• wei jie

Compare: Casio CT-S400 vs Yamaha PSR-E373

Review:

Yamaha PSR-E373

$199.99 USD


Casiotone CT-S400

$229.99 USD

The Yamaha PSR-E373 and the Casio CT-S400 are 2 of the most powerful beginner portable piano keyboards. While they are similarly priced, I will be making an in-depth comparison between these two keyboards to help you make an informed purchase when looking to buy one of these keyboards.



Price

The street price of the Yamaha PSR-E373 is at least 10% cheaper than the Casio CT-S400. For that no discussion is needed, the PSR-E373 takes a point just for being cheaper.


Key Actions

Both the Yamaha PSR-E373 and the Casio CT-S400 are 61 full-size keys but the key actions and keytops cannot be more different. The CT-S400 has box-shaped semi-weighted keys and is better for playing acoustic & electric piano tones as the keys provide a little bit more resistance than the PSR-E373. Which are more inclined towards piano players.

However, for all other sounds such as trumpets, flutes, guitars, saxophones, and synth sounds, the synth-action keys on the PSR-E373 are a better choice. Both keyboards have 4 velocity curves and it’s easy to find one that matches your playing style.

The key surface of the PSR-E373 is smooth and glossy versus the matte micro-textured keytops on the CT-S400. The keys on the Yamaha are also noticeably noisier than the keys on the Casio.

As each of the keyboards has its own unique keys, key action, and keytops. Both get a point each.




Tone Quality

The Yamaha PSR-E373 comes with 622 tones whereas the Casio CT-S400 comes with 600 tones. Both keyboards support dual voice layers, keyboard voice splits as well as the functionality to independently adjust the volume mix of each voice layer.


The Casio CT-S400 has a large selection of acoustic and electric pianos, organ, EDM as well as ethnic instruments. The Yamaha PSR-E373, on the other hand, excels with its acoustic instrument voices such as saxophones, flutes, guitars, harmonicas, and accordions. While the PSR-E373 may not have as many pianos, organ, or electric piano voices, the ones it has are excellent and do not need to have more.


The 48 note polyphony is identical on both keyboards. One unique feature of the PSR-E373 is the Super-Articulation Lite technology and the articulation button which is great for precise control of sample switches for guitars, flutes, saxophones, and brass voices.


Different from PSR-E373, the CT-S400, use velocity to switch samples rather than a button. However, these velocity switched voices are limited. Having more instruments voices and the voices in the PSR-E373 sound great right out of the box without further tweaking will give it a point.



Effects

The Yamaha PSR-E373 comes with 38 DSPs, such as amp simulations, rotary speakers, and distortion which can be assigned to any sound. The Casio CT-S400 also has DSPs but the effects are baked right into the sounds and you do not get the option to change to a different DSP or even to vary the amount of DSP effect applied.


It is slighting disappointing that the Casio CT-S400 only has just 100 arpeggiators for synth lovers while the Yamaha PSR-E373 has 150. The CT-S400 also has just 12 melody harmonizers while the PSR-E373 has 26 types. For that reason, the PSR-E373 would get a point for its customizability and a wider range of effects over the CT-S400.



Rhythm Accompaniment Styles

Both keyboards are arrangers allowing you to play live with chords triggering an accompaniment making your performance a lot more lively, groovy and dynamic.


The CT-S400 has 200 rhythms with the option of loading an additional 10 third-party rhythms you can download from the internet. The PSR-E373 has 5 more rhythms than the CT-S400 with the similar option of loading in 10 additional third-party rhythms as well. For each style, both keyboards have an intro/ending, 2 rhythm variations and 2 rhythm fills making them equally capable.


Casio has more contemporary styles, however, Yamaha styles are better programmed with smoother transitions between style variations and fills.

Therefore, the PSR-E373 would get a point for it.



Chord Detection Mode

One important function of an arranger keyboard is the Chord Detection Mode when playing with styles is where the Yamaha PSR-E373 falls short. The smart chord mode is too restrictive and there is not much that it can be used for. On the contrary, similar to LK-S450, the CT-S400 has included 6 different chord detection modes including the support for slash chords.


One advantage of the CT-S400 is that for those who use their keyboards to take the Trinity College of London keyboard exams, the PSR-E373 just does not meet the minimum requirement for many grades. Thus, the CT-S400 would get a point for its usability and functionality.



Lesson Mode

With tablet and smartphone apps, onboard lesson modes on keyboards are not as important as before. Still, it continues to be an invaluable feature, especially in less affluent markets.


The Yamaha PSR-E373 has a lesson mode with more than 200 songs as well as a Touch Tutor, which trains the student to modulate and control their key touch, and a Chord Dictionary which shows you how to play various chords.


Casio has somehow decided that their LK-S450 deserves the Lesson Modes while buyers of the CT-S400 are unlikely to need these learning aids. While Casio may argue that they have the Chordana app, it does require the student to have access to a tablet and to have suitable cables before it is useful. As such, the PSR-E373 would get a point for its fully inclusively lesson mode without the need for any external software.



User Registration Banks

Both the PSR-E373 and CT-S400 are powerful keyboards and a feature to save user voice and rhythm settings you took time to configure is invaluable. While the Casio CT-S400 allows you to save a whopping 32 user registrations, the Yamaha PSR-E373 has a paltry 9 onboard user registration slots. This really brings out how Yamaha legacy architecture is getting obsolete.


You would think a keyboard with a plethora of configurable DSPs, effects, arpeggiators, and melody harmonizers would have more user slots but apparently, Yamaha thinks otherwise. At the same time for those who are taking their keyboard exams, 9 user registration slots are just not enough. With more memory slots the CT-S400 gets the point.



Song Recording

Both the Yamaha PSR-E373 and the Casio CT-S400 let you record up to 5 of your own performances internally. However, on the Casio, you can perform multi-track recordings of up to 5 tracks whereas the PSR-E373 comes with a very basic 2 track recorder.

In addition, the Yamaha PSR-E373 has a built-in USB audio interface allowing you to use Yamaha’s innovative Rec’N’Share app on your smartphone. With this app, all you need is a USB cable and you can record clean and pure digital audio together with video on your smartphone at the same time. You can then directly share the high-fidelity digital audio or video via WhatsApp, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, or Messenger.


This feature itself is a massive selling point that even very expensive pro-keyboards do not have With this unique feature incorporated into the keyboard, the PSR-E373 beats the CT-S400 hands down getting a point.


Sound System

Both the Yamaha PSR-E373 and the Casio CT-S400 have almost identical speaker systems. Both are driven by a 5 watts amplifier. At max volume, the Yamaha is a little louder.

However, because the Casio CT-S400 has a bass port, the frequency separation is clearer and more distinct. As clarity valued over volume, the CT-S400 gets a point for its sound clarity



Ease of Use

Casio has once again gone for a minimalist concept when it comes to the instrument panel. With the CT-S400 you get a minimal number of panel buttons and rely on a context-aware backlit-LCD screen and a customizable home-screen to access most features.

On the other hand, the Yamaha PSR-E373 has way more buttons which made navigating through the functions easier. With fewer buttons on the CT-S400, selecting voices, rhythms and functions just take more steps and more button presses than necessary. Many things which can be performed with a single press on the Yamaha PSR-E373 are nested in the menu system on the CT-S400

As the PSR-E373 is now pretty advanced with many items in the function button. Getting to a specific function can take quite a number of button presses is a small downside to it. However, scrolling through the seemingly endless list of functions as seen on the CT-S400, to get to the one you want is not something you want to do often. The Yamaha PSR-E373 will get a point its ease of use.



Portability

The trump card of the Casio CT-S400 is its portability. While both keyboards can run on AA batteries in addition to a power outlet, the PSR-E373 is significantly bigger than the CT-S400 and weighs more.

In addition, the Casio CT-S400 comes with a carry handle as well as strap pins so you can attach a guitar strap and carry your Casio around like a keytar.

With this level of portability, the Casio CT-S400 knocks the PSR-E373 out of the park.



Notable Features

The Casio CT-S400 has a few more advantages compared to the PSR-E373. While both keyboards can connect to a DAW or music learning apps on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone via a USB cable, the CT-S400 gives you the option to purchase a wireless Bluetooth adapter giving you Wireless Bluetooth MIDI.


While the optional adaptor is pretty expensive it also supports wireless audio streaming. You can transmit audio to the CT-S400 speakers but the keyboard is not able to transmit audio to external Bluetooth amplifiers. It is a preferable method of streaming minus-one backing tracks compare to the 3.5mm auxiliary audio cable

In addition, the CT-S400 comes with a pitch bend wheel for those who like to play synth instruments and saxophones or trumpets as it is very critical to make those ethnic sounds realistic.

With the additional wireless functional capabilities and a pitch bend wheel, the Casio CT-S400 gains two points over the Yamaha PSR-E373 for its extra features.



Conclusion

While both these keyboards are evenly matched, their features target specific demographics. Casio has a trendier, more portable, and more fun package while the Yamaha packs a punch with its voices and rhythm accompaniment, and USB audio interface.


Nonetheless, the best keyboard is the one you have with you when you need it. While the Yamaha PSR-E373 might just be a little more superior than the Casio CT-S400, it safe to say that the Casio CT-S400 is the keyboard you will bring with you on road trips, campfires, and casual gigs.


I hope that this review of the Casio CT-S400 and Yamaha PSR-E373 has been useful for you. Do check out the links provided in this article for the latest updates and prices of the Casio CT-S400 and Yamaha PSR-E373 If these keyboards are not for you, do look at the other articles in this blog to find your ideal instrument.


112 views0 comments