eBay or Stay: Yamaha QX3

This is a new installment of near-Twitter-short reviews of old gear that could be gathering dust in your studio. Is it a keeper, or time to ‘bay it?

Yamaha QX3
Yamaha QX3 image from Yamaha.jp

The successor of the popular but notoriously difficult QX1, the QX3 featured a large backlit LCD, 3.5″ disk drive and the ability to load and save midi bulk dumps. The eight midi outs of the QX1 were reduced to two on this unit giving it 32 effective channels. It’s a big, pre-historic sequencer. No samples, no sounds, just the possibility to score some retro points on stage.

Yes: Very sturdy, long-life buttons and display, reads and writes MS-DOS 3.5″ disks without weird own data format, mute/unmute tracks with live buttons, quick and intuitive step record, and fast to work with IF you can get your head around the Yamaha JOB paradigm: Hit JOB, punch a number + ENTER to get to the proper sub menu.

No:  MPC size on the desk, but no MPC power within. Linear tape-recorder-style recording, meaning no patterns, and just the option to loop the entire song. Which doesn’t even work properly. Volatile memory (sequence data lost on power-down)


    • Sadly, I sold it years ago. I do own almost the entire QX family and the only one that is actually more cumbersome to work with is the predecessor, the QX1.

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