Casio MT-820

ROM Pack Compatible Keyboard

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Picture of the Casio MT-820 Keyboard

Please note: On my example, pictured above, the chord switch knob to the far left-hand end of the control panel is not original. It should be grey with a white horizontal stripe, the same as the two switches near the ROM-Pack slot.


The MT-820 looks to be very similar in specification to the MT-800,  but apparently it sounds very different and has built-in speakers instead of the MT-800's separate detachable speakers. This makes for a more compact, portable unit, but the small built-in speakers tend to over-emphasise the rhythm percussion sounds. Fortunately, both headphone and stereo aux outputs are provided on the back.

A much rarer variant is the MT-830. This has a much darker grey casing and different coloured buttons, but appears to be otherwise identical to the MT-820.

The MT-820 has a 4-octave, small-key keyboard, and a selection of 12 voices and 12 rhythms with auto accompaniment (as usual, dubbed "Casio Chord"), with a fill-in function, together with a rudimentary recording function. Chord changes are effected using the left-hand part of the keyboard as usual, and can be selected either using single-finger or fingered mode. The keyboard is 8-note polyphonic, but this drops to 4-note when the auto accompaniment is switched on.

While the only stereo effect comes from the "Stereo Chorus" function, this does lend a much richer and fuller sound to the voices.

All the usual ROM-Pack features are present, complete with the key LEDs, but as well as the usual "Melody Guide" system, the MT-820 also features "Chord Guide" to train you how to play the chords along with the melody. LEDs above the left-hand part of the keyboard light to indicate chord fingering, as shown in the picture above.

My example was purchased from an eBay seller in the USA. I do not know if this model was ever sold in the UK.

The MT-820 plays ROM Pack music very nicely, but to my ears, the rhythm sounds are too loud and overpower the music.There is no way to turn the rhythm down without also turning down the accompaniment volume as well, and the problem is exacerbated by the built-in speakers, which emphasise the percussion sounds even more. This is a real shame, because this keyboard would sound lovely with the rhythm sounds backed off.

Audio Samples

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (from RO-352) - 2m11s, MP3, 4MB.

Instruction Manual

Sorry, I do not have an instruction manual for this keyboard.