Casio PX-S1100 REVIEW - 2022 | Best Digital Piano Under $1000?


Casio PX-S1100 Review
🎹 Casio PX-S1100 - UPDATED REVIEW - July 1, 2022 - Is the new Casio PX-S1100 the "Best bang for the buck portable digital piano under $1000?" 

This 2022 digital piano model Casio PX-S1100 at $699 internet price is by far and away the most innovative portable digital piano under $700 of all the major brands. It has an innovative embedded touch sensor flat control panel that no other digital piano has for under $800. With a very compact lightweight cabinet, responsive piano weighted key action, half damper pedaling with optional triple pedal unit, Bluetooth wireless audio streaming and MIDI wireless connection, and a new proprietary controller app for digital tablets, the PX-S1100 has set a new standard for digital pianos at its low price.  

INTRODUCTION


Casio PXS1100 in red colorCasio of Japan has been designing and producing digital pianos and keyboards for decades and has always been known for offering a lot of "bang for the buck" in the lower price ranges near or under $1000. So it comes as no surprise to me that Casio has "upped their game" with this new series (PX-S1100, PX-S3100) in a way that no other digital piano company has done before them in this price range. In fact, Casio has designed new innovations into the PX-S1100 that are pretty amazing given the low discount price of this model in the US. The PX-S1100 (aka: S1100) is also available in both
Casio PX-S110 with stand and triple pedal
gloss top white with white cabinet and also gloss top black with black cabinet. In addition to that, Casio has a special edition gloss top red color cabinet that is impressive which no other brand or model has. 

If you like the way this red color looks then it could be a good option for you. The red color is also the same price as the black or white colors which is surprising because typically "special edition" colors are more money in some cases. This PX-S1100 in the black or white color is also available with optional furniture stand and triple pedal unit. The PX-S1100 also is also one of the lowest priced digital pianos that Casio has which can be controlled by a proprietary app called "Casio Music Space" and that app can be used on your iPad or Android. It's a really cool way to control many of the digital features from the color touch screen of your digital tablet.


Lower price than Amazon or internet

Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture
Before I talk about some of the impressive things this portable piano can do, let me just say up front that before I tried this model I really did not expect any changes in this model from previous model PX-S1000 because the PX-S1000 had so many nice features in it already and was a popular seller for Casio. The piano sound was already impressive for its price along with the pedaling sustain response as well as connectivity and features. Casio has made some notable upgrades in the new PX-S1100 over the previous model PX-1000 and here is a short list of those changes and upgrades:

5 MAJOR IMPORVEMNTS OF PX-S1100 OVER PREVIOUS PX-S1000


1. The acoustic grand piano sound is more natural - Casio improved the stereo grand piano tone with more "organic content" in the sound so it's more realistic than before, and it shows.

2. The internal speaker system has been improved - Casio upgraded the speaker system on the new PX-S1100 to sound fuller, richer, and clearer with better bass response and more even frequency response and it is definitely noticeable. Even with the same 16 total output as before, the overall piano sound is larger now than what you would otherwise expect.

3. USB Bluetooth dongle port - Rather than rely on Bluetooth being "built-in" the the piano itself, Casio developed a separate USB Bluetooth "dongle" included free with the PX-S1100 that you plug into the back of the piano to give you better access along with an additional Bluetooth MIDI wireless function that was not on the previous model.

4. Flash-drive input - The flash-drive input (which is the same input for Bluetooth dongle) allows you to connect a standard thumb drive to save, load and play back MIDI & audio wav file audio recordings  which can be very useful for song practice and learning new songs downloaded from the internet. 

5. Cabinet design element changes - Casio improved the "look" of the cabinet  with a more upgraded appearance with it comes to font lettering colors and logo placement along with a couple of button changes. These changes are more subtle but gives the PX-S1100 a classier and more elegant appearance.

Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture
When people are shopping for new digital pianos, besides the obvious differences in design and aesthetics (the looks) of a digital piano, it's mostly about what's "under the hood" that really counts in terms of the most realistic piano playing experience a person can get in a certain price range. It has to do with the piano sound technology, the key action realism as compared to a real acoustic piano, and the pedaling response as compared to a real acoustic piano. It also has to do with the internal speaker system of that digital piano and how well it can put out volume and sonic quality of sound. Getting all of those aspects to mix together in a way that "works well," particularly in a low price range under $1000 and especially near or at $500 price range is no easy task in the world of digital pianos...at least until now. 

Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture
So what makes this Casio PX-S1100 so special as compared to all other new portable digital pianos out there under $1000? The first thing you'll notice when the piano is powered on is that it "comes alive" with a simple and elegant display of 7 digitally lit bright white buttons that show up only when the piano in powered on and you cannot otherwise see them when the piano is off. These "touch sensor" buttons would be similar to any virtual button or app you have on your cell phone or tablet...when you press it you trigger that button or app to start working, like calling someone on your phone. The touch sensor buttons on the PX-S1100 are very responsive, easy to see and use, and indicate each time when you press one of those 7 buttons with a quick blink of the button...pretty smart. 

There is an acoustic piano touch button, electric piano touch button, song record button, song play button, metronome timing button, sound mode "stereo surround sound" button, and function button...that's it. You can even dim or minimize the lite-up buttons if you want to and select a timer to automatically turn off the piano so that it doesn't stay on for hours after you are through playing it.

Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture
Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture with batteriesBesides the operation and design of the PX-S1100 being so unique is the fact that it is so compact, even by current standards. It measures 52" wide x 9" deep x 4" high and weighs just 24.7 lbs without the lightweight music rack that comes with it. Another very unique thing this model does in terms of its operation is that it can be powered not only by the power adapter that comes with the piano, but also by 6 AA batteries! Yes, you heard that right...batteries! It's hard to believe that an 88-key fully piano-weighted key action digital piano with all that this piano has to offer also allows you to go anywhere you want to without restriction. To the park (I've done it), to the beach, camping, in your backyard, out on safari, in the street, wherever you happen to be...because of this new battery powered feature. 

The speaker system is super powerful so there is no problem hearing the piano and it has a noticeably good quality sound going through its internal sound system even when on batteries...but I will talk about that in more detail a bit later in this review. When using batteries the piano can be powered up to 4 hours of continuous operation which is a very long time given what this piano is and the power it would normally require if it were any other brand. Since the PXS has an "auto-shutoff" for its battery power, if you don't play the piano for 6 minutes then the power will automatically shut off during battery power, although you can disable that auto shutoff if you like. All I can say is...how cool is that!

Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture
Another really cool new feature not previously available on any digital piano model in this price range under $1000 (especially at or near $649) is the inclusion of Bluetooth audio wireless and Bluetooth MIDI wireless capability using a special new "dongle" that plugs into a USB slot on the back of the piano. Many of us have and use Bluetooth audio with our personal devices in that you can wirelessley transmit music or any other sound from your personal device (phone, tablet, etc) to an external set of stereo (or mono) speakers without needing any cables. This enhances your listening experience when viewing and/or listening to videos, music, etc. With the PX-S1100 this Bluetooth feature is great for a number of reasons such as learning new songs from your digital music library going directly through the piano internal speaker system so you can play along with them whether using the internal speakers of the piano or using headphones in the piano. 

You can also just listen to your favorite music through the piano speaker system from your personal device so that the PX-S1100 becomes your personal stereo sound system wherever you might take it. You can also use the exclusive stereo 3-D surround sound system (called "sound mode") which is built into the piano to enhance your listening pleasure with the music coming through the piano speakers....very impressive, although I will talk more about that a little later. The Bluetooth audio receiver setup is easy to activate so that it "pairs" quickly and reliably with your personal music/video playing device....I've done it so I know it works.

The new Bluetooth MIDI transmitter allows you to wirelessley connect with a digital phone or tablet so that you can use 

CASIO MUSIC SPACE APP



Casio Music Space app
The final thing that sets this model apart from all previous portable Casio digital pianos as well as most of its competition is the new proprietary Casio Music Space app for tablets and mobile devices which allows you to control the various aspects and features of the PX-S1100 from your color touch screen in your device.
The larger the color touch screen in your device, the easier it will be in navigation the functions & features in the app. This makes the PX-S1100 extremely intuitive and for the first time lets the user access functions that have been previously been very difficult to find using the conventional function button while touching a preset key by looking at a menu in the owners manual. This traditional method made it so that you really did not want to find or use those cool features because the interface was so confusing overall. But with this new easy-to-use app that Casio designed for these pianos, now even the most Casio PXS1100 digital piano Chordana app picture obscure feature that you may not have tried before is quickly accessible from your color touch screen on your tablet device when then makes it more likely you will use that function or feature and find out how cool it is and what you may have been missing out on before. 

Beyond that, some of the new PX-S1100 sound and performance features are all brand new and not found in previous models, and they can impact your music in some very cool and useful ways. So I found it really great to be able to trigger these performance features so intuitively and easily from my iPad using the "Casio Music Space" app. Whether you are selecting one of the 18 instrument tones in the piano, layering 2 of them, splitting 2 of them (bass & another sound), adding special reverb and ambiance effects to your sound, changing volumes on each sound, editing the piano sound to be even more realistic and natural, using the 3-D surround sound system in a customizable way, making and playing back a recording you've done, whatever you want to do you can do it from this new app.

Casio PXS1100 digital piano Chordana app picture
Casio PXS1100 digital piano Chordana app pictureThe Casio Music Space app also does things that the PX-S1100 cannot do without the app including providing a fun piano learning game experience using a dedicated portion of the app to activate a "MIDI Player" similar to the Synthesia game app for keyboards. You can import the built-in songs in the piano and play them through this MIDI game so that you can visually see "streaming colors" indicating what keys to press on the piano so that you can play along with the song. There are all kinds of functions & features in this game app to control the songs and how those songs will be playing along with the live interaction you can have with them. This is a very cool part of the Music Space app and definitely lots of fun for the whole family no matter what age or playing skill level you are. 

Beyond the "MIDI Player" song system, Casio also has created proprietary software within the app called "Audio Player." This player system allows you to import songs from your digital music library on your phone or tablet device (such as iTunes) so that you can play any of those songs through the piano using the Music Space app and then play along with those songs live on the piano and the piano being heard simultaneously through the piano speaker Casio PXS1100 digital piano Chordana app picture system. You can also wirelessly connect that song player in the Music Space app to the piano using the Bluetooth Audio feature so that you do not need any cables for connection....completely wireless. 

Apart from that very cool feature, you can take any song from your song library on your device and when running it through the Casio Music Space app you can then raise or lower the key (pitch) of the song along with being able to slow down or speed up the song...and you can do all of that quickly and easily from your tablet color touch screen without any degradation of that audio quality of the song when playing in a new key or different speed. In other words, Casio PXS1000 digital piano Chordana app picture if there is a vocal part in one of your favorite songs you are playing from your digital song library through the Music Space app, if you raise the pitch of the song, the vocal part is also raised just like that person is actually singing in that new key. 

If you slow down the song so that you can more easily play along with it while trying to learn it on the piano keys, the song is slowed down without any noticeable distortion or unwanted digital noise when you slow down or speed up the tempo...or change the key. You can also mute out the melody or accompaniment of that song, although that feature is only average and there is some noise and distortion doing Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture that...but I was expecting this to happen so it wasn't a surprise to me. You can also apply the special DSP effects which is called 'sound mode' (reverb, echo, 3-D sound, etc) within the piano directly to the song playing back so you can enhance the natural sound that you might find in a recording studio using more sophisticated effects. Simple to use and definitely makes a big impact on the music. So for someone to say that the Casio Music Space app is "just an app" or that you probably wouldn't use (I have heard some people say this) is very short-sighted in my opinion. 

If you have a tablet (I use iPad in my studio) then you'll definitely want to use it in conjunction with the PX-S1100 because it makes this new piano way more powerful (in very practical ways) than it already is. There are other very impressive things this app lets you do with the piano and I will talk about those things a bit later in this review.

CASIO PX-S1100 KEY ACTION


Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture
OK...now that I have discussed the things I think are very unique with regard to this new Casio piano model, I want to move onto the #1 most important thing that piano teachers (like myself), piano players (like myself), and music students are most concerned about when shopping for a new digital piano...and that is the key action. It reality all the "bells & whistles" that a digital piano offers is meaningless at the end of the day as compared to how the piano responds and plays as a "piano." There are plenty of digital pianos out there with all kinds of "cool features" in a variety of price ranges, but when it comes to picture of Casio PXS1100 reproducing a pleasing piano playing experience, some of those digital pianos are good, some are average, and some are just bad...and I have done a number of reviews on the poor quality models and bad ones....and most of those pianos are the "off-brand names." 

The key action in the new PX-S1100 is a new & improved design by Casio being currently offered in the new compact PXS models only and not any other model of Casio digital pianos. The key action is improved and upgraded in a number of ways that are noticeable to me including the key weight, responsiveness. The overall balance between the black & white keys going up and down the keyboard is good but there is a bigger disparity in down-weight force needed to play the keys. While the white keys are fairly standard in terms of weight, the black keys are much lighter when playing near the tips of the keys so it takes less finger force to play the black keys as opposed to the white keys. But as you move your fingers forward on the black keys then they start to get heavier because of the fulcrum point. 

This is normal on an ultra compact key action design. But even with that said, as far as recreational use goes, I don't see this as an issue at all. I can play it just just fine and if I wanted longer, more traditional key movement for mostly classical music, then I might invest in something else. 

But for overall use in a very slim, compact, and lightweight model I find the key action sufficient and enjoyable for my musical needs. The quietness of the keys when being played are very good when the keys are going down but they are a bit noisier when the keys are coming back up. You can only really hear that noise when the overall keyboard volume is very low. Under normal volume and circumstances it is not an issue. 

Of all the key actions out there for a portable digital piano under $1000 I can say that the PXS piano key action has a good overall "feel" and comfortable, at least for me, although different people do have some different opinions when it comes to key actions and the weighted keys, but it just depends on your playing experience and which acoustic pianos you have played in the past and what your musical goals are.

picture of key length & weight in Casio PXS1100
picture of key length & weight in Casio PXS1100I think that it is important to note that I have played literally thousands of acoustic upright & grand pianos in my long music career including Fazioli, Steinway, Bosendorfer, Kawai, Yamaha, Bechstein, Young Chang, Samick, Boston, Pearl River, Essex, Kimball, Story & Clark, and many more so I know how weighted keys feel and how they are supposed to move. The PX-S1100 does have slightly shorter keys (the part of the key you cannot see that goes beyond the visible key and underneath the piano panel behind the key) than other digital pianos and therefore the key weight towards the very backs of the white keys and black keys is harder (firmer) and therefore the keys are a bit harder to press down when playing flats & sharps towards the "backs" of the keys. 

You can know what key weight actually is because key weight is measurable in terms of down-weight & up-weight which is the amount of pressure measured in grams that it takes for a key to go down when it is pressed by a finger. Just so you know...the actual keys on digital picture of key length & weight in Casio PXS1100 piano don't have much weight to them at all. It's the extra weights placed inside the key (in acoustic type piano keys) or attached to the keys or within the key action (in digital pianos) that give the plastic and/or wooden keys their complete weight. The Casio PX-S1100, like all the other portable and furniture digital pianos under $2000 are more like upright acoustic pianos in that digital pianos in that price range do have shorter keys which is true of regular acoustic upright pianos. Acoustic Grand pianos have longer keys (the part of the key you cannot see that goes under and behind the panel into the piano cabinet) and that is why professional piano players and advanced pianists always prefer to play on grand piano key actions because they can play their music better with more balance between the backs and fronts of the keys in terms of key pressure and key stroke. 

However, key weight (the force or pressure it takes to press the key down) is measured near the top front of the key, top middle of the key, and top back of the key. For some of you out there these extra "details" about keys may not be of interest to you and that is fine. But for other people you may enjoy knowing about these details which I am happy to explain.

picture of key length & weight in Casio PXS1100
As a real example, the down-weight of middle C# key (black key) measured in the middle of the key is about 60 grams of down-weight pressure or force it takes to press down the key. The down-weight pressure on the same key measured in the same place (middle of key) on the Casio PX-S1100 is approx 65 grams. But if you take that same measurement on the popular Yamaha P515 portable digital piano picture of key length & weight in Casio PXS1000 ($1599 price) the down-weight measures almost 90 grams on that same black key in the same position...this is true of the white keys as well. 

The Yamaha digital piano key action is noticeably heavier in that key position not only against regular acoustic upright and grand pianos, but also as compared to Korg, Kawai, and Roland digital pianos with Roland needing more key pressure than Kawai, Korg, or Casio. On a real grand piano the amount of finger pressure needed to press down the key is even less than upright acoustic pianos. In other words, the keys are even lighter and take less effort PXS1100 white with stand and single pedal to press down on grand pianos as opposed to upright pianos in the middle of the key and also towards the fronts of the keys. 

However when pressing the key downward towards the very backs of the keys on the new PXS models, the Casio keys are heavier/firmer and do take more finger pressure than the other brands.  But when you press towards the tip of the C# black key on the PX-S1100 then the touch-weight measures out at about 52 grams. All that just means that depending on where you put your fingers on the keys, the needed finger force may change...and that is consistent with many acoustic upright pianos and other digital pianos. To get a more portable and slimmer size digital piano, Casio obviously had to compromise to produce that new reduced size in the PXS. But...given the fact that (overall) the 88-keys outplay the other brands of portable digital pianos under $1000 for a lot of people when it comes to key weight and movement...I think it's a reasonable compromise unless you did not need a slim cabinet. 

The bottom line for this new key action is that although the PX-S1100 has (overall) a very playable "feel" and the overall weight and movement of the keys is comfortable and responsive, if you are primarily a classical pianist and/or play lots of sharps and flats towards the very backs of the keys then this key action may not be as comfortable and responsive for you as you may need. I hope this all makes sense to you:)

Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture
Is this new Casio key action perfect and exactly like a real piano?...definitely not and no one should expect that in this price range. But the question really is, given that there are key action variations among different brands of portable digital pianos under $1000, which ones are playable and comfortable? With that question in mind, for me this new PX-S1100 model falls in this category. It's quite responsive especially with having their new "High Definition" key senor electronics for good note repetition reaction and Casio has added a new proprietary key technology that allows each key to have a slightly different weighted feel offering linear weighted keys which they have never had before. So the increase and decrease of the graduated weight of the keys as you go up and down the keyboard (Casio calls their new key-action "smart scaled") is something that no other digital piano manufacturer has right now in this lower price range. 

Casio PXS1100 digital piano pictureBeyond that, the synthetic ivory & ebony key-tops feel good under the fingers and the texture of those keys has been greatly improved over previous Casio portable digital pianos so that that synthetic material can help absorb sweat from the fingers. Another thing I noticed about the key action is that it's quieter than previous models when the keys move up & down. This is a big deal, especially for Casio because many piano want or need the key action to be as quiet as possible while still moving up & down correctly with good "key travel." So based on my initial testing of this model and many subsequent tests I've done with this key action, 

I can say that although it is not "noiseless" when the keys move, it is definitely quieter than before and there is no thud, thumping, or knocking sounds when the keys are going down and there is reduced noise when the the keys come back up, although there is still some noise as I mentioned earlier. In addition to that, when the keys come back up they don't bounce near as much as previous models which means they are steadier and and more refined. So the bottom line is this...the Casio PX-S1100 has a more enjoyable and quieter key action than the some other brands for portable pianos in this price range under $1000. 


STEREO GRAND PIANO SOUND


Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture
The piano sound authenticity is certainly the 2nd most important aspect of any piano and the PXS1100 has a brand new piano sound chip in it that no other portable or furniture cabinet Casio piano currently has had. This new sound piano sound chip has been improved in a number of ways over previous models and all other Casio portable digital pianos. First of all, their are 3 main acoustic piano tones in the PX-S1100 with one being the concert sound, a brighter piano sound, and a mellow piano sound. Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture There are also some other acoustic piano sounds but the 3 main ones are what most people will be using. The dynamic tonal range and organic nature of these 3 piano tones are very impressive and more expressive than ever before. From very soft to very loud and everywhere in-between, playing the piano sounds, especially the concert Grand sound is so dynamically rich in tone that it's hard to believe Casio could do that in a $699 portable digital piano. 

The Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture nuanced tones at every pressure level when playing the keys are impressive and you can even hear the "virtual strings" resonate and vibrate in ways that $1500 digital pianos have a hard time doing and you can hear what are known as sympathetic overtones and hammer noises & resonances, just like the real thing...and with the Music Space app using its "acoustic simulator" features, you can control the amount of those organic vibrations & resonances you hear. So if the sound is a little bit "too much" for you in terms of all those organic tones that Casio has captured in their piano sound engine, you can easily reduce those organic Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture elements or even increase them if you want more of it. The piano tone (overall) is very natural even when coming through it's own PX-S1100 internal speakers.  Many portable digital pianos with internal speakers in this price range have weak bass response. But in the case of the PX-S1100 it has surprisingly good bass response and sounds fairly full, especially given the small size of the cabinet. So that's a big "plus" for this model.

Perhaps that small size is a compelling reason why Casio also created a new proprietary "3-D" surround sound technology within this model to give the sound a presence that I have not heard in any other portable digital piano under $800. When you play the piano sound through the regular stereo speaker system in the PX-S1100 you get a stereo sound that is more than adequate and better than some other portable digital pianos out there. But when you activate on the 3-D stereo surround sound mode, the stereo grand piano sound really comes to life in a way that none of the other brands can do and it feels like the sound surround you. The 3-D surround sound mode also adds more volume and noticeable clarity to the piano sound and gives it expression in tone that you don't have when that mode is switched off. However, there may be times when you might not want to use this surround sound mode because you'll get a more mellow tone with out it, which some people like.

3D SOUND & SPECIAL REVERB EFFECTS


Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture
In addition to the 3-D surround sound, the PX-S1100 has a mode for adding special effects to the sound, such as reverb. All digital pianos have a reverb effect so that is nothing new. However none of these other portable digital pianos under $1500 have a DSP reverb mode that takes a basic reverb/echo effect and brings it to another level that you would find in professional recording studios. Casio has recreated the actual environmental room effect of specific types buildings and/or places that a pro concert might be held at or a pro singer might be singing at such as Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture an Opera Hall, Cathedral, Stadium, etc. That sound mode in the PX-S1100 is called "hall simulator." 

When you activate the hall simulator system you then get professional sound environmental reverb effects recreating these different places I just mentioned and the result is a piano sound that really does become more alive because it makes piano sound become even less artificial and more organic. You can switch on the hall simulator effect and the 3-D Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture surround sound effect at the same time and then when you play some piano on the keyboard you just want to say...WOW, that's really cool! 

I am not exaggerating about this because that's exactly how I felt when I tried it and no other previous Casio portable digital piano I have ever played (and I have played them all) has made me feel that way. Once you set up your Hall Simulator and 3D surround sound effects the way you want them through the app you can then toggle them off and on from the control panel of the piano with the touch of the "sound mode" digital sensor button so that you don't have to use the app all the time to get those effects, makes it easy. OK...if that was not enough, I connected the PX-S1100 to some external powered monitors which are pretty good but not expensive...about $300 for a pair and they have a relatively small footprint. I just took a couple instrument cables coming from the separate audio outputs on the piano and plugged them into the monitors and placed them on the floor next to the PX-S1100, and as soon as I did that and powered on the monitors, the PX-S1100 became a big grand piano with all the frequency and bass response you could want out of a small portable digital piano. Actually it was pretty unbelievable hearing this instrument that way.

NATURAL SOUND TECHNOLOGY


Grand piano picture
So...when it comes to the piano sound on this new model I am not suggesting it sounds exactly like a grand piano because no digital piano can actually do that. However, the piano sounds in the PX-S1100 are very good digital recordings of grand pianos but those sounds are coming out of speakers and the key action that is triggering those piano sounds are not grand piano keys with all the natural organics of a real grand piano. But for the uninitiated and those people who have not had a lot of playing experience on a real top quality grand piano like I have (I've played literally thousands of grand pianos in my music career), you might be fooled into thinking the sound in this Casio PX-S1100 actually is a grand piano because it's that good, especially when listening through a good pair of stereo headphones or connecting to some good monitor speakers. With Roland, for instance, 

I can easily tell their piano sound is more artificial and not near as real for their digital pianos under $1000. Same holds true with Yamaha and a few other brands. You can only expect so much is this price range under $1000, but with this new PXS series, Casio has really done their homework and improved things in a big way when it comes to piano sound authenticity.  

PEDAL RESPONSE TECHNOLOGY AND CONNECTIVITY


Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture
At this point in my (lengthy) review, if you are still with me I want to talk about the pedals. All pianos have pedals and without them there would not be a piano. That's because the pedals, particularly the right damper/sustain pedal is so Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture important for holding and sustaining the piano sound so that you can play your song with all the notes always producing a staccato sound where the note is heard and then quickly shuts off when you let go of the key. You definitely want notes to sustain their sound by holding down the damper/sustain pedal for a period of time depending on the notes and chords you are playing at any given moment in the song. damper pedaling is critical to the Keyboard picture outcome and realism of any song you play on the piano. Other instruments like harpsichords, organs, etc do not have sustain pedals because the sound does not operate that way. On a real piano (upright or grand piano) one of the hallmarks of any piano sound in that piano is how well the damper pedal can sustain  and hold that tone and keep up the volume of that piano sound as it is sustain and then decaying away over time. 

In other words, you should be able to hold the sustain pedal down, play a key on the keyboard maybe in the middle of it, and that piano sound should hold on and sustain naturally for about 15-20 seconds (or even more depending on the piano) until you do not hear it any more. The bass notes have twice as long of sustain time and the high notes have less sustain time than in the middle of the keyboard. With digital pianos almost all of them have had problems with being able to sustain notes for longer periods of time like real pianos can. For the first time Casio now has a natural organic note sustain that is a long and as loud as a real acoustic piano and it also decays and fades out like a real piano. 

What this does for the piano is to offer the better intermediate or advanced player the ability to play music in a way that they can do on a real piano...and that's the point. Even the beginner sounds better because the longer, bolder piano sustain ability "fills in the holes" just by pressing and holding the sustain pedal. It's like adding thousands of new colors to your pallet, it all just comes out more beautifully...that's what great pedal sustain is able to do for the pianist. The more natural the piano sound, key action, and pedaling is on a digital piano, the more natural your music will sound and the more you will enjoy it...and that should be the goal.

Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture
One of the normal downsides of using a damper/sustain pedal on a Casio digital piano is that the pedal included with the PXS pianos are small, square, very lightweight plastic pedals that don't stay in one place and move around on the ground when you are using it. This pedal work OK and is  included free with this model, but it is not something I would recommend for any long term use. So the solution for that is to purchase a heavy duty full size, better weighted metal pedal for about $30-$40 and then the pedaling experience will be much nicer. However, that still only gives you one pedal, and since there are 3 pedals on a piano, Casio Casio PXS1000 digital piano picture has designed and built a new proprietary tripe pedal unit that is portable and plugs directly into the PX-S1100. 

This pedal system is called the SP34, and at $99 discount price, not only does it offer a much better pedaling experience, especially as you progress in your piano playing abilities, but it stays in place better on the floor and the sustain (right) pedal does something that the other Casio single pedals cannot do and that's being able to do "half-damper" pedaling. Half damper pedaling is when you press down on the right damper/sustain pedal and the further you press the pedal down the more sustain effect you will get. When the pedal is all the way down and you slowly release it then you can progressively less sustain effect. This is just like a real piano can do...and it's very natural and Casio PXS1000 digital piano picture needed when playing at a bit more serious level. With the single sustain pedals, those pedals only offer on or off sustain and not progressive sustain. So is the Casio triple pedal system worth the $99?...I think it is but you may not need it right away especially if you are just starting out as a new piano student. 

The middle pedal on the triple pedal unit is the standard sostenuto function (most people do not use that pedal) and the left pedal is the soft pedal which is useful to soften any note(s) when pressing that pedal down Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture which some piano players will use. Regardless, this is the first time Casio has offered a portable triple pedal unit instead of needing to have it built into a furniture pedal system connected to a furniture stand which is all that was available in previous Casio portable models. This means that you could take the PX-S1100 with you somewhere outside where there is no power, set it up on a portable stand, connect the triple pedal unit (or a single pedal), and play the PX-S1100 while powered with six AA batteries. Given the great sound of the PX-S1100 coming through its own internal speaker system (I will talk specifically about the internal speakers a bit later) and the fact that the piano sound authenticity combined with a very playable piano style key action and responsive pedaling system is so good, you can have musical enjoyment wherever you are and sound like a pro doing it.

INSTRUMENT SOUNDS AND FEATURES


Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture
When it comes to instrument sounds, effects, functions, and features, the PX-S1100 simple appearance is very deceptive. From the outside it looks like it does nothing when the power is off because as I have mentioned earlier, there are no function buttons other than a volume knob and a sleek flush mounted power button. So when you power up Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture the keyboard then some functions appear on the smooth black surface and light up so you can see and activate them. But that appears to be very deceptive as well because by the looks of things from the piano control panel it seems as if there are only two instrument sounds showing, acoustic grand piano and electric Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture piano, and that's it. However, under that "hood" there are actually 18 instrument sounds (17 + 1 string bass tone for split mode) which any one of the 17 instrument tones can be selected along with being able to layer/mix any of those sounds with another 17 sounds in a different menu, although both sets (menus) of sounds are the same. 

You can layer any one sound in the first menu with any one sound in the second menu such as concert piano with stereo strings or harpsichord with pipe organ, etc. You can also control the volume independently on both sounds which is very convenient and useful in balancing your layered sound. There is also a "split" function on the keyboard which allows for an automatic string bass tone on the left-hand split on a particular preset note and then any sound you choose for the right hand such as piano which is fun if you want to play a bit of Jazz bass/piano.. You can also select 2 sounds to be layered on the right hand along with a bass sound on the left-hand. The 11 sounds + 1 bass tone in this model are all quite good and noticeably improved over past Casio models including a variety of acoustic & electric pianos, orchestral strings, jazz, pop, and church organs, harpsichord and vibes.

OVER 50 IMPRESSIVE FEATURES INCLUDING RECORDING & PLAYBACK


Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture
Within the piano there are there approx 50 functions which are intuitively accessed by the Casio Music Space app and there are also approx 50 variations of those 50 functions to give you more control over how the sound comes out and also being able to more easily access features, songs, 2 track recording & playback (right-hand, left-hand), metronome, transpose,  5 levels of touch sensitivity control, music games, audio song file importing, and a host of other very cool things you can do with the PX-S1100. So all of these things can help you make music in ways that not only lets you sound better on this model than any other Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture portable digital piano out there under $1000 in my opinion, but you get to do musical things that just makes piano playing more fun, more enjoyable, and allows you to customize your piano and instrumental tones in ways other digital pianos just cannot do right now. 

My point is...don't be deceived by the simple design and looks when the piano is off or even when it is powered on. When you use the Casio Music Space app on your personal device, that app will open up a world of technology which can be used with this piano which anyone from 3 years old to 93 years old can easily learn to do. It's interesting that Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture you can also access these other features directly from the piano itself using a function button and then looking in the owners manual to find the correct key out of all the 88 keys on the keyboard which will then trigger that function you want. But that way of getting to those features is definitely not intuitive and requires a lot of memorization and tends to be tedious to use. The end result is that people usually avoid using those extra features because it's not easy and intuitive to use when you have to rely on such an antiquated operating system like that one. 

It's really all about using helpful Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture technology (which I am a big supporter of) to make your music playing experience as exciting and personal as it can be, and this is the first Casio portable digital piano that can do that through an app on the color touch screen of your personal device (phone, tablet, etc). Don't have a personal device, especially a tablet like an iPad or Android?...then I recommend you eventually get one if you are going to purchase the PX-S1100...it's definitely worth it. It's still somewhat easy to trigger the 17 instrument sound from the piano control panel and keys without the need of an iPad/tablet as well as the recorder, metronome, and surround sound. But it's much easier and more intuitive to do it from a tablet color touch screen using the Casio Music Space app.


ADDITIONAL PX-S1100 FEATURES INCLUDING TOUCH CONTROL AND SOUND FUNCTIONS



Casio PXS1100 function chart
I think it's important to reiterate that the PXS series pianos as well as other brands of portable and cabinet digital pianos have a similar setup to the PX-S1100 when wanting to use the additional built-in features such as changing transpose key, brightness, touch sensitivity control, and other functions.
You have to look in the owners manual at a chart to see where those functions are located in piano by manually pressing a specific white or black key on the keyboard while holding down the function or sound mode button. It's a bit cryptic and not user friendly and it's this operating method which prevents a lot of people from using these extra features intuitively and efficiently, so the result of this is that most people tend to shy away from trying to use those features because it takes a lot of effort to do so. But then you miss out on all the very cool and useful things these extra functions can do like Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture changing the touch sensitivity control of the keyboard to help you play better depending on how you strike the keys. 

Perhaps you would want to change the brilliance control of the PX-S1100 so you can brighten up or mellow out the sound which customizes the piano tone to Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture your ear as some people like an overall more mellow tone and others like a clearer, crisper, sharper tone. This is useful whether you are playing the piano sound, organ sound, or other instrument tones. The reverb and ambiance controls can make your music sound even more realistic and you can even control the depth or amount of that ambiance using internal controls. But all of that is likely going to stay unused or hidden within the piano because most people don't want to deal with memorizing which black or white key on the 88 keys triggers that function (see white chart above left pic) and there is no way to know unless you look in the owners manual each time to see where that feature is located in the chart and then trying to trigger that function by pressing the piano function button and the correct key. 

There is no indication on the keyboard itself where those functions are located. But as I previously mentioned, this type of operation is true for many other brands and models in this price range under $1000. That's why the Casio Music Space app is so important and so useful in allowing the user to finally have a very intuitive, fun, and efficient way of quickly accessing and trigger all these different types of features contained inside the PX-S1100. It just makes the PX-S1100 a very powerful musical tool so that your music can come out as pleasing to your fingers and ears as possible within the ability of the piano. I cannot overstate how important that app is to opening up what this piano can do.

PX-S1100 CONNECTIVITY


1/4 audio outputs, sustain pedal connectors
However, if all you want is a simple portable digital piano that can instantly let you play piano just by powering up the instrument and playing, then the Casio PX-S1100 can do that too. Simple and clean in design and operation, the PX-S1100 will likely inspire you musically as
USB connection to host, USB flashdrive & Bluetooth dongle connector
soon as you start playing it.
I also like the fact that this model has lots of great connectivity inside of it which includes 2 full size 1/4" audio outputs to plug into an external audio system for use in home, in studio, at church,  or wherever you may need to connect with external speakers to get a bigger, bolder, more powerful sound. There is a new USB flash drive or Bluetooth wireless dongle input so that you can either save your audio or MIDI recordings to a standard USB flashdrive or play piano MIDI files from a flashdrive, or plug in the included Bluetooth dongle ($80 value) to use Bluetooth audio or MIDI wireless connectivity. 

The PX-S1100 also has a USB output to computer, tablet, etc, so that you can connect securely to an external device. Also, there is a proprietary triple pedal input to connect the optional triple pedal unit along with 1 sustain pedal input jack. There are 2  1/8' stereo headphone jacks located on the right front side of the piano for easy access for plugging in headphones for private practice. 

Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture
Speaking of the piano internal stereo speaker system, Casio has redesigned their previous internal speaker system they used in previous models and the PXS is the first new models to incorporate this new system in a portable digital piano. The speakers themselves are larger measuring over 6" at its largest point which is about 1.5" larger than in previous models, so they put out a bigger, fuller sound than before because of the expansion of the speaker surface area as well as better components. The 8 watt x 8 watt (total 16 watts) stereo amplifiers have been redesigned to offer Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture a cleaner sound with less distortion and although 16 total watts seems like a small amount of power, you will be surprised at actually how much volume and bass response can come out of this piano...it's a Casio PXS1100 digital piano picture lot!. 

The speaker ports in the PX-S1100 disperse the sound in a new way with sound coming out of the front and sound coming out of the back for better all around sound projection. The back speaker grills which are finished off in a black color are also flush mounted and somewhat disappear into the back of the piano to give the back a sleeker appearance. When you add it all up the new internal stereo sound system is a bonus feature also not expected in this new model. The internal sound system is even more Casio PXS1100 in red color impressive when you are using the special surround sound technology when playing the piano because that technology coupled with the new improved speaker system definitely makes the piano sound "come alive" with more bass, more volume, and more clarity (and with less distortion at higher volumes) than ever before, and previous and current Casio digital pianos (and some other brands) just cannot do that. It's important to note that the new 
red pxs1100 on stand with triple pedal "surround sound" feature does not apply to sound coming through headphones or to the sound coming through external speakers. Only through the internal piano speaker system will the surround sound mode work. With regard to the "bass frequencies" and bass power, if you are looking for that grand piano type bass response, you will still not get that with the PXS models. 

As I talked about earlier, you would still need to connect to a good sub woofer or some good stereo monitors from the piano audio outputs for that to happen. But if you do that (and it does not cost much to do it) then you'll get a big full bass response which will likely make you believe you are actually playing a real full size baby grand piano...I've done it so I know it really works that way.

CABINET COLORS, ACCESSORIES, & WARRANTY


Casio PXS1100 in red color
The PXS series is normally available in both black or white cabinet finishes and come with a matching music rack that will support your sheet music or books. The PX-S1100 comes with the single plastic sustain pedal and power adapter and Casio makes a nice looking furniture type stand called the CS68 which sells for $140 discount price on-line. The stand is nice looking, supports the piano so the piano can screw down to the stand, and with the optional triple pedal selling for about $100, you would then have a complete home setup. 

Casio PXS1100 digital piano warranty card pictureYou can also just purchase a lightweight portable x-style adjustable stand on-line for about $40-$50 which can be a  more practical way of supporting the piano depending on your needs and budget. Overall, no matter what accessories you might be purchasing for the piano or how you will be using this instrument, you'll likely be very happy with the purchase. There are a couple of lower priced entry level Casio portable digital pianos out there including the CDP models, but they don't come close to the PX-S1100 for what it does and the price difference is minimal. The PX-S1100 comes with a Casio full 3-year factory warranty covering both parts and labor, so it's well protected. Casio also makes custom gig bag for this model which fits it perfectly and is very robust and nicely padded as compared to past Casio gig bags for other portable digital pianos. There are a couple nice sized pockets on the gig bag, a comfortable handle, sturdy full Casio PXS gig bag picturelength zipper, and a couple of full length straps attached to the bag. 

The bag itself is not heavy but it seems to be constructed very well and the piano sits securely inside without wiggle room, and that is a very good thing. $150 may seem like a lot to pay for a "gig bag," but I believe you will be hard pressed to find a generic one out there that actually fits this "slim-line" model correctly while being robust. I think this gig bag is definitely worth the price and if you are going to travel with the piano at all, then I recommend you invest in this new gig bag to protect it. I also recommend that you eventually upgrade (sooner or later) to the better metal full length sustain pedal or triple pedal unit to get a more stable and better manageable pedal playing experience, which is no as important for first time beginner students but it will be necessary as you develop your piano playing skills.

CASIO PX-S3100


Casio PXS3000 digital piano picture
Casio PX-S3100 Digital Piano

There is another portable digital piano under $1000 that I would recommend above the PX-S1100 and that's its more powerful brother called the PX-S3100 at $879 discount price (above picture). For just under $200 more the PX-S3100 is ahead of the PX-S1100 in terms of what it can do in a number of ways.  

So it would be my recommendation that if you can go up in your budget just about $200 then you should consider getting the PX-S3100 because it's much more musically enjoyable (for many people) and can help you produce a lot more music in a number of different ways that the PX-S1100 cannot do. The nice thing about the PX-S3100 is that it has the same overall piano sound engine, the same key action, and the same pedaling response.

The PX-S1100 does have Bluetooth MIDI connectivity and also Bluetooth audio. The PX-S3100 has the same cabinet design and overall appearance except for a couple of additional physical controller knobs and a pitch bend wheel located on the very left end portion of cabinet. The Casio Music Space app has 100's more fun, educational, and useful features and functions for the PX-S3100. So all of the essentials of the PX-S1100 are there in the PX-S3100 plus a lot more things you can do.

I think many of the digital piano shoppers out there could extend their budget to get the PX-S3100 instead...because it's just not that much more money for what you would be getting. 

But as far as the PX-S1100 goes, if what you have learned about it here seems like it may be the right choice for you and you mostly want to focus on the piano playing experience and/or just cannot stretch your budget any further, this new 2022 PX-S1100 piano is going to be hard to beat at its $679 discount price, so I definitely recommend it. Please click on the following link to read my review of the Casio PX-S3100 to learn more about it: PX-S3100 Review

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.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Tim,

Is this CASIO PX-S1000 ($599) better than YAMAHA P-125 ($599) and KAWAI ES110 ($699)?

I've heard that the main piano sound of the PX-S1000 is the "Hamburg Grand" of the CASIO Celviano GP-300/GB-500. Is this true?

Anonymous said...

I agree with your comments about the PX-S3000. It is indeed excellent and worth the extra $.

AZPianoNews said...

The new Casio PXS1000 is not necessary "better" because there are different musical and piano playing needs out there. However, for $599 current discount price on that model right now in my opinion it definitely cannot be beat...it's a matter of personal preference. Nevertheless, I think I made a fairly compelling case of why the PXS1000 may be the better choice in its price range.

Anonymous said...

If I’m looking for a digital keyboard solely for the reason that I want pick up again playing the piano, would you recommend Kawai ES110 or Casio PX S1100?

Ong said...

Hi,

I have been comparing Roland FP-30x and PX s1100. While I understand Roland comes with a list of 40++ rhythms in the Piano every day app, I cant seem to confirm whether does Casio have rhythms as well for PX S1100? Or only PX s 3100 will have this with built in 200 rhythms?

Tim Praskins - AZ Piano Reviews said...

given that the Roland FP-30X is $859 US discount selling price, the Casio PX-S1100 currently at $679 is the wrong instrument comparison. You should be comparing the Casio PX-S3100 at $879 to the Roland FP-30X at $859. Then you will get the rhythm arrangements and many other features on the PX-S3100 that are not available on the Roland FP-30X.

Anonymous said...

Would you say the PX 870 would be an upgrade from the PXS1100 in terms of action and piano sounds?