Yamaha is one of the most trusted brands in the music industry. Much of that trust comes from the fact that they cater to every player level.
In this review, we are starting at the very beginning with the 37-key Yamaha PSS-F30.
We will find out why some people consider it to be the ideal first keyboard.
Our verdict on the Yamaha PSS-F30
The Yamaha PSS-F30 is intended for young beginners, and it fits that market perfectly.
Mini-sized keys are ideal for little hands, and 37 keys are more than enough to learn some tunes without overcomplicating things.
The bright colors should appeal to younger players too, and as a cheap way to find out if the interest in music is strong enough, it’s the perfect first keyboard.Check availability and price: Amazon
You’ll notice that we have rated the sound quality higher than we have on some high-end keyboards. So, let’s clarify that we are not saying the PSS-F30 sounds better than any high-end instruments.
As a beginner keyboard and a cheap one, our expectations are very different. We expect the PSS-F30 to deliver sound quality that is good enough for young players to learn how various instruments should sound.
In that sense, Yamaha has overdelivered because some of the sounds are surprisingly good.
The other thing we like is that there are 120 instruments in total, including 117 voices and three drum kits.
At a certain age, having too many sounds and distractions can be a bad thing, but for the youngest learners, it encourages them to have fun with music. The more they enjoy it, the more they will learn.
The PSS-F30 has a max polyphony of 32 notes.
Like everything else about this keyboard, we need to keep this section relative to the cost and purpose of the PSS-F30.
It comes with a single 3.1″ speaker that wouldn’t produce an overly intrusive volume for anyone who isn’t in the same room.
So, as a beginner instrument, it does enough to let kids practice happily without headphones and still not disturb the rest of the household too much.
It’s also loud enough to put on a show when they learn that first song and want to share it with family.
You may notice that our ratings are all pretty similar for this keyboard, and it’s the only fair way to go.
We can’t judge the Yamaha PSS-F30 against anything other than the cheapest, smallest, beginner keyboards.
In this case, what we would want from the 37-mini-key PSS-F30 is a touch that is light enough for any young child.
At this stage, things like dynamics and expression don’t matter, and if they do, you have a little piano prodigy on your hands.
The PSS-F30 delivers a lightweight action that also responds well to repetitive notes.
Despite being a tiny little keyboard, the PSS-F30 comes with a handful of fun and useful features.
A metronome is something that all students should get used to using, but it can be especially helpful with kids.
It’s a feature that helps keep some structure in place when practice is so much fun. The built-in metronome ranges from 11 – 280 bpm.
The Smart Cord function is something that you find on many keyboards. It allows the player to trigger chords from a single note.
In terms of a complete beginner, especially younger kids, this feature is excellent as an introduction to harmony.
It helps them understand how it sounds to build basic chords and learn how to play over them.
The Sustain function provides infinite sustain without an external pedal.
Songs and accompaniments
The PSS-F30 has 30 onboard demo songs and 140 accompaniment styles.
These built-in songs and styles give kids the chance to feel like they are playing along with a band.
Not only is it a lot of fun, but it teaches vital skills like timing and phrasing.
The layout of the PSS-F30 reminds us of the old Yamaha PSR models. The sounds and songs are listed on the top panel, which is brightly color-coded.
We think the bright colors make the keyboard look more like a toy that kids will want to play with and identify selections clearly, making it easier to use.
The small display screen makes getting through the hundreds of sounds and songs even easier.
The small stature of the PSS-F30 makes it an extremely portable instrument, and this is enhanced by the fact it can be battery or USB-powered.
Any musically inclined kids will love carrying this little keyboard around.
With the PSS-F30 being so small and light, it’s never going to be the most robust keyboard around. However, keyboards like this are often surprisingly resilient.
A keyboard that gets moved often is more prone to damage, and when young kids are moving it, even more so.
Yamaha has taken all of this into account, and we would dare say the PSS-F30 will suffer a few accidents, and it will keep on playing (within reason, of course).
The connectivity starts and stops with the 1/8″ headphone jack and a USB connection.
But, we have to remember that not all similar battery-powered keyboards offer USB. In some cases, you might not even get a headphone jack.
Compared to other beginner keyboards
The PSS-F30 isn’t the only kids’ keyboard on the market, but it is one of the most straightforward, which is why we love it.
If you aren’t yet sold on it, here are some alternatives.
Yamaha PSS-F30 vs. Yamaha PSS-A50
If you can stretch your budget a little further, and want a kids keyboard with a slightly more professional look, try the PSS-A50.
Yamaha PSS-F30 vs. Casio SA-76
The Casio SA-76 offers 44-keys rather than 37, and it’s a great choice. It’s perhaps not as intuitive as the PSS-F30.
Yamaha PSS-F30 vs. Alesis Harmony 61
The Alesis Harmony 61 is outstanding value for money and offers additional functions like a built-in recorder.
Who is the Yamaha PSS-F30 best suited for?
It suits younger kids who have shown an interest in music, and it’s a fantastic steppingstone.
- Straightforward keyboard.
- Lots of sounds and styles.
- Smart Chord.
- Fast learners will outgrow it quickly.