Yamaha AN1x Synthesizer Unleashed

Yamaha AN1x Synthesizer
Yamaha AN1x Synthesizer

I first purchased my Yamaha AN1x Synthesizer back in 1998 while living in Yokohama, Japan. I remember buying it used at a music store called Ishibashi Music. For those who are into music and live around Tokyo, you’re likely a huge fan of Ishibashi. It’s a great music store and they usually have some great deals on used gear. Most notably the used gear they sell is in top condition usually too.

Such was the case with the Yamaha AN1x I found. It was in superb condition and had all the original documentation, adapter, and case. I was so excited to get it because at the time in 1998, the VA synth explosion was happening and I remember that the AN1x was one of the top three VA synths in Japan. The other two I remember were the Nord Lead 2 and the Roland JP-8000 which were released around the same time. It was a few months later that I scored both a used Roland JP-8000 and a JP-8080 thereafter from Ishibashi Music as well. I’ve since kept them in excellent condition for the past 12 or 13 years.

The Yamaha AN1x I know I will never sell. That synth is really an incredibly fun instrument to play with. The sound is fantastic and I particularly like the arpeggiator. There is just so much that I like about the synth that it’s hard to write it all down here. The Yamaha AN1x is also very difficult to find here in Japan and they don’t come up for sale very often. I know the prices are pretty reasonable on Ebay last I checked so I think it might still be easy to get one. Not sure. My PLG150-AN boards do not sound like the Yamaha AN1x I do know that for sure. Some may disagree with me on that, but to my ears they are a bit different, but both are good no doubt though.

The Yamaha AN1x is a very special synth and you can see Katsunori UJIIE demonstrating the AN1x brilliantly in the video below. Honestly for any synth enthusiast out there, I would totally recommend checking it out if you ever see one. I highly recommend the Yamaha AN1x. There are also a lot of great AN1x patches out on the internet as well.

Note that the attached AN1x photo is from Google. I’ll replace the photo once I have a chance to take mine out of the case and snap a photo of it. The video below made me think of it and so I thought I would mentioned it on my blog.

4 thoughts on “Yamaha AN1x Synthesizer Unleashed

  1. Such a great synth. I got a pretty beat up unit for $300 a few years ago and fixed it up. One of my favorites still and certainly worth the 11 year wait. Will never sell.

    1. Hi Ted,

      I remember when the Yamaha AN1x came out in Japan in the late 90’s. It had a bit of trouble competing with the Roland JP-8000 I remember for two reasons. The JP-8000 Super Saw was a very “big deal” in Japan because of the popularity of dance “anthem” oriented music at the time. The demos for the AN1x generally highlighted the arpeggiator while the JP-8000 focused on the Super Saw. The JP-8000 also sold for much less then the Yamaha AN1x as I remember. The third competitor at the time was the Nord Lead 2/2x, but that was rather expensive being an imported synth for Japan. Plus not many music stores carried it. Thus with the late 90’s dance trance anthem movement, the JP-8000 kind of won the race at that particular time in Japan. This may have caused Japanese execs to rethink the AN1x synth for later releases. The Yamaha AN1x was definitely the synth I wanted the most though and I’ll always remember the excitement when I found it used in excellent condition at Ishibashii music store in Yokohama, Japan. I remember not being such a big fan of the Super Saw during that time and found everything else better suited for me with the Yamaha AN1x. I can’t remember what Korg was doing at that time. The Korg MS2000 “may” have been out or just around the corner. That didn’t fair too well in Japan. All I remember was that my Japanese music friends all wanted the Roland JP-8000 for dance music. Nowadays I think they would likely prefer the Yamaha AN1x.

      1. I certainly remember that here in the States. I wanted both, but being that I was in high-school when they were announced, it was pretty hard to afford either. I ended up with a JP-8000 a few years later. Now that I have and AN1x and JP-8000 I do prefer the AN1x, especially with the AN1x Edit program. I’ve got an old PC laptop that I use strictly for this editor/librarian software and it really opens up the machine.

        I have made a few abstract/ambient demos which you can check out on my YouTube channel if you’re interested. http://bit.ly/betteroffted23

        I see you’ve got an SH-201 under there. I’ve got one, too. Love that thing.

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