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Yamaha PF10 FM Electronic Piano

Newly down in price, Yamaha's PF10 could be the ideal low-cost electronic piano. Nick Graham tickles the ivories.

The Yamaha PF10 electronic piano is a velocity sensitive, 76-note (E0 to G6) instrument with ten preset sounds and a stereo chorus. It depends for its sound generation on FM synthesis, the system which made the DX7 a world-beater, and it's been on the market for about three years (Yamaha, please correct me if I'm wrong!). Hardly the latest thing in musical instrument technology, you might say - but then neither is the acoustic guitar, and people still play them!

To be serious for a moment (O.K., time's up!), the main reason for this review is that Yamaha asked me to re-assess this instrument, bearing in mind its considerably reduced recommended selling price of £499, and the first comment I must make is that, at any price, the PF10 is a genuine musical instrument. By that I mean that, unlike so many of its electronic contemporaries, it hasn't become obsolescent (dated?), but retains its usefulness as a creative musical tool. I hadn't in fact ever played one before, and I was pleasantly surprised by both the convincing sound and the feel of the keyboard, which, although not weighted like its big brother the PF15, is still very nice to play (rather like the DX7 keyboard, actually). So let's go into more detail.

The presets are arranged in two banks of five - A and B. Bank A features 3 Piano sounds and 2 Harpsichord sounds, and bank B has 3 Electric Piano sounds plus Vibes and Clav. Of the two banks I preferred B, because setting 2 had a lovely Rhodes-type sound with a percussive bottom end, and setting 4 produced a very lifelike vibraphone sound. However, this is purely personal. If you wanted to play Bach on the PF10, the two harpsichord sounds (simulating a single and coupled keyboard) could be very satisfying. On all sounds the keyboard scaling was excellent, and the touch sensitivity allowed very expressive playing.

As with most (but not all!) instruments incorporating internal speakers, the Yamaha PF10 sounded much better when amplified separately through a good stereo set-up. Doing this really brought the sounds to life, especially when the built-in stereo chorus was used, but the internal speakers worked perfectly well, and for practice purposes would be quite adequate.

Finally, for the pianist with a limited technique, the key transpose facility allows you to play in any key without ever touching the black ones! Joking aside, this facility could be very useful when accompanying singers/instrumentalists whose range is narrow.

Back panel features include stereo outputs, headphone sockets (standard and mini-jack), key hold, sustain, and a line input which routes an external sound source to the PF10's internal speakers; a very useful little touch allowing you to use your piano as an amplifier. Also included on the back panel is a fine-tune pitch knob with a total range of one semitone.

As with all Yamaha products, the finish of this piano is good, and although its smart appearance would grace anybody's front room, it also looks as if it could stand up to a fair amount of knocking about.

If you're looking for a low-cost electronic piano for any application, then the PF10 with its revised price tag is as good as, if not better than, any of its immediate rivals, and should not be overlooked.

RRP £499

More details from Yamaha-Kemble (U.K.) Ltd., (Contact Details).

Also featuring gear in this article

Yamaha PF10, PF15
(EMM Aug 84)

Browse category: Piano > Yamaha

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Akai S612

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PA/Recording News

In Tune - Copyright: Moving Music Ltd.


In Tune - Oct 1985

Donated by: Gordon Reid

Gear in this article:

Piano > Yamaha > PF10

Review by Nick Graham

Previous article in this issue:

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