REVIEW - Casio AP260 Digital Piano - Recommended

Casio AP260 Piano Review - AZPianoNews.com

🎹 UPDATED REVIEW - January 20, 2019 - Casio AP260 Digital Piano - Recommended - The AP260 is now discontinued as a mainstream model and the remaining inventory at Casio has been sold to Costco which is now selling off this model for $849 sale price plus tax while they last. The new upgraded 2019 model AP270 ($1049 discount internet price) has taken its place. Please click on the following link to read my review of the newer Casio AP270 so that you can learn more about it: AP270 Review


🎹 Also, if after reading this review you want to order a new AP270 now at a 2019 NEW YEAR price and have it reserved for you for immediate shipment, then please contact me right away and I can help you get this lower price. 😀


Previous Casio AP260 review: The Casio company is famous for producing a big line of popular home and professional digital pianos & keyboards for many decades and the model AP260 furniture cabinet digital piano is one of them. Casio makes good, solid products at lower prices for what you are getting. Casio has always been looked at as a company which makes higher quality consumer electronics such as calculators, watches, cameras, and hundreds of other digital products owned by millions of people throughout the world. Their digital piano division is the fastest growing digital piano brand in the US with thousands of sales and you can find many of their models for sale on the internet and in some pianos stores across the country.

Casio AP260 Piano Review - AZPianoNews.com
The Casio AP260 is the lowest priced model in their Celviano line of digital pianos. The Celviano line is designated for their more traditional furniture cabinets and the AP260 has a privacy back panel, full size & full length brass pedals, stereo speaker sound, 1 year factory warranty, and  a matching bench included. There is a total of 128-notes of polyphony processing power in the sound chip of this piano which is good but you can run out of notes if you are a more advanced player using 2 sounds layered together.

Casio AP260 Piano Review - AZPianoNews.com
The Casio AP260 offers a nice digital piano in a traditional piano cabinet and at a lower price than of all the major brands in this price range including Yamaha. The control panel buttons of the AP260 is above the keyboard in front of the player for ease of use operation. The AP260 has Casio's 3-sensor key action under with textured synthetic ebony and ivory keytops and. However, there were complaints that the textured keys on this model were not realistic and did not feel like any other acoustic or digital piano model and actually got in the way of the playability of this model. In other words, there is too much raised texture on the keys which makes it not only a bit more difficult for some people to play on this key action, but when you transition to a real piano then the real piano feels altogether different. The new AP270 which has replaced the AP260 has redesigned keytops (after a number of owner complaints) and now has a smooth ivory & ebony texture design on the keys much like the competitive brands do now such as Roland, Yamaha, Kawai, etc. When you play on the keys then the touch and feel of those keys on your fingers can be critical when playing so unfortunately the keytop material in the older AP260 is not what I would recommend because it does not feel like any other piano. So it was a very good move on Casio's part to have redesigned their synthetic ivory & ebony material for the new model AP270.

Casio AP260 Piano Review - AZPianoNews.com
The AP260 has a lot of built-in digital features so that you can do more than just play piano. Some people just want a digital piano to mostly play piano and they just use the built-in acoustic piano sounds of which this model has five stereo acoustic piano reproductions including concert, mellow, bright, jazz, etc. However, for those people who want to do more than just play piano and may want to get into the "menu" to edit or use other functions, there is a big list of those features which can be accessed off the front panel and additionally by using a function button and pressing an assigned key on the keyboard at the same time time, which makes it easier to do. These digital features include the following: 18 total instrument sounds including strings, harpsichord, organs, choirs, electric pianos, etc. The non-acoustic instrument sounds are definitely in a higher class of authenticity than some other brands of digital pianos in this price range including Yamaha and Roland, in my opinion. Other features include Reverb EFX, Chorus, Brilliance, Layer balance, Duet pan, Bass damper effect, Damper noise, Music Library song select, Tempo, Beat, Metronome tempo, Metronome beat, Concert Play song, Play/Stop, Lesson Play, Concert Play, Concert Play volume, Music Library volume, Metronome volume, Temperament, Temperament Base note, Temperament select, Touch response, Transpose, Keyboard tuning, Octave shift, USB device mode, Local control, Send channel, Operation tone, Back up, and Operation lock.

Beyond the long list of functions that I just mentioned, the most popular and utilized features on a digital piano that people ask for (which is on the AP260) are being able to layer two different instrument sounds together at the same time (such as piano & strings), split two different sounds (one sound on left side, one sound on right such as piano and bass), be able to have two people (students) play the piano at the same time side by side playing the exact same part in the same octave (this feature is called, "duet"), and be able to record two separate tracks independently (left & right hand) and then play them back separately or at the same time and save that song. The 2-track MIDI recording (left and/or right hand or two independent sounds recorded on top of each other) is a great feature when trying to learn a new song or get a sense of how each hand sounds by itself when playing. The AP260 has all of these features but the new AP270 and all the new Casio digital pianos such as the PX870 have a new proprietary app for tablets (iOS & Android) that allows the user to control all the features from the color touch screen on your tablet. This is a much more intuitive way of interacting with and controlling the piano functions than just off the piano control panel which is how you need to do it on the older AP260. In fact, some functions on the AP260 are not easy to get at and you need to look in the owners manual to try and figure it out. With the new Casio AP270 and new Casio PX870, controlling the piano and its functions are so easy and so fun, a 3 year old could do it.

Casio AP260 Piano Review - AZPianoNews.com The AP260 also has some good connectivity to headphones with two headphone jacks on the front of the piano for private playing and also a USB output connection for use with a tablet (iPad) or computer to extend the types of musical things you can do. The speaker system in this model includes two speakers going through 16 watts of stereo power which does an OK job of producing volume, but not for a medium to bigger size room The 16 watts of power is fairly anemic if you want a fuller, richer tone at a lower volume. You pretty much have to turn up the master volume all the way to make the AP260 sound good and even then it sounds like it is straining to keep up. Getting a digital piano with at least 40 watts of power is a much better option and better for a long-term investment because the richness of fullness of piano sound will be a lot more like a real piano instead of a toy. The Casio PX870 has a 40 watt stereo sound system with 4 speakers and it projects very well through a special piano sound projection system built into that model. At just $999 (minus instant $100 cash rebate = $899 final price) right now including free shipping and no sales tax, I recommend that shoppers take a look at the Casio PX870 before purchasing the older AP260. There are no audio input or output connections on the AP260 which I would have preferred because they can be useful and that may have been a solution to the weaker internal sound system of the AP260 in attaching an external sound system to it and still hear the internal speakers of the AP260. But unfortunately that cannot be done. I do like the fact that the AP260 has 3 full size brass pedals for a realistic pedal movement experience which is important for players and for students who are progressing in their playing skill level.

Casio AP260 Piano Review - AZPianoNews.com
However, the most important things in a piano are key action and piano sound, and this is where the AP260 is good and not so good. The Casio AP260 key action moves nicely and is balanced and weighted but on this older model the pedal sustain time was somewhat short in duration and Casio has improved that aspect in the new "70 series" including the AP270 and PX870. Nevertheless, I do like the key action movement in the AP260 better than the competitive Yamaha YDP103 ($899 internet price). The piano sound dynamic tonal range in the AP260 is wider and more distinct on this model than other piano brands I have played and that allows for greater tonal expression in the music you are playing. When you couple the nicely weighted key action along with a reasonable acoustic piano sound reproduction, I believe many people will like with the result. However, if you play piano pretty well already, you might be disappointed with the artificial response of the pedal sustain and the overly textured keytops along with shorter pedal sustain time..

Casio AP260 Piano Review - AZPianoNews.com
One very cool feature that the AP260 offers which no other furniture cabinet piano does in this price range is the "Concert Play" feature. There is a library of fully orchestrated popular classical songs that play back as audio wav files (like a CD recording) so that you can listen and play along to completely authentic professional quality music that sounds like the orchestra is inside of your piano. This is super fun, sounds great, and also allows the player to play along in a mode called "lesson play." However, there are digital pianos which can do even more, sound even bigger & better, and have a more upgraded cabinet like the higher price Casio Privia PX870 and the Celviano AP470, but those pianos cost more money. If you want to stay in the lower price range of $849 plus tax (tax for most states), the AP260 will likely be good enough.

Casio AP260 Piano Review - AZPianoNews.com
I do recommend the Casio AP260 overall. The 1-year factory warranty given by Costco on both parts and labor is not very long considering that most good digital pianos these days have a 3-year factory warranty and in some cases a 5-year factory warranty. It can be very expensive to get a digital piano repaired so the longer the factory warranty is, the better off you will be. If you are looking for an instrument with a more traditional appearance (available in black only at Costco) that weighs a mere 87 lbs and measures approx 54" wide and 17" deep (from the wall) which is fairly compact, and you cannot spend a bit more money on something else that you may enjoy more, then you should consider the Casio Celviano AP260 as a digital piano which may be a good fit for your musical and budget needs.

With regard to the #1 most popular furniture cabinet digital piano 2019 under $1000, I would suggest you definitely read my review of the Casio PX870 before you make any buying decisions. This model is very impressive and had been voted on by multiple pro music organizations and teachers in the US as the #1 digital piano under $1000 for 2018 through 2019. With a one time special instant rebate that I can get you on this model right now, your final total price for the new Casio PX870 would be just $899 incl free shipping, no tax, brand new until January 31st, 2019, or when supplies are sold out, whichever comes 1st. The Casio PX870 would then be the much better buy and the better long term investment as far as a musical instrument is concerned. Please contact me right away if you are interested and check out my detailed review of the newer Casio PX870 at the following link and then let me know what you think: Casio PX870 Review

*If you want to consider other good digital piano options in different brands at or near $1000US, please read my reviews at the following links: Digital Pianos Under $1000 - Reviews

Click on the following link to read about the Top 3 Digital Pianos in a variety of price ranges: Top 3 Best Digital Pianos

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.

1 comment:

  1. How does the key action of the AP260 compare to the Kawai ES110

    ReplyDelete