Author Topic: The sound of my PSR-EW400  (Read 573 times)

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Offline Piotr Pulawski

The sound of my PSR-EW400
« on: October 24, 2017, 10:18:35 AM »
Hey Everyone,

I've looked through the board's posts regarding the PSR-EW 400 and I don't think this matter has really been touched upon previously, so I'll go ahead and post this:

I purchased the PSR-EW 400 a while back and I know what I'm about to write about is extremely subjective, but the sound just seems very artificial to me... or at least artificial in comparison to my earlier keyboard - the PSR-E333.

I've probably spent dozens of hours tinkering with the various voice editing options on the EW 400 - chorus, reverb, attack, resonance, cutoff, all that stuff - and just when I thought I had finally got it to sound ok for playing the kind of music that I like (symphonic metal, so plenty of strings, orchestra, etc.), I go back to the E333 and the latter just sounds so much richer (despite being an older model I believe?) and it has that "kick" that the former just does not seem to have.

I thought maybe it's just that the speakers in the EW400 were inferior, but when I hooked both instruments up to external audio systems, the impression that the E333 sounds much better was still there.

I don't know what I'm missing here... maybe it would be a good idea to upload a clip of me playing for analysis? Is there maybe a place I can find advice on how to set the various settings in order to play the music I like on this instrument?

You might be wondering why I don't just stick to the E333... well, I absolutely would if not for the fact that I need more than 61 keys. If the E333 had 76 keys, I don't think I would need to buy another instrument in the foreseeable future (and here's a side question: is the EW300 just an "extended" version of the E333? Ca I rely on it to sound the same?)

Thank you!
YAMAHA PSR-E333, EW400
 

Offline SciNote

Re: The sound of my PSR-EW400
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2017, 12:02:42 PM »
That is surprising, as I never noticed such a difference in sound as I checked out these keyboards in music stores, though I never took a close look at the E333, either.  I do own an E433, which is of the same overall generation, but never did any back-to-back comparisons with it to any other of these keyboards outside of the noisy environment of a music store.

The only thing I can think of, if you haven't already tried, is to check the equalizer setting of your EW400 and try one of the fuller, "bassier" sounding presets if it is not already set to one.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2017, 12:05:56 PM by SciNote »
Bob
Yamaha PSR-E433
Yamaha PSR-520
 

Offline SeaGtGruff

Re: The sound of my PSR-EW400
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2017, 05:22:52 PM »
I would recommend noting down the specific voices on the PSR-E333 that sound better to you, then look in the PSR-E333 voice list to see what the Bank Select and Program Change values are for those voices. Then check the Bank Select and Program Change values for the PSR-EW400 voices to see if they're the same. It might be that the PSR-E333 is using different voices-- for instance, XGlite voices rather than "panel" voices. But if the Bank Select and Program Change numbers are the same, then it might be that Yamaha changed the audio samples for those voices.
Michael Rideout
YPT-400, PSR-E433, PSR-E443
 

Offline Piotr Pulawski

Re: The sound of my PSR-EW400
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2017, 01:07:41 AM »
Thank you for your replies,

@SciNote

I've played around with the equalizer settings as well, yeah. There's one called "boost" and that's the only one where the whole thing sounds okayish.

@SeaGtGruff

With the E-333, out of a total of 499 voices, apart from the silly sound effects, there's really only a handful of ones that DON'T sound very good.

You're right in that the "panel" voices of the EW-400 sound considerably better than the XGLite ones, but it's passable at best.

So now I guess I have to sell this keyboard (which isn't a big deal given that I just bought it 2 months ago or so it's still under warranty) , but the question is: what next?  Given how much time it took me to just figure out how to get the instrument to sound passable, it's not realistic for me to repeat this process in a showroom.

Again, I can't speak highly enough of the E-333 and how amazed I am at the sound that comes out of that thing, and really - if I could just stretch that keyboard to have 76 keys, I'd be completely satisfied. Any recommendations, please?

Thank you.
YAMAHA PSR-E333, EW400
 

Offline SciNote

Re: The sound of my PSR-EW400
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2017, 01:52:21 AM »
Does the E333 have MIDI?  If so, it is probably just in the form of a USB to host connection.  But as I understand it, there are now devices that convert that connection into the standard, round MIDI in and out DIN plugs.  If so, and if they work well, perhaps you could get a 76 key controller keyboard to work with your E333?  Of course, that would mean having to have extra equipment, which would be cumbersome if you gig or otherwise need to move your equipment from place to place.

To answer your question about the EW300, as I understand it, this keyboard is a 76-key version of the new PSR-E363.  Since the EW400 is based on the E453 (though is slightly different than just being 76-key version of the E453), it may be worthwhile to check out an EW300, as it may be based on newer technology than the EW400, but without as many features.

The only other thing I can suggest is to see if you can get a close look at another EW400, in the event that your EW400 is defective.
Bob
Yamaha PSR-E433
Yamaha PSR-520
 

Offline vbdx66

Re: The sound of my PSR-EW400
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2017, 05:38:35 AM »
Hi Piotr,

A few years ago, I had a PSR E433 which I unfortunately sold, what I quickly regretted because it had some sounds and styles I liked very much and it also had a great touch.

I thought I just could buy its successor, the PSR E443, but when I tried it in a shop I didnt like it at all. On the other hand I liked very much the touch and sounds of the PSR E 343, the successor of the PSR E333, which my niece has.

It might be that Yamaha changed something recently in its lower-end keyboards.

There is one 76-keys keyboard which came out roughly at the same time as the PSR E333: the NP-V 80 (and the NP-V 60). I think actually that Yamaha meant the PSR EW 400 as a replacement to the NP-V 80. The NP-V 60 and 80 are of the same generation as the E333 and their sounds were not that different from those of the E343 and the E433 if I recall, so you could try to find second-hand model and try it out to see if you find back the sounds you liked in the E333.

Hope this helps,

Best Regards,

Vinciane.
Past keyboards: PSR E313, PSR E413, PSR E433, PSR S550, DGX 640, upright piano.
Now: DGX 650
 

Re: The sound of my PSR-EW400
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2017, 05:55:01 AM »
After reading your post, I came to the conclusion that your instrument lacks depth in sound output. Some time ago, there was a similar post on top in the forum regarding the same instrument, referring to inferior Grand Piano sounds.
http://www.psrtutorial.com/forum/index.php/topic,38380.0.html
Well, I may be wrong in this analysis, but it seems like there is some issue within the instrument itself. The E-453 brought a major change in inbuilt amp system of E-Series instruments, where it was raised to 6W+6W, replacing the former 2.5W+2.5W amp system. And later it was followed by EW-400 which packed in a massive amp system of 12W+12W, but the major drawback is that the speakers are still the same old 12cm ones. Yamaha could place bigger speakers atleast in EW-400, considering its price and bigger size. However I am pretty much satisfied with the E-453's sounds, but I am yet to compare its sounds with older models, still I am pretty sure that the voices in the PSR E-4xxx series keyboards have not changed since a decade or long, and are the same.
So now I guess I have to sell this keyboard (which isn't a big deal given that I just bought it 2 months ago or so it's still under warranty) , but the question is: what next?  Given how much time it took me to just figure out how to get the instrument to sound passable, it's not realistic for me to repeat this process in a showroom.
Check out the E-453, I got it for myself last month, I bet you won't regret the sound output, provided that you are well aware of tweaking the sounds of the instrument.
Have a nice day. :)
Anupam
PSR-E453
 

Offline vbdx66

Re: The sound of my PSR-EW400
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2017, 07:51:51 AM »
@ Anupam,

In his first post, Piotr states that the sound quality difference  between the PSR E333 and EW400 is still there when he connects both keyboards to the external PA system. So the problem must lie somewhere else than just with the internal amplification system.

@Piotr,

Have you tried to compare the sound of both keyboards through a good pair of headphones? That way the comparison should be more accurate.

Regards,

Vinciane.
Past keyboards: PSR E313, PSR E413, PSR E433, PSR S550, DGX 640, upright piano.
Now: DGX 650
 

Offline Piotr Pulawski

Re: The sound of my PSR-EW400
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2017, 12:56:53 PM »
Hey Everyone,

thank you once again for taking the time to reply.

@SciNote/Bob,

Please excuse my ignorance, I'm not sure what you're referring to exactly with the MIDI question; I can transfer midi files onto the E-333 and play them on it if that's what you're asking.

@Vinciane

You are correct in that I did try hooking the EW-400 up to an external speaker system with an amplifier and the issues I have with the sound going through the kb's built-in speakers are still very much there.

I also did try a set og headphones. I bought my AKG k240 MKII phones, because I do my practicing at home and I live in an apartment building, so with the phones my neighbours would probably skin me alive sooner rather than later ;)

The great thing about those phones is that I don't actually notice I've got a pair of headphones on when I'm playing the E-333. Whether they're plugged in or not, the sound is just as great in my opinion. Again - not so with the Ew-400.

@Anupam,

hope yoy've had a good day as well :)

I'd gone through those threads before I started this one. I know what the User in that thread means when he says that he found to be sound to be "twangy" or raspy, but if I'm not mistaken, the folks here managed to solve that issue for him by suggesting that modify some of the sound settings. I've also managed to eliminate that effect, but that didn't hasn't gotten rid of the main issue I'm having.

I dunno, if anybody has access to an EW-400 and cares to try and reproduce this, this is the settings that sound best to me (though again: when I switch back to the E-333, I immediately go, "wow, no contest!".

The dual voice button is on:

Main voice is: 147 RS Dist Lead

Dual voice is: 70 Strings

Main volume is set to: 65

Dual volume is set to: 95

Main & Dual octaves are : 0

Main chorus is set to: 20

Dual chorus is set to: 40

Main reverb is set to: 20

Dual reverb is set to: 30

Both Main and Dual Cutoff are at: 94

Both Main and Dual Attack are at: 34

Both Main and Dual Resolution are at: 84

Reverb is set to: Stage 2

Reverb level is: 70

Chorus is: Chorus 3

Equalizer is: "Boost"

Sustain is at: 4 or "Fixed"

The Harmony, Arpeggio and DPG buttons are off.

- -

I have to say also that I'm getting more than a little bit paranoid about choosing my next keyboard. Apart fro the apparently failed experiment that the EW-400 seems to have been, I also bought a Ketron SD1 a while ago, but it arrived damaged to the point of being unusable and so I had to take legal action.
YAMAHA PSR-E333, EW400
 

Offline SciNote

Re: The sound of my PSR-EW400
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2017, 12:39:27 AM »
What I was talking about with MIDI is that, with the right equipment, one of the functions of MIDI is to have one keyboard be able to electronically control and play another keyboard.  And, there are keyboards that are designed as controllers just for this purpose -- they have no internal oscillators or sound-producing circuits and can produce no sound on their own -- they are designed solely to play another sound source, such as another keyboard or a sound source on a computer.  I can almost guarantee that the E333 does not have the jacks built in to allow it to be hooked directly to a controller keyboard, but I believe adaptors are now available that would allow this.  And if so, and your only concern is that the E333 does not have 76 keys, then you may be able to get a 76 key controller keyboard that you could connect to your E333 (through the converter/adaptor that would be required) so that you could play your E333 with 76 keys.

Admittedly, this is not a very elegant solution and would require you to invest in at least two other pieces of equipment (the 76 key controller keyboard and the MIDI adaptor), and would make it cumbersome if you need to transport your equipment from place to place.
Bob
Yamaha PSR-E433
Yamaha PSR-520