Yamaha PSS-160

Portable Keyboard

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Yamaha PSS-160 Keyboard


This is one of my favourite-sounding keyboards. In fact, it is probably my overall favourite of all the keyboards I own.

It has 10 voices and 10 rhythms with auto accompaniment (dubbed "Auto Bass Chord"). Each accompaniment pattern has two variations available, and a fill-in. The fill-in affects the percussion only and the accompaniment continues unchanged.

There is also a melody memory, which is quite low-resolution and small, so it not really of much practical use.

Polyphony is 4-note, but this drops to just 2-note when the auto accompaniment is enabled.

Some of the accompaniment patterns give a nice bass lead-in to the next primary chord when you play a seventh chord. For example, when you play a C7 chord, the bass at the end of the fourth bar leads in nicely to the F major. It's difficult to describe in words, but if you heard it you would know what I mean. The downside to this is that it sounds very clunky if you weren't going to play the F major at that point. Suprisingly, the demo tune (a rendition of "Camptown Races") does not make use of this feature, even though there are several opportunities to.

As normal for a Yamaha keyboard, the built-in speaker is remarkably good for its size, but there is an output socket for playing through external amplification.

The PSS-160 retailed for £69.99 in a 1986 Argos catalogue.

Audio Samples

Yamaha PSS-160 Demo Tune (Camptown Races)

Instruction Manual

The Operating Manual for the PSS-160 can be downloaded from the Yamaha Manual Library.