Photos & Video © 2014 Benjamin F Sullivan

Why Privia PX-850 is Casio’s Best Piano Yet (Review)

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PX-850 has Casio’s proprietary AiR (Acoustic and intelligent Resonator) processor on board which gives it the most realistic piano sounds produced yet by Casio.  AiR is by far Casio’s most powerful processor and it adds a final dimension of realism to Casio’s already excellent piano sounds by generating the same kind of sympathetic string resonance you’d get from lifting the damper pedal on an acoustic piano.  This is a similar advanced sound generation technology to the harmonic resonance technology found in Roland’s V-Piano, but at a price that is roughly 5,800.00 USD less.The PX-850 is Casio’s flagship model in their Privia line of portable stage pianos.  Casio seems to have left previous flagships in the dust with PX-850 by integrating nearly every possible high-end feature imaginable.  Unlike previous Privia flagship models, the PX-850 is is heavier and more substantial, making it seem like it would be more at home in Casio’s home line of Celviano digital pianos.  In fact, aside from maintaining a low frontal profile, PX-850 seems to easily look and feel more like an authentic piano than the Celviano AP-220 or AP-250 (for example).

PX-850 clearly targets piano-centric individuals and includes a minimal, but practical 18 on board sounds, an unprecedented 256 notes of polyphony, a revamped tri-sensor weighted hammer action keyboard, ivory textured keys, over three times the memory of the last Privia generation (purely dedicated to a remarkably real and dimensional sound quality), a quad 20W + 20W speaker system, integrated lid synthesis, pedal resonance simulation, hammer response simulation, damper and string resonance simulation technology, and Casio’s new and remarkably useful audio export to 44.1kHz wave file feature (only found in a handful of pianos in the Privia line at this point).

While I would not recommend this for synth players, Privia PX-850 is ideal for pianists and keyboardists who want something that is attractive, compact, modern and loaded with high-end features.  I like the happy medium that PX-850 attains in being both highly pianistic while at the same time boldly featuring logical, more usable design concepts like its front facing headphone inputs, low profile casing and easily accessible, yet tactful controls.

The Casio Privia PX-850 currently retails at a lowest price of $1099.00 USD and is available in a black, white or brown finish.  If the price tag seems a bit steep, but you really want one of these, please see my article on financing music equipment without a credit check “How to Get a Keyboard or Digital Piano on a Payment Plan.”

You can watch a video of me improvising on my newly received Privia PX-850 (above).

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