Yamaha PSR-F52 Review (Best $100 61-Key Electric Piano?)

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Yamaha PSR-F52 Review (Best $100 61-Key Electric Piano?)
The PSR-F52 is a 61-key electric piano definitely that's worth it if you're a beginner. We wish this keyboard had more polyphony, but overall, it’s still a good starter instrument that's perfect if you are on a small budget and don’t have a piano yet.
Build Quality
Sound Quality
Packed with built-in learning features
Portable and compact
No touch sensitivity
Poor build quality
  • The PSR-F52 is a 61-key electric piano priced at only $100!
  • Discover why it’s a great tool for beginners…
  • But why you should avoid it absolute beginner pianist

Extremely popular among beginners, the Yamaha PSR-F52 is a 61-key electric piano with full-sized keys with a lightweight touch.

The PSR-52 package comes with headphones and an X-style stand. The instrument boasts over 140 different voices in the sound bank and has essential features such as split mode and dual mode.

Beginners will also really enjoy the versatile drum sounds, and a wide variety of style presets. But at only $100, is the instrument actually worth it? 

Yamaha PSR-F52: Verdict?

The verdict is yes, the PSR-F52 is definitely worth it- But only for absolute beginner pianists.

We wish this keyboard had more polyphony, but it’s still a good starter instrument.

This particular PSR lacks MIDI, Bluetooth and weighted touch, as well as many other features that advanced beginner to intermediate players would value.

Yamaha PSR-F52

The PSR-F52 is the perfect keyboard for people who want to learn to play. It has all the features you need for your first playing experience.

Why We Love It:
  • Nice blend of price and features
  • Compact size for apartments and dorms
  • Wide variety of tones and styles
View Price On Thomman

Yamaha PSR-F52: Full Review 

Build Quality (6/10)

The PSR-F52 only weighs 6 pounds, so it is really easy to carry around.

The quality of the build isn’t fit to handle frequent travel, though. That being said, this PSR would get you by for the occasional weekend gig.

The keys also lack touch sensitivity, velocity, and aftertouch; having just one of these features would’ve greatly increased our built quality score.

Some newer intermediate pianos have a hybrid wooden-plastic action. If you are an intermediate player, we would highly recommend a digital piano with that feature as it feels heavier and more authentic.

On the other hand, the lack of weighted keys and x stand do make the PSR-F52 more portable than most

The keys aren’t the most expensive feeling. We also noticed that there was no sustain pedal input, which detracts from the overall build.

Another factor that detracts from the instrument’s build quality is the small speakers, which lack depth in the low end of the piano. 

Playability (7/10)

The PSR-F52 has easy-to-use onboard controls and a lightweight touch. It feels like playing on an organ or a synthesizer.

The smaller keyboard will help young players familiarize themselves with the instrument without getting too overwhelmed at the sight of a full 88-key keyboard. 

Sound Quality  (7.5/10)

For the price, the sound quality is decent. That being said, the bass of the instrument lacks ‘umph’. This is likely due to the 2.5-watt internal speakers.

The voices in the sound bank are quite good. From world sounds to the more basic pianos, keyboards, and strings, there’s a lot to play with here.

One feature that does also improves the sound quality of the PSR-F52 is the sound boost. Sound boost adds extra power the instrument when you turn it on. 

Features  (8/10)

The PSR-F52 has all of the features you need to get started, and then some.

The PSR-52 has aspects that you would expect in a beginner keyboard, like split mode, dual mode, and a metronome; but it also has some surprisingly advanced features, like drum sets, a world sound engine, and smart chord technology. 

Sound Engine with World Sounds

Almost 50 of the 144 voices are world sounds, even including the Indonesian Bonang, which is a set of tuned metal gongs.

The sound engine is divided into four categories: Asia, China, India, and Middle East. There are wind voices, including the suling and Di Zi, as well as strings like the rebab, sitar, santur, and koto.

The piano sounds are resonant and pleasant, and the world sounds are vibrant and accurate. 

8 Drum Sets 

The 8 included drum sets are an excellent introduction to percussion sounds on a keyboard. 5 of the drum kits are world drum kits, which is good cultural exposure for kids. 

Split Mode/Dual Mode

Split mode lets you divide the instrument into two halves, and assign a sound to each half.

This can be really fun with the PSR-F52 because it has all of the world’s sounds. You can compose with gamelan voices or western instruments. 

Dual mode lets you layer two sounds on top of one another to make a completely unique sound.

When you combined this PSR’s sound engine with dual and split, there are a plethora of ways to create music!

Metronome with Tap Tempo

The metronome has a tap function, which allows you to put in a typo by tapping the rhythm.

The metronome in the PSR-F52 has a wide range of tempos from 32-380. 

Built-In Songs to Help You Learn

The 52 onboard songs provide plenty of educational content for students. Plus, the PSR-F52’s song mode helps beginners learn one step at a time.

The first mode teaches you rhythm alone. After that, you can practice one hand at a time in the second mode, before putting it all together. 

Automatic Accompaniment

Auto accompaniment is a beginner-friendly feature that lets you choose from a range of styles.

This feature is synonymous with smart chord. When you input the genre and key into the PSR-F52, the instrument will automatically determine what type of chord will need to be underneath the melody (major, minor, 7th, etc).

To use auto accompaniment, the player chooses a style ( such as reggae, or afro-beat), and then a voice.

There are 158 total styles to choose from. This feature is helpful to new students because it can create a full-sounding arrangement out of a simple melody. 

Style Control

Style control has fill-ins, intros, endings, and variations to help mix up the accompaniment.

This feature makes PSR auto accompaniments sound much more natural. 

Panel Sustain 

Pedal sustain is a feature that is a substitute for a physical sustain pedal. Musicians can press and release the sustain button on the panel in order to add the effect.

Panel sustain will feel odd to seasoned pianists as it requires you to move your hand up to the button and back down.

That being said, it’s a good introduction to beginner pianists and teaches them an essential function of the piano. 

Compact Size and Lightweight Design

The PSR-F52 is less than 10 pounds and is a fun instrument to cart over to your friend’s house. Its compact size will fit into any dorm or apartment with ease. 

Included Rest and X-Style Stand

The piano includes a sheet music rest and a lightweight x-style stand.

Many makers don’t include the stand with the keyboard, so this is another area where you get more bang for your buck.

Optional Battery Power

The PSR-F52 can be run off of batteries when you are traveling with the instrument and you don’t have access to power.

Battery-powered keyboards can be particularly inspiring to kids, as they can play with headphones just about anywhere– Even in the back of the car!

2.5 Watt Speaker System 

A 2.5-watt speaker system is admittedly not the most powerful (by comparison, most intermediate pianos have 40-watt speaker systems).

That being said, if you are a beginner on a budget, you probably don’t want to have to purchase external amplification and figure out how to hook it up.

The PST-F52 is convenient and easy to use and meets its target audience’s needs well. 

Full-Sized Keys

For the price, it’s great that the PSR-F52 has full-sized keys (Some $100 keyboards have more narrow keys than a traditional piano).

This is helpful for new musicians’ spatial reasoning and feeling for the instrument; if they end up [playing on an acoustic or upgrading their digital piano, they won’t need to readjust the spacing of their fingers. 

Other Features:

Other notable features you will find in the PSR-F52 include:

  • Part muting
  • Sync Start
  • Transpose
  • Tune
  • LCD display 

Yamaha PSR-F52: Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
It’s economical Not ideal for advanced beginners or intermediates
There are many features If you stick with it, you will need to upgrade
Plenty of voices Not the sturdiest
It has authentic world sounds The keys are slippery
Portable and compact No touch sensitivity or aftertouch
There are many built-in learning features No onboard recording

Comparable Instruments

Two comparable instruments to the PSR-F52 include the Casio CT-S200 and the Yamaha PSR-F51.

The Casio CT-S200 is a step up from the PSR-F52 as it has more polyphony, a nicer key feel, and hundreds of more tones.

PSR-F51 is a predecessor to the PSR-F52 and is another solid beginner instrument.

If the lack of polyphony is a dealbreaker for you, try the CT-S200

Yamaha PSR-F52

The PSR-F52 is the perfect keyboard for people who want to learn to play. It has all the features you need for your first playing experience.

Why We Love It:
  • Nice blend of price and features
  • Compact size for apartments and dorms
  • Wide variety of tones and styles
View Price On Thomman

Final Thoughts 

If you are on a small budget and don’t have a piano yet, the PSR-F52 is a good place to start.

Bear in mind that you will be tempted to upgrade as you grow to be an intermediate player.

More experienced pianists will begin to crave weighted keys, which would be a good time to move up to the Yamaha Arius line, such as the P-45.

If you need an emergency backup instrument or are looking to get your kid an instrument but aren’t sure if they are going to stick to it and you don’t want to break the bank) give the PSR-F52 a try!