Tuesday, June 25, 2013

REVIEW - Casio PX780 Digital Piano - BEST BUY for a LOW PRICE

Casio PX780 digital piano
Casio PX780
UPDATED REVIEW - October 15, 2014 - RECOMMENDED - Casio PX780 Privia cabinet Digital Piano - A BEST BUY - This piano continues to be a big hit for the Casio company since it came out last year.  I don't often see a new digital piano that offers so many features with higher quality under $1000 , but the Casio PX780 certainly qualifies as one of those pianos. It has a realistic piano key action that feels great, acoustic piano sound quality like a real piano, and a large compliment of useful educational features all together in a nice compact furniture style cabinet with sliding key cover. There are many great piano brands who produce some fine digital pianos in a variety of price ranges including Yamaha, Kawai, Roland, Casio, Kurzweil, Korg, Samick, and others and normally furniture cabinet digital pianos with lots of useful features that play & sound good don't come "cheap" and are typically closer to $2000 on up before you get these better pianos. However, based on all my experience, most American families want a new digital piano that will last them well into the future for around $1500 or less, and the lower the price the better so the Casio PX780 is a great choice. Copyright AZPianoNews.com 2014

Yamaha CVP601 digital piano
Of the better brands, Yamaha is the only company that has a furniture cabinet style digital piano in this lower price range (YDP135R - $999 internet price) and it really does pale by comparison to the Casio PX780. You have to go up to the new Yamaha CVP601 digital piano to get something much better than the Casio PX780 in the Yamaha brand with regard to functions, sound, and cabinet, and the CVP601 (left pic) discount selling price is around $4000 in piano stores. Although the Yamaha CVP601 is an outstanding instrument (it better be outstanding at that price:), the Yamaha CVP601 has only 10 more watts of audio power going through 2 speakers as opposed to four speakers in the Casio, and they both have 128 notes of polyphony piano memory. Even the top of the line $6000 Roland digital piano has just 128 notes of polyphony memory which is more than enough for most people. If you should have the extra disposable income then going up to that new Yamaha at $4000 would be a good choice if you want lots of digital options with beautiful sound. Just for the record, I am not advocating that Casio is the best digital piano company out there because there are other good brands such as Kawai, Yamaha, & Roland who make even better digital pianos in much higher price ranges. However, in the lower price range for $999, this new PX780 piano is pretty amazing and that price is very affordable for most families.

The Casio company has its worldwide headquarters in Tokyo, Japan (left pic) and has been producing digital pianos for over 30 years. They also produce keyboards, pro synthesizers, as well as being famous for calculators, advanced digital cameras, sports & consumer watches, advanced digital technology for communication devices, and some very impressive new digital computer technology. Casio produces their own computer chips and proprietary micro technology and is able to do it at a fraction of the cost of some of it's biggest competitors. That is why Casio tends to have lower prices. Some people equate lower prices with lower quality but in my opinion these new Casio digital pianos are quite impressive. Beyond that, Casio has a new 3-year parts & labor warranty (with on-line registration) which shows they are serious about giving consumers product protection and have confidence in their new pianos. Many warranties on digital pianos under $1000 have no more more than 1-year labor or maybe 2 at the most, so 3 years is outstanding in my opinion.

The following list of features are just some of the things this piano has and can do:
  • Realistic key action with new & improved graduated weighted hammer style movement. (really feels like an actual acoustic piano)
  • 3-sensor (Casio calls it Tri-Sensor) dynamic response key action (above left pic) for more piano sound range and expression (Yamaha does not have this on their Arius series under $2000 although they do have it on their Clavinova series over $2000). 3-key sensors per key make a big difference in "musical color" of sound and your ability to express your music. If you want further info on this, please ask me.
  • A fairly quiet key-bed with little noise as the keys are pressed down as compared to other brands in the same price range.
  •  New synthetic Ivory & Ebony key tops for smooth finger movement.
  • 128-note polyphony with piano resonance & longer piano sustain decay times to produce noticeably realistic piano sound along with enough polyphony for sound layering and using accompaniment & MIDI recording features.
  • Big piano sound through a 4-speaker 40 watt (total) stereo sound system.
  • 3-pedal soft/sostenuto/sustain pedal system with "half pedal" sustain function for proper pedaling response.
  • USB class compliant core MIDI high speed direct connection to iPad or laptop computer to utilize some outstanding piano education & notation apps now available for tablets.
  • 360 drum rhythm patterns for timing and rhythm training (most digital pianos under $2500 offer 0 up to100 rhythm patterns depending on model).
  • 250 nice instruments for use with song creation, arranging, composing, and playing just for fun (most digital pianos under $2000 offer approx 10-25 instrument.
  • wav file audio recording so you can make live recordings of your playing (useful in converting to MP3 files for MP3 players or to attach to emails for sending to friends and relatives).
  • Plugging a microphone into the piano to record live vocals while you're singing & playing at the same time or separately and then saving it all to a USB flashdrive in a .wav audio file!
  • General MIDI 16-track instrument playback for use with Alfred, Faber, and other piano teaching methods. For important info about General MIDI lesson song accompaniments & lesson practice, I recommend you go to the following link: General MIDI & digital pianos
  • General MIDI 16-track instrument recording for song creation, arranging, composing, etc. up to 16 instruments played back simultaneously
  • Arranger style chord system with 360 music styles for full accompaniment on your left hand. This allows for integration of a live band or orchestral backup while playing "chord style" using a variety of music accompaniments in the piano including Jazz, Classical, Latin, Country, Rock, Oldies, Waltz, Big Band, Blues, Folk, Contemporary, World Music from other countries, and many other music genres. This feature helps with allowing you to integrate rhythmic music styles into your playing to make your playing music even more enjoyable.
  • LCD user display screen directly in front of you for easy to read control panel information.
  • 86 "Jam Session" chord progression loops for learning song improv. This unique feature allows the player to learn how to "jam and improvise" with built in chord progressions with 86 recognizable "song loops" that make learning to play "by ear" fun and enjoyable. Ear training is a great way to play piano and helps with understanding music.
  • Layering & splitting any two sounds anywhere on the keyboard.
  • Duet "4-hand play" for two people playing on the piano simultaneously.
  • Grand piano "stretch tuning" function to give a more realistic grand piano sound based on the way piano tuners tune grand pianos.
  • Transpose and modulate to any key up & down half-steps while playing the piano.
  • Variable reverb, brightness, key sensitivity, octave shift, song & accompaniment volume.
  • Panel control button lock to protect your settings for inadvertent button pressing along with auto power shut off function.
  • Connectivity: Stereo 1/4" audio outputs, stereo audio inputs to run your iPad or computer volume back through the piano, MIDI in & out ports to connect with MIDI sound modules, other keyboards, and other MIDI devices, Dual 1/4" headphone jacks.
  • Console type furniture cabinet with full control button panel and sliding key cover for panel and keyboard protection
Casio PX780 digital piano
Casio PX780 w/closed key cover
Yamaha, Roland, Kawai, Kurzweil, and the others certainly have some fine pianos as I've mentioned earlier, but for the internet selling price of $999, it hard to argue with this model. I will say that one of the advantages of some of the more expensive pianos near or over $2000 is their better internal speaker-audio systems and nicer furniture cabinets. But for many families the PX780 speaker system and compact furniture cabinet is a perfect choice in a price range like this and compared to some of the other brands, it actually offers more in terms of sound output and functional cabinetry.


The PX780 has stereo audio outputs and inputs (left pic - also showing USB device in & computer out) so you can easily connect a small external speaker system to the PX780 for somewhere between $150-$300 which would give you a better and fuller sound than many of the digital pianos that sell for well over $3000. In fact I have personally done this and the results are amazing. It sounds as if you are playing a big grand piano when you connect a good external speaker system to this piano. If you use a good pair of headphones for private practice, then the sound is equally as good that way and it stays right in your head without anybody else hearing it...which depending on how you play, may be a good thing:)

Casio PX780 digital piano
So when you boil it all down and look at what the Casio PX780 has to offer as compared to other pianos for the same price on up to over twice its price, this new Casio piano is definitely offers a lot of bang for the buck. By the way, if you choose not to use all the extra on-board features and if you just play the piano sound by itself, you have a selection of 10 different acoustic piano sounds and can play any kind of music with them. So just playing traditional piano on the PX780 is quite enjoyable and if that's all it did it would still be a great buy compared to other brands & models in this price range based on my experience with it.

Casio PX780 digital piano control panel
PX780 control panel w/LCD screen
As far as any drawbacks or downsides to the PX780, the only ones I can see is the cabinet itself in that some people may want a cabinet that looks even more like a piano such as the Casio PX850 ($1099 internet price) or other brands in a higher price range. Also, the PX780 does not come with a bench like some other piano brands do. However, good piano benches are relatively inexpensive and easily purchased on the internet or at local stores and I can give you recommendations on those benches too. As the old saying goes, you don't get something for nothing, but for $999 internet discount price, it's hard to complain, and the cabinet itself is fairly sturdy and stable for most floor situations

Casio PX780 digital piano
Casio PX780
Whether you and/or family members are taking piano lessons, just playing recreationally, or you play at a higher skill level, I believe you will enjoy the Casio PX780 digital piano. I do recommend you research other brands & models in a variety of price ranges (I have many reviews on this blog which can be helpful) before you make your final buying decision because making music is what it's all about along with having fun doing it:)...there are few things better than that! Be sure you contact me before you purchase anything anywhere and I can give you some helpful advice:)

If you want more info on new digital pianos and lower prices than internet discounts, please email me at tim@azpianowholesale.com or call direct at 602-571-1864.

CASIO PX780 DEMO SONGS BELOW - Everything is played live without overdubs. I made a few playing mistake while recording these "demos" but that's what you get sometimes when you improvise with no sheet music. I just made up the songs as I played them but the point was to show off the piano sound along with some of the rhythm accompaniment style features and a few of the other instrument sounds on the PX780. Hope you enjoy:)

   Dynamic Grand Piano by Tim Praskins on the Casio PX780

   Organ-piano Jazz Groove by Tim Praskins on the Casio PX780

   Light County Rock by Tim Praskins on the Casio PX780

   Acoustic-Electric Piano rock by Tim Praskins on the Casio PX780
 
* I recommend eMedia educational software. If you decide to make a purchase after clicking on link below, I have arranged a big discount for you direct with eMedia for their educational software and that discount price is displayed through this link only! I want to see everyone learn to play and enjoy piano!

42 comments:

  1. Hi Tim,

    Could you please Casio PX780 compare with PX850? Thanks!

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    1. Tim,

      thanks so much for the effort you have put into reviews of digital pianos.

      I think I will wait for the PX780 based on all that I have read.

      How do I get on a waiting list?

      thanks.

      Jim
      jlevey21@comcast.net

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  2. They are completely different pianos for different musical goals. You can read my blog reviews about them more closely or email me direct for additional info.

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    1. Hi Tim,

      I can't decide between the Privia 780 and the 850. Which one is better? Do they have the same action? Do they sound the same? Which one doesn't make thumping noise (or more quiet) when you press the keys? If the 780 is newer and better, why does it cost less than the 850? What are the differences? Please help me decide. Thank you.

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    2. Hi. I'm having trouble finding the exact parts of your reviews that compare the PX780 to the PX850. Can you show us where they are?

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  3. Hi Tim!
    Great article with good information.
    I'm choosing between this PX-780, as I have not seen available yet, and the more expensive Kawai ES7. Does the ES7 has both better piano sound and more realistic key feel?

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  4. Yes, the ES7 would be better in my opinion in those ways, but it should be as it is more than twice the price when you add pedals & stand to the ES7. If you want more detail please email me direct

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  5. Hi tim,
    If i were to choose a digital piano between the YDP162, PX850 and PX780, which would you recommend? also i'm looking for the realism of an acoustic piano(weighted keys and the sound of a piano/grandpiano), extra sounds and features are just a fun plus.

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  6. I really appreciate your piano reviews. Thank you so much.

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  7. I also appreciate all the information you share. Am wondering if the PX780 Voices include the Koto or Asian sounding instruments. But am going to call you. Thanks again!

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  8. how would you compare the kawai mp6 ad the px780 ?

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  9. not a fair comparison...two totally different pianos for different applications. Both excellent choices based on specific musical goals and skill levels. For more info you can email me directly or if in the US you may call me during my studio hours

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  10. The PX-780 sounds like a PX-350 housed in a better cabinet, with upgraded amps and speakers, and a "continuous" half-pedal. [A good deal for the price.]

    Is there anything else different between them?

    Thanks --

    . Charles / Richmond BC

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  11. no... no other differences that I am aware of other than control panel placement

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  12. I don't see any information on a 3 year warranty for the PX-780? Even on Casio's US website I can only find a 2 year extended warranty for registering online. I do see a 3 year for the European .uk site but is it for sure available for US customers?

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  13. Which of Casio new digial piano's would you recommend if I plan on using PianoTeq to supply sound?
    Right now I am looking at the PX150, PX350 and PX780.

    If they are all the same in terms of the realism of an acoustic piano, then I would go with the cheapest one.

    Thanks!

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  14. Identical key actions but the PX150 does not have audio outputs or audio inputs and that can be an important feature for many people. Also the 150 does not have LCD display so it can be more difficult to know what functions you are using and how to activate them on that model.

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  15. Thanks for the reply.
    How would you compare the Casio PX750 to the PX780?

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  16. Can you comment more on the specific speaker systems that would sound better for $200 - $400. Thanks!

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  17. Thanks for your reviews.

    My daughter (13 year old) has been taking piano classes - and has outgrown the touch sensitive 61 Key model (Yamaha).

    Based on your reviews, it appears our choice is between Casio PX-780 and PX-850.

    Please advise as to which one would be a better choice.

    Thank you very much.

    Manish

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  18. Hi Tim - thank you so much for the incredible effort you put into this.

    It's 40th Birthday time for my wife and she's returning to piano playing after many years away.

    We, too, are wondering between:

    - Casio AP-450 (only a little more expensive than the 850 but more than a little better?)
    - Casio PX-850 (I thought this sounded like best value at the $1100 level until your 780 review)
    - Casio PX-780 (seems to be a choice below $1000 but not if I could go up to the 45- price?)
    - Kawai CE-220 (sound & key feel, your best recommendation if $1900 can be afforded?)

    Priorities are:

    - Sound & touch (I must admit to liking the Acoustic LId on the Casios, but I'm not sure if an equivalent sound is effected via software on the other brands)
    - Essential software features like iPad connectivity, etc but that seems to be the same across the board
    - We're happy with a modest number of excellent voices rather than bajillion options that we'll never use
    - Must admit to liking the full backed look the AP-450, but not sure if the others have better looking sides / front / top / finish
    - Budget is probably between $1300 and $2000
    - Basically something that we can keep and grow back into over several years
    - We have a 2-yr old son who we can imagine we'd like to start enjoying music (casually) over the next few years

    If it were you, would you have a preference?

    Before your excellent site, I thought we were looking for a Roland (e.g. 507) until I found out the price differences!

    Thank you so much in advance. I have read your reviews but with releases being staggered in time it's a little harder to know which your choices would be in a side by side comparison...

    Best wishes and many thanks again for the excellent site

    Sincerely
    Nadeem

    a.k.a. indecisive husband!

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  19. I just bought a PX780 through Tim, and I'm very happy with it! Here are the major pros and cons that I've noticed:

    Pros:
    Synthetic ivory/ebony - makes a huge difference to me not having the plastic "keyboard" feel
    Key action - much better than the Yamaha, Korg, and Kawai models I tried while shopping around. I can still tell it's not a real piano, but it's close enough for me, and I've played for 9 or 10 years!
    Sound quality - It's good enough that I can pretend I'm playing for an audience in a church. I'd say a concert hall, but I've never done that in real life. The high notes are a bit shrill for my liking, but I'm still getting to know the different piano sounds that are programmed in, so this may only be temporary till I find the one I like.
    It actually came with the sheet music for the songs that are programmed in. Don't know if I just missed it in the description, but I was pleasantly surprised by this!
    Good instructions and easy assembly. It's meant for two people, but I managed it on my own.
    Lots of digital extras - I haven't explored these very much just yet, but I know it's probably smarter than me, and can do lots of cool stuff as Tim describes.

    Cons:
    Volume - it's quieter than I expected. To really "fill the room" I have to turn it all the way up and still play what feels like forte on an acoustic.
    Touch sensitivity - It's great until I get to what I would call fortissimo on an acoustic. Somewhere around there, it seems to get disproportionately louder for the increase in pressure. I don't play there very much, but it does tend to be in climatic sections of songs, so it's a bit frustrating. I believe the touch sensitivity is adjustable, but I haven't explored that yet.
    Music stand - it's just a bit too short for bigger sheets, but I'm sure I can rig a DIY solution to that.

    Overall, the pros far outweigh the cons, at least in my opinion. I was astounded at the quality of piano I got for under $1000 and have been playing it every chance I get since it arrived. Also, Tim was extremely helpful in the process. He answered every question honestly and correctly. Every fact and price that I checked elsewhere was exactly what he told me. So if you haven't already, send him an email!

    Hopefully someone finds this helpful. Now if you'll excuse me, I'd like to stop typing and go play a song or two :)

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  20. Thank you for your very helpful information. It is just what I needed in my search for a good, decently-priced piano.

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  22. Cons:
    Volume - it's quieter than I expected. To really "fill the room" I have to turn it all the way up and still play what feels like forte on an acoustic.

    This above concerns me. I am in the market for a Casio Privia PX150. However if the 750 is an upgrade in speakers over the 150, and the 780 over the 750...with the statement above I wonder how weak the 150 speakers would be?

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  23. 40 watt speaker systems can fill up a room but all speaker systems and their performance definitely depends on the acoustics and size of the room as well as your ability to hear well or not. That situation is going to be different for different rooms, homes, piano placement, and individual people. Many people consider the PX780 & PX750 more than loud enough and never play it at full volume so it just depends who you are. The nice thing is that you can connect an external speaker system or inexpensive monitors to boost volume and fullness if you want to do that.

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  24. I have never touched a piano in my life and wanted to buy it once, but it good. I've narrowed it down to px350 full package or the px780. Which should I get?

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  25. There are different reasons to get either one so please email me directly and I will explain.

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  26. Hi Tim,
    How does the white key surface texture look like for this model PX780? Is it smooth like any other brand (Yamaha, Kawai, etc...) or does it have multiple wavy lines which I guess are called "synthetic ivory keytop"? Thanks.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. the synthetic ivory keytops that are offered on various digital piano brands and models differ in texture because they are a proprietary material for that manufacturer. Casio has texture grains on the keytops and many people seem to like it. However touch will always be subjective so please play the pianos with ivory texture before you buy if you are concerned how it will feel

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  27. I just want to say "Thank You" for your wonderful insights. I've been researching digital pianos to replace my old Casio CPS-85. After much deliberation (and going by what you've written), I chose the PX-780 and I am so happy with it. It's got plenty of power (for me, at least) and it is a lot of fun. I attached my old 60 watts subwoofer and it now sounds even grander.

    Again, thank you.

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  28. Hello Tim you mentioned in this review fpr tje 780 that is comes with (General MIDI 16-track instrument recording for song creation,etc) is this a built in multi-track sequencer? The Casio website for this model only mentions a 2 Track recorder. Can you clarify this for me. Thanks Eric

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  29. The PX780 does have a General MIDI 16-track multi instrument MIDI recorder built-in. You can also call it a sequencer but actual full function sequencers can do more.The PX850 has only two tracks and is not general midi.

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  30. Thanks for the clarification. I have read your reviews and believe I have started to narrow my choices. Like most acoustic piano players I want realistic action/sound, but I also own a Korg O1W-pro and want the flexibility of multiple sounds and the creativeness that this allows. You seem to favor the Casio for the action & sound- so I'm comparing the differences between the PX-350 and the PX-780.
    My primary usage will be in my own home, though may take it out, like to church. With this said, are there any major advantages to the 780,knowing its not as portable as the 350, that would sway me to go with the 780 over the 350?

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  31. Hi Tim, I'm a noob in piano, my sons started to take a piano lesson, they are studying in Y Music school, noob question will there be any difficulties for them if I bought a Casio rather than a Yamaha piano ? 2nd Q, I do like the performance of Clavinova 605B as display in their outlet, but the price is way to high, Is PX-780 is in the same level with that unit ? If it is not, what Casio product can head to head with CVP 605B ? What product would you suggest for 4 and 6 years old child who start to learn piano, my friend suggest me to buy a second hand Yamaha U1 series (around USD 2100), but I'm not very sure about a second-hand product ? Thanks for your advice...

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  32. Hi Tim, So i'm wating to buy the casio PX780 and I'm going to buy it off of amazon, does it always come with a key-cover-lid? It's really important in my house.

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    1. Hey, I bought a digital piano on Amazon and it came with a hole in the box, stuck keys, and I had to repackage and return the thing. I bought through Tim and got TLC delivery straight from the warehouse--the box was pristine and the digital piano was in PERFECT condition. Just a word of warning...

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  33. Hi Emery Katherine,

    The Casio PX780 does have the built-in sliding key cover. I have a picture of that on my blog review if you take a look. With regard to buying it on Amazon, I have some info for you on how to buy that model brand new with free shipping and no tax for less money than Amazon. You may email me directly if you are interested in more info.

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  34. Tim & Erik,

    Thanks for all the help you provided last fall when I purchased the Casio Privia PX-780. It is everything I need to get back to playing after a 25 year absence. I am enjoying it and am slowly getting my technique back. Thanks again for the great service you provide!

    Rick Beltz

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  35. Thanks for your amazingly helpful and thorough reviews! You made the process of selecting the best digital piano for me so much easier! Keep up the great work!

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