Synth Site: Casio: CTK- 601: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.4 out of 5
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vincent grolleau a part-time user from angers (france) writes:
i've bought the 601 for a little price there are two years ago and I use it in my band VESTA.KOM X (pop music).The tones are more realistic if the parameters are changed.For example,for the piano you can transpose(-12)and put realise set at 001,it will sound very good! Moreover, I like pitch bend and I often use it in my compositions.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Thursday-Feb-21-2002 at 04:53
the joshua a professional user from writes:
for the price, this thing cannot be beat. yeah, it might be limited when it comes to effects (one -reverb) or patch editing...but you were probably like me and got it from best buy. how much can you really expect? the reverb can sound nice, and i have taken the painful time to create some really interesting, bizarre and useful patches. for two years or so, my band used only this and zoom's 123 drum machine (another awesome deal for the price, actually has useable drums sounds - and i hear the new one has smart media). the sound you get out of any equipment really comes from 1) your imagination and ability to use what you are given, 2) the sound/music style you have in mind, 3) the speakers/preamp/head phones you are running your equipment cetera. you bought this board for less than $200 - run with it.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-23-2001 at 19:15
Rick Vaughn a part-time user from United States writes:
I've been using this keyboard for four years now after receiveing it as a Christmas gift. At the time (1997) it was the only Sequencer/Synth keyboard available for under $300 and was a tremendous value then, and now. The display is well thought out and set up (although I could do with out the keyboard keys and grand staff that show you what notes you're playing). It amazingly easy to use. In fact, I learned how to use it from the manual without even turning the thing on because when I opened it up on X-Mas morning the power supply was bunk.

As far as its synth abilities, it is a 4 DCO (2-4 DCO's if you use the layer function, 1-2 without) wavetable synth with 24 voice polyphony which, supirisingly, is quite adequate. I've only had voice stealing once and that was from a 16 channel rendition of Beethovens 5th. My only gripes are the lack of programmability in the Amp.Envelope and PitchEnvelope (or Amp.Set and PitchSet). The only parameters that are user defineable in those areas are the attack and release rates and the pitch and tuning. It's not a big problem though due to the great preset envelopes they give you to work with.

The sounds are all good, nice clean (headphone, arghh, sorry no dedicated Line-Out) output, genreal midi, fair SysEx implementation (can edit most parameters through SysEx), sequencer works best as scratch pad. Not enough memory for me (two songs with a total of 5,200 notes divided up between the two). I can make due with the 6 channels that are available to record on. No quantization, does have a pretty efficient and east to use step-sequencing function (I was sequencing within the first hour of using it). Good overall board for the beginner looking to learn basic to intermediate sequencing, MIDI, and synth programming info. I would buy one again, especially at the prices they go for ($80-$130). Some more gripes, every keyboard has some kind of problem. The effects, if one can call them that, are rather poor given the other features of this keyboard. There is only one type of effect (a reverb) and only four settings (Hall, Stage, Room, and Off). It responds to external transpose messages as pitchbend messages (even in it's "General MIDI" mode). You don't hear a gliss down to the note, it's like setting the pitch bend wheel to a value of one octave, holding it down or up and playing. The sounds to sound right. It plays the internal transpose command correctly. Another problem for some (not me though, I bulk dump into my computer) might be the fact that there is no backup battery. This meaning, of course, that if the keyboard goes more than 15 seconds without its wall wart or the six C-cell batteries needed to power it, you lose all of your synth presets and all of the sequencer info. Let's see, other strong points include the sturdy build (even though it's plastic), the great sounds, the ease of use. This keyboard is great for taking on road trips where You might want to do a little playing/song writing, or at the park, on a bus, in a boat, it's great for hauling onto your bed and laying down to do some sequencing right before you go to sleep (at least that's what I do).

Overall a great buy for the beginner looking for a sequencer/synth/great GM soundset or for anyone looking for those actually. If you're thinking about buying this keyboard, check out the Casio WK-1300, it's the same internal components but with a better speaker system, backlit display, and a real pitchben wheel (the CTK-601 has Pitch Bend Up and a Pitch Bend Down buttons). It's a shame that this keyboard didn't catch on, it would've meant some serious competition in the under $700, under $500, and under $300 market (resulting in better keyboards at better prices for all, SCORE!) IF YOU ONLY READ ONE PARAGRAPH IN THIS REVIEW, READ THIS ONE BELOW THE ASTERISKS (*) ************************************************* Before I end this, I'm working on two things for this keyboard; (1)Amp.Set and PitchSet charts showing what each preset does (there's no index in the manual) and (2)An Editor/Librarian for Windows (there's one out there for DOS, but it's really poor and I could never get it to work right). If You have any questions, would like to contribute to my projects, or want a copy of the Editer/Librarian when it's done, please don't hesitate to email me.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-May-06-2001 at 07:05
Pimpmaster Tommy B from a dumpster near you writes:
The CTK601 is defianatly a pretty good deal for the $$$. Granted, it's not as tweakable per say as most "high-end" synths, but it is still a good piece. I have had mine for almost 3 years now and it has not let me down yet...I mainly use it as a MIDI controller for my sampler and synth module and for a while, I tended to shy away from the internal sounds. Recently, I began experimenting with different outboard effects and they somehow brought the internal sounds back to life. The "traditional" instument sounds are still a bit weak but the square and saw waves really come to life when hooked up to say a phaser or ring modulater. Even the organ sounds can sound a bit authentic if hooked to a rotary simulator with a little bit of distortion. In either case, when I bought mine it was like $250 or something so by now I am sure it is much cheaper....And as always, it's not the instrument that makes the track phat, it's the one playing the instrument!

posted Thursday-Mar-29-2001 at 00:48
ben a professional user from USA writes:
the CTK-601, in my opinion, is a rather hollow sounding insturment. add proffesional sounds to a beginner keyboard and they will turn out something like what is expressed by the 601. i find it's features somewhat limited-- the rythim presets are, in a word, useless-- but i love the 6 track recorder and the user sounds are very easy to create. aside from the fact that the sounds have something missing, it's the best keyboard you'll come by for its price range. great for practicing, though the touch sensitivity leaves something to be desired.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jan-28-2001 at 20:00
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