Casio Privia PX350 Digital Piano

22 February 2013 | 11:16 am | Tiffany Britchford

It’s well priced at $1500, or $1800 with stand and pedals and compared to its competitors, hard to beat for value.

The Casio Privia PX350 digital piano is an 88-key portable keyboard that provides 250 instrument tones, 180 drum patterns and features built-in speakers. The product description boasts of a new and improved tri-sensor scaled hammer keyboard action.The idea behind the tri-sensor system is that it offers more accurate nuance and expression. It's the third sensor which provides the magic, allowing the same notes to sound again, before they have returned to their original position. Impressive! Casio's new AiR (Acoustic and Intelligent Resonator) sound source delivers amazing realism, particularly in its grand piano sounds. The keyboard seamlessly generated detailed sounds in a great dynamic range, allowing for sensitivity and subtlety in performance. The piano, electric piano, organ and string sections all included a strong range of realistic sounds to satisfy any number of genres and uses. The most discerning of ears would be hard pressed to doubt this unit's sonic authenticity.

The keys are a “simulated ebony and ivory texture”, meaning they essentially have a faux-wood grain look and feel, though the colours remain black and white. Personal preference will come into play here but I like a more glossy finish.

Visually, the PX350 is quite attractive - nice clean shape, available in black or white, possessing elegance, with its silver navigation panels easy to operate. An optional furniture-style stand is available too.

The PX350 not only wins on a sonic and visual level, but also with its technological attributes. Offering audio file(.WAV) recording and playback to USB (instead of SD card) is an incredibly handy feature, as are the PC and Mac drivers built into the piano's firmware. No need to waste time googling and then installing drivers. In addition to USB connectivity, the PX350 also offers MIDI ports for the traditionalists who wish to connect older keyboards and modules.

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The three foot pedals, designed to mirror those on a grand piano, were attached to a bar across the floor as part of the stand. They worked nicely but for me, seemed quite short at around 4” in length. At 11kg, it's relatively light for a stage piano and would be easily portable. The built-in speakers are fine for home use or acoustic situations but if you like it loud or would be using it at gigs, simply plug it into speakers or DI it. As mentioned earlier, the PX 350 also includes a handy USB terminal, MIDI in/out and 17-track recorder. It's well priced at $1500, or $1800 with stand and pedals and compared to its competitors, hard to beat for value. If I didn't already own a stage piano, I'd seriously consider buying one!