Hey what’s up fam!
As you know, I was recently chosen as a reviewer for american musical supply, so this is my first review for them.
As part of their review program, they provide the products for me to review and I am not required to return them once I am done. So yeah, this is a cool opportunity to play with new gear and possibly checkout things that I may not otherwise have had a chance to review for you.
It’s my hope that this allows an even broader range of products to be shown here on soundsandgear.
I guess you can call this American Musical Monday! Who knows, maybe I will start doing any future AMS reviews on a Monday.
So let’s get into the review, today’s product is a Casio WK6500, part of the personal keyboards selection at AMS.
So what is the Casio WK 6500 Keyboard Package?
Well we all know there are tons of different types of keyboards and workstations available on the market.
This product I would consider to be in the beginner to intermediate range of keyboards based on it’s price point as well as features and build quality.
It’s a personal keyboard in the sense that it has it’s own built in speaker system, which is common among most personal keyboards.
The package itself also includes a pair of stereo headphones from Nady as well as a keyboard stand from World Tour.
So I would say the idea behind the “package” is to give you most of what you need to get a basic keyboard setup running.
- keyboard: 76 keys
- sounds: 670 tones and programs
- sequencer: 16 tracks
- connectivity: usb, sd card, audio in/out, headphone, mic in
- price: $319.98
How does it sound?
The sound quality isn’t outstanding but most know what to expect from entry level casio keyboards, so it’s nothing that you would be surprised by.
There are some decent acoustic and elctric pianos, some of the bass sounds I found pretty good, and most of the synth sounds I would have no trouble using. The string ensembles were basic but usable, however I didn’t find the solo string instruments to be very realistic sounding at all. Similarly the guitars didn’t have very much of the dynamic range than many of us are used to these days.
Similarly, I found most of the brass to be lacking. The reed/woodwind section had a few nice flutes in there, and I also found some pretty cool instruments in the “other” category which has a lot of ethnic and world instruments. Overall, the sound quality is a bit above general midi, it actually includes a general midi bank of sounds as well.
The expressiveness of the sound library overall is basic velocity response, so don’t expect to get a bunch of articulations or keyswitching when playing, but you do get basic velocity which still allows you to get some basic work done when getting ideas down.
For idea sketches, learning, or basic gigging, I think the sounds are fine for the price point, however those of you looking for the best and most realistic sounds in a workstation probably would not be looking at an instrument of this caliber to begin with.
So what’s the bottom line?
Well I think anyone that has been around keyboards and pianos for any amount of time knows that Casio has been providing tools for musicians in all types of skill levels for quite some time. Most of us associate them with their entry level or intermediate level workstations and personal keyboards such as this.
For the pricepoint and the intended use it’s a decent keyboard with a decent built quality. I wasn’t thrilled with the feel of the pitch wheel and I’m not a huge fan of built in speakers in keyboards as I find they tend to go bad rather quickly. I also heard a little buzzing from the left speaker system when playing lower bass and synth sounds.
I give the Casio WK6500 keyboard package 3.5 out of 5 subs. It’s a straight forward keyboard/workstation with a few added features that sets it apart from other entry-level personal keyboards.
I think the addition of the 16 track sequencer allows one to get a bit more use out of it than many basic keyboards as you can go from an educational or learning aspect into a production and creative aspect without having to move into a new keyboard so quickly.
The feel of the keyboard action itself is pretty similar to that of my Axiom Pro actually. It’s a little bit lighter in feel but not bad so it would be useful as a midi control keyboard as well, it does send midi over usb so that’s another use for it.
Overall it’s pretty much what you would expect if looking at product like this, a general all around bread and butter keyboard with a decent sized sound library and performance features like rhythm tracks, arpeggiator, chord recognition for the accompaniment system, and even a quick way to setup splits and layering.
If you’re in the market for a basic personal keyboard with a few advanced features then it’s worth looking at, if you’re looking for something in the semi-pro to pro range then this probably isn’t the type of instrument you would be looking for.
Check it out at AMS: http://www.americanmusical.
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think