Some things are just better left as eccentric indulgences. A plastic, nightstand version of Stephen Hawking's Chronophage' Corpus Clock wouldn't have the same meaning as the original (I'd still buy one, of course). Likewise, a plastic, toy Star Wars lightsaber isn't in the same league as a hand-tooled replica.
At an original asking price of $1,200, 2008'sTenori-On music sequencer definitely falls into the "eccentric indulgence" category. But if you're a self-described electronic music nerd (why yes, I am), the sequencer's hand-brushed magnesium body, unique portability, and performance-oriented design, made the cost justifiable.
Not content with Tenori-On sales trickling out MIDI-worshiping electronic music producers, Yamaha set out to create a less expensive plastic model, lacking a few bells and whistles. The end result is the Tenori-On "O," a $699 take on the original dressed in white plastic and an orange LED grid.
As someone who's had the pleasure of spending a few days with both versions of the Tenori-On, I have to say that the "O" doesn't hold the same appeal to me as the original. In cutting corners to produce a low-cost (relatively speaking) Tenori-On, Yamaha also cut out a little of the instrument's soul. … Read more