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So, I tested the X500...

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Hi friends,

 

I was saying a couple of weeks ago that I will have the chance to test X500 in person, as I was traveling and there was a store to have it available.

 

And so it happened. :)

 

I could only briefly have my time with it, but enough to make a first impression.

 

To my surprise (to a point) I was rather pleased with build quality, even the keybed was not that terrible as I thought after reading some of the posts here. The display and buttons, knobs all were good. Nothing to complain about at this level. Speakers were loud, clear, no buzzes. Keys did not squawk either. :)  The color is very cool, I liked it, that blue is definitely drawing attention, and also the lifted panel was very nice.

 

So it happenes that on the same area was a Korg Pa600 on display, so I could compare the two. I had tested Pa600 before and had a Pa50 for many years, so I was familiar with this one and I could actually go one by one through some basic sounds and styles I'd use most of the time.

 

Here was the bummer. As much as I wanted to like the rhythms in X500, every one of them that I tested were lacking when compared to Pa600. Someone said it before and I think it is true: Casio sounds are ok by themselves, but when in styles, they are just not as good and pleasent as Korg's. In Styles I also suspect there is quite a lot of it to do with less quality effects. I think. So, while some of the rhythms are better than others, most of them are not that great I am afraid. I mean, to my ears.

 

Sounds were not bad. I quite enjoyed playing some piano lines and the keyboard itself was surprisingly ok for this.

 

So, I think for now, at least until there will be a next generation MZ model, or a new arranger in Casio offering, I will need to skip this one. I really like it though as an idea, and I wish Casio will come up with improved offering, so they will stand against the new arrangers from Korg and Yamaha soon. 

 

All the best!

 

Adi

 

 

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Friend indeed the MZ-X does not have the huge amount of Rhythms like Korg Yamaha and Roland has.
Let's look at the fact that the extension of the AC7 Rhythms is newer and with a small library compared to the other brands.
What MZ-X stands out for is the features it has and the ability to expand.

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I guess you are after an arranger only i.e you don't make your rhythms or sounds to me MZ X 500 is perfect for somebody who uses it as an workstation with sampling capability which I do and arranger is added bonus which I personally don't use.

So what keyboard are you getting then instead of Casio.

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Hi guys,

 

Well, Silvano, it is not about the numbers really. But it is about how they sound. ;) I think the next model will be there... This one I think is simply not polished enough. But not in the sense that rhythms will sound like a CD... Anyway, it is not about the numbers.

 

Leon, also, I do create my own styles and I was looking forward to do that on X500. But I feel I couldn't do it right, with the onboard sounds at least. Yes, the tools are there, love that. But I simply do not think this could work for me...

 

I am looking at the new Pa700. So it happens that it was announced these days, exactly when I was looking into a final decission on X500. I do not take that as a sign though. :)

 

But I like what Pa700 is bringing. KAOSS is rather amazing. Too bad the sampling options are limited. But I am not that much into that anyway.

 

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All in all and in my opinion, I've seen the Korg specs for both the 700 and 1000.  But, the price point for the 700 is a bit more than the MZ-X and the 1000 is over $1k more.  The MZ-X has a very impressive tone and arranger engine and if you haven't tried the sampling option, you should!  Unlike the KAOSS pad, the Casio pads can do so much.  Casio did their homework on the MZ-X and incorporated features from many of the Yamaha, Roland and Korg series boards and kept the price point low.  The sounds in the MZ-X are really good too!!  I used Yamaha for years and had Tyros 4 (which I just sold) and still have and use the PSR-S900.  But, the Casio impressed me with what they did.  I'm still hoping for an MZ-X with a 76 note keyboard and an expanded sampling memory OR at least have the option of adding more memory.

 

I think, in most cases, you are paying for the name (Korg).  Again and in my opinion, Yamaha seemed to be the best out there with the arranger workstations.  Roland never seemed interested in it until lately.  Korg seemed pretty much the same too, but to me their arranger keyboards always seemed to be overpriced considering the features.

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Just to say this - I am not bashing X500. And another thing - I am sure that after tweaking it a little bit, the results would be much better than out of the box.

 

I love how it looks and feel. Even the keys I thought were quite alright. I like the features and tools it brings on, also many of the sounds are very nice. Unfortunately, I didn't like styles that much. That's all. I don't think it sucks or that they are terrible at all. I think this keyboard is a great contender and probably next model will be even better. 

 

And really, I think if Casio will bring on a 76 version of the next model, I'd be looking at it again. In the meanwhile, enjoy making music! :) 

 

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Its true while the sounds have been upgraded on the tones side the drums still lack at their bare levels. 

Although the MZ-X has newer samples for drums its still missing something in the mix, but for all casio

keyboards as well the workstations , LK drums pretty much same except. 

 

The SA keyboards they have a different vibe at a lo-fi level which gives it a nice colour for its drum sounds.

XW synths drums can be mixed at the FX level not on the EQ side of it.

 

And the keyboard capable of sampling can have a sampled drum kit loaded in that solves things.

But it would be nice if drum part got their own section for EQ to balance within total mix less muddy

for that full sound, Cause drums are o.k they really need a bit more depth to perform. 

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2 hours ago, XW-Addict said:

Its true while the sounds have been upgraded on the tones side the drums still lack at their bare levels. 

Although the MZ-X has newer samples for drums its still missing something in the mix, but for all casio

keyboards as well the workstations , LK drums pretty much same except. 

 

The SA keyboards they have a different vibe at a lo-fi level which gives it a nice colour for its drum sounds.

XW synths drums can be mixed at the FX level not on the EQ side of it.

 

And the keyboard capable of sampling can have a sampled drum kit loaded in that solves things.

But it would be nice if drum part got their own section for EQ to balance within total mix less muddy

for that full sound, Cause drums are o.k they really need a bit more depth to perform. 

 

Did you see how detailed the editing is in drum kits on the MZ?  

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I had XW and WK and I could hear lack of punch in the voice department immediately like diluted sound compared to my Yamaha MOXF, when I got MZ X500 sound quality was to my ear same as Yamaha as for drums they are a bit dry but that is easy fixed by effects .

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  • The evolution of the drum of the MZ-X against the WK7600 I had was very large.
    In fact Casio has learned his homework well in some resources.

     

  • My wish list for a top line would be::cheers:
    76 keys
    Larger memory for sampler (512mb or more) with Total Preload memory.
    Loop Slice audio to Pads with BPM control.
    Loop Guitar in rhythms
    3 INTROS and 3 ENDINGS
    Arrangements in rhythms in Cmajor Cm and C7
    Sinc Stop and START buton improvements
    Customizable break button like FILL IN
    Separate DSP for Microphone and Vocalist
    3 interchangeable DSPs.
    Registration USER expand for 24 or more banks.
    4 OTS for each rhythm.
    Compatible with SF2

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2 hours ago, Silvano Silva said:
  • The evolution of the drum of the MZ-X against the WK7600 I had was very large.
    In fact Casio has learned his homework well in some resources.

     

  • My wish list for a top line would be::cheers:
    76 keys
    Larger memory for sampler (512mb or more) with Total Preload memory.
    Loop Slice audio to Pads with BPM control.
    Loop Guitar in rhythms
    3 INTROS and 3 ENDINGS
    Arrangements in rhythms in Cmajor Cm and C7
    Sinc Stop and START buton improvements
    Customizable break button like FILL IN
    Separate DSP for Microphone and Vocalist
    3 interchangeable DSPs.
    Registration USER expand for 24 or more banks.
    4 OTS for each rhythm.
    Compatible with SF2

 

I would add user rewritable factory rhythms and factory tones. Half the rhythm slots on the x500 are not my cup of tea.

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18 minutes ago, BradMZ said:

Rick, are you out of memory slots for rhythms? 

 

I'd like to arrange the locations of my rhythms to suit my needs. I'd like to edit a grand piano and have it be in the right slot not somewhere off in the hinterlands of user memory. That way my preferred pianos are quickly available when I press the PIANO button. I'd like to store my preferred tones to the GM slots so I don't have to spend so much time editing midis. 

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1 hour ago, moontom said:

where drums are concerned, my wish list would include : MAKE IT EASY to change kits. don't make me do steps for each of the 4 rhythm variations.

 

Turn on "all element", then change the drum set.

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Yes MZ is no perfect many things could be sorted by updating os why Casio is not doing it who knows maybe because they selling it at loss ?I have Casio watch which cost more than MZ X500

If they charged price of keyboard who does everything what Casio can like new Yamaha Genos who according to rumours will be arranger/workstation then maybe .

Would you be ready to pay 3000£ for that ?

You get what you pay for and for the money Casio beat them all.

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Brad: I had the All Element trick the other day and now I can't find it. do you have to use in sequencer mode only? is there no way to change when just playing the keyboard?

 

thanks

TM

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