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  CTK-611 At a Glance
Click for larger view arrowReleased: 1998?  Specifications
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Brian McKenzie (b-mckenzie@uchicago.edu) writes:
The CTK611 is just like the CTK601, only with a black case. I assume there are probably a few other differences as well, but overall the units are so similar that they even share the same owner's manual. I bought it not really expecting to like it; I was very skeptical of a $200 Casio keyboard.

Not anymore. The number of features and the quality of sounds on the CTK611 is no less than mind- blowing, given the fact that it costs $200 new and can be found mostly at consumer electronics stores. The sounds compare VERY favorably to those found on more expensive synths old and new; I've compared mine next to several Yamaha PSR-series keyboards (more expensive, sounds not AS GOOD), A Kawai K1 (the Casio ate it for lunch), and a Roland XP-80; only the XP-80 compared favorably, and it costs nearly 10 TIMES as much as the CTK-611.

Besides the sounds, the CTK-611 includes a basic but great-sounding analog synth with which you can program new sounds or modify the presets. Some features are missing here which I would like to see, such as the ability to control the analog filters in real time, but this can be compensated for through layering of patches (which include some cool filter sweeps) and modification of the sounds yourself. There's a six-track sequencer and a very smart, realistic-sounding auto-accompaniment feature. All of these are so easy to use that I was jamming away five minutes after I got it out of the box, without so much as a look at the owner's manual. The drums kits are great, and the basses are phat as hell.

Drawbacks....this keyboard is about the closest I have seen to a perfect design for what it is. That said, I would have liked to see Casio scrap the built-in speakers, which suck, and concentrate more on the analog synth. I would have gladly traded those shitty speakers for some more controls on the synth. Also, several of the presets have that sort of tinny, bouncy Casio-keyboard sound to them, which can get old, but once again you can fuck with and change the sounds and store your new sounds in memory if you want.

But these are minor complaints; there is no way you could be dissappointed with this thing at $200.

Comments About the Sounds:

(Thanks to Brian McKenzie for this info.)

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