DX 21 vs CZ 1000

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

Re: DX 21 vs CZ 1000

Postby Pro5 » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:43 pm

Keep the CZ!!

OR replace it with a CZ-1 :)
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Re: DX 21 vs CZ 1000

Postby Walter Ego » Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:15 pm

I sold both but then got a 101. Which I then sold. But now I'm in the market for a 101 again. I kept a RAM cart with my patches on it.
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Re: DX 21 vs CZ 1000

Postby Jaytee » Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:54 pm

I would keep the CZ solely because they will continue to become more scarce. There are so many options for Yamaha FM synthesis (and so many modern clones) that keeping one in the collection at the cost of somethig more unique doesn't make sense to me.

Ditch the DX21 and wait till a better FM synth comes along.
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Re: DX 21 vs CZ 1000

Postby Pro5 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:32 am

Replace with CZ-1 Of course!!!!!!! it's a great synth much better than (esp) DX21 and (a bit) CZ1000 :)

The velocity and extra poly etc make the CZ-1 the best of the CZs by far. Rare though!!
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Re: DX 21 vs CZ 1000

Postby Walter Ego » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:27 pm

Pro5 wrote:Replace with CZ-1 Of course!!!!!!! it's a great synth much better than (esp) DX21 and (a bit) CZ1000 :)

The velocity and extra poly etc make the CZ-1 the best of the CZs by far. Rare though!!



It's more a space issue. I'm still looking for a cheap 101. And in my experience so far, the CZ-1 is not that rare. I've seen a few pop up on CL for basement prices. Some day when I have more space maybe.
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Re: DX 21 vs CZ 1000

Postby 8bit9bot » Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:53 am

i love the DX21 - it was my first synth back in 1987... my uncle gave it to my dad - i was just 4 years old but it was a great introduction to synths - i DEFINITELY PREFER IT to the CZ line

first off... it can do sounds the DX7 cannot even do... you can literally port sega genesis patches to it - some of the presets are familiar from genesis games - if you like the sounds from final fight, street fighter, and countless other arcade game you've come to the right place (same YM2151 soundchip!) - it's really an awesome machine - i gig with it... i don't really consider it part of my synth setup because i use it for chiptunes and not "vintage synth" tunes

the CZ line is ok... very toy-like... better for learning subtractive synthesis but the sound is just so boring... if your arguement for liking the CZ over the DX line is "it's more analog-like" then i say any budget analog synth will blow the CZ line out of the water - even a Yamaha CS-01 (which is literally a toy)
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Re: DX 21 vs CZ 1000

Postby Walter Ego » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:42 pm

8bit9bot wrote:i love the DX21 - it was my first synth back in 1987... my uncle gave it to my dad - i was just 4 years old but it was a great introduction to synths - i DEFINITELY PREFER IT to the CZ line

first off... it can do sounds the DX7 cannot even do... you can literally port sega genesis patches to it - some of the presets are familiar from genesis games - if you like the sounds from final fight, street fighter, and countless other arcade game you've come to the right place (same YM2151 soundchip!) - it's really an awesome machine - i gig with it... i don't really consider it part of my synth setup because i use it for chiptunes and not "vintage synth" tunes

the CZ line is ok... very toy-like... better for learning subtractive synthesis but the sound is just so boring... if your arguement for liking the CZ over the DX line is "it's more analog-like" then i say any budget analog synth will blow the CZ line out of the water - even a Yamaha CS-01 (which is literally a toy)


To be fair, I don't know a lot about the DX line...I'm still one of the uninitiated when it comes to Yamaha's FM synthesis. I do like the CZ line, not really because it sounds "analog" but I suppose because it's more intuitive. It can do a lot of sounds I'm looking for. Also the CZ-101 has a great form factor (DX-100 notwithstanding), and they can all layer two patches together. I still want one and I regret liquidating the one I had. There's one monster patch I made that I have yet to recreate with anything else--half Microkorg and half 101--ever since that I've wanted it back.

One reason it's more intuitive (comparatively) is that it still uses familiar subtractive synthesis terms. I don't have to completely learn a new paradigm of programming. I would not at all agree, however, that the CZ line is good for learning subtractive synthesis. There isn't even a filter. It's pretty different, it just uses similar terms.

As far as the CZs being "toys", I'm not sure what that means. They're not like the home keyboards Casio made. They may not be built like a tank like the DX boards or Ensoniqs from the 80's, but they're still professional tools. Can't think of anything wrong with a CS-01 either, but I think that's a different bag all together--the CS-01 was built as a home keyboard and the CZs are real instruments. They were developed by professional electronic musicians (a composer and a member of YMC). Good enough for Vince Clarke is good enough for me.

With all that said, someday I might get into FM a bit more...what's a good starting place? Ye Olde DX-7 or something else?
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Re: DX 21 vs CZ 1000

Postby commodorejohn » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:11 pm

The DX7 is far and away the best of Yamaha's FM synths (at least the pure FM ones, I've heard a lot of people rave about the SY77/99.) It's far more flexible than any of the 4-op FM synths in every regard: EGs, number, tuning, and arrangement of operators, performance controls, etc. I just plain stopped using my V50 altogether when I got a DX7, and I loved my V50. (Terrific keybed, to boot.)

That said, you might find it easier (and you'll certainly find it cheaper) to start with a simple 4-op synth and get a feel for how FM works before investing in the Big Mother itself. DX7s are still dirt-cheap compared to a lot of classic synthesizers, but you can get, say, an FB-01 4-op module for ~$50, and have a cheap and easy chance to discover whether you like full-fledged Yamaha FM enough to sink more money into it. You can also get TX7s (the module version of the DX7) pretty cheaply, though not as cheaply as an FB-01.

(If you do get a DX7, get a Grey Matter E! expansion for it. An assload more patch memory, TX7-style storage of performance controls with every patch, and a bunch of other goodies. Worth every penny!)
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Re: DX 21 vs CZ 1000

Postby madtheory » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:36 am

CZs are easy to use. DX are not, in comparison. If you want easy to use FM, get NI FM8. It'll lids sysex from the entire TX line and it's a helluva lot more powerful than a DX7.
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Re: DX 21 vs CZ 1000

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:43 am

I admit I only know FM8 through other people's recordings, but it seems to be missing that slight gritty warmth that the Mk.1 DX7 has, and the DX7 is plenty powerful enough as it is.
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Re: DX 21 vs CZ 1000

Postby madtheory » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:24 am

Ya the DX7 certainly puts its stamp on FM. I always felt though that it didn't have enough dynamic range. To me that grit was annoying noise or distortion. I really like the nylon guitar preset but could never get it bright or dynamic enough without it becoming more like a bell. I've just used it in a track with FM8 and it rocks. I must admit tho that I am very fond of the whole aesthetic of using super modern machines with ancient sounds. Converting old Fairlight and Emulator disks into Kontakt yields great results for example. Plus everything is nice and tidy and fully recall able in the box! :)
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Re: DX 21 vs CZ 1000

Postby pmh » Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:38 pm

I have both, but have to confess it is some considerable time since I played with either.

The DX21 is certainly the most robustly constructed of the two, but the CZ has a certain quirkiness.

Unfortunately, keyboards do take up space and, since the family came along, I had to pack up most of my equipment.

Luckily there is enough space around the house, mainly under the stairs, to store it all.

That said, given the current value of these, is it actually worthwhile selling one?

Kind regards,



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Re: DX 21 vs CZ 1000

Postby madtheory » Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:45 pm

I think it is worth selling. I emptied my storage space over the last few years. Sampled them all before moving them on. It's cathartic. I probably use the sounds more often, now that they're convenient in the box. Someone else can enjoy synthesising!
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Re: DX 21 vs CZ 1000

Postby robotunes » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:27 pm

commodorejohn wrote:The DX7 is far and away the best of Yamaha's FM synths (at least the pure FM ones, I've heard a lot of people rave about the SY77/99.) It's far more flexible than any of the 4-op FM synths in every regard. ... I just plain stopped using my V50 altogether when I got a DX7.

v50 in performance mode kills the dx7. if you weren't layering voices in performance mode, you were only dabbling with the v50.

you might find it easier (and you'll certainly find it cheaper) to start with a simple 4-op synth.

i agree. the DXi app for iOS is the best place to start. you can kinda see how your tweaks affect the sound.

any pc owner (sorry, macboys) who likes the fm sound should get the free software p-farm and a dx11, tx81z or their big brother, the v50. choose 2 sounds you like, and p-farm will mutate them into 30 new sounds. throw away the unusable ones, let p-farm mutate, then repeat. in about a minute you have 32 fresh sounds. create a performance using 2-3 sounds, then layer, detune and pan them. boom! a massive new sound no one has ever made before.

whatever fm synth you use, add chorus, delay and a touch of reverb (even a smidge of overdrive) to bring out the magic.

and yeah, the sy77/99 is an fm programmer's wet dream.
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Re: DX 21 vs CZ 1000

Postby commodorejohn » Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:46 pm

Nah, man, there's just something about the DX7's sound. None of the other FM synths quite match it (though the ones with multiple operator waveforms, like the TX81Z/DX11/V50 or the OPL series, branch off in interesting directions of their own.) Still, the V50 is good stuff and no mistake.
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