Okay, we have to admit that not all of these gift suggestions will fit in a stocking. But they’re all sure to put a smile on the face of the musician, or music lover in your life this holiday season, and since they’re all priced at under $500, they may well put a smile on your face too.
There’s no better way of encouraging a love of music than by giving someone a portable keyboard, and the Yamaha PSR-E373 is ideal for both beginners and hobbyists. It offers hundreds of built-in sounds, dozens of studio-quality effects and an expressive touch-sensitive keyboard. In addition, auto-accompaniment “Styles” provide a virtual backing band that can jam along in a variety of musical genres from around the world, such as jazz, R&B, and Latin, and a “Smart Chord” function allows the player to add great-sounding chords with just a few fingers.
Even when there’s no piano teacher available, onboard lesson functions help beginners learn how to play complete songs and improve their playing skills, and they can also download a song book that includes the complete scores and provides tips for mastering the lessons. In addition, a special Duo mode allows two students to do duets and practice together. The PSR-E373 makes learning and practicing fun … and isn’t that what it’s all about?
Who wouldn’t like to find a personal listening device in their holiday stocking? The new Yamaha lineup of wireless headphones, earbuds and earphones offer great sound and a wide range of cutting-edge technologies that enable them to adapt to you and your environment.
There are plenty of options to choose from, including over-ear headphones like the YH-E700A for maximum sound quality and isolation; earphones such as the EP-E70A (shown below), which offer a wired connection to a neck band; and lightweight and unobtrusive earbuds like the TW-E3A, great for everyday activities. Whichever model you choose, your gift recipient will be rewarded with pristine fidelity and an enhanced listening experience.
At first glance, you might take this for a toy, but the Yamaha Pianica is actually a serious instrument. This small, portable keyboard is breath-powered — all the player has to do is simply blow air into it while pressing down the keys. While the sound it makes is similar to an accordion or a harmonica, the Pianica uses the same familiar black-and-white keys as a piano, so anyone can begin playing music right away.
There are several different Pianica models available. The P32D offers 32 keys, while the P37E model (shown below) has an extended keyboard with 37 keys for a full 3-octave range. It also comes in three different colors — red, brown and black — with the red model actually having a slightly brighter tonality than the other two, allowing the player to choose his or her individual sound as well as making a fashion statement. Whether you’re buying a gift for a friend or relative hoping to discover the joy of making music, or you’re a parent who wants to introduce your child to music for the very first time, the Pianica is an easy and fun way to get started.
The family of Yamaha THR-II compact desktop amplifiers provide guitarists of every level with a perfect combination of professional-quality tones, convenient wireless operation, and stylish good looks — whether they are practicing, recording, or playing along with their favorite music.
The THR30II, THR30II Wireless and THR10II Wireless each provide 15 different amp tones as well as modeled microphone sounds, along with stompbox-style modulation effects and studio-quality reverbs and delays. There’s a USB port for recording and playback, plus Bluetooth® support that allows wireless audio playback through the built-in stereo speakers; there’s even a free mobile editor allows convenient remote operation from a smartphone.
People tend to think of audio mixers as being large, bulky, expensive units. But in fact they come in all sizes and price points, and there are times when there’s simply no need to haul out (or rent) one of the big boys when a small, portable mixer will do. The Yamaha MG06 delivers sound and features that go well beyond its compact footprint, offering six inputs (two mic and four line-level) and dual balanced outputs that allow connection to professional recording and PA equipment. The MG06 incorporates some of the same technologies developed by Yamaha for use in high-end professional consoles, such as studio-quality preamps and a rugged, reliable construction. This is one product that allows musicians to shape their sound with confidence!
The snare drum is the heart of every drum kit, and each has its own distinctive sound. Some drummers gravitate towards the crisp attack of a metal snare drum, while others prefer the warmth of a wooden snare. Having both provides maximum flexibility for both live performance and recording.
Yamaha fulfills that need with two models of Stage Custom snare drums. The SSS-1455 is a versatile steel snare with a pure and punchy sound suitable for rock, while the SBS-1455 is made of birchwood — a classic in the realm of high-end drum sets — with the characteristic organic tonality suitable for jazz and mellower genres of music. The SBS-1455 birch model is available in a variety of finishes, including Raven Black (shown below), Pure White, Cranberry Red, Honey Amber and Natural Wood.
Guitarists can always use accessories, and the Yamaha AXE PACK provides all the essentials to maximize their playing time and enjoyment. This comprehensive kit includes an A-frame stand to hold electric and acoustic guitars — even ukeleles — along with a nylon strap, a string winder, a Yamaha GCT-1 clip-on tuner for guitar and bass (ukelele too), a polishing cloth, plus a supply of picks.
Digital pianos provide full-sized 88-note keyboards that have the same feel as those of acoustic pianos. The Yamaha P-45, geared toward players at all levels — from beginners to professionals — provides precisely that, in an affordable package.
Its keyboard boasts a weighted action that has a heavier touch in the low end and a lighter touch in the high end, just like the hammers inside an acoustic piano. And not only does the P-45 sound just like an acoustic piano, it can also emulate the tonality of an electric piano, harpsichord, organ or vibraphone — even a complete string section! It comes with its own built-in sound system, and four varieties of onboard reverb allow the player to choose just the right kind of ambience, plus a headphone output allows private practice any time of the day or night without disturbing friends, family or neighbors. And unlike an acoustic piano, the P-45 is portable and lightweight — just 25 pounds — so it can be easily moved anywhere in your home or used for performance in other venues.
Think a small sound bar means small sound? Think again. The Yamaha SR-C20A compact sound bar makes no compromises when it comes to audio fidelity, plus it’s packed with features such as virtual surround sound and a built-in dialog enhancer — there’s even a built-in subwoofer for those all-important rumbles that make movies and games come to life.
The SR-C20A has built-in Bluetooth too, so in addition to adding great sound to any TV, it can also be used for streaming audio such as music and podcasts. And with the use of a free app, it can be turned on or off from a smartphone or tablet — the user can even switch content or change sound modes. Best of all, at just 23″ in length, the SR-C20A can fit anywhere, from entertainment cabinets to bedroom dressers to gaming stations to dorm room desks — it even includes rear keyholes for easy wall-mounting.
The trailblazer in your family is sure to appreciate Venova. It’s a completely new type of wind instrument — Yamaha calls it a “casual” wind instrument — that is easy to learn and fun to play. With simple recorder-like fingerings (the same kind taught in elementary schools everywhere) and a sound like a saxophone, anyone can be playing music in no time!
There are two models of Venova to choose from: The YVS-100 uses a real soprano sax mouthpiece and reed, while the larger YVS-120 uses an alto mouthpiece to produce a lower and more mellow sound. Both models are water-washable, durable, lightweight and extremely portable — simply stick a Venova in a backpack and take it to the park or to a barbeque, or toss it in a suitcase and take it along on a business trip or on vacation. And there are no add-ons to buy: Everything needed to start making music is provided, including mouthpiece, ligature, synthetic reed, mouthpiece cap and a durable carrying case with strap.
An extra pair of quality headphones always comes in handy. The Yamaha MPH-MT5 high-grade monitor headphones deliver a balanced sound that is always faithful to the source, making them perfect for home recording, where accuracy is a must. They’re lightweight and comfortable, and employ an over-ear closed back design for excellent isolation, with an extended frequency range that allows you to hear the entire sound, from the lowest lows to the highest highs. Moveable earcups enable single-ear monitoring, and thick, durable ABS housing and folding arm make the MPH-MT5 ideal for travel and use in even the toughest working environments. Carrying bag and 1/4″ adapter included too!
Electronic drum kits offer the important advantage of silent practice via headphones, but every once in a while, a drummer’s got to rock out! The Yamaha MS45DR Electronic Drum Monitor is a 2.1 channel powered speaker system (complete with subwoofer) specially designed to authentically reproduce dynamic drum sounds, allowing drummers to enjoy superb audio quality without the isolated feeling that can occur when using headphones.
The stereo satellite speakers are compatible with standard 1.5-inch diameter rack pipes, allowing for a variety of mounting options, while the subwoofer can be placed anywhere on the floor nearby so the player can “feel” the low-end rumble. The system delivers plenty of power for a full, rich sonic experience, and all necessary cables for connection to electronic drum trigger modules are included, making the MS45DR a perfect all-in-one solution for every electronic drummer.
For more information about these and other great Yamaha music products, click here.