Written by Alex Eardley-Scott, Lincoln Musicroom
If your store manager (a grade eight multi-instrumentalist) can’t stop playing an affordably priced keyboard, you know Casio are doing something right. We pried him from the keys and I had a closer look at what he was talking about. As somebody who plays piano like a cat being dropped on the strings of a pub’s upright, I thought it would be difficult to provide my own insight on the range. What Casio have managed to accomplish here is so remarkable that anybody, regardless of ability or musicality will be able to see what a fabulous instrument it is.
Upon playing even the lowest model in the range, the CT-X3000, the first thing you will notice is that the sound it can produce is phenomenal. This is partly due to a set of 4 newly designed ‘large-magnet bass reflect’ speakers. These speakers provide full and responsive sound at any volume, making them ideal for home use and even suitable for live situations under their power. Should the output not fulfil what you need to perform, or at the other end of the scale you’re worried you’ll annoy the neighbours, then there is an external output which suitable for headphones too. A lot of keyboards either have a pair of speakers or a set of four (as this series does), but the CT-X series has got the best out of them.
What really makes this keyboard one of the best on the market right now is the new AiX Sound Source and its internal samples. AiX or Acoustic Intelligent multi-expression certainly takes its name seriously. Combined with its updated Digital Signal Processor (DSP), this keyboard allows you access to multiple variants of the same sample with its touch sensitive keys. As any musician will know, dynamics and accenting are a huge part of what defines an instrument as well as your own style. Faithfully replicating strings, guitars, woodwind, brass, keys and drums is no easy task but Casio have nailed it.
Which model you buy really depends on what you’re looking for the keyboard to do. If you are somebody who just wants an instrument that sounds great with great recording and playback capabilities (USB and WAV), phrase recall, expandable tones and rhythms as well as the ability to run it on batteries then the CT-X3000 is the one for you. However, if you like the option of more tones and rhythms, a greater range of readily accessible controls to keep everything at your fingertips, higher wattage sound system, mic input and lit controls, then the CT-X5000 or CT-X7000 will be just what you need.
The range of CT-X keyboards have put a lion amongst the pigeons, let alone a cat. Compared to the equivalent products from other brands it is hard to fault its sound quality and just how much it can offer at their various price points. When Casio say, ‘It needs to be tried to be believed’, they aren’t wrong.