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.

Lookup Yamaha DX7S / DX7IID / DX7IIFD Prices

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49 Visitor comments
August 12, 2010 @ 8:44 pm
Same patch on DX7 vs DX7s (I have both), the DX7s is much cleaner sounding, and very much to be preferred. Surprised the commentary above didn't make more of this. I'm not sure what changed between the models, maybe more bits resolution somewhere along the way, but the difference is easily audible.

Transitioning patches to FM7 (a softsynth by native instr product) is good and usually very close, but doesn't always work if you are into the detail or "grain" of a specific patch.

I think alleged difficulties of programming FM are overstated. If you know some *basic* acoustics/physics, you are fine. If you are twiddling knobs at random, you are less likely to "get lucky" with FM than analog or filter based tech.
July 5, 2010 @ 1:39 pm
I got my DX7s for free and its a beast
May 15, 2010 @ 9:47 pm
The follow up to a digital legend, and aside from some saying (maybe right, maybe wrong) that the MK1 had the dirtier 'more classic' sound due to 12bit output etc - this synth BETTERS the MK1 in everyway.

It's a brilliant synth for programmers, hooked up to outboard effects of course. It's well laid out, nice backlit LCD which Mk1 sadly lacked, clean outputs (in a good way imo) and stereo/layers.

These synths (Mk1 and MK2) are going to be legends forever of course, so you can never go wrong picking one up - preferably a nice condition IID (FD is nice but not essential and usually has a drive you need to fix anyway).
The Ghoul
February 20, 2010 @ 4:27 am
I have had mine for about 16 years, used it live and to this day in the studio. They have a very distinctive sound but what a cool sound it is. The thing to remember is that a synth is at it's best when you are creating sounds. If you want super realism then get a sampler or a top flight home board with no programming.

BTW, Martin is correct "You can never have enough synths"
August 22, 2009 @ 7:08 am
Maxim "I've owned a DX7 mkII FD for a few months, and recently got a TX81Z, and I don't feel like I'll ever need to buy another synth"

hahaha, you mustn't have been bitten properly by the bug! I could never have 'enough' synths :D MOAR SYNTHS!
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Rated 4.05 (858 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 - 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
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from
    and MatrixSynth.

    Thanks to Joel Lingenfelter and Scott Marcotte for providing some of this information.

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