Opinions on the Yamaha SY77/SY99 vs Roland D-50

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Opinions on the Yamaha SY77/SY99 vs Roland D-50

Postby Italo_DX » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:27 pm

Hi everyone, I'm in need of some advice here. I'll begin with a list of synths I've owned in the past few years:

Yamaha DX21
Roland JX-3P
Ensoniq SQ-80
Roland D-50

Every year I trade up.

I currently own the D-50, and while it's fun to play and sounds fantastic, I enjoy writing songs more than just playing around, so I'm really missing the built-in sequencer of the SQ-80. I can write songs in Anvil studio, tediously, but it isn't the same as hearing all parts playing with their proper sounds plus percussion. I like having everything in one box.

I began looking at some alternatives to the D-50. I like the analog/digital character of the D-50 and from what I've read, the SY77/SY99 has a similar character, plus better effects, more patches and a powerful sequencer. Plus, I've always wanted to be able to play classic 6-OP DX7 sounds (like that iconic BASS 1 preset) and the SY77/SY99 can easily load these patches. I have some experience programming FM thanks to my DX21, tinny as that thing sounded.

Anyone with an SY77/SY99 care to chime in? Anything to sway me between the SY77 or SY99? I'm planning on selling my D-50 for about $400 and I'm hoping to get the SY for the same or a little less.
Yamaha SY77
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BOSS DR-220E
Previously owned: Yamaha DX21, Roland JX-3P, Ensoniq SQ-80, Roland D-50
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Re: Opinions on the Yamaha SY77/SY99 vs Roland D-50

Postby projectwoofer » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:14 pm

I think it'd be better for you to stick with some favorite synths and actually learn how to program them than trade gear every year... :shock:

Do you actually still use build-in sequencers? What computers are for??

The DX7 patches are not going to sound exactly as the real thing on a SY synth...

If I were you, I'd keep the D50 as well as buy a decent FM synth...
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Re: Opinions on the Yamaha SY77/SY99 vs Roland D-50

Postby Italo_DX » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:37 pm

projectwoofer wrote:If I were you, I'd keep the D50 as well as buy a decent FM synth...


Hehe, I wish I had that kind of money. I could see getting the rackmount D-550 down the road though. As I understand it, my D-50 can only play one track and one patch at a time using MIDI. Then, I have to painstakingly record tracks individually, line up all the tracks in Garageband and add the drum loops from iDrum. My SQ-80, using the sequencer, could play eight tracks and eight patches at once. I could record an entire song straight from the audio out to my computer, piece o' cake. I just like having that functionality built in. ;)
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Re: Opinions on the Yamaha SY77/SY99 vs Roland D-50

Postby b3groover » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:39 am

Lots of discussion already on this subject.

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=52449
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Re: Opinions on the Yamaha SY77/SY99 vs Roland D-50

Postby edwin.bossier » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:49 pm

I have owned a SY77 and a D550, still own a SY99.

I would prefer a SY77/99 over a D50/550 any day. Much more versatile, much cleaner and better quality sound, much more powerful, much better effects and better build quality.

The D50 is sort of a relative simple VA engine combined with rather low quality samples. Very nice pads, but no match - in my opinion - to the pads of the SY99.

The SY77/99 is a very powerful combination of an extensive 6 operator FM synth with a AWM2 sound engine. Both can be routed through excellent digital filters and the AWM waveforms can be used as a modulator in the FM section. It can create virtually any sound you want albeit difficult to program.

The D50 has sort of a vintage status, the SY77/99 should have it. The SY77/99 are sold for ridiculous prices these days, do not hesitate, buy one. If you can choose between a SY77 and a SY99, the latter can use samples and the effects are better, but both have the same fantastic synth engine.
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Re: Opinions on the Yamaha SY77/SY99 vs Roland D-50

Postby Pro5 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:11 am

edwin.bossier wrote:I have owned a SY77 and a D550, still own a SY99.

I would prefer a SY77/99 over a D50/550 any day. Much more versatile, much cleaner and better quality sound, much more powerful, much better effects and better build quality.

The D50 is sort of a relative simple VA engine combined with rather low quality samples. Very nice pads, but no match - in my opinion - to the pads of the SY99.

The SY77/99 is a very powerful combination of an extensive 6 operator FM synth with a AWM2 sound engine. Both can be routed through excellent digital filters and the AWM waveforms can be used as a modulator in the FM section. It can create virtually any sound you want albeit difficult to program.

The D50 has sort of a vintage status, the SY77/99 should have it. The SY77/99 are sold for ridiculous prices these days, do not hesitate, buy one. If you can choose between a SY77 and a SY99, the latter can use samples and the effects are better, but both have the same fantastic synth engine.


What this guy said! And I really liked my D-50 but the SY77/99 are a different class - D-50 sounds warmer and has that good old 'D-50 magic' many (inc myself) have often mentioned but... well... SY77!! D-50 can also lead you down a certain path into a late 80s soundscape that you will find hard to resist (which may come through a bit too much in your tracks even if you try your best to go to the custom 'analog-esque' patches, which do sound nice) it has some glorious pads but the '77 is a monster, it can do pretty much anything.


ok.. so I realised the guy bumped an old thread and the OP now has a '77
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