Is it worth getting a DX7 Mk1?

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DX21
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Is it worth getting a DX7 Mk1?

Post by DX21 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:46 am

Theres a DX7 kicking around at work (I work at a pawn shop BTW). I really want it, two sore thumbs though;

Its Mono, My Sy77 can make the same noises

I want it because its a DX7.

Should i go for it? Ive got a rom burner i could put in the special edition roms.

Or shpuld i skip it?
Last edited by DX21 on Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is it worth getting a DX7 Mk1?

Post by crystalmsc » Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:32 am

DX21 wrote:I want it because its a DX7.
I own both the TG77 and 2 DX7s, the TG77 would make similar sound but not as noisy which can be a good or bad thing. The DX7 converter has it's own character which is preferable to some people. The keyboard is one of the best feeling to play the internal engine, which may not beat the SY77 keyboard, but very nice to play with (max 100 velocity value). Special edition rom sounds interesting, maybe you might want to get it just for that, especially if the price is cheap. Using Dexed as a free editor and librarian will make it even more interesting even if you own the SY77. But again, get it only if you want that authentic nostalgic feeling and prefer the more lo-fi vibe out of it, otherwise the SY77 is everything you need and more.
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Re: Is it worth getting a DX7 Mk1?

Post by commodorejohn » Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:47 am

As crystalmsc says, the original DX7 has its own That Sound factor which makes even the same patches played the same way sound a little different than the later models with 16-bit DACs. Whether that difference speaks to you enough to bother owning one in addition to a DX7-II or SY77 is a matter of personal taste, but I'd at least give it a try and see what you think if you have the option to play around with it before buying.

Personally, I eventually settled on a combination of DX7-II (duotimbral, additional performance features) and TX7 (That Sound factor in module format.)
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Re: Is it worth getting a DX7 Mk1?

Post by blueknob » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:10 am

I'm being a little glib now. I say get the Dx7 provided it's all legal, don't go make it disapear, make sure you pay the right person for it. Then "get the desire out of your system" - as in relieve the GAS (is there such a thing as a GAS fart? :lol: ) - then put it back into circulation, meaning sell it to fellow synth devotees.

There is no point in a once forgotten DX7 Mk1 sat doing nothing but rotting away, bring it back into life. Their prices are currently peaking.

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Re: Is it worth getting a DX7 Mk1?

Post by gcoudert » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:30 am

Go for it and sell it on if you don’t like it but you will.
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Re: Is it worth getting a DX7 Mk1?

Post by madtheory » Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:11 pm

The stuff about DACs is c**p. That's not what makes the DX-7 different. The DAC is actually really really good! The real difference is the DX-7 mark 1 has an envelope bug where the behaviour can be random with certain settings. Yamaha fixed this bug on later FM machines, so certain patches will sound different even though the SysEx is identical. I've posted the 4 Brian Eno patches from the patch sheet, and he exploited the envelope bug so they only sound "right" on a DX-7, not on any other patch compatible machine.

So for that reason alone, IMO a DX-7 is worth having. Although a TX-7 might be better, takes up less space if you already have a nice keyboard.

acreil over on gearslutz did a bunch of tests that prove that it's not the DAC, it's the bug. Cool thread:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/electro ... 7-fm8.html

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Re: Is it worth getting a DX7 Mk1?

Post by gcoudert » Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:01 pm

Yeah, I’ve had a DX7S, a Mk1, a TX7 and I now own a TX802. I’m not going to pretend that I could ever hear a difference. If you transfer sysex banks from a 1st generation to a 2nd generation model, you’ll hear the velocity range issue in all its glory but that’s nothing to do with the converters.
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Re: Is it worth getting a DX7 Mk1?

Post by desmond » Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:01 pm

I guess it depends what you want, really. :)

Qualifier: For *me*, I was never a huge fan of FM - there are some things it's great at, but outside those things I found it less good for me. However, the DX7 is iconic, and does do some things well and have some excellent sounds.

I bought a DX7S cheaply back in the day, and while I loved the keyboard, I didn't particularly like or use the sounds *that* much, and when FM7 came along, I remember taking some of patches I liked and some of my own, bringing them into FM7 and comparing. For me, I *like* the cleanliness of the software, and found it was much more useful to expand the sounds with extra features in the software and easy integration with the DAW & plugins etc - so FM7/FM8 was used for sounds more than the hardware was, until I sold the DX7S.

So for me, the plugin won out, and while there are things some people who are fans of the hardware miss, it didn't bother me at all. ymmv

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Re: Is it worth getting a DX7 Mk1?

Post by madtheory » Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:58 pm

I agree. FM8 is fab. Also hated DX7 back in the day. Old DX presets are great in FM8 because they're easier to tweak than on the original machine, and you can go much further, and have much finer resolution for pitch. They sound less plasticky and less DX7ey (is that a word LOL). But I would kind of like to get a TX7 to play with the envelope bug.

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Re: Is it worth getting a DX7 Mk1?

Post by Jabberwalky » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:47 pm

It has that instant gratification thing going for it. It also has a slightly crunchier sound (which really doesn't matter much in the context of a song). I did really enjoy the keys, and I updated the LCD with a nice backlit one.

Surprisingly, there's a lot of hardware circuitry inside that can go bad. The cartridge connectors can go bad, keys can go bad/need cleaned.

Ultimately, I don't think there's much of a point owning one anymore. It had it's day, and it's time to stop looking to the past. There are so many FM options now, it's backwards thinking to pay anything over 150 for the MK1.

There's the Dexed VST, Volca FM, the new Yamaha Reface DX, and my personal favorite, the PreenFM2 (which is leaps and bounds more advanced than the old dx7).

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Re: Is it worth getting a DX7 Mk1?

Post by K-man » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:51 pm

IMO, If you own a SY-77 you don´t need a DX-7 anyway.

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Re: Is it worth getting a DX7 Mk1?

Post by DX21 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:09 am

Oh man, I did it. First thing my brain said to do was "hook up some pedals to it" and thus far I like how gritty it is.

Like... It feels really Sega Genesis-y in real life...my SY sounds Sterile and tame compared to it. Layered together it feels very punchy, like brand new gloves punchy. Image
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Re: Is it worth getting a DX7 Mk1?

Post by Jabberwalky » Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:03 am

The dx7 is the village bicycle I guess.

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Re: Is it worth getting a DX7 Mk1?

Post by commodorejohn » Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:10 am

DX21 wrote:Oh man, I did it. First thing my brain said to do was "hook up some pedals to it" and thus far I like how gritty it is.

Like... It feels really Sega Genesis-y in real life...my SY sounds Sterile and tame compared to it.
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Re: Is it worth getting a DX7 Mk1?

Post by NCChao1268 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:20 am

Well it can't hurt to have a DX7 in your synth collection. It always has a place in any composition or recording. A distinctive classic FM sound. How much is it selling for? Any problems with it? Try not to pay more than $300 for a perfectly working one. You might be able to get an employee discount for it since you work at the pawn shop.

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