Yamaha Intros YC73, YC88 Stage Keyboards Ahead Of 2021 NAMM Show

Ahead of the 2021 NAMM Show, being held online this year starting Jan 21, Yamaha has announced the YC73 and YC88 Stage Keyboards, two larger siblings to the YC61.

The new keyboards build on the design of the YC61, introduced in January 2020, with keyboards tailored to the preferences of different types of performers:

  • The YC73 features 73 weighted, balanced keys, and is ideal for keyboardists who divide their playing between organ, piano, electric piano, clavi, synth, and other staple keyboard sounds.
  • The YC88 is meant for musicians who prioritize the touch and response of an acoustic piano, offering 88 weighted Natural Wood keys with triple-sensor action, synthetic ebony and ivory key tops.

“A staple of keyboard playing is access to classic keyboard sounds,” says Nate Tschetter, manager, Synthesizer Marketing, Yamaha Corporation of America. “With the introduction of YC73 and YC88, there are options to suit every player, in every situation, from the perfect ‘top keyboard’ in YC61 to the great ‘all around’ YC73 and finally our best stage piano action in YC88.”

Here’s what Yamaha has to say about the new keyboards:

“The YC73 and YC88 employ Yamaha Virtual Circuit Modeling (VCM) to capture not only the sound of classic “drawbar” organs, but their behavior down to the component level. VCM also reproduces the distinctive rotary speaker effect, which most keyboardists consider inseparable from the organ itself

In other words, the YC series does not merely take a digital snapshot of the world’s most imitated organ sound — it builds that sound from the ground up. This results in unprecedented authenticity.

In true vintage fashion, nine drawbars shape the sound by controlling individual footages, and essentials like percussion and vibrato/chorus enhance the tone. The player can also customize key click, “leakage,” rotary speaker speed changes, and more. The keyboard may be split between upper and lower organ registrations. In addition to VCM modeling organ, the organ section also features FM synthesis, the now-famous synthesis method pioneered by Yamaha.

Complementing the organ, two “Keys” sections utilize proprietary Yamaha “Advanced Wave Memory” which provides authentic acoustic and electric pianos, strings and brass, analog-style synth sounds, and much more. The Keys section features two dedicated effects processors along with configurable envelope and filter controls for real time manipulation and interaction.

Like the Organ section, the Keys section also features FM synthesis for many classic sounds like DX7 electric pianos, leads, basses and more. The Keys section may also be split with the organ section across the keyboard or played from an external MIDI controller keyboard to either the Organ or Keys section.”

Here’s Yamaha’s official intro to the updated line:

Sound demo:

Pricing and Availability

The Yamaha YC73 and YC88 Stage Keyboards will ship to retailers beginning January 21, 2021, at manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) of $2,999 and $3,499, respectively. For more information, see the overview at YamahaSynth.

9 thoughts on “Yamaha Intros YC73, YC88 Stage Keyboards Ahead Of 2021 NAMM Show

    1. Nobody who knows anything about the Yamaha CS-80 would want them to faithfully reissue it. What a complete fiasco that would be.

      What you really want is a modern take on the CS-80 that supports MIDI and presets. It should ditch the clunky mechanical presets of the original and eliminate about 200 lbs of weight – but add some sweet ‘Vangelis is a box’ reverb and effects.

      1. A slimmed-down, modern CS-80 with built-in effects and patch memory would be fine by me. I agree that the original version was a monstrosity, but its sound was fantastic.

  1. During the general CS-80 & early CP e-piano era, Yamaha persisted in bolting their keyboard electronics to massive slabs of dense wood. They were legendary for needlessly creating hernias.

    Some of the CS-80’s analog guts could easily be improved now without losing the classic sound. The main unknown is: Can we sell enough of these units to reach a decent ROI? The online clatter for a new CS-80 might not translate into actual $/£ if it costs the kind of money it might require. That goes triple for the velvety poly AT keybed. Can you say “easily $3k?”

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