Casio PX-160 Review

Casio Privia PX-160, the successor to the popular PX-150, utilizes Casio’s famous AiR Sound Source and its remarkable Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II keyboard. The PX-160 continues to deliver world-class features and style at the most competitive price.

Key Features

The Piano

The “AiR” (Acoustic and intelligent Resonator) is Casio’s proprietary sound source. It provides the grand piano sounds in the PX-160. Casio accurately recorded the sound of a 9-foot concert grand at 4 dynamic levels. The AiR engine of PX-360 delivers this sound with seamless dynamics for an extraordinarily expressive and impressive performance. Damper Resonance is simulated by AiR for exceptional realism when the damper pedal is used.

Key Action

The PX-160 promotes Casio’s famous Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II keyboard. This action shows new simulated Ebony and Ivory textured keys for an incredible feel and its three sensors capture the dynamics of a performance with unparalleled speed and accuracy. Casio’s proprietary Hammer Response feature considers the speed at which different sized hammers move inside an acoustic grand piano respective to the velocity the keys are played. This timing nuance gives the key-to-sound experience that is unmatched by the standard actions of other brands.

This digital piano has an 88-key fully weighted keyboard with the keys having the same size as regular piano keys. Its Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II makes sure that you get a very realistic response of the keys and dynamic range from pianissimo to the loudest fortissimo with all gradations between.

Semi-weighted keyboards use springs to add weight to the keys, but the PX-160 has fully-weighted keys and uses actual hammers which stimulate the response of the hammer striking the strings. That is the reason behind the realistic and an acoustic piano feels of PX-160.

The Ebony and Ivory feel of this instrument gives you an excellent grip and prevents fingers from slipping off the keys when they become moist.

The keyboard of PX-160 is velocity-sensitive. As the hammers strike the strings affect the sound volume on an acoustic piano, this digital keyboards’ triple sensor system detects the velocity of each key press, changing the volume and timbre accordingly. The faster you play, the louder the sound.

Grand Sound System

The redesigned chassis provides a more elegant look and can accommodate a new 8w x 8w speaker system. It delivers the PX-160’s remarkable sounds with the richness that they deserve. The PX-160’s speaker system is open to the front and is also ported to the back. This feature provides a remarkable sound when placed against the wall. This also gives convenience when used in a classroom or any accommodation where the sound will be projected towards the audience. This instrument is far superior to brands whose speaker system are aimed mostly downward.

New Sounds

The PX-160 has newly developed string ensemble sounds. These rich stereo strings sound wonderful by themselves. They also sound better when layered with the PX-160’s grand pianos, electric pianos, harpsichord and more. There is an update on the electric pianos providing some dynamic sounds derived from Casio’s award-winning PX-5S stage piano. The PX-160 delivers split and layer capability allowing you to play bass in your left hand and at the same time have two layered tones in your right. The Duo or Duet Mode allows the keyboard to be split into two equal and identical parts or ranges, so the student and teacher can use the piano simultaneously. The duet mode is very useful when learning as a beginner.

This digital piano also has Layer Mode wherein you can play not only 18 different instrument sounds but also allows you to layer two different sounds so that they sound at the same time.

There is some significant improvement in the PX-160 Casio’s well-known Multi-Dimensional Morphing AiR Sound Source. First, there is an increase in the memory capacity that stores sampled sounds. This allows you to hear even small nuances of the grand piano sound due to the higher-quality samples. Second is that the Morphing AiR Sound Source uses lossless audio compression, reproducing the sound without distortion unlike lossy formats like MP3, AAC etc.

Get Connected

If you want some quiet listening, the PX-160 digital piano now has two headphone outputs which are located on the front of the instrument. And for those who are performing with other amplification, the digital piano also features 1/4″ left and right line outputs on the rear panel. This digital piano continues Casio’s tradition of providing “class compliant” USB connectivity on Privia digital pianos. With this feature, the PX-160 to be used with Mac or Windows computers without the need for downloading drivers. The PX-160 can be used as a controller with the Apple iPad simply with the use of Apple’s Camera Connection Kit because of the Class Compliant USB MIDI.

Located on the front of the PX-160, you will find two headphone mini-jacks; the 1/8″ or 3.5mm. You can plug in two pairs of headphones simultaneously, which is very useful when playing in duet.

The line out jack can be used to connect the piano to several external devices like external amplifiers, PA systems, mixers, etc. In bigger performances, for example, you’ll most probably need an external amplifier for boosting the sound volume.

Meanwhile, the sustain pedal jack is used to plug in the supplied SP-3 pedal or any other sustain pedal with ¼” plug. A presence of pedal connector on the bottom of the PX-160 is used to connect the instrument to optionally available 3- pedal unit (Casio SP-33).

Design

The Casio Privia PX-160 is compact and lightweight. It has 88 hammer-action keys and weighs only 25.5 lbs. The width of the instrument is 52.0 inches, a quite standard for full range pianos. Known as one of the slimmest 88-key digital pianos, the PX-160 is only 11.5 inches deep.

The PX-160 has an optional CS-67 stand that puts the instrument at the proper height and also it has the optional SP-33 pedal system that provides the same 3 pedal functionality as a grand piano.

The build quality of this digital piano is great, although the piano is made entirely of plastic.

The plastic casing of the PX-160 may not carry very well during transportations. It is advisable to buy a padded bag to prevent the keyboard from damage if you plan to transport the piano often.

Built-in Songs

The Casio PX-160 has 60 built-in songs which you can play back in a sequence (1st to 60th) or choose a particular song to play. You can also play along with the songs aside from playing the song back. You can playback tempo and practice to play both piano sides separately.

Aside from the 60 built-in songs, the Music library allows you to load up to 10 User Songs into the instrument.

You can download songs on the website into the MIDI for free and then transfer them to the piano using the USB connection.

Recording and Playback

The PX-160 digital piano has a two-track recorder feature. You can record and playback your practice and performances. This instrument is capable of multi-track MIDI recording of any of your performances. The recording is composed of two tracks wherein once you have recorded the first track, you can play it back while recording the other one.

After you have recorded the two tracks in the piano, you can play them back together or turn off one of the tracks to practice that part. To avoid the loss of your recording, it is important that you transfer the recorded song to your computer and then copy it back to the instrument when you need it.

With this, you can record as many songs as you want.

Transpose, Tuning and Octave Shift

 The piano gives various functions to adjust the pitch of the keyboard to match another instrument or vocalist, facilitate playing song written in a “difficult” key, and more.

It has a transpose function that allows you to raise or lower the pitch of the entire keyboard in semitone steps.

With this function, you can play a song in a different key without actually learning how to play it in a new key.

Meanwhile, the octave shift feature changes the pitch of the keyboard in octave units.

It’s also possible to fine-tune the pitch of the PX-160 digital piano using the fine-tuning function. You can change the pitch of the entire keyboard in 0.1Hz steps from the standard pitch of A4 key which is 440Hz.

The PX-160 digital piano allows you to change its standard “Equal Temperament” tuning to one of 16 different temperaments better suited for playing certain styles of music.

Casio PX-160 Specifications

  • 88-key fully-weighted keyboard with simulated Ivory and Ebony keytops
  • Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II
  • 3 Types of Touch Sensitivity
  • Multi-Dimensional Morphing Air Sound Source
  • 128-Note Polyphony
  • 18 instrument sounds
  • 60 preset piano songs
  • Split (Low-range bass tone only), Dual, Duo
  • Ability to practice each hand’s part separately
  • 2-track MIDI recorder
  • Metronome, Transpose, Fine-Tuning, Octave Shift
  • 17 Types of Temperament
  • 8W x 8W speakers
  • USB to Host, 2 Headphone jacks, Line Out, Sustain Jack
  • 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • STAND. The PX-160 doesn’t come with a stand. You have to purchase the stand separately. The piano is compact enough to put on a desk or a table, however, it is inconvenient. So, you would probably want to have a dedicated stand for the instrument. Casio sells the CS-67P furniture-style stand designed for the Casio PX-160 and some other models from Privia line. The CS-67P is sturdy and would be a great choice if you want your keyboard to be stationary and still. The overall weight of the keyboard and the stand weighs 46 lbs.
  • SUSTAIN PEDAL. The PX-160 piano comes with the Casio SP-3 sustain pedal.  The look and feel of this plastic footswitch are not what you’d expect from a real piano pedal. The M-Audio SP-2 is a classic example of a piano-style chrome pedal with an authentic feel, durable construction and affordable. Another option would be purchasing the Pro Bundle. It includes not only the Casio CS-67Ps stand but also the Casio SP33 triple pedal board. The SP33 board can also be bought separately.
  • CASE. As mentioned earlier, the PX-160 digital piano is compact and light enough to take it out to gigs and on trips. But, the plastic casing of the PX-160 may be damaged during often transportations. Casio has the PrivCase Privia case, which fits the PX-160 perfectly and the price is affordable.
  • HEADPHONES. Headphones come in very handy when you want to practice privately, focusing solely on your playing and not disturbing some people around you.

Advantages:

  • Portable
  • 18 high-quality sounds including 5 pianos
  • 128-note polyphony
  • Improved 16W speakers
  • Built-in 2-track recorder
  • 60 built-in songs to listen and practice
  • Lesson Function

Disadvantages

  • Noisier key action than that of the competitors
  • No display
  • Flimsy sustain pedal

4 DIGITAL PIANO COMPARISONS WITH CASIO PRIVIA PX-160

CASIO PX-770

  • PX-770 is from the new X70 Privia generation and comes with some new improvements that are not available in PX-160.
  • It has an upgraded piano tone, hammer response feature, and an additional tone.
  • It comes with an integral stand and three piano pedals, which means that you don’t need to buy them separately as in the case of the PX-160.
  • The PX-770 sounds deeper and more resonant than the PX-160 even though the keyboards share the same 2 x 12cm speakers.
  • It has an amazing feature known as Concert Play.

YAMAHA P-45

  • It is the most affordable digital piano in the Yamaha Portable line.
  • The Yamaha P-45 lacks onboard MIDI recorder and Split Mode.
  • It has 64 polyphony and 10 built-in sounds compared to the 128 notes of polyphony and 18 built-in sounds on the PX-160.

YAMAHA P-115

  • It is the middle model between the P45 and P225 in Yamaha’s Portable line.
  • It has a Pure CF Sound Engine and 192-note polyphony that provides a very realistic and natural Grand Piano sound.
  • It sounds more realistic and clearer compared to PX-160.
  • The Yamaha P-115 piano shares the Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) keyboard action.
  • GHS tends to be less noisy than Casio’s action.
  • It has a 2-track MIDI recorder, Dual mode, Duo Mode and Split Mode, Transpose function and 50mpre-set songs.

KORG B1

  • It is the Korg’s entry-level digital piano with a sleek design and a bare minimum of features.
  • It is equipped with the NH (Natural Weighted Hammer) keyboard action.
  • It has a PCM stereo sampling technology and enhanced by powerful 18W speakers with Motional Feedback technology.
  • B1 has a straightforward keyboard with only 8 built-in sounds and a basic set of features.

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