Every year at the NAMM, Yamaha’s booth is one of the biggest at the show and is usually full of new products. Many of those will join the growing assortment online at Best Buy at some point during the following year. Since the corporation has so many divisions, their presence occupies multiple conference rooms in the Marriott adjacent to the actual Anaheim Convention centre—where most of the booths are. This year is different, with the show being virtual, so we don’t have the joy of getting lost amidst all the innovations and seeing old friends. Nevertheless, the Japanese manufacturer still offered up a solid online presentation of its new models. Here is a rundown of the standout additions to the company’s production.
Yamaha Pianos revealed at Namm 2021
Yamaha is one of the biggest players in both the acoustic and digital piano world. They also offer excellent console-style solutions for the discerning player, and great beginner-friendly options.
CLP line additions
Unveiled at NAMM 2021, the CLP-725 and CLP-775 are the new additions to Yamaha’s prestigious Clavinova line. This line blurs the lines between the digital and acoustic worlds, thanks to a highly realistic feel and cabinetry. The 725 replaces the 625, the entry-level model. Its smaller size will fit perfectly in any décor. In addition to an enhanced speaker system, the entire sample library has been redone, featuring a concert grand CFX model. A very interesting thing to note is that the samples are different for the speakers and headphones. Although they were done at the same time with the same equipment and microphone positioning, the headphone set was made with binaural imaging microphones. This adds a ton of realism and three-dimensional sensation, making your silent practice that much more captivating.
The 775 is a new addition in the line, offering an upgraded mid-line product that sits just under the flagship 785. It has advanced, sophisticated features such as a touch-screen control panel that dissolves when not in use, leaving you with an immaculate surface. The action features a unique hammer to each key, greatly increasing the lifelikeness and feel of the surface. On-board transducers built into the cabinetry also increase the acoustic realism and give you the impression that an actual soundboard is in front of you.
YC Stage Pianos
Yamaha expanded its YC line at NAMM with two new models that offer a bigger range than the initial YC61 keyboard. This very versatile series is a midway point between a complete, very editable synth workstation and a piano-centric model. The YC73 caters to keyboardists thanks to a lighter balanced hammer action. Its versatile weight will feel appropriate for a wide variety of timbres that the player might use. The YC88 has heavier action, inspiring more piano focused playing while still accommodating other uses.
New DGX model
The DGX series has been a long-time, highly popular line for Yamaha. It features many options and offers many possibilities to all kinds of players. Although it’s aimed and priced towards beginners, its full suite of options make it a great choice for performers, songwriters, and singers.
Notable new features include a redesigned curved frame, a colour screen, and a streamlined workflow, making it easier than ever to precisely control your performance. Although a lot of models in the DGX line have a lighter action, this particular model is weighted with graded hammer action, giving the low keys a heavier feel than the higher ones. Singer-songwriters will most likely appreciate the inclusion of a microphone input jack—another great addition. The keyboard also offers several vocal effects to tailor your sound according to your needs.
Yamaha guitars announced at Namm 2021
Yamaha has a lot of interesting gear aimed towards guitarists. From electric and acoustic instruments, to innovative amplifiers, it’s quite common to see their products in schools and households all around the world.
Pacifica’s 30th anniversary
The Pacifica line is one of Yamaha’s most recognizable series. The best-selling guitars have started countless guitarists on their musical journey. For its 30th anniversary, the company has added two more models to the 600 series—the 612VIIFMX and 612VIIX. As you’d expect from a Pacifica model, you get an S-style instrument, but with high-end features. These include genuine Seymour Duncan pickups, a Graph Tech TUSQ nut, a Wilkinson bridge, and Grover locking tuners. The difference between the two resides in the fact that the FM option has a flamed maple top and comes in red. The regular 612 comes in teal green or yellow.
New amplifiers in the THR series
The beloved THR line gets an acoustic addition in the THR30II A. This particular amplifier will amplify your acoustic guitar for performance and practice. You can use steel or nylon stringed instruments. The unit houses a rechargeable battery, so you can literally take it anywhere. Microphone modelling, a new addition, will help you tailor your sound even further. You also get an XLR input, so singer-songwriters will have a quality, portable amp for performances.
One of the most intriguing products I saw going through Yamaha’s NAMM offerings was their YDS-150 Digital Saxophone. This is a hybrid instrument that brings many options to woodwind players. Saxophonists will feel right at home thanks to a realistic mouthpiece that transfers vibration through the whole instrument to give you the impression of playing a true acoustic sax. The brass bell resonates in synchronicity with the speaker, further enhancing the realism.
The digital and electronic side of the model really push the YD-150 into uncharted territory. First of all, there are 15 volume levels and a headphone output, so you can actually practise without disturbing anyone. While the key layout is based on traditional saxophones, you can customize it to your liking and explore alternate possibilities. This will definitely increase creativity and possibilities.
It also includes 73 different sounds. In addition to many styles of baritone, tenor, alto, and soprano saxes, it has several synth sounds which will surely please crowds around the world.
Although the global circumstances surrounding the NAMM show this year prevented us from getting together and experiencing the newest additions in person, Yamaha’s professional and enthusiastic staff really delivered compelling demos and explanations. This year’s event was exciting and inspiring thanks to forward-thinking products. Being one of the industry’s top manufacturers, it’s no surprise to see so much innovation.
Check out all the Yamaha products available now at Best Buy.