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Yamaha SHS-500 Sonogenic Review - Get into some Keytar fun!

Updated: Apr 11, 2019

Yamaha released the SHS-500 Sonogenic and I feel that it was long overdue! My first keytar was a SHS-200, I had a wonderful time but it was lacking fresh new sounds.


At first glance, SHS-500 reminds me more of the SHS-10 with a distinct red exterior. It has a nostalgic feel but definitely comes with better feature than the vintage keytar. (SHS-10 Ryan Gosling Keytar in La La Land)

Photo Credit - La La Land

It may be geared toward fun than a flagship keytar such as the Roland AX-Edge but it has some great sounds! The SHS-500 also equipped with important features that professionals would find useful.

Photo Credit - La La Land


Feature: Jam mode - Play along with your favourite song. This is the fun feature that may appeal to anyone, beginner or just trying keytar for the first time.

Control - Assignable real-time Control Knob, Pitch Bend and Modulation wheel, Panel sustain. Effects Types - DSP: 9 types (assignable on control knobs) Master EQ: 4 types Sounds: 30 Voices

Connectivity - USB Audio, MIDI interface (mini DIN), Wireless MIDI, Audio line Out (mono) AUX line in and speaker.

The built-in sounds definitely better than the SHS-200. The SAWLEAD 1, E. Guitar and Strings are performance worthy. The easy to use knobs made it seamlessly easy to tune the sound - E. Guitar with added reverb, chorus and distortion sounds insanely good. Connectivity such as Midi allow connection to external synthesizer. The keybed feels good, similar to the reface series with exact 37 keys. (I personally love Reface keybed as compared to some other brands)

I bought my set during the Yamaha Singapore launch special! It comes with a free softcase and accessories worth $75.

Overall the SHS-500 can be all fun and casual but if needed for performance and music making, it will perform perfectly well.

Yamaha Sonogenic SHS-500 - Plug In Baby & Do I Wanna Know? Cover.

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