Saturday, April 21, 2007

Yamaha SY-2

Title link takes you to shots via this auction.

Check out the details. They claim the SY-2 is the only alternative that has the GX-1 filters. The GX-1 was as you know, the predecessor to the mighty CS80. I was under the impression the CS80 and CS60 had the same filters as the GX-1. The auction details do mention the CS60, so the seller is clearly aware of the CS60. Can anyone out there confirm if the filters on the CS60, CS80, GX1 and SY-2 are different or the same? Note the SY-2 was Yamaha's first synth according to the auction details pulled for this post.

Click the image to see the presets. Anyone know what Hawaiian Guitar sounds like? Considering the Wersi Bass Synth had a Hawaii Effect that you can see in the video in this previous post, I'm guessing Hawaii was in during the 70s. If so it's interesting how the popular culture at the time makes it's way into the design aspects of a given synth. Groovebox anyone? That is over isn't it?

"This is the only alternative to gets the classic GX-1 filters without paying 50000$. I'm telling you, you'll never heard something like that. The sound is unique, personnal and organic. It looks like a preset synth, but it's definately not! Think of the presets as your waveforms...

Here's some specs :
- 28 'presets'
- 37 keys keyboard with aftertouch (VERY sensible and expressive, exactly like a CS-60, I did the A-B test because I own one...)
- 1 VCO (It seems that one some preset, there's a second sine VCO after the VCF, as you find on a CS-60 and CS-80)
- 2 analog resonant filters, 1 LPF and 1 HPF
- 1 VCA envelope ADSR
- 1 VCF envelope (called 'Tone Bend' on this synth) ADS Written ATTACK TIME, INTENSITY and DECAY TIME, this envelope is inverted on some presets
- Pulse width
- Portamento
- 4 Octave transposition
- Vibrato control(LFO) : Speed and Depth
- Foot controller assignments : VCF (Wahwah) and Volume
- Aftertouch assignements : Vib Depth, VCF (Wah-wah) and Volume.
- Sensitivity knobs for aftertouch and Pedal"


  1. The auction's wrong. The SY1 was the first Yamaha synth. The SY2 is a revision on it, post-GX-1. As for the details about the filters, it might have the filter for the GX-1's monosynth section, but the CS-80 (own one) clearly has the GX sound to it, especially when you use the VCF modulation to get that 'spin-up' sound that's so infamous from the beginning of ELP's "Pirates".

  2. The CS-80 uses different building blocks than the GX-1 and the filter is definitely different.

  3. Yep the SY2 does have the same potted synth modules as the GX-1. It's how Old Crow reverse enginnered the GX-1 filter module.



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