Yamaha DX7 vs. DX11 Key Action

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Yamaha DX7 vs. DX11 Key Action

Postby baron.von.case » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:02 am

Hello all,

I am thinking of buying a DX11 available locally on craigslist very shortly, but first I want to ask a question. I will be using the DX11 as a MIDI controller because I find all the modern controllers to be flimsy and cheap with terrible key action. I have heard amazing things about the DX7's keys (I prefer synth action), but the DX7 makes a bad controller, as it can't transmit over a velocity of 100.

My question is, does the DX11 have the same keybed as the DX7?

I have heard that the DX7II and the DX21 share the exact same keys as the DX7, so it stands to reason the DX11 does too. Here's hoping it does!

(Will keep you posted on the purchase should the result come back positive...)

- b.v.c
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Re: Yamaha DX7 vs. DX11 Key Action

Postby Phenom » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:30 am

I think (though I might well be wrong) that the DX7 only transmits on midi channel 1, which could prove to be a major headache or a minor quirk depending on how you work.

Can't comment on key action on either, I've played on both in the past, but don't remember anything about them.

I would only go after the DX11 as a master keyboard if you actually liked it as a synth. There's plenty of choice for a cheap old synth to use as a master, so you might as well get something that you like. I occasionally use a Yamaha SY35 as a master keyboard, nice light but fairly resistive action, velocity and aftertouch sensitive and a fun little synth as well.

I like the action on old Korg synths like the M1 and 01/w which used nice keybeds (made by Yamaha actually). You might like to try something like those. The Ensoniq ESQ1 and Roland D50 were ok for synth action too, should be plenty of those around.

You'll have a lot more choice on ebay than craigslist by the way, and since it's a buyer's market for most old digital synths you'll prob get something you like on there for cheap.
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Re: Yamaha DX7 vs. DX11 Key Action

Postby meatballfulton » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:49 am

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Re: Yamaha DX7 vs. DX11 Key Action

Postby baron.von.case » Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:46 pm

Thanks Phenom,

I am fairly sold on the DX11 for a number of reasons. I'd like to hear more about this only transmitting on MIDI channel 1 - this could be a problem. Is that only applicable to the DX7 or to the DX11 as well?

If this doesn't work out, the SY looks like a great piece of equipment. Thank you for bringing my attention to it; I don't know how I never saw this before, given that I am pretty well-familiar with most semi-popular synths of the '80s and early '90s (well, probably not THAT familiar, by this site's standards, but I'm pretty educated on the subject as far as 24-year-old Midwestern American people go).


I'd still like to hear from anyone out there as to whether the same keys are used on both units.
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Re: Yamaha DX7 vs. DX11 Key Action

Postby Slashe50 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:20 am

The DX11 can transmit on multiple MIDI channels, the full 16, I believe (I could be wrong, I'd have to check mine). As for the action, I'm fairly happy with the keybed in mine. Whether they're the same keys I'm not sure, I haven't played a DX7 for long enough that I'd remember the difference (I've only played it once at a friend's house).
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Re: Yamaha DX7 vs. DX11 Key Action

Postby desotoslo » Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:50 am

DX7 is different action from DX11. They're both Good, but DX7 is one of the best actions I've ever played on a synth. Superb keybed... it's very springy, but with a medium resistance that just feels money. Note: DX7 does not transmit the full midi value up to 128 in the velocity sensitivity... goes to like 96(?) or something, so this would affect its usefulness as a master. If you're strict about that.

DX11 action is more spongy, doesn't feel as expensive. It's still a quality keybed, and the synth itself is capable of a lot and has a lovely tone. Also has reverb (not really), and delay effects with panning (cool) built in.

Nice synths.
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Re: Yamaha DX7 vs. DX11 Key Action

Postby b3groover » Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:01 pm

SY77 and SY99 have the DX7 action. SY99 can act as a master controller in some regards (limited, but it has some master controller functions).
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