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Rating and Reviews: Yamaha WX5 Controller

Features new high resolution breath and lip sensors, 16 key layout for sax compatibility, and MIDI Out onboard. This item is not returnable.

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"This wind machine is awesome! I love it and use it weekly! I paid $2000 4 years ago and it was well worth it." submitted June 22, 2005

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Musical Background: Active musician
Music Style: rock, covers
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Sound: time must be spent playing with dip switches. To improve the ending of a note or the speed of tonguing, try putting your the flat of your tongue 90% toward the tip of the mouthpiece, quickly cutting off the air flow. This will also stop bad intonation at the end of a note. You must stop the airflow before taking the horn from your mouth.
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"Amazing instrument!" submitted October 4, 2007

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Sound: As far as "sound" goes, this instrument makes no sounds of it's own. It must be connected to a tone generator to produce a sound. The Yamaha VL70-m is by far the best module to use with this. I have tried the VL expansion card as well(PLG150) but it is pretty dificult to use and not very practical. The factory sounds on the VL70-m are not bad but there is a VERY nice custom chip made for this tone module called the Patchman Turbo Chip and in my opinion is the only way to go if you want truly professional instrument emulations. Go to www.patchmanmusic.com to hear samples of what it can do. AMAZING! Feature: Accessories supplied are strap(kinda cheap, buy a nice strap if you want to use a strap - it's a very light instrument and you don't really need a strap), silicone mouthpiece grease, soft case, manual, and WX cable. The Manual is very well written but the fingering chart is a little difficult to understand. I have actually made a fingering chart that helped me tremendoulsy and will gladly share it with anyone who asks. E-mail me at eddie_d1964@yahoo.com and I will send it to you. As for features I "wish it had" I must say I really wanted it to look better! The black and silver plastic just looks so much like a toy and not at all like the professional musical instrument that it truly is. This is why I now offer skin kits. What a difference! If you want to see the skins I make go to www.egraphicworld.com/WX5.htm and you'll see what I mean. Other than the black and gray toyish appearance the overall shape is nice and the mechanical keys have a great feel. Ease of Use: Setting it up is crucial to getting it to play as expressively as it is capable of playing. Go to www.nortonmusic.com/wx5.html for a VERY thorough guide to getting it setup correctly. Out of the box it's just not going to respond at it's best. Quality: Very well built although it's plastic. I do wish Yamaha offered a high end "pro" verion made from actual metal or brass. This instrument deserves to be built better and belongs in the traditional musical instrument family and ought to LOOK the part. Again, the skin kit goes a long way towards acheiving that look. Value: For what it does this is an AWESOME value. Manufacturer Support: Never a problem. The Wow Factor: 10, yes, but ONLY with the skin kit applied :-)
21 of 23 people (91.3%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"A great instrument! Just configure it properly!" submitted August 9, 2005

By a customer from pmt.org
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Musical Background: Active musician, recording engineer
Music Style: Country, Rock, Folk, Acoustic
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Sound: Overall, the WX5 is a great midi instrument. It is really only limited by the sound module you connect it to. However, like most instruments of this type, it does require a learning curve! Spend time reading the manual! The DIP settings are extremely important! If you will hassle through the technical end of things for awhile the rewards will be more than worth it. Setup is critically important! Also be sure and set the sensitivity is set to your liking. If you don't, you will be disappointed with how the instrument responds. The only negative things I have to say about the WX5 are for flute players. The WX5 is not really all that well suited for flute players. Why? The wind pressure sensitivity sucks. The instrument is much more responsive with the Sax mouthpiece than the recorder. No matter how I set it. I could not get it to be as responsive as I would have like. It wasn't until I put on the reed mouthpiece that I finally got the instrument to respond to how I wanted. One other thing for flute players, the fingerings the WX5 uses are not TRUE flute fingerings. They are a hybrid system that more closely resemble SAX fingerings than flute. True, you can adjust to them but as professional flute player I am not about to screw up my flute technique to try and use this instrument under the flute settings. Set it up under SAX settings and you will be impressed! One other small gripe, the keys are extremely light. The instrument would be more playable with weighted keys, similar to a flutes. As is, they are so light to the touch it is easy to make a mistake. Hint to Yamaha: Please use weighted keys on the next incarnation of this instrument!
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"Solid 9" submitted February 22, 2004

By a customer from verizon.net
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Music Style: Jazz/Rock
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Sound: Coupled with Yamaha's VL-70M with Patchman Music's chip installed, this sound is exceptional, given the limitations of synthesis. Try playing a little Bird or Sanborn, and it'll inspire you. Feature: Saxophone B fingering is best for my use. It's convenient to have both a recorder-style and sax-style mouthpiece (the latter providing lip-pressure as well as the standard wind sensitivity). Quality: It's light, it's plastic. But, it's well built. Overall: This is a "keeper". Now I can play sax at midnight without waking anyone. If it's good enough for pros, like Tom Scott, then it's certainly good enough for a dabbler like me!
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