Thoughts on the V50?

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
Smoking_Gnu
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:00 pm

Thoughts on the V50?

Post by Smoking_Gnu » Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:18 pm

Hi all,

I came upon a craigslist seller offering a Yamaha V50 for $200. I have been interested in DX7-esque synths after hearing all the positive discussion surrounding them, and the V50 appears to be easier to program and with better onboard effects. Is it worth the $200?

User avatar
meatballfulton
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5773
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:29 pm
Gear: Live 9, Logic Pro X

Re: Thoughts on the V50?

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:35 pm

First off, it's a 4-operator synth, not 6-operator like the DX7 but it makes up for that by offering non-sine waveforms like the TX81Z.

It's also a workstation...sequencer, drum machine, effects (DX7 has none). $200 is a fair price.

Check that the floppy drive is still working!
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

User avatar
Bitexion
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 4230
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:43 pm
Gear: Alesis Andromeda A6
Roland D-50
Creamware Minimax
Yamaha DX7s
Analogue Systems modular
Ensoniq SQ-80
Waldorf Blofeld
Location: Drammen, Norway

Re: Thoughts on the V50?

Post by Bitexion » Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:12 pm

When you have the "standard" waveforms onboard instead of only sine waves you don't need as many operators to create similar timbres anyway.

User avatar
megamanx
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 838
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 4:39 am
Gear: nord lead2, roland sh101, yamaha cs5,mono/poly, sub37,Ms20, Chroma polaris,prodigy, esq-1, jx3p
Band: Thieves & Co.

Re: Thoughts on the V50?

Post by megamanx » Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:06 pm

It has a performance mode where you combine individual patches to create other ones, pretty damn cool...I bought one recently, needs a new battery but it is still very usable, built like thank...IMO it is very easy to program and you can upload patches from many other FM Synths...

commodorejohn
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1564
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:39 am
Real name: John
Gear: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, Oberheim SEM
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: Thoughts on the V50?

Post by commodorejohn » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:51 pm

I haven't been using mine much since I got my DX7 (between the six operators and the more complex envelopes, it's just capable of more jaw-dropping sounds,) but the V50 is really, really good stuff all the same. There's tons of great patches for TX81Z/DX11/V50 out there, the multiple operator waveforms give it a unique sound compared to the sine-only DXes, and the 16-note polyphony and 8-part multitimbral MIDI implementation make it quite flexible. The onboard effects aren't anything stunning, but they're certainly not bad. I'm not a fan of Yamaha's sequencer design, and the drum machine is cheapo hilarity, but hey, they're there if you want them and don't get in the way if you don't, so what the heck.

As has been mentioned, you'll probably need to replace the battery, which is a simple soldering job, and quite possibly the drive belt (in mine, at least, they used poor-quality rubber which turned to sticky goo over the years - took me an afternoon of scraping it out of the pulleys with a screwdriver and then cleaning them off with rubbing alcohol before I could put the new one in!) Replacements are available for a few bucks on eBay.

I'd try talking them down to $150 or so, but $200 isn't a bad price, either, and if you want an inexpensive but high-quality way to get into FM synthesis, the V50 is absolutely a good choice.
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73

User avatar
tim gueguen
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 795
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:31 am
Location: the Canadian Prairies
Contact:

Re: Thoughts on the V50?

Post by tim gueguen » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:27 pm

Rick Wakeman used one for a while, around the time of Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe and Yes's Union album. Katsuhiko Akiyama used one live with P Model in the early '90s, although I have no idea if it turned up on their self titled 1992 album or the followup Big Body.
Keys: Realistic Concertmate 500, Korg K25, Korg Micro X

Guits: '86 Fender Japan '50s Reissue Strat, '80 Aria Pro II TS-300 Thor Sound

Virgule
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 356
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:46 pm

Re: Thoughts on the V50?

Post by Virgule » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:45 am

I've been wanting one for years but they don't pop up often in local classifieds.


This awsome demo should be enough to convince anyone. :)




Smoking_Gnu
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:00 pm

Re: Thoughts on the V50?

Post by Smoking_Gnu » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:46 pm

However...

A DX7-S just popped up for $300. Which would be the better deal?

commodorejohn
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1564
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:39 am
Real name: John
Gear: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, Oberheim SEM
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: Thoughts on the V50?

Post by commodorejohn » Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:09 pm

Either one would be excellent (though I prefer the tone of the original DX7 to the DX7-II series that the DX7-S is a part of.) However, if you want multitimbral or workstation type stuff, the V50 is the way to go.
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73

User avatar
EmptySet
VSE Review Contributor
VSE Review Contributor
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:33 am
Gear: MS20, x0xb0x, JV-1080, JX-3P, JX-8P(PG800), Juno Stage, VFX-SD, VL-1, ARP Omni I, D-50, DW6000
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: Thoughts on the V50?

Post by EmptySet » Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:00 pm

The V50 was my first real hardware sequencer and I still LOVE it. It's so darned easy to use (esp for step entry). The sounds are typical 4 op sounds, but where the machine really shines is when you cram eight of those patches into a performance. I couldn't believe how good you get horns to sound with this multi layer approach (with judicious detuning). It sounded fantastic!

Smoking_Gnu
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:00 pm

Re: Thoughts on the V50?

Post by Smoking_Gnu » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:56 pm

A quick update:

Really enjoying the V50 so far. However, I recently came upon someone selling an SY77 (with an included hard case) for $295. Given that I've seen most SY77's eBay for at least $500, and the SY77 appears to be more powerful all around, this seems like a really good deal if it's legit. Is it indeed worth pursuing?

User avatar
Bitexion
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 4230
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:43 pm
Gear: Alesis Andromeda A6
Roland D-50
Creamware Minimax
Yamaha DX7s
Analogue Systems modular
Ensoniq SQ-80
Waldorf Blofeld
Location: Drammen, Norway

Re: Thoughts on the V50?

Post by Bitexion » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:18 am

The DX7-S is like a halfway between a DX7 and DX7-II. Same synth engine as the original DX7, but they've revamped the menus and replaced those awful membrane buttons with actual buttons that click properly.

The menus are much easier to navigate on the S than on the regular DX7. For instance they've moved all 4 envelope stages to a single page, instead of having to cycle through A D S R pages. And lots of other little improvements that makes navigation easier. But the engine itself is exactly the same.

User avatar
moremagic
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 314
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:29 am
Real name: A.M.
Gear: electribe er-1, sp-303, sp-404sx, s612, nuo 2, sl-1200 mk ii, beatstep, eurorack, tb-03, vx-99
Location: nc

Re: Thoughts on the V50?

Post by moremagic » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:28 am

the engine on the dx7-s is the same but the dacs are different, taking away a little touch of the originals smoothness, as i understand it

commodorejohn
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1564
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:39 am
Real name: John
Gear: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, Oberheim SEM
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: Thoughts on the V50?

Post by commodorejohn » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:47 am

I was under the impression that the DX7s is basically a DX7-II minus the split/layer capability and extra memory?
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73

Smoking_Gnu
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:00 pm

Re: Thoughts on the V50?

Post by Smoking_Gnu » Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:34 am

I was referring to the SY77:

http://www.vintagesynth.com/yamaha/sy77.php

Post Reply