Yamaha TG500

Yamaha TG500 Image

The TG500 is basically a box-o-sounds. It is based on Yamaha's SY85 (1992) and doubles the polyphony but loses the sequencer and most of the buttons and controls for real-time and patch editing. You can go with just the stock sounds, their sound quality is excellent, using AWM2 (Advanced Wave Memory), Yamaha's synth-engine of choice since the days of FM-synthesis. You can also add external ROM cards for many more sounds in various styles. Despite the lack of controls, the TG500 has edit capabilities as extensive as the SY-85, and is easiest to program using an external or software based editor.

But as we said, it's a box-o-sounds with four expansion card slots right on the front-panel (two slots for data cards & two slots for wave cards) and a big fat volume knob. Six individual audio outputs make tracking or live PA mixing possible. It has three basic modes of operation: Voice - allows access to one patch at a time. Multi - allows up to 16-part multitimbral patches for sequencing. Performance - split/layer up to 4 patches across keyboard. Like the SY-85 it's got multi-mode filters and a dual-effects processor with chorus, flange, reverb, delay, exciter, parametric EQ, echo, ring modulation, leslie, distortion, etc. The effects can be used in series or parallel, and there are 4 busses to route sounds through them. The TG500 was a great and economical way to get Yamaha's AWM2 style sounds, but may seem limited today.

Lookup Yamaha TG500 Prices

The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

Related forum topics


Are you looking to buy or sell a Yamaha TG500? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

16 Visitor comments
November 19, 2013 @ 2:09 pm
I have a Yamaha TG500 and I love it. One of my good friends uncle gave it to him years back. He had it sitting in the closet collecting dust for a few years. He showed it to me and said I could have it cause he'd never use it. I've had it for the last 9 years and it has some good bass, strings and synth sounds I absolutely love using. I've made Hip Hop, House and Juke tracks with it! I love old school keyboards and modules! I want to know where I can find some external ROM cards for it. If anybody know please tell me!
Neil Phillips
May 20, 2013 @ 3:28 am
I have a TG500 for sale (in Europe), on eBay now:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/281109850534?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid =p3984.m1555.l2649
April 30, 2013 @ 10:42 am
Forgot to mention if you pick one up try and get one fitted with the optional 512kb Non Volatile Memory upgrade (syemb06 board). If you get this then you can also load samples via Midi Dump and use them as your oscillator source :)

Say via soundforge (or any other wav editor) you can sketch out a wave and dump it into the TG500.

Dont be fooled by the reviews claiming this is just a playback machine because it is not! It has all the capability of an SY85.
April 30, 2013 @ 10:34 am
The key with this synth is a software editor. Advise sounddiver or midiquest. Once connected to an editor this machine comes alive.

No Editor - Nasty LCD, Naff Sounding 90s Pop Machine

With Editor - Plugin Style Editing, Tearing Lead Sounds with Resonant Filter, Pitch Envelope, Volume Envelope, LFOs and Digital FX.

Massively under rated machine due to its initial sound and appearance. Can be picked up on the used market for under $100
Oli Wennink
January 5, 2013 @ 6:40 am
I'm selling a Korg 01W:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/200872197780?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid =p3984.m1555.l2649

and a Yamaha TG 500:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/200872305813?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid =p3984.m1555.l2649
VSE Rating

It’s Good

User Rating

Rated 4.07 (267 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 - 64 voices voices (2 x 32)
  • Oscillators - AWM2 (2nd-generation Advanced Wave Memory)
  • Filter - Digital LPF, HPF, BPF, BEF (Band Elimination Filter)
  • Sequencer - None
  • Effects - 2 Discrete FX units, each with 90 effect types (Chorus, flange, reverb, delay, exciter, EQ, ring modulation, leslie, distortion, etc.)
  • Keyboard - None
  • Memory - 384 Patches, 252 Performances
  • Control - MIDI (16-part multitimbral)
  • Date Produced - 1992

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.