For the musician who would rather not shell out £3,250 for a digital keyboard, the Yamaha PSR540 serves as a decent replacement. The portable, midi keyboard has recording capabilities, an on-screen navigator, a disk drive, and a range of digital effects. This model has a wide range of voices and features, and it is light and affordable.
The Yamaha PSR540 is a 61-key, portable, midi keyboard. Its digital effects are 23 types of reverb, 15 types of chorus, 73 types of DSP and 22 types of Harmany/Echo. There are 215 panel voices, 12 drum kits and 480 XG voices. It also has a 16-track sequencer and, as well as controls for tempo, transpose, tuning, accompanyment/song volume, and metronome volume. Finally, it has a pitch bend wheel for real-time control.
This model was discontinued in the United States because Yamaha products tend to be upgraded and replaced every three years. As of June of 2010, used models of the 540 on sites such as eBay were priced between £260 and £325, which is £65 to £130 less than the retail price when it was released in 1999.
The PSR540 includes an on-screen navigation to help the user operate its different modes. It also features multi pads, which allow the user to trigger melodies and rhythms as he plays his own accompanyment. There is a floppy disk drive for greater storage of original songs. It also has a One Touch Setting function, which automatically configures voice, tempo, and volume to better match certain musical styles.
The keyboard has recording capabilities, so you can create original compositions and store them. Each user song can hold up to 16 separate tracks. Its Quick Recording setting makes it possible to record a song without dealing with a slew of detailed settings.
Customer reviews for the PSR540 were generally positive. The keyboard averaged (out of 21 responses) an 8.2 out of 10 overall rating by reviewers on the website, Harmony Central. There have, however, been some complaints about the model's performance. In May of 2007, a reviewer complained that the keyboard was unreliable, and some of the keys stopped responding. In August of 2002, another reviewer complained that the XG sounds were "cheesy."