Casio CTK-4000 : Bring Home The Music

Casio CTK-4000 ReviewI have wanted to buy a portable keyboard for a while now. But I felt that the asking price for the equipment was a tad higher than my commitment to learn playing the keyboard systematically.

My primary purpose was to amuse myself hammering out the first few bars of popular tunes, possibly connect the keyboard to a computer and tinker around with the masses of music making software that is available; again for amusement.

As a kid I have owned a Casio PT-20, a Casio SA-20 , a Casio MA-120 and tinkered around with waves of mini-keyboards from Casio, Roland & Yamaha keyboards. Needless to say, the keyboards from Casio proved to be completely useless (Brilliant PT-20 but micro-keys are impossible to play by anyone who has attained puberty, the SA-20 produces an annoying typewriter-click sound every-time you press a button on the control panel & the MA-120 has sounds that are completely unnatural). The SA-20 annoyed the hell out of folks at my school when I connected it up to the PA system at a school function and proceeded to emit loud 1930’s typewriter sounds in my efforts at selecting the tone and setting the volume level.

All in all, I dismissed Casio as a possible manufacturer of serious musical instruments. In fact, later on when I wanted to buy a 4/5 octave keyboard for home use, not one person would recommend me any Casio product. It seemed that Yamaha was the only company manufacturing usable musical instruments for amateurs. Roland was for semi/professionals and Korg, Alesis, Fatar etc. were only for the professionals (most of the high end keyboards cost as much as a Tata Nano and go up-to the price of a Honda Civic).

Resigning myself to purchasing a Yamaha, I started scouring the Indian market and was disheartened at the price tags the Yamaha’s sported. The base model PSR E-213 sported a price tag for Rs. 12,500/- while the usable PSR-I425 went upto Rs. 22,000/- Way over the budget I had allocated. These cost considerably less in USA but by virtue of being large and unwieldy electronic equipment, I could not ask my brother to carry-in one for me on his next visit.

On an off-chance, I wandered into a small music shop (Musical Mart, Shop No. 72, Swapnalok Complex, S.D. Road, Secunderabad) and spotted the Casio CTK-810IN which I had spotted at a few malls (Rs. 12,500/- & powered off to prevent tinkering). The dealer informed me that I could have the CTK-810IN for about 11.5K. This was quite close to the budget I had set (Rs. 10K) so I quizzed him about this model and others. He mentioned the newly launched CTK series which were not yet available widely in the country. The specs and pricing were superb. Starting at CTK-2000 (Rs. 6.5K) the range encompassed CTK-3000 (Rs. 8K), CTK-4000 (Rs. 10.5K) & CTK-5000 (Rs. 14.5K). All models featured 5 octaves and General MIDI (GM) compatibility, USB MIDI Connectivity and no handicapping features.

The gradation of the product line is simple. The CTK-2000 features 400 tones & 150 rhythms along with reverb/chorus. The CTK-3000 features an additional Pitch Wheel. The CTK-4000 doesnot feature a Pitch wheel but has much improved sound (AHL) and arpeggiator. The CTK-5000 adds a pitch wheel and SD Card reader to the CTK-4000. The newly added CTK-2100 adds sampling function to CTK-2000, while the new WK-210 is essentially a 76 key version of the CTK-4000.

Based on the fact that I could never figure out the pitch wheel (even today, I draw the pitch curves in MIDI recording software) and would probably limit myself to Piano style playing, I chose to go for the budget friendly CTK-4000. That said, the CTK-5000 is an excellent deal over comparable Yamaha models which cost almost twice as much.

The CTK-4000 features:

  • 61 standard size keys (5 octaves) : starting at C2 for most instruments, C1 for low pitch instruments and C3 for high pitch instruments
  • Velocity sensitivity aka Touch response : off, two types. Please note velocity sensitivity is the speed with which you hit the keys, not the pressure with which you hit the keys.
  • 48 note polyphony (24 note for dual-layer tones like Strings Piano)
  • 570 preset tones
  • 5 user tones (up-to 10 second sampling from audio-in port)
  • 180 preset rhythms. Tempo range 30 – 255 BPM. Rhtyhm variations – Intro, Type-A, Type-B, End, Fill-in for Type-A & B.
  • Auto-Accompaniments aka Chords : Fingered Chords 1 & 2, Casio Chord, Full Range Chord
  • 3 user rhythms (up-to 10 second sampling from audio-in port)
  • Rhythm editor allowing customization of preset rhythms (upto 10 rhythms)
  • Metronome function (0, 2 – 6 beats per measure)
  • Built-in 152 songs
  • Sophisticated training programs using built-in songs
  • Note recording : 5 songs, upto 6 tracks each, upto 12,000 notes (combined storage).

Outstanding features generally not found at keyboards in this price range:

  • Split function : divide the keyboard into 2 zones, anywhere. Supports octave shift (1 octave) of each zone.
  • Layer function : layer 2 sounds for a rich effect. Layer effects on only right-side zone if split function is active. If using Dual-layer tones, up-to 4 instruments sounds are produced simultaneously.
  • Adjustable Reverb (10 levels), Chorus (5 levels), Key Transpose (12 notes), Octave shift (2 octaves) Pitch tuning (approx 100 cents), preset scales (16 scales)
  • Auto-Harmonize function : 12 types, adds additional notes to your playback, active only if auto-accompaniments are active.
  • 90 Arpeggiator Patterns : Up, Down, U/A Type A, U/D Type B, Random. Arpeggio Hold function.
  • 305 Music Presets : Based on popular songs, the tone(s), rhythms, tempo and other settings are available as presets on the keyboard. Just select the preset and start playing. Songs include Careless Whispers, How Deep Is Your Love, Killing Me Softly
  • One-Touch Rhythm Presets : Upon selection of a rhythm, activate Rhythm preset to automatically select the suitable tempo and tone. VeryΒ  useful if you are moving from Trance (140 bpm) to Slow Jazz (80 bpm) and don’t feel like hammering the tempo button 60 times or pressing multiple keys to change the tone from Synth to Sax.
  • Full Range Chord : In this mode the keyboard recognizes and plays the chords if any 3 keys are pressed anywhere on the keyboard. Selecting chords is not limited to the Left-zone of the keyboards anymore. Very useful for Harmonium players of India who typically play melody using chorded formation.
  • Indian tones (15) & rhythms (7 types)
  • Jack for sustain / start-stop pedal
  • Sampling function for tones/rhythms
  • Light weight : 4.6 Kgs
  • Full MIDI IN/Out over USB : Driverless installation on Windows XP+ & Mac OSX.

This keyboard is not without it’s faults, some of them quite glaring while others are negligible.

  • No permanent memory for songs : Since this keyboard lacks a SD-Card storage option, songs & samples that you record remain in the memory only as long as the keyboard is powered on or batteries are installed.
  • No song/sample export : There is no direct way to export the songs/samples stored on the keyboard as files. While song data can be exported as MIDI data to the computer, sample have to be re-recored on the PC to recreate the tones in the absence of the keyboard.
  • Headphone Out but no Line-Out. This becomes a serious issue if you want to record the keyboard sounds and monitor it too.
  • Ant sensitivity : The rubber used in the keyboard seems to be a delicacy for Indian red-ants and it was only by chance that I discovered this in time and saved my keyboard from being devoured by the critters.
  • Power adapter is not supplied : Requires 9V power adapter which Casio makes you buy for an additional Rs. 750/- You can of course buy a compatible non-Casio adapter for Rs. 350/- and be happy.
  • Fragility : The keyboard is entirely made up of plastic, hence will develop cracks if you drop it. While internal construction seems solid (yes! I opened mine), heavy-handed users have reported that some of the physical keys started squeaking or gone out of alignment on the keyboard. Please note that this keyboard does not feature Hammer Action and is not intended for playback in Fortissimo style. If you are the type who destroys a TVSE Gold keyboard in 3 months, then stay away from this keyboard.

Overall, I am very impressed with this keyboard and the value for money it delivers. If you are an amateur or need a keyboard for your kid, I recommend that you check out the Casio CTK Series at a music store/electronics mall nearest you.

Check out a few audio samples generated by the keyboard:

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Casio CTK-4000 in action (German language, High quality):

142 responses to “Casio CTK-4000 : Bring Home The Music”

  1. Hello, do you can to put someone a demo song piano from casio ctk 4000??? I’m interested in piano tones. I want to buy this keyboard.

  2. 1- The Casio CTK 4000 not have line out. How do you can to record theses demo mp3 to PC???

    2- Do you thinked ctk-4000’s piano tone realistic? Do liked it?

    • Hi Harim,

      I connected the headphone out of the keyboard to the Line-In of my Creative Soundcard.

      The Casio features a 6.3 mm Stereo jack, while the soundcard features a 3.5 mm Stereo jack. I used a 5 feet 3.5 mm stereo male to 3.5 mm stereo male cable with a 3.5 mm to 6.3 mm Jack adapter connected at one end, to connect the keyboard to the line-in of the sound-card.

      On the computer, I set the Line-In as the record source and Un-muted Line-in Playback. By carefully adjust the output volume and record volumes on the keyboard and soundcard, I was able to achieve distortion free stereo recordings.

      The default ‘Stereo Piano’ sound on the keyboard is very rich and sounds very good for a keyboard in Casio’s price class. I have compared the sound to Yamaha 413 and found the Casio CTK-4000/5000 sound to be marginally better. Far better stereo panning, depth and grand. The Casio also features numerous other Pianos (conventional, electric) and when the sounds are layered, the effect is truly very wonderful.

      On my sound-card, I have the facility to load sound-fonts. I have a 21 MB Steinberg Stereo Piano sound that outclasses piano sounds on most keyboards (below $1000). If I need that sound, I use the USB-MIDI out from the Casio into a MIDI recorder and use the Steinberg sound-font.

      Free Image Hosting at

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      The Casio Demo songs don’t seem to use the ‘Stereo Piano’ instrument and actually use the General-MIDI compatible instruments. I will try and upload a demo made with the stereo piano.

    • Hi Harim,
      I have uploaded a new demo song of the Casio CTK-4000 Piano at

      The demo was created in the following way:
      – Standard MIDI file of Yanni – One Man’s Dream was downloaded from the Internet.
      – Using a MIDI editor, I opened the file and inserted ‘Patch Change Event’ at the beginning of each track so select instruments. For ex: for Piano, I inserted the patch change event for Stereo Mellow Piano (Patch 0, Bank 3) to ensure that the piano parts were not being played using the default GM Piano (which is rather weak when compared to the Stereo Grand Piano & Stereo Mellow Piano sounds).
      – The MIDI file was played on the keyboard using MIDI-over-USB and audio-out from the headphone socket was captured on the computer using the Line-in socket.
      – The resulting audio file (WAV, 44.1Khz Stereo) was boosted in volume only and converted to MP3 (128 Kbps, 44.1 Khz, Joint-Stereo) using Lame 3.96 Binary (using RazorLame frontend)

      Please note that, the MIDI editor I used did not send patch change events, until I embedded patch change events in the MIDI tracks. More description in another article. Perhaps another demo song too – this time using the Stereo Grand Piano sound. The only problem is availability of a suitable MIDI file.


  3. Thanks for upload your piano demo song ‘One man’s Dreams’

    But, I still have a doubt. I’m not sure what casio keyboard to buy by internet. I am doubt between casio ctk-4000 (AHL Source sound) and ctk-810 (HL Source sound)

    I have founded over internet a Casio WK-110 piano demo song (it uses o HL Source sound system – a little older than the AHL Source system). I loved very much this HL Source sounding piano:

    Is the casio ctk-4000 piano sounding so deep and reverberezed as WK-110?

    What’s your technical opinion???

    • Hi Harim,

      The sound quality of the piano on the CTK-4000/5000 is definitely the same as WK-110 if not better.

      Regarding build quality, the build quality across the new CTK series seems to be identical. The build of the keys, underlying sensors etc. is exactly the same.

      Since you intend to use it primarily as a piano, you must know that the CTK series does not feature weighted/hammer action keys. The key tactile response is slow and not suitable for playing 32nd notes; you can barely manage 16th notes.

      You may also consider the Casio Privia series pianos. I checked one out at a store. It features the exact sound quality of the CTK series, 6 octaves, sustain pedal (included for free in promotion) and weighted keys. It cost about 2x of the CTK 4000 and I though it was very good value.

  4. hello rajiv… thanks for sharing your views ….
    today i was going to buy a ctk2100 or 3000 or 4000 …. but i thought why not have alook at net about their prices and reviews….

    your views about ctk 4000 are very elaborated..thanks again … my range is between 8-11k only…. and although the features are impressive…but their are few things i felt are serious…
    a plastic body is just unacceptable…how could the manufactures neglect such a importand part of a instrument… πŸ™

    no sd card….no permanent memory…wtf !!!

    u tell me which one i go for…. between that range… (leaving pitchwheel feature )

    pls revert back at my id…

    [email protected]

    pls brother…ur views are valuable !!!

    • Thanks for visiting my blog and making the effort to leave a comment.

      For the budget you have set (8-11K), you can buy either the CTK-3000 or the CTK-4000. The CTK-5000 is about 12.5K (max), so if you stretch your budget a little, maybe you can buy that.

      Even at 11K, you can only buy an entry level Yamaha, so I guess we can eliminate that as a brand.

      w.r.t. using a Plastic body for the keyboard, most keyboards use plastics extensively. Not only this has the advantage of strength & light-weight, also plastics can be molded and painted much more easily. Even high-end keyboards like Roland, Korg use plastic extensively.

      I once used a CME MIDI controller whose body was made of metal. Not only did it weigh a ton, but also the paint got chipped and it started looking bad.

      The CTK-5000 has a SD Card option, but it only save song data in a proprietary format and cannot be edited on the PC. This makes it limited. The Yamaha’s don’t feature any storage in basic models. If you however connect the keyboard to a computer/laptop via USB, you can use a MIDI Editing software for ultimate flexibility in composition and editing. So, don’t worry about the lack of storage.

      I hope you realize that the CTK Series is an entry level keyboard and since it doesn’t feature graded-hammer-action-keys, you cannot use it to play concert-type piano. That said, the CTK series delivers lot more value that the Yamaha’s at the same price point.

      I suggest that you go in for the CTK-4000 since it will easily fit in your budget and leave you enough money to buy an adaptor, soft-case and stand.

  5. thanks MAN ! i need this info….

    i want to ask a question …. for learning piano skills … which one u recommend for beginners casio ctk 4000 or yamaha psr 313 ….

    i think casio has many many features as compared to yamaha… may be !

    and for a paino player … the feel pf piano keys is also important…
    what’s your say ?
    pls comment ….

    • Neither the Casio nor the Yamaha keyboards offer structured Piano lessons. Both of them offer some songs (categorized in A/B/C/D levels of toughness) and allow you to play along in various modes such as key-wait/left-hand/right-hand/all-hands. But there is a lot to learn about Piano playing than just pressing keys. Notes, scales, chords, fingering, transitions, reading & writing music etc. which these keyboards do not offer and you will have to attend classes for that or teach yourself.

      At beginner level, the feel of piano keys and sounds are not important. But as you progress more and start learning about playback styles, dotted notes, damping and sustain, the feel & sound of a real piano become important.

      If you are aiming at casual playback and bollywood songs, keyboards like Casio/Yamaha are just fine. But if you aiming at western classical music, then it is better to buy a digital piano rather than a portable keyboard. Casio Privia series of digital pianos start around Rs. 21K.


  6. ok…but i will be buying either of a casio ctk 4000 or yamaha psr e 313… in coming days…so i just wanted you to advice…which one i should go for…. both have the same price tag…

    if you say yamaha…then for a begineer ..interested in piano learning…how about yamaha psr e 213….the prior model but it lacks touch responce …. and it makes me upset…

    i am very much confused …and need help …. pls

    • You cannot hope to learn piano if the keyboard does not support touch response. Touch response is absolutely critical; semi/full/graded hammer action helps.

      I really doubt if the Yamaha PSR e313 is at the same price-point as the Casio CTK-4000. If it is, then it boils down to brand preference. Most Yamaha users claim that the Yamaha keys are far more tactile than Casio keys. In my tests, I found that keys on basic Yamaha keyboards are as soft as the Casio. Soft keys make it very difficult to strike 16th notes; forget about 32nd notes.

      I suggest that you get a feel of the keyboard before buying it.

  7. Hi Rajib. Thanks for the blog and for the comments therein. πŸ™‚ I am torn between the CTK 810 IN & the CTK 4000. My intended usage is to experiment some compositions and classical Indian (say carnatic). That said, I also love western classical symphonies… Feature wise the CTK 4000 looks rich and varied and newer while the selection of instruments looks better on 810 IN. I was planning for CTK 2000 initially until I ran into some reviews on the web and then into your blog and then expanded my budget to around 10K. Your inputs would help me greatly in this regard.
    Rgds, Siva

    • The CTK-4000 has a better sound engine and more tones. However the 810IN has a pitch bender which is useful for carnatic music.
      The CTK-810IN sound quite good but is slightly more expensive than the CTK-4000. IMHO, you should go for the CTK-810IN; the CTK-2000 is too basic. Consider the CTK-3000 instead; it has a pitch bender.

    • Hi Surender,

      The CTK-5000 is clearly a superior keyboard. It was launched nearly a year after the 810IN. Functionally, the CTK-5000 is a culmination of the features found in the CTK-x000 series and features tons of sounds, styles & arranging features.

  8. Hi
    Rajeev, tnks for this information,but i m not satisfied, because i m just want ,pls compare both ctk 5000 & ctk 810in same as u compare psr i425 & ctk 5000.

    • Hi Surender,

      I do not have ready access to either the CTK-810IN or the CTK-5000. These products are available at Tata Croma and can be tested side by side there (as I tested briefly).
      I suggest that you visit the nearest Reliance Digital or Tata Croma store to compare these products yourself and determine which is right for you.

      – Rajib

  9. hi rajib….
    i want a keyboard that has good piano sound…
    what are ur views about casio ctk 810in?
    …. i checked it in croma….thay have few models like ctk 3000.
    You have a brief knowledge about these eqipments..about their +ve and -ve points….tell me about 810 in model …coz i dont want to repent afterwards abt the instrument…so pls tell me.
    Is it reliable to it buy from croma?


    • Hi Sana,

      The CTK-810IN is a dated model that will be phased out by Casio in favor of the CTK-xxxx series.
      You will find that the CTK-4000 & CTK-5000 have much better and mature piano sounds. However, the CTK-810IN features a Pitch-Bend wheel whereas the slightly lower priced CTK-4000 does not have it.

      I have checked out the sounds in 810IN and found them to be quite good, hence a good bundle overall. In the end, it is your ears that have to make the decision. Ask for a headphone or carry your own while listening to the keyboards. Ensure that your headphone can be connected to a 6.3mm jack (large headphone plug). You can easily buy 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter jacks for this purpose.

      Tata Croma is a good store, though you will find local stores offering the keyboards at a lower price. In the end, warranty is directly handled by Casio as long as you have a Casio warranty card (has a hologram sticker on it).


  10. Leave the pitch band feature …then would u recommend me ctk 810in or 4000…coz u said the piano sounds in later are more realistic than in 810in…coz in store they dont have 4000 model so i cant actually compare the sounds…

    and do tell …i spotted 2 models on net…. one names 810 and other is 810in … any diff ?

    and one more thing… what is one touch present feature ? it is in 4000 … and i dont know what is it and is it a important one for which i should look for ?

    • The CTK-4000 any day. Not only the sounds in CTK-4000 are better, but are also more in number.

      Try playing the Stereo Grand Piano & Stereo Mellow Piano sounds. Very real.

  11. Hi Rajib, i learned that CTK-4000 & LK-220 both have 48 note polyphony & AHL sound, but found that they sound differently, the CTK-4000 sounds more like real piano but why?

    • Hi Jacky,

      Congrats on asking this really smart question and actually noticing the issue in real world.

      Though the Casio CTK-4000 & LK-220 feature similar sound specs, their sounds are really different; with the CTK series sounding marginally better. This is due to the ROM that is used in the CTK series.

      Sound samples on a keyboard are stored in a ROM chip and these sounds are processed in real-time, depending on the key you press. For ex: The ROM chip may store a single-middle-C-note of Grand Piano. Depending on which key you press, how long you press and how fast you press, the sound processing chip will interpolate (mathematically modify) the middle-C tone to sound like the key you pressed (for ex C of 8th octave).

      Advanced keyboards store multiple notes per instrument (for ex: instead of just 1 note, 1 note for each octave or 8 notes on an 8 octave keyboard). This reduces the artifacts that are introduced in sound, when it is interpolated over a wide range. Advanced keyboards also store each note at multiple velocity levels, thus requiring even lesser interpolation and generating cleaner sound.

      Thus if the ROM used in CTK-4000 has more samples and cleaner samples, then it will sound way better than the LK-200, though technically their specs maybe similar.

      You will also notice this if you compare the CTK-3000 with the CTK-4000. While these two models are identical in Octaves, Sounds, Processors; the CTK-3000 sound lacks the depth of the CTK-4000 sounds. The CTK-3000 is also substantially cheaper. While the CTK-2000 & CTK-3000 have similar sounds, the CTK-4000 & the CTK-5000 have similar sounds.

      Casio does not disclose the ROM size on it’s keyboards, but I would guess it to be between 32MB & 64MB (for CTK-5000). Professional grade keyboards have ROM sizes of 256MB or better. Some keyboards allow you to load custom sound samples, where each tone (for ex: Piano) may weigh in at 2+ GB! If you were to store 500 tones (each at 2GB), the keyboard will require 1 Terabyte memory.


  12. Hi , Read your comments on CTK4000 with interest.

    This is my 1st acquisition of a keyboard. I am a beginner level piano player looking for a keyboard to assist me in my piano playing as well as a tool to encourage my young son to play the piano. I would expect some reluctant hammering/torturing of the keys.

    I am told by Casio that the transfer of midi files from the net is a mere drag and drop from the computer to the keyboard. You have mentioned some complicated procedures??? Would be good if you do given some guidance .. thanks in advance..

    I am having 2 models in mind, CTK4000 and Yamaha PSR-E413 both hovering around the same pricing. (Yamaha having some promotion sales!!) .

    Which would be a better choice?

    Thanks and have a great day..

    • Hi Cai Fen,

      For starters, the Casio keyboards do not support drag-drop playback of MIDI files. Only the CTK-5000 has an SD Card reader on which you can copy MIDI files from the computer and play on the keyboard.
      However, the Casio keyboards connect to any computer (Windows, Mac, Linux) over USB and using any software capable of sending MIDI notes to the keyboard (for ex: Winamp on Windows), you can play MIDI files on the computer and sound will come from the Casio.

      It’s a similar story with the Yamaha PSR E-413 with the exception that the Yamaha keyboards come with software that allow download of MIDI tracks from the Internet and uploading them to the keyboard for playback. The number of tracks that can be downloaded are limited though.

      Keyboard build quality wise, I found that both Casio and Yamaha feature similar build quality. The Yamaha keyboards have slightly better keys (more springy) and are generally considered more reliable.
      For you & your son, I would recommend the Yamaha PSR-E413. It’s an excellent keyboard that is also geared better towards education. If both Casio and Yamaha are available at the same price, then Yamaha wins hands-down. In general though, Casio delivers better value for money.

  13. Many thanks for your advise.

    You are absolutely right. With a bit of negotation Casio’s price has dropped by RM270/- compared to Yamaha.

    That makes it really difficult when I am seeking endorsement on a Yamaha. Anyhow I need to decide today as the ‘2 days offer’ from Casio ends today.

    Thanks again..

    • Hi Cai Fen,

      It seems to me that you would prefer the Yamaha over the Casio. IMHO if you don’t mind spending the RM270, then you should go for your heart. You will achieve greater sense of satisfaction.

  14. Hi,

    Yeah I was prepared to fork out that sum….. somehow yesterday when I went to Yamaha I was not impressed with their service… bad day I guess.

    But the scene was different with Casio… they relentlessly assisted me, downloaded what is needed on my laptop and viola…. !!! MIDI transfer was easy for my simple brain. Ecstacy clouded everything and I bought the CTK4000.

    The crux came to the fact that the people were all out to assist. So I shall make my peace with this set.

    And hopefully I can learn some skills from you on its operation.

    Thank you …

    • Hi Cai Fen,

      Let me congratulate you on your purchase.

      Somehow your Yamaha buying experience is not very different from mine. When I bought my keyboard, I had set a mental budget of about Rs. 10K. One store showed me a Yamaha for about 11.5K, what he failed to tell me was that the piece was cracked! Another store quoted 12K for the same unit. Both these stores had arrogant salesmen who did not even bother to switch on the keyboard far less play and show it.

      The store I bought the Casio from, did not snigger on my choice of brand. He showed me the CTK-4000 which was very feature rich (the nearest Yamaha containing these features was costing 17.5K) and allowed me to play with it before committing to it.

  15. I play keyboard in a band. I consider myself intermediate. I need a keyboard for effects and have told me that the Casio are excellent. I am considering buying a Casio CTK-4000 or a Yamaha PSR-E313. Considering the fragility that you indicate on the casio I’m in doubt between which to buy. I wanted to ask, what keyboard has better sound quality for musical effects, the CASIO CTK-4000 or the yamaha psr-e313? And what do you recommend to buy. Thank you very much for your help. Take care of yourself.

    • Hi Alex!

      Casio keyboards are not intended for heavy handed players. For beginner to intermediate players though, they are just fine.

      Sound quality wise, IMHO the Casio scores higher in some departments while the Yamaha wins in other. I have described this in an earlier comment. The keyboard that exceeds the Casio CTK-4000 is the Yamaha e413. The Yamaha e313 is tied with Casio CTK-4000 and it is purely up-to the buyer to make the purchase based on brand preference.

      Higher models of Yamaha keyboards (for ex: i425) come with controller knobs to manipulate the sound in real-time! Even with the Casio CTK-5000 you are limited to either doing this in post-production or using a Virtual Instrument on the computer and using the Casio purely as a MIDI input device.

      For ultimate in sound tweaking, I suggest that you invest in a MIDI controller and Virtual Instrument software rather than a budget keyboard. This is particularly true for those artists who spend more time in a studio than a stage.


  16. Hi again,

    Thank you…I was seeking for Yamaha endorsement from a Casio owner and was out to tell myself it’s a right decision but it JUST did not happen..

    Looks like you do a fantastic run down on LCD TV as well…(and more I am sure when I take time to go thro…

    Great work !

  17. Thank you Very Much. Also wanted to mention something: The Casio CTK-4000 is worth U.S. $ 280 while on YAMAHA PSR-E313 is worth $ 223. I hope to be so kind to clarify something. 1 – Which of the two keyboards is better effects such as trumpet, saxophone, flute. 2 – Which is a better investment. 3 – Which of the two buy you being in my place.

    • Dear Alex,

      I think the pricing you have received is incorrect. I purchased the Casio CTK-4000 for approx $228 almost a year back. If you see the Amazon links in my article, you will notice that the CTK-4000 bundle is worth only about $180!

      w.r.t. the sounds, I have not heard the sounds on a Yamaha E313, but on a Yamaha I425 I really liked the Sax sound. It was very real with all the fine nuances such as breath. The trumpets & flute on the CTK-400 are better (IMHO). They are clean and nice to hear. Perhaps I should upload the CTK-4000 sounds so that you can hear them to compare.

      Investment wise, the Casio keyboards are cheap and in second-hand they sell even cheaper. Yamaha keyboards on the other hand command a good price in the second hand market. That said, both these keyboards do not require substantial investment that you should worry about second-sale.

      As I mentioned earlier, I felt that the overall bundle of features & pricing is better for Casio and hence I bought the Casio.

  18. Really Thank you for your time and your help. It is true what you say, the CTK-4000 can be purchased at $ 180, but the store if it costs $ 280. I think by now that I think is a better option than the PSR-E313 costs $ 223 more or less. Considering the price and sound quality, you think it’s better buys the PSR-E313?

  19. Hello,
    Rajiv sir.
    thanx for guiding all of us.
    Which one among yamaha psr i425 and casio wk 500 is better. I prefer indian styles. I came to know that both have same price around 20k.

    • Hi Rajneesh,

      The Casio WK500 is simply the 76-key version of the Casio CTK5000 (61 key).
      Tones wise, the Casio offers lot more tones, registration setups, SD card facility and sampling support.

      The Yamaha on the other hand offers 2 knobs to tweak the sound and beautiful arpeggio patterns.

      Which one is better depends on the use you want to put it into. For stage performance, I would prefer the Yamaha but for Studio setups I would prefer the Casio.


  20. So which one should I buy? Psr i425 or ctk 5000? I know the price gap between the two……cosidering price which one is best in terms of sound quality, tones,(indian tones and style) features. I will consider your opinion last and final.

    • Hi Rajneesh!

      You will have to make the decision yourself. The CTK-5000 is marginally cheaper than the i425, but the i425 has a unique set of features that are not available on the Casio. In the end, it is you who should perform a listening test and make the choice!


  21. Hi need some help to use the CTK as midi with fruity loops software after the install of the software and connection of keyboard using the USB cable installing the drivers FL software does not pick the device. I have made sure that the keyboard is working as there is no conflict in device manager using XP 32 bit also if you can advice me some software which will allow the Casio CTK 5000 to perform the task and allow configuration. If possible please let me know the settings on the keyboard so we can get the midi working.

  22. Rajib.
    I have just one word on your blog and the information you have shared “WOW”

    I started my research on keyboard for my daughter and stumbled upon your site after doing a google. The article on Casio vs Yamaha is very informative. Since I donot understand the technical terms you have used, my inference is that Casio & yamaha are basically similar except for the price. On the other hand how would you rate them on service? and have you come across people (beginners) who have faced problems with either of the two brands.


    • Hi Rohit,
      Thanks for the compliment. You are on-the-mark when you say that today the amateur keyboards from Casio & Yamaha are very similar except the price. That too is quite close. I know of someone who purchased a Yamaha PSR i425 with Yamaha adaptor and Keyboard stand for 16.5K. This is very similar to the Casio bundle of CTK-5000+Casio adaptor and Stand for 15.5K.

      Product wise, I maintain that the Casio is a great product for those who will primarily use it at home or home-studio, while the Yamaha is better for on-stage performance. While the Casio leads in terms of tones & options, the Yamaha is designed for quick manipulation of the keyboard.

      Service wise, Casio has authorised service centres in many cities. Yamaha too has a service network in India, just not that extensive. In these products, defects are rare and damage is usually user-caused.
      Sure you can get the keyboard serviced, but in case of extensive damage, you will find it cheaper to just to buy a new one!

      On my Casio, ants had started eating the rubber inside the keyboard (I used some cockroach repellent chalk and napthalene balls to fix this). Yamaha people have not reported any such thing. The shop I purchased the Casio from, said that every part of the keyboard is replaceable but not very cheap; so take care of the keyboard. Sample price quoted was Rs. 600/- for every Octave (B&W key-set). There are five octaves on the keyboard. Hence, it would cost Rs. 3000/- to replace all the B&W keys on the keyboard.


  23. Hello Rajib, i have taken the plunge and ordered a CTK 4000, i’m in the intermediate to advance and appreciate the reviews and inputs you have. I was thinking of the CTK 5000 but was out of my budget. Looking forward for the arrival of my piano. Been playing with yamaha psr for a few years can’t complain, first casio keyboard. looks good .



  24. Hi Rajiv – nice blog and thanks for the info

    I’ve zeroed in on CTK-3000 for personal use. However, you mention in your post that CTK-4000 has better sound.
    I checked the specifications on Casio site – both 3000 and 4000 have AHL and hence i assume their sound quality should be the same
    Can you pls elaborate y u feel 4000 has better sound?

    • Dear Mitesh,

      While the CTK-3000 indeed has AHL sound, perhaps it’s ROM (permanent memory where sound samples are stored) is not as big as the CTK-4000. Tones on the CTK-3000 sound a little less “Full” than the CTK-4000.

      If you try playing the Piano samples & Strings samples, you can instantly note the difference. Tones on the CTK-4000 have a little more depth that the ones on CTK-3000.

      Since Casio has not published the ROM size of the keyboards, there is no definite way of proving this. It could very well be my ears and natural bias (I have a CTK-4000) or it could be real. I hope you will check this out yourself and let me know on this blog.


  25. Okay – thanks for the reply.

    Just one more question – do you think this difference in sound is perceptable in general and worth the extra 2k for CTK 4000?


    • Hi Mitesh,

      The CTK-4000 delivers a few extra features when compared to the CTK-3000; apart from slightly superior sound.
      If you are a casual player buying a keyboard for personal use and learning, the CTK-3000 is good enough. If you intend to use the keyboard on stage/recording, buy the higher models.


  26. Hi Rajib,

    I am planning to buy a keyboard and mainly looking for Indian tones, especially Santoor. I found that CTK5000 has this tone. Does the Yamaha keyboards have this tone in any model?. if yes, which one you recommended ?


    • Hi Vadiraj,

      The Yamaha i425 which features Indian tones has this sound. In fact this sound is part of the General MIDI specifications and hence is available on practically all keyboards.

      The Dulcimer instrument is also very similar to Santoor. You can find this instrument in the Piano category of sounds on most keyboards.


  27. Nice Review!!

    Can you please review CTK 5000 also? If you, please upload demo of CTK 5000.

    In CTK 4000 there is no direct way to export the songs/samples stored on the keyboard as files. Is this is possible in CTK 5000?


    • Hi Jayesh,

      Regretfully I cannot do a detailed review of the CTK-5000 because I do not have a unit handy. However, I do find it available at many malls and find it very similar to the CTK-4000 in sound quality.
      The CTK-4000 cannot export song/sample data on a card/floppy, but features a USB MIDI port. By connecting a computer with suitable MIDI Editor installed to the keyboard, you can easily capture the Song Data.

      To the best of my knowledge, though the CTK-5000 can export songs onto a SD Card, it does not save them in MIDI format; saving them in a Casio proprietory format instead.


  28. Hi Rajib,

    So finally I purchased CTK 5000. I just want to say thanks to you for all your useful advices.

    I am really satisfied with this keyboard but I must mention that build quality of keys is average.

    One question, If by mistake I delete everything using DELETE ALL then will it also delete built in tones and rhythms of keyboard? If yes, then how can I take back up of all built in instruments and rhythms to my SD card?

    Again THANKS.

    • Hi Jayesh,

      Congratulations on your new purchase.

      w.r.t. the build quality of the keyboard, it is meant for light playback. Playback styles that require quick hammering of the keyboard may actually be impossible because of the slow tactile response of the keyboard.

      ‘Delete All’ only deletes user samples (tones & rhythms). The built-in sounds exist on a ROM Chip (Read Only Memory) and can neither be erased nor backed up.


  29. Hi,

    Is it possible to compose MIDI music by using the on-board instrument sounds of the CTK-4000, or do I have to use some soft synths?

    I’ll be using Cakewalk Sonar 8.5 Producer, so I assume an instrument definition file is needed also. Does Sonar include such a file for the CTK-4000, or if not, is there a place where I can download one?

  30. Hello Rajib,

    I want to record audio to my computer from my CTK 5000 so which cable I have to purchase. Can you also please show me that how that cable looks like. Will this cable be Compatible with my built in sound card of Intel G31 mother board or I have to purchase some adapter or external sound card, etc.

    Please reply as soon as possible.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Jayesh,

      Your computer’s line-in port is a 3.5mm stereo jack. It probably looks like this.

      All Casio output stereo audio over the a 6.3 mm Stereo EP (headphone) jack. You can use a 3.5mm to 3.5mm EP stereo cable to connect the Casio to the computer. You will need a 6.3mm to 3.5mm convertor at the Casio end. The cable can be seen here. The convertor looks like this. Both the cable and the convertor are actually cheap and available in India.

      The casio CTK-5000 also outputs audio over Line-Out. I am unsure of what the output jacks look like. Maybe they are RCA-out and you will need a RCA to 3.5mm Stereo cable like this. The image actually shows a RCA to 3.5mm Female jack so that you can connect a 3.5mm male to 3.5mm male stereo cable to connect to the computer.

      Always prefer Line-Out audio over Headphone-Out. Line-out is at lower level but much cleaner and has little to no distortion. Also using Headphone-out when headphone volume is set very high can burn your recording device.


  31. Hiya Rajib. NOt sure you still come by this site, but ive read every comment and response, though still at a loss— Ive been trying every avenue to figure out how its possible to record from the casio wk-500 to Cakewalks Music Creator 5. The problem is that it doesnt recognize the keyboards tone banks ( instrument definitions). I looked high and low for one on the internet, but I gather no one has figured out thier format. It seems so freakin simple to ….record to a program on your computer that which comes out of your digital instrument. Oh sure the programs all can do this and that, emulate a million sounds and edit them etc, but ….The simplest thing of recording the sounds that you made as they sound from your keyboard speakers you cant….simply copy thru a recording program?? Sounds odd doesnt it? I dont know if its because of the casio and thier proprietary format junk, or not. Any ideas on how this can be done without ..sticking a microphone by the Casio speaker and recording it in a rather medieval mono-audio manner?

    • Hi Al,

      It’s been a while since it was possible to dump audio samples out of the keyboard. Today, the best you can do is send/receive MIDI data to the keyboard and hear the sound being generated by the keyboard’s internal sound engine. High end keyboards allow you to load your sound samples and even fewer actually output the data in digital domain. All keyboard output data in analog domain over headphone out or Line out.

      The analog output though is quite good and can be recorded with pristine clarity on computer systems/digital recorders. On my lowly P4 PC featuring a basic Creative Sound Blaster Live sound card, I was able to record the audio from my Casio CTK 4000 keyboard and playback without any noise/distortion creeping in. You can hear the sample recordings that I uploaded.

      w.r.t. using a software to compose your music and then playing it back either through the keyboard or a virtual instrument, it’s perfectly possible to use these low end keyboards to accomplish that. If you want to compose in Cakewalk and then assign the tracks to a specific patch on the keyboard, so that when played back through the Keyboard it uses the desired instrument and not the nearest equivalent in General MIDI soundset, it is possible to do so. No program comes preloaded with the patch definitions of keyboards (there being so many models which are frequently updated). All keyboards though come with documentation that illustrate parameters like LSB/MSB that can be used with Bank Select command to access a particular patch on the keyboard out of thousands in it’s portfolio instead of the default 127 in the GM set.

      It took me a while to figure out, but I was able to finally configure Cakewalk Sonar (v1) to set the Casio Keyboard to use the ‘Stereo Mellow Piano’ sound when I wanted to playback Yanni’s One Man’s Dream.

      I hope I was able to answer your question, would love to hear from you further on this.


  32. Dear Rajib,

    U seem to be helping a lot of people in selecting keyboards. I am an amateur and no nothing about keyboards, but i need your help selecting one, i found CTK5000 and it is being offered @ 12.5K with adapter, bag n stand, is it a good deal, is there any othe keyboard comparable to this one.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Dear Prachi,

      From your email, I am assuming that you do not know how to play a keyboard instrument but you are willing to learn.

      If you intend to pursue learning seriously and achieve some mastery, then I would suggest you to go for the Casio CTK-5000 or the Yamaha PSR I-425. Both these keyboards are similar in many ways with the Yamaha being slightly more expensive.

      If you just want a keyboard for home for an occasional bout of tinkering and maybe beginner level learning, you may want to consider the Casio CTK-2100 or the CTK-3000. Both these keyboards are quite economical and excellent for beginners.

      The Casio CTK-5000 at 12.5K on offer is an excellent deal and you can go for it without any doubts in mind.


  33. Hello Raijb,

    I want to start learning to play the keyboard. I found two interesting keyboards that are in my budget: Casio CTK-4000 and the YAMAHA PSR-E423 (the Yamaha being a little cheaper). Could you tell me which one to go for and why?


    • Dear Claus,

      I am surprised that the Yamaha PSR E423 is retailing cheaper than the Casio CTK-4000.
      The Casio CTK-4000 is technically superior to the Yamaha PSR E423, but you should check out both the products to decide which one you like better. This is particularly because many have a brand preference for the Yamaha and the Casio CTK-4000/5000 are not so far ahead of the Yamaha that they make a compulsory buy.


  34. Hi Rajib!

    I am from Holland and I’ve just bought the Casio CTK-3000.
    The sound is excellent, but now I want to record my music in multiple tracks by using the usb-cable from the keyboard to my pc. Unfortunatly it doesn’t seem to work…
    I’ve got a couple of recording software, but all of them seem to have problems with recording.
    In Sony Acid Pro 6.0 the Casio device cannot be recognized.
    In Cubase LE the device is recognized, but I can only record tones up to number 126.
    I tried Audacity but that was just one big misery.

    Please can you help me out? Maybe you know a software which is able to recognize my keyboard fully so I can make recordings which will (hopefully) sound as great as yours!

    Thanks very much!
    Dominique from the Netherlands

    • Hi Dominique,

      You can connect the Casio to the comp in two ways: as a MIDI device (only notes are communicated,not sounds) or as a Sound Source.

      If you are a good player, you can connect the Casio as a Sound source. This is simple to setup, allows you to take advantage of the Casio sound chip and allows extensive editing, effects & mixing. To do this, simply connect the headphone out of the CTK 3000 to the Line-in on the PC.

      Since headphone out current levels are way higher than Line-in, start by setting the PC’s Line Input levels at 75% and the Casio volume at 0. As you play a demo song, increase the casio volume till your PC’s Line input monitor is showing input at about -3dB. I use SoundForge (ver 5, really old but good) for this. It’s line level monitor is fast and reactive.

      Once this setting is done, you don’t have to worry much about exceeding peak levels in the course of recording.

      You can play songs on the Casio, one layer at a time and record invidual layers into your favorite multi-track audio editor. Reaper is an excellent option as a multi-track editor.

      Start with recording the drum track. This will help you keep pace as you play the lead tracks later on. You can also only record the metronome for starters. Add the Bass and backing Chord track. Add lead in sections. All the while, since you are using the Casio as a sound source, you can change the tones, layer them up, split the keyboard etc.

      For post-production, you can add additional tracks with sound effects, ambient sounds and filters to add effects such as echo/reverb.


  35. Hi Rajib,

    Congrats for helping so many people by your valuable comments.I too have a question regarding electronic keyboards.I wanted to learn harmonium from childhood but did not find a chance do it till now.Now I m 26 and has finally decided to learn a synthesizer or electronic keyboard.I do not know if there is a difference between these two.I have no knowledge of music at all.While googling casio 810IN model attracted me as it has been depicted as indian key board on casio site.Please help which model should I buy.My budget is around 10k.


    • Dear Nishikant,

      All keyboard instruments are based on the same 12-key octave system. All that changes is the playback style.

      Instruments such as Piano / Dulcimer / Xylophone produce sounds based on hammers striking wires/metal and can be played with both hands. Instruments such as Organs produce sound by blowing air through pipes and can be played by both hands. Instuments such as Accordion and Harmonium are mini-organs and require one hand to keep pumping air while the other hand plays the keys.

      And electronic keyboard such as Casio allows the best of all worlds. You can not only play keyboard instruments, but instrument types such as pipes, strings and drums too.

      You can either invest in a Casio CTK-810IN or the CTK-5000 (more advanced) as they both have the pitch wheel which is essential to play flue and string type of instruments. The CTK-4000 does not have a pitch-wheel but has excellent sounds (and within your budget) and will be right for you if you intend to focus on primarily playing keyboard type of instruments.


  36. Hi Rajib!

    Thank you very much for your answer, I’m going to try this and I’ll let you wheter it worked or not!


  37. Hi Rajib!

    First of all, congratulations for this post.
    I’m thinking on purchasing a CTK-4000 ( 210€) , WK-210 ( 235€) , or WK-110 ( 185€ ).
    I’m a begginer but would like to start with good foot at this, so, could you explain what are the differences between this models ?
    I’m particularly interested on WK-210, but considering also CTK models, not CTK-5000 cause it’s prize is going over my budget.
    Which of theese would you recommend me ?
    Thank you very much in advance !

    Best regards-.

    • Dear Kepa,

      The Casio WK series belongs to the workstation series of keyboards and is supposed to feature song composing abilities.
      As a beginner, you can opt for either the CTK-4000 or WK-210.


  38. Dear Rajid:

    Thank you very much for your quick answer!
    I’m Basque ( Basque Country, north of Spain ) πŸ˜‰

    Definetively i’m going to purchase a WK-210, i think it’s the best of this three for the prize. 76 keys is just near to a real piano size, that’s cool for me, i usually played at my father’s digital piano ( hammered ), and would like to have a similar sensation at playing although this one with dynamic response will not be the same.

    I said that i was a beginner, but really have been playing some years. I’d also like to use the MIDI port for using it with CubaseSX3.
    Do you know if autoaccompaniment, rythms, arpeggios and so are also exported as midi data ? Or you only get “human pressed keys” data to midi ? I know that samples are not exported, but do the preprogrammed rythms do? This is an important question for me cause i don’t kmow to play the drum, and i’m awful when editing them via DAW, or host software.

    i’d like to take advantage of pre-stored rythms, and so other facilities like autoaccompaniment for my midi files, and then use Cubase and VSTi for doing the final mixing. ( I also play the guitar, and sing… πŸ˜‰ )

    Thank you very much again, and best regards from Basque Country!

    • Hi Kepa!

      You could consider some of Casio’s digital pianos instead of the WK-210 too. The pianos featured semi-weighted keys. Functionally, some models are absolutely equal to the CTk-5000/WK-210. If you go for the WK-210, perhaps a ‘Sustain’ foot pedal will help.

      The Casio does export the preset rhythms as MIDI data. I tried capturing the MIDI data and it worked, though not without it’s problems.
      If you export only the rhythm, you can capture the data into a track and forcibly change the ‘Channel’ to 10 (which forces the keyboard/sound card to output drum sounds). You can also change the ‘bank/patch’ to play the drum set using a different drum set than what was sent from the keyboard.

      If you export chord + rhythm data, all hell breaks loose, because the keyboard tends to export all the data over a single channel. Thus chord data (which contains so many different instruments – bass, lead, backing …) gets mixed with percussion data.

      Perhaps there is a way to (the keyboard has menu option to change MIDI settings) to fix the solution, but Casio’s manual is unhelpfully short in this section and their online support is non-existent.

      Do put up your performances on YouTube / eSnips etc. and share the link here. Would love to hear the sound of your keyboard and you playing on it!


  39. Hi again Rajid:

    Thanks again for your explanation, it’s being very helpful.
    I can not really afford one digital piano at this moment, i’m involved in too many things and can not expend in all i’d like to πŸ˜‰
    I have no much space left on my “home-studio-room” to put one of this πŸ˜‰

    At this moment i have several videos uploaded to youtube, but only guitar covers of heavy metal and punk styles πŸ˜‰ , nothing with a keyboard, but i usually use CubaseSX3 and Band in a Box for my backing tracks, and use VST’s and so.

    It’s a pity hearing that chord+rythms go mixed in a track, but this would not be really a problem if “real sound” is good enough for me. And if i can use rythms at Channel 10 and use only the drum track at CubaseSX i would be happy πŸ˜‰
    I could record accompaniment, bass and other tracks via “audio” using the jack and my beloved JamVOX ( external sound card ) on CubaseSX3, so if the sounds are good, then i’ll go that way πŸ˜‰

    I hope you can see my here

    My best regards!


    Beacause of your post, now i purchased psr-i425 and i am happy.
    really there is nothing on net for ctk-5000

  41. Hi Rajib

    I stumbled across your blog and I wanted you to know I am SO impressed with the time and effort you put into answering everyone’s questions. You clearly know what you are talking about and it is very generous of you to share your knowledge. I just completed researching appropriate keyboards for my son who is an absolute beginner, but I want him to have a fair bit of scope to grow into. He’s 15. So we have opted for the Casio WK-210. In Canadian Dollars it is $255. Your comments have been very helpful. It will be an exciting (and probably noisy) Christmas morning at our house! Thank you again, and I wish you and your family a very happy 2011.

    Best regards from Canada.

  42. Hi Rajib,

    After reading this blog, i zeroed in for CTK-4000. But when i go to the shop to buy the salesman tells that there is very less demand for CTK-4000 and so they dont keep it in stock anymore and since there is more demand for CTK-810 in india why dont you go for it.

    I am now in dilemma as to which one to buy.

    Can you please throw some light on the CTK-810IN and if it is better than 4000.

    I got a leaflet for the same and i can see the following diff:

    Both come under standard keyboard.both have digital effects,lesson,recording,general midi,USB,61 keys,touch response

    CTK 4000:(Improved tone quality and function packed with entertainment features) 48 polyphony, 570 sounds, 180+10 rhythms,152 built in tones,10 song expansion(user tune),one touch, AHL- sound source

    CTK-810in:(indian tones and rhythems plus touch response, pitch bend wheel and SD memory card support.)32 polyphony,515 sounds, 120 rhythms, pitch bend,100 built in tones, 5 song expansion,no one touch,HL-sound source

    one more kind of keyboard is the key lighting key board for beginners.

    I know to play harmonium, but a beginner in keyboard,so key lighting keyboard may be useful. but wanted to know your opinion in all of them and which one would be the best.

    • Dear Veena,

      The Casio CTK-810IN was introduced in India as a keyboard featuring Indian tones and a pitch bend wheel; hence better suited to play Indian instruments.

      The Casio CTK-4000/5000 was introduced about 1 year later; featuring better sound and slightly better specs.

      The Casio LK series of keyboards were primarily meant for people interested in Self-Learning the keyboard. These keyboards light up the key according to the in-built practice songs on the keyboard. The practice songs are of-course, all western.

      Since you know how to play the harmonium, I feel the Casio CTK-4000/5000 will be perfect for you. Not only the CTK-4000/5000 have better sounding Indian tones than the CTK-810IN, there’s more variety too. There’s really no difference between playing the harmonium and a keyboard; you only need to prevent the muscle-memory of your left-hand from attempting to push the bellows on an electronic keyboard.

      If you would like to play string and wind instruments in their most natural style, then buy a keyboard that features a Pitch-bend wheel (CTK-5000), else the minimum is the CTK-4000.


  43. A heads-up for anyone needing an Instrument Definition file for some Casio keyboards. Unfortunately, not many people realize how much Casio boards have improved in the last few years and 3rd-party support for them is sorely and mistakenly lacking.

    I tried to find an Instrument Definition file for my keyboard model number (CTK-5000) and realized I’d have to create my own. While doing so I created three INS files for the 8 following Casio keyboard model numbers:

    CTK-4000, LK-270, & WK-200 (all use the same file)
    CTK-5000, WK-500, & CDP-200R (all use the same file)
    CTK-6000 & WK-6500 (both use the same file)

    They can be found in another forum, posted here

    When copied from their respective code list-box in that post and saved as an INS file these can be loaded into Cakewalk as-is or Reaper. In Reaper with the add-on plugin pack that includes the ReaControlMIDI plugin. (That forum did not allow zip files or any other odd filetype to be uploaded, hence the simple copy-from, paste into notepad, save-as *.ins … roll-yer-own method.)

    I hope this helps some of you!

    btw: Rajib, I had a huge part in the CHDK project for the first 3 years of its development. I’m glad you like it. Amazing, ain’t it. πŸ™‚

  44. A heads-up for anyone needing an Instrument Definition file for some Casio keyboards. Unfortunately, not many people realize how much Casio boards have improved in the last few years and 3rd-party support for them is sorely and mistakenly lacking.

    I tried to find an Instrument Definition file for my keyboard model number (CTK-5000) and realized I’d have to create my own. While doing so I created three INS files for the 8 following Casio keyboard model numbers:

    CTK-4000, LK-270, & WK-200 (all use the same file)
    CTK-5000, WK-500, & CDP-200R (all use the same file)
    CTK-6000 & WK-6500 (both use the same file)

    They can be found in another forum, posted here

    When copied from their respective code list-box in that post and saved as an INS file these can be loaded into Cakewalk as-is or Reaper. In Reaper with the add-on plugin pack that includes the ReaControlMIDI plugin. (That forum did not allow zip files or any other odd filetype to be uploaded, hence the simple copy-from, paste into notepad, save-as *.ins … roll-yer-own method.)

    I hope this helps some of you!

    btw: Rajib, I had a huge part in the CHDK project for the first 3 years of its development, many things you see on the menus I helped to create. I’m glad you like it. Amazing, ain’t it. πŸ™‚

    • Dear Albert,

      Cannot thank you enough for the superb technical inputs on the Casio keyboards.
      And if you are involved in the development of the CHDK project, you have my eternal gratitude! πŸ™‚


  45. Hi Rajib,

    I am from Hyderabad too and a total beginner to music playing. I have finally decided to learn piano. However I have never touched a keyboard before and somewhat apprehensive about spending too much on it.

    I narrowed down to buying ctk 3000 before i read your thoughts on the fact that ctk 4000 has a better sound maybe due to a excellent sound bank.
    I was wondering if you can tell me if I should go for ctk 4000 or even ctk 5000 / yamaha. Since these keyboards will be the 1st thing I will be playing, I wanted the experience to be as nice it can be πŸ™‚

    Also, will 61 keys be a problem or i should go for 88keys keyboards?


    • Dear Adi,

      If you have the budget, go for a CTK-5000 or a PSR-I425/PSR-E423. Your next options are CTK-4000 and CTK-3000.

      The 88 keys provide the full range that is required by virtuoso pianists and duet players. For most single users, the 5-Octave 61 key keyboards are sufficient.


  46. Rajib, Thank you! For the thanks. It’s the first and only “thanks” I got for these INS files so far. πŸ™‚ I also just added one for the CTK-7000 & WK-7500, with a “new and improved” version for the CTK-6000 / WK-6500, at that previously posted forum thread.

    Not too shabby of a project for just one person. It went from ZERO to 10 Casio keyboards now properly supported with instrument-definition files. πŸ™‚

    re: CHDK, I think it’s the coders on that project that deserve the greatest amount of thanks. I only jumped in at the very beginning (I still have the very first RAW-dump patch from Vitaly, the tiny bit of code that started it all πŸ™‚ ). Because I’m a photographer first, and they needed input from someone that uses cameras in all manner of styles and circumstances. Programmers don’t think too much like actual photographers out in the field, so I did what I could to document all their work (all the original wiki pages), write-scripts, suggest improvement, find new features, invent, and improve on whatever they were coding. It was (is) a phenomenal project and will forever change photography and cameras as we once knew it all to be. CHDK has been used in balloons 120 miles above the earth, to plasma research labs requiring ultra-fast shutter speeds to document plasma events, to 1 mile beneath the ocean to make new specie and archaeological discoveries that are now rewriting the time-line of evolution (google for all it’s been used for). My huge thanks goes to all who made it what it is today.

    p.s. Thank YOU for providing such a nice blog and unbiased views on these things. You deserve much thanks for what you have done for so many.

  47. Hi Rajib,

    Thanks for the quick reply. Since you live in Hyd, can you suggest me any dealers who can give me appropriate price of Casio keyobards? Yamaha keyboards are 15+ and I can’t really afford them.
    It seems like ctk 5000 can be bought for 12k and I might give it a shot if the dealer offers me nice deals. otherwise i will be buying ctk 4000.

    • Dear Adi,

      I bought my Casio from a shop in Swapnalok Complex. His address is mentioned in my blog article titled “Casio CTK 4000 – Bring Home The Music”.
      If I need to buy another keyboard, I might prefer him. Another shop I liked was “Khords” (located opposite to Tajmahal Restaurant”. I did not “Musee Musical” much because they only stock Yamaha and I felt that their attitude only encouraged the kind of customer who brought cash and wanted to buy something right away.

      Reliance Digital stores spread throughout the twin-cities also offer Casio products at very reasonable pricing. Plus the guarantee of a genuine product with Casio warranty.

      My personal Casio CTK-4000 (rarely used, still in original box with manuals and compatible adapter) is for sale for 8.5k. So if you are interested, use the contact form on the blog to mail me your telephone number and we can coordinate.


  48. Hi Rajib,

    First of all i would like to appreciate your effort on maintaining such a useful blog. Very informative and genuine guide.

    Though i have not gone through all the questions & answers, i would still like to ask you on some purchase which i want to make for my sister.

    She has just started learning from a teacher in her home town. She is aiming to become over all keyboard player who can make a living by playing/teaching the same to others.

    She had her personal Casio SA21 (which was just lying around @ our home since childhood). In music classes, her teacher gives her some china make. But for practice and learning she wants to buy a good one to be kept @ home. She is also learning vocal from another teacher. For that she has one bass-male 7-fold balley harmonium.

    Budget is maximum of 12-13 K, but the issue is we don’t want to over spend on features which she is not going to use till next 2 years. She doesn’t have a computer at disposal as of now. So can you suggest some thing which she should buy. We are more inclined towards learning and practicing the skills.

    I really thank you in advance for your help.


    • Hi Himanshu,

      Since your sister is learning vocals and practising on the Harmonium (an excellent idea always), I feel that your sister should opt for a keyboard that features Indian tones and rhythms (styles). It will make it easier for your system to practise-perform if the keyboard had a few indian ‘taals’. If nothing else, she can use the onboard ‘track recorder’ feature and record a basic taal & laya using tones such as sitar/tanpura so that when she sings, the keyboard will help her maintain ‘sur’ and ‘taal’.

      For your budget, you can opt for either the CTK-5000 or the CTK-4000. If you are keen on Yamaha, you can opt for the PSR-223 or the PSR-323 within your budget. My personal recommendation would be the Casio CTK-5000 since it delivers better bang for the buck.

      In a budget crush, you can even opt for the Casio CTK-3000; though it features lesser number of tones and does not feature Indian rhythms like the CTK-4000/5000 does.


  49. hi anna

    i am an amateur keyboard player , started a small metal band with my frnds in college . i am looking for a keyboard having distortion tones inbuilt , MIDI compatibility for audio processing and pitch blenders . my budget is around 170$ . is ctk5000 better for me? mainly i want to concentrate on distortions ,please guide me. thank you.


    • Hi Bharath,

      I would not recommend the Casio keyboards for your kind of music. Casio keyboards tend to offer tones that are based on real-world instruments and have very little synth factor in them. The Yamaha PSR E423 or I425 would be the nearest keyboards for you; particularly considering the two controller knobs that let you play with the sounds in real-time.

      An even better solution for you would be to invest in a MIDI controller and a computer running a virtual synth. Make sure the computer is fast enough for the V-synth. In the v-synth, you will get a very wide range of mathematical sounds that will allow immense customisation (distortion is just one of them) and in the MIDI controller you will get all the knobs & sliders that will allow you to control the V-synth in real-time.


  50. hi anna ,

    thank you anna for ur valuable suggestion . i checked reviews for Yamaha e423 and I425 and found the later one satisfying , i am newbie learning and using FL studio and MIDI for recordings and processing(using virtual keyboard provided in fl) . can i connect yamaha i425 using midi interface into fl and use all the tones and options provided by fl . thank you


  51. hi bro ,

    i checked ur article regarding yamaha i425 and ctk 5000 , it cleared most of my doubts. i finally decided to purchase yamaha i425 , the options which are not available in yamaha , ill somehow manage them in FL(such as full chord arp ,etc), regarding the MIDI controller , ill use the virtual options available in FL , regarding distortions i understood few, saw , hypersaw tones can cause distortions . i would like to go for a MIDI controller at later stages( i will first learn all options of the yamaha keys) thank you bro for your suggestion and article . kindly suggest me if anything to be altered in my decision …thank you very much πŸ™‚


    • Dear Bharath,

      The Yamaha PSR-I425 should work very well for your purpose. Since it has USB connectivity, you can easily connect it to a PC and use it as a MIDI controller with FL Studio.
      If you buy it, do update us with your purchase price and store contact details.


  52. Rajib

    I have a Casio CTK810in. Is it possible to play Indian rythms and tones other than the built in ones via the SD card?
    A few days ago I saw, on YouTube, a fellow playing the melody of a with the Karaoke track of the that seemed to be playing though the instrument. Is it possible?
    Can I take the rythm from a film song, loop it and make it on of the rythms played through the Instrument?
    Any help/suggestions would be highly appreciated

    • Dear Somesh,

      You will have to investigate the following to get your answer?
      Does the Casio CTK 810IN play MIDI files from the SD Card?
      If yes, you will have to locate/create loops of Indian rhythms and put them into the SD Card and play them on the keyboard.

      If the Casio does not play MIDI files from the SD Card, you may be able to connect the keyboard to the computer via the USB port and play the MIDI files on the computer and route the MIDI information to the keyboard.

      If the Casio has an Audio-In port, you may be able to connect a MP3 player to the keyboard and play the songs in audio format.


  53. Dear Rajib Ji

    Thanks a lot for your blog, it is so informative that my query was solved by reading itself.

    Just I wanted to thank you for your helping nature and kind hearted to replying so patiently and elaborated way.

    My son is 11 years old and playing casio MA 150 since 4 years, this year he has given the 2nd year exam for diploma.

    Nowhere I have seen any discussion about MA 150, is it like toy for him, but since beginning he is performing on the stage with this only and according to his age he performs very well.

    My plan was to buy a CTK 2100 for him but when I saw your blog it was totally changed my mind, even we do not had idea about the classification of the keyboard.

    Last few months he is learning Ragas and I think for that touch sensitive keyboard is required.

    His friends have bought CTK 3000 but according to your blog CTK 5000 or PSR i425 is better.

    Please suggest me which one would be better for him.

    He has to carry the instrument to his learning place but I have seen these models are bulky to carry over there.

    It comes along with stand so may be these models are for fix in one place.

    Can you suggest me some smaller model along with touch sensitive keypad and 5 octave keys?

    Thanks again in advance and looking forward to hearing from you soon.

    Brajesh Kumar

    • Dear Brajesh,

      Since your son has to carry the keyboard from place-to-place and he is also appearing for music exams (Trinity College exams?), I will suggest a keyboard that allows for a sustain-pedal connection, features touch-sensitivity and optionally a pitch-bend wheel (useful for playing Indian songs, not required for formal exams).

      Both the Casio CTK-5000 and Yamaha PSR I-425 will serve this purpose. The Casio CTK-5000 is a lighter keyboard and it maybe easier to carry it around. Though at 11 years age, even the Casio CTK-5000 may be tough for him to carry.

      I would suggest that you buy him a Casio / Yamaha keyboard but install it at home for now. Let him continue taking the MA-150 to his music classes. The MA-150 should allow for basic 2-handed playback and timing exercises just fine.

      Most music classes also stock their keyboards and allow students of higher classes to use them; so your son will become eligible to use them soon enough. Also, knowing that your son has a high-end keyboard at home should at-least result in his music-teacher taking him seriously when it comes to handling expensive keyboard in the class.

      Over a period of time, allow your son to take his keyboard to the classes. Soon enough he will get used to it (the fact that he will grow fast soon will help) and then he can practice on his advanced keyboard all the time, not just at home.


  54. Rajib, thank you for your time and effort spend on this site. I have not found any site on the www which equals your info on the Casio CTK-4000. Could you also explain something on the preset scaling feature? I want to make music with an arabic touch. I found out after a day of googling what scaling is (more or less), and that rast, bayati, hijaz, saba and dashti are arabic (like) scalings. I tried them out, one by one, playing an octave using both white and black keys, but with most of these presets I don’t hear anything different from the standard scaling. I understand that with arabic or indian scalings the pitch between tones is different, but I just don’t hear it.

    • Dear Karen,

      I did the same thing as you to figure out the variations in the scale. I was expecting the keyboard to support Quarter-pitch notes if switched to Arabic scales. Unfortunately, it appears that you need to buy the Arabic version of the keyboards for this.

      Upon very careful listen, I can confirm that the pitch for the keys shifts ever so slightly with the various Preset Scales. This becomes very noticeable if you attempt to play the keyboard along with a recording whose pitch does not match the keyboard. For ex, if I attempt to play along with old movie songs, their pitch is slightly off (probably caused by slow/fast rotational speed of the Record/Tape player) when compared to the keyboard. As I try the various scales, one or more of them result in near pitch-match!

      An expert musician will easily provide an explanation of the various scales and the base frequencies and pitch multipliers; for the rest of us – there is google!


  55. Hi Rajib
    I am beginner with keyboard playing. Only listened to music sofar. But wanted to learn keyboard. Which keyboard will you suggest.

    I found this keyboard. Yamaha YPG-235 76-Key Portable Grand Piano.
    Is this a good piano for longterm use compared to casio ctk 5000. or if there is another similar specs in casio please let me know. I want to learn Indian as well as western on the keyboard if possible.

    • Dear Kumar,

      The Yamaha YPG-235 seems to be available for $250 in USA. If you can purchase it approximately for the same price in your currency, then it’s a terrific deal. The keyboard is geared for learning Piano.
      Though the keyboard has other sounds too, it’s focus is clearly on the Piano.

      Since you are only beginning the learning process, I think you should define what you want to learn. If you want to focus on playing the ‘Piano’ instrument, learn western classical music or obtain Piano certification from Trinity College of Music etc., then go for a Digital Piano you can afford.

      If you want to learn various styles of music, learn to play modern/electronic music etc., then go for a generic/synth-focused keyboard like the Yamaha PSR E423/I-425.


  56. Rajib
    Thanks for the response. Very helpful.

    I would like to learn the keyboard as a hobby as well as learn music. I do not intend to buy a higher end after this. So I want to buy a keyboard once which can last as well as easy to start learn. Is there any in this preference that your suggest. Budget is up to $250

    Also do you suggest yamaha PSR E 423 or Casio CTK 5000.

    I live in USA and plan to take some beginner classes if possible here before coming to India.

    Again thanks for answering my questions.

    • Dear Kumar,

      IMHO you should opt for the PSR E423. Not only it has the Yamaha build quality, also it features a terrific sound set and plenty of creative controls that you will grow into and enjoy over the years.


  57. Hi,

    Can you please quote the difference between Yamaha EZ-200 and Casio CTK-4000. I was planning on buying CTK-4000 after reading your blog, but there is a used Yamaha EZ-200 with stand and headphones for sale at 15000/- it is a lighted keys functionality. Will this be a good deal? I think it still has warranty.


    • Dear Lakshmi,

      The Yamaha EZ-200 is a good learners keyboard. However the price quoted to you is very high. For that price you can buy a Yamaha PSR-E423, which is a semi-professional keyboard.

      There’s little point is comparing the Casio CTK-4000 and the Yamaha EZ-200 since they belong to different genre. While technical features maybe compared in a table, it actually makes little impact in your buying decision. The Casio LK series belongs to the same genre as the Yamaha EZ-200 and you can compare them by downloading the tech specs from the manufacturer’s website.

      You should pick the keyboard that you have tried out at a store and liked.


  58. Hi Rajib,

    It’s really great to see that you are truely dedicated in sharing genuine knowledge and helping others out.

    Well, would like to know more about yourself and the motivation behind you.

    Also, would like to know your review of Casio CTK 2000 which i am planning to buy.


    • Dear Amit,

      The blog was started by me purely to share information about technology that I encounter/use in my day-to-day life. In the blog, you will find me ranting about bad quality service providers and products and also praising good quality products/services to the sky.

      The CTK-2000 you are planning to buy is a nice basic keyboard. If budget permits, I will ask you to check out the CTK-3000 which has better sounds and a pitch bend wheel.


  59. plz suggest me a keyboard casio 810in or ctk 4000

    which one is the best

    isit possible to play a song with background music in ctk 4000

    keyboard using a midi file(karaoke as background music)

    how many songs can i record in ctk 4000

  60. Great job Mr.Rajib.

    Today only brought yamaha PSR E423 for my daughter. When I reached home I confused and planed to exchange it with Casio LK-220. I am lucky that I reached this blog through Google search. Now am clear and I will retain Yamaha.

    Thank you very much this nice blog and your great service.

    Thinesh kumar

  61. hi rajib sir,

    i am planing to learn keyboard, and i am confused between ctk4200 and yamaha 333….plz suggest me which one should i go for.

    • Dear Himanshu,

      Between the CTK-4200 and PSR-333, the CTK-4200 delivers better value with more tones, more Indian sounds and affordable pricing.

      However, since you are planning to learn the keyboard, most music teachers recommend the PSR-333 since they have fixed ways of teaching and find it hard to accept a keyboard they are not familiar with. In fact most of them even give you Sheet Music with exact numbers for the tones & rhythms that you should use to play the music.

      Their argument about better build quality of Yamaha keyboards and faster keyboard action holds no water since I am yet to encounter a beginner learner who has busted his Casio keyboard and Youtube is full of videos of professionals playing Casio keyboards at high speed.


    • Dear Himanshu,

      Its great that you are learning singing. You can definitely do riyaz on your keyboard as practically all keyboards these days come with basic Indian tones and the track recording feature allows you to record the basic tanpura / sitar notes and play them repeatedly.


  62. Hello Rajib,
    I am from Hyderabad, living near Yousufguda. My daughter (8 year) is interested to learn keyboard and so I am planning to buy a keyboard for her. Will you please suggest which one is good for her as a beginner. I am not thinking like first I should buy some low range keyboard with limited functions and then later go for another good one. I am planing to buy good keyboard with reasonable price (range is 5000 to 10000). Will you please give suggestion for this and tell from where can I find it.

    Sanjay Patel

    • Dear Sanjay,

      For your budget, I recommend the Casio CTK-4200. If you can add 2-3K more to your budget, you maybe able to acquire the Casio CTK-5000. The Yamaha PSR-E313 too should be available in your budget.


  63. I have been learning keyboard for the past eight months.What should I go for-Casio ctk-810 or ctk-5000 or if any other second hand(used) keyboard?

    • Dear Anirbar,

      The CTK-5000 offers superior sound quality over the CTK-810IN. The CTK-5000 also features a SD Card to store/play performances.
      You can also buy second hand keyboards but be sure to check the functioning of the keys and buttons.


  64. Hi Rajib, i am impressed with your down-to-earth reviews and suggestions, thanks for that.
    I am planning to gift my dad a keyboard, he has not learnt it but can play by listening. The budget would be below 15k. And i also want to learn and have fun with connecting tocomputer and doing some basic editing. And all these just for fun and entertainment. From what i have read, i believe casio 5000 is a good option, but is there a Yamaha keyboard with sd card and connecctivity to computers and similar features of casio 5000 or 810 in the same price range?
    Also would it be good to buy it online in ebay? anyways i am no good in music to tinker and find out
    Thanks again

    • Dear Joy,

      The Casio CTK-5000 is an excellent keyboard for beginners & amateurs. It also features computer connectivity (USB), SD Card support (2GB max., store tunes, configurations), Sampler (use sound samples as instruments and rhythms) and a pitch-bend wheel. The nearest keyboard from Yamaha that offers all this is the Yamaha PSR-I425 (being replaced by I455). The Yamaha is more expensive than the Casio keyboard by Rs. 2000/-

      You can also consider the Yamaha PSR-E333 which offers similar features.

      w.r.t.buying from eBay, while you can certainly do that, you will probably find a better deal at a local store. You will be able to experience and compare the keyboards before making the decision.


      • Hey Rajib,

        I had a chance to take a look at the Casio CTK-6300 keyboard at shop, hope CTK-5000 also is similar except not having some of the features. In Chennai the price is exactly the same as the online price and Yamaha costs more than 5000 than Casio CTK-5000 which is around 13900 but with Adapter and a carry bag.

        So decided to buy a Casio CTK-5000 on for 13450 and get the adapter, stand and carry bag separately.

        Will update my experience after buying and trying it.


  65. Rajib

    I have a Casio CTK 810In Keyboard and I want to know if there is a way that I can
    program it to playimported sounds and rythms.


    • Dear Somesh,

      You can easily connect the CTK-810IN to your computer and play MIDI data on your computer. The MIDI data can be entire songs or rhythms loops.
      For this, simply connect the computer to keyboard using a USB cable.
      Download and install a MIDI editing software like “Sekaiju”. Configure the software to use the Casio keyboard as the MIDI Output device.
      Now you can load MIDI files (songs, rhythm loops) etc. on the computer and play them on the keyboard.

      The CTK-810IN does not feature sample playback or a tone-editor. Hence you cannot import sounds as instruments or modify existing instruments to sound different.


  66. Thanks a lot for the suggestions and clarifications Rajib. Will check out some stores and update my thoughts here.

  67. Rajib

    I am not up to speed with computers.
    Is there a software other than Sekaiju that might be more user friendly and easier to use.
    I have no problem in paying for it. Where can I get Indian instrumental rythm loops?


    • Dear Somesh,

      There are tons of MIDI editing software. Many are free.
      Some of the apps allows you to mix recorded audio along with MIDI tracks. This way, you can produce music on an end-to-end basis. Cakewalk Home Studio is an example.
      Google is your friend.


    • Dear Somesh,

      Music Maker 2013 supports mixing of MIDI tracks along with Wave audio. I have feeling that it does not allow fine-grained control of MIDI recording and parameters. Hence, you may still end up needing a MIDI editor.

      Have a look at Cakewalk Sonar. Propellerhead FL Studio / Reason are excellent alternatives too. Infact, propellerhead products are Soft-Synths (software synthesizers). These products have a sound-engine built-in which reacts to MIDI commands being sent from the keyboard.


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