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Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
#2781290 11/15/18 12:42 PM
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Hi all,

Thanks so much for your previous help about a couple of Costo keyboard deals. I think I've finally nailed down my keyboard search to either the Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125. I would love and appreciate any and all feedback about these two models.

I haven't been able to try out a PX-160 in person yet (I hope to tonight), but I did mess around on a 350 and it seemed pretty good. I did get to try a P-125 which sounded and felt pretty darn close to a P-45 to me. The keys didn't have quite the same touch as the PX-160 and felt just a little slippery.

Also price-wise, I'm able to get the PX-160 home bundle (furniture stand and bench) for $450, while the best I can get the P-125 for is $540 for just the instrument.

So, if you had to choose one of the other, which keyboard are you picking? Thank you!

Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jediknight #2781329 11/15/18 02:33 PM
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I used to own the P-115 which is the predecessor to P-125 but if I were to go back and choose again, I'd pick the PX-160 over the P-115 as like you said, the GHS keyboard is more slippery. The slippery keys annoyed me so much that I had it sold off eventually. However, sound-wise, the PX-160 pales in comparison as the P-125 is much closer to sounding like a real piano. Sound quality on the P-125 is just so much better. Hence, at the end of the day, it's up to you if you want to choose a piano with less slippery keys in exchange for poorer sound system.


Yamaha AvantGrand N1X
Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jediknight #2781330 11/15/18 02:35 PM
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The Casio PX-160 has the same action as the PX-350 (the Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard II), so if you liked the PX-350 action better than the P-125 action, then I suspect you'd like the PX-160 better as well. The PX-160 has far fewer voices and features than the 350, but there's an argument to be made for simplicity ... I bought my PX-160 a few weeks ago, and I am very happy with it so far, but I have not tried the P-125, so I can't offer any insight by way of comparison.


Decent upright bassist; aspiring decent pianist
Present: Roland DP-603, Roland FP-30, Casio CDP-130
On Order: Yamaha MX61
Past: Casio PX-830, Casio PX-160
Etc.: PianoTeq Stage 6 (Bechstein, Bluethner, U4, Vibes, Xylo), Roland KC-80
Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
Beowulf #2781369 11/15/18 04:37 PM
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@Beowulf - Nice, thanks for sharing that info, definitely good to know.
Would you say the PX-160's sound is close enough to the P-125 that the better action and textured keys make up for the lesser sound?
I don't have a great feel yet for what sounds "good" vs "better" vs "bad"....

Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
TheophilusCarter #2781373 11/15/18 04:49 PM
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@TheophilusCarter Thanks! Yea I'm not too concerned with a ton of extras. Just want something solid that I can continue to learn to play on that has good action and good actual piano sounds, and that's around $500 or less.

What do you like/not like about the 160? How is the actual grand piano sound?

Thanks!

Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jediknight #2781381 11/15/18 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jediknight
@Beowulf - Nice, thanks for sharing that info, definitely good to know.
Would you say the PX-160's sound is close enough to the P-125 that the better action and textured keys make up for the lesser sound?
I don't have a great feel yet for what sounds "good" vs "better" vs "bad"....

If you're a beginner, you will be able to make do with the sound of the PX-160 for some time. Although, the quality difference from the P-125 is noticeable even for people who have no clue about music. Personally, I would trade some sound quality for a more comfortable action.


Yamaha AvantGrand N1X
Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jediknight #2781391 11/15/18 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jediknight
@TheophilusCarter Thanks! Yea I'm not too concerned with a ton of extras. Just want something solid that I can continue to learn to play on that has good action and good actual piano sounds, and that's around $500 or less.

What do you like/not like about the 160? How is the actual grand piano sound?

Thanks!


I like the action a lot. It's solid and comfortable, and more than realistic enough for someone like me (advanced beginner to early intermediate level). For comparison, I occasionally sneak over to the music department in the college where I work and play on the upright pianos in the practice rooms, and I don't have any trouble adjusting to them, unless it's on one of the uprights that is really just falling apart - but then that's not a problem with the PX-160! smile

The sounds are good enough, though I admit that I'm far less picky about that than some. There are five grand piano sounds. As far as I can tell, they are more or less the same sound, but EQ'd differently. From brightest to darkest, I would say they go: Bright, Modern, Concert, Classic, Mellow. However, I would have renamed them Bright, Medium, Mellow, Muddy, Super-Muddy. smile That is to say, I find two of them completely unusable, but three are good. I use the Modern most of the time for classical. For blues, I like the Bright sound, with a touch of the Chorus effect, which gets me something very close to a Honky-Tonk Piano sound (which the PX-160 doesn't have built in as a preset). I don't use the other voices much; they seem to range from decent (e.g., the 60s electric piano, vibraphones) to not-so-decent (e.g., harpsichord, basses).

I like how easy it is to use. I don't like finicky electronics, or lots of programming, so I actually appreciate that it's fairly simple, and most functions are marked right above the relevant keys. Mostly, it's just a matter of hitting the function button and the relevant key.

The speakers are decent, but not amazing. They're not huge, so they definitely don't get all of the low end, but not bad. It also seems like they react with a few notes, that jump out a bit more harshly than I'd like. However, it sounds great through my keyboard amp, which is what I'd be using for any performances anyway, so I'm not too bothered by it.

There is a minor known issue with the headphone jacks. It seems they assumed that people would only use cheap and very low-impedance headphones / earbuds, so the jacks don't push a particular strong signal for running higher quality headphones with higher impedance. For example, my Walmart headphones with a 32 ohm impedance work well with it, though they don't have the best bass response. However, my 40 ohm Tascams, with much better impedance, sounded weak and thin. I was able to rectify this quite easily with an affordable headphone amp from Lucid Labs, which is additionally cool because they literally build them into candy / mint tins such as Altoids. smile For $30 (plus a few bucks s/h), it was a great investment. You can find them here if you're interested: http://www.lucidlaboratories.com/headphone-amplifiers It's basically a couple of guys making them in their spare time, a very cool little home business. And from my Alma Mater too - ROCK CHALK JAYHAWKS!!! laugh

I hope the above doesn't seem too negative. I'm actually very happy with it, and think it is the best buy for the money. I just like to be honest about potential shortcomings too, so I probably spend a lot more time on them. My overall impression is that it's a great digital piano that's more than good enough for my current level of ability. I definitely recommend it for enthusiastic amateurs on a budget.

Hope that helps; happy to answer any other questions.


Decent upright bassist; aspiring decent pianist
Present: Roland DP-603, Roland FP-30, Casio CDP-130
On Order: Yamaha MX61
Past: Casio PX-830, Casio PX-160
Etc.: PianoTeq Stage 6 (Bechstein, Bluethner, U4, Vibes, Xylo), Roland KC-80
Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jediknight #2781548 11/16/18 05:57 AM
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Do you want a stage piano/slab type? Or a console with three pedals.

Costco.com in my area (Philly) shows the Casio AP260 Celviano console for $699 after a $150 rebate.

I've had a Casio Celviano for like eight years and still works great.


Baldwin M
Casio PX-330
Casio AP-45
Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jediknight #2781606 11/16/18 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by jediknight
Hi all,

Thanks so much for your previous help about a couple of Costo keyboard deals. I think I've finally nailed down my keyboard search to either the Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125. I would love and appreciate any and all feedback about these two models.

I haven't been able to try out a PX-160 in person yet (I hope to tonight), but I did mess around on a 350 and it seemed pretty good. I did get to try a P-125 which sounded and felt pretty darn close to a P-45 to me. The keys didn't have quite the same touch as the PX-160 and felt just a little slippery.

Also price-wise, I'm able to get the PX-160 home bundle (furniture stand and bench) for $450, while the best I can get the P-125 for is $540 for just the instrument.

So, if you had to choose one of the other, which keyboard are you picking? Thank you!



The Casio PX160 is a good few years older than the Yamaha P125 and therefore, the sampling technology is of a previous generation. Casio tend to provide better value for money on the action front than Yamaha (probably why you preferred the Casio. However, you should try the Roland FP30 (which has the PHAIV standard action - great value for money) and the Kawai ES110 (AHA IV-F action, also great value). Both these (I feel) have better actions than the Casio PX160; also, I think the FP30 has a better piano sound than the Casio IMO (although this is terribly subjective). Haven't played the ES110 but others love it.

This is a good Pianoworld threat comparing these pianos:
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...roland-fp30-vs-kawai-es110-vs-other.html


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7SE; Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
Beowulf #2781637 11/16/18 01:05 PM
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Nice, thanks for that advice!

Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jrcallan #2781640 11/16/18 01:21 PM
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Really just looking for something solid that won't break the budget ($500 or less), so looks like I'm limited to mostly slabs at the range, which is fine.
Thanks for the Costco deal tip, I'm just really trying to keep it to $500ish or less - do you have recommendation closer to that range?

Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jediknight #2781644 11/16/18 01:40 PM
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I gave a Casio PX-150 to my 6 year old cousin. He really enjoys the Casio and beats it up for 30 minutes per day for almost 3 years now. No quality issues whatsoever with the keys, or anything else. The action and key texture are fine; sound quality is OK but I get over that after 60 seconds. Overall, it was a good value and is fun to play.

To save money, you can make a timber stand from scrap wood in your basement or buy some "seconds" at your local store (three planks are enough). There are some decent non-adjustable vinyl foamy benches with 4 legs at about $50; you could also build one but the savings is less dramatic due to all the parts (especially decent hardware to make it stable).

Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
TheophilusCarter #2781653 11/16/18 02:10 PM
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Can't thank you enough for your detailed reply! This is the kind of info I'm looking for and that's hard to come across when researching.

I was able to try out an actual PX-160 last night - finally! I liked the action too, and it sounded pretty good to me (although I wish I would have brought headphones w/ me). I've been trying to compare the PX-160's sounds w/ the Yamaha P-125, and I do think the P-125 does sound a little better. But actually playing on the PX-160, it sounded good! And I am really a fan of the textured keys too (and the $100+ lower price than the P-125). I will also most likely be using headphones 75% of the time anyway to avoid bothering anyone else in my household.

I think you nailed it when you said "enthusiastic amateurs on a budget," which is exactly what I am! I would love to drop $1000 on an amazing piano, but for now, I'm really just looking for something solid that I can grow on/with and that will last me for a few years until I am able to upgrade to something more substantial (and when I have the space for something bigger too).

I'm not familiar at all w/ headphones amps -- would you definitely recommend one if I go w/ the PX-160? Right now I've been using Sony MDR-ZX100 headphones (pretty cheap and probably not the best sound quality). If I get a headphone amp, does it matter what kind of headphones I am using, or will they enhance any headphones? Also are there any specific kind of headphones you would recommend? I do have a pair of Sony MDR-7506, although I wasn't sure if that was overkill for piano....

Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jediknight #2781655 11/16/18 02:21 PM
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I don't think a headphone amp is a good "investment" at this stage.

Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jediknight #2781667 11/16/18 03:29 PM
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You don't need headphone amp since PX-160 has two dedicated headphone outputs with pretty good signal level. The sound quality will mostly depend on your headphones quality.


Casio PX-160. Adult beginner.
Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
Doug M. #2781669 11/16/18 03:34 PM
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Thanks Doug. Do you think the PX-160's sounds are still good / Is the extra $100-150 a worthwhile expense for the better sounds of the P-125 (but also less good action)?

Also would love to hear which you would pick between the PX-160 and P-125?

Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jediknight #2781674 11/16/18 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jediknight
Can't thank you enough for your detailed reply! This is the kind of info I'm looking for and that's hard to come across when researching.

I was able to try out an actual PX-160 last night - finally! I liked the action too, and it sounded pretty good to me (although I wish I would have brought headphones w/ me). I've been trying to compare the PX-160's sounds w/ the Yamaha P-125, and I do think the P-125 does sound a little better. But actually playing on the PX-160, it sounded good! And I am really a fan of the textured keys too (and the $100+ lower price than the P-125). I will also most likely be using headphones 75% of the time anyway to avoid bothering anyone else in my household.

I think you nailed it when you said "enthusiastic amateurs on a budget," which is exactly what I am! I would love to drop $1000 on an amazing piano, but for now, I'm really just looking for something solid that I can grow on/with and that will last me for a few years until I am able to upgrade to something more substantial (and when I have the space for something bigger too).

I'm not familiar at all w/ headphones amps -- would you definitely recommend one if I go w/ the PX-160? Right now I've been using Sony MDR-ZX100 headphones (pretty cheap and probably not the best sound quality). If I get a headphone amp, does it matter what kind of headphones I am using, or will they enhance any headphones? Also are there any specific kind of headphones you would recommend? I do have a pair of Sony MDR-7506, although I wasn't sure if that was overkill for piano....


You are quite welcome.

As far as headphone amps, I'm happy with the cheap one I bought from Lucid Labs, as per the link in my post above. You would only benefit from it if you are using headphones with higher impedance, which many "good" headphones have. There's a thread in the Casio forums about this issue if you're curious:
http://www.casiomusicforums.com/ind...-bad-sound-quality-from-headphone-jacks/

I would suggest just trying the headphones you have now. If you're happy with it, then you don't need an amp or "better" headphones. In my case, I noticed a serious change for the worse when I went from my PX-830 to my PX-160; thus a headphone amp was a good call for me with my headphones.

I don't know enough about headphones to give very good recommendations. Mostly, I suggest not over-thinking it too much. smile


Decent upright bassist; aspiring decent pianist
Present: Roland DP-603, Roland FP-30, Casio CDP-130
On Order: Yamaha MX61
Past: Casio PX-830, Casio PX-160
Etc.: PianoTeq Stage 6 (Bechstein, Bluethner, U4, Vibes, Xylo), Roland KC-80
Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jediknight #2781743 11/16/18 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jediknight
. . .

I'm not familiar at all w/ headphones amps -- would you definitely recommend one if I go w/ the PX-160? Right now I've been using Sony MDR-ZX100 headphones (pretty cheap and probably not the best sound quality). If I get a headphone amp, does it matter what kind of headphones I am using, or will they enhance any headphones? Also are there any specific kind of headphones you would recommend? I do have a pair of Sony MDR-7506, although I wasn't sure if that was overkill for piano....


There's no such thing as "overkill" -- MDR-7506's are just about right. You shouldn't need a headphone amp; I think they're sensitive enough so that either the PX-160 or P-125 will give you enough volume. (I use Sennheiser HD280's, which are in the same ballpark as the MDR-7506.)

Roughly speaking, you'd be moving from $20 headphones to $100 headphones. You'll probably hear a substantial difference. Since you have the MDR-7506's, use them -- headphones don't "wear out" quickly.

IMHO, the problem with the PX-350 sound generator (I think the PX-160 uses the same samples) is that the decay of the notes is too short. So you compensate by using more pedal, to smooth out the sound. Then, when you play on an acoustic, with longer decays, and more resonance (see below), everything is muddy. And you compensate by using less pedal (if you're conscious of the problem).

One way to solve that problem (my way) is to use a "virtual piano" -- software running on a computer -- to generate the sounds. That will give you decay times that match acoustic pianos, and you won't have to change your pedalling technique. There are lots of threads, here, about getting "virtual pianos" working. There are "tricks of the trade", and it's not really a cheap path to follow. But it's cheaper than buying a new DP.

The P-125 might have longer decays -- I don't know, for sure.

On an acoustic piano, there's an effect called "string resonance". Inexpensive DP's (including P-125 and PX-160) don't have that effect. (Casio's marketing literature seems to claim "string resonance" for the PX-160 -- but the effect it describes is called "damper resonance". Surely misleading, maybe a lie).

After trying the predecessors of both DP's, and reading lots of posts, my opinion FWIW:

. . . Get either one of them, they're both fine for what you want to do.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jediknight #2781746 11/16/18 07:50 PM
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You can also take you PX160 and plug it into your computer or an iPhone or an iPad, plug in your headphones, and choose from a whole bunch of other possible piano sounds. In short, you can improve the sound you get from the Casio, whereas you can't do anything to improve the feel of the keys on the Yamaha.

Re: Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-125 for Beginner
jediknight #2781751 11/16/18 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jediknight
So, if you had to choose one of the other, which keyboard are you picking? Thank you!


I would go for the PX-160 bundle and don't spend a lot of time analyzing piano sounds or headphones.

Just focus on your lessons and learning to play.

When you can play a little bit, that stuff will have more significance …. right now, not so much.

Good Luck


Don

Casio PX-S1000, Focal Professional CMS 40 near-field monitors, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs (Seldom Used), Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Yamaha MG06 Mixer
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