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AlenK

"Just sounds like a real Casio"

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The quote below is from a recent thread in the Keyboard Corner. Some day with any luck, "just sounds like a real Casio" will actually be meant as a compliment.  

 

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Actually the Casio mzx-500 is one of the most innovative arrangers on the market... 
Sadly the sound quallity espescially from the orchestral sounds is very dissapointing..
In yhe end it just sounds like a real casio..

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35 minutes ago, AlenK said:

The quote below is from a recent thread in the Keyboard Corner. Some day with any luck, "just sounds like a real Casio" will actually be meant as a compliment.  

 

 

My reply to that post ...

 

"I'm curious what you base your opinion on. I own the X500 and it holds up well with my Kronos 2 and PA600 in my opinion. When hooked up to a set of decent studio speakers the sound quality is quite good."

 

;)

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.. either showcasing their ignorance or their negative bias,  since the MZ-X500 has all the tools to make any sound you like. :)

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Rick's reply is still unanswered in that thread on Keyboard Corner. It's funny but when you ask for specifics of people who are dismissive in a vague way like that, you most often get nothing. That strongly suggests to me that there is no real basis for their criticisms. They're just talking smack. 

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IMHO...There's too many biased opinions with regards to the multitude of manufacturers out there.  It seems that now-a-days you can't get one unbiased review.  Just because the MZ is Casio doesn't mean that it's not up to par with any of the others.  For some reason, Casio isn't regarded as a "PRO" choice.  Um, wrong!  Going all the way back to when the FZ series sampler came out...the was some rocking sampler, but it never got the credit it deserved until later in life!  I wish I still had mine!!

 

I agree with Rick as I've owned mainly Yamaha boards the past 20 years and Casio has really up'd the ante with this series.  The sounds are really good and match up nicely with my S900.  They add a different flavor and augment my other boards well.  In fact, isn't that the purpose of owning different brands, to get some variety and different flavor (as well as features too)?  After all, how many different brands of cooking spices are there and don't they add a different flavor to the mix?

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Casio and the Casio dealerships need to appoint some decent professional players and demonstrators to promote their keyboards with decent online demos.   Players playing real songs that people can identify  -with not too much endless extemporization

 

When Yamaha recently released Genos they did just that, overnight there were demos on line by Yamaha and by the dealerships worldwide.

 

There are many decent Tones on the Casio keyboard that can be further be enhanced by tweaking.  I for one have liked them for many years and I keep coming back to Casio keyboards .  I have also owned Korg and Yamaha keyboards and synths.'

 

People say Korg voices are harsh and certain Yamaha voices 'thin'.  Nevertheless the Casio voices, as I hear them, stand up well, in the hands of a good player who knows what their doing !

.

Owners of Genos are complaining that there's no bar/measure counter,  important if you have to play for dancing.  Also there are complaints that Drum Kits can't be edited !

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well, maybe Casio does need more demonstrators but they already have a big name who seems, as far as I can tell, underutilized. I'm talking about Rich Formidoni. His credentials as a product demonstrator are without question. He was hired to do marketing, including social media, product demonstrations at trade shows and online videos. While it is quite clear that Rich has done the latter two and we have to assume he is doing the first, he has a surprisingly sparse online presence since joining Casio. 

 

There are plenty of ways Casio could have demonstrated in videos and SoundCloud tracks at introduction of the MZ-X500 that certain of its voices, specifically the Versatile Tones, are actually high quality, with different articulations and extra instrument noises (e.g., string squeaks, fret noise, body slaps). We didn't get those. The drawbar-organ emulation is, I assume, also really good and certainly on paper an improvement over that in the XW-P1 (which isn't shabby itself) but we didn't get any videos that highlighted that either. The videos we did get even months after introduction were not good at highlighting the strengths of the instrument apart from the styles, the synth voices and the pianos, IMO. 

 

Without such online videos and/or online SoundCloud tracks it's no wonder that habitual Casio bashers have had free reign to denigrate. It's only now that we're starting to see videos that show the MZ-X500's true capabilities.

 

 

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Casio has had some big name musicians doing demos but mainly at NAMM. Larry Dunn of Earth Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder played a Celviano Grand Hybrid at this year's winter NAMM (I think), and the late Joe Sample introduced the PX5S at the 2013 NAMM. Casio really hasn't promoted the MZ-X series or the PX-560 that heavily. The PX5S received a lot more attention when it launched as did the XW P1.

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In agreement re quality of sounds on newer Casios and i have played almost everything being the old troglodyte I am. Granted the GM sounds are not my favorites but then neither are many other GM sets on other keys.

 

One of the reasons I looked carefully at the Casios recently (I own and play an XW-P1, PX350 and PX575 along with a roomful of other keyboards and modules) is based upon a much older Casio arranger, forget which model but was about 10 years ago. I was a school music educator with a classroom full of instruments, had already played many pro Yamahas, Kurzweil piano, Ensoniq and Korgs as well as Steinways in school, a hammond B-3 and the older Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer pianos (had a practice room fll of them at college) .

 

I picked up a consumer Casio arranger to abuse in the musicroom along with my students :banghead: and what a surprise-the sounds were really good, acoustic piano was as good as the pro boards, given the spring action keyboard and the selection of organ sounds was huge and held up well to anything else I had played, on a keyboard that didn't cost much more than 100 bucks-i was one of the early CTKs I recall. That got my attention and so when I started looking at and listening to the more recent Casios, there was the XW-P1 and PX350. Even the older PX575 is holding up well and although I can hear the subtle differences in stepping up to the PX350, with the piano action keys i am having a blast practicing and composing with these. and although plasticky, every time I start in with the XW, once again I am impressed and would not be ashamed to use this in a live gig as well as the pianos. And i can still afford to eat and pay for my cable Internet, otherwise i would not be here! :2thu:

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Here's an example of what I was saying about putting the MZ-X500's strengths forward:

 

That's a seriously good electric distortion guitar sound. I'm not sure if it's a preset or a custom tone or even a custom sample, but if an example like this had been put out shortly after the product was introduced or at least shortly after it was released, instead of just recently, it may have converted some opinions back when it actually mattered. Really, IMO Casio largely dropped the ball on this. Maybe they only really cared about promoting it heavily in countries other than primarily English speaking ones, where sales of arrangers are reportedly much more brisk.

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