Recommend Related Items & Pairings
This is where you can recommend to readers an alternative - or gear that goes with - Yamaha pss-270. What gear sounds similar, is less expensive, higher-end or boutique, etc.?ADD YOUR RECOMMENDATION
Cool retro sounds but...
The portable sound bank offers interesting retro sounding sounds which are greatly enjoyed by some however the voices can all sound relatively similar. When considering price and age of the keyboard, the instrument is relatively good quality and well made- yamaha always offer good quality equipment. However the PHONO output can be a little distorted and 'crackly' at greater volumes.
A Personal Favorite
I love this keyboard. People love to hate mini keys, I like them, especially on this keyboard. The keys feel nice for it's size, and they're pretty sturdy.
I love the sounds. Some are very nice and soft, and others are beefy. It's small, lightweight, and idiot proof. My kind of keyboard.
I like to put it through all sorts of effects. My favorite thing to do is take a clarinet, or the sinewave patch and put it through a crapload of distortion.
I traded two microphones for this. If you can get your hands on one of these, do it.
edited 4 months ago
A fun, very unique little vintage synth
This was my very first synth (if you can really call it that, it's more of a synth mixed with a toy keyboard). I learned the demo song by ear one measure at a time (Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are"), and played it in my 3rd grade school talent show...that's when I was officially hooked on keyboards. My Yamaha PSS-270 is still going strong, and I still enjoy playing it.
Being from about 1986 or 87, it is obviously quite limited compared to what's out there today. But it does have a few things that, in my experience, were completely unique to keyboards of that era. For one thing, while it was at a toy keyboard price point, it has a synthesizer chip that was actually used on far more professional and expensive Yamahas. It is incredibly durable...the keys have much more weight and realistic feel than others at that level. It has gone with me as I've moved many times over the years, while I've had other keyboards chip, crack, or break entirely during these moves, this one doesn't even have a scratch on it. (I lost the original AC adaptor somewhere along the way, but it was quite easy to find a replacement.) I have much more expensive synths that don't feel nearly as sturdily made. I'd say it is almost indestructible, but I won't test that theory.😉
It also has an RCA connection, which for a $40 keyboard at that time is almost unheard of. I couldn't have cared less as a kid in the 80s, but it is a cool feature now.
As for playing quality of the instrument itself, obviously this is now only an accessory keyboard to be used for special effects, or just a very portable and durable keyboard to play around with for fun. It has a sound bank that is very extensive for a keyboard that age (100 sounds) ...and many of the sounds don't need a lot of distortion or other effects added, they come out of the keyboard that way. 😉 "Dog Pianist" and the 3 "human voice" settings are favorites of mine...one of them sounds exactly like the teacher from the Charlie Brown cartoons. "Ocean", "Crystal" and "Baby Doll' are among the other sounds I have used in my recordings.
It is utterly horrible at imitating any of the instruments listed in the sound bank. But some of the other sounds are so bizarre and unique, it makes it impossible not to love this thing. A portamento button adds to the fun. There is a sustain button but the sustain function is quite weak. There is also a vibrato button. It is not true stereo, but like several Yamahas of that era, had a button called "Stereo Symphonic" that tried to make it sound as if it was stereo. It is somewhat effective on other models I have, but it fails on this model.
No drum keys or pads, only 10 pre-programmed rhythms that, frankly, were not even contemporary at the time it was made.
So in summary, a fun little keyboard that is quite unique for its time and its original selling price. It's quite limited and not much of a "serious" instrument. But it's a little piece of synth history...so if you love vintage keyboards as much as I do, it is a wonderful find. At the risk of sounding like a weirdo...each one of my keyboards has it's own "personality" to me. While most of my synths sound much better and can do more than this one can, I just love the personality of this little keyboard.