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Yamaha digital sax

Hi everyone,
I am sure a lot of you have seen the news of the YDS-150 coming out sometime in November. I'm not a sax player, but it has really piqued my interest and wanted to see what saxophone players think of it. I'm really considering getting one and wanted to see what you guys thought. I have a varied music background starting with piano and trumpet as a kid (elementary school and middle school), never really enjoying either. I then played guitar during college and professional school years, but chords and tabs, not too serious. For the past few years I have played the flute - started when I found my wife's old flute laying around in a closet. I really love the flute, but with a wife and two kids it's hard to find consistent time to play without disturbing them. I still play flute, but have been playing bass guitar more (I play acoustic bass which is quiet and I enjoy being able to play classical pieces and melodies like on the flute). I've always wanted to play saxophone, but really don't think I could ever practice consistently until we eventually made a relatively sound tight music room in our basement. Then I read about the YDS and thought that was a pretty simple solution... mouth almost waters thinking about being able to play first thing in the morning with headphones, or on the couch while my wife is reading). I'd like to see what you guys thought, I thought it seemed like a good fit with my life at the moment and would allow me to still focus on my bass since the YDS bypasses all embouchure work it seems. Then maybe in the future I could get a real saxophone when my situation evolves.
Thanks for the feedback,
-PP
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator

> I am sure a lot of you have seen the news of the YDS-150 coming out sometime in November
Not me!

The Yamaha WX5, which I own, was discontinued last year or slightly before. Roland had come out with a couple versions of their "saxophone" wind controllers (AE-01, AE-05, AE Go, and AE-10 -- I might be confusing some numbers) and a lot of people have said that they're pretty good.

Am I surprised that Yamaha is coming out with this product? Not particularly. Roland and Yamaha have tried to one-up each other for a very long time. Will I try one? You betcha, if a store near me can get one. I do want to hear more about this thing, too. There doesn't appear to be much on the Internet, yet.
 

> I am sure a lot of you have seen the news of the YDS-150 coming out sometime in November
Not me!

The Yamaha WX5, which I own, was discontinued last year or slightly before. Roland had come out with a couple versions of their "saxophone" wind controllers (AE-01, AE-05, AE Go, and AE-10 -- I might be confusing some numbers) and a lot of people have said that they're pretty good.

Am I surprised that Yamaha is coming out with this product? Not particularly. Roland and Yamaha have tried to one-up each other for a very long time. Will I try one? You betcha, if a store near me can get one. I do want to hear more about this thing, too. There doesn't appear to be much on the Internet, yet.
It seems like the major difference is that the YDS-150 has the same fingering style as a real sax compared to all the digital wind instruments I have seen before that don't. It's also supposes to resonate to feel acoustic, along with having a bell that will have some continued ring like the real thing.
 
I think one of the differences in functionality between this and the WX5 is that the YDS150 does not have any pitch bend at the mouthpiece.

Chris
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
Yah. I looked at the thread on SOTW regarding this and, other than the distinct feeling that they considered it DOA, I'd like to read the manual closely. Only thing I remember is that it does have a MIDI out. I'd like to see if that includes both breath control and pitch bend.

The main difference in fingering on the WX5 was that it was missing some keys that a saxophonist would use. It wasn't terribly bad, though. I am too lazy to look up a fingering chart, ATM, and my WX5 is currently in storage.
 
From what I gathered is that there is no pitch control with the lip. That's a deal breaker for me.

I play sax plus WX5 wind controller with a couple of different sound modules.

I wouldn't use it to learn sax, because embouchure is so much a part of sax playing and you won't learn it on this.

The only use I can see for it is if a sax player is on the road on a non-sax job, and wants to practice in his/her motel room, this might be perfect.

Insights and incites by Notes.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator

* Brass bell is mostly just for looks, however, there is a speaker in it.
* You can use (some/most) mouthpieces.
* Breath control for volume at the mouthpiece. Can't do vibrato with mouthpiece.
* Breath pressure/response and key response control is adjustable.
* Analog controller (right thumb joystick) that can do things, like vibrato and pitch bend.
* You can do more than 2.5 octaves using the iPad program to set fingering options.

Anyhow, if you just want a "practice sax," here's one for 499.00 Euro. Or maybe one of these. I think the Emeo sounds pretty good with the Respiro patches..

So, back to the Yamaha. I think the bari sound is pretty decent. The other ones sound "ok." In the above demo, Jim fools around with the tenor sax sound and it starts to sound a little bit better. You do have a MIDI out, so you could play sounds from a computer, modern synth, etc.

I'm still not seeing anything that's "better" than a Yamaha WX5 or WX7 in the YDS-150, unless you want to say that the speaker/built in sounds are the important things -- which it is, to some folks -- or you "have to" have an exact saxophone fingering.
 
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