2006 NAMM Update: Casio Keyboards

Casio, which in the 80’s made some interesting entry-level synthesizers and samplers, by and large left has been aiming for the mass market for the last twenty years with its keyboards.

At the Summer NAMM show, though, Casio introduced keyboards that suggest that they are introducing some high-end features to compete in the mainstream market. These features include USB-PC interfaces, SD sound card slots and synth functionality.

Casio introduces the WK-8000; an 88 key piano-style keyboard with a powerful audio system, and bass reflex that offers users the ability to play on keys shaped just as they would be on a real piano. While Casio’s WK series is a mid-level keyboard series, it offers features in its price range relative to that of Casio’s more upscale Privia digital pianos. Each of the series provides unsurpassed quality in their respective categories and price-points. Here’s a sneak peak at the latest WK series offerings:

Casio WK-8000

WK-8000

Scheduled to release in September, this 88 key piano-style keyboard equipped with custom stand, offers a dual-element ZPI sound source and drawbar organ function. It boasts an amazingly clear, crisp and realistic sound with 670 rich, bountiful, preset tones, and 224 user tones. Additional features include:

  • Direct PC connection with USB interface for easy data and ID transfer
  • SD card slot for data transfer—perfect for backing up song memories and settings!
  • Multiple sound effects including reverberation, chorus and equalizer
  • 32 note polyphony, synthesizer and mixer function

It is top of it’s line in the under $600 price-point.

WK-3300 and WK-3800

The WK-3300 and WK-3800 replace Casio models WK-3200 and WK-3700 respectively. The new replacement models feature new upgrades such as additional tones and high performance rhythm patterns as well as an SD Card slot and USB terminal. Moreover, the WK-3800 also features an additional floppy disc drive.

PX-575R

Privia digital pianos provide authentic piano sound coupled with scaled hammer action for an exquisite grand piano feel, and selectable touch sensitivity; making it possible for people to be as inspired as if they were playing on ivory.

New to the Privia series is the PX-575R releasing in September, which replaces the PX-555. A dual element HL sound source is replaced by a tri-element ZPI. Additional improvements range from a more fluid synthesizer function to drawbar organ, more rhythms and acoustic resonance to the addition of preset tones from 258 to 670 plus 224 user tones. An optional three pedal unit will allow the elegant sounds of this naturally grand sounding digital piano to perform just as eloquently as the real thing, while a new face panel design conveys the technical advantages that appeals to the Privia consumer.

All units are equipped with Internet Data Expansion Systems allowing users to customize preset tunes by downloading them from www.casiosongs.com or other musical downloading sites. For this purpose, users can also look for a USB terminal and direct PC connection through USB cable, and an SD card slot.

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