Review: Is the Casio CDP-S350 Digital Piano Worth it?
Updated: Aug 15, 2020
The Casio CDP-S350, weighing in just at 24 pounds, comes with 88 weighted keys, with a matte texture that simulates ebony and ivory keys that helps fingers not slip while playing quick classical passages. The keys are also touch-sensitive, have scaled weighting and hammer action. This means that you can adjust the sound of the keys according to how hard or soft you hit it, and the keys on the lower registers start off heavy and get lighter as you progress to the higher registers. As good as it sounds, the touch response on these keys still lose out to Casio's Celviano GP-510 hybrid pianos (which is to be expected as these costs $5000 USD more). The Casio CDP-S350 also boasts of 64 notes of polyphony which is sufficient for most beginner and intermediate pieces and 24 different built-in piano tones to ensure that you will be able to find a suitable piano sound regardless if you are playing pieces from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, or the Contemporary era.
When you attach a triple pedal system on this Casio CDP-S350, you get half pedaling, soft and sustain neutral control just like a traditional acoustic piano. As for connectivity, you get the usual audio output port where you can either connect a pair of headphones for quiet practice, or connect a pair of external speakers for more powerful amplification, a USB MIDI connection where you can connect to Casio's Chordana Play for Piano App (free of charge) and connect to your external softwares, and an auxiliary audio input port that enables you to play along with any tune on your Spotify or iTunes playlist. You can also operate the Casio CDP-S350 with double A batteries, which makes it a great choice for entertaining at home and at small gatherings.
The arranger features of the Casio CDP-S350 is where things get interesting and where this digital piano truly shines. With 700 tones from acoustic to electronic and ethnic instruments, there is no shortage of sounds to spark your creativity. The ability to layer dual voice layers and have different voices split across the keyboard opens up infinite sonic possibilities. If that isn't enough, you can also further tweak the sounds with various reverb and chorus effects to create your own unique sound.However, it does not allow you to adjust the volume mix. However, the CDP-S350 also boasts of a built-in arpeggiator and pitch bend wheel which is perfect if electronic music is your thing.
The Casio CDP-S350 also consists of 200 rhythms covering genres from Pop, Rock, Jazz, Funk, Electronica, and World Music and each rhythm comes with 2 variations and 2 rhythmic fields, as well as an intro and ending, enabling you to create a polished performance. After you tweak your tones and rhythms to your liking, the Casio CDP-S350 gives you the ability to store your voice and rhythm settings into 32 User Registration presets for quick recall during performances. The Casio CDP-S350 also comes with a multitrack real time recorder that allows you to store up to five of your performances.
Similar Options to Consider
Both of these are priced significantly higher at $800 USD, giving the Casio CDP-S350 a clear price advantage at just $549. Casio also has a higher spec model, the PX-S3000, if you need better quality voices, more rhythms and even more functionality.
Let me be clear, this 88-weighted keys digital piano isn't meant for very demanding, advanced piano players. At just $549 USD, you will not find high-end features such as damper and string resonance or key and damper noises. For this you have to look at Casio’s higher-end PX-S3000, which costs $300 more. Moreover, if you are looking for an instrument where you will be using the default piano voice 99% of the time, I would suggest you to look somewhere else.
So, what is the CDP-S350 actually for? It is an affordable digital piano with full-fledged arranger functionality in very portable package that supersedes competitors with the same price range. It is perfect for playing conventional piano pieces and playing around with various other instrument voices along with lush rhythm accompaniments.
To learn how to play the piano, I have a proven step by step course designed for Yamaha, Casio, and Korg keyboards that will help you to do that. At the end of this course, I will teach you everything you need to know to just open up a music book and start playing your favorite tunes with lush accompaniment rhythms with minimal effort. I will teach you to read music, play chords and use the different sounds and rhythms on your keyboard.
I hope you found this article review useful and if you would like to get a Casio CDP-S350 yourself, you can click on the links provided in this article to check the latest prices and updated information. Be sure to check out my other articles on this blog!