Yamaha RX7

Digital rhythm programmer

Yamaha RX7 vintage drum machine
Buy one (18 on sale)

1987 (Nov.)
Initially sold for ¥83,000

Surprisingly, the RX7 is not a simple stripped down version of the RX5, even if it reuses most of the commands and part of the chassis. For many reasons it feels like an affordable upgrade to the RX line, especially to the early RX11/RX15 models, packing all the features developed in the mid 80s by Yamaha for drum machines.

While it's not expandable via ROM cartridges like the RX5, it stores 100 PCM voices, including the ones found on the RX21L, that can be fully edited. Sounds range from classic percussions to samples and basses, very useful to complement the drums as the can be pitched to create complex melodies.

Compared to the bigger RX5 it lacks the individual outputs and volume sliders, making it harder to link to external effects or control a song live. It's also lacking the reverse button, although 5 reversed sounds are available as internal samples. In its place, an "Effects" button is available, that creates a MIDI delay on the notes just like the delay found on the DX11.

Yamaha RX7 on Music Technology, Feb. 1988
Yamaha RX7 on Music Technology, Feb. 1988


Sound source

Internal: 12bit, 100 voices

Memory capacity

100 patterns (99 measures)
20 songs (999 maximum parts)
3 chains (90 maximum steps)

Connection terminals and interfaces

Output L, Output R, Output Phones
Cassette IN, Cassette OUT, DIN
Foot switch
Cartridge port

Dimensions and weight

439w x 78h x 270d (mm) / 17-1/4" x 10-5/8" x 3"
2.95Kg / 6-1/2lbs.


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