$125 · Yamaha PSS-480
Like new condition. Comes with original box.
100 voices and 100 accompanying styles. Analog midi-in/out. Headphone out.
Battery and AC adapter powered.
(Does not come with AC adapter - any universal AC adapter will work.)
Based on the same architecture as the PSS-470, the 480 offers intimate command of the sound. Synth parameters can be edited with precision, but only one at a time.
The Synth section offers a depth of control that allows for smooth, refined sounds, as well as the glitchy, noisy stuff. The sounds that come from a well-programmed patch can be surprisingly professional-sounding... or simply bizarre.
Unlike the other PortaSound synthesizers, the PSS-480 offers control over the frequency of both operators, as well as over the depth of the feedback. In terms of controlling the depth of modulation, the whole range from zero to 99 is available, so it's fun and easy to find sweet spots and balance the sound out by adjusting the feedback amount.
In addition to the fantastic synth section, the 480 offers the type of accompaniment features characteristic of the PortaSound line, offering bassline and chord accompaniment in various styles and patterns.
The keyboard itself is four octaves of mini keys. They're very small and very short, requiring a high degree of dexterity and precision, but allowing for very large chords to be played easily. The synth section packs more than enough polyphony for two hands, but doesn't offer a monophonic or unison mode. Many sources erroneously claim it to have 8 voices, but it actually has 12. It's possible to tweak your way into an undocumented monophonic mode, however.
All in all, the Yamaha Portasound PSS-480 packs a surprising amount of power and can deliver both mainstream and experimental sounds that go way beyond its price point. It's annoying to program while you're trying to play it, but it's easy to get familiar with, and it allows for total access to the hardware inside.
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|Posted||April 23, 2019|
|Renewed||May 24, 2019|
|Expiry||June 23, 2019|