Casio has been a renowned and ancient brand and a pioneer in the manufacturing of digital pianos. They have released a number of series with different alterations over time, and we are here to review the CDP S series, that was released during its 15th-anniversary celebrations. It is moderately priced and though it doesn’t have fancy features as that of its expensive counterparts, it does tremendous good for amateur pianists in learning the skill.
The CDP-S100 is the perfect entry-level piano for anybody looking for a portable and quality keyboard experience. It is smaller, lighter, and great for an entry-level piano with an excellent and attractive key bed.
Casio CDP-S100 Review
- Slim, lightweight and portable Piano
- An excellent built and good bet for the cost
- Excellent sounding speakers
- Well samples piano sounds
- Great user interface
- There is no duo mode or the split mode available with the CDP S-100
- There is no option to connect this with the triple pedal as there is no pedal port available.
Top Specifications of the CDP S100
- 40% smaller and lighter than the other pianos
- Scaled hammer action keyboard
- Full weighed 88-keys with ivory and ebony key tops.
- Three types of touch sensitivity
- Dual element sound engine
- Ten instrument sounds, including 3 acoustic pianos
- 64 note polyphony action
- Twin speakers of 8W capacity
- Extensive e connectivity features.
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First Glimpse of the Casio CDP-S100
Being a portable digital piano, it feels light on the hand. It also looks pretty small and you can easily carry it around anywhere according to your wish. It comes in black color with a decent look and its outer surface has a matte finish, adding to its elegance. There is a tall and wide music rest that helps you to spread different music pages in one go. Its comb style stripes help in preventing the sheets from sliding off. Its dimensions ensure that it can accommodate music papers of all dimensions, but its design is not proportionate with the piano’s look. But its fine, and at least it is detachable.
I would vouch that the CDP-S100 has the simplest control panel and it is pretty simple to navigate that even children will feel comfortable using them. There are two buttons for function and grand piano. The other two controls are for volume and power. There are also instructions printed above the keys to guide the user to change the setting. The dimensions of the Casio CDP- S100 is 52” x 9.1” x 3.9” and it weighs approximately 10.5 Kg.
Starting With the Keys
Casio has added a new key action to its CDP-S series. It’s 88- full weight keys follow the graded hammer action II pattern. These keys tend to have shorter pivot lengths so as to decrease the width of the piano. They do carry key sensors so as to track your keypresses and thus are great for practice and concert playing. As we described below, the keys are made of plastic material and they have a simulated ebony and ivory feel and thus there is no chance of fingers getting sipped off during play, no matter how sweaty your hands are.
The keyboard is exceptionally good, considering its price tag, though we request you not to compare it with that of the acoustic pianos. There is, of course, a decent approximation made to stay close with the acoustic pianos and is great for beginners and amateurs. Special applause for its touch sensitivity features, that makes the keys sound great even with repeated presses.
There are three intensity levels of touch along with the Off option. Louder sounds demand harder key pressers and softer one softer presser. The default setting releases sounds depending on the intensity of the force. The Casio definitely a good balance between portability and playability.
The Sound Effect
In one line we could explain the Casio CDP-S100 as an all-rounder, it is capable of handling every single sound from every single genre. And it’s clean and neutral tones bring in a lot of life to the original compositions.
The CDP-S100 uses the upgraded version of the AHL sound engine and delivers up to four times higher stereo audio. You will get ten sounds with this Casio as that of Grand pianos (3), Electric pianos (3), Organs (2), string orchestra (1), Harpsichord (1). The sounds of this piano are sampled from some concert grand pianos and undoubtedly sounds clean and excellent.
The standard preset of the piano is ideal for a ballad and for accompaniments and we recommend that beginners and learners play with its preset, for the obvious reason that your mistakes will be highlighted easily, giving you a scope to correct them and learn better. The responsiveness of the sounds is also great and the string sounds are also excellent. Combining this with the layer mode can do wonders for the music.
Talking about the effects, the CDP-S100 comes with two built-in effects, the Chorus and the Reverb. The reverb has four algorithms in ascending grades from small room to a large concert hall, at the maximum grade. Chorus again comes in four different types starting from a subtle stereo sound to lavish lush flanging tunes.
The CDP-S100 has a maximum polyphony of 64 notes, good enough to cover all song types be it classical or modern ballads. Another impressive feature of this keyboard is its speakers. Yes, though it has a small and a composite body, its dual 8W speakers ensure that the sound fills a small auditorium with vibrant music.
The speakers ensure that even at loud volumes, there is not much distortion. The front-facing speaker grills help with a clear tone at all circumstances.
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Play Modes and Functions
The CDP-S100 plays in only one mode, namely the layer mode, to help two sounds play simultaneously. The best way to utilize this feature is to combine the strings with the acoustic piano sounds to create the best masterpieces.
Some important functions of this piano are the transposing to change the played key from -12 to +12 semitones, master tuning feature and the metronome to play with tempo and time.
Casio CSP-S100 Connectivity Features
The CDP S series has some basic connectivity features, just enough for a budget piano of its range. Its connectivity features pertain to basic home use and for stage use with certain limitations.
- Its 3.5 mm Audio-in jack helps the user to connect with a music player or a smartphone.
- The headphone and output jack helps you to connect with a headphone for practice sessions and to listen to what you play without disturbing others at home.
- This 3.5 mm mini-jack can also be used to connect with an amplifier or an external PA system along with the headphone.
- The USB- B port connects the Casio with the smartphone and also to the computer. Pairing it with the smartphone needs assistance from paired apps.
- There is also a damper pedal jack to help you play different tone variations.
The app we spoke about to pair with the Casio CDP S-100 is the chordana play app compatible with both the Android and the iOS devices. This app helps you to control the keyboard with its intuitive graphical interface that is compatible with both tablets and smartphones. You can use this app to access the piano tutorials and to learn the features of the song.
The app also helps you to control some functions on the keyboard, like controlling the metronome tempo and to switch between the sounds. You can also use this app to see and alter the tempo of your metronome.
How Best Can You Accessorize Your CDP S100?
There are some accessories that you get with your CDP – S100 such as music rest, damper pedal, and power adapter. Still, you can add the following accessories to get it more adaptive.
- Sustain pedal: It is a small yet intuitive box-shaped pedal device and is great for practice sessions. CDP-S100 does not support half-pedaling.
- USB adapter and cable: Use a USB-B type cable and an adaptor to connect the piano with the phone or the computer.
- Keyboard stand: If you wish to fix the Casio Pianos at one part of your home, then consider buying a matching keyboard stand. For a portable option, you can consider buying an X or Z style stand.
- Headphones: To practice in private and to focus on your own playing without disturbing others.
The Casio CDP-S100 is an excellent bet for its price. Its key action and samples are new and are perfect for stage use. It is also lightweight and portable with decent connectivity options. Its speaker quality is great and we would definitely recommend the piano for both beginners and intermediate players. This piano is for those who wish to practice and want to learn how to play the piano and will definitely do justice for your money.