Vintage Digital


Classic Recording Studio Equipment

Yamaha is a company that has been at the forefront of digital audio technology since the 1980s. The company has developed some of the most innovative and high-quality digital effects processors that have been used in studios and live sound applications around the world.

The history of Yamaha digital effects processors can be traced back to the release of the REV1 in 1984, which was Yamaha’s first digital reverberator. However, it was the release of the SPX90 in 1985 that brought affordable digital effects processing to a wider audience. The SPX90 quickly became a popular choice for musicians and engineers, offering a range of effects including reverbs, delays, and modulation effects. The unit was known for its high-quality sound and ease of use.

In the 1990s, Yamaha continued to innovate with the release of the SPX900 and SPX1000. These units offered more advanced features and algorithms, including high-quality pitch shifting and stereo imaging effects. The SPX1000 also introduced a new “Smooth” reverb algorithm, which was known for its smooth and natural sound.

The 2000s saw the release of the Yamaha REV500. This units offered a range of high-quality reverb algorithms, including emulations of classic hardware reverbs. The REV500 also introduced a new “Inverse” reverb algorithm, which was known for its unique, gated reverb sound.

Today, Yamaha continues to be a leader in the world of digital effects processing. The company’s processors are used by musicians, engineers, and producers in a wide range of applications, from professional studios to live sound and broadcast. Yamaha’s effects processors are known for their high-quality sound and intuitive user interfaces, and the company continues to innovate with new algorithms and features to meet the evolving needs of the music and audio industry.

The Yamaha Rev1 is a professional digital reverberator with 1 in and 2 outs. Various reverberation effects can be added to original sounds by allowing early reflections and subsequent reverberation to be independently controlled and mixed.
After working on delivering a high end digital reverb in the Yamaha REV1, they decided to tackle the other end of the market with the Yamaha R1000 digital reverb. By comparison, the Yamaha R1000 was most definitely not in the same league as it’s more expensive sibling, but it afforded home musicians a taste of digital reverb that delivered pretty good results.
The Yamaha REV7 was more affordable than the REV1 and found a home in many studios world wide. People seem to either love or hate these old Yamaha reverbs, in fact the Yamaha REV7 would have to be one of the most polarizing reverbs there is, with no in between it seems. But make no mistake, there is much love for this classic 1980s reverb!
The Yamaha SPX90 was released in 1985 as an affordable multi-effects processor for the masses. It remains today a true classic digital effects processor. It is also the most looked at effects processor on this website.
The Yamaha SPX 90 II was essentially the original SPX 90 with more memory added to improve delay times, and they gave it a new look with green button surrounds. Regardless of the fact that the SPX 90 II is the exact same effect processor as the SPX 90 only with increased memory for longer delay times, it sells for much less. Bargain hunters rejoice!
The Yamaha Rev5 was a digital effects marvel upon release. It skillfully emulated natural and plate reverberations, granting precise control and superior sound quality. With a 44.1 kHz sampling frequency, it delivered clear, transparent sound across the 20 Hz to 20 kHz spectrum. This was groundbreaking in its time.
Yamaha was on a roll with the great success of their SPX90 and SPX90 II multi-effects processors, and expanded the line up with the SPX50D. The Yamaha SPX50D added distortion to the list of effects, clearly aiming the processor towards guitarists and perhaps trying to compete with the success Eventide were enjoying with their processors.
The Yamaha SPX900 was the first SPX processor to feature full bandwidth, 20Hz to 20kHz. In doing so Yamaha put to rest the REV series of processors. As digital technology improved over time, Yamaha moved forward with just the one series of processors and given the success of the SPX series, the REV series was dropped and all efforts were put into SPX series.
By 1988 when the Yamaha SPX1000 was released, Yamaha had pretty much established their place in recording studios the world over. Look at any modern studio effects rack and you will find Yamaha SPX1000s and it’s siblings, in studios the world over, such was the quality of these multi-effects processors.
The Yamaha SPX990, regardless of the name came after the Yamaha SPX1000 and continued the Yamaha tradition of providing superb quality. The Yamaha SPX990 effect systems offers 80 preset effect programs including accurate simultaneous natural reverberation and early reflections.
The Yamaha REV100 was one of Yamaha’s most affordable digital reverbs and it offers reasonable quality for the money too. Reverb is the essential effect for musical instruments, recording, and sound reinforcement. Delay and modulation run a close second and third. The Yamaha REV100 offered all this and is most suitable for live rigs.
The Yamaha D5000 is something of a rare processor that is very difficult to find for sale, and when they are they are often rather expensive. So what is the magic? With the quote from Bob Clearmountain that it is the best digital delay ever made, the Yamaha seems to have gone underground in home studios or Yamaha simply did not make very many of them.
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