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  S-03 At a Glance
Click for larger view arrowReleased: 2001  Specifications
arrowUser rating: 4.2/5 |  Read reviews (11)
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Pat McNeil writes:
Generally good sounds & worth it at this price. Easily outdoes comparitively priced roland and alesis boxes. Comes w/an okay sequencer and voice editing software. Nothing special, but gets the job done. Programming from the front panel is a bit tedious but not at all difficult. Has 480-odd waveforms, including some cool ones from old Yammy boxes like the DX and CS80. (The CP80 electric grand is also way cool if you like that sort of stuff.) There's also a "to host" jack for hooking to a computer via serial if you don't have a MIDI I/F. (Cable sold seperately). The S03 is very quiet, which is nice.

Bad points: Silly external PSU. These wallwarts suck and I will keep complaining until mfrs stop it. *grin*

LCD has no contrast control & is impossible to view at any angle but from above. Very, very stupid & important to consider if you're adding this kybd to an upper tier of a multikeyboard rack.

Some of the percussion sounds are less than stellar - I was not particularly fond of the drumkits. Also, there is some confusion with multis: the synth sometimes does weird things w/program changes in multis. Keyboard is not aftertouch capable, but synth will respond to it via MIDI. The S03 keyboard is adequate but unspectacular. Also has the usual pitch and mod wheels, which are a bit larger than most & respond fine. Most stupid is that the LFO's S/H wave CANNOT be applied to the amp or filter, only to the pitch. (Damn!) This is a truly bizarre oversight on Yamaha's part. Also, more LFO waves would've been good.

In all, a good choice to add to a setup, and an excellent first synth. That said, it far outstrips its' "beginners" tag. Perhaps not adequate as an only synth for an experienced synthesist. Definitely worth checking into if you want a good sounding synth that doesn't make you sound like someone else. You may want to pick up an external drum machine if this is the only box in your setup though.

Comments About the Sounds:
Generally good, but will probably not appeal to the hiphop/dance crowd. Some moody pads and so on. some nice solo instruments too, and the epianos are outstanding.

(Thanks to Pat McNeil for this info.)
and Adam S for the pic

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