When I was researching this and other,
keyboards, I naturally searched on the keyboard name and 'review' in
Google. Almost everything which came up claiming to be a review was
actually an online shop regurgitating the manufacturer's sales puff.
There was about one real review of this Casio, not very detailed, plus
a number of reviews in Amazon, largely of the 'this is jolly good'
So I decided that what the world needs is a proper review of this
keyboard - albeit rather belatedly as it's been out for a couple of
years at the time of writing (2012). I've illustrated the review with some
videos and audio recordings to give an idea of its capabilities.
Why buy a keyboard?
A bit of personal history here: I was taught piano properly from the
age of six; when I was in my late teens I was quite a good amateur
classical pianist, and also played jazz by ear if not brilliantly at
least not painfully. Of course when I left school I fell out of
practice, and it wasn't until much later that I bought my own piano - a
Yamaha digitally sampled one. More time has passed, and now lack of
practice and stiffness with age - 70 as I write this in 2012 - have made it uncomfortable
and rather unrewarding to play the piano, particularly for any length
of time: so I decided that a keyboard would at least let me have some
pleasure with less strain on the hands, even if it wasn't 'real' piano
Why buy the Casio CTK-6000?
These days a wide range of
keyboards is available at prices which would have seemed impossibly low
a few years back. For less than a hundred pounds you can get a 61-key
model with full-sized keys (mini-keys are definitely a non-starter) and
good facilities: however at that level there is no touch sensitivity
and so any piano playing is going to sound like a pianola.
up to the £200 level and you can get a
touch sensitive keyboard with a wide range of facilities (of course you
can pay a lot more if you want to, right up to the Yamaha Tyros range
at several thousand pounds, but that price level was never in
consideration). In the end it boils down to two contenders: the Casio
CTK-6000 and the Yamaha PSR-e423 (picture, right). The next most
expensive Casio is half as much again, and mostly offers more drawbar
(Hammond) organ sounds, which is no attraction for me: the next most
expensive Yamaha is around £600 and so well out of court. (Since I
wrote this, Yamaha have introduced the PSR-e433 with slightly more
voices and better styling.)
Of course I had to choose without being able to try them, though I did
look at various YouTube videos; it's quite probable that the Yamaha is
slightly the better model, though I wasn't all that keen on either its
looks or some of the operational arrangements. However it's somewhat
more expensive than the Casio, and, more seriously for me, bulkier and
heavier. In the end the Casio won out on the best combination of price,
size and layout, and facilities (the latter are very similar to the
Yamaha though often accessed in a different manner).
This review will look at its various facilities, with illustrations
(and I ought to emphasize that they are to show off the keyboard, not
my playing - please forgive the odd fumbles):
here as a taster is a video. Notice that the left hand has very little
to do, mostly just specifying the chords for the auto-accompaniment by
playing one or two keys. I couldn't have played a boogie left hand like
that these days for more than a minute or so before it became painful.
The next page will take an overview of the keyboard before proceeding in subsequent pages to a more detailed look.