On this thread I will keep track of these neat creatures as they come to market.
A long time ago I house sat a place with a Yamaha EX-42. I remember seeing it in the corner of the music room the first time – I just stood and looked at it in awe. It didn’t work perfectly, but did work for the most part. It was awesome! I resolved to get one some day.
I am now aware there are five distinct Yamaha Stage models. Yes there are others that might be included, FX-3 or ELX-1 come to mind, but to me, these have little in relation to the models below.
- EX-42 Electone Stage Organ introduced in 1970 for $31,994. To my eyes the best looking of the Organ Stage models. For the most part based on discrete components rather than difficult to obtain Yamaha ICs. Haven’t seen one on the market for years.
- GX-1 Electone Stage Synthesizer introduced in 1975 for $67,867. The Holy Grail of the Yamaha stage models -or any other instrument they ever made. Come to think of it, I can’t think of a comparable instrument period. Based on potted Synth function modules shared with SY-1 and SY-2. They made a handful and in 20 years I’ve only head of a few come to market. Never actually seen one for sale with my own eyes.
- EX-1 Electone Stage Organ introduced in 1977 for $34,903. The face panel of the EX-1 is a departure from the similar EX-42 and GX-1 efforts. Said to be based around the same difficult to source ICs as the CS-50, CS-60 and CS-80. These do come up for sale.
- EX-2 Electone Stage Organ introduced in 1977 for $25,208. Similar styling and panel aesthetic to the GX-1 and EX-42. I’m not sure of the rationale for having the EX-2 and EX-2 in the line up at the same time. Maybe someday I’ll have both and can do a full report.
- FX-1 FM Electone Stage Organ introduced in 1983 for $43,648. A whole bunch of FM synthesizers in one box. It’s a toss-up whether to include this with the others, but styling, cost and space program level of functionality led me to include it. I’d love to see a non-cheesy demo of one of these. More Vangelis less cruise ship elevator jazz.
- Various Tone Cabinets were offered for the Stage models. These were finished in white to match and they usually packed a lot of power, many drivers and some interesting features. All models came with at least 1 tone cabinet.
EX-1 July 9, 2021
This EX-1 is on Reverb right now. Asking price on this EX-1 is $7,000 with local pick up in London UK. Seller is based in Los Angeles. The tension on value of these has to do with the distance between where they are and where someone who wants one is. I want one, I’m in California, every mile from my driveway is probably $0.80 – $1 over asking price I’d have to pay to buy one.
“1977 Triple Manual – EX-1 – Yamaha Synth Organ with 2 Tone Cabinets. They are incredibly rare, and the reason they sound so warm has a lot to do with the TONE Cabinets. The top 3rd manual is basically a fully working SY-2.
It’s in a storage locker in London, UK – and local pickup can be arranged for the right offer.”
FX-1 July 8, 2021
The FX-1 is on Reverb out of Los Angeles and includes two of the TXIII tone cabinets. Condition looks phenomenal in the pictures. $5000 is a neutral price. Would be hard for some to justify, and for others to resist – especially considering the original sticker price!
Problem with the FX-1 is I have yet to see/hear a demo that didn’t sound at best like back ground music for a furniture commercial from the 80s. There is a decent walk through video though. Boards of Canada or someone like that ought to do a song on one of these.