Few names in the digital piano world imply reliability more than Casio Privia.
The Privia range has been around for a long time and consistently competes with the best digital pianos on the market.
This review looks at the PX-780, the best Privia model available for under $1000.
Our verdict on the Casio PX-780
The PX-780 is a very good digital piano that lives up to the Privia name. It delivers a great mix of quality sounds, a realistic touch, and value for money.
Our biggest issue is that the competition has advanced significantly since the release of the PX-780. While it’s still a fantastic buy, it has fallen down our list slightly.Check availability, prices, and deals: SweetwaterAmazon
If we were writing this review a few years ago, we most likely would have given a higher score.
We just can’t escape the fact that new sound engines have progressed rapidly, and older Privia models may have some work to do.
Casio’s AiR (Acoustic and Intelligent Resonator) processor offers piano samples with four dynamic layers. Despite what we just said above, that’s pretty impressive.
There are 250 tones, so there’s a bit of everything in there, as you can imagine. Focusing on the concert piano sounds, we genuinely think that they are excellent and very expressive.
Our criticism would be that they lack a little depth and weight offered by some competitors.
Some players prefer the Casio sound, so you should listen for yourself whatever our opinion. If you are looking for versatility, you won’t find many digital pianos that top 250 voices.
The PX-780 has a max polyphony of 128 notes (beginner to intermediate).
In terms of speaker output, the PX-780 is hard to beat. It features a pair of 5.1″ woofers and two 2″ tweeters, powered by dual 20 W amplifiers.
The built-in speaker system delivers a crystal-clear sound and perfectly captures the dynamics and expression of those concert piano voices.
Despite being a little older than some direct competitors, the PX-780 still performs very well when it comes to the keyboard feel.
It comes with 88 scaled hammer-action keys, and it’s amongst the most realistic in its class.
We often say this, but the authenticity of scaled hammer-action keys depends on the manufacturer getting the weight right, and Casio has done a great job.
The heavier keys at the lower range provide a nice amount of resistance to make you feel like you have to dig in a little more. The mid to upper range is light and articulate.
The PX-780 has some features that should help pianists of all levels improve.
As well as the expected Split and Layer modes, the Casio PX-780 offers Duet mode. In Duet mode, you have two identical split ranges across the keyboard. It’s perfect for student/teacher practice.
Man digital pianos come with a built-in recorder, but very few can offer a 17-track recorder. That’s precisely what you get with the Privia PX-780.
Having so many tracks takes it beyond just recording practice for critical listening. With 17-tracks, you can start to get into songwriting and arranging.
You can then save your work via USB and take it to your computer. Additionally, you can load standard MIDI files via USB, which is a great way to learn some of your favorite songs.
Perhaps the most straightforward feature of any digital piano, but often the most overlooked. Beginners must get used to playing with a metronome.
The onboard effects include reverb, chorus, Brilliance, and DSP.
These rhythms cover many musical styles, and they are ideal for general practice or use with the 17-track recorder.
There are two sides to our opinion here, one is great, and the other, not so good.
Starting with the piano experience, which should be a priority for most users, it’s hard to fault. As we said, the keyboard feel is very good, so the PX-780 is a delightful piano to play.
It’s the parts in-between playing that aren’t quite as enjoyable. To be fair, we have to be clear; this is just a personal opinion, and some users may disagree. But, we prefer the minimalist approach, and for us, the PX-780 interface is a little too clustered.
It does have a small screen, which makes things easier, but the number of buttons will be a little off-putting for some users.
As the Privia PX-780 is one of the more physically substantial units in the price range, it feels more robust than many.
The Casio Privia range, certainly models around the $1000 mark, are typically very similar in stature. So, that robust design and solid feel are no surprise.
There are slimmer and lighter options on the market that may be easier to move and position at home. But, we don’t have any serious complaints about the build quality here.
Connectivity with the Privia PX-780 is surprisingly impressive. We were glad to see that it comes with dual headphone jacks (TRS) for silent student/teacher practice.
It also features two audio inputs and outputs (TS), which gives the option of going directly into a PA system/mixer if the built-in speakers aren’t enough.
MIDI comes in the form of a single USB port (Type B).
Compared to other digital pianos
As the Privia PX-780 is a few years old, we are starting with two more modern alternatives from the Privia range.
Casio PX-780 vs. Casio PX-770
We actually prefer the slimline and minimalistic style of the PX-770. However, while saving a little money, you lose a lot of voices and downgrade to a 2-track recorder.
Casio PX-780 vs. Casio PX-870
Again, we prefer the more modern look of the PX-870, but it comes with fewer voices. The upside is that it’s newer, and the flagship piano sound has a little more depth.
Casio PX-780 vs. Kawai KDP75
The KDP75 is an absolute dream to play. In terms of a realistic concert grand sound, it’s tough to beat without spending a small fortune.
Who is the Casio Privia PX-780 best suited for?
The PX-780 suits beginner/intermediate players who want a wide range of sounds without sacrificing a realistic keyboard feel.
- 250 preset voices.
- Great keyboard feel.
- Impressive speaker system.
- 17-track recorder.
- Clustered interface.
- Slightly dated.