* Prices may differ from that shown
Yamaha are for my money the leaders in the home electronic keyboard market and they have a model for the needs of all from professional musicians down to the home user who just wants to learn how to play keyboard without the drama and expense that goes with the purchase of a real piano.
The PSR-450 fits into the entry level section of Yamaha's product range but can be used by anyone. It has 61 full sized keys which is an important consideration when buying a keyboard. Some of the small cheaper entry level keyboards have mini keys that are a scale down version of the keys you would find on a real piano. Maybe it seems ok for a child to play on the mini keys to begin with, but if a child has a future desire to learn to play a real piano rather than just play with the sounds on an electronic keyboard, full sized keys are the way to go from the very beginning and that's what we have hear.
With 32 note polyphony, which is the number of notes it can play at the same time, this keyboard is capable of playing some complex and intricate music with backing tracks.
The quality of sound is what you would expect from Yamaha. The PSR-450 is equipped with 491 General Midi (GM) and XGlite voices. General midi is something we sure all know about by now, but the XGlite voices are special professional sounding voices that are only available on the slightly most costly keyboards such as these. The difference quality is very obvious and quite remarkable. They make a keyboard such as this suddenly sound far more advanced, sophisticated and not to mention more expensive than it really is.
Of course the sound processing capabilities wouldn't' matter if the speakers were of poor quality but as always Yamaha delivers in this respect too giving us 2x6 output from speakers that are improved from the previous models. They are more than enough for the budding home musician.
It comes with a disc drive. When the PSR range was first developed the Floppy Disc drive played a big part in my decision in buying previous models. These days, most modern PC's don't come with a floppy drive as standard so it is not as useful as it once was. It's not useless though. You can still save your work onto the disc drive and play your compositions on any other midi capable keyboard that has a floppy drive.
There is no USB port on the PSR-450 which is a bit of a shame but connectivity to a PC is still possible with a midi lead which connects to the PC's games port. If you buy software such as Cakewalk you will have a lot more freedom in editing your composition. The PSR 450 does have an onboard 6 track sequencer but you need to be quite a good musician to play multilayered compositions with it. If you use software like Cakewalk and connect this to your PC you'll be amazed at what you can create even if you have only beginners keyboard skills
If you are a beginner taking your first steps in learning to play the keyboard I would recommend learning to play chords first. This will give you a good grounding in how the notes relate to each other. Once you know all the major and minor chords and some 7th's you'll be able to play the chords to most popular songs and you can sing along if you wish. Knowing the chords will allow you to get to grips with accompanying yourself with any of the excellent. 140 preset styles and rhythms on this keyboard. .
Overall this is an excellent keyboard for the price. Speaking of which, the prices of these continue to drop as new models come out but as of writing this review, expect to pay around £350, maybe a little more. Second hand bargain can be found however because these are items that lots of people buy and lose interest I after a short time. With its sturdy design, the PSR 450 will still be in good condition after years of use. .