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Yamaha S90 ES Synthesizer

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Product 707433
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The Yamaha S90 ES Synthesizer combines a stunningly natural acoustic piano sound with all the sonic flexibility of the award-winning MOTIF ES. The pi...Click To Read More About This Product

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Fine feel, flexibility, and sound.

The Yamaha S90 ES Synthesizer combines a stunningly natural acoustic piano sound with all the sonic flexibility of the award-winning MOTIF ES. The piano keyboard uses a new multi-velocity, stereo grand piano sample with soundboard simulation and half dampening (when used with the FC3 pedal) that is incredibly rich and realistic ” the best Yamaha has ever put into a synthesizer. The 128-note polyphony tone generator, Studio Connections compatibility, mLAN expansion slot, and PLG expandability give it all the synthesis power and control capabilities of the Yamaha MOTIF ES line.

The most expressive piano voice of any synth.

Played at normal tempos and dynamic levels the sound of the Yamaha S90 ES is truly superb, but it's at the opposite end of the tempo and dynamic range that the results are most stunning. The longer waves give each note a very natural sustain that, when used on ballads and slow, exposed pieces, plays expressively with a full, natural sound. This voice also features stretch tuning and a damper resonance effect offering even more realism.

Half-damper capability

Some classic pieces call for a half damper technique where the damper pedal is pressed halfway down raising the felts only partially off the strings. As the sustain function on most synths is a simple on/off operation, such use is normally impossible. The S90 ES, however, is able to respond to small changes in the FC-3 foot controllers pedal position due to its half-damper capability. This gives the performer greater control over the muting by the damper, and expressive freedom to create the subtle nuances required by the music.

Tone generation derived from the MOTIF ES

Using a powerful new tone generator derived from the MOTIF ES, the Yamaha S90 ES produces voices with stunning clarity and great response that heightens the musical experience for both you and your listeners. To meet the needs of todays players its 228MB (when converted to 16-bit linear format) of wave memory holds an enormous library of expressive voices and drum kits, many of which come from the MOTIF ES, that cover everything from acoustic pianos and orchestra to cutting-edge hip-hop and electronica.

88 keys for full piano range

An 88-note weighted action keyboard based on Yamaha's acoustic piano designs offers players a feel that is natural, smooth, and responsive especially on keyboard voices like the acoustic grands and electric grands. For its non-keyboard instruments like basses, drums, and percussion, which require slightly varied playing styles, the action is evenly balanced from top to bottom making these instruments feel and play more responsively. Aftertouch is also included so you can gain more expression from every note.

New signal processing effects system

The S90 ES takes great advantage of the processing power inherited from the Yamaha MOTIF ES to produce effects like damper resonance, reverb, and others with stunning clarity. This power also enhances its multitimbral capabilities.

The system is designed with 2 blocks of insertion effects (117 types) for each voice and 2 overall system effects that include 20 reverb types and 49 chorus/delay effects. This way you can apply the right type of signal processing where it is needed most. Even in song or pattern modes you won't feel confined since voice insertion effects can be applied on up to 8 individual parts simultaneously. Further sound tailoring is available with 3-band individual part EQ settings, 8 types of mastering effects, and a 5-band master EQ.

Seamless system integration

Compatibility with Studio Connections lets the Yamaha S90 ES function as if it were a plug-in within compatible DAW applications such as Cubase and Nuendo. Hardware and software systems integrate seamlessly in this environment where total recall of entire hardware/software systems is possible. In other DAW systems, the S90 ES's sliders, knobs, and data dial can be used to control start/stop of record or playback, track volumes, panning, and more to increase system efficiency.

  • 88-key weighted hammer-action with aftertouch
  • Complete MOTIF ES Wave ROM
  • 32MB S700 acoustic piano with soundboard simulation
  • 128-polyphony, 8 Part-ins effect, reverb, mastering, and master EQ
  • MIDI master keyboard functions
  • Full function remote control for DAW/VST software
  • Half-damper (requires FC3 pedal)
  • 3 PLG slots
  • Optional mLAN16E card to turn your S90 ES into a multichannel ASIO soundcard
Questions & Answers View All

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews

(based on 17 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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  • 1 Stars



Reviewed by 17 customers

Displaying reviews 1-17

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)



By Texas_Kev

from Ft. Worth, TX

See all my reviews

I bought this hoping to find an electronic option for my daughter's piano practice (headphones!) based upon excellent piano patches (the grand piano is amazing) and very good weighted key action. Unfortunately for her, her piano teacher didn't like the idea of her using anything other than a real piano, saying that the action is not the same and, as an advanced student, she would not learn the nuances of bringing a good sound out of an acoustic piano practicing on this. However, this was fortunate for me. Having bought Sonar 6 recording software, I found this keyboard has really nice patches for bass and drums that is allowing me to compose without having MIDI instruments sound fake. I'm excited about this being the instrument that will allow my daughter and I to perform as a duo and make some nice sounding stuff. Basic usage is easy with a quick review of the manual, but to fully realize the capability of this instrument, you'll have to dig deeper. I have no complaints yet after having reached what I would consider intermediate level usage. It was worth the $2K I paid.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Sounds great...needs new feet.

By Sealynx

from New Orleans Area

My only problem with this keyboard is finding enough time at home to enjoy it....and the feet! They are attached with screws that protrude about a half inch into cheap fiberboard. Yamaha definitly made the top and guts of this unit but the underside is pure Walmart furniture. I can't imagine these feet staying on after even one road trip. My center foot got ripped of while easing the unit onto its stand for the first time. Do not attempt to slide this unit. Lift it, the feet are very very weak. It needs a new under-carriage system capable of supporting its substantial weight. Other than that the sound is awesome. someone remarked that there was no Harpsichord. It does have a nice one. To play it hit 'Bass' on the top set of buttons, "A' on the bank grouping and then choose 7.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Why Did I Get Rid of This?!?

By RushFan1000

from Buffalo NY

See all my reviews

So, Why did I get rid of this?!?I should have kept it.This keyboard is really a true digital piano and synth together in one package. I've seen many pros use it. Yamaha has amazing sound. It has some production capabilities built into it but any keyboard can do that with midi involved. This is a gem. It really is a great keyboard. If you have the money and you end up getting it, don't get rid of it like I did. I know I still have my upright piano at home but I wish I had this for when I play out. Peace, Happy Keys!

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


one of the best

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

I was searching for the right keyboard for my church when I came across this one. It is a wonderful stage piano. We are Pentecostal so you know we like to bang away at the keys and this keyboard has held up wonderfully. The sound is amazing and the feel is realistic. Nothing but good things say. This keyboard was truly a blessing for the price and performance.



By QY70

from Ontario, CA

See all my reviews

This keyboard is to replace my old faithful Roland A90EX. The piano sound is amazing, the action is superb. Here's my advice when you go look for a stage piano like this one, bring your own headphones! not the cheapo headphone of course. And listen/compare to all the stage piano out there. I think you'll like this Yamaha S90ES. I highly recommend this keyboard.


Great Instrument

By g_kc

from Many, Louisiana

See all my reviews

I would recomend this instrument to anyone any where. We replaced our Motif 8 (5-6yrs) with the new S90ES, and the difference in sound is absolutely amazing. It has the fullest piano sound I have ever heard from a Synth. Great buy for our church!!!


Just Bought one

By Andy-9-4-9

from Denver, CO

The sounds are doesn't seem to be road worthy if you plan to carry one around - the wood finish is easily scratched. I used it one gig and the rubber feet are already falling off..other than that, its incredible



By Eldridge_McPairapants

from St Louis

It's really customizable, but i have yet to find a simple drum kit on it,(Kick, High-Hat, Cymbal, Snare, etc. But i think that's just because there's SO MANY voices I don't have it, but i play it on sunday nights with my church. It's really easy to get used to. Too expensive for me, but i hope to own this item for myself one day.


The Perfect 10

I recently upgraded to the S90ES. I initially purchased a mid tier, lower cost synth. It became clear that I was interested in very expressive and realistic piano voices as well as top tier voicing in all other instrument categories, best action possible, and exceptional build quality.The action, sounds, ergonomics and feature are superb. The intelligent arpeggiation capability (guitars for example) is stunning. 128 note polyphony, superb sound, great features, immaculate action and build quality create the perfect 10. The software bundle is great for many uses . . . the top workstation pro person will buy their favorite product anyway.



By Mark Andrew Pope

from Van Buren, AR

This is a wonderful keyboard! I owned a Roland RD700SX and it just wasn't cutting it for me. I also used a Yamaha Motif ES rack unit and the Roland Fantom rack unit. I was constantly using the piano sounds from my Yamaha Motif ES rack unit and the string/orchestral sounds from my Roland rack unit. Well - now I'm finding that I tend to "ignore" the Roland rack unit unless I'm doing some studio recording. Everything on the Yamaha is quite excellent for live performance! Several usable piano sounds as well as string and brass/woodwind sounds (great flute!) I could use a better B3 sound, but overall, I've had no reason to complain!! Highly recommended for all sorts of uses - in or out of the studio!!


Sweet Piano / Synth Keyboard

By David Swafford

from Kettering, OH

See all my reviews

I've owned this for two months now and am bearly breaking the ice onto what it can do but I must say that I am still very much pleased with my choice. Previously I looked at both the Korg TR 88 and the Triton Extreme. I played the Korg units and a high end Roland unit as well as this at a local music store showroom. I had never heard of this unit before but I just fell in love with it. It has great piano sounds as well as synth stuff. This thing is endless in its possibilities. I'm a professional musician playing bass and bought this more as something I always wanted to get into, I'm glad that I bought this keyboard.


The Real Thing!

By junglecore

from Seattle, WA

See all my reviews

Yamaha sure has stepped up to the plate here! I got mine a few days ago and plugged it in. The sound is amazing. I have a very scrutinizing ear! From the various pianos to deep gritty synth sounds this thing takes the cake! The feel is just like an actual piano and the sounds play off it like the real thing! I cannot suggest this keyboard enough!


88 Keys To Having A Good Time

By WillYouMarryMeES8

from Minneapolis, MN

See all my reviews

I gave 9 stars for "features," "value" and "overall" since the bundled Cubase LE software didn't meet my needs. To remedy this situation, I decided to upgrade the Overture 2 software ( that I owned because the required Cubase upgrade didn't fit into my budget.I primarily bought the S90 ES as a "prosumer" since, simply put, I'm not a professional musician. However, I wanted a "traditional feeling keyboard," "lots of great sounds" and "something solid" and, in my opinion, "that's the S90 ES."After I got it home, it took me about a day to interface it to the Overture 2 sequencing software (Windows XP) and have it play the "Piano Man" by Billy Joel.The process was a little complex and required the installation of a bunch of yamaha software, a custom Cakewalk Instrument definition file and familiarity with the complete S90 owner's manual!This experience verified my vision that the ES8 was just too "old school" because, now a days, the workstation features can be handled by a standard PC and, in my opinion, that design doesn't tie you down to inflexibility.To get a perfect 10, I think that the S90's interface needs a face life (Roland and Korg excel here) although I was cruising through all the buttons in just a few hours with a smile wrapped around my head.The only other requirement for a "perfect 10" would be "additional bundled software" that let you create, edit and arrange midi music-- so it worked like some of Yamaha's much cheaper commercial synthesizers yet, because of the software, provided a more robust score editing environment.In closing, I've wanted to buy a synth since 2001 but I struggled to find the one that I wanted. Oddly enough, I fell in love with the S90 ES the first time I saw it, so I bought it right away, and I'm looking forward to using it this winter as a piano and organ and as "a second guitar player" when I want to play guitar duets!


near-perfect Yamaha grand-synth

By Steely Don

from Silver Spring, MD (Washington, D.C. area)

See all my reviews

Amazing action, sounds, single effects (phase, chorus, rotary, conpression, etc.)Would benefit from a multi-FX section. It's my favorite keyboard, much preferred over my Korg Triton Studio 61-key with poor action and some great sounds.



By Babaezana

from Oakland, Ca

I purchased the s90 this past summer 2005 after playing it numerous times averaging an hour. No keyboard has ever created a desire in me to look forward to playing it when I had the time. I have since played the s90es. For sound and style effects, I wish I could trade my s90 in for it, but, believe or not I am still quite happy with my s90. I suggest that it be played through a PA system, or just simply try it thru different systems before purchase. Yamaha's PA works well. s90&s90es sends acoustic pianos into obsolescence.



By benicia

from norcal

The piano patches on this keyboard are superb. I play it regularly in both a jazz band and a wind ensemble and it fits perfectly into both progams.The synthesizer patches are also excellent; there is a plethora of them to choose from. I highly reccomend this for any need you might have for a synthesizer or even for a piano (unless you have a steinway.)


Outstanding Keyboard

By Root

from San Diego, CA

See all my reviews

I owned the S-80 and subsequently lost it in my divorce... I really wanted to get another Yamaha S-series, and went for the S-90ES. Excellent board, with better horn and drum vioces than the S-80 (the S-80's sax was horrible, IMHO). A lot of the preset performances are basically worthless, but I didn't buy the keyboard for the arpeggios. The display interface is bigger than the older models, but is still difficult to use compared to Rolands. Overall, with a full-size keyboard and piano voices that are nothing short of unbelievable, this 'board will do everything you ever wanted!

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