Jul 31, 2017

REVIEW - Casio AP270 Celviano Digital Piano 2018 model

🎹 UPDATED REVIEW - October 20, 2017 - Casio AP270 Ceviano Digital Piano - New Low Price 2018 Model - Recommended - 


Casio is a well known world wide company which produces millions of great electronic products and they have been designing and building digital pianos for well over 40 years. The new AP270 is part of a traditional furniture cabinet line of digital pianos called Celviano. The new AP270 is the lowest price digital piano in the Celviano line and is scheduled to come out in the US at the beginning of October 2017 for just $1049US discount internet price. It will be available in 2 different satin finishes including satin black and simulated satin oak. All finishes include a matching piano style padded bench. The new AP270 has some very distinct upgrades over the previous model AP260 in a number of ways and the AP260 was the same price as the new AP270. If you still see some AP260's on sale somewhere on the internet or in a local store, I would recommend it's definitely worth the wait time until the new AP270 comes out because the impressive upgrades to this new model.

🎹 Also, if after reading this review you decide you want to order a new AP270, you can get it now at a special one time intro price for immediate shipment. Please contact me right away and I can help you before Casio supplies are gone. 😀     


So what makes this new AP270 model so good as compared to the previous model? The list below are my top 7 reasons why this new model is so good for its low price.


1. Redesigned cabinet with less seams, smoother installation, more piano-like in appearance. Even the speakers under the piano have been resigned to be more "invisible" and less obvious to give the cabinet a more realistic look.  Also, the AP270 is available in medium oak instead of the former walnut which no other brand in this price range has in a furniture style cabinet.

2. The piano sound chip has been noticeably improved along with an exclusive stereo piano sound sample from a handmade $150,000 New York Steinway 9' grand piano. Up until now Casio and others have used sound samples from a variety of pianos including from Europe, but never from a real New York custom 9' concert grand. The new AP270 is the only Casio piano made out of all models with this new Steinway piano sound and I can tell you first hand that it is the best piano sound for a traditional piano cabinet digital piano in this price range that I have ever heard. In my opinion this new piano sound sample beats the competitive Roland RP500 and RP501R which sells for more more than this Casio. This custom New York Steinway sound is also much more authentic than the competitive Yamaha YDP143 ($1099US internet price) with a fuller more resonate tone. Beyond that the New York Steinway sound has a a couple of variations to it which also sound great. I was very impressed when I played and heard this new piano sound and did not expect the AP270 to sound as good as it did. Also when you use a good pair of stereo headphones the stereo Steinway piano sound is even better because you get to hear all the tonal nuances coming directly into your ears.

3. The sustain pedal and its ability to hold the piano sound out over time and then to have that sound decay and fade out it crucial to any intermediate to advanced pianist and that's where many of these digital pianos fall short. The previous Casio models were not capable of longer sustained piano tones because they did not have a memory chip that would allow that to happen. This time the new model has more than twice the realism in sustain/decay time of the piano tone along with the volume of the sustained piano sound to hold a more realistic level before fading out. I noticed this change from the previous model right away and for people that play piano at a higher level than beginner, this new upgrade will simply make your music sound better with a more organic tone like a real piano. Along with half-damper pedaling for more natural piano sustain at different pedal depths and the improved damper resonance which gives the piano sound a more organic natural reverb (echo) response especially when playing on the high octave keys that don't normally have good sustain.

4. The Polyphony in this new piano has been increased from the previous 128-note polyphony to the new 192-note polyphony. This is considered piano processing power which enables the piano sound to be larger, fuller, and more resonate along with being able to play more complex music without notes dropping out or sustain time being too short. Some traditional cabinet digital pianos in this price range still have just 128-note polyphony including all Roland digital pianos under $1500.

5. The AP270 now has 22 separate instrument sounds which is an increase from the previous model and all of those sounds have been improved to be even more like the real thing including the electric pianos, harpsichords, organs, choirs, etc and as I mentioned earlier also the acoustic piano tones. It is interesting note there are now a total of 7 distinct acoustic piano sounds using a New York Steinway grand piano sound and a European grand piano sound which far more than the other brands in this price range. The main piano sounds are also easily accessible with buttons on the control panel. Most people want a variety of actual acoustic piano sounds rather than the non-piano sounds so this new Casio AP270 delivers on this point.

6. The control panel of the new model has changed from having the buttons above the keys to having them on the left side of the keyboard. Casio did this to make the piano look more minimalist and give it a cleaner appearance with a bit less clutter. Fortunately Casio placed the names of the the sounds and additional functions above the keyboard so they are easy to find and this is done through with pressing one button and then using a specific key to trigger the feature. It's fairly easy to do and much easier than similar control panels in other brands because the features (sounds, effects, metronome, etc), are labeled on the new AP270.

7. The tops of the keys are made of a synthetic ebony & ivory material to replicate the older real acoustic pianos from many years ago when ivory and ebony were legal to be made into piano keytops. Casio has been using this material on their keys for a number of years now but in this model Casio has redesigned and upgraded the "feel" of those key tops by changing and smoothing out the texture so that it feels more like actual ivory and ebony and I noticed this change right away when playing the keyboard. When you touch those keys the surface now feels better and is more natural to play. This is a relatively small change but a good one and shows that Casio is paying attention to the details as well as the big things.

As you can see by the improvements I just mentioned that this new AP270 really does have many significant advantages in all aspects of this piano, but at the same time Casio has kept some nicer previous features and functions of the AP260. This would include layering of two sounds together for simultaneous play such as string symphony and Steinway grand piano, as well as a split sound function allowing for an instrument sound on the left hand and a different instrument sound on the right hand. Other useful functions and features carried over to this model include transpose, an adjustable metronome for rhythm and timing training, and last but not least a 2-track MIDI recorder for left and right hand piano practice and playback. This 2-part recording system is something other digital pianos in this price range do not have and being able to record and playback your left and right hand separately is really useful for students. Most students need to practice and hear each hand one at a time, and for more advanced players, they are wanting to analyse their performance by listening to how each hand is doing one at a time and then played back together. You can also speed up or slow down the playback portion so that you can record the song at a slow speed and playback at normal speed or you can record at a normal speed but playback at a slower speed so you can better hear how you played and identify your mistakes better that way.

Key action movement and response is critically important n any digital piano and this where many brands and models fall short, especially in this lower price range. The AP270 rises to the occasion offering a convincing key action playing experience with a good balance graded key weight along with good key movement response. The key action is called "tri-sensor" which simply means that Casio has 3 electronic sensors under each key rather than 2 key sensors as found in the Yamaha YDP143 which is competitively priced. The 3rd key sensor normally allows for more accurate key repetition recognition when playing at faster speeds especially when repeating the same notes or doing trills, etc. At this price having a tri-sensor electronics under each key is a good thing and something that adds value to this model.

Piano tonal and volume dynamics is where piano playing "expression" comes in. When you are able to express yourself musically with many different tonal colors, then your musical comes alive and sounds more inspiring. This is only accomplished when the piano sound has a smooth wide range of tonal change as you play the key softly and then press on the key harder and harder and play more quickly or more slowly and you hear a variety of tonal and volume changes in the piano sound from more mellow all the way up to very bright with vibrating virtual strings depending on how expressive you want to be.

The Casio AP270 has a unique song playalong feature called "Concert Play" which offers a library of classical music in the piano which were originally recorded as CD wav file audio recordings in a "live" session with actual real orchestra instruments. You can select from any song in the concert library and then you can play along with those songs using the AP270 Steinway Concert Piano for the live sound. When you are playing back any of these orchestral songs you can also slow down the song playback speed so that it is easier to ply along, especially if you not know the song. The songs actually do sound very impressive and playing along with them is fun and it makes you sound better than you actually are:).

With a total of 22 individual natural instrument sounds, the AP270 furniture cabinet model offers more than twice as many instrument sounds as its nearest competitor including 7 different individual acoustic piano sounds which is what most people are looking for. Accessing those sounds is pretty easy as they are listed right above the keys as opposed to other pianos that don't list them at all and you have to guess at what you are getting. The two main grand pianos sounds have their own dedicated buttons on the left side control panel for quick easy access. Adding to that advantage is the fact that Casio offers a 16 watt 2-speaker stereo sound system as compared to Yamaha in this price range only offering a 12 watt speaker system. The Casio has significantly more audio power and can fill a good size room with more than enough volume although there are digital pianos for closer to $1500US with 40 watts of power going into 4 speakers which offer better bass response and more easily fill a large room. One such piano is the Casio AP460 at $1499US internet price and it definitely has a bigger better internal sound system but at a higher cost. So it just depends what you need and what you can afford to spend. As I mentioned earlier, when you use good stereo headphones then the Steinway piano sound sample is even more realistic because you hear all the tonal nuances coming directly into your ears.

There are many more features in this AP270 that I have not covered as they are less important but can be fun and useful depending on the playing skill level you are at and the type of music you will be playing. One of the more requested features these days is to have a USB output to an external device such as an iPad. The AP270 is USB equipped and I use iPad in my teaching studio quite often and some of those iPad apps are really amazing. They can teach kids and adults some important musical fundamentals in an exciting visually pleasing way which helps people to learn to play more easily and many times more quickly while learning important aspects of music theory and live play. Combined with a good piano learning curriculum the iPad apps can be a great source of music education and enjoyment in a way that can stimulate you and or family members to want to play piano more often and with less resistance...especially fro kids who generally do not like to practice:). The Casio AP270 can also work with Andoid apps, but iOS apps tend to offer some things you cannot get on Android products in terms of apps. If you want information on good useful apps that can work well for you, then please ask me.

So here's the bottom line; The AP270 is a lower priced digital piano with higher priced features in an attractive smaller traditional furniture style cabinet with matching piano bench, sliding key cover, and full privacy panel with features that  focuses on the best piano playing experience possible in its price range. Dimensions and weight for this model are 56" wide x 17" deep x 32" tall and weighing in a just 81 lbs. The AP270 does not have a lot of unnecessary bells & whistles so is great for families or players who mainly just want to play the piano and have the necessary elements in a piano to do so. With the improvements that Casio has made to this Celviano model as compared to the previous model and the current competition out there, there really is no other digital piano that comes close for near the $1000US price range in my opinion. On top of all that Casio offers by far the longest factory warranty of any brand out there in this price range (most are 3 years or less) so they must feel confident the AP270 will be sturdy and reliable for many years. The warranty includes 5 full years of parts & labor with in-home service...something that no other brand comes close to. The warranty alone makes this piano stand out among its competition.

So is there anything wrong with this instrument? No, not that I can find, especially considering its lower price and generous number of quality features that most people will enjoy. Yes, based on all my personal playing and teaching experience in the pro music world, I can always want a stronger, larger internal speaker system, USB flash drive input, audio inputs & outputs, audio recording, wireless capability, digital display screen, and/or other features, but then I would likely be paying a lot more money too. Casio is promising to come out with a special iPad app soon to give users control over the piano when connected with an iOS product so that may be a cool thing but since I have no info on that then I need to wait and see if it really happens and what it will do. Given that this new Casio AP270 seems to have the best bang for the buck in a traditional piano cabinet model for its lower price range at just $1049US, I believe this will be a very popular model and that initial shipments will likely sell out fast.
 
If you want more info on new digital pianos and LOWER PRICES than internet discounts, please email me at tim@azpianowholesale.com or call direct at 602-571-1864.

5 comments:

  1. Tim, first of all thanks for maintaining this site. A ton of great information here.

    What are your thoughts on the AP 270 versus the new PX 870? As far as I can tell from online sources they are extremely similar, including in price, but with a different emphasis in a few areas. The 270 has a more attractive appearance and the Steinway samples. The 870 has higher polyphony and a more powerful speaker system (I have been leaning toward the 870 for this reason). Do you agree, or is there some other key difference I am missing?

    Thanks.

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  2. either piano is a good choice. I prefer the Casio AP270 New York Steinway piano sound but if you want a bigger speaker sound and more functions like USB flashdrive, then the PX870 would be the better choice.

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  3. It's not an iPad app, it's also for Android and maybe Windows. This is important, not everyone has/likes iPad.

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  4. What are your thoughts concerning the difference between the AP-270 and the AP-460 models? It seems as though the new Steinway sound might be a deciding factor.

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    1. This is also an important question for me. Can anyone help?

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