PSR-S670 Review; Initial Impressions

Discussion in 'Yamaha Keyboards' started by HighlandStudio91, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. HighlandStudio91

    HighlandStudio91

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    Upon removing this keyboard from the packaging material,I was a bit surprised by the weight of it and really impressed by how solid it felt(considering the plastic chassis)...but then I noticed that underneath,that there is a fiberboard panel underneath it.This is a very welcome change(from my Korg Kross 2,which was ridiculously lightweight)...& so much so,that the slightest nudge,could send it flying off my keyboard stand and that was nerve-racking!
    I was shocked and amazed,by how good the key-bed feel is,as it is not quite the "synth" action type,but somewhere between synth and semi-weighted(that is to say,it has a very responsive and solid spring-action to it...which just begs to be touched and played with!
    The black keys have sort of a grip to them,which is very comfortable and of course,the recessed area around the ends of the keys is fantastic(so there is not that conflict between where the last keys meet the body of the keyboard.)
    The bootup time is just under 10 seconds and I like that the s670's display screen is twice the size of my former Kross 2.

    As for the speaker system in the S670...well...I was always curious about whether or not it was a 2-way configuration,or a single speaker.The long rectangular grills suggest that there is also a tweeter...but to my disappointment,it's just a single speaker on each side and the lack of clarity proves it.
    There is plenty of volume though and the speakers at least serve a purpose,for laying down a quick idea on the fly(but I much prefer to also have my M-Audio BX8's on)...so that I can fully appreciate the audio quality from the S670.

    To a reasonable degree and for the most part...Yamaha's YouTube tutorials(along with referencing the manual)...has got me acquainted pretty well with the S670...but there is still so much to learn and since this is my first arranger,the learning curve is a bit overwhelming(as I've been unable to figure out how to convert a sequencer recording,to a WAV file.)
    Thus far,it would seem that only live performances can be recorded to audio...but then,I really have to devote much more to this keyboard,before I can confirm anything.
    What I find really disappointing,is although Yamaha has made an in-depth video tutorial for purchase for their Motif line,there still is no such thing for the PSR line and it's been on the market for 3 years.
    The S670 is fairly straightforward,but not enough for the user to do without a detailed video tutorial,if one expects to learn everything fluently,in a reasonable amount of time.
    The sequencer is about what I had expected...in that the user can record their performances straight to the sequencer,or record track by track....but there doesn't seem to be much in the way of fine tuning and polishing of songs(but then,I primarily chose the S670,for the purpose of generating song ideas,which the S670 does very well.)

    With regard to the voices,it's also about what I expected.....presets that are very impressive and notably better than both of my former MOX/XF keyboards...but of course,there are some compromises.
    The ConcertGrand is a nice piano...but the rest are average.There's a handful of really inspiring e.pianos(& certainly enough to suit my needs.)
    Some of the synth sounds are surprisingly analog-sounding and quite impressive for it being an entry-level arranger in the PSR-S line!
    The bass presets are usable,but average,except for one preset...which is called the DynoPickBass,which is a very natural sounding bass,with many velocity layers.
    The strings and brass are decent...in that these categories are a slight improvement over my former Yamaha budget workstations.
    The drums are clearly the best category(in terms of the amount of excellent presets)...as I loved everything I've browsed through!
    I haven't browsed the organ,accordion & harmonica and woodwind categories as of yet...but from what I've heard on YouTube,they seem to be on par with most of the other categories(in that there's a few presets that really shine and the rest are average,for a budget line of keyboard.)
    I also have yet to connect my PSR-S670 to my PC....because I have just been too busy having fun with tinkering around & exploring the auto-accompaniment styles!

    In conclusion,I really can't find any significant issues or complaints about this keyboard(except to say that I wish the PSR-S670's body style and overall design,had carried over into the more expensive models)...as I think Yamaha is utterly retarded,in deciding to restrict their very best design for only their entry-level model(as the S775 or S975 with a S670 body style,would have been a super hot item!
    Ideally though...if the S670 had the 7" color touch screen and a bit more internal memory and charged $999 for it,the S670 would have probably been the best selling arranger in it's class! 105_0579.JPG 105_0584.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
    HighlandStudio91, Jun 4, 2018
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  2. HighlandStudio91

    Rayblewit Love Music / Love Life

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    Hi Thom,
    Great review!
    Knowing these are your initial mostly positive impressions only, it is possible that as you progress further into its performance and features that the next review may be different.
    I look forward to what you have to say next time. I have an optimistic feeling that the next review will be mostly positive. Looking forward to it.
    Many thanks for posting here. I for one have the 670 in my sights.
    Cheers ray
     
    Rayblewit, Jun 4, 2018
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  3. HighlandStudio91

    HighlandStudio91

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    Ray,

    Thanks for your reply and you are quite welcome...as I was happy to offer a review and hopefully...this will give most,if not all prospective S670 owners some insight into the S670 and help them decide on what's right for them.

    I e-mailed Yamaha support...regarding the recording functions yesterday...but I am going to phone them and hopefully they'll give me some useful info on that.
    I am working on a video for YouTube(which is essentially a video version of what I wrote here.)I am very eager to learn as much as I can and in a timely manner,so that I can produce a series of tutorial videos.

    -Thom
     
    HighlandStudio91, Jun 4, 2018
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  4. HighlandStudio91

    Biggles

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    Great review Thom.

    Glad you are happy with your purchase.
     
    Biggles, Jun 4, 2018
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  5. HighlandStudio91

    HighlandStudio91

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    Thanks Big...appreciate it.
     
    HighlandStudio91, Jun 4, 2018
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  6. HighlandStudio91

    Mark Bransfield

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    i am 67 and i never took a music lesson in my Life and have no idea what i am Playing ..a few years back i bought a Casio wk 3300 work station and played for hours until i found cords and notes that matched (lol) as i got better i bought a Yamaha psr 670 WOW What a Difference i also Purchased a Presonus Live Mixer Hooked to Computer .. i composed my First Song and transferred it to Windows Movie Maker where i scanned and copied pictures that Corresponded to my Song ... here is my First Music Video and i tell ya i am Tickled Pink ..Hope you enjoy it ...
     
    Mark Bransfield, Jun 6, 2018
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  7. HighlandStudio91

    CowboyNQ

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    Good stuff Mark. Glad you're enjoying your keyboard!
     
    CowboyNQ, Jun 6, 2018
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  8. HighlandStudio91

    HighlandStudio91

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    Nice job on the music video.:cool: I've always been a strictly by ear musician as well(except I did take music theory in high school & I absolutely hated that class...& didn't learn a damn thing!:mad::D
    When I was starting from scratch about 16 years ago,I had sold all my previous keyboards and could only afford a consumer grade keyboard.
    I began with a RadioShack MD-1700(& had better speakers than my PSR-S670 and it was only $300!!)Only a 6 track sequencer in it,but the sounds were usable and kept me happy for a while.....until I made a slight upgrade with the Casio WK-3800.Great sounds,but the midi sequencer did not have an audible metronome,as it was only a visual one...wtf?? :eek::rolleyes:o_O:D

    After tinkering around with my new PSR-S670 a bit more and after having spoke with a Yamaha rep,I found out that converting midi sequencer recording to USB audio was possible and it is a simple enough procedure....but there is one problem,as you cannot not syncronize the USB audio record button,with the sequencer play button(as you first have to depress the record button on the USB audio recorder and then the playback button on the sequencer.
    This of course,is utterly retarded,as when I transfer my WAV files to my computer DAW,I have to disable the Snap Grid function on my tracks,in order to freely move the audio files until I can visually sync them up...what a terrible pain in the butt.
    The PSR-S670 has wall to wall sync functionality,except for when you want to transfer your final rendering to USB audio(the programmers that designed thisportionn of the S670,must have been laughing their butts off(because this lack of syncronicity in this keyboard has to be a friggin' joke!)
    Oh well....you get what you pay for...I guess.
     
    HighlandStudio91, Jun 6, 2018
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  9. HighlandStudio91

    Biggles

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    Interesting update Thom.

    I would be very surprized if more limitations of you new baby did not come to the fore as you learn more about it, I am not being critical of the keyboard but if in reality there are no differences between the various S models then there would be no need to buy the S975.

    Value for money the S670 does take the crown its a lot of keyboard for £500.

    One thing, did you try out the S670 prior to purchase or did you buy it based on the reviews?
     
    Biggles, Jun 6, 2018
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  10. HighlandStudio91

    Rayblewit Love Music / Love Life

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    Just beatiful. A lovely sound indeed.
    Ray
     
    Rayblewit, Jun 6, 2018
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  11. HighlandStudio91

    HighlandStudio91

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    I did as much research as possible before I bought it and I knew the recording functions were limited beforehand...but visiting a store to demo it,would not have revealed the lack of a sync function,between the audio recorder and sequencer.
    That bit of info was not even considered,as simple logic,would have one assume without question,that the sequencer and audio recorder would line up in harmony.
    Like I had mentioned in a different thread,I don't have a music store locally and I do not drive and spending money on public transportation would be costly to me & not be worthwhile.
    I really cannot imagine running into any more undesirable aspects of the S670 and though the USB audio recorder is an issue,I can still make it work for me.
    As for the S975...well...I'm assuming that it has the same limitations recording-wise...but I will have to contact Yamaha,regarding that.
    If the S975 is set up the same way,then I will have to consider a Korg arranger,or just wait and see what Yamaha comes up with in the future.
     
    HighlandStudio91, Jun 6, 2018
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  12. HighlandStudio91

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

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    I'm not sure why you can't sync while recording to a DAW. The keyboard should be set to use its internal MIDI clock by default, so try setting the DAW to external MIDI clock so it uses the PSR-S670's clock signals, and also make sure you set the DAW to use the same tempo and time signature that you're using on the keyboard. But I guess it also depends on exactly what you're trying to do.
     
    SeaGtGruff, Jun 7, 2018
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  13. HighlandStudio91

    HighlandStudio91

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    Thanks for the suggestion,but one of the largest selling points of the PSR-S670 for me,was the WAV file export(because I like to keep things simple,if I can...so I can focus on creating,rather than fussing and pulling my hair out over technical stuff.)
    What your suggesting,involves a 5-pin midi connection...correct?If so...the PSR-S670 does not have this type of midi connection.
    If this can be done via the USB-midi connection....then maybe I'll look into...but then again,I could just as easily depress the play button on my PSR and the record button on my midi controller keyboard simultaneously and get the same result.
     
    HighlandStudio91, Jun 7, 2018
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  14. HighlandStudio91

    Biggles

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    Do test out the recording function to make sure there is no limitation on the number of performances that your S670 can record.

    We had a member a while back with a different Yamaha keyboard struggling to output their performance as their keyboard only kept one recording.
     
    Biggles, Jun 7, 2018
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  15. HighlandStudio91

    HighlandStudio91

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    Thanks for the warning,but whatever problem that member had...with whatever Yamaha keyboard he/she had...probably isn't relevant to my situation,since I can save my performances to a USB thumb drive.
     
    HighlandStudio91, Jun 7, 2018
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  16. HighlandStudio91

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

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    Oh, I misunderstood what your problem was, because when you said "sync" I was thinking in terms of the MIDI clock. But for audio shouldn't it be the same concept only sans the MIDI clock? Set the tempo and time signature in the DAW to match what you used for your recording, then have the DAW start recording the audio track(s) only when it starts to receive an audio signal to record. The only wrinkle would be if your recording isn't supposed to start on the first beat of the first bar-- e.g., maybe it's a half-bar lead-in or something-- in which case you'd need to shift it over to the desired beat.
     
    SeaGtGruff, Jun 8, 2018
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  17. HighlandStudio91

    HighlandStudio91

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    As it turns out,my S670 is nothing more than a keyboard to jam on and draw inspiration from the auto-accompaniments and that's fine,because at $799....it's a still a great value(but unfortunately,the only real value in Yamaha's entire arranger line up.)
    All of Yamaha's PSR-S models and even the Genos,has the same rudimentary midi sequencer in it...can you believe that??Yep...that's right,they all are limited to performance recording and multi-track recording(but without any deep editing,such as pattern recording with copy & paste,no multiple individual track effect inserts and no stem exporting.)

    This makes the Genos the most overrated,overpriced & ill-equipped arranger/workstation ever conceived!Wow...what a horrendous piece of miserable sh*t,the Genos is!
     
    HighlandStudio91, Jun 8, 2018
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  18. HighlandStudio91

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

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    I have zero experience with any of the PSR-S, Tyros, and Genos models, or for that matter with any of the older PSR models-- only with a few of the PSR-E models, and the song recording feature on those models is far less sophisticated (only 5 tracks plus an accompaniment track, and no track editing at all; if you mess up on a track then you must record that track again from scratch). Consequently, I've always been of the opinion that it's best to use the onboard song recorder for "scratch work" only, or recording ideas on the fly as inspiration hits, and then transfer the recording to a DAW for the "serious work."

    Nevertheless, there are many Yamaha owners who say they do all of their recording work on their PSR, PSR-S, Tyros, or Genos-- laying down all of the MIDI tracks, including a vocal audio track, editing the tracks as needed, and then converting their final mix to an audio file. It's kind of funny to me, because even if I had the same models that they're using, I don't think I could get the hang of doing all of the editing on the keyboard itself, since I find it to be so much easier and more convenient to do any editing in a DAW. Yet I sometimes hear these players who do everything on their keyboards talk about DAWs, and it sounds like they're totally lost and mystified about the possible benefits of using a DAW or how to perform simple editing tasks in a DAW!

    So I guess the moral of that story is this: You learn how to do something in a particular way using a particular toolset, and as long as that works successfully for you, then great. And if you want to take the time and make the effort to learn other ways to do the same thing, or to try using other toolsets, then that's also great, as you just might find that there's an easier way, or a "better" toolset, than what you've been doing/using-- especially since there might be benefits of using one method or toolset which are different than the benefits of using another method or toolset. But if trying to learn a different method or toolset is taking more time or effort than you're able or willing to invest-- and let's face it, we all have other duties and pleasures besides playing and recording music that we need or want to spend some of our time on as well-- then stick with what you know as long as it's working for you! :)
     
    SeaGtGruff, Jun 8, 2018
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  19. HighlandStudio91

    Biggles

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    In other words, typically Yamaha.

    I cannot comment about other Arrangers but I can edit individual MIDI tracks on my Korg and that is way way cheaper than a Genos. My PA 700 can import MIDI files which I can then edit the individual tracks to achieve the overall sound that I want.

    Not that I would want to do this, its far to messy for me to prat around using the feature, far better to use the DAW on my laptop.
     
    Biggles, Jun 8, 2018
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  20. HighlandStudio91

    HighlandStudio91

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    Typical Yamaha regarding their arrangers...yes...but as for their workstation keyboard(the Motif XS & XF specifically)...those were real gems and a great value(but unfortunately,I had not realized this until it was too late.)At that time,I was struggling to decide between Yamaha,Korg & Kurzweil and I was too hung up on factory ROM sizes,so I avoided Yamaha(a monumentally unwise move,as it turned out.)
    The thing is about Yamaha,that I am so drawn to,is their e.guitars,effects and arpeggios(all of which is exclusive only to Yamaha)..that I haven't been able to find in either hardware or software.
    I just absolutely love how natural sounding Yamaha's e,guitars are,when you add arpeggios to them and if Yamaha were to create a new keyboard arranger/workstation that combined their Motif XF with their PSR S line(& priced it on par with that of Korg's Kronos line)would be the perfect hardware keyboard!
    I just can't get over how stupid the Genos's price tag is(but then again,the Genos does have appeal for the serious live player,who wants PC software quality on the go...I guess.)
     
    HighlandStudio91, Jun 8, 2018
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