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Yamaha PLG150-AP arrived yesterday


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I received my PLG-AP board and plugged it into my S90 last night.


I have not played with it enough to write a book about it, but spent some time last night playing through headphones and tonight trying it through my stereo gig rig.


After seeing all the controversy about this AP board that has sprung up over on the S90 forums (after I had already ordered it), I was a bit concerned and not sure what to expect.


The alleged "buzz" or "tambourine" tail that many users have pointed out is not a hoax and I was able to easily notice it when playing with headphones last night. This was not really floating my boat very much. I figured out that this artifact is more pronounced when playing forcefully and percussively. It is almost like a slapback kind of thing when the velocity is maxed and the volume is cranked. It is not as noticeable when playing softly or when the volume level is reduced. Needless to say, I was not a very happy camper after hearing this.


Here's where it gets interesting...tonight I fired up my gig rig, which is not something I do often at home. I did not notice the artifact at all when played in stereo through my Motion Sound amps. I was actually pretty darn happy with the way it sounded! So it seems to be a problem in a clinical/headphone environment, but not a problem in a live environment. Very interesting. I sat and played the sounds through my amp for quite some time and definitely found the samples to be more expressive and pleasing to my ear than the S700 triple strike that came in the S90. The AP board is more detailed and warmer, with more variance between soft and loud.


The kicker was this...the main reason I bought the thing (aside from my curiosity about how good it might sound) was to simply expand my max polyphony options when stacking piano with other sounds. There are a couple of layered string and pad sounds that I really like in my S90. I like to layer these behind a piano sound, but the base polyphony on the S90 does not handle all these complex sounds stacked together. With the AP board, this becomes a non-issue.


So I took a number of thick, polyphony-hungry pads and added the PLG AP sound on top of them. I was able to play normally with no voice robbing or notes dropping out. In spite of the "buzz" that is audible to me through headphones, this increase in polyphony and the ability to put piano with about anything I want is a real selling point.


I have not used it on a gig, so I'll reserve my final review until after I have done a gig or two with it.


To sum it up, I was ready to return the AP board after listening to the sounds through headphones. I have decided to give it another shot after trying it live through stereo amplification. The polyphony addition is much needed and the AP samples are superior to what is in the S90.


That's my $.02 thus far.




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