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When whispers of the Yamaha PSR-E373 and PSR-EW310 first came out, it piqued the interest of keyboard players across the board. Even owners of more advanced models wondered what Yamaha had come up with. It seemed to emerge as a contender for some of the other current entry-level models, especially when it was discovered that Yamaha had taken some of the capabilities and sounds from their more expensive arranger keyboards and placed them into their budget-friendly upgrade. The Yamaha PSR-E363 and PSR-EW300 were already loved and used by countless beginners and hobbyists, but now, with the new Yamaha PSR-E373 and PSR-EW310, there was talk of some very respectable onboard voices.
I couldn’t wait to get my mitts on one. I also own the Yamaha PSR-EW300 and the Casio CT-X800, and both of them I really enjoy … but I wondered… Hmmmmm …
I opted for the 76-key Yamaha PSR-EW310. It has the same sounds and features as the PSR-E373 but comes with 15 extra keys. I like to utilize the lower keys because it adds emotion and bold dynamics to a song.
My keyboard came in a BIG box with an image of the Yamaha PSR-EW310 covering the entire front. Unwrapping something like that at Christmas time would be like an angel choir singing in the heavens! What a gift! (Especially for yourself!)
Inside, it was packed in Yamaha style, with Styrofoam blocks in all the right places so it wouldn’t budge in transit, and lots of space around it to protect it from any postal man-handling en route to my home.
With 76 keys, it’s a good-sized keyboard, but only 5.4 kg (11 lb, 14 oz without batteries). I set it on the stand. The panel buttons looked very similar to its predecessor, with a few changes. I had an extra power adapter. The PSR-EW300 adapter also works for the PSR-EW310… (any AC adapter PA-130, PA-3C, or Yamaha-recommended equivalent). It doesn’t come with one, but the keyboard will also take 6 AA alkaline batteries, so you can play it anywhere. Adapters can be found in music stores or on the Amazon website, just to name a few places.
After plugging it in and turning it on, I noticed right away that the backlit display is a cool blue instead of the previous orange.
The default Concert Grand Piano was the first sound I heard. It was a little like diving my spoon into a hot fudge sundae and taking a bite (after I’ve been on a diet). Wow! Also, I noticed that the key bed is excellent … smooth, touch-responsive, and not noisy. The keys are silent, with no thumping or plastic/mechanical sounds.. There are four choices of touch sensitivity, soft, hard, medium, and fixed.
The PSR-EW300 already had an ambient piano sound, but the PSR-EW310 upgrade has a significant extra element of clarity. Yamaha uses the AWM (Advanced Wave Memory) Dynamic Stereo Sampling engine which reproduces realistic instrument sounds by recording samples of different playing strengths. I noticed right away the authentic nuances of the piano.
Apparently, some of the excellent sounds and capabilities of the Yamaha PSR-EW310 and PSR-E373 were taken from the Tyros 1 and wave samples from the PSR-S670 and PSR-E463. The grand piano voice was taken from the PSR-EW410. To have those added to such a low-cost keyboard earns Yamaha a big “thumbs-up” in my book. What a great thing to do for people who are just beginning!
The piano sound on the Yamaha PSR-EW310 is a great combination of richness and definition. It has a realistic and warm resonance, with the added natural attack of a keystroke, like a real piano. A concert grand piano — that’s exactly what it sounds like. The best way I can describe it is “satisfying”. My Casio CT-X800 has great sounds and lots of clarity, but I often have to layer the piano with strings or a soft background instrument because it can sound a little thin to me sometimes. (Everyone has their own preferences). The Yamaha PSR-EW310 piano can deliver on bold dramatic pieces, as well as softer ones. Add a little bit of sustain and reverb and it’s even sweeter..
The Yamaha PSR-EW310 has a vast array of DSP effects, many more than the previous PSR-E363 or PSR-EW300 model … 38 in total. Included are 12 reverb types and 5 chorus types. There are 6 types of Master EQ and 26 kinds of Harmony. This is a huge plus because you can shape your sounds — from subtle to some really fun ones. You can save your customized configurations to the keyboard Registration Memories, which offers 9 buttons to save panel settings for quick recall; like Voice, Song, Pattern, and Style. Some of the DSP effects applied to the arpeggio function make some interesting and slightly crazy creations … especially with synth voices. There are 196 arpeggio choices. The grand piano default button takes you right back to home base.
It’s hard for me to remember how inexpensive this keyboard is. The Yamaha PSR-E373 and PSR-EW310 have SO many capabilities, but if a keyboard doesn’t sound good, it doesn’t matter what it can do. But this keyboard sounds good. I was hooked after the piano voice because I use that one the most, but then I spent some time on the other sounds.
Yamaha also upgraded the strings with the same dynamics; both sweetness and clarity. It evoked the same inner response as the piano did … (me, closing my eyes and thinking, “this is delicious”…) You hear the collective sound of violins, which is what strings are supposed to sound like. I tend to like to layer slow strings with piano because I like the intermittent swells of sound throughout.
You can layer the sounds on the PSR-EW310 and adjust their separate volumes. And even though my CTX-800 is amazing, I can’t adjust the separate layered volumes and that has been a problem sometimes when the strings were drowning out the piano.
On the Yamaha PSR-E373 and PSR-EW310, you can also split the keyboard into two different voices, one sound for the left hand and another for the right. You can customize the split point. While you play one sound with your left hand, you can even layer two sounds with the right hand if you wish.
And the flute .. has a mellow sound with the natural nuances of breath and just the right modulation. The modulation on my Casio CT-X is a little slow and I found I wanted to hasten my notes along instead of lingering long enough for the slow wavering of the vibrato.
To be clear, I really enjoy my CT-X800 and I tend to go back and forth between three keyboards that I own. All keyboards have attributes and all have idiosyncrasies. An artist will use more than one paintbrush … but I can tell already that the Yamaha PSR-EW310 will be the one I use a lot, especially for acoustic sounds.
The nylon guitar voice on the PSR-EW310 is amazing! And that’s something that is important to me. It has a really natural sound. I think acoustic guitar is hard to pull off and the steel acoustic guitar delivers too. So THAT was a very nice surprise! The sax sounded real .. I could go on .. the electric piano, the organ choices, pads, synth .. just so many. There is such a pallet of good voices that a beginner or hobbyist would definitely have enough at hand to make some really GOOD music without upgrading for awhile. Overall, there are 622 voices (241-panel voices, 22 drum kits, 20 arpeggios, and 339 XGlite voices). There is 48 note polyphony. And THEN there are the sounds you can download from the Internet via midi .. unlimited possibilities!
More on sound
This is important because there is a brand-new feature on the upgraded PSR-EW310 and PSR-E373 keyboards; the Super Articulation Lite Voices, of which there are 11. By holding down the Articulation panel button — used in conjunction with the 11 designated sounds — you can create added natural details, like the over-blow effect of a flute, the harmonics or slide effect of an acoustic guitar, the growl of a sax, the distortion of an electric lead guitar, or the note-bending of a brass instrument. You can add even more effects with choir voices and bass guitar .. and more. You can also use the sustain pedal instead of the panel button to create these additions to your sounds. There isn’t any sustain if you use the pedal for the SAlite option. Not all instruments needed it, I noticed. Some of the woodwind voices on my keyboard sounded better without anyway, so I can use the pedal for the SAlite voices — and, of course, there is the panel sustain. I think the pedal gives you a lot of control, but everything depends on the song, of course.
There are also some special featured voices. They are classified into 5 categories; There are 3 Live! Voices, 4 Sweet! Voices, 6 Cool! Voices, in addition to the 11 SAlite voices.
The main Function button takes you through a huge menu of customizations, settings, and features. After a feature shows up on the LCD screen, the “yes” (+) and “no” (-) button allows you to fine-tune your choices. With so many options to access and features to mold your sounds, a jog wheel might have been a good thing, but Registration Memory really helps you to get to your saved sounds fast.
I am a subscriber to Jeremy See‘s YouTube channel and he is a constant source of keyboard information. He has covered the sound and style features on the Yamaha PSR-E373 and PSR-EW310 and also made a comprehensive video on how to operate the basic functions. I recommend his video, “How to Set Voices, Rhythms for Yamaha PSR-E373/EW310”. It’s a quick-start for first-experience PSE-E373 and PSR-EW310 owners.
Jeremy See is a piano instructor and the way he shows you how to access the functions on this keyboard is easy to understand. He has made 10 different videos on the Yamaha PSR-E373, (which would also include the PSR-EW310, since they are basically the same.) He has always been a big proponent of the Yamaha PSR-E363 for his piano students and was faithful to showcase the PSR-E373 upgrade to his viewers when it came out. (Simply search the Yamaha PSR-E373 on his channel)
In this video, he covers some of the new sounds, especially those taken from the higher-end keyboards. (That’s what we want to know, right? What does it sound like?)
The PSR-E373 and PSR-EW310 don’t have a pitch-bend wheel, but there is a Yamaha app for that. You can connect your keyboard to your Ipad or iPhone and use the screen to manipulate either a pitch bend or a modulation “wheel”. I haven’t tried it yet but I might add my thoughts later on.
Speaking of Apps, there is also a Yamaha “Rec ‘n Share” app. You can record songs and videos to share on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok. Jeremy See also covers how to use that in one of his videos. Definitely worth a look. This is the age of social media and being able to share your creations is a great feature.
It’s about 8 1/4″ X 5 1/2″. It’s in English, but also in three other languages; French, Spanish and Portuguese. English is on the first 61 pages and the index is on pages 60 and 61. There are clear diagrams and simple instructions. All of the voices, styles, pre-set songs and DSP lists are there — everything you will need to know. It’s visually organized and super-easy to understand. There are even lessons on how to play the piano. You can download an easy online songbook as well. Because my vision has digressed somewhat, I went on the Yamaha website and downloaded the user’s manual. I printed it out and it produced 92 one-sided, full-sized pages — all in English. I have a three-hole punch for my binders, but I also occasionally save documents and manuals in vinyl sheet protectors and put those in notebooks too.
Keys to Success Learning system
The Yamaha PSR-E373 is definitely a learner’s keyboard. The Yamaha Education Suite is a piano-lesson supplement.
QUIZ MODE: A game-like method. Prompts players to repeat notes, simple melodies, or chords, giving feedback on correct and incorrect answers and encouraging ear training.
LESSON MODE: Three built-in lesson modes: Listen & Learn Timing, and Waiting.
On-board Songs are used to help build your skills. The recording function allows you to listen to your performance and improve.
1: Listen and Learn: The melody/chords of the part you selected will sound. You listen carefully and remember.
2: Timing: You learn to play the notes with the correct timing. Even if you play the wrong notes, the correct notes shown in the display will sound.
3. Waiting: You play the correct notes shown on the display. The Song pauses until you play the right note, and the playback tempo will change to match the speed at which you are playing. This is great because it takes time to navigate the notes on a keyboard at first and it’s nice to not have the song leave you in the dust while you’re trying to get a grasp of things.
STYLE: You can play chords with the left hand and the auto-accompaniment feature will play Styles (rhythm + bass + harmony) that match.
SMART CHORD: allows you to play chords with only one finger, thus leaving the right hand free to improvise.
Duo Mode: This allows two people to play together on the same keyboard by splitting the keyboard in half and allowing them both to play in the same octave.
Touch Tutor lesson mode tracks the velocity or strength of keystrokes to teach song dynamics in piano-playing.
The Yamaha PSR-EW310 and the PSR-E373 has a built-in 2-track recorder that can record five songs or a maximum of 10,000 notes. You can also plug it into a DAW via USB. DAW is the best option, I think, for really creative projects that you can tweak in multiple ways.
Many of the styles have been upgraded and improved. While the PSR-EW300 and PSR-E363 have some very nice and usable auto-accompaniment styles, I noticed that the styles on the PSR-EW310 and PSR-E373 are more contemporary, with more complex and creative components. There are 2 variations of the rhythm, which can be used to change the pattern while playing or used as a fill-in. There is an into/ending button that especially fits each style. All of this keeps the accompaniment interesting. A new feature on the PSR-E373 and PSR-EW310 is an expanded offering of more styles from other places in the world, like Vietnam, Indonesia, Africa, America, Europe, and Latin America. Now THAT is cool. These additions broaden the creative choices of music-making a lot. It’s great for musicians who play in that genre, but also for those of us who have never even tried them — so — something new! Hey, for the “free-range” kinda person, there’s room to move around.
USB to HOST connectivity with MIDI and audio transfer means you only need one cable to connect to your music-making software.
1/8″ AUX input takes the output from a portable music player, iOS device, mixer, or computer and uses the instrument’s speakers to playback the audio.
In this phase of my keyboard-learning journey, it fits me perfectly. I REALLY love it and it will especially be my go-to when I want a good piano sound. With the 15 extra keys, the prospect of learning piano makes the PSR-EW310 a more serious choice for me, but you still get all of the sounds and features on the 61 key PSR-E373 for around 200 U.S. dollars. And that’s amazing.
There is so much more that the Yamaha PSR-EW310 can do, that it would take pages. Here is a link to the Yamaha website and the PSR-EW310 specs.
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