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The Casio PX-5S is a truly portable, 88-key electronic keyboard that weighs in at under 25 pounds. Casio has kept the PX-5S affordable and light by cutting back on a few features, but the playability, sounds, and programability are still impressive. Anyone looking for keyboard with solid fundamentals, yet still easy to move around, the PX-5S is definitely worth a look. This is one of those instruments suitable for beginners and professionals alike.
As with other Privias, the button banks are to the left and right of the center LCD screen. The sound shaping options are incredible for a keyboard at this price point. Four knobs, six sliders, pitch-bend, and modulation are all to your left and serve to control the DSP and filter parameters.
To the right, the surface is textured and designed to keep your iPad from finding its way to the floor. Under this rubberized surface is the battery compartment; the unit can operate for roughly four hours on battery power alone. A USB port is present for recording and playing your music.
On the back, a stereo mini-jack input, power input, quarter-inch stereo output, and MIDI In, Out, and Thru can be found. There are also two inputs for footpedals. Finally, a pair of quarter-inch inputs are also present.
If you’re familiar with the PX-350, the same keys and scaled hammer action are found in the PX-5S. However, the PX-5S has much greater dynamic expression.
You can have up to 720 tones. 350 are slotted for you own creations; there are also 100 stage settings. The default grand piano sound is exceptional. The PX-5S has sympathetic resonance, reverb, release velocity sensors, and 4-band EQ. Lid position can also be simulated. The acoustic and electric pianos sound great and soulful. With so many sounds available, any musician would be pleased.
High-level sound editing can be done the the Data-Editor PX-5S and includes 18 pages of controls. The software can be downloaded for free from Casio. There are 6 synth layers, and the full parameter strips can be viewed with the software. While the onboard arpeggiator has 100 patterns, you can program up to 100 more. Each key on the keyboard can have its own unique setting! Try finding another keyboard with the sound shaping features found in the PX-5S at the same price.
There’s no input for an expression pedal. It’s also lacking a split button; however, splits can be programmed. A music stand isn’t included, either. While editing can be done without the software, it does make it more challenging. A few of the organ sounds aren’t anything to write home about. There are few negatives to report, and these won’t apply to many users.
Anyone in the market for a great digital piano, and requires a strong synth engine, would be pleased with the Casio PX-5S. The ability to edit so deeply is impressive for such a light and inexpensive keyboard. It’s similar to the PX-350 with added DSP and programming capabilities. Whether you’re an amateur or professional, you’re likely to be impressed. Try the Casio PX-5S before making any other keyboard purchase. If you do purchase this model, be sure to pick up the free software in order to realize all the capabilities built into this unit.