August 21, 2012

Goodbye Casio LK-50, Hello Casio CTK-660L

My LK-50 keyboard started failing a year ago. Initially, the problem was the last 5 keys of the keyboard won't respond anymore. Last week, the problem got worse; the right half keys of the keyboard won't work.

I began searching for a replacement keyboard. Buying brand new is too expensive so this will be my first purchase of a second hand item. I browsed Sulit and AyosDito for the replacement.

The specifications I'm looking for were:
* has touch response (or velocity sensitivity)
* has MIDI port
* has assignable jack for pedal and audio out
* at least 61 keys
* don't exceed 5000 pesos

I found two keyboards at Sulit: a Yamaha PSR-172 and a PSR-220. I got excited because it will be my first time to own a Yamaha. The PSR-172 costs 500 peso more than the PSR-220 but the former looked cleaner and newer. After extensive research, I found out that the PSR-172 has no touch response so I went for the PSR-220. I contacted the seller but he told me that he had already sold the keyboard YESTERDAY. Oh well, back to the search.

I looked this time on AyosDito. I found a Casio keyboard that only costs 4000 pesos. I searched for the features of that model but I was surprised when even the Casio website has no page for this model. The product description said that the keyboard was an import from Japan. It has touch response and more pictures showed that it has MIDI port and assignable jack.

Meeting up with the seller (a middle-aged lady), she told me the product is in good condition and only slightly used (by a kid). She reminded me that this adaptor must be plugged on a 110V source so I need a transformer. The writings on the instrument is in Japanese but the screen is in English.

I brought the product home to test it and it sounded EXACTLY like my old LK-50 except this model has reverb feature so it sounded a tad better. The buttons and interface were extremely similar so I got familiarized with the controls quickly.

Overall, the CTK-660L is a direct upgrade over LK-50: it has the features of my old keyboard plus a few more. The only drawback maybe the Japanese writings all over it but it is quickly outweighed when I heard the DORAEMON theme playing from the sound bank. I was satisfied.

I noticed that the CTK-660L's stereo speakers were not as good as LK-50 and the keys of the CTK-660L feels 'shallow'  than LK-50's.