Although not the first name on everyone’s mind when it comes to high-end digital pianos, Casio’s Celviano range is right up there.
In this review, we are looking at the AP-710, crafted in conjunction with C. Bechstein. Let’s find out what it has to offer.
Our verdict on the Celviano AP-710
Few names carry more authority than C. Bechstein in the piano world, and some of that magic has rubbed off on the AP-710.
We might not like everything about this piano, but when you sit and play, you forget everything else. It’s a top-quality digital piano with some excellent features.
When you hear the name C. Bechstein, you immediately expect outstanding sound. Thankfully, the AP-710 doesn’t disappoint in that department.
There are 26 voices in total, all coming from Casio’s proprietary AiR Grand Sound Source. We love this sound engine because it doesn’t just deliver great sounds; it focuses on the subtle performance aspects of the sound. For example, the transition between pitch ranges or soft and strong passages.
There are three main piano voices: the legendary C. Bechstein D282, the Hamburg Grand, and the Vienna Grand. The D282, in particular, provides such an impressive dynamic range and encourages expression. Whether playing with excitement or subtlety, it delivers.
Recreating these pianos with such precision is quite an achievement. It’s also an improvement upon previous Celviano models and matches most for realism.
Max polyphony is 256 notes.
With such an impressive sound, it makes sense to have an impressive speaker system to deliver it.
The Celviano AP-710 comes with four 4.7″ speakers and two 2″ speakers. Two 30 W amplifiers power the speakers.
In this price range, few pianos deliver sound as well as the AP-710 (perhaps something like the Yamaha Clavinova CLP-735).
It’s hard to imagine a situation where you’d be short of volume, and more importantly, the sound remains clean even when you really dig in.
To find a fair comparison, we have to look again at something like the Yamaha Clavinova series. While it remains difficult to say the AP-710 feels better than the top Clavinova models, it’s not far behind.
It’s close enough that some users could reasonably argue that they prefer either one. It features Casio’s Tri-Sensor II, scaled hammer-action keyboard. One of the things that Casio got spot-on was the progression of weight in the keys.
The Tri-Sensor technology realistically captures any slight variation on your touch. To add to the overall experience, the keys are coated with a simulated ebony/ivory finish.
The AP-710 has some interesting features that would be welcome on any digital piano.
The built-in recorder allows for up to 99 songs with USB flash drive storage. That’s 25 minutes of 44.1 kHz stereo WAV format audio.
When compared to recorders on similar digital pianos, the sheer volume is impressive.
Like most digital pianos, the Celviano AP-710 comes with a bunch of internal demo songs (60 in total). It also has playback space for 10 user songs.
Concert Play is one of the best features we have seen on any digital piano. It puts you front and center as the pianist in your very own orchestra.
It’s a fantastic way to practice timing, delivery, and playing with other musicians. The Concert Play feature lets you make adjustments to make sure the piano is positioned perfectly in the mix.
String/damper resonance and mechanical noise
When you play an acoustic piano, the notes aren’t the only noise that you hear.
The AP-710 replicates the resonance and mechanical noise that you’d get from a real piano to enhance the playing experience. It’s a feature that we often take for granted, but we notice when a piano doesn’t do it well.
So, we’re happy to say this piano gets it right.
With the AP-710, you have the ability to layer two sounds, for example, piano and strings. You also have Split mode and Duet mode.
Split mode allows you to play with a different sound in each hand. For example, you could use a bass voice in your left hand.
Duet mode creates two identical zones across the keyboard for student/teacher practicing.
Available effects include six Reverb types, four Chorus types, and Brilliance.
There are two ways to think about the layout of the AP-710. On the one hand, having a lot of buttons means there is less menu-diving, meaning you can make selections faster. On the other hand, it takes away the clean look that many people want from an expensive digital piano.
We aren’t fans of how it looks, but we do acknowledge that function matters more than style.
With that said, the AP-710 is a joy to play, and you soon forget about how it looks.
Duet mode and Concert Play are two features that make the AP-710 a perfect home piano for any player.
It also has the speaker power and connectivity to sound great on stage, should you have the desire or energy to move it around.
Outside of saying there are a few better pianos, there are no legitimate complaints.
The AP-710 comes in black with a traditional-style cabinet. It looks great, although a polished finish would give it a more premium look.
In terms of how robust the cabinet is, it’s in line with others in its class. As a stationary piano, you won’t have any issues with it at all unless you seriously mistreat it.
If moving it, there are some areas that you’d need to be careful with as you would do any other digital piano.
There are a couple of small details that we really like about the build quality, like the positioning of certain connections. For example, the headphone jacks are in a nice position on the front/left, and there are USB ports on the front, too.
There are so many pianos with multiple USB ports that are all on the back panel where they are more difficult to reach.
The AP-710 comes with an abundance of connectivity. There are two 1/4″ audio inputs and two 1/”4 audio outputs.
You also have MIDI in/out and three USB ports. There are two USB Type A ports and one USB Type B port.
There’s no MIDI thru, although we don’t see that being an issue for too many people.
Compared to other digital pianos
As always, when spending good money on an instrument, it’s important to consider more than one option. Here are a few alternatives to consider.
Celviano AP-710 vs. Yamaha CLP-735
We love the C. Bechstein sound, and we wish the CLP-735 has the Concert Play feature. But, as a pure piano experience, the CLP-735 is better.
Celviano AP-710 vs. Casio AP-470
As a cheaper option, you could take a step down the Celviano range. The AP-470 is a lovely piano, but it doesn’t have the C. Bechstein D282 sound, so the step up is worth it if you have the budget.
Celviano AP-710 vs. Yamaha YDP-184
There are things we prefer about the YDP-184, like how it looks and the CFX Concert Grand sound.
However, it’s not enough to outperform the AP-710, and it’s dangerously close to the Clavinova price range (we’d suggest saving a little more and getting a Clavinova if you are set on Yamaha).
Who is the Casio AP-710 best suited for?
It suits players of all levels, although it’s a significant investment for a beginner.
- Stunning C. Bechstein D282 sound.
- Impressive AiR Sound Source engine.
- Concert Play feature.
- Extensive connectivity.
- Realistic piano feel.
- Doesn’t look fantastic.