CTX vs WK vs Yamaha PSR


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Hi there! I have a Yamaha P-125 digital piano but I'm looking to add a more portable option (batteries + lighter) for jam sessions, possibly busking etc. I'm also hoping for whatever I get to also provide some extra decent sound options (non piano instruments etc) to include in recordings I make with my P-125, and some type of ability to create a custom drum track (even use a built in one, manually adding fills etc then add another few signature bits manually using key triggered drums) to output to an audio file I can then use in performances.

I've been agonizing between the Casio CTX line (700 or 3000) and the WK arrangers (6600 and 7600). The WK ones seem to be getting a bit old, and none of these models are available for me to look at in my area, so it would be a cross my thumbs amazon order. I did try out the super cheap CTS-300, and for the money and portability it would be a fun thing to have to take to the beach, etc but it's a bit basic for what I'm after.

CTX-700:
I like the $, portability, the 6 track recorder (could make 2 track drum recordings that would probably work), and the velocity sensitive "expression" sounds seem awesome, and the basic piano sounds great. Wish it had line outs and ability to save to audio.

CTX-3000:
A bit heavier, much nicer speakers and adds a custom rhythm creator (but that might be overkill for my needs, I don't want to spend all my time programming)

WK-6600/7600:
I love the 76 keys, and they both have proper line outs and even mic in jacks (the 7600 even has an instrument in as well) but these came out in 2014 so not sure if this is a wise choice . . .

Yamaha PSR-E373:
Is available in my area and has a great piano sound, built in audio interface (huge feature for me - have this on the P-125 and the audio recording quality is stellar), only a 2 track recorder although that is prob enough for my simple drum track need. Some really nice expression sounds on acoustic instruments, but triggered with a button you have to hold down instead of a pedal? Seems kinda wrong.

If anyone with any of these models has any advice I would REALLY appreciate it. Thanks so much!
 
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happyrat1

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Jeezus Man! you only have to post a question once for EVERYONE to see it and take a shot at answering it.

I thought Ian fixed this problem last week with a notification to new users on posting etiquette.

As for recommendation? I'd say buy a Korg Kross 61 or Roland Go Keys instead of the Junk Casio and Yamaha sell at entry level.

Gary ;)
 

The Y_man

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It's going to be hard with a "no try before you buy" situation. One thing I found with my CTK (before the CTX mind you) was that the string sounds were very harsh compared to my (really) old PSR (but then I am probably biased towards a soft synth string sound). Try to listen to as many end user demos on you tube as possible to see if you can pick up any nuances.

The Y-man
 
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I have a CTK-7200, and don't recommend the Casio - it may not bother you, but the keys are so noisy! Also (and this may just be the way I play) I have found that at odd times the note doesn't even sound when the key is depressed. Not a great fan of the sounds either. Very much regret this purchase.
 
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Yamaha PSR-E373:
Is available in my area and has a great piano sound, built in audio interface (huge feature for me - have this on the P-125 and the audio recording quality is stellar), only a 2 track recorder although that is prob enough for my simple drum track need. Some really nice expression sounds on acoustic instruments, but triggered with a button you have to hold down instead of a pedal? Seems kinda wrong.

If anyone with any of these models has any advice I would REALLY appreciate it. Thanks so much!

Tried one of these briefly because I wanted something lightweight with a bunch of sounds ... 2 minutes with that keyboard was enough to put me off - pretty much a toy.

However, I solved a similar problem when I upgraded my Yamaha DGX and found that in order to improve the keyboard feel and the internal speakers (which I don't usually use) they added several pounds of weight, deleted the battery compartment and removed every detail that would make a convenient handhold (I have a padded case with carry straps but, in true Yamaha fashion, that's pretty heavy as well). My solution was a Yamaha Piagerro NP-V60 which has 76 keys, 12 less than the DGX - could have got the 88 key version but the point was to get something more portable. I like the Piagerro a lot but because it uses AA batteries rather than D and the internal amp can be cranked up quite a lot, batteries don't last a long time however I found Energizer Max gave a solid 3 hours without fading like other batteries (an abrupt end instead). Considering how light the instrument is, the feel of the keyboard is quite good considering how light it is.
 
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Yamaha PSR-E373:
Is available in my area and has a great piano sound, built in audio interface (huge feature for me - have this on the P-125 and the audio recording quality is stellar), only a 2 track recorder although that is prob enough for my simple drum track need. Some really nice expression sounds on acoustic instruments, but triggered with a button you have to hold down instead of a pedal? Seems kinda wrong.

If anyone with any of these models has any advice I would REALLY appreciate it. Thanks so much!
I briefly flirted with the E373 - all of 2 minutes told me all I ever needed to know - yuch. I upgraded my DGX and discovered that to improve the keys and the internal sound system they added a lot of weight, deleted the battery compartment and removed every practical detail that might serve as a handhold; now I do have a carrying case with carry straps but in true Yamaha style, it's also quite heavy. My alternative was a Piagerro NP-V60 which is very light - I gave up 12 keys in the name of still better portability (could have got the NP-V80 for more keys); the keyboard feel is pretty good for something this light and the sound is pretty good too and capable of very decent volume. The downside is that it uses AA batteries however experiment says that Energizer Max batteries give about 3 hours without fading (shutting down abruptly instead) - add one battery bag.
 
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I own a Casio CTK 7000 (61 key version of the 7600) and a CT-X5000 and I am not familiar with the Korg, Roland or Yamaha proposed alternatives. CTK 7000 is getting a little long in the tooth. The pianos are pretty good, but the organs are the best feature, 50 preset organs that can be modified on the fly with the sliders or stored in a 50 space custom slot. With 700+ sounds you're bound to get some great ones and some real duds. It has a 16 (17 according to the manual) track recorder to store and retrieve via 100+ storage slots available with a single button, but keep in mind it only has 64 note polyphony and you could run out of notes with 16 tracks playing. Its rhythm section has a lot of presets but there are only 2 variations that can be accessed on the fly. But it is battery operated.
The CT-X5000 is the AC powered big brother to the CT-X3000 but they both have the same basic features. The 5000 has very powerful speakers at a full 13 watts (RMS) to each side. The 3000 has less powerful speakers due to the fact of being battery operated. In general, the voices on the CT-X series is a noticeable improvement. The pianos are great, both acoustic and electric with scaling up and down the keyboard, which is not the greatest keybed, more of a synth feel. The horns, both woodwind and brass are much improved with specific additions as breath noise, delayed vibrato on the woodwinds and with fall and vibrato effects on the brass. The organs on the CTK are better than the ones on the CT-X. Again with 800 voices there are some really good ones and some useless stinkers as well. The rhythm section is much improved. Creating rhythm patterns is very comprehensive if not a little difficult to master, but each rhythm pattern can have up to 4 variations available on the fly as well as intros and endings. Also the CT-X has 4 buttons where you can create "riffs" that can be added on the fly and you can save 96 of them in groups of 4. Most of the recording features are the same as on the CTK. the biggest drawback I see is the need to absorb a rather awkward and difficult to understand manual. Including so many features and options requires a lot more work to master them. If you do, the results can be very impressive.
 
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This probably isn't going to matter to you, but to my knowledge (and I've probed the subject extensively) only Casio offers keyboard lines (including the WK) with emphatic promises of class compliance. I ordered a current Yamaha without checking this -- it was almost but not quite plug and play, ergo useless for my purposes. Whether this would also be the case on a new Casio (in those series) despite the assurances remains to be seen when I get up to Guitar Center in a neighboring county and see what they have on hand. Haven't so far because I refuse to wear masks.

I like Casio because of the fun and usefulness my friends and I have had found in Privias and an ancient WK-1500 till it died. Just performed some classical pieces at my church with a friend on two Privias and organ -- great fun.
 
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happyrat1

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This probably isn't going to matter to you, but to my knowledge (and I've probed the subject extensively) only Casio offers keyboard lines (including the WK) with emphatic promises of class compliance. I ordered a current Yamaha without checking this -- it was almost but not quite plug and play, ergo useless for my purposes. Whether this would also be the case on a new Casio (in those series) despite the assurances remains to be seen when I get up to Guitar Center in a neighboring county and see what they have on hand. Haven't so far because I refuse to wear masks.

I like Casio because of the fun and usefulness my friends and I have had found in Privias and an ancient WK-1500 till it died. Just performed some classical pieces at my church with a friend on two Privias and organ, partly via MIDI sequencing -- great fun.

I definitely hear you brother. I'm guessing you run Linux? That's my situation. I do my sequencing and recording on Linux software and Yamaha, Arturia, and quite a few other audio manufacturers are totally off my list when making a purchase.

Way too many times I've bought gear from non compliant companies and ended up reselling it weeks later because there was no chance in hell of finding compatible drivers for them.

That's a big no-no for anyone who runs anything other than Microsoft or Apple.

I do own a $600 Yamaha Mixer that's only half functional because even a lousy built in audio interface is too much for Yamaha designers to make class compliant. :p The purely analog audio section is superb, but the usb audio connection is a total moose turd. :p

I started out with Casios mainly for the reason you mentioned.

If you want decent gear that's class compliant you have Roland, Korg, Kurzweil, Studiologic and dozens of other synth makers who ALL produce class compliant gear.

The selection is there but some people are married to Yamaha from their first board and simply don't know any better.

Gary ;)
 
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Can't tell you how I appreciate that reply. Finally somebody reads me loud and clear on this. I have Windows 7 and will till the last possible minute. Predict it will be a nice long stretch since a year into the supposed danger zone I'm having zero problems, and stopped updating Windows when MS started trying to force 10 on everybody in 2015 or thereabouts.

Would love to take your word for it about those other brands, but firm mentions are rare in their sites and people at the big online retailers didn't know what I was talking about. At this point if I'm ever to be pried loose from these two Casio lines it will at this point have to be based on somebody's personal, hands-on, plugged-in MIDI sequencing experience on a specific brand and model. Indeed I'll likely never again buy an instrument I can't test first.

THANKS, bro!
 
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happyrat1

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Read the gear in my signature.

EVERY LAST STICK is Linux Compliant!!!! That means USB CLASS COMPLIANT!!!

Personally I've pretty much given up around here warning people about Yamaha's problems with class compliance.

In fact, I'm surprised a Yamaha fanboy hasn't jumped down our necks already :p

Peace out brother. I run all Linux desktops and laptops in my home and I have a Windows 10 license running virtual machines on all of them just for stupid firmware updates.

Class Compliant is one thing, but when it comes to firmware updates there are no other good answers.

You really should give Linux a try, even if it's only on a virtual machine. 30 seconds instead of 3 hour updates, extremely stable and FREE AS IN BEER Software and the option to write your own software without spending $3000 on an M$ developers kit :p

Come into the Dark Side Luke... I am your father :D :D :D

Gary ;)
 
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LOLOLOLOL! You're fun -- and informative! "Peace out".... are you sure your name isn't Chuck? :D

Am going thru your fascinating gear list and it seems to be telling me to just order a WK-7600 and send it back as needed. (Or try my luck at GS now the moral panic is dying down.) My other picky, picky criteria are, of necessity, 76 keys; speakers (at least half-decent) built in and facing up; a large number of built-in sounds (GM1 would do, but the high hundreds being touted these days are very tempting); and simple, quick sound selection. Your pc3k8 appears to have the good old 12-button selection grid -- bravo Kurzweil. What are those two similar 'extra' buttons below it?

Does anybody know if the built-in pad grids (look like small Novation Launchpads) can be set for ordinary sound selection -- lone piano, guitar, oboe etc? I know they're officially for loops, riffs or whatever the current buzzterm is.

Linux is tempting but my most brilliant computeroidal friend says it has something of a learning curve -- hmmmmmm. This dinosaur (me) would love never to have to bother with firmware updates. Are yours (Gary's) to fix instrument's softwar bugs, add new sounds or what?
 
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happyrat1

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If you mean the two buttons below the numeric keypad those are cancel and enter. If you mean the two buttons below the jog wheel those are + and -

Otherwise I don't know which two buttons you are referring to.

As for controller pads, those can usually be assigned to trigger anything from drum hits to samples, to notes, to entire sequences.

It really does depend on what instrument or controller you are talking about in particular.

And charlie is the name of my neighbour's new puppy, an adorable mix of rottweiler and German shepherd. :)

Gary ;)
 
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Cancel and enter, needed additions. Give Charlie a pat on the had for us. (I was thinking of PianoManChuck in Youtube, who also says Peace out.)
 
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I wonder if the Op will log in and update us on the status of their original post. If you are lurking then how about an update?

Still a bit concerned after their .... great piano sound .... comment about the E373, that is certainly not how I would describe any of the instrument sounds in the 363 that I played early last year, dire springs to mind.

Roll on lockdown easing when the Music Stores reopen and I can get in them again.
 

happyrat1

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Will do... And remember...

If finding good gear for your studio gets you down in the dumps, then do what I do... Buy yourself a new hat!!! It Always cheers me up :D :D :D

I ordered this one yesterday: :D :D :D


I'm prepping for Halloween early this year. Doing the Steampunk thing. ;)

Gary ;)
 
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The Y_man

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I own a Casio CTK 7000 (61 key version of the 7600) and a CT-X5000 and I am not familiar with the Korg, Roland or Yamaha proposed alternatives. CTK 7000 is getting a little long in the tooth. The pianos are pretty good, but the organs are the best feature, 50 preset organs that can be modified on the fly with the sliders or stored in a 50 space custom slot. With 700+ sounds you're bound to get some great ones and some real duds. It has a 16 (17 according to the manual) track recorder to store and retrieve via 100+ storage slots available with a single button, but keep in mind it only has 64 note polyphony and you could run out of notes with 16 tracks playing. Its rhythm section has a lot of presets but there are only 2 variations that can be accessed on the fly. But it is battery operated.
The CT-X5000 is the AC powered big brother to the CT-X3000 but they both have the same basic features. The 5000 has very powerful speakers at a full 13 watts (RMS) to each side. The 3000 has less powerful speakers due to the fact of being battery operated. In general, the voices on the CT-X series is a noticeable improvement. The pianos are great, both acoustic and electric with scaling up and down the keyboard, which is not the greatest keybed, more of a synth feel. The horns, both woodwind and brass are much improved with specific additions as breath noise, delayed vibrato on the woodwinds and with fall and vibrato effects on the brass. The organs on the CTK are better than the ones on the CT-X. Again with 800 voices there are some really good ones and some useless stinkers as well. The rhythm section is much improved. Creating rhythm patterns is very comprehensive if not a little difficult to master, but each rhythm pattern can have up to 4 variations available on the fly as well as intros and endings. Also the CT-X has 4 buttons where you can create "riffs" that can be added on the fly and you can save 96 of them in groups of 4. Most of the recording features are the same as on the CTK. the biggest drawback I see is the need to absorb a rather awkward and difficult to understand manual. Including so many features and options requires a lot more work to master them. If you do, the results can be very impressive.

Thanks for this review.

Am agonising over going to a PSR-E463, Ek-50, and CT-X5000 from a CTK7000 right now! :) Context for others -the keys person is the solo backing person for singing hymns at church - we can't fit a band.... and it has to be "call up a style-voice combo on demand".

The 463 is cheap - and if I was going to go purely on price, it would be the go.

However, am seriously leaning toward the 5000 at present. Would go for the 3000 but that lack of buttons for selecting voices etc sounds like a real pain and is going to lead me to fork out a few hundred AU$.

I am assuming if you can master modifying tones and writing your own rhythms on the 7000, you'd be able to have a serious shot at the 3000/5000 (as well as decipher the manual).

The Y-man
 

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