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
February 1, 2013 @ 9:23 pm
David, I agree with you. Have owned an SY99 since 1991 and never felt like I found the FM sounds that I love to hear in recordings from the late 80's UNTIL I picked up a TX802. I think the "II" has a better balance between the fundamental and overtones than the SY somehow. Another trick I recently discovered that makes FM sounds more "studio quality" is using a pitch-shifter: your dry sound is centered while detuned versions appear slighty sharp full right and slightly flat full left - a much richer sound.
January 26, 2013 @ 3:17 am
Had them all and the DX7II d/fd (or TX802) is the best sounding. Never liked the TG77 myself. Sounded less direct for some reason and noisier..
In any case, everyone needs a DX7
November 10, 2012 @ 1:07 pm
Don't forget the new Fractional Scaling found on these babes! It's basically non-linear (nor logarithmic) operator's output level scaling upon the entire range of the keyboard (by step of 3 notes). You can make some sort of split-like sounds with carrier operators or drastic non-linear harmonic content change when applied to modulators. Easy to simulate PPG style sounds with it!
November 3, 2012 @ 12:08 am
Really dig the MK2 DX7s, however I sold mine on gladly when I bought an SY77. It can do everything the MK2s can do (except it layers differently, more powerful but without specific unison poly mode you have to set it up over 2-4 elements and detune) and far far more besides. That SY77s can for half the price of a DX7 is ridiculous. It's more than twice the synth for half the price.
August 26, 2012 @ 2:45 am
I have the original manual, plus several original programmers guides, and a "Complete DX7IIfd Guide" that I bought when I got my DX7IIfd back when it was still new.
I think you can get a pdf manual online. Its been awhile since I've looked at my manuals but I still use the DX7 all the time. I have a Yamaha CP250 & Korg Triton rack in my current MIDI rig.
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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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