Introduction

The latest addition to Casio’s famed Privia line, the PX-S1000 digital piano is poised to continue the Privia line’s legacy of providing an excellent piano experience for the price. With a fresh new design, modern control interface, uncompromising piano touch and the super-slim, unibody case coming in at under 25 lbs, the PX-S1000 is ready for a variety of playing situations.

Casio PX-S1000 Review Video Transcription

Welcome to another digital piano review here at Merriam Pianos. In this article, we’ll be looking at the Casio Privia PX-S1000 Digital Piano, a recent entry from Casio with a super slim design. We’ll be looking at pretty much everything that anyone shopping in the $1,000 price range for a digital piano would want to know.

Casio has been in the music instrument game for quite some time, and while they’ve traditionally occupied the entry-level segment of the market, they have made some serious progress over the last few years at penetrating more of the mid-range market. The PX-S1000 and the PX-S3000 are two recent efforts that really highlight the progress they’ve made and how they’ve been able to gain the attention and approval of people who would normally be looking a a, Kawai, Roland or Yamaha.

Sound Engine:

Let’s start with the sound and the tone engine on the PX-S1000 Privia digital piano.  The Privia series Casio’s have gained a reputation over the last few years for the authentic playability and lifelike piano sound of their AiR Sound Source sample based tone generator, and that is definitely the case here. In this particular example, there’s a 192 notes worth of polyphony, which is more than enough for solo piano playing, and the main acoustic piano tone, sounds very thick, rich and complex, with a clear focus on string resonance and damper resonance.

It takes a little bit of getting used to in terms of navigating around the interface. In fact, the first 5 or 10 minutes sitting down in front of 1000 was a little bit frustrating because I’m used to user navigation on modern digital pianos being very intuitive. While this interface is very pretty, and the new top panel design only lights up to show the interface once the power button has been pressed, it’s not necessarily the most intuitive. That being said, it also doesn’t take very long to get used to, either so I wouldn’t let a bit of learning curve be a deal breaker. There’s some customization of grand piano tone available through a function here called sound mode, which allows you to select from four types of Hall Simulator, which changes the reverb settings . Another thing worth noting, unlike most other digital pianos or stage keyboards, the PX-S1000 runs with an AA battery power that consists of 6XAA batteries.

In terms of the speakers, we’ve got a dual speaker system with sixteen watts of total power, and while I wouldn’t call the setup here a powerful stereo speaker system, they are quite efficient. The speakers start to get a little bit crunchy when you really push the amplification system, but as long as you’re in the 50%, 60%, 70% range, it’s a very nice and crystal-clear sound,  with a nice dynamic range and no distortion.

When it comes the number of sounds, there’s 18 total sounds here. You’ve basically got your standard array of sounds you would expect here including grand piano sounds, upright pianos, electric pianos (tine and electric reed), harpsichord, clav, vibraphone, strings, and some basic pads. Overall, Casio has really delivered with their AiR sound engine once again.

Piano Action:

The key action on the PX-S1000, the fully weighted Smart Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard, is not exactly the same action that you’ll find on some of the other earlier Privia Pianos. The PX-160, essentially the precursor to the PX-S1000, was highly regarded for its action as it was one of the first entry-level price point digital pianos to offer as a full texture on both the black and the white key and feature triple touch sensor controls.

The inclusion of a triple sensor at the price point prompted Roland to follow suit with the FP-10, the second piano in the price point to feature a triple sensor. Interestingly, Casio did not put this action into the PX-S1000. Instead, the action feature here is somewhat devolved as it does not have the triple sensor, and actually goes back to a double sensor. This essentially means that the MIDI output with this action is not going to be potentially or hypothetically not gonna be as accurate as you would find on an instrument with a triple sensor. I’ve also found some comments around the internet discussing the weighting of this keyboard and the fact that the black key is lighter than the white key and that’s leading to some sort of player control issues.

To me, the action isn’t the key selling feature of the piano,  but rather the piano experience as a whole. The sound of the sample, the customization of the sound mode, the look of the instrument and the feel are all subjective things. I don’t think that this instrument is intended for a player with extensive acoustic piano experience or digital piano experience. I think  Casio is hoping will be a really great gateway product for somebody just entering the piano market for the first time or for someone whose main instrument isn’t piano.

All that being said, the key texture on the white keys feels more like ivory key textures than their previous version on the PX-160 or previous generation privias, so that’s a plus. I also think they’ve done a good job of sort of scaling back how exaggerated the texture on the black key was. I’m not particularly bothered by the dual sensor, and I think many piano players probably wouldn’t be either, but it’s still something that’s important to note. This is still a solid action overall, that frankly I am still reasonably satisfied with.

Features & Connectivity:

Moving on to the PX-S1000 features and connectivity, for starters the piano comes with a nice music rest and basic ac adapter. It also comes standard with a basic sustain pedal, but you can add the optional SP-34 3-pedal unit if you wish. The SP-34 is a floating triple pedal meaning that it isn’t fixed a long bar that’s fixed to the ground. It’s got rubber pads so there is some grip to the floor, and if it’s sitting on a shallow carpet, I don’t think slipping will be a problem at all for you. The PX-S1000 comes as a slab unit, but an optional designer stand is available from Casio as well.

There’s a basic MIDI recorder function, metronome, transpose, the ability to split the keyboard, duet mode and the ability to layer the keyboard. Just a heads up, you will need to consult the user manual to figure out all the different shortcut keys.

One of the quirkiest feature decisions Casio made here was the fact that they included the Bluetooth audio but did not include the Bluetooth MIDI, as the opposite is typically the case for the price point. When I think about the typical user that’s going to be using the PX-S1000, it probably does make some sense however because the Bluetooth audio lets  you your favorite songs through the piano for easy play along. Since some modern smart phones don’t have a headphone jack, some form of wireless connectivity is pretty much essential. Casio also offers the Free Chordana Play for Piano iOS and Android app/Piano app which allows you to view PDF’s, and actually turn pages with the SP-34.

In terms of other connectivity, Casio has also included a three and a half-mil input in the event that you don’t have a device with Bluetooth audio. There’s also two quarter-inch stereo outputs. I always really appreciate when keyboards include discrete line outs because running a line out through headphone jack is not ideal, and you’ve got two mini-jack on the front for your headphones in addition to those quarter-inch jacks on the back. And then to get MIDI into the computer, you’ve got your standard USB cable which is a class-compliant USB for a USB port.

Conclusions:

That’s pretty much all I have to share when it comes to the PX-S1000. I was super curious about this instrument when it first came out – I liked how it looked, and I’ve been following Casio’s progression over the last five years very closely as they continue to make inroads into this industry. I think this is another solid entry into the Privia lineup, and definitely a worthwhile competitor to the Roland FP-10, Kawai ES-110 and Yamaha P125.