I noticed that Yamaha have literally just last week removed the S70/90XS from their Synthesisers section on their website. It now can only be found on the website as a legacy product with the “Discontinued” tag clearly displayed. Should this be a reason to get excited (that the cogs are finally turning..) about a possible new S90 (or whatever they might call a replacement) or are Yamaha never going to continue the pro metal-built “almost flasgship” price point synth? Yeh, of course we can only speculate and take our guesses, but I’d still like to hear anybody’s predictions at this point.
Personally, I think there are quite a few reasons to worry. My concerns first set in when I read about Montage on it’s release around 2 years ago; no sequencer, and perhaps no sampler too? (though I am not sure of the latter). No sequencer and sampler were of course the key reasons Yamaha would cite for being able to bring us the S series that little shade cheaper than the flagship Motif’s. Still I held out hopeful with my thinking being that surely Yamaha can easily find some other ways to slightly “hobble” a new S series model when compared to Montage. That hope has faded a little by the time this new year came around and there was no sign of a new S90 because Montage had passed by then it’s second birthday and you can note that the original S90 came out in late 2002, the year after original Motif classic (2001)...so at the most it was still definitely considerably under two years.
Then, just before Christmas last, came the MX88, which looked depressingly like a (plastic bodied) S90 replacement.
I guess for me this official discontinuation of S70/90XS shall stand as my last glimmer of hope.
I really want Yamaha to make a new S90 (or whatever they call a similar metal bodied replacement with a similar smart S90 look retained). I desperately need a new weighted board and after coming from using a metal 88 key weighted board there is no way I can go back to a plastic bodied synth. I rarely gig and the weight and quality of metal is much preferred to me. I feel the keyboard seems more stable and more of a true instrument feel. Also not to speak badly in any way of the GHS keybed (Moxf8, MX88) but I slightly prefer the BHE keybed (Motif 8, S series, Montage).
And what would people out there like to see in a new S90 model? For me FM and the AWM2 of Montage (or at least most of it) would be enough by itself to make me buy a new S90, providing that they largely retain the same smart look of previous S90’s. I think some people don’t like look of Montage (myself included) and the same was true of some of the Motif models.. therefore the S90 requires it’s different more plain, classic look.
The other key thing I would like (and I am sure I am not alone in this one) is a return to the screen size of S90 and S90ES because the tiny screen of S70/90XS- whether it was sufficient or not- just looked completely out of place on such big instruments. I have noticed the legendary producer David Foster is still (2018) using two S90ES keyboards as the workhorses in his current LA flat home studio (easily spotted them in a recent interview with pics). I think really quite a few pro’s did not move up from S90ES to S90XS, although I have no real evidence to say whether the XS was a good seller or not for Yamaha?
Anyhow, to summarise, I would be gutted to have to change to another company for my next weighted 88 key synth, so I am going to wait until late summer at least.. maybe till the end of the year...before I give up. I've just bought a great new pair of Yamaha HS7 monitor speakers in the meantime Would highly recommend for anybody who loves natural sound and a big super clear, yet not exagerrated, bass response. They have destroyed my previous similar priced and sized monitors by another major brand.