Semi-weighted action uses a spring to create the resistance you feel when pressing a key and its rebound when you lift your finger. Hammer action uses a hammer mechanism like that found in a digital piano to replicate the feel. Graded, or progressive, hammer action takes that a step further by increasing the weight of the action as you descend to the lower notes on the keyboard. Using a keyboard with weighted action is beneficial for multiple reasons. First, it helps you build finger strength while practicing (a spring-based action only minimally addresses this). Second, it allows for more variation and musicality in the way you play a note.
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It never sounded particularly full, and the note decay was much faster than that of an acoustic piano. The rest of the sounds were fine, and beginners are likely to have fun trying them out, but we didn’t find them particularly inspiring or useful. The scaled hammer action on the CDP-S150 is a change from what we saw on our previous Casio top pick, the discontinued Privia PX-160. So there’s a bit less nuance than was available with the Privia line, but beginners likely wouldn’t even notice this. A duet function allows the CDP-S150 to split into two sides so that a student and teacher can sit at the keyboard together, with each side covering the same range of notes. Some of our testers slightly preferred the Roland FP-10 over the Casio CDP-S150 for its more authentic piano feel and accurate sounds.
The headphone thing really got me upset tho. It’s either, I’m doing it wrong, or it’s just like this. But, when you plug in the headphones it does work, but you can still hear the sound outside (i.e. while playing it with headphones it’s still heard without it).
After unboxing them and setting them up, I invited the panel testers to come in and try them out. I asked them to rate the key action and the sound of each piano and to evaluate features from the perspective of a beginner. After playing through all of them over a couple hours, we talked through the pros and cons of each keyboard, and our panelists gave me their top three choices. A digital piano should be as similar to an acoustic piano in feel and sound as possible. If you’re learning piano technique and piano music on a digital instrument, you should be able to transition easily to an acoustic piano. Although each digital piano’s sound and feel are our primary concerns, we also carefully consider each model’s extra features, which can be confusing and overwhelming for beginners.