Review: Casio CT-S1000V, $90 Casio Keyboard Feature No One Asked For
Updated: Jul 10
This is Casio’s latest flagship keyboard the CT-S1000V. It should really be named CT-S500V instead because the CT-S1000V is essentially identical to the CT-S500 but with an additional vocal synthesis feature. I guess Casio’s marketing department wanted regular Joe's to think the CT-S1000V is mathematically twice as powerful as the CT-S500.
Is the vocal synthesis feature worth the extra $90? Should Casio have given us more useful and better-appreciated features for the higher asking price?
I am going to dive deep and evaluate the key action, sound quality, tone selection, features, and functionality of Casio’s CT-S1000V. keyboard in order to help you make a better buying decision.
The CT-S1000V has all the features and functionality of the CT-S500, you should also check out my in-depth review of the CT-S500 By the way, if you are looking for a keyboard or digital piano, but do not know which is more suitable for you, do check out the ones I personally recommend here.
Just like the CT-S400, CT-S500, and the extremely popular CT-S1, the CT-S1000V. has one of the best synth-action keys for under $500.
The key tops are textured enhancing fingertip traction and the keys are lightly sprung giving it a better tactile feel versus the action of the competition.
It is disappointing that a supposed flagship like the CT-S1000V. does not have the red felt liner at the key pivots which works to dampen key noise.
The CT-S1 which costs half as much has the felt liner strip and I love it. I personally prefer Casio’s action for playing acoustic and electric piano tones but the key action of Yamaha PSR keyboards is better for organ, orchestral, and synth tones
You can also check out my beginner piano app. As well as some beginner video courses and course materials available for you. At the same time, you check out this free 25 Piano lesson as well. You might be interested in this recommended list of digital keyboards as well.
At $380, the 800 tones in the CT-S500 give really good value for money but the same 800 tones in the CT-S1000V at $470 is a different proposition altogether.
At least 200 of the 800 tones sound good enough to be used in a professional environment. Another 300 tones are average but definitely usable. The remaining couple of hundred tones have the typical cheap rompler sound quality Casio most likely used to make up the numbers.
Thankfully, the configurable DSPs, of which you can daisy chain up to 4, help shape the tone's character to get your unique sound. Tones can also be layered or split across the keyboard and a handy visual mixer allows you to easily tweak your volume mix.
3 performance knobs and a pitch bend wheel lets you modify DSP parameters and pitch on the fly.
While all these are nice and dandy, there are a number of limitations to the sound engine. I also expected more from a flagship Casio keyboard.
There is another keyboard that sounds better for a similar price which you can check out here
I love playing and practicing along with rhythm accompaniments and the CT-S1000V. has 243 rhythms covering a wide range of music genres from jazz to ethnic world music.
However, the rhythm section is the Achilles’ heel of this keyboard.
Not only are the instrumental accompaniments not as well programmed as those found on the competitors, but the CT-S1000V. also lacks a number of highly coveted and requested features found on cheaper and older Casio keyboards.
There are a couple of keyboards with a more sophisticated rhythm accompaniment section for a similar or cheaper price
One question to ponder is whether the Vocal Synthesis feature in the CT-S1000V. is worth the extra $90 over the CT-S500? Honestly, that depends on how much chipmunk voices you can tolerate before the novelty wears thin. Keyboard vocal synthesis is not new. 5 years ago, Yamaha gave us the Vocaloid VKB-100 keyboard which enjoyed cult success among the anime and cosplay community. Casio’s CT-S1000V has 100 built-in lyric phrases and 50 expansion slots for you to input your own phrases using an app.
You can trigger an entire lyric phrase with a single key or pitch multiple syllabi over a melody line. Just like the Yamaha VKB-100, the age, gender, and type of vocals can be changed. However, you are limited to only English and Japanese words which many non-English speaking markets will find limiting.
While the CT-S1000V. supports wireless Bluetooth connectivity, you will need to use a wired connection in order to use Casio’s lyric creation app. This is quite a shame as Yamaha’s Vocaloid keyboard supported lyrics transmission between app and keyboard wirelessly 5 years ago.
In my opinion, a $30 vocoder and talkbox VST plugin is significantly more useful and flexible as you can simply speak or sing in any language without having to first tediously program the words into an app like the Casio CT-S1000V.
You can find out more about the $30 vocoder plugin here.
For an extra $90 over the CT-S500, here are a couple of highly requested features Casio could have given us.
A Numeric Keypad. Selecting voices and styles on the CT-S1000V. and CT-S500 requires you to first sequentially locate the category a sound is in and then scroll through the list of voices in that category to find the tone you want. A simple numeric keypad found on Yamaha and previous Casio keyboards make it so much easier to quickly select tones on the fly when performing.
Check out my favorite keyboards with a numeric keypad here
Polyphony. Casio could have bumped up the polyphony on the CT-S1000V. to 128. It now only has a 64-note polyphony. The cheaper Roland E-X50 keyboard gives us a whopping 256 notes of polyphony and it’s time Casio keeps up with the competition.
Check out the cheaper Roland E-X50 here.
Registration Memory. The CT-S500 and CT-S1000V. UI has the ability to input characters but this flagship keyboard does not allow us to name our user registrations. It is extremely frustrating that in 2022 to need to use a notebook to keep track of our registrations.
Powerful Speakers. The CT-S1000V. sports a pair of paltry 2.5 watts amplifiers producing an output of 5 watts.
For a similar price, the competition is able to pump out a whopping 24 watts while using batteries in addition to having 76-keys versus the 61 keys on the CT-S1000V
Check out my recommended 24 watts, 76-keys keyboard here.
Powerful Rhythm Accompaniment Tools. The CT-S1000V has only 2 variations for every rhythm and has no tools for rhythm creation. Accompaniment parts cannot be turned off and the volume mix of the accompaniment cannot be independently adjusted. There is no excuse for this shortcoming as Casio has another keyboard which is $150 cheaper and yet comes with 4 rhythm variations, can create user rhythms, can independently control accompaniment volume mix as well as turn on or off accompaniment instrument parts.
Check out that Casio keyboard here
I encountered a few limitations of the CT-S1000V over the past few months. Which I feel may be deal-breakers for you. To start off, the onboard sequencer is a very basic linear MIDI recorder.
You cannot edit any recorded data and you cannot quantize or apply swing to recorded notes. There is also no way to loop a recorded phrase on playback. System-wide global effects such as reverb, delay, and chorus do not have any editable parameters.
You cannot use the wireless Bluetooth adapter and a USB stick at the same time as they utilize the same micro-USB port.
I found myself having to switch often between the Bluetooth adaptor and the USB stick containing my samples and registrations. The USB port does not transmit or receive class-compliant audio data which the competition that cost half the price can. The CT-S1000V USB port only handles MIDI data. The DSP chains are limited to 100 presets. You cannot create custom DSP chains from the 29 DSP modules.
There may be those who love the vocal synthesis on the CT-S1000V but I would have loved to see Casio give us a more useful feature set instead of adding the one-trick pony vocal synthesis to the CT-S500 for an extra $90 and marketing it as the flagship CT-S1000V.
I prefer another similarly priced keyboard which you can check it out here. You can also check out my beginner piano app. As well as some beginner video courses and course materials available for you. At the same time, you check out this free 25 Piano lesson as well. You might be interested in this recommended list of digital keyboards as well.
I hope that this review has helped you in making an informed purchase of the CT-S1000V Do check out the links provided in this article to get the latest prices and updates on the CT-S1000V. To find out more about the world of keyboards and pianos, do read more articles on this blog to find the most suitable and perfect instrument for your needs.