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Casio XW-P1 Performance Synthesizer Reviews

4.5 stars based on 21 customer reviews
Questions about the Casio XW-P1 Performance Synthesizer?

Questions about the Casio XW-P1 Performance Synthesizer?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Carson McClain

    My favorite part of the Casio XW-P1 is the sequencer. Without any training, I had beats kicking and bassline bumping. Patch changing is simple, editing parts is a breeze, and learning the more in-depth in and outs takes no more than 15 minutes. The extreme ease of use is inspiring, the synth sounds are more than adequate for even the synth elite, the price is ridiculously low, and the fun factor is off the charts. This is not only a synth/sequencer for beginners, it's also a must-have for the old-school Casio drum machine and synth enthusiasts.

  • from Grant Township, Michigan February 17, 2017Music Background:
    Guitar / Bass / Synthesizer / Vocals

    Casio XW-P1

    I've only had this a few weeks with little time to play on it, but have been going over reading the manual over as much as I can. This synth is amazing with all the stuff you can do on it, if you haven't heard it you can see what it dose on U-Tube, it is light weight made from a hard plastic, no it's not a Roland, Korg or Yamaha but can do things the other can't. After I saw it on U-Tube I just had too have it, So I parted with my Korg Kross on Ebay to make space on my keyboard stand. For $ it is a great synth for the beginner or could fit in a pro's stand. The most bang for the buck is right here. Every synth has different aspects of sounds and how you make those sounds.
    My keyboard rig is as follows, Roland Gaia Sh-01, Roland XP-30,Casio XW-P1, Korg Minilouge and Arturia Keystep keyboard controler. yes it's over kill but each one creates a sound of it's own.
    I'm only half way through the operation of it, but from what I've learned so far, this is a great first keyboard . And to say the least , the people at Sweetwater are just outstanding, they are right there keeping you in the loop of things, just can't say enough about the people there, they are right there with you, all along the way with videos or answering questions if you have a problem.

  • from Raleigh NC December 15, 2016Music Background:
    Collector, Professional

    , Casio is back in the game( keys are a bit plastic though) .wav .midi music interface needs work

    This is one of the best rompers i have had in years, But as many had said download the new sound updates from casio. But wow, I have had the new juno d series and i would say this guy make the juno seem flat. There is actually so much crammed into this thing it can be daunting. A have spent hours just programming new sounds, which is what i like about rompers. I do not have an ipad so editing is a challenge. But I have owned many synths and understand it's architecture. Now I do admit the keyboard its self is a little to light weight and feels like i will break easily and make a-lot of noise. But, the only thing missing is touch pads to play drums. But Paired with a tablet, a guitar or your vocoder and you have the perfect pair.

  • from January 22, 2016

    Great Value

    This thing is really a beast, it can do so much! The menus could be a little more intuitive, but there are online video demos that are good. If you get one, be sure to download the new sounds that were created by Casio and users from the Casio forums site. There are some great Moog inspired sounds and others that are available to download on an SD card and add to the synth. I really needed something to jumpstart my music again and this thing did the trick.

  • from Sicklerville, NJ August 19, 2015

    Great return on investment

    I have a total of 5 hardware synths I use with my soul/funk/r&b band. Yes, I am the pretentious poser with five synths on stage. This is my go-to synth for natural instrument sounds, like horns, strings, organ, etc. It even does a decent funky guitar. I've demo'd other synths for some of these parts and my fellow bandmembers keep saying, "No, use the Casio."

  • from Colorado August 8, 2015Music Background:

    The Casio XW-P1

    This XW-P1 synthesizer is fantastic!! Especially for a beginner like myself. So much for just under $500.00
    This is the perfect synthesizer for any gigging musician. It really rocks!
    My sales engineer was extremely helpful too. And thanks for the candy.
    Thank you Sweetwater!

  • from United States January 16, 2015Music Background:
    classically trained pianist, gigging keyboardist, old prog rocker.

    Lots of fun but it's more than just a toy

    When I got the bug to add a new keyboard to my arsenal, there were several that fit my limited budget (Korg Kross, Yamaha MX61 to name a few). Of course I obsess when it comes to investing in a new instrument no matter how much I'm going to spend and I literally spent months reading reviews and watching Youtube videos trying to figure out what I wanted. I can't count the number of times I thought I had made a final decision, only to stumble on something else that would change my mind. This is how I learned of the XW-P1, Several things about this keyboard caught my attention. One, it has a huge fan base. There are online forums, a Facebook group, users sharing new patches, and lots of videos. Having such a prolific online presence definitely lends this product credibility. Second, it looks really cool and doesn't skimp on features. Keyboards in this price range all tend to look the same and to keep them economical manufacturers cut corners by forcing you to compromise. For example how can you make do with just a midi USB jack? Or how am I supposed to function without a mod wheel? With the XW-P1 you get everything that should be standard on a legit keyboard like real midi in and out jacks, pitch and mod wheels conveniently located, an SD card slot, aux in, midi USB, mic in, pretty much everything a legit keyboard should have as standard features. But the the biggest draw for me was this board's versatility combining a programmable solo-synth, drawbar organ, and 400 PCM tones. And everything is fully editable. This keyboard is a tweakers dream. Granted many of the PCM tones are a little weak, but if you don't like the way something sounds, hit the edit button or twist some knobs until you dial in something you like. I'll qualify this by saying I'm old school. My first synth was a Mini Moog. And for several decades now I've been missing the ability to create and change my sounds and unfortunately I don't have four thousand dollars to buy another Moog. But back to my original purpose for buying a new instrument (aside from the tax write-off). For me, since much of the time my instruments don't leave their cases in between gigs, I really wanted something I could easily keep set up at home to practice on and maybe get back into composing - something I hadn't done in forever - and I didn't want something that was redundant to the other keyboards I already have. Check and double check. Being able to use it for gigs is a bonus as my auxiliary board, a 61 - key Korg Triton LE is getting a little long in the tooth. This keyboard is so lightweight and so much fun to play I don't mind taking it to a gig and then bringing it back in the house to set up and practice on. For me the true test of an instrument is whether or not I want to play it. I can honestly say that in the month I've owned this keyboard not a day has gone by that I haven't turned it on and fiddled around with it. In fact, if I don't have to get up in the morning It 'll keep me up at night just playing around. That's how much fun it is. Of course this keyboard might not be for everyone and if you've got a few thousand dollars to spend go ahead and look at what's available in that price range. But if you're looking for a synthesizer and don't have a ton of money, this is definitely worthy of consideration.

  • from Redding, CA December 3, 2014Music Background:
    Professional musician. Piano, keyboard and guitar

    xw p1 Synth - Power on a budget

    I gave this a 5.0 because of the overall value, though the sampled gig sounds are not the best, the overall performance as a "create your own sound" far out weighs the weakness of the individual sampled patches. The only other down side is the learning curve, and that is only because this synth has so many features to balance if you want to use them all. At the very least it is the best drum machine you will ever use as a keyboardist, and at it's best, the keyboard offers a huge number of sounds and functions to create your own sound, which is why you buy in the first place. Building up massive sounds with 6 oscillators for a mono synth or 6 oscillators for a poly synth. The two cannot be combined however, though you have keyboard zones, the mono synth and poly (hex layer) synth won't play at the same time. But you can have 4 zones with different patches, the step sequencer, the phrase recorder all play simultaneously. Casio is offering more than anyone else for $500 and building rhythms and sounds all your own. I just wish Casio would continue with the YouTube tutorials to help us master the control over this powerhouse.

  • from Winnipeg, MB, Canada October 10, 2014Music Background:
    Touring Musician

    Casio XW-P1 Performance Synthesizer

    Let me start off by saying that this is the best keyboard I've ever owned by far. The control you have over tweaking all of your sounds is fantastic.
    The sounds:

    Solo Synth - INCREDIBLE monophonic leads that will bring you back to the '70s and '80s, incredible filter sweeps, and analog heaven.

    Hex Layer - Awesome layers. Monster, fat sounds. Ability to control the sound is also very nice.

    Drawbar Organ - WOW! You will not find a drawbar organ that sounds like this in a keyboard anywhere NEAR $500. Realtime control over every parameter.

    PCM Tones - There are some very nice PCM sounds on here (pianos, guitar, bass drums, brass, strings, woodwind), but this is probably the least-strongest part of the keyboard. That's where the next part comes in...

    Performance Mode - This is where the keyboard shines! You can layer/split in 4 zones, using one of the three modes (Solo Synth, Hex Layer, or Drawbar Organ), and the rest can be PCM tones OR be zones triggering external sources! I use my XW-P1 with a [fully expanded] Roland JV-2080, and where the XW is ever week on a PCM tone, the JV wakes up, and does its thing. However, even on its own, the XW-P1 holds its own when in Performance Mode, and you would not even begin to think you're using a $500 keyboard.

    Hardware - The action does NOT disappoint! It's the absolute perfect combination of a semi-weighted action (perfect for any synthesizer or orchestral/PCM tone) and a Hammond B3/waterfall action. Casio could not have done a better job on this. I love the knobs, sliders, wheels, and overall feeling of all the buttons - the rubber has a really nice feel to it! Another great thing about the keyboard - it has a spot for an iPad built right into it! Really great design. And overall the keyboard feels (and is) very sturdy - mine has been dropped about 4 feet, and survived - and it's barely over 10 pounds! Keep in mind, this thing can run FOREVER on a few D-cell batteries, so no need to sweat it when you forget your power supply!

    Again to summarize, in the few months I've owned this keyboard, I've been as happy as can be! The fact that it's so light and powerful at the same time, just trumps any other keyboard I've ever owned. Be sure to check out the Casio XW-P1 on Sweetwater today!

  • from East Moline, IL August 10, 2014Music Background:

    Great Synth

    Very simply put, I do not think a more powerful synth can be purchased at this price point. Don't be thrown by the name, this is NOT a toy.

    Rumor has is that this synth is being quietly discontinued. So if you're looking for an outstanding gigging synth, or an affordable yet powerful synth for your studo, pick one up.

  • from Alabama January 14, 2013Music Background:
    Pro musician

    I love it...

    I got this because I wanted and organ/Leslie sound, but since I'm not a full-time keyboard player, I didn't have the budget for Hammond/Nord/Korg family of keyboards. I got this about 6 months ago and I think it's just perfect for what I do (normally play bass, but also keys sometimes). I don't use the synth lead much, but the sounds there are pretty good. Hex layer is awesome or terrible (depending on selection), and I rarely use the sequencer, but a friend who has played with this and can make better use of it says it's pretty good. I DO use the tremolo piano and drawbar organ, and they sound great, even in a pro/band situation. This is not one of the "toy" Casios of yesteryear. Probably not quite enought for a pro key player, but for the occasional like myself the price for performance is great.

  • from Atlanta, GA September 17, 2012Music Background:

    Casio XW-P1

    Great keyboard! Unmatched value ... sounds and capability way beyond anything else for the price. Total rig includes it's brother, the Casio XW-G1. These two combined make an impossible to beat setup!

  • from Silver Spring, MD May 22, 2012Music Background:
    Professional Live Sound Engineer, Hobbyist Keyboard Player

    great synth for live gigging

    This is a great synth for live gigging. I love the fact that unlike my Motif I do not feel like I need a forklift to move it around. It lightweight and easy to carry and move.

    The factor sounds are Ok but once you start messing around with the sounds it is amazing what it can crank out. The step sequencer is a joy to use and quite fun.

    I also love the rubber pad on the right hand side. For live gigging this is very handy for either a small mixer or a midi controller. In my setup I use this for a Novation Launchpad which fits there perfectly.

    All in all I am not sure how Casio was able to pull this off for the price point but this is a steal of the year.

    I would also like to thank Mark Maxwell my sales engineer for once again giving me great service before and after the sale. Once again Sweetwater is the best!

  • from Columbus, Oh May 7, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Absolutely Amazing

    Forget whatever you might think of the name Casio. I took a chance and I'm blown away. This is an amazing board. Choose one feature and it is well worth the $499. The step sequencer alone is worth the price but the sounds this thing can make are truly inspiring. The factory presets are ok, but ITS A SYNTH you won't believe the sounds you can get out of this thing.

  • from BOGOTA, COLOMBIA March 28, 2012Music Background:
    SERIOUS HOBBYIST, WeekEnd Warrior!


    This is the perfect gigiing synth. Sounds amazing, ultra portable, plenty of I/O , lots of controls, arpeggiator, key play.... I cannot understand how CASIO managed to put so much for so little!
    Also , performs beautifully in my studio!

  • from Laguna Beach, CA USA August 3, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Hobbyist

    Great Deal

    This keyboard/synth really exceeded my expectations. I was just looking for a midi controller with small synth capabilities, but the sounds included, and the options with which you can tweak those sounds made this purchase very very smart. If you have reservations because this is Casio, forget what you remember, because this is definitely a big step for them, and needless to say, I've ditched my other synths, saving me a lot of money and space on my stand(s).

  • from United States June 28, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist/Song Writer/Producer

    Great value - Great Product

    I first noticed this synth from the most recent NAMM footage. Like most people, I was reluctant to purchase an instrument from CASIO. After, having this synth for a month, I can honestly say that this is by far the best synth for the price.

    If you play different styles of music, this is a great synth. From the mono synth capabilities, to the drawbar organ patches, layered synth sounds (hex layer is awesome), and performance based patches, this synth has something for everyone. It's also incredibly light.

    I haven't jumped into the sequencer yet, but the arpeggiator is great. I only wished the keyboard had a little more weight to it, but that is a small complaint.

  • from erie pa May 30, 2012Music Background:
    live band player

    Casio XW-P1

    Very nice keyboard. Action is very nice. Better than keyboard I had to send back (not from Sweetwater, other brand ) last year.Features rate very high with editability! I would like more programable foot pedal jacks.Sounds are very usable.looking forward to discover more great features. Sweetwater very helpful before & after sale!

  • from NYC May 16, 2012Music Background:

    Nice Synth

    I've had the P1 about three weeks. There are a ton of high quality sounds in this synth and lots of cool features. Very light and portable. Step sequencer and hex layers are great. Every time I turn this thing on I learn something new. The manual is large and VERY detailed, but more information is better than not enough. When I can't find it in my office, its usually in my son's room, so i know he likes it as well. Not sure how the price can be $500?

  • from Pontiac, MI March 27, 2012Music Background:
    Church Musician, Pro musician

    Change of heart

    Ok so my 1st rating was 3.5 but since I've been getting better acquainted with this keyboard, its sounds and capabilities I have to give it a 4.5 rating. The sounds are incredible and with th ability to tweak the sounds, your possibilities are untamed with this unit. The drawbar organ mode is phenomenal.... Straight B3!! If they'd made a model with an extra octave and had an input for an expression pedal, this would definitely be worthy of 5 stars! I know people hear Casio and think cheap/toy. But to all of you who have down talked Casio or have doubts about the quality of their keyboards, I CHALLENGE YOU!! Buy this keyboard before they come to their senses and raise the price! Best value for $500.....REAL Talk!!

  • from Michigan February 4, 2016Music Background:
    Gigging musician

    The good, the Bad, and the Casio XWP-1

    I purchased this keyboard in May, 2012 after another keyboard was damaged. I didn't have the money to buy the board that I really wanted, so I opted to try the XWP1 for a modest price. Overall, this board has a lot to offer for the money!

    First, the good:
    This keyboard is very light-weight, which is greatly appreciated after years of carrying an 88 key weighted board up and down the stairs to our band's basement studio! The pad on the right side of the board is a nice feature. It's perfect for a small mixer, or an iPad mini.The piano sounds are good. The string and synth sounds are fantastic. The hex-layer mode produces some awesome tones! The brass and horn sounds are ok. The drawbar organ sounds are pretty good, except the Leslie speaker simulator in this board is awful! If you play through a real Leslie, or a Motion Sound rotary speaker, the drawbar organ sounds really nice. It'll run a long time on 6 D-cell batteries.

    And now the bad:
    It feels cheap. The action, knobs and buttons, input and output jacks, etc. are not what I would consider professional grade. The Leslie simulator sounds really cheesy! Apparently there is no way to adjust the speed and intensity of the Leslie simulation. The editor software for this keyboard seems overly complicated and confusing. I've tried to edit some of the patches. The capabilities were limited, and the software far from user-friendly. The sequencer/step recorder and the arpeggiater are also very limited. A longer power supply cable; preferably not a "wall wart" would be nice! I believe however that the later models do have a better power supply.

    Overall, I'm satisfied with this keyboard for the price. If you're looking for an affordable keyboard to use in a studio, or play an occasional gig, the XWP-1 has a lot to offer for the money. If you're a gigging musician, this is a decent back-up keyboard. It's a great keyboard to take on the road because of it's portability. Just plug in some headphones and play anywhere!

  • from Pontiac, MI March 23, 2012Music Background:
    Church Musician, Pro musician

    Not perfect but not bad

    This keyboard gave me exactly what I was looking for: Great organ and piano sounds at an affordable price. Being that I play the organ for my church, I wanted something inexpensive and light for home with some killer B3 sounds. Let me tell you.... The drawbar mode on the xw-p1 is very nice for the money! It's also got some rich piano sounds as well. I love that I can run my Ipod/mp3 player right through this and play along with my favorite songs. Now the Cons.... A lot of the sounds still have that Casio (toy) effect, bass sounds are terrible, no input for an expression pedal, sequencer is nothing to rave about, no internal speakers and they should have made it 76 keys. But hey, can't have it all right? I mean for the money, you can't beat this. Casio did a nice job on the drawbar organ mode versus the drawbar organ mode on the Wk-7500 /ctk-7000 which was terrible. Until I can afford my Nord Electro 3-73, this will suffice. Bottom line, if your a musician on a budget and/or are looking for drawbar organ sounds at an affordable price, you gotta give this baby a shot!! No, It's not perfect but then again, what is?

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