Synth Site: Yamaha: SY-55: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.9 out of 5
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Ijket a hobbyist user from Germany writes:
I got my Sy55 half a year ago. I got it from ebay for less than 200$. It was all right but one key, that was a little damaged, but still playable. I like most sounds of this syth, but I have to say that it is my first and because of this I haven't got something to compare it with. The only thing bad I noticed is the programming, which is at the beginning very confusing, but after a while it works. Another thing which should be mentioned is the fact, that you should have a drum mashine too, because the drum sets are not that good. But if you have one try this synth. You'll have a lot of fun with it.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Nov-07-2001 at 09:56
Bruce a professional user from Raleigh, NC writes:
I bought my SY55 in mid-1990 for ~$1000. It has been with me all this time, everywhere you can think of. I have done weddings, recorded music, played shows, and currently play it in church on my Praise and Worship team. The best sounds on the keyboard are the strings, piano variations, some organ sounds, and the analog sounds. Its ability to be programmed and the flexibility of changing sounds is awesome to say the least. My only complaints about it over the years has been the 16-note polyphony and the small note capacity sequencer. The sequencer overall is fantastic, but can barely hold enough notes for a normal song. The sounds are dated and not as good as many modern synths, but the sounds have their own unique timbre. When I bought it years ago, I never thought it would be with me this long. Despite its age, the keyboard has served me well and I still enjoy programming and playing it often. I can't part with it -- even now.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Aug-13-2001 at 10:31
Koos Fockens a hobbyist user from Devon, England writes:
This was my second synth, the first beeing a poly 800. I bought it secondhand in 1993 for approx. $800,-, it was 3 years old then. It was the middle of the range synth by Yamaha, completed with the SY22 on one side, and the ledgendary(my opnion) SY77 on the other(later expanded with the SY99). Each of these synths was different. The SY22 was a fairly cheap 'vector synthesis' synth, unfortunately suffering from bad samples( they should have used 'AWM2' samples). The SY77 was a hybrid, offering an improved (yet less grungy than the DX7) FM synthesis, combined with sample playback synthesis. The SY55 is basically a SY77, without the FM part. There are 64 different wave forms in it's rom, which is a bit limiting, with a huge emphasis on piano style waves, there are a lot of digital/electric piano waves. Synth sounds are a bit harder to find. In fact there's just a few. It has however one of the best choir samples ever made. The best choir is that gregorian choir famous of the Kurzweil 1000 series expanders, and K2000. The SY 55 choir is just nice and dreamy. On average the quality of these samples are reasonable and useful, but not spectacular. It's synthesis possibilities are great. There are a lot of modulation options, nice envelopes, it's even got a good filter section with resonance! The FX section is (like the SY77) crap. You will be lot's better of if you leave the FX for what they are and use an external effects processor. it's got a very poor reverb, and in general sounds very cold and artificial.Try an external FX and it will come to life! It has extensive midi capabilities(almost all (external) controllers are assignable). As a workstation it is usefull but suffers from it's limited polyphony( 16 voices max). Especially if you use a few layered voices,( which can consist of 1,2 or 4 'elements') you quickly run out of breath. It has a built in sequnecer but that is only useful for as a note block, for basic ideas. It is just too limited. It is there fore best used as a synth, which, is what I do. Due to it's caracter it is not very good to use as your only synth but it can be very useful cutting through a mix dominated by richer sounds and the thousands of Roland JV/XP patches out there. If you buy an SY55,(or TG55, the rack mount version) be aware that it is not a very well suported synth. There are almost no soundcards for it with new samples and that's a shame because if there would be a soundcard with more adventurous samples, then you would have a very good synth due to it's flexible modulation etc. just forget the FX! Otherwise it is a well built synth with almost no plastic in sight. They are not that expensive secondhand anymore so for a few hundred bucks you can afford to experiment. I still do very often!

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Wednesday-May-09-2001 at 13:45
Tek Lord (jason williams) a hobbyist user from USA writes:
I love the board .... it is a good peice to have if you already have a work station. And it is doubles as a midi controller with the breath controller. I love it.I just need to find some cards for it. if any has some to sell email me.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Oct-20-2000 at 11:17
Shawn a professional user from Seattle wa writes:
very viscious monster lurking inside this creature or a soothing angel... you decide.. just edit some of the existing patches use a patch editor and tweek around with it ,...very versitile sounds great evolving liquidy pads, spine tingling strings,nice hollow bass poly is only limited depending on how you use it

just my 2bits

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Apr-26-2000 at 14:24
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