CASIO WK1630 for live use - review

Posted by: lukitoh

CASIO WK1630 for live use - review - 11/08/02 12:05 PM

While waiting for an acceptable keyboard (not perfect), I think this keyboard will do for me. I am not exactly estatic but it's allright for the price of only $300 out the door at GC.

This keyboard gives me a BIG relief over Yamaha PSR2000 and Korg PA80. Those two boards really disatisfy me. PSR2000 with its yucky key feel (BAD) and PA80 with frustrating operation.

Here are the details:

Voice: piano, brass, strings, fingered bass are all usable. Nothing to rave about. PSR2000 is better except the piano and bass. Of course PA80 is superior here.

Keyfeel: after PSR2000 fiasco, what a relief !! They keyboard feel is acceptable.

76 keys is very helpful also.

Lightweight - big relief compared to the HEAVY Korg i30 or Korg PA80

Manual bass: no problemo here. The finger bass sounds acceptable.

Internal speakers: LOUD, very nice. I think it sounds BETTER than PSR2000

Layered voices: UPPER1, UPPER2, LOWER1 and LOWER2. Better than PSR2000 which does not have LOWER2 !!

Drum rythms: well, this one needs lots of improvement to be frank. But I can live with it somehow. For $300, it's OK. PSR2000 better.

Fills: only two variations and you have to press one or two seconds to develop the nice fills which takes your hands off the bass. Not too happy here. PSR2000 better.

Function access: is OK, can be better but definitely not as frustrating as KORG PA80.

Registration memory: simple to use. Even easier than PSR2000 and PA80.

I think CASIO WK1800 is better because it has the the extra output and also the floppy for convenience.
Posted by: tony mads usa

Re: CASIO WK1630 for live use - review - 11/08/02 12:31 PM

lukitoh ..... no comment on the casio as I have no idea about the machine .... BUT a word of caution about floppy disc ... they are highly UNreliable ... I had a file on one that I loaded into my kn6 a week ago with no problem .... tried to do it again last night .... ERROR - BAD DISK .... the disk only sat on a table next to the keyboard during that time. ?!?!? ...
Posted by: squeak_D

Re: CASIO WK1630 for live use - review - 11/08/02 12:36 PM

Glad the Casio is working out for you... I'm surprised you didn't go for the WK-1800 with the FD Drive and extra memory. The only thing I disagree with is piano sounds.. Again this is personal taste.. I honestly found the WK's piano to be to flat sounded especially in the mid octaves. The upper and lower octaves aren't too bad and I feel are usable, but I honestly think the PSR-2000 is way better... You have to consider to that the PSR-2000's piano was sampled at way better quality than the Casio. However the Casio does win on key feel.. The WK series action is much nicer than the PSR line up. I think the WK series would have been a great board if they used more MZ voices on it, and gave it 16 tracks for recording and at least allowed you to loop and overdub in style recording. I bought my PSR-550 for only 60 bucks more than what the WK-1800 sells for and I think the 550 blows it completely away in terms of sound quality, recording, and several other features. I feel the only things the WK series has on my 550 is the modulaton wheel, 76 key, and working tweeters... The WK isn't a bad board at all, I've played it numerous times, but I still think the PSR 540 and up have the edge on the WK in many areas...


[This message has been edited by squeak_D (edited 11-08-2002).]
Posted by: lukitoh

Re: CASIO WK1630 for live use - review - 11/08/02 01:11 PM

I owned PSR550 for about two weeks. Its sounds are great in my opinion. The registration memory operation is a bit clunky but it's still usable in live situation.

However, the internal speaker is much better on the WK1630/1800.

I also heard that the CTK671 from Casio is a lot cheaper for around $199 and I heard it has the same quality of sounds. I have to check it out again.
Posted by: squeak_D

Re: CASIO WK1630 for live use - review - 11/08/02 01:19 PM


Yeah you should look at the CTK-671.... The 671's sounds are way better than the WK.. The 671 uses the MZ-2000 voice structure, and it can be clearly heard when playing the keyboard.. The sounds have been take directly from the MZ (of course at a lower sample rate, but they are nice and clean)... I think Casio did it a little backwards if you ask me.. I can see the WK's sound set in the 671, but why they hell the used the MZ's voice structure on their $200 model and not the WK line up is beyond me... The only downside to the 671 is there is no pitchbend wheel, FD drive, and it's only 61 keys. Also the speakers aren't as good as the WK so the sound won't have as much punch, but I still think they sound better...


[This message has been edited by squeak_D (edited 11-08-2002).]
Posted by: lukitoh

Re: CASIO WK1630 for live use - review - 11/08/02 04:47 PM

CTK671 could be IT. I'll keep my finger crossed. After a while with the WK1630, I am unhappy with the drum rythms and the fills especially for the slow ballads.

-Also the electric pianos are BAD.
-Cannot seem to change the octave setting on the voices. Bummer. I know CTK671 is able to do this.

I feel sorry for GC. I have changed 4 times with them. Thank God for GC, really. Prices are reasonable too.

Worst case, I will take up Squeak advice and get PSR550 again. Or even a PSR740.

I want the PSR2000 to work so badly but the keyfeel is BAD and we're just not meant to be together.
Posted by: squeak_D

Re: CASIO WK1630 for live use - review - 11/08/02 06:10 PM

If you have the choice of the PSR-550 or the PSR-740 take the 740.. It is by far a better keyboard.. Great sound quality, really good speakers and the tweeters really ad crispness to the sound. Better screen, modulation wheel, EQ, drawbars, 4 variations per style, nicer look, better build quality, vocalizer, geez I could go on and on.... The 740 is a nice keyboard and would out perform the 550 any day...

Posted by: George Kaye

Re: CASIO WK1630 for live use - review - 11/08/02 09:10 PM

Here's my two cents....
I sell both the WK1630 and the CTK671. Squeek is right, the CTK sounds better but the WK1630 has the 76 keys. My first choice in this price range though is the new Yamaha DGX202. It has 76 keys, a new "live" grand piano, better speakers, a dial data entry mode like the PSR550 and the PSR2000 plus keypad and inc./dec. buttons. It has very good styles compared to the Casio and it costs the same $299.00. This is an improved version of the very successful PSRGX76 which has been discontinued for the new model. Try one out........or try the new DGX300,which has 76 piano looking light weighted keys, a disk drive, good piano sound for around $449.00. Both of the Yamaha models are very light weight.
George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California
Posted by: lukitoh

Re: CASIO WK1630 for live use - review - 11/09/02 11:16 AM

Tried WK1630 thru the sound system tonight. We have excellent pro sound system BTW.

I was disappointed. The sounds were not clear and crisp as Yamaha PSR1000 or the KORG PA80. Not even close. It was "murky".

However, as I mentioned the sounds coming from the internal speaker is the best from all the arrangers (high end also) I have seen at GC.

This baby is going back to the store for sure. Next is the CTK671 !!
Posted by: svpworld

Re: CASIO WK1630 for live use - review - 11/09/02 01:11 PM

DGX keyboards are great value for the pianists amongst you but sadly they only load one user style and have 2 variations per style!


Simon G.K. Williams
Creative Music & Multimedia
Posted by: lukitoh

Re: CASIO WK1630 for live use - review - 11/09/02 03:43 PM

The BIG drawback for live use is lack of registration memory (except DGX300 series).

Awkward access to layered and split voices.

Those two shortcomings really causes the downfall for me. Internal speakers is much weaker compared to the CASIO WK series.