Get to know all about Yamaha’s awesome PSR keyboards and arranger workstations in our comprehensive PSR comparison guide
In this blog we take a closer look at the awesome Yamaha PSR keyboard range, diving into the specs of each model and exploring the full feature list across the collection.
These instruments are a great option for both beginners and veterans, with Yamaha providing portable keyboards to suit different skill-levels as well as professional arranger workstations with varying capabilities.
We’ll also go through the PSR keyboards which are designed and produced for non-Western and world music styles, so hopefully by the time you’ve finished reading you’ll have a good idea of which Yamaha PSR model is best for you.
What does PSR mean on a Yamaha keyboard?
The Yamaha PSR name stems from the ‘PortaSound’ keyboards that the company produced throughout the 80’s and 90’s. This name was chosen due to the portable nature of the instruments, of which battery-operation was a consistent feature.
The ‘R’ refers to the most modern iterations of these instruments that utilise full-sized keys - the PSS range, on the other hand, has smaller keys.
What are the different Yamaha PSR models?
The Yamaha PSR keyboard range is currently split into two tiers - PSR-E and PSR-SX. The PSR-E range consists of portable keyboard instruments, whereas the PSR-SX models are professional arranger workstations. The PSR-E range also consists of two PSR-EW keyboards which have 76 keys compared to the 61 keys on the other models.
Until 2019 Yamaha also produced the PSR-S range - this collection has now been succeeded by the PSR-SX range. Since 1984 there have been over 100 different PSR models, but in this blog we’ll be looking at the most recent 2021 and 2022 models.
Keep reading to learn about what the PSR model numbers mean and to find the best PSR Yamaha keyboard for your needs.
What do the Yamaha PSR model numbers mean?
Each PSR model is identified with a letter (or letters) and a set of numbers. The first number after the letters indicate how feature-laden the instrument is - so you could expect the PSR-EW410 to offer more than the PSR-EW310.
The following numbers refer to the succession of instruments within each range - so we can see that the PSR-E373 is a more recent model than the PSR-E363.
Yamaha PSR Arranger Workstations
The current line-up of PSR Arranger Workstations is as follows:
Use this table to compare some key specs from each Arranger Workstation model:
Yamaha PSR Arranger Workstation Comparison
|No. of Keys||61||61||61||61|
|No. of Voices||1337||986||850||1161|
|No. of Drums/SFX Kits||56||41||43||86|
|Compatibility||XG (Song Playback), GS (Song Playback), GM, GM2||XG (Song Playback), GS (Song Playback), GM, GM2||XG (Song Playback), GS (Song Playback), GM, GM2||XG (Song Playback), GS (Song Playback), GM, GM2|
|Effects||Reverb, Chorus, DSP, Insertion Effect, Master Compressor, Master EQ, Part EQ - Mic Guitar Effects: Noise Gate, Compressor, 3-Band EQ - Vocal Effects: 23||Reverb, Chorus, DSP, Insertion Effect, Master Compressor, Master EQ, Part EQ - Mic Guitar Effects: Noise Gate, Compressor, 3-Band EQ||Reverb, Chorus, DSP, Insertion Effect, Master Compressor, Master EQ, Part EQ - Mic Guitar Effects: Noise Gate, Compressor, 3-Band EQ||Reverb, Chorus, DSP, Insertion Effect, Master Compressor, Master EQ, Part EQ - Mic Guitar Effects: Noise Gate, Compressor, 3-Band EQ|
|No. of Recordable Songs||Unlimited||Unlimited||------||Unlimited|
|No. of Recordable Tracks||16||16||16||16|
|MIDI||IN, OUT||IN, OUT||------||IN, OUT|
|Multi Pad Banks||329 Banks x 4 Pads||226 Banks x 4 Pads||188 Banks x 4 Pads||257 Banks x 4 Pads|
|Voices||Harmony/Echo (with Arpeggio), Panel Sustain, Mono/Poly, Voice Information||Harmony/Echo (with Arpeggio), Panel Sustain, Mono/Poly, Voice Information||Harmony/Echo (with Arpeggio), Panel Sustain, Mono/Poly, Voice Information||Harmony/Echo, Arpeggio, Panel Sustain, Mono/Poly|
Each Arranger Workstation in the PSR range is fully-equipped with a host of compositional tools, voices, and styles. They’re also loaded with effects and preset styles - the main differences lie within the SX600, which has no MIDI capabilities or recordable songs. The other features increase in number, capacity, and complexity across the SX700 and SX900.
The PSR-A5000 is designed for playing Oriental music - keep reading if you’re interested in the other World instruments in the PSR range.
Yamaha PSR Portable Keyboards
The current line-up of PSR Portable Keyboards is as follows:
- PSR-F52 (a beginner keyboard ft World Music voices/styles)
- PSR-I500 (for Indian Music)
Use this table to compare some key specs from each PSR-E model:
Yamaha PSR E-Series Comparison
|No. of Keys||61||61||61||61||76||76|
|No. of Voices||384||384||622||758||622||758|
|No. of Drums/SFX Kits||17||16||22||24||22||24|
|Live! Grand Piano Voice||No||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Effects||Reverb, Chorus, EQ||Reverb, Chorus, EQ||Reverb, Chorus, EQ, Harmony, DSP||Reverb, Chorus, EQ, Harmony, DSP||Reverb, Chorus, EQ, Harmony, DSP||Reverb, Chorus, EQ, Harmony, DSP|
|Dual and Split Modes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|No. of Preset Songs||112||112||154||30||154||30|
|No. of Recordable Songs||1||1||5||10||5||10|
|No. of Recordable Tracks||1||1||2||6||2||6|
|Audio and MIDI Recording/Playback via USB Port||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Storage to USB Flash Drive||No||No||No||Yes||No||Yes|
|1/4" Line Inputs||0||0||0||0||0||2|
The PSR Portable Keyboard range caters to beginner and intermediate-level musicians. The features here are designed to encourage musical education and inspire people to play.
These are affordable instruments that contain everything you need to make music of the highest quality - and with tools such as Yamaha Education Suite learn-to-play functions, you can be sure that refining your skills is easier than ever before.
If you need to find a Yamaha PSR keyboard for beginners then check out the PSR-E range.
Yamaha PSR Keyboards for Oriental, Indian, and other World Music
Yamaha also offers a range of instruments that are designed to best serve those musicians who play world music and styles that are specific to different parts of the world. These instruments are:
Featuring a range of newly-sampled instruments and 210 fresh Styles, the PSR-A5000 is the best arranger workstation for Oriental music.
With distinctive Voices such as Oud, Qanoon, and Nay, the dedicated oriental instrument waveforms ensure epic sound that covers Shaabi, Khaleeji, Turkish and more.
Players will appreciate the assignable buttons and 7” colour touchscreen, whilst the inclusion of the Live Control joystick/knobs means you’re always in complete control of your performance.
Now with 1GB of on-board memory for expansion data in addition to 2GB of internal memory, the PSR-A5000 is the ultimate choice for Oriental musicians who are serious about their craft.
An excellent option for beginner players, the Yamaha PSR-F52 is unique to other entry-level keyboards as it boasts a range of Voices designed for playing music from different regions across the world.
In addition to the much-loved piano, guitar, and wind instrument sounds, this keyboard has 41 World Voices and 5 World Drum Kits - so getting started with different styles is easier than ever.
Built to the same high-standard as every instrument from Yamaha, the PSR-F52 is the best keyboard for those who want to play different types of music without splashing out on a fully-featured arranger workstation.
Designed for Indian music lovers, the Yamaha PSR-I500 offers a stunning sound palette that puts performance at its core.
No matter if you wish to play traditional Indian music or modern movie soundtracks, this portable keyboard hosts a vast collection of Voices and auto-accompaniment Styles from every corner of the country.
With classic instruments such as Sitar and Bansuri alongside newly-sampled sounds based on requests from famous Indian music producers, you can also add your own samples (like short vocal phrases or sound effects) which can be matched to the key you’re playing in.
The PSR-I500 also features lessons specific to learning music from this part of the world. Utilising a built-in Tabla/Mridangam & Tanpura function known as “Riyaz,” this keyboard will help to introduce players to traditional Indian “Raga” scales and rhythms.
Which Yamaha PSR model is best for me?
Whether you need a fully-fledged professional arranger workstation or a portable keyboard for at-home practicing, the PSR range has you covered. We recommend that more seasoned musicians look at the SX model keyboards, whereas beginner and intermediate players should start with the E and EW collections.
Use the tables above to compare the specs and figure out which is best for you - if you know that you need MIDI compatibility, for example, then you can pick between the SX700 and SX900. Likewise, if you need 76-keys as opposed to 61 then you should choose a keyboard from the EW range.
World musicians will greatly appreciate the features of the I500 and A5000 which are designed to cater especially to them, and we think that players should opt for the relevant keyboard for their chosen genres. For those who are just getting started with non-western music styles, the F52 model offers a solid introduction to learning keyboard.
Got more questions about the Yamaha PSR range? Want to learn how to record songs with a Yamaha PSR keyboard? Call us on 0151 448 2089 or check out your local store to speak to one of our Experts about your needs.