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Joined: Mar 2020
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Chummy Offline OP
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hi! I'm just opening this thread before pulling the trigger on a Casio Tone CT-S1
I need a take anywhere keyboard to play at parks, local pubs, friends, jams, etc. as I do go to these places a lot and never take my ES920 DP ofc.
I wonder if any of you have any actual experience and thoughts regarding this keyboard, when it comes to usability, action, reliability, other things to take in mind before purchasing... I know it's quite new but still any insight would be appreciated.

Should I wait for the CT-S400 if I don't need the arranger functions etc.? The screen, split feature and mod wheel are really really nice additions on the S400 but I think I heard somewhere the quantity of sounds and other features come at the expense of sound quality and speakers? (not sure!). Wonder if the CTS400 is worth the wait since it *might* (?) have everything the CT-S1 + other extras.

Another question, if I wanna use the headphone output to connect to a mixer+PA system... should I use a normal TS instrument (1/4 inch) cable or something else? I wonder what's the actual difference in quality between proper line outputs and this, ergo, what am I losing by not have the line outputs (stereo? sound fidelity? is it VERY noticeable?) I only every used stereo line outputs or MONO synth output in my keyboards so I wouldn't know what am I missing.
thanks everyone!

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There is a thread on Keyboard Corner forum that might be of interest, including reviews of buyers.


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Chummy Offline OP
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Thanks, I found the thread very useful, didn't know about the site^^ seems like nothing to worry about really
So I did it and bought it from Thomann.. It was pretty expensive actually (including shipment).
CT-S1 Prices anywhere else except the US are more expensive, but since it's a one time purchase, and, I don't buy gear often not do I sit on top of a lot of gear I can justify it.
I also bought a 3,5mm to 2x 1/4 inch cable for it and a flute stand which I needed to justify the flat shipping rate (50 euro for the entire shipment, sadly it's not available locally for me).
Anywhoo, The keyboard should arrive to their warehouse tomorrow, then it'll get shipped, can't wait!!
If you guys are interested in my impressions let me know (it may take a couple of weeks till it gets here tho)

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I purchased a CT-S1 on a whim. It's OK, you can read the specs for yourself. For the price it seems well built, solid plastic, good keys, a bit like the reface series from Yamaha.

My thoughts: I struggle a bit with the keys, getting equal or desired dynamics, coming from an acoustic action, and stiffer black keys compared to white, but have noticed I'm getting better.

I wish more functions were available from the panel, instead of having to dive into the manual and use the white keys; I have printed off summary crib sheets for this. But, the most useful tones, for me, are accessible via the panel.

The inbuilt speakers do not do justice to the sounds, maybe ok for noodling in the park, so I connected it up from the headphone audio out using a splitter to two BX5 monitors; I split to balanced XLR plugs, and also tried TS plugs; both work just fine.

Its easily portable and can be carried with one hand, or attach a strap, and allegedly runs 3 hours on batteries.

I have not yet connected it to a device, smart phone, tablet, or DAW. Maybe I will.

I think your use will determine the value to you. For portable piano practice the keys don't help. For noodling in the park, its ok. For playing or learning keyboard, e-pianos, organs, etc, it's interesting. I enjoy learning/doing improv on it. My grandchildren love it! Not imposing like my black acoustic lookalike.

Any questions?

Last edited by spanishbuddha; 06/15/21 07:27 AM.
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Cool that they put guitar strap pegs on it. You can play anywhere without worrying about having to bring a stand or finding some surface you can lay it on.

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So, just another cheap Casio?


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Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
So, just another cheap Casio?
Depends on the meaning of cheap wink Low priced yup. I don't think the build quality is cheap and it takes their low end Casiotone series up a notch with velocity sensitive keys and improved sounds, maybe other things that I'm not familiar with.

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Chummy Offline OP
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@spanish

For my use then it sounds perfect. I am a pro player, used to do light gigging and nowadays teach piano full time. I've got my own serious instrument. This is not a replacement for an acoustic nor a digital piano of course. Just something portable I could permanently put in my car, play whether I want anytime I'd feel like.. not gonna play Chopin on it OFC, just need to buy some rechargeable batteries for this baby.
I hope I won't be disappointed with the action, I didn't mind the Reface action at all! with the exception of mini size... the Casio seems to have bigger keys in length like a proper "synth" action keyboard which is great. my friend has a XPS-30 (basically Roland Juno DS) which I dislike its action wholeheartedly but still somewhat playable. Hope the Casio CT-S1 has got a bit better than the Juno, that's all I ask ...

@anotherscott

true! no need to carry a stand truly makes a keyboard -"mobile". in a small pub with other people playing, or on the road, parks etc. making do without a stand is an amazing plus IMHO

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Originally Posted by Chummy
I hope I won't be disappointed with the action, I didn't mind the Reface action at all! with the exception of mini size... the Casio seems to have bigger keys in length like a proper "synth" action keyboard which is great. my friend has a XPS-30 (basically Roland Juno DS) which I dislike its action wholeheartedly but still somewhat playable. Hope the Casio CT-S1 has got a bit better than the Juno, that's all I ask ...
The keys are longer than and of course wider than the reface series. I don't have much else to compare with but they are better IMHO than the NP series from Yamaha.

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I was also ready to dismiss this as a bottom-of-the line keyboard ...
Originally Posted by CyberGene
So, just another cheap Casio?
I bought one of those in 1988. It was a start ... but it quickly became a handicap.

But if this CTS1 is touch sensitive, that's a different story ...
Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
... it takes their low end Casiotone series up a notch with velocity sensitive keys ...
That makes a big difference.

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Demos are showing above average quality sounds for a budget keyboard.

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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
Originally Posted by Chummy
I hope I won't be disappointed with the action, I didn't mind the Reface action at all! with the exception of mini size... the Casio seems to have bigger keys in length like a proper "synth" action keyboard which is great. my friend has a XPS-30 (basically Roland Juno DS) which I dislike its action wholeheartedly but still somewhat playable. Hope the Casio CT-S1 has got a bit better than the Juno, that's all I ask ...
The keys are longer than and of course wider than the reface series. I don't have much else to compare with but they are better IMHO than the NP series from Yamaha.

Ooooh I remember playing a Yamaha NP a couple of times .... If you say the Casio keys are better than this is great news... The NP was okay for the purpose of a "take anywhere" mobile keyboard (obviously I won't play anything serious on it due to the crappy action). Casio action being even better is GREAT for me! ty

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac

ROFL nice one... I love Shakatak! did you arrange all the parts or is this a bulit in thing going on while you play piano?

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@Chummy: That's just one of the built-in demo tunes.

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I own a CT-S1 and have posted quite a bit about its tone the vintage Fender Rhodes electric piano. The Reface has a better Rhodes, but this is pretty good, and it has full-size keys, and has built-in speakers. The only thing I don’t like about it is of course the action; it’s a better quality than other “cheap” synthesizer actions. But, Not as good as a DX7 synth action for example. It’s more shallow with shorter pivot lengths. It’s gig worthy except for special occasions where you really need to play well. You have to play it with fingers, you can’t really use your arm weight like on a weighted action. Thus I can’t play all the fast stuff I can with a good weighted action (ES110). I end up slipping. The pianos are decent and expressive.


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Received a CT-S1 last week... and like it; it has good sound qualities, decent dynamic control, and nice styling.
I programmed my personal "Tone Memory" set for each time I power it on:

1. Mellow Piano
2. Stage E Piano (Rhodes)
3. Phaser E Piano (Rhodes)
3. 60's Wurly (Tremolo 60's)
4. Vibes
5. Classical Piano
6. Bass-Piano Split

I set all the Reverbs to Room 3. Hold Function, press D, D.

The Jazz EQ somehow makes the melody hand more robust. Hold Function, Press E, Ab


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I've had the Casio CT-S1 for about a week now. Casio did a good job for a sub-US$300 keyboard. The main pros (for this level of keyboard) are playable sounds and decent dynamic control. There's some sort of friction or padding in the action that gives a sense of key travel/velocity. The surround feature (button) gives the player a binaural sound field and it works ok. I also really like the form factor and the retro-design.

The action and speakers are a slight step up from the Yamaha NP series, Casio CT-S300 and the Roland Go Piano (which I sold because I couldn't stand the action anymore).


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From various forums, it sounds like many people are jumping on the CT-S1 bandwagon. You might want to pause that impulse, the CT-S400 is only $30 more and should be available soon. Here's one summary from another forum:
"CT-S1 is dead simple, just buttons, no display. CT-S400 has more tones, has rhythms and accompaniment, a pitch wheel, and a modest display."

Also, if you're into lightweight boards under $450, the CT-X700 (a real powerhouse for $175), X800 (adds PB), X3000 ($300, battery-powered, ups the ante), and the X5000 ($450, really powerful onboard speakers, tons of features, not battery powered).

I have the CT-X5000, and I've rarely had more fun with any of the 15 or so boards I've had over the years. The sounds and action are decent, which is surprising at this price point (I've had a lot of under $500 boards).


Ever since I looked into the MP7SE I've been a bit dissatisfied with my ES920. I've had enough boards over the years that I know my sweet spot is having at least 4 voices to work with. But then I realized, hey, I've got my CT-X5000 for that, so it's been easier to accept the ES920 for what it is, a modestly priced DP par excellence.


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CT-S1 vs the 400,

Originally Posted by Mike Martin
CT-S400
“I'd like to try to clarify a few things. The CT-S400 is not a CT-S1 with more.

Specifically the sound set of the CT-S1 has many tones that are unique to this instrument. Of the 61 tones, nearly 30 of them are new and developed specifically for the S1.
This includes:
Vox and Farfisa organs, OB Synth, Lead synth, String Machine, Vibes, Electric Grand (CP-70), the "Advanced Layered tones", The classic Casio sounds and more.

The CT-S400 is a more versatile instrument as it has 600 tones and 200 rhythms. In terms of sounds and rhythms, there is some new content and improvements over the CT-X700. In addition to the size, speaker system the real big advantage is the user interface built around the LCD display. The menu system under the display can be configured for your needs. So things like Layer Balance (not found on the CT-X700) can be set to a button under the display an example.

Obviously our focus this week was on the CT-S1, it ships to stores in Mid-May. The CT-S400 and the LK-S450 will be a month behind. We're working on video content which will include a video on what the differences between the instruments are in video form.

Hope this helps,”


Jazz piano Instructor. Technical Editor for Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book". Studied with Mark Levine, Art Lande & Mark Isham (1981-1990). Also: Barry Harris & Monty Alexander (1993-present)
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