Yamaha PCS-30

Portable Keyboard with Playcard System

<-- Back to the Electronic Home Keyboards page

Yamaha PCS-30 Keyboard


This keyboard sounds almost identical to the PSS-160 (aside from a few very subtle differences), but includes support for the Playcard system, and has an unusual dark brown case colour. 

There are six available voices, and six rhythms, each with auto accompaniment, both selectable using sliding switches. The Master Volume and Rhythm Volume are also six-position sliding switches, but while the Tempo control feels like a smooth analogue slider, the tempo is actually stepped. This enabled the tempo to be set according to the Playcard programming - something which is not possible with the PC-100.

There is no "Synchro Start" function for the auto accompaniment. The only way to get it going is to first start the rhythm with the "Start/Stop" button, then press the "Auto Bass Chord" button, then finally select the chord.

Other features of the PSS-160 which are missing from the PCS-30 include the second variation for each auto accompaniment pattern and the fill-in, both of which are available for Playcard music, but not manual play. The PSS-160's recording function is also missing, and the keyboard is also shorter.

All of the usual training modes for Playcard music are included, and are also available for the three (disappointingly short) built-in demos. After playback has started, the main voice, rhythm and tempo can be adjusted manually, but of course will revert back each time there is a programmed change.

The set of Playcards supplied with the PCS-30 include several duplicate titles with the set supplied with the PC-100, but the arrangements of these are very different.

The keyboard feels weighty and well-made, and the built-in speaker is pretty good - but an output jack is available for using external amplification or headphones.

This is basically a stripped-down PSS-160, with Playcard system added - which is a very good thing!

My example has an "Intasound Organs" sticker attached, so was presumably either purchased from or serviced by this Leicester music shop, which still exists at the time of writing.

Audio Samples

Yamaha PCS-30 Demo A (Mozart's Symphony No. 40)
Yamaha PCS-30 Demo B (Dance of the Hours)
Yamaha PCS-30 Demo C (Chopin's Nocturne)

Instruction Manual

The Operating Manual for the PCS-30 can be downloaded from the Yamaha Manual Library.