The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Need some advice re: Yamaha SY77 synth
Old 19th November 2009
  #1
Need some advice re: Yamaha SY77 synth

My local pawn shop has an old Yamaha SY77 I've been eyeing for awhile. They're asking $300, so it could probably be had for $250 or less. Being mainly a guitar player, I don't know all that much about these old keyboards. I'm mainly looking for something with some nice organ and synth sounds to use on my recordings. I currently have a Casio Privia which has great piano sounds, but the rest of the tonebank kinda sucks. There are a number of videos on Youtube with people demoing the SY77 and they all sound great to my ear, especially one where it's emulating a Hammond organ. Anyway, before I pull the trigger I was hoping for some good feedback (pro or con) from any fellow slutz who've used one. Thanks for any and all help.

Larry
Old 19th November 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Do you need an accual keyboard?
for 300$ you can get alot (and high quality as opposed to early 90s 16mb romplayer) in the software world.
Old 20th November 2009
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomer1 View Post
Do you need an accual keyboard?
for 300$ you can get alot (and high quality as opposed to early 90s 16mb romplayer) in the software world.
Yah, I'm totally otb so it's gotta be the real deal-something I can plug in, play, and record to the HD24. Someday I'm sure I'll go the DAW route, but not anytime soon since I'm already confused enough using an all hardware based system. I do appreciate your suggestion though.
Old 20th November 2009
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Farshad's Avatar
If it is in good condition, that seems to be good price but beware: it is HEAVY!

For this reason I have the rack version (TG-77) and it sounds great.
Old 20th November 2009
  #5
Here for the gear
 

I'm in love with the rack version (TG77), so for 300 bucks I think it's a real deal. Buy it, you won't regret it. It's one of the last REAL synths built.
Old 20th November 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Farshad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Windom Earle View Post
I'm in love with the rack version (TG77), so for 300 bucks I think it's a real deal. Buy it, you won't regret it. It's one of the last REAL synths built.
Yes, a monster FM synth plus other goodies.
Old 21st November 2009
  #7
Thanks for the input guys. I bought the SY77 today-$260 taxes included. Everything seems to be working perfectly and it included a nice padded case, both the volume and sustain pedals, and the original manual and applications guidebook. So far I think the 128 presets will serve all my needs. There are some really nice organ sounds in there and so far I think I like it better than my Privia for its piano sounds. The only thing I'm not too crazy about is how heavy this thing is (which was mentioned already in this thread). I may have to buy a heavier duty keyboard stand LOL. I'm pretty stoked about the possibilities of this synth. Thanks again for everyone's input.

Larry
Old 21st November 2009
  #8
Gear Addict
 
Bruno B's Avatar
 

I can't believe you got one so cheap! It's like a DX7 on steroids. I will never sell my SY77.

The presets in general are very weak and don't show its strength at all. There are so many excellent libraries available though. Bell-like sounds and SFX in particular are its strength imo. Great for movie soundtrack stuff. The FM editing capabilties will take a lifetime to fully understand...

The problem with these synths is the floppy disk drive fails after a while (rubber drive belt wears out). So I opened mine up, temporarily replaced the belt with a rubber band and managed to save my thousands of sounds/disks as MIDI bulk dumps into Pro Tools... Now I just hook it up and send a bulk dump into its internal sound bank from PT to get my fav sounds. Get some sounds for it!

-Bruno
Old 21st November 2009
  #9
Lives for gear
 
macr0w's Avatar
 

My old keyboard player/friend has a sy77 that he's had for probably 15 years.

That thing is ragged with broken/repaired keys and all kinds of issues.

But it still works and he still plays it.
Old 10th January 2011
  #10
Lives for gear
 
omegaomega's Avatar
 

I also have a SY77 (which I love). Having two different studios, I'm considering to buy the TG77 for my second studio. Do you know if the TG77 offers any advantages to the SY77 or it is EXACTLY the same but obviously without the keyboard?
I tried to search for information but it seems I can't find anything really (I think I remember the TG77 had some advantages to the SY77 but can't really recall what exactly).

Also, I'm eying the SY85. Do you think they sound different enough to justify buying that too (I've found one for a mere 250 euros)...
GAS and all, you know...
Old 21st February 2011
  #11
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by omegaomega View Post
I also have a SY77 (which I love). Having two different studios, I'm considering to buy the TG77 for my second studio. Do you know if the TG77 offers any advantages to the SY77 or it is EXACTLY the same but obviously without the keyboard?
I tried to search for information but it seems I can't find anything really (I think I remember the TG77 had some advantages to the SY77 but can't really recall what exactly).

Also, I'm eying the SY85. Do you think they sound different enough to justify buying that too (I've found one for a mere 250 euros)...
GAS and all, you know...

I have an SY77 also, my favourite (Digital) synth! It's got a whole world of (AFM) sounds in it and often inspires me with new ideas based on it's classy yet unusual/different sounds (in comparison to analog or pure romplers who's presets get overused). I don't use the PRESETS on the SY77 and I barely use it in 'rompler' mode at all (much better stuff out there for that), however in AFM mode or mixed mode it is a beast. And in a mix especially it sits so well and can emulate all manner of gear and do unique stuff aswell, it out VA'd my AN1x (I found the 77 had way more bass/character in the lower end AND a better filter than sounded more 'analog' even), and lots of software I compared it against, it just has presence and is extremely versatile while being good at all of it imo. And quite hard to tell it apart from analog (when using it for analogesque pads or leads etc) in a song full of other stuff (for most listeners not synth nuts)

IIRC the TG77's only advantage is multi ouputs (8 or something?). Personally I prefer the SY over the TG because:

.The extra wheel which can be used to good effect in custom patches
.the jog wheel which is a great aid in programming vs only a slider
.The floppy drive (this is one machine where I regularly use/fill banks of sounds with custom ones off the net AND masses of my own! nicer than midi dumps)
.better panel layout for editing (and as these machines are so advanced you need as much help as possible with the layout, easier to on/off elements/ops etc)
.Horizontal so you look down comfortably, and your hands rest on it comfortably while you program a 'spaceship taking off in the pouring rain' patch for 6 hours (maybe you could tilt your rackstand to almost flat though)

SY also has the sequencer that the TG lacks but I've never used it nor ever will so it's not really important but to some it might be.

Also It looks great (for a black digi) AND they tend to go cheaper than the rack! (Probably as lots of space conscious folk prefer the rack, as the SY77 is quite a beefy unit)

Though I'd be happy with either really and you could program it from the PC with mouse which would be fine for the rack.

About the drive, don't worry at all! I replaced mine with a simple ribbon cable mod (move some wires around) and then used a standard (black) PC Drive which cost me £5 and is modern belt less, it's never going to die and even if it did you just swap another £5 one in!

Also I fitted the 'bright white on blue' LCD screen in mine which is a massive improvement over the stock screen for both clarity, looks and silence (the original can start buzzing from it's inverter)

I also had a DX7 II-D which I really liked but the '77 runs rings around it, I don't care if the '77 has a 'cleaner output' or less aliasing (in fact I do care and I prefer the output on the '77, I'll save my fm grit/punch for the TX81z if I need it). I sold my DX7 for over TWICE the price the '77 cost me! which is insane, it's ALL about the 'badge' here. If they had called it DX77 it would have now been a lot more popular (but I'm glad it isn't)

As far as I know, the SY85 drive isn't so easy to use a cheap one with though the 'proper' ones may be a bit cheaper than the '77/'99 proper ones.

As for the sound, if you need some decent quality romplage going on then an SY85 is a great deal (I prefer the rack in this instance - TG-500 at just 1 rack unit high is a great size/performance ratio - I've had both the rack and they keyboard).

Nothing wrong with the SY85 but it's not really a 'synthesizer' in the way the SY77 is, I use my TG-500 as a bread and butter sound source and tweak it a little to suit. The '85 is easier to tweak as it has a set of 8 cool edit sliders under the screen and bar graphs on the LCD when you edit but it's still nowhere near as good/impressive as the screen on the SY77 which is typical of the larger LCDs of that era (Wavestation A/D etc) very detailed and with all sorts of graphs and numbers in plain view, not quite so much 'through the letterbox' with the '77. Though the 85 is far simpler so it's letterbox programming may not be a problem for anyone used to such things.

The PCM samples in the 85 are a bit better IIRC over the SY77 *BUT* this is why it and it's rack are cool for rompler activity, it doesn't get much use with me but it has some of my sounds in that I used a lot in the 90s so keep it around as I can't get them elsewhere (and I don't really care for sampling them). Also the 85 Can use limited sample memory + upgrades etc, the '77 can't (the '99 can) but really it's overkill for me as I'd never use it but YMMV.

Anyway the SY/TG77 gets a 10/10 recommendation from me, the SY85/TG-500 would only get a 5/10 all things being equal, and then only if you wanted some decent quality rompler sounds without going more modern/expensive. THe 85 (like the 77) does have a GREAT digital filter though that many modern synths seem unable to compete with, but the 85 is lacking FM totally and is every bit a rompler and nothing else (A TG-500 is typically cheaper than the SY85 and for what they offer, a better space/sound ratio but it's not a must have like the SY77 imo).

/synththoughtsdumpoftheday
Old 28th February 2019
  #12
Here for the gear
 

I know this is a really old post, but I've had an SY77 for a long time. The button battery on the main board wore out and I just replaced it. Of course I've lost all of the programmed sounds. But what I've noticed is that all of the presets sound like they are playing 1 octave high (maybe two?). Anyone else seen this behavior? Any ideas?
Old 28th February 2019
  #13
Lives for gear
 
MarkF48's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dviljoen View Post
I know this is a really old post, but I've had an SY77 for a long time. The button battery on the main board wore out and I just replaced it. Of course I've lost all of the programmed sounds. But what I've noticed is that all of the presets sound like they are playing 1 octave high (maybe two?). Anyone else seen this behavior? Any ideas?
I have an old SY77, but haven't noticed that problem. Perhaps trying a reset may correct it....

SY77
1. Turn Power on.
2. While pressing the [VOICE] switch, press and hold the [BANK D] button, then the [8] button. The SY77 will run the INITIAL TEST routine and display the Test Program Menu.
3. Press the [COPY] button. The SY77 will execute Test 48 'Factory Settings', automatically exit the test mode, and then return to play mode.
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 181 views: 62546
Avatar for DanFor
DanFor 2nd September 2017
replies: 106 views: 15300
Avatar for Deleted 7a792f4
Deleted 7a792f4 28th February 2019
replies: 80 views: 6835
Avatar for boreg
boreg 1st October 2013
replies: 990 views: 67265
Avatar for psionic11
psionic11 3 weeks ago
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
🖨️ Show Printable Version
✉️ Email this Page
🔍 Search thread
🎙️ View mentioned gear
Forum Jump
Forum Jump