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Yamaha DX5 - Worth $1200???
Old 6th September 2016
  #1
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Quantum7's Avatar
Yamaha DX5 - Worth $1200???

I found a DX5 in great condition (that is what they say, but I still need to check it out later this week) at a local Pawn Shop that I could probably pick up for around $1200 to $1300. Assuming it is in great condition, I was wondering what present or past DX5 owners thought of it. It sure looks nice with the wood ends and extended keyboard- is the keyboard action nice?

Thanks in advance for your comments!
Old 6th September 2016
  #2
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abruzzi's Avatar
 

I don't think the DX5 has the wood paneling. The DX1 on the other hand I would buy in a heartbeat. FM with poly aftertouch.
Old 6th September 2016
  #3
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omegaomega's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum7 View Post
I found a DX5 in great condition (that is what they say, but I still need to check it out later this week) at a local Pawn Shop that I could probably pick up for around $1200 to $1300. Assuming it is in great condition, I was wondering what present or past DX5 owners thought of it. It sure looks nice with the wood ends and extended keyboard- is the keyboard action nice?

Thanks in advance for your comments!
This is more of a collector's item.
And quite rare. Most owners keep them and it seems they weren't that popular anyway, so not many around.
If you can easily pay the money, then get it.
It is likely to rise further in the future.
And it does look cool.

If you want to actually use it as a synth, I'd say it's quite expensive and due to todays DAWs you can easily layer synth sounds and you don't need splits, dual layers etc like in the past.
In that case, just get a DX7 mkI.
It would be a bit less noisy too.
Old 6th September 2016
  #4
Gear Addict
DX5's are badass! There was one for sale in old blighty for £1k recently, so price seems fairly close. If I had the cash and the space I'd get one.
Old 6th September 2016
  #5
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VennD68's Avatar
Not when SY99's and SY/TG77's can be had for so little IMHO.
Old 6th September 2016
  #6
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SidneySheldon's Avatar
 

Grab it, DX5 is a monster
Old 6th September 2016
  #7
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Quantum7's Avatar
I guess they were around $5k new, so especially back in the 80's that was VERY expensive.....which explains why they are rare. I sure wish I could find a DX1 though, for a reasonable price.
Old 7th September 2016
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

No it's not worth it and yes I've played one.
Old 7th September 2016
  #9
DX5 is two DX7 mk1 in one box with a 6.5 oct keyboard, and ability to split and layer. i must say playing it feels sexy as its design is beautiful and 76 keys feel great. if you love vintage yammie fm tone its there, but is it worth $1200 ? hell no.


id go with DX7II serie or even better, if you don't need another keyboard taking room in the studio, get yourself a TX802 for 1/4 of that price. i have the orig mk1, but prefer this "second" generation with 16 dac. its still got that "vintage digital" edge, clangorous and punchy but little more bandwidth in top end. those bells, marimbas and fm evolving pads really come alive more in this iteration. all DX machines are somewhat noisy, but dx7/5 are noticeably noisier.

other pluses of the tx802: multitimbral, 10 outputs, easy to do layers and splits. bigger, easier to navigate display, compatible with thousands of dx patches.


cheers
Old 7th September 2016
  #10
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D_Davis's Avatar
 

Just get a PreenFM2 to set on top one of the few other synths you just got. Save a ton of money, space, and have added functionality.
Old 7th September 2016
  #11
Gear Head
I bought a DX5 a few years ago. I hadn't had it on for awhile and a couple of weeks ago I fired it up. The realization hit me what a beautiful keyboard it is. I sounds really big and good through a guitar amp, and the keyboard is a beauty to play too. You get this feeling that you are lucky to be sitting in front of this thing.

It was on the piano and organ mix preset when it was turned on and I was coming up with some creative ideas for a interesting bass line very quickly. This machine stimulates creativity. But don't listen to me, I'm only a guitar player.

Go and try that DX5 out and see if it does for you what it does for me.
I put it up there with my FS1R. I don't think that there are that many around either.
It feels like a really special synthesizer.
Old 7th September 2016 | Show parent
  #12
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SidneySheldon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum7 View Post
I guess they were around $5k new, so especially back in the 80's that was VERY expensive.....which explains why they are rare. I sure wish I could find a DX1 though, for a reasonable price.

Actually, the DX5 is better, it lacks those fancy lights, but it has more playable keyboard. And don't forget DX5&DX1 have better DACs, that's why they sound so big,comparing to any DX7.

With 16 bit DACs, DX lost its magic, so go for DX1\5\7mk1.
Old 7th September 2016
  #13
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Quantum7's Avatar
thanks for the opinions & comments gentlemen. I will check it out later this week. If the Pawn Shop guys will take $800 for it, I'll snatch it up for sure, but anything more I don't know.
Old 7th September 2016
  #14
Gear Head
The DX5 is heavy to lift and even heavier in a heavy duty case, so be prepared to lift it. Does it have a case?
Ask if the original sounds come with it in a cartridge or any other sound libraries in cartridges.
See if it comes with any pedals (volume, sustain etc), or any controllers like a wind controller.
Check the buttons and sliders.
I think that there are actually two DX7's inside and check to see that they both work. I think that might how I get the hammond-piano combination sound.
Check out the keyboard playability for any bad keys.
Try out all of the presets.
Its got quarter inch output jacks and also low impedance microphone outputs, so maybe try out them all if you can.
Be careful with the on/off push button because it has a habit of popping out and you can lose it.
Look over the screen for condition.
Put it on a solid stand when you get home.
$800 would be a decent deal I'd think.

Last edited by Franktone; 7th September 2016 at 04:10 AM..
Old 7th September 2016
  #15
i had a dx7 1 with a tx7 expander. the tx7 was more noisy but i had a vintage electro harmonix micro synth that lived on top of it and that was great for snarly squelchy stuff. i felt that was like a dx5 on the cheap and really love the action of the dx7 1's keys.

i also had a dx7II with E! and found some of the character was lost. same with the tg77 but there was so much deeper synthesis going on with it that it stayed in the rack for a while. the one badass yammi i'd still like to try is an ex5 or ex5r
Old 7th September 2016
  #16
Gear Nut
 

To my ears, Yamaha Montage has the best sounding DACs of all FM synths at the moment. I'm quietly hoping for Yamaha to release a smaller, dedicated FM synth with those converters. I don't really want the whole AWM2 part of the Montage.

Is DX5 worth the price? I think, it used to be but not anymore. With the FM-X technology that Yamaha is currently developing, they might strike with something of interest any time now.

I'm holding my horses for this reason.
Old 7th September 2016 | Show parent
  #17
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acreil's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SidneySheldon View Post
And don't forget DX5&DX1 have better DACs, that's why they sound so big,comparing to any DX7.
They don't have better DACs. As far as I know they're exactly the same.
Old 8th September 2016
  #18
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Septik's Avatar
I seem to remember being able to grab these for $400-600 a few years ago getting old.... Modular stole my youth
Old 11th May 2018
  #19
Here for the gear
 

My name is Mat, I have a DX5 in pretty good condition. I am taking all offers, but if you are not a serious buyer please do not contact me. [email protected]
Old 11th May 2018
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
jbaggan33's Avatar
 

That price seems high, not sure there's much unique about the DX5 that you can't get for much cheaper in things like the SY77/99.
Old 11th May 2018
  #21
Here for the gear
 

My name is Mat, I have a DX5 in pretty good condition. I am taking all offers, but if you are not a serious buyer please do not contact me. [email protected]
Old 11th May 2018 | Show parent
  #22
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Rob Ocelot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrss9 View Post
My name is Mat, I have a DX5 in pretty good condition. I am taking all offers, but if you are not a serious buyer please do not contact me. [email protected]
Just a hunch, I think many people are not going to be contacting you.
Old 11th May 2018
  #23
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Analog Rob Lowe's Avatar
That sounds baked, put it on reverb dx5 never had that one (:
Old 11th May 2018
  #24
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DJRAZZ's Avatar
 

The DX5 is not a gigging board. It is too fragile and heavy. It is a studio/collectors piece. It was, however, used on bigger tours back in the day. They can usually be found in better condition than a DX7, which most models were gigged to death. For $1200 it needs to be mint do to lack of need in my mind. I do agree it looks and sounds bad ass.
Old 11th May 2018 | Show parent
  #25
I had one and an SY99 at different times. the SY99 is much better.
Old 11th May 2018 | Show parent
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by acreil View Post
They don't have better DACs. As far as I know they're exactly the same.
Yep. Both are 12 bit ladder DAC (plus the scaling thing). Maybe DX5 has lower noise floor seeing as balanced output is different circuit to DX7?
Old 11th May 2018 | Show parent
  #27
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acreil's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by madtheory View Post
Yep. Both are 12 bit ladder DAC (plus the scaling thing). Maybe DX5 has lower noise floor seeing as balanced output is different circuit to DX7?
I've heard that the DX1 used hand matched resistors for the exponent part of the DAC. But the design still sucks and discrete resistors of any sort will still contribute significant distortion. The proper way to do it is a 0.1% thin film resistor network. Then the floating point DAC will perform fairly well. But Yamaha only seemed to figure this out later. I don't think the op amps are any different, so I'd be surprised if the noise floor was significantly improved.
Old 11th May 2018 | Show parent
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by acreil View Post
I don't think the op amps are any different, so I'd be surprised if the noise floor was significantly improved.
True, I"m too lazy to check now but it would make sense to use the exact same op amps with the diff out hooked up. Yamaha are sensible despite the hand-matched resistors rumour becoming "everything in the DX1 is superior" myth
Old 12th May 2018 | Show parent
  #29
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acreil's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by madtheory View Post
True, I"m too lazy to check now but it would make sense to use the exact same op amps with the diff out hooked up. Yamaha are sensible despite the hand-matched resistors rumour becoming "everything in the DX1 is superior" myth
Well I don't think Yamaha were that great at specifying parts; they tended to use the same mediocre 4558 op amps in everything, and a lot of the DAC designs sucked too.
Old 12th May 2018 | Show parent
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by acreil View Post
Well I don't think Yamaha were that great at specifying parts; they tended to use the same mediocre 4558 op amps in everything, and a lot of the DAC designs sucked too.
LOL OK maybe "conservative" would be a better description than "sensible".

For example I'm playing around with modding a Yamaha MLA-7 (1U 8 channel mic pre-amp). All 4558 op-amps. Higher grade chip= more current. With that the unit would've cost a lot more, and would be a 2U rather than a 1U rack to accomodate a more powerful PSU with heatsink. With a 5532 in there noise floor is lowered by 1dB. I'm still playing around with tranny combinations but I think they already made the right choice LOL.
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