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AZ PIANO REVIEWS – The #1 Most Trusted Digital Piano Review & News Blog in the world! LOWER PRICES than Amazon and internet music stores! Free ship, no tax on most items. Don’t order anywhere until you check with Tim & Erik Praskins 1st! Email us at or call 602-571-1864
Casio PX-S3100 reviewUPDATE REVIEW – March 1, 2024The Casio PX-S3100 replaces the discontinued but popular PX-S3000 and this newer model goes way beyond anything that Casio has ever produced under $1000 price for a portable 88-weighted key digital piano. The current normal internet discount price on this newer model is $879.
The authenticity of the stereo grand piano sound, responsive piano key action, touch sensor technology, pedaling response, and piano resonating sustain time, along with lots of educational and fun features puts this model at the top of the charts for a portable digital piano under $1000, in our opinion. The PX-S3100 really exceeds our expectations for something that offers a satisfying piano playing experience along with some very cool “bells & whistles.” This model can keep a pro player, recreational player, or family entertained for hours along with being able to easily transport it if necessary.


picture of Casio PXS3100Based on the extensive hours I have put into personally playing & examining this digital piano, I have to say that this newer model at $879 internet discount price is by far the best “full-featured” portable digital piano under $1000. The only one that comes close is one by Yamaha, but it’s twice the weight and has an entry-level key action. By “full-featured” I mean not only does it offer a very enjoyable piano playing experience, it also has a ton of useful and exciting musical “bells & whistles” that makes playing piano much more enjoyable…at least it does for me. Just so everyone knows, I don’t work for any digital piano company, I don’t get paid for my reviews, and I believe there are other good portable digital piano options out there in this general price range.

But when it comes to the PX-S3100, I believe the Casio piano company has moved out in front of the pack for the first time with portable digital pianos under $1000. Casio has always had competitive portable digital pianos, but they weren’t necessarily always at the top depending on your musical needs and piano playing experience. However, the new PX-S3100 really has changed all that.

Casio Music Space appWith new technology that Casio has not had in any digital piano prior to this one, this new model does things that are very impressive. Beyond that, Casio has created a proprietary app for iOS and Android tablets/phones called Casio Music Space which intuitively allows you to control almost every aspect of the PX-S3100 from your device color touch screen. This app is so cool and so easy to use that it will allow you to use a lot of the impressive features in this model that otherwise may have been overlooked in the past because those features were just too difficult to find within the piano itself. But with the new “Casio Music Space” app, all of that has changed and now Casio has opened up newer and exciting features not available before from any manufacturer in this price range, and an intuitive way for interfacing with those cool features that even a 5-year old could probably do…or even a 95 year old!

I will talk more about this PX-S3100 function controller app later on in this review. But for now, it’s not just that this model has very playable piano type key action, full stereo grand piano sound, responsive pedaling, and overall good functionality, but it’s really all about how good this instrument is for the low $879 internet discount price. In fact, this newer portable model should easily be selling for more money in my opinion, it’s that good.


lower prices than Amazon or internet


picture of Casio PXS3100So what makes this newer PX-S3100 so impressive as compared to its competition? In my expert opinion it is because Casio has done things right on this model such as its new clean design, increased portability, new piano key action, new grand piano sound engine, new responsive  portable pedaling ability, intuitive user interface, and the incredible functionality to make your music more realistic and exciting than you thought possible out of a self-contained digital piano for $879. That pretty much sums it up.
On the other self-contained portable 88-key digital piano brands and models with built-in speakers under $1000, there’s always a few things missing such as one piano will have a great sound but not a great key action…or the key action may be real good but the sound is artificial or the pedaling not responsive.

Sometimes its the features and functions that are quite basic or not easy to use or understand or maybe the instrument is portable but too heavy and big to actually be easily transported on a regular basis such as the Yamaha DGX670 which weighs in at 46 lbs and has a depth of almost 18″. Compare that to the S3100 which has a weight of less than 25 lbs and a depth of just 9″ which makes the Yamaha twice as big and heavy.


picture of Casio PXS3100The Casio PX-S3100 also has no actual physical buttons across the top of it’s control panel because the functions and features are selected by touch sensitive LED lights that don’t show up when the piano is powered off. All you see when the piano is powered off is a sleek, elegant smooth shiny black top with an elegant, contemporary volume knob and a flush mounted power button…and that’s it. But when you power up the PX-S3100 then you instantly & clearly see white LED  function and feature touch sensor lights that indicate what you will get when touching them to make a function or feature selection. Beyond that, the PX-S3100 has a fairly large LCD user display screen clearly indicating which functions are currently being used when you make a selection of an instrument sound, effect, rhythm, song or whatever else you are wanting to do. But when the piano is powered off you see absolutely nothing…just a smooth, gloss black top.
Casio PXS3100 powered off
Casio PX-S3100 powered off
It’s not until you power up the PX-S3100 that you see all the features and functions along with it’s user LCD display screen. When you have the power off then you don’t realize all the things this model can do. The has multiple rows of functions that light up once you touch the controls to go to the next row of functions. You really don’t know that there are multiple rows of functions because on either side of the center display screen there is only one row of functions lit up on the left side and 2 rows on the right side that are side-by-side rows.
Casio PXS3100 powered up
Casio PX-S3100 powered up
The furthest right row has an additional 3 rows of functions below it when you access them and on the left side of the display screen there are actually 3 full rows of functions…but only one row at a time is seen until you decide you want to access more rows of features. In all there are 7 changeable rows of functions/features, one row of  functions nearest to the right side of the display screen that allows access of other internal features and changing rows. and then a selection button to get into the editing modes to let you access things that will further enhance your playing experience.


picture of Casio PXS3100

The PX-S3100 has 700 instrument sounds. These sounds are not “toy instrument sounds” that are typical for this price range and have been found on past Casio digital pianos. Overall, they are much higher quality instrument sounds than one would expect at this $879 price including much more authentic vintage electric pianos, strings, pads, brass, guitars, synths, woodwinds, etc along with hundreds of very competent and enjoyable reverbs, chorus effects for electric pianos, wah, trem, phasers, and much more. You can easily access any sound you want or you can layer/mix or split any two sounds that you want for live play.

picture of Casio PXS3100Does anybody really need 700 different instrument sounds…the answer would be no. However, there are so many great instrument sound options that depending on the music you like to play, many of these musically realistic instrument sounds are really fun to have and will likely increase your playing enjoyment. As far as selecting these sounds from the control panel, you can easily do that from the light-up touch buttons and see the specific sound in the LCD display screen that you have selected.

You can also select any instrument sound by using that Casio Music Space app I mentioned earlier along with quickly and intuitively setting up any two sounds to be split and/or layered together by your external device color touch screen. It really works well that way and will let you change things around quickly to make the most out of those 700 instruments sounds in all kinds of ways.


picture of Casio PXS3100One way that I determine how realistic the instrument sounds are in any digital piano is to use a really good fully orchestrated General MIDI song file and play it through the internal speaker system of the piano…assuming the piano has the capability of playing a full 16-track MIDI song file, which many do not. In other words, for those people who don’t know, a 16-track MIDI song file is a song created in the MIDI format where someone plays and records 16 different instruments in a song (pianos, organs, guitars, orchestral sounds, synths, drums, whatever you want) playing them one at a time, one on top of the other, and then all those instruments play back simultaneously as a full completed song from a USB flash drive (where the song is stored) and then you hear the song playback “live” in the piano.

flash driveThe instruments you hear playing through the piano are the actual instruments in the piano sound banks and they are not pre-recorded real instruments like on a CD. So whatever instruments you hear in the piano when playing back a General MIDI song file are actually the individual instruments in the piano playing “live.” General MIDI songs are not a CD or MP3 recording because those recording are from people playing those real instruments live and then recording them, just like any audio recording would be. A MIDI recording is simply the “notes” of the song and not the actual instrument sounds.

I could take a good General MIDI song file and put it in my computer and my computer would also play that song file back but the sounds will only be as good as the sound card in your computer and so those songs may not be so great. When we are talking about MIDI songs, we are not talking about an audio recording playing back on your iPod or CD.

We are taking about the instruments you hear actually being played live within the piano…assuming it has the capability to playback full multi-track General MIDI recordings from a USB flashdrive, which many digital pianos cannot do, even up to $5000 and beyond. Also, just because your digital piano may have a USB flash drive input does not necessarily mean it can playback these General MIDI songs.

picture of Casio PXS3100I say all this because it is important to the PX-S3100 and what I am about to tell you. I happen to have fully orchestrated MIDI song files of original arrangements of very complex movie music theme songs that I use for my personal pleasure. You can purchase some of these song files on-line for yourself just like you can purchase iTunes, etc., and some of those MIDI files can be found on-line at no charge depending on what they are. The advantage to having MIDI song files is that you can play along with them so you can learn the song and you can slow down the tempo or even change the key the song is in. It’s fun as well as entertaining. There are full arrangement General MIDI songs from virtually every musical category including classical, movie, kids, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, etc, country, rock, jazz, Latin, Big band, Swing, religious, and just about anything else you can think of.

You can play these songs back on any digital piano that has the ability to play General MIDI multi-instrument song files and also has a USB flash drive input where the songs would play from. You can buy and download just about any song you can think of and play it on the PX-S3000.

picture of Casio PXS3100To test this new Casio piano in terms of its instrumentation, internal sound system, key action, and functionality including connecting this PX-S3100 to external speakers, I decided to play the full MIDI song file of entire theme from Star Wars from the famous composer John Williams who has done all those famous sci-fi adventure scores such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, and Superman along with many others. Most people know the Star wars theme song and have heard it play many times in the Star wars movies.
picture of Casio PXS3100
It’s a great orchestral piece of music that has many movements, a huge variety of instruments playing at various times in the music, and it’s a complex but very memorable musical theme. The song is definitely not an easy piece for any digital piano to play regardless of its ability to have this MIDI playback function. In most portable digital pianos that have the ability to playback General MIDI song files, the multi-track music playing back usually sounds fake or just isn’t good at all…like a toy. To top that off, the internal stereo speaker systems in many of these portable digital pianos are (overall) weak, uninspiring, and have limited stereo separation and frequency range, especially when playing sophisticated, full length songs like Star Wars.
Apart from this new PXS3100 the other digital pianos out these may have enough speaker power to play piano and for practice purposes so there is no problem there. It’s when you really want a more sophisticated, higher audio quality sound where many of these digital pianos fail.

Not just more volume but a higher quality tone that really gives your music the realism that many people look for in a portable digital piano with internal speakers. When you plug into an additional external speaker system then that enhances the playing experience even more, especially in producing a fuller bass response.

picture of orchestraSo here’s the bottom line with regard to my very musically “scientific” test on the Casio PX-S3100. When playing back the Star Wars orchestral thematic theme song recorded in the General MIDI format going through the internal stereo speakers in the piano, the results were absolutely amazing and much better than I thought it could be. Also, using the special 3-D surround sound feature in the piano to increase the authenticity of the music which no other portable digital piano has under $1000, the song playing back sounded exactly like the Star Wars them song with actual real instruments playing, only they weren’t the real orchestral instruments such as you would be hearing in an audio recording of that song but instead were the live instruments residing inside the PXS3100. The sonic clarity, stereo separation, and over volume balance of all those musical instruments playing back were really astounding. Not onlpicture of Casio PXS3100 LCDy that but the internal stereo speaker system in the PXS3100 was beyond amazing.
picture of Casio PXS3100 LCDHuge volume, bigger than expected bass response, and no detectable distortion coming from the speaker system even when the volume was turned up fairly loud. The realism of all those instruments playing together including classical oboes, big brass, orchestral strings, bells, percussion, flutes, piccolos, harps, and all the other instruments from that theme song were impressive. Beyond that, I could easily play the song in any key, adjust the volume, slow it down or speed it up with no sound degradation, and play along with the song using any of the 700 internal instruments in the piano including layers and splits. I could also enhance the song by adding more reverb effects and/or changing the type of 3-D surround sound feature that I was applying to the sound coming out of the internal speakers.

In fact, the volume of this PX-S3100 was so big that I had a difficult time believing it was all coming out of a super compact 24lb instrument. I had the PX-S3100 play other MIDI movie themes by John Williams including the ones I mentioned earlier like Raiders, Jurassic, and others and those compositions and orchestrations sound equally impressive.

picture of rock bandA piece of John Williams trivia history that some of you may not know is that there is a famous pop/rock band called “Toto” who were especially popular in the 1980’s and beyond, and they had some of the best musicians out there of all bands during that period. I personally liked the band and their music because they had a couple great piano/keyboard players (and lead vocalists that performed in ways that other keyboard players and singers never did before and they really knew their music and how to use those instruments. For a number of years Toto’s lead singer was Joseph Williams who is now the band’s current lead singer again within this last decade.
toto africa song
Joseph Williams just happens to be the son of John Williams, the guy who wrote and scored all those Stephen Spielberg-George Lucas films, and in fact Joseph Williams did some of song work himself for one of of the Star Wars movies along with doing some vocals for Disney’s Lion King. I mention all this not only to show what a small world it is in the music business, but how much music has an effect on the children of musically talented parents. Being a long time piano teacher I love seeing children get involved in music, whether they make money doing it or not. I also have some General MIDI files of the band’s most popular songs and those song files sounded great on the PX-S3100. So no matter what songs you want to hear, play along with, or learn, the PX-S3100 seems to be able to do that extremely well.


picture of speaker

Casio has improved their internal stereo speaker system so dramatically over any past models that it makes all the other portable digital pianos out there under $1000 pale in comparison. With notably better speaker and amplifier components coupled with this new 3-D stereo surround sound system within the piano, the resulting musical experience is far better than you would think it could be just looking at the piano and wondering how good can it possibly be given its small size and weight…but somehow the sound designers at Casio were able to figure it out and do it. When I plugged in some external powered monitors to the two audio outputs in the piano, the resulting sound was even more amazing, especially if you want or need an even bigger sound or wanting more bass response. But in terms of filling up a large room with big sound, the PX-S3100 can do it with no problem.
picture of Casio PXS3100
But as I said, I tested the piano to its full capacity using and playing back General MIDI multi-track song files not only with the Star Wars theme, but other big movie music like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, a number of popular Jazz, Latin, Contemporary Christian, Country, and rock songs, and other categories of music, and the PX-S3100 did exceptionally well with all of them. I happen to like lots of musical styles including Jazz. One of my favorite jazz guitarists is the famous Lee Ritenour and you can see his Jazz band videos all over YouTube. Lee and I actually graduated from the same high school in the same grade at the same time and in fact he was also in my choir class…I loved to sing then as well as now. Anyway, Lees hit songs are also available in General MIDI format and they sound really great on the PX-S3100.

picture of Casio PXS3100
But, without access to those higher quality 700 instrument sounds that reside inside the PXS3100 music library, the MIDI song playback ability and quality of those songs would not have happened in the way that it is being heard on this new instrument because previous music instrument libraries in past model digital pianos pretty much sounded like toys. If you want to play any of those 700 instrument sounds individually (including acoustic pianos, etc) just for your own live playing enjoyment with no songs playing in the background, as I mentioned earlier, you can easily do that and select them from the LED digital touch sensor controls and see what you have selected in the easy to read LCD display screen for that user info and then enjoy those high quality tones live in your own playing and recording.


picture of Casio PXS3100So now that I have explained how great the overall music can be in this instrument, the actual “star of the show” in the PX-S3100 is the new piano key action, piano sound chip, and piano pedaling system. What most people want when purchasing a portable (or any) digital piano is for that instrument to be as realistic as possible in terms of an authentic piano playing experience within its price range. Up until now there has been some acceptable portable digital pianos and some good portable digital pianos out there under $1000 and there certainly are other portable digital pianos with some compelling digital technology built in such as the Kawai ES120, Roland FP30X, and a few others as I mentioned earlier.
picture of Casio PXS3100Some people just want an “entry level” digital piano at around $500 to $700 and that’s fine. But for just a little bit more, the PXS3100 is much better and you would likely want to keep this instrument for many more years than the others because of  the upgraded features that enable you to do things with your music that you would not otherwise be able to do if you spent less money and got something else.
picture of Casio PXS3100The new key action, piano sound chip, and triple pedal system in this PX-S3100 is definitely worth talking about because of how much improved it seems to be (overall) as compared to the previous Casio portable models. When it comes to new digital pianos, whether they are portable or furniture cabinet models, it’s first and foremost about the piano playing experience and how close the instrument can get to a real good quality acoustic piano.
picture of Casio PXS3100
Digital piano manufacturers all want you to believe they have the best product and that it plays “just like the real thing.” But I’ve played enough different brands and models of digital pianos to know that is not a true statement. Digital pianos vary quite a bit from one to another and in this low price range under $1000 it is especially difficult to create a piano key action, piano sound, and pedaling experience that comes anywhere close to a real acoustic piano.
Some of the digital piano models may play better than other ones, but they definitely don’t come close to being a real piano in these lower price ranges, particularly in a portable version. They are either lacking good dynamic tonal range, volume touch control, lacking a responsive piano-like key action movement, and/or lacking good pedal movement and response. To get all those piano playing aspects in a digital piano to be more like a real acoustic piano in this price range is pretty much impossible…it’s really just how close can you get to the real thing. With this in mind, even though this PX-S3100 is not perfect (what is?), it does check all the boxes in being a very enjoyable instrument to play.


picture of Casio PXS3100The new piano style key action in this PX-S3100 is graded and fully weighted and a good one in its class for its price range. Also, for the first time Casio has created individual linear weighted keys that vary in weight per key as you go up and down the keyboard to give it better balance. The variations are definitely subtle and not easily felt but they are there. This key action is definitely not a grand piano key action and is instead more of an upright piano style key action as are all the other digital pianos in this price range in terms of the key movement and key balance from front to backs of keys.
picture of Casio PXS3100
I did notice the white keys were fairly firm to press down towards the backs of the keys (pressing down towards the front of the white keys feels fine). I would have preferred the white keys to be a bit easier to press down in that back position, which is the way it normally would be on real acoustic upright & grand pianos. The keys (the part you cannot see that goes under the control panel) are just a bit shorter in length on these PXS slimline portable digital pianos than other digital pianos because of space restrictions in being so compact. However, overall the keys are balanced and move nicely considering the compact nature of the cabinet and in fact is better than I expected.
I will mention that the black keys are lighter and easier to press down than the white keys and for some reason a couple people out there don’t seem to like that. It is true that on real full size acoustic pianos, the black keys are much closer in weight (down-weight and upweight) to the white keys as compared to the PX-S3100. However, in many digital pianos the black keys are the opposite of that and are actually much heavier than the white keys and more difficult to press down. That is definitely not a good thing with black keys being noticeably heavier in that way.
So the Casio PX-S3100 black keys being lighter (requiring less force to push down) than the white keys is not a bad thing, especially if you are playing recreationally and not trying to use this model for playing advanced classical music. If all you want to do is play piano and do it at a more advanced level, then there are other models I would recommend over this one.
When it comes to the “weight” of the keys on digital pianos and how much finger force it takes to press down the keys and the response for the keys to come back up, on these more compact portable digital pianos, you should not be buying it to play serious classical music on at more advanced levels as I already mentioned This PX-S3100 (nor the low priced PX-S1100 at $699) were not built for that purpose. The black & white keys on this model for playing recreational music including pop, jazz, Latin, country, etc is just fine. I like this key action, it’s very playable, and fun to use.
To get a more serious key action in a Casio portable digital piano you need to go up to the new PX-S5000 at $1199 or the PX-S6000 at $1799. The key action in those 2 models are more advanced in construction and key action movement…but you’ll be paying more to get that experience.
So in my expert opinion for its size, price range, and compact footprint, Casio did a very good job designing this new key action, although I would have preferred slightly longer keys, but then the physical size of the cabinet would have had to be larger. As I already mentioned, if you are the type of person who will be primarily playing more serious classical music on it, there may be better options for you, and also in that case you may not need all the various “bells & whistles” on this model. You should then opt to pay another $300 or so to get the new Casio Privia PX-S5000 portable digital piano that focuses primarily on “piano playing.”.


picture of Casio PXS3100The new 192-note polyphony piano sound chip is dramatically improved over past models and is so good that I thought I was playing a much higher price range of digital piano. The realism of the Casio piano sound engine has always been somewhere between acceptable and good in prior models in trying to duplicate an actual piano sound, but has always been lacking in some ways with regard to tonal resonance, sustain/decay time, and natural organic overtones and sympathetic vibrations normally found in real acoustic pianos. 
Casio PXS3100 digital piano review -
In other words, the prior Casio models have been more artificial in its acoustic piano sound and with less polyphony piano processing power and this includes the other current model PX Privia series portable digital pianos that are currently available under $1000. But the new stereo grand piano sound in the PX-S3100 is really impressive in its ability to not only sound like a real acoustic piano  but to have an incredible amount of dynamic tonal range offering a huge amount of dynamic expression that I never thought would come out of a portable Casio digital piano, especially in this price range.

picture of Casio PXS3100

“Expression” means that you can produce subtle mellow tones when playing the keys lightly or big bold piano tones when playing harder and more aggressively that I have never heard before in a Casio portable digital piano. As you press the keys harder and harder the sound brightens up and becomes more lively to the point where you can hear the “virtual” strings vibrate more & more offering a range of grand piano tone not available in any other portable digital piano under $1000 right now in my opinion. It really was amazing to play and hear and almost could not believe it the first time I heard it…it was that good. When I connected my small external stereo powered monitor system to the PX-S3100 by plugging into the piano audio outputs, the grand piano sound coming out of those speakers coupled with it also coming out of the piano’s internal surround sound stereo speakers system was very full.
picture of Casio PXS3100 Casio Music Space app

picture of Casio PXS3100 Music Space appIt is important for me to point out that although the piano sound is really impressive in this new model and can fool some people into believing they are hearing a real acoustic grand piano. However, the fact remains that the piano sound here is a “recorded sample” that is produced electronically going through speakers and so there are still these limitations that prevents it from really being an organic acoustic grand piano, especially for those who play real grand pianos. Nevertheless, the bottom line is that this new PX-S3100 sounds and plays more like a real piano in my opinion than any other brand or model under $1000. With regard to the “polyphony power” in this model, 192 notes of power is more than sufficient if you are playing a single instrument sound and also layering 2 sound together for most of the instruments.
picture of Casio PXS3100

However, I did hear a bit of “note dropout” when using some specific instrument sounds layered together. When I test digital pianos for note dropout I do my best to play as many notes as possible together with the most memory intensive instrument tones layered together along with using the sustain pedal to its maximum potential. When doing all that at one time I pretty much expected a bit of “note dropout” because of the strain I was putting a the processor chip, whereas few other people using the PXS3100 would ever do that.

What that all means is that for the vast majority of people, there is plenty of polyphony processing power in there. As I mentioned earlier, Casio has a special app to interface with the many features of the PX-S3100 so that you can more easily access and control certain aspects of the instrument including the organic elements of the acoustic piano sounds in this model which Casio calls “Acoustic Simulator.”
This would include adjusting the sympathetic string vibrations, hammer noise, resonance, and other aspects of the acoustic piano sounds. This allows you to customize the acoustic piano sounds in ways not previously available in past Casio models or in any of the competitive brands in the way they are done in the Casio Music Space app. You can also customize the “key touch sensitivity” levels in the app so that the piano sound responds to the type of touch you have (light, medium, heavy, and in-between). Some people will like using these “customizable” features and other people will not care and want to play the PX-S3100 piano sounds just as it is.


picture of Casio PXS3100 pedalI definitely do not want to forget about the optional PXS triple pedal system that is available for this model. For the first time Casio has designed a portable triple pedal unit that can plug into a proprietary port on the back of the piano which allows for a pedal playing experience very similar to a real piano. In fact, the PXS model is the only portable digital piano which offers this realistic pedal experience in a portable pedal unit. All the other digital pianos either can use one main sustain pedal or they have a triple pedal-bar which has to physically connect to an optional proprietary stationary stand from that manufacturer. In other words all the other triple pedal units are not portable, they are stationary which is fine if you are not going to move the portable piano.
picture of Casio PXS3100 triple pedal
If you think you’ll want to take the piano with you to places or move it around often in your home, studio, or other building, then only the new Casio portable, lightweight triple pedal unit can easily do that. Another advantage of the portable triple pedal unit is that the sustain pedal can trigger the half-damper pedal effect giving you the ability to control the amount of sustain you want depending on how far down you press the pedal. The single pedal only allows for on or off sustain and not for variable levels of sustain like the triple pedal unit. For just another $99, if you can get the full triple pedal experience with more control over the damper-sustain function.
picture of Casio PXS3100 Music Space app pedal section
If you are only a beginner then the small single pedal that comes with the PX-S3100 should be enough for awhile. Otherwise you can get a better, more robust option single sustain pedal made out of metal which can sit more securely on the floor and also allow for more foot space. It just depends what pedal would work better for you depending on your splaying skill level and your pedal experience.
Also, as I have mentioned a few times already, the Casio Music Space app lets you access many cool features in the PX-S3100 including programmable pedal features to let you do things with the pedals that has not been available in the past on these types of portable digital pianos. This would include changing which things the pedals will do when you press them down and which other features they will trigger, and this is useful if you are more of a professional player or just want to trigger functions in the piano from one of your pedals in real-time so that you can do it faster that way rather than from the control panel.


picture of Casio PXS3100So what else does this new portable piano do that makes it so special? Besides having 700 great instrument sounds built in, the PX-S3100 also has a huge variety of percussion and on-man-band accompaniments built in which can make your music even more exciting, especially if you like more popular music such as jazz, Latin, rock, country, contemporary Christian, Big band, swing, world music, and any other type of popular music you can think of. There are 200 different drum rhythm pattern accompaniments divided up into 6 musical style categories so that you can have a “live” drummer playing along with your music which definitely makes it more fun to play. You can set up the tempo you want as well as using intros and endings for that drummer to make sound even more realistic.
picture of Casio PXS3100
So as an example you can put a string bass sound in the left hand and a grand piano in the right hand using the split function and then turn on the jazz drummer to give you that 3-piece jazz group experience. If you want to one step further then this model also has 200 one-man-band “accompaniments” to add along with the drummer so that you can have additional musicians playing along automatically with the drummer when playing by chords so that you will hear and control the “band” that plays with you, just like a real band with all the instruments such as guitar players, bass players, piano players, organ players, etc.
picture of Casio PXS3100
You just hold down any chord on your left hand and start up the band with an intro to whatever music style you have selected out of the 200 musical accompaniment styles in the PX-S3100. When you play your chords in the song with your left hand then you get the entire band following along (including the drummer) while you play the melody in the right hand choosing any one (or two in a layer) of the 700 internal instrument sounds for the right hand melody. It’s such a great way to play music and entertain yourself and ultimately it can make you sound much better than you really are….which is always a good thing as far as I am concerned:).
picture of Casio PXS3100

It’s also useful in teaching you how rhythmical music should be played and heard and gives you a better idea of how to musically interact with a real band…a great learning tool. So when you play some contemporary rock, old school jazz, Latin music, blues, big band, 50’s, 60’s, Motown, dance, waltz, march, whatever type of music you like, the PX-S3100 chord accompaniments system will put in a one-man band accompaniment with musically correct backing track patterns to make you sound as if you had been playing with your own band for years.


picture of Casio PXS3100Most of these accompaniment styles sound great for all the “members of the band” including the bass player, guitar player, pianist, drummer, etc, but some of the music accompaniments are just average and sound more like some of those cheaper keyboard auto accompaniments. But that’s OK, they all cannot be good and most people will find there are enough good sounding accompaniments and drum patterns in this model to be useful and satisfying, especially at this $879 price. I do like use this feature because it allows me to play and experience music in a completely different way than traditional piano playing. I believe the more a music student gets to experience music in terms of playing music on a piano, the better musician he or she will become.


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Another thing about this interactive “accompaniment” system is just how musically realistic sounding these accompaniments really are as I previously mentioned. They’re certainly better and more natural than any past Casio digital pianos that had those interactive accompaniments and the detail and accuracy of these accompaniments emulating actual musical styles is impressive given this is only a $879 instrument, particularly if you have the 3D multi-position surround sound feature on at the same time…then all those instruments take on a “live” feel and seem like they are coming out of the piano in different directions and also with a lot of power.

In fact when using the 3-D surround sound system in this model which can be seen visually when the 2 sound mode lights are lit up on the control panel, the amount of projection and volume you get out of this small piano is really incredibly good…way more power and clarity than I have ever heard from any other portable digital piano under $1000…it’s like you have external speakers plugged in…but you don’t. It’s hard to believe that Casio can get all that clarity and power out of 2 internal speakers and a total of 16 watts of power (there are new improved speakers and amplifiers in the model as compared with previous models) because it sounds like you easily have double the power and double the speakers than the specs would suggest…no kidding.

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picture of Casio PXS3100 live bandBeyond that, the auto-accompaniment instrumentation and the movement of the notes within that musical style is impressive and very expressive in the way it all comes out, and this can be motivating in wanting (and being able) to play musical styles that a person may never have been able to do in the past. I think these musical accompaniment styles are worth the price of admission in getting a PX-S3000 over a non-accompaniment digital piano under $1000…assuming you would use these features. I use them all the time to learn new musical styles and to get better with my rhythm accuracy when playing music with other musicians instead of just playing solo all the time. So these things do have a good use to them and are not toys the way other people might define them probably because they have never used them. But I have used these accompaniments for years in a variety of digital pianos and I find them quite musically inspiring.

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If I am only going to play “piano style” and would not need or want these accompaniments because I might be playing classical music or I just don’t want to play along with other “musicians” in a band or orchestra, then that’s fine and there are people out there who just want to play piano...and the PX-S3100 can certainly do that and do it well especially using the surround sound mode, and I use it that way quite often. But…there are other ways to play music on this instrument and for some people (like myself) this is a big bonus and a welcome addition to the functionality of the PX-S3100.


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picture of Casio PXS3100 batteriesSo what else can this new PX-S3100 do that makes it unique among its competition. Well two things I can think of write away is that the PX-S3100 can run on 6 double AA batters for complete portable power supply without an a/c or power adapter. It will give you up to 4 full hours on battery power which then allows you to take it to the park, to the beach, in your backyard, to the mountains, really anywhere you want to go and the piano performs just as good on batteries as it does plugged in.

There is the first self-contained 88-key piano fully weighted key action instrument that I know of that works on battery power. Certainly Casio has had battery powered lightweight keyboards over the years that work on battery power, but never one before that has has a fully weighted piano key action in it. So the battery power gives people the freedom to take this new piano anywhere they want to go…and that’s a big bonus to purchasing this model.

Bluetooth wireless MIDI & audioIn addition to that the PX-S3100 also offers Bluetooth wireless MIDI & audio connectivity through the use of its Bluetooth dongle which plugs in to the back of the piano. The benefit of this wireless technology is that you can connect your digital music library to the piano without a cable and to hear your songs streamed by an external device coming out of the piano’s stereo speaker system including the use of its 3-D surround sound system witch will enhance to sound of your music even further.
You also get the ability to play the piano along with your streaming music while its coming out of the piano speakers. For private practice using stereo headphones plugged into the piano, the you can hear your favorite songs from your music library in your phone, iPad, etc and play along with those songs in private without anyone else hearing what you are doing. This is a great way to learn new music or to jusCasio WU BT10 Bluetooth donglet play along with your favorite song…or just use the piano as an external stereo speakers system to wirelessly play your songs through.
This will work when using a/c power or batteries so then you can even play your favorite songs through the piano speaker system via Bluetooth if and when you take the PX-S3100 to a place without a/c power such as in the desert, at the lake, or wherever it is. 
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Bluetooth wireless MIDI & Audio connectivity is unique on digital pianos under $1000 and you can even do more than just play your favorite music library songs wirelessley through the piano because Casio also has a proprietary iOS/Android app for this piano called Casio Music Space which I mentioned earlier. This controller app  allows you to manipulate your music library songs in ways that make playing along and learning your favorite songs on this piano even more fun and exciting…but I will get into that just a bit later.


picture of Casio PXS3100In terms of other functionality in the PX-S3100, it has a 3-track, five song MIDI recorder and playback system to record lots of your own music up to 3 tracks (instruments) which is plenty of recording for most people and you can save it all to a USB flashdrive. You can also record and/or playback a performance to a wav file audio recording which is very cool because you can then take that recording and play it back on your computer or convert it ton MP3 audio file to playback on audio devices. The recording system is fairly easy to use and it has its own dedicated digital touch senor buttons in the control panel and you can see what you are accessing by looking in the LCD screen in the middle of the control panel unlike some other digital pianos that have no LCD screens.

picture of Casio PXS3100The larger LCD screen is especially important in a digital piano that offers lots of functions and features like the PX-S3100 does. You can layer or split any two of the 700 instrument sounds in the piano along with having a “duet mode” which allows 2 people to play on the instrument at the same time when practicing the same piece of music with the same notes in the same octaves.

picture of Casio PXS3100The duet function is great for students who happen to be learning the same music. Along with the split, layer, and duet functions, this piano also offers transpose change, DSP effects changes, “controller knob” effects control, arpeggio control, and other functions that are found using a dedicated row of touch sensor “virtual” buttons located on the control panel to the right of the display screen.
These touch sensor buttons are how everything is controlled in the PX-S3100 and is overall a convenient way to access functions using a control panel that other wise has no buttons at all and is sleek and contemporary in design. It’s like an iPad or a cell phone when you have those devices powered off…the surface of the device is dark and flat with nothing showing except for maybe a power button.
This is what the PX-S3100 is like…all the features come alive when the instrument is powered on and access to functions happens when the touch sensor lights are displayed on the black control surface of the piano, depending on what functions and features you want to use. Once you get used to how this piano operates then it all makes sense and is pretty cool to use.


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This model has so many things you can do and so many ways to make music on it that you won’t run out of cool musical things that you can do. As an example, it is useful to have some virtual memory slots to save settings you have done such as saving your favorite instruments out of the 700 instrument music library, saving sound combinations such as layering & splitting along with saving effects you have setup for those sounds and so much more so you don’t have to recreate and find them every time you use the piano. That’s typically how most other digital pianos are…you can’t save settings…or if you can then it may be only one or two of your favorite settings at most, especially in this price range under $1000. The PX-S3100 can save a whopping 96 of your favorite setting for instant recall whenever you want them and they can be easily edited and adjusted whenever you want to.

picture of Casio PXS3100You can also quickly transition between the different registration memory settings which is especially useful if you are using this piano for live performance and want different setups for different songs and need to make those changes quickly. As an example of something that I personally saved on the PX-S3100 that had taken me a few minutes to manually set up was finding the perfect classical nylon string flamenco guitar coupled with the perfect stereo string-pad background sound along with just the right amount of brilliance control and reverb effects and then also adding a chorus effect to the guitar.

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Then I also added just the right amount of EQ setting to the entire mix and also made sure my relative volume balance in the layered mix between the guitar and string-pad tones were balance just right so the volume of the guitar was not drowned out by the background strings when I played them together. To add to that, I also electronically changed the key touch settings to light instead of normal and also transposed the key of the sound up 3 half-steps so I could still play my song in the key of C but have it be heard coming out in the key of Eb.
When I was done making all those adjustments in the piano menu, I just saved it to 1 of my 96 digital memories so that I would not have to recreate that setting again and would be quickly be able to call it up. I can tell you that this setting example came out beautifully with the guitar sounding awesome with full dynamic range and clarity along with the backing sound of some very beautiful strings & pads to give depth to that overall setting.


picture of Casio PXS3100For people who want to go beyond the factory preset instrument sounds and create their own customized instrument sounds, there are over 100 studio quality sound effects in the PX-S3100 that you would find in a recording studio. These special effects include very convincing compressors, phasers, chorus, wahs, distortions, limiters, rotaries, exciters, EQ’s, some very cool delay effects, etc, that you can apply to any of the 700 high quality instrument sounds including a boatload of  higher quality string symphonies, including pads, saxophones, clarinets, trumpets, guitars, and percussion from every country you can think of. There’s also a huge instrument sound library of high quality vintage electric pianos, pop organs, Hammond B3 organs, pipe organs, and a large number of synths.
picture of Casio PXS3100picture of Casio PXS3100There’s also a bunch of fun sampled sound effects like barking dogs, sirens blaring, babies laughing, roosters, birds, cows, and sheep making organic sounds, hands clapping, wind, rain, waves, and much more. All those sounds are actually pretty realistic unlike the toy keyboards out there and you can literally put together thousands of sounds and effects and customize the PX-S3100 in some pretty amazing ways…and then you can record it all in the piano digital recording system and save that song recording on a USB flash-drive for playback or output it to your computer.


picture of Casio PXS3100Casio also has included a specific effect section for this model called “Hall Simulator.” Normally I would not talk in depth about this kind of thing because most other digital pianos have a more basic version of this feature which is called “reverb.” Reverb is another name for “echo” and reverb/ echo effects are found naturally and organically in all man-made structures and naturally made organic structures such as caves, canyons, mountains, etc. What makes this Casio “reverb effects” Hall Simulator so unusual is the attention to detail that Casio has put into this reverb section in terms of being fairly accurate in replicating a huge variety of man-made and organic structures and the natural echo that they produce.
app hall simulator listWhen you add one one of these specialty “reverbs or Hall Simulators to any of your 700 instrument sounds (especially the acoustic piano sound), the end result is that it adds a unique ambiance to your overall tone that you just don’t find in other digital pianos like this under $1000. From the New York Club to Opera Hall, to Berlin Hall, British Stadium, etc, along with organically structured reverbs, the Hall Simulator effects are very impressive and useful depending on the type of music you are playing. You can also quickly access these special effects from the Chordana app which makes them very easy to set up and use…and that’s always a big plus in my book.


picture of Casio PXS3100 pitch bend wheelSo what else makes the PX-S3100 different from all the other portable digital pianos under $1000? There is something that Casio has added to this model that they have never done before on any digital piano under $1000 and that no other company is doing either and that’s having a “pitch bench wheel” controller along with 2 knob controllers on the left side of the keyboard. So…what is a “controller” and why is that a cool thing to have? If you are primarily wanting this digital piano for piano playing then the wheel and knobs would probably be of no importance at all in my opinion. But if you want to play all types of music using a variety of instrument sounds and accompaniments, then the wheel controller and knob controllers can really be useful and fun to have.
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Essentially what these features do is allow you to instantly control some of the specific sounds in this model so they sound even more realistic when you play them. As an example, when you want to play a steel guitar, clarinet, or any sound that you would want to bend like a Hawaiian guitar or synth, then the “pitch bend” wheel will allow you in “real time” to instantly bend (aka: slide)  the sound either up or down like you would if playing a real clarinet or playing a real electric or acoustic guitar. You can even set the pitch bend range from 1 whole step to 2 full octaves which means you can bend the instrument tones in a natural way or use the pitch bench feature to bend synthesizer tones in a way that makes those tones sound realistic. You can also program the pitch bend wheel to control a few other features in the PX-S3100.

picture of Casio PXS3000 LCDAs for the knobs themselves, there are two of them just above the wheel one above the other. The knobs can be very useful because they allow you to assign 30 digital effects such as filters, volumes, portamentos, vibratos, reverbs, brilliance, resonance, and other useful effects to those 2 knobs so that you can turn

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picture of Casio PXS3100those knobs individually to increase or decrease the effects you have chosen for those knobs. In other words, those knobs can control 1 effect per knob in real time so that you can change the tone or character of that sound as you play it. One practical example of using these small knobs is to assign the brilliance and reverb effects to the knobs and then while you are playing you can
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instantly make the overall sound of the piano more mellow or brighter or anywhere in-between as you are playing, regardless of the instrument sound you have chosen (such as piano, guitar, organ, saxophone, synth, etc).

picture of Casio PXS3100 app for knob controllersOn top of that you can turn a knob and increase or decrease the reverb echo so that instrument sound can have more or less of that effect which can be especially useful to give a fuller pipe organ or grand piano sound, depending on the size of the room you are in or the type of acoustics you have (hard floors, walls, carpet, etc). Yes, a few other digital pianos have effects in them, but not close to the degree the PX-S3100 can and those other digital pianos cannot manipulate those effects in “real time” using knobs.

By the way, knobs on keyboard instruments are commonly found on pro stage synthesizers and have been used by pro musicians for decades and this Casio model can recreate all those vintage synth sounds like those from Moog, Oberheim, Sequential, and other famous retro synths. There’s even 25 different vintage Hammond B3 sounds in the PX-S3100 with Leslie speaker simulations and all of them are fairly impressive.

Then having programmable knobs and a wheel controller on this piano simply gives the player more control over all the sounds in the instrument. If you are a pro player or have a home recording studio then you will be familiar with these type of controls and likely utilize them often to add customizable control to the instrument tones and effects which is very cool and no other self-contained portable digital piano under $1000 has anything like this.


picture of Casio PXS3100Another thing that I find that some people like to do with their music is to sing along. With the PX-S3100 there is no direct “mic input.” However, you can get an inexpensive microphone and plug it into the stereo audio input of the piano and the microphone will be amplified through the internal speakers so that you can hear your voice along with your piano playing. This is a pretty cool feature and sounds best when you activate the 3-D surround sound in the piano which enhances the tone and clarity of the voice.
For even more control over the mic, you can purchase an inexpensive passive mixer and plug it into that audio input and the plug your mic into that mixer so that you can more precisely increase, decrease and control your microphone volume, EQ, and reverb effects. Otherwise you cannot do that. Many digital pianos in this price range do not have an audio input so they cannot have a microphone connected to them. So yes, there is a way to plug in a microphone to the PX-S3100 and use it to sing with and have fun.


picture of Casio PXS3100Since all the features of the PX-S3100 are triggered by the lighted touch senor “buttons” and then the info for what you have selected is seen in the LCD display screen, you sometimes don’t really know all of what has been built into the instrument until you go through all the features & functions which can take
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a long time because this specific model just does so many things…it’s pretty amazing. It seems like it just goes on and on and on and sometimes you can overlook some exciting features that you may not know are in the PX-S3100. So I want to point out three more educational as well as entertaining features in this model that are there to not only make your music more fun and interesting, but also to help train your ear for “playing by ear” where you don’t have sheet music and you don’t need to play well to interact with some great music. Those 3 additional features are called Music Presets, Harmony Chords, and Arpeggios.
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The Music Presets are actual music “clips” of famous song progressions that are programmed into the PX-S3100. In other words, there are 310 well known “song clips” that play famous chord progressions along with the entire backup band of of those songs that you may have heard before on the radio, and/or audio CD or MP3 recordings.
The PX-S3100 selects the most realistic melody instrument for you to play along with so that when you play any of those song clips of familiar chord progressions, the right hand sound is automatically selected so that as you’re playing a right hand melody it will sound as realistic as possible and as close as it can be to the original song.
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I like to call it “jamming” along with your favorite song. The song chord progressions keep playing one chord after another using the backup band and the entire progression may be 20-30 seconds long and then continually repeats itself in a loop without stopping until you press the stop button. In this way you can learn to “improvise” and “play by ear” with the looped chord progressions so that you get a better feel for what it is like to play along with a band or orchestra. The 310 song clip loops include pop music, country, Latin, Jazz, waltz, march, Blues, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, etc. along with classical, Christmas, Gospel, and just about any type of music you can think of.
The Music Presets are not complete songs but instead they are just a part of the song (a famous recognizable part of a famous song) and you get to play a melody with that part of the song which is like playing along with the band or orchestra. The band plays this “looped chord progression” over and over so you can “jam” and improvise with it playing whatever you want on the right hand and choosing any of the 700 instrument sounds you want to play that melody. You can even change the rhythm tempo speed and transposed key of that looped “song clip” as well.
It’s super fun and great for aspiring piano/music students to learn what it is like to “play by ear.” As a long time piano teacher I believe it is essential for piano students to get the experience of learning to also “play by ear” instead of just reading music all the time and the Casio Music Presets allow you to do that. Casio is the only digital piano company that has a feature like this and not everyone will use it, but if you do then you’ll likely have a great time with it and might even become a better “ear player” too.


picture of Casio PXS3100The 2nd feature of the 3 features I previously mentioned is called Harmony Chords. Harmony is when you play more than one note at a time and is typically referred to as chords. There are hundreds of chord types and to play them you can to learn proper note combinations for both left hand and right hand. For a beginner it’s tough enough to learn chords for the left hand let along the right hand and play all those notes simultaneously at the same time.
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So what Casio has done is created an automatic right hand chord feature so that when you play any left hand chord with 3 fingers such as C-E-G which makes a C chord, then when you play your C chord on the left hand the automatic Harmony chord system will give you the proper full 2, 3, 4, or 5 finger right hand chord just by playing one note on the right hand. In other words when you play 1 note on the right hand the PX-S3100 fills in the other harmony notes automatically so it sounds like you are playing full chords on your right hand when in reality you are only playing 1 note at a time along with your left manually playing left hand chords.
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It makes you not only sound many times better than you really are, but it trains your ear to understand what right hand harmony chords can sound like. It’s really a pretty cool feature and there are actually 12 types of harmony variations offered in this model which can be used when playing with this feature and works while playing any left hand chord. So then your single finger right hand melody gets an extra boost from the PX-S3100 by adding in automatic harmony to the right hand melody so that it sounds like you’re playing full multi-finger chords on your right hand when you really are playing just one note. It’s fun, entertaining, adds to your music, and helps train your ear.
The Harmony feature can be used when playing regular piano style or with any of the 700 instrument sounds in the piano, or using the accompaniment styles of music with all the backing tracks for the left hand so that when you play the right hand with harmony feature then it sounds like you’ve been playing with multiple fingers at the same time (chords) even though you are using only 1 finger! Will everyone use or need this feature?…definitely not. But for those like myself who love to play many styles of music and doesn’t mind that “technology” is helping me be able to sound better, then I’m all for it and I think many other people will feel the same way.


picture of Casio PXS3100The 3rd and final extra “fun” feature in this piano that makes it more entertaining and musically exciting than any other new digital piano under $1000 is the “Arpeggio” section. According to an “official” definition of the word arpeggio, “it’s a broken chord which is a chord that is broken into a sequence of notes. A broken chord may repeat some of the notes from the chord and span one or more octaves. An arpeggio is a type of broken chord in which the notes that compose any chord are played or sung in a rising or descending order.”
OK, so with this in mpicture of Casio PXS3100ind, to play an arpeggio, you would need to be a fairly good player because you are playing separate notes on the keyboard up and/or down in a certain pattern and typically that pattern moves pretty fast. So when you see a pianist playing a lot of notes up and down the piano keyboard quickly, that is likely an arpeggio. Well…the PX-S3100 has a feature that allows you to hold down any set of keys on the keyboard and instead of those notes being struck and heard one time, the arpeggio system will play each note in that chord individually up and down in a pattern and keep playing that pattern until you let go of the keys.
picture of Casio PXS3100 Chordana appSo it sounds like your fingers are moving up & down the keyboard when in fact they are stationary holding down the keys and not moving. This makes you sound way better than you really are and can make your music sound more exciting, depending on the type of music you are playing. The arpeggio feature will work with any of the 700 instrument sounds in the PX-S3100 so whether you are using the piano sound, strings, organs, synthesizers, horns, guitars, whatever it is, then you can activate the arpeggio feature for that sound. The tempo/speed of that arpeggio can also be controlled to move the notes faster or slow depending on how you want it and the type of music you are playing.
You can even select from different kinds of arpeggio patterns depending on what sounds good to you and how it effects your music. There is a huge list of 100 different arpeggio patterns which you can select from that will replicate what pro piano players sound like when there fingers are flying up & down the keyboard playing different note patterns.
Beyond that, you can layer one sound in the PX-S3100 using a moving arpeggio pattern for that sound and then layer it over a 2nd sound and hear the second sound sustaining under the arpeggio pattern from the 1st sound. In other words, 1 arpeggio sound mixed with 1 normal sustained tone that you choose. The possibilities are endless with this feature and no other digital piano in this price range has anything like it. It’s really, really cool to use and once you try it, you’ll be hooked! Basically you just play around with this feature and its variations and have fun.


picture of Casio PXS3100OK…so with all the vast myriad of options, sounds, effects, and other musical features in this piano, which for some people could be a bit overwhelming, you control them all with the light-up touch sensor buttons on the piano and see what is visually going on in the LCD screen which displays the info of the digital lighted button you just pressed. Even though the control panel has these touch buttons and display screen that make it easier to use than other digital pianos, there’s even an easier and more intuitive way to access and select the various features and functions within this piano assuming you have an iOS iPad or Android tablet that you can connect to the PX-S3100. This is because Casio has developed a proprietary app called Casio Music Space which allows you to select and access nearly all of the features in the PX-S3100 from your tablet color touch screen. This app controls all of the functions and features I have previously described.
picture of Casio PXS3100So whether you want a particular instrument sound from among the 700 sounds in the piano, or you want to layer or split tow specific sounds together, or you want to set up the piano in “duet-play,” or you want to do recording, use the drum rhythm patterns, play along with the interactive musical style accompaniments, or modify andpersonalize the acoustic piano sounds with increasing or decreasing the string resonance, hammer noise, or whatever it is can can think of (which I discussed earlier), it can be done quickly and easily with the Casio Music Space app. I have personally played around with it and it goes way beyond any other controller app I have ever use for a digital piano in this price and beyond $2000.
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It is so cool and can let you control tempo, select metronome and time signature, record multi-track MIDI recording or audio wav file recording, changing touch sensitivity curve to customize the key touch that you want depending if you are playing piano sounds or other sounds…it basically does it all and then some. The app also has musical games in it that are not part of the internal features of the PX-S3100. These musical games allow you to important songs from the piano so that they will play back showing you when to play the notes using “streaming lights” so you can visually see what it going on with the song and where your at.
It also displays notation and you have control over tempo and can also set up the song to repeat certain measures of your choosing in a controllable loop so that those notes keep playing over and over to give you a chance to learn specific passages in the music you have be having a difficult time doing. There are so many ways to interact with these very cool, useful musical exercises that are also fun games.


picture of Casio PXS3100Beyond that, you can import your own iTunes into the audio portion of the app so that you can play along with your favorite iTune song in your song library and even slow down the song (change tempo) to learn it better and also change key if you want to sing along or play along in a lower or higher key that may be more comfortable for you sing in vocally. There’s also a very cool function in the audio file portion of the that app where you can take your iTune, slow it down, and then choose what ever portion of the song you want, digitally “loop it” in a continuous loop so that portion plays over and over which gives you a chance to better learn that part of the song and play along with it until you “get it down.” There is no other proprietary app that does all these things and it does work well based on my personal experience with it. Imagine being able to hear your favorite song come through the PX-S3100 and being able to play along with it “live” in real time.


picture of Casio PXS3100As far as connectivity in the PX-S3100, you get it all…Bluetooth audio wireless, two 1/4″ audio outputs, 1 stereo mini audio input which can take in a microphone or anything else you want to amplify and go through the PX-S3100 speaker system, 1 USB output to any device, 1 USB flashdrive input for saving and loading songs into or to store external general MIDI files for playback in the piano. The optional portable triple pedal unit has a proprietary input jack in the piano so that you can connect it.

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In portable self-contained digital pianos under $1000, it is fairly unusual to find an expression pedal output. But in the PX-S3100 there is connection for an expression pedal which is a special option pedal that allows for control over a number of functions in the piano. One of the main functions of an expression pedal is to be able to raise and lower the volume of the instrument sound you are playing to give more “expression” to that sound.

One good example of that is for organs sounds. When someone is  playing a real organ like a Hammond B3 jazz/gospel organ, pipe organ, or other organs, there is an variable expression pedal down below the organ (like a gas pedal in a vehicle) that when you press down and forward on the expression pedal you get more volume and when you press down with your heel and backwards on the pedal then you get less volume (in real time) of the sound you are playing.

This is called variable volume expression and that’s one of the main uses for an expression pedal in a digital piano. It is not necessary to have if you are only playing a piano sound but can also be useful with other expressive sounds such as strings, brass, synth tones, etc. The expression pedal can also be assigned to control other functions in the PX-S3100 such as drum rhythm start & stop, drum fill-ins, tempo control, master volume, and other functions.

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So the optional expression pedal that you can connect to this model can come in very handy depending on the type of music you play and what you like to do with pedals. Finally, you also get two front loaded mini stereo headphone jacks for two people at a time to play in privacy. There is fairly good stereo headphone amplification coming from those headphone jacks and they are located on the front left side of the piano which is convenient.
When it comes to connectivity in a portable digital piano, this model pretty much leaves no stone unturned, unless for some reason you need traditional MIDI connector ports which the PX-S3100 does not have. It uses the USB port for all MIDI related connectivity along with Bluetooth wireless MIDI streaming..


picture of Casio PXS3100

At the end of the day this new PX-S3100 is for anyone at any playing skill level including for pro keyboard players who play on stage or in a recording studio and want good quality instrument sounds & effects. It’s also for composers and arrangers for music creation, for piano players who want and need a lightweight higher quality portable piano with expressive dynamic piano tonal range and want to take the piano with them from place to place, for students just learning to play piano, for adults who want to have a lot of musical enjoyment and like some “bells & whistles” to make their music more fun and allow them to sound better than they really are with less effort.

picture of Casio PXS3100It also can be for churches who want a high quality portable digital piano and need it in a low price range, for schools to enhance their music program, for teaching piano labs which require multiple digital pianos that can mix together in creative ways…and really this piano is for anyone who loves music no matter how they play and what their musical goals may be. There’s really only two things that I thought were missing in this model and that was the ability of the operating system to display the chord symbols in the LCD screen of the chords being played by the left hand when using the accompaniment backing tracks along with the Music Preset song clip chords being displayed.

Having the chords displayed would have been helpful to let you know “where you are” in the music, but perhaps Casio can come up with a firmware update one day to resolve this issue for me. However, when it’s all said and done, those are small complaints relative to what the rest of this new digital piano can do.

picture of Casio PXS3100If you add up the low cost of the PX-S3100 at $879 with the optional furniture stand at $159, along with the optional triple pedal unit at $119, you’re still only spending $1157 which is not much for everything this model does and how much music you can get out of it. Then if you add in the optional custom made Casio PXS gig bag (carry case) for $179, then you get a total price of $1336. I will say that the custom gig bag for this model fits it perfectly and is very robust and nicely padded as compared to past Casio gig bags for other portable digital pianos. There are a couple nice sized pockets on the gig bag, a comfortable handle, sturdy full length zipper, and a couple of full length straps attached to the bag.
Casio PXS gig bag picture
The bag itself is not heavy but it seems to be constructed very well and the piano sits securely inside without wiggle room, and that is a very good thing. $179 may seem like a lot to pay for a “gig bag,” but I believe you will be hard pressed to find a generic one out there that actually fits this “slim-line” model correctly while being robust.
I think this gig bag is definitely worth the price. In this piano price range there certainly are other available portable digital pianos out there…but not with the capabilities of the PX-S3100.
Casio PXS gig bag
It just depends on what you want, what your musical goals are, and how you will be using the instrument. The PX-S3100 does even more things than I talked about in this review but that’s something you can discover on your own if you should get one. If this model only had the ability to do half of the things I talked about in this review, it would still be well worth the price of admission in my opinion.
For now I’ve talked about the functions and features I think are really compelling and interesting in terms of what I now consider to be overall the “biggest bang for the buck” in an easy-to-use, intuitive, clean looking portable digital piano under $1000 with lots of features. With a Casio factory warranty of 3 years parts & labor coverage on this instrument, I believe that Casio has a real winner in this price range.
By the way, Casio has a much higher price portable digital piano called the PX-S6000 at $1799. It is similar in a few ways to the PX-S3100 but has upgraded piano sounds, upgraded keyboard action, and many more cool, upgraded things, but it’s $920 more. I mention this new higher priced digital piano simply to let you know that Casio produces portable digital pianos in even higher price ranges. But for under $1000, this Casio PX-S3100 “hits all the right notes.”


Casio PX-S3100 digital pianoFor your entertainment and to let you hear some amazing musical things this PX-S3100 model can do, I have played and recorded some songs and arrangements I have personally created on the PX-S3100. I improvised these musical pieces using some of the many impressive features that reside in the PX-S3100. I did everything in “real-time” on the PX-S3100 with no external recording equipment, no extra features, and no extra sounds. Everything was done and recorded on the Casio PX-S3100.
The acoustic piano sounds are really impressive on this instrument, but there are so many more things this model can do and that’s what I tried to do with these songs. This was done to let you hear and experience the other types of musical things this piano can do, and you don’t have to be a “rocket scientist” or a great player to do it. You just need to love music. All of this music I did is posted to SoundCloud from the links below.

If you want more info on new digital pianos and LOWER PRICES than internet and Amazon discounts, please email me at or call direct at 602-571-1864.

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0 Responses

  1. This is one of the best keyboard reviews I've ever read, thoughtful and insightful. I am looking at the PX-S3000 as a new keyboard for myself. I actually found a link to this review on the pianoworld forum. That being said, even with this great review, I have not been able to find answers to my questions. I own a project recording studio and have many libraries of VSTi. I would not be using the internal sounds of the S3000, but would be using it as a controller via the USB out. I was actually just looking for a good MIDI controller to replace my 30 some year old Roland RD 1000. MIDI implementation and dynamics are not so great on it. I just happen to come across the Casio PX-S3000 while researching MIDI controllers. So after much reading online, I traveled to GC in Knoxville yesterday who had the 1000 model in stock. I spent quit a bit of time with it and I loved the action, same action as in the 3000, but would choose the 3000 because of pitch bend wheel. Reasoning that I'm even considering a DP as a controller vs a dedicated controller is if by chance I were to play out somewhere, it would almost be impossible to take my studio monitors, PC, audio interface, etc… just to play out or jam with friends. So, with the S3000, I would get the best of both worlds. But therein lies my question that I can not find answers to: The PX-S3000 smart scaling, smart features (replacing the tri-sensors with only two but providing internal software features to make it even better than tri-sensors), and HD MIDI. Do these smart features also apply to MIDI messages sent via USB out from the PX-S3000 to a host computer, or do they only apply to the internal sounds of the keyboard? This is an important aspect that I need to know before purchasing the PX-S3000. For example I have Pianoteq 6 and it will accept/utilize HD MIDI. Would the smart features translate over MIDI? Thanks! Kenny in Tennessee

  2. Sir, It was a joy to read this indepth review of px s3000, i have been following your blogs for quite a long time……. hope to see you start vlogging soon on YouTube…we need people like you there ��…
    Regards from India

  3. Thank you for your nice comments. HD MIDI has to do with the key action electronics (replacing tri-sensors) and how they work and translate expression and key movement when playing in real-time. I am assuming that external piano software would also sound good and work well with the PXS3000 key action, although I have not personally done that yet.

  4. The Kawai MP7 would be my choice, but it's $1000 more…so it better be better in those ways! Really not a fair comparison. But in terms of portables with internal speakers under $1200, it doesn't get better than this PXS3000.

  5. Thank you for your comments…I appreciate it. With the limited amount of time I have to do blogging reviews and other musical things in my life, I don't have time for vlogging…but it would be fun. If there were 2 of me then I could do it:)

  6. Hi Tim,
    I have been reading your *Excellent* review site for the past month to help me look for a piano under $1500. This is the first piano where i've seen a reference to a decent built-in Leslie effect, which i'm looking for with a speed control function (ideally controlled via sostenuto pedal or similar), on top of a realistic piano hammer action and sound that is.

    Is control of the rotary speed possible on the PXS-3000? How about on the PXS-1000? Or is there another sub-$1500 piano you could recommend for this?

    Many thanks for your truly comprehensive advice.

  7. The C1 Air would be my choice if you are primarily interested in playing piano. The Casio PXS3000 is better if you will use those "extra features" and many "bells & whistles" that it has. The PXS3000 has a very nice piano sound and key action, but it does not rise above the Korg in my opinion for piano playing.

  8. Tim, I thought your review was great and accurate. However, you do not mention the textured key surfaces which are way too textured for me. No keyboard I have ever played on felt like this. It is so unnatural that I have to pass on an otherwise excellent keyboard for the price.
    Potential buyers please try this out before purchasing! I can’t understand why Casio would make such a choice.

  9. Tim, I have another question about the PX series… I record entirely on iOS. Does the smart scaling sensitivity as compared to triple sensor make a difference here? Will the midi info from the PX be as nuanced as a triple sensor keyboard? Thanks!

  10. Hi Tim, just to say that is one fantastic review… not only because the new Casios seem like a good value but because your review is so detailed and in depth. Really great. Thank you! I am trying to decide between the 1000 and 3000. Are the speakers significantly better in your opinion ( if you have heard them, of course). I make all my music on iOS, so the sounds are not very important to me. I would be upgrading simply for the mod wheel and better speakers. Thanks!

  11. Hey, thanks for the good review.
    Comparing the PX-S3000 with Casio TX560, which would you choose?
    I'm thinking of the Yamaha 515 but I like a keyboard with an arranger.
    I dream of the Yamaha CSP170 but……..very expensive
    And the Casio Celviano AP650 series?

    Thank you

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