Digital pianos offer musicians, professional or amateur, regardless of their ability level, a user-friendly, versatile instrument on which to practice and perform, and perhaps their greatest asset is that these instruments have a volume control and headphone jack, enabling the player to practice without disturbing others, at any time of the day or night. This makes them particularly popular with people who live in shared accommodation or who do not wish to disturb their neighbours!
Digital piano technology has advanced hugely from when, some 15 years ago, I owned a Clavinova, and the latest addition to Casio’s digital piano range, the CDP-S100, is no exception. With superior sound sampling and processing using Casio’s brand-new Piano Sound Engine with 64-note polyphony, the player can enjoy a surprisingly wide range of dynamics and expression, from a delicate pianissimo to a full-bodied, resonant fortissimo.
The most important aspect of any digital piano is its touch and the CDP-S100 has a hammer-action keyboard with weighted, textured keys which feel and look authentic. This allows the player to practice and use proper piano technique, such as arm weight and a good sense of connection to the keys, right down to the keybed, in order to produce a range of pianistic colours.
Although compact in design, the CDP-S100 has a full-size keyboard (88 keys), yet its size and weight (10.5kgs) make it easy to store and it won’t take up nearly as much room in as an upright acoustic piano. It is also very portable: in addition to a powercable, it can run on AA batteries, giving up to 13 hours playing time and making it ultra-convenient for rehearsing away from home, gigging, busking, and much more.
Like many digital pianos, the CDP-S100 has a selection of voices, from mellow grand piano to pipe organ, harpsichord to electric piano, as well as metronome and transposing functions. The keyboard can be connected to external music players via a USB port, and is also compatible with Casio’s Chordana for Piano app on iOS/Android devices, which has over 100 classical pieces to learn and play, a PDF score reader, and controls allowing remote use of the piano for changing sounds, effects, creating layers, and more.
At around £320 this instrument offers great quality and versatility at a competitive price, and is an excellent, user-friendly entry level keyboard for the early and intermediate player.