc. Perhaps my experience will help some folks out... or confuse them more smile
So my first post will be a combination of introduction, mini-review and question. I apologize for the length and ramble in advance smile

Some history: I grew up in Holland and took piano lessons from age 7-15. My dad played the piano, sang in a choir and took me to concerts, so I grew up loving classic (piano) music. We had an acoustic upright at home which I generally played about half an hour/ hour a day. Technique involved scales, Czerny and Hanon. One of my favorite pieces to play was (and still is) Mozart Fantasia in D minor K 397. My skills didn't progress much beyond that, and I ended up quitting lessons frustrated with lack of progress and seemingly endless scales.

20 years later (moved to Springfield Oregon, married) I'm picking up the piano again, and it's like getting together with an old friend. It's so wonderful as a creative and emotional outlet. A friend of mine was so kind to let me borrow his Yamaha PSR-E423 for a couple months, and it really stoked my fire. The action was very light but the `Grand Piano` voice and speakers were actually surprisingly good. I played all my old pieces while looking for a digital piano myself. Using the forums on pw, reading all kinds of online reviews and watching YouTube videos, the final contenders were the Yamaha P105 and the Casio PX150. I had an opportunity to play the P105 for about half an hour at a local dealer. The piano sound and speakers were very good, but the action was a bit light for me. Upon release, it seemed that the keys would jump above `level`, and there was quite a bit of side-to-side play as well. Especially comparing it to the Kawai CL26 next to it. I then tried the PX150 at a local GC, and the action felt much more solid. But... I didn't get `alone time` with the board so couldn't really audition the piano sound. I wish I had... it might have changed my mind.

I also made a list of Pros & Cons comparing the boards. The Yamaha had better sound, better speakers and more outputs. The Casio had better action, ivory feel and lower price. I ended up going with the Casio because of the better action and lower price. I was able to snag an `open box` version on eBay for $469 which allowed me to get the CS67 stand. I received the two large boxes last week and put everything together. The stand is actually much better quality than I thought, and the piano sits on there very solid. I also bought a better sustain pedal (Onstage KSP100).

Now for the bad news... I'm not in love with the amplification and speakers on the Casio. The speakers are loud enough for sure, but the sound seems thin, as compared to the full sound of a `regular` solid wood speaker. Playing Moonlight sonata is fine; playing the mids softly. But other pieces with more Forte and highs are not so great... even harsh at times. Maybe my ears are just adjusting from the single-layer cheap Yamaha, or I need to adjust some settings. Any advice on this would be much appreciated; I haven't played around with the configuration much yet.

Then I remembered a forum post that suggested that things were much different through headphones (thread: "P-105 /PX-150/350 side-by-side"). And boy was that advice spot-on! Even with some cheap Sennheiser earbuds, the sound was now what I expected. Through my Sony V6's it's awesome, quite a dramatic difference. Beautiful tone, even throughout, no shrill highs... wonderful. So it looks like I'll need to get me some monitors to make up for the somewhat disappointing on-board sound. I'm thinking either the Alesis M1 520, or some RKR Rokit 5's. Because I want to be delighted when I play my new 88-key beauty, not annoyed smile Would appreciate any input from people who are using monitors in the $200-300 range with the PX150.
_________________________
Casio PX-150

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#2031369 - 02/11/13 05:13 PM Re: New to PW, Casio PX150 action yay... speakers nay [Re: Radian]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1535
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
A set of Behringer MS-40's (about $150) is much better than the built-in loudspeakers on the PX-350.

And they will be much, much better than the speakers on the PX-150.

More money will, of course, buy better sound. The Rockit's seem popular, here.

On the PX-350 (and maybe on the PX-150), there's a "Brightness" ("Brilliance"?) control in the Function menu. It allows some control over the high midrange -- play with it and see what you like.

I also have a Behringer Xenyx 802 mixer, with 3-band EQ, for about $60. The "mid-range" control works well to control the overall "presence" of the piano sound, from very aggressive to very quiet. [As always, more money = more flexibility.] I leave it set flat, but I'm happy with the built-in PX-350 sound.

. Charles

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#2031398 - 02/11/13 05:42 PM Re: New to PW, Casio PX150 action yay... speakers nay [Re: Radian]
Radian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/08/13
Posts: 23
Loc: Springfield, OR
Thanks for the feedback Charles, really appreciate it! The Behringers look like a good buy, and cheaper than the other monitors I've seen so far. The Mixer is interesting also... and quite affordable.

I just checked the PX150 manual online, and it does offer Brilliance adjustments. I'll try that out when I get home! I wonder if some of the settings were changed due to it being an `open box` version.
_________________________
Casio PX-150

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#2031404 - 02/11/13 05:51 PM Re: New to PW, Casio PX150 action yay... speakers nay [Re: Radian]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1949
Loc: Pennsylvania
Radian:

I am not sure what level of sound quality will satisfy you but judging from your background and skill level, I have a feeling you will demand almost perfection.

With that in mind, be sure that any monitors you purchase can be returned because I have been down the road you are on. The threshhold of acceptance for me came with the ones I presently use (see below) and they are not cheap (pair for $900).

I have seen others suggesting that it may take double that to get near the sound that you hear through your phones.

As they say .... it takes money to buy whiskey.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

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#2031410 - 02/11/13 06:16 PM Re: New to PW, Casio PX150 action yay... speakers nay [Re: Radian]
poggler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/13
Posts: 35
I have a dumb question. When you plug monitors into your piano, are you adding to the existing sound or replacing the piano's speakers (turning off the on-board sound)?

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#2031413 - 02/11/13 06:23 PM Re: New to PW, Casio PX150 action yay... speakers nay [Re: poggler]
Possum SP280Krome Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 628
Hi poggler- this is a good question- When I had the PX350 connecting my monitors enabled both the internal speakers and the KRK's. Putting a plug in the headphone jack will eliminate the sound coming from the speakers, so you can have both.

I felt the same way as the original poster:
I did not care for the sound that came out of the PX150 at all and will argue forever that the PX130 actually sounds better.

In terms of monitors; I do likely need 8" ones.

Note connecting monitors to the PX150 might not even do the trick as I got very little gain from my PX350 so returned it.

To me, the P105 feels a little "jumpy" compared to the P95; it seems the P95 keys rebounded a little slower and I liked that better.

Although I am currently using the PX130 at open mics/songwriting events, I am still looking for a home piano as I was not satisfied with the 350 or 105.

I might go full circle. 3 years ago I liked the YDP140 and purchased theP95 because it was lighter; but can get a 141 for $800 and am considering that. I called to order a 161 for $1,040 but they were out of stock already ($1300 - 20%)
_________________________
Roland Juno Gi
Casio PX-130
Korg Krome 61
Korg SP280

Rokit KRK 6 monitors
MXL V67G microphone

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#2031463 - 02/11/13 08:25 PM Re: New to PW, Casio PX150 action yay... speakers nay [Re: Radian]
Radian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/08/13
Posts: 23
Loc: Springfield, OR
@DMD:

It certainly isn't my intention to get perfect sound. I understand that even my budget $60 headphones sound much better than speakers systems that are several hundred dollars.

For me it was a matter of comparison; I played the cheap Yamaha, the P105 and the CL26. And to my ears, they all sounded quite natural using the built-in speakers. I'm not an audiophile by any means, but something about the PX150 speaker system just sounds a bit `off`.

I totally get your point about budget creep and not being satisfied with monitors. I guess I'll find out along the way smile In the meantime I'm going to play around with the settings on the Casio. What *did* surprise me is that apparently only the `CONCERT` tone uses the `Linear Morphing` feature (page 9 in the manual). They describe this as a `feature that applies computer morphing technology to enable seamless changes between sounds sampled at various dynamics from a full concert grand piano`. The other 4 tones don't offer this... it seems that you'd almost have to stick with CONCERT to get all the benefits.
_________________________
Casio PX-150

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#2031478 - 02/11/13 09:01 PM Re: New to PW, Casio PX150 action yay... speakers nay [Re: Radian]
Possum SP280Krome Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 628
I think Tim Praskins is the only one who raves about the 150 speakers. My clock radio sounds better. And I am not knocking the product itself- but speakers are important. Not everyone wants to connect and turn on monitors; and not everyone wants a 100 pound console piano.
_________________________
Roland Juno Gi
Casio PX-130
Korg Krome 61
Korg SP280

Rokit KRK 6 monitors
MXL V67G microphone

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#2031482 - 02/11/13 09:07 PM Re: New to PW, Casio PX150 action yay... speakers nay [Re: Possum SP280Krome]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2772
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: Possum PX130
My clock radio sounds better. And I am not knocking the product itself- but speakers are important.
shocked sigh....
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#2031485 - 02/11/13 09:14 PM Re: New to PW, Casio PX150 action yay... speakers nay [Re: Radian]
Radian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/08/13
Posts: 23
Loc: Springfield, OR
Good news! I turned the Brilliance down and it's *much* better. The shrill sound at higher volumes is just about gone.
That was my biggest pain point so far, and it seems to have been remedied by this semi-secret setting (it's not written in white text on the keyboard, you have to consult the manual).
_________________________
Casio PX-150

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#2031792 - 02/12/13 11:53 AM Re: New to PW, Casio PX150 action yay... speakers nay [Re: Radian]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1535
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Yes, reading the manual is always worthwhile! You never know what's hidden in the fine print, and in the "Function" menu options.

I suspect that _all_ the "Grand Piano" sounds on the PX-150 have 4 velocity layers. Listen carefully, as you go from pp to FF, for changes in timbre.

I also suspect that some of the other sounds also have velocity layering, or use velocity-sensitive filters to "brighten" the sound as dynamics change. That's an old synth technique; it not as good as sampled layers, but it's a lot better than nothing.

. Charles

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