Yamaha PSR S975 Review: Is it worth it?
The PSR-S975 is the supreme keyboard in the PSR-S series. Since its launch, many people have not been able to make the decision on whether to buy it or not. This is due to lack of enough information concerning the product. This honest Yamaha PSR S975 review is here to save the day!
The truth is, even as the keyboard is the top in the S-series, there are pros and cons. After collating a number of customers’ reviews, I will be revealing the most important things to you, including the things you want to know.
The Yamaha PSR S975 comes with well over a thousand authentic musical instruments voices. Coupled with this, there are 523 preset styles for accompanying your live performances. These come with an easy-to-navigate menu. You can get what you want with a single click.
Yamaha sure did a good job concerning the layout. The 7-inch screen is colured!
Ohh…. We should not forget about some premium features. There is a Mic/Guitar input. There is the magical vocoder for adding professional studio effects to your voice. More storage capacity for expansion data.
Also, if you are considering relationships, the Yamaha PSR S975 has a younger brother. He is the PSR S775. Both are very similar. Some people prefer the PSR-S775 because he is way cheaper, and there is no much difference between the two. I will also be doing a comparison between both keyboards at the end of this post.
There is a lot to be discussed. Why don’t you take a cup of tea and relax while I give you a clean Yamaha PSR S975 review.
Yamaha PSR S975 Arranger Workstation Keyboard Features
Professional Design and Layout
7-inch coloured screen
1625 Voices, including high quality Super Articulation Voices, Organ Flutes! Voices. 55 Drum/SFX kits, and 480 XG voices
523 Styles, including 40 Audio Styles, 34 Session Styles, 15 DJ Styles and 3 Free Play
768MB for expansion packs
Two assignable foot pedals, a Pitchbend wheel, a modulation wheel, and two assignable live control knobs, so that you can have full control over your music.
Mic/Guitar port for guitarists and singers
Real Distortion and Real Reverb effects, with an intuitive effects interface
USB audio playback with time stretch, pitch shift, vocal cancel and MP3 lyrics display functions
Powerful Vocal Harmony 2 system and Synth Vocoder functions
A graphical user interface for Yamaha’s Virtual Circuitry Modeling (VCM) effects
External display capability
A Comprehensive Review of the Yamaha PSR S975 Arranger Workstation Keyboard
Design and Layout
The appearance is apparently the first feature to view when talking about musical instruments generally. The design and layout of a keyboard will pretell you of what to expect, even before playing the instrument.
As the saying goes, “The first impression matters most,” Yamaha sure did a lot of work here. The Yamaha PSR S975 comes with a professional design that will give you a mature presentation on stage. The arrangement of the diverse components will satisfy your most-pressing music needs.
The keyboard is Black in colour. Sincerely, there is no much difference in the colour of the keyboards in the PSR-S series and even the higher PSR SX series. They have similar design and layout but with some modifications (additional features) – that basically differentiates them all.
If you have seen any of the models (from PSR S650 above), you have somehow seen a design similar to the PSR S975.
The layout is where the difference is a little bit more obvious. When I say “layout”, I am talking of the keys, the arrangement and the position of buttons and other components, inclusions, etc.
A quick summary of the Layout
The keys come with a pleasant feel. There are 61 keys in total. On the left hand of the keys are two controllers: the Pitchbend and and the Modulation Wheel. These have been combined into a Joystick in the PSR SX series. Above these are the two real-time live Control Knobs with the assign button beneath them. With these controllers, there are no limits for you.
Of course, on the extreme top left and right hand sides are the powerful speakers. The speaker system is improved and was built to not only bring out the sounds of the keyboard, but also the sound of a guitar and the voice of a human. The speaker system works well without an amplifier.
The screen is placed at the top-middle side of the keyboard. One remarkable thing about the screen is its size and colour. The screen measures 7-inch, and this time, it is coloured. What this means is that you can view the coloured screen from any angle: it does not matter if there is light reflection in the room or not.
The left hand side of the screen has the style and song sections, while the right hand side has the voice category.
There are buttons attached to the coloured screen of the keyboard. These buttons help you to easily navigate through the contents on the screen of the keyboard.
There are the registration buttons, Multi-pads beneath. There are Tranpose buttons, Tempo and all of that.
The verdict about this keyboard is that the number of buttons in the keyboard is just appropriate. It lacks nothing and certainly does not have too many buttons.
Express yourself through the realistic Super Articulation Voices, Mega Voices, Organ flutes and many other sounds imported from the legendary Tyros series.
Since the PSR-S975 is the highest, most improved model in the S series, we should expect something uncommon from it. So far, the customer reviews about the voice has been positive. For me, I would say it’s good enough.
There are 13 voice categories in the keyboard. They are:
Piano, Epiano, Strings, Organ Flute, Synths, Choir and Pads, Drum Kits, Organs&Accordions, Guitar, Woodwind, Brass. In addition, we have the PluS and Expansion/User voices.
The voices were carefully sampled before installation, so your live performance can be brought out with the brightest colour.
The Yamaha PSR-S975 has a total of 1625 Voices, and this includes 55 Drum/SFK kits, and 480 XG Voices. It is common to find 480 XG voices for MIDI in Yamaha keyboards.
This also covers a group called Featured Voices. The Featured voices are voices of musical instruments with special effects that bring out the reality of such live musical instruments.
In the Featured voices category, there are 140 Super Articulation! Voices, 99 Live! Voices, 30 Mega Voices, 74 Cool! Voices, 32 Sweet! Voices, and 30 Organ Flutes! Any voice that belongs to the category of featured voices will have a label attached to it. For example, S.Art! means it is a Super Articulation voice.
If we compare this with the previous models the Yamaha PSR S970, there is a notable diffetence. The Yamaha PSR S970 has 989 Voices + 41 Drum/SFX Kits + 480 XG Voices. The featured voices are 131 Super Articulation!, 30 Mega Voices, 31 Sweet! Voices, 74 Cool! Voices, 89 Live! Voices, 30 Organ Flutes!
In addition to this, there are voice effects that can used to toggle the sound produced from the keyboard.
The style category is another important section in a keyboard. Styles are used as accompaniments.
The style section is on the left hand of the screen, below the Song category, featuring a wide variety of genres. There are 10 styles in the keyboard and they are Pop&Rock, Swing&Jazz, World, Entertainer, Ballad, R&B, Latin&Ballroom, Dance, Country and Movie&Show.
One interesting thing about having a good style category is that, you do not need a band for jamming. The accompaniment styles will automatically take care of the work of the band members for you.
The interface for interacting with the styles section is responsive. There is a good number of options to choose from for you to create good music.
Another thing I want you to know about is the flexibility of the style category. In case you don’t get what you want from the instrument, then you are free to create your own style. It’s very easy to do this. A few clicks will do the work.
Along with the styles section, there are 3 Intros, 2 Fills, 2 Variations and 3 Ends. These will increase the flair of your performance. The Yamaha keyboard takes care of this automatically, so that whenever you hit any of these buttons, they go in sync with the rhythm.
The Voice&Style Expansion Packs
This is a powerful feature Yamaha introduced into their workstations. With the Voice&Style Expansion, you can load external data into your keyboard to expand the voice and style capability. Apart from this, you will be opening yourself to a wide variety of music from various regions and traditions across the world.
There is 768MB on-board memory for expansion data on the Yamaha PSR S975: It this comes handy.
There are many expansion packs available for purchase on the Yamaha website. All you have to do is to buy and load them into the keyboard.
If you are a lover of Indian music, then this is a good idea for you; it will give you the opportunity to use Indian styles and musical instruments voices. Chinese, American, African, Japanese music is not left out! Enlarge your borders.
One complaint customers laid against the Yamaha keyboards is this expansion thing. People say that Yamaha was a little bit stingy for limiting the expansion feature. Well, I totally agree to this. Yamaha should have been more benevolent with regards to the expansion memory too.
USB audio playback feature
The convenient USB Audio function allows you to play back audio files (WAVE or MP3) saved to a USB fIash memory device directly from the instrument. Moreover, since you can record your performances and recordings as audio files (.wav) to a USB flash memory device, it is possible to play back the files on computer; share them with your friends, and record your own CDs to enjoy as well.
The time stretch, vocal cancel, pitch shift and MP3 lyric display functions will liven your music experience. This comes in handy.
Use the Multi Pads to play a number of short pre-recorded rhythmic and melodic sequences adding impact and variety to your keyboard performances.
Multi Pads are in a group of four Banks each. The instrument features a variety of Multi Pad Banks in a variety of different musical genres. In addition, there is the SyncStart and stop buttons.
Moreover, the Audio Link Multi Pad function allows you to create a new pad with your audio data (WAV files) to play back during your performance.
We have come to the end of the Yamaha PSR S975 review. What do you think? If there is any further I formation, I will keep this post updated. Thanks for reading.