The Bottom Line
A great model to have fun with: loads of voices (and space to record and customize your own), built-in lessons and help playing chords, and a large enough range of 76 keys to get you acquainted with the piano keyboard … and, the price is hard to beat.
However, because this is such an inexpensive portable, the feel of the keyboard and the type of touch-response associated with it has kept the rating down (see Keys & “Action”, below).
- Includes 670 voices!
- Can be connected to external pedals
- Pitch bend wheel
- SD card up to 2 GB supported
- Can record up to 6 songs (12,000 notes) and 10 rhythms
- Somewhat lightweight at 17.2 lbs.
- AC power supply not included (see Accessories, below)
- No sustain pedal included
- Unnatural touch-sensitivity (see Keys & “Action”, below)
- Keys: 76
- Polyphony: 48-note; 24 for some voices
- Touch Sensitivity: 2 velocity settings, or off
- Reverb/Chorus: 10 reverb settings; 5 chorus
- Arpeggiator: 90 types
- Metronome: Yes; 30-255 BPM
- Available Colors: Black
Review - Casio WK-500 - 76-Key Portable Keyboard
Keys & “Action”:
Unfortunately, the feel of the keyboard is the same as that of the WK-200: light, plastic-y, and undersized. However, this type of no-frills keyboard is perfectly normal on portables and mini-synths, and is part of the reason they can remain so lightweight.
Here’s where the rating stars went: The touch-responsivity supported on this model is awkward and unnatural. The volume of notes is dependent on how quickly the keys are pressed, not how hard you touch them – only notes that are played slowly sound soft. I take issue with this because it can confuse ear-hand coordination, and may hinder the development of more refined dynamic techniques such as trills or tremolos in pianississimo.
Both dual-layering (one key sounding two tones simultaneously) and splitting (having two different tones on either end of the keyboard) are supported. When the keyboard is in split mode, the right side of the split point may also be layered.
Transposition from -12 to +12.
The WK-500 has 670 built-in voices. If you happen to tire of those, you can record custom sounds onto the keyboard with a microphone, and modify them with a variety of effects such as looping, vibrato, and other pitch alterations.
Available tones include:
- 55 Pianos & other keyboards
- 50 Organs; pipe, jazz, reed & more
- 76 Guitars; 38 treble & 38 bass
- Strings & orchestra
- Brass & woodwind
- Bells, vibes & other pitched percussion
… and a lot more.
There are 102 preset songs (including mostly traditional, folk, and Christmas songs, as well as a good amount of classical movements), plus an additional 50 exercises divided into three playing-levels to test your progress.
Up to 10 of your own personalized rhythms, or 6 melodic songs may also be recorded and stored; Casio defines this recording space as equal to a total 12,000 notes.
Keyboard Speakers & Quality:
The 6W speakers will suit at-home practice just fine; the bass notes hold up well at moderately loud volumes, and the high trebles don’t crack (oddly enough, these speakers fared better with the trebles than a 12W external amplifier I tested with this model).
- Free song book
- Music rest
12V AC adaptor not usually included; ask your retailer. Casio recommends power adapter model # AD-12. Keyboard may also be powered up to four hours with 6 D batteries.
Optional accessories which may be purchased separately include:
- Sustain footswitch (model # SP-3) – $15-$25
- Piano-style sustain pedal (model # SP-20) – $30-$40
- X-style keyboard stand (model # ARDX) – $30-$40
○ 1/4" headphone
○ 1/4" mic IN
○ 1/8" audio IN
○ Line OUT (R, L / mono)
○ USB (cable not included)
○ Sustain pedal input, 1/4"
See More Casio Instrument Reviews:■ Privia PX-130 - 88-Key
■ CDP-100 - 88-Key
■ LK-165 - 61-Key Lighted Keyboard
■ WK-7500 - 76-Key
■ WK-225 - 76-Key