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Microphone Month 3

Casio Privia PX-5S Reviews

4.5 stars based on 23 customer reviews
Questions about the Casio Privia PX-5S?

Questions about the Casio Privia PX-5S?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Matt Fawcett

    When I played the Casio PX-5S for the first time, I was very pleased with the realistic piano sounds. I'm used to playing on an upright grand piano and the keys felt right at home. Having so many presets to work with that sound great right off the bat is a real plus. It may be light in weight, but it's definitely heavy on features and very well thought out.

  • from Maryland October 10, 2016Music Background:
    Music teacher, performer

    Unbelievable....

    im a piano teacher. So i can tell if a keyboard has a great piano sound. The px5s has a real piano sound and also the touch of the keys are great. Its very portable and lightweight too. The battery option is great if u want to take the keyboard with u on the lakeside or on the seaside and use a headphone. And compose anywhere u want to. 😀i owned a yamaha motif xs, korg m3 xpanded, fantom g7. But the px5s is my favorite.

  • from March 17, 2016

    Casio px-5s

    I've been a professional keyboardist for almost forty years. I've used most of the popular keyboard intstruments . I've been gigging with the PX-5S for two years now and it has performed flawlessly. It even got rained on a bit, but continued to work properly. I recommend this piano without resevation. The piano samples are supurb. also the other sounds are pro-quality. I love the light wieght and price. Why carry a forty-five pound piano?

  • from Northern VA December 3, 2015Music Background:
    Jazz Pianist

    Great Piano

    Best keyboard I've ever owned! The sounds are just as good as keyboards costing 3 times more. The cost and weight factored in the decision to buy this keyboard.

  • from Orange County NY. August 1, 2015Music Background:
    Accordion and Piano Teacher

    It's Like having a real Piano

    After playing in Piano Bars for years , I never thought an Electronic Piano could replace my Spinet
    Piano.. Well , The PX-5s does In many ways The Keys feel like a real Piano . I can really make a
    run and sustain it. The Polyphony is 256 and this is what makes the big difference.

  • from Nashville, TN May 14, 2015Music Background:
    Producer / Keyboardist - Night Ranger, Alan Parsons, Vince Neil

    Pro's Best Kept Secret

    The day I replaced my Yamaha Motif Es8 and with my Casio Px5 was one of the greatest days of my life. First off, do yourself a favor and take some time to watch some of the many videos online to hear what this beast is capable of. Mike Martin at Casio is one of the most creative and talented sound designers and programmers in the game and has helped develop a synth engine in this box that is powerful beyond what you could imagine in a stage piano, much less a dedicated synth. The arp and hex layering allows for lush and dynamic textures I use often in my TV and Advertising work in the studio as well as on stage touring with national acts and CCM worship bands. The PX sound engine is only limited by your imagination! The piano sample on this unit is fantastic.

    What also makes this keyboard the best kept secret is the action and feel. I always felt my Yamaha keyed was too shallow for my taste. The keyed on the PX5 allows for more key travel and feels so good no matter what I'm playing - from Wurli, to piano, to pads. Once I got used to the change of feel from years of playing on my Motif, I realized how truly fantastic the action on the PX5 is. Pair that with how light and portable it is , as well as assignable knobs and faders and you have yourself a killer controller for studio and ultra-portable weighted stage piano / synth for live in a light and killer sounding package.

    Lastly, the sense of community and support with this keyboard is unsurpassed. There are thousands of amazing patches free for download at your fingertips, as well as tutorial videos and webcasts to inspire your creativity and imagination as you explore what this amazing keyboard can do.

    I promise, you will be blown away!!!!!!!

  • from Mira Loma, CA November 2, 2014Music Background:
    Everything Possible

    Action, Action, Action!

    I will keep this very simple. You will not find anything out there that feels as good as this thing. PERIOD. While I can honestly state that I have not played with any digital piano that costs more that $4000, I can also state that my baby grand was $5000 brand new. I can not justify paying more for a keyboard than a baby grand (or half, for that matter). In my 15 year influenced opinion...Yamaha keys are too shallow, Roland keys are not the right size, Korg keys are ok, but dont have the right "bounce back" action of a real piano. The slightly textured keys are a nice touch and remind me of the only piano I ever had the opportunity to play (in college) that actually had ebony and ivory keys. The piano patch is fine, but again, I was shopping for action. A laptop or iPad can easily turn ANY keyboard into a professionally sounding instrument. The hammer weighting is just right, making it very easy to avoid accidentally striking the wrong keys while still allowing for an intimate performance of feldman-esque soft tones. You may be able to argue that something out there feels a little bit closer to a piano, but it would not be as cheap and as portable as this thing. Coming from someone who grew up in studios that used the ASR-10, I can say that this keyboard is as light as a feather. The only complaint is the fact that there aren't any built in speakers, but then again, casio speakers aren't anything to really miss.

  • from florida July 2, 2014Music Background:
    Pro musician

    Casio Privia psx5s

    This is really an amazing instruments, well, hundreds of instruments all in one 24lb. package. The sounds, touch and feel of this instrument is unbelievable in the best sense of the word. The piano sounds are a piano. the synth sounds are as synth as one would ever wish for and it's programability is bounded only by your imagination.
    And don't forget to join the px5 club on facebook. they are wonderfully knowledgable and helpful , a source for new sounds. and Sweetwater is the place to get one. GET ONE!!!!

  • from United States June 26, 2014Music Background:
    Worship Leader, Associates Degree in Sound Engineering, Home Studio Recording

    Perfect Fit

    For weeks I was looking for the right keyboard for our church worship services. My requirements didn't seem to complicated - I wanted a weighted performance keyboard, not a workstation, and I wanted faders to control the different layers - but apparently that's a rare combination in the world of the keyboards. I ultimately decided to just ask a Sweetwater Sales Engineer if such a keyboard exists and their response was very brief... "have you checked out the PX-5S?" The rest is history.

  • from Georgia USA April 17, 2014Music Background:
    30 years

    Casio PRIVIA PX 5S

    Although my past experience has been limited to Yamaha and Roland, I have recently discovered that the Casio Privia PX 5S is definitely on equal footing with the top performing keyboards AND at a fraction of the cost. This light weight stage piano has so much to offer and all of it is so accessible to the performer. I have had the keyboard for a little over a month and I am still finding cool things it can do. Whether someone is a hobbyist or a professional, this little gem is perfect and all for just under $1000. One other benefit is the Casio community (FB) with Mike Martin. Incredibly supportive and always looking to add to the already rich bank of awesome sounds.

  • from Nashville, TN March 22, 2014Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer

    Nothing better for the price

    I travel internationally and keeping weight down is a MUST. This puppy weighs just 50lbs in a gator ATA hard case! I've had grammy award winning musicians pick this over pianos twice the price in my tech riders, and every new musician I've had try it has been blown away.
    Once people get past the 'Casio' name, it's all high praise for the piano patch and feel of the weighted action keys.

  • from chicago December 18, 2013Music Background:
    professional

    seriously

    sound scape creator...to the max. wonderfully realistic piano's. the really really cool thing is that you can easily add sound layers on the fly. with totally modifiable tones. the presets are spot on by themselves. I have had many boards in the past but this one goes to near top of the list. lighter weight, textured keys that have a great feel. I cant get over the fun I have had so far. records great.. with full rich bassy sounds...what a neat neat board

  • from December 11, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist who does some paid gigs

    PX-5S Remarkable keyboard!

    I've owned this product for three months now and I am absolutely delighted with it. I bought it because I joined a blues/rock band this year and we have just started playing gigs.

    1) The light weight means it's fully portable - I mean it's still an effort (there's 88 whole keys to lug) but your back should not suffer. Crucially, this means you get to play the thing out regularly
    2) The feel/action is very impressive - my previous experience is good (and not so good) upright pianos and a yamaha clavinova (oh and one Bechstein grand a couple of times which did feel amazing). Each piano, digi or real, takes some adjustment but my hands were extremely happy with it within a couple of days. And you can really pound it if that's your thing. And it doesn't hurt the next day.
    3)The inbuilt sounds are great (esp the pianos) but you can customize and layer pretty much everything. And you can make your own sounds too. This is not my area of expertise but it doesn't matter because better users than I are already sharing more sounds than you can cope with on the forums.
    4) The level of support on Facebook and the Casio web pages/forums is ridiculously good. First question I had was answered by some senior guy in Casio within a minute (and it was a dumb one about a pedal). And he got it right. But not just casio employees - the level of enthusiasm for this keyboard is palpable and a real community has developed to make the most of it. Check out the facebook page to see.

    I can't recommend this enough. I'm out playing live music again for the first time in ages and having a wonderful time.

  • from Waukesha, WI May 17, 2013

    Light on Weight & $ - Heavy on Tones & Features

    I've been dreaming of retiring my Alesis QS8 for some time. I lean heavily on piano and e-piano tones but have come to rely on sliders and wheels for DAW and virtual instruments in a studio setting. This keyboard fit the bill and then some! Gritty EPs, organic pianos, funky clavs and dynamic synth tones. Great action with a textured fee. It is a perfect compliment to my Roland VK8 and Leslie 2101.

    Whether playing in a studio on Wednesday, club on Saturday or church on Sunday, at 24 lbs I don't lament taking it wherever I need it. Following the posts by Casio's Mike Martin on MusicPlayer Forums, I knew this was a different animal with an engaged team behind it. I'm glad to see the company that brought me a fun little CZ-101 in the 1980s is back showing us that pro level gear doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg.

  • from Arvada, CO March 9, 2017Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Good, solid stage piano and synth.

    There is a bug in older versions of the firmware that causes the "no media" error and a failure to boot up. This is corrected in the latest (1.13) firmware, so I recommend that when you get this board, immediately update to the current firmware. Then keep that firmware file on a USB stick, and keep it plugged into the USB port. That way, if you get the error right before a gig, you can just reload firmware and restore your settings in 5-10 minutes. You can also use that USB stick to save digital recordings and patches (they can coexist with the firmware file with no issues).

    While this kind of bug is catastrophic if it occurs 10 minutes before a gig, the work-around is known and easy enough. So don't let that one bad review keep you from buying and using this board. Just get a cheap USB memory stick and keep the firmware on it, and you'll never have a dead board right before a performance.

    As for the keyboard itself, it's a solid value for money with a really good Internet community surrounding it. There are lots of free patches available for download, so you can get the bread-and-butter piano, EP, and synth sounds. Acoustic instrument sounds are serviceable, but not state-of-the-art. Get the "version 2" ALL file, which improves upon the original factory patches. Also download the editor from Casio's Web site so you can customize your patches on the computer, rather than menu-diving.

    In the end, I would say pros/cons are:

    Pros - affordable, lightweight, realistic piano action, good piano sounds, excellent synth facilities for a stage piano.

    Cons - No half-pedal support, no expression pedal support, adequate but not extremely good sound quality, and the firmware bug discussed above (now corrected, but easily worked around).

    The pros exceed the cons in my opinion. The closest competitor, the Roland JUNO-DS88, is heavier and has fewer performance controls. Yamaha and Korg have nothing better to offer in terms of action and sound quality in this price range.

    Bottom line: Not quite perfect, but a very strong stage piano / controller / synth. Make sure you understand its capabilities and quirks. The on-line community has been very open about discussing problems and solutions. Make sure you take advantage of the wealth of information and free patches available, and you'll get even more enjoyment out of this board.

  • from Colorado June 14, 2016Music Background:
    multi-instrument but piano calls me back everytime

    It's What Everyone Said It Would Be

    I never thought I'd be buying a Casio as my primary gigging and studio rig after over 2 decades as a steadfast Roland user. I am a changed man. Wow Casio. Thanks to everyone else's reviews both professionals and beginners alike. Very helpful to me in making my purchase decision. Very hard to find a rig to love these days that doesn't take a few more paychecks than is feasible.

  • from Canada February 2, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Great board and nothing out there like it...

    Under 25 lbs, portable, not too bulky or long, has a meaty weighted keyboard action with pitch and mod wheels. The piano sound is up there with keyboards costing twice as much and more. The sample is significantly longer than earlier models and the Electric pianos are also very good. It packs a full sound pallet including all the staples but also packs a pretty potent set of synth sounds with lots of editing. There's plenty of storage including USB with knobs and sliders for live control. Who offers this at the $1000. price level? You could put this in a hard shell case and it could still be under 50 pounds total weight! I'm delighted with it as it's inspiring and deep. Mike Martin, marketing Director for Casio is also hands on with videos and updates along with strong user groups popping up all praising the PX5S because it's super portable, professional and offers a feature set you'll be hard pressed to find on any board in this price category and all this with a stellar piano sound that is full down low, sparkles up high and is dynamic and expressive throughout. Really... it's the real deal.

  • from Encinitas, CA December 11, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Crazy to sound so good at this price

    I bought my PX-5S about 6 weeks. Then I decided to also check out the new Yamaha CP4 to see how they compared. There is a big difference in cost (about $2000 for the CP4) but I was open to returning the PX-5S if I loved the CP4 enough.

    Well, to make a longer story short, I loved the keyboard on the CP4, probably even more than the wonderful keyboard on the Casio that I also loved. But, sound wise and feature wise, the Casio totally held its own. The price difference was absolutely not worth it to me. So, I returned the CP4 and got to learning the PX-5S.

    After six weeks with it, I can tell you I love it, and am really glad about this purchase. The acoustic pianos are beautiful and inspiring and the EP's are really cool with a lot of diversity. To top it off, the PX-5S community and Mike Martin from Casio have been amazing and supportive. Like nothing I have experienced with any other instrument or company. I have downloaded a great number of Stage Settings created by the community. The free editing software is great and makes the PX-5S much more useable and enjoyable.

    The PX-5S is a great axe at any price. At under a grand, it is a total steal. It's crazy to sound so good, at this price.

  • from July 4, 2013

    Instant Classic

    Every now and then Casio pulls out a keyboard that becomes a sought after vintage instrument. This is one of those. It already has an ever expanding fan club hidden within the various music forums. They recognize the power and potential of this very tweak-able Casio not to mention it being the lightest 88 note hammer action keyboard on the market today. The key action feels as good as keyboards costing many times more. It's can run on 8 AA batteries if needed. The slider, knobs, mod wheel and pedals are fully programmable. It can store custom user tones within Stage Settings(AKA Registrations) rather than separately where they can get lost easily. Drum sets can be fully edited down to pitch, amp and filter envelopes for each instrument in a kit. Synthesizer filters are smooth as silk and very deep and powerful. The Grand Piano sound, well that is subjective. I will say that I prefer it over most every other brand out there. Note that the PX-5S does not sample despite the mention of it in some product descriptions. The reason I give this a 4.5 and not a 5 is because of it's difficult to understand menu system. I will say though that with some practice and time it gets easier. It gets much easier if you use the downloadable data editor for PC or Mac. Overall I'm very happy and am really looking forward to seeing what Casio has in store for us next.

  • from Upper Midwest, USA May 9, 2013Music Background:
    Gigging band member

    An Amazing Instrument

    Been playing piano for 42 years and electronic keyboards for 20. Currently in a blues/rock band and had been playing a decade old weighted-key Privia with OK action but unimpressive voices, and sometimes a non-weighted low-end Yamaha with a couple of OK voices. Had been dreaming of a Korg SV-1 or Nord Electro 3 for a while but couldn't swing the $ given my abilities. (Had played both.) Heard about the PX-5S and started to think it might be a great fit. It has been a joy -- I lump it in the same category of absolutely inspiring instruments as my Yamaha upright piano. The action is solid, the voices (and particularly the electric pianos) are amazing, the effects and ability to shape the tones are mind-boggling, and the interface is pretty good. The only reason I don't 5-star it is that I am not so fond of the highly menu-driven nature of this beast (but I am getting much quicker with each week of playing).

  • from Northern New Jersey April 25, 2016Music Background:
    Long time musician for fun with home studio

    Its Good

    Update, this piano is great. I left my previous review saying that I had a noise coming from the keyboard. It turns out that the noise was coming from a Zoom R16 on the usb bus. Ever since getting rid of that problem the keyboard has been fantastic and it wasn't the PX-5S's problem anyway. And Sweetwater support was there to support me every step of the way. Can't say enough good about how helpful they were.

  • from Northern NJ April 20, 2016Music Background:
    Long time musician for fun with home studio

    The good and the bad

    I chose this keyboard because my budget was limited, I needed weighted keys and an overall controller as well as a performance keyboard. This was the only keyboard that delivered what I wanted because even over this price range, other keyboards weighted a lot more and didn’t have enough of a synth engine for me. I am not really a pro but have been playing piano since I was 5 and other keyboards since my teens. I was also a music and audio engineering major in college, worked in studios, did live sound and played in some bands. So I have some experience but would not consider myself a pro, since I really haven’t done much with music over that past 15 years. Firstly I have only had the Previa for a couple weeks The good: The feel of the keyboard is great, I seem to have plenty of volume control via my touch. Once you get the “workflow” down (I have never really used a Casio before), the layering, tone editing and saving patches to and from the computer, grabbing new sounds off the web, it is very easy. I was worried about the pitch and mod wheels being above the keyboard but haven’t even noticed that since I started playing and the keys are on the lighter side of a real piano touch like my Mason and Hamlin Grand and Yamaha Spinet. Note I chose my acoustic pianos because I liked their sound and touch and was very happy that this keyboard comes very close to matching that. Also there seems to be great flexibility with the sound controls and the filters sound pretty good to me even though it’s been years since I had my Moog. I have found it easy to adapt keyboard ranges and layers and expect to have inspiring sounds for a long time to come. Not only that I am able to import my own wave forms so that should be fun and allow me to customize what I want when I cannot find it on the web. Lastly there is an incredible user community and Mike Martin the GM from Casio has a ton of youtube videos on most everything about this keyboard on the net so running through those tutorials gave me 90% of what I needed to know to really use the keyboard. OK now for the bad. I had to send the 1st two keyboards back to Sweetwater because the keys had a clicking sound (not in the audio output) and I could not have that noise in my studio. Sweetwater was AWESOME in that when we identified the problem, they checked the next one before sending it my way and it was perfect. So Casio has some quality control issues that they have to address. I heard (from web research – not validated) that this is due to a ribbon cable behind the key that gets out of place on occasion. I also seemed to have a crackle in my line level output for a couple days (which never showed up on the headphones) and after testing was not the cable, the board or the amp. This went away after restarting the unit a day later. Again Sweetwater is on the case and as I keep my eye/ear on this they are right there to check and replace the unit if need be for now I am letting it burn in and the unit is very quiet (when it’s supposed to be) and is working fine. I would agree with the reviews I have read that the plastic back does not support the ¼” plugs as study as it could, so I would not treat them rough, but haven’t had any problems with them. I don’t think that you can beat the PX-5S for the price and Sweetwater takes away the risk so I would totally recommend this keyboard.

  • from Cleveland OH August 14, 2013Music Background:
    Semi-pro musician

    Excellent choice for stage piano!

    This unit is an excellent choice for anybody requiring a stage piano for live performance. I use it at some gigs, and a great piano sound is a must for those particular jobs. The light weight, weighted keyboard, playability, and availability of other important sounds are great features for the working keyboardist.
    I would have given it five stars except for the haphazard instruction manual organization, or non-organization, whichever you want to call it. The basic manual came with the unit, but I had to go on-line to get the tutorial, which is a bit more detailed. I downloaded the Editor for PC/MAC, and there are no help files with the editor; you have to figure it out as you go. These deficiencies justified removing one star from what would have otherwise been a five-star review. I would recommend this unit, but it helps if you're good with computers if you want to download and use the editor. Find yourself a Casio forum and get some tips from other users.

  • from East Coast March 28, 2016

    Great until it stopped working

    I bought this unit for church use. It gets played once or twice a week on average. In hindsight, it is more keyboard than we need, and the vast majority of the features remain unexplored and unused. A good digital piano would suffice. Anyway, the Casio feels good to our pianists, with realistic feel and it sounds great. Unfortunately, 30 minutes before our Easter vigil service, which is the biggest musical event of the year at the church, the unit would not boot up. It gave us a "no media" error, which I determined has something to do with the firmware needing to be upgraded. Why anyone would make an electronic device that simply stops working when it needs an upgrade, is beyond my understanding. Not having keyboards for this service was enough of a reason for me to give this unit the lowest possible rating.

Questions about the Casio Privia PX-5S?

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