Casio are back once again with a new addition to the very popular Privia series of digital pianos.
Casio’s Privia series has been around since 2003 and they are lauded for being amongst the most affordable digital pianos in the market.
This review will cover the new Casio PX-770 and will touch on the sound quality of the instrument, the playability and our overall impression of this new, and quite frankly, impressive product from the Casio team.
- The AiR engine provides highly-accurate grand piano sounds with seamless dynamics for a remarkably expressive and powerful performance
- The Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II keyboard has an incredible feel and captures the dynamics of a performance with unparalleled speed and accuracy
- Includes a powerful stereo amplification system offering an optimal listening experience that is crystal-clear across the entire audio spectrum
- Duet Mode splits the piano into two equal pitch ranges, allowing a student and teacher to sit at the same instrument
- Concert Play allows you to play along with ten recordings of well-known orchestral pieces
The Casio PX-770 features a modern and elegant design and it can be easily argued that the design on this model is a step up from its predecessor, the PX-760.
The PX-770 is available in three different colour finishes: black, white and brown. This gives one the option to pick a finish that perfectly suits their preference.
Assembling the cabinet is relatively straightforward and one only requires a screwdriver and some assistance so as not to drop the digital keyboard, but assembling it alone is very much do-able and takes no more than half-an-hour at the most.
The Casio PX-770 is incredibly light! The piano weighs a remarkable 69.4 lbs (31.5 kgs) when it is fully assembled thus meaning it can very easily be moved to a different location without much strain or effort. However, due to the delicate nature of digital pianos, utmost care should be taken when relocating the PX-770 so that it is not damaged.
The light-weight nature of the keyboard could be attributed to the size of the actual device.
The piano measures at 57 inches wide, 31.4 inches tall and an astounding 11.7 inches deep. This means the piano itself is quite slim. If room is a concern when buying a digital piano, the Casio PX-770 is a very accommodating device towards smaller spaces.
Additionally, it is worth taking into account that due to the cabinet design, the PX-770 provides a deeper sound. The cabinet, in combination with the in-built speakers, provides a rich and stunning resonant sound when played.
Another noteworthy feature of the design is the triple pedal board. These three mimic the sustain, soft, and sostenuto pedals found on an acoustic piano and it brings you that much closer to feeling as if you are truly using one. Ultimately, this saves you money as you do not have to purchase separate pedals, another massive advantage of this versatile digital piano.
The sliding cover ensures that the keyboard remains free from dust.
The control elements have been moved to the left-hand side of the keyboard. Personally, this is a welcomed change as the re-design gives the PX-770 a much slicker, and tidier, appearance.
The Casio PX-770 features an 88-key fully-weighted keyboard with simulated Ivory & Ebony keytops. From a musician’s perspective, the textured keys provide a very comfortable and realistic feel when being played and this allows for speed and precision. However, it is still a digital piano and seasoned piano players will be able to feel a slight difference, but this does not hinder playability in any way.
The realistic feel of the keyboard can be attributed to the Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard II; the keys are weighted by actual hammers, as opposed to the use of springs. As a result, the set-up mimics the features of an acoustic piano whereby the lower register keys are heavier and progressively get lighter when you go up the keyboard. The Graded Hammer Action is undoubtedly what provides this keyboard with a realistic feel.
The triple sensor detection system of the PX-770 detects touches on the keys in a sequential manner. What this means is that it affords musicians the ability to play faster and allows for greater repetition of notes. This is especially noticeable when playing arpeggios or making rapid hand movements across the keys.
Furthermore, the triple-sensor system means that the loudness of each note depends on the velocity of which the key is being pressed i.e. volume changes based on how hard or gentle you play the piano. This provides greater dynamic range for the musician and it truly brings compositions and performances to life.
This tri-sensor system can however be switched off so that all the notes provide the same amount of volume regardless of the velocity.
Casio’s Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard II provides almost unmatched quality in regard to how realistic the keys on the PX-770 feel. For its retail price it truly is a steal and it is difficult to find any other keyboard in the market that can compete with the Casio PX-770.
Casio appear to have worked on their sounds on the PX-770 as compared to previous models, a welcomed improvement that could be attributed to Casio’s use of lossless audio technology. This essentially means that the digital keyboard has the ability to re-create the sound of a grand piano, without compromising the quality of the sounds.
The PX-770 also features reverb and chorus effects. The latter allows the user to make the sound richer and fuller and the reverb effect re-creates the acoustics of a variety of rooms of varying sizes. These two built-in effects give way to creating beautiful sounds while tailoring them to your specific tastes.
As previously mentioned, the Casio PX-770 provides a rich and resonant sound when played on thanks to the cabinet. The natural decay on each note provides for an authentic sound as if you would be playing an acoustic piano.
The PX-770 features 128-note polyphony. While some digital pianos have 192-note polyphony, it’s worth noting that most people won’t need more than this. Seeing as you can only record two tracks a time, the 128-note polyphony on the PX-770 is more than adequate to deliver and cater to all your needs and requirements.
The Casio PX-770 has two in-built speakers, as mentioned earlier. These are 4.72 inches each, and they are powered by two 8W amplifiers. As a result, the PX-770 is not as loud as an acoustic piano. It nevertheless has the capability to carry its own weight during small performances.
The Casio PX-770 comes in-built with the option of two multipurpose modes; Dual Mode and Split Mode.
Both of these modes are simple and straightforward to use. Despite the simplicity, make no mistake of the versatility provided by each mode as they provide they used with a plethora of options lacking from most digital pianos.
The Dual Mode essentially allows for the player to layer two different sounds simultaneously. By layering separate sounds together, this allows for the musician to create new and interesting compositions while playing. As such, the PX-770 is a dream for any composers due to this simple yet brilliant feature.
The Split Mode, also referred to as Duet Mode, feature is as straightforward as its name suggests. This mode allows for the piano to be split into two identical halves. This is perfect for two players to play alongside each other. Furthermore, this feature will be of particular interest to those who teach as it allows for an imitation of the teacher-student scenario without needing another piano.
Whether you’re a family of musicians, a teacher or just a seasoned veteran, these varying modes give you incredible room to experiment, collaborate and create stunning pieces of music. A brilliant feature that opens one up to a world of new possibilities.
Also, worth noting is the Concert Play feature. This is a nifty element of the Casio PX-770's versatility as it allows the user to play alongside live recordings of 10 recorded orchestra songs. This compensates for the lack of an accompaniment feature and it could be argued that the Concert Play is an even better function.
Transpose and Fine Tuning
In the modern day of music and piano playing, it has become and industry standard to include a transpose feature on the piano, regardless of the make, price or model. The Casio PX-770 continues this tradition as it includes a transpose function.
Transposing simply means shifting the pitch of the piano in semi-tone steps. Therefore, one can play a song in a different key without themselves having to manually move up-and-down the keyboard.
Being able to shift octaves is not a revolutionary function, but it is nevertheless a useful tool and indeed plays a role in the overall playability and ease of use of the Casio PX-770. The simplicity of the pitch-shifting function makes this a true plug-and-play instrument.
The PX-770 also features a tuning function which provides the player with the ability to adjust the general pitch of the piano. The standard tuning is 440 Hz and the tuner allows the player to adjust this in 0.1 Hz steps. This function allows for the player to accurately match the pitch of another song or instrument so that they may play along.
Again, the fine-tuning option is not a revolutionary or ground-breaking feature, but it is an essential component of any good digital piano.
Recording and Playback
The Casio PX-770 adequately addresses the needs of the modern day piano player due to the recording and playback functions of this model.
The PX-770 comes with MIDI Recording functionality and allows for the player to record 2-tracks which can be played simultaneously so as to create a song. This feature paves the way for the player to compose multi-instrument songs of varying complexities and textures.
In the modern day, the MIDI function is essentially for most, if not all, musicians as it allows for greater flexibility in creating melodies and new intricate riffs.
The MIDI recording functionality is a brilliant asset however, the piano does not feature audio recording functions and as such you cannot record the actual sound of the piano.
Inclusion of in-built metronomes in digital pianos as become a standard practice for manufacturers of digital pianos. Simply put, a metronome allows you to keep count and stay in rhythm by providing a basic click-track for the player to follow.
The Casio PX-770 includes this feature and there is no need of purchasing an external metronome device. This simple feature further bolsters the ease-of-use of the keyboard as the metronome option is accessible by way of a simple dedicated button.
The Casio PX-770 allows the player to use the piano in conjunction with a variety of external devices thanks to its very versatile connectivity options.
The PX-770 features two ¼” jack input features. This provides the player with the option of practicing in silence as they can practice with headphones. This is particular handy for the night-owl musician (and let’s face it, inspiration can strike at any time so massive shout-out to Casio)
Furthermore, the two audio jacks mean up to two headphones can be connected and used simultaneously. This may come in extremely handy when using the Split Mode function as both played can play and hear the piano without having to employ the use of headphone splitters. This is advantageous as it saves on buying further external accessories.
The jacks also allow for the PX-770 to be connected to amplifier systems for greater sound enhancement. Given that the speakers on the PX-770 are not quite as powerful, the audio jacks can allow the piano to be amplified with the same loudness as an acoustic piano.
Included on the piano is also a class compliant USB type B port that easily allows the user to connect the keyboard to their laptop regardless of the operating system i.e. whether you use Mac, PC, Android or iOS devices the PX-770 allows you to connect to any of these in seamless and straightforward manner.
For producers, MIDI outputs are essential, and Casio does not disappoint in this department. For regular musicians, whether seasoned or learning, this function allows them to easily save their recordings to their devices. The main advantage of this is that it allows for the sharing of songs and ideas very easily. It also serves a quick back-up of new ideas and melodies.
Furthermore, the Casio PX-770 does not require you install any device drivers. This is particularly useful for players and musicians that are not conversant with the various drivers recorded for digital instruments. This feature once again highlights the plug-and-play brilliance of the PX-770.
As mentioned earlier, the Casio PX-770 comes with three in built pedals that cover sustain, sostenuto and soft. The in-built design of these three pedals saves any potential buyer a decent amount of money as they do not have to purchase any external pedals.
While external pedal boards are easily available for purchase, it is worth acknowledging that buying one would set you back at least $160. Previous Privia models such as the P115 did not include the pedal board and as such Casio have delivered a cost-effective product.
The main highlight of the pedals is that they mimic the exact same functions as those found on acoustic pianos. This brings you that much closer to feeling as though you are using an acoustic piano, without having to spend nearly as much money.
As mentioned in the design breakdown, the Casio PX-770 comes with its own easy to assemble music stand with a beautiful cabinet for richer and deeper sound. This further saves on the expense of having to purchase a piano stand, and the sleek design of the PX-770 stand ensures that it accentuates whichever room it is placed in due to its stunning design and finish.
As mentioned, the Casio PX-770 comes in three beautiful finishes. This is accompanied by a siding cover for the keyboard keeping it free from dust or any unwanted spillages that may ultimately damage the keyboard.
While a decent case is a no-brainer, the one can rest assured that the Casio team have thought through their design and their setup to provide beauty and functionality within the same digital piano.
The Casio PX-770 does not come included with headphones. However, this is hardly a deal breaker as most manufacturers do not include headphones while selling their digital keyboards. It is worth noting that some retailers may sell headphones as part of a bundle alongside the digital piano itself.
The PX-770 allows for up to two headphones to be connected side-by-side without having to make use of splitters. This is a great advantage as splitters have sometimes been known to degrade sound quality and create an uncomfortable playing experience for the player.
For its price, the Casio Casio PX-770 is a strong contender for ‘best digital piano’ within its price range. However, there are several alternatives on the market that can be looked at.
Casio PX-780 (full review)
For an additional $200, the Casio PX-780 is another cabinet style digital piano that may be worth a look at. Although slightly pricier, it includes more functions such as a pitch bend wheel and an outstanding 250 tones. This completely blows the PX-770 out of the water as it only contains 19 tones.
However, the PX-780M has the exact same keyboard as the PX-770 therefore there would be no difference in the feel of the keys (every Casio digital piano under $2000 has the same Tri-Sensor Hammer Action Keyboard II
Casio PX-160 (full review)
This particular model retails at $500, making it about $200 cheaper than the Casio PX-770 and it is very similar to the PX-770 in terms of the keyboard and a majority of the functions. Although the PX-160 has fewer instrument sounds (18), it is a good option for anyone with a budget of $500. This model does not feature a stand or cabinet therefore it’s easier to move around.
However, the PX-160 does not include a stand. In terms of pedals, it comes with a sustain pedal that feels very amateur and clunky. Ultimately, one would replace this with a pedal that feels truer to that of an acoustic piano. As such, any money saved will ultimately go into purchasing these items. The Casio PX-770 beats the PX-160 as you do not have to outlay any more money.