Yamaha Black Boxes

These are the second most powerful tools for making music.

The first is your ear. That’s the catchphrase of a Yamaha advertisement for their comprehensive line of synthesizers, sequencers and drum machines as seen on Keyboard Magazine in 1985.

More than 30 years have passed since that day, and while the legacy of FM synthesis still lives inside contemporary soft synths, boutique synthesizers and full blown workstations, the design language that Yamaha adopted with the first DX7 slowly faded away during the 1990s.

This website attempts to give credit to the extraordinary work of consistency the Design Laboratory kept back then: black boxes, DX green, small LCDs and outstanding build quality.

This collection is updated gradually



Keyboard synthesizers

DX1 1983 Digital programmable algorhythm synthesizer
DX5 1985 Digital programmable algorhythm synthesizer
DX7 1983 Digital programmable algorhythm synthesizer
DX7s 1986 Digital programmable algorhythm synthesizer
DX7 II-D 1986 Digital programmable algorhythm synthesizer
DX7 II-FD 1986 Digital programmable algorhythm synthesizer
DX9 1983 Digital programmable algorhythm synthesizer
DX11 1988 Digital programmable algorhythm synthesizer
DX21 1985 Digital programmable algorhythm synthesizer
DX27 1985 Digital programmable algorhythm synthesizer
DX27s 1985 Digital programmable algorhythm synthesizer
DX100 1985 Digital programmable algorhythm synthesizer

Rack synthesizers

TX7 1984 Tone generator
TX816 1984 MIDI rack
TX16W 1988 Digital wave filtering sampler
TX1P 1987 Piano tone generator
TX802 1987 FM tone generator
TX81Z 1987 FM tone generator
PTX8 1986 Percussion tone generator

Keyboard controllers

KX1 1983 Remote keyboard
KX5 1986 Remote keyboard
KX76 1985 MIDI master keyboard
KX88 1985 MIDI master keyboard

Drum machines

RX5 1986 Digital rhythm programmer
RX7 1988 Digital rhythm programmer
RX11 1984 Digital rhythm programmer
RX15 1984 Digital rhythm programmer
RX17 1987 Digital rhythm programmer
RX21 1985 Digital rhythm programmer
RX21L 1985 Digital rhythm programmer
RX120 1988 Digital rhythm programmer

Sequencers

QX1 1984 Digital sequence recorder
QX3 1987 Digital sequence recorder
QX5 1986 Digital sequence recorder
QX5-FD 1988 Digital sequence recorder
QX7 1985 Digital sequence recorder
QX21 1987 Digital sequence recorder

Computers

CX5 1984 Music computer
CX5M 1984 Music computer
CX5M II/128 1985 Music computer
CX7M/128 1985 Music computer
YIS805/256 1986 Home personal computer

Accessories

PN-101 1985 Dot impact printer

Effects

SPX90 1986 Digital multi-effect processor
SPX90 II 1987 Digital multi-effect processor
SPX50D 1988 Digital sound processor
GEP50 1988 Guitar effect processor
REX50 1988 Digital multi effector
DEQ7 1987 Digital equalizer
REV1 1984 Digital reverberator
REV5 1987 Digital reverberator
REV7 1985 Digital reverberator

Remotes

RCR1 1984 Remote control unit
RC7 1985 Remote control unit

Misc. rack modules

G10C 1988 Guitar MIDI converter
MEP4 1986 MIDI event processor
MJC4 1988 MIDI junction controller
MJC8 1988 MIDI junction controller
PMC1 1986 Percussion MIDI controller
IFU1 1988 Interface unit
IFU2 1988 Interface unit
IFU3 1988 Interface unit
IFU4 1988 Interface unit
DA202 1988 DA converter
FMC1 1988 Format converter
AD808 1988 AD converter
TMX 1993 Drum trigger module

Mixers

DMP7 1987 Digital mixing processor
DMP7D 1988 Digital mixing processor

Others

MSS1 1988 MIDI synchronizer
MCS2 1986 MIDI control station



This page is maintained by [email protected]. Illustrations, ©2017–2020 a.arlandi. The Yamaha logo is a registered trademark of Yamaha Corporation.

Last update: June 2020