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Heya, Nate...

Member for

21 years 2 months
I just wanted to jump in, say that I'm VERY HAPPY with a Yamaha product I've had for about ten years... the SY-77... it has a history all it's own, as far as my equipment goes, and thought you might enjoy hearing it's story...

I think it was in 1991, maybe 1990, when I received this keyboard as a gift from my parents; I was still in high school and looking to be George Winston (hehe)... I remember writing some great tunes on the 77, although I can't find very many of them nowadays...

I headed from San Antonio to Sherman for college, and dragged along the 77 having NO IDEA what college would entail... It's sat in smokey rooms (still does), has had beer spilt upon it MANY times, even passed the bongwater test a couple years ago. It's been dropped, shaken, "torqued" (you know, wedged in between other equipment and "twisted" in the haul), jerked, banged, slammed, and gets played pretty hard... It's been in the pawn shop about half a dozen times and leant out on occasion. And through it all, I have NEVER HAD TO CLEAN OR MAINTAIN this unit. No sh*t.

Now, don't get me wrong. The bongwater incident certainly knocked it to the mat for a while... I remember pawning it because the keys (save for the top and bottom octave) wouldn't register as being played, and I didn't have the cash to get it fixed at that point, but get this: I get it out of hock and it's BACK TO NORMAL. Freaked me out, guess it just needed "drying time." I know it wasn't cleaned at the shop (or played, all that), but it STILL works, after all this time...

Anyway, I can't thank whoever made this possible enough. Sure, the backlights on the LCD are shot, and I generally need to "break in" the keys if we haven't used it in a while, but I have been super-duper impressed with this unit and will certainly consider Yamaha for other stuff down the line (for example, my little MD-8, which I also LOVE).

The best part is that with the new band, I get to let Heather in on my baby (did I mention I'm too cool for keyboards nowadays? :D). She's getting to use a REAL keyboard (or what WAS a real keyboard, for all you keyboard fanatics here), and is always finding those new tricks and sounds I thought I'd exausted...

While I've got your ear, Nate, I'd like to also compliment you on some pretty good sounds in the wavebanks... in particular, the "dynagrand", the "bigchrdEP", "metamonics", "8bagrand", and the many choral samples/synths that I enjoy so much. I'm disappointed that I cannot find the ROM cards (I never bought any when I had the chance), and that "certified" Yamaha dealers charge so friggin' much for fixes (remember: hasn't been cleaned yet, in much need of it). Otherwise, I have been very happy with it.

May I ask if you played a role in it's instrumentation? Are there other keyboards you would recommend (WEIGHTED KEYS, this time)? Are there any "tricks" to the SY-77 folks wouldn't be familiar with?

And you got any ROM cards sittin' around you wanna sell? (half joking, half serious, btw...)

Thanks again, couldn't ask for anything more!

Kelly Holdridge


Member for

20 years 8 months

Nate Tschetter Wed, 03/07/2001 - 06:26
Hi Kelly

The SY77/99 were made right before I started working at Yamaha. I too, used one for many years and abused it in a similar manner. During soundcheck for a gig at "The Rat" in Boston, I was playing fairly agressively and popped a couple of keys. I took the thing home, opened it up and replaced them. Fixed! Until the middle of my solo where everything but the middle C octave went out.

I'm sure there a few SY77 sources on the net, I just don't have the URLs handy. I'll post them if I can find them.

As far as weighted action keyboards, check out the S80. I'm really digging it for playing live. I can get pretty much everything I need out of that and an EX5.