Alesis Recital Pro vs Casio CDP-135: Which Is the Best Beginner’s Digital Piano?

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These are two great digital pianos, but find out which one is better in this Alesis Recital Pro vs Casio CDP-135 review.

Having a digital piano is great. You can practice, perform, and hone your skills without busting the bank for a bulky acoustic piano. That said, it’s still important to take the time to learn which digital piano is best for your needs.

And if you’re a beginner, there’s a chance you’ve been choosing between the Alesis Recital Pro and the Casio CDP-135. Both options are affordable and come with various features making them great choices for beginners. But in this Alesis Recital Pro vs Casio CDP-135 comparison, there can only be one winner.

I tested out both pianos myself. And I have to say, the Alesis Recital Pro really impressed me. It had a great sound library, a realistic feel, and a flexible set of piano features. Even if the Casio CDP-135 put up a good fight, I ended up dubbing the Alesis Recital Pro the winner.

That said, just because the Alesis Recital Pro won this comparison doesn’t automatically mean it’s the best option for you. Keep reading this comprehensive comparison to learn more about both pianos so you can easily decide which instrument belongs in your home.

Alesis Recital Pro vs Casio CDP-135: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
Alesis Recital Pro - 88 Key Digital Piano Keyboard with Hammer Action Weighted Keys, 2x20W Speakers, 12 Voices, Record and Lesson Mode, FX and Display
The Runner Up (#2)
Casio CDP-135
Model
Alesis Recital Pro
Casio CDP-135
Product Line
Recital
CDP
Number of keys
88
88
Hammer Action
Fully-weighted keys
Scaled Hammer Action
Tone Generation
Sampling
Dual-element AHL
Effects
Chorus, Modulation, Reverb
Hall, Reverb, Chorus
Polyphony
128
64
Layer Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
12
10
Duo-Mode
Headphone input
Recording
MIDI
Speakers
Two 20W Speakers
2 8W amplifiers
Pedal
Yes, single pedal only
What I like
Price
$379.00
-
The Winner (#1)
Image
Alesis Recital Pro - 88 Key Digital Piano Keyboard with Hammer Action Weighted Keys, 2x20W Speakers, 12 Voices, Record and Lesson Mode, FX and Display
Model
Alesis Recital Pro
Product Line
Recital
Number of keys
88
Hammer Action
Fully-weighted keys
Tone Generation
Sampling
Effects
Chorus, Modulation, Reverb
Polyphony
128
Layer Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
12
Duo-Mode
Headphone input
Recording
MIDI
Speakers
Two 20W Speakers
Pedal
Yes, single pedal only
What I like
Price
$379.00
More infor
The Runner Up (#2)
Image
Casio CDP-135
Model
Casio CDP-135
Product Line
CDP
Number of keys
88
Hammer Action
Scaled Hammer Action
Tone Generation
Dual-element AHL
Effects
Hall, Reverb, Chorus
Polyphony
64
Layer Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
10
Duo-Mode
Headphone input
Recording
MIDI
Speakers
2 8W amplifiers
Pedal
What I like
Price
-
More infor

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Alesis Recital Pro vs Casio CDP-135: A Head-to-Head Comparison

I have a lot of fun comparing digital pianos. For this comparison, I decided to test each piano out and compare them based on different features. By the end of it all, the score was 3-2 in favor of the Alesis model. So, as you can tell, it was a very close fight.

But don’t worry, I’ll dive into the details of each piano in this section. That way, you’ll learn the good and bad of both options, making it easier to find the right piano for your needs.

Feel & Playability

The winner: Tie

Alesis Recital Pro is a good choice for beginners
Alesis Recital Pro is a good choice for beginners

Whenever I test a digital piano, I always try to play a piece on the piano. That way, I can gauge how realistic it feels and whether or not it comes close to an acoustic instrument. And despite the relatively low price points, both of these pianos felt very realistic. This was primarily because of their hammer action systems, which I’ll explain below.

+Hammer Action

To start, let’s talk about the Alesis Recital Pro. This piano uses fully weighted keys, which is something you’d want if you’re a beginner pianist. These keys replicate the weight and resistance you’d typically get with an acoustic piano. And to my surprise, the Alesis model did it very well.

When playing the piano, I felt like I was playing a real instrument. Most of the time, pianos in this price range come with semi-weighted keys, which aren’t bad but won’t be as realistic as fully-weighted keys. So, if you’re looking for a realistic weight when playing the piano, the Alesis Recital Pro is a great pick.

But don’t overlook the Casio CDP-135, either. This model has scaled hammer action, which means that the lower keys feel slightly heavier than the higher keys. You see, acoustic pianos don’t have a uniform weight on the keys. The Casio CDP-135 aims to replicate those subtle differences, which is a huge plus to using this piano.

That said, the scaled hammer action doesn’t feel as realistic as other pianos with similar setups. In fact, the weight almost felt identical to the Alesis Recital Pro. And because of this, I ended up giving the point to both pianos.

Tone

The winner: Tie

The next comparison I had between the two was the tone. You always want to make sure that the digital piano you buy has a bright and vibrant tone that’s comparable to a real acoustic piano. Both of these pianos do a great job at this, and despite the Alesis having a slightly wider sound library, both pianos came out of this comparison with a point.

+Tone Generation

Casio CDP-135 comes with great piano tones
Casio CDP-135 comes with great piano tones

The tone generator on the Alesis Recital Pro is very basic, which was a slight letdown. This piano uses basic samples of different instruments that you can trigger by pressing a key. But even if this is one of the most basic tone generation methods in the industry, I have to say Alesis still did a good job.

There was a slight digital texture to the tones when conducting an ear test. However, I still found the tones more realistic than any in its price range. If you’re looking for the most realistic piano tones on a digital instrument, you have to pay a higher price. So, for the price, the Alesis does a pretty decent job.

On the other hand, I really enjoyed the piano tones on the Casio CDP-135. This is because even if the piano also uses samples, I noticed slightly better samples on the Casio, at least for the piano tones. This piano uses the dual-element AHL tone generator, which means the instrument is loaded with top-quality stereo samples recorded from real instruments.

The Casio CDP-135 has a very slight advantage when comparing the tone generators. However, I have to stress that you can barely hear the difference, especially if you’re a beginner.

+Sound Library

While the tones on the Alesis are a bit on the digital side, the piano makes up for it with its sound library. For an entry-level digital piano, this instrument comes with a fair amount of tones. This piano allows you to choose between 12 different voices, which includes multiple piano sounds, some strings options, and different organs.

As a beginner, thee are all the tones you need. And even if the Casio CDP-135 doesn’t have as many options, you still get all the basics. The Casio CDP-135 has 10 pre-loaded voices, so you only miss out on two extra tones. But if you’re a person that needs different voices for your play style, you will have more options with the Alesis Recital Pro.

Piano Features

The winner: Alesis Recital Pro

The last comparison point I had with these two pianos was the piano features. I decided to look at the playing modes and polyphony of both instruments. And when it was all said and done, the Alesis Recital Pro came out on top with more playing modes and better polyphony. This was ultimately the tie-breaker between the two and the main reason I chose the Alesis over the Casio.

The Alesis Recital Pro has the two main playing modes
The Alesis Recital Pro has the two main playing modes

+Playing Modes

The Alesis Recital Pro has the two main playing modes you need as a beginner: dual and lesson mode. With dual mode, you get to layer two different voices on top of each other. For example, you can combine a string tone with an organ voice to produce a full sound that can accompany a vocalist.

With lesson mode, you can divide the piano into two separate zones with the same voice. This essentially gives you two mini-keyboards that you can play at the same time. This feature was designed for piano lessons, but it’s also ideal for playing piano duets with another musician.

The Casio CDP-135 only came with dual mode. And while it’s nice that you can blend various voices on the piano, this playing mode doesn’t have that many uses if you’re a beginner. So, if you want a little bit more functionality, you might be better off with the Alesis Recital Pro.

+Polyphony

The Alesis Recital Pro has 128-note polyphony, which is double that of the Casio CDP-135. This allows you to play more expressively as notes that are played with the sustain pedal play for longer. Again, this is a small detail, but it can make a huge difference for the right pianist.

Alesis Recital Pro vs Casio CDP-135: The Similarities

These are two beginner pianos that come in at a very affordable price. And because of that, they share many similarities. As I touched on earlier, both pianos generate tones via samples, which is a cost-effective way to produce high-quality tones.

On top of that, they have similar designs and are simple to use. These aren’t the best pianos for serious performers looking for an instrument to bring to gigs and recordings. But if you need a piano for honing your skills and practicing at home, both of these options would make great picks.

Quick Rundown of the Alesis Recital Pro

Alesis Recital Pro - 88 Key Digital Piano Keyboard with Hammer Action Weighted Keys, 2x20W Speakers, 12 Voices, Record and Lesson Mode, FX and Display
  • Start playing professional keys today - the ultimate beginners digital piano loaded with 12 expertly crafted voices and powerful educational features
  • Universal responsive feel - 88 premium full-sized hammer action keys with adjustable touch response to suit your preferred playing style
  • Connectivity covered - built-in 20W speakers, ¼” Sustain pedal input (pedal not included), ¼” stereo headphone output for private practice, included power adapter and ¼” stereo outputs
  • Powerful educational features - standard, split, layer, record and Lesson modes with 128-note max polyphony and built in FX: chorus, reverb, modulation
  • Learn piano today - Includes skoove 3 month premium subscription for expert interactive online piano lessons

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Portable
  • Easy to use
  • Comes with great tones
  • Features various playing modes
Cons
  • The tones can sound a bit digital

Quick Rundown of the Casio CDP-135

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Comes with great piano tones
  • Realistic feel
  • Portable
Cons
  • Not as flexibel and versatile as the Recital Pro

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