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  1. Paul
  2. S70/90XS
  3. Thursday, 01 March 2018
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.
Responses (4)
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Well, nearly a week has passed and no responses. I guess not many people want a metal pro-build synthesiser containing ALL the sounds of the flagship Montage for a little less money? I guess people really dig that Montage superknob that much!
Lol, joking aside, it is beyond me why mountains of people are not here rooting for a new S90.
Montage has dropped the sequencer (and sampler?) yet costs no less than the Motif range it superseded, so you would think that itself would make people particulary interested in a new S90 replacement..and especially since so many seem to have gladly embraced the idea of a synthesiser without sequencer functionality.

I will not buy Montage. I think it would be a low blow and tight of Yamaha to have brought out Montage with no sequencer or sampler for the flagship price and to then completely cease the “almost flagship” model.
That said, if a lot of people are not asking for it then you can hardly lay blame on Yamaha for inaction.

So with that, please make sure you add your voice to this thread if you want a new S90 to come out. Just to sign your name would be enough though of course if you have suggestions about such a product, put them forth because it may well be Yamaha have not yet begun building such a synth (if they ever will that is) and will have a listen to what people have to say.
I think we should make this thread (or start a new one) into an open customer petition of sorts for a new metal pro-build S90 replacement!
  1. more than a month ago
  2. S70/90XS
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I have been very happy with my S90xs since I bought it a few years ago. I'm a bit surprised to hear it has already been discontinued...I'm surprised it's not a bigger hit.
The main reason I bought it was for the key action. The Balanced Hammer Action is great because the keys don't clunk around as much as the more popular Graded Hammer Action. They are a bit on the slippery side but not terrible. I would actually prefer is Yamaha lightened the action a bit more.

I am totally on board for a new S90 variant with slightly less slippery keys and slightly lighter action for more ease of play. A bigger screen would be nice, too.
Also keep the metal body! It definitely helps when performing! Plastic is ok for more amateur or beginners but serious musicians need something tougher.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. S70/90XS
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I have a S90es and I am really happy with it.
The fact is I want to buy other device like that (as a gift) and I supposed Yamaha would produce new versions (like S90XS....), but I am afraid it is not going to be happend.
Can you tell me what to do in this casse, please?
Thanks.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. S70/90XS
  3. # 3
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
A Brief History
The S-90 Series grew out of the S80 (1999) — combining a full-fledged synth and piano solution (S700 acoustic piano). Built around the Balanced Hammer weighted action (w/AT), and featured a robust programmable synth engine... w/PLG expansion
The Motif-Series (2001)was the workstation implementation of the S-Series, adding the Integrated Sampling Sequencer, as well as two synth action models (61, 76-key).

The S90 (2002) became the Motif (classic) without the integrated sampling/sequencer... but most of the other features were parallel to the Motif.

The Motif ES (2003) was the second generation Motif - re-invented Arpeggiators (last of the PLG Board compatible models)
The S90 ES (2005) was the second generation S90 — expanded S700 acoustic piano; very much paralleled the Motif ES

The Motif XS (2007) was the third generation - major change expanded the AWM2 Voice from 4 oscillators to 8; multiple Arpeggiators
The S90XS (2009) was the third generation S90 - Stage synth, very much paralleled the Motif XS

The Motif XF was a minor change from the Motif XS, with a solution for expanded semi-permanent Flash Memory. (Huge if this is an important part of your workflow).


The MONTAGE is again a Music Synthesizer (as opposed to a workstation, as the Motif-series was). And the MODX is the cost-down version. The workflow - it has a Performance Recorder with drag n drop capability between the MIDI recorder and your computer via USB and it integrates with the Home Studio (32-bus Audio Outputs on the MONTAGE and 10-bus on the MODX).
Both series come in 61 and 76 synth action keyboards, and 88 piano weighted actions.
The top-of-the-line actions are on the MONTAGE series — the synth engines are virtually identical.

The MONTAGE 8 features Yamaha’s Balanced Hammer action w/AT similar to the S90 ES you know well.
The MODX 8 features Yamaha’s Graded Hammer action (no AT).

The previous relationship between the S-series and Motif-series, was one where the sonic capabilities were very much equivalent. You could get at more of the synth architecture via the screen on the workstation. The Music Synth was about taking the best sounds to the stage, editing on the deeper levels of the architecture was done via the dedicated EDITOR. The difference in price was significant and served a great number of users who needed a powerful synth, but that was stage worthy... but for sequencing, sampling and the like, they want to connect to their computer based home studio. The Motif series had all that connectivity and had the ability to very much stand all on its own. From sampling, to editing samples, to slicing and remixing, etc. plus 16-bus audio output capability!

The MONTAGE/MODX relationship is different... they very much are built around the same concept (Motion Control), and they can share sounds in a similar way as the S and Motif-series. Because you can build sounds that go beyond the 4 oscillator, or 8 oscillator limits of the past AWM2 engines, a new controller matrix was developed to address the additional oscillators in a direct and unique fashion.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. S70/90XS
  3. # 4
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