Yamaha Design “Synapses” YDS-150


Red Dot Award
iF Design Award
Design for Asia Award

A digital saxophone that anyone can enjoy playing, anywhere, at any time.


A new saxophone that blends acoustic and digital elements, which utilizes an acoustic reverberation system integrated into the bell to provide a rich, reverberating tone, producing a sound field similar to that of an acoustic saxophone. The mouthpiece, key inlays, and the brass bell in which the sound actually reverberates are all the same as those used in acoustic instruments, giving the YDS-150 a true wind instrument-like feel when played.


The design of the YDS-150 focused on accurately reproducing the key layout of an acoustic saxophone, allowing players to experience the same sensations they enjoy with the instruments that they are used to.


The unique rhomboid cross-section of the body was the result of the consideration given to maintaining the basic positions of the electronic parts, and eliminating any unnecessary sections to enhance the playability of the instrument. By shaping the instrument so that the line from the mouthpiece to the bell forms a large R, the design of the YDS-150 gives the player the impression their breath, and the resulting sound, is passing through a single tube.


The arrival of the YDS-150, which offers both the form and feel of an acoustic instrument and the convenience and functionality of a digital one, makes saxophone performance a more familiar experience than ever before. You can adjust the volume or use headphones to play whenever and wherever inspiration strikes.

Kazuki Kashiwase
Kazuki Kashiwase
Yamaha Design Laboratory

A new musical instrument truly worthy of the Yamaha name.

The YDS-150 is a digital saxophone with a design philosophy very similar to that used in acoustic saxophones. When we first received the plan, we wanted to make a digital instrument that was more reflective of Yamaha, and which possessed a connection with acoustic instruments. As we sought to create a completely new saxophone that combined the values of both acoustic and digital instruments, we made a number of suggestions, the most notable being that we use a brass bell incorporating the same materials and methods as that of an acoustic saxophone. Some people voiced concerns over production costs, but we were able to achieve some impressive characteristics such as an integrated sound production mechanism created by connecting the speaker unit and bell with a reverberation pipe, providing an inspiring, uplifting experience that satisfies the desires of performers, and allaying any worries.

Like the bell, which has a real acoustic function, the mouthpiece has a role to play, transmitting the vibrations of the speaker unit to the lips and providing the same feel as in a saxophone, contributing to the realistic performance experience offered by the YDS-150. The keys too were reproduced with unstinting realism, with extremely complex shapes and many molds and parts, but they were designed by people who design acoustic saxophones, and made by people with a high level of skill, meaning we were able to somehow achieve our goal.
The YDS-150 allows people who are learning the saxophone, as well as those who already know how to play, to switch from an acoustic saxophone and enjoy the same feeling that they are used to.
Actually, I had dabbled in the saxophone when I was in middle school, but soon gave it up. When I tried to practice at home, my grandmother would come to listen to me play, which made me embarrassed at the time, and I gradually stopped practicing. I think that there are probably quite a few people who, like me, don’t want their families or the people around them to hear them when they are practicing, or who want to practice at home but just can’t. The YDS-150 can be used in a variety of ways; players can mute the sound and practice in the living room where their family is, or connect headphones and practice in their own rooms, and I hope that people will choose to play it, and indeed, come to cherish it just as they would an acoustic instrument.

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