Yamaha DX100

Yamaha DX100 Image

The DX100 is a small and portable budget DX synthesizer from Yamaha. Like all DX's it uses (FM) Frequency Modulation synthesis. It's not the easiest form of synthesis to program but can result in some excellent sounds. The DX100 is not as flexible nor powerful as a DX7, but it does have some cool sounds. It is most renowned for its great analog bass sound (Patch #01) that is awesome for techno, house, jungle, and acid music styles; it's very gritty, the bass tone with gristle! However, any other preset sounds that you'll find in the DX100 are pretty bad and require editing for anything else useable.

The DX100 has mini-keys and only 49 of them. No filters, arpeggiators, effects or programmable controllers are available either. Small pitch and mod wheels in the upper left and guitar strap pegs make this synth usable for live use if you're feeling whimsical. If you mess around with the settings on Parameter 13, even if you don't know anything about FM, you can get some seriously twisted sounds out of it. If you're willing to spend a little time with it, it has a lot more potential than just that one bass sound that people will eventually get sick of. And at its currently low street price, it just might be worth getting. It is used by Orbital, Scanner, Jean-Michel Jarre, Autechre, Laurent Garnier, and countless other house and dance artists.

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70 Visitor comments
Evan Long
May 27, 2010 @ 1:02 pm
I would recommend the TX81Z over the DX100 any day, particularly to those who already have MIDI controllers. They're half the price and much more flexible.
Son of MooG
April 23, 2010 @ 5:50 am
The DX 100 gave me every sound i was looking for, programming it was almost intuitional. After exchanging it for a TX81Z i regretted it not long afterward, because the user-interface of the TX is gruesome in comparison...
Evan Long
April 12, 2010 @ 8:02 pm
I received this synth as a gift (it was collecting dust in an attic) and was enthused to give it a spin. To my dismay, I was utterly unable to get anything useable out of it. Some call the basses "gritty" but I just found them noisy, not my cup of tea at all. I did not find a single preset I liked, so customization was needed. However, programming it was difficult and unrewarding.
February 7, 2010 @ 6:22 pm
It's amazing how much of a cachet this synth has acquired among talkboxers. The way some people talk about it, you'd think that this was the only synthesizer on the planet that could produce a sawtooth wave. I see people demanding $400 for these sometimes. And then for an extra $25, they'll sell you the "talkbox" patch. Lord.

If you're going to buy an FM synth just to get that "Roger" sound, just get a DX11 for like $200. At least that has a super-comfy keyboard and the "FM for Dummies" programming section. Hell, if you really have $400 burning a hole in your pocket, get a DX7 II.

It's not that this is a bad synth, but it's no better than a DX11 or even a DX21 or DX27. And it's no better for talkboxing than any other FM synth, or 90% of other synths in existence. And if you really need the strap pegs, just get a CZ-101. They're usually under $100.
December 29, 2009 @ 5:59 pm
I read this review before I got my dx 100 (Roger Troutman used it so I new it had something to it) and thought that it would only be good for my talk box but it's now one of my most frequently used synths.
Some of the presets are bad but some are amazing, not to mention the cool mod wheel and pitch bend which are easily programmable.
This is a classic synth that is in demand. The DX 100 deserves a new review!
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.5 (433 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 notes
  • Oscillators - Compact Digital 4-operator FM synthesizer
  • #Instruments - Monotimbral
  • Filter - None
  • Effects - None
  • Keyboard - 49 key 'baby-sized'
  • Memory - 192 presets, 24 user
  • Control - MIDI (w / Velocity and Aftertouch)
  • Date Produced - 1985
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from

    Thanks to 'Chris' for providing some information.

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