On deck today we have the Casio PX-S3000 review, a really cool new Privia piano from Casio. We’ve had a lot of fun getting to know this instrument, and hopefully, you will enjoy learning about it as well.
Casio PX-S3000 Background
Their goal with the new product line seems primarily focused on making the cases super slim and more compact resulting in an instrument that takes up minimal space and is easily transportable.
At the same time, they’ve also improved the sound engine and tweaked the action design to accommodate the new smaller chassis.
They’ve also innovated a fresh new design with a unibody top panel design with unique touch sensor controls and power button that disappear when the piano is powered off.
Casio is a huge player in the portable digital piano market, so both of these instruments are undoubtedly going to be popular. Let’s dive in.
Casio Multi-Dimensional Morphing AiR Sound Chip
Starting with the sound, the PX-S3000 is equipped with Casio’s proprietary Multi-Dimensional Morphing AiR sound chip.
The AiR sound chip is delivering 192 notes worth of polyphony which is plenty for solo piano, and even for a couple of tracks of sequencing.
Casio is a little bit vague on some of the specs of this instrument compared to other manufacturers in terms of the type of sampling that went into the AiR chip, i.e. was there 88-key stereo sampling, how many sample layers, etc. Nonetheless, we can still make quite a few assessments and determinations about the instrument.
Just like the PX-S1000, the PX-S3000 has some different sound modes, the first of which is a reverb engine (hall simulator), while the second and third mode involves a lot of signal processing. So essentially, this means that for any given sound, such as the default grand piano tone, there will be 3 slightly different versions depending on which sound mode you have engaged.
There are definitely some surprising things that jumped to us about the acoustic piano sound. For one, the character and the complexity of the grand piano sound that we’re hearing out of the acoustic patches, specifically the default grand tone, is as good as anything else we’ve heard at the price point, with some really nice string resonance and damper resonance synthesis going on.
That said, the dynamic range feels a little bit compressed, so for solo classical playing, the sound might be a little bit limiting, but this won’t matter for beginners and you can go in and edit the touch curve.
When it comes to non-piano sounds, the PX-S3000 has a whopping 700 tones, compared to only 19 on the PX-S1000. The various electric pianos are very nice, as are many of the organ and synth patches.
In general, we’ve got some really impressive samples right across the category range, many of which are going to be totally functional for professional performance situations.
If you need a large stable of sounds, the meager price jump from PX-S1000 to the PX-S3000 will be worth it for a massive increase in onboard tones alone.
Smart Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard
Due to the new, slimmer frame of the PX-S series pianos, Casio has to tweak their action design by shortening the keys to make them fit. The result is the new Smart Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard with Hammer Response and Key-Off Simulation.
On paper, it actually looks like a bit of a downgrade from the PX-160’s triple sensor action as this new action reverts back to a dual sensor. That said, the ‘Smart’ in the name refers to Casio’s new Smart Technology which is supposed to make up for the missing sensor.
Given the sound engine’s compressed dynamic range, we don’t think anything is really missing from the switch back to a dual sensor, though we probably won’t recommend this action first if you’re looking for a MIDI controller.
There’s a nice ebony and ivory key texture that provides some extra grip when playing, which is actually very helpful if you’re doing a lot of really rhythmic playing as your fingers won’t glide around the keys.
Now, an oddity is that the black keys feel slightly lighter than the white keys, and this might be a big deal for you if you have a lot of acoustic piano experience. The key bed depth is also quite shallow.
But, for beginners and hobbyists, this won’t really matter. All in all, this is a good action that should be fairly pleasing to most players.
Another nice upgrade over the 1000 is the built-in auto-accompaniment and rhythms. This feature is easy to use and the drum kits and rhythms are up to date stylistically, of which there is 200 to choose from.
The authentic acoustic drums, drum machine sounds, and percussion instruments are really nice here.
There’s also a built-in 3-track MIDI recorder, as well as basics like transpose, metronome, duet mode, and all the other normal features you’d expect.
We should also mention that there is an arpeggiator, pitch bend wheel, and assignable knobs, which really helps in elevating the PX-S3000 to true stage-worthy status.
For connectivity, there are two headphone jacks, 3 pedal inputs (Damper pedal, Expression Pedal/Assignable, 3 Pedal Unit), discreet line outputs if you need a more powerful amplification system, Audio In, class-compliant USB ports Type A and B and Bluetooth Audio lets you stream and play along with your favorite songs. There’s also a spot for 6AA batteries if you’d like to forgo the ac adapter and run on battery power.
The Casio PX-770 is also compatible with Casio’s free Chordana Play for Piano app for Android devices and Mac iOS, which allows you to control the instrument from a smart device and view PDF piano scores via the Piano Roll feature.
Casio makes a matching keyboard stand which can be added, as well as the optional 3 pedal unit with sustain pedal, sostenuto, and soft pedals (optional SP-34). A music rest is included in the box.
A feature-heavy instrument with loads of sounds and solid piano touch is available for a competitive price, and well worth the extra price over the PX-S1000 in our opinion, as well as the comparative Yamaha models.
Give us a call today to see if we have any in stock!