Casio CGP-700 review
In this article, we’re going to review the Casio CGP-700. This relatively new digital piano boasts a lot of noteworthy features, but in a landscape where so many companies are many quality digital pianos, does the CGP-700 stand out? And is it worth your money?
Well, we’re going to find out today.
Below, please take a look at our interactive guide and see how the Casio CGP-700 compares to other popular digital pianos on the market.
Understanding the CGP-700
The Casio CGP-700 is a Compact Grand Piano that is loaded with impressive features. It’s also one of the more affordable digital pianos on the market, selling at a MSRP of $800. It’s also one of the most versatile pianos you can get in the $500-$1000 range. And because it’s portable, this piano can sit in your living room, be carried up the stairs to your dorm room, or be taken to public spaces if you have to give a live performance.
The CGP-700 presents a sleek design with a matching wooden stand. Should you decide to take this digital piano on the go, it’s also easily removable. The CGP-700 only weighs 26 pounds, which is comparable to other pianos on the market (the popular Yamaha P-115 weighs 26 pounds as well).
Overall, it’s a light-weight digital piano with ¼” outputs that you can easily connect to a mixer, amplifier, or PA system of your choosing.
Below, before moving onto our next section, please take a look at some of the best selling digital pianos currently available online:
|1) Casio PX-770|
|2) Yamaha YDP-145|
|3) Roland RP-701|
|4) Yamaha YDP-165|
|5) Casio PX-870|
Key Features of the CGP-700
- Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard with 3 sensitivity levels
- 5.3” color touch interface
- MXi Sound System
- 128 max. polyphony
- 550 built in tones
- Duet, octave, layer/split modes
- Audio and MIDI recorder
- Auto harmonize
- 200 built-in rhythms
- Lesson function
- 4.7” x2, 2” x 2 speakers
- 20 W Amplifiers x 2
The truth is that too many features can overwhelm a player, but the CGP-700 is incredibly easy to use. At the center of the control panel is the 5.3” Color Touch Interface that makes every setting and preference easy to change at the touch of a button.
The screen sits at a tilt, which makes it easy to see when playing or standing and the display is bright and clear. Taking advantage of the varied color palette and light-backing, you can swipe through tones and rhythms quickly, as opposed to pressing a ton of buttons or having to memorize combinations.
The Grand Piano button allows you to hear one of Casio’s most popular sounds in an instant. Another quick access button is the Transpose function that allows you to simply shift to a different key at your discretion.
There are four speakers located at the top and two low-frequency speakers located in the stand (honing in on 40 watts of power, no less). This piano packs a punch with a powerful presence that rivals many digital pianos in its price range, size and weight class.
This is a unique 3-way speaker system that allows you to enjoy your favorite sounds as your try them out, play along to the built in rhythms, or listen to your electronic devices via the stereo aux input.
No matter what you use it for, the Casio’s sound system is a great quality for the price range.
The Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II keyboard is a known feature of Casio’s digital pianos. These sensors allow the piano to recreate the touch and feel of a concert piano.
When I tried out a couple passages on the CGP-700, it was noticeable how realistic it was to play on it. You’ll never mistake a portable piano for a grand, but it felt quite good under the fingertips and didn’t feel cheap.
To go along with these great keys, the CGP-700 simulates the sound of a 9-foot concert grand piano that is quite impressive. According to Casio, the recording session involved over two dozen microphones. This sound is best used in stereo or mono, but we also have the damper resonance simulation that adds depth and realism to movements of pieces.
There are settings available through the touchscreen that will allow you to browse through pianos for rock, jazz, and any other style of your preference. The best part is that you can do everything with a simple swipe. The CGP-700 has an option SP-33 pedal system that allows you to experience soft, sostenuto, and damper pedals.
There are 550 different instrumental tones to take advantage of on the CGP-700. There are more guitars, strings, drums, and synths than anyone could ever ask for. I know that there are digital pianos that offer even more sounds, but for the price and quality you’re getting with the CGP-700, I can spend my time wading through 550 tones without getting bored for quite a while.
Along with reverbs and delays, there are other add-ons such as rotary speakers for the organs and phasers on electric pianos. Having a full-back up band that reacts to every chord you play should satisfy any basic accompaniment need. There are 200 ensemble Rhythms to choose from on the CGP-700, as well.
Even though I wouldn’t immediately label this as a “performer’s piano,” there’s a great feature for you to save combinations of your favorite tones, layers, splits, rhythms, and tempos for instant playback during a set. In fact, it’s simple to record your performance with both the MIDI and USB audio recorders. You can also transfer these to your computer to instantly share your music. Soundcloud and other music sharing sites are really popular for budding artists and musicians, so it’s fairly easy to transport and share your music from the CGP-700.
The CGP-700 is also a good piano for those that want to either learn on their own at home, or those that have an personal instructor. The Duet Mode splits the keyboard into equal ranges, which makes it easy to follow a teacher or share with a fellow student. For advanced music classrooms, the Classroom Mode works in conjunction with most third party piano lab systems. And located on the front panel are two headphone jacks that can be used by any two people sharing the piano.
Casio CGP-700 vs PX-360 & PX-560
Both the Casio PX-360 and PX-560 are a part of the Privia Series. Digital pianos in this series feature the same grand piano sound, along with the Tri-Sensor 88-note scaled hammer action keyboard with simulated ebony and ivory keys.
The Casio CGP-700 also has these same exact features, which is of course great if you’re stuck between deciding amongst these three pianos.
One thing that stands out with these Casio digital pianos in general is that they all include a 5.3” inch color touch screen at the top of their control panel. Even though they are varying price ranges, I am astounded to see that even at the lowest price of $800, you still get access to such great technology.
It is not characteristic of digital pianos, even at the $1,200 range, to have a color touch system, but Casio has decided to include it on its newest Privia Series models. This feature is what makes all three of these pianos stand out a bit amongst its competitors, because in the age of bold, colorful retina screens on our mobile devices and tablets, no one wants to come home and interact with a drab, monochrome touch screen on an expensive digital piano.
Now, between the Casio PX-360 and PX-560, there’s a difference of about $300. With that said, it should be noted that PX-560 owners will be getting additional memory to save and playback their songs compared to the PX-360. So, at least the extra money you spend isn’t going to waste.
The PX-560, which is actually a striking blue stage piano, is meant for performing (or gigging). It also utilizes the new AiR Sound system technology that the Casio CGP-700 doesn’t have. The polyphony is significantly increased and it has a rhythm editor, along with other accompaniment functions, that users might miss on the CGP-700.
However, it’s important to always understand your needs. If you need a strong, portable performance piano, the PX-560 is probably your best bet. If you want an instrument that’s a bit more “beginner friendly” and costs a bit less, you’ll probably enjoy the CGP-700 a little bit more.
CASIO CGP-700 vs YAMAHA DGX-660
Before we conclude, let’s quickly see how the CGP-700 stacks up against the Yamaha DGX-650, and its recent successor: the DGX-660.
Now, it should be noted that not only does the DGX-660 offer everything that the DGX-650 does, but it provides a few additional features like the customizable Piano Room. This is very much akin to Casio’s Hall Simulator feature, but for those that don’t know, the Piano Room allows you to select your piano of choice, and then select the environment in which you’re playing the piano.
In other words, you can select “Concert Hall” or “Club Stage” and the sound the piano will emit will attempt to simulate the acoustics of that particular venue. What’s nice, too, is that the feature will try and simulate what it’s like if you were able to lift the lid of your piano.
It’s interesting to see how, as our society pushes forward towards a world where virtual reality is becoming, well, a reality, that a similar kind of virtual reality is coming to our digital pianos, as well.
In an effort to be brief, while I love the CGP-700 and how great it is for $800, it isn’t the DGX-660. There’s a higher scaled sound experience that happens when you play the Yamaha and it feels a bit more equipped for someone that’s a bit more advanced or is a bit beyond the beginner stage when it comes to skill level.
Still, when it comes down to it, the Casio CGP-700 is one of the best pianos you can get for less than $1,000. It can hold its own against some of the best pianos out there, and even can go toe to toe with the DGX line. For a beginner-to-intermediate piano that’s fairly versatile, this piano is worthy of your consideration, as I feel its noteworthy features are the color touch screen, the variety of available tones (enough sounds without being overwhelming), and its price to feature ratio.
Casio CGP-700: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS
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