Casio PX-S3000 Review: The Ultimate Digital Piano Experience

As a pianist and music teacher, I recently had the opportunity to purchase and extensively test out the Casio PX-S3000 digital piano. After spending several weeks playing this instrument and really putting it through its paces, I wanted to provide a comprehensive review of the PX-S3000 based on my firsthand experience.

Overview of the Casio PX-S3000

The PX-S3000 is an 88-key weighted hammer action digital piano from Casio aimed at intermediate players. It was released in 2019 as an upgrade over the popular PX-S1000 model. Some of the main features of the PX-S3000 include:

  • 88 fully-weighted keys with simulated ebony and ivory textures
  • Tri-sensor scaled hammer action with escapement
  • 700 built-in tones, 200 rhythms
  • 192-notes polyphony
  • 8W 2-speaker sound system
  • LCD display screen
  • Pitch bend wheel, modulation wheel
  • MIDI, USB, Bluetooth connectivity
  • iOS/Android app integration

I was interested in the PX-S3000 as a potential upgrade from my old Yamaha P125 digital piano. The features that appealed to me were the weighted keys with an authentic piano feel, the large library of high-quality piano sounds, and the iOS app integration for additional functionality.

Unboxing and Setup

Upon unboxing the Casio PX-S3000, I was pleased to find the packaging well-designed and secure. The cardboard box contains the keyboard unit itself plus the power cable, sustain pedal, and music stand. There is also a basic manual included, although the full detailed manual can be downloaded online.

Getting the keyboard set up is straightforward – simply attach the pedal, connect the power cable, and turn it on. The PX-S3000 has a built-in stand so no additional stand is required. The music rest can be attached by clipping it onto the top front edge of the keyboard.

I appreciate that Casio kept the setup simple out of the box, with no complicated assembly required. Within just a few minutes I was able to get the PX-S3000 unpacked, plugged in, and ready to play.

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Design and Build Quality

Casio Privia PX-S3000 box

In terms of design, the PX-S3000 features a sleek, contemporary look with a black finish. The control buttons are located on the left side of the keyboard, while the right side houses the 4-speaker sound system underneath a speaker grill.

The build quality feels very solid and durable – the keyboard has some weight to it at about 26 lbs. The chassis is made of plastic but does not feel flimsy or cheap. One nice design touch is the simulated wood grain finish around the music rest.

The buttons and knobs have a high-quality tactile feel and responsiveness. The LCD screen is crisp and easy to read. Overall I am impressed with the construction and design of the PX-S3000, especially considering its mid-range price point. It certainly looks and feels more premium than the cost would suggest.

Keyboard Action

Now on to the most important part of any digital piano – the keyboard action. The PX-S3000 utilizes Casio’s Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II keyboard with simulated ebony and ivory keytops. The keys are weighted and graded just like an acoustic grand piano.

The moment I started playing, I could immediately feel the high quality of the keyboard action. The movement and response of the keys feel incredibly realistic. The weighting is balanced and offers just the right amount of resistance. The keys return quickly to the resting position when released.

Casio Privia PX-S3000 design

The scaled hammer action accurately replicates the feel of an acoustic grand. The keys are heavier in the low end and lighter in the high end, just as on a real piano. There is also a simulated let-off and escapement mechanism that recreates the subtle clicks of the keys.

After extensive playing, I am very impressed with the authenticity of the keyboard action. It provides a superb playing experience that I think any pianist will enjoy. The textured, moisture-absorbing simulated ivory and ebony keytops also feel great under the fingers.

The piano’s elegant design features a glossy black finish, giving it a sophisticated and polished look. The control panel is minimalistic, with touch sensor buttons that illuminate upon touch, further enhancing the piano’s sleek and modern appearance. The backlit LCD display ensures that users can easily navigate the various settings and features, even in low-light conditions.

Sounds and Speakers

In terms of sounds, the PX-S3000 comes equipped with Casio’s famous AiR Sound Source which provides 700 built-in tones. You get 19 different piano sounds, including a very realistic grand piano sound along with various electric pianos, organs, strings, basses, and many other instruments.

Casio Privia PX-S3000 sound

The piano sounds are rich and nuanced, with smooth velocity layers and natural resonance. String resonance and damper resonance are simulated which makes the pianos sound alive and responsive. There are also adjustable parameters like lid position, hammer response, and key-off simulation that allow you to customize the piano sound.

Beyond the pianos, there are also some very impressive electric piano, organ, bass, and orchestral instrument sounds. The sound set covers an incredibly wide range of tones, so you’ll have endless options for playing and performing different styles of music.

To deliver these great sounds, the PX-S3000 is equipped with a powerful 2-speaker sound system (16W total output). The speakers are positioned facing upwards underneath the keyboard. This creates an immersive sound experience when playing.

The sound is clear, full, and loud enough to easily fill a room. Even at high volumes, the sound remains distortion-free. Between the AiR engine and speaker system, the PX-S3000 delivers an exceptional acoustic and audio performance.

Features and Connectivity

Moving on from the core keyboard and sound performance, the PX-S3000 also packs a ton of additional features for both practice and live performance. Here are some of the main capabilities:

LCD Display Screen – The backlit LCD screen makes it easy to view and change settings, tones, rhythms, and other parameters. The screen is crisp and has good visibility.

Pitch and Modulation Wheels – There are dedicated wheels for pitch bend and modulation, allowing for expressive playing and control over sounds.

Split and Layer – The keyboard can be split into two zones or layered with two sounds simultaneously. Great for piano and bass or piano and strings combinations.

Arpeggiator – The built-in arpeggiator can generate creative arpeggios and rhythmic sequences based on the keys you play.

Reverb and Chorus – Reverb adds ambient space and depth to the sound, while chorus thickens the tone. There are 10 types of each effect.

Transpose and Octave Shift – Audio can be transposed into any key or shifted up/down by octaves. Extremely useful for playing in different scales.

Metronome and Rhythms – The built-in metronome helps you practice with accurate tempo and time signature. There are also 200 different auto-accompaniment rhythms covering many genres of music.

Recorder – You can record and playback your performances directly on the keyboard. Up to 5 songs can be stored in internal memory.

For connectivity, the PX-S3000 has MIDI in/out jacks, a USB port, and Bluetooth 4.1. The MIDI jacks allow connection to external sound modules or computers. The USB port enables audio and MIDI connection to a computer for music production. Bluetooth allows wireless pairing with smartphones/tablets for using music apps or streaming audio.

Between all the integrated features and connectivity options, the PX-S3000 provides you with a full-featured digital piano well-suited for practice, live gigs, or studio recording. The keyboard has nearly endless versatility.

iOS App Integration

One of the most exciting capabilities of the PX-S3000 is integration with Casio’s Chordana Play app for iOS and Android devices. By connecting wirelessly over Bluetooth, the app unlocks additional features:

PX-S3000 sounds control

Virtual Technician – Provides deeper editing of piano sounds including lid position, string resonance, key off noise, hammer response, and more. You can really customize the sound to your taste.

Audio Recording – Record full performances as audio directly to your mobile device.

MIDI Recording – Record performances as MIDI data for playback, editing, and sharing.

Audio Playback – Stream audio from your mobile device through the PX-S3000 speakers.

Additional Sounds/Rhythms – Expand the sound library with additional instrument tones, rhythms, and drum kits.

Sheet Music Display – Display sheet music on your device that scrolls in sync during playback. An invaluable tool for practicing.

The Chordana Play integration really expands the capabilities of the PX-S3000 and makes practicing more interactive and engaging. It’s a major advantage of the digital piano over an acoustic.

Pros and Cons

Based on my time with the PX-S3000, here are some of the major pros and cons I’ve observed:

Pros

  • Superb grand piano sound
  • Excellent weighted hammer action keyboard
  • Huge library of 700 built-in tones
  • Great connectivity options (MIDI, USB, Bluetooth)
  • iOS app integration is very useful
  • Well-designed interface and LCD display
  • Powerful 4-speaker sound system
  • Comprehensive features for practice and performance
  • Good value for the price

Cons

  • Keys are noisy when played softly
  • Speakers lack bass response
  • No dedicated line outputs
  • Pedal feels a bit cheap
  • Chordana Play app can be glitchy

Overall though, the pros far outweigh the cons with the PX-S3000. The few negatives I experienced were relatively minor. For an intermediate-level digital piano under $1000, the PX-S3000 packs incredible quality and value.

Competition

The main competitors to the Casio PX-S3000 include digital pianos from other major brands like Yamaha, Roland, and Kawai. Here is a brief overview of how the PX-S3000 stacks up against some comparable models in its price range:

Yamaha P125 – Very similar hammer action and piano sound quality. The PX-S3000 has more sounds and rhythms but fewer effects. The Yamaha may have slightly better speakers.

Roland FP-30 – Comparable key action but not as wide a selection of sounds. The Roland has better sound customization and line outputs. Casio has better Bluetooth integration.

Kawai ES110 – The Kawai has superior piano sound but fewer features. The Casio offers better key action and iOS integration. Kawai pedal is of better quality.

Overall the PX-S3000 can hold its own against or even surpass these competitors in many areas like key feel, piano sound quality, and iOS integration. It represents a very strong value proposition in the $700-$1000 price segment.

Additional Features

Beyond the core functionality, the PX-S3000 includes a few other handy features:

Lesson Function – This allows you to practice each hand’s part of a song separately, helping build up your skills. The right and left hand parts can be muted independently.

Duet Mode – With duet mode, you can split the keyboard into two identical 44-key ranges. Perfect for side-by-side practice or lessons.

Transposition and Tuning – The entire keyboard can be easily transposed into any key. There is also a fine-tuning function to adjust the pitch in 0.1 Hz steps.

Registration Memory – Up to 16 customized setups can be saved and recalled. Allows quick access to your favorite sounds, rhythms, and other settings.

Music Library – 10 built-in songs are provided to help learn and practice with. Many more songs are available via the Chordana Play app.

Auto Power Off – To save energy, the keyboard will automatically power down after a period of inactivity. The time can be adjusted or disabled.

These extras add to the versatility of the PX-S3000 for learning and practicing piano. It has all the fundamental tools you need built right in.

Accessories

I tested the PX-S3000 along with the stand, pedal, and bench that Casio offers as optional accessories:

CS-67 Stand – Sturdy metal X-frame stand with integrated 3-pedal unit. Provides a nice furniture-style look.

SP-34 Pedal – 3-pedal unit with damper, soft, and sostenuto pedals. Good quality and feels realistic.

CB-7 Bench – Attractive wooden bench padded with synthetic leather. Comfortable and adjustable height.

The stand, pedals, and bench integrate seamlessly with the PX-S3000. They are not required purchases but do enhance the overall piano-playing experience. Having a proper stand and pedals makes the PX-S3000 feel more like playing an acoustic upright or grand piano.

Who is the PX-S3000 For?

Based on my experience, here are the piano players I feel would benefit most from the Casio PX-S3000:

  • Adult beginners looking for an authentic playing experience to learn on
  • Intermediate players who want realistic piano sound and feel
  • Experienced pianists seeking high-quality keyboard action
  • Those wanting lots of sounds/rhythms for playing various genres
  • Musicians who value portability and mobile integration
  • Anyone needing full-featured piano under $1000

It’s a great all-around digital piano for home, studio, stage, or travel. The superior keyboard action makes it enjoyable for new students and seasoned players alike. Overall an excellent option in its price range.

Final Verdict

Our Score: 89/100

After extensively playing and testing the Casio PX-S3000 over several weeks, I am very impressed with nearly every aspect of this digital piano. It provides a remarkable authentic feel and sound, huge library of tones, iOS integration, and tons of features – all at an affordable price point.

For intermediate pianists like myself, the PX-S3000 is a phenomenal option and a substantial upgrade over entry-level keyboards. The keyboard action and piano sounds are extremely realistic. I also love having so many sounds, rhythms, and features right at my fingertips to experiment with.

Are there some minor nitpicks? Sure, but they are heavily outweighed by everything Casio got right with the PX-S3000. I highly recommend this digital piano for anyone looking for a high-quality instrument for home, stage, or studio use. It’s an incredible value and provides endless enjoyment for players of all skill levels. The PX-S3000 excels in all the areas that matter most.

Hi, my name is Pallav, and I've been playing the piano for over 20 years. I'm also the proud owner of Digital Keyboard Piano, an online platform where I share detailed reviews of the latest MIDI controllers, digital pianos, and related equipment.

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