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#702526 - 04/25/07 04:50 PM Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
Halleys5th Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/23/07
Posts: 11
Out of the box this looks like a quality instrument. The plastic parts, including the pedals, pedal support bar, and music rack, all have quality and blend with the design, but lack the beauty of the rest of the piano which is wood with metal accents.

The keyboard action is slightly heavier than my Kawai grand, even heavier for the black keys, and heavier still for the backs of the keys, making playing certain chords quite tricky. It’s not bouncy at all, slowing down fast repetitions and making them difficult to keep up for very long. For the most part the action is smooth and capable, but on mine there are a dozen or so keys that clack when abruptly hit with force. When not banging away, it’s easy to play very softly, even at speed. Unfortunately it’s also easy to play at maximum volume, when pounding harder doesn’t make it any louder.

The pedals, being an inch shorter and 2” to 3” closer, conspire to cramp the pianist’s legs. If it weren’t for their smooth throw and full range of half-pedal sustain levels, I wouldn’t like them. They actually work quite well; for example, the sustain pedal can be lifted gradually to fade the final chord, or held partway to create a wetter sound. I don’t use sostenuto, but it works, and the keyboard itself is expressive enough so that using the soft pedal, which lowers the volume without affecting the timbre, is unnecessary.

The actual piano sound is better heard than described (but I would call it fairly convincing and rather bell-like, but far from top-notch like Pianoteq 2.0 or the Yamaha CLP280):
http://www.casio-europe.com/euro/emi/privia/px800/sound/

The built-in speakers are better than the ones on my computer, but they’re too small to produce realistic bass for the lower notes, which I miss greatly.

Precise control of the dynamics is continually hampered by sample-switching, which causes some notes that are only slightly louder to have the brightness of a much harder-hit note. Less noticeable is the sample-switching that occurs with adjacent keys, sometimes causing one note of a chord to not blend in. Claims notwithstanding, there are no harmonic resonance effects--no sympathetic vibration of upper partial tones, and no difference between hitting (and holding) a note with, or without, the pedal. (The included “Acoustic Resonance” feature is so hard to detect that it practically makes no difference.)

The piano takes 10 seconds to turn on, which is about 9 or 10 seconds longer than I’d like, and then after that I have to spend several more seconds to up the touch response and brightness. The control pad buzzes! It’s easy to hear when all else is silent, but thankfully is either inaudible or goes unnoticed while playing. A music book is included containing the scores for 60 classical pieces which are also in memory, performed accurately but not artistically (any CD would be superior). The songs can be played back one hand at a time so that you can play along with the other. There’s a five-song, two-track recorder, and memory for 10 user songs. Songs can be transferred to an SD card and back. There are standard MIDI ports and a USB (type B) port. In addition to the 12 main voices (3 pianos), there’s a full General MIDI set to play back files directly from or saved over from your computer.

All in all, I’d say that you get what you pay for. This is no doubt a fantastic Casio. Whether it’s as good as a lesser Yamaha, for instance, I can’t say, even after having tried some of them. The clacking keys, buzzing controls, and bizarrely heavy touch make me think, “toy”. But the expressive softs, quality voices, decent speakers, and good-looking, all-in-one cabinet make me think that this is a keeper.

Anyone in the Denver area want to pick it up for $800?

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#702527 - 04/26/07 11:43 AM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
OnTheWeb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/07
Posts: 123
Hmmmm. Several of us have new PX-800's and I've not seen nor heard the clacking or buzzing you refer to. Is the audio/pedal connector plugged in all the way? I have two PX-800's here and they do not clack. How hard are you striking the keys?

Yes, no doubt the key action is firm and it does take 10 seconds to start up. I don't know why the brilliance and touch settings aren't retained on power off, either, but it is quick to reset them.

I don't know the relevance of comparing DP speakers to speakers on your computer. There's quite a variety out there. Can you compare to other DP Models you've tried?

Is 'fantasic Casio' a good thing in your mind? It could be interpreted as sarcastic, but then I read the part about the "expressive softs, quality voices, decent speakers, and good-looking, all-in-one cabinet make me think that this is a keeper...". That sounds great, and sounds like what you would look for in a nice DP, but then you ask if someone will buy it off you.

Its hard to tell how others will interpret your review. You've provided a lot of good, accurate info which is nice, but some of it seems conflicting since there aren't direct comparisons to other DP models.

FWIW
_________________________
I came into this world with nothing, and I still have most of it left.

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#702528 - 04/26/07 12:45 PM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
Suryaman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 131
Loc: Italy&Orange County, CA
I've tried a PX200 which has the same core and action of PX800 and all I can say is WOW! actionwise.

The action is incredibly good, heavy, firm and responsive, it's the best to study technique, it has the same weight of my Seiler upright.

Finally a DP maker got it right, DPs usually have a too light keyweight, not suitable to study piano seriously cause heavy action is required to achieve the relaxation technique, fundamental for all seriuos pianists.

I am going to purchase this wonderful piano to study when I can't with my upright, for this purpose it's better than more expensive pianos.

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#702529 - 04/26/07 05:38 PM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
Aaj Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/24/07
Posts: 10
Just to piggy back on what OnTheWeb said, there is no clacking or buzzing in my PX800 . I'll admit that the lack of settings being maintained when the power is off is a tad annoying, but again like OnTheWeb said, nothing more than a few key strokes to fix.

Aj

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#702530 - 04/27/07 03:27 PM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
crooow Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/27/07
Posts: 5
Does anyone know how the sounds compare to previous casio models (e.g. px-310 or px-700)?

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#702531 - 04/27/07 03:32 PM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
Halleys5th Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/23/07
Posts: 11
Thanks for chiming in, I'd glad to hear that not everyone is having the same trouble.

That's a good idea, OnTheWeb, to compare this to other models, and happily I just had the opportunity to do so at my local Kawai dealer.

Off the cuff, here's what I noticed:

Yamaha P140 - I like this better for its somewhat lighter action (which still has enough heft to play expressively) and for its somewhat more piano-like sound. The action on the PX-800 kind of feels like a solid, smooth, pneumatic "squish", whereas this has a more mechanical, less unusual feel. What I don't like better is the styling (of the silver model)--the Casio looks great in comparison. Yamaha's other home pianos are a better comparison, style-wise, and my impression is that I'd probably prefer them to the Casio too.

Kawai ES4 - This is a very appealing keyboard. The keys feel kind of silky smooth and flattish, and the action is a bit lighter than the P140 even, but still very enjoyable to play on its own merits. I like the design very much. I think it sounds better than the P140. This is my favorite so far.

Kawai with AWA Pro action - They didn't have any MP8's or the new CE200 home model (with the Pro II action?), but I did get to try the action out on another model. This action feels closer to a real grand piano's than it does to all other digitals. I'd describe it as identical to my acoustic grand's action, except that it's very slightly less bouncy (for fast repetitions) and it lacks the complexity of motion that the keys go through (due, in part or wholly, to the absence of the 'escapement mechanism'? -I'm not sure). It's heavier than most other actions, but I really think that If I was blindfolded and wearing earplugs, and I didn't know which I was playing on, my piano or this, I'd have to do a few deliberate tests to figure it out, because it's not immediately obvious. The sound is the best so far (the same as the ES4?), but incomparably worse than Pianoteq 2.0, and my impression is that it's noticeably worse than the superlative Yamaha CLP280. I eventually want something with this action in it.

Regarding the AWA Pro II action, the rep said that they're phasing them in to replace the original and that it's not a major new design, rather a more subtle change. Also, they said that the MP8II will be identical to its predecessor except for its having the new action.

Yamaha CLP280 - I tried this one out about a month ago, and this is a digital that I could live with forever. I'd rather have the AWA Pro action with Pianoteq and a pair of great speakers (QSC HPR122i's? Thanks Hugh!), but everything about this is the best I've experienced; the best combination of touch, piano sound, and speakers.

Casio PX-800 - After having come home and gone back to good ol' Casio, I'm not enthusiatic about returning it for a refund and then spending twice the price for the Kawai CE200 (which also has speakers and an integrated stand, unlike the MP8). Even with my defective unit with its buzzing, clacking, and squeaking (didn't I mention the squeaking?), I can still enjoy the heck out of it and then find another place for it in the home even if I do get another. I liked the touch of the Privia 555 when I first tried it, and this seems better. Although I've basically said that I like every other higher-priced alternative better, I still like this one! It's worlds better than my 15-year-old 61-key unweighted MIDI controller. I haven't made any final decision yet, but I hope that some of these comments will help anyone who's reading to make a more informed choice.

P.S. I've never gotten my hands on the Roland 700sx, but I kind of wish I had, just to round out my experience and see if it's a different animal that I'd also want to consider.

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#702532 - 04/27/07 04:29 PM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
J. Mark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1323
Nice review, thanks.

What squeaks?

Do you know how the 800 compares to the PX700? I own the 700 and was just wondering how many of the specs are the same (too lazy to study the website, I guess).

FWIW, I actually like the feel of the Casio action. I have a Yamaha p70 (not as nice as the P140), and it is a nice DP, but the action is too light imo. Also the Casio gets better volume out of the speakers, and arguably a bit more complex tone. But the Yamaha has a very nice sweet tone and is easier to play softly.

My biggest gripe about the Casio is the pedal. Mine squeaks (drives me NUTS!). Plus I just don't think the Casio pedal works as well as the Yamaha, or has the "natural" feel of the Yamaha.

Granted, all these keyboards are compromises at these prices. I will likely pick up a CLP280 at some point in the near future, but these do well for now.

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#702533 - 04/27/07 04:53 PM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
Halleys5th Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/23/07
Posts: 11
Pedal is fine (although I agree that it doesn't feel like a real piano pedal), it's actually some of the keys that have a slight squeak, but it's not too bothersome.

I haven't played the PX700, but I think I read something about there being a new touch sensor in the 800 that takes into account the pressure applied to the keybed instead of the sound being determined solely by the velocity of the strike. Possibly the piano sound and the speakers are improved? I may be wrong.

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#702534 - 04/27/07 05:28 PM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
Eternal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/06
Posts: 1285
Loc: Posts: 80,372
 Quote:
Originally posted by J. Mark:
Do you know how the 800 compares to the PX700? I own the 700 and was just wondering how many of the specs are the same (too lazy to study the website, I guess). [/b]
New Advanced AIF stereo sampled
Tri-element sound source
• 128 note polyphony – Notes reverberate
naturally without being cut off during high-speed
passages and performances that require intensive
damper pedal operations.

New Advanced Filter
• Notes change and decay naturally with the realism
of an acoustic piano.

New touch-response sensitive system
• The sound source responds to how much pressure is
applied to the keyboard, providing you with the means
to shape and color your performances with everything
from booming fortissimos to delicate pianissimos.

Powerful class audio system
• 2 way powerful 40W speaker system
(20W + 20W)

New features
• SD card slot
• Expanded song memory

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#702535 - 04/27/07 08:14 PM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
J. Mark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1323
Thanks, Eternal. Some of that sounds like marketing hype, but no doubt some of it amounts to real improvements. If I could just get rid of the squeak in the pedal I'd be pretty pleased with the 700.

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#702536 - 04/27/07 09:05 PM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
Eternal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/06
Posts: 1285
Loc: Posts: 80,372
I got PX700 as well, and am not complaining either.

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#702537 - 04/28/07 04:54 AM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
Mikelangeli Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 65
Loc: UK
 Quote:
Originally posted by Halleys5th:

I haven't played the PX700, but I think I read something about there being a new touch sensor in the 800 that takes into account the pressure applied to the keybed instead of the sound being determined solely by the velocity of the strike. Possibly the piano sound and the speakers are improved? I may be wrong. [/b]
If that's true and the electronics are processing how far the key is depressed after the inital strike then that's really advanced.

No DP has this. That's what Dave from General Music said.

Do you know if the PX-200 has this sensor?

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#702538 - 04/28/07 10:15 AM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
OnTheWeb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/07
Posts: 123
 Quote:
If that's true and the electronics are processing how far the key is depressed after the inital strike then that's really advanced.

No DP has this. That's what Dave from General Music said.

Do you know if the PX-200 has this sensor?
Hmmm. Pressure sensitive keyboards have been around for a while. Yamaha's 'aftertouch' has been around for a long time, since the DX7-II series, at least. When playing a guitar type sound, if you pressed the key harder you could 'bend' the notes, which was very cool.

The PX-200 and PX-800 specs state the keybed is pressure sensitive.
_________________________
I came into this world with nothing, and I still have most of it left.

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#702539 - 04/28/07 01:25 PM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
Evan Roberts Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/06
Posts: 21
Is the pressure sensor ignored for piano sounds? After all a real piano has no aftertouch

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#702540 - 04/28/07 07:21 PM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
Mikelangeli Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 65
Loc: UK
 Quote:
Originally posted by OnTheWeb:
 Quote:
If that's true and the electronics are processing how far the key is depressed after the inital strike then that's really advanced.

No DP has this. That's what Dave from General Music said.

Do you know if the PX-200 has this sensor?
Hmmm. Pressure sensitive keyboards have been around for a while. Yamaha's 'aftertouch' has been around for a long time, since the DX7-II series, at least. When playing a guitar type sound, if you pressed the key harder you could 'bend' the notes, which was very cool.

The PX-200 and PX-800 specs state the keybed is pressure sensitive. [/b]
OK my bad. I'm confusing pressure sensors with something that DPs don't have but ought to have because this is a natural characteristic of real pianos.

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#702541 - 04/28/07 07:23 PM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
Mikelangeli Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 65
Loc: UK
 Quote:
Originally posted by Evan Roberts:
Is the pressure sensor ignored for piano sounds? After all a real piano has no aftertouch [/b]
I would hope so.

Aftertouch from pressure sensors is artificial to the piano.

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#702542 - 05/04/07 12:23 AM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Halleys5th, [/b]re the lack of complexity of the AWA Pro action, I think that the complexity of an acoustic action and the range of motion of its shanks is impossible to reproduce in a small space.

When I got a digital baby grand with the complete action for an acoustic upright - with little weights instead of felt hammers - I could A/B it with my trusty Yamaha P80. With the acoustic action, there was a feeling of setting a mass into motion. With the P80, it was more like pressing on the end of a lever.

PS, enjoyed your thorough reviews of the new Casio. Looks like a value leader which still has a way to go, to rival the big guns.

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#702543 - 05/05/07 05:21 AM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
Completely as a novice on the DP's I bought a ES4 a few months ago so that I could use it for practice mainly. I'm delighted with it and use only the piano sound and the sterio head phones. The sustain pedal works fine.

I cannot fault this instrument and find the touch ideal for composing and improvisation. I take it for what it is and I am totally pleased with it. It saves my fingers and thumb muscles from arthritus for when I play my acoustic.

I wonder if the action is so easy and indeed the playing too, that an acoustic piano would be a great shock to anyone for the first time.

Swingal (Alan)

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#702544 - 05/13/07 05:00 AM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
pianewbie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/01/07
Posts: 13
Loc: San Diego, CA
I have been trying to find a local dealer with the PX200 to try out, but nobody seems to have it in stock. If you have played either the Privia 200 or 800, can you please let me know how the new 'Advanced AIF stereo' samples are?
Do the sound characteristics change with touch/velcity?

Also, any clues on how it compares with Yamaha's 3-level Dynamic sampling (CP33/300, N100, P140, PF500/1000 & Clavinovas)?

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#702545 - 05/14/07 12:49 PM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
Works1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 407
Loc: New York
I just bought a Casio PX800 and all I can say is I think it is the best digital piano I have played or owned and I have owned way too many \:\)

It has a sweet bell-like sound in the mid-registers and a clean crisp sound at top. The bass is wonderful. The action is fantastic in my opinion. I think Casio hit a home run with this new sound source (called AIF which is also found in the PX200 and AP500).

Finally, a digital I actually enjoy playing.

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#702546 - 05/15/07 10:27 AM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
pianobrick Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/07
Posts: 26
Loc: South Africa
Hi!

After first receiving one that was damaged during shipping, I got my PX-200 last night. I don't have extensive experience with pianos (I've only really played 2 different uprights), and never played with a digital.

I'd say the PX-200 pretty much delivers what you'd expect at the price, better than the competition at the same price level, but that I say only from online spec comparison.

The piano sounds sound very nice on the builtin speakers, even the bass notes. I was surprised considering how small the speakers are.

Through the headphones it sounds weird though, with a funny beating sound on mid-bass notes that are held and the initial attack sounding quite bright. The manual claims extra effects are applied to headphone output to make it sound "better", but apparently it sounds worse.

The action seems reasonably piano-like from my limited experience. The keys have a nice weight and you feel the right amount of inertia. OTOH I was surprised that keys have to be released completely before they'd sound again, even higher than on the upright I sometimes practice; I'd expected a digital piano to have a more grand like action allowing repeated notes without lifting the key all the way. Also the key seems to bounce up a little once they hit the keybed in a way the accoustics I've played don't. It doesn't seem to cause the note to be accidentally cut off though, so I guess that's OK.

All in all I'm satisfied; once I get going I can practice for hours and have fun. Even on the earphones, big bonus for my neighbors at night ;\)

I still enjoy the experience of playing an accoustic more, but due to several practical constraints, mainly money and space, there is no chance of me having my own accoustic in the near future and my PX-200 is a useful substitute.

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#702547 - 05/15/07 06:54 PM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
Evan Roberts Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/06
Posts: 21
I would post my experiences on the PX-800 that arrived here yesterday, but it doesn't seem to want to power on \:\( grr

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#702548 - 05/15/07 07:23 PM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1492
I think the hydrolic design action of the PX-800 is not good, it's inertia and motion is nothing like a real piano. It's resistant all the way to the bottom of the stroke! and it's return is not fast enough. Piano 1 sound sounds artificial, in my opinion.
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#702549 - 05/16/07 09:24 AM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
Harald Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/16/07
Posts: 22
Loc: Germany
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianobrick:
... I was surprised that keys have to be released completely before they'd sound again, even higher than on the upright I sometimes practice; I'd expected a digital piano to have a more grand like action allowing repeated notes without lifting the key all the way. ...[/b]
You have to realeased the keys completely before you get another sound? This is odd and should strike somebody else too! Can someone please verify this behaviour and compare it to other DPs?[/b]

 Quote:
Originally posted by pianobrick:
... Also the key seems to bounce up a little once they hit the keybed in a way the accoustics I've played don't. ...[/b]
In another PX-800 Thread Aaj said the opposit:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Aaj
Having played on a PX700, i can say that the action is indeed very different. Its alot smoother. The the 700's Ive tried the keys always seemed to be pushing back at me, this is not the case with the 800.[/b]
I really would like to buy a DP with a reasonable keyboard, but I´m now unsure about the quality

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#702550 - 05/17/07 10:40 AM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
pianobrick Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/07
Posts: 26
Loc: South Africa
 Quote:
Originally posted by Harald:
I really would like to buy a DP with a reasonable keyboard, but I´m now unsure about the quality [/b]
Well to be honest, I'm quite happy with my PX-200 so far inspite of the caveats I mentioned. After 3 day's the action feels completely natural to me. Purchaser reviews mostly seem to be very positive on the Casio action, so it can't be all that bad. In fact, besides being heavier, it responds very similarly to my teacher's C. Bechstein upright.

Not having ever played a grand I can't say for sure weather the action is in practice slower than a grand or not. I'm just a beginner pianist, and the fact that I have a "piano" available 24/7 has already made a larger difference to my playing that any other external factor might have had.

Anyway, the only answer for you is to go out and play a couple of different makes. I didn't really have that luxury since merely finding a store that actually stocks digital pianos is a lot to ask in my area ;P

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#702551 - 05/19/07 06:02 PM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
Harald Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/16/07
Posts: 22
Loc: Germany
pianobrick:@ thx for your quick response. It is good to hear, that you are satisfied with the piano, it is still my favorite. We have got a few stores with DPs, but the new Casios didn´t arrived yet. As soon they are there I will go out and test them.

Anyway, it would be nice to hear, if others do experienced the same behaviour of keys bouncing back. That it is only possible to play another tone when the key is completely released shouldn´t be normal, maybe someone can verify this and compare this behaviour to other DPs?

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#702552 - 12/11/08 02:50 AM Re: Casio Privia PX-800 Review; Comparisons to Kawai & Yamaha
ricorico Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/10/08
Posts: 1
quote:
-------------------------------
Originally posted by J. Mark:
Do you know how the 800 compares to the PX700? I own the 700 and was just wondering how many of the specs are the same (too lazy to study the website, I guess).
---------------------------------------------------------------

If anyone is interested in the side by side comparison of the PX700 and PX800, I have posted a jpg with the specs here:
http://rregister.net/Documents/CasioPriviaPianoCompare700vs800.JPG
This info comes directly from the Casio web site (as of 8/08)
The red circles highlight the differences. In addition to what has already been mentioned:
USB port
Line-In/Line-Out
Song Memory is 2 tracks x 5 songs
Song Expansion: SD Memory card slot
SMF player (plays standard midi files)
20W + 20W speakers
72 Demo songs

I hope this is helpful \:\)
_________________________
-rr

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