FENG YUAN28061 toy keyboard with unusual sound & programmable rhythm

This is yet another of the many My Music Center variants. It has programmable rhythm (with 4 percussion and 4 animal samples but no pauses) with nicely fat sounding lo-fi sample percussion. Most of the 12 preset sounds sound different from My Music Center; some employ a strange chorus tremolo which speed changes with the note pitch (optionally switchable to normal vibrato). On the box stands "Feng Yuan, Item No. 28061" and "electronic organ, music keyboard, lovely cartoon style".

lovely cartoon style
Also a yellow version was released (shown on the box) that indicated that the case design of this instrument was blatantly inspired by the Chicco Sing 'n' Dance Orchestra, although the 28061 has only 3/4 its size, no collapsible speakers and the buttons are plastic and not rubber. This cheap knock- off has even only 1 speaker (under the right cover) and the 4 red acryl stars contain no lamps.

main features:

no. 28061, made in China Fengyuan Toys, QC-05, certificate of inspection


My specimen (bought new from flea market) had initially a very distorting speaker which turned out to be crushed. After bending the sheet metal chassis back, it now sounds fairly ok, although still a bit distorted unless volume is set low; possibly the power amp IC clips the signal since it has only 4.5V supply voltage and the speaker 8 Ohm. Unusual is that the main PCB has individual single leaded cables instead of a ribbon cable to the key PCB. The electronics stinks a bit of phthalate (and styrol?). Like with Musical Centre, the keys need a bit more force than usual, and it also shares 2 demo melodies with it (although differently orchestrated). All buttons beep and the OBS preset buttons play their sound when pressed (this even during rhythm), which disturbs live performance. The start- up jingle is a tone scale (do re mi fa so la ti do) accompanied by some low notes.

Most preset sounds have a gritty synthetic lo-fi chorus style similar like My Music Center, but with this instrument the tremolo speed of the chorus partly drastically varies with the note pitch (the higher, the faster). All timbres sound very unrealistic and have a volume envelope with well audible ticking  zipper noise. The "piano" has chorus but is a bit less honky- tonk than on My Music Center. The "organ" is a halfway brassy with varying chorus speed. "violin" sounds similar but duller, while "trumpet" sounds similar but harsher, and "oboe" even harsher (and a bit hollow). "sax" sounds harsh and thinner and is only half as loud (despite this instrument contains no analogue filters). These sounds all have the same envelope and chorus. The "mandolin" rings. "bell" sound like with My Music Center and resembles a vibraphone. The "music box" has long sustain and the chorus tremolo speed change is very strong (3Hz with lowest note, 9Hz with fastest note, i.e. speed doubles per octave). "guitar" has a harsh and sitar- like chorus timbre like on My Music Center. "bass" is a duller variant of this and has a longer decay phase, while "harp" is even duller with short decay phase. All sounds beside "mandolin" have some sustain, thus no very short tones can be played. The "Vibra" button disables the chorus and instead adds a weak and very fast fluttering vibrato. (This one sounds very different from the strong square vibrato on Musical Centre.)

The percussion uses a different sample set than My Music Center and has nicely fat and cheesy lo-fi samples. All preset rhythms contain a monophonic fixed- key accompaniment, that can not be disabled and thus severely limits its use for melody play. But the patterns are partly unusual (e.g. "samba") and may be nice for tekkno- like things because some have a nice driving bass line. Although the OBS preset rhythm buttons (re-) start their rhythms immediately, they unfortunately always reset the tempo to default, which limits their use as realtime controls.

The Feng Yuan 28061 has a programmable drum pattern (custom drummer) similar like the Letron MC-3 (see there), but this one is far more restricted, because once the user pattern is entered (press "pro" button, play on drumpads and then "play" to finish), it starts immediately and can not be stopped again without deleting the pattern. The only thing you can do with it is restarting the pattern from step 1 by pressing "Play". And unlike the similar mode on Jin Xin Toys JX-20165, this one can not even enter pause steps, because the "Play" button here instead immediately starts the pattern. But you can record here as well drums as animal voices (switched by "Drum Switch" button) into the user pattern, while the JX-20165 records only drumpad events and switches between both sound sets while playing (which doesn't work here).

The 8 nicely orchestrated demo melodies are:

  1. Joy to the World
  2. Rondo Al Turka
  3. Unterlanders Heimweh (?, the Casio MT-36 tune, not the VL-Tone one)
  4. opera march (same melody like with Musical Centre)
  5. Happy Birthday
  6. Feece
  7. The Old Folks at Home [plays disharmonic]
  8. London Dl. Ditty Minor
The melody 2 and 4 exist also on Musical Centre, although differently orchestrated.

A bigger tablehooter with similar sounds and more features was released as Yongmei YM-238C (44 midsize keys, key lighting); it even has some identical demos.

 removal of these screws voids warranty...    
back to tablehooters collection