Yamaha V50 Digital Synthesizer

Yamaha V50 Digital Synthesizer
Yamaha V50 Digital Synthesizer

Today I bought a used Yamaha V50 Digital Synthesizer for $50 in near mint condition. I had heard these synths were pretty hard to find so when I saw it in the store it peaked my interest. What’s amazing is that this synth was released in 1989 if correct, and the condition was fantastic. The Yamaha V50 had all the Demo and Voice disks still packaged in a nice plastic case with the words “Yamaha V50” on it. All of the buttons, disk drive, LCD screen, and keys were in perfect working order. I then fired it up and browsed through some of the sounds. Before long I knew I had to have this. The sheer enjoyment of playing the synth was incredible.

A long time ago I saw a couple of videos on Youtube which I’ll post here that originally put the Yamaha V50 on my radar screen. When I saw the synth in the store, I pretty much was set on buying it. I actually couldn’t believe the condition for that price. I also heard that in Europe for example, the Yamaha V-50 was highly sought after, but I’m not sure if that’s true. If you check on Youtube there are quite a few people using for some really different sounds. To me, it’s got great stuff for that cool 80’s and 90’s dance, rock, or funky electronic sound.

Later that evening I sat down with the online manual to see what I could create out of the Yamaha V-50 and I was absolutely amazed at how easy it was to play. First I should mention that with a keyboard this old, it’s important in my opinion that one kind of knows how to play the piano when using this synth. It’s more of a manual style synth with little “auto” functionality, however, the Yamaha V-50 was very well thought out as I’ll explain.

The functionality the Yamaha V-50 matches quite a few of the newer keyboards of today. For example, I hit the Rhythm key and right away I was able to call up a drum pattern. While it was playing I could adjust the effects and turn down the reverb which you MUST do with this synth. The Yamaha V-50 has some serious reverb cranked up on all it’s presets, so you need to dial that crap down right away.

After I had the drums grooving, I then was able to tap into “Performance Mode” while the drums kept playing and find a performance patch that I liked. Performances can be layered, split, have applied effects, etc. while the drums are playing. I thought it was extremely cool to call up drums, performances, and effects all LIVE without stopping anything or pushing a zillion buttons.

Instantly, I was able to get a jam going and then was able to make modifications to the sounds. Once I had my ideas set, I could stop everything and then start recording real time with the built in sequencer. Simply brilliant and easy!! Again, if you know how to play the keys well and you have worked with sequencers, the Yamaha V-50 is a “creative” breeze to work with.

Referring to the Youtube videos again, you will notice that the guy from Yamaha just sits there and goes through a fast and simple process of creating a song or groove. In my opinion, this is exactly what the Yamaha V-50 is all about. It’s creating a song from beginning to end all in an evening and having fun while doing it.

How about the sounds? The FM sounds are actually quite good provided you again dial down the reverbs. They are definitely overkill on this synth. I think the pads, strings, basses, and metallic sounds are brilliant. They really cut through the mix as they say. The choirs, brass, flutes, and other dreamy sounds are classic FM/DX sounding and are very nice in my opinion. The Yamaha V50’s sounds can also be layered for a fatter sound or in creating some cool atmospheric sounds. Plus you can create splits or overlap certain areas of the keyboard.

It’s an incredibly versatile synth that has stuff I wish some of the newer synths had. Of course the sounds are late 80’s and 90’s sounding so beware if that’s not your thing. In that case, you can simply create your own original sounds.

With out a doubt, the Yamaha V-50 is probably the most fun I’ve had in creating music. It’s what an idea scratch pad should be in a synthesizer which not many modern synths do.

I remember a guy telling me once how old keyboards were so difficult to program and work with. That same guy then turned around and said he didn’t know how he was going to learn all the cool stuff his new Korg M3 had with all the manuals. To me, that sounded the same.

Whether your synth is old or new, you have to put time into learning the product. I am so glad I bought the Yamaha V-50. It’s by far the most fun I’ve had in getting my ideas down fast on a synth.


54 thoughts on “Yamaha V50 Digital Synthesizer

  1. Jared

    I used to have one these many moons ago. I bought it brand new after working a summer during college in a printer’s shop.

    At the time I was cross shopping against the Roland D20, and Ensoniq SQ80. I loved the sounds on the Korg M1 but the lack of a disk drive and the expensive third party add-on drive put it out of my budget.

    The V50 was a wonderful workstation with an expressive synth engine, an easy sequencer, and a smattering of DSP effects, but the drums truly sucked. 😉 The snares never did sound good which is why in everyone tried to make up for it with more reverb.

    And I remember that video you posted too, particularly that Bass riff @ 4:42. I learned that one by heart and still drop it while demoing synth basses.

    One month in, I wrote Yamaha a letter describing various bugs that I encountered. Yamaha responded that they had released an updated OS EEPROM for the V50 and they sent it for free. It fixed some of the bugs and created others. Sadly, it’s been so long I can’t remember the details but it did involve the sequencer.

    Anyway, you may want to check the OS version on power on with Yamaha and see if there are later firmware releases. Likewise for your SY77. Cheers.

  2. Hello Jared,

    Thanks for the comments and visiting my blog.

    I’ve enjoyed the Yamaha V50 very much. Like much of my gear, I start out by seeing it in a used music shop that I frequent in Japan. If I don’t know what it is, I then run home and do some research before buying it. This is kind of what happened with the Yamaha V50.

    One of the things I particularly like about the Yamaha V50 is how easy it is to turn on and just play. I am probably more of a keyboard “player” rather than a programmer or sampling artist. I like to record drums and basslines using the sequencer to support a particular progression I am playing. I have found the V50 to be really easy to sequence with rather quickly.

    For some people, just manually rolling down your car window is easier than having power windows or door locks. That’s how I view the Yamaha V50. Others may see it differently, but for me it’s an all around fun synthesizer to jam on. I also, like yourself, was really impressed with the Yamaha V50 demo video. Once I saw that I knew it was definitely a capable synth.

    What I find interesting though is how popular the Yamaha V50 is with particular countries and traditional styles of music. If you check youtube you’ll see what I mean. In fact it kind of drives me nuts that type of music (can’t remember the genre), but I totally understand it’s a cultural thing and respect that, especially living here in Japan. I’m just glad I saw the Yamaha Demo first otherwise I might have gotten discouraged…laugh.

    It’s an interesting note about the OS version and firmware. I’m not sure how to check my version yet and most likely getting a hold of an EPROM would be most difficult. Honestly I haven’t encountered any issues yet. I should note thought that most used gear I buy in Japan is relatively up to date. Perhaps my V50 is ok, but I’m sure I’ll find out as I dive deeper into the keyboard.

    Thanks again for the comments.

    Best regards,

    Jim Atwood

  3. Jared

    Hello Jim.

    I had to do some digging but a have a couple of answers for you.

    You can check your OS version by going to this link and go up to but not beyond step 3:

    You only need to see the OS version come up on the display. There’s no need to go beyond that point. I think you can simply cycle power and that should kick you out of the diag screen.

    I found a site that lists firmware eproms. You might find something better in your locale. I think the last firmware version was 1.1.

    The eproms are socketed on the V50. No soldering required.

    But even if you have an older firmware, I don’t think there’s any pressing need to update. It just provides some obscure bug fixes but no major functionality improvements. I couldn’t find a description of the various firmwares.

    Let me know how it goes. G’luck!

    ps. oh and check this out:


    1. Hi Jared!

      Thanks for the great information. I particularly liked the “ESEQ Song Files into SMF Files” tip which I’ll certainly check out.

      With regards to the Firmware version of my Yamaha V50, I’m in luck. With the instructions you posted, I found that my firmware version is 1.1. Like I mentioned earlier it’s “strange” how gear that I find in Japan seems to be up to date more often then I would expect. Perhaps due to the locality and good customer service they have in Japan that these items get updated. It’s funny.

      I felt the Yamaha V50 I purchased was in “unusually” great condition with a the floppy drive working and all the accessories that came with it. I’m now glad that I don’t have to worry about any firmware updates.

      Thanks again for providing the additional information. It was very helpful.

      Jim Atwood

      1. Adrian

        Hola Jim su Blog es fantastico ,con muchos comentarios sobre varias marcas e modelos de syinth, ahora una pregunta ,este yamaha tiene algum modo de agregar sonidos nuevos a traves del disquete o entrada Midi ? Abrazos .

  4. Hello Adrian,

    I’m not sure I completely understand your response as I am not familiar with your language, however, I used a translator online and got a general idea.

    So far, the Yamaha V50 has not given me any problems with the sequencer or midi. The only potential problem is that the files are in ESEQ format but you can easily record the sequencer tracks using Sonar to/from the V50. This is what I do.

    I’m not sure about using time signatures other than 4/4 as I haven’t tried that. I don’t think there should be any problem and I’m sure the manual would have more info about that.

    I did contact Giebler about the ESEQ conversion software but the response was kind of short and vague. Below is the email I sent and the reply I got back.

    Hello! I currently own a Yamaha SY77 and a Yamaha V50. Both have sequencers. I am having some trouble trying to determine which package(s) I should purchase to convert ESEQ Song Files into SMF Files. Although the SY77 model is listed, the V50 is not. I would also like to purchase online as I live in Japan if possible. Thank you very much for your help and support.

    Hi Jim,

    If I remember correctly, the V50 diskettes are not readable using normal PC drives. Although we added code to convert SY77 sequences into midi files, we never added code to convert the other way, and there may be unresolved issues with the existing conversion. There never was enough interest in that product to continue development efforts.


    I can confirm that the dkvcopy utility will not work with V50 disks formated with either a PC or the V50. Also, using the ESEQ2MID utility is useless because you can’t access the files. I found using simple recording to/from the V50 and a DAW like Sonar to work the best.


    1. Hey Jim, I just picked one up for $5 bucks today at a yard sale !!!
      It had the “replace internal battery” on the display, I monkeyed around with the buttons and was able to sample the 100 presets..sounds very 80’s. I am a total caveman with this kind of equipment, just downloaded the manual and gonna give it a go. I really like it. I also have a Korg Sigma, Yamaha SY2, Farfisa fast 5 and a weird hohner thing from the 70’s this is by far the most polyphonic thing Ive got! Seems like it may be a lot of fun, Where is this internal battery? I did get into it and undid the main board and could not find anything resembling a battery? Do you know anything about this??

      peace, Adam

      1. Hello Adam! Congrats on the Yamaha V50 find. It’s actually a terrific synthesizer and very underrated in my opinion. I think the lack of info and the fact it was in competition with the Roland D-50 and Korg M-1 at the time created a problem for it to get any attention. The D-50 had the LA sound going on while the M-1 was attractive to the dance scene. The Yamaha V50 had a hard time finding it’s niche, but it was definitely a contender at the time. I suppose the idea that “three’s a crowd” was in full effect at the time.

        With regards to the battery, I have not had to change mine yet so I am unfamiliar with the battery replacement process. However, there is a gentleman on Ebay selling batteries for the Yamaha V50. I’d probably consider that as a possible solution.


        The above Ebay seller also provides a set of instructions from an Yamaha technician so you should be able to get all the info you need. Note that the battery could be soldered on to the board somewhere or tucked under some wires. It’s got to be there somewhere.

        If you have other questions about the Yamaha V50, feel free to comment or ask anytime. Best of luck!


  5. If anyone is looking for an excellent Floppy Drive replacement for their Yamaha V-50, check out the following Ebay auction. These should work great.


    I would not recommend Route 66 Studios as they never have the stock and their communication just sucks. Floppy Drive Solutions in Australia or the guy on Ebay above are the best. The one on Ebay is the cheapest BTW.


  6. Hey guys,
    Good to see people are still using this beast! I’ve done the bulk of music on this and of course my floppy drive. Some of the looking around (reading on the web) I found a guy that said he fixed one with a rubber band that was 81mm. So I’m going to try that. Been doing some looking around to try and find somebody that sells just a replacement belt, but I’m seriously considering just breaking down and getting a drive from the guy in Italy.

    For those who’s batteries are dead there is a fix another guy did with a battery from Walmart. He soilder in a couple of leads on the exsisting battery and hook up a new one. When I do mine maybe I’ll take some pix. Also you can just reset the synth by hitting seq, mem protect and demo (kinda like you would do a cntl-alt-del on a PC) and it will take you into a mode to reset it. Just hit Demo and it will load all sound from internal rom and it will be just like brand new. Course, without a bettery if you shut it off it will loose the sounds and you’ll have to do it again.

    Link for some info
    http://www.ex5tech.com/ex5ubb_cgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=21&t=000106 on batteries and length of belt

    Floppy emulators link
    This drive emulator is SWEET!

    Hope the info helps. Please feel free to email me.

  7. Hi Jim,

    A couple of days ago I’ve finally found a V50, a double DX11.
    I took it all apart, cleaned the keybed and replaced the battery.
    The OS version is 1.03 1989-01-26, stored in three eproms.


    Push and hold buttons [SEQ]->[CARD]->[DEMO]
    Test Entry Manual? Push [YES]
    Push any key [+1]
    Push [-1]

    Version 1.03 1989-01-26 Y,Miyano


    If you wanna restore all factory settings and patches:


    Push and hold buttons [SEQ]->[CARD]->[DEMO]
    Push [DEMO] again
    Factory Set? [YES] … ok

    Could you please check your V50 version & date?
    Please backup your own patches!

    Best regards,

  8. Fab77

    Dear Mr Atwood,

    I am a real newbie with synths and I received a V50 (almost never used) as a gift and I really don’t know how to program it and change voices. I’d like to put the fender rhodes voice and the wurlitzer voice. Do you know if there is the chance for the V50 to have these voices?
    Thank you for your help

  9. jusuf

    Hi, I think FM synthesis is very suitable for Rhodes and Wurlitzer . Search for TX81Z sounds (ususally in .syx file format). You have to connect your synth to computer (or sequencer) using MIDI. So you have to use sound card with MIDI in/out, or USBMIDI cable.

    I use V50 too, unfortunatelly my FDD drive doesn`t work…

  10. Fab77

    Thank you very much jusuf!!!
    By the way how do I load the patches into the synth?Do I need a special software??Could Cubase be a good one to be used?
    Excuse my many questions but I really don’t know how to do…
    I am afraid to delete all the built-in sounds and factory presets…
    Is there a sort of guide on the Internet where I can get some kind of tutorial to get to the point of being able to load the patches into the keyboard without having troubles???
    Thank you in advance

      1. Fab77

        Hello Jim,
        Thank you for your advice. I have installed once the Atari Steem Emulator but it is not so user friendly to work with and I frankly didn”t understand how to get started with it…Just a few question and excuse me in advance if they are so stupid : is the Yamaha V50 a program to be installed on the pc or is it something we find inside the V50?.
        – Is there any guide to help me getting started with the Atari Steem Emulator?
        – After I have installed the emulator on my pc, do I need to install the V50 Yseditor then???
        – Where can I find banks to download on my pc and then transfer to the synth??
        – I am particularly interested in finding Rhodes, Wurlitzer and the typical DX7 style FM electric piano (I suppose it is called HiTine 81z).

        I really appreciate your help

        Thank you and waiting for your reply


  11. Erwin

    Hi there, I’m desperate!!!

    I bought my V-50 20 years ago. I’ve had a lot of fun composing my music. Unfortunately i can’t read music so everything I recorded on disk came directly from my mind (i’m an autodidact as we say in Holland). Having so mutch fun with my v-50, i kind of, lost track of time. I’ve tried to connect it to my pc to save my music but i can’t find software that is compatible with my v-50.

    Last month my V-50 gave me a terrible message “BAD DISK”! I tried to read all my disks but not one appeared readable. Also I tried to “format” a new disk, but again it coulnd’t read it.

    It seems that i need a diskdrive-replacement witch costs about 300euro. Can this be correct???
    If so, I will sell my car to get it fixed!

    My question is: Will I be able to read my disks again ones I get a new Drive? And if not, is there any other way to save my compositions??

    I look out for every response! C’m on, help me out here!!!

    Thanks in advance.

    Erwin Standaert

    Amsterdam – Netherlands

    1. I used to see Yamaha V50 floppy disk drives for sale on Ebay all the time but I don’t see them now. I don’t see any reason why your floppy disk won’t work on a replacement drive. I’m pretty sure if you replace the drive you’ll be back in business.

      1. Erwin

        Hi Jim,

        Thanks very mutch for your quick reaction. I’ve send an e-mail to Yamaha with the request to “revive” my V-50 (disk-drive and battery). I assume they have a diskdrive left, maybe in an old attick or so but anyway. I’m planning to invest the 300euro in my V-50 and play it till the keys fall off!!!



      2. Hello Erwin,

        I just checked Ebay and found a drive belt replacement for the Yamaha V-50. I can’t recall if the V-50 actually uses a drive belt but if so this would likely fix the problem very cheap.


        I recommend opening up your V50 and checking for a drive belt. I change drive belts all the time with Yamaha gear and so far it 100% fixes the problem. I bet this is the answer and would save you a ton of money. Then you could get your data and continue playing the Yamaha V50. When I first replied I didn’t realize the floppy was the belt kind. If your belt is broken or too loose that would give you the error you are getting for sure. Some of the newer drives are fixed and don’t have belts.

        These belts are also easy to change so you shouldn’t have a problem doing this yourself. If you have any problems, let me know. – Jim

  12. Erwin

    Hello Jim,

    Thanks to you I’m sure that I found a solution for my problems. I have to admitt that I nearly gave up on ever playing my V-50 again but when I came across your weblog it gave me new energy!
    I’ve contacted Yamaha Europe and there are possibilities to fix my V-50! The disk-drive can be replaced as wel as the internal battery. Because I can deliver my V-50 personaly it also saves costs.

    I guess it wil take 2 to 3 months before I’m back in business but I’ll let you know!

    Thanks man!!!


  13. Today I just bought my second Yamaha V50 for $25 bucks at the local used music shop. The battery needed replacing which I did a couple of hours ago. You need to unscrew and remove the bottom cover. Than you need to take out the 3 screws from the middle PCB board. Underneath that board is a CR2032 battery holder soldered to the PCB board. I actually was able to desolder the battery without taking the PCB board out. I then soldered in two “long” wire leads so that I wouldn’t have to lift out the PCB board in the future. I put it all back together and did a factory reset. The V50 is now as good as new with regards to the operation of the synth. The only other problem is that the V50 floppy drive belt is toast. So I’ll be ordering a replacement belt here: http://www.bustedgear.com/part_belt_floppy.html.

    Cosmetically, the Yamaha V50 is in near mint shape.

  14. Unbelievable! I simply turned the battery over and now the Yamaha V50 works perfectly on power up. The memory is stored properly and everything remains intact. I didn’t think at all to do this primarily because I made sure the wires, battery holder, and battery were identical in polarity with the original. Surprisingly, the new battery I bought is opposite to that of the old one. It appears that the positive on the new battery is the negative side on the old one. Unless the battery holder is somehow reversing the polarity, I would say the batteries are reversed! I never thought that could happen. I’ll accept it though as now the V50 works great and the problem is now solved. If anyone has the same issue after changing the battery and they think they did it correctly, just reverse the battery and check. You may just be happily surprised as I was this morning.

  15. narfman96

    Hi Jim, I’ve been folowing your synth endeavors even though we are half a world apart. I just picked up a V50 for a decent price. It needs some work on the keys and probably the disk drive will need a new belt. I have an extra belt that I bought from Rick at BustedGear for my SY85 and SY77 so I should be all set. I’ve looked all over the web and I can’t find any of the original disk files for the V50. The 720k disks have a MS-DOS format and are easily read in a pc. Do you have your V50 disk files backed up to your pc? Would you be willing to send the original Yammie disk files to me? I don’t want anything that is purchased such as Kid Nepro or SoundSource. I have a lot of 4-op sounds that I’ve created and archived for the TX81Z, TQ5, and DS55. These are all stored in the YamahaBlackBox Yahoo group that I co-own with another avid FM synth enthusiast. Long live these great synths and I’m glad to see there still is such a big following for these machines.

  16. Good Evening Jim and All! I bought my V50 about 2 years ago for about $50 or maybe $60 bucks! I’m a 60 year old Rock Guitarist that has always pecked the Keys since 1966 and about 10 years ago, jumped into it to back up my Sax player in a Beach Band. I’ve since accumulated a Yamaha P70 that I midi out to a Kawai K1, a Yamaha DX21, Roland XP10 that I use mostly for the B3isms ran through a Voce “Spin” Leslie Simulator, Casio CZ1000. I want to address the Battery option. My V50 had a dead battery and a broken Key. I replaced the battery and did a sloppy soldier job. 2 months ago I had my Mechanic look at it he fixed the broken key and installed a battery holder for $55. Now all I have to do is open the case and slide in a new battery.
    I like your website. Jam on my brothers.

  17. I had one of these in college back in the early ’90s and cranked out hundreds of pieces of music with it. Only a few still survive to this day though. I’ve posted a couple online on SoundCloud (http://soundcloud.com/thebbcamerican) and I have a few more on my Facebook “band” page (https://www.facebook.com/#!/HustonArts). I’ll probably put all of them up at some point. Some of my voice choices are dated and some of my mixing crap, but the cruddy production values aside I’m still really pleased with the actual music and still enjoy those songs. It’s strange to hear the V50 talked about so glowingly. From what I understood it was a bit of a dud for Yamaha in sales. Composing with that, though, was the real “Cakewalk”.

  18. Paul Van Dyke

    All this info is great … I’ve felt alone with my V50. Not many seen in Australia … you have inspired me to get it out & start using it again. I many play guitar but the V50 is great for me as a sound pad. Cheers.

  19. fzg


    I just bought a V50 myself, but no luck, it came without disks… Could you be awesome and make omniflop images of your two disks ? Cheers

  20. David Monroy

    Hi to everyone here, as so many of you could happened, did not pay too much attention to the”change int battery” warning so, first, I have lost all my sounds and second I´m somewhere here in Colombia where I can´t get yamaha support for a price near my budget, so doing it myself is what´s left. I would really appreciate if ANYONE COULD SHARE WITH ME THE “DEFAULT VOICE AND PERFORMANCE DATA BACKUP˝ called up in the User Manual in the PRECAUTIONS on page 4, and also if someone could guide me where is located this “Internal Battery” inside the keyboard, would be of great help.

    Also any doubts or with synth theory, REASON, Ableton´s LIVE, MAX, PureData or Protools, just call, I´ll be there to friendly help.

    David Monroy.
    Sound Eng. & Master in Music.

  21. Erwin

    I just got lucky (I think…)
    According to Jim I’ve kept an eye on E-Bay and found an auction where I could buy one of the last Drives for my V-50. Just yesterday it was built in and I am able to read all my music from my old disks. Unfortunately I can’t save- or back-up any of my compositions. It could be caused by the type of disks (HD or DD) I’m still trying to find that out.
    Anyway I (hope) that I will be able to send above musicians the original V-50 settings. I’ve kept a copy of the original V-50 setup-sounds. So give me a few weeks to get my V-50 back on line and we’ll figure it all out.
    Thanks for all your comments and thrust in a wonderfull Synth!!


  22. Markus

    Hello Jim and everyone else.
    I have ben searching high and low to buy a V50 but have had little luck. If any of you wish to sell your V50 I am interested. Sorry to dip to the commercial level on the wonderful informative thread, but I am getting desperate and seeking a V50 where ever I smell even a slight whiff of a yamaha V50 in the internet breeze.

    In answer the the last post, to get midi files out of the V50 I used to send them to a unit called an “Alesis Data disk” which could record midi info, then I would send the midi data to my computer from the “Alesis Data disk”.
    Hope it helps.

    Yours sincerely,

  23. Andy

    Hello Jim.
    Great to see this community of V50 people. I have a V50 which I pulled out of storage after sitting collecting dust for probably about 10-15 years since I last used it. Everything appears to work fine (display, lights go on when I push any key) except I get no sound out of the headphone jack. I even replaced the headphone board with a used part from Syntaur and it still doesn’t produce sound. I even tried demo and also a factory reset (SEQ-CARD-DEMO) and still no sound. Curious thing is that when I max the volume, I get more buzz noise into the mini-amp but still not a peep of any sound. I can get beeps out of the V50 though. When I go to DEMO, V. EDIT, [YES], it says “Initialize Voice..” and it starts to do some beeping sounds. I’m at a loss for how to fix this? I do occasionally get the “Change Int Battery” – but since I don’t have any sounds/tracks or anything to save I thought I wouldn’t need to go through the trouble of doing that. Any pointers? Appreciate any insight. THANKS!!

    1. elie

      Andy, you can run the Reset procedure shown in the link here. Optionally, there’s even a whole test routine you can run that checks out all the buttons, audio, midi and floppy. You have to have a suitable blank floppy (720k) and a midi cable to loop-back output to input. It will walk you through to press buttons, listen for sounds and answer so as to go through the whole process – the last step is RESET.


      1. Andy

        Thanks. I did run the Factory reset but unfortunately don’t have any more floppy disks nor a midi cable loop back. I don’t get any sound out of the phone jack except for one situation: when I go to V.Edit it will do the metronomic bleeping — so my suspicion is that the sound card is fine. I also replaced the battery andso I don’t get the “Change Int Battery” but it still doesn’t produce any sound – not demo, not regular sound, not drum machine — only in V. Edit. I’m at a loss for what to do next.

  24. Elie

    Hi Andy, I got so annoyed at that Metronome ‘BEEP-BEEP’ that I’d added a volume control in line with that – it’s been a while, but I believe it was a separate line out which is why I was able to do that little mod and not affect the rest of the audio –

    It could well be that the o/p chip is not working, or at least the output buffer amp is gone (I’d have to look for the schematic to confirm the related details)….

  25. Laura

    Hello can you please advise–where IS the internal battery on the yamaha V50 and how do I get to it to replace it? a picture-ANYTHING would really help thanks so much!!!

      1. elie

        As far as the battery goes, you have to undo the bottom panel to reveal the main circuit board. The battery itself has two leads welded to it which allows it to be directly soldered to the board. Either get an equivalent format cell with welded leads, or use a coin cell holder that can be modified to fit… typically just one side of the holder can be soldered and the other will need a flying lead to bridge the other connection. You have to ensure proper battery polarity back to the board, and that none of your wiring or work contacts other traces or leads. I’m not sure if you can, but you might be able to mount the coin cell on the backside of the board depending on the clearance between it an the bottom panel – again, nothing must touch or short out.

      1. Laura

        thank you, I had taken the back off once and not found it-but I will try again and see if I can successfully get to it-thanks for all the assistance-I did look through all the manuals, and while very helpful-they don’t really provide a clear picture as to the battery location-so as you mentioned I will check on the component side and take it from there-thanks-again if anyone had a picture of the internals showing the battery location that would be awesome but I surely appreciate all the info and assistance!

  26. Stewart

    Hi Jim, just got a v50 this morning! Total newb question…When I send my SysEx Librarian patches to the v50 where do they go and how do I find them? I can’t seem to preview them? On my Casio cz3000 they turn up directly in my user presets area, but with the V50 they just vanish. Thanks in advance for any tips.

  27. Jed

    Great blog! I have used my V50 to create loads of songs until I started using soft synths, as you do, after a number of years I thought I would load some of my old V50 song data back in after replacing the disk drive, it seemed to be fine in playback but for intermittent blasts of loud distortion of whatever is playing 😦 …not sure what to do now, does anyone have experience of this? Any help appreciated.

  28. Chris Barnabo

    I just revived my Yamaha V50 – it has lain dormant for years with a bad disk drive, but I finally found a replacement on eBay and it’s working like a champ. Got to dig out the manual and relearn this wonderful device!

    One problem I haven’t been able to get past yet – I have an MCD64 memory card and of course the battery has died on it. I replaced the battery, but I’m not able to use the card – when I try to format a bank (yes, I remembered to disable write protect both in the synth and on the card!) it says “Bank unavailable”. Oddly, it seems to accept disk loads to bank 2 – it’ll generate a “Bank unavailable” message but the patches seem to be there.

    Any tricks known to getting an MCD64 properly reset and formatted?

    For those asking about the internal battery – it’s on the component side of the main circuit board, you have to remove the bottom panel and then remove the board (just 3 screws) to get to it. However, it’s soldered on, so be prepared to do some soldering if you need to replace it! Now wondering about the age and location of the battery in my venerable KX88 …

    Jim, you mentioned you drop the sequences right off the V50 to SONAR – I’m a new SONAR user, are there any tricks I should know for dumping patches and sequences back & forth between the V50 and SONAR? I’m not sure how long the new disk drive will hold up so I’d rather just move the data via MIDI if possible!

  29. Hello Jim, nice review of the V50, I have a question:

    can the V50 trasmit MIDI data “splitted” on multiple MIDI channels externally while in performance mode? In other words, can be used as a splitted master keyboard?


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