Yamaha has been producing bestselling portable keyboards in the PSR series for almost 4 decades now. A real favourite amongst beginners and casual players alike, these easy to use models offer a lot of great possibilities for the price. The PSR-E373 is the second digital piano in the line, and this newest iteration brings excellent new additions. Building on a beloved foundation, the Japanese manufacturer managed to squeeze in some interesting innovations. Read on to find out how they pushed the envelope with this new model.
I took the time to record a few sound samples and film my initial impressions of the keyboard. You can see and hear them in this video.
Yamaha PSR-E373: Time-tested features
The PSR-E373 is definitely not limited in its features. This is a 61 note keyboard that has a light, organ-style action. You won’t get the same heavy feeling as on a real piano, but this type of action cuts costs and weight tremendously. The 5-octave range is generous, and you will be able to perform all but the most marginal of musical pieces. Two built-in speakers provide a total of 5 Watts of amplification—sufficient for most situations. If you don’t want others to hear your playing, a headphone jack is available for silent practice. A USB output enables you to interface with a computer and to greatly expand the sound library by controlling various samplers and digital instruments. There’s also an auxiliary input to jam with your favourite recordings on different types of players.
Lots of sounds
The built-in collection of tones is very generous. You’ll have access to 622 voices. They cover a wide variety of instruments from the keyboard-based usual suspects (pianos, organs, electric pianos, etc.) to completely different ones like guitars, strings, woodwinds, and brass. There’s even percussion, sound effects, and choirs. A dual voice mode enables you to combine two sounds for even more possibilities. Likewise, you can split the keyboard into two and use separate timbres in each half. In addition, you can add effects. Each tone comes with a stock effect that can easily be activated. You are not limited to using that preselected choice though. You can actually select from any of the built-in 38 options. These include chorus, tremolo, phaser, delay, reverb, and other popular effects.
The PSR-E373 is in reality an arranger keyboard. This means that you will be able to produce accompaniments very efficiently in various styles. You’ll have 205 different ones to choose from, and an easy button configuration enables you to control the arrangement, including cueing the various sections and ending. Thanks to a wealth of experience, Yamaha makes it possible to create entire songs with a few simple notions. The accompaniment will analyze your input, and, depending on the chords you use, will adjust accordingly. Even if you don’t know harmony very well, a clever one-finger chord approach enables you to fully utilize this mode and work on your arrangements or pieces of music.
An important thing to note is that the PSR-E373 comes equipped with touch-sensitive keys. This is a really important feature, both for beginners and experienced pianists alike. Without it, no matter how hard or soft you played a key, every sound would have the same volume. Having touch sensitivity will greatly improve the player’s musicality and attention to nuance. Likewise, for established pianists, it will be most likely disappointing to have only one level of playing available.
There are included lessons available directly on the LCD screen. With a simple interface, you’ll learn the short phrases that make up a song. After listening to the music, you’ll be asked to reproduce the rhythm, and then the notes. With a bit of time and patience, you’ll be able to learn complete pieces of music thanks to a simple and easy to understand method.
Yamaha PSR-E373: new additions
A great new feature is the addition of “Super Articulation Lite Voices”. These are samples that offer access to various playing techniques of the sound you are on. For example, when pressing the appropriate button on the nylon guitar voice, you’ll hear harmonics performed at that pitch. Other examples include giving access to slides on bass voices and pizzicato for strings. This is a really cool way to extend the flexibility of the keyboard and add even more expression to your playing.
PSR-E373 sound quality
With so much accumulated experience building keyboards of all levels, Yamaha offers excellent sounding products. The PSR-E373 is no exception. All the tones that I’ve tried are convincing and very pleasant to play. You don’t get any sort of editing for the tones themselves, but it’s good to know that the manufacturer set them to sound great out of the box. The articulation button is very clever and really enhances the experience and increases the possibilities.
The speakers reproduce the audio very well, and at a decent volume. You won’t be using this for a concert though, and it would be best to use the headphone output to connect to a mixer and PA system.
Perfect for beginners and young players
The PSR-E373 is a best-selling keyboard for a reason: it offers an incredible tool to learn on and play, at an affordable price. For decades now, complete beginners have started to explore the piano as a first instrument thanks to this model and its predecessors. It has a lot of features to keep youngsters interested, and it supplies the essentials like touch sensitivity. The immense sound bank covers a lot of territory, and the included backing tracks encompass the most popular styles. You even get additional lessons to supplement your learning.
For the casual player, this is also an excellent choice. It doesn’t take up much space, and it’s very easy to carry around. You can set it up on a desk, on a bed, and even on the floor. Thanks to top-mounted speakers, the sound quality won’t suffer. It also won’t take a lot of space if you want to store it. Its light weight makes it an easy keyboard to lug around for lessons, trips to the cottage, or to a friend’s place. The number of available tones will keep you busy and satisfied. Also, there are plenty of built-in styles that will cover your favourites while still offering the possibility of even more development, thanks to styles you might not be familiar with.
Check out the Yamaha PSR-E373 on Best Buy’s website.