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Yamaha S90 ES

Dolphin id:7974 Product SKU:S90 ES

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Yamaha's flagship Digital Keyboard/Piano with superb Balanced Hammer Action and piano sounds.

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Just like the MOTIF ES crowned the MOTIF-series the S90 ES becomes the flagship of the S-series. No compromises. With 230 MB of sample-ROM as heart of the same tonegenerator which made the MOTIF ES a non-plus- ultra synth. With resulting sounds that are uncomparable in terms of dynamic, authenticity and inspiration. With the new developed "Damper Resonance" insert effect which gives the stunning piano voices an extra- kick of realism. With a "Balanced Hammer" keyboard that satisfies the pianist as well as the keyboardist. With all features needed for controlling large equipment setups. With perfect connectability from audio input to assiganable outputs to mLAN, from MIDI to USB To Device. With best compliments from Yamaha.

Natural responding keyboard

The S90 ES is equipped with a natural responding, touchsensitive "Balanced Hammer Effect" keyboard with 88 keys that proves Yamaha's extensive experience and mastership in piano manufacturing. As a further means of expression the keyboard features aftertouch as well.

Authentic voices

The vast palette of dynamic and authentic voices serves all needs - the S90 ES builds upon unbelieveable 230 MB of Sample-ROM (decompressed)! Let the Category Search function help you find the desired sounds simply by selecting a certain sound type.

Use the four sliders of the S90 ES to control the voices in realtime - change parameters like filters, levels, effects, envelopes, and others right while you are playing!

The effect processors refine the sounds with the final touch - with 20 types of reverb, 49 types of chorus, eight separate insert-effects with 117 types each, a master effect with 8 types and digital equalisers (three-band EQ per Part and a five-band Master-EQ).

The half-pedal function, used to control the release of a sound, and the new developed Damper Resonance insert effect, which reproduces the harmonies and special soundings of a grand piano with pressed damper pedal, give the piano voices of the S90 ES the extra kick of realism.

Furthermore many voices are tuned in Stretched Tuning - as used by modern acoustic pianos and concert grands.

State-of-the art arpeggiator

Use the arpeggiator to automatically play sequencer-phrases according to the notes you played - more than 1,700 different types of melodies and rhythms are waiting to inspirate you for your songs and performances!

Serving the song

The Multi mode lets you use the S90 ES as multitimbral tonegenerator playing back the instrumental parts of your sequenced songs - for complete and professional results. Most likely you'll find a preset setup in the large Multi library that matches your needs - at the press of a button.

For live-gigging the built-in SMF player lets the S90 ES play back your preproduced sequencer songs direct from the connected storage device.

Pivotional point of every setup

In the Master mode you are able to use the S90 ES as a masterkeyboard with up to four independent keyboard zones. Or use the Master mode to switch between Voices, Performances and Multis by pressing only one button - perfect for live performances.

With the Remote Control function you can use the sliders and knobs of the S90 ES to control your favourite sequencer software - so everything is at hand when you record your music.

Thanks to its compatibility to Yamaha's Voice Editor and Multi Part Editor you can edit the S90 ES from your computer in an even more clear and intuitive way.

Perfect integration

Three slots for the Modular-Synthesis-Plug-In system are waiting to expand the S90 ES with additional synthesizers and signal processing modules. Plug-In boards expand the S90 ES with more Voices, more effects, more polyphony, and more instrumental parts. The S90 ES holds special Plug-In-Voices in it's ROM so that you are able to play the corresponding Plug-in board right after installation.


The rear of the S90 ES features numerous interfaces for a maximum flexibility in connecting to and from other devices. Amongst them are assignable audio outputs, audio inputs, MIDI, and two USB ports. The USB TO HOST is meant to hook up the S90 ES to a computer. Use the USB TO DEVICE to connect an external storage device like a hard disk or a flash disk.

Furthermore you can install the optional mLAN16E board to connect the S90 ES to studio standard of the future: mLAN.


  • Keyboard 88 keys, Balanced Hammer Effect keyboard (Initial Touch/Aftertouch)


  • Tone Generator AWM2 (compatible with Modular-Synthesis-Plug-in system)
  • Maximum polyphony 128 voices + polyphony of the Plug-in-boards (if installed)
  • Multitimbrality 16 internal Parts + 3 Plug-in-Boards + audio-input-Part(s) (A/D, mLAN*)
  • * 4 stereo-Parts
  • Wave 228 MB (after conversion to 16-Bit linear format), 1.935 Waveforms
  • Voice Preset: 512 Normal-Voices + 64 Drum-Kits
  • GM: 128 Normal-Voices + 1 Drum-Kit
  • User: 128 x 2 (Bank 1: Original, Bank 2: copy from Preset-Bank)
  • Normal-Voices + 32 Drum-Kits
  • Plug-in-Voices Preset for PLG150-AN/DX/PF/DR/PC: 64
  • Preset for PLG-150VL: 192
  • User: 64 for each Plug-in-slot
  • Performance User: 128 (up to 4 Parts)
  • Multi User: 64
  • Filter 18 types
  • Effects Reverb x 20 types
  • Chorus x 49 types
  • Insert (A, B) x 117 types x 8 blocks
  • Master-Effect x 8 types
  • Master-Equalizer (5 bands)
  • Part-EQ (3 bands, stereo)
  • Plug-in-Insert (if PLG100-VH is installed in slot 1)
  • Expandability 3 slots for Modular-Synthesis-Plug-in boards


  • Sequence playback SMF format 0 (playback only)
  • BPM (Tempo) 1–300
  • Number of chain steps 100
  • Arpeggiator Preset x 1.787 types
  • User x 256 types (by loading User-Arpeggio-data of the MOTIF ES)
  • * MIDI sync, MIDI send-/receive channel, velocity limit and note limit are adjustable


  • Master User: 128
  • * 4 zones (Masterkeyboard settings), settings for the assignable Sliders, program change map
  • Sequencer-software compatible with the Remote-Control-function Windows: SQ01 V2, Cubase SX 3, SONAR 4, S90 ES/MOTIF ES/MOTIF-RACK ES/MOTIF-RACK Multi Part Editor
  • Macintosh: Cubase SX 3, Logic Pro 7, Digital Performer 4.52, S90 ES/MOTIF ES/MOTIF-RACK ES/MOTIF-RACK Multi Part Editor
  • * controllable functions depend on the software
  • Controller Pitch Bend wheel, Modulation wheel, assignable Control-Slider (4), Datadial
  • Display 240 x 64 dot graphic backlit LCD
  • Power consumption 33 W (without Plug-in boards)
  • Dimensions, Weight 1,472 (W) x 385 (D) x 163 (H) mm, 22.5 kg
  • Accessories Powercable, Manual, Datalist, sticker for optional mLAN16E
Image: Yamaha S90 ES

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Yamaha S90 ES Reviews


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Yamaha S90ES

I cannot compare any other Piano based keyboard to the Yamaha S90ES. I have played everything else during my time as a professional musician and i have searched high and low for something special. I am a pianist foremost and i hate playing keyboards, especially since i am used to playing a Yamaha C7 everyday. The touch, feel and sound of this keyboard are excellent. The richness of the piano samples alone justifies the pricetag. Although i am just beginning to scratch the surface as far as the features are concerned, i am really happy with my purchase. If you want a great stage piano with some lovely samples and the ability to record via your computer then LOOK NO FURTHER... Trust me.. i researched long and hard. I am now a Yamaha fan!

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S90 ES

First, I have to respond to the bloody fool who said that the S90ES can only play 4 sounds at a time. That is plain wrong. If he knew the keyboard, he would know that in "Multi mode", you can have up to 16 sounds playing simultaneously, if you could figure out a need for such a configuration. :) It's mostly for midi-sequencing, but I use that mode for live gigs, bringing up various sound patch combinations as needed, layered across the keyboard as needed, with one button push, even for within the same song.

I love ths S90ES. It sounds great, and it is very powerful. The downside of "very powerful" means that there are lots of things to learn about it in order to get to that power. That's a logical trade off. I suppose the physical user interface could been designed differently and possibly easier to use, but I don't bother with the board's interface much at all now. I use software from a third party, which makes configuring the S90ES very easy.

As for the suggestion that it's not the "be all end all"; well, there never has been such a beast and never will be. But the S90ES meets all of my needs. I only use the S90ES; there are no rack units and no other keyboards in my rig.

The S90 ES has certainly one of the best, if not the best sampled acoustic piano patch on the market today for keyboards in this price range.

I believe this keyboard is still a viable option today, even though it's been out for 2 or 3 years now. I would also check out the newer Motif XS models.



Writing anything unfavourable about Yamaha is a bit like dissing the Bible for being overly wordy, but here goes. The S90ES is NOT the answer to every keyboardist's wet dream. Yes, it contains a 1000 sounds, but when are the big boys gonna realise that the musician's who support their products don't want 1000 sounds ? All this mumbo jumbo about memory - why not max out the memory with a palatte of only, say, 60 sounds, but make them KILLER ? All the S90Es sounds you've heard before - like a million times. The AWM system has been around forever. Most of the sounds were available as far back as the SY77. If you're looking to upgrade your dusty old Korg SG 1-D or Roland RD 1000, fine. This has a better action and piano sound than either. Just don't buy assuming your search for the Holy Grail is over. Going back to the issue of sounds - seeing as Yamaha would like you to buy into their modular plug-ins, why not load the machine with seriously usable bread-and-butter, a half dozen each of organs, pianos, strings brass, and bass, and then release themed boards, based on what gigging musicians actually need. I mean, c'mon. How many times do you need to dive for the spicato string preset ? Lastly, but I've been holding this gripe for MOSTLY ; you can only have 4 sounds at a time in a layer or split combination. THIS SUCKS. My old Roland XP-80 allowed me to set up a split/layer combination like this without breaking a sweat: Song; Fairytale Of New York. Bass, left hand. Middle octaves - piano (with string layer on the C1 fader) and for the top octave and a half I had a layer of whistle, flute, banjo, and accordion. That keyboard is ancient, but runs rings around the S90ES. Go figure...


Yamaha S90ES

Having been a Roland fan for a number of years, this is the keyboard that challenged Roland's digital stage pianos and wond hands down.

Having owned a Roland RD600 for some years, I was looking for an upgrade - Roland's RD700sx looked like being the obvious choice. I was however unconvinced by the 700sx's flagship sounds - two heavily sampled grand piano's that to my ears were not as good as the sounds on my RD600.

On a stand next to the RD700 was an S90ES from Yamaha. Here's how it won me over:


All piano sounds had a beautiful texture and tone colour, and there are loads to choose from. Hammond organ sounds were also in demand for my purposes, and again there were plenty to choose from, most equalled or bettered anything I heard from Roland. Apart from those two main sounds I was looking for, there are loads of other sounds which have excellent tone quality. Navigation to the sounds is easy - although the control interface looks a little daunting to start with.


Excellent control layout, with three main modes. VOICE mode allows you to access specific sounds direct, PERFORMANCE mode allows you to store and access specific performing modes (with split keyoard functions, arpeggiator use all useable) Multi mode enables multi settups - all editable - for 16track sequencer playback. Sequencer mode allows playback only - either from sequencers connected via midi ports, or GM files stored on a usb flash card - usb port available. MASTER mode allows master setups that set up the keyboard in the manner desired at a single button press. This is how players in a live situation will want to change sounds between numbers - it is just possible to change sounds on the fly during a song.


On board syth is staggering - the number of editable parameters are too numerous to mention here. All sounds can be edited and stored - most will save edited sounds on to the two user banks provided. The syth interface is straightforward once a little time with the manual has been spent.


Not a heavy keyboard, easy to set up in a live arena. Flight case recommended for transporting. Keyboard will NOT disappoint in gigging situations.

This keyboard gives you the best of both worlds - it's a superb syth, and it's a superb stage piano. The piano samples have to be heard to be believed. If choosing any sort of keyboard for live use, make sure you listen to this one before making your choice.

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