Yamaha PSRF51 61-Key Portable Keyboard, Base Model

Pinned on May 23, 2018 at 03:55 by Ruby Daniels

Yamaha PSRF51 61-Key Portable Keyboard, Base Model

Yamaha PSRF51 61-Key Portable Keyboard, Base Model

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Reader Rabbit says:

It’s a lightweight arranger keyboard; beginners have better options I own the earlier, similar PSR-E343. But if I were buying today, I’d definitely buy the next model up, the PSR-E453. Yamaha has finally upgraded the -E453 (only) with some real onboard effects: Rotary speaker/Leslie, tremolo, auto-pan, and distortion. Plus, that model provides two fun onboard dials, with which you can vary effects rate and depth, as well as other parameters (attack/release, filter EQ, etc.). The -E453 also adds more sequencer voices, more preset storage, and a pitch-bend wheel.I’m pleased with my version of this keyboard, but I think Yamaha’s marketing (and several user reviews) are off-target in pitching the whole PRS-E range to “beginners.”If you’re just learning piano — or are trying to connect your child, parent, etc. with the instrument — I think you’d get better returns by spending more for a “piano-focused” keyboard like Yamaha’s NP-V60 or NP-V80. (Those 2 differ by only a few functions. And any model # mentioned in this review might have been replaced by a slightly newer/higher variant, by the time you read it. So check before you buy any of these — Amazon doesn’t always automatically warn you that “there is a newer model.”)The NP-V’s have onboard learning features similar to this keyboard’s. But they include a more realistic and satisfying acoustic-piano model, which will motivate you to play for much longer at a stretch. (The piano tone on this model is good for the keyboard’s price, weight, and size — but the samples are short, so you can hear some looping.)Another nice NP-V feature is their “graded soft touch,” which provides an easier transition to the feel of a traditional piano keyboard. It’s also easier to play, because the keys offer a more predictable touch response than this keyboard’s unweighted keys.To split the difference on price, you could buy an NP-12 or NP-32. Those give you the NP-V series’ tone and touch, but leave out the learning features/gimmicks. Use your savings for piano lessons or tutorials.Or for a really learning-oriented platform, consider Yamaha’s EZ-220. Its dimensions, weight, and onboard sounds are very similar to this keyboard’s. But it omits the 343’s 2-track sequencer, auxiliary audio input, and panel EQ key — and substitutes a lighted-keys feature that’s a fun motivator and facilitator for beginners. (It works with 100 built-in songs, whose scores are included.)So who’s this 363 for? It’s a good option for experienced keyboardists who want an “arranger keyboard” that’s inexpensive, provides a reasonable range of decent instrument tones, and is insanely light and portable.I thought my NP-30 was light, but these are more like a Frisbee. It weighs almost nothing, and has a compact footprint that makes it easy to flip around. Play it on your lap? Sure. Move it to the floor, to work out a tune beside a pad of staff paper? No problem. And it runs for a decent length of time on 6 rechargeable AA batteries, which makes it even more portable.This competes directly with Casio’s CTK-4200, which some players and arrangers might prefer. At almost any price point, Yamaha and Casio face off like this: Casio gives you more tone-shaping options, generally richer features, and some better non-piano tones. But Yamaha excels at its acoustic-piano model – often your main purpose in buying any keyboard – and its harpsichord models are much better. Also, it’s starting to build in some fun iOS connectivity options.Casio’s CTK-4200 offered a better sequencer (6 tracks instead of 2); more storage for presets (32 slots instead of 9); and what seemed like more interesting and usable models of organs, electric pianos, and mallet instruments. But I already have a Casio 88-key board with similar features, so I went with this Yamaha’s predecessor. Its piano tone seemed noticeably richer, and I liked the direct panel access to several EQ presets.The best feature here actually isn’t in the box: If you have an iPhone/iPad with an appropriate connector, you can download the free “Yamaha Sound Controller” app to expand this keyboard with virtual controls for several real-time parameters: pitch-bend, mod (vibrato), pan, attack time (think pedal steel guitar), release time (think variable sustain pedal), etc.You can pick sets of two parameters to control at a time, via either virtual wheels or a cool X-Y touchpad (which is like a Kaossilator). And if you pick filter cutoff and resonance as your two parameters, the X-Y layout allows you to get some trippy synth and wah effects that are almost impossible to modulate with physical controllers. In all, the (underrated) app can turn these consumer PSR-E keyboards into viable performance options. The catch is that you might have to buy a Yamaha proprietary USB-to-Apple cable (which can be pricey), or hack something with a USB printer cable and…

Friagram says:

Great Value

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