There are many different kinds of pianos in the vast category of digital pianos. Most consumers already have in mind specifically what they are looking for in a machine and gravitate immediately towards that end of the spectrum. Others have a more general idea, simply hoping to stumble on something that is of good quality.
Workstation digital pianos are different kinds of machines that usually offer a wide selection of editable tones with the ability to record, mix, produce and offer live performances. They come in all different sizes and ranges, and oftentimes appeal to those concerned with audio or studio production.
The Casio WK-6500 is a 76 key digital piano that falls into both of these categories. It is an instrument that is great for a producer looking for a cheap digital piano, but still not willing to give up too much on quality and professionalism. And it’s also a great find for the avid piano user looking for a wonderful instrument to invest their time and energy into.
The Piano Buying Guide
Below, compare the very affordable Casio WK-6500 to the top pianos in its class based on weight, price, and even customer reviews from Amazon.com.
$ = $500 or less | $$ = $500 – $1,000 | $$$ = $1,000 and up
|Casio WK-245||76||$||48 Note Polyphony|
|Casio WK6600||76||$||700 Tones|
|Casio WK-7600||76||$||820 Tones|
|Yamaha P-125||88||$$||GHS Weighted Action|
|Yamaha DGX 660||88||$$||Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) Keyboard|
|Donner DEP-10||88||$$||Semi-Weighted Keys|
|Casio CTK 3500||61||$||400 Tones|
|Casio PX-160||88||$||Dual Headphone Outputs on Front|
|Alesis Recital||88||$||Semi-Weighted Keys|
Casio WK-6500: Awesome Quality and Design
One of the first things you notice about the Casio WK-6500 is that it is a great looking piano. Some users, when looking at it for the first time, could get intimidated by the amount of knobs and buttons on the interface, but there’s really nothing to be afraid of.
The piano has a beautiful black color finish, with a nice blue backlit LCD monitor directly in the middle of the interface. There are two sets of speakers placed on each end of the piano, which give off an amazing sound and are supported by Casio’s proprietary bass reflex system.
The piano is about 47 inches long and around 16 inches deep, and weighs in at a great weight of 17.4 pounds. This really is an ideal weight for any beginner or intermediate piano player who is looking for something to carry around the house with ease, instead of being like another oversized piece of furniture. It’s also great for traveling musicians looking to play at multiple gigs throughout the year.
The WK-6500 also comes at an amazing price for the buy, at around $300 retail, and $150-$250 used.
Below, please take a moment to review some of the best-selling keyboards currently on Amazon:
|1) Alesis Recital|
|3) Yamaha P-121|
|4) Roland GO:KEYS|
|5) Yamaha PSR-E363|
Great Selection of Voices and Tones
The WK-6500 has an awesome selection of voices and tones to choose from, as well. There are 670 tones housed on the machine, all ranging from more classic grand piano sounds to modern electro infused or club sounds.
This machine is geared more toward the production side, so many of these sounds will be similar to things you might find on a more conventional workstation.
The WK-6500 also has the awesome capability to edit voices and tones. This is an exciting thing for any producer to hear, as you can manually switch up the attack and release time of a sound, as well as change the reverb, cut off, vibrato, chorus, DSP, and many other effects with the Tone Editor system.
Engineering and Tone Generation
The sound of the WK-6500 is mastered by Casio’s Dual Element AHL system, which is the next generation improvement upon Casio’s HL system, which is housed in pianos such as the Privia PX-100 and the Privia PX-300.
The Dual Element AHL is certainly a step up, but it is not as good as some of Casio’s other sound sources, such as the Linear Morphing system, or the AiR (Acoustic and intelligent Resonator) system.
The piano also comes with a mere 48 notes of polyphony, which certainly will not be enough for most advanced users, but will make no difference to the younger and more intermediate crowd.
Ultimately, this piano still plays beautifully, even though it doesn’t house any of Casio’s patented graded hammer systems. Instead, you get 76 piano style keys which are spring loaded. This shouldn’t be a deterrent, however, as most travel pianos of this size and weight wouldn’t house graded hammer systems, as they add a significant amount of weight to the piano.
There is a touch response with two different sensitivity levels, so the user will be able to control how soft or hard the notes are being played and transmitted.
Special Features of a Workstation
This workstation comes with a variety of special features that are not common to the regular digital piano. The first of these is the sequencer and the 32 channel mixer. The sequencer is a 16-track song sequencer with an additional system track that allows the user to record different instruments and mesh them together.
The system also allows the user to record up to five different songs with around a maximum of 30,000 notes. There is also a nice editing tool that allows for a variety of functions, including insert, copy, delete, quantize, and step recording.
Housed on the machine also is a Rhythm Editor, which allows the user to combine different parts of built in rhythms, pan rhythms to different sides of the mixer, adjust rhythm volumes, or even create your own personal rhythms. This is great for the lone traveling musician who wants to create his own feel at a gig, which may not necessarily be a set rhythm on the machine.
Also there is a Registration feature which stores up to 4 different sets and up to 8 different banks, allowing for a total of 32 different live set ups. This is ideal for musicians who want to keep their personal registration performance settings on the machine.
The workstation doesn’t forget to be a digital piano, however, no matter the amount of bells and whistles there may seem.
The piano comes with your standard layer, split, and transpose functions, and there is also a standard quarter inch stereo jack for headphones.
The WK6500 also has USB port function, in addition to SD Memory Card storage, which allow for different connectivity options.
When compared to a similar digital piano in its class, like the Casio WK-225 that we reviewed months ago, the WK-6500 comes out on top.
Why? Well, the WK-6500 has more onboard tones, rhythms, and a better sound. Granted, they both have the same amount of polyphony, with 48 notes, but the WK-6500 ultimately gives you more bang for your buck. With that said, if you can find a great WK-225 bundle that potentially offers not just piano, but a stand, headphones, and a bench, then that is something to strongly consider from purely a value standpoint.
Still, seeing as how affordable the Casio WK-6500 is, you cannot go wrong by making this your new keyboard workstation.
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