Casio’s Privia range, whether digital piano or keyboard piano, is renowned for excellent value for money. Privia keyboard pianos are often a great portable and lightweight option for gigging musicians.
In this review, I’m looking at the 88-key PX-S3000, the slimmest keyboard piano (with weighted keys) on the market.
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Final verdict on the Casio PX-S3000
The PX-S3000 is a remarkable instrument in the sense that it packs so much into such a slim keyboard. It really is an achievement to deliver such a realistic feel in the world’s slimmest stage piano.
Even though it sounds great, it’s not the best instrument in its class; there are a few better. But, if being light and portable is a priority, the PX-S3000 might be a winner.
What I like
- Sleek design.
- Fantastic piano sound.
- Surprisingly good hammer-action keys.
- Value for money.
- Quality speaker system.
What I don’t like
- Touch controls won’t suit everyone.
Note: Newer models
The Privia PX-S3000 stage piano has been discontinued by Casio. The new PX-S1100 and PX-S3100 come with slight sound, speaker quality, and connectivity enhancements. However, if you already own one of the previous models, I don’t believe it’s worth upgrading. Read the full review for more information.
The PX-S3000 is powered by Casio’s AiR sound engine. The AiR sound engine is the driving force behind some of Casio’s best-ever digital pianos; now, we have it in a lightweight and portable unit.
There are 700 tones in total onboard the PX-S3000, which are inherited from the Casio CT-X5000. With so many voices and 200 rhythms available, you could consider the PX-S3000 to be a stage piano/arranger hybrid.
The piano sound is very nice indeed, but what makes it even better is how it interacts with your playing. Casio’s attention to detail in recreating the mechanical sounds of a real piano, along with key-off simulation, and sympathetic resonance, enhances the playing experience massively. It feels like the piano is very responsive to your dynamics and expression.
Amongst the other voices, the electric pianos and organs are excellent. If I had one complaint, it would be that those sounds can be a little too clean at times, compared to competitors. Although they are most suited to legato playing and layering with the piano, the strings are also very good. The PX-S3000 has a max polyphony of 192 notes.
The PX-S3000 has a pair of 6.29″ speakers powered by two 8 W amps. Built-in speakers aren’t always suitable for gigging unless it’s an intimate venue. But, they are great for practicing without an external amplifier.
Another cool thing about the built-in speakers is the positioning. They are concealed on the back with some stealth ports just above the keys, so they don’t detract from the sleek look of the keyboard. The clever positioning also means that the sound is projected out towards the player and the audience.
The keyboard feel has to be the most surprising thing about the PX-S3000. There are undoubtedly stage pianos that feel more realistic and probably around the same price range. Yet, I rate the PX-S3000 higher than most in this department.
The reason I do that is that it’s so slim and compact. Nothing about how the Privia PX-S3000 looks suggests that it’s going to have such an excellent hammer-action keyboard.
It’s a Smart Scaled Hammer-Action keyboard, which means it gets progressively lighter as you go up in pitch. It also means that each key is weighted individually to capture the slightest difference from one note to the next.
Casio has added simulated ebony and ivory feel that gives you that authentic texture and prevents keys from getting too slippy. It’s fantastic.
Despite the minimal design of the PX-S3000, it delivers some impressive features.
The slimline design looks fantastic, and it weighs less than 25 lbs, which is excellent news if you gig a lot.
Usually, I wouldn’t spend much time discussing the color or finish of a keyboard unless it’s Nord/Vox red or something noteworthy. So, I think it’s worth mentioning the polished black finish of the PX-S3000; it’s lovely. The PX-S3000 is available in red or white, too.
Chordana Play app
Casio’s free Chordana Play app offers lots of gamified tutorials and interactive content. It also displays notation for built-in songs and MIDI files. You can take MIDI files and transpose them into a key that suits and change the tempo, which could be very handy. The app is compatible with iOS and Android devices.
Duet mode is something that you see on many top-rated digital pianos, and it’s great for piano lessons. It splits the keyboard into two identical keyboard zones, giving both student and teacher the same pitch range.
Effects and arpeggiator
The PX-S3000 comes with over 100 effects presets, which are then fully customizable. It also features an arpeggiator with 100 types. The number of effects and the control over them is pretty impressive for this kind of keyboard.
Even though keyboard pianos are technically portable, they aren’t always the easiest things to move around. That means you have to find a fixed position in your home where the keyboard can stay.
With the PX-S3000, it’s so lightweight and slim, it’s easy to take out and put away as you need it, which could be perfect for many users. On the other hand, it looks fantastic if you want to leave it on show. It’s a great keyboard piano to practice on, no matter your ability level.
Being so light is the main reason anyone should buy it for gigging, along with the great sound, of course. It also has many voices and effects that make it a versatile keyboard.
The touch controls, rather than physical buttons and knobs, could be a downside when gigging. It works well, but sometimes regular buttons feel more reliable on stage in the heat of the moment.
I have to be fair when looking at the build quality and keep it relative to the price. It would be perfect if we could always get a complete metal chassis, but it isn’t practical. While the PX-S3000 doesn’t feel like the most robust keyboard, mainly if gigging, it’s strong for its size and weight.
The lack of physical buttons/knobs could be a good thing while traveling, as those are the things that tend to get damaged in transit.
The PX-S3000 has two 1/4″ audio outputs and a single 1/8″ AUX audio input. It also has two 1/8″ headphone jacks, perfect for student/teacher practice. There are three pedal inputs, two 1/4″ and one 6-pin DIN.
You can also stream music from your Bluetooth device through the built-in speakers, giving you an endless playlist of songs to learn.
Compared to other keyboard pianos
The PX-S3000 is a great stage piano and probably one of the best options under $1000. While there are many reasons to love it, that doesn’t mean you have an easy choice. Here are a few options that I think are worth considering.
Casio PX-S3000 vs Casio PX-5S
If you want to stick with Casio and can stretch your budget a little further, the PX-5S is an excellent choice. It doesn’t look nearly as good as the PX-S3000, but it offers far more functionality.
Casio PX-S3000 vs Roland RD-88
Another step up in price, but that is reflected well in the quality of the RD-88. If you just need a great piano, go with the PX-S3000, but if you want great synths and DAW integration, go for the RD-88.
Casio PX-S3000 vs Kawai ES520
The ES520 is a fantastic stage piano, and Kawai always delivers a realistic feel. It’s better than the PX-S3000, but not enough to justify the extra cost; stick with the PX-S3000.
Who is the Casio PX-S3000 best suited for?
The Casio PX-S3000 suits piano students and gigging musicians who want a lightweight stage piano.
Note: The PX-S3000 is discontinued and is out of stock in most places, so be sure to check out its successor here.