If you’re currently in the market for a new portable piano, then you just might want to take a closer look at the Casio CDP-S360. In fact, that’s exactly what we did recently, and we’ll help you determine if this piano is worth its price tag in this very detailed Casio CDP-S360 review!
|Casio PX-S1100||192-note polyphony; 18 built-in tones|
|Yamaha P-125||GHS Weighted Action|
|Roland FP-30X||12 piano, 20 electric piano, 24 other tones|
|Casio CDP-S360||128 Notes of Polyphony|
Casio CDP-360 review – First Impressions
In general, my first impression of the Casio CDP-S360 were be the things that immediately jumped out to me (both ood or bad) the second I laid eyes on an instrument. For this piano, I found myself rather surprised to see an LED screen on an instrument that was listed for $599.
I even checked the model number again! But happily, it was no mistake. You won’t often see a screen on a piano at this price point, especially a backlit one, so that is a definite plus. A backlit screen makes it so much easier to see what you’re doing when hunting for a certain voice or function, especially in low light, and it’s a step up from screen-less instruments where you have to depend on a combination of buttons or a little red light to show you where your instrument is set.
Aside from that, I noticed that this instrument seems to have a lot of buttons and knobs for its price point. I see recording functions, song bank buttons, and much more. Now knobs aren’t my favorite, and I feel like the volume knob could use a little more resistance to give the user more control, but at the price, I’ll forgive it. The rest of the buttons are clearly labeled and have a nice little click when you press them.
Having played on other more expensive Casios (such as the Casio PX-S1000, which I also reviewed), I am also pleased to see that they still texture the keys at this lower price point.
Nice. Very nice. We’ve just started and I’m already impressed.
- First Impressions Rating: 10/10
Please enjoy this list of some of the best selling digital pianos online, and see how well they compare to the Casio CDP-S360.
|1) Casio PX-S3100|
|2) Casio PX-870|
|3) Roland RP-102|
|4) Yamaha P-515|
|5) Roland FP-90X|
Reviewing the Sound of the Casio CDP-S360
The sound of your piano is going to be an extremely important thing. Whatever instrument you choose to bring into your home and practice every day (for best results, anyway) is going to have to sound good to you. If you’re not pleased with your instrument’s sound, then why would you want to play it?
Luckily, if a nice sound is important to you (and it should be), the Casio CDP-S360 delivers. Right off the bat, I’m going to point out that this keyboard model retails between $499 and $599, making it a little more of a budget-friendly piano option for the young musicians this instrument is geared toward. And that’s who this instrument is for; musicians at the beginner or intermediate level.
And for what it is and how much you’re going to pay for it, you really are getting a lot of bang for your buck. I played this instrument on its default piano voice, then checked out an organ voice, strings, electric guitar, and a drum kit. I found that this Casio model uses a less sophisticated sound engine than the more expensive models, so the voices are not as natural as instruments at a higher price point. Still, I was very much impressed with what I heard here. The voices sound pretty good overall, and you’ll definitely appreciate the fact that you get a lot of voices here—128, in fact.
You probably won’t be using most of them, granted, but the electric piano voices are fun!
And, as an added bonus, this model comes with a pitch wheel, which you can find below. This makes it possible to bend the pitch up or down on a sustained note for more accurate electric guitar solos!
And with an 8W speaker on the back of either side of the instrument, you can definitely do just that that! Having the speakers placed in the back is a pretty sweet setup if you’re planning on using it for gigging. With that said, it’s not the greatest placement for when your piano is shoved up against a wall, but the sound is loud enough that even if you do that, it sound should be just fine.
- Sound Rating: 7/10
Touch of the Casio CDP-S360
The touch of your piano is just as important as its sound. In order for a growing musician to properly develop the technique they need to perform dynamic and beautiful music; they’re going to have to know how to play those notes.
Ultimately, it’s really crucial that your piano has weighted keys. The weighted keys give an electric piano’s keys the same physical feel as a piano, responding to the way they are played and allowing you to develop the dynamics (louds and softs) of your playing.
So, with that said, I was pretty pleased with the Casio. As mentioned before, the keys are textured, which is a nice touch.
With that said, the responsiveness of the keys could be, well, better than they are. I found that while the keys are graded (a heavier touch toward the bass notes and a lighter touch toward the higher notes), the overall feel of everything is a little too light.
For the beginner or intermediate player that this instrument is designed for, however, it might not be an issue at all. I also feel that the black keys are much lighter than the white keys, which isn’t awesome. Apparently, this is an issue with a lot of Casio’s offerings from the past several years. Hopefully, they’ll listen to their critics and address it with future models soon.
I also have to mention that playing very fast repetitions (which I can’t help but do when testing out an instrument, for some reason) results in lost notes. Probably because the less sophisticated key sensor at this price point doesn’t catch the new note if the key isn’t let all the way back up.
Not a deal breaker though.
As a beginner, it’s doubtful you’ll be playing anything that technical anyway. And keep in mind that this is a budget-friendly option, so it isn’t going to have all of the realism of instruments at higher price points.
For what it is, the touch is solid.
- Touch Rating: 6/10
Breaking Down Portability
If your main use for your new digital piano is going to be gigging, then you’re in luck—the Casio CDP-S360 is a great choice for that! Like other Casio instruments, the CDP-S360 is very slim and lightweight. The chassis is made out of lightweight plastic which, at 24 pounds, makes it much easier to lug around for gigs than other keyboards at this price point.
I mentioned earlier about the speakers being ideal for gigging. You’ll still want to invest in an amp if you plan to gig and still be heard amongst other instruments on stage, but in a smaller room or playing solo, having your speakers facing your audience is pretty effective.
The CDP-S360 comes with a removable music stand and a sustain pedal, so the only thing you’ll need to purchase for gigging (besides an amp) is a stand. I’d recommend purchasing an X stand. They’re lightweight, affordable, and they’ll let you play your piano while sitting, standing or at whatever height you feel most comfortable playing.
Perhaps the best feature related to portability is that this piano has the ability to play unplugged! That’s right! Unlike a lot of other digital pianos at even higher price points, this model can operate on 6 AA batteries, meaning you have the freedom to play outdoor gigs or to continue jamming for about 2 hours during a blackout.
Very convenient if your gigging takes you to inconvenient places.
- Portability Rating: 10/10
Dissecting the Casio CDP-360’s Features
The features of a piano are why some people prefer digital pianos over acoustic ones. They can do many more things than an acoustic piano cannot and a good digital piano has features that take your gigging and playing to the next level!
So, as far as features go, I was pretty pleased with the Casio CDP-S360. For a piano at this lower price point, it’s got quite a few offerings.
First, the back of the instrument has jacks for the sustain pedal that comes with the instrument, as well as hookups for headphones and an amp. I’d rather the headphone jack be in the front of the instrument, but that’s not a big deal reaching around to plug in. Just get headphones with a long enough cord.
The piano can also do nifty things like play in dual mode (allowing you to play two voices at the same time), split mode (playing a different voice on each side of the keyboard), and duet mode (splitting the keyboard into two halves with the same octave range).
There’s also an auto-accompaniment mode made up of the drum voices and MIDI assignments for chords, basslines, and other rhythms. With this mode enabled, the instrument tracks your left hand using software-based chord recognition so that you can accompany yourself.
Pretty cool. It also has configurable accompaniment tracks, labeled “Music” to lay down a beat while you play the lead with your right hand. The tracks sound much better than the 80’s Casio accompaniment that you’re probably think of too. A definite step up from the Casios of yesterday.
And if your primary function is going to be recording, then you’re in luck here too. The Casio CDP-S360 can record up to 5 multi-track songs and each song can contain about 12,000 notes and 6 different tracks. With that said, that’s not exactly a lot of memory housed within the piano. If you need more internal space to record your songs, you can transfer your recorded files to a USB drive or just record directly into a DAW (digital audio workstation) and bypass that altogether.
You can also connect your CDP-S360 to smart devices or your computer via Bluetooth, though right out of the box, this won’t be possible. You’ll have to purchase a WU-BT10 adapter in order to do that though.
And speaking of smart devices, you can download a supporting app for your Casio called Chordana Play. There are a lot of features you can do with this app, and it’s especially nice to have while gigging. You can download tracks, additional voices, or just simply control your piano’s settings via smartphone without having to fiddle with the buttons.
- Features Rating: 7/10
Is the Casio CDP-360 Worth It?
So, in my humble opinion, the Casio CDP-S360 offers a lot of bang for your buck if you’re looking for a piano at the beginning and intermediate levels. While the sound and touch are a little iffy, this piano is a great one to learn on or level up to a full-sized keyboard. The screen is a nice touch that makes it easy to see what you’re doing, and if gigging is going to be your primary function, then the CDP-S360 is light and portable and should serve you very well.
Hopefully you’ve found my Casio CDP-S360 review to be helpful when it comes to better determining whether or not this piano is worth your time and money.
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