We are here to review the Yamaha PSR-E453 one of Yamaha’s portable keyboard models. Other models in the PSR series include the E253 and the E353. And we have reviewed the E253 which came with some impressive features. But today, it’s time to check out the Yamaha PSR-E453 and see what it has to offer.
We are going to be dissecting the Yamaha PSR-E453 as deeply as we can. Interestingly, from the buttons, to the sounds, to other functions of the keyboard, there are a quite a number of things to check out on this digital piano.
From our review, we’re sure you’ll be able to decide for yourself if this is a piano you want to bet on or not. And since there’s a lot discuss, we will go heads on into this review. But first, a quick overview…
The Yamaha PSR-E453 Overview
First things first, the superficial, that is, how this keyboard looks. This looks like your everyday entry-level keyboard. Lightweight plastic with a black matte finish, with your regular white and black keys (61 of them).
The keys have an appearance of solidity to them with a gap below them that makes it possible to play them all the way down. We’ve got to admit that you don’t always find this feature on many cheap pianos.
Again, the keys are very easy to see since the face of the keyboard is optimized to make them visible. It slants down and flattens around the edge where the keybed attaches to the face. So, you won’t have to lean over just to see the keys.
Alright, still on the outlook. The PSR-E453 comes with two speakers which also come with a mesh-like cover each.
Now, here’s one other feature that we really love on any digital piano at all. This comes with a backlit display. This display looks quite glossy and also displays information in a very clear and bold format that’s easy to read.
Now, as for the buttons, they are finished in black matte and that can make things a bit confusing when it comes to finding the right button to press. But thankfully, Yamaha labeled each of them, so that trouble has been deftly averted.
Besides the buttons, the knobs are also really cool and they work well but we won’t go into their functions just yet.
Now, just before we leave this sub, let’s talk a bit about the wheel beside the black matte buttons. This wheel allows you to navigate all the sounds that the PSR-E453 offers. It’s easy to use and you will be able to go through all the available patches pretty quickly.
Yamaha PSR-E453 Specs
- 61 velocity sensitive keys.
- Touch response levels: Soft, Fixed, Medium, Hard.
- Other Controllers: Pitch Bend, Control Knobs.
- With LCD display.
- Tone Generation Technology: AWM Stereo Sampling.
- Max Polyphony: 48 notes.
- 237 panel voices with 24 Drums/SFX kits, 40 Arpeggio, 456 XGlite Voices.
- Featured voices: Sweet! Voices (8), Cool! Voices (3), Dynamic voices (3).
- GM and XGlite compatible.
- Sound Effects: 9 reverb types, 9 chorus types, 10 DSP types (can be assigned on control knobs), 6 Master EQ types, 26 Harmony types.
- Functions: Dual/Layers, Split, 150 Arpeggio types, Melody Suppressor, and Crossfade.
- 220 preset accompaniment styles.
- 30 preset songs.
- Recording function.
- Lesson function.
- Overall Controls: Metronome, Transpose, Tuning, Scale Setting, Piano button.
- Connectivity: DC IN, headphones jack, sustain pedal jacks, AUX IN, USB to host, USB to device.
- 2 Speakers: 12 centimeters – 6W + 6W.
- Also operates on 6 AA alkaline batteries.
Who’s The Yamaha PSR-E453 For?
Yamaha created and markets this keyboard for beginners primarily. There are good features on this instrument, no doubt. But not all of them are features that a pro player will necessarily enjoy. Beginners, though have a lot to learn from them.
For instance, there’s a learning function on this keyboard. A pro player sure doesn’t need that. But a beginner will surely learn a thing or two about playing chords and a metronome, for instance.
The lessons on this keyboard are actually quite comprehensive, so they work quite well. And with the recording function, you’ll be able to listen to yourself play and then make the necessary corrections as you go.
Plus, there’s a feedback system as well. So, you’re not just learning, you also get a progress report which encourages the learner and improves learning too.
Features Of The Yamaha PSR-E453
For beginners who want to learn how the recording process works, this keyboard features a 6-track recorder. This is also an excellent way for keyboardists to learn how it feels to play in a band.
Well, this recording function isn’t exactly super flexible but you can get a lot of fun from it once you get started. You can record with the different sections like the keyboards, guitar and bass and then put any melody you want on top of it. It’s actually quite a lot of fun.
At least, it’s fun enough to inspire you to compose some really great songs which you can flesh out into actual songs in your studio.
With the DJ pattern, you’ll be able to practice the EDM genre conveniently. Whether it’s writing chords or composing beats, the DJ pattern introduces you to all the elements you need in DJ production.
The array of sound effects on the Yamaha PSR-E453 is actually quite impressive. In fact, when you add them to the DJ pattern, you’ll be able to create some sick beats that will totally blow your mind.
But, of course, there’s more to these effects than creating beats. There are loads of styles you can choose from. From rock, to jazz, to hip-hop, messing around these effects will be quite exciting.
It’s also super impressive that this keyboard can follow your chords as you play real time. So, yes, as you play, the bass and guitar will follow you playing the exact notes. Or, at least, it stays within the notes in the same scale as you.
Yep, there are also the layer and split modes which can take the fun you can get from this keyboard to a whole new level. So, you can split the keyboard down the middle with each side playing a unique sound. Or you could also choose to layer some sounds together to create some really unique tones.
The arpeggiator is another feature we really love on this keyboard. It’s a note sequencer and with it, you can turn your chords into any melodic pattern of your choice. It also functions as a harmonizer and you can use this to harmonize with yourself while you’re playing.
Buttons, Knobs And Controls
The Portable Grand button on the Yamaha PSR-E453 helps to take you back to default sound if you ever get lost in all the functions. But keep in mind, if you mistakenly press this button instead of something else, every setting you’ve previously made will automatically disappear.
So, while it’s a great feature, you still need to be careful.
Now, there are also the controller knobs. Remember the knobs we said we were going to talk about in detail earlier? Well, we are about to discuss them now….
Each of these knobs is assignable which means that you’ll be able to assign them to different effects. Effects like the retrigger rate, chorus, reverb, and cutoff and resonance.
Now, if we are completely being honest, the afore-mentioned features are mostly found on pro-level keyboards. We don’t really understand why Yamaha included it here. But hey, more for us!
Now, you’ll be able to customize your sounds as much as you want and create genuinely unique sounds.
With these knobs, you can add any effect you want to your patches to create that perfect sound you are aiming for. And you can also modulate those sound effects real time as well. All you have to do is to turn the knobs.
Now that we think of it, these knobs can actually give the beginner a brief intro to synths. With these knobs, you’ll actually be able to learn more about modifying sounds.
This keyboard sounds really beautiful. The piano sound is well nuanced and is quite responsive to sensitivity. Even the saxophone sounds great which is more than we can say for most starter keyboards.
Generally, the sounds are pretty awesome. And even if you don’t like any of them, that’s why the control knobs are there. You can use them to modify your sounds the way you want. So, in the sound department, Yamaha gets an A plus… As usual.
Pros Of Yamaha PSR-E453
- Comes with pretty advanced features for a starter keyboard.
- Control knobs and pitch bend wheel are pretty great.
- Built-in Arpeggiator included.
- Seamless connection to iOS devices.
- Quite affordable for the features offered.
Cons Of Yamaha PSR-E453
- Only comes with 61 keys.
- Still a bit pricey for a beginner keyboard.
In our opinion, Yamaha did a pretty good job making such a beast at this price. It comes with amazing functions that a pro player will love. And it also features other functions that a beginner will definitely benefit from, even children.
Does it have its drawbacks? Of course it does. But we’ve got to admit, the Yamaha PSR-E453? Good stuff, no doubt.