The Casio CGP-700 (compact grand piano) has been a staple in the entry-level/intermediate market for several years now. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a home piano with an included stand that has lots of bells and whistles, but also versatile enough to function as a stage piano for professionals on the go. It’s loaded with hundreds of different instrument tones: grand pianos, electric pianos, strings, brass, drums, synths; it’s all there.
Combine and layer sounds, practice in duet mode, play along to rhythm or accompaniment tracks or even record your own full songs in wav format with the built-in song recorder. The CGP-700 has something for everyone, and it’s all accessible on a super intuitive touchscreen interface at the heart of the unit. For those who are just starting out, or those that want to go a little bit deeper with their playing; the CGP-700 is sure to inspire you to play every day.
Casio has equipped the CGP-700 with the Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II keyboard. The action is well-weighted, but a little ‘mechanical’ in comparison to the latest Roland or Kawai actions, however for many buyers, this is a small compromise given that the bundled Casio CGP-700 comes with a triple pedal and a wide range of features.
The key surfaces have exaggerated ebony and ivory surfaces which give the keyboard a unique playing experience. There is a sense that it’s a heavier action, but from our perception, it’s the dynamic resistance that feels a little bulkier than normal – the amount of weight it takes to get the key in motion (static resistance) still feels totally consistent with an acoustic upright. The grading feels accurate with the lower register feeling heavier, and gradually getting lighter as you move upwards.
Casio uses what they call the MXi (Multi-Expressive Integrated) Sound Source in the CGP700bk, which is essentially a 4-velocity layer sample-based synthesis engine. It comes with a polyphony of 128, and generally delivers a pretty satisfying concert grand piano sound. The on-board 3-way speaker system is a huge stand out for the price point, with a 6 speaker sound system (4 built in to the top panel, and 2 low-frequency speakers built into the included stand) and a solid 40 watts of power. Generally, digital pianos around the $1,000 price point usually have around 20 watts of power and only 2 speakers, so this is a definite highlight.
The CGP700 includes 550 Tones, which covers a huge range of musical instruments including concert grand pianos, various other acoustic pianos, electric pianos (with phasers), harpsichords, organs (with rotary speakers), vibraphones, guitars, basses, strings, and drums, among many others. If you get lost navigating the huge sound bank, you can easily jump back to the standard grand piano tone with the helpful grand piano button.
The accompaniment feature is pretty comprehensive here too with over 200 Rhythms that include multiple instruments that intuitively follow your playing, with a wide range of musical styles. Beyond the preset rhythms, there’s also a built-in Rhythm Editor to customize your own User Rhythms utilizing various basslines, drum grooves, and lead parts. There’s also the option to create up 50 user-generated Music Presets, which include a rhythm, tones, effects, and chord progressions.
Even though there’s no Bluetooth connectivity, which could be a deal-breaker for some, there’s a host of other connectivity options including; USB port (to Host), USB Flash Drive Port, Midi in/out, Line In (L/MONO, R : 6.3mm Mono Standard) Line Out Yes (L/MONO, R : 6.3mm Mono Standard) and Audio In. The USB ports make connecting to a PC or Mac pretty straight forward, and you can even connect an MP3 player via the aux stereo input to listen to music through the CGP700’s speaker system.
The audio output options allow the CGP700 to be easily connected to a PA system making it a viable option for performance situations where the 40 watts of onboard power won’t be enough. There are also of course 2 headphone jacks as well.
While the 40 watt, 6 speaker system is probably the biggest single claim to fame the CGP700 boasts, another significant feature, especially for the price point, is the color touch screen. The 5.3″ color touch interface allows for easy navigation and control of all the features the CGP700 has via intuitive touch and swipe controls. It especially makes using the 16-track recorder intuitive and efficient. Touch screens like this are not generally found in the price point, and really serves as a great value add by Casio.
- MXi Sound Source
- 550 onboard sounds
- 128 note polyphony
- 6 speaker system (with matching stand)
- 40 watts of speaker power
- Acoustic Simulator Parameters for Piano Tones: Damper resonance simulation, Damper noise
- 88 note Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard II
- Touch Screen Display
- Pitch bend wheel
- Layer, split, duet mode, transpose, octave shift
- Digital Effects: Reverb – 17 Types Chorus – 16 Types Delay- 6 Types Mester EQ -Brilliance – -3 ~ 0 ~ +3 DSP – Yes (Preset for some tones)
- On-board lesson function
- On-board Audio Recording: 16 multitrack MIDI recorder, USB Audio Recorder
- 200 Built-in Ensemble Rhythms 10 User Rhythms One Touch Preset
- 305 Built-in Presets Chord Progressions 50 User Presets Editing Parameters
- Registration memory for 96 setups
- Classroom Mode
- Wooden stand
- Sustain pedal
- Optional 3-pedal unit with soft, sostenuto, and damper pedals
- AC adaptor and music stand included
The CGP-700 is absolutely loaded with impressive features, and while it has a lot in common with the Privia PX360, the massively upgraded speakers here (more than twice the power) make the CGP700 the better choice for many.