Yamaha DX21

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Yamaha DX21

Postby Provision » Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:35 am

I have a chance to pick one up for 50$, I do not have any DX synths in my setup is it worth picking up?



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Re: Yamaha DX21

Postby mung » Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:41 am

saw one for a decent price around me as well. Iyam, any synth is worth picking up if it's a good price.
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Re: Yamaha DX21

Postby 8bit9bot » Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:40 am

my first synth - if you like the dx100 sound... then the dx21 is like a bitimbral version of the dx100 - the whole unit is made out of metal except the keys/buttons (nice!) - and it has nice pushbuttons superior to the dx7's membrane buttons - i definitely would buy one for 50 dollars - so if you dont like it... resell it to me for 50 dollars - i had to sell mine a couple years ago for extra cash - i love that thing

the only thing i would change about it is the no-velocity - not even via midi? :(
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Re: Yamaha DX21

Postby solderguy » Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:41 am

DX21 most certainly responds to midi-velocity, altho the built-in keyboard doesn't have velocity sense.
DX21 a great little DX synth - I have owned two.
The pushbuttons do get gummed up and respond erratically - check this out first if possible. $50 is fine though, even if not 100%.
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Re: Yamaha DX21

Postby killedaway » Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:34 am

i bought mine for quite a bit less, but the screen is almost unreadable, and i think i got a bargain. $50 sounds pretty darn good to me. fun little 4-OP FM synth. as 8bit9bot mentioned, the case is all metal, and it's both heavy and sturdy. the buttons are also nice -- mine are still clicky and responsive. i like the key action too: they're solid, with decent spring. if it's fully functional, i'd say go for it.
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Re: Yamaha DX21

Postby Clavier » Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:35 pm

I would buy another for $50.
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Re: Yamaha DX21

Postby braincandy » Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:02 pm

It was my first synth back in 1986...

For $50, why not? One thing I used to do was to layer the same sound with itself and adjust the dual detune. It was a way of getting a chorus effect when I was trying to thicken things up.

If you can find the patches from Key Clique available on eBay or elsewhere, I highly recommend them. Back then, there was no stigma about using 3rd-party sounds and Bo Tomlyn did a great job in programming sounds for the DX-series. I used a lot of those sounds with my DX21 and they were way more interesting than the factory sounds or the sounds I tried to "program" (hey, I was 13!).
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Re: Yamaha DX21

Postby HideawayStudio » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:47 pm

TX81Z is better - it's a 1U rack with a better display, better memory layout and -much- more quiet but not much more expensive. That said Monobass and Solidbass (aka Lately Bass) are ace! I've got a DX21 somewhere... the biggest problem with it is that despite it having full sized keys and being 4OP FM it is not velocity sensitive or has aftertouch which is an absolute crime as what makes FM is it's beautiful realtime response - fortunately these features are available via midi.
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Re: Yamaha DX21

Postby ryryoftokyo » Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:17 pm

i have a DX-21 and have learned to love it. The manual isn't quite as good as other Yamaha boards I have dealt with, but it's still better than many.

It feels nice to play, but can be a pain to learn if you don't have prior knowledge about FM synthesis. On that subject, immersion alone can help you. It just clicked with me one day while screwing around with it.

I don't prefer the chorus effect, as I think it's a tad noisy and doesn't do enough to emphasize the sounds.

I never liked boards that were a menu slog, the main reason I don't play my Micron anymore, however this board does not rub me the wrong way. It can be a bit annoying when you are trying to remember everything you want to do with the sound, then having to remember how to work the functions.

The pitch and mod wheels feel very nice, especially the pitch.

The overall sound is something I've learned to love. It's hard to describe, but when I fire that thing up, the funk just seems to come out. Also, I tend to get a little experimental and make some odd sounds as well.

I also managed to make a convincing B3 sound on it, so what does that tell you?

As far as build? I can't think how I COULD break this IF I WANTED TO. It's built like a fucking tank!

My advice: go for it.

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Re: Yamaha DX21

Postby Christopher Winkels » Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:40 pm

Any synth in good working order is worth buying for $50, and I say even this as someone who doesn't have much love for FM.

At best you'll find a few more colours for your palette. At worst, if properly mainted it'll be $50 you'll get back six months down the road when you resell it.
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Re: Yamaha DX21

Postby Ian S » Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:29 am

I'd go along with what everyone else has said (I used to have a DX21 myself & got some decent sounds out of it), & at that price you can't go wrong. However, have a poke around & see if you can find a DX11 for a decent price (I paid £60 for my first one), it's more recent, better buttons (think DX7II), multitimbral, and has velocity & aftertouch. You might not find one for $50 though. Alternatively, get the 21 & look out for an 11 later, they're both 4-operator, so patches are pretty much interchangeable.
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Re: Yamaha DX21

Postby Phollop Willing PA » Sun Jan 25, 2009 7:03 pm

Yes! I had one in the '80s and it served me well. I keep the DX100 as a reminder of FM synthesis and tranferred my original patches from the 21 to the 100. I'd even go as high as $100 :lol:
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Re: Yamaha DX21

Postby biekr_02000 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:45 am

Hey I am looking for a dx21 for a good price. Let me know if anyone wants to sell. I will buy asap.
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Re: Yamaha DX21

Postby Mandolin Rail » Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:22 pm

I've had mine since '93 or '94 - paid $100 for it. It was my main synth for piano and brass. It complimented my JX-3P that I used for leads very well at the time. It has been collecting dust though for the last 5 years or so since I got a TX81Z for the rack. But I would surely pick up just about any working synth for $50. Go for it. It's a tough little board. Great for gigging.
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