In this article, we are going to review the Casio CDP 220 and see if it truly lives up to the hype and is worth its price tag.
As most know, Casio has long been known as one of the better producers of digital pianos, and because of that, there are tons of Casio 88 key digital pianos on the market to choose from.
What makes Casio stand out is their willingness to put a lot of effort into the engineering of their products, so it’s no surprise they annually stay around the top of the market in terms of sales and customer satisfaction.
But sometimes it can be a little bit difficult trying to determine exactly what type of piano you need. Many people are beginners with the instrument and are just looking for something to take their first baby steps. Others are more advanced and are looking for an instrument that will both provide professionalism but not too much cost. And yet there are some that are on a more professional level as a pianist, and are looking for an instrument that can do it all.
So where does the CDP220 rank? Well, I feel the 220 is a machine that falls somewhere in between the beginner and intermediate categories of a digital piano. In fact, because of the quality of many of the features, one could slide the piano a little bit more towards the intermediate side of the spectrum.
It is interesting to note that this particular version of the piano has to be searched for a little bit more, as the official Casio website has no link to this version, only to another slightly different model, the CDP220R. Doing a little bit of research leads me to the conclusion that this is because Casio wants to slightly influence buyers to lean more towards their Privia line of digital pianos, which are also high quality and cut above.
The Piano Buying Guide
Below, please compare the affordable Casio CDP 220 to other digital pianos in its class:
|Casio PX-S1100||192-note polyphony; 18 built-in tones|
|Alesis Prestige Artist||30 voices, 256 polyphony|
|Casio CDP-S350||700 built-in tones|
|Yamaha P-515||40 Voices, 18 Drum/FX Kits, 480 XG Voices|
|Casio PX-870||Redesigned Cabinet, Speaker System|
|Korg LP-180||Natural Weighted Hammer Action|
|Casio PX-770||128 Note Polyphony|
|Yamaha P-45||64 Note Polyphony|
- NOTE: You can read our Casio CDP-240 review here!
The Casio CDP 220 is Simply Beautiful
When you first take a look at this piano, you might think that it isn’t much to behold, or doesn’t pack as much firepower as other pianos. But once you get a little closer and begin to dive in, you realize this digital piano has a lot to offer.
The CDP220 has a beautiful matte black color finish, which gives it the classic digital piano look. The piano is just over 52 inches long and just over 13 inches deep, so even though it is a full 88 key digital pianoit has great size and is not too big to be place in any décor or home setting.
One of the first things you will notice is the state of the art backlit LCD screen set directly in the middle of the machine. It looks great and gives access to a lot of wonderful functions, including being able to see every single note that you play as soon as you touch it, whether it is on the score (bass and treble notation) or on a graphical display of the entire keyboard.
And below, please take a moment to view some of the best selling digital pianos that are currently on the market today:
|1) Casio PX-S3000|
|2) Casio PX-870|
|3) Roland RP-102|
|4) Alesis Prestige Artist|
|5) Korg D1|
Wonderful Speaker System and Accessories
The piano also has two nicely set speakers on both ends of machine. This is a wonderful addition, as many digital pianos seem to have a set of speakers that are either lacking in quality or no speakers at all.
The bass reflex speaker system gives off such a great sound that you may not want to take advantage of the headphone stereo jack available. This is also a wonderful opportunity to mention the optional CS-44P stand, which you can set the piano on top of if you so desire.
The music stand is a wonderful accessory and comes with the matching matte black color finish, and will set the entire package at a height of about 30 inches.
A Great Selection of Voices and Tones to Choose From
The Casio CDP220 has a wonderful selection of sounds and rhythms to choose from. From its size and build one may assume that it would have the standard ten sound system that many digital pianos have that are placed in this category.
However, this machine surprisingly comes with over 700 sounds! That honestly is more than enough for most users who purchase this machine, as it is a beginner to intermediate piano.
The machine also comes with 200 built in rhythms, which are also great to play along with for less advanced users. You can use the accompaniment rhythms for almost any purpose, whether it’s to play by yourself and give an authentic feel to your sound, or even to take along with you to a gig to create the sound of a full, live band when you play.
A Great Machine for Learning to Play the Piano
One of the specialties of purchasing the CDP220 is that you will have a wonderful piano that uses a lot of methods to help teach you to play the piano. As stated before, the piano comes with Performance Evaluation, a trademarked feature across many Casio pianos that makes the score appear on the display screen.
In addition to that is Casio’s Step Up Lesson system, which is able to teach the user how to play the piano or a song step-by-step, or even note-by-note. The Step Up Lesson system helps the user master the song by breaking the process up into smaller parts.
First, you listen to the song as many times as you like. Second, you play along with the keyboard by watching the Performance Evaluation on the LCD screen, which will show you the notes to be played. Third, you play the song from memory. If you still have problems after that, you can use the Voice Fingering system, which calls out finger numbers with a simulated human voice.
The CDP220 comes with Casio’s Scaled Hammer Action system, which gives the piano a real acoustic feel to the keys, as opposed to the cheap toy feel of most pianos. It also features the Dual element AHL sound system, coupled with 48-note maximum polyphony. This is not enough for most serious piano players, but for the novice it will be just fine. The piano also comes with layer, split, reverb, chorus, touch response, and transpose functions.
The only scary thing about this piano sometimes can be the price. There is a lot of quality here, but I just can’t see someone buying this piano full retail at around $800-$900. On Amazon there are great deals for this piano around $400-$450.
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