My five year old daughter has started learning piano through Groove n Move School of Music at Coorparoo. Their recommendation is to just buy a cheap $100 keyboard from Target or Big W to get the child started.
Sensing an opportunity to get another musical instrument, I did a little research and decided to purchase a Casio CTK-3000 digital keyboard/electric piano. I bought it off eBay including a keyboard stand and AC adapter from Strathfield Music for A$289 plus A$35 postage. Delivery was super fast from Strathfield Music — they were a pleasure to deal with.
The Casio CTK-3000 was the cheapest model keyboard I could find with touch responsive keys. That is, press keys lightly and the keyboard plays quietly, press hard and the keyboard plays loudly. Actually, the Casio CTK-810 was cheaper and had touch response, but it was silver in colour; I wanted a black keyboard.
The sound quality for many of the tones from the CTK-3000 is excellent for the price paid. To my untrained ear, it really does sound like a grand piano in my living room! While the piano, string and percussion tones are generally good to excellent, the tones for wind instruments leave a lot to be desired. Quite frankly, I would not use them.
I am not sure that I am ever going to use the built in rhythms, but there are plenty there that my children are happy to boogie to. And the built in songs? Well I find them a bit cheesy too. Quite frankly, the backing tracks are a bit try-hard.
While we are on the negatives, two more. 1) Sometimes the key action is not smooth, giving a kind of grating feeling. And it is not always the same keys. Go figure. While not a problem that affects the sound quality, it does diminish the tactile experience of the keyboard. 2) Some of the bass tones make the keyboard rattle. I have never had a problem with piano tones, but bashing away at the keyboard with the slap bass tone cranked up resonates through the keyboard making it rattle. Again, not a big deal given that the primary tone I use is grand piano; the rest are just novelty features for me.
The built-in speakers are plenty loud enough for living room practice. However, I am considering purchasing a small practice amplifier so that someone can use the keyboard to accompany our saxophone quartet. I am considering a Behringer Ultratone KT108 or Ashton KA100 at this stage, but watch this space …
A few of my friends/family play keyboard/piano, so I am keen to get their opinion on the Casio CTK-3000.
Casio CTK-3000 review summary
Value for money 9/10