After a long await Finally I was able to get my hands on the newly released PX S1100 and PX-S3100 Digital Pianos from Casio.
With the huge popularity of its predecessor, it's really tough to make a mark on these new releases as Casio already set-up the standard pretty high.
For a quick reference here are the tantalizing features of PX-S1100 as advertised by Casio itself.
So, with that said let's dissect all the new features and issues (did someone said anything about the weight) the earlier models, and most importantly overall playing experience and all these from a price perspective.
PX S-1100 Vs PX S-1000
At first glance, it's really a tough job to spot any difference between PX-S1100 and PX-S1000.
the first thing we're gonna do is highlight the differences between the S1100 and the S1000 and the S3100 and the S3000.
Because our understanding is that the changes pushed through are going to be the same on both of the models, as this release is just an update rather than a completely new product line.
So, the first that I noticed is that the keyboards are now including a new Bluetooth adapter which isgoing to enable audio and MIDI Bluetooth communication.
This is a completely different add-on, as the S1000 allows you to stream Bluetooth audio to the instrument but it lacks the wireless control connection that you could have with your computer.
To connect your instrument with your digital device you need to use your cable.
This is not a huge add-on but as of today, there are fewer and fewer instruments that require you to use a cable.
So, now you can have a remote type of connections with apps like casio's cordana app or even just with a regular daw, so this was definitely a nice upgrade providing much-needed flexibility and portability.
To add the bluetooth adaptor connectivity it doesn't look like they've tried to redesign the motherboard for the change.
Instead, to accommodate this, they are including a usb key type adapter that plugs into the back and turns ready to use.
As said above, there's not a lot of changes in PX-S1100 when compared with PX-S1000 cause the earlier one has already proved its worth and is widely successful globally (there's still some minor issues though), so why re-invent the wheel.
With that said, the next major change it offers is the totally re-designed speaker box and the material on the speaker cone.
While testing I don't have them side by side to be able to say for sure what type of an impact the replacement is providing but it's sure it is the better one.
Upon a little digging, it was clear that the material used is the "mica" as well as just some other type of foam.
The foam impacts the tone travel distance of the diaphragm. The material used will also help in strengthing the diaphragm of the speaker's cone which going to improve the definition of the treble.
The redesigned case for the speaker box also allows the tones to able to travel more when it's dealing with some of the lower frequencies, especially in higher dynamic ranges.
So, In short, you're going to get a warmer clearer base much less likely to distort.
I am not sure about the more technicality of the material and the impact it provides but overall it's a meaningful upgrade for sure and will surely enhance your playing experience in a positive way.
The third major change Casio is promoting is a completely different sample set for their acoustic piano tone,
Now this is seems a little confusing it's not to specific that what tone they have added as PX S-1000 already contains popular Casio's own acoustic piano sets.
what I can discern is that they have "either" or "and" added a few extra velocity layers.
Or they have taken a new sample set from a nine-foot concert grant (as Casio mentioned).
As far as I can see, They have included the sample set of the premium GP series 9" Conecrt Grand Pianos.
PX S1100 also comes with additional nuance, which sometimes means that they've tweaked their propriety "AiR Engine".
Have added a few extra layers of samples on top of the base samples.
Generally, to add more character and realistic nuances in the Acoustic engines, they have to go through all of the 88 notes and play that key at a number of different velocities and capture the character of the tone and obviously the tone itself.
Loseless Sample Storage
Casio claims that the latest released PX S1100 now offers lossless sample storage.
To be fair it's just a marketing gimmick add-on, it's like advertising "Celery is now cholesterol-free", am I not already knowing that? Why they're going to be cholesterol in my celery, it never has been. So, what's the point of mentioning this ??
If you are still wondering what are lossless samples?
Lossless samples are high-definition audio stored in compressed format, so generally while converting the compressed samples to tone somewhere quality is compromised, And the job of lossless samples is to make sure that this (compromising quality) won't happen.
SUmming up the differences
To sum up the differences between PX S1000 and PXS1100 we can say that :
-- You are looking at an improved speaker cone and a speaker box that's going to improve both the bass and the treble.
-- Bluetooth functionality is now adding bluetooth midi as well as bluetooth audio inbound.
-- Third you're looking at some type of upgrade to the core piano tone of that instrument.
the pxs 1000 or that that whole series uh has been uh you know a fun piano we certainly have a lot of uh quite happy customers who like the fact that it's nice and light
um have enjoyed the sound I've had a lot of people you know a b uh
that Casio sound uh against Roland against kawai sometimes other uh used
products that we've had in here uh and
it's quite surprising to me how often people gravitate towards the Casio sound compared to some others that you know you would think on paper
might be the main draw so it's not been you know the perfect fit
for everybody because everyone's ears are different everybody's fingers are different but certainly it's found its fan base and i would have called it
you know a nice inexpensive product from cassio
but before we leave this video one last thing that we're going to
touch on and it's a big one is some commentary that's out there in the cyber verse regarding the action on these instruments um because this has really been uh or become quite polarizing which is just bizarre to me uh given the price point that we're talking about you know we're under a thousand dollars
well under a thousand dollars for the pxs a thousand we're sort of around the thousand dollar mark for the pxs 3000 or the 3100 we are not talking about instruments that are designed or built for professional acoustic piano playing right, at all i mean these are instruments that were certainly with the the 1100 this was designed for beginners to have in their home
to have something compact that was easy to you know throw in a closet
and you know looked kind of interesting so that was the target audience
um and some of the dialogue or some of the commentary that i've been hearing i just i i have to put my two cents in on this uh
so the controversy arose when it became known that the black keys on this action were slightly lighter than the white keys by a few grams
now is this a common thing no it's not a common thing it does exist
i've seen cassio's reaction as i think cassio could have handled this information coming out in probably a slightly more productive way
because cassio is not a small company and when you take these instruments apart and you can see that the reason that they're lighter is
they've used lighter weights that's not somebody like slipping on a banana peel in a factory and oops something went wrong it sounded like a flaw this was a decision somebody decided or a team of engineers
decided that those weights should be a little bit lighter and it isn't the
craziest thing to me
first of all the black key is a much shorter lever and so if you put an equal weight on a shorter lever you're actually going to wind up with a heavier sensation, second thing is you're striking the black key with less of a blow distance to the key than you are when you're hitting a white key it's no different than if you start your hammer um with less distance to go from the string you wind up with a softer strike so it's kind of the same thing as using a left pedal on an upright so the concept of making the black keys on a digital piano a little bit lighter is not something that strikes me as
being like completely bananas cuckoo i get where at least the thought process probably was coming from and for the majority of playing styles
i don't think anybody would even really notice in fact the first time i played this instrument and i would consider myself a fairly good player
i did not even notice i played it for quite a while and still didn't really notice at all so there's a decision that's been made it was hardly some kind of like an oops we screwed it up the weights
are there they're less it's a shorter lever plus you've got a shorter blow distance between your finger and the key to accelerate to hit it so slightly less weight to me actually makes some sense because after all
especially on a digital piano it's not the actual weight of the key that matters
take for example a yamaha p515 that action has over 80 grams worth of weight uh its static weight is over 80 grams there is not a grand piano on this planet that would ever be regulated even at a basic level to be that heavy and yet the 515 has a lot of fans you play it you can tell that there's a little bit more uh you know girth to the key and when you weigh it out
you're like oh my goodness that really is staggeringly quite high it's a little
heavier than what i would actually prefer and
i've made mention of that in it but the point is there's a product that's completely accepted by the wide community that has a weighting on its keys that are like completely off the charts you'd never
ever ever find it on a keyboard and then the last point that i would make
is anybody who has used google over i don't know the last three years will know that their algorithm has become so advanced that there's now natural language processing there's now uh complete uh you know semantic contextualization that's occurring when you do a search
so anybody who searches casio pxs 1100 is going to find material on
the 1000 like you would have to rename that thing so wildly to avoid previous information that if what casio was attempting to do with the 1100 and the 3100 was somehow repackage or obscured the fact that there was this point of controversy on the action of the 11 or the thousand and
three thousand and they were doing this in some type of a malicious or bad faith way a they probably would have changed the name of the action and b they probably would have completely renamed it something totally different so instead of like pxs a thousand this becomes like tlc
3250 because then you're really never going to hit that same information but this is a slight evolution in the model and so it makes sense that it's a slight evolution in the model number and nothing about this to me suggests that cassio's really trying to hide anything because in my opinion they don't really have much to hide i do think as i said a
few minutes ago they probably could have handled the response to this in a slightly more productive way acknowledging that the weight difference
was there and then coming out and probably saying what i just speculated
on right now which is we tried a new thing we we ran it by a whole bunch of piano players we realized that technically it weighs out like this but you know their brains just did not acknowledge the weight difference it felt right because of how much we had to short the geometry anyway so there's my few cents into this highly dynamic discussion going on in various parts of the internet regarding the actions on these pxs series