SynthsYamaha ⇝ Yamaha TX81Z

Yamaha TX81ZYamaha TX81Z BackYamaha TX81Z Panel Left SideYamaha TX81Z Panel Right SideYamaha TX81Z Memory Construction Diagram (Top Panel)

The TX81Z is a 1-unit rackmount FM synthesizer first released in 1986. It uses four operators and can use other waveforms than sine, 8 in total, and was the first FM synthesizer to allow programming with alternate waveforms. It has 8 different algorithms available, unlike the 32 available on 6-operator FM synthesizers. A keyboard version was released as the Yamaha DX100.

It has 8 notes of polyphony and is 8-part multitimbral. It has 128 factory patches in 4 banks of 32 and also has a single bank of 32 user-programmable memories. It can load patches from Yamaha's DX21, DX27, DX100, and FB01 synthesizers. Though the DX9 is a four-operator FM synthesizer, its patches are not compatible.

The TX81Z also supports microtuning, with 11 ROM preset and 2 user-programmable intonations.

It is known to have been used by Astral Projection, Future Sound of London, Josh Wink, and Squarepusher.

ROM Revisions:

1.0 - 03-Dec-86 - Download

1.1 - 16-Jan-87

1.2 - ??-???-87

1.3 - 14-Feb-87 - Download

1.4 - 25-Mar-87 - Download

1.5 - 01-May-87 - Download

1.6 - 03-Feb-88 - Download

To check the firmware revision number of your TX81Z, power on the unit while holding both the left and right master volume buttons.


Year Released: 1986

MSRP: $495

Polyphony: 8 notes

Preset Patches: 128

User Patches: 32

User Performances: 24

Screen: 16x2 Character Backlit LCD

Power Consumption: 8 watts

Dimensions: 480 x 282 x 45.2 mm

Weight: 3.4 kg

This is a 1-space rack unit.

User Demo Videos


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Sound Samples

WAV samples are available on

File Downloads

Yamaha TX81Z Manual

Yamaha TX81Z Service Manual

Yamaha TX81Z Service Bulletins

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