MATRIXSYNTH: Yamaha Electone EX-1 Mega Rare Vintage Synth/Organ

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Yamaha Electone EX-1 Mega Rare Vintage Synth/Organ

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via this auction

See this post for a demo and overview of one by Mark Jenkins, and this post for some additional info on the EX1 vs. EX42 which was the stage model of of GX1, precurssor to the CS80.

Update: It's not clear how much the EX1 is related to the GX1 and CS80. According to Colin f in the comments of this post, the oscillators are digital. The EX1 was released in 1977, the same year the Synclavier was released, as well the same year Bell Labs Digital Synthesizer was developed. You can find some history on digital synthesis on Wikipedia here. The EX1 is not mentioned. According to Mark Jenkins in the comments of this post, the EX1 is is a preset version of the GX1.

"Comes complete with:
One TX-III matching tone cabinet.
Pedal board.
Music stand.
Original Yamaha voltage converter.

The good bits:
In good overall condition with minor marks.
All keys/pedals work.
Tone cabinet works and sounds great.
All the controls apart from the ones listed work perfectly.

The bad bits:
One note on the lower orchestra (synthesizer) section occasionally sticks, not sure what the fault is.
Tremolo function doesn't work - it's probably the belt or motor inside the tone cabinet, I use it connected to an amplifier through its separate out so don't use this function.
Sine wave LFO waveshape on the solo synth not working (other waveshapes work fine).

This is an amazing sounding instrument which can layer different types of analog/digital synthesier and organ tones all at once.
Very hard to find and in very nice cosmetic shape.
Cost £27,000 back in 1977!"


  1. The EX-1 synthesizer voices have nothing in common with the GX-1.
    This myth has either been started by someone with an EX-1 to sell, or just a really poor ability to discriminate sounds.
    GX-1 is a fully analogue synth, with discrete VCOs and diode ring filters, very similar in sound to the early Korg monosynths.
    EX-1 is a hybrid synth, with sampled waveform DCOs and IC filters.
    The EX-1 is no more a "version" of the GX-1 than an Alpha Juno is a version of the Jupiter 8.

  2. It's not a "claim" that the EX-1 has digital oscillators. They are described in detail in the service manual, and in the more general guide to Yamaha PASS (pulsed analogue synthesis system). The digital waves are filtered by IG00156 ICs which are used in the CS series. The EX series are essentially the first hybrid polysynths, just as the GX-1 was the first analogue polysynth (in the sense of being a fixed number of pure analogue synth voices, allocated to notes played on a digitally scanned keyboard by a digital state machine). There is no synth sound generating circuitry shared by the GX and EX. To say otherwise is misinformation.

  3. EX-1 service manual is here -,ex-2_organ_user_manual.pdf/download.html
    The waveforms are generated by YM23500B Frequency ROMs, driving YM21400C Wave Counter ICs.

  4. has the PASS guide -

  5. Thank you. Post updated.


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