Earlier in the month, we brought you the news of the new Yamaha Tenori On Orange, aka the TRN-O.
The TRN-O is an entry-level version of the Tenori On, offering the same basic musical functionality, but using orange LEDs, stripping away the backlighting LEDs and using a basic white plastic case.
Yamaha has not officially announced the pricing for the new Tenori On Orange, but the pricing is reported to be £649 in the UK and $699 in the US.
Nobody seems to want to state the obvious on this, so I will. If these prices are correct, the Tenori On Orange looks like it’s $300 overpriced.
The Tenori On Orange doesn’t have the sex appeal of the original Tenori On.
It looks like Yamaha cheapened the materials and stripped away features to make the Tenori On Orange less expensive, rather than trying to design a new version that would meet the lower price point in an elegant way.
The market has also been flooded with matrix controllers in the last year. While most of them don’t have the minimal chic appeal of the Tenori On, they do have larger buttons and a more functional design. And, while the Tenori On is a matrix synth rather than just a matrix controller, many would consider the built-in synth capabilities limiting.
If Yamaha would introduce this at US $400, they’d have a device that could compete with things like the Novation LaunchPad or the Livid Ohm64 or the APC40.
The original Tenori On has never seemed to find its mojo, despite fawning coverage in both the music press and the general press. The Tenori On Orange at $699 isn’t going to fix that.
I’d like to see the original Tenori On priced at $699 and the Tenori On Orange priced at $399. At those prices, Yamaha could sell these en masse.
If the reported Tenori On Orange prices are correct, though, expect to see Yamaha announcing price cuts in a year.
What do you think? Does the Tenori On’s unique design justify its price? Or does Yamaha need to sharpen its pencil if they want to start selling these things?