YAMAHA HandySound HS-500   polyphonic squarewave mini- keyboard with audiogames

This keyboard is almost identical with the Yamaha HS-200, but like the Bontempi HT 313.10 it features additional "music games" to teach note and chord recognition, melody play etc. using an LCD display.

(I strongly retouched this photo, since my original box is very bleached out.)

different main features:

SER.NO. 093493
While opening the case, be careful not to crack off these plastic tabs at the front rim.


The hardware differs from Yamaha HS-200 and employs a SMD CPU (gladly labelled "microcomputer" on the PCB) and a separate sound chip. Unlike with Casio, the use of an LCD was extremely unusual for early Yamaha keyboards. Unfortunately Yamaha missed the chance of building a polyphonic Casio VL-Tone competitor, thus despite the LCD it features neither a synthesizer nor rhythm nor sequencer, but only the audiogames. At least the games include also fairly hard exercises and not just trivial monophonic stuff like found in certain cheap modern toy keyboards from China.

The audiogames include various polyphonic sound effects and jingles played in the current main voice preset sound. At the end of each game (usually after time runs out) the game score is displayed to indicate how well the player played. The games are selected with the 'function' button, the level with 'level'. To begin press 'start'.  (I don't own the manual of this instrument, thus some game details may be explained inaccurately here.)

  • function 1: keyboard play
  • Normal keyboard play mode; the last played note letter is indicated on the LCD. Strange is that also here the 'level' button cycles through '1'..'3' despite these and the 'start' button seem to change nothing in this mode.
    I was told by a collector that the similar looking Yamaha HS-400 had even a great chorus style human voice sample(?) despite it was already made in 1982.
     removal of these screws voids warranty...    
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