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  • Thoughts on Yamaha FX-20

    Hello,
    Lost an opportunity on a Kawai SR7, so the search goes on. Found an FX-20 for sale, and wanted to see what you guys thought of it. Is this an analog organ?

    I found this video, and the sound at the beginning and end sounds very analog, like a synth almost. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZRTnMDx8pg

    That's the kinda sound I'm going for. Anything you guys can tell me about it would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Jon

  • #2
    Hi Vercus, you can find lots of details about electone organs here: http://electone.nl. To my understanding the FX series was one of the first digital Yamaha organs.
    Playing Hammond Aurora Classic & XE2, Hohner E3, Roland G800 & AT500.

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    • #3
      The FS/FX series used FM tone generation. To my ears they had the best organ flute sound Yamaha ever made, until the AR100's multiple organ sounds, perhaps. Big and rich. OK some of the solo sounds were audibly digital and fake (you could hear the harmonics too clearly) but a lot of them were excellent.

      There's one on Ebay UK at the moment, £112 and rising. It will be interesting to see what it sells for. I'll report back....
      It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

      New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

      Current instruments: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition, Yamaha Genos, Yamaha PSR-S970, Kawai K1m
      Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
      Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.
      Retired synths: Korg 700, Roland SH1000, Jen Superstringer, Kawai S100F, Kawai S100P, Kawai K1

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      • #4
        Thanks for the info. Interesting that it's FM synthesis. I have a Yamaha SK20, which is basically their string synth and hammond clone in one. That uses FM synthesis as well, and I love the sound of it.

        The seller is asking $500 for the FX-20, which seemed high to me. What do you guys think? Would more like $200-300 be appropriate?

        Also, does anyone know the dimensions of the console with the pedals removed? I found the manual, and it lists the depth as 45 1/2", which must be with the pedals on. I need to make sure this is going to fit through my door before I pursue it any further.

        -Jon

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        • #5
          Ive got an FX-20. It is a wonderful instrument. It is basically an FX-1 in a traditional console. And it has a huge audio system, so the sound is very rich as Andy says. I will go measure mine and get back to you. If it is working, actually I think 500 is fair. It can do so much. But always try to get a better price anyhow. It is a beast to move, but it at least has console rollers built in. More on that if you proceed with getting it.
          Regards, Larry

          At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), US-1, EL-25 ( Chopped ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755. 1919 Wangerin 2/7 pipe organ.

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          • #6
            Here are some dimensions : The deepest part is the keydesk, and that is 30 & 1/4" front to back . The base is 22" front to back. It is 46" high, not including the music rack. The console is 52" wide.

            It is heavy, but rightfully so, as there is so much inside it. And when you move it, they can be a bit top heavy - not all the weight is near the bottom, like some organs.

            If you get involved with this organ, I've got the original sales brochure scanned, and other info as well.
            Attached Files
            Regards, Larry

            At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), US-1, EL-25 ( Chopped ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755. 1919 Wangerin 2/7 pipe organ.

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            • #7
              Larry, can you upload the brochure to the brochures section of the gallery, please? I would love to see that.

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              • #8
                Unfortunately I think it's gonna be too deep for me. The door going to my living room is only 29 3/4" deep. Man, I just can't catch a break here. Every time I find an organ I like, something goes wrong.

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                • #9
                  Vercus, You probably can take the molding / trim off the doorway, and that will be enough. Or, tilt it as it goes though - that makes the depth less. I certainly think there is a way if you want to get it in there.

                  Seamaster, I will try to do that upload for you. It will be later or tomorrow though.
                  Regards, Larry

                  At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), US-1, EL-25 ( Chopped ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755. 1919 Wangerin 2/7 pipe organ.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Vercus View Post
                    Thanks for the info. Interesting that it's FM synthesis. I have a Yamaha SK20, which is basically their string synth and hammond clone in one. That uses FM synthesis as well, and I love the sound of it.

                    The seller is asking $500 for the FX-20, which seemed high to me. What do you guys think? Would more like $200-300 be appropriate?

                    Also, does anyone know the dimensions of the console with the pedals removed? I found the manual, and it lists the depth as 45 1/2", which must be with the pedals on. I need to make sure this is going to fit through my door before I pursue it any further.

                    -Jon
                    I live in the Pacific NW and I've seen the FX20 go for free. I think $200 is reasonable in PA.
                    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Current: Yamaha EL400, Yamaha C60

                    Past: Technics GA3, Technics F100, Technics FA-1

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I picked up an FX-20 in 2006. Being into keyboards and sampling, I was very surprised that this organ had such a good sound. And since it synthesizes rather than playing back samples the sound across the keyboard is smooth with no sample breaks. It really stood out to me.

                      I’ve had two of these, buying the second one in 2008 for $500.00. I currently have the FX-1 which is basically the same thing in a futuristic case. These organs are built like a tank. Some of Yamaha’s best work.

                      Whether it’s worth $200, $300 or $500 is between the buyer and what benefits are realized from the purchase. I doubt I could sell my FX-1 for what I paid for it but it was a good investment. I’ve had hours of enjoyment playing it. If I no longer had it and wanted an FX-20 I would easily pay $500. But, that’s me.

                      There’s a trick moving one through a narrow door where it’s placed on one end. (Dolly and/or blankets) Then, as an L shape put one end in the door and turn it as the rest goes through.

                      Geo
                      Last edited by geoelectro; 04-28-2018, 05:18 AM.

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                      • #12
                        I just uploaded the brochure for the FX-10 / FX-20 to the Brochure Gallery. They are PDFs, so they will probably need to be downloaded to view them.

                        And Geo is right, when I said "tilt" the console earlier, I actually meant to say tip up on end. Gotta have a couple of strong guys to do that, but everything inside is well secured so you won't damage it by doing this.
                        Regards, Larry

                        At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), US-1, EL-25 ( Chopped ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755. 1919 Wangerin 2/7 pipe organ.

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                        • #13
                          Don't wait, go for it. I was going to get an FX-20 but time and distance made it impossible and someone else got it. The one I was going to get was in a church. I should've offered to send earnest money to hold the organ.

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                          • #14
                            From memory the FX range used hybrid sounds with the attack of the sound being a sample and the rest of the sound being synthesis. (Memory was too expensive at that time for full samples) I also believe they had motorised volume controls which had a habit of failing over time.

                            Bill

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                            • #15
                              I agree with Libraryguy - Ya Snooze, Ya Looze !

                              Abacus, the big FX range of Yamaha's have no sampling. It is all FM digital synthesis. In 1983 Yamaha came out with one of the most successful single keyboard synths of all time - the DX-7. It had shockingly realistic sounds for the time, but was hard to program for most people. It was widely used by many artists and regular folks in spite of the difficult programing aspect, because there were many places one could buy / get already programed sound sets. They would be installed via RAM memory cartridges, so it was no problem to not be able to fully program your own DX-7.

                              The FX series of Electones took that FM technology and did away with the need to program your own sounds by equipping the organs with the best of the best sounds programed in on preset buttons.

                              With the FX-20 / FX-1 organs, you are in essence playing up to 18 DX-7 synths all at the same time, layered as you see fit, and each section mixable as to volume and other parameters.

                              Yes, the section volume motorized sliders can be a problem. But, the motor belts are the issue, not the electrical part. So the sliders still do their function, but do not move when using the piston memory. But, wherever you set them holds in the memory regardless of whether the particular slider moves or not. The sliders are fixable of course, and I have quite a bit of information gathered over the years as to how to do it.
                              Regards, Larry

                              At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), US-1, EL-25 ( Chopped ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755. 1919 Wangerin 2/7 pipe organ.

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