Synth Site: Yamaha: DX-7: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.3 out of 5
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Albert King a part-time user from Glorious USA writes:
Well it's about time I put my two cents in on this synth. It needs no introduction, this was the Trojan horse all of us fell for in the 80's, this was the Japs' pearl harbor taken to the synthesizer world. God, I even bought one of these damn things! I must have been crazy, I was probably eating sushi and doing karate for all I know. The sounds are good, but impossible to program unless you master FM, I got pretty damn good at it but just gave it up. Something about mindless oriental tedium that pisses me off, I wouldn't be surprised if this thing had an abacus inside of it! The DX-7 destroyed all the great American companies, so for all you upstarts out there, think twice next time to move to buy a Yamaha, Korg or Roland, all it does it hurt the US economy. Thankfully the DX-7 sounds like crap today and Japan will never be such a player in the world's market (instead we get China to worry about). Yamaha even released another synth a few years ago that does FM, so that proves this thing is outdated. It will never be a timeless analog. And yamaha also makes rice-rocket motorcycles, amongst other forgettable crap. Save your money, and buy an old American CLASSIC that can't be outdated.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Feb-26-2003 at 14:31
Mather's Studios from UK writes:

If you have access to a MIDI interface for your PC I am pretty sure that there is a factory soundset download available from the following web site:

As far as I know, the DX7 can read in the sounds via SySex but I have never done this. Some sort of software driver might be needed as well to actually get the sounds from the computer into the DX.

Alternatively, you could check out Ebay ( and see if any original ROM carts are up for sale but I find this fairly unlikely.

Hope this helps, good luck with your DX7 - you will not regret buying it. It's the best synth ever!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Feb-17-2003 at 16:48
hello carrot of doom,

you need to turn off the portamento .

take care!

posted Tuesday-Nov-19-2002 at 01:55
Michael a hobbyist user from Canada writes:
I love my dx7.. however i bought it used and have been rather annoyed that i cant figure out how to get rid of this pitch bend when i go from a lower octave 2 a higher octave if you can help that would be awesome.... other then that i am in love with it... I play with it for hours on end making songs and all!! my band buddies love it!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Nov-19-2002 at 01:17
Mather's Studios a hobbyist user from UK writes:
My story regarding the DX7 turned out to be a rather interesting one. I first realised that there was something special about FM synthesis when I found out about plugging an old PSS series keyboard into a big amp back in 1997. The keyboard was tiny but the sound, specially for bass, well it was huge!

Then I found out about the DX7. It looked cool and as far as appearances go, it was my dream synth. It was also FM synthesis which is renowned for being exceptionally good at bass sounds. At that time I wanted good bass sounds and a cool looking synth. The DX7 fit the bill.

I found one for sale the following year for £300 in the local area and went to have a look at it, and my, was I bitterly disappointed. It was in a sorry state and to my surprise it sounded no better than the old PSS. I decided to lay the DX7 to the ground and forgot about it. They were out - no chance...

That was, until May 2001 when another one turned up for sale completely by accident. Over the years I had thought about the DX7 and kinda wished I'd had it. It was just in such a bad state that the £300 seemed wasted. When the second one came up, I found out that it was the original DX7 again and decided to give it a second chance.

On my first encounter with the DX7 I can only conclude that the owner had overwritten all the original sounds with his own - of which they all sounded, to be polite, rubbish. On the second try I recognised the sounds straight away from all my favourite 80s records. I think it was set to patch 15 on the default A group (Bass 1), which was used in loads of those records. I found the EP sound on location 11 and it sounded fantastic. Even the acoustic piano on button 8 sounded pretty good in the lower registers compared to some of the newer, sampled based things.

The physical condition of the synth was very good for it's age and I instantly fell in love with it. For £295, it was mine, and I have continued to be amazed by its ability to make almost any sound. Well, that is apart from analog pads and stuff, but this is just missing the point. The DX7 excels at almost everything else once a reverb or chorus is added to the signal.

Having said that, I felt that for lead sounds, once the portamento function was activated, the DX7 started to sound more analog than any of my other equipment, despite being totally digital. Organs, basses, electric pianos, strange, otherworldly noises and even deep string pads sound second to none on the DX7. For solo sounds, the DX7 is the synth I use. It never fails to amaze and always cuts through the mix. Here's another thing too - the DX7 is pure synthesis - no pre-recorded samples. This means that all sounds on the 7 have a life and animation of their own. As the sound of the six operators interact with each other, the sound is never static like sample loops. This is why I find piano sounds on this synth very pleasing to listen to.

Programming? Well OK there's no knobs or anything, the display is tiny and isn't backlit or anything (no replacement bulbs needed here then!), but it displays what it needs to as far as I am concerned. The key to unlocking the DX7 is to work out simply through experimentation what each of the parameters does and then use that knowledge to make a new program. I have programmed more custom sounds on the DX7 than any of my other synths which claim to be easier to edit than the DX7.

So, why does everyone gripe about the membrane control panel? I think it's cool because it's easy to keep clean (has anyone out there tried using car dashboard polish on it to cover the scratches? You will be amazed!) and really gives the synth it's look for being a completely flat control surface like no other synth. As far as I can tell, the membrane simply covers over normal buttons anyway - there is a nice, satisfying click when you push a button so it's OK with me.

The DX7 - it looks cool, it sounds cool. The EP must have been emulated on every single synth built ever since, but there is nothing quite like standing behing and playing the most famous synthesizer ever. Even all these years later there is still something about it. Maybe it's the looks, maybe it's the amazing history it has, maybe its the expensive, fluid movement of the keyboard itself. I don't know, but the DX7 truly is a special synth. The purchase I made will never be regretted. As the story stands, ever since 1998, the DX7 was always meant to be mine, even though my initial thoughts of it were completely the opposite to now.

No it can't do analog but so what, it can do everything else so I give it top marks. Five outta Five from me!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Oct-25-2002 at 07:03
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