Yamaha DX-5 Synth

This is a vintage Yamaha DX-5 synthesizer keyboard. Yamaha’s DX-5 fits somewhere in between their legendary DX-7 and flagship DX-1 synthesizers: with performance more like a DX-1, and the aesthetics resembling that of a DX-7. This powerful keyboard is truly remarkable sounding, and is quite the must-have for anyone who enjoys any DX-series keyboards.

Under the hood, the DX-5 is almost identical to the DX-1. The most significant differences is that the DX-5 has done away with the heavy wood-paneling, as well as, features a more basic keyboard without polyphonic aftertouch. With its dual 6-operator FM synth engines the DX-5 is like having two DX-7 synthesizers in one, and then some! The DX-5 has 64 performance memories which can be loaded or saved to cartridge, while the DX-7 has only one manual performance memory. This improves the versatility for live/studio performance and makes excellent use of the dual engines. However, one thing to consider is that the MIDI implementation, while adequate, does not qualify it as a master keyboard, in particular, the DX-5 (like the DX-7) sends only 99 as the maximum velocity, not 127.

Although the DX-5 is a digital synthesizer, its sounds are unique and fresh with an analog/digital hybrid feel. Programming however, is not at all like analog synth programming. All DX series synths use Frequency Modulation (FM) synthesis and all are rather difficult to program or, at least, difficult to understand what to program. The DX-5 is no exception to this rule except that its layout, parameter buttons and displays are much better than typical DX synths.

For performances, the DX-5 shares the DX-1’s bitimbric ability to play two patches from memory (Channel A and B) with the keyboard in layer or split mode and the polyphony reduced from 32 to 16 voices. That’s a very cool ability for an old synth, especially a DX type synth, and it really enhances whatever accessible sound library.

The DX-5 remains a very high quality vintage instrument and and this particular example is no exception. It is in perfect working condition and very excellent condition with included power cable and sustain pedal.