Yamaha S90ES: The ultimate 88-note weighted piano/synth?


Yamaha’s synth website makes this grand claim about its new S90ES 88-note weighted controller keyboard:

Yamaha S90ES

Is the S90 ES an 88-note weighted action digital piano with the sonic flexibility of a synth or a synthesizer with the best sounding piano samples ever available? Actually, it’s the perfect balance of both. The new multi-velocity stereo samples of Yamaha’s hand-built S700 grand piano, the damper reverb effects, and half damper capability all ensure the S90 ES has the most expressive acoustic piano sound Yamaha has ever offered in a synthesizer.

The 128-note polyphony tone generator based on the award winning Motif ES (including 8 inserts, 2 system and separate mastering effects) and Studio Connections, mLAN, and PLG expandability give it all the sonic power and control flexibility of our Motif ES workstation lineup. The new S90 ES, the perfect balance of synthesizer and piano.

Some claim.

In my opinion, Yamaha have always made synth and piano equipment which sounds great, but in times past their hardware mechanics has let the side down. Maybe that’s just me… everyone likes something different in a weighted keyboard:

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SonicState.com reviews its main features, but doesn’t really lay an overall opinion either way.

Features include:

  • 88-note full size weighted (Yamaha Balanced Hammer Effect) keys with aftertouch
  • 128 notes of polyphony
  • new filter algorithms and large DSP capability
  • 228MB of wave ROM (16 bit linear format)
  • 53MB of S700 grand piano samples
  • support for Studio Connections Total Recall (Yamaha���s software package for complete studio management)
  • Piano Dynamic Emulation System (allows FC3 pedal to be used with synth, allowing half-damping of the note sustain to be controlled just like on a real piano for a more realistic piano experience)
  • voice and multi-part editors can be freely downloaded from www.yamahasynth.com.
  • Two USB ports