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#2438291 - 07/03/15 05:53 PM Why do high-end Casio pianos have less tones than low end?
FrankCox Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/15
Posts: 37
Loc: Melville Saskatchewan
To this point in my life I have had about zero exposure to musical instruments of any kind, so please bear with me if this is a silly question.

A couple of months ago I got a bee in my bonnet that I wanted to learn to play a piano. Not knowing if this would just be a passing idea that would pass in a week or two, I purchased a Casio CDP-230 from the Costco website since it was relatively cheap but had good reviews and seemed to be recommended as a good beginner instrument.

Fast forward to a couple of months later and I now figure that I will at some point probably want to get a higher end piano than the one that I have. (If I knew then what I know now, I would have just purchased a higher end one in the first place, I suppose.) I haven't run into any limitations of my current piano that make me want to upgrade, but I guess if I came across a good sale price on the higher end ones I might consider it.

After that intro, I'll finally get to my question: Why is it that my low-end Casio CDP-230 has 700 tones, but the most expensive Casio digital piano on Costco's website (Celviano AP-650) has only 250 tones? Are the recorded sounds of a higher quality than what I have on my current piano, and there are less of them because sufficiently high quality recordings are not available for all of the tones that are available on the lower end model which has more tones of a lower quality? Or is there another factor that I'm missing here?

I've played around with some of the available tones on my CDP-230 and some of them sound really good but some of them are less wonderful. That's makes me suspect that's why they are left out on the higher end instrument.
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#2438296 - 07/03/15 06:12 PM Re: Why do high-end Casio pianos have less tones than low end? [Re: FrankCox]
toddy Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 2189
Loc: Portugal
It is surprising to hear there are so many sounds in the CDP - when I tried a CDP120 out a couple of years basck, I thought the keyboard was good, especially at that price.

In answer to your question, the priorities for a high quality digital piano are:

1. keyboard which feels something like a real grand piano, with weight and responsiveness.
2. good quality piano sounds
3. robust construction, reasonable design/ looks
4. good keyboard sounds beyond piano: electric pianos, organs, harpsichords, etc.
5. good quality facilities (rhythms, drums, teaching programs etc.)
6. well designed connections (wireless or solid)
7. banks of other sounds for experiment, accompaniment, arrangement and recording

Not necessarily in that order, but the top of the list is normally what a piano buyer will pay more for. The extra sounds tend to be lower down. Having said that, I don't know why Casio decided to plan their CDP, PX and AP ranges as they did. But their PX range is generally regarded as excellent value and there is a wide range to choose from: http://www.thomann.de/gb/search_dir.html?bf=&sw=casio+px
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Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 Ult. / Audiophile 2496
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Monitors: Yamaha HS7s .

Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity. He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.
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#2438544 - Yesterday at 06:27 PM Re: Why do high-end Casio pianos have less tones than low end? [Re: FrankCox]
David Farley Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/13
Posts: 653
Loc: Illinois
My neighbor bought a CDP-230 from Costco, and I played it a little. It's pretty nice.

Just as a point of interest. With the Casio PX-5S you get fewer voices overall than the CDP-230, but you can edit those voices, and there's a lot of activity on the Casio forum with improvements on the built-in voices.

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#2438582 - Yesterday at 08:43 PM Re: Why do high-end Casio pianos have less tones than low end? [Re: FrankCox]
FrankCox Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/15
Posts: 37
Loc: Melville Saskatchewan
I'm pretty happy with my CDP-230. I purchased it as a cheap-ish way to try out this whole piano playing deal and see if I really like doing it or not. I really didn't expect much out of it, thinking that if I do discover that I like playing a piano I can always get a bigger/better/stronger/faster one and either way I'm not out a great amount of money.

Turns out that the CDP-230 is (to my ears) a mighty fine instrument for learning on; the regular piano sounds good and some of the other available tones are pretty cool too. I really don't know enough about pianos of any kind to know what I would get with a more expensive digital piano over and above what I have right now; I likely don't know what I'm missing simply because I've never had one of these things before.

I'll probably decide to upgrade sometime "just because" since I've now discovered that I get a kick out of this whole piano thing. I use it daily so I won't really mind putting more money into it at some point.

I see the the most expensive Casio on the Costco website at the moment is the AP-650. I'm assuming that more expensive == better, but perhaps one of you fine folks could educate me on what I would get with one of those that I don't currently have with my CDP-230 (outside of a lighter wallet) since I really don't know anything about these things.
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#2438689 - Today at 09:29 AM Re: Why do high-end Casio pianos have less tones than low end? [Re: FrankCox]
Alexander Borro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/18/14
Posts: 330
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By FrankCox

I see the the most expensive Casio on the Costco website at the moment is the AP-650. I'm assuming that more expensive == better, but perhaps one of you fine folks could educate me on what I would get with one of those that I don't currently have with my CDP-230 (outside of a lighter wallet) since I really don't know anything about these things.


Depends what you want from it, for piano alone there is nothing in it with the AP 450 versus 650, same sound and keyboard action, bar the speakers ( 2x30 Watts versus 2x20 Watts )

The 650 has many extra features for recording, extra sounds, drums beats, auto accompaniment amongst other things. I actually play tested both when I bought my Casio and as far as piano is concerned, it felt the same instrument. Since I had no interest in the extra features for me the extra cost wasn't worth it, so, the 450 while cheaper it was a better fit in that situation.

Essentially, as far as the Casio console pianos are concerned, in terms of piano features you get the top of the line with the AP 450 and PX 850 bar the speakers which are a bit more powerful in the 650.

The Privia PX versus Celviano AP range is different in cabinet size only, which I might add, the latter does add at a bit more richness to the sound because of that bigger cabinet.


Edited by Alexander Borro (Today at 09:31 AM)
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started June 2014, self teacher.
Books: Barratt classic piano course book 1,2,3. Humphries Piano handbook, various others
Hardware: Casio Celviano AP 450 & various peripherals:
Software: Ivory American D, Pianoteq, The Giant, Cubase 7 elements.
My struggles: https://soundcloud.com/alexander-borro

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#2438715 - 13 minutes 44 seconds ago Re: Why do high-end Casio pianos have less tones than low end? [Re: FrankCox]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3665
Originally Posted By FrankCox
I've played around with some of the available tones on my CDP-230 and some of them sound really good but some of them are less wonderful. That's makes me suspect that's why they are left out on the higher end instrument.

CDP-230 uses their old AHL sound generating technology (dates back to 2008), max polyphony 48 (vs 256 on the AP-650), dual-element (which I think means max two layer, vs. 4 on the AP-650)... the new model isn't just an old model with more features, I think it's pretty much a whole different design. But yeah, somewhere along the line, they decided that having so many sounds was not going to be a goal of the new design, that costs would be allocated toward other things instead. It's not uncommon (not just for Casio) that new models lose some features of older models, as the manufacturer decides what old features to keep and what to lose on newer models as they try to hit certain price points on models with new features. It can be a little irritating sometimes, when a new improved "replacement" model is also missing some features you liked from the old model. I"ve run into this a bunch... new models that don't have MIDI ports like their predecessors, or aftertouch, for example. So "upgrading" becomes a trade-off.

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