Yamaha DX7 line VS Yamaha SY77

A forum for comparing two or more synths against each other. Also known as "versus" threads.

Re: Yamaha DX7 line VS Yamaha SY77

Postby wildpaws » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:55 pm

Just to add a couple of quick thoughts, while DX7 patches converted with software often sound a little different on the SY77/99, you can manually tweak them to sound exactly like the DX7 version. I've been using my SY77 since '89/'90, my SY99 for several years, I think both are far better FM synths than any of the DX series. Both SYs have the same FM synth engine, the samples in the AWM section of the SY99 are a little better and there are more of them. Sector101 now offers SYEMB05 ram board clones at an excellent price for anyone wanting to load more/bigger samples on an SY99. While I'll never sell my SY77, I think the SY99 is the better choice of the two though it is huge and weighs a ton.
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Re: Yamaha DX7 line VS Yamaha SY77

Postby robotunes » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:19 pm

maybe clyde's too modest to mention it, but he's a moderator at a pretty helpful forum for sy and dx owners:

http://www.yamahaforums.co.uk/forum/

scroll down to find the forum for you. this is the place i found out about the cool blue lcd that transformed my sy77 and made editing so much easier because i could finally see what i was doing!
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Re: Yamaha DX7 line VS Yamaha SY77

Postby Pro5 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:11 pm

SY77 all the way! Unless you really want the 'legend' that is a DX7 on your synth stand! (and no problem with that). They are both great synths (The MK2, S DX7 more than the Mk1 IMO) and the SY77/99.

Soundwise? The SY will do stuff no DX7 can (not even talking PCM stuff here which I never use - always pure AFM mode). But they both do the 'DX7' sound just fine. Some say the SY is impossible to get that feel from but it's not true, and no you can't convert patches easily you have to work at it - but it's like any synth > synth you'd expect that! doesn't mean the SY can't do it (if you programmed the SY from scratch you'd come up with just as many DX7-ish tones as on a DX7! if that was your goal)

Hope I'm ok to post a link to the GS forum here? if not mods please let me know and I'll remove it - i posted this last month a comparision of a couple of custom patches on the DX7s I converted to the SY77 - they are not 100% identical but hopefully as you can hear close enough, in fact the SY ones sound better in some cases.

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/8177432-post236.html

If you don't want all the fancy extras or the look of the SY77 then by all means get a DX7s/MK2 as they are nice synths. Unison poly is lovely sounding on any non MK1 (Mk1 doesn't have that!) on the SY you can use 2/4 elements and detune them for a similar (though not exact but no worse) effect. One omission is lack of 3 element POLY FM only 1 or 2 FM layers. If you have 4 it's mono. and there is no 3. Why would you want 3 layers poly? to get closer to the DX7 unison sound. If you are talking mono sounds then the 4 AFM mono mode is a monster! Not only can it make a stab at analogesque stuff, many times I prefer it (I used to have an SH-101 for slippery lead lines with portamento - but the SY did what I wanted with a different/unique edge more often so I got rid of the SH-101s!)

As for 99 v 77 - as i only use FM and 50% of the time NO onboard effects (nor would I ever use the sample ram thing) I'm more than happy with the 77 even though the 99 is obviously the 'better' of the two. As a whole unit though, I prefer the size shape - even the name ;P of the 77 (a hint at it's predecessor) and the 77 itself is quite heavy/bulky as it is - built like a tank - a 99 must be beastly! too big for my needs. 77 is fine for me. If I didn't have that a DX7 mk2 would be fine too - lovely synths once you learn how to truly work FM!


And yes in general the 77 goes for less than the DX7 Mk2/S because it's less well known, less sought after, no legendary name (I am one of thousands of 80s synth kids who dreamed of owning a DX7 back then - from seeing it on TV so much if nothing it else) and because it's a nice compact - purposeful synth. Some people abhor any markings of 'workstation' - I too would prefer the '77 didn't have a sequencer (or PCM for that matter!) - so while it's a bit of a 'secret' that the 77 is much more powerful than the DX7 they are respected among proper synth heads. The DX7 is appreciated by anyone who doesn't hate them! Bigger market basically, more bids, higher prices - classic piece of gear.

I got all my synths pretty cheaply anyway, I actually paid the same for my 77 as I did for my DX7 II-D and I paid a bit less for my 'bargain' DX7s (which I preferred in some ways to the II-D odly enough!)

I think really it comes down to if you will appreciate the extra features of the 77 more than the 'kudos' of the DX7 logo. I can see a case for both and the head goes with the SY77 while the heart with the DX7 for all the obvious reasons. Only you can decide. Oh and you are more likely to find a DX7 for sale (glad you are focussed on MK2s but don't forget the DX7S - great synth! can't do layers but does have unison and backlight, cleaner outputs of the true mk2s - I say this as you may pass one up otherwise and if you are searching...)


Here's a pic of my SY77 with my DX7s above it (which is now sold)

Image
Last edited by Pro5 on Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.
V-SYNTH | JX-3P | AN1x | JD-800 | POLYSIX x2 | PERFORMER
HAD: SH101/JUNO 1,2,6,60/MKS70,50/JX8P/D50,70/JV1080/AX80/SY77,85/DX7,IID,S,100 /TG77,500/TX802,81Z/MS2k/DW8000/PROPHECY/WAVESTATION/M1/KSRACK/CZ1
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Re: Yamaha DX7 line VS Yamaha SY77

Postby Pro5 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:29 pm

nathanscribe wrote:Better to get a correctly proportioned drive belt. I got mine from eBay for pocket money.


Actually, better to do the simple ribbon cable mod then buy any generic pc floppy drive for £5 or less and fit it for a lifetime of use (no belt!) :) That's what I did. £5 brand new Sony drive, rock solid and new drive facia to boot (still black so blends in). Also got the blue screen as regular posters here may recall - as many of us do - from the blue screen thread a couple of years back. :)

And yeah it's a synth that I stil relish getting stuck into to dream up new patches that has a lure that none of my other synths have had. It's very powerful and cost a fortune when new. Today it's the bargain of the digital synth world.
Last edited by Pro5 on Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
V-SYNTH | JX-3P | AN1x | JD-800 | POLYSIX x2 | PERFORMER
HAD: SH101/JUNO 1,2,6,60/MKS70,50/JX8P/D50,70/JV1080/AX80/SY77,85/DX7,IID,S,100 /TG77,500/TX802,81Z/MS2k/DW8000/PROPHECY/WAVESTATION/M1/KSRACK/CZ1
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Re: Yamaha DX7 line VS Yamaha SY77

Postby Pro5 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:42 pm

robotunes wrote:i used sym3 for a while, but i'm more of a hardware guy than a software guy. most ppl, however ,probably would greatly prefer editing in software.


I typically prefer programming synths on hardware! Especially the SY77! Have no problem zipping around the screens they are much better than DX7 menus lots of 'show all' options where you scroll around the values with the 4 cursor keys, and being able to TYPE IN values is a massive time saver vs the DX7 - becomes second nature. Also you get to look down for a while instead of at a computer monitor, nice rest for the neck. You can rest your hands on the cool SY metal too.. the nice bright blue screen and a proper knowledge of the menu systems and it really isn't as scary as it looks! Then again nor is the DX7S / MKII.

Funnily enough I never really clicked with the SY's menus until i HAD to convert my DX7 patches over - it made me view it more simplified, then suddenly I got why all that info was on screen and how there are various ways to show/do/adjust the same thing and it's just preference.

Also when I program sounds on a synth rather than via editor they tend to feel more worthwhile? strange! Created on the hardware in the hardware and any restrictions (or making do / lack of time) is PART of the finished sound, with software editors much like computer programs in general, you run the risk of tinkering forever searching for perfection. It removes some of the joy vs hands on with the keyboard. I would use Soft editor for the TG rackmount though - programming racks isn't much fun.
V-SYNTH | JX-3P | AN1x | JD-800 | POLYSIX x2 | PERFORMER
HAD: SH101/JUNO 1,2,6,60/MKS70,50/JX8P/D50,70/JV1080/AX80/SY77,85/DX7,IID,S,100 /TG77,500/TX802,81Z/MS2k/DW8000/PROPHECY/WAVESTATION/M1/KSRACK/CZ1
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Re: Yamaha DX7 line VS Yamaha SY77

Postby TysonC » Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:38 am

Well, now I just can't wait!

I got to play with my FB-01 today and it sounds great to my ears. Haha, if this little junker sounds good, I can hardly imagine what a "real" synth like the SY can do. It's gonna be fun times for sure. I can't wait to get a workstation!

Thanks for all the advice, links, anecdotes, and opinions, everybody! It's a lot of fun to learn about synths :D

This is rapidly becoming my favorite hobby.
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