Updated February 2018
Yamaha has launched five versions of its flagship TYROS arranger workstation keyboards. Here we look at the differences between the instruments, and see how this product line has evolved over time.
- Tyros (May 2002)
- Tyros 2 (June 2005)
- Tyros 3 (April 2008)
- Tyros 4 (June 2010)
- Tyros 5 (July 2013)
Yamaha launched a new Tyros model roughly every three years (two years between the Tyros 3 and Tyros 4). Many had been expecting a Tyros 6 for quite some time. Yamaha’s new Genos top-of-the-line workstation is effectively a Tyros 6 in all but name. Yamaha continues to expand its other arranger workstation ranges, such as the PSR-S line.
Overview of Differences
Here’s our overview of the key differences between the Tyros5, Tyros4, Tyros3, Tyros2 and Tyros, so you can decide which model is the best option to get.
Yamaha officially only sells the Tyros 5 now, with all other models being listed as “Discontinued”. That doesn’t mean you can’t pick up second-hand products for each of these instruments, so long as you’re careful when buying from third parties that you’re getting something that still works and is in good condition.
The following comparisons were first written back in 2013, when the Tyros 5 first came out. There have been no particular updates to the Tyros 5 since this was written. We have updated certain points where necessary to bring the article up-to-date, including adding the original TYROS specifications and comparison which wasn’t in the original article (the TYROS had been launched before our publication launched.)
What’s New on Tyros5?
(Originally written in November 2013)
For the first time, Yamaha offers a 76-key keyboard alongside the familiar form of the 61-key model. Both include a whole range of new or updated on-board features designed to aid musicians in both live performance and music arrangement/recording.
Key features include a plethora of realistic, detailed, nuanced instrument voices, plus a huge range of styles and studio-quality effects.
Ensemble Voices is a new feature which intelligently arranges orchestral instruments – brass, saxophone, woodwind and string – in real time.
There are 40 new +Audio Styles to work with, a new graphical interface, plus Virtual Circuitry Modelling technology which produces accurate reproductions of classic analog synths.
The Yamaha Tyros5 will be available in mid-December 2013 for MSRPs of $6,799 for the 76-note version and $6,499 for 61-note version.
What’s New on Tyros4?
(Originally written in October 2010)
Yamaha boasts an expanded and enhanced set of authentic voices, including new Super Articulation Choir Voices with amazingly realistic and natural human voice sounds.
More advanced Super Articulation and Super Articulation 2 voices, plus advanced MegaVoice variations, mean that auto-accompaniments styles are now much improved.
The Vocal Harmony 2 processing engine offers fast processing for a superior sound plus flexible control of harmonies. There’s also a synth vocoder feature.
Additional premium voices can be downloaded from Yamaha’s Internet site.
Key specifications comparison
|Sliders||9 + crossfader||9||–||–||–|
|Sound System||AWM Stereo Sampling||AWM|
|Number of Voices||1279 Voices + 480 XG Voices + 37 Drum/SFX Kits||993 Voices + 30 Organ Flutes + 480 XG Voices + 256 GM2 Voices + 44 Drum/SFX Kits (And GS Voices for GS Song playback)||749 + 20 Organ Flute + 480 XG + 256 GM2 + 35 Drum/SFX Kits (+ GS Voices for GS Song playback)||486 + 18 Mega + 10 Organ Flute + 480 XG + 256 GM2 + 22 Drum Kits + 6 SFX Kits (+ GS Voices for GS Song playback)||1185 (403 voices (Normal: 393 + Mega: 10) + 10 Organ Flutes voices + 480 XG voices + 256 GM2 voices + 31 drum kits (XG and Panel: 22 + GM2: 9) + 5 SFX kits)|
|Features Voices||Ensemble 55 S.Art2! 44 / S.Art! 288 MegaVoice 54 / Live! 138 Cool! 81 / Sweet! 37 / Organ World 40||15 S.Articulation2! Voices (AEM technology), 164 S.Articulation Voices, 43 MegaVoices, 30 Sweet! Voices, 101 Live! Voices, 44Drums (including SFX Kits), 71 Cool! Voices, 30 Presets Organ Flutes!||11 S.Articulation2! Voices (AEM technology), 53 S.Articulation Voices, 23 MegaVoices, 26 Sweet! Voices, 70 Live! Voices, Live! Drums (12 drum kits), 58 Cool! Voices, 20 Organ Flutes!||42 Super Articulation Voices, 18 MegaVoices, 23 Sweet! Voices, 58 Live! Voices, Live! Drums (9 drum kits), 39 Cool! Voices, 10 Organ Flutes!||–|
|Custom||Optional up to 1GB Custom Voice Sampling||4MB built-in, Optional up to 1GB Custom Voice Sampling||128 normal / 10 drum max.|
|Effects: Reverb||52 + 3 User||44 + 3 User||42 + 3 User||34 + 3 User||34 + 3 User|
|Effects: Chorus||106 + 3 User||30 + 3 User||26 + 3 User|
|Effects: DSP||DSP1: 322 presets + 3 user, DSP2-9: 322 presets + 10 user||DSP1–7 : 285 Presets, DSP8–9 : 285 Presets (for Style)||DSP 1-9 (For Voice/Style/Mic): 272 presets + 10 users||DSP Effect For Style: 189 presets + 3 users, DSP Effect For R1/R2/R3/Left: 189 presets + 10 users, DSP Effect For Mic: 189 presets + 10 users||183 + 3 User, 183 + 10 User|
|Effect: Master Compressor:||5 Presets + 5 User|
|Effects: Master EQ||5 Bands : 5 Preset + 2 User|
|Effects: Part EQ||?||2 Bands: 29 Parts (R1, R2, R3, Left, MultiPad, Style x 8, Song x 16)|
|Effects: Others:||Mic effects: Noise Gate x 1, Compressor x 1, 3Band EQ x 1|
|Functions: Dual/Layers||Voice layer (RIGHT 1-3)|
|Functions: Split||Up to 3 split points||Separate split points for Chord and Voice (LEFT)|
|Functions: Panel Sustain||Yes||–|
|Vocal Harmony||VH2: 44Preset + 10 User||60 Preset + 10 User|
|Number of Accompaniments:||539||500||450||400||300|
|Featured Accompaniment Styles:||40 + Audio, 7 FreePlay, 441 Pro, 51 Session||403 Pro Styles, 47 Session Styles with MegaVoices (used by preset styles)||403 Pro Styles, 47 Session Styles with MegaVoices (used by preset styles)||–|
|Accompaniment Fingering:||Single Finger, Fingered, Fingered On Bass, Multi Finger, AI Fingered, Full Keyboard, AI Full Keyboard|
|Style Control:||INTRO x 3, MAIN VARIATION x 4, FILL x 4, BREAK, ENDING x 3|
What Should You Buy?
If you’re in the market for a Yamaha Tyros instrument, and price is no object, then you really should consider going for the Yamaha Tyros 5 with the key range (76 or 61) that best suits your needs.
Yamaha still sells the Tyros5 as new, so you’ll get a never-before-used keyboard with full support. We don’t know how long Yamaha will offer support for the Yamaha Tyros5, but we presume it will be for at least a year after whatever date they decide to discontinue it.
The 61-key Tyros5 has an RRP of US$6499 while the 76-key Tyros5 has an RRP of $6799.
If you like the concept of the Tyros but are in the market for a similar Yamaha arranger workstation, you might also try looking at the higher end PSR range. The PSR-S970 is Yamaha’s current flagship and includes “powerful performance features including versatile effects inherited from the legendary Tyros 5”. It’s also cheaper with an RRP of $2599 although it isn’t available in a 76-key version.
It doesn’t have all the specs of the Tyros, of course, but it’s quite possible you don’t need all of Tyros’s functions in any case.
Alternatively, it is definitely worth giving arranger workstations like the Korg Kronos a look. They’ve got a lower RRP and have arguably more features all round. Or take a look at Roland’s E and BK series of arranger workstations. Of course it depends on whether you must have Yamaha, or just want something good regardless of manufacturer.