During Summer NAMM in Nashville, TN July 13-15, Yamaha will be highlighting several of its products during the convention. Here are a few of the items you can look forward to checking out:
Yamaha Billy Corgan Special Edition Acoustic Guitar Headlines Trio of L Series Models with Enhanced Playability
At the 2017 Summer NAMM Show, Yamaha Corporation of America is reintroducing to the U.S. a limited run of its LJ6R and LJ16R jumbo acoustic guitars, and highlighting a special-edition custom guitar designed in collaboration with artist Billy Corgan.
Yamaha has worked together with Corgan, solo artist and lead singer and guitarist of the Smashing Pumpkins, to create the limited-edition LJ16BC Billy Corgan Signature Model Jumbo Acoustic Guitar, as one of the company’s new LJ acoustic guitars. Based on the standard-run LJ16R model, this custom guitar features Billy’s zero logo on the headstock, a TUSQ nut and saddle, Gotoh vintage-style tuners, brass bridge pins and no pickguard. The LJ16BC will bear a Vintage Natural finish, and Billy’s signature will appear on the label. This model will see a limited run of 400 guitars globally, half of which will ship to the United States. Of the 200 U.S. guitars, 50 will ship with an exclusive Brown Sunburst finish.
The redesigned LJ acoustic guitars are part of the company’s prestigious L Series, a revered line of handcrafted acoustic guitars known for its tonal quality, fine tone woods and impeccable workmanship. The newly-refined LJ6R and LJ16R models feature solid Engelmann spruce tops treated with A.R.E. (Acoustic Resonance Enhancement), an original wood reforming technology developed by Yamaha. Instruments made with this technology produce a tonal richness that can only be found in a vintage instrument that has been played for many years. The back and sides of these models are produced with rosewood, and feature solid wood for the LJ16R and laminate for the LJ6R.
Other highlights from the standard-run guitars include maple body binding, an ebony fretboard and bridge, a new tortoise-pattern pickguard, and a gig bag. Several improvements include a refined, thinner neck profile, lower string action and wider string spacing. A new five-ply neck design adds stability and additional tone enhancement.
To enhance playability, these models come with an under-saddle Studio Response Technology (S.R.T.) passive pickup for live applications. The pickup does not affect the unplugged sound, nor does it detract from the guitar’s gorgeous finish. Yamaha added this near-invisible and simple-to-use feature to expand each guitar’s capabilities.
“As Yamaha guitars continue to gain prestige in the U.S. market, more top musicians, such as Billy Corgan, are discovering what makes Yamaha guitars unique.” said Dennis Webster, product marketing manager, Yamaha Guitars. “Working with Billy on his signature model is a big step in our refocus on mid- and higher-end Yamaha acoustics. This collaboration has allowed us to coordinate the debut of his limited-edition signature model with the newly designed LJ guitars.”
Yamaha BB Series Basses Celebrate 40 Years of Superb Sound with New Models Featuring Smaller Bodies and Better Playability
Throughout their storied 40-year history, Yamaha BB series basses have been the workhorse for great bass players like Nathan East, Abe Laboriel, Jack Gibson (Exodus, Testament), Robby Takac (GooGoo Dolls), Tony Kanal (No Doubt, Dreamcar) and David Beste (Rival Sons).
Nine new models will make their debut at Summer NAMM 2017. The new models continue to deliver the superb, legendary tone and build quality for which they are known, yet in a smaller body with even better playability.
Built for the working bassist, the new models feature an Alder/Maple/Alder construction, sandwiching maple into the center of the body for quicker sound transmission from the strings.
A firmer 6-bolt miter neck joint that has won praise in the Billy Sheehan Signature/Attitude Limited III lineup not only improves stability, but also increases the efficiency of vibration transmission to the body for a more resonant, organic feel and tone.
Custom-wound pickups achieve higher output gain while retaining the classic BB voicing. The new models also feature standard sized pickups for the first time in a BB, for more convenient customization or replacement.
Being extremely careful not to mess with the success and proven design of the BB series, Yamaha has made practical and stylistic modifications, including subtle contour changes and body weight reduction, to increase playability and comfort, while still retaining the classic silhouette of the BB body/head design.
“For 40 years, Yamaha has collaborated with some of the most prolific bassists in the world, incorporating their real-world experience and sage advice to craft the pure bass guitar—one that allows musicians to build their own, signature sound,” said Dennis Webster, product marketing manager, Yamaha guitars and basses. “These new models continue this tradition of reliable excellence in superbly crafted, durable bass guitars that working musicians can depend on, providing the penetrating sound they need, yet in a smaller build that’s even easier to play.”
Yamaha Pacifica 611VFMX Evolves Pacifica Line with Radical Departure into Raw, Streamlined Look and Feel
Yamaha today showcased the Pacifica 611VFMX, representing a bold aesthetic reimagining of the highly successful Pacifica line of electric guitars for 2017. Honoring our motto “Never Standing Still,” Pacifica guitars continue to evolve year after year.
In addition to its gorgeous flamed maple top, the Pacifica 611VFMX sports a choice of three silky matte body finishes: Translucent Black, Root Beer and Translucent Blue. The guitar’s tinted yellow matte neck finish feels as nice as it looks, enhancing playing ease, while its headstock is finished in matte black and stamped with the Yamaha tuning fork badge. A black anodized aluminum pickguard and metal domed knobs round out the guitar’s exciting new appearance.
Key to the Pacifica 611VFMX’s remarkable versatility is its unconventional pairing of Seymour Duncan pickups. The black-covered SP90-2N neck pickup (which updates the SP90-1N) combines extra coil winding with two small ceramic bar magnets for increased output and sustain, making it an ideal match with the hotter output and evenly balanced response of the Custom 5 humbucking bridge pickup. Together, they offer a broad range of superb tones.
In addition to its world class Seymour Duncan pickups, the Pacifica 611VFMX boasts a Wilkinson V550 tremolo bridge, locking Grover tuning machines, a Graphtech nut and a Graphtech string retainer, making the typical upgrades to guitars in its price range entirely unnecessary.
“The Pacifica series was launched in 1990 and driven by the demand of California session players of the day,” said Dennis Webster, guitar product marketing manager, Yamaha Corporation of America. “They needed a versatile instrument that consistently performed night after night, session after session, and offered the flexibility to capture their own identity. That’s the essence of Yamaha Pacifica guitars.”
Yamaha PSR-EW300 is Noteworthy Successor to Best-Selling 76 Key Portable Keyboard
Yamaha today introduced the PSR-EW300, the next in the company’s line of best-selling portable keyboards.
A worthy replacement for the YPG-235, the PSR-EW300 provides beginners with the tools they need to grow and flourish as pianists, including an audio and MIDI interface, onboard lessons, 76-keys, and state-of-the-art Yamaha sounds.
The PSR-EW300 reflects the expertise and experience that has made Yamaha the leader in the U.S. keyboard market. It retains the features that made the YPG-235 so popular, while adding the latest technological innovations.
The PSR-EW300’s powerful audio-and-MIDI interface provides 2-way connectivity using a single USB-to-host cable. Players can use it to expand the capabilities of the instrument by accessing the wide world of educational and creative apps available on their iOS devices or computers.
Like its predecessor, the PSR-EW300 offers both portability and a keyboard large enough for serious practice. Its 48 notes of polyphony — compared to 32 for the YPG-235 — allow complex passages to be played without any drop-outs. Students and their teachers will also appreciate the built-in Yamaha Education Suite (Y.E.S.) lessons, which are designed to supplement a student’s regular piano instruction. The innovative Touch Tutor function helps beginning pianists learn to play with better dynamics.
The Aux Line Input allows for connection of a smartphone or other music source, making it possible for users to listen to or play along with their favorite songs. The built-in Melody Suppressor reduces the level of the lead vocal or lead instrument, allowing the player to take center stage while singing or playing along.
“Like a finely tuned racing car, the 76-key PSR-EW300 is poised and ready to continue the legacy of the most popular portable keyboard in U.S. history, the YPG-235,” said Mark Anderson, director of marketing, Keyboard division, Yamaha Corporation of America. “With its sleek and professional new look, PSR-EW300 will capture the imagination of all who touch it.”
Other notable features on the PSR-EW300 include:
- Duo mode, which splits the keyboard into two halves, each with their own “middle C,” for practicing with a partner.
- A backlit LCD for better visibility of screen information in all kinds of lighting.
- A choice of AC or battery power so users have the option to plug in when an outlet is available or use batteries (not included) for complete mobility.
- Accompaniment Styles, which creates an automatic “backing band” that responds to chords played on the keyboard.
Yamaha Expands Arius Line with Affordable, High-Quality YPD-103 Digital Piano Featuring iOS Connectivity
Yamaha today showcased the YDP-103, the latest and most affordable member of its popular Arius family of console digital pianos. It combines the authentic sound and playing experience of a Yamaha acoustic piano with advanced digital features like iOS control and USB/MIDI connectivity.
The 88-key YPD-103 is a joy to play, and is equally at home in the living room or school piano lab. It’s equipped with the acclaimed Yamaha Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) keyboard action, which replicates the difference in touch between the low and high keys, just like on an acoustic piano. The black keys feature a matte-black finish — another realistic touch — which keeps them from becoming slippery when played for extended periods. The accuracy of the YPD-103’s playing experience is crucial for helping aspiring pianists develop proper finger technique.
Stereo AWM (Advanced Wave Memory) sampling technology delivers a remarkably realistic piano sound, and Yamaha-exclusive Dynamic Voice Allocation makes it possible to play the most complex passages without any notes dropping out. The stereo speaker system reproduces the onboard sounds with brilliance and clarity. And Dual headphone jacks make it possible for student and teacher or parent and child to listen and play together.
The YPD-103’s realism also extends to its looks, thanks to attractive rosewood cabinetry that reflects the legendary Yamaha heritage in piano craftsmanship.
Built-in USB/MIDI connectivity lets the user access the ever-expanding world of interactive educational software for the pianist on iOS or Mac/Windows. What’s more, the YPD-103 is compatible with Yamaha’s Digital Piano Controller App for iOS, which allows the user to easily setup, customize, and adjust many functions and parameters of the piano from the touch screen of an iPhone or iPad. Tasks such as layering sounds, adding reverb, and changing the touch curve are easy to accomplish with the large, intuitive and colorful app.
“The addition of the YDP-103 means that more customers who have admired or wished for a Yamaha digital piano can now get into the Arius line,” said Dane Madsen, marketing manager, digital pianos, Yamaha Corporation of America. “It’s the perfect family piano for both the creative kids and involved parents. The sound and feel are entirely authentic, providing a solid foundation for future piano learning. And the Digital Piano Controller app adds a whole new level of interaction and relevance for smartphone and tablet users.”
Yamaha Expands MX Series with 88-Key, Weighted-Action MX88, Combining Synth Features and Real Piano Feel
Yamaha today announced the MX88, the latest addition to its popular MX line of synthesizers for stage and studio.
Equipped with 88 weighted keys, the MX88 represents the logical extension of the MX line, known for its high-quality instrument and synth sounds, deep computer and iOS integration, and with this introduction, a full-size keyboard featuring realistic piano action.
Connection to both Windows and Mac computers is a breeze, thanks to a class-compliant, bi-directional USB audio/MIDI interface. Players can record the keyboard’s superb internal sounds into a computer-based DAW and monitor the computer’s output through the keyboard’s ¼” audio outputs or headphone jack.
The comprehensive sound collection of the MX88 is based on the legendary Yamaha Motif sound engine and contains everything from synthesizer leads, pads and more to authentic acoustic instrument sounds. The realistic Concert Grand Piano sound has been optimized for the MX88 keyboard to provide the highest level of expression.
“The MX88 will appeal to players who need the touch and feel of a real piano with 88 weighted-action keys,” said Nate Tschetter, product marketing manager, Music Production, Yamaha Corporation of America. “Now, any keyboardist can take advantage of the computer and iOS integration and superb Motif sound that distinguish the MX line in the market. And like the MX49/61 BK/BU, MX88 unlocks FM Essential – a free FM synthesizer iOS app. This provides the great sounds inside MX88 along with the pure FM synthesis Yamaha made famous.”
Other key features on the MX88 include:
- A full selection of VCM effects
- Easy Split/Layer Performance Mode
- 16-part Multitimbral operation and 128-note polyphony
- Extensive hands-on control for VSTs and DAWs
- A software bundle that includes Steinberg Cubase AI
Between its comprehensive design, 88-key weighted action keyboard, and affordable price, the MX88 will appeal not only to professional musicians but also to the educational and worship markets.
Chick Corea Mark V Sample & Performance Library for MONTAGE Now Available as Free Download
Chick Corea Mark V Sample & Performance Library for MONTAGE features 16 all-new Performances, each programmed using data meticulously sampled from Chick Corea’s customized Mark V electric piano. This library is available as a free download from yamahamusicsoft.com for users of the company’s MONTAGE synthesizer.
In 1984, renowned pianist Chick Corea worked with Harold Rhodes in the creation of the Stage 73 Mark V electric piano. Over the next ten years, Corea and his team developed what they called the Number One – replacing hammers, developing custom electronics and creating an instrument that reflected the singular talent and innovation of its owner.
In 2009, after enduring years of pounding from one of modern music’s most innovative composers and performers, the keyboard became too fragile to take on the road. Before being shipped into storage, however, Corea and his tech team painstakingly sampled every note at Mad Hatter Studios in Los Angeles. After months of searching for the right technology platform, Corea took the massive amount of data to industry-leading sound designers, who developed Chick’s Mark V Sample Library for the Yamaha MOTIF XF, the predecessor to the MONTAGE.
“MONTAGE users can now incorporate a piece of musical history into their own synthesizers at no cost,” said Nate Tschetter, product marketing manager, Music Production, Yamaha Corporation of America. “These custom Performances let you experience Chick’s unique Mark V coupled with the expressiveness of MONTAGE.”
Corea’s direct involvement in the process makes this sampling session unique. A specially developed vorsetzer player-piano mechanism helped capture pristinely balanced velocities across the entire keyboard scale. The library contains all the original samples recorded in the meticulously engineered sampling sessions, and consists of 12 unlooped velocity layers and note offs. The full, natural sustain of each note is carefully maintained.
Part of what makes this collection unique is the custom hammer and pre-amp configuration of Chick’s original electronic piano instrument. At F# above Middle C, Corea and his team modified the hammers from the standard neoprene to wood, and sent the signal from those keys to a separate pre-amp with a specially designed EQ. This creates an almost split keyboard effect letting the treble notes ring with a clarity and punch unavailable on a standard Mark V. Chick’s Mark V loads directly into the MONTAGE integrated flash memory.