Synth Site: Yamaha: S-03: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.2 out of 5
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Mike H a professional user from Michigan writes:
This is my first REAL keyboard. I play for a church, and my little Casio wasn't cutting it. I got this off of ebay for about 200 bucks, after I messed with one at Guitar Center and liked it. Its small, simple, and sounds nice. I didn't need a huge, heavy keyboard to lug around. I also didn't need a board that was complicated to navigate.

I didn't get the sequencing software that comes with this, and I can't find it anywhere. The fact that there is no onboard sequencer sucks, but I knew that when I got it. This is for performing, and I'd say that it is for someone who can play, but still has some work to do. You'll be disappointed if you're a super pro and are used to the Tritons and the Motifs. This keyboard isn't in that class, and not meant to be. If you need to get together real quick with your fellow musicians and jam a bit, this will do the trick.

The pianos are the first thing I try out when looking at a keyboard. I liked the way the grand sounds on this one. A lot of people will think its sub-par, but it does the trick for me. If you have a good amp or whatever you're coming out of, and if you know how to mess with the levels, you're going to like it. The Natural Rhodes patch is what I use the most, and it sounds great without any programming. Speaking of programming, I have never known how to do any of it before, but I started messing with the menus on here and I actually was able to program a patch that sounds better than the brass patches on the motif. Its not hard to do all that technical stuff with the S03, and if you already know how to do that stuff, than you will be able to do it on here with your eyes closed.

No weighted keys, weak strings, and the sometimes hard to see display are the only downfalls with this. Think about it, at this price you will get a decent sounding board that is small and light enough to take wherever you need quick music. It can carry a church service, so that's good enough for me. Oh, and the percussion on here sucks. But who will be using that stuff anyway? I can't comment on MIDI capabilities and anything like that, cause I don't know how to mess with any of that.

Cheap, easy to use, sounds good.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Feb-12-2007 at 17:56
Pablo Dompe from Costa Rica. Central America writes:
HI, i´m a relative a regular player, and i think this zinth is very cool in this way: The keys have a very good response, the piano is not soo good, but you can fixed changing the preset store value patterns, and get and pretty good pianos, very cool strings, and some variations of brass ensemble.

the problem it`s take a while learn how to turn the ligth sound into a better and heaviest sound.

You have to remember this is the most simple (and chip, if im not wrong) yamaha zinth. The price is very low. personally i love it.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Oct-11-2004 at 13:40
Oleg a part-time user from Israel writes:
S-03 is an exellent choice for beginner/part-time band player. Although the acoustic imitator sounds (pianos,organs,basses,prass/reed etc) sound pretty cheap alone, they are right fine when playing with a band.

The synth has got an exellent pacth-creating possibilities, with a PC voice editor - it enables you to create serious-sounding analog-style leads as well as scary pads and DX-shaped electric pianos. However - you shall be willing to spend time with the software in order to create something serious, otherwise go get some Roland RS5 and play presets.

The Yamaha S-03's presets are pretty crap (I was completely unsatisfied by preset leads, e-peanos and pads), but with some musicality and time invested this ,mashine easily beats Roland and Korg mashines in the same price range.

I wish it had a good weighted keyboard and more knobs to turn on stage. The large disadvantage of the synth is that when you change preset, the previous one does NOT sustain and the fact is VERY annoying when you use it on stage. However, you can use perfomance modes and split keyboard or connect an external one - in this mode u can sustain up to 16 patches!

Well - I lack a good 88 keyboard, knobs, memory (32 perfomances is too small for me; user voices may be stored in the PC so they are not a problem), and an arpegiator - I think my next synth (when I go pro) will be a S08 or S80/S90 because I liked Yamaha's AWM2 synth archetecture and S series' Operating System.

The unit is very portable, lightweight (5.7 kg), and it's built like a tank - I gig with it and go with it everywhere - and I'm not afraid when it falls to the floor! Very reliable - and that's why I dont like Roland instruments - they look like a toy!

Oh, forgot to say - I use it with a second keyboard - a midi controller, and it makes a full setup.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Friday-Oct-01-2004 at 08:07
Timothy Carter, Jr. a part-time user from United States writes:
I bought the S03 about 6 months ago, and I definitely agree with what Rick said. If you buy it just for the acoustic piano sounds, you're wasting your money. Overall, the S03 is well worth its price. If you have the opportunity to get one, do that.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-13-2003 at 17:54
Jose Ibacache a professional user from Santiago de Chile writes:
Excelente Sintetizador !. Los organos son una maravilla. El piano, a pesar de no tener el peso respectivo (solamente porque no tiene profundidad, pero se pueden arreglar) tiene un sonido extraordinario. Los brass y los sintes también son totalmente impresionantes. Felicidades Yamahaaaaaaaaa

posted Tuesday-Apr-08-2003 at 12:39
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