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  • Writer's picturewei jie

Review: I Buy A Cheap Yamaha BUT It Sounds Amazing!


$369.99 USD

We are living in exciting times. The unprecedented level of competition between major keyboard manufacturers has made us beneficiaries of technology and sound quality unheard of at a ridiculously low street price of just $369. Whether you are looking to buy your first keyboard or you are an experienced performing musician, Yamaha’s latest update to their flagship PSR-E series portable keyboard has put it so far ahead on the leaderboard that it crushes every similarly priced keyboard from rival brands.

Today, I am going to review the sound quality, key action, and notable features of this keyboard and demonstrate the onboard sounds. So you can see that this keyboard is ridiculously great value for money in order to help you make a better buying decision.

Key Actions

The Yamaha PSR-E473 comes with 61 full-size touch-sensitive synth-action keys. This means the keys respond to how hard or soft you hit the keys just like an acoustic instrument.

Sound Quality

This keyboard has 820 onboard tones and a powerful chipset that enhances the realism and expressiveness of the sound samples.

The new Live! Concert Grand Piano sample coupled with an improved 64 note polyphony over its predecessor is one of the best examples of the significantly improved high-resolution sound quality.

In addition, the sounds can be layered and split across the keyboard.

Dual DSP Effects

The PSR-E473 comes with 53 digital signal processors and the sound chip is powerful enough to handle up to two digital signal processing simultaneously in addition to reverb and chorus effects. This processing power is unheard of in this price category. There is no other keyboard under $400 from any manufacturer right now that can handle more than one DSP effect simultaneously.

Super Articulation Lite

New in the PSR-E473 is the 14 Super Articulation Lite voices first introduced in the PSR-E373 last year. By pressing the “Articulation” button, the sound will switch between different instrument articulation samples

If you want this feature but do not want to spend so much money, Yamaha has this feature on a more affordable model which you can check out my recommended list.

Rhythm Accompaniments

The PSR-E series has arranger functionality. With 290 rhythm accompaniments covering pop, rock, jazz, EDM, and world music, you can easily create rich backing accompaniment tracks by playing chords. Multiple rhythm variations and fills give your music a professional polish.

One of the key features of the PSR-E473 which the other PSR-E series cannot do is that you can turn on or off style parts to create musical variation.

The keyboard also gives you the ability to re-voice instrument parts in your styles for infinite possibilities. If the 290 rhythms are not enough, there are 10 expansion memory slots for you to load an infinite number of styles available from the internet.

If you want to learn to play the keyboard with chords and rhythm accompaniments, you can check out my beginner piano app. As well as some beginners video courses and course materials available for you. At the same time, you check out this free 25 Piano lesson as well.

Groove Creator

For those who are into Electronic Dance Music, the Yamaha PSR-E473 comes with 35 groove patterns for you to mix and match musical sequences to get the party going. This is a feature that even someone with limited keyboard skills can use to impress their friends and family.

Live Controls

In addition to 2 knobs and a pitch bend, the PSR-E473 now features Motion Effects first introduced in the PSS-A50 mini keyboard.

83 different Motion Effects allow a musician to apply a combination of complex simultaneous modulation, filters, pitch bend, reverb & chorus effects that would take many controllers to achieve. 2 live control knobs allow you to personalize various DSPs, cutoff, and resonance to your sounds and rhythms in real-time to make it more interesting.

Quick Sampler

You can add your own unique sounds to the keyboard with the quick sampling feature. Sounds can be captured into 4 sample slots using a microphone, sounds stored on a USB drive, audio files on your computer, or with the aux audio-in port.

These recorded sounds can be triggered as one-shot samples or played in a loop during your performance. DSP effects can be added to the samples for even more creative possibilities.

Microphone Input

New in the PSR-E473 is a microphone input jack for you to sample any external sounds into the keyboard or to sing along with.

Powerful reverb, chorus & DSP effects can be applied to your voice so it sits right in the mix. A convenient button to toggle between Talk, Vocal & Mute lets you be in total control of your mic output when performing.

Here I have recommendations for speakers, headphones, microphones, and other connectivity devices which you might be looking for.

User Registration Memory

With so many powerful features and configurable parameters, it is critical that you can save your sound, effects, and rhythms for quick recall when performing. The PSR-E473 has 32 onboard registration memory slots for saving your own presets.

An unlimited number of these user presets can be saved onto a USB stick.

Song Recording

There are a number of ways you can record your own songs on this keyboard. It comes with a 6 track MIDI sequencer for you to perform multi-track recordings of a polished song. You can also quickly record digital audio to a USB stick for further editing in your favorite digital audio workstation software.

Here I have recommendations for an audio recorder and audio interface which you might like.

The PSR-E473 is also compatible with Yamaha’s Rec’n’Share mobile app. With this app, you can record videos with pristine digital audio of your performance onto your smartphone and instantly post them onto TikTok, Instagram, or WhatsApp.

Speaker and Connectivity

The loud and clear onboard speakers are powered by a pair of 12 watts amplifiers.

These speakers are more than sufficient for intimate performance venues. For larger concert venues, the stereo ¼” outputs allow you to connect to professional amplification systems.

You can connect a pair of headphones should you need to practice without disturbing those around you.

You can check out my recommended speakers, headphones, and amplifiers I use

The USB port on the PSR-E473 is not just a standard USB MIDI port like those found on competing brands. This USB port transmits and receives both MIDI signals and digital audio data to and from your smart devices and laptops without needing you to buy an external audio interface.

This USB port makes this keyboard a perfect complement to music learning apps


I hope that this review has helped you in making an informed purchase of the Yamaha PSR-E473. Do check out the links provided in this article to get the latest prices and updates on the PSR-E473. To find out more about the world of keyboards and pianos, do read more articles on this blog to find the most suitable and perfect instrument for your needs.

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