Is the Yamaha S03 any good?

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Is the Yamaha S03 any good?

Postby Henry » 05:28, 20 March 2004

Hey guys,

How's everyone going? I just got back from Orlando, FL...great place to be.

I'm thinking about getting a Yamaha S03 to go alongside my Fantom-S 61. The price is extremely low ($500), and I read that it has a lot of S80 sounds.

Does anyone have one of these synths? Or has anyone ever played one? If so, how do they sound? Are the acoustic sounds realistic (especially the orchestra, woodwinds, brass, etc.)? What about synth sounds?

Could its orchestra/woodwinds/brass sounds pass for real instruments? I'm doing some stuff with a few independent film companies, and they seem to be very interested in orchestra sounds. I'm just not sure if its acoustic sounds can pass for real instruments in a film (as I've never even heard the keyboard before, except for a pretty limited demo song).

I'd love to have a good Yamaha keyboard with some of Yamaha's best sounds, but I have close to no money (I'm getting this with monthly payments from my first $300 job I mentioned last week). Can I get everyone's opinions on this board? I'm also going to stop by the music store tomorrow, so I'll see if they have a demo model.
Thanks,
Henry

PS. FBJ...please accept my apology for not thanking you for congratulating me on getting my new job. Almost immediately after I posted that message, we left for Orlando. So now I'm saying...thank you!
Henry
 
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Re: Is the Yamaha S03 any good?

Postby FatBoyJim » 05:55, 20 March 2004

No apology needed. That seems like a pretty long trip.
Check out these reviews,
http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Da ... 03-01.html.
I did not read them again but a few years ago when there were a lot less reviews of this keyboard at Harmony Central I did give them a good look back then. If I remember correctly part of what turned me off on getting one was these reviews that you will find on the bottom of this page but I am not sure about that because that was a long time ago.
A few years ago when I was looking for an inexpensive synth I found a couple of these at the local Music Go Round. Back then they were asking around $350.00 for them. I did not purchase one but I have kind of have kicked myself for not doing so. Instead I went with a Juno 106 from a Pawnshop and at the time and it was great fun and all but the S03 would have been more the tool I was looking for at the time. Now that I have the Fantom-S it would be about the last thing I would want though. Good luck to you with this.

___________________________________________________________
Check out Lawrence's Fantom-S site at http://fantom.wilkesworld.co.uk/
Thank you for this site Artemio!
Be sure to avoid my posts as user SumDumGuy on the Harmony Central forums as well.
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Re: Is the Yamaha S03 any good?

Postby scotttheencoder » 06:41, 20 March 2004

I had one for a weekend.

In the brief time I had it, I can tell you that the synth sounds were good, but the piano was a bit tinny.

I didn't like the navigation and interface, but this was my first Yamaha.

I took it back and got the RS-70 to take out of the house.
Unless I'm doing a show the fantom stays home.
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Re: Is the Yamaha S03 any good?

Postby vsolanoy » 08:34, 20 March 2004

I have the Yamaha S08, the S03's bigger, 88 weighted key sibling. The S03 would be a good compliment to the Fantom-S. Some people complain that the Yamaha S series don't have usable sounds... I've found that the keyboard has some pretty good sounds, and quite a few weak ones. I wouldn't say that they are outstanding, but they do compared to some other keyboards I've played around with. It's pretty much a straightforward performance synth without a whole lot of bells and whistles. It's my first synth... and don't have a whole lot to compare to.

Where it would be a great compliment would be in supplying sounds that I haven't found on the Fantom, then again, I've only had the Fantom for a few days and can't make heads or tails of it...

Victor
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Re: Is the Yamaha S03 any good?

Postby mucsusn » 16:46, 20 March 2004

I think for the money you ought to look at the module route..........more sounds for the money, compatibility with MIDI/PC programs, portability, flexibility.

Some nice choices might be one of the EMu's or the Kurzweil.

JMO, but I don't care for the overall feel (visual and tactile) of the S03
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Re: Is the Yamaha S03 any good?

Postby Lord of the Badgers » 18:04, 20 March 2004

well it's not the same machine, but i have the s30 which is a 61key s80. It came with the AN analog board with £500 which i was chuffed with.
It's ok. Nice bright sounds - don't like em as much as the FS. Nice arpeggiator (non-programmable as far as i can tell) - which is why i still have it. I coaxed a great enthereal guitar loop out of it using that. Really nice. Of course i'd still be in the market for a motif (prob the old motif) for that reason too..
maybe that helps

I've heard the S03 and it wasn't bad, our local shop had one once.

That said, i agree with the above, a good module goes a long way. For me i'd only now invest in another set of keys if it was a weighted kbd.
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Re: Is the Yamaha S03 any good?

Postby Henry » 18:23, 20 March 2004

Hey guys,

Thanks for your responses.

Piano sounds aren't really that important to me -- I like the piano sounds on the FS just fine.

I guess I mainly just want a good keyboard with a lot of good Yamaha sounds. And since I'm on a very tight budget, the S03's looking real good to me.

For those of you that've played one...what does its orchestral/woodwind/brass sounds sound like?
Henry
 
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Re: Is the Yamaha S03 any good?

Postby mucsusn » 20:57, 20 March 2004

Henry, it's precisely because you are on a tight budget that I recommend some serious module research. With the Yammy, you are buying sounds and another keybed. If you need that, then it is a solid value. If you don't, it is money that will never be recouped.

I highly recommend a look at the E-mu modules for anyone on a budget, or looking for different sounds, for that matter.

The Proteus 2000 is $600 and has 128 note poly, 6 pole filters, 32 midi channels, 2 midi ins, and is ROM expandable, much in the fashion of Roland products. Plus other features. The Proteus 1000 is $400, wiht 64 poly and a little less expandibility, but a real solid value. Maybe worth a look.
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Re: Is the Yamaha S03 any good?

Postby Henry » 04:18, 21 March 2004

Mucsusn, I checked out the E-mu website, and I'm pretty darn impressed. Thanks for the recommendation. I looked at the modules, and I also took a look at the keyboards. Both the Proteus module and keyboard (PK-6) look and sound good.

If I get the E-mu, I'm probably going to get the Proteus PK-6 keyboard. I don't know...I just always like to have a keyboard right in front of me that I can play.

So, now it's come down to either the Yamaha S03 or the Proteus PK-6 keyboard. Between those, which would you get?
Henry
 
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Re: Is the Yamaha S03 any good?

Postby scotttheencoder » 07:54, 21 March 2004

Hands down, the Proteus. Although, that vintage keys looks and sound good.

They sell b-stock as well.
If you have a mac, tho, I heard that they are not very mac-friendly.

I just wish they had an 88 ket version of that vintage keys plus.
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Re: Is the Yamaha S03 any good?

Postby mucsusn » 14:58, 21 March 2004

I'm not familiar with the feel of E-mu keybeds, but like the sounds, and the value (especially the ROM expandability, maximizes your investment and targets your requirements). Go find one and check it out!
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Re: Is the Yamaha S03 any good?

Postby starzzguitar » 20:14, 18 March 2013

A friend here at work wanted to sell me his Yamaha S 03, which he bought for $350 used (he says) and could not figure it out. I took it home and messed with it for a couple of hours. It seemed very old fashioned, the sounds were first generation midi except for it had a decent organ sound, but what keyboard doesn't? It is very complicated and seemed geared to computer geeks that want to spend hours and hours programming midi sounds into their computer. If you are looking for a keyboard that you can use on stage, this is NOT it. I would take that money and buy a new keyboard with all the new user-friendly bells and whistles and programming features and sounds with midi output capabilities instead. I have a Casio that I bought more than 10 years ago with built-in speakers, DC input or batteries, nice visual interface that shows music bars and notes and great sounds with over a hundred useable beats, one-finger chording, effects, layers, split keyboard, recording, on and on. I can grab this thing, throw it on stage, choose a sound and rock on with no confusion. I am sure that Yamaha also makes a great musician friendly keyboard and synth just right for you. The trick is, try it out in person and see if it is right for you whatever brand you buy. Good luck!
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