Yamaha YS200 / B200

Yamaha YS200 Image

Yamaha YS200

The YS200 is a 4-operator digital FM synthesizer in a rather funky looking keyboard design released in 1988. It featured an 8-track on-board sequencer with many advanced edit functions and up to 8 song capacity. It has a 61-note velocity/aftertouch sensitive keyboard, can hold up to 300 patches, two LFO's, vibrato, and more. It tends to produce very deep dance/techno basses, eighties digital synth sounds, and new age sounds.It uses the same synthesis as the TX81Z, which means it has 8 waveforms to choose from rather than just sinewaves, which gives it a wide range of possible sounds.

The complexity of FM synthesis is somewhat relieved by the "Easy Edit" controls for basic editing operations, but this can also be limiting since not all parameters are accessible. Full editing of the patches requires a MIDI based patch editor, such as YSEditor, which is available for free but only for the Atari ST. Fortunately, it works on Atari ST emulators for the PC. It's worth the trouble because it allows you to load up your YS with original patches from the TX81Z and some of Yamaha's other classic 4-operator DX synths, making the YS a good way to get your hands on classic patches from several keyboards all in one box.

Yamaha B200 Image

Yamaha EOS B200

The Yamaha B200 is essentially a YS200 with speakers and a more subdued appearance. The B200 uses rather powerful 2 x 20W speakers and also has a stereo line-in (for amplification only). The pitch and mod wheels on this version form two halves of a sphere, which looks modern but ends up being a bit awkward. In Japan, the B200 was called the "EOS B200".

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32 Visitor comments
il
May 21, 2010 @ 3:38 pm
@fibes I never commented on it's performance just it's looks. All my negativity was based on it's ugliness. However, it also happens to be ONLY a 4 operator synth, and there are much better alternatives of 4ops for around the same price that also don't happen to be ugly.

And btw I've spent ages programming DX7 and SY77 (and fm8) so I know how good FM can be, but 4 ops is severely limiting compared to 6 - ok for 'lately bass' type stuff but again if you want that get a more classic 'DX' unit.

But yeah it's up to the buyer how much they want to pay - but it's really not 'worth' much with so much better competition.
Fibes
August 21, 2009 @ 6:28 pm
@ il: You can't have spent long enough programming one, then. The presets are indeed utterly appalling in all but a very few cases.

I've used them for years now, either as a controller keyboard for a rack module, or as a second board for organs/sines/fm screeches. There's an orchestra ensemble patch (number 17 i think that sounds incredible through a Muff or a Rat, extend the sustain and let it rip.

It's not the fastest synth to program but there are some hidden depths to it, once you get the hang of the tone shaping / envelopes / lfo The reverb & digital distortion effects are actually pretty useful too. I can't imagine it being anyones 'main' synth, but it can do pads/textures/noises. As for 'Pay NO MORE than £40', well you'd struggle to get anywhere near as giggable a midi controller keyboard for that, give it some credit. It's worth whatever people are prepared to pay, and it's value is whatever you put into programming and playing it.
il
July 28, 2009 @ 8:33 am
Absolute MUNTER of a synth, if you have one keep it well hidden. As for the sounds.. well.. a poor mans DX7 obviously. Another cool 'toy' synth for the retro heads but as always do NOT pay stupid prices for these things, seriously I've seen them going at or above £100 and that is ridiculous - you can pick up a DX7 for that! Pay NO MORE than £40 and only do that if you have a sick bucket handy in your studio.
RawBC
June 28, 2009 @ 9:10 am
I feel like the YS200 gets panned for it's looks, and that's where folks walk away. I dig it, big volume knob and all. Aside from the looks, it is a great FM synth that is very well built. The after touch is nice! Sure, programming is a bit different to get used to, but it does make sense. Once you get the hang of it, you can generate some great sounds. My YS is one of those synths that I turn on and I am gone for 2 hours. It feels good to play and hear it. 4 years ago, I was looking for a new (to me) synth, and I stumbled upon the YS on Craig's List. I made a visit to try it and walked away with it that day. I couldn't have been happier, and the seller knew it had a great new home. I guess that's how it goes sometimes. If you see one, try it before you pan it, you may be surprised and it may be your flavor. It's just a great, solid, under-appreciated synth. I think I am going to fire up the YS right now and take it for a ride around the block.
Marcel ALexandre
March 8, 2009 @ 10:35 pm
Oh...(sight)Those were good times... I can proudly say I had them both and YES FM PROGRAMMING IS A PAIN IN THE NECK at the beginning...But this little beast turn out to be extremely twekable and surprisingly easy.Got my YS200 brand new out of the box as a Christmas present from my Dad back in 88 and loaded in the top of my MC450 organ so could use 3 keyboardas plus bass , AWSOME!!!
Must tell es , can be a bit acward and intimidating at the beginning but later on , about 2 hours or so became my best friend , had friends with ROLAND and KAWAI...HAHAHAHA!!!! They could NEVER get the phat sounds this Allien look like keboard could give.Sadly my YS200 had a horrible faith a few years ago and haven´t find another one.WON´T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT , IF I FIND ONE WILL GET IT FOR SURE EVEN AT RETAIL PRICE , IT IS TOTALL WORTH EVERY PENNY.
 
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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 - 8 voices
  • Oscillators - 4-Operator Digital FM synthesizer
  • #Instruments - 8 parts
  • Filter - None
  • Effects - reverb, delay and distortion
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (w / Velocity and Aftertouch)
  • Memory - 100 Preset, 100 User, 100 more via External Card
  • Control - MIDI IN/OUT/THRU, Breath Controller Input
  • Sequencer - 8-Track, 8 songs (w/ quantization, cut, copy, paste, insert, punch, and more)
  • Arpeggiator - None
  • Date Produced - 1988
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Synthony.

    Info provided by Adam Deslauriers and GTmusic.

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