Yamaha SPX90
Yamaha SPX90

Multi-Effects Processor

User Reviews: 4.77 Average used price: $140

All user reviews for the Yamaha SPX90

Average Score: 4.7 ( 4.7/5 based on 7 reviews )
  4 reviews 57 %
  2 reviews 29 %
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rouldug 05/08/2014

rouldug's review "A special sound"

It's a basic multi-effects including all sorts of reverbs, echoes, chorus, flanger, phaser, compression, and pitch shifting. Effects cannot be used simultaneously.
It has basic MIDI connections that can't be edited, except maybe with a PC via Midiquest, which is useful to recall the program you are looking for.
12bit audio processing technology, which is not very high and is technologically outdated.
The controls are not too practical (two +/- recall buttons and two +/- parameter buttons), but they are not complicated.
It's rack-mountable (1U).
Easy setup but its poor usability is tiring in the long run.


Easy setup but its poor usability is tiring in the long run.


This is where the unit is interesting, because it has very unique sound.
The 12-bit technology and the Yamaha digital processing make this multi-effects very particular and it suits all instruments and vocals. The chorus effect, with a very "wet" setting, is very good for guitar, bass, synth, and synth bass. The cathedral reverb is ideal for vocals.


I used it since it came out in 1985 and resold it in 1992 because I didn't use it and I wanted a multi-effects whose effects were better and could be used simultaneously, which I never did found, except at ridiculously high prices. In fact, I kept my other multi-effects, an old Boss SE50, which I use as a Swiss-army knife.
All my musician friends reprimanded me for selling it, since it has a unique sound.
And yes, the sound is great, very fat and percussive.
I regret having sold it.
watts-dj 09/03/2013

watts-dj's review



Simple enough, the 30 first channels are preset, your personal settings start from number 31


Quite good


A bit complicated to find good vocal settings, but you only need some patience
yoTrakkz 01/01/2012

yoTrakkz's review "good price"

The Yamaha SPX 90 is a digital multi effects unit. The effects it includes are distortion, flange, tremolo and delay. The effects can be used singularly or they can be mixed and matched together. I believe the connections are XLR and the unit is rackable.


The configuration of the Yamaha SPX 90 is easy to follow and manipulate. The dials and buttons are easy to read and while it takes a bit to figure out exactly what does what, as it is all laid out easy enough. The only reason it takes a bit of getting used to is simply because there are so many different effects and different ways to alter them. I don't have access to a manual but I would think it would be helpful in figuring out all the ins and outs of this model.


I really like all of the effects on the Yamaha SPX 90 for various uses on various instruments. My favorite effect is the delay, as it is easy to get a variety of delay sounds from it. I've used it on everything from vocals to guitars and anything else that could use a cool effect or twist to it. You can get a sound anywhere from short, subtle delay to a beautiful, wide, cavernous one. The repeats can get extremely quick and almost crazy sounding. When mixed with some of the other effects it can make for some seriously unique tones. I also like using both the flanger and the tremolo for creating a really thick and wide flange tone or a wobbly tremolo. There are plenty of dials to manipulate each effect to get a real wide variety of sounds for a variety of applications.


I first used the Yamaha SPX 90 about 2 years ago and while I no longer have access to it, I wish I did. They are even cheap enough where almost any studio owner could own one and it is a great bang for your buck. If you are looking to expand and get some time based effects that are not in plug in form, this is a great model to get started with.
blackle 03/21/2011

blackle's review "Always indispensable!"

One input jack, two output jacks, you choose the operating level (+4 or -20 dB), 16-bit linear conversion, 31.25 kHz sampling frequency, which results in a frequency range of 20 to 12 kHz, maximum. The effects can't be edited via PC, but those interested should know that besides being MIDI controllable, the SPX 90 also works with the lovely remote controls of the REV 7 and REV 5. You wouldn't believe how practical that can be when you don't have the SPX 90 in sight. On the other hand, these remotes don't have an editing screen, they only allow you to control some very simple parameters that don't need too "complicated" settings. But it's still not bad!


Given its simplicity, it's useless to describe the programming procedure, despite the limited number of buttons on the front panel and the number of parameters. To be true, the manual is superfluous.


When it came out (1986), the Yamaha SPX 90 wasn't the first digital multi-effects, far from that, actually. Ever since sound can be manipulated on the time axis you have effects with names such as chorus, flanging, slap back, pitch shifting, or simply echo. But it was more complicated to get a stable pitch transposition or a quality reverb, and that's where the SPX 90 really made a difference compared to other gear of the day.
Set against other contemporary products, the reverbs of the SPX 90 are pretty convincing in most situations, less dense and complicated than those of the REV 7 or the Roland SRV 2000, obviously (since it doesn't have early reflections). Even if there are many plug-ins that are better nowadays, the SPX 90 has something particular: Its character which suits perfectly different uses. Try the reverse-gate to convince yourself.
The chorus, flange and phasing effects are perfectly usable and appreciated, even if they are clearly outdated, they provide an undeniable "vintage tone."
The Early Ref.1 and 2 modes, which help you determine the size of a simulated room are still truly excellent.


Bought in 1988, this formidable little machine has never left me "stranded." Even if it's fully outdated today in terms of technology, it still serves me well thanks to that "different" touch its effects have, which only it can reproduce. In short, I'll keep it still several decades and by no means out of nostalgia. What's more, it's Indestructible. It's far from the "disposable" character of some modern gear.
Try it and you'll want it.
moosers 03/27/2010

moosers's review

The Yamaha SPX90 is a digital multi-effects processor that has been a staple of many recording studios over the years. I can't say too much about the connections that it has as it was already racked in place when I used it at a professional studio, but it does have a 1/4" connections in the front for both a bypass foot switch and a memory foot switch. I do also know that it has MIDI connections and I'm not 100% but I think it uses 1/4" inputs and outputs as well. The SPX90 is rack mountable and will only take up a single space in a traditional casing.


Navigating through and using the Yamaha SPX90 will take a little bit of practice since there are a ton of different windows and things that you can do with it, but it is still pretty user friendly and I think that most will be able to catch on rather quickly. It mostly has parameters for scrolling and controlling the different effects, which range all across the board, but also for storing and recalling different presets. The manual is put together very well, as is usually the case with Yamaha products, so more times than not I'd recommend having it around.


The Yamaha SPX90 pretty much has every effect that I can think of, including reverb, delay, modulation effects like chorus, flanger, and vibrato, as well as compression, equalization, and most other types of signal processing that you can think of. All of the effects are pretty clean sounding, but the reverb is definitely the highlight of the unit and is generally what I use it for. Having said this, the other sounds on the SPX90 sound very good as well and can be used in all sorts of different situations.


I don't really know what the availability of the Yamaha SPX90 would be now, but you will definitely still find them in a good amount of different professional recording studios. I also don't know anything about the price, as I've never had a need to seek one out. While I'd probably recommend plug-ins if you're a home studio owner looking for some effects, if you're a professional looking for digital multi-effects outboard gear, the Yamaha SPX90 is an overall great choice...
Viguier 04/14/2010

Viguier's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Effect Rack 1U, digital reverb and other effects.
Editor not editable in a PC / Mac
1 jack input connectors, and two output jacks ...

I put 8 / 10 because I expected to find two inputs (one stereo signal, I'm not sure if this rack will process a stereo signal on a single stereo input jack).

I have no manual for this bike ...


I have no manual.
A very good friend came to the studio to mix some of his own titles.
There were a few racks with it under his arm, which this reverb.

I knew she was not misused in big studio pros, despite his advanced age:)

There was no 2H struggled before finding where it sounded best for the style of songs he had to mix: a snare drum ...

The editing is very simple compared to my other racks (mostly Lexicon), ten seconds to reach what we seek ...


The effects are effective, clear and quite transparent, not too much but more than the Lexicon, that's for sure.

On the snare, it does wonders, I am quite surprised to find this, so cheap, so good ...


I use it for several weeks now.
It has rack one night and since she never emerged from the studio:) :)

Supplement Cheap, good sound quality and hardware, I am very happy with this new acquisition. I must add that rate where it is used, it does not worth to be shy about buying one, it does not take too much risk ...

I have a PCM80, a LXP15, the M300 from TC, I had hands a PCM90, a LXP15II, CT and DTwo Mone, a TC 2290 and other racks ...

I do it again this election if she were to let go one day ...
Nico59 03/03/2003

Nico59's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Four effects available all parameters hall, room, reverb, plate, A / D => D / A
not editable, but all of a modified flying
connector jack, and MIDI connection
1U rack-mount model


Config simple but very varied by 4 button
edition easy, and immediate mode effect Shortlist (30) and 60 am to do the same bases RECORDED
manual clear and ample


used to the change in the room especially in reverb (room full) effect branch output table so voice and intruments
Indeed compleement robot sucks (sucks but funny)
Hall effect or reverb instrument fun, not to mention the chorus


Use for 5 years
easy, simple little robust
no pre-testing
very right to a bygone era
without hesitation I run on the same mark
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