Today I’m going to make a comparison review between two of the latest in the line of Privia digital pianos from Casio, the Casio PX-770 vs Casio PX-870.
The PX-870 is the flagship of the Privia series, with great key action, realistic sounds and a 3 pedal unit that promises a lot in its price range. The PX-770 is just below in the line sharing many similarities with its bigger brother but also some differences.
What these similarities and differences are, is what I decided to find out by testing out both these pianos and sharing my findings with you. Ultimately, I want to find out if the price difference between the two justifies the purchase of the more expensive PX-870, and if the value for money aspect is in line with that. Let’s dive into it!
Casio PX-770 vs Casio PX-870 Comparison Chart
|Model||Casio PX-770||Casio PX-870|
|Sound Engine||AiR Sound Source (Sampled)||AiR Sound Source (Sampled)|
|Key Action||Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II||Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II|
|Key touch/weight||Simulated Ivory/Ebony, 4 levels||Simulated Ivory/Ebony, 4 levels|
|Speakers||2 x 8W||2 x 20W|
|Check Price||Check Price|
Both Casio PX-870 and PX-770 are cabinet style digital pianos featuring full 88-key keyboards and integrated 3 pedal units. The pedals are responsible for the sustain, soft and sostenuto effects. On the PX-870 half-pedaling is possible.
The design of these two pianos is very sleek and elegant, fitting very nice in any location because of their compact measurements and stylish looks.
They will be delivered in large boxes where you will find all the parts that you will subsequently put together: keyboard, base, pedals and so on. The assembly will not be a hassle because you will discover it’s pretty easy. You also have a set of helpful instructions that you can read if you need to.
The entire assembly process will take anywhere from 30 minutes to 45 minutes if you have a screwdriver at hand and maybe a helping hand. You can assemble any of these two pianos alone, but a helping hand is a plus in the beginning because the boxes weigh up to 100 pounds, with the weight of the pianos themselves at 70 pounds, the PX-770 and 75 pounds, the PX-870.
The newly designed cabinet of the two pianos is more compact than previous generations’ and has fewer seams. This, together with the relocation of the control buttons to the left hand side of the keyboard contribute to a sleeker, lighter appearance. You will find dedicated buttons for the main controls and functions of the piano, but some functions can be accessed only with a button and key combination. You will find small stickers above certain keys, but you will also find information in the user’s manual.
Although the PX-870 as well as the PX-770 lack a display, navigating the pianos’ settings and controls is easy to recognize by a beep sound that you will hear, in accordance with the setting you activate. According to my opinion, the lack of a display isn’t that big of a problem in the case of these digital pianos because it contributes to the minimalism and elegance of their particular designs. And above all, they’re home digital pianos meant to look good and provide a realistic piano playing experience, not stage pianos where a display is a justified, and necessary feature.
As you can see, there’s not much of a design difference between the Casio PX-770 vs Casio PX-870.
The Casio PX-870 and PX-770 are both using the multi-dimensional morphing AiR Sound Source. This sound engine offers such a high quality 9′ grand piano sound like not many other digital pianos, especially in this price range.
The technology inside these pianos which are making use of a heightened level of memory lossless audio compression, are capable of rendering this extremely high quality sound with all the string resonance and natural decays you would expect from an actual acoustic grand piano. The sound is very accurate and realistic in all the ranges.
Although all of the pianos in the Privia line from Casio have the same sound engine there are some differences between the Casio PX-870 vs PX-770, which make the PX-870’s sound even better.
First, there’s the string resonance simulator, for each and every key of the 88 keys of the piano, which you will not find on the PX-770. To better understand the difference, and why it’s a detail that adds so much to the realism of the grand piano sound, let me explain it to you in a few lines.
When you press any key on an acoustic piano’s keyboard, a hammer strikes the corresponding string, which produces the sound you hear. But not only that certain string vibrates, but the strings next to it as well, in a much reduced intensity. This aspect is simulated on the Casio PX-870, contributing a lot to the feeling of playing a real grand piano.
You can also set the intensity of the resonance to your particular taste. You can choose any of the four settings of the string resonance: strong reverberation, reverberation, slightly suppressed and suppressed.
The next feature that differentiates the PX-870 from the PX-770 is the lid simulator. What it actually does is simulating the sound change that can be heard from an acoustic piano with its lid in different positions. You can also adjust the “lid” in any of the following four positions: closed, half open, open or removed.
Another feature that you can find on the PX-870 is the key off simulator.
There’s quite a difference between the two digital pianos’ sound systems.
The PX-770 has two 8W speakers. The PX-870 has a 40W speaker system. The difference is not only sheer power. The 40W speaker system consists of 4 speakers distributed on both sides of the piano which are capable of producing a sound that gets very close to an an acoustic grand piano in volume, but also in clarity.
The dynamic range is impressive going from the softest sounds to the loudest. This level can”t be achieved by a digital piano with a less powerful speaker system.
You can easily use the PX-870 in pretty large locations, for gigs or performances in front of small crowds.
The keyboard on the PX-870 and the PX-770 is a full 88-key keyboard with simulated ebony and ivory key tops. All Casio digital pianos under $2000 have Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action II Keyboards.
Because the keyboard mechanism has hammers, such as on acoustic piano keyboards, the weight of the keys gives the impression you’re playing an acoustic piano. The feeling, because of the specific weight and key tops, is very close to the real thing. It’s really amazing how close it is, considering the price range these two pianos sell for.
Faster note repetition and superior expressiveness is possible with these keyboards because each key has 3 sensors dedicated to deciphering the slightest nuances.
The keys also feel lighter on the high end, and progressively heavier towards the low end, emulating the way the weight of the keys on acoustic pianos feel.
There are a total of four levels of touch sensitivity, also counting the off mode. Going from soft through medium and ultimately hard, the dynamic range increases, enabling a wider expressiveness. You will have to push the keys much harder, though to obtain a fortissimo.
In this category, there is no difference between the Casio PX-770 vs Casio PX-870.
The PX-870 vs PX-770 comparison is pretty even when it comes to features and functions as well.
They both have 3 modes that are pretty common in contemporary digital pianos, but are very useful in different situations. These are: dual mode, split mode and duet mode. The dual mode lets you combine any two sounds, resulting in a new sound that you can tailor exactly how you want. You can determine the exact intensity of each of the two sounds in the combination. The split mode lets you split the keyboard in two parts and allocate an instrument for each part. So, you can for example play piano with your right hand and strings with your left, or any other combination of two. The duet mode splits the keyboard in two equal halves with a middle C for each one. This mode is especially useful for piano students who can practice with the teacher without having to take turns.
Concert play is a really amazing feature where you can play the piano along an orchestra. I was pleasantly surprised to discover this feature and in very short time would have liked it if there were more than 10 tunes available. Anyway, this feature allows you to turn the orchestra off while practicing the piano part first. A very helpful aspect. You will find the sheet of the piano parts of these tunes in the sheet music book that you will receive with your piano.
Both, the PX-870 and PX-770 contain a music library of 60 songs. You can also transfer 10 more MIDI songs of your own to its internal memory.
The music libraries contain 60 prerecorded songs. You can either listen to them, play along or practice each hand separately.
You can also add ten MIDI songs of your own to this library, which you can then use in the same way you would the other 60.
There’s a significant difference, the only big difference in features actually, between the Casio PX-770 vs Casio PX-870, concerning the recording capabilities. The PX-870 has 2-track MIDI recording as well as audio recording capabilities. This means you can either record a song in sequences of its parameters and transfer it to an external device for storage, or record the actual sound and store that on an external device. With audio recording you can play back your recording from any device or even burn it to a CD. The PX-770 only has 2-track MIDI recording. And you can only transfer it to an external device because it only has USB to Host connectivity.
So, as you can see, there are certain setbacks in terms of recording for the PX-770, but this is pretty relative to how big of a weakness this is for you in the first place.
There are also further features that you can find on both digital pianos, like metronome, which is especially helpful for beginners who often have a hard time keeping the right rhythm. Apart from this, there are 3 further functions that let you set the pitch of the instrument, these are: transpose, tuning and octave shift.
There are also 16 different temperament settings that you can choose from to suit the type of music you want to play.
As far as functions are concerned, the Casio PX-770 vs Casio PX-870 comparison is even.
Connectivity is another category where we can determine a difference between the two pianos.
The Casio PX-870 has both USB to Device and USB to Host ports. This means you can transfer files from the internal memory of the piano to an external device as well as make direct sound recordings. The PX-770 lacks the USB to Device port, limiting your ability to record your performance directly to a USB drive. You can only transfer files through the USB to Port connection. Because the USB to Device port lacks, you will not be able to play back audio files from a flash drive directly on the PX-770.
It’s very difficult to make a recommendation for everyone, concerning these two pianos. As a winner between the Casio PX-770 vs Casio PX-870, I can clearly say that the PX-870 is the better piano of the two. But that was obvious before even testing them out.
But, in my opinion, the PX-870 is the better choice for you, if you are a musician of an intermediate and above level, who needs a musical instrument that has many features with a powerful speaker system and authentic touch and sound.
If you are a beginner, on the other hand, the PX-770 is a very good instrument to start learning to play the piano on, that looks great and has everything you need up to an intermediate level. Even if it has less features than the PX-870, it’s also priced lower.