Review: The Piano of My Dreams Is Here
I dream of a perfect 88-key digital piano. One that is affordable, has a well-balanced weighted hammer action, contains high quality and detailed samples, is well built, and well-designed with a piano player in mind. It looks great in my living room and home studio while allowing me to bring it out to perform at gigs and events.
I have reviewed hundreds of keyboards and digital pianos over the last half a decade but have yet to find the perfect one until now. I am going to review the key-action, sound quality, various features, and functionalities of this home piano and demonstrate the onboard sounds in order to help you make a better buying decision.
The 1st thing that strikes me about Casio’s latest digital piano is how beautifully designed it is. 9 out of 10 digital pianos I have reviewed are boring black boxes.
Without bulky steel frames, long resonating strings, and a massive soundboard, digital pianos do not have the limitations of an acoustic piano. Yet every digital piano, especially console home pianos, tries so hard to look like a bulky acoustic piano.
Roland's Kiyola, Donner’s DDP-80, and the discontinued Yamaha Modus digital pianos tried to color out of the box, but those did not have the features of this beautiful digital piano and the Roland and Yamaha cost up to 300% more. Personally, I have seen all 3 colors offered by Casio for the PX-S7000, and in my opinion, Casio’s “Harmonious Mustard” is the best-looking color. This deep dark yellow finish is extraordinary, bringing something special to the contemporary feel of this piano.
I am a sucker for good design and I love how beautiful the wooden legs of this digital piano are. The way the wooden stand is constructed also makes it one of the most sturdy detachable wooden stands I have seen so far on digital pianos.
Casio even ensured the grey color of the bottom of the keyboard blends harmoniously with the sturdy grey metal frame holding the triple pedals. This work of art would not look out of place in a high-end designer furniture gallery. I have complained about the flimsy music rest of Casio’s previous digital piano
This time around, I am impressed by the newly redesigned music rest. It is sturdy and feels ridiculously premium with no free play.
Removing and installing the music rest is child’s play. I do hope the clear material is scratch resistant with extended usage. The redesign has gone beyond being skin-deep. The UI is significantly more intuitive than the previous models I have reviewed.
Central to this experience are the multi-functional, multi-touch control wheel and the context-aware touch panel.
The function buttons are user configurable to suit the situation you are playing in and all buttons and wheels are extremely responsive with no discernible lag.
Casio has programmed a comprehensive list of Function Button Groups containing preset shortcuts for registrations, effects, mic controls, piano, and e.piano sound collections.
If these presets are not suitable for you, you can mix and match any configuration for any features you need. In fact, my user experience felt so fluid and intuitive, I never once had to refer to the user manual.
Previous PX-S models had a fascia that is a fingerprint magnet. Casio has improved the surface material with some form of hydrophobic coating which resists sweaty fingerprints.
I love how the LCD screen, lights, and panel buttons fade away and disappear when I start playing, giving the piano a really clean sleek look that is unobtrusive to my piano-playing experience.
In my opinion, Casio has achieved a good balance between having buttons and a screen that enables easy operation with a clean, minimalist contemporary look. Casio’s redesign went as far as the traditional ugly black piano cloth cover.
This digital piano comes with a beautifully designed grey suede cover that softens the angular lines of the keyboard and is designed to be cleverly folded origami style and hung on an integrated hook.
This attention to detail shows how much thought Casio put into making sure this piano looks as good as it sounds and plays. Of all the digital pianos I have reviewed to date, the PX-S7000 is the best-looking one by far.
It would be unfortunate if the PX-S7000 is a bimbo with all looks but no substance.
Thankfully, Casio has significantly improved the key action on this digital piano. Unlike most digital pianos at this price, the PX-S7000 comes with 88 real wood keys made from spruce.
Unlike the cold clinical plastic keys found on most lower-priced digital pianos, these spruce wood keys convey a warm and organic feel from micro-reverberations transmitted to my fingertips, not unlike a traditional acoustic piano.
The matte and very lightly textured resin surface of both the black and white keys gave me confidence when my fingertips got sweaty with extended practice.
The 88 graded smart hybrid hammer action keys meant that the keys on the lower registers are heavier and they get progressively lighter towards the higher registers. The action is ridiculously configurable to satisfy the demands of a technically advanced piano player. Not only do you get 5 velocity curves, but the hammer response and key-off response can also be micro-adjusted until your inner OCD personality is happy.
For this price and this compact size, it is an engineering feat that Casio managed to put such good action on this digital piano. If I have to nitpick, I do wish the pivot point for the white keys goes a little deeper. The white keys do feel less responsive when played between the black keys and I had to adapt my playing accordingly
If you do not need 88-keys I have a list of recommended portable keyboards which can be found here
Included in this piano are 3 of the top concert grand piano samples from Hamburg, New York, and Berlin. I was hoping for a Hamamatsu, Austrian and Italian concert grand samples but that would raise the cost of the piano accordingly. Due to trademarks, we do not get the actual brand of these piano samples but seasoned pianists would have no trouble figuring it out.
Cheap digital pianos trigger just a single sound sample for each note and vary the volume of the pitch depending on how hard you hit the keys. Not this digital piano. There is a reason why this sound engine is equipped with 256 notes of polyphony. Casio’s Multi-Dimensional Morphing Acoustic Intelligent Resonator combines both recorded samples and mathematical modeling to produce the sound.
Unlike the clinical sound on less capable digital pianos, Casio’s improved sound engine adds a configurable string, damper, aliquot, and open string resonance for a warm, woody, detailed and organic sound. If that is not enough, you can also recreate the micro-sounds an acoustic piano makes such as damper, and key on and off noises. All these various sympathetic vibrations make this digital piano sound organic and alive.
This is because this digital piano is so achingly beautiful, it would be a crime to just position it against a wall and Casio knows this. Whether you want to place this in the middle of your living room and let the Harmonious Mustard work of art be the center of attraction, against a wall or on a tabletop where space is constrained, the piano position setting optimizes the sound projection to ensure the best possible stereo imaging.
With 8 Hall simulators including famous concert halls such as Berlin, Vienna, L.A. Halls, and a British Stadium you can close your eyes and transport yourself to these venues with a touch of a button. With a standard triple pedal system, you get the soft, sostenuto, and damper controls of a grand piano which is an important feature for advanced pianists.
Out of the 400 tones found in PX-S7000, 93 are acoustic and electric piano tones. I love the 39 piano and electric piano tones that are recreated from hits by famous artists such as Queen, Adele, Coldplay, the Beatles, Billy Joel, Chicago, and Sade.
Do not be misled by the marketing headline of 400 onboard tones. About 294 tones encompassing pianos, electric piano, organs, brass, woodwind, string, and synth are superb. The remaining 100 voices are really just generic General MIDI voices for use with MIDI file playback. For a richer tone, up to 2 voices can be layered and different voices can be split across the keyboard.
A mixer allows you to adjust the volume mix of all the different parts. Apart from the usual reverb and chorus, you can also apply delay and flanger effects to the tones. A transpose and octave shift function as well as scale tuning for every imaginable musical temperament make this digital piano perfect for Indian, Middle Eastern and Baroque era music.
For electronic music, the PX-S7000 has an arpeggiator and powerful live controls. The pitch bend wheel can be assigned to target specific layers and parts. The modulation button can be used not just to trigger modulation but turn on and off rotary speaker effects for use with organ tones or portamento for legato playing. 2 EX buttons are assignable to trigger any imaginable function.
If you prefer fewer bells and whistles but want the same high-quality piano samples and key action for half the price you can find it here
Apart from being a digital piano that both looks and sounds gorgeous, the PX-S7000 comes with a plethora of features and functionality that makes it great with music lessons and vocalists as well as a basic synthesizer/workstation and MIDI controller. This digital piano comes with 2 headphone jacks a ¼ inch and ⅛ inch ensuring it will fit any pair of headphones you have.
Here I have recommendations for speakers, headphones, microphones, and other connectivity devices which you might be looking for. You can check out my beginner piano app as well as some beginner video courses and course materials available for you. Also, do check out this free 25 Piano lesson too.
The duet mode on the keyboard also splits the keys into 2 identical sections so a student can easily emulate a teacher’s demonstration.
The onboard metronome has more than just a boring click track. We get 20 well-programmed rhythms encompassing Bossa Nova, Salsa, Swing, pop, and ballads percussion to help give you the extra groove when practicing
If 20 rhythms are not enough, there is a digital piano with more than 250 onboard rhythm accompaniments you can check out here
For singers, there is a microphone input with an advanced effects section including a tri-band EQ, phaser, chorus, delay, flanger, tremolo, and overdrive to enhance your voice and help your vocals sit well in the mix.
An advanced mixing panel allows you to adjust the volume, reverb, chorus, and pan position of all keyboard parts, backing tracks, mic input, and MIDI song playback.
Your performances including your vocals can also be recorded as an audio track for easy cross-platform delivery. MIDI song recording is also available if you wish to edit your playing after recording. These recordings can be saved onto a USB stick for portability.
If you need a digital piano with a more powerful 16-tracks sequencer, you can find it here
For such a powerful keyboard with many user-editable parameters, having a way to capture your unique settings for quick recall is essential. The PX-S7000 comes with 96 user registration slots to capture and quickly recall your settings. A wireless MIDI connection allows you to use the PX-S7000 as a MIDI controller to connect to your laptop or tablet for use with music learning or music production apps. Casio’s power Music Space app can also be wirelessly connected to the keyboard. If you prefer a more traditional connection, a class-compliant USB MIDI port is available.
The beauty of the PX-S7000 is that it is an extremely versatile piano for hybrid use.
Most digital pianos out there either function well as a home piano but are not portable to gig with. The PX-S7000 is a jack of all trades by literally letting you have your cake and eat it. By just removing 4 thumb screws on the wooden stand no tools are needed. The PX-S7000 converts into a portable music powerhouse. I was surprised that a wooden key hammer action piano weighs a portable 32lbs.
The competition with similar wood keys is 50% heavier.
If you do not have access to an electrical outlet, do not worry.
All you need are 8 “AA” batteries to power up the PX-S7000.
The massive 4 speakers system is powered by a 32-watt amplification system which is more than sufficient for intimate performance venues.
If you want to use this digital piano for big professional events, the stereo ¼” line-outs are perfect for connecting to stage PA systems. An assignable single-pedal input is also available so you do not need to lug your triple-pedal attachment around.
Is this PX-S7000 perfect? Almost. Here is a couple of things I wish could be better. The USB drive connection is on the rear of the keyboard making accessibility cumbersome. A USB sticking out is also susceptible to breaking off on impact. I would much prefer a recessed USB connection on the panel which is found in the competition.
I am not sure why Casio is still making the Bluetooth wireless feature an external module. Everyone else has the wireless Bluetooth incorporated within the system but Casio prefers a little adaptor that takes up one USB connector and if you gig with your keyboard, the adapter will eventually either break off on impact or you will lose it. Finally, the USB to HOST connector does not have an audio interface which even a $199 keyboard from the competition has.
I hope you found my review of the PX-S7000 useful. Do check out the links provided in this article for the latest and most updated information and prices on PX-S7000 Do also take a look at my other articles to find the best and most suited instrument for your personal need. Also, check out my Piano App and beginner keyboard course available for you