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Q. Is the Yamaha QY700 still a good buy?

The QY700 has non‑volatile RAM for all its memory, so you don't lose any data when the power is off.The QY700 has non‑volatile RAM for all its memory, so you don't lose any data when the power is off.

I have been doing some research on the Yamaha QY700 sequencer and it seems like a great product which would meet most of my needs — I'd like to point out that I'm not looking for a software‑based sequencer. I'm pretty convinced about the QY700's capabilities, especially after reading Paul Wiffen's review (SOS November '96). However, I am concerned that, as it was released about four years ago, it might be outdated...

Fatih M Kara

Assistant Editor Mike Senior replies: Speaking as someone who has fairly recently bought a QY700, I can thoroughly recommend it, particularly if you know for sure that you don't want to get into software sequencing. The sequencing capabilities of the QY are pretty much the most powerful you'll get on anything that isn't running on a computer, especially if you're working to a limited budget. The only other unit to check out, though, is the Roland MC80, which is in the same league as the QY700 in terms of functionality (though, for my taste, rather too unfriendly to operate). If you've abandoned the idea of computer‑based sequencing (as I have) then I assume that you're willing to sacrifice the most advanced sequencing features in return for the greater stability of dedicated hardware.

However, that doesn't mean that you're being short‑changed in the features department: the groove template capabilities of the QY700 are very sophisticated, for example. The good thing about MIDI is that it's been pretty much standard for years now, which means that the QY700 won't go out of date unless you stop using MIDI! If you do wish to run it alongside newer bits of kit at a later date, then just sync it up over MIDI — I've found it to be solid in sync'ing to my VS880. The most important thing is that the timing of your data is right, and that is the main attraction of the QY700 for me — once you know how it functions, it'll act like that every time, reliably.

As far as I know, Yamaha have no plans to introduce a replacement for the QY700.