Synth Site: Yamaha: S-80: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.7 out of 5
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REP a part-time user from USA writes:
I've been playing the S-80 for about a year now. I play with a rock cover band. We usually gig 3-4 times a month, and my only complaint is hauling the S-80 around. It's heavy and awkward. But I'll put up with that in exchange for the great feel on the keys and the sounds. I agree with the reviewer who said that some of the sounds need tweaking before playing out, but Yamaha has provided a great starting platform. The menus can be a bit confusing when you first start using the S-80, but they grow on you. The performance settings are fantastic when you need to have quickly accessible multi-sound presets for live performance. The sounds are excellent. I find the pianos to be very realistic. The EP's are good with a bit of tweaking. The organs work for my purposes. I found the string presets to have a long attack time for my taste, but that's easy to adjust. Other sounds I rarely use, but there are plenty in there to play around with. Overall, I don't think many other synths can touch the S-80 for the $.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Aug-18-2003 at 04:28
roxstar a hobbyist user from Rockcity, aka Detroit writes:
I tried this keyboard out 2 years ago, and was blown out by it's sounds. I should add, I make hip-hop music, and I DON'T know how to play a keyboard. It's now 2003, and I'm getting the s-90 in a few days, mainly because of how I felt about the s-80. It's not the type of keyboard that you would expect to find good hip-hop type drum sounds, or rough edge guitar, orchestral sounds, but believe me, it does.. and it does it well. I ended up (a few years later) making a track with the yamaha motif.. The track sounded so good, that I wanted one myself, only to learn that the new s-90 has the same motif sounds, but no sequencer or sampler.. that's cool for me, I use the MPC to do that, and I'm not looking to learn anything more. The s-80 is an earlier version of the s-90.. so you could call the s-80 the motif grandfather/or mother. The sounds are almost all there, but for the price, you would be a FOOL to pass it up. Personally, I want all the motif sounds, so I got the s90, but if you don't have a good keyboard, and your tired of diggin' through sampl cd's/floppies/zip's etc for good drum sounds, get the s80. It also simply looks like a professional keyboard.. no gimmics, just flat out good sounds, and it feels good, like the real thing.

. ..dirt.trax studios. ..

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jun-13-2003 at 16:56
Jay a professional user from USA writes:
I like to buy high tech items one generation back i.e. I bought a 1.8 computer when 2.0 was state of the art. The S90 came out recently so I was able to get the 80 on closeout for less than $1K at Guitar Center. I am not convinced that the 90 is worth twice as much. As a classically trained pianist, I am most interested in the feel of the keyboard. The 80 has the most realistic feel including comparisons to the Kawai, Roland, and Korg, IMHO. The piano sounds aren't perfect, however, I can play real piano music on the beast w/o cringing as I did on an earlier Alesis board I owned. I also once-in-a-while gig with it; my left hand typically provides the bass line. Few of the Performance setups work for me but, I am gradually configuring voicings that satisfy...this ax has balls! Notes: I'm considering the VL card w/breath controller. One can download a very good XG soundset to be saved on a SM card. Skip the XG card. Use a strong stand like the Standtastic I use...this guy is heavy. Buy the dedicated rolling soft bag to carry it around. Those knobs look fragile!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jan-17-2003 at 14:59
Nick Chan a part-time user from Malaysia writes:
if you're thinking of getting an N1 or QS8/8.1 please don't. those are damn lousy cheap stuff. I know I own them. Yamaha S80 is a HIGH-END board. those other 2 is mid-range. Have u heard of Alesis's orch hit sound??? The ugliest in the history of synthesizers. They can't offer a simple good orchestra hit, and they won't be able to with 99% of the sounds, except guitars maybe. and the N1, sounds interesting, but thin, and cheap quality output, cheap DACs i reckoned. They pointed out proudly that the waves are exactly like that of N5/EX. Ugly, as I owned N5. while S80 gives you near perfection......

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jun-07-2002 at 15:10
peebee a professional user from USA writes:
I got an S80 two months ago because my alesis QS had died on me. Since I play 5 to 6 gigs a week, I need a board I can depend on that will serve my many needs.


1) The wonderful action. Its not for the weak of heart though, as it is on the stiff side. For the real players out there.

2) The plug in boards are what sold me. To be able to expand with a whole new synth for a couple hundred bucks. Wow!!!

3) It's built like a tank.

4) Good overall sounds.


1) The acoustic pianos need a lot of tweaking for live use. The stock ones get lost on stage.

2) The mod wheels are a good reach for us short folks, and they are sluggish.

3) The knobs stick out and due to the weight of it they could snap off very quickly.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Feb-13-2002 at 10:26
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