Yamaha V80-FD


Original price unknown

The Yamaha V80FD was scheduled for release for Spring 1989, but was ultimately cancelled as the Yamaha SY77 reached completion ahead of the plans and incorporated a lot of improvements the V80 didn't have. Multiple prototypes existed when it was showed at NAMM in January 1989 to a selected audience of Yamaha resellers and journalists, but allegedly they were all destroyed.

While it was supposed to be part of the "V" line, alongside the V2 and V50, it was much more similar to a "DX7III" with an updated design, an internal sequencer and some new features. It was codeveloped with Grey Matter Response, the authors of the famous E! expansion card for the Yamaha DX7II.

The synthesizer was powered by a 6-operator FM tone generator, which was not set to be multi-waveform, despite both the V2 and V50 had already the ability to change the waveform of each operator. New features included negative velocity sensitivity, velocity to feedback, random LFO, random Pitch EG, and independent operator modulation. In performance mode, up to four different voices could be layered, with the ability to select the audio output for each voice. Compatibility with DX7, DX7II and TX802 voice data was included.

The V80 also featured a 32-track sequencer with 16-voice multi-timbral capabilities, an onboard digital signal processor with 31 different programmable effects, and a 3.5" floppy disk drive.

One of the most innovative features was the expansion port. Just like a personal computer, the workstation could be improved by installing external boards which could add PCM sounds, other types of tone generation systems, increase the memory of the sequencer or add other I/O capabilities.

The prototype shown on the cover of After Touch looks very similar to an oversized Yamaha RX8. Many buttons don't have labels yet and it's unclear whether they were supposed to be illuminated or not.

Yamaha V80FD on After Touch
Yamaha V80FD on After Touch