Synth Site: Yamaha: EX-5: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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charlie a hobbyist user from US of A writes:
Well I must say when I purchased the rackmount version of this synthesizer I got much more than bargained for... I thought my Nord Lead 3 was the best sounding thing out there till I fired this thing up. It's like having an AN1x A5000 CS6x VL-1 and all sorts of wild shit all in one unit. Despite what some say the interface is very straightforward as is with most every Yamaha, try negotiating your way around a Kurzweil without first reading the manual-not gonna happen. Anyway I just got this thing and pretty much shit myself when I heard it, run through the TC Fireworx it becomes even more amazing. If you come across one of these cheap BUY IT.. simply fantastic. The newer Yamaha's arent even this good.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Feb-02-2002 at 16:59
Montee a hobbyist user writes:
I got one of these of Ebay for $700. At first I thought something had to be wrong with it or that the instrument would looked like it had been to hell and back; I decided to take my chances. I won the high bid, paid the seller and waited about a week and a half for the him to ship it; Boy that was a long week and a half. Then one day I heard that beautiful of the UPS truck pulling into my yard. He brought out this huge box! I could barely get it inside; I finally got it in opened it and to my suprise.......... A almost brand new EX5, perfect codition. Well thats that. I've been working with this PHATTTTT production groove maker etc... and I hafto say it is the bomb. I wanna say if you're into RAP, HIP HOP, CONTEMP GOSPEL, You might wanna consider buying it inspite of some of the negative reveiws you may see here. You see hip hop and rap production is in a world of it's on; so an instrument that sucks to someone producing other styles of music maybe perfect for someone producing hip hop or rap music. People complain about the sequencer and thy are probally right; but if you're into hip hop what do you care? You're working mainly with 4 to 8 measure loops. So all you're going to be doing is loop sequencing or recording. You don't even hafto worry about long song patterns or other stuff that people have had probs with. Looping avoids alot of the sequencer bugs on a lot of instruments. The sounds are on another level. Even though this keyboard came out 4 years ago it's still on the same level if not higher than the new ones; all the same features and maybe even more, "Just read the specs on this thing". The support is on another level also. They have web sites that can literally answer every question you got. Yeah the scsi is slow and other stuff; but it is nothing you can't work around. If you're into hip hop, rap and you're looking for an awesome production weapon, get it. You can make your own sounds just the way you want them. The key board may be a little complicated at first but it all starts making sense in about a less than a month. It all depends on you. If I can learn it so can you. If you want to save some money without comprimising production power and sound begin your search for a used on of these today. Remember in the end you make the instrument- the instrument doesn't make you. This is a good weapon!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jan-25-2002 at 10:54
Byron IV a professional user from US writes:
I love this keyboard, and I hate it just as much...I sold my decked K2000Sv3 to buy it, seeing that it can do most of what the K2000's can, plus more. It's sounds are great, it's live controllability is superb, and it's potential as being a classic was very very good. What I hate about it is it's SUPER slow SCSI, it's many little glitches hear and there (I have an older OS, 1.0A), and most importantly, it's lack of DSP resources. It has tons of abilities...TONS, but seriously lacks the raw processing power to back more than 1 or 2 of it's unique capabilities up at once. For every GOOD thing about, there's always a string attached, I swear that the manual is mostly there in order to tell you that you CAN'T do with it most of the things you would expect to be able to do! I'm still trying to find ways around many of it's quantum blemishes, and Yamaha isn't being as kind to me about getting an OS upgrade as they have been to so many others, so I can't say that this guy has won a permanent place in my studio OR my heart yet...if it weren't for all the glitches I would definately give it a 5 out of 5....

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Thursday-Oct-18-2001 at 09:26
Xabi from Spain writes:
I'm using 1.0D OS - 1.13 TG (the last one). It seems that there is a 1.0E OS coming up, but with minor improvements. The 1.0D OS solves all the big drawbacks of the EX5 apart from low SCSI transfer. The presets are really good in a first overview; it's loaded with cool pianos-electric pianos and organs; you will also hear some of the best VL patches ever programmed. Pads are state-of-the-art, and pay special attention to the wild AN synthesis and the new FDSP processing -no other synth has it-. Anyway, amazingly, a lot of ROM waves are unused, so the full power of AWM synthesis remain hidden in this machine. Editing patches is very comfortable for me using the big screen, numeric keyboard and knobs. The manual is big & good. I rate it with a 8 because of the extreme depth of this machine; you could get lost looking for what you want. But believe me, it's there. Poliphony is 128; enough for any purpose. MIDI timing problems have been solved with the latest OS. You will only experience some timing issues with really hard sequencing, but there are workarounds to avoid them. Built it FX are really excellent; you can use 4 at a time in a performance with AWM synthesis or 1 at a time if you use AN-VL-FDSP parts. Now pay attention to the famous DSP power issue; some people will tell you that this is an underpowered machine (you'll get "DSP full" messages if you try to use, for example, several AN voices in a performance), but that's not true: simply, you have to learn the way it works and how to get the most of it. Is the Minimoog an underpowered machine because it's monophonic? See all the things that the EX5 can do for you as it is and not what it could do with a bigger DSP. What did you expect, 16 AN parts with 128 poliphony...? These are the real numbers: You get an amazing 128 voice AWM synthesis engine with 4 insert FX, arpeggiators, etc... and more: you can add the fine AN synthesis (up to 2 voices), VL synthesis (1 voice, well... VL is monophonic anyway) and the new and powerful FDSP processing (uo to 8 voices). Simply, you can't use more than 1 "DSP part" (AN-VL-FDSP types) at the same time in a performance. So, combine them with intelligence and remember that no other machine can do all this. Even using only the AWM synthesis, the EX5R beats all the JV-XV saga in terms of features, so consider the extra synthesis as it is: EXTRA synthesis. Expansion capabilities are: SCSI port, Flash RAM, Individual outputs, Digital output and conventional RAM. Ok, there are not sound expansion cards, but who needs them? Get the Flash RAM and build your own "expansion cards". Up to 16 Mb can be loaded in this type of RAM, doubling the internal ROM capacity. The EX5R is unusable as a sampler because of the obscene SCSI speed (more than 30 min. to load 65 Mb). So BUY the flash ram to get all the best of this unit. Consider this machine as a monster synth with sequencer and arpeggiators, not as a sampler. The internal sequencer is nice: 16 tracks, up to 30.000 events, a lot of functions, including quantization in real time. Enough for a complete arrangement -ok, it can not load several songs at the same time, but it can read & play directly from a diskette or ZIP, so this "drawback" is not a problem-. The only important thing on a music machine, the sounds... well, the EX5R is a high quality instrument that covers all the music styles, specially if you have the flash ram to load your favourite sounds. I can't express it with words, but it sounds amazing in all genres and in all types of instruments and sounds. Excellent top end, deep basses, clarity and quality.... Try it and hear by yourself. If it were lost I will replace it with another EX5R, for sure! The only question to remember: don't buy it as a sampler. This is the best all-round synth ever built

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Aug-31-2001 at 14:47
Ski a hobbyist user from USA writes:
I mark the EX5 as a 5/5, but then I'm biased! ;)

Come visit our rejuvenated EX5Tech website at and join in the discussion forums. We have the best group of helpful people to be found anywhere online, and they're a lot of fun!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Jul-14-2001 at 15:28
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