We’ve previously covered the newest keyboards from Casio.
The PX-S1000 and PX-S3000 were excellent digital pianos that delivered on the promise of brand-new takes on the time-tested Privia series.
As a quick refresher, the PX-S aimed successfully at being the slimmest digital piano ever without sacrificing too much in terms of playability.
Alongside the previously mentioned PX-S series, Casio also introduced the CDP-S series during their 15th anniversary, another slim form-factor keyboard aimed at keyboardists and beginners wanting a more affordable instrument.
The CDP-S100 is priced in the same group as other sub-$500 pianos, like the Casio PX-160, Roland FP-10, and Yamaha P45.
Keyboards and digital pianos in this range don’t offer all the features of their more expensive counterparts, but that’s not to say they aren’t worth considering.
CDP-S100 vs CDP-S150: The Casio CDP-S150 was introduced along with the CDP-S100 and is available only in certain regions. It’s almost identical to the CDP-S100 but comes with an onboard MIDI recorder, Duet Mode, and is compatible with Casio’s 3-pedal unit (SP-34).
In one dedicated article, we’ve covered the best keyboards in this price range, so feel free to give that a read before diving into this review.
With affordable keyboards, we’re looking for something that plays well and sounds good. We want weighted keys and quality samples. Everything else is a bonus, though it’s nice to get some options for features and functions.
Does the new Casio CDP-S100/CDP-S150 fit in with the rest of the bunch? Let’s find out. Everything in this review applies to both the CDP-S100 and CDP-S150 models.
Casio CDP-S100 | CDP-S150 Specs
- Scaled Hammer Action II keyboard with simulated ebony/ivory keytops
- 88 full-size fully weighted keys
- Touch Sensitivity (3 types, Off)
- Sound: Dual-element AHL II sound engine
- 64-note polyphony
- 10 instrument sounds (3 acoustic pianos)
- Modes: Dual (Layer), Duet (CDP-S150 only)
- Metronome, Transpose, Master Tuning
- 1-track MIDI recorder (CDP-S150 only)
- Speakers: 8W + 8W (two 12cm x 6cm oval speakers)
- Connections: USB to Host, Headphone/Output jack (1/8″), Sustain Pedal jack, Audio In (stereo mini jack), Pedal Unit jack (CDP-S150 only)
- W x D x H: 52” x 9.1” x 3.9” (132.2 x 23.2 x 9.9 cm)
- 23.1 lbs (10.5 kg)
- Release Date: January 2019
Check the availability and current price of the Casio CDP-S100 | CDP-S150 in your region:
While the PX-S series has a striking look, futuristic chassis, and touch-based controls, the CDP-S series follows a more traditional design with the usual buttons and knobs.
Despite differences, the CDP-S100 is still a very slim keyboard.
The dimensions of the CDP-S100 is an impressive 52″ (132.2 cm) x 9.1″ (23.2 cm) x 3.9″ (9.9 cm), slimmer than the PX-S1000 which we praised. The CDP-S100 is also very light, coming in at 23.1 lbs (10.5 kg).
This was the design ethos behind the CDP-S series, and it shows. The lightweight CDP-S100 is easy to move around and allows you to practice anywhere.
This characteristic is further exemplified by the CDP-S100’s ability to run on 6AA batteries.
Now you can run the keyboard from the AC mains using the provided AC adapter, but 6 brand-new batteries should give you a full 10+ hours of battery life, which is no small feat considering the CDP-S100 has onboard speakers.
Apart from its slim form factor, the chassis is standard. The materials are plastic, though the surface has a matte texture, so fingerprints are less of an issue.
In terms of sturdiness, the CDP-S100 is decent, with the chassis remaining solidly in place even when applying heavy force. If anything, the CDP-S100 should survive collisions, but perhaps with a few scratches.
The same build quality can be found in the volume knob, which stays in place and does not wiggle around. A good amount of resistance is also present, allowing precise volume changes.
I also like how the buttons feel, having a soft, tactile click that can be felt (but not heard) when each button is pressed down.
Something worth considering here is that the presence of physical buttons on the CDP-S100 might be important for the visually impaired.
Since the PX-S1000 and PX-S3000 use capacitive touch controls, piano players who rely on touch are disadvantaged since touch controls require the use of visual aids.
In terms of controllability, the CDP-S100 resembles other budget keyboards in this price range, including their button and key combos.
I never liked key combinations for accessing features and functions and will take dedicated keys any day.
Most keyboards relying on key combinations (like Yamaha’s YDP 144 and Casio’s PX-S1000) require the use of a manual, since there’s no on-board guidance.
Though you’ll memorize commonly used controls over time, this is not an intuitive arrangement. Even so, the CDP-S100 does it right.
On the front panel, printed text guides above the keys guide you through the process of changing settings.
Even without the manual, it’s possible to use the CDP-S100 without issues. Casio even managed to include a numeric keypad-styled input for the metronome tempo.
On top of all that, a helpful tone plays whenever you change a setting. For example, when switching between sounds, a beep sounds that indicates changes have been made.
The same tone occurs in a few variations to indicate effect intensity.
Overall, the control scheme here is nicely implemented. Key combinations may seem complicated, but they do make the front panel a lot less cluttered, which is understandable since there aren’t too many features requiring dedicated buttons.
If you can’t live without a graphical user interface, Casio’s Chordana Play for Piano app integrates with the CDP-S100.
This app is available on Android and iOS and streamlines navigation. We’ll cover this in detail in the Connectivity section, but the experience was just fine without it.
There isn’t any choice when it comes to coloring, as the CDP-S100 only comes black.
In general, the CDP-S100 follows a slim, standard design that hits all the right design cues and delivers a solid experience despite the limitations that come with a low price.
With the new PX-S and CDP-S line of keyboards, Casio has added a new key action to the mix, and it’s different than the trusted Casio Tri Sensor Hammer Action found on the previous Privia line of digital pianos.
With the CDP-S series, Casio uses their new 88-key, fully-weighted keyboard, which they call Scaled Hammer Action II.
It feels very similar to the keyboard found on the PX-S1000 and PX-S3000.
As we’ve covered in the respective reviews, these key actions are designed to accommodate the compact form factor and have shorter pivot lengths to reduce the overall width of the keyboard.
These keys are two-sensor key actions that track your keypresses passing through each sensor.
Unlike the keys found on the PX-S series, the CDP-S series does not have the so-called “smart” part of the action that relies on a software-based solution to track your keypress depth.
In terms of playability, this results in a slightly lower degree of accuracy, though from personal experience it still feels responsive. The keys are perfectly usable for practice and general playing.
Despite the downgrade from the PX-S series’ key action, the impressive feat of engineering that is the shortened width is still present, and the slim width of the CDP-S100 speaks for itself.
Specifically, this occurs at the upper points of the white keys, around 2 fingers from the intersection with the upper panel. If you have a habit of playing into the keys, this might be an issue.
However, if you’re a beginner, this is hardly going to be a problem, and this aspect of CDP-100’s keyboard is comparable to other entry-level piano on the market.
The keys themselves are plastic but have a simulated ivory and ebony feel, which gives a subtle grip that reduces the risk of slipping during play.
This isn’t something you get on most keyboards in this price range, so its inclusion is very welcome.
Overall, the keys play very good, especially when you consider their low price tag. While they’re slightly lighter than those found on acoustic pianos, they are a decent approximation of the real deal and work great for practice.
Touch sensitivity is also implemented nicely. The keys respond accurately to repeated key presses as well.
Speaking of touch response, there are 3 different intensity levels plus an OFF option.
Heavier settings require harder keypresses to trigger louder sound samples, and the reverse is true for the lighter setting.
I found myself liking the default setting, which delivered realistic feedback, even relative to the lightness of the keys.
I like this keyboard, even when compared to the rest of the competitors in this price range.
It beats Yamaha’s GHS action easily (which lacks textured keys and feels less responsive overall) and feels on par with Kawai’s offerings.
However, I still prefer Roland’s PHA-4 Standard action as found on the FP-10, and it is the same key action found on Roland’s midrange keyboards, which is a steal for the price.
Budget keyboards aren’t always the best when it comes to sounds. Large sample libraries require lots of space and are expensive to implement fully.
However, detailed sounds are important for practice purposes, especially in terms of touch response.
The CDP-S100 uses an updated version of the AHL sound engine from previous keyboards, delivering up to 4x higher-res stereo audio compared to the previous sound engine.
In theory this means higher audio fidelity, but it doesn’t seem obvious in reality.
The piano sounds are well-sampled and differ from those in prior Privia digital pianos. Older budget Privias had piano sounds that felt scooped in mid frequencies, so I’m glad the new samples remedy that issue.
The new sounds are sampled from an unnamed concert grand and sound excellent and clean.
I suspect the same samples from the PX-S1000 are used here, though with fewer velocity layers and shorter decay (as expected from a budget keyboard).
The 3 variants are versatile and flexible. The standard piano is the perfect all-arounder and can handle songs from any genre with its clean, neutral tone.
The mellow piano preset is ideal for ballads and backing accompaniments. Finally, the bright piano covers your jazz and blues needs.
Personally, I recommend practicing with the standard preset, as it has the clearest tone of the bunch and allows you to pinpoint mistakes and weaknesses easily.
Pianos aren’t the only sounds included on the CDP-S100, and these can be used to spice up practice sessions or practice genre-specific playstyles.
The 3 electric pianos are a good selection of classic sounds, covering everything from classic Wurlitzers to FM synths.
I’m surprised at the responsiveness of these sounds, as playing hard really brings out the bite I’d expect from a real, amped-up Wurlitzer.
The harpsichord is passable at best, lacking the key-off samples that emulate a real harpsichord’s response to keys being released. Otherwise, this sounds as you’d expect and will help you practice Baroque-era pieces.
The string sounds are less than stellar, but these will mainly be used in conjunction with the Layer mode where they don’t take the spotlight.
Finally, the organ sounds are very nicely done. The keys work as organ slides and the sounds include an authentic emulation of a rotary speaker (albeit unmodifiable).
Essentially, the sound palette on offer is decent enough for practice purposes, with attention clearly given to the piano tones.
All in all, the sounds are suitable and can serve as a valid substitute for beginners who need a digital practice piano.
In terms of effects, the CDP-S100 comes with 2 built-in effects, a Reverb and a Chorus.
The Reverb has 4 algorithms and an option to turn it off as well. The algorithms differ primarily in their size parameter, going from a small room at level 1 to a large concert hall-style reverb at the maximum level.
Each pre-set has a default reverb setting and tweaks weren’t necessary during my play test.
Chorus comes in 4 different types, along with the OFF option. The chorus ranges from a subtle stereo widening effect to a lush detuned flanging.
This applies best to organs and electric pianos to emulate running real keyboards through an effects box.
I found that most sounds worked best with the subtle level 1 and 2 settings, with higher levels being a bit too much for my taste.
That’s it in terms of available settings.
You should note that beginners shouldn’t have effects active at high intensities during practice, as these could end up masking certain mistakes that may end up becoming habits in the long run.
The CDP-S100 has a maximum polyphony of 64 notes, which sufficiently covers all song types, whether classical songs or modern ballads.
While 64 notes is normal for budget keyboards, this is a bit on the low side, especially since most competitors, such as Casio’s PX-160 and the Korg B2 offer nearly double the polyphony count (128- and 120-note polyphony respectively).
A higher polyphony means that notes won’t cut off during play.
To be fair, it is hard to force cut offs to happen, even with 64 notes, though if you’re playing with sustained, layered voices, you might hear a few notes dropping out.
Much like the PX-S1000, I’m impressed that Casio included speakers on such a slim digital piano.
Even more impressive is that these are powerful, dual 8W speakers, when other competitors like the Roland FP-10 and Yamaha P-45 rely on dual 6W ones.
The back-firing speakers are quite powerful for the size and sound excellent, with no distortion, even at max volume, delivering a clean, wide soundscape.
The speakers have front-facing speaker grills, so you’ll be able to hear a clear tone even when it’s not placed close to a wall.
Though turning your volume up high isn’t recommended, it’s nice to know that the option is there if you need some extra volume.
As a budget piano, there aren’t many extra features on the CDP-S100, but all the necessities are included.
The CDP-S100 comes with only 1 special play mode, the Layer mode.
Layer mode allows you to play two sounds simultaneously and is a standard feature on most keyboards and digital pianos, regardless of price range.
The main way you’ll utilize this play mode is by layering strings with other sounds to get that classic, ballad backing tone. You can also layer the acoustic pianos with the electrics for a wide sound.
Unfortunately, Split mode isn’t an option here, and neither is the Duet Play mode that allows the keyboard to be used by student and teacher at the same time.
The main functions on the CDP-S100 include the following:
1) Transposing. This allows you to change the played key. Transpositions can be changed from -12 to +12 semitones in increments of 1 semitone.
2) Master Tuning. You can change the central tuning of the keyboard in steps of 0.2 Hz, from 415.5 to 465.9Hz. 440.0Hz is the standard default pitch for Middle A.
3) Metronome. Pressing the metronome button activates the in-built metronome. Tempo, time signature, and volume of metronome sound can be changed.
As a budget digital piano, the CDP-S100 has basic connectivity options, primarily focused on home-based use.
However, certain features can also be applied to stage and gig use (though not without jumping through some hoops).
If you want to practice with a backing track, you can connect your smartphone or music player to the Audio In (3.5mm) jack.
To use headphones, a Headphone/Output jack is provided and fits most consumer headphones with its 3.5mm (1/8″) mini jack.
To use the CDP-S100 with an external PA system or amplifier, you’ll also use this output, as there no dedicated line out jacks.
Finally, a USB type B port is included that connects the CDP-S100 to your smartphone (for use with supported apps) or to your computer as a MIDI keyboard.
This is also the port you’ll use to connect the CDP-S100 to the Chordana Play app.
Finally, a Damper Pedal jack allows you to connect any standard damper pedal to the CDP-S100. While Casio includes a pedal with each purchase, you can use any pedals you already own without any issues.
Chordana Play for iOS and Android
We’ve talked about this app throughout the review and it allows you to control the CDP-S100 with a graphical interface via your smartphone or tablet.
This is a common way for manufacturers to compensate for having no screen. Since the CDP-S100 is a budget keyboard, I can accept the screen’s exclusion.
The app itself integrates nicely when connected and allows you to use Casio’s piano tutorials and song teaching features.
Chordana Play also lets you control some functions on the keyboard, like switching between sounds and controlling metronome tempo.
While I found this app indispensable during my PX-S1000 review, I’m of a different stance with the CDP-S100.
The CDP-S100 includes helpful guides on the keyboard to assist with navigation and setting changes, so the main advantage of using the app is that you can always see the tempo of your metronome.
In short, the app will be helpful for novices thanks to the lessons if offers. Even if you’re not using the lesson functions, the control features might make the app worth it in the long run. There’s no harm in trying it out.
These are the basics you need to start playing, though we’ve included some recommended purchases down below.
The included SP-3 damper pedal is a basic box-shaped pedal that isn’t very intuitive.
While it works well for practice purposes (and the CDP-S100 does not support half dampering), beginners should use the full-sized pedals that emulate the feel of those on real keyboards.
Personally, I always recommend the acoustic-like M-Audio SP-2 sustain pedal, which feels solid and is also very affordable.
USB Adapter and Cable
A USB type-B cable allows you to connect the CDP-S100 to your phone (for the Chordana app) or your computer (for DAW or performance software). You may need an adapter to connect to your phone.
If you want a matching stand that makes the CDP-S100 feel right at home, consider the matching CS-68PBK (or its white counterpart if you like contrast).
It works with all the newly introduced Casio pianos including the CDP-S100, CDP-S350, and the PX-S series. There’s also the more affordable CS-46 stand that should also work with both series.
The slim form factor of the CDP-S100 means you can pair this nicely with nearly any stand available. So, if you’re looking for a more portable and affordable solution, consider buying an X- or Z-style stand.
Here are a few solid options I recommend:
- RockJam Xfinity Double-X Stand (collapsible)
- Knox Z-Style Adjustable Stand
Headphones come in very handy when you want to practice in private, focusing solely on your playing and not disturbing others nearby.
Moreover, a good pair of headphones will provide a clearer and more detailed sound compared to the onboard speakers.
Check out this guide to learn how to choose the best-sounding headphones for your digital piano.
- Slim and portable
- Surprisingly good keyboard for the price
- Well sampled piano sounds
- Accurate touch sensitivity
- Clean sounding speakers
- Decent user interface
- No onboard MIDI recorder
- Less than stellar connectivity options
- Keys have a shorter pivot length
As far as budget digital pianos go, the Casio CDP-S100 is a good choice for the price.
The key action and samples included with the CDP-S100 are new and they definitely show it when compared to the somewhat older keyboards in this price range. Overall, I’m impressed with the quality here.
While most of the innovations are ripped from Casio’s new flagship PX-S line, that’s not a bad thing, as evidenced by our immensely positive reviews for both the PX-S1000 and PX-S3000. As with those digital pianos, the CDP-S100 delivers good value in a compact package.
That said, the fact that this is compact may not be as relevant as you’d think. The PX-S series was designed for stage use, hence the portability factor, but I don’t exactly see why the CDP-S series needed the same treatment.
While the compact form factor is nice to have, it comes with the caveat of a shorter pivot length for the keys.
As a beginner, this isn’t much of an issue, but advanced players may find the keys slightly jarring, especially if they are used to more premium, authentic keyboards or actual pianos.
This hampers the otherwise excellent playing experience and feels like a sacrifice that ends up hurting the CDP-S100.
The compact form factor also doesn’t make much sense considering the limited connectivity options, so it clearly isn’t meant to be used on stage.
The main reason I recommend a lightweight digital piano for practice is if you’re always on the go, but that doesn’t seem like a large enough target demographic to warrant the new design.
Minor complaints aside, there’s nothing bad about the CDP-S100.
Back-facing speakers make the CDP-S100 right at home on a desk and you’ll enjoy the excellent speaker quality even without a stand (a common issue on keyboards with down firing speakers).
Piano sounds and key feel are subjective matters, and while I’m satisfied with the CDP-S100 in that regard, I recommend that you test things out before making your final purchase.
I strongly recommend considering the Roland FP-10 if you’re looking into the CDP-S100.
This uses Roland’s well-received PHA-4 Standard key action, which is used in other mid-range keyboards and has Roland’s SuperNATURAL piano modeling technology behind the piano sounds, delivering a more realistic sound to my ears.
Check the availability and current price of the Casio CDP-S100 | CDP-S150 in your region:
The market of entry-level digital pianos is getting more and more competitive every year.
New features and technologies that earlier were available only on higher-end models are slowly but surely entering the entry-level digital piano market.
There are a number of strong competitors that you might want to add to your list along with the CDP-S100.
Check out our Best Beginner Digital Pianos Guide to learn more about the best beginner-friendly digital pianos on the market and how the CDP-S100 stacks up to them (including the CDP-S100’s big brother, the CDP-S350).
Could you compare cdps100 and pxs1000?
Hi Jane, the CDP-S100 is basically a cheaper, more basic version of the PX-S1000. The latter has a more premium looking chassis, more sounds, more polyphony and more features (MIDI recorder, built-in songs, line out jacks, Bluetooth Audio). Touch-wise they have a very similar feel because their action is mechanically the same.
The only difference is that the PX-S1000 has an additional “smart” element in its action, which allows it to more accurately detect your key presses when playing trills and fast note repetitions. However, in practice, the difference is not huge.
Sound-wise, I definitely prefer the PX-S1000. It has a new version of Casio’s AiR sound engine with great resonance algorithms and some other simulated piano nuances. The main piano sound is also more realistic with longer more natural decays and wider dynamic range.
I hope this helps.
Wow! Thanks for such a detailed comparison. You really are super knowledgeable in these keyboards!
Glad to be of help!
How much is a CDP-100 in prestine shape worth now if I was to buy one used?
Whatever deal can find on it! My estimation would be around $320-$370 but it’s totally a matter of chance. When someone needs to sell something quickly, they’re usually very easy to negotiate a good price with.
I purchased a CDP-S100 and have been playing it for the past week.
If you hold down a key, instead of sustain there is a literal (piercing) sine wave sound that takes over after a couple seconds. The CDP-S100 piano sound is as bad or worse than a digital piano from the 1990s.
This review acknowledges the not-great sound, but this lede is *really* buried among less important information.
I’ll be returning the CDP and and getting PX-S1000 after trying in-store. I hope it sounds *way* better ?.
Sorry to hear that you didn’t like the piano sound on the CDP-S100. That’s why it’s always a good idea to listen to the instrument before buying it (there are sound demos available online, on YouTube, etc. and an even better way is to go to the store to play it in person).
By the way, I personally don’t think the CDP-S100 sounds horrible, it just has a slightly different character with a cleaner, drier tone. The samples seem to be recorded from a closer mic position, which makes it sound a bit different.
You may also want to play around with all the available piano tones (there’s a Mellow Piano, which may be more to your liking) as well as different reverb settings.
With that said, I agree, the CDP-S100 is far from sounding perfect, but let’s no forget that it’s a beginner keyboard and compared to its similarly-priced competitors, it sounds more than adequate. You obviously may have your favorites since sounds are very subjective as I’ve mentioned many times.
Great info here – thanks! Wondering how you wold rank the Casio PK-160BK vs the CDPS-S100? The PX is a bit more expensive — but if I understand your review it has a better “real piano” touch than the CDPS-S100?
Hi Terry, touch-wise these are quite similar, in fact, the CDP-S100 has a newer key action, but the difference is not big. One of the main differences is that the CDP-S100 has a slightly “quieter” key action compared to the PX-160. At the same time, it’s also a bit shorter, which makes it more difficult to play into the keys. As for the rest, these two actions are very similar mechanically. I talk about both of these keyboards and their key actions in this article.
Sound-wise, the PX-160 has a better sound, in my opinion – more detailed samples, wider dynamic range. On top of that, it has a wider selection of sounds and some useful features such as MIDI recorder, built-in songs, line out jacks, etc.,
oops… See you did compare them in your “Best Digital Pianos for Beginners (Under $500)”
Hi Lucas, thanks for your reviews!
CDP S100 and CDP S350 seems similar, but I noticed (in your “best digital piano for beginners under $500”) that S100 mounts the AHL II Sound Engine and S350 uses the AiX Sound Engine. I was wondering which is better in terms of realistic sound.
In a store i only could hear the S350, and the dealer told me S100 is actually better “because it has less sounds and effects”. is it true?
Hi Fabio, indeed, the sound engines are different, and the default piano sound is different as well. You’re correct, the CDP-S350 has much more built-in sounds and effects, but I wouldn’t say its piano tones are less realistic. They have a little different character, and out of the box the CDP-S350’s sound may seem a bit dry, but with some reverb, it does sound great, and I actually prefer its sound over the CDP-S100.
Is the CDP s100 key action lighter / heavier than Roland PHA-4 Standard / yamaha GH3?
It’s slightly lighter than both the PHA-4 and GH3, though due to the shorter key pivot length it may feel harder to play towards the back of the keys.
would you get the Casio s100 or Roland go piano 88?
If you’re after a realistic piano sound/feel, I’d definitely prefer the Casio CDP-S100 due to its fully-weighted keys.
Lucas, Thanks for the details explanation.
Hi did you notice a weight discrepancy between the black and white keys
See one of my latest comments at the end of this review where I talk about this.
Thank you that makes sense now
Hello, I’m having a hard time deciding between the PX-160 and the CDP-S100. In my instrument shop the PX-160 costs significantly more than the S100, so I was wondering, is the PX-160 worth the extra money, or should I just settle with the CDP-S100?
Have you had a chance to play them in your music store? They’re more or less comparable, though the PX-160 having a more advanced sound engine, will sound more natural and detailed than the CDP-S100. With that said, if you have a tight budget, the CDP-S100 is not a bad option.
Hi just purchased the CDP S150 model. I can’t make out the difference in weight in the higher and lower keys. They feel the same to me. Is this the way it’s supposed to be or is there an issue with my device? I’m guessing the greater weight of keys at the low end and vice versa is implemented by just the touch response (velocity) of the keys and the weights are kept the same. Also if my guess is right, is it true for all digital pianos?
Hi Rajath, most digital pianos these days aim to simulate the characteristic of an acoustic piano where the keys in the lower registers will have a heavier feel than the ones on the higher end of the register. This is usually implemented by using weights of different sizes for the keys in the lower and higher registers. On some digital pianos, this effect is more noticeable than on the others. It’s been a while since I last played the CDP-S100 but it seems that the effect is quite subtle on these models.
I wouldn’t worry too much about that, it’s not something that can hinder your playing/learning experience in a meaningful way. Even if you eventually transition to an acoustic piano, it will still take some getting used to regardless of whether your digital piano had graded keys or not.
I am over 60 and have never touched a piano or keyboard before but would like to learn to play one now. I first thought I might want to go with a 61-key Yamaha NP-12 Piaggero since the write-ups are good and with only 61 keys, it would be easier to navigate at the beginning. However, after reading several of your reviews, I was moving toward the Yamaha P45 (or P71 from Amazon) because it sounds like I might outgrow the NP-12 sooner than later. Now after reading about the CDP-S100, and it’s fully-weighted keys, I’m about-facing and leaning that way.
Can you give me your thoughts as to whether or not, as a rote beginner, I would benefit from weighted keys and a full 88-key keyboard enough to warrant the extra expense, or would a good sounding 61 (or even 76-key) Piaggero give me a good foundation with which to begin learning? I could then consider upgrading later on.
In the sound comparisons above, I thought the Yamaha P45 did have a nicer sound, though I do like the sound of the CDP-S100.
I’m looking for something that will be fun to play and that I can learn with—and won’t seem overwhelming. The lack of extra sounds, or features is not something I am concerned about.
The CDP-S100 feature set seems perfect, in that it also has an AUX port for connecting a music source to play along with. That’s something I could foresee being very useful.
Thanks for your time and for sharing your expertise here.
If budget is not an issue, I’d pick a keyboard with fully-weighted keys any day, considering learning the piano is your main objective. You can still learn on something with unweighted keys but it will only get you so far, especially when it comes to your piano playing technique.
Both the Yamaha P-45 and Casio CDP-S100 are excellent beginner options and one of the most affordable digital pianos out there.
I prefer the sound of the P-45, but like the keys on the CDPS-100. Feature-wise they’re both pretty basic and similar in many ways. The P-45 doesn’t have an Audio In, though, so keep that in mind.
I’ve been playing a CDP-S100 for several months. Short version: for me it’s like a 9/10, especially for the price I paid. But $300 or $400 would not have been out of line.
Full story: I got it very cheap, since I originally bought a demo unit at the local music store, which turned out to have a weird defect in which certain key combinations would not play. They replaced it with a new one which has worked perfectly ever since, so my total cost was only $250. I also note that it appears to be replaced with a CDP-S150 model which I have not played.
For my needs which are 90% piano practice and 10% use as MIDI controller, this was an incredible deal.
I have nothing negative to say about the piano sound. I do use a bright setting rather than the default which may be more a function of my hearing. I usually bump up the touch sensitivity one or two notches as well.
I had a grand piano and also am incredibly impressed with how much digital keyboards have improved over the years in terms of touch and action. Again, repeated notes, trills, blues/jazz slurs and grace notes are all very responsive.
Here are a couple tiny criticisms.
1. With chorus and reverb off, certain notes sound a little weird when holding them down. On a real piano, while a sustained note decays in volume its timbre also changes. You can hear on this model that the designers have carefully looped the sustain part of many notes as they fade them out. Unfortunately, a few notes do show a little “beating” during the sustain part of the envelope. But you really have to listen hard for this and for 99% of music you will never notice it. The funny thing is not all notes do this: it’s particularly noticeable in headphones from C5 – E5.
2. On some passages where you are playing multiple notes with (say) your right hand and certain voices need to be emphasized due to the melody, it’s more difficult to do this than on an acoustic piano. Again, this is probably a limitation of my own technical ability but I do notice it even at my level of skill.
3. Even though Lucas highlights the relative short key pivot length, again at my level of skill I can pretty easily play up high in the white keys.
4. I do like the texturing on the Casio keys as it makes them feel less like plastic.
When I sold my Yamaha grand, I have money now to buy a nicer digital piano but it’s going to have to be a quantum level better than the S100 before I jump at it. Part of my hesitation at this point is deciding whether I want to use a portable slab keyboard like the S100 or the Casio 1000 or 3000 or look at pianos with stands.
Congrats on your purchase! Definitely a bargain for that price.
Good points! Thanks for sharing all this. The looped sustain thing is something you often find on lower-end models, but with each new model that becomes less obvious. Usually, as you move up the price ladder, you get more internal memory dedicated to samples and more natural decays and timbre changes as a result of that.
well, I am undecided about that piano and the px0160. roland is very expensive in my country (brazil) for some motive. and I’d like use batteries ocasionally
anyway, I must congratulated you. after see so many poor youtube videos and sites, your review is the most COMPLETE of Internet that I’ve seen
Glad you found the review helpful. The Casio PX-160 is now discontinued, but if you can still find it in your country, I’d say go for it! It presents excellent value for money.
I just bought a CDP-S100 and I’m very distracted by what I think is simulated hammer noise. It sounds like someone doing some construction nailing a few houses away. I play with headphones so it’s not hammer/key noise from the physical keys, it is definitely something in the audio sample. It is most noticeable around C5, I’m going to give this piano a try for a week but I can really see this annoying noise being a deal breaker.
Was I just spoiled by an older CDP piano that sounded nicer by lacking this ‘simulated hammer noise feature’, and I would find the same thing on any modern digital piano? I had my heart set on an FP-10 but they’re just simply out of stock everywhere. I like everything about this CDP-S100 except for this noise, and I’d like to know if it’s just me and it’s something I need to learn to associate with faked piano noises.
Sorry to hear about your experience with the CDP-S100. As far as I know, the CDP-S100 doesn’t come with anything that you’d call “hammer noise simulation”. It’s usually only available on some higher-end models and it’s an adjustable parameter in most cases (so that you can turn it off if you don’t like it). What you’re hearing on your CDP-S100 doesn’t sound normal. Have you tried doing a factory reset?
Just bought a used CDP-S100 and it sounds ATROCIOUS that I’m certain mine is defective somehow but I don’t know how a digital piano would go wrong on the sound. There is a very very distinct difference in sound on either side of the E6-F6 split. F6 sounds okay as a piano while E6 sounds extremely twangy as if it was an acoustic piano missing felt on the hammer, I’m not at all exaggerating that it is impossible to ignore. Running a glissando shows that point where the sound changes. What the heck. Is there at all any electronic issue that could cause such an issue? How do I even begin getting help from Casio if I bought thIs private party?
I misspoke- it’s E5-F5. I actually went into a shop today and tried 2 different CDP-S100’s, and unfortunately they all sound like mine. Plug in headphones, and play C5 through G5, and you will hear what I’m talking about. Seemingly stuck-on-bright-piano for a few keys up to E5 but normal F5 onward. The knocking noise Charlie mentioned was also very apparent, I can’t not-hear it anymore.
While I was in the shop, I tried out a Yamaha P45 and the sound quality was MILES better than the two CDP-S100 and a CDP-S350 I also tried. It’s such a tragedy, I love the Casio’s small form, textured keys, and action, I just can’t stand the sound..
Well, the piano sound on the CDP-S100 is overall a bit on the “flat/bright” side, but I’m not sure I understand the problem you’re referring to, as I don’t have a CDP-S100 at hand to check this, unfortunately. But it would be interesting to hear if anyone else experienced the same problem with their CDP-S100.
P.S. I’m not sure why you’re referring to Charlie in the 3rd person if it was your own comment (same IP).
Thank you for your very detailed reviews. It is always a real pleasure to read.
I am oscillating between Roland FP-10 and and Casio CDP-S100.
Price difference 27% in the store where I plan to buy them.
I’d like to ask a few questions:
1. Is the PHA-4 mechanism worth considering the price difference? What are the major differences?
2. Build quality overall? Am I going to notice clicky/plasticky sounds in the next years?
3. Polyphony -> noticeable difference for a beginner (96 vs 64)?
4. Casio app – Chordana (as a side note, it is noticeably larger in the App Store compared to the one from Roland so I’d assume it has a lot more to offer) vs. the one from Roland.
Can these be replaced with third party apps that can help more a beginner to learn songs? What apps (mobile and desktop) would you recommend for learning?
Other general advices? 🙂
Hi Octavian, apologies for not getting to you sooner.
1) I’d say definitely, but your mileage may vary, so it’s hard to tell unless you try them for yourself. To me, the PHA-4 just overall feels more realistic, including the key movement, the key pivot length, etc. It’s also a heavier action than the one CDP-S100 uses, which some actually find too heavy for their liking. In my opinion, it’s one of the most realistic key actions in this price range for sure.
2) Hard to say, these two models are relatively new, so who knows how they will hold up over time. Casio’s new key actions are generally pretty quiet and seem reliable, so are Roland’s PHA-4 key actions, though some people reported having ‘clicking’ issues with some of the keys. In many cases, those are normal, and you don’t hear/notice them when playing with moderate volume.
3) I wouldn’t worry about polyphony at all here.
4) Although those apps do provide some additional functionality, their main purpose is to make navigating the instrument easier. For your piano learning needs, I’d recommend turning to 3rd party apps. We have a whole article dedicated to online piano methods.
Hope this helps!
I purchased this piano as a birthday present for my twin sons’ 9th birthday in September 2020. A few weeks ago, after only 4 months of light use, one of the keys stopped working. I contacted Casio and was informed that the piano would need to be mailed to the service center to see if could be repaired. When I expressed concern that it would be very difficult to put a full size 88 key piano in the mail (not to mention the cost of doing so!) – they could offer no further assistance. As per technical support, you can not actually speak to a customer service representative at Casio! I sent an email to “customer service” over a week ago but have not received a response. I am incredibly disappointed with the quality of this instrument and the service I have received.
Casio customer service is among the worst of any company I have encountered. I did a lot of research prior to choosing this piano, but I now regret my purchase. The warranty is completely worthless since Casio makes it impossible to get repairs. I feel like a just threw my money away. I wish someone had warned me about Casio!!
Really sorry to hear that, Devon. Hopefully, they will fix this asap. I’d definitely follow up with them to see if your email somehow slipped under the radar. I’ve had a few interactions with their support in the past and my emails have never been ignored. I’ve definitely had worse experiences with several popular piano manufacturers (not naming names here), but of course, it’s not an excuse.
Save money and don’t buy this piano. I had it and after two months sold it, and bought a Roland fp10, which is light years better. This Casio sounds awful from the speakers, the keys get very noisy after a month of playing. I am very disappointed with this piano. It is better to buy Korg b2, Yamaha p45 or Roland fp10, which cost a little more.
The only good thing about the Casio cdp s100 is the feel of the keys and the quality of the case (good for a midi keyboard).
That’s my opinion, sorry
Thank you for your detailed review.
I bought this piano a couple of weeks ago. There is a problem with getting the keys to play evenly (all together) in chords
For example if I play a C sharp chord with 4 notes the white note (the F) is necessarily played quite far in because the others are black notes. The F doesn’t play so easily and so it sounds later than the others
Same with all similar chords. I tried the same chords on a Yamaha P45 and there was no problem. All the notes sounded together perfectly.
Did I buy a dud or is this piano really like this?
I would appreciate any feedback. Many thanks.
Between this and Yamaha’s P45 which action would you say is better?