Customer Reviews: Casio WK-200 76-Key Personal Keyboard with MP3/Audio Connection and 570 Tones
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on December 8, 2010
When I was shopping for a keyboard, originally I was in the market for a MIDI controller, not a keyboard/workstation type device. I was looking for something that transmitted data only, both via USB and MIDI output, preferably with 76 or 88 keys. Having checked out several boards in this price range, I found most to be spartan and light on features. However, on a whim, I checked out the Casio WK 200, and I was very impressed by the sounds and features, especially in this price range.

I've been a musician for the last 20 years, so my immediate perception of Casio keyboards (and pretty much any stand-alone keyboard in this price range) was that they were fully-featured kid's toys. To my credit, I started playing when the electronic keyboard was no longer a synth, but not quite a workstation. In those in-between days, the quality of sound and features was seriously lacking, so much that pretty much anything with built-in speakers could be safely written off as junk, and you wouldn't even dream of using it live or in the studio.

Anyway, after making up my mind that all I needed was a board that would interface with my soft synths, I started checking out MIDI controllers. However, the lack of significant features in this price range left me somewhat unimpressed. After branching out to workstations in this price range, I found the WK-200 met my immediate feature requirements: MIDI via USB and at least 76 keys. The rest turned out to be just gravy, because this board has a few key features that really set it apart from MIDI controllers.

Firstly, I'll describe the sounds on board. The pianos are beautiful, full of character and very believable. This includes several Rhodes and Clavinet voices, with all of their pearly harshness when a full-velocity strike is performed. The chromatic percussion sets are good too, full of very musical timbres. The guitar and bass guitar sections are passable, along with the strings and brass, although there are a few stand-outs, most notably the upright bass along with the tenor and alto saxes. Beyond that, there are some decent sounding rhythms and drum sounds, but I use software to simulate drums, so this was not immediately useful to me. The "string ensemble" voices were the only thing I found to be lousy. Perhaps it's just my ear, but nothing sounds worse or more fake than that generic "string ensemble" sound, and I'll hold that against the WK 200 the exact same way I'd hold it against a Yamaha Motif. Don't get me wrong, the Motif is amazing, but I just hate the sound of "string ensembles". The brass ensembles suffer in like fashion, to a lesser extent.

As mentioned before, there were a few key features that set this board apart from a dumb MIDI controller, and one of those features is the sampling abilities of this board. This board supports numerous slots for melodic and rhythm-based samples, a feature you wouldn't even dream of finding on most MIDI controllers without even considering price points. Samples are of reasonable audio quality with 10 seconds of sample time, making this perfect for, say, accurately simulating the 8-second reel of tape on a Mellotron (each key having a tape consisting of an 8-second pre-recorded voice, which I guess would make it a very primitive example of a sampler). In any case, the sampler was a huge bonus. In addition to that, the USB MIDI functionality allows for two-way MIDI traffic, meaning you can use software to trigger the sounds on the board for cool arpeggiated effects. Speaking of, the WK 200 features a limited arpeggiator, again something you wouldn't find on a MIDI controller in this price range.

So to add it all up, factoring in the length of the board, the MIDI connectivity, the good-to-awesome soundset (at least for the bread-and-butter sounds), sampling functionality, and overall aesthetics, the WK-200 was an obvious choice for me. Even the built-in speakers are good, with strong bass response and crisp, clear highs. The board is light, the keys are full piano style (synth action though, not weighted) and the board is just a pleasure to play.

There are a few things that were not included on my ideal wish list, not the least of which a power supply, which has to be bought separately. That struck me as kind of stupid. Also, there are no pitch or mod wheels, so no joy there. I would have liked to have some kind of SD slot for expansion and data transfer, but that's not a deal-breaker for me. The one thing I seriously fault Casio for on this board is the LACK OF STANDARD MIDI INPUT/OUTPUT. All of it is done via USB, and there's not a standard MIDI jack to be seen on this board. I have keyboards that are 25 years old that have MIDI in and out. What gives?

Anyway, for the price, you can't beat this board. Don't let the fact that it's a Casio or that it's a budget-priced workstation deter you from hearing this board out. You may find it's a good fit for your studio or live sets. While this board is nice, it's not as solid as my old-school Casio CZ-5000 synthesizer (we're talking their top-of-the-line from 1985), but as they say, they don't make 'em like they used to. In any case, this keyboard is a great addition to my studio, and I'm very satisfied.
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on February 14, 2010
I just wanted to add my voice to the issue of the clicking keys. I have had my keyboard now for a few months. At first I did not have a problem; then after a few weeks I had a few clicking keys, and now after a few months I have seven or eight. It seems like the keys which get used the most develop this problem the fastest. It is annoying, but I can live with it seeing that the keyboard was so inexpensive. Everything else about this keyboard is wonderful. (Do make sure to get yourself a quality pedal for sustain. The one from MGear is great.) The easy to view electronic fingering display is the best tool I've ever come across to aid in teaching oneself how to play certain songs. There is a nice bank of songs in the memory, and by following the display, slowing the songs down, and pausing them along the way, you can teach yourself how to play one in a few days to a week. The best thing of all is that it shows you where to place your fingers. I now see that the correct fingering is critical in being able to reach for the right notes and allow the notes to flow easily.
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on April 15, 2009
I played piano on my family's old baby grand piano all my life and then I went off to college where I had no piano. I finally asked for one for my birthday and this is what my family chose for me. The sound is GREAT (the 5 main piano tones are very nice, I love 002), the keyboards have a very nice weight to them that makes them feel like a real piano (not something cheap and plasticy).

Some accessories I'd recommend for any buyers:

Headphones-- This keyboard can go really loud and if you're around others, you may want to consider headphones so you can enjoy all the sound :) If you use regular stereo-mini phones (like iPod jacks), you will need a Stereo Mini Jack (1/8") to Stereo Standard Plug (1/4").

Pedal-- This is an M-Audio keyboard so it works with just about any pedal but I really love this one:

It has a very realistic feel to it; much better than those cheap plastic ones that you get from the manufacturer

Over all a great keyboard, I couldn't be happier!
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on February 24, 2011
I had shown my girlfriend a simple electric piano I was thinking of getting. For Xmas she got me the Casio WK-200. It has a great touch, and sounds great plugged directly into the PA mixer. I'm still learning (after decades of just being a flute player, plus a very little bit of sax), and I'm glad the default setting is grand piano. This beautiful beast can make more sounds than I'll ever even need to learn to use. It will be nice to have them available, though, further down the road. - EZ
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on January 19, 2010
I have to laugh at the reviewers who are negatively comparing this piano to a professional grand that was used in a studio recording, or even keyboards that are priced in the $500-$1000 range. Get real! This is a 76-key instrument with the richest sound you can find for $200. It's more than adequate for a beginner to learn on, and there's no reason you couldn't use this in (at least) a semi-pro studio environment. The built-in tones are fine for practice and some of them are surprisingly good, and as a MIDI controller for virtual instruments it does everything I need.

The LCD display is quite good -- every note you play gets displayed on the screen, both the physical key location and its position on the staff. There are excellent built-in lessons for newcomers, endless tones and rhythms to play with, and an array of ins and outs (headphone, mic, mp3 & USB to computer for two-way midi transmission).

Included in the box are an AC adaptor, music holder AND a pair of sheet music books. A very satisfying purchase, worth every penny.
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on November 17, 2009
My kids are using this key board for piano lessons and have been using it for over 6 months. It sounds great and the keys feel like real piano keys. It is everything it claims to be and for the price it has exceeded our expectations.
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on August 5, 2015
It's been several years since the first review and I'm pretty sure the instrument is discontinued, but people still come to these reviews to evaluate the WK-200's being sold on the used market. I picked up a WK-200 used and was really impressed. I got it fairly cheap wondering how it would work as a USB MIDI controller and maybe a really super-lightweight stage piano. I confess that I was really surprised by the the sound and expressiveness of the instrument, especially the acoustic and electric pianos, the organs, and clavinets. I was so impressed, I ended up buying a second one (actually the second was a WS-210 and I'm still trying to figure out if there is any difference other than the paint and LCD screen color). I didn't really notice the clicking at first, but when I went to resell the WS-200, the buyer cited these reviews and asked about the clicking. After going back and listening to the keyboard more critically, I could see what they meant.

So here's some good news: It can be fixed by cleaning and lubricating the keyboard. I did it on both the WS-200 and the WS-210 and made the clicking totally go away! I'm not going to go into how to do it, because it requires some pretty significant dis-assembly and reassembly of the keyboard (not for the faint of heart), The leftover residue from the original white lubricant ( along with some lovely lint, fuzz and pet hair!) pointed me to where the grease should go and I used "Super Lube" synthetic grease. I've also used "lithium grease" on a different Casio model and that worked too. These are sticky, pasty grease or gel products - not spray lubricants. I don't know how often the instrument will need to be cleaned and re-lubricated, but most musical instruments need some kind of regular maintenance, so why should this be different? After the lubrication, the keyboards had a whole different feel to them, or at least I perceived it that way. I hope to be able to put together a YouTube video or some other documentation on how to do the lubrication soon,
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on February 19, 2012
The WK-200/WK-210(same keyboard with blue LCD display) is without a double the best value for the money in keyboard. I thought it was actually a dream keyboard for beginner until I actually played it at the local store. Its keys make this annoying clicking sounds when played at lower volume. I am amazed how so many 5-star review come from without mentioning this issue. Even my 6-year old Casio low priced keyboard don't have this problem after many years of use. Just try the following video on the Youtube to hear it yourself: (please see link in the comment)

If Casio can fix this issue with this keyboard, I am sure they can just take over the whole market. It is truely a good looking keyboard with 76 keyboard and tons of features at incredible price. I am hoping someone at Casio can come to the sense and release a follow-up model.

p.s. BTW, the keys are not weighted by any mean. It feels just like other unweighted keyboard, only "looks" like piano keys.
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review of CasioWK-200
Much to like in this keyboard, though I returned it, thanks to Amazon for being so gracious about it.

Good feel to the keyboard, very like a piano
BIG SOUND -- biggest loudest speakers I have seen in this size unit.
Pretty good voices, and lots of them

Sounds were not as realistic as some of the later Yamaha keyboards, even the grand piano sound, which is pretty darn good for an electronic keyboard in this price range.

I really agonized over whether I should have kept it, but when comparing it next to my Yamaha E333/343 (which I got on Amazon which had much better voices for about the same money, even though it had far fewer keys), I had to stay with the E333, and am much happier.

I still do plan to purchase a 76 or 88 key keyboard, because I play abstract jazz improv, and I really need the depth. I will struggle along until I can find 76 keys in my price range with better sound. Having owned and played a Steinway grand for years, I was just not able to be content with this one, though it has a huge amount of musical value to offer.

I was actually sent the 210, which I suppose must be better or more advanced, slightly.
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VINE VOICEon May 23, 2012
I needed an inexpensive MIDI controller to use that had at least 61 keys, so when I saw this 76 key one I was interested enough to try it. After reading some reviews here on Amazon page I ordered it. Well quite simply it works just great as a MIDI controller, just plug in the USB cable in the back of the keyboard into the computer and it is instantly recognized.

The plus option, is that it actually is not a bad keyboard to play on. It is not only something I have been using as a MIDI controller but bringing it along with me to friends houses to sit with them and write and play songs. I bought a power cord and a sustain pedal, both of which can be gotten for cheap if you look around and a keyboard stand and stool and now I am ready to go in a minutes notice.

It is of course NOT a high end device, but for what I am using it for it is just fine and I am very pleased with it. Keep in mind it has only a USB connector not MIDI ones and you need to buy the accessories, but for the price this is a good deal.
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