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.

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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.

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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
December 28, 2011 @ 1:27 pm
This synth is all over Single Cell Orchestra's mid 90's Asphodel release and the SCO vs Freaky Chakra record. Beautiful.
boyd sibley
November 27, 2011 @ 2:15 pm
Hey Benny Harris, you mentioned you wanted a TG500, I saw one on Ebay today
under Yamaha TG500 synth module. Hope you find one
benny harris
October 21, 2011 @ 11:03 am
I've owned many synths over my 30 years of music predutcion and performing. I made the serious mistake of selling my tg500 buying 'new' technology. I'm sorry I did that. The tg500 is an exceptional module that has a sonic character that I miss very very much. I'm looking for one right now. I own a Kurzweil k2500s which also is irreplaceable and use Reason 5 and although that set up great I miss the tg500
February 13, 2011 @ 12:33 am
I've owned a TG500 from when they first came out, it was my main piece of equipment for a long long time. Because of that I spent all my time using it and programming some great sounds. I found editing sounds pretty easy and managed to get some fantastic sounds out of it. Since then I went on to buy a JV1080 and an XV5080 to add to my racks. I have to say that the Yamaha has a quality, a warmth and character, that the Rolands do not. In fact neither the 1080 or 5080 has inspired me as much as the TG500. Its a fantastic bit of kit that still sounds great today. I love it to bits.
September 19, 2010 @ 5:11 pm
Really REALLY Excellent 'classic' Rompler. Had one of these since they came out and it's never failed me. Sure newer waves have come out in all the latest racks but these have character, and as they are so cheap and have quality effects there's really no reason not to add one to your setup. TG-500 will always stay as it can do a lot of things.
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  • 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

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