🎹 Casio PX-S5000 vs Casio PX-S1100 | Casio Privia PX-S5000 Digital Piano In-Depth Review 🎹

With the recent expansion of the Casio Privia PX line, suddenly we’ve gone from two portable models to five with the new PX-S5000, PX-S6000 and PX-S7000 Privia digital pianos newly hitting the market.

The PX-S5000 serves as the direct step up to the hugely popular PX-S1100, and with a price point that isn’t overly prohibitive, for a lot of people making that jump to the S5000 will make sense. With that in mind, we’re going to do a detailed comparison for you here to cover the exact differences between these two instruments.

If you’re among those looking for a piano-centric, highly portable digital piano that also happens to offer an extremely slim cabinet, weighted keys and battery operation, odds are this Casio PX-S5000 vs PX-S1100 comparison will be very useful to you. If features and functionality are what you’re after, the PX-S3100 vs PX-S6000 comparison will be more relevant to you.

Casio PX-S5000 vs PX-S1100 Background

Casio PX-S5000 Portable Digital Piano
Casio PX-S5000 Portable Digital Piano

Even though the PX-S5000 hasn’t been out for too long at this point and many pre-orders haven’t yet been fulfilled, some internet chatter has already sprung up with the question; is the S5000 simply an overpriced PX-S1100BK with a rebranded action?

To be totally honest, we wondered the exact same thing here at Merriam Pianos when we first saw the specs sheet, as even things like the warranty coverage are the same. Fortunately, once we played the S5000 and got it side-by-side with the S1100, we realized right away that there are actually substantial differences in the piano tone and the action in terms of the actual playing experience.

In fact, the piano sound is much richer and really in a different class from the 1100. Paired with an improved action and the result is an instrument capable of much more nuance for those seeking a more realistic piano experience.

Let’s move to a more detailed comparison of the sound engines.

Piano Sound – Sound Engine & Speakers 

Multi-Dimensional Morphing AiR Sound Source with Hamburg Grand Sample

When glancing at the sound-related specs, it looks like we’re working with very similar offerings here. For example, both pianos are the using the Multi-Dimensional Morphing AiR sound engine, the polyphony is the same, the effects like reverbs, hall simulators, DSP and surround are the same, and the speaker systems and wattage are the same.

That said, there is one notable difference – the fact that the S5000 digital piano includes Casio’s Hamburg Grand sample, which is the same sample used in Casio’s high-end GP310 and GP510 hybrid digital pianos. This is a much higher quality default grand piano sample than what the S1100 receives, and the result, especially when playing with headphones, is a much more authentic and immersive acoustic piano sound stage experience, meaning it truly feels like you’re in front of a concert grand.

Both pianos have the same Acoustic Simulators, but parameters like Damper Resonance and Damper Noise are coming through more clearly on the S5000.

The S1100 still sounds very good, especially for the price point, but there’s no question that there’s just much more detail coming from the S5000, especially in the mid and lower registers. In the upper register, there’s more color and depth to the sound on the S5000.

Stereo Speaker System

As we touched on above, both pianos are equipped with the same dual speaker system with 16 watts of total amplifier output power. These are redesigned speakers from what was used in the PX-S1000 and PX-S3000 resulting in cleaner high-end and more dynamic low end referred to as Casio’s new Sound System.

Since the speakers are identical, the differences in tone we mentioned above primarily apply to when you’re playing with headphones. You can still hear a difference when the speakers are engaged, but those differences are less pronounced.

So, if you’re going to be doing a fair bit of playing with headphones, the improved sound is reason enough to go for the S5000 assuming you have the budget. If you’re primarily going to be using the speakers, the upgrade may not make sense for you.

Polyphony

As we also briefly mentioned above, polyphony is the same on both instruments at a strong 192 notes – easily enough to accommodate all solo piano playing.

Other Sounds

Once you move past the default grand piano presets, the rest of the tones are essentially the same, covering things like electric piano, organs and synths.

That said, there are 18 total sounds on the PX-S1100 as opposed to 23 sounds on the PX-S5000. Neither has the breadth of sounds you would find on a stage piano, but it’s worth noting that there are 5 extra on the S5000.

Casio Privia Piano Action – Smart Scaled vs Smart Hybrid Hammer Action

Casio Privia Keyboard Action
Casio Privia Keyboard Action

The PX-S1100’s Smart Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard

Casio’s Smart Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard has been met with favorable reviews overall, but many players have observed that the white keys feel weighted slightly differently from the white keys and that all of the keys feel different depending on where on the keyboard your fingers press the keys.

The big reason for this was in having to accommodate the PX-S1000’s super slim frame (where this action was introduced), meaning the action had to be compressed. The result is a very short pivot length, which is why the key weighting feels different depending on where you play the keys.

For many players (especially beginners), this won’t matter, but it does essentially disqualify the action for higher-level classical players or those who need their digital piano key action to mimic an acoustic key action as closely as possible.

The PX-S5000’s Smart Hybrid Hammer Action Keyboard

The new Smart Hybrid Hammer Action Keyboard has an identical pivot length so these general observations about the different weighting depending on where your fingers press are still true, but fortunately the weighting differences from the white and black keys have been fixed.

And despite the same pivot length, this action feels quite different from the S1100’s Smart Scaled action and definitely represents a step up.

Key Differences

For one, the cushioning is improved so the Smart Hybrid action emits much less mechanical noise than the Smart Scaled action does, and this will be a huge benefit to those looking to practice at odd hours without disturbing others.

Secondly, the Smart Hybrid action features wood siding, which means the keys themselves feel more like a real acoustic piano action. This might be a non-issue for some people, but it will be a big consideration for others. The wood siding should also help long-term durability, especially when combined with the improved cushioning.

Finally, the keytops feel different as well. On the S1100’s Smart Scaled action, the keytops have a very exaggerated texture, while the texture on the S5000’s Smart Hybrid action feels more like real ivory and ebony. Both sets of keytops have great playability, but there’s no doubt that the S5000’s keytops feel more like a real piano. For context, the Yamaha P-125’s GHS action does not offer textured keytops.

Overall, the Smart Hybrid action represents a real step up from the Smart Scaled action, which we hoped would be the case considering the jump in price. While it still wouldn’t be an ideal action for a classical pianist it is going to be a great action for many players.

Additional Features & Connectivity

Casio Privia PX-S5000 Connectivity
Casio Privia PX-S5000 Connectivity

Additional Accessories

Both pianos come as a slab, and ship with a music stand and basic SP-3 switch sustain pedal, though we would recommend an upgrade to the SP-10 damper pedal at minimum. Roland, Yamaha and Kawai are sometimes guilty of including a flimsy pedal in the box that should really be upgraded.

You can also opt for the SP-34 3-pedal unit if you’d like triple pedal functionality (soft, sostenuto and damper), and Casio’s CS-68 wooden design stand is an option as well.

Finish Options

The PX-S1100 is available in three distinct finish options – Black, White and Red. The PX-S5000 at this point is only available in Black.

Connectors – Line In/Out, Bluetooth & MIDI

Connectivity is virtually the same across these two pianos with the only difference being that the S1100 has a stereo mini line-in, whereas the S5000 does not. Perhaps Casio feels this isn’t a necessary terminal moving forward which would be why the newer and more expensive S5000 doesn’t have a line in.

Otherwise, all of the other jacks are the same including L/MONO, R line outputs, USB Type A and B, dual headphone outputs and a port for the power supply. Line-outs are essential for a gigging instrument so it’s nice to see them here.

Both pianos also come with the WU-BT10 wireless MIDI and Audio Bluetooth adaptor which is a very nice added bonus at no extra charge. Bluetooth MIDI means you can wirelessly access the new Casio Music Space App for iOS and Android which is one of the best music apps around and essentially replaces the Chordana Play for Piano app.

Bluetooth Audio allows you to stream music from a Smart Device through the piano’s speakers with the help of a simple Bluetooth adapter.

Extra Features

Casio Music Space App
Casio Music Space App

Features are pretty lean on both pianos, but things like a basic MIDI recorder and Audio recorder for recording and playback, metronome, transpose, built-in songs and playing modes like split are all covered.

Closing Thoughts

After taking a close look at both of these pianos, we can say confidently that the PX-S5000 is not simply an overpriced PX-S1100. The differences in the default grand piano patch and action make the PX-S5000 a distinct upgrade over the S1100, even if you need headphones to truly maximize those tonal differences.

The PX-S5000 is really offering a pretty awesome experience for the price, especially considering that it can be operated via battery power, and the PX-S1100 is continually heralded as one of the best digital pianos for its price point as well.

For some, these key upgrades will easily make the S5000 worth the extra money. For others, the S1100 is already more than enough of what they need.