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SY-77 vs DX-7IIFD

Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:10 am
by Chas
Hey guys, this one has probably been done before... but...

Just wanting some opinions, pros and cons on these synths.


Re: SY-77 vs DX-7IIFD

Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:36 am
by xpander
the SY77 costs the same or less than a DX7IIFD. i've used both extensively- particularly the DX7IIFD w/E; there is no reason you would want to go with the DX7 over the SY77 unless you are a collector or just want something that says DX7 on it. the SY77 can do everything several DX7s can do plus a whole lot more.

Re: SY-77 vs DX-7IIFD

Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:03 pm
by Pro5
I love my DX7 II-D... put it through some effects and it's a great synth.

However, if you do NOT need/want the 'legendary' name on your synth then I would easily say GO WITH THE SY77. You will not regret it. It's an amazing synth. I now use it all the time (barely touch my DX7). I fitted blue screen and PC drive and it's like new (better than!). The programming is deep, the effects are ok (and on top of FM are fine anyway), the extra programming over the DX7 is great too.

I could probably gush all day about the monster that is the SY77 but I won't and yes if you search there are plenty of posts about the '77 (from me and others).

SY77 wins in every category except not being a 'classic' (and looks if you prefer the more bespoke look of the DX compared to the more generic but 'control deck' dimensions of the SY77).. I obviously prefer the screen on the sy77 too.

I've found the SY77 + an1x a good combo for songwriting/Production.. I've been using these 2 a lot lately together for a few tracks, SY-77 is very flexible (much like the AN1x) but in different ways.

SY77 with AN1x above (DX7 II-D was on a stand on the other side of the room at the time)

edit > good review of the SY77 over at bluesynths (will need to register free to read I think, but worth it) ... tent&id=76

One last thing, don't judge the SY77 on it's presets (of course), especially the AWM only 'real instruments'.. some of them are actually quite nice but not the best out there given it's age. It's the more 'synthetic' sounds (usually from the AFM engine alone) that give this synth it's gold star from me... even when you A/B with effects off some of the patches (on the net) make great use of FM and no they are not all E-Pianos and bells. It can pull off analog sounds that in a mix sound just right, a real quality to them. Of course the DX7 II can also do that to some degree (after adding on some effects) but it's not the complete package that the SY77 is.

There, I ended up gushing about the synth anyway. bah!

Re: SY-77 vs DX-7IIFD

Posted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:58 am
by adamstan
The only drawback of SY77 when comparing it to DX7II is its size and weight - it's larger and much heavier.

Re: SY-77 vs DX-7IIFD

Posted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:54 pm
by Pro5
adamstan wrote:The only drawback of SY77 when comparing it to DX7II is its size and weight - it's larger and much heavier.
True but it doesn't make much diff in a 'studio' (maybe on the road). It's not ultra massive like the SY99 (or JX10 etc). They both fit on the same stands that I have (depth and height). I think the extras of the '77 make the size unimportant if you have a room of synths anyway, but it is probably my heaviest synth and I wouldn't want to carry it around as much as something like the feather light AN1x.

Re: SY-77 vs DX-7IIFD vs XP-30!

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:55 am
by Chas
Awesome info, thanks.

I need to make a decision between the SY-77 and the Roland XP-30. Which one would I be most happy with in the studio in terms of sound quality, easy editing etc.

Any opinions welcome!

Re: SY-77 vs DX-7IIFD

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:09 am
by adamstan
They are completely different synths. It depends on what sounds you are looking for. They are both good synths, but XP-30 is typical Roland ROMpler, while SY-77 is FM monster.

I'd take SY-77 (better keyboard than XP-30), and if you later decide, that you need Roland sounds, just get one of the JV modules (1080, 2080 or even 1010) which XP-30 is based on.

Re: SY-77 vs DX-7IIFD

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:25 pm
by Chas
Thanks adamstan, good points.

Well I hope this will be my last question before I can go out and buy a synth:

SY-77 or the SY-85 for its AWM2? Or will I be better off spending extra for a SY-99?

Thanks for all the help, I really appreciate it.


Re: SY-77 vs DX-7IIFD

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:36 pm
by adamstan
This is similar to SY77 vs XP-30. SY-85 is AWM-only. 77 and 99 are mainly FM synths. 85's samples are nothing special, if you want ROMpler, XP-30 will IMHO be better than SY-85. Get SY-99 and then buy modules if you need - rackmounted version of SY-85 (minus sequencer) is called TG-500. There is demo on

Re: SY-77 vs DX-7IIFD

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:57 pm
by paugui
I would suggest the SY99 too.

I had the SY77 and sold it because I want to upgrade to the SY99.
I haven't done this yet, but I think it would be worth it, cause you get more waves, better effects and you can load your OWN waves, which can be used on FM too.
It can be a bit bigger than the SY77, but at least to me the extra size on the sides doesn't matter, if it is the same to you, I would suggest the SY99.

And as said, you can get a ROMpler module later.
They only get better and with more wave memory, while the SY99 likely won't see a new model with similar specs (FM + Samples) coming out.

Re: SY-77 vs DX-7IIFD

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:06 pm
by HideawayStudio
The SY99, in my opinion, is not worth the extra money as the AWM2 aspect is really secondary to both synth's main strength which has to be their awesome FM synth sections. Since the AWM2 is only there for layering I'd suggest the SY77 is much better value for money. The SY99 is also even bigger and heavier than the 77. The other plus point is that the SY77 is also available in a really sturdy rackmount - the TG77.

Regardless of which you choose these synths really are monsters - they have amazingly deep programmability coupled with some of the finest real time convolution, modulation and control you'll ever come across. This coupled with the fact they feature resonant filters simply blows the DX-7 out of the water. They also make great mother keyboards.

Like others, I'd suggest you get a DX7 if you want a famous collectors item. If you want a really capable synth then it has to be the SY77 or SY99 - especially fitted with a cool blue LCD module :)

Re: SY-77 vs DX-7IIFD

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:54 pm
by paugui
The SY77 might be better value for money, but considering that I would rather choose the TG77, as the sound is the same and you get extra outputs.
The only thing you might lose with a MIDI controller is the third mod wheel and the interface is probably not as good (I never used a TG77 so I cannot comment on this point), but apart from that, you are better with a TG77.

My point with the SY99 is that if you ever want to expand your sounds, you can, cause you can load new samples that can also be used to interact with the FM section.
Considering that sometimes SY99 cost the same as 2 SY77, it probably won't be worth the money, but if you can get a cheap one, for just a few more than the SY77, I think the SY99 would be a wiser move, as you also get a 76 note keyboard (with more MIDI features, I think), better effects and more waves to use.

Re: SY-77 vs DX-7IIFD

Posted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:47 pm
by druzz
what about the feel the the keys . and the programming interface.
i have a dx7 II and would like to know the difference .i am condirering the SY77 because of what i read on this forum.

i just found the book "complete dx7 II and it is amazing. would i be able to follow it with the SY or should i keep the dx untill i go trough the book

and what about the filter on the SY . is it worth it or am i better off driving my dx trough my moogerfooger lowpass or CS-5 anyway .

Re: SY-77 vs DX-7IIFD

Posted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:41 pm
by b3groover
You can't really program a moogerfooger to change on a per-patch basis, can you? That's the nice thing about the onboard filter; it is programmable with it's own EG and various mod sources.

The keys on the SY77 are really nice. I think it is the same action as the DX7/DX7IId. At least it feels that way to me.

As for the Complete DX7 book, the scale of the parameters are different. So I would keep your DX7II for the time being until you get through the book.

Re: SY-77 vs DX-7IIFD

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:04 am
by druzz
thanks , i am sold to the sy77. but its not an emergency . i will learn the dx7 first