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Yamaha TX-16w

Digital Wave Filtering Sampler (1988)

yamaha TX16W sampler

"The TX16W is a vintage  12-bits rackmount sampler with disk storage.
NOTICE: This review is based on Typhoon Swedish OS that improves original functions. "

 Main Data 

TX16W logo

Company: Yamaha
Model: TX16W
Country: Japan
Weight: 7 Kg
Dimensions: 372 (w) x 480 (h) x 94,5 (d) mm
Class: Module sampler
Rackmount: 2 units
Display: 2 x 40 lines LCD
Dates: 1988
Price: 100€

Polyphony: 16 voices
Multitimbric: 8 parts
S.Resolution: 12 bits
S. range: 16-50 khz
Filter: digital 17 models
LFO: 2 modulators
Envelope : 2 EG
Memory: 1,5 up to 6 mb
Sequencer: none
Sync: none
Effect: none
Storage: DD 720 kb
Midi: IN / OUT / THRU
CPU: MC68000
OS: latest Typhoon 

The main panel features a 2 x 40 lines display, 8 push buttons and 12 numeric pads.
The two unit case is quite similator to FM module Tx802 and Drum module PTX8.

Front panel terminal connectors:
- headphones
- footswitch input (bipolar)
- sample input (with pad switch LINE/MIC impedance)

Back panel terminal connectors:
- EXT port which is RS-422 data transfer
- Midi interface
- main signal out
- 8 mono analog aux out

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owner's manual download

Missing service manual, if you have it, please do contact us

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 In details 

MC68000 motorola

 VOICE CPU Motorola 68000 (+sub 6809) manages 16 voices polyphony at 12 bits resolution.

 Basic sound hierarchy is based on 3 different levels: 
- WAVE (sample) are grouped in:
- VOICE (patch) and then VOICES are layered to

Sample structure

TX16w Sampling

Sample editor includes traditional edit functions e.g. cut point, trim cut, loop (modes: forward, single point), crossfade, reverse play, fade out / in, timestretch and gain set.

The custom custom IC YM-2409 allow different recording modes, but features a resampling process allows to convert frequency from 3 Hz to 50 kHz. 


sampling  16 / 25 / 33 / 50 kHz


sampling only at 33 kHz rate.

Sample import  systems import/export as standard AIFF PCM or original OS format, in addition some AWM2 synthesizers including Yamaha Sy-99 o Sy-85 directly import Tx16w samples by disk media.
Performance rack

PERFORMANCE TX is multitimbric and manages up to 8 groups (parts) each with individual settings:
- Volume gain
- Midi channel
- keyboard zone
- semitones transpose
- voice priority (3 levels)
- analog out  assign
- special front input can trigger a sample from external audio source or drum machine signal with variable threshold.

 MATRIX Modulation:


- velocity
- modulation wheel
- pitchbender
- aftertouch
- external trigger
- LFO 1 / LFO 2
- EG 1 / EG 2


- transpose
- Volume
- cutoff
- panning
- attack ADSR
- time glide
- LFO 1 / LFO 2 depth
- LFO 1 / LFO 2 frequency
- EG 1 / EG 2

FILTER  a fine selection of 17 filter models at 2/4 poles with resonance PEAK including:
- lowpass
- highpass
- bandpass
- notch
- 3 user free slots

Filter structure

 ENVELOPE each group features 2 EGs:
- AEG1 amplitude is hardwired(4-segments+2 levels)
- AEG2 matrix routing (3 segments + 3 times)

LFO up to 2 modulators for each group with 5 bipolar shapes (noise, saw, sine, square and triangle) with retrig and tempo-sync options. Each LFO modulates 14 destinations: pitch, volume, cutoff, resonance, panning, EG attack, AEG time, glide time, LFO1/2 depth, LFO1/2 rate and LFO1/2 EG.


- 1,5Mb sampling RAM (factory)   can be expanded up to 6 Mb using special custom 1,5 MB memory modules (model YAMAHA EMM15) fitted into the dedicated slot.

STORAGE internal data can be saved in 3 ways:
- standard Midi SDS dump
- RS422 transfer range from 19200 to 153600 bauds.
- 720 DD disk PC DOS compatible file-system.
TIP: internal disk can be replaced by more modern USB emulator

ram memory

OS back in 1988, the original TX16W YAMAHA OPERATING SYSTEM was a total disaster: sluggish and painful. 5 years later, the 3-rd part Swedish company NUEDGE developed a new more efficient OS TYPHOON 2000 with enhanced features e.g better memory handling, CPU optimization, AIFF samples import, new filters and more. OS can be downloaded for FREE

Our Verdict 

" TX16W is grunge, dark and lo-fidelity: 12 bits helps! modulations matrix is pretty smart can make some great edit (thanks to typhoon OS )! OK it's obsolete but synth geeks should consider it at depreciated low-price !"





Quality / 



- poor edit interface
- obsolete storage, memory


- cheap now
- Matrix

Are you a TX16w fan? how do you use it? You do not agree with our review?  Let us know  in the comment field just below 


TX-16w RELATED FAMILY + gallery


Demo with Typhoon internal set

Yamaha TX16W
55 out of 100 based on 1 user ratings
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