What an amazing little keyboard. As a sound designer, sampler, synth nerd, I normally don't even consider organ-type instruments. Why? I don't play organ! The Reface YC has changed my mind about that. It has five organs that everyone knows and loves: Hammond, Vox, Farfisa, Acetone, and Yamaha. They are punchy, edgy, sometime subtle and lush, moody, and even a bit raucous when you add distortion. I see this in the studios of Hip Hop producers, house producers, gospel organ players, and of course live church musicians who need another versatile solution. This is also perfect for the cover band musician who needs a better-sounding organ.
I bought this keyboard entirely for the combo organ sounds, but I've found that I really enjoy putting all the drawbars at 0 and utilizing only the percussion. The "A" perc sounds like a cheesy harpsichord, and the "Y" has some nice bass capabilities. It's also nice to draw one or a few bars for simple waveforms. I've been layering the percussion with synthesizers and the reface CP for some nice attack and cool sounds. The distortion and reverb are really nice, too! My one complaint is that the vibrato and chorus are really similar. This keyboard plays well with effects. Especially the EHX mel-9(which I also highly recommend), since you can reduce the sound to a single narrow frequency range with polyphony.
Better than I expected.
Gig with this in a classic rock/modern rock band.
Impressive sounds and great key action ( for small keys)
Lightweight, sturdy and lot's of punch for the money. Couldn't be happier.
First, let me say what a great idea the Reface series is! I had a Yamaha YC-20 organ and CS-60 Synthesizer and I still have my original DX-7, so I love the instruments they decided to reinvent! Anyways - I've played the organ many years and it is my favorite instrument. I have a number of pro-quality organs around, and the Reface YC is the perfect addition! I travel a lot and I get bored during those long flights and waits in airports. Soon after I got the YC I flew to Trinidad and Tobago. On the plane I put the YC on the fold down table, plugged in my headphones and had a ball! I was looking out the window and played for hours! Waiting in the airport it was even more fun - I plugged my mp3 player into the organ and played along with all my favorite tunes - even learning some I'd never played before. When I wasn't playing, the YC fit in the overhead bin easily. I stayed for a couple weeks and always had the YC on a desk so I could play during my free time. It is also great to play from a standard sized midi keyboard. The Hammond sound is very smooth and nice - the Vox and Yamaha combo organs are rich and full - the Farfisa has the bright buzzy sound you'd expect and the Acetone is nice and trashy. The Leslie sim is very nice at slow speed and not bad at fast speed. The vibrato is perfect for the combo organs - unfortunately the chorus isn't the chorus vibrato you'd expect on a Hammond - it's just a very fast vibrato that is kind of unusable. One of the nicest features is the reverb which is great - in the airport through the headphones it sounds like you're playing in a nice hall with all the friendly folks milling around as your audience! If you travel at all (or just have a small place), this could be just what you're looking for!
Must have if you're a real pro keyboardist.
I'm just an every day pro musician who plays at church mainly. If you've ever played a true B3, then this is a must have for any real pro keyboardist. $499.00, so what! I'd pay 3X that price for such an awesome and a high quality instrument. Awesome flexibility, works also with batteries, plug and play with iPad, midi in and out to the outside world, great sounding machine. Simply amazing. Sweetwater as always the finest place to get your musical instruments gears, greatest customer service in the business. Back home in Haiti we say: si'l bon, di'l bon. which means if it's good say so.
I'm an honest to goodness Reface YC owner (purchased here from Sweetwater!) and I've been playing it for a month or so now. I'm not a great keyboard player, but I've been wanting something that can accurately pull off a Farfisa for years and this little sucker totally nails it. the sounds you get out of it are very very cool. I know a lot of people are knocking the price, but compared to the nord I was saving my pennies for to get the same tonality, I've actually saved a lot of money. The other complaint point among the masses is the mini keys - which are not an issue for me as I just plug it in via the included midi cable into my full size keyboard and the issue is gone. I haven't found much that really bothers me about it - the one thing I find a bit annoying is the way the sound cuts off for an instant when you go from 'stopped' rotary effect to 'off' rotary. perhaps this is intentional, but I find it a bit bothersome. Sweetwater service as always was amazing. fast shipping and great interactions with their sales team.
I didn't quite know what to expect when I ordered it, but was greatly impressed with it and it's flexibility. it's a fully functional combo organ, no more. Exactly what I was looking for. I found the smaller keys very playable, the 3 octaves just enough, and the sound is very good. When I couple it with a Neo Ventilator pedal, it is powerful. I mount it right over my piano and use the FC7 volume pedal. Perfect setup. I am very pleased. Thanks to Yamaha and Sweetwater for this jewel to enhance my setup.
GOOD & NOT OVERPRICED
I have been playing my Reface YC for almost 10 days but it is not from the Sweetwater because I couldn't wait and wanted to have one. But I'm sure my next Reface will be from the Sweetwater.
All I can say is GOOD TO THE LAST NOTE. Peoples are talking about the Reface are overpriced but I DON"T THINK SO. I also own an old vintage DX-100 (market price is about $300 some) and I also have a Yamaha CBX-K1-XG (Market price is about $200). These are almost the same size as the YC but the DX-100 has 18 keys more. If you compared the Reface to these keyboard you would know the Reface YC and the DX are NOT overpriced.
About the sound and performance : You couldn't find any mini organ is better than it. Don't overlook this tiny thing, it sounds like a monster.
Like An Ultra-Portalbe Parlor Organ!
What an incredible piece of work! A church, Hammond-type or draw-bar organ in a tidy, go-anywhere package! However, although all four Refaces, the CS, CP, DX and YC can stand on their own, I strongly recommend Yamaha to combine all four into one as the Yamaha Reface PS. And add a drum machine to it! The MOXF could also be repackaged in the same body as the Reface models, with 37 keys, as the MOXF3.
A POCKET HAMMOND AND MORE...
I would have given this a 5 star rating if not for one deficit. Notice I said deficit and not defect. First let me say that I truly like this unit. It offers so much value across the board that one would have to be a musical hermit not to recognize its worth. The draw bars work to perfection. The sounds are fantastic. The ease of operation is a welcome analog dream. The effects and their method of utilization are flawless. The only thing they SHOULD HAVE DONE was to equip this with a full size set of keys. I would not even mind only the 37 (or 49) keys if only they were full size like on so many moderately price synths (GAIA, NOVATION,etc. etc.) I have small to medium size hands (not spider fingered nor sausage fingered...but just average). But I still find the Lilliputian-sized keys ANNOYING. I am a guitarist first and a keys player to a lesser degree but I do get off some nice organ-chops from time to time, so much so that I really would appreciate the larger keys. What I most likely will do is to try to track down a used MIDI (AS IN REAL MIDI and not the dreaded USB MIDI NONSENSE) controller and sit the YC on top of it and sweep and swipe to my heart's content. I like it enough to keep it.
Love this organ.
I own *many* vintage combo organs. (And I've owned quite a few more over the years.) I still have Farfisas, Voxes, Acetones and a number of Yamahas (a few YC-20s, one YC-25D and a few YC-30s.) And quite a few other brands/models, as well.
I won't claim the Reface YC is a perfect replacement for my vintage gear, but I think of it as another step in the evolution of the combo organ. Sure, the Farfisa Combo Compact did not have drawbars. For that matter, neither did most of the Ace Tones. And almost none of the actual combo organs had all the drawbars that a Hammond did (which is obviously the reason the Reface YC has the ones it does). And some of the combos didn't have percussion. Nor did they have distortion. And most didn't have Reverb. Or a built in Leslie sim. And I don't give a ****. I'm GLAD they threw those things in. Nobody's forcing you to use all the drawbars if you don't want to. Nobody's forcing you to use the extra features. But if you're a player that loves to experiment with sounds and see what these instruments might have done had they evolved a bit, you'll be in heaven.
The only reason I'm dinging it half a star is because, yeah, I would've liked a minimum 49 full-sized keys. But this really is eminently playable. At gigs, I use a 61-key MIDI controller and often hook up both the Reface YC and the Reface CP. (And yes, sometimes it's quite fun to have the controller triggering both the YC and CP at once for some even nastier sounds.)
Note: Some have mentioned the idea of combining the Refaces. I don't think combining all 4 is a good idea, but I'd be very much in favor of a 61 (or 64 or 73) full-size key version that combined the YC and CP.
For $400, it's outstanding!
So I love the Hammond organ! It is, in my humble opinion, among the top 2-3 inventions of the past century. For my main organ rig I use a 2-manual Crumar Mojo, and I love that thing - it is the best sounding digital clone I've ever heard or played by far. However, even though it's more portable than a chopped B3, it's still not a board I'm hauling out to bar gigs or shows where I just need a little organ as PART of a multi-board rig. I reserve the Mojo for organ-centered gigs. Enter the Reface. It doesn't compete with the Mojo for authenticity, but it's not supposed to. It's my lightweight, portable rig. I'm using it as a sound module. And for $400, it's a beautiful thing! It will cover everything I need for those gigs where organ just needs to sound convincingly good but not obsessively great. Aside from the chorus (which is ghastly), it sounds amazingly good for the size and cost. the Hammond emulation even gets some of the crosstalk effect. It's not adjustable, of course, but it's there. All in all, I think this is a miraculous little board and having a good-sounding, ultra-portable organ as part of my "general duty" rig feels great!
Look past the small keys
Yamaha, you nailed it. Pure and simple a combo organ I can easily gig with. Setup and tear down are nothing with this rig. The sounds are true to life and much easier to tote this than a real combo organ. Almost every gigging keyboard player already has a full size keybed someplace in there setup. So midi it out and use REAL DRAWBARS!! Hands down way cheaper than any other organ in its class. Big sound, easy setup, and sound above and beyond many things on the market. FYI Sweetwater has the best customer service around. Thank you so much for a great experience.
The sound is there! The onboard speakers do not do it justice, so I got a pair of headphones. Now I can hear the low notes. Would like to hook it up to an amp in the future. Maybe a spacestation V3. It's a great practice keyboard. I just wanted something lower price to see if I could still play after not playing for forty years. I still got it. My next step will be something with at least 61 keys. I keep it right my chair at the table, so whenever the mood strikes me, I can start beating on it. The organ voices make it worth the money, and the Leslie sim sounds pretty good. Everybody wants a B3, but that's another story. Mark at Sweetwater has been a joy to work with! The fireballs are great. The reface definitely sounds bigger than it is.
Missed it by THIS much! Yamaha should have made the Reface series with 49 full sized keys at this price point. Period. Real world, gigging, keyboard players would have all found room, and need, for at least one of the four in their rig. Mini-keys let this instrument down so much. The small keys put it in "hipster with a backpack at Starbucks" territory.
Another reviewer suggested all four engines be put in one keyboard. This would have been excellent as well, as long as they retained the controls for each instrument. I think that would have been very expensive to implement though.