Casio Privia PX-870 Review

casio px-870
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Casio is a Japanese company that produces quality musical instruments along with watches, calculators, digital cameras among other digital devices. It is a late-comer compared to Yamaha and Kawai, also renowned digital piano manufacutres from Japan and Casio does not have acoustic pianos unlike those companies mentioned earlier.

However, Casio produces a wide range of digital pianos from the highest product, GP-500, an upright digital piano, from its Celviano line, being priced at $6,000 MSRP to an entry level digital piano, PX-160, priced around $500.

This Privia PX-870 model,  a succession model of  Privia PX-860, which was one of the best-selling digital pianos in the digital piano market, is now the flagship model of Casio's Privia Series of digital pianos.

If you are looking for an affordable digital piano that you can use to practice piano at night or for your performance, Casio Privia PX-870 Digital Piano  is definitely a good choice. 


Casio Privia PX-870 Digital Piano 

  • 32 black keys and 52 white keys for a grand total of 88 keys with ebony and ivory textured for a more acoustic piano experience
  • Touch response with 3 sensitivity levels
  • 4 levels of hammer response, string resonance, and damper resonance.
  • 4 levels of grand piano lid simulator.
  • Key-off simulator
  • Multi-dementional Morphing AiR (Acoustic and Intelligent Resonator) sound source
  • 256 polyphony notes and 19 instrument tones
  • Duet / Layer mode
  • USB to Host
  • USB to Device
  • 2-way, 4-speaker system
  • 20 watt + 20 watt amplifier

Sound

The most impressive upgrade from PX-860 is in the sound of PX-870. Casio's renowned AiR sound source includes a new four-layer stereo grand piano.

Multi-dimensional Morphing AiR sound source achieved in generating very rich, deep sound according to how you play the piano through detailed control of sound from pianissimo to fortissimo. With damper resonance and string resonance that creates sympathetic harmonic effects between vibrating strings, more realistic sound is generated. 

What is string resonance? In an acoustic piano, there are physical strings and those strings vibrate when the corresponding keys are pressed. When a string vibrates, it creates resonance between neighboring strings, which creates deeper sound. In a digital piano, there is no physical strings, which means playing one key does not impact any other sound. String resonance is to simulate this effect on an acoustic piano and regenerate the effect on a digital piano.

String resonance would be definitely make your performance of songs that keep string resonance in mind, such as Debussy or Ravel.  

Damper resonance is the effect on an acoustic piano when a damper pedal is used. When the damper pedal is stepped on, the note that is played while the pedal is stepped on keeps sounding. In other words, the felts to the strings are lifted when the pedal is used. This effect is simulated on digital pianos. 

On an acoustic piano, since the pedal is physically lifting the felts off the strings, you can step on the pedal halfway or just a little bit or full or any way you want. In digital pianos, that is not possible because everything is usually "on" and "off." With Privia PX-870, this effect can be controlled in four levels. 

There is a slit on the top panel of the piano with PX-870, which makes it possible for the sound to be released instead of being kept inside the console. It recreates the similar effect of a grand piano. 

PX-870 has a lid simulator function where the sound of a grand piano with the lid being closed, opened, half-way opened, and removed are all simulated. The function can control how you want to play your piano with your lid closed or opened or halfway.

The key-off simulator that is available with PX-870 is to create sounds depending on how fast you release the keys. When you release the keys quickly, the reverberation is shorter while the sounds stay longer if you release the keys slowly. This effect of an acoustic piano can be recreated in the PX-870 model.

The PX-870 features a variety of 19 instrument tones and you can of course layer and split the keyboard in half where one instrument can sound on one side while you play the piano sound on the other side.

The polyphony of the PX-870 is impressive 256. Even a complicated piece of music can be played on this piano without dropping sound. 

Sound System

Another upgrade is a new sound projection system. Privia PX-870 comes with 40-watt, 4 speakers with the Volume Sync EQ generates a more balanced, clearer sound in any frequency.  

Headphone Mode

Another improvement worthy of note from PX-860 is that you can connect two sets of headphones using the ¼" jacks on the front panel. For example, you and your teacher or co-player can use headphones individually to practice together. 

Other Features

60 songs are included in the built-in Music Library. Additionally, there is room for you to add 10 more songs.

Concert Play function built in with PX-870 lets you play along with recordings from famous orchestral pieces.  Two tracks of MIDI recording capability is available. It means you can record your performances on the memory of the digital piano. Alternately, you can use your own USB drive inserted into the port. In that case, you have an option of recording your performance in .wav format as well. 

PX-870 has a USB to Host capability so that you can connect the digital piano to any computer. 

Design

The PX-870 has a sleek, modern design that can be complimentary to any room with either black or white finish. The depth is only 11.77", it can fit in a small space at home. The sliding key cover is a plus as it can keep dust off the keyboard while adding beauty to the room as a piece of furniture. The controls are all placed at the left side of the piano, which provides easy access and minimizes distraction while playing. 

Comes with 1 year of warranty.

Pros

Cons

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    88 keys with graded hammer action
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    Ebony and ivory feel keys
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    Improved grand piano sound
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    256 polyphony
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    19 high quality tones
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    USB to Host, USB to Devivce
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    MIDI capabilities
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    Real time recording in .wav format
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    Improved speaker system
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    Headphone mode
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    Built-in 3 pedals
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    Not portable
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    No display
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