Casio’s CT-S1 is a remarkable beginner piano for $200 Technology by Admin - July 9, 2021July 9, 20210 I’ve been a Casio fan for some time. Though the corporate has often been the butt of dangerous jokes from musicians who seemingly have an issue with reasonably priced devices, Casio has lengthy provided sensibly designed merchandise that are typically extra accessible than a lot of the competitors. The Casiotone CT-S1 feels just like the epitome of Casio’s design philosophy. The firm says it’s the religious successor to the unique Casiotone CT-201 from 40 years in the past, a digital keyboard meant to get anybody enjoying the piano. To me, it simply appears seems like a fantastically whole lot for a cent underneath $200. Disclaimer: I’m somewhat biased as I’ve owned a Casio Privia PX-560 for some time now, and I like that factor. I’m additionally removed from a complicated pianist. But I am knowledgeable gadget nerd and I’m accustomed to a lot of the digital piano choices available on the market. There simply isn’t a lot that gives the sort of worth you get from the CT-S1 at this value level. Credit: CasioI actually dig the white colorway too The CT-S1 is geared toward relative newbies, however there’s additionally rather a lot to love right here for extra superior musicians, particularly these searching for a secondary keyboard. Here’s what you’re getting for 2 benjamins: 61 full-size velocity-sensitive keys A nifty ‘surround’ sound mode Optional battery energy (by way of six AA batteries) USB MIDI Optional Bluetooth MIDI and Audio by way of the WU-BT01 adapter Compatibility with Casio’s Chordana app for studying items 9.9 lbs (4.5 kg) weight Music stand included An possibility of black, white, and pink colorways Though the essential spec sheet might not appear that distinctive, it’s the considerate consideration to element that makes the CT-S1 so spectacular. Casio has rigorously curated each sound and have current for an expertise that oozes extra high quality than you’d anticipate for the worth. Firstly — the CT-S1 is only a handsome keyboard. Sure, it’s all plastic, but it surely’s plastic-fantastic. The physique and keys have a matte end which, mixed with the material protecting the audio system, makes for a complicated design that feels good to the contact. It’s not simply one other low cost shiny keyboard, and I believe it appears to be like much better than the rest on the value level. Bonus: there’s a deal with on the underside that makes it straightforward to hold, and there are even strap pins to make use of the CT-S1 like a keytar. Now let’s get to the essential half: how does it sound? There would possibly ‘only’ be 61 sounds onboard, however this is without doubt one of the solely keyboards I’ve examined, particularly close to this value level, the place I truly like each sound. Because I’m not ok to put up my enjoying on-line, right here’s a video from Casio exhibiting off the constructed in-sounds: Some of the sounds constructed into the CT-S1 are higher than those I’ve seen in multi-thousand-dollar keyboards or some built-in libraries for skilled music software program. Aside from an all-around strong acoustic piano sound, the electrical piano and organ choice being significantly spectacular, noticeably altering in timbre relying on how laborious you press the keys slightly than simply quantity as on some devices. You’ve received legitimately good-sounding Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Hammond, and clavinet samples, strings that don’t sound like whole junk, funky brass, and even a slightly pretty flute in right here (many samples on Casio’s website). Whereas most devices have loads of sounds which are simply throwaway inclusions, virtually every part within the CT-S1 is genuinely enjoyable to play with. I even have to provide kudos to Casio for the precise sound high quality from the audio system — I’ve heard bigger keyboards with worse sound, and I actually dig the ‘surround’ mode that expands the ambient presentation of the piano, and I just about used it on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the encompass mode doesn’t work for headphones, and it does have the facet impact of brightening the tone somewhat bit, but it surely’s a welcome function. As you’d anticipate from an reasonably priced light-weight keyboard, the important thing motion received’t remind you of an acoustic piano. They’re spring-loaded synth-style keys, however even right here I admire the impelentation; they provide a matte texture, and the keys are delicate sufficient to permit for a very good quantity of dynamic management. That mentioned, should you’re used to the weighted hammer motion of an acoustic piano or excessive finish digital, you’ll in all probability need to modify the important thing sensitivity to the ‘heavy’ setting. Speaking of adjusting settings, the CT-S1 doesn’t have a display screen. Whether or not that’s a very good factor is dependent upon your tastes; as somebody utilizing the CT-S1 as a secondary keyboard that I can simply transfer round the home, I admire the simplicity and lack of distractions, and it helps keep the keyboard’s clear look. But this is without doubt one of the few instances you actually ought to learn the handbook. In reality, you’ll need to preserve it shut by or obtain it onto your telephone initially, as altering settings is a matter of urgent the ‘function’ button and remembering what key every setting is assigned to. After a number of days, you’ll in all probability memorize your most used capabilities, which in my case are the metronome and octave shift. Some different caveats to bear in mind: While Bluetooth MIDI is just about instantaneous, Bluetooth audio by way of the piano does have a slight latency, so I’d nonetheless use a wired audio connection if you wish to use this as MIDI controller for a virtual piano or different functions. Rather counterintuitively, the piano has each USB-A and Micro USB ports, however solely the Micro USB port works for MIDI out to a PC or smartphone. You’ll want a particular cable or some sort of adapter. This factor chews by way of batteries; it is best to get rechargeable ones should you plan on utilizing it on battery energy. There’s no pitch bend or mod wheel, should you’re into that sort of factor. Given the heavy concentrate on piano and different keyboard devices, a maintain pedal ought to have actually been included. Luckily you will get one for fairly low cost. While the piano samples are very nice, there’s no pedal or sympathetic resonance occurring right here such as you would possibly discover on Casio’s correct digital pianos. But there’s actually little to complain about right here. The Casio’s closest competitors is arguably the Roland Go:Piano — an instrument I owned — and although it’s costlier, the built-in sounds simply aren’t pretty much as good, the design appears to be like less expensive, and the keyboard motion is inferior. To be truthful, the Roland is a number of years outdated now, has a correct show, and has Bluetooth built-in. It was nice when it was launched. But because it stands, the Casio is simply the higher keyboard in virtually each respect. Casio got down to make a digital keyboard that was reasonably priced, regarded good, and sounded nice, and it succeeded in each measure. Whether as your first digital piano or a secondary keyboard for portability, you’d be hard-pressed to seek out something higher on this type issue or value vary. Did you understand we’ve got a e-newsletter all about shopper tech? It’s referred to as Plugged In – and you can subscribe to it right here.