Review: Is the Yamaha PSR-EW410 Still Worth It?
Updated: Aug 26, 2020
The Yamaha PSR-EW410 portable keyboard was released almost 2 years ago and while it still remains the flagship of Yamaha’s PSR-E series keyboard lineup, is it still worth buying today? More importantly, should you pay $130 USD more for the PSR-EW410 over the very similar PSR-E463?
Let’s find out.
The PSR-EW410 is uniquely positioned in the market by Yamaha with currently just three portable arranger keyboards having 76 keys from Yamaha. They are the PSR-EW310, which is basically the 76 keys version of Yamaha’s PSR-E373, the incredibly expensive $5,000 USD Yamaha Genos and finally the PSR-E series flagship, this PSR-EW410. Depending on the piano pieces you intend to play, you might find the 76 keys better than the 61 keys. You can play piano pieces on the 61 keys of the PSR-E463, however, you will find it limiting when you try to play more serious intermediate piano repertoires. If you want to play some popular tunes with chords and rhythm accompaniments, then the 61 keys are sufficient for you.
While the keys on the Yamaha PSR-EW410 are touch sensitive and have a quality feel to it, these keys are not weighted like those found on a traditional piano. The keys are also made of shiny plastic and that glossy surface causes it to be a fingerprint magnet. It also makes your fingers slip more compared to matte textures. The keys are generally quiet but do not expect the key action to be comparable to Yamaha’s PSR-SX keyboard range which are significantly more expensive.
The 18lbs Yamaha PSR-EW410 with arranger features boasts of 237 panel voices, 235 rhythm accompaniment styles encompassing Pop, Rock, Jazz and World Music, 48 notes of polyphony, 32 user registration slots with easy recall using a single button, and 758 sounds. These 758 sounds, to take note, do include the drum kits, SFX kits, arpeggios and the decades old XGLite voices. The voices you will use regularly are the 237 panel voices which can be layered and split across the keyboard. It is a pity that only 2 voices can be layered whereas a similarly priced keyboard from the competition can layer up to 3 voice layers for a richer sound. The 48 note polyphony also underwhelms when the competition have upped their polyphony count to 64 notes. Each style comes with one intro, one ending, 2 rhythm variations and 2 rhythmic fills. However, I would say that Yamaha still loses out with only 4 variations of each style for more creative options compared to other keyboards in the same price range. Moreover, they have also resisted adding more chord detection modes on the PSR-EW410.
The default piano voice on the PSR-EW410 can be quickly accessed via the dedicated piano button and it has a significantly higher quality piano sample compared to the E463. In addition, the speakers on the PSR-EW410 are twice as powerful at 24W versus the 12W watts on the E463. Although the speakers on the PSR-EW410 are loud, the sound coming out from the speakers lacks warmth and is deficient in the lower frequencies. The dedicated stereo L/R ¼” outputs means you get a much better sound and stereo separation when connecting to a professional PA system. The more amplifiers also require the EW410 to require the use of less commonly found “D”-size batteries versus “AA” batteries, if you intend to use your keyboard away from an electrical socket.
While the PSR-EW410 comes with a 10 song - 6 track recorder, the star feature of the PSR-EW410 when it comes to music production is the built-in USB audio interface which the competition lacks. This is a feature that even owners of Yamaha’s most expensive $5,000 USD arranger keyboard don’t get. Via the USB port, you can send both MIDI as well as digital audio data to and from your mobile devices and computers for use with powerful digital audio workstations, such as FL Studios, without the need to use an external audio external interface. If you do not want to use a computer, you can also record your performance as an audio file directly into a USB flash drive which you can then easily send to anyone as an email attachment or via messaging apps.
The PSR-EW410 comes with 3 features not found on Yamaha entry level E300 series keyboards.
1. Live Control Features
The live control features consists of a pitch bend wheel, which is great for Guitar, Saxophone & Synth voices, as well as 2 control knobs which allows you to tweak a whole myriad of assignable parameters such as ADSR, Reverb, Chorus & Groove Retrigger rate.
2. Groove Creator
This feature allows you to lay down a beat, mix and match grooves, and tweak sounds in real time using the control knobs. This feature definitely panders to aspiring DJs music produces. Of course, this feature won't make you sound like David Guetta or Steve Aoki, however, the 35 built-in grooves are, no doubt, a fun tool to learn music structure.
3. Quick Sampler
This feature allows you to assign up to 7 audio clips downloaded from the internet, or recorded via the PSR-EW410 auxiliary audio in port, onto zones on the keyboard for triggering during your performance. However, this feature is basic, so do not expect professional sample manipulation capabilities from this keyboard.
Now for the million dollar question. Is the Yamaha PSR-EW410 still worth buying today? And should you spend more to get the EW410 instead of the PSR-E463? The answer is yes. At this price-point, the EW410 does many things and isn’t terrible at anything. In fact, you will have to spend twice as much to get to the PSR-SX600 which is the next higher model in Yamaha’s line-up.
I hope that this review has helped you in making an informed purchase of the Yamaha PSR-EW410. Do check out the links provided in this article to get the latest prices and updates on the PSR-EW410. 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.