Synth Site: Yamaha: SK-15 Symphonic Ensemble: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.6 out of 5
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alexkay a hobbyist user from Russia writes:
What a cute little synth! Sure in terms of sonic diversity it is not a Matrix-6 or Juno (6, 60 etc.) but it definitely deserves 200 bucks I paid for its really warm string sound and naïve but very touchy organ tone. If you fond of analogs you will appreciate SK’s rather nice resonant filter in the polysynth section and gorgeous ensemble effect, which can be applied to all three sections (organ, strings and polysynth) at once or individually. SK has mono output but if you record a double track with slightly detuned pitch control (twelve and two o’clock) and pan those two channels hard left and right you’ll get very pleasant and spacey sound with virtually no need for any additional treatment. Overall this machine is very good for strings, pads and drones. SK-15 has a reasonably well implemented set of controls to sculpture this kind of sounds to your liking. Since it has only one EG for all seven voices in the polysynth section and lacks pitch/modulation wheels as well as portamento this is not a synth for lead sounds. Bass end is also not very deep and attack is slow (3 ms at best) so punchy bass sounds are out of question. But (please!) keep in mind that SK-15 was specifically designed for analog emulation of the orchestral strings/brass and electric organ. So it does this job almost perfectly! Sonically its strings/synth sections are quite close to the sound of Crumar machines but not ARPs.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Oct-23-2006 at 10:43
Plastic Taiwan a professional user from los angeles writes:
ok. so since my last review, ive done some circuit bending on this badboy, and ive made it 100 times more useful for myself with limited mods. i added one switch and one knob that varies the amount on the switch. and this thing is sick now. the switch is basically an all circuit overdrive that blasts out everything this board has to offer, and the sounds are very much similar to the dark side of aphex twin. when the sustain button is in, you can get the craziest layered lead sounds ive ever heard. sometimes gated by the last key hit, it has a mind of its own now, and i love it.

posted Friday-Nov-28-2003 at 12:52
plastic taiwan a professional user from writes:
i got mine for free.. its pretty cool. i saw all of the sliders on this bad boy and expected more though... but hey. i cant complain. the string section is kinda cheesy.. i wouldnt compare it to anything real.. and the organ section is a little bit better than the strings.. the best part by far is the synth. and actually combining the three together can get interesting.. like i said, it's cool, but its not the shit.. if you want to be blown away for a low budget deal, go for a juno or something like that.. i guess for what they go for and they are a deal. you can get some really warm bass sounds that fit nicely in a mix. so its definetally useable.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Nov-05-2003 at 22:07
Mark a professional user writes:
The SK 15 was a real good instrument for it`s time. However it has a terrific filter section ...... sits well in (literaly) any style !! From rock to techno.....believe me.

Connect some delays, reverbs and even some overdrive effects to get a real warm (and harsh) sounding leads.

However it would be nice if it could have had an external input.....The Filter as I said is great...would be nice to use it with an external input.((Anyone knows how to do this???))

E-Mails pls.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Friday-May-18-2001 at 15:41
George Papageorge from NYC writes:
The SK-15 desreves a 3 on the scale. Despite a very good percusion effect, the organ only sounds like a B3 with the first 3 drawbars out(Jimmy Smith). As soon as the higher drawbars are pulled, of which there are only 6 or seven in the bank vs. the typical nine on a Hammond,it's a virtual crap fest. For 1981 it was pretty good,and even today the Sk might be OK for a rehershal,but never a gig. The leslie simulator is a nightmare. This review was written by George Papageorge.

posted Tuesday-Apr-24-2001 at 11:12
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