Casio Privia PX 330 Keyboard

Casio have for many years been producing keyboards for what perhaps might best be described as the home entertainment market. However, with the advent of the Privia PX 330 this has clearly changed. The Privia is a full scale piano keyboard with an excellent weighted key action that also offers good dynamics and we were able to play with a light or heavy touch (and in between!) and in each case the instrument gave a good response. We weren’t however entirely happy with the ‘on board’ sound system, as we felt it didn’t necessarily bring out the best in the PX 330, so we conducted the whole test using an SR Jam 90 acoustic combo.

The panel sounds are very simple and straightforward with the usual array of grand modern, classic grand, electric, organ and the ubiquitous strings. But it is with the General Midi set of sounds that the PX 330 really comes alive. Add one of the options into the mix and you immediately release colour, depth and width into the sound with some extraordinary results – electric piano 2 sounds very much like an old Yamaha DX! Another particularly impressive voice was that of the ‘Rock Piano’. Needless to say, the PX 330 comes with its own rhythm section, where as always, the latin beats are the most evocative with some other less up tempo selections mixed in for good measure. But being Casio, there are plenty of other electronically driven devices that this sonic station has to offer. There is an option of putting strings with piano without the need to layer. But if you wish to layer sounds and adjust volumes this option is still available.

Although the PX 330 does have a keyboard split (the string bass sound being very good), there is a full range option, allowing the player to use the full keyboard as a piano. Other useful extensions to the modus operandi include a USB and an SD card port, together with a midi in/out and left/right outputs and inputs. However, the ‘string section’ was rather implausible. Neither were we completely convinced by the rather relaxed rotary on the Hammond sound. On the plus side, the vibe sound carried an excellent timbral impression and within the electric piano soundbox there was a very believable Wurli. (DG) For more go to www.casio.com

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