Casio AP260 | REVIEW | Digital Piano at Costco | 2021

Casio AP-260 Review
🎹 UPDATED REVIEW | Jan 1, 2021 | Casio AP-260 Digital Piano | The AP-260 has been discontinued for about 6 years as a mainstream model and is no longer at piano stores and just sold by Costco for $849 regular sale price. Since the AP-260 is an older older with older technology we advise you to read our review below on the AP260 and compare it to the new and much improved Casio PX-870 at just $999 internet discount price. The PX-870 is a far superior model in a more compact cabinet with upgraded piano sound, key action, internal speaker system, upgraded digital features, and a much longer factory warranty. Just because Costco has something does not necessarily mean it is the best "best bang for the buck." Do your homework, read about the AP-260 below and our personal playing experience with it, and then contact us with any questions.

lower prices than Amazon or Internet

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Casio AP-260 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 and you can find many of their models for sale on the internet and in some piano stores across the country.

Casio AP260 Piano Review - AZPianoNews.com
The Casio AP260 was the lowest priced model in their Celviano line of digital pianos back about 6 years ago but when it was discontinued a few years ago from its mainstream lineup of home digital pianos. Costco now sells the AP260 as its own exclusive Casio piano product. Since then the better and newer PX870 has come out at $999 discount price which far surpasses the older AP260 in most ways. The Casio Celviano line of home digital pianos is designated for their more traditional looking furniture cabinets and the AP260 also has a semi-privacy back panel, full size pedals, stereo speaker sound but with only a low 16 watts of power, a small 1 year factory warranty as compared to their full 3 year warranty on the newer PX-870, and  a matching bench included. There is a total of 128-notes of polyphony processing power in the sound chip of this AP-260 piano which is good but you can run out of piano processing polyphony power if you are a more advanced player, especially using 2 sounds layered together whereas a 256-note polyphony piano sound chip found in the newer Casio PX-870 is much better.

Casio AP260 Piano Review - AZPianoNews.com
The Casio AP260 is 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 for the more traditional look. The control panel buttons of the AP260 are 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, previously there were complaints that the textured keys on this model were not realistic (they are overly textured) 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 so we really do not recommend it. The new PX-870 has redesigned keytops and now has a smooth ivory & ebony texture design on the keys which gives them a much more realistic feel to the fingers when playing them. 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 PX-870.

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 APX-870 and all the new Casio digital pianos 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 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 (low powered) and if you want a fuller tone you pretty much have to turn up the master volume all the way to make the AP260 sound better 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. 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 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 (decay time) was somewhat short in duration but Casio has improved that aspect in the new "70 series" including 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 on this model than other piano brands I have played and that allows for greater tonal expression in the music you are playing. However, if you play piano pretty well you might be disappointed with the artificial response of the pedal sustain and the overly textured keytops along with shorter pedal sustain time of the AP-260..

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  Celviano AP470, but that piano costs more money.  

Casio AP260 Piano Review - AZPianoNews.com
I do recommend the Casio AP-260 overall at its lower price although the Casio PX-870 is a much better choice for around the same price (once sales tax is added for the AP-260 at Costco) when it comes to offering a noticeably more authentic piano playing experience. The 1-year factory warranty given by Costco on both parts and labor on the AP-260 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 a piano with a more traditional appearance  that weighs under 100 lbs like the AP-260 which is 87 lbs and measures approx 54" wide and 17" deep (from the wall), and you cannot spend a bit more money on something else like the newer Casio PX-870 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.

Casio PX870 digital piano 2019
Casio PX870 digital piano 2019 - closed keyboard coverSALE! A great alternative to the older 2015 model Casio AP-260 is the newer 2020 model Casio PX-870. The PX-870 with 3 year warranty instead of the small 1 year warranty on the AP-260 has a number of impressive upgrades over the AP-260 including all new piano sound technology with more natural acoustic piano sounds taken from actual Steinway grand pianos along with better instrument tones, more usable features, a redesigned control panel, 256-notes of polyphony piano power, and a very useful proprietary controller app for iPad/Android called Chordana Play for Piano. With this impressive app you can control the piano functions and features directly from your tablet color touch screen along with having some interactive music functions. This is a very cool feature the AP-260 does not have and cannot do and it allows you to access features in the piano that were previously difficult to do just using the piano alone because the piano operating system was not very intuitive. The PX-870 also has a more powerful 40 watt, 4 speaker sound system as opposed to the basic 16 watt, 2 speaker sound system in the AP260 which makes the AP-260 sound much smaller and less realistic depending on the size of the room it's in as compared to the more powerful PX-870. The PX-870 is also available in an attractive matte black finish. 

**SPECIAL PRICE! - Right now while supplies last, I can show you how to purchase a new top-of-the-line 2021 Casio PX-870 with 3 year warranty for just $904 which is $95 off the current Amazon/internet sale price of $999, and at $904 it also includes free shipping, tax, brand new with new 3 year factory warranty.  

Go to the following link to read our review of the Casio PX-870 and then let us know what you think. You can order a new PX-870 with us before they get sold out (the demand is very high for this model and supplies are very low) so let us know ASAP if you are interested: Casio PX-870 Review

Casio AP260/PX870 Comparison Chart



For more digital piano reviews and ideas please 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