Today, we’ll be putting the Casio PX-560, which is by far the most technologically advanced keyboard in Casio’s Privia series, under close scrutiny to see how it fares.
Many pianists believe that its impossible to get a better digital piano than the PX-560BE at this price point. But do we agree?
Let’s get to the review and find out…
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 comes with fully weighted keys as well as built-in speakers. And at 26 pounds, we’ve got to say that Casio did a great job keeping this light and portable.
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.
The Casio PX-560BE comes in a blue finish; this gives the keyboard an interesting and eye-catching look. Especially when compared to the average, everyday black or sometimes white keyboards you see so often.
Now to its sturdiness…
Unfortunately, this isn’t a very sturdy unit at all. We know that there have to be some tradeoffs when it comes to portable keyboards. But, we regret to say that Casio has missed the mark here. They really didn’t do too well with the PX-560BE.
And it isn’t just the plastic body; it’s the control knobs and everything else as well. Just check out the knobs, especially for piano purists, they feel cheap and plasticky.
For us, this is a significant drawback, for a model that is not only, quite expensive but is supposed to be portable.
Now, here’s one place where the PX-560BE does excel. The control panel of the PX-560BE is lit! And comes with a 5.3-inch color touchscreen display. How cool is that?
This makes it a lot easier for you to access all the functions on your keyboard, whether you’re jamming live or recording in the studio, without any concerns.
All Casio Privia models come with the same action – the Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard.
As mentioned, this is an 88-key keyboard. And to simulate an action, close to that of an acoustic piano, Casio uses actual hammers, but little ones.
Now what exactly does the triple sensor do?
Well, the 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. Giving excellent sensitivity and making every note smoother.
Furthermore, because the action is graded, keys feel lighter on the right hand side than on the left side.
Again, as with all Casio keyboards, the keys on the PX-560BE are touch sensitive. So you can vary the volume of sound by varying the intensity with which you strike the keys.
And finally, Casio gives the player a wonderful playing experience by making the keytops from simulated ivory and ebony.
All keyboards in the Privia series share one sound source, and that is the AiR. This multi-dimensional, morphing sound source uses multi-layered sound samples for each of the 88 keys on the Casio PX-560BE.
What that all means is that Casio recorded every note on an actual grand piano, at different volumes, in order to ensure that this keyboard, comes with as close to as possible, the same sound and range.
Furthermore, the Casio PX-560BE comes with 650 built-in sounds. So you have loads of sounds to inspire you. In fact, in this respect, the Casio PX-560BE closely resembles a workstation or synth.
As for the piano tones, there are 20 of them, including Grand piano, Honky-Tonk, Rock Piano, etc. Each of them sounds beautiful. And with the inclusion of features like the acoustic simulator they sound even closer to the real thing.
You can use the effects included on the PX-560BEbe, to tweak your sound in any way you want. Of course, you’ll find the usuals like reverb, chorus and delay.
As well as these, it also features extensive Digital Signal Processing (DSP) effects such as a limiter, compressor, rotary, enhancer, tremolo, phaser, distortion, and others.
And on top of that, there’s a 4-band EQ. It allows you to adjust any sound in the four main frequencies – low, low mids, high mids, and highs.
And to apply your effects in real time, you also have the modulation and pitch bend wheel, which will come in very handy for the creative live performer.
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.
This feature isn’t a very common feature when talking about digital pianos. But the Casio PX-560BE isn’t an everyday piano. Therefore, it does feature an arpeggiator.
What does an arpeggiator do?
With an arpeggiator, the piano takes the notes you play and then repeats them to create a pattern similar to an arpeggio. Pretty cool, right?
So, say you play a chord for example. The arpeggiator will make the chord sound like you’re playing the notes in sequence. So, each note comes after another.
Now, there are various ways you can use an arpeggiator. It just depends on the kind of player you are. You can use it to arpeggiate your chords. Or 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
- Gig-friendly keyboard – 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.
- 650 built-n sounds.
- Loads of sound effects for customizing your sound.
- 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 when playing at very low volumes.
- 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. And, considering the many ways, that you can use the Casio PX-560BE, the price of this piano is understandable.
Should you go for this, considering the fact that there are cheaper pianos in the market?
Well, that’s up to you. But we can confidently state that you won’t get nearly as many features on its competitors, as you’ll find on the PX-560BE.
So, in all, this piano is well worth your time and investment. Just be careful when moving it around.
Read more review: Casio WK-660 Review