Overview of the Casio SA-76
Casio is one of the best-known names in keyboards, and they’ve been making quality models since 1981. This Casio SA-76 review will take a look at a portable model made with early beginners in mind.
This a one of the best keyboard for kids and geared towards getting children interested in music. It has mini keys for small hands and lots of fun sounds and songs to keep children engaged. The SA-76 boasts far more sounds and rhythms than many in its class.
It’s also functional enough for adults to use as a supplemental travel keyboard, so don’t rule it out as a kids-only model, however, if you are an advanced player you may be better suited for a keyboard with quality sound features and weighted keys.
- Compact and lightweight for portability
- Multitude of sounds, rhythms, and songs
- Mini keys for small hands
- No LEAD OUT or MIDI capability
- Cord not included
Things to Consider Before Buying a Casio SA76
The main thing to keep in mind when buying the Casio 76 is that while it’s a perfectly functional keyboard, its target customers are children with little or no musical training.
It’s high-quality for what it is, but musicians looking for certain features like a metronome or MIDI capability will be disappointed. If all you’re looking for is a super portable, fun instrument for you or your child, the SA76 is a good choice.
The main factors to consider before purchasing a keyboard are the number of keys, overall size and weight, and additional features.
The Casio SA76 contains:
- 44 mini-keys
- Small and lightweight build
- Sound, rhythm, and song options
It’s also worth noting that this keyboard doesn’t come with a cord or batteries. This isn’t a dealbreaker by any means, but some customers may find it irritating.
Features and Benefits
The Casio SA76 is an excellent keyboard for early beginners and those looking for simplicity and portability. Let’s take a look at its features to get an idea of how it stacks up to other keyboards in its class.
The SA76’s portability is one of its strongest selling points, making it ideal for entertaining children on long car trips, or as a supplementary keyboard for composers on the go.
At just under two feet long and weighing in at about three pounds, this keyboard can fit just about anywhere.
The plastic case isn’t the strongest in the world, though, so keep that in mind when carrying it around with you.
Fun Color Selection
Because this keyboard is marketing to children, it comes in an extra fun color selection:
Note that the color selection only applies to the bottom half of the keyboard – the top section comes in standard black.
As you would expect with a mini keyboard, the SA76 has 44 keys rather than the full 88 of a traditional piano. The keys themselves are also smaller than standard keys, which is good for a couple of reasons:
- They’re easy to reach for small hands
- They make the keyboard that much smaller and more portable
The plastic keys aren’t weighted, so they don’t mimic the feel of a piano, but for new learners, this won’t matter a whole lot.
One of the features that kids especially love playing with on a keyboard is changing the sounds (or tones) that the keys make. The Casio SA76 takes this into account, boasting a whopping 100 sounds to choose from.
They’re grouped by:
- Reed Synth
The groups sound standard enough, but when you consider that ‘percussion’ includes non-instrument sounds like ‘train’ and ‘seashore,’ there’s a lot of fun to be had with this feature.
Here is a demo of all 100 Sounds
50 Rhythm Patterns
Beginners will enjoy the 50 rhythm patterns this keyboard offers, which break down into the following categories:
- World 2/Indian
- Free Session
Set a rhythm and play along. Beginning composers will find this feature useful since it provides a structure to base a song on.
10 Songs With Melody-Off Option
The Casio 76 includes 10 songs, which is not as many as some keyboards, but enough to get a music-learner engaged. Titles include:
- Ode to Joy
- Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star
- Jingle Bells
- Yankee Doodle
Importantly, the songs include a melody-off option, so you can turn the melody off and play it yourself along with the song.
5 Drum Pads
The SA76 has five drum pads for practicing rhythm and timing, which is a nice bonus. You can even play them at the same time as the keys, so two people can work on a song together.
Drum pads are pretty common on adult and student keyboards, but less so on keyboards targeted towards children. That’s just one of the features that make this a great keyboard for its class.
LCD Display Screen
The SA76’s large LCD screen makes it clear what options you’re selecting. There’s no guessing involved, unlike many keyboards in this price range.
There’s nothing especially noteworthy about this display – it does what it needs to and doesn’t take up too much room on the console.
The keyboard contains two 1.2-watt speakers with controllable volume, producing crisp, clear notes.
The SA76 doesn’t include LINE OUT or MIDI jacks, though, which means that you’re stuck with the speakers it comes with. But considering the target audience for this keyboard, that shouldn’t be much of an issue.
If you’re looking for more involved capabilities, you might consider investing in a keyboard geared more towards intermediate or advanced players.
Parents and housemates will appreciate the SA76’s headphone jack, which enables players to practice without disturbing others.
That’s another feature that’s pretty standard on most keyboards, but not necessarily on inexpensive keyboards intended for children.
Cord or Battery
The main complaint customers have about the Casio SA76 is that it doesn’t come with a cord or batteries. As long as you know this ahead of time, though, you can purchase one or both ahead of time so it won’t be a problem.
The keyboard can run on:
- Power cord/Casio adapter
- Six AA batteries
The two options make the machine more versatile, allowing you to save batteries while practicing at home or unplug it and go anywhere.
Youtube demo of polyphony
Eight Note Polyphony
As far as children’s keyboards go, eight-note polyphony isn’t bad, since most fall somewhere in the 5-10 range.
Polyphony is the number of notes that you can play at once, and it usually comes in handy for very fast or complicated pieces, which is not really what this keyboard is for.
You can scan the specs and features all you want, but until you get an idea of what actual customers think of a product, it’s hard to get a feel for it. We’ve scanned the reviews on various consumer sites, and it seems that people are generally happy with this keyboard.
The customers with complaints are mostly people who didn’t set their expectations correctly, expecting it to come with a power cord, for example. But reviewers looking for a lightweight, inexpensive keyboard for early beginners were mostly positive about it.
Here are a few reviews that sum up the most common opinions:
While the Casio SA76 is hard to beat for what it is, everybody’s needs are different, so it’s a good idea to get an idea of what else is out there. Below are some of the best alternatives to the SA76.
The Casio SA46 is very similar to the SA76 but even smaller at 18.5 inches long. This is due to only having 32 mini keys, which makes it more limited than the SA76. This is best suited for young children.
The SA46 contains many of the same features as the SA76:
- 100 tones
- 50 rhythms
- 10 songs with melody-off option
Get more information on the Casio SA46 here.
Yamaha Remie PSS-E30
The Yamaha Remie PSS-E30 combines simplicity and fun with helpful features like quiz mode.
It doesn’t offer nearly as many tones or rhythm options as the SA76, but it’s progressive quiz mode more than makes up for this if you’re looking for something to learn with.
- Fewer sound and rhythm options
- Progressive quiz mode
- 37 mini keys
Click here to find out more about the Yamaha Remie PSS-E30.
BIGFUN Kids Portable Piano
The BIGFUN Kids Portable Piano is appropriate for ages three and up. It includes a microphone, so kids can sing along with the songs they play.
- Microphone included
- Eight tones and rhythms
- MP3 player
Get more info about the BIGFUN Kids Portable Piano here.
This Casio SA76 review concludes that the instrument does exactly what it’s intended to do: Provides a fun, functional, and portable keyboard for early music learners. It comes with a ton of features that will keep young learners engaged, which is all that you can want from a child’s keyboard.
Click here to get more information and pricing for the Casio SA76.