Yamaha Tyros 5 Review.
There’s 2 new kids on the block!
Well it’s been a few weeks now and the long awaited Tyros 5 has well and truly been released from the Yamaha stable. This new Keyboard from Yamaha comes in 2 flavours, the 61 note version and the 76 note. This has been a request of many Yamaha players for a long time and those who use Tyros as their main instrument or “piano” will be delighted to see the 76 Note.
As I write this review I am sit with the 76 note version by my side. Physically it appears little different in look to the previous Tyros 4 and of course for those “musicians” who immediately look for the negative in a new product, this could be seen as a negative.
However, any real musician will see this has an added benefit from the point that you don’t have to sit and learn a whole new product from scratch.
My first impressions of Tyros 5… Well it’s like seeing an old friend that you haven’t seen in a while, but when you do, you realise there are certain things different and in the case of the 5, this is the case. New chromed tempo dial, new chassis colour – slight and the odd button moved. Enough to make the keyboard feel new, but also feel like you are playing a beloved instrument.
Anyway, let’s get past the mushy stuff and have a true look at what makes the Tyros 5 “new” and better than the 4.
Well to sum it up in one of the shortest reviews ever… it’s Sound.
Sounds Incredibly Real
Pure and simple, it’s the sound of this keyboard. Imagine going back and listening to your very first instrument and then listening to Tyros 5 – that’s what you get with Tyros 5. It sounds.. well – REAL.
I have to admit, I got the Tyros 5 and after a few hours wondered what the difference was. Of course there are new styles and sounds, but I was looking for something gimmicky to make me think i’d spent my money on something worthwhile, but tyros doesn’t have that. Martin Harris and the team that have worked on this new instrument have quite rightly put into the keyboard the things that a player needs and uses – quality sounds.
I am assured by Yamaha that the sound engine in Tyros 5 is different to that of the 4, and you realise it when you start to listen to the voices compared against the 4. Realism is what now sets Tyros 5 apart from the competition. From the piano right through to the Brass section, the whole keyboard sounds and feels “Alive”.
Alive is the word I would use to sum the whole keyboard up. From the new styles through to the magnificent organ world section, every voice you play on Tyros 5 sounds alive. Normally by this point i’ve mentioned something that bugs me or is a niggle and in my personal view, theres just one, but having spent some time looking deeper into the keyboard, i’ve found that even that niggle is eliminated to a certain degree. What’s my niggle? Well it’s the string section. Since Tyros 3, the strings on Tyros for me have been too harsh. I like playing big orchestral sounds and want a “Hollywood” string sound and not a small chamber orchestra sound.
However, after digging into the instrument, there is a string voice in the Legacy folder called Symphony. If you turn the EQ up on the bass and the treble a little and add some more reverb, you can get a lovely orchestral sound. However, for the next model of Tyros I would like to see smoother more “movie” string voices. Having said that, comparing other instruments to Tyros for the string voices, Tyros still wins even now! So that can’t be all bad.
The brass section has had a huge kick up the backside and sees some beautiful brass voices and some really jaw droopingly musical brass sounds covering most sections. This has been long overdue and has pretty much made this my first choice for brass voices such as trombone, alto sax (amazing sound) and orchestral horns.
Of course I could sit here and write all day about all of the sounds in Tyros, but I won’t as there are too many and there isn’t anything for me to point out as poor or weak, they are all simply first class. What I would say is go and listen to the keyboard yourself. Reviews such as this are not for you to make a judgement on buying the instrument, but to give you my own perspective on what I think.
Shall we have a look at the things that make Tyros stand out?
Well firstly the styles are first class – nothing in there to moan about, and in fact for the first time ever, Audio styles appear on the flagship instrument and go a long way to making this keyboard sound real. Real Drums were attempted many years ago by Wersi and appeared on their OAS instruments. Whilst they got the essence of the drums, the backing parts let the styles down and ended up making the styles sound fake because of the lack of realism on the arranger voices compared to the drum track.
Tyros has the best of both, it has a real audio drum tack and has voices that sound as real as the drums – thats what makes Tyros Audio Styles work – just a shame that Wersi didn’t perfect the technology that they started.
Anyway, needless to say, the styles are all brilliantly arranged. In fact I’d love to sit here and say that **** style was utter rubbish, but no – the style section blows you away.
Audio Multi Pads
This is a welcome return for me, as I’ve seen this done on Yamaha products before. The PSR8000 (for those who can remember it) had the facility to trigger a wav file from a multi-pad. In fact, I recorded a CD many years ago with the PSR8000 and featured a track called “Streets of London” which had a live vocal track synced to the style.
Move forward to 2014 and Yamaha include this feature with a few extra tweaks and for me this is a welcome return.
I’ve recorded a couple of tracks featuring this and you can listen here :
Effects are everything
Tyros 5 has a vastly improved effects unit and offers “Real” reverb settings, which are just brilliant and again, go to make the voices sound real. The Distortion effects used with guitars are so good, they make me smile when i play with them. Again, listen for yourself and you will hear the difference.
So everything appears to be wonderful in the land of Tyros 5..
As much as it bugs me not to have a niggle, yes… It is in my view an instrument worthy of upgrading to and if you are a 3 or 4 owner then you will be delighted from the minute you open the box.
Hang on a minute, I’ve found a niggle just before I finish the review, well actually its not a niggle as such its more of a “oh no” moment. The bundled speakers that have come with Tyros have always had a brilliant connector that couples the satellite speakers to the keyboard by plugging into the keyboard. For some reason, they have decided to remove this on Tyros 5 and now you have speakers with cables. It’s not a huge thing, but for me personally, I HATE having lots of thin scrawny cables hanging out the back of the Tyros, and now I do. Cable wraps have been used on my own, but if you are buying the satellite speakers, I really recommend buying some cable ties to keep the wires from all tangling up.
Well that’s it. I’m not going to add any more, I think i’ve made it pretty clear what I think of Tyros 5.
It receives a 10 out of 10 in my review and if you have any interests in Tyros 5, go and have a listen as I am certain you will come home with either the 61 or 76 note version.
As this is the first review of 2014, i’d like to wish you all a Happy New Year and happy playing.