Yamaha QX1 Sequencer Replacement Floppy Drive

Yamaha QX1 Sequencer
Yamaha QX1 Sequencer

Yesterday I took a gamble and bought a Yamaha QX-1 sequencer off Ebay for a decent price. I bought a Yamaha QX-3 about six months ago here in Japan and always wanted to have the Yamaha QX-1 as well. I really like these old school sequencers. As a kid growing up in the 80’s I could only drool over these in the music shop and now I can enjoy a little nostalgia and own them both. I don’t know a lot about the Yamaha QX-1, but it does have the 8 midi outputs coming out of the back, 8 polyphonic tracks, 80,000 notes, and an accurate clock resolution of 384 ppq (pulses per quarter note). It’s also a kind of a large sequencer and likely heavy. The one drawback is that it requires a working 5.25 floppy drive. I actually bought about 10 brand new boxes of 5.25 floppy disks about a year ago for under a dollar a box here in Japan. So I’m excited to have the media for it. By the way, the Yamaha QX-1 has been impossible to find in Japan lately which is why I elected to buy one off Ebay.

Although the LCD and Power have been tested on the Yamaha QX-1, I am still awaiting delivery of the unit to test the floppy drive. There is a very high probability that the floppy drive will not work. Thus the I’m currently checking out my options for either a replacement drive OR an emulator of sorts to throw into the Yamaha QX-1. I did read about a replacement 3.25 drive, but cringed when I found out it was from Route66Studios which, sorry I’m not a big fan of. Living here in Japan I’ve had to deal with a lot of mail order companies over the past 20 years and Route66Studios ranks at the bottom in my experience, so I’m going to try and look for another way should I require a floppy drive replacement.

Basically what I need to do is crack open the Yamaha QX-1 and inspect the factory drive and hardware controller. If I can learn more about it, I should be able to find out a suitable replacement for it. So my fingers are crossed that the drive components are not that ancient. Once I get the Yamaha QX-1 in the mail, I’ll update this post with some comments about the condition of the floppy drive. I’m just excited I get to “hopefully” use one of those new 5.25 foppy disks I bought recently. The last time I used a 5.25 floppy disk was back in University when I had to write a report using MS Word in the computer lab. That I believe was back in 1989 during my first year at the U of W! Wow!

UPDATE: I managed to get the HxC Floppy Emulator connected and working with the Yamaha QX-1. I no longer use the floppy drive. The QX-1 runs silent, faster, and can hold as many floppies as you can store on an SD card. The Yamaha QX-1 is much more usable now and with 8 midi outs, it’s awesome!!


By popular request I have here the following:

HXCSDFE.CFG – HxC Yamaha QX-1 config file.
Empty01.hfe – HxC Yamaha QX-1 formatted blank floppy.


Here’s a new video of the Yamaha QX-1 attached to the HxC SD card floppy emulator. I made this really quick and will do a follow-up soon. Thanks!