When you think of the best-known digital piano brands, they each have a flagship series, and for Casio, it’s the Celviano range. A Celviano digital piano all but guarantees a high-end performance.
In this review, we are looking at the AP-470, one of the most popular pianos in the series. It’s been around for a few years, so we want to see how it stacks up against today’s competition.
Our verdict on the Casio AP-470
The AP-470 isn’t a match for the real high-end digital pianos today, but as it’s cheaper than it used to be, it’s an outstanding buy in its new price range.
It features an excellent grand piano tone, and while many others do the same, the AP-470 has a more luxurious appearance than many.
In our opinion, it’s one of the best-looking digital pianos under $2000; the stunning looks add to the realism of the piano experience.
Casio’s AiR Sound Source powers the AP-470, and it features 22 preset sounds. As always, we are most interested in the grand piano voices, and there are two on offer.
Both of the grand piano voices have a real concert quality about them but offer different characteristics. One is brighter, with a little less bass; the other is a bit richer and darker.
Casio has been producing fantastic grand piano tones for years, and we expect nothing less from a Celviano. Newer releases might have passed it by if we had one negative to point out.
There are always developments in sampling techniques and sound engine technology, but the AP-470 holds its own against most at a similar price.
It comes with 22 preset sounds, which is over double the offering from some competitors. While the numbers may be in Casio’s favor, we don’t feel that they produce the same quality of electric pianos, organs, and strings that you get from Yamaha or Korg. It’s not a huge gap in quality, but we would place like AP-470 slightly behind.
The AP-470 has a max polyphony of 256 notes, which is about as good as most high-end pianos.
Again, the AP-470 competes well with alternatives around the same price. It offers two 4.7″ woofers with two 2″ tweeters. Dual 20 W amplifiers power the speakers.
The built-in speaker system is more than enough to practice at home, perform for friends and family, and have small group rehearsals.
If you want to perform in larger venues or with soaring lead guitars and so on, you are likely to be drowned out.
The most we can hope for with this kind of digital piano is to have graded hammer-action keys and simulated ebony/ivory keytops. The AP-470 provides all of that with its 88-key Tri-sensor keyboard, which feels great.
It also features adjustable touch sensitivity and hammer response, which can make a real difference from one player to the next.
Like sound engines, weighted keyboards get more advanced over time, and sometimes older models are left behind. We are pleased to say that’s not the case with the AP-470. It’s as good as any at the same price.
It’s highly responsive, especially if you tweak the settings to suit your playing; a lovely keyboard to play.
The AP-470 isn’t exactly short of features, but some alternatives offer slightly more. But, we should point out that the quality of the AP-470 features is generally excellent.
Different piano modes are almost standard in any digital piano, but some still don’t provide these simple features inexplicably. The Celviano AP-470 features Split, Layer, and Duet modes.
Split mode allows you to split the keyboard into two zones, using a different sound in each (piano and bass, for example).
Layer mode lets you layer two sounds together to create a new voice, typically used for piano and strings during ballads, but it’s great for experimenting.
Duet mode creates two identical zones on the keyboard with the same pitch range, ideal for student/teacher practice.
Half damper support
Half damper support is something that we want to see in every digital piano, even budget-friendly beginner models. Learning how to pedal on an acoustic piano isn’t just about knowing which one to press; it’s about controlling the pressure you apply.
Half damper support gives you complete control over the amount of sustain used, and it prepares students for a real piano.
Many digital pianos offer some variation of this feature these days. It optimizes the stereo image to make listening feel more natural despite being in headphones.
Concert Play is a beautiful feature that lets the player assume the role of a concert pianist in an orchestra. It will improve your sense of timing, rhythm, phrasing, and dynamics immensely.
A reasonably simple 2-track, one song, 5000-note maximum MIDI/Audio recorder, but still a vital practice tool.
Chordana Play app
It’s hard to say if the Chordana Play app is the best on the market, but it’s one of them. Lots of useful features and content, especially for beginners.
There are four reverb types, two chorus types, and brilliance.
We can quite comfortably say that it’s unlikely you will ever play a bad Celviano piano. As we mentioned, the only thing that will hurt the quality is age, when others become more advanced.
The AP-470 is fantastic to play, and we base this mainly on three features: adjustable velocity sensitivity, half-damper support, and the excellent keyboard feel.
We believe those features provide a perfect learning curve for beginners, preparing them for the physical challenges of playing an acoustic piano.
The main controls are positioned to the left of the keyboard, and we prefer that; it prevents the instrument from looking clustered.
There aren’t too many to get used to, and dedicated Grand Piano buttons make it easy to revert to the flagship sounds.
The Celviano AP-470 is a very well-built digital piano, and it’s reflected in the weight, at almost 100 lbs. Unless you plan to move it often, that weight is a good sign; it’s as sturdy as a beautiful piece of furniture should be.
We say that because the AP-470 not only sounds good, it looks absolutely beautiful. We would go as far as saying you’d struggle to find a better-looking piano at a similar price.
We understand that looks aren’t the most important thing, but as long as all other boxes are checked, why not look great too?
Connectivity is basic and fairly limited, but it covers the essentials. It comes with two 1/4″ headphone jacks and two USB ports (Type A/B).
Dual headphone jacks are always an excellent addition for duet practice.
Compared to other digital pianos
Here are a few alternatives that we think are worth considering before buying. Each model comes at a fairly similar price.
Casio AP-470 vs. Yamaha YDP-165
The YDP-165 is newer, and it outperforms the AP-470 in some areas, and some may prefer the sound. The AP-470 looks far better.
Casio AP-470 vs. Kurzweil KA130
We prefer the AP-470, but we wanted to add a Kurzweil model because we feel they are getting stronger and stronger. The KA130 has a distinct sound, and some users might just love it.
Casio AP-470 vs. Kawai KDP120
We will never get sick of saying this: we love the sound of the Kawai KDP series! It doesn’t have the look (and perhaps the feel) of the AP-470, but it sounds incredible.
Who is the Casio Celviano AP-470 best suited for?
It suits beginners with a healthy budget and intermediate players who want a great-feeling piano.
- Excellent grand piano voices.
- Concert Play.
- Chordana Play app.
- Realistic ebony/ivory feel.
- Half-damper support.
- Looks amazing.
- Limited connectivity.
- Some competitors sound better.