Today, we’ll be putting the Casio PX-560 under close scrutiny to see how it fares. In the entire Privia line as offered by Casio, the Casio PX-560 is by far the highest end keyboard. It is also the most technologically advanced keyboard in the Privia series.
Seeing as it was only released late 2015, the Casio PX-560BE is still a fairly new keyboard. But until recently, this keyboard wasn’t getting as much attention considering how awesome it is.
Anyway, since we’re here now… The most unique features offered by the Casio PX-560BE are its controller features as well as the way it beautifully simulates an actual acoustic piano.
You’ll hardly find a digital piano better than the PX-560BE at this price point. This piano is literally great for both home and onstage use!
But so we don’t get ahead of ourselves, let’s get into the main review for today.
Casio PX-560BE Specs
- 88 fully-weighted keys with Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II.
- Simulated ivory and ebony keytops.
- 3 inch color touchscreen display.
- Sound engine: Multi-Dimensional Morphing AiR Sound Source.
- Max polyphony: 256 notes.
- Built-in tones: 650, 100 Hex Layer tones.
- Acoustic Simulator: Damper Resonance, String Resonance, Linear Morphing, Key Off Stimulator, Hammer Response.
- Modes: Split, Duo (Duet Play), Dual.
- Sound Effects: 17 reverb types, 16 chorus types, 6 delay types, 20 DSP parameters, EQ (4-band).
- 16-track recorder.
- 220 accompaniment patterns.
- 305 music presets.
- Arpeggiator, Tranpose, Metronome, Octave shift, and Fine-tuning functions.
- 2 speakers: 8W + 8W.
- Connectivity: 2 headphones jack, MIDI In/Out, USB to Device, USB to Host, Line In, Line Out, Sustain pedal jack, Audio In, Assignable pedal jack.
- Dimensions: 52 x 11.5 x 5.7 inches.
- Weight: 26.5 pounds.
Features Of The Casio PX-560BE
As you can see, this piano belongs to the Privia series which means that it is a portable keyboard. However, it does come with fully weighted keys and it also comes with built-in speakers as well. And at 26 pounds, we’ve got to say that Casio did a bang up job keeping this so lightweight.
Besides its light weight, this keyboard is also pretty compact measuring at approximately 52 inches in width, 5.7 inches in height and 11.5 inches in depth. This makes the keyboard easy to transport and suitable for almost any space at all – small or large.
The Casio PX-560BE comes in a blue finish. So, there’s a bit of blue matte as well as blue plastic. And when you look at the keyboard, it looks pretty interesting and eye-catching. And especially when you compare this to your everyday black (sometimes white) keyboard, the PX-560BE stands out aesthetically.
Now to its sturdiness… This isn’t a very sturdy unit at all. Well, you should, by now, come to expect some level of tradeoffs when it comes to portable keyboards. Manufacturers are often in a tight spot trying to create the perfect portable keyboard that’s still sturdy enough to be carried around without fear.
This is one of those occasions where they didn’t do too well.
And it isn’t just the plastic body, it’s the control knobs and other stuff as well. If you check out the knobs, especially for piano purists, you’ll find that they feel a little cheap and somewhat plasticky.
And for us, this is a significant drawback for a model that you’re supposed to carry around a lot.
Now, here’s one place where the PX-560BE boasts its greatest strength. The control panel of the PX-560BE is lit! Especially because it comes with a 5.3 inch color touchscreen display. How cool is that?!
With this display, it becomes a lot easier for you to access all the functions on your keyboard without stress. Whether you’re jamming live or you’re recording in your studio, this is one feature that can sure save you a lot of stress.
All Casio Privia models come with the same action – the Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard. This fact never changes whatever the price point, as long as the model in question belongs to the Privia series.
Anyway, like you saw in the specs, this is an 88-key keyboard. And to simulate an action close to that of an acoustic piano, Casio uses actual hammers, little ones though, in the keyboard.
Now what exactly does the triple sensor do? Well first of all, hand it to Casio. A triple sensor technology is mostly found on pianos above the $1500 price point. To find it on a sub-$1000 piano is a pretty big deal.
Now, this triple sensor technology is as simple as it sounds. There are three sensors for each key and they sequentially detect every stroke of the key. But what does this automatically translate to for you, the player?
Well, this means that you’ll be able to achieve series of note repetitions which ultimately give your pieces more thrills.
Furthermore, because the action is graded, keys feel lighter on the right hand side than on the left side.
Again, as with all Casio keys, the keys on the PX-560BE come with touch sensitive keys. So you can vary the volume of sound you get from your keyboard by varying the intensity with which you strike the keys.
And lastly on the keys, Casio gives the player a most blissful playing experience by making the keytops of this keyboard of simulated ivory and ebony.
Again, all keyboards in the Privia series share one sound source and that is the AiR. This multi-dimensional morphing AiR sound source uses multi-layered sound samples for each of the 88 keys on the Casio PX-560BE.
And by that, we mean that Casio took the pains to record a grand piano at every note and at different volumes in order to ensure that this keyboard comes with a very wide range. Just like an actual grand piano.
Furthermore, the Casio PX-560BE comes with 650 built-in sounds. So you have loads of sounds to inspire you right here. In fact, in this respect, the Casio PX-560BE closely resembles a workstation or a synth.
As for the piano tones, there are 20 of them in all which include Grand piano, Honky-Tonk, Rock Piano, etc. Each of these tones sounds beautiful. And with the inclusion of features like the acoustic simulator they sound even much closer to the real thing.
You’ll be able to tweak and adjust your sound the way you want with all the effects you have on the PX-560BE. Of course, you’ll find the usuals like reverb, chorus and delay. But in addition to these common ones, you’ll also find the DSP, otherwise called the Digital Signal Processing in full, the Master EQ, as well as the pitch bend and modulation wheel.
The DSP is like a body of effects which includes other parameters like the limiter, compressor, rotary, enhancer, tremolo, phaser, distortion, and others.
And if you still want more, the 4-band EQ is there for you. It allows you adjust frequencies at 4 bands, namely: high, low, and mid1 and md2.
And to apply your effects real time, you also have the modulation and pitch bend wheel. They will surely come in handy for the live performer who likes to get creative on stage.
The max polyphony on the Casio PX-560BE is 256 notes. For a digital piano, this is about the highest polyphony you can get. And with it, there’s no limit to the complexity of pieces you can play on this piano.
In fact, besides this 256-note polyphony, only few other models like those from Roland attempt to feature a 384 polyphony.
This feature isn’t a very common feature when talking about digital pianos. So wherever you find it, you best acknowledge it. However, because the Casio PX-560BE isn’t an everyday piano, it features an arpeggiator.
What does an arpeggiator do?
With an arpeggiator, the piano takes the note you play and then repeats them such that it creates a pattern similar to an arpeggio. Pretty cool, right?
So, say you want to play a chord for example. The arpeggiator will make the chord sound like you’re playing all the notes in a sequence. So, they sound one after the other.
Now, there are various ways you can use an arpeggiator. It just depends on the kind of player you are. You can use the arpeggiator to arpeggiate your chords. Or you can also use it to create different percussion patterns or arpeggio effects.
What’s In The Box?
- The 88-key Casio PX-560BE.
- 1 Music Stand.
- Casio SP3 sustain pedal.
- AC power adapter.
- An owner’s manual.
Pros Of Casio PX-560BE
- This is a gig-friendly keyboard since it’s compact, lightweight and portable.
- Keys feature realistic tri-sensor hammer action II.
- Simulated ivory and ebony keytops.
- 3 inch color touchscreen display.
- Fantastic sound engine – AiR sound source.
- 650 built-n sounds.
- Loads of sound effects for customizing your sound.
- Features an arpeggiator and numerous accompaniment styles.
- 16-track MIDI recorder.
- Great connectivity options.
Cons Of Casio PX-560BE
- Build feels cheap and fragile.
- The keys of this keyboard are a bit noisy. Although, you’ll only notice that when you’re playing at a very low volume level.
- No Bluetooth connectivity.
The Casio PX-560BE is a versatile model and it will perform well in any setting whether it’s live or in the studio. So, considering all the many ways you can use the Casio PX-560BE, the price of this piano is pretty understandable.
Should you go for this considering the fact that there are cheaper pianos in the market? Well, it’s up to you. But we can confidently tell you that you won’t get nearly as many features from them as you will find on the PX-560BE.
So, in all, this piano will be worth your time and investment.