Tenori-On O brings bleeps within reach

The second generation of the Yamaha Tenori-On electronic music sequencer offers most of the features of the $1,500 original, but retails for $999.

Photo of the Yamaha Tenori-On O.
The Tenori-On O is the plastic offspring of the original Yamaha Tenori-On. Yamaha

As a musician, one of my favorite moments of 2008 was the chance to meet Yu Nishibori and his musical invention, the Tenori-On. Coming across like a futuristic cross between a drum machine and a game of Tetris, the Tenori-On music sequencer is one of those truly odd and beautiful devices that seems too cool to be real. Even the Museum of Modern Art saw fit to pick one up--one of only five instruments in its 4,000 item collection.

Play

The problem was, it was just too expensive. You really needed to have a fetish for Japanese electronic music sequencers to pick up an original Tenori-On for $1,499 ($1,200 street). Thankfully, the folks at Yamaha are now announcing a second generation of the Tenori-On (the Tenori-On "O"), priced at a relatively affordable $999 MSRP.

The Tenori-On "O" is virtually identical in form and function as the original, but Yamaha did have to cut a few corners to get the price down. For starters, it's made of white plastic instead of the luxurious hand-brushed magnesium used on the original. The grid is one-sided now, which makes it a little less exciting to view as a spectator. And perhaps most disappointing, you can't run the "O" version from batteries--you have to keep it plugged in.

Still, if you can live with some sacrifices, the Tenori-On "O" should still make for an extremely fun and engaging music machine. Expect to see these on sale in January 2010.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Looking for an affordable tablet?

CNET rounds up high-quality tablets that won't break your wallet.