Yamaha PS-1

Portable Keyboard

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Yamaha PS-1


The PS-1 was one of a range of three models released by Yamaha in 1980, which were the first to carry the "PortaSound" name. The PS-1 was the smallest and most basic of the range, while the PS-2 and PS-3 were larger and offered additional features. All three models came in their own hard plastic carrying case.

The PS-1 is pretty basic, offering a mere four voices (with a switchable "sustain" effect) and just four auto rhythms (consisting of "blips," clicks and metallic-sounding noise pulses).  The rhythm sounds are quite unique, and unlike the later Yamaha and Casio models. Organ and Strings sounds have a vibrato effect, while Clarinet and Piano do not. The vibrato effect is not user-switchable.

Though basic in terms of features, the PS-1 offers 8-note polyphony, which is more than many later, much more sophisticated, models.

Sadly, there is no auto accompaniment to go with the rhythms. Only the PS-2 and PS-3 models from this range have auto accompaniment, and also have additional voices, but you still only get the same four rhythms on all three models.

The voices sound quite "bright" but not unpleasant. The built-in speaker sounds a little thin, but is pretty good considering the small size of the unit. Obviously using external amplification and speakers improves matters considerably.

Unfortunately, my example has some faults, two minor, the other rather unfortunate. The minor faults are that the power LED does not light up when the keyboard is switched on, and the main volume pot is very noisy. The unfortunate fault is that one of the keys does not function. Well, if you hold it down for a very long time (several minutes) it will eventually start crackling into life and begin to work. And one of the other keys seems to be going the same way, i.e. it does not sound immediately when pressed by only after a short delay.

I have checked the key switch and diode, and they both seem fine, so if anyone has any ideas as to what might cause this fault please tell me. I would love to get this keyboard back to full working condition.

Audio Samples

Sorry, I don't have any audio samples for this keyboard yet. 

Instruction Manual

The Operating Manual for the PS-1 can be downloaded from the Yamaha Manual Library.