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Casiotone Returns After 40 Years Break
Casio has recently revived Casiotone brand, with which the company got involved in the music products industry and launched first compact electronic keyboard line 40 years ago. The new Casiotone comes in two models of CT-S200 and LK-312. Japan Music Trades interviewed with Takao Matsuda, manager of Music Pruducts Business Unit to have him talk on the new Casiotones and the revival story. (photos above: Casiotone CT-S200, left, and LK-312)
Casiotone 201 came into the market in 1980 as the initial electronic keyboard from Casio. With speakers and rich tonal voices built into a compact chasis, and attractively priced, it made an instant success as one of the pioneer electronic keyboards.
In the ensuing years, Casio expanded the line introducing innovative models including those with built-in automatic backing system and light-guided key function. After 1990, Casiotone brand disappeared from the market. They contributed to broaden the market of electronic keyboard from children to adults.
Matsuda says,“Keyboard instruments dominate educational market and live stage performance. The target market for new CT-S200 and LK-312 is young entry-level players. Going back to the original concept of Casiotone, which was to promote music making among broader walks of people regardless of musical experience, we set out our goal to develop new instruments to be played anytime and anyplace in superior tonal quality and style matched to the needs of individual players under Casiotone brand.”
CT-S200 and LK-312 are compact, and 3kg lightweight models with a grip cut out on top to be carried easily. Rich functions are hidden behind fewer buttons to realize simple operation for entry-level players.
Matsuda continued,“School music and music teaching laboratory are traditionally main market for entry level electronic keyboards, but we expect teen agers as core customer for the two models, CT-S200 in particular. We want to tap experienced students who once took piano lesson when young but abandoned for various reasons in the course they grew up. If we can stimulate their interest in music playing again, additional music makers will be created and the market expands. CT-S200 comes in inviting design and color finishes of black, red and white.”
While old users of original Casiotone keyboards appreciate return of the brand and new models introduced. Matsuda concluded, “They are accepted better than we expected, and we hope these new models inspire the experienced musicians. As demands grow, we can meet their upgraded requirement adding advanced models. Some upper class models will follow soon.