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Weekend Sale Find – 6/16/2012

Well, it’s sure not a MiniMoog. It also wasn’t a sale.

Casio CA-110. Another trash pick. Seriously, I don’t understand why people throw these out – give it to Goodwill, or find a school to donate it to.

Filthy, as usual. The photo was taken before I cleaned and tested it; at that point I didn’t know whether or not it worked.  It is indeed completely functional.

Despite the full-sized keys, it’s really just one of the myriad SA-series keyboards in a bigger package. It does sound a little better, by virtue of a larger speaker and slightly beefier amp. Sounds are okay – nothing to write home about. No MIDI, nothing but headphone and power jacks. If I’d seen it at a flea market, I would have passed it up. But “free” is always good.

It’s a good beginner’s keyboard, so I’ll either add it to my “to be sold” pile or donate it.

 

 

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Casio CT-510

Released in 1987, the CT-510 is the full-sized relation of the MT-500 and MT-520 mini keyboards.  The immediately distinguishing feature of this particular family is the group of large drum pads on the front panel. Less obvious are rear panel inputs for a pair of DP-1 external drum pads, with an additional input on this model for bass drum pedal. Additionally, there are front panel sliders which allow you to change – or turn off entirely – the various drum sounds in the auto-accompaniment. You can, for example, turn off the snare and trigger it manually using the front panel pad.

   

The pads in the picture are NOT mine. They do come up on Ebay from time to time, typically selling for $20-30 per pair.

Left-side controls include rhythm selection, accompaniment type, a fill-in button, part volume controls, and the aforementioned SuperDrums (!) slide switches.  Keeping in mind the standard level of expectations for any Casio product, the drums are pretty good. The ability to change the various parts even while playing is a definite plus.

Bank 1 Bank 2
Rock 1 Rock 2
Pops Reggae
Disco 16 Beat
Swing Slow Rock
Samba Bossa Nova
March Waltz

The right side contains the tone selector, and the minimalist sequencer controls.

Bank 1 Bank 2
Piano Elec. Piano
Vibraphone
Elec. Guitar
Jazz Organ Pipe Organ
Violin Human Voice
Trumpet Flute
Funky Clavl Synth. Sound

The tones are all pretty much standard for a keyboard of this particular time period. The organs are usable, if uninspiring, and the flute is pretty good. The pianos and guitar, not so much – very muted, with not much in the way of a solid attack. Funky Clavl (sic) is probably my favorite. The onboard speakers aren’t bad.

Now, this is NOT normally a keyboard I would have purchased. I try to avoid the full-sized units as I don’t have the space, and the features aren’t different enough from the MT-520 I already own to justify it. However, there were a couple of interesting things about this one that caught my eye. First, it came in the original box with the original packing material, music stand, AC adapter, and (albeit somewhat beat-up) vinyl cover. And second, they sent me the two pieces they could find of the original Casio stand – the upper cross-piece and the all-important and difficult to find lower panel, with the Casio logo.  For me, that was worth the price of admission.

So…

Pros: Full-sized keyboard. Good on-board speakers. External drum pad inputs. “Super Drums” rhythm variations. Small sequencer.

Cons: Mediocre sounds. No voice effects (sustain, vibrato). No sustain pedal input.  And the front panel drum pads give a distinctive look, but for musical purposes they’re not very useful.

Bottom line: It’s fun for a couple of hours of noodling, but I don’t think this one is gonna be a keeper. Try and get the stand parts away from me, though!