Review: Yamaha PSR-SX600 New Features That Even Genos & PSR-SX900 Don't Get
Yamaha has launched the long-awaited Yamaha PSR-SX600 this is an upgrade to the PSR-S670 which was released in 2015 and priced at less than a thousand US dollars. The thing about the PSR-S670 did not get an S675 upgrade, unlike the PSR-S700 and S900 series. I will be making an in-depth review of the features and functionality of the PSR-SX600 to help you make an informed purchase.
The PSR-SX600 comes with a 4.3-inch display which is in color, unlike the PSR-S670 which was in monochrome. This is the same dimension as the PSR-S670, however, this has a higher pixel density. The display on the PSR-SX600 is not touch-sensitive unlike the PSR-SX700 and the SX900 The interface is pretty similar however since it is not touch-sensitive there is a little bit of a variation.
This keyboard comes with 61 touch-sensitive keys and if you are expecting this key action to be similar to the PSR-SX700 and SX900 you will be disappointed.
This is because it does not have the improved FSB key action from the PSR-SX700 and PSR-SX900. The PSR-SX600 continues to use the same keyboard that Yamaha has been using in their previous S series of keyboards just like the PSR-SX700 and the PSR-SX900.
If you feel that 61 keys are insufficient for you, check it out here as well as my other recommendations.
Polyphony and World Music
The PSR-SX600 also enjoys 128 notes of polyphony. Yamaha is showing very clearly its intent about going after emerging markets such as Brazil, China, and Africa. In this market, these are massive markets and Medeli has quite a presence there and Yamaha PSR-SX600 has included specific styles and voices clearly for these three markets now.
If you prefer something with. more than 128 notes of polyphone check out my other recommendations to see if there is something that suits you.
Voices and layers
This keyboard now has 850 voices and that is pretty much almost double the number of voices found on the PSR-S670. This includes 73 super articulation voices, 7 mega voices that you can use in your style programming.
You also get 43 drum and sound effects kits which is more than the
PSR-SX700. On top of all this, you get 27 sweet voices, 64 cool voices, and 71 live voices which Yamaha is so famous for.
On the downside, the Yamaha PSR-SX700 and the PSR-SX900 where you can layer up to three layers of voices in your melody, the PSR-SX600 only allows you to use up to two voice layers
The PSR-SX600 now has 415 styles and that is a massive number and almost double of those found on the PSR-S670. Out of these styles, you can find 372 pro styles, 32 session styles, 10 DJ styles, and thankfully the PSR-SX600 now has a single free play style
Other than the usual chord modes you can find on the Yamaha PSR-SX series. The sx600 has now introduced the smart chord feature which you do not get in the PSR-SX700, SX900, or even the Yamaha Genos.
This smart chord feature was initially introduced in the Yamaha Remie PSS-E30 and later on the PSR-E273 and this has now trickled down to the PSR-SX600
The smart chord feature is a supposed upgrade to Yamaha's legacy single-fingered mode because in single-fingered mode if you wanted to have a dominant seventh chord or a minor chord you still need to use up to two fingers to trigger those chords.
Now with the smart chord feature, you can trigger minor chords dominant seventh chord even diminished seven flat five chords with just a single press of one key. The PSR-SX700 and SX900 will most likely get this feature in a future firmware update
Style Reset Feature and Half Bar Fills
The PSR finally gets a style reset feature this was introduced when the PSR-S970 and the PSR-S770 were upgraded to the S975 and the S775.
New to the PSR-SX600 is the half bar fills and again this was only found in the PSR-S975 and PSR-S775 and the PSR-S670.
The PSR-SX600 gets 2 brand-new and improved features in the style selection which are not even found in the Yamaha flagship Genos. The Unison and accent feature.
The unison mode in the style section allows you to fatten up your melodic notes. This is a combination of the existing sync stop feature as well as the harmony feature of the PSR-SX keyboards. With both of these in combination, you can create dynamic rhythmic breaks found in your song and this unison feature is also assignable to a pedal so that you can trigger it using your pedal.
The new style accent feature on the Yamaha PSR-SX600 is an evolution and improvement of a previous feature found on the S series keyboard. On the S series keyboard and the SX series keyboards, you can control the volume of your style based on how hard or how softly you are playing your chords.
However, the accent feature upgrades this tremendously other than just affecting the volume and dynamics of a style it also takes the input from your left hand the velocity value from your left hand to input more notes in the styles or removes notes from the styles so that everything does not sound so mechanical
There will be a greater form of dynamism in it based on your left-hand inputs and the whole point of the SX series is the voice and style expandability and you can expand using the usual YEM which is the Yamaha expansion manager.
You get 100-megabyte on-board memory for expansion data, 100-megabytes might not seem like a lot especially when you compare it to the PSR-SX900 which has ten times more on-board memory at 1 gigabyte
One of the new features you will get in the PSR-SX600 is a microphone input. This was not found on a previous PSR-S670, however, this microphone input is not similar to those found on the PSR-SX700 and SX900 because the inputs double up with a function to allow you to plug in a guitar. At the same time, you are not able to apply vocal effects to it.
In addition, you do not get a vocoder that gives you vocal harmony like the PSR-SX900 but you do get a talk function that is built into this microphone input which is great for buskers and for interacting with the audience between songs and you just want to turn off any of the reverb that is found in your microphone input.
If you are looking for audio Interfaces, do check out my other recommendations for other audio equipment as well.
You get the upgraded playlist feature which is great for setting up your song sets that you are going to perform and this is very similar to the Korg's PA series songbook.
Also just like the s670 the two live control knobs are retained so that you can dynamically morph your sounds your rhythm as well as your effects in real-time.
The multi-pads on the PSR-S670 have been retained pretty much wholesale in the PSR-SX600. It not only supports recorded phrases that you play, but you can also link up short audio files that you can just trigger by pressing the phrase pads. This is quite unlike the Casio CTX phrase pads which only allow you to playback recorded phrases and do not allow you to trigger audio files.
One of the biggest reasons to upgrade from the PSR E series to the S or SX series is the style creator and just like the PSR-S670, you can find a style creator here as well the other feature that is brand new on the SX series. The new record and share app is a new feature that you most likely not going to find on the PSR-SX700 and SX900 and even the 5000 USD Yamaha Genos.
This record and share app is not new it was released in 2017, 3 years ago for use with Yamaha's electronic drum products and this allows you to make multi-track recordings of your performances on the PSR-SX600. The good thing about this feature is that the microphone that you plug into your mic input and any vocals that you sing will be recorded. In addition, you can record your audio with video and directly upload it within the app itself to YouTube Facebook, and Instagram.
This will allow you to no longer require an additional third-party app or a video editing software or a laptop or computer to upload to social media. The reason why the PSR-SX700 and SX900 or even the Genos will not likely get this feature is due to the hardware limitation of the app which makes use of the built-in audio interface on the PSR-SX600.
You can also check out my beginner piano app as well as some beginners courses available for you.
The amplifiers on the PSR-SX600 are pretty much the same as those found on the PSR-SX700. However, the speaker is smaller and there are fewer speakers on the PSR-SX600 compared to the PSR-SX700. Therefore you will get slightly less powerful sound via the speaker as the PSR-SX600 is intended to target the emerging markets with a much lower purchasing power.
I hope you found my review of the Yamaha PSR-SX600 useful. Do check out the links provided in this article for the latest and most updated information and prices of Yamaha PSR-SX600. Do also take a look at my other articles to find the best and most suited instrument for your personal need.