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Old 23rd August 2019
Originally Posted by Cantankerous View Post
Yes, things are definitely becoming easier for me!

I just went again and looked at the difference between the 990 and the 1000 and besides it being odd that the lower model had the balanced inputs and I have no clue why that is, it was mentioned that the 990 has more memory slots and also has the memory card slot. Besides that, is there any other differences? Does the 990 have any programs/presets/effects that the 1000 doesn't, or are they literally the same in that regard, with the 1000 having even more?

I just want to make sure I know what I am missing out on, if anything, with the 1000. I just never heard of the 1000 mentioned much, it seems to be the 90, 90 II and 990 mentioned all the time. I believe the 1000 is older and the 990 is actually an improved version of that? I don't get their descending numbering scheme, for later models.

Thanks so much again for all your help.
You might want to compare the list of effects in the .PDFs I've linked here; both lists are in the Table of Contents, right at the beginning of the .PDF. The SPX 1000 has more different types of effects than the 990, including things like "distortion", panning, "freeze" reverbs and more. Of course, I can't say if any of those would be of any interest to you, but they're there, in addition to the same basic reverbs, delays and modulation effects the 990 has. Also, in some cases, the algorithms for the reverbs and the pitch change effects in the 1000 were "improved" somewhat over what was in the 990. (From what I read, they were tweaked a bit by UK/US programmers for those markets, instead of Yamaha's Japanese programmers.) Again, whether that's the sound you want, I can't say. That's subjective; I'm trying to stay objective.

The 1000 doesn't have the memory slot, but like the 990, it saves programs via SYSEX, so you don't need to deal with the old memory cards which can be very expensive, and don't store much. Another concern with the memory cards (as I found with mine) is that the battery will eventually fail--taking everything you stored on the card with it. And you can't simply replace the battery with data on the card, because the data will be erased when you remove the old battery. So again, the 1000 and the 990 can store virtually unlimited numbers of presets via SYSEX to your sequencer--even if that's just in one of your synths. As long as you have something that will record a SYSEX dump, you won't have to worry about losing presets. But yes, if you want to get a couple of the old memory cards, the 990 does offer a fairly convenient way to store some presets on a card.

And yes what you read about their "birth order" is true--and confusing. Apparently, the SPX 990 came out after the SPX 1000, and it was more of an "update" to the SPX 900 than an "upgrade" from the 1000. (When you consider that Yamaha released the higher-numbered DX7 before the DX5 and the DX1, it all makes a bit more sense.)

It would be great if you could hear a few examples of them with your synths. You can certainly hear some examples of them in YouTube videos, but the quality of the video/audio production is usually pretty bad. If you can find some good ones and listen with good headphones, you might be able to get an idea of how each box might sound with your gear.

Here are some examples of the SPX990's delays and reverbs on vocals: