Synth Site: Yamaha: EX-5: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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Bjørn Ivar Larsen a part-time user from Norway writes:
I just have to agree with the two latest reviewers. It's good to finally spot some happy owners of this great synthesizer from Yamaha. The EX-5 looks, feels and sounds great compared to many of its plastic competitors. This machine got soul and personality, especially if You take time to explore and program it. I've owned and still have many pro analog and digital synthesizers, but the EX-5 still impresses me. I have also tried the KORG Triton a few times without getting the kick I had expected out from the fuzz and rumors on the net(ok it's pretty good but the E-5 is better). I also own a Roland JV-2080(well, without the piano expansion) and when I bought it I had hoped to find at least 1 decent Fender Rhodes elpiano sound out from the 20-30 preset ep variations, but they're all useless( ex: bellpiano, sticky-rhodes and so on. Where the hell is the great sounds from their old MKS-20 ). Well back to the EX-5. On the EX-5 I immidately found the best Rhodes imitation I've ever heard on a synth. Not to mention the high quality insert effets which sounds awesome. I could go on and on because I'm in love. The EX-5 is not a entry-level synthesizer, and You should use some time to figure out its potensial. I know there are things that could have been better, but after all what synth is perfect? Go out there and decide for yourself. P.S. On the zynth Zone pages You can read maybe the most stupid synth review to date. It's a guy who have done a sort of head to head test between the EX-5 and the Trinity and concludes with that the Trinity is the best because it has the purest sound. O Lord give me strenght.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Dec-10-1999 at 10:51
Mraz a professional user from UK writes:
Yes EX5 is combination of siths Yamaha has done in the past plus sampler and you know what it sounds fantastic. You can have Two EFX, Reverb and Chourus (of pro quality),in up to 16 part multitimbral + some fantastic filters, LFo´s etc. on each channel. Awesome sounding sinth. All the problems are gone with latest OS. I have tried Korg Triton and it is not done for me as EX5 has. EX5 can make some wasome noise.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Dec-05-1999 at 11:43
Zed a professional user from Spain writes:
This is just awesome sinth who does not require and effects at all to be added. DSP is full only when you use two voices using same EFX so you just switch EFX off for the voice and there you go. EX5 just sounds so good that filters are enough to tweak. Sampling editing can be done with TWE PC software and uploaded with SCSI. Much more that you need. If that is not enough for you then you need sampler. Go and get A3000. But all those features can be found in Sound Forge as well. Midi timing is fixed, SCSI is the same and it will always be the same. I don't mind that. I use EX5 with Rm1x and I don't have anything bad to say about them.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Dec-05-1999 at 11:20
Mark a professional user from England writes:
Previously I bought an SY85 (which i still use), which has some stunning filters. Then I looked at the EX5 and Trinity and the Z1. Eventually i decided on the EX5.

Aside from the MIDI timing problems, and the slow SCSI this is a phonomenal synth. The sounds are amazing, altohugh the first thing I did when getting it into the studio was listen to the presets, save the best ones, then clear out the whole synth. Isn't that the idea with a synth. Anyone who slates the internal sounds try programming your own, or do you lack the creativity.

As for the poor timing on the sequencer, um, who actually uses any built-in sequencer, fair play to Yamaha, the display is good for sound editing, and generally getting around, but for sequencer, dont bother, and that goes for any synth, set the MIDI timing to external and use Cubase or Cakewalk. Didn't Yamaha, fix the timing problems with the new OS.

And SCSI, yeah that is crap, its way too slow, almost as bad as a floppy disk on a PC, unless Yamaha have sorted it out, anyone know?

The built in sampler is good, although the lack of pitchshift and timestretch are a pain, combine with the other methods of synthesis it works well.

Where this baby comes into its own is as a live performance synth.

As for the Triton, well i played with and wasn't impressed. Dont get me wrong its good, just didn't jump out at me. And Korg, what happened to your styling, the Z1 and Trinity looked sexy, this Triton looks like an ugly block.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Sep-23-1999 at 07:35
John Westwood a professional user from Canada writes:
The EX5 has a large brite screen and large bank select buttons, which is welcomed after 'chicklet' type buttons of previous models. The screen layout of many pages could've been improved upon somewhat, but for the most part is understandable to work with. The Bank Select buttons are a disappiontment in relation to the Sequencer. SY's doubled this area as 'track representors', and allowed for singular muting, or all with 1 button touch. The EX5 relies on holding down the SHIFT key and the respective 'bank/track' button (tracks aren't illuminated either active or off on the EX5!) The sound is very good, offering many 'hands on' controls, and Scene storage should you maul the sound to something just right! Drawback is programming a sound with alot of controllers is laborous, and a Drumkit with any real-time control is limited to 16 'elements', and if you 'double up' a drum sound on a key, the control for certain kit parts diminishes by 1 too! Sounds changed via Knob Mode aren't editable or saveable (ala Korg's Polysix or Mono/Poly), just mutations of the original stored sound. Knobs do aid certain editing processes for numerical adjustments. But for ability to create and combine samples with AN, or VL, or FDSP, or even just AWM - this thing is a Mad Scientists dream come true! Now, my big gripe is using and accessing these sounds! The sequencer, although nice to change from a selection of quantize options 'on the fly', is maybe more than Yamaha could dream of - and isn't reliable! Even with basic AWM sounds and minimal arrangements, the sequencer is prone to 'hic-cup' occasionally and/or affect ADSR's of certain voices! The SCSI is SLOW! So best not to rely on long stereo loops and multilayered pianos always loading up! There is a Flash ROM optional storage - but is pretty useless as you can't edit samples in this, and will eventually have to get ported back to RAM to be saved! So unless you ALWAYS will use that bongo loop, and or JX-3p string, that's all that Flash is really good for!

I used to be a pretty big fan of Yamaha's, but this has left me with a funny 'blue' taste in my mouth. Sometimes it's sweet, sometimes it's really sour! As a Synthesizer, Aces! As a 'workstation' , Yamaha put years of ingenuity to shame! My carefully programmed Keith Emerson/William Orbit/ Brian Eno riff will always make me sound half as good thanks to the stinky sequencer! (Oh, maybe I should put PFX to 16 Beat Rock, no wait... 12 Battacuda? No, no, Dun-Dun! How about Drunk? It already sounded 'Drunk'! Is this PFX a PSR?) I'd rather tweek a SY's sequencer any day!

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jul-27-1999 at 17:13
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