Launched in 1887 by Torakusu Yamaha, they have manufactured sophisticated musical instruments for over 130 years since. After years of innovation, they are the largest manufacturers of musical instruments worldwide. They have factories and group companies in over four continents, headquartered in Japan. Yamah’s instruments are made to withstand the test of time and maintain their playability over years of ownership. Yamaha also owns Line 6 and Steinberg, two other large music companies that produce guitars and audio equipment, respectively. To look at a few notable offerings:
The PSR E463 is Yamaha’s answer to beginner electronic keyboardists. There are different levels to the PSR E range - PSR E263 (and the newer E273) for affordable beginner options, followed by the PSR E363, and E463. The PSR I500 has Indian tunes while the PSR A 350 has Middle Eastern tunes. In the professional lineup, the PSR S650 initiated a paradigm shift in the way portable keyboards were conceived. At present, the PSR SX lineup has three iterations - PSR SX900, PSR SX700, and the PSR SX600. The Tyros5 has been replaced with the mighty Genos which has blurred the line between Arrangers and Synthesisers. The Genos is Yamaha’s flagship digital arranger keyboard capable of the ultimate sound and music controls and manipulation, previously only possible on synthesisers.
They also have mini synths in the reface lineup - CS, DX, CP, and YC with different functions. The 76 and 88-key lineup includes the Montage, MODX, MOXF, MX88, and MX BK/BU analog or digital synths. These models are extremely capable and work with Yamaha’s most powerful sound engine which derives a lot of character from Yamaha’s renowned DX7 and Motif range.
Their latest lineup of Digital Upright Pianos is the Arius YDP 144 and YDP 164. It is competitively priced, has exceptional quality build and exquisite looks. Another best-selling Yamaha Digital Piano is the portable P45 and P125. These are primarily for artists who want the play feel and sound engine of Yamaha’s piano and a quick travel solution.
Yamaha’s acoustic pianos are a signature creation featuring Upright and Grand Piano models - both concert grade, and for studios and homes. In the upright versions, the P Series is the sweet spot for artists, while the SE and U series are the top-end editions for aspiring professionals and aspiring pianists respectively. There also exists a b Series for the young beginners. As for Grand Pianos, the CX series takes inspiration from the award-winning CFX Grand Concert Piano, or the more affordable GB1 for home use. They also make the C3 and GC series for studios and aspiring pianists respectively. Lastly, the SX and CF Concert Piano series is crafted by hand, using the best materials and by the highest skilled experts.
Guitars, Basses, and Amps
Yamaha has a wide range of Guitars: Acoustic Guitars, Classical Guitars, Electric Guitars, Semi-Acoustic Guitars, Electric Acoustic Guitars, and Bass Guitars. Their most recognised guitar is the Yamaha F310 acoustic guitar which is the perfect beginners’ guitar. The solid-bodied Pacifica series has long been accepted as the value-for-money electric guitar with its maple body and rosewood fretboard and a 3-way pickup for versatility. Another important electric guitar set for beginners is Yamaha’s bundle of the PAC012, a guitar amp, and other Guitar Accessories in their Gigmaker bundle. Apart from the beginner electric guitars, the Revstar series is inspired by the best motorcycles, using Japanese craftsmanship, and engineered using only the highest quality materials. These are preferred and used by stage artists for their unique tone and distinctive looks. Yamaha also makes hollow-body electric guitars like the SA2200 for those looking for a crossover between electric and acoustic guitars.
The final addition to Yamaha’s guitar lineup are their bass guitars, notably, the BB Series Pro. The BB Series has four variations with accessible options for aspiring bassists while maintaining the signature tone and design of the original BB Series. The TRBX lineup sits between the most and least expensive models of bass offered by Yamaha, while Yamaha’s RBX series is the most affordable bass guitar offered by Yamaha.
As for Yamaha’s Guitar Amplifiers, they have two simple cabinets - the THRC112 and the THRC212. The THR Series amp heads - THR10, THR5, THR10C, THR10X - are Yamaha’s solution for the travelling musician. They have modelled each of their portable amps to replicate the sound of an authentic tube amp using their acclaimed Virtual Circuitry Technology.
In Yamaha’s electronic drum lineup, the DTX402 Series is well-liked by those who value compatibility. Conversely, the DTX900 is a well-designed workhorse with quality rubber pads and mesh drum heads coupled with a sturdy steel rack. The drum module which powers the electronic drum kit (DTX900M) is built on 50 drum presets, a music sequencer, metronome, and a suite of features. Yamaha also makes the DTX700 and DTX502 range of electronic drums that lie between the least and most expensive price ranges. The DTX500 series is an apt value for money proposition to consider when buying electronic drums. All these drums also have a MIDI output for DAW compatibility.
Yamaha’s Acoustic Drums are a well-made testament to their history of making acoustic musical instruments. The Yamaha Rydeen Standard is a fast-moving drum kit that is preferred by beginner and intermediate drummers. Alternatively, the Yamaha Stage Custom is a welcome addition to any professional setup. They also manufacture more expensive, full-sized touring options with double basses and multiple cymbals and hybrid options. These are available in the Tour Custom, Absolute Hybrid Maple, PHX, and Live Custom Hybrid Oak ranges.
Fun Fact: Yamaha’s logo reflects three interlocked tuning forks in various orientations - a reflection of their musical manufacturing beginnings.