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Rating and Reviews: Casio XW-P1 Synthesizer

Casio breaks the price barrier for virtual-analog synthesis with the powerful XW-P1. Decked out with a 61-key keyboard, this synth is ready to rock on stage.

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"So much fun for your money!!! And CHEESETASTIC!!!!" submitted December 15, 2013

By Paul Minot in Waterville, ME
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Musical Background: Over forty years of rocking, semi-professionally in past, now for fun.
Music Style: Rock
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Overall: You simply can't review this keyboard fairly without consideration of its low price. It is NOT a first-tier, pro-quality keyboard. Most of the presets are cheesy, the color scheme is questionable, and unless you put the D batteries in (!!!) it's light as a feather. But let's look at what you get for the money. First of all the MIDI implementation is spot on, which is more than you could say for the CZ line of yore. (My CZ5000 didn't even have a Local MIDI Off!!!) The Hammond emulation with the mini-drawbars is pretty damn good, even if the Leslie simulation is less than. The sequencer/arpeggiator is surprisingly good, making it a very useful musical sketchpad, as well as a performance feature. The PCM tones are nice if not superlative, the Hex Layer implementation is very flexible and great for people who want to mix tones rather than get into deep synth editing, the DSP is more than serviceable for live performance--basically it's all done well, with no major lapses in function. Consider for a moment why I bought this keyboard. I used to play keys back in the day, and have some rudimentary skills in performance and synth editing. Bass is now my main ax, and I'm putting together a band to play upbeat oldies, and was looking for the cheapest instrument I could get to do decent vintage sounds--Vox , Farfisa, and Hammond organs, Wurlitzer electric piano, clavinet, and acoustic piano variants--to be used in a live context with a loud, rocking band. (Not your most critical situation.) I figured I could work on the sounds while I was looking for someone that could play the instrument. I found out online that someone had already developed a set of patches to do the Farfisa and Vox sounds using the Hex Layer configuration, so I bought it. Now that I've started to play with the thing, I've discovered that the vintage sounds are all good enough for rock'n'roll--but that layering the sound with some of those cheesy synth presets makes them rock even more! The charm of Vox and Farfisa organs, for example, is the limitations. They weren't rich instruments, they were transistor-driven kazoos compared to synths from the Eighties on--but they rocked, damn it. You could use this Casio as a poor man's Clavinova if you want, but that's not what it does best. What it does best is make Noises That Rock--and if you have any punk sense of adventure in you, you're likely to love this nearly as much as that vintage ARP Odyssey you can't afford.
18 of 19 people (94.74%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Casio does it again!!!!" submitted December 2, 2016

By Luis Rodriguez in Westerville, OH
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Musical Background: I have been playing since I was 5 tears old. Piano/keys,drums and guitars
Music Style: Metal, progressive and classic rock
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Overall: Ok, let's start by telling my story on how I ended up buying this beauty. I had a Yamaha MX 61 which I played every day until some crooked hominids broke in my house and took it with the rest of my musical toys (acoustic and electric guitars, Tascam recorder, etc.....)Anyways.....I used to buy my "toys" at another virtual store until I found this musicians oasis on the net, zZounds!!!!Thanks to the easy payments programs with no interest at all, I was able to get my life (yes, music IS my life!!) Back!!!!That being said, I got the Casio XW-P1 a few days ago and I am amaze with all the features like the Hex layer mode and the performance mod, were you can modify your tone and rhythms on the fly is amazing.The sounds are satisfying for my needs and likeness. I do not play in any band or jam with friends anymore but with this, I can do all of that and more.I am still learning and I know will take me a while until I discover the full potential of this synthesizer. My only critic is that the manual IS NOT USER FRIENDLY. But, you can find plenty of tutorials videos all over the net. Very helpful indeed!Price wise, you just cannot beat this one, especially if you buy it here at zZounds.The hardware is not design to take the "every night at the bar gig" beating, but if you take the necessary care with it, I am sure it will last for a very long time ( I still have my Casio HT-700 since 1988) Came with the power cord, instructions (not very clear though)All in all, I do recommend this board, and especially if you buy it here at zZounds.
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"First gig with xw-p1 = major success" submitted March 7, 2016

By Kayci Wertz in Elkhorn, WI
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Musical Background: Guitarist and pianist for 13+ years
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Overall: Played a wedding with the xw-p1 this past Saturday in a five piece band. After having several practices with it and getting my settings configured, I had everything set and ready for the show and it went very smooth. Switching settings was fast and easy, and learning the controls took very little time after reviewing the manual. I think one good feature to add would be a user bank of mixed sound presets from different categories. (Each user bank can only be in that specific category, like all organs are in the organ presets). Otherwise, the build quality is nice, the ability to run on batteries is fantastic, and the look of the unit is great. Love it!
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"About Time!" submitted May 25, 2012

By Tom C in Cazadero, CA
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Musical Background: Have been playing keyboards and drums for 30 years. Mostly for fun, sometimes for money.
Music Style: Rock, Blues, Country-Swing
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Overall: I went into the local music store with buying the Roland Juno in mind. When I tried these 2 out side by side, the Casio won hands down. The first thing I noticed was that the Juno has smaller keys than the Casio. The XW-P1 just feels better to play than the Juno, and I am a big Roland fan, owning several of their keyboards. Now if the Casio will only last as long as the Rolands, I'll be hooked for life!
23 of 26 people (88.46%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Excellent starter keyboard" submitted June 17, 2012

By Jeffrey Y in Kennett Square, PA
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Musical Background: Amateur musician. Play saxophone and keyboard in a rock cover band.
Music Style: Jazz, rock, funk
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Overall: This is an excellent entry-level keyboard. It has a good collection of voices and features such as the sequencer and arpeggiator. The drawbar organ emulator is worth the price of the keyboard. The piano voices are a little weak. If you already have a pro-quality keyboard, this won't add much. But if this is your first 'board, it's an excellent value.
13 of 16 people (81.25%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Beyond my expectation" submitted May 7, 2012

By Steve W in Kansas City, KS
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Music Style: Electronic, Rock, EDM
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Overall: After watching all the videos from NAMM, I pulled the trigger and I just received a XW-P1 a few days ago. I admit that at first I wasn't so sure about it, but things thing has blown me away. I can't remember the last time I had so much fun with a synth. The lead sounds are wicked and it is easy to edit and make your own. The Hex Layers are really cool too. The drawbar organs seem cool but that's not really my thing. The Step Sequencer was a little confusing at first but now I'm using it to control some of my other synths over MIDI. For EDM this sequencer is amazing.I wish it had aftertouch but overall the XW-P1 is one of the best hardware purchases I've made in a while.
7 of 9 people (77.78%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"AMAZING MACHINE" submitted May 12, 2012

By cesar b in seattle, WA
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Musical Background: Professionally for 15 years.
Music Style: jazz, bossa, blues
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Overall: This is by far superior to any korg , roland or yamaha in the same price range. All the features are excellent. I use the organ with the VENT and the sound is marvelous, inspiring and heavenly. I do declare that it is high time we stopped believing in brand names and face the facts. This CASIO xwp1 is the way to go . I cannot understand why korg, roland or yamaha do not want to make a $500 keyboard with these sounds and features. They would be selling them by the thousands. Well, I understand companies want to make millions, but Casio is the only one who is giving top quality for 500 bucks. INCREDIBLE, UNBELIEVABLE. Go for it CASIO, I want to buy your next synth with 120 polyphony and over 1000 sounds. Please do not dis this machine because it is not fair. This one has very powerful sounds and I am more than pleased.
16 of 17 people (94.12%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Meh" submitted October 24, 2012

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Overall: Wasn't too thrilled with this one. Sold it after a week and got the Korg Microstation instead. MUCH better keyboard!
5 of 29 people (17.24%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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