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Yamaha SY77 vs SY99 (sound quality)
Old 7th February 2011
  #1
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Yamaha SY77 vs SY99 (sound quality)

Hello slutz

I've just listened to a youtube video featuring the SY99...
I always wanted one back in the day, but as you might remember they were very expensive!
So I found a SY77 a couple of years ago and I'm very happy with it until I heard the sound of the SY99 on this video! I think it sounds fantastic!!!!

It seems the sound is much better than the 77, but I would like to ask anyone who has/had both if the sound quality is REALLY so different or just a tad better.
It seems that the 99 uses better effects than the 77 but I'm using outboard fx anyway, so if you take the 99 fx out of the equation they sound almost the same? It seems to me the 99 probably has better converters too.

I'm aware of the extra features of the 99, like the sampler for example and I don't need any of them, I'm just concerned about the actual, pure, sound quality of it compared to the SY77.
Judging from the video, my SY77 sounds more "compressed" somehow and bassier whereas the 99 more airy and clear. Please note that I'm using my 77 more for fm sounds , or combining fm and awm2 together, than AWM2

I'm soooo tempted to sell the 77 and hunt a 99 out but I'm running out of space and they are quite rare to find!
Please enlighten me!!!

(By the way the video is this one



but then again listening to this for comparison I can't just let the SY77 go!





Thank you slutz!
Old 7th February 2011
  #2
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Someone who's used both and whom I totally trust, did confirm this (and it doesn't seem to be related to the updated effects only). Still...sy99 are being sold for around the same price as the fs1r ! I'd keep the sy77 and try the later, if I were you
Old 7th February 2011
  #3
Pat
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I own both. Both are very good. Get a TG77, they go for 200 on ebay.
Old 7th February 2011
  #4
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Well I have the FS1R already!
I'm going to buy the TX802 soon and considering the TX7 too!
Major fm slut...
Old 7th February 2011
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat View Post
I own both. Both are very good. Get a TG77, they go for 200 on ebay.
Is the TG77 exactly the same as the SY77? Or it offers any advantages to it?
If it is the same I will probably just keep the 77 as I love its keyboard.

How do you think the 99 sounds compared to the 77?
Is it just the effects better? Converters? Overall sound quality? How you would describe its sound?
Old 7th February 2011
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omegaomega View Post
Well I have the FS1R already!
I'm going to buy the TX802 soon and considering the TX7 too!
Major fm slut...
the tg doesn't have the sequencer
Old 7th February 2011
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wishy-washy View Post
the tg doesn't have the sequencer
Yes I know that. I want to use only the dry sounds from the synths. I don't need on-board sequencers or fx.
I'm more concerned about converters, rom samples, filters etc.
Old 8th February 2011
  #8
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anyone else?
Old 8th February 2011
  #9
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The TG77 has more outputs (stereo plus 8 individual), the ROM is exactly the same. As said, no sequencer on the TG. I have both the TG77 and the SY77 and I have never heard any difference between them. The SY77 is worth it just for the very nice feeling keyboard and the two mod wheels. See the FM + Rompler part as a nice free addon.

Yamaha managed to screw up the fx implementation on the SY/TG77, by using the fx you can easily get phase cancellation, this was fixed on the SY99. The fx are also better on the 99 (more or less a SPX90 vs SPX1000). In any case, I run the 77s without effects, used this way the sound is great.
Old 8th February 2011
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by depulse View Post
I run the 77s without effects, used this way the sound is great.
This.
The effects are really nothing special at all (early 90's budget digital sounding to me) and fortunately there is a global effects-off button on the 77.



As for the original post:
I don't get it - you have a 77 in your room, yet find a youtube video of a 99 to have better sound quality?

I would definitely think that there is some kind of user error there - not that i have played a 99, but i just can't imagine that the sonic differences are that great between two originally fairly expensive romplers from the same series and era.
Old 8th February 2011
  #11
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Hi,

all melodic instruments are SY-99 and even some of the percussion too. Completely unprocessed (no EQ, no comp, only internal effects). Internet rumour says the 99 converters are different from the 77 and basically worth half the synth new. That's internet rumour, mind you
Attached Files

pornographic.mp3 (3.21 MB, 13752 views)

Old 8th February 2011
  #12
Shy
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They are not "romplers", they have the AWM2 section, but also a huge and powerful FM (PM, that is) section. SY99 has 8mb sample ROM compared to SY77's 4mb, but both sound very good and "clear" and "with high end".
Old 8th February 2011
  #13
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What was the main difference between the 77,99 and the SY85?

I used the SY85 and loved it back in the day...the only limiting factor I found was that it had a fairly small note limiting SEQ that I always reached.

Other than that....you could create alot of sounds from that thing....It also had alot of SEQ flexibility but no Arpeggiator, which I wish it had.... but it was not hard to make your own patterns on that thing.

I also like the way it used a rhythm track for drums only.

It had some killed presets too that I've never heard again on anything.

That being said... I have enough now that puts it to shame and it's all software based.

I used to mix live gigs and some guy did have that huge SY99. I was like dang...that thing is so much bigger than the 85.

Good times....
Old 8th February 2011
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetty View Post
Hi,

all melodic instruments are SY-99 and even some of the percussion too. Completely unprocessed (no EQ, no comp, only internal effects). Internet rumour says the 99 converters are different from the 77 and basically worth half the synth new. That's internet rumour, mind you
Love that song/demo thingy!
Old 8th February 2011
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shy View Post
They are not "romplers"
They are romplers - only with some extras stuck on.

I don't think that it is the other way around as you claim, i.e. FM-synth and sampler (SY99) with a rompler stuck on.
And i am fairly sure that they were marketed primarily on their rompler capabilities when they were new...

Whatever the abbreviation for the rompler engine, it is still an instrument that for "realistic" instrument sounds (and many of the mixed sounds) does play ROM samples - which makes it... *drum roll*... wait for it... wait...

A rompler!

*thundering applause*

This does not in any way deny the fact that they are both versatile and good sounding synths - but they do certainly belong to the rompler class...
Old 8th February 2011
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post
This does not in any way deny the fact that they are both versatile and good sounding synths - but they do certainly belong to the rompler class...
says you
Old 8th February 2011
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golden beers View Post
says you
Of course i say that.

Who do you think the intended target group were?

People who spent loads of time synthesizing or people who needed an instrument that could reproduce most of the sounds needed to play top-40 hits out of the box?

Factory presets do say something about the market you intend to reach.
Old 8th February 2011
  #18
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Whether or not they belong to it, "rompler" is a pretty lazy epithet if you ask me. Like alphaproject, I have invested a lot of time into the SY85. It has great filters, envelopes, effects and plenty of opportunity for deep programming if you are that way inclined - but because its "oscillators" are samples it is thought of as a "rompler" and consigned to the ebay bargain bin (doesn't help that the youtube vids are mostly of the awful demo disks, I suppose).

I guess I shouldn't complain - if it ever dies it won't be expensive to replace.
Old 8th February 2011
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypnocil View Post
Whether or not they belong to it, "rompler" is a pretty lazy epithet if you ask me. Like alphaproject, I have invested a lot of time into the SY85. It has great filters, envelopes, effects and plenty of opportunity for deep programming if you are that way inclined - but because its "oscillators" are samples it is thought of as a "rompler" and consigned to the ebay bargain bin (doesn't help that the youtube vids are mostly of the awful demo disks, I suppose).

I guess I shouldn't complain - if it ever dies it won't be expensive to replace.
well our pointless (and unresolved) engagement was over the SY99 with its powerfull synthesis and not the SY85 which is much more limited in that way.
Old 8th February 2011
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypnocil View Post
Whether or not they belong to it, "rompler" is a pretty lazy epithet if you ask me. Like alphaproject, I have invested a lot of time into the SY85. It has great filters, envelopes, effects and plenty of opportunity for deep programming if you are that way inclined - but because its "oscillators" are samples it is thought of as a "rompler" and consigned to the ebay bargain bin (doesn't help that the youtube vids are mostly of the awful demo disks, I suppose).

I guess I shouldn't complain - if it ever dies it won't be expensive to replace.
Why is it so hard to accept that the term rompler describes a group of instruments that appeal to a certain demographic segment of keyboard players?
Old 8th February 2011
  #21
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As a SY99 owner I have to say it sounds good and is full of capabilities. Can I use them? no.
Old 8th February 2011
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetty View Post
As a SY99 owner I have to say it sounds good and is full of capabilities. Can I use them? no.
mate you have some huge synths. yet no room for a tiny mixer? come on... you can put a tiny one on the SY99! it has pleanty of space for that on the right hand side. blue tack!
Old 8th February 2011
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golden beers View Post
well our pointless (and unresolved) engagement was over the SY99 with its powerfull synthesis and not the SY85 which is much more limited in that way.
I know, and my pointless interjection was about the axe I have to grind about dismissing perfectly good synths as "romplers"...
Old 8th February 2011
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golden beers View Post
mate you have some huge synths. yet no room for a tiny mixer? come on... you can put a tiny one on the SY99! it has pleanty of space for that on the right hand side. blue tack!
The explenation doesn't belong in this thread but... This is what I own/have which is currently packed away / in repair due to space issues:

SY99, DSS-1, JD-800, OB-8 (coming in next weekend), SCI MultiTrak, Kawai SX 210 (in repair), JP4 (in repair), Mono/Poly (being refurbished in basement), DP4

On the stand: Trident Mk 1, Jupiter 8, MPX-100, TR-505, PCM 70, Microbook.

The computer is in the book shelf on top of some books. When I sequence and record I have to pull a table over to the stand. I might go for a USB mixer at some point but I need to measure by the centimeter.

So... why all these machines? First of all, I'm loaded with cash and future is looking good. Second, items come very cheap now. I've paid really low prices for almost every item considering the rage that's been going.

I usually swap the upper axe on the stand depending on what I need. I'm confined to a Spider Pro which has a small table underneath which I attacked with a powerblade to fit.

I hope you understand that I'm saving up fantastic instruments for the day I have a bigger place, probably in about a year or two In the meanwhile, I try to learn each one better by only having two available at the time.
Old 8th February 2011
  #25
Old 8th February 2011
  #26
Gear Nut
 

my tg77 has very high quality sound
very bright and clean

tg77 has 20bit dacs

its state of the art of fm synthesis!

i don't think that sy99 sounds better
maybe it just better fx section (but still outdated and thin)

the only problem with sy77 is lcd inverter because it degrades signal to noise ratio a little bit

you can inprove it by change display to led
or make switch to turn off inverter


i have fs1r also and for me tg77 sounds much better
maybe because there is tons of fantastic patches for sy77,sy99

fs1r is overpriced, overrated, very limited number of free patches

tg77 needs good external effect (like lexicon)
because internal chorus and reverb are very bad and thin
Old 8th February 2011
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post
As for the original post:
I don't get it - you have a 77 in your room, yet find a youtube video of a 99 to have better sound quality?

I would definitely think that there is some kind of user error there - not that i have played a 99, but i just can't imagine that the sonic differences are that great between two originally fairly expensive romplers from the same series and era.
Yes, actually I think I can hear that the SY99 has better sound even from a youtube video. I do love my SY77, don't get me wrong, but I think it sounds a bit different to the 99. Probably it's a converter thing. I also found out on a different forum that apparently the samples of the 99 were of higher quality, but I'm not sure if those are the original 77 samples (resampled) or just the extra samples the 99 has onboard.
Definately the fx are way better too.

On the other hand the 99 is quite huge. I'm really running out of space having an awful lot of keyboards and racks around and I'm not sure if the actual difference in sound quality would justify the space needed...
Hence my question here to actual owners of both synths.
Don't forget the SY99 was the top instrument of Yamaha at that time. The SY77 was expensive too but the 99 was VERY expensive...

BTW, no user error, I can assure you...
Old 8th February 2011
  #28
See, I would always class my SY77 as an FM-synth, with additional rompler capabilities.

Agreed, the FX are attrocious, and should be avoided at all costs (might get the hint that they're not my favourites heh )

I always wanted an SY99, just because the 76-notes, and the higher-quality, although it's been a while since I heard one, and that could be rose-tinted specs talking!!

But it can be seen as both a rompler and not......
Old 8th February 2011
  #29
Shy
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grumphh, you're the only person in the world who would call a synth like SY/TG77 (or 99) a "rompler". Whatever you think the "target marketing demographic" was, doesn't change the fact that these are among the most full featured and powerful frequency phase modulation synthesizers available. If you think the FM part was "thrown in", you have no clue.
Old 8th February 2011
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golden beers View Post
well our pointless (and unresolved) engagement was over the SY99 with its powerfull synthesis and not the SY85 which is much more limited in that way.

Well, the SY85 looked more complicated than the SY77...

I always thought it was sy77, sy85, sy99

The Sy85 wasn't cheap either ya know.

But on with the 99 discussion.
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