Yamaha S90XS Review - Yamaha S70XS Review

by Mantius
(Saint Lucia)

Yamaha S70XS

Yamaha S70XS

Yamaha S90XS Review - Yamaha S70XS Review

What do you think of the Yamaha S90XS and Yamaha S70XS synthesizers? Share your views below. Watch the folowing videos and let others know how you feel about these two Yamaha keyboards. Other readers can add their own reviews and comment on what you've written.

The Yamaha S90 XS is similar to the Yamaha S70 XS except for the number of keys. The S90 XS has 88 keys while the S70 XS has 76. They both come with weighted keys. They sell for US$2299.99 and $2399.99, respectively. Are they worth the price. Do you like the features? Would you recommend these keyboards?

Thanks for sharing your views in the comment form below.

Yamaha S90XS and Yamaha S70XS Features:

- 88 (76) keys on a balanced, hammer-effect, full-range, full-scale keyboard

- A warm, concert grand piano sound

- 4 knobs, 16 backlit LEDs, and lots of buttons for direct hands on control

- All of the voices, performances, arpeggios, and virtual circuit modeling effects of the Yamaha MOTIF XS Music Production Synthesizer

- 456 megabytes of instrument samples

- Combo input jack that accepts mic input

- Control knobs for fine volume adjustment

- Control knobs to directly apply reverb or chorus

- Performance Creator feature for instant splits, layers, and drum performances

- Convenient controls to create your own custom performances

- Optimum ease-of-operation with top-panel controls

- Accepts USB memory devices

- Allows player to string together separate recordings and create a convenient set list using the song chain function

- Functions as a master keyboard and a full-function, multitimbral tone generator

- Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) remote function and 50 different control templates

- Voice Editor and Remote Editor software provides convenient, comprehensive computer control over all sounds, settings, and functions

- 1/4" XLR combo jack A/D input (with front panel controls) for adding vocals and guitars

- Direct-to-USB stereo audio record & playback

- 192 megabytes of internal flash-drive memory (18 minutes)

- Provides the ability to create your own custom audio backing tracks and perform along with them

- Exceptionally portable

Yamaha S70XS (Yamaha S90XS) Demo - Part 1

Buy S70XS here.

Buy S90XS here.

Yamaha S70 XS (Yamaha S90 XS) Demo - Part 2

Yamaha S70XS (Yamaha S90XS) Demo - Part 3

In the form below share your views (reviews) about the Yamaha S70XS and S90XS synthesizers.

Comments for Yamaha S90XS Review - Yamaha S70XS Review

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Nov 10, 2017
Worst Keyboard
by: Anonymous

It has good sounds, but the design is the worst: Here is a list of a few:
-In MIDI play back, you can only play/stop and nothing else, not even go back to the beginning.
-it's HUGE piece of keyboard with a tiny display
-it takes multiple steps to do a simple thing
-there is NO tutorial (the manuals are useless. Korg PA series have videos to teach you everything)
-there are only 5 buttons for fill-ins/styles/patterns
-there are separate wheels for bend/vibrato instead just a stick like one in a Roland.
-and many more. The more you play it, the more you want to trash it.

Dec 28, 2012
Small screen solution
by: Jim

Thought this might be very useful. Yamaha has iPad apps, which essentially makes s series have a 10 inch touch screen! I saw demos - all I need for stage!!! Is there. Apps are voice and performance editors. I only found that now, might give an insight to many as well. No barriers left for me to pay for s70xs anymore. I am a lover of big screens, so I really feel happy having discovered that just an hour ago!


Other apps are there 2. Enjoy!

Sep 03, 2011
Good for Live Work
by: STP Aust

Fantastic tones and huge amount of flexibility to shape and adjust and store tones/settings/performances. Great piano and acoustic guitar sounds which I use live.
Very useful feature to be able to record onto a USB device as a wavefile including the microphone external input. Very good for capturing ideas.
HOWEVER, This is not a workstation. It is more of a specialised instrument intended for the live performer.

Opportunities for Improvement.
1. Love the light action but wish the action on the 88 note version was graded to some extent.
2. No onboard sequencer for composing.
3. Very small display, and MMI philosophy is very old school. Consider touch screen,windows/graphic style menu including a help screen.
4. Lost it's 'brains'during a mains power dip, so I would advise to have the firmware backed up on a stick, and for critical applications consider a UPS.
5. Bulky instrument makes it very difficult to transport. Won't easily fit in an average car. I transport it in a Ford Courier Ute. Consider shortening it by up to 75mm. (Possible reason why NORD are very popular for travelling musicians.)
6.Wish the record function had some basic editing facilities (cut/overdub etc) and the playback was more flexible. (Pause/speed/A-B loop etc)
7. Can only combine up to four instruments for a performance. (Should be min of 8)
8. Arrangement of preset tone libraries and some of the Yamaha specific terminology is complicated compared to other keyboards I've used. eg Korg.
9. The drum beats are useful for experimenting and rehersing with, but not convinced it would be easy to utilize the drum feature in live performances.

If you are a live performer and this is going to be your main workhorse then it is an incredible sounding instrument. You need high end amplification gear to appreciate the tonal qualities of this instrument. You will have to spend a lot of time getting to know the Yamaha way of thinking when learning how to drive it.
I own a lot of Yamaha gear (hard disk recorder, audio mixers, stage piano, S90Sx synth) and have no problems recommending them.

Feb 22, 2011
S90 XS
by: Anonymous




Jan 01, 2011
Reply to my nov 19 posting
by: Anonymous

After MUCH research, playing, testing etc I bought the s70xs.
So far it's a love/hate relationship. I love playing it, it's easy to do basic layering of sounds and sounds great thru the headphones.

Through my KC350 keyboard amp (same one I used with the EX7 which sounded fine) though it sounds pretty poor. The S6 piano sounds particularly flat and there's a really (and I mean REALLY) annoying harmonic on the three keys around D1 on the s6 piano sound.

I was also playing a pretty fast piece the other day with piano and strings layered and it was dropping notes like crazy so the polyphony is obviously struggling under some situations. It's not a piece you'd normally play with stings layered over a piano so not a problem in real life, I just happened to have that setup when I started playing and hit the problem.

On the plus side, it does have some amazing sounds and I still exploring it's capabilities.
however it looks like I am going to have to invest in a decent PA system to get the best out of it in a live situation.

Dec 21, 2010
Yamaha S70XS Display problem
by: Anonymous

Really pleased with the S70XS I purchased in early November. Terrific performance layout for live work and saves a bundle of weight and bulk over my S90ES. I personally don't miss the extra octave of keys. One strange thing though - the display give me the "blue screen" from time to time and appears to be sensitive to key vibration and/or pressure on the "dashboard" near the display. I may have to have it looked at by an authorized service tech to be sure I don't have a bigger problem looming. Anybody else having this problem?

Nov 19, 2010
I want one
by: Anonymous

I've been looking for a new keyboard for a while now. I have a dying EX7 that I need to replace as well as a regular upright piano. I am no professional player, I just play for fun.

I was looking at a Roland FP7 or FP4 but having tried the 7, I did not like the feel. I looked at a RD700NX as well, lovely board but I read of lots of problems with the coating on the keys that put me off.

Tried an S90XS in the shop (Guitar Center) last week and I am sold. Beautiful feel to the keys, very nicely weighted without being too heavy. Some great sounds and accompaniment out of the box. Lots of things to twiddle with. Even made me sound good! The screen size did not really bother me and being an middle age guy with typical middle aged eyesight (I need glasses all the time) I was surprised.
The interface (buttons, knobs, screen options etc) looks to be the usual Yamaha mess. Sorry but they just don't seem to make this stuff easy (or maybe I am thick) and the manual (I got it online) is not that great. Guess I need to spend more time with it.

I shall be going out on black Friday to see if I can get a deal on one. The only decision now is 88 or 76 keys!

Oct 04, 2010
Yamaha S90XS S70XS Review - Great keyboard except for display
by: Charles Newman

The S90XS/S70SX is really a top of the line keyboard from Yamaha. Again, Yamaha has outdone themselves.

My only issue with it is the size of the display monitor. If it came with a larger display it would have been perfect. Otherwise, if this is not a big deal for someone looking to buy it, I recommend it.

I think the instrument sounds are excellent, after all these are MOTIF sounds! Really love the arpeggios. Love the way it is made with the live keyboard player in mind. Everything is right there at the touch of a button. Very user friendly instrument.

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