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
April 15, 2011 @ 4:18 am
I bought this synth and was very dissapointed with it having being used to the VST models. Yes the sound is far crisper on the hardware and more satisfying to play but it's just such a cheap catalogue of sound possibilities which is difficult to get away from.
I will side on the fact that if you want to sit on a sound and tweak it for 10 minutes to get what you want then this is for you...I just could not be bothered - not that I didn't understand it, I just don't have the patience to tweak something that would end up sounding dull or typical anyway.
DX7-IID Ultimate Patch Bank
March 19, 2011 @ 4:09 pm
I love this synth, it is capable of producing some of the most original and interesting sounds available from any synth made on the planet. FM is not at all as hard to understand and master as people say, Amazing synth!! Here is a download link to the best patch bank available on the net, i piad £20 for this..its free to you, please download and enjoy these excellent patches, you wont find anything like this for FREE on the net, anywhere!!
September 24, 2010 @ 5:15 pm
Madonna also used DX7II on her Whos That Girl Tour. You can se it clearly in the intro on the music DVD.
August 17, 2010 @ 3:47 pm
If you own this synth a copy of "the complete DX7 II" (Howard Massey) is highly recommended, if hard to find now, it taught me a lot more about FM synthesis than anything else I ever read or heard.

Still prefer the output of the MK2 to the MK1, cleaner yes but doesn't mean 'worse' as that can sometimes mean.
August 17, 2010 @ 3:48 am
This synth is from another planet, doesn't sound like anything else out there, in a good way. If you're looking for instant gratification, look elsewhere because this is not the kind of machine where sloppy and accidental tweaking brings the gold.. The difficulty of programming is heavily overstated, FM in itself is easy to learn but takes a lifetime to master, but the interface is as logical as it can be given the controls available, it was much easier to grasp than I had expected, this at least goes for the II. The keyboard has a wonderful feel to it and the synth itself is a tank. A misunderstood and unfairly judged synth by those who are ignorant and cannot stand exploring new things. A true legend in synth history.
VSE Rating


User Rating

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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