Also known as the VTech Rhythmic 10

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Saisho PRO.SYNTH Keyboard


For those who don't know, "Saisho" was an own-brand of the Dixons chain of electronics/photography shops, once a common sight on high streets all over the UK, but now relegated to the Web and some small outlets at airports and similar locations. The brand was usually used on budget, low-quality consumer electronics gear, such as radio/cassette players, VCRs, TVs and stereo systems.

This keyboard was also sold as the "VTech Rhythmic 10" outside the UK (thanks to Johanes Emmanuelli for this information).

On first looking at this keyboard, I was expecting it to be a full-size version of the Music Maker MK 800 (VTech Rhythmic 8). It seems to have many of the same features (except for the lack of a pitch bend wheel), and looks stylistically similar. However, although the percussion sounds are identical to those of the smaller keyboard, the main voices and auto accompaniment sounds are not.

The "synthesizer" works in a similar way to the MK 800, using sliding switches to pick one of five possible waveforms, together one of four possible envelopes. However, unlike the MK 800, the synthesizer is either on or off; it cannot be mixed with any of the standard voices. There are also fewer options for the auto accompaniment - each style has three pattern variations, and the chord and bass voices each have three options.

Interestingly, as an alternative to the auto accompaniment, there is a keyboard split option, so the left-hand part of the keyboard plays a different voice from the right-hand part. The voice used for the left-hand part is selected using the same switch as that used for the accompaniment variation, so is limited to only three possible options.

The Custom Drummer is more versatile than the MK 800's, and can record a drum loop in real-time.

The keyboard response is slow, but the voices sound quite nice, and the keyboard gives a nice, warm sound overall when played through external amplification. As usual, the Stereo effect is just a boring "Stereo Chorus" effect, with three selectable speeds. There is no "Mono" option.

The built-in speakers go quite loud without distorting, but sound rather 'hollow' with nasty resonances. There are Aux and Headphone outputs on the back, though.

Overall, the keyboard seems to be fairly well built, but the full-size keys do feel a little flimsy.

Audio Samples

Instruction Manual