We are super excited to be reviewing the Casio PX-860 as we always are to be reviewing any piano from Casio.
Casio is an elite piano maker and the piano world has been so blessed to have their pianos. With a knack for simulating an over-the-top piano experience, Casio keeps keeping the competition on its toes.
Whether it’s producing its affordable, portable series or its high end line of pianos, Casio never disappoints. And once again, it has come through for pianists world over with the Casio PX-860.
As usual, we have our ideas about this fine instrument – our unbiased opinion about how this piano rocks and where things could have been improved.
So, if you’re ready, come with us and we will get this review started.
An Overview Of The Casio PX-860
The Casio PX-860 is supposed to be an upgrade to the Casio PX-850 model. The news of its release was received with a lot of questions and anticipation. Everyone wanted to know if Casio could top what looked like one of their finest works on a digital piano.
Now, the PX-860 has been released and there are loads of opinions and comments about it. A cursory glance at this piano would reveal that there actually isn’t much of a difference between this and the PX-850. At least on the surface level, it doesn’t seem like much changed.
Well, thankfully, the PX-850 looked good so this might not be such a big deal.
However, you might be judging this piano too quick if you don’t take the time to play this piano. Both pianos might look like identical twins but just like biology has proved, even twins are two very different entities. These keyboards are very different when played.
If you thought that Casio gave the PX-850 its all in the sound department, get ready to be pleasantly surprised. The PX-860 sounds even better. In fact, Casio sets a pretty high standard for future pianos with the PX-860.
What exactly makes this digital piano tick? Well, we have many answers to that. But you’d just have to keep reading to find out.
Features And Specs Of The Casio PX-860
- 88 keys with Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer II Action Keyboard.
- Simulated ivory and ebony keytops.
- Touch Response: 3 levels.
- Sound Source: AiR Sound Source.
- Polyphony: 256 notes.
- 18 built-tones: 5 Grand piano, 4 electric pianos, vibraphone, 2 strings, harpsichord, 2 electric organs, lower bass, jazz organ, pipe organ.
- Mode: layer and split.
- Sound effects: 4 hall simulator types, 4 chorus types, brilliance, DSP.
- 10 built-in songs.
- Metronome function.
- Recorder: MIDI and audio.
- 2 Grand piano buttons, electric piano button.
- Transpose function: 2 octaves.
- 3 pedals: soft, damper, sostenuto.
- Connectivity: headphone jacks, LINE OUT, USB (type A, type B).
- Dimensions: 53.82 x 11.77 x 32.95 inches
- Weight: 78.2 pounds.
Like we already mentioned, the PX-850 had quite the reputation for packing such a powerful, high quality sound. However, the PX-860 easily one ups that. Perhaps, its biggest strength is probably in its sound quality.
If you were blindfolded and told to guess what piano you were playing, after striking the first key and hearing the note, you’d surely think you were playing a grand. The sound is that good. We’ve hardly seen sound like this in a while.
The PX-860 comes with such an incredible acoustic sound similar to what you’d find in the Casio PX-55. So, if you can’t compromise on an authentic sound, then you shouldn’t miss the PX-860.
In fact, a closer look at the PX-860 gives the idea that this is a hybrid piano from the PX-55 and the PX-55. Check it out… It has the elegance and allure of the PX-850 and the captivating sound of the PX-55. Casio definitely made a sound manufacturing decision on the PX-860, no doubt.
But here’s where we feel a little let down – the number of built-in tracks. There are only 10 classical songs in all, although they were all recorded live. And since they are live recordings, you’ll definitely enjoying playing along. But there’s a but…
Anyone who doesn’t know how to read music might have issues playing along to these tracks. But then again, if you want to make it a little easier, you could slow down the songs a bit. The playback settings afford for you to be able to do that.
The sound effect that captured our attention first and for the most part is the hall simulation feature. Like the name probably already suggests to you, the hall simulation feature simulates the acoustics of different kinds of halls. This way you can create different interesting ambiences as you play.
There are all kinds of settings. You can try to simulate a concert hall sound – like the Germany’s Berlin Philharmonic Hall for instance. Or you could try a cathedral or stadium setting too.
This is a really big deal because most digital pianos just give you a mini echo effect like you’ll get in a normal hall. But on the PX-860, you get access to more specific hall acoustics. And yeah, it’s probably the first digital piano to deliver on such immersive effect.
That said, it’s always good to keep certain things in mind when getting a digital piano. A digital piano is a digital piano is a digital piano is not an acoustic piano. What are we saying? That no matter how high quality a digital piano, it can never give you the exact feel and sound of an acoustic piano.
But if you’re looking for something that is so close it almost passes for an acoustic piano, then you came to the right place.
On its own, the PX-860 is quite loud – it comes with four speakers! So, on a good day, you shouldn’t have any need to get additional speakers to amplify the sound from this piano. It is loud enough as it is.
Now, being loud is a great thing. But many times, a very loud volume hampers the level of clarity you get from the piano. But not to worry, Casio does a good job here. Because the sound of the PX-860 remains clear regardless of how loud the volume gets.
We love the way Casio tries to strike the balance between digital and acoustic. So, usually, it would give its pianos a modern appeal but still add that touch of a classical feel as well to them.
All the same, let’s get to the meat of how this piano looks and feels. It’s pretty slim and comes with all kinds of well displayed features.
The pedals are well polished, and the body comes with a really intricate detailing that reminds you of an old grand. And this old grand aesthetics give a nice contrast to the futuristic features of this piano.
Keys And Layout
Okay before we get to the keys, there’s something we’d like to mention first. This piano actually comes with a lid for the keys. This is amazing news not necessarily because it has any definite function but because it makes this piano look and feel even more like an old grand.
Alright now, enough of the lid and let’s get to the keys.
The ivory and ebony feel on the keytops are simply amazing and we’ve come to expect that from Casio.
Now, if we move up from the keys, we will land on the control panel. This is perhaps one feature that makes this piano feel less like an acoustic and more like the digital piano that it is. It is located in the center of the piano above the keybed.
This is a bit atypical since most piano makers tend to keep their control panels in a corner. However, with the panel in the center, it might tempt the player to get even more creative as they play. You know, since it’s much easier to make changes as you go than if the control panel was in the corner.
Another resemblance the PX-860 and the PX-850 share is that you can record performances using a USB stick or using a remote hard drive. So, if you did a piece that you thought was explosive, you can now store it forever or even share with friends.
There are also ports with which you can connect to your iPad or any other device. So if you’re thinking of getting a little more out of your piano experience, here’s one way to make that happen.
Pros Of Casio PX-860
- Durable and high quality build.
- Comes with ivory and ebony keytops with hammer action.
- Sound engine reproduces sound like that of an acoustic piano.
- Features a lid like that gives this the look of an acoustic piano.
- Ebony and ivory keytops absorb moisture so fingers don’t slip off when moist.
Cons Of Casio PX-860
- This is quite a heavy unit so it isn’t very easy to move this around on your own.
- You can’t easily adjust the music stand included.
- Only 10 classical tracks included and you can’t easily follow them if you don’t know how to read music.
The Casio PX-860 gives the player a totally awesome playing experience. You will simply love sitting at this piano and performing to your heart’s content.
It might be a little on the pricey side. But hey you more than get what you pay for because this piano is awesome. And the experience you’ll get out of this is something that will live with you for a very long time.