Advice on the Reface range.

Does anyone have any opinion on the Yamaha Reface series?
I like
a) analog things
b) small things
c) retro things
d) digital things (if they also meet b) and c))

I own most POs, most Volcas and a Korg SQ1

Would a Yamaha Reface fit in? Particularly the Reface CP (or maybe even the CS).
My next buy will be a Microbrute and a JX-03, will the Reface fit in? Could it also be used as a controller for the JX-03?

I have the Reface CP and a Rhodes 73 Stage piano. The CP sounds really good. In terms of your checklist, the Reface series is a) not analog b) definitely small c) sounds accurately retro compared to the originals and d) is completely digital. If you want vintage sounding electric pianos (the originals were not technically “analog” as much as they were electromechanical with analog amplifiers – the Fender Rhodes is no more analog than an electric guitar). If you are looking for more synth-y sounds, though, then other options will create the “electric piano” type settings on synthesizers that have that distinctly 80s cheesy sound.

oh, is the CS not analog?

It uses Yamaha’s “Analog Physical Modeling Engine.” The JX-03, POs, and Volca FM/Sample are also not analog. But my question to you would be, does knowing that the circuitry is not truly analog but merely “modeled analog” affect how it sounds to you? Since you are on the OP-1 forum, a truly digital device, then I don’t think there is too much analog-purism here. My personal opinion – if it sounds good to you and inspires you, it doesn’t really matter what’s on the inside or how the sound is made.

if it meet b) small and c) retro it’s a candidate :slight_smile:

will i be able to sequence the CP or the CS with the SQ-1?

I don’t have direct experience with the SQ-1, but it seems the answer is yes. Does the SQ-1 only support 1 MIDI note out at a time though? Or 2 with MIDI A and B? That seems like it would be a limitation for making the CP sound like someone is actually playing it in person.

I’m not intending to discourage you from the Reface series though. The CP is great to me. Good enough Rhodes sound that I am considering selling my actual Rhodes. The Wurlie and other sounds are also very convincing. A “budget” version of the Nord keyboards, in my opinion.

I am considering selling my actual Rhodes”

Noooo! If i were a musician and owned a classic Rhodes, or Wurlitzer or Hammond. I’d keep them, however the rebooted models sound.

Whatever the version, piece of history dude.

I understand your point. The difference is that when you own a bunch of music equipment that doesn’t get utilized as much as it should, you start to feel guilty. I don’t want to just be a vintage gear collector. I’d rather sell it to someone who will get much more use out of it. And when you consider moving houses with a Rhodes, Hammond M3, Leslie speaker, Farfisa VIP600, plus all the other little things that accumulate, then it seems less appealing to have something just for the sake of having it. And plus, if the rebooted models sound good, and you choose to use them more than the originals, then the only reason to keep the originals is as a collector. I think that makes sense. Not sooo much sense that I’ve started to actually sell anything.

I should add that my wife and I think about moving a lot. So when you feel bogged down by possessions, it feels more like they own you than you owning them. If having a Reface YC that sounds indistinguishable from a real Hammond M3 means that I don’t have to get someone to move a 250 pound beast, or you can take your sounds on vacation with you, then I think it is fair to let them live a new life with someone else.

One last thing – if you want a Hammond, then they are not hard to come by for cheap on Craigslist. My M3 (baby B3) was only $100 after someone’s grandma (original owner) passed away. Only after moving one will you understand that owning a Hammond sounds better in theory than in practice, unless you plan on moving verrrrry rarely.

yep, as per the “it’s a classic so keep it”, I had two first edition JCM800’s (a 100w and the rare 50w) that are worth silly money now. I sold them both, made good profit on them, and don’t miss them one bit. I’d prefer they go to someone who will use them, as I just barely play guitar any more. certainly not at JCM volumes… :confused:

I’ve been keen on the reface series for a while, they just seem a little expensive for what they are? Definitely one of the nicer mini-key beds I’ve played

@millbastard I would say they value might depend on which one you look at. To me, the CP is great value for convincing sound, built in effects, and the portability. The YC is the same way. Both of these cover thousands of dollars of sound for much less.

The DX is a question of whether the original DX7 fits in your setup (usually cheaper than the Reface from what I’ve seen) or if the VolcaFM fits in. I’d probably do the FM over the DX personally. Looks like the CS is good for the price compared to paying for an original.

I like Reface CP for its sound and design, although the price is not very pleasing

I agonised over whether I should get the DX or the CS Reface. I ended up going for the DX, for the velocity sensitivity, and being a somewhat unique 4-op FM synth. I’m not sure if I 100% like it or not, but the keybed is so nice that I want to keep it just for that (seriously, if there are any mini-key controllers that feel as nice as the Reface, I want to know!). Currently I’m using it as a controller for my nord modular; I’m not using the sounds on it at all. It does sound lovely though, and a lot smoother/more hi-fi than a DX7.

The CS and CP are very good though. I also considered the CP, just because it sounds like it’d be a very expressive instrument to just play, which is essentially what Yamaha were going for with these keyboards.

@michiko I think the price is pretty reasonable for what it is. The only alternative would be to get a MIDI controller and use an app or VST for the sounds.