Synhouse/Synclav.com Synclavier Power Supply
Replacement/Upgrade for Yamaha TX216/TX816
The Yamaha TX816 (most people call it a TX816 but the model number
shown on the serial number tag
on the back of the machine can say TX216 or TX816, depending upon how
it was sold, US list prices in 1985 were $2,095 and $4,995,
respectively), described as eight DX7s in a rack, is an instrument
of enduring popularity, but it has 1) a horrible power supply and 2) an
unfortunate AC power cord setup.
Even back in 1985, the Yamaha TX816 was well known for having a very
bad power supply, it either had a loud buzzing, humming sound in the
room, or it just failed outright. Anyone involved with electronic music
or instrument sales knew this well all the way back in 1985. Various
synth technicians over the years have figured out how to replace a dead
one with something else, usually taking a lot of time doing them one by
one, and not ending up with anything that could be considered an
upgrade (usually a crappy, noisy combo switching power supply like a
Skynet because it's all they had or all that they could make fit).
A huge percentage of TX816 power supplies have failed or become very
noisy. Bad power supplies (and other components, such as the
LCD/backlight on the Yamaha REV7 reverb, more than half had failed in
two years, almost none exist still working in the world today) are
common to Yamaha products, and nothing has ever been done about it. The
slightly newer Yamaha TX802 module is also known for having a humming,
buzzing, failing power supply, and the Yamaha 02R and 02R version 2
digital mixers have suffered an almost 100% failure rate, and even when
fixed, fail again, because they are garbage.
Work was done here on a number of Yamaha TX816s 2016-2017, and it was
shocking to see that all over the web, everyone still knows about the
bad power supplies, and still no one had done anything about it.
What people on the web DO NOT discuss is how terrible and insufficient
the Yamaha TX816 power supply is even when it is working properly. It
doesn't have nearly enough power for eight TF1 modules. There is no
power headroom, so transient response is suppressed when any sounding
voice has to suck power away from the other voices/modules.
The Yamaha TX816 power supply doesn't supply nearly enough power for eight TF1 modules. Even when first turned on cold---WITH
NO VOICES SOUNDING---the +15v load is drawing 80% and the -15v is
drawing 91% of the rated power supply capacity. If you don't believe
this, you can cut the wires and clip your DMM/ammeter in there and see
for yourself how much power it is drawing when turned on cold. And keep
in mind that the meter is averaging, it is not showing transient peaks
of usage which is, well, where your audio is.
A TF1 module is a complete instrument, a 16-voice digital algorithm
synthesizer with MIDI. If Yamaha had made one of those in a standalone
box, it would have been fitted with this crap Yutaka power supply, and
the load and amperage capacity would be well matched. But EIGHT of them
on one of these crap Yutaka power supplies? That's really a joke.
Synhouse has engineered (2016-2019) a massive power supply upgrade that
puts a Synclavier power supply into the Yamaha TX816. It's a little
more than that, it's actually a custom +5v digital power supply and
+/-15v Synclavier analog power supply that goes into the TX816 with
upgraded wiring, improved grounding, and additionally gets rid of that
ridiculous donkey tail AC power cord (only 2-prong, it isn't even
grounded), putting a normal, properly grounded, IEC AC inlet on the
back so that it can use a standard computer power cord.
Three different factories (regular Synhouse subcontract suppliers)
kindly contributed to this very, very low production volume product and
made it possible to have high quality at a low price. It should remain
available for a number of years.
The kit includes drilling template, both power supplies, AC inlet panel, and wires, all
pre-assembled as far as possible, everything needed except your tools
(electric drill, 2 drill bits, center punch to mark holes for drilling, 1 or 2
Phillips screwdrivers, soldering iron).
$180 Synhouse/Synclav.com Synclavier Power Supply Replacement/Upgrade for Yamaha TX216/TX816
$149 Synhouse Factory Installation in Los Angeles (shipping not included)
Installing this isn't quite as easy as installing a Synhouse MIDIJACK,
but it isn't difficult at all, it just requires some tools and some
care and caution as you work. The installation method is well described
and illustrated here: