Yamaha PSR SX 900 - Should I go for it?

Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Hello
Planning to purchase the yamaha psr sx 900 arranger. I am a basic to intermediate player. Really like the inbuilt rhythm patterns in the psr s, helps a lot. Like the touchscreen too.
Any feedback on if it is worth that money and the quality of the board+sounds is much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
Rahul.
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2023
Messages
34
Reaction score
10
Location
Texas USA
As long as you're willing to play at least two notes to trigger a chord, the PSR-SX900 is one of the best choices out there.

For some strange reason (perhaps to avoid patent infringement?) if you play a single note in the chord recognition area, Yamahas acknowledge this as a Unison (an octave, i.e,. [1+8]). These are not common chords in popular music; IMO triggering full major chords with a single note would be a LOT more useful.

Now I'm a lazy, poorly-trained player who is used to the Roland / Ketron / Korg / Casio system. Yamaha never makes mistakes (and if they did, they wouldn't admit it 😜 ) If you practice often you might be able to overcome this perceived limitation. My $.02.
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Thanks a lot for your reply! Really appreciate! Yes, I am a basic level player! When you say 2 notes, so as an example - C chord will be C and E or C and G, or 2 Cs an octave apart?
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2023
Messages
34
Reaction score
10
Location
Texas USA
To trigger a C major chord you would have to play C and the E above it, or C-E-G in any inversion. if you just play a C, the keyboard will sound a C note in two octaves, and not the third nor the fifth of the chord.

If you play C and G above, you will get C [1+5] with the third omitted, which is sometimes called a "power chord." Neither major nor minor, these occur in some heavy metal and rock songs, but are still much rarer than ordinary major chords.

If you play the G below C, Yamaha interprets this as an "on bass" or "slash" chord. It will play a C major chord with G in the bass. This would be written 'C/G.' This type of slash chord recognition is useful. But most other brands have it as a separate control, which is actually more flexible because you can turn it off when not needed, and then play chords in any convenient inversion.

To answer your last question: If you play two C's an octave apart, Yamaha treats this the same as just playing a single C-note. You'll hear only C in two octaves, no 3rd, no 5th. So on the PSR-SX900 there's no reason to span the octave because you can get the same sound by playing a single 'C'.

I just don't understand why Yamaha didn't set it up so that one note plays a full major chord. All of the other brands do it this way, and it makes it much easier to play simple folk songs, or any song that has a fast progression containing major chords. With single-note fingering you don't have to worry about playing a specific inversion, and often you can reach that note without having to reposition your whole hand.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
48
Reaction score
8
SX900 has 5 or 6 more or less different fingering modes you can choose from. But buying a keyboard is not just about fingering. SX900 has larger memory for additional voices than SX700. Do you need it? SX900 has Chord Looper. Do you need it? SX900 has some voices and drumkits which are not in SX700. Do you need them? If yes, go for it. I don"t know price difference between SX700 and SX900 in your country. But this is also something to take into account.
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Thank u all! Yes, strange way for chords for sure! I thought the older psr models had one touch chord playing. In fact, there was a button that used to say that.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
5,813
Reaction score
3,134
Location
Lancashire, UK.
If you take my advice, ignore the chord triggering via two notes or combinations.

Trigger the chords via the actual three note chord eventually moving onto four note like CM7, Cm7 etc. when you are more comfortable

It is as easy to learn the actual chords as it is the two note combinations.
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Yes thank you, I can do most 3 nite chords except 7ths that seems a bit tricky sometimes and more complex combos
 

Rayblewit

Love Music / Love Life
Joined
Nov 18, 2015
Messages
2,992
Reaction score
2,261
Location
Melbourne Australia
Yamaha often recognises 7th chords using 3 keys. Just figure out which of the 4 keys is not necessary.
Try some common ones.

Try C7 inversion .. don't play the G

Try G7 . . Like this . .
 

Attachments

  • 1715979547010.png
    1715979547010.png
    89.6 KB · Views: 3
Joined
Apr 11, 2023
Messages
34
Reaction score
10
Location
Texas USA
My observations apply to the "AI Fingered" mode, which Yamaha itself regards as its most advanced. There are indeed other modes. However, the other "easy" modes are limited in terms of which chords you can play and/or they may require you to play additional notes which are not actually part of the chord(!) So in a worst-case scenario the "easy" fingering could be more awkward than just playing all the notes of the chord.

If you're coming from the piano or a non-intelligent organ it's natural to just play all of the notes. But for beginners it's like having cadets train on a sailing ship, or asking a new driver to master the manual transmission "stick shift." A great skill to have, but hardly necessary today, and it requires more practice time unless you stick to playing in one or just a few keys.

The other features Lacko mentioned- sound samples, MIDI loops, etc., can be supplemented by outboard equipment. Chord fingering (and of course the pattern transposition rules) are cardinal to the arranger. Intelligent chord recognition is really the only feature that reduces the player's workload in live play. So at the end of the day it's quite important.

Korg and Roland were among the first to offer "professional" auto-accompaniment keyboards. Both brands had their similar and logical fingering systems sorted by the early 1990s. Eight years later when Yamaha sought to compete in earnest with the Tyros, they hired an outsider to develop their current "AI Fingered" system. Perhaps they were trying to avoid patent infringement. In any case the best, most logical approach was already taken and instead of copying it they went in their own direction.

With each new release I hope that Yamaha will swallow it's corporate pride and add a mode that emulates Roland Chord Intelligence. Or at least add an option in AI Fingered to have a single note trigger a full major chord. (This might be possible even now by using a third-party PC app to add the "missing" 3rd and 5th to the chord-specific style pattern for a unison. However, such heroic efforts shouldn't be necessary.) The PSR-SX900 is a really capable, feature-rich keyboard, and seems to be well-represented in US retail. But I think prospective buyers, especially beginners and those coming from other brands should be aware of this important consideration.
 

Den

Joined
Oct 11, 2015
Messages
26
Reaction score
13
Location
Australia
Not sure about the price in your country but here in Australia the SX700 is half the price of the SX900. If you do not need the strange add on things like chord looper etc the the SX700 is the better keyboard for money. If you want more styles and voices then grab them from the SX900 or Tyros.
Writing this, I had a PSR S900 Then my beloved Tyros 4. I got a Genos which I sent back after 26 days. I bought the SX900 and sold that to a man who needed it. I now have my Tyros4, my SX700 and my PSR S970.
Cost wise the SX700 is the best buy.
Regards, Den.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
5,813
Reaction score
3,134
Location
Lancashire, UK.
IMO the Korg Pa1000 is vastly superior in all aspects to any Yamaha.

Hence why in the duplicated thread I suggest trying them in store back to back.

A Korg Pa just works, and watching this series of tutorials gets you up and using one very quickly.

Plus they sound far better that an SX, been there tried them back to back any hence why I have what I have.

 
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
48
Reaction score
8
IMO the Korg Pa1000 is vastly superior in all aspects to any Yamaha.
Looking at YouTube comparisons and reading comments under them you see that it is pure personal preference. Some people prefer Yamaha sounds, another people prefer Korg sounds.
When I was switching from Casio MZ-X and didn't know what is better (for me of course), Korg or Yamaha, on another forum I have read many opinions, but for me the most important were: Yamaha has better sounds right out of the box, Yamaha has better sounds of acoustic instruments, whereas Korg is better for electronic music and for Yamaha there are much more styles and voices available free or paid than for any other keyboard brand.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
5,813
Reaction score
3,134
Location
Lancashire, UK.
Looking at YouTube comparisons and reading comments under them you see that it is pure personal preference. Some people prefer Yamaha sounds, another people prefer Korg sounds.
When I was switching from Casio MZ-X and didn't know what is better (for me of course), Korg or Yamaha, on another forum I have read many opinions, but for me the most important were: Yamaha has better sounds right out of the box, Yamaha has better sounds of acoustic instruments, whereas Korg is better for electronic music and for Yamaha there are much more styles and voices available free or paid than for any other keyboard brand.
Sounds are always subjective.

I would never ever go by online video reviews, the only review worth considering is your own back to back review.

As it is I have played Korg Pa’s back to back with Yamaha S, SX and Genos.

Yamaha has slightly better Acoustic Piano sounds, but with every other sound the Korg is better by a mile.

What you will find if you tried a Pa700 or 1000 is that the factory stringed instruments are slightly muted, the Eq is off by default, turn it on and the Pa comes alive. The one default Yamaha Piano is better than Korg’s in the Pa700 & 1000 but not in the Pa5X where I have Four Grand’s that are all better than the default Genos

I tested a Pa5X against a Genos, no comparison of sound quality, the Genos sounded like a Bontempi of the eighties by comparison.

Always play a keyboard one is considering buying in store & against its competition
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2014
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
Hello
Planning to purchase the yamaha psr sx 900 arranger. I am a basic to intermediate player. Really like the inbuilt rhythm patterns in the psr s, helps a lot. Like the touchscreen too.
Any feedback on if it is worth that money and the quality of the board+sounds is much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
Rahul.
Hello. I was planning to do the same thing. I found out through Sweetwater Music that Yamaha was going to discontinue the SX900 keyboard! That usually means an upgrade is going to replace it. More bells and whistles. I would wait to see what the replacement is. If the new features are worth the price, go for it. If not, the SX900 is an excellent keyboard to get AND it'll be cheaper as stores will be trying to get rid of the now-discontinue keyboard. I currently have a PSR970. Yes, its old but when it goes through a building's sound system or an amplifier, it STILL shock seasoned professionals on how it sounds! Once a bass player came to a show i was playing at and asked the music director WHERE the bassist was at. He heard the bass but saw no one. She pointed to me. The look on his face was of utter shock. Now imagine what an SX900 bass would sound like in the same situation. Again, i would wait to see the newest before going for the SX900. If the added features ain't worth the price or you just don't need/want the features, get the SX900. either way you won't be disappointed.
 
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
48
Reaction score
8
Many people are dreaming about „newer and better“ model than SX700/900, like Genos 2 was a year ago, but it was not yet announced. Only Yamaha knows (if and) when it will be launched. Maybe 2025 or 2026?
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Members online

No members online now.

Forum statistics

Threads
14,146
Messages
87,479
Members
13,198
Latest member
Cariboux2

Latest Threads

Top