I need help with my New/used Yamaha sy99

The Yamaha SY99 is a synthesiser combining frequency modulation synthesis (branded as Advanced FM) and sample-based synthesis (branded as Advanced Wave Memory 2) and the direct successor to Yamaha's SY77/TG77

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ShiningAtTheSkyline
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I need help with my New/used Yamaha sy99

Unread post by ShiningAtTheSkyline » Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:57 am

So today I bought a 1991 Yamaha SY99 that I got for 70$! (unbelievable right?) and when I got it all it came with was the dummy card/floppy disk and I went to try it out and I cant get any sound, is it because I need the floppy disk with the sounds loaded on it? or does it already come with sound and I somehow cant figure out how to get it to work, or is it something I may not know about? I'm using headphones (I've tried plugging it up to a guitar amp and that didn't seem to work) everything else seem to work fine, the lights, buttons, the screen. Everything seems to check out I just cant get any sound, is there anyone who could help me? :( :?:



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Re: I need help with my New/used Yamaha sy99

Unread post by Saul » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:12 am

Hi and welcome to the forum :)

That is an incredibly low price for a SY99! 8O

Did the advertiser mention there were problems with it?

I take it you can browse through the presets that show on the display?

Probably the first thing I would check if there is no sound at the normal outputs or headphones is that the Local MIDI is not set to off. That would in effect turn the SY99 into a controller so you would not hear any sounds when pressing the keys. You could also check that by hooking the midi output up to another keyboard or sound source and seeing if pressing a key triggers sound on the external device.

If that doesn't work I guess the next thing is to check the internal battery voltage. Will leave it to the other chaps to walk you through that. It's in the menu but I can't remember where.


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Derek
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Re: I need help with my New/used Yamaha sy99

Unread post by Derek » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:07 am

Hello and welcome.

That is indeed a bargain. I got my SY99 for £250, which was a good bargain, but $70 is a steal assuming any problems are surmountable.

The floppy drive or MIDI is needed to load sounds into the INTERNAL RAM bank, and the floppy drive is usually the first item to fail on an SY99 or SY77 due to the belt drives going slack. It is an easy fix as shown in the Floppy Belt Drive Replace Guide on my Guides page.

If the internal battery has gone, then you will lose the INTERNAL contents, or have random garbage in it. You can check the battery voltage by going into Test Mode:
  • Press VOICE, D and 8 buttons together at the same time.
  • Press +1/YES to select Manual selection of tests.
  • Press the DOWN arrow button to get to 05: RAM BATTERY and press ENTER.
  • The test will show the battery voltage and will say if it is OK or not. Mine is currently 3.1, which is OK.
  • Press EXIT (under the LCD) and then +1/YES to exit the test mode; the SY99 will reboot.
Note in my SY99 my test mode screens show a lot of garbage characters. I am not certain if this is common or not, but it doesn't stop the SY from working.

If the battery needs replacing then you can follow my Battery Replacement Guide.

However, not withstanding the state of floppy drives and battery, the SY99 has two ROM Banks, PRESET 1 and PRESET 2, where the voice contents are permanently available. So,
  • Press the PRESET A button.
  • Press the A button.
  • Press the 1 button.
This should get you to a voice called AP|ROCKS. Which is a basic piano.

Ensure the OUTPUT sliders are both not fully down (no sound!). I note you say you have checked the phones output, and have had the output into a guitar amp, which is not really suitable for keys, so if you can you should use known good leads from the OUTPUT 1 jacks into a line level input in your system, and you should be getting a piano sound from this preset voice.

It may be that LOCAL ON is set to OFF, which disconnects the keyboard from the sound generator, so we need to check that.
  • Press the Utility Button
  • Press the F2 button under the screen to select the MIDI page
  • 01: Settings should be highlighted, so just press ENTER
  • Local On/Off should be ON
If it is set to OFF, use the Data Slider or the +1/YES button to change the setting to ON.

If you have another MIDI keyboard in your studio, whilst here (in MIDI settings) set it to he same channel that the other keyboard transmits on. Plug a MIDI lead (OUT to IN) from the other keyboard to the SY99 and see if that gets you a sound.

If none of this gets you a sound then there is probably a deeper problem and you need to be speaking to the seller.....


Regards
Derek Cook

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Re: I need help with my New/used Yamaha sy99

Unread post by ShiningAtTheSkyline » Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:45 pm

Thanks for responding Saul and Darek this should help me out a lot so I'm going to try and do what you guys are telling me, Thanks a lot guys! ill let you guys know if I get it working.



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Re: I need help with my New/used Yamaha sy99

Unread post by ShiningAtTheSkyline » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:05 pm

And the seller is a thrift store and I don't think they will know anything, hell they basically gave it to me.



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Re: I need help with my New/used Yamaha sy99

Unread post by ShiningAtTheSkyline » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:08 pm

I'm also getting wave card not ready error's



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Re: I need help with my New/used Yamaha sy99

Unread post by ShiningAtTheSkyline » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:22 pm

I did some of the test's (I could never find the Bat test and it seems as if its not there) anyway I did one of these tests and a very loud ringing started coming from my headphone and I checked and the local is on, I'm also getting a massage saying "effect is off" and a warning saying "Change wave bat! INT" and an error saying "wave card not ready!" any ideas?



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Re: I need help with my New/used Yamaha sy99

Unread post by Saul » Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:49 pm

Sounds like that battery definitely needs changing. Perhaps that is why it was sold so cheaply. If the thrift store doesn't know anything about it they may have assumed it would be an expensive fix. As it is it's a very cheap fix although a little convoluted in terms of taking the thing apart but if you follow Derek's battery replacement guide you will be fine :)


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Re: I need help with my New/used Yamaha sy99

Unread post by Derek » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:01 pm

Hi.

If you look at the battery replacement guide I linked to :) then you will see that the SY99 has two batteries. One for voices and one for the 512MB of internal memory for samples. So I would say your voice battery is OK, but the sample battery needs replacing. Having said that, if you open up the SY99 to replace one battery then you might as well do both to save opening it up again.

In terms of "Wave Card Not Ready", if you look on the top panel of the SY99 you have Data and Wave slots for expansion cards. If no Wave Card is in there, then the Wave Card would not be ready. So I would not worry about that unless you have a Wave Card in there. It does beg the question why you are not getting a similar error message about the Data Card, but then I am not sure about what the diagnostics check out in completeness.

You haven't reported back on the rest of what I said to check? Did you manage to select the first preset voice and does it play?


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ShiningAtTheSkyline
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Re: I need help with my New/used Yamaha sy99

Unread post by ShiningAtTheSkyline » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:19 pm

Okay thanks a lot guys! if I get any problems after I switch out a battery or two ill post again on the forum. I appreciate the help & thanks a lot!



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Re: I need help with my New/used Yamaha sy99

Unread post by ShiningAtTheSkyline » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:20 pm

yeah I can get to the first preset voice and it does not play through my headphones.



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Re: I need help with my New/used Yamaha sy99

Unread post by starby » Fri May 05, 2017 8:00 pm

Hi all,

Just registered to contribute my 5 cents of experience with Yammys.

I am guessing that for this price you got one that could say "I have seen things you people would not believe" ;)

There could be at least two things I see from my experience:

1. worn out volume potentiometer
I bought DX7 that was really beaten up. Everything seemed to work but there was no sound. When I opened it up it turned out that volume potentiometer had scratched resistive surface. This is what happens when dirts falls into sliding pots, then sliding fingers break and then they scratch the resistive surface. In case of SY99 all audio outputs are routed through volume potentiometers and consequently are prone to the same problem.
If this is the case with your SY99, then solution is cheap although time consuming since you have to take your SY99 completely apart to get to the volume pots and replace them. Well if you do that then maybe you should consider also replacing all button switches, display (LED backlight) and at least clean rotary encoder.

2. dead IC228
Before actually buying full SY99 I bought SY99 DM1 and DM2 boards and some other boards to make it functional (MIDI, IO). When sending in MIDI notes to the boards there was no sound. Taking out the scope I could follow signal out from PAN IC (215) but it stopped with IC228. Bought another set of DM1 and DM2 and those worked fine. I hope this is not your case.

Regards,
Starby



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Re: I need help with my New/used Yamaha sy99

Unread post by parametric » Sat May 06, 2017 2:38 am

Welcome to the Forums starby . . .

And thanks for your contributions. All such info is so useful to others who may be having related problems - information is power, so they say.

Much of what we (try to) do in here is concerned with keeping these venerable old boards running.

I'm sure you'll find much of interest in here

ATB

parametric


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