Yamaha PSR-S550
Yamaha PSR-S550

PSR-S550, Keyboard Arranger from Yamaha in the PSR series.

G. Hagen 04/18/2010

Yamaha PSR-S550 : G. Hagen's user review


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Warning! The connection is rather limited for an instrument in this price: If there are two USB ports, there is no revenge in MIDI, so no possibility to connect to the USB devices prior to bypassing an external interface. There is no modulation wheel. No sound control in real time rather than when the lowest model in the range, the PSR E413 has two knobs assignable. As for the modeling of organs flutes, it is restricted to S 710 and S910.
The effects can be cumulative (+ chorus + reverb or echo tremolo or trill, for example) But there is a DSP chip when the S710 and S910 there are four!
Nearly 800 sounds with 11 sweet, 16 cool, 13 live and 11 regional. Its direct competitor, the Korg PA 50, provides that no 600.
The tenor sax is really beautiful, breath tenor too. I liked the acoustic guitars and rhythmic. The drum kits and sound effects are realistic and properly configured.
The bowed strings (strings) does not agree with me: to make classical or film music with that, no, it is not possible! It sounds too "fake." A pinch of tekno, why not ...
The effects are numerous (35 different reverbs for example), Diversified (237 just for the DSP) and successful. But to set or change their destination, the operation is not simple or intuitive.
The 12-watt sound system really is not ridiculous though Korg offers the same price of 15 Watt.


The sounds are accessible by category (brass, guitars etc..) From the control panel, then by instrument via the control panel: it's so easy. The same for the 176 styles. Their variations are also accessible on the control panel.
The 9 tracks, however, is not intuitive and there is not, to my knowledge, section or mode sequencer where tempo, measure number, runways, instrument, pan and volume appear at the same time. It is necessary to resort to the manual - it should be stressed - is neither clear nor complete. It is necessary to complete it, visit the website of YAMAHA, and there, for example, we finally have the full list of sounds, styles and effects ... finally!
As for the routing effects on the sequencer, it is theoretically possible but really mysterious ...
About the sequencer, it is theoretically - again! - By 16 runs but actually 9 tracks as the 9th track is accompaniment area accounting for 8 tracks!


For 750 Euros, the limits of this instrument are too disabling. PA 50SD for the same price is much better: it offers real-time controls, a double 16-track sequencer actually provided to enjoy the sounds of the Triton. Or better to settle for PSR E413 though its sounds are less numerous (482) and less convincing. It seems shocking to have to pay 500 dollars more to achieve the quality of the PSR S710, the model just above the s550.
Personally I would choose instead the PA 50SD for the same amount, or if we prefer YAMAHA, then buy the model above.