Synth Site: Yamaha: S-30: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.8 out of 5
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Mark Harding a professional user from Australia writes:
Yamaha S30 Control Synthesizer Midi Controller - Master Keyboard - 24mb AWM2 Sound Set


The sound set is 100% Quality 10/10

"The S30 delivers the same highly acclaimed features and sounds of the award-winning S80"

Programming ease of use 9/10, It is as easy as, press a key, turn a knob, and listen, then save the sound to a user bank "internal", or to an onboard removable memory card (smart media) known as an "External Bank" You can save as many banks of 128 multi element voices as the memory card you fit will hold.

The S30 has 552 AWM2 wave samples that can be combined and layered, to make user voice's, performances etc...

As you press a key and turn a knob you hear the sound change ! Modern Synths (EG S30/S80/CS6x) have come full circle and now encompass all of the good things analogue synths are revered for as well as todays cutting edge technology.

The S30 is the 61-key version of the Yamaha S80, the worlds leading 88 weighted key synth renowned world wide for its high quality sound set.

The sound set includes the most realistic sounding stereo sampled painos and electric / acoustic guitars I have heard as well as many meaty synth leads bass and pads, the pre sets are also usable.

The S30 Control Synth also has the same high quality sound set, synth engine, and programming functions as the Yamaha CS6x (sold by Yamaha as "the" trance synth) Used by such artists as Faithelss for the classic techno song "Insomnia" for that destinctive sound.

It is also used by Depeche Mode.

All three synths are actually the same thing in a different case. (CS6x S80 and S30).

The S30 is A Real Time Controller (throw away your Phat Boy - Oxygen Eight Evolution MK125, Control Freak etc...) It's A Midi Master Keyboard (Drive and control all of your other gear aswell as, the S30! tweek away in real time)

We also have a Yamaha Cs6x, this was a bargain buy - purchased used unseen (on the strength that it was related to the S30), and we did not realize how much alike the S30(S80) and CS6x synths were, the S30 is just way to similar in sound (100% in fact), programming and feel for us to warrant keeping both synths, the main difference between our S30 and CS6x being purely physical (even more real time control knobs, and 1 extra plugin spot on the CS6x, plus an under powered 4mb mono sampling capability).

Along with my Cs6x the S30 has the most responsive keyboard that I have ever used, weighted or not, responds to the softest touch and has an even keel.

If you have had the good fortune of playing with a Yamaha CS6x or S80 you already know what the S30 Sounds like, and what it can do! Its the 61 key ver of the S80 without weighted keys, and only one plugin slot instead of two. It looks the same, Sounds the same and works the same. All three synths are the same thing in a different case (S30 S80 CS6x).

The S30 also sounds and works the same as the CS6X trance synth (same synth different case). The S30 has even more stereo paino samples than the CS6x, but it does not have quite as many dedicated assignable controllers (but still has plenty and still covers the same comprehensive range of functions), the S30 also has one less plugin spot than the CS6x. The Cs6x also has an under powered 4mb phrase clip sample capability over the S30. Other wise under the bonnet all three synths are the same thing right down to the wave sample sound set and edit features, the S30 and S80 in fact have 76 more samples than the CS6x mainly stereo piano's. If you have heard or edited with one you have heard or edited with them all.

The only negatives I can come up with (tongue in cheek) are that if 16 controllers (13 assignable) aren't enough and if you need 1 extra plugin spot you could always pay $3495AU (street price) for the Cs6x NEW instead, and if you are willing to pay even more for the S80 about $4500AU just to get weighted keys 1 extra octave in keys and 1 extra plugin spot, then maybe this is not the synth for you.

If you want best value for money and all round quality you will not be disappointed in the S30 what ever your style of music!

GOOD VALUE for top quality and most importantly of all, fantastic expressivness, sound, and control!

You may want weighted keys, but beware of the competition bad moathing, I can see why the S30 would be a real threat at the price.

Dont take my word for it go and play with and S30, S80 and or Cs6x I can tell you wont find much the set them apart and and provided you listen to them through a good set of head phone or amp, you could not help but be impressed.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-May-27-2003 at 04:30
Peter Bressinck a professional user from Belgium writes:
Don't know why the other reviewers are so negative about this one. I own or have owned practically every synth out there and this little Yamaha has got everything to please the gigging keyboardplayer who don't uses sequencers or samples when playing live. As always sounds and keyboardaction are very personal. I find the sounds are stellar and the keyboard action is not as sturdy as the PK-6 but it's far better than the Roland XP-series. As mentioned the sounds are awesome. Very good keyboardsounds (a-piano/e-piano,organ) and lush strings and pads. Very good arpeggiator and synth sounds, maybe, to criticise a bit, there could be more synth sounds, but if you combine this synth with something like a Nord lead or even the Emu-XL module you can come up with every sound possible.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Feb-18-2003 at 10:42
Marc a professional user from Philadelphia, PA writes:
I love my S30, but I'm having a hard time using it with Finale and general MIDI...All help would be appreciated! Thanks

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Feb-11-2003 at 16:55
Marc a professional user from Philadelphia, PA writes:
I love my S30, but I'm having a hard time using it with Finale and general MIDI...All help would be appreciated! Thanks

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Feb-11-2003 at 16:54
Ken Stewart a hobbyist user from USA writes:
From a hobby-ist user point of view I'm very happy with my S30. My main instrument is drums. I play the Roland V-Session. Which is a great tool for my home midi studio also. I purchased the S30 new for $595.00. I originaly ordered an S03 for $499.00 which is the going price, plus there was a $50.00 rebate from Yamaha. I wanted the order in time for X-mas because it was really for my wife ;)Anyhow, that's when I was given the choice of a delievery time of 10-14 days for the S03 or the S30,new and factory sealed for $595.00. I have looked hard to find the most bang for the buck. I felt the extra $146.00 was worth the difference between the S03 and the S30. Although I would go with the S03 over other boards in that price range if I had to stay at a $500.00 budget. Anyhow, after going to music stores and hours on the internet. I have concluded that if your in the price range of $500 - $800 don't buy a keyboard until you try the S30. Although introduced at the NAMM show in 2000, Yamaha has not sold a lot of the S30's because (in my opinion)a pro keyboard player or a "keyboard player" would buy a higher end keyboard if it was a purchase for their "main" instrument. Originally the S30 was a little pricy for non-professionals or non "keyboard players". LOOK at the features this board offers!!! Buy one if you don't need a top of the line keyboard priced at three thousand dollars etc.! The S30 is now a discontinued model. With a lot of expansion options. They expansion boards are still expensive (about $250.00) but like I said, it's a discontinued keyboard. The prices for the expansion boards will drop. But even f you buy an expansion board for $250.00 it's like having a brand new (totaly different)keyboard for $250.00 This keyboard is still selling new for $799.00 - $1200.00 depending where you look. Take advantage of buying this keyboard esspecially if it's for your midi studio and you have to stay under $1000.00. Even if your main instrument is the keyboard you may want to compare the S30 against other products in it's price range.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Dec-28-2002 at 00:30
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