Selling on commission for Mike Hedges, this rare synth came from Abbey Road Studios. It is in superb condition and has just had a full service from James Walker.
Selling on commission for Mike Hedges, this rare synth came from Abbey Road Studios. It is in superb condition and has just had a full service.
This DX-1 is one of only 140 built: they were the flagship of the all-conquering Yamaha DX series of FM digital synths. A veritable behemoth weighing around 50 kilos, with 73 full-length weighted wooden keys and a wooden case. It offers 32 note polyphony and superb sonic performance thanks to the carefully-selected components. Uniquely for a vintage synth, it features polyphonic aftertouch. Yamaha built these to impress, not to a price point (they originally retailed at around £10,000 in 1984 – around £35,000 in today’s money).
It has had a complete overhaul by a Yamaha expert and is in full working order. Details of the service are available on request.
I have to say I wasn’t bowled over at the prospect of having a DX in the building – I was sold a more lowly variant back in the 80s when I ignorantly entered a music store looking for ‘a keyboard’. I found it near-impossible to program and didn’t enjoy the tinkly sounds it emitted (this predates my later transition to sonic adventurer by some years). To my ears, the all-conquering rise of the DX-7 (alongside the over-use of gated reverb on snare drums) signifies a time when most recorded music sold its soul. I’m not alone: Mike and I had a wee grumble about this when we spoke about us selling his DX – hence his having mostly-used it as a controller keyboard when it was installed in his studio in France. However, our go-to synth wizard suggested I might be very mistaken when it came to the DX-1, and a few moments playing through some presets swiftly revealed this to be the case: this is an awesome-sounding beast, very playable (though the keys are pretty heavy) and very much deserving its place among the hallowed analogue classics we drool over. The sounds and expression are top notch – DX basses and bells sound far mightier than they do on lowlier DX-series synths. And it’s programmable: the clear display (that resembles something out of Close Encounters) makes this a Yamaha DX that you can delve deeply into without getting lost). In short, I’m surprised to find that I absolutely love it.
As usual, it’s well-worth re-reading the mighty Gordon Reid’s article on the DX if you want to know more: Sound on Sound “Sounds of the ’80s Part 2: The Yamaha DX1 & Its Successors”.
This is a commission sale – serious offers in the region of £7000 are invited. And if you have gear that you want us to look at selling on your behalf then please look at our Commission & Consignment page for more information and get in touch to discuss your requirements.
SHIPPING: The price of this does not include shipping. It needs to be shipped lying flat, and it weighs about 50 kg so a normal courier is out of the question. Collection organised by the buyer would be the preferred option, however we can arrange delivery to mainland UK – cost dependent on delivery location. If you would like to discuss this or the possibility of shipping overseas then please get in touch.
The cosmetic condition is excellent; we understand from Mike Hedges that it wasn’t massively-employed at Abbey Road before he bought it from them, and he mostly-used it as a controller keyboard – like me he wasn’t a fan of the DX sound. It has a few minor scuffs and scratches and overall it is looking very well for its age. Click on the photos to zoom and see more shots.
Zero rated for VAT.
Switchable voltage for use anywhere in the world - it will be set up ready for you to use before we ship.
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