Casio PX S3000 Review – The Modern Hybrid Of Piano And Arranger

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.

DESIGN


  • The Look

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 look of Casio PX S3000

 

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.

  • Music Rest

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.

The Music rest on the Casio PX S1000

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.

  • Control

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.

The display on the Casio PX S3000

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.

Extra buttons on the Casio PX S3000

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.

Left side control on the Casio PX S3000

 

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.

  • Keys

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″).

 

KEY ACTION


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.

Smart Scaled Hammer Action on Casio PX S1000

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.

 

SOUND


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.  

 

FEATURES


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 × 24
    • Electric pianos × 24
    • Clavi x 6
    • Organs × 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
  • Modes:
    • Layer mode: two instrument sound simultaneously
    • Split mode: split the keyboard for three different tones
    • Duet mode: split the keyboard for two identical halfs
  • Recording:
    • 5 song with 3 tracks
  • Connectivity:
    • Headphone jack × 2
    • USB to Host port
    • USB to Device port
    • Expression/Assignable pedal port
    • Line out x 2
    • Audio in

ACCESSORIES


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.

 

CONCLUSION


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


OTHER OPTIONS


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.

For more details about the Casio PX S1000, click here for my full review.


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.

For more details about the Yamaha DGX-660, click here for my full review.


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.

Casio PX S3000

8

Design

9.0/10

Key Action

8.0/10

Sound

8.0/10

Features

8.0/10

Accessories

6.0/10

Value

9.0/10

Pros

  • Realistic Touch
  • 700 Sounds
  • Compact & Lightweight
  • Battery Power Capable
  • Bluetooth

Cons

  • Basic Pedal
  • No Bluetooth MIDI
  • Difficult to Change Settings on the Fly

20 thoughts on “Casio PX S3000 Review – The Modern Hybrid Of Piano And Arranger”

  1. I know this is an older review, I hope Wei is still checking the comments – I am debating between a 560 and a 3000. As you’ve tried both, which one has really a better touch and sound? This won’t be a primary DP, but I want something that is portable and can be fun to use; but touch is important to me. Sound quality out of the speakers is my next primary concern as I would probably rarely be using headphones on this unit.

    1. Hi Tony,

      Yes I still check comments. Sometimes the notification doesn’t show up in my email and I might not response in time.

      Between the two, I do like the 3000 for both it’s action and sound. The new action Casio has developed is smaller and lightweight, yet it feels quite authentic.

      The 3000 is a much newer model and it’s both lighter and smaller compared to the 560.

      1. Thanks for taking the time to reply! I really appreciate it.

        I really think I’m going to go with the 3k at this point. I’ve thought I might wait for the Korg XE20, but I don’t know if I want to be an initial purchaser considering it won’t even be released for sale until later in Sept or October (I’m willing to early adopt some things, but I am not quite as flexible when it comes to digital pianos 😉 ).

        Other question – I had read some people mentioning the pitch bend wheel rattling a bit when playing the lower notes – especially loudly; had you ever experienced that?

        1. Hi Tony,

          Good choice to go for the S3000. I haven’t personally experience the rattling you described.

          If you are worried about that, do purchase from a reputable retailer with solid return/refund policy.

  2. Hi, I have now experience on two of these PX-S3000 instruments. it came only lately onto market here in Finland. They were exactly similar.

    In my opinion it is superbly beautiful instrument, by visual appearance, size, and sound, and has way more than enough of features. I would give 10+ for everything, except the touch that is, in my opinion, just similarly bad as any other “piano-touch” has ever been. In a word, unplayable. I am not able to comprehend why am I such a dire where most pianomen praise these mousetraps in standing ovation.

    I beg for an instrument just like this, but with the Casio WK-110 keyboard touch. A tool that I can actually carry with me, and play. I would pay without any hesitation at all some 3x the price of the PX-S3000 for such a gorgeous instrument. Even if I truly am, just a poor boy.

    I’ve hammered pianos since I was able to walk, suffered 101 training during some 16 years and still I’m not a true pianoman, maybe a 0.1 Liberace, or 0.01. But I’ve played, surely over 200 of them, from the beyond-usable-life uprights in several open-air honky-tonks in the tropics, to inconceivable expensive grand pianos at orchestra stages. And the touch of the humidity damages honky-tonk instruments is way better for me than any of the “hammer-action” of any electrical-pianos so far.

    It is so unfair. Why do they not make it in two versions?

    1. Hi Timo,

      I know what you mean. I do believe they are doing their best to create the most authentic feel close to an acoustic piano. But there are many limiting factors, especially on a parable piano like the PX-S3000. To be slim and light-weight, there has to be some compromises.

      We are all waiting for that perfect one, that’s easy to carry around, gorgeous looking, and plays like a real concert grand. It’s not there yet, but if you look at the digital piano industry in the last few years, we have had some nice developments.

      That’s why I’m still excited and looking forward to see what we get next year.

      1. Hello Wei !

        there sure are limiting factors, but they could offer two versions, with: 1) the hammer-imitation keys, and 2) the plain old-fashioned spring-loaded keys.

        I do not believe that the majority of the customers prefer the sticky hammer-imitation over the fluently playable spring-loaded keyboard. And therefore the very highest-end, spring-loaded 88-keys instrument would not be a viable product. There is not any high-end instruments on the market that have spring-loaded 88-keys, those that are only have just 76-keys.

        1. Lol, I have the Casio PX-S1000 and the idea that the key action is unplayable is pure elitist nonsense. Is the action as good as the higher end Kawai ES8 or a top of the line Roland? Of course not. The action of PX-S series is as good or better than most similarly priced DPs on the market. I played the FP30, PX-S1000, PX-160, P-125, ES110 and ES-8 side by side, and all of them are quite playable, extremely fun to play, expressive and gig-able pianos. That said, anyone who expects top of the line piano action from a $500 piano is dreaming. That the OP and shockingly, the reviewer are in agreement that the PX-S3000’s action is “unplayable” makes this a website that I wouldn’t trust for accurate information in a million years (no offense).

          1. Hi Markus,

            Thanks for the feedback and your comment.

            Just to be clear, I did not agree that the key action on the PX-S3000 is unplayable. I was merely explaining to Timo that for a portable digital piano, there has to be compromises in the key action.

            In fact, I am quite pleased with this new action from Casio and I have stated that in my review.

            Hope this clears any confusion.

    2. Hi. Your review is excelent. I found answers to Manu questions I couldn’t find in other sites and videos. Is the CASIO PXS3000 suitable for Midi Controller use? I am tempted to have it to obtain Midi Controller and decent piano sounds 2 in one because of the hammer action and piano sounds. Thank you

  3. I’m also trying to decide between the PX-S3000 and the Yamaha DGX-660.
    I’ve always been a Yamaha person, but Casio has me intrigued.
    I’m also considering the Privia Pro PX-560.

    My main use is at-home play, practice, fun goofing around, some computer recording, teaching kids. So I want lots of sounds and accompanyment, recording, computer connectivity, speakers.

    I might have to drag it into a gig situation sometimes, but I’m not really that concerned with weight. My old Yamaha S90 was quite heavy, I’m used to it.

    What I don’t care for on the S3000 is the touch controls, I prefer the jet airplane cockpit style with lots of knobs and buttons all over and one-click changes. I don’t care for having to connect the S3000 to an app for more convenience. But at the same time Yamaha decides to only cater to IOS users which is annoying.

    The PX-560 stands out as having much of the same features, and more, of the S3000 even though it’s slightly older keybed, but it has all the sounds and things, buttons and knobs, light weight, and more connectivity with MIDI and such.

    So really maybe I’m thinking PX-560 versus DGX-660.
    Maybe they are so close in features that it doesn’t matter? So things like apps and software and learning features might tip the scales? Community? Can I load additional sounds onto either? Is the Casio keybed on the S3000 really so much better than the 560? Are either of those any better than the Yamaha?

    Someone just tell me what to do! lol

    1. Hey Zack,

      I feel your frustration. Sometimes to find the right digital piano seems like an impossible task. That’s exactly why I started this blog.

      Based on your intended purpose, I don’t think key action is that important to you, which is one of the major advantage of the PX S3000.

      Between the PX-560 and the DGX-660, I tend to agree with your own conclusion. They are really so close that you can’t go wrong with either. Maybe the microphone jack on the DGX-660 can be useful to you? Or the stronger internal recording function (100 song up to 16 tracks vs. 5 songs up to 6 tracks) on the PX-560 would make it easier for you to decide? Or even, since they are so close, the look might be something to consider?

      I hope now you find it a bit easier to decide. Do come back and let us know which one you end up with and your experience with it.

  4. The lack of a bluetooth midi function is easily remedied by the Yamaha midi Bluetooth device I purchased and use on my Kurzweil PC 88 MX. It works great, especially with soft pianos and electric pianos such as the Wurlys.

    1. Robert Sprayberry

      Why would they leave out such a natural concept as bluetooth midi? I have the keyboard and like it a lot but that kind of small mindedness drives me nuts.

      1. I feel you. It’s hard to understand Casio’s decision here.

        I can understand the lack of Bluetooth MIDI on the S1000. But there’s no reason not to include it on the S3000.

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