Old casiotones/What is it that plastic coated metal can't do

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LucB
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Old casiotones/What is it that plastic coated metal can't do

Post by LucB » Tue May 26, 2009 7:03 pm

Hey,

Firing this one up to discuss the new bargain in town:........ old casiotones. :roll: :evil: They keep coming up at ridiculous prices, look a bit phony but otherwise they seem like heavy packages of hot cheese.

So? What about them? They are fairly documented over the internet and have been the objects of many reviews, but still no one knows for sure how to describe the sound.

An easy answer would be: old casiotones sound like oldcasiotones, but that would be pejorative.

casio bashing...GO! :twisted:

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Re: Old casiotones/What is it that plastic coated metal can't do

Post by JSRockit » Tue May 26, 2009 7:39 pm

I think it all comes down to nostalgia with casios.
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Re: Old casiotones/What is it that plastic coated metal can't do

Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed May 27, 2009 5:31 am

I disagree, I think they sound incredibly warm especially when run through an overdrive. The slight beating between notes when you play chords sounds great too. Had a Casiotone 701 and it was the warmest sounding organ I've ever played. Like a big fuzzy blanket.*

*all organs must be run through a Crowther Hotcake for maximum warmth.

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Re: Old casiotones/What is it that plastic coated metal can't do

Post by Bitexion » Thu May 28, 2009 12:46 am

I remember a friend of mine had a white casiotone in the mid-80s with little lights above each key, and it could play several songs that would stop until you play the right note with light above it. I could play the Star Wars theme (the longest) :) I wonder which model that was..would be fun to get now and mess with. Can't even remember if it had any synthesis at all, probably just PCM samples and rythm box w/ comp. Think it had speakers too.

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Re: Old casiotones/What is it that plastic coated metal can't do

Post by EmptySet » Thu May 28, 2009 9:37 am

I think Casio deserves a lot of credit for putting keyboards and synth-esque instruments in the hands of the masses. A Casio was the first keyboard for a LOT of kids. Probably because you could buy them at K-Mart. I'd guess that many lurkers here got their starts on Casio gear.

That said, Casio has long had a reputation as making cheesy gear. Trust me, everyone thought they were toys and cheesy sounding from almost the very beginning. But when you're a kid, you're happy for what you get (i was VERY happy in '79 with a VL-1). And then to have Casio suddenly make affordable synths right in the midst of their home keyboard boom was fantastic. It made Casio kids feel like they were actually playing a brand that could matter. (and it appears that Casio synths still have some popularity even today)

When Casio started adding MIDI outs to their keyboards, who cares what they sound like? You were able to buy a MIDI controller at freakin' WalMart! That was pretty revolutionary for its time. And cheap. (which was also pretty revolutionary for a MIDI controller back then).

Kudos to Casio! (at least that's my two cents)

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Re: Old casiotones/What is it that plastic coated metal can't do

Post by Bitexion » Thu May 28, 2009 10:12 am

And no matter if we like it or not, those "c**p" casio keyboards are the best sellers in music stores. I was talking to my friend who owns a DJ/synth/used synth shop, he has everything from casios to used JX8P's in the store. Casually mentioned how c**p I thought Casio is, then he argued that those casios are what sells the most. They are the keyboards parents buy for their kid for christmas to "learn on", they're the BIG christmas seller for his shop. It's like they just want something with lots of sounds that can play nice rythms and comps, and they all have some kind of "learning mode" that parents also love. And they're not prepared to spend thousands of dollars on it (and get a Fantom-X or something).

Wish I knew what makes fathers buy a cheesy casio keyboard instead of a proper electric piano so the kid gets a decent instrument to practice on though. Guess they look so friendly :P

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Re: Old casiotones/What is it that plastic coated metal can't do

Post by EmptySet » Thu May 28, 2009 11:28 am

Bitexion wrote:Wish I knew what makes fathers buy a cheesy casio keyboard instead of a proper electric piano
Headphones, batteries, weight, size, and price.

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Re: Old casiotones/What is it that plastic coated metal can't do

Post by tim gueguen » Thu May 28, 2009 3:51 pm

Not to mention that the typical buyer doesn't know any better.
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Re: Old casiotones/What is it that plastic coated metal can't do

Post by LucB » Thu May 28, 2009 6:29 pm

Hi,

Alright my question might have not been formulated the right way. I didn't intend to start a debate of how cheap plastic made PCM sampling keyboards affected the market for classical or high-end instruments or the effects of capitalism on the democratisation of synths. My main question is regarding vintage casiotones such as the 701, 401, 403 and such.

Do any of you know these?

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Re: Old casiotones/What is it that plastic coated metal can't do

Post by felini » Thu May 28, 2009 10:22 pm

I have a 601, all wood and metal, nothing plastic on the 601. It has awesome organ sounds, some cool rythms and useful fingered chord and memory functions for the auto accompaniment. Every sound sounds the same, with different envelopes and slightly different filtering, but yet the same sound (not a bad thing).
It has two orange buttons, one has an image of an explosion, and the other something like an atom. When you press them, you get two sounds: one makes peeow and the other pooew, or something like that. That´s the best feature on the 601.
When you have the rythm on, you have the option to add a fill in. That´s acomplished by touching a rectangular piece of metal on the front of the keyboard. Not a key, or slider or button, just a piece of metal that acts by the simple touch of a finger, or any other part of your body. That´s weird.
It has vibrato (two speeds), sustain (short or long), vibrato delay, volume pedal and sustain pedal inputs, high and low outputs, and headphones out.
It has its own metal stand, with the word CASIO in big letters. That´s cool for stage, if you´re a Casio freak, like some of us.
With a bit of imagination and good will, you can get a good pinkfloydesque sound, or even portisheadish by using disco rythm at low speed, fingered chord auto accompaniment with memory, organ sound, slow vibrato and playing minor chords. Remember: imagination!
Conclussion: it sounds great, it has weird features and it will never break or need a service. Perfect.

The thing I like most about Casio, is that it always holds a surprise for you, even with the smallest keyboard. Example: I bought a Casio SK-1, and I thought: "wow, a Casio with a sampler, that´s awesome", and when I got it, I found that it had additive synthesis functions and envelopes you could assign to any sound. There´s always something else, like the VL-1, that has a calculator.

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Re: Old casiotones/What is it that plastic coated metal can't do

Post by StepLogik » Fri May 29, 2009 2:02 am

Bitexion wrote:I remember a friend of mine had a white casiotone in the mid-80s with little lights above each key, and it could play several songs that would stop until you play the right note with light above it. I could play the Star Wars theme (the longest) :) I wonder which model that was..would be fun to get now and mess with. Can't even remember if it had any synthesis at all, probably just PCM samples and rythm box w/ comp. Think it had speakers too.
The PT-80 had this feature. That model was my first Casio keyboard, the first of many.

Those Casio's definitely got me started. I still have my SK-1 :)

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Re: Old casiotones/What is it that plastic coated metal can't do

Post by brian.only » Fri May 29, 2009 10:34 am

The 701 is sweet, run it through an over-driven amp w/ buckets of reverb- live it can sound like a legit organ.
Also it has the 'laser fart' and 'atomic blast' options which are great for those 2am drunken dub reggae laughs.
It would also kill someone if dropped from a porch.
Organ, Honky Tonk, Funk, and Flute is how I roll.
Percussion isn't shabby either for what it is- sampled and processed even better.
It gets taken out from the stands, but always weasels itself back in.
sell me your KS5!

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