Yamaha showed off a new digital saxophone in the YDS-150. This is a hybrid instrument to bring ease of playing, and versatility to different woodwind users. A series of haptics, and the brass bell allow for a more real-feel playing.
Features of the YDS-150
This horn is a hybrid, with a brass bell. The idea is that bell will add vibration so when you press the lower pads, it creates a natural haptic feel.
There are two pieces – mouthpiece with assembly (plastic reed), and the main unit. This is so you can replace the mouthpiece when it wears. Otherwise, the YDS-150 has a standard keyboard layout for Saxophone, along with a pitch-bend, and joystick in the back to add more sound.
The breath pressure sensor will identify what you send to the unit.
The horn runs on four “AAA” batteries, or plugged in through the micro-USB cable. You will get a few hours of play on battery connection.
Two connections to the YDS-150: Aux in, and mini stereo headphones. The only way to connect the device to a mixing console or amp is through the headphone jack. Since the unit itself doesn’t make sound, it would have been nice to have 2 headphone jacks on it so you can hear the tone, and send to a mixer.
App for Adjustments
In the Yamaha app, you can adjust the keys for a better response for sounds from the instrument. So if you have a favorite saxophone, you can try to get the same audio response with a little work.
The app can connect via Bluetooth, so you can don’t need a cable attached to make adjustments.
Samples on board
The YDS-150 comes with 70 on-board sounds – 50 which are Saxophone sounds, 20 synth sounds. 20 presets for defining custom sounds to what you love.
You can also add 5 different types of effects, from reverb, to delay, echo, and more.
Playing Silent or Loud
From what I’ve heard from the samples, the horn only makes only the pad sounds when playing with headphones. There is a built-in-speaker, and a 3.5 mm jack.
The YDS-150 retails at $1,078 at the time of this post. You can get the Yamaha YDS-150 now at these vendors