Casio AP-420 Questions

Posted by: two2the8

Casio AP-420 Questions - 02/11/13 11:24 PM

Hi all,

I'm new to the forum, though I've been enjoying the posts here as I try to navigate the relatively unknown and somewhat complicated world of digital pianos (who knew!).

I'm writing to hopefully get a bit of help. I am a music student with some basic piano skills, looking for something to play around on, work on chord changes & basic comping, compose & arrange. I don't need anything too fancy, just something that looks OK in the living room & gives me a decent piano & e. piano sound. I would really like whatever I get to have decent weighted keys, though.

To that end, I went looking around at local music shops etc. trying various DPs, and eventually found a good deal on an AP-420 on my local craigslist and went to check it out. It's in great shape, and the feel is nice, so I guess I'm wondering about the price. With new models having come out fairly recently, how much should I expect to pay for a used AP-420? The seller is willing to part with it for about half of the current list price. Does that seem fair? As a student, my resources are a bit limited, so I'm interested in getting something somewhat cheap, though I would also consider saving up to buy something that would last me a good while.

Also, I didn't really love the sustained sound on the AP-420 – the decay was a little weird (sounded maybe like a relatively short sample stretched or repeated somehow?). I understand the sustain has been upgraded on the newer Casio units, along with the samples in general. If anybody out there can comment on the differences between the 420 and the next generation, that'd be helpful too.

On the one hand, the 420 is a good deal, and probably will do what I need. On the other hand, I'm considering saving up to buy something like the 850 if it would represent a significant enough upgrade to warrant the jump in price, but the trouble is that I can't find any to play where I live. If anyone has thoughts on how to proceed, they'd be very welcome!

Thanks PW!

Aaron
Posted by: Charles Cohen

Re: Casio AP-420 Questions - 02/12/13 03:02 AM

FWIW --

Based on what I read here:

http://azpianonews.blogspot.ca/2010/01/new-updated-casio-celviano-pianos-for.html

The AP-420 is one "generation" old, in keyboard mechanics and tone generation. The loudspeakers and amp are reasonable.

So buying one _used_ makes sense if the price is really good, and 50% off "street price" for the newer pianos is a good deal.

How does the price for the AP-420 compare to the price of a Casio PX-150 ? The PX-150 is only about 8 months old, and probably has a better keyboard and sound generator.

But the PX-150 doesn't have a cabinet, and its built-in speakers are not very good. It's fine for headphone work, IMHO.

. Charles

PS -- bias declaration -- I own a PX-350.
Posted by: mabraman

Re: Casio AP-420 Questions - 02/12/13 03:49 AM

Yesterday I went to a music store looking for some headphones to try. That store is a Casio distributor in my town and sells some 'old' models, AP-420 among them.
I played it for some minutes: short decay,clear but electronic (not very realistic) sound, no timbre/tone variations with different velocities, light keybed (lighter than other brands, just a matter if you have to switch from it to some upright frequently), no tri-sensor.
New Casios are way better.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Casio AP-420 Questions - 02/12/13 04:10 AM

I believe the AP-420 does feature the tri-sensor action.

James
x
Posted by: mabraman

Re: Casio AP-420 Questions - 02/12/13 04:18 AM

Well, my fingers didn't feel it. You know my ES7 has it and it feels completely different. But I'm usually wrong.

Edited: I was wrong, it has triple sensor. But the feeling is not the same when compared to newer Casios, whose keys have that little resistance in their way down.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Casio AP-420 Questions - 02/12/13 04:24 AM

All triple sensor actions are not made equal. wink

James
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Posted by: xorbe

Re: Casio AP-420 Questions - 02/12/13 12:33 PM

You said, "music student". Then I would pass on the AP-220/420/620 and the PX-130/330 if you can. I finally got to demo the PX-350 with headphones yesterday, and it's much improved about the decay. I'm not saying it's the best ever, just that it's more pleasing that the older generation by far.
Posted by: two2the8

Re: Casio AP-420 Questions - 02/12/13 05:31 PM

Thanks all, this is helpful. I think I will give the 420 a pass and save for something I like that much more.
Posted by: galaxy4t

Re: Casio AP-420 Questions - 02/12/13 09:16 PM

If you are a student on a budget, the AP-420 can likely be bought cheaper than a PX-850. You indicated the seller wants half of the retail price which is reasonable. A PX-850 retails for $1099. Is it better? Yes, but I would not say it blows the 420 out of the water. If you're looking at competing products from Yahama, Kawai, and Roland, you will likely be spending more. Personally, I don't think the action is worse on the 420 vs the 850. I would say they are close, but give the nod to the 850 for the piano sample, AiR processor, and action, string resonance, lid simulator, etc. The two pianos sound similar as they are sampled from the same piano. The sustain is better on the 850 but this may or may not be an issue for you depending on how and what you play.
Posted by: two2the8

Re: Casio AP-420 Questions - 02/12/13 09:52 PM

How does the PX-750 compare? I found a reasonable deal on that as well - not as cheap as the AP-420, but not too bad. Does the 750 represent a significant upgrade from the 420? Mostly I'll be using whichever DP through headphones, btw.

I know I should get out and try it, but nobody seems to have it locally. I can get a decent return policy, though, which should help.
Posted by: xorbe

Re: Casio AP-420 Questions - 02/12/13 10:58 PM

I think the 750 is fine. Try to find a 150/350 locally, and test it with your headphones. Roughly, the 850 is the 750 plus:

256 vs 128 polyphony (nothing to get excited about honestly)
String resonance (probably nice to have for a more full sound)
Lid simulator sound adjustment (it's a parameter)
Key off simulator (must be a key release sound effect)
Both have 18 tones
20W+20W amp (vs 8W+8W)
additional tweeter speakers
37kg (vs 32kg)

PX-750BK Technical Specs
PX-850BK Technical Specs
Posted by: two2the8

Re: Casio AP-420 Questions - 02/12/13 11:17 PM

Thanks again! I'll look around a bit locally and see what I can find – hopefully somebody has something I can play.

From what I can gather, it looks like the 150 and the 750 are pretty much the same dp, but the 750 comes with a stand & three pedals. Is that right? I just found a better deal on a px-150 w/ stand; if these two are the same, maybe that's an even better way to go.
Posted by: xorbe

Re: Casio AP-420 Questions - 02/13/13 12:19 AM

Originally Posted By: two2the8
From what I can gather, it looks like the 150 and the 750 are pretty much the same dp, but the 750 comes with a stand & three pedals. Is that right?

I think so. And likewise the 350 slab and 780 slim console are similar. It's the Privia PX-850 that's unique with the string resonance feature from the Celviano AP line (no idea why Casio is seemingly stingy with a feature that would boost sales across the entire line.)

[Well, the curious looking Privia PX-5S slab will have it too, whenever it arrives.]
Posted by: two2the8

Re: Casio AP-420 Questions - 02/13/13 12:40 AM

Looks like maybe the 750 has speakers underneath instead of above, too.

Hmm, lots to think about. Thanks again for the help!
Posted by: galaxy4t

Re: Casio AP-420 Questions - 02/13/13 12:42 AM

The PX-750 is priced at $799 U.S.D. A PX-150 with stand and pedal would come out around $650 or so. The PX-750 has different speakers than the 150. At the moment, not a lot of postive feelings about the sound system in the 150. If you live around a Guitar Center, they regularly run sales between $100-200 off a certain dollar amount and you can order online if you want.
Posted by: poggler

Re: Casio AP-420 Questions - 02/13/13 12:51 AM

The PX-780 is also launching soon and should be competitive with the rest of the semi-slab/semi-console customers. I kind of wonder what Casio might be doing. This almost looks more powerful/versatile than their flagship 850.

http://www.casiomusicgear.com/products/menu_privia/PX-780
Posted by: galaxy4t

Re: Casio AP-420 Questions - 02/13/13 01:03 AM

I think it replaces the PX-800 that was discontinued when the PX-X30 series came out. Also provides some competition to the Yahama DGX-640. I don't understand why the pedal is optional at this price point.
Posted by: xorbe

Re: Casio AP-420 Questions - 02/13/13 01:16 AM

Originally Posted By: poggler
The PX-780 is also launching soon and should be competitive with the rest of the semi-slab/semi-console customers. I kind of wonder what Casio might be doing. This almost looks more powerful/versatile than their flagship 850.

http://www.casiomusicgear.com/products/menu_privia/PX-780

It's like a 350 in a slim console w/lid -- it doesn't have the string resonance / damper press / key release stuff. The 850 should be the better DP for piano.