Yamaha DX7S / DX7IID / DX7IIFD

Yamaha DX7IIFD Image

The DX7, a classic FM synth, gets a make-over with three significant updates. The updated models feature a more sturdy chassis with actual push-buttons replacing the cheaper and less reliable membrane buttons of the original DX7. The two real time sliders (that allow for control of user-programmable parameters in real time) are larger than before. Internally, the biggest improvement is the updated 16-bit digital circuitry for cleaner and much less noisy sound quality. Patch memory has also been doubled from 32 to 64 voices. Additional general improvements include enhanced MIDI support, micro-tuning capabilities, aftertouch controlled pitch bending, and multiple LFOs.

The DX7IID and DX7IIFD (pictured) models also added bi-timbrality with keyboard split and layering capabilities. This allows two voices to be layered in dual mode, providing very rich combinations of sounds that would otherwise be impossible with the original DX7. Voices could also be split across the keyboard, for a two part multi-timbral performance capability; again, impossible with the original DX7 (or the DX7S, as the S stands for single timbre).

The DX7IIFD added a Floppy Drive (that's what the FD stands for) offering one megabyte of memory space (equal to 40 RAM cartridges) for thousands of voices, fractional scaling, SysEx data and more.

DX7 Centennial

Pictured above in silver and gold is the DX7 Centennial, released in 1987 to celebrate Yamaha's 100th anniversary. Not just a new paint job, this limited edition model has 64-voice internal RAM memory and 64-performance memory, 32-note polyphonic stereo output (2 x 16 voices), and a 76-key velocity and after-touch sensitive keyboard that glows in the dark. Only about 300 were made and it originally retailed for $3,500!

Like the DX7, these updated models may have been used by The Crystal Method, Kraftwerk, Underworld, Orbital, Talking Heads, Brian Eno, Depeche Mode, D:Ream, Front 242, U2, A-Ha, Enya, The Cure, Stabbing Westward.

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48 Visitor comments
Pro5
December 13, 2008 @ 7:53 am
Picked an 'almost mint' DX7 II-D up a few weeks ago for a very reasonable price (cheap!). This thing is a legend even the MKII. And while it may not be as 'cool' as the original, it has many great features over the mk1 to reccomend it. Action is good (esp when you can't hear the keys), it plays like a dream with any funky sound. Is very well built and pretty logical in layout unlike certain KORGS I could mention. Just to finally own one of these synths, after 20 years of dreaming (I wanted once since I was a kid first getting into keyboards).

Sounds crisp, great.. run it through some mild reverb/chorus/delay and you have something amazing that cuts through my other gear (D50 and various romplers, soft synths and analogs).

I'll just repeat it again: LEGEND. GET ONE!

5/5 all the way.
FMpsycho
October 25, 2008 @ 7:45 pm
i have the Dx7iiD and the remark on the clean sound is really true it is cleaner and haz more functions then the originall Dx7 that i owned also and exchange great synth and Works Fine for me
fez
September 28, 2008 @ 10:31 pm
I owned a DX7s from 1988-1993 and as with all FM synthesizers,it took me a while to get used to programming.I ended up buying a book by Howard Massey on how to figure it out (complete with a walkthrough on those really flimsy vinyl type records) After that i used to get some really great sounds outta this and of course it was a DX7.Absolutely great for the time.Some effects (reverb,chorus etc) would have been the finishing touch.But maybe one of the best keyboards for the feel of the action.A must have for all vintage enthusiasts.
Cheers

FEZ
 
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  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 16 voices (8 voices in Dual mode)
  • Oscillators - FM Tone Generator (6 operators and 32 algorhythms)
  • LFO - Sine/Square/Tri/SAW up/SAW Down/Random
  • Filter - None
  • VCA - 6 Envelope generators 8 parameters each
  • Keyboard - 61 keys, Velocity and Aftertouch
  • Memory - Internal: 64 voices/32 performances, external: 128 voices/64 performances
  • Control - MIDI IN/OUT/THRU
  • Weight - 23 lbs. (10.5 kg)
  • Date Produced - 1986 - 1989

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