At first, I only seemed to see the lesser points as I was basically comparing the Yamaha MM8 to their higher end products like the S90 that I once owned. But, once I really sat down with this keyboard, I really learned to appreciate all it has to offer. The piano sound is up to the level of the original Motif, not the ES models. The MM8 has excellent built in effects but lacks in controlling between fast and slow rotary with organs sounds via the mod wheel, dedicated button, or pedal setting. You'll also find great sounds here as this is what I'd call a 'live' performance synth but in a lower end package.
Speaking of package, you can't beat under 35 pounds in total weight and that's a pretty meaty weighted keybed they've installed there. The accompaniments are really good and I find them more than just fun, they trigger song ideas.
Usually, keyboards under $1000 will have limitations especially with weighted keys and limited editing features containing the basic four panel knobs for Cut-off freq./Resonance/attack/Release but there are Motif sounds under the hood and those are always top notch sounds. The E.Q.ing aspects can really bring out the sound.
The sequencer is easy to use and adds an extra aspect to this board. I wish one could assign parts for external instruments without the internal parts also playing as that would make this a better controller but I understand that is not the goal of this keyboard.
I feel the Yamaha MM8 would suit anyone who needs weighted keys, in a lighter weight package, wants a bright piano sound along with all your meat and potato sounds and some additionally inspiring synth sounds.
Keep in mind, it only has 32 notes of polyphony so classical players will max this thing out with heavily sustained arpeggios but I found the note stealing algorithm efficient and non pervasive which is something that really bugged me about earlier models.
This is a solid sounding and feeling unit but with basic editing and overall controls. It classifies, to me, as the bottom end of the pro end keyboards but make no mistake, this unit rocks in terms of sounds, feel, and value. For what it's worth, I give this unit a very solid 8.2 out of 10. Nice job, Yamaha.