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Casio Privia PX-3 Stage Piano CASIOPrivia PX-3

Casio return to the pro keyboard market with this portable yet well spec’d digital stage piano…

Casio once spearheaded the mid 80s home keyboard revolution but the brand is still going strong and is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary with a new stage-ready digital piano, the PX-3. Weighing-in at a remarkably light 23.5lbs (a tad just under 11 kilos), the Casio PX-3 nevertheless looks pretty impressive but its incredibly portable specs are even more incredible when you consider that this keyboard also sports a real hammer action.

Realistic performance One of the most startling things about the PX-3 is the incredibly realistic playing action. There is no sense of the flimsy plastic sensation associated with so-called ‘home’ keyboards, partly due to the keys tactile ‘Ivory Touch’ coating that conveys a similar feel to an authentic acoustic piano. Firm yet forgiving to the touch, the PX-3’s 88 weighted keys hammer-action is ‘scaled’, which refers to the convincing way

CASIO Privia PX-3

SRP £799.99

All prices include VAT CONT


Casio UK Ltd T:


020 8208 9405

that the keys’ resistance gradually increases as you approach the lower notes, simulating the similar feel to a full sized traditional Grand Piano. The control surface is fairly low-key, with a modest LCD screen and slim transport buttons, a conventional pitch wheel, EQ on/off and dedicated buttons for the chorus and reverb.


The PX-3 contains 250 sounds in total. Casio refers to the sounds as ‘tones’ and in this instance the tones are divided include 16 acoustic and electric pianos and 18 organs, including pipe and church organs and lovely dirty sounding Hammond B3 patch. The Grand piano patch is the main patch and the sound is fairly impressive, displaying what appear to be the appropriate levels of strident resonance that one would expect from a real Grand. Closer scrutiny leads one to suggest that keyboard buffs might find it lacks some of the depth and ‘oomph’ of a genuine Grand piano or maybe even a more expensive digital piano, but at this price range it is difficult to find fault with. The piano sound samples use a process that Casio refers to as Linear Morphing, which sees the piano samples recorded using four separate layers to help more accurately reflect the complex dynamics of a real acoustic piano. Speaking as someone who doesn’t play keyboards or piano as their main instrument, most of the PX-3’s piano sounds are pretty good, with the electric pianos particularly standing out due to their thick tone. With 16 different acoustic piano tones covering a

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useful range; classical, rock, funk and jazz, you also have to bear in mind that these sounds are designed to be used in context; i.e. on stage. In a live setting, one would guess that the sounds would be difficult to fault, especially when blended in with the other instruments in the band. You can always enhance the tones using the PX-3’s new built-in 64 insert effects that include common modulation effects like phasing and chorus and a cool-sounding rotary speaker that adds an extra degree of realism to the vintage organ tones.

Split personality MIDI capability allows the PX-3 to operate as a controller keyboard but the keys can be divided into four simultaneous layers or ‘zones’ – two on each side of the keyboard - to create layered sounds using a combination of the PX-3’s

Stage Piano

Words: Tim Slater

internal sounds plus sounds from an external MIDI sound module or keyboard. Playing dynamics can be modified with programmable envelopes with variable attack and release, plus there are also filters and a four-band master EQ. User patches can be stored in any one of 64 user-areas. The rear-mounted connections include ¼-inch inputs & outputs plus dual headphone outputs, plus MIDI In and Out, all helpfully indicated by top-mounted graphics that indicate the position of the various ports without having to lean over the back of the keyboard to see where everything connects! The handy USB Midi port is compatible with Mac and Windows platforms and doesn’t require any drivers to set up whilst the SD card slot enables the user to save custom sounds and play backing tracks using standard general MIDI files. PM


The Casio PX-3 feels like good value for money. It’s built- in sounds are good enough for all but the most fussy user and if for whatever reason you want or need more sounds, the PX-3 will easily function as a very capable – and highly portable- master keyboard. The Piano comes bundled with a music rest, a sustain switch and the mains PSU and represents a very affordable way to begin using a full sized digital keyboard, and it’s superb playability definitely makes this Casio feel like an extremely sensible choice for anyone looking for a good entry level digital stage piano.

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