I had reviewed the new Casio PX S1000 not long ago. While that model is mainly focused on piano play, its bigger brother, the PX S3000 is a hybrid of digital piano and arranger. Same like the S1000, it is also the world’s most compact digital piano at the time of this review. The PX S3000 has all the great features on the S1000 and tons of extra functionalities. In this Casio PX S3000 review, we’ll look at every aspect of this model and try to determine if it’s worth the extra dollars.
The Casio PX S3000 has the same design style of the S1000.
As a portable digital piano, the first thing you would notice is how compact it is.
The piano is slim and futuristic. Casio is calling it Grand Elegance and I tend to agree on that.
The top panel of the PX S3000 is a glossy piece that’s similar to our mobile phone screen. Although it is definitely a fingerprint magnet, this panel is what sets this digital piano apart from other models on the market.
Unlike the S1000, the S3000 only comes with black finish.
Same as the S1000, the music rest that comes with the S3000 looks out of place. It doesn’t share the sleek style of the piano.
The good news is that the music rest is very stable and has no wobble when installed.
I also really like the angel of the rest. Reading sheet music is comfortable and it does a good job to hold any scorebook or printed sheets.
The music rest is pretty wide that you can easily display multiple pages at once. It’s also quite tall that any printed sheet music wouldn’t fold over the edge.
One of the more obvious difference you would notice between the S1000 and the S300 is the control panel.
The PX S3000 comes with a LCD display. It is capable to display three line of text.
While the display is not exactly modern by any standard, it does help a lot for going through the menu and access various settings and functions. You no longer need the user manual at hand and use a combination of buttons and piano keys like you would with the S1000.
While a larger touch screen would be idea for a hybrid like the S3000, I understand the necessary compromise for the compact size as well as conserve energy for the battery power capability.
Just like the S1000, the buttons on the top panel are touch sensors that only light up when in use. This is a great feature for gigging musician since lighting condition is usually less than ideal on stage. With these backlit touch buttons, you can easily find the one you need.
While the S1000 has only 7 buttons on the control panel, the S3000 has a lot more. This is great for quick access on the fly and is also necessary due to the much more complex functionality of the piano.
The touch sensors work pretty well. No pressure is needed to activate any of the buttons. A light touch with your finger tip would be enough.
The sensors are located beneath the two light bars. So don’t put your fingers on the text, that wouldn’t activate the button.
Due to the glossy panel, do expect fingerprints when you tap on the controls.
On the left side of the keyboard, Casio has added a pitch wheel and two programmable knobs. These are super useful features to a hybrid like this and I’m glad that Casio doesn’t sacrifice them for the compact size.
The Casio PX S3000 has a complete 88 piano keyboard. The keys are made of plastic but does covered by synthetic Ivory/Ebony key tops.
These synthetic materials not only add extra textures to the keys but also help with grip and moisture absorption during long playing sessions.
Size & Weight
Casio is calling their PX S3000 the slimmest digital piano ever. It is quite impressive to see the compact size and light weight of this instrument. You would have no problem carrying it around under your arms.
The Casio PX S3000 weighs around 11.2 kg (24.7 lbs).
It has the dimensions of 132(W) x 23(D) x 10(H) cm (52″ x 9″ x 4″).
To be able to fit the compact size and produce authentic piano touch, Casio has come up with a brand new key action, the Smart Scaled Hammer Action.
It successfully reduces the size without compromise on the touch quality. Unlike the previous Tri-Sensor II Scaled Hammer Action, this new action utilize only two sensors.
The magic is in the software. By keep track of each key’s location and movement, the software can intellectually determine what the pianist is trying to achieve and thus adjust the response.
As a result, this new key action offers good dynamic range of control and fast repetition is just as good as triple sensored actions.
It also offers quite unanimous touch along the length of each key. Only at the very end of the white keys would you notice a significant drop of responsiveness. For an action this compact in size, I would say Casio has done an excellent job.
Overall, the feel on the PX S3000 is authentic and quite close to an acoustic piano. The only complaint I have is probably the weight of this keyboard. It feels a little bit too light. But thanks to the impressive sensitivity, the light weight is easy to get used to.
The Casio PX S3000 uses the AiR Sound engine but with a new set of samples. It produces much better sound quality.
I’m especially happy with the base notes. While the previous samples from Casio is somewhat mudded and boxed, the base on this new sample sounds strong and crystal clear.
It has all the details you would find on an acoustic piano. That includes String resonance, damper resonance, damper noise and key-off simulation.
The result is a truly authentic reproduction of acoustic concert grand pianos.
While the S1000 has only 18 sounds, the S3000 comes with a whopping 700 sounds. Being a hybrid of piano and arranger, it also packs 200 rhythms, 310 presets, 12 auto harmonies and 100 arpeggiators.
The 192 polyphony number is especially useful for the S3000. When you have multiple layers, tracks, rhythms, harmonies going together, you need the large polyphony to make sure notes are not fading away prematurely.
The speakers on the S3000 are the same as the ones on the S1000. They are two 8 watt speakers. While they are not exactly powerful, they do produce a loud enough sound that can fill a medium sized room.
The sound quality of these speakers are surprisingly good. I honestly didn’t expect these 8 watt speakers to produce such detailed piano sound.
The speakers are backward facing. This is ideal for an instrument that’s aimed at performing to an audience.
The Casio PX S3000 has all the features you would expect on a piano arranger hybrid.
It has built-in Bluetooth for media streaming. You can playback any music on your smart device to the piano. This is especially useful if you have a recording of beats or rhythms that you can play the piano along with.
The Bluetooth however is only capable of streaming. It does not have Bluetooth MIDI, which I find a bit disappointed.
All the acoustic simulated effects can be adjusted. These are the String resonance, damper resonance, damper noise and key-off simulation.
You can also specify which part of the song gets what effect. For example, you can specify that the sustain pedal only applies to the piano sound while you have strings at the background that’s not affected by the sustain.
The Casio PX S3000 can also be powered by 6 x AA batteries. It make the piano truly portable. You can take it anywhere you want and don’t have to worry about power supply.
Unfortunately, the batteries only last about 2 hours of playing time. This is a bit on the short side and you might want to take some backup batteries with you.
Besides the pitch wheel and the two programmable knobs, you also get an expression pedal port on the back. This port also supports assignable pedal function. So you can customize what the pedal does to your liking.
Another difference to the S1000 is that the S3000 has a USB to device port where you can plug a USB stick and export your recordings.
Speaking of recording, the S3000 is capable of recording 5 songs, each with 3 different tracks.
One last thing I want to mention is that on the S3000, you can finally save your settings. There are a total of 96 memory banks to save all the settings and effects for each song. It is super convenient for gigging musicians.
One thing that I miss though is the ability to rename these memory banks. Instead, you will have to memorise or write down the corresponding memory bank for each song.
Here’s a list of features on the Casio PX S3000:
- Sound:(700 total)
- Pianos x 24
- Electric pianos x 24
- Clavi x 6
- Organs x 42
- Harpsichords x 4
- Strings x 30
- Pad x 58
- Vibraphone x 12
- Guitar x 58
- Bass x 87
- Reed x 22
- Pipe x 16
- Synth x 82
- Ethnic x 76
- GM tones x 128
- Drum set x 31
- Polyphony: 192
- Touch Response: 1-5, off
- Hall Simulator:
- N.Y. Club
- Opera Hall
- Berlin Hall
- British Stadium
- Layer mode: two instrument sound simultaneously
- Split mode: split the keyboard for three different tones
- Duet mode: split the keyboard for two identical halfs
- 5 song with 3 tracks
- Headphone jack x 2
- USB to Host port
- USB to Device port
- Expression/Assignable pedal port
- Line out x 2
- Audio in
Just like the S1000, the S3000 also comes with a simple footswitch functioning as the damper pedal. It doesn’t support half pedaling and it doesn’t feel like a piano pedal at all.
It is highly recommended to purchase a proper pedal unit for the PX S3000. The three pedal unit from Casio, the SP-34 has all the pedals you would find on an acoustic piano. It has damper, soft and sostenuto and all of them supports half pedaling. Alternatively, you can find good quality third party pedal unit as well.
Depends on your need, you might also want an expression pedal.
If the piano is mainly for home use, you can find the CS-68P stand from Casio designed specifically for the PX S3000. You can also use an X stand or Z stand for portability.
To carry the piano around, Casio has design a carrying bag for the PX S3000. It fits the piano precisely and has two separate bags for the music stand and pedal unit. Since the PX S3000 is so lightweight, you can easily carry it on your shoulders.
As with any digital piano, a good pair of headphones is always recommended.
The speaker system on the PX S3000 is weak but has good quality. For home practice, I don’t feel the need for any external monitor/speaker to fully utilize the AiR sound engine and the new piano samples.
For serious performance however, you will need external monitors to help bring the volume to fill the venue.
Casio has develop an app called Chordana Play that’s available on both android and iOS. You can use it to customize the piano, control the various functions and have fun learning songs the modern way.
Unfortunately, you can not connect your smart device via Bluetooth to use the Chordana Play app. It still requires a cable to connect the USB port on the piano to your devices. Since most modern smartphones and tablets use USB type C port, you would probably need a USB type B to type C cable for the job. But there are still enough device out there using Micro USB port. So make sure you get the right cable.
WHO IT’S FOR
The Casio PX S3000 is a hybrid of piano and arranger keyboard. It is best suited for serious gigging musician.
As a portable digital piano, the PX S3000 is an excellent choice for your gigs. It is so compact and lightweight that the journey to the venue no longer makes you sweat.
If you are mainly interested in piano play, then I would recommend the cheaper S1000.
Thanks to the battery power capability, the Casio PX S3000 can also be used in various events. You can bring it to a picnic, perform in an outdoor wedding or show off your skills in the middle of the city square. The possibilities are indeed endless.
The Casio PX S3000 is a worthy model to celebrate the 15 years anniversary of Casio’s Privia product line.
It offers authentic touch close to an acoustic piano. The piano sound is nothing short of excellence through both headphones and internal speakers. It is overall a joy to play on the PX S3000.
The 700 sounds, 200 rydums and many other advanced functions and settings make the S3000 capable for any stage performance.
Without compromising on the quality and functionality, Casio is able to make the PX S3000 the slimmest portable digital piano on the market. It’s super compact and lightweight. The battery power capability compliments well to the portability.
To top it off, the Casio PX S3000 sells for $799. This is an excitingly low price for such an outstanding performance level instrument.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Casio PX S3000 vs. Casio PX S1000
Let’s start with similarities. Both model are compact and lightweight and both can be ran on batteries.
They have the same look, key action and sound engine. Also they both have Bluetooth for media streaming. The speaker system on them are also identical.
The PX S1000 is mainly for piano play. It has a simple control interface and many features requires a combination of buttons and piano keys to access.
The PX S3000 is on the other hand a hybrid of piano and arranger. It has 700 sounds comparing to the 18 sounds on the S1000.
The control interface on the S3000 has more buttons and a display. It also includes two programmable knobs and a pitch wheel.
Basically, if you are only interested in piano play, go for the S1000. If you are experienced with arrangers, the S3000 is the right model for you.
Casio PX S3000 vs. Yamaha DGX-660
Another similarly priced hybrid model is the DGX-660 from Yamaha.
The DGX-660 is now a couple years old. It doesn’t look as modern as the Casio.
They both have a display and pitch wheel. But the DGX-660 has much more buttons on the interface. It might look messy but the user experience on the DGX-660 is a lot better than the PX S3000. These extra buttons make changing settings or effects on the fly much easier.
The GHS key action on the Yamaha is a lot less authentic than the action on the Casio. It feel way too light and doesn’t have the expressiveness and control. However, if you are mainly interested in the arranger functions, the GHS is good enough for the job.
They both have hundreds of sounds. The Casio PX S3000 has 700 sounds while the DGX-660 has 554.
The effects on the Casio is a lot more customizable than the DGX-660. This is a significant advantage.
They both can record 5 songs internally. But the DGX-660 can have up to 6 tracks per song while the Casio can only record up to 3 tracks per song.
The DGX-660 does not have Bluetooth or battery power capability. It is also nearly twice as heavy and twice as big compared to the PX S3000. Portability definitely goes to the S3000.
The S3000 has dedicated line out port but the DGX-660 has a microphone jack.
Overall, they are both hybrid type of digital pianos. The Casio has more modern features as well as a modern look. It is also a lot more portable. The Yamaha on the other hand has a more convenient control interface and a 6 track per song internal recording.
To decide between the two, you need to figure out what features are important to you and what others you can live without.
Leave a comment to let me know what you think of this review. And if you happen to have some experience with the Casio PX S3000, please share with us in the comment below.