Thinking of entering the MSX world... thoughts on the Yamaha CX7M/128?

By Nemoide

Supporter (1)

Nemoide's picture

07-06-2018, 03:01

Greetings! I'm not 100% sure this is the right place for this but I'm a TOTAL NEWBIE to the world of MSX computers and wanted to ask for some advice from folks who know more than me.

I'm drawn to the Yamaha CX5MII/128 because I love 80s synth hardware and 8-bit computers and like the idea of having a MIDI-compatible dedicated music computer. The fact that I can play MSX games on that thing is icing on the cake. Plus, as a native English speaker, being able to get something that was released in America with English manuals makes it sound much more accessible than other Japanese PC formats. (My Japanese language skill is roughly kindergarten-level.)

But I know the CX7M/128 is a more powerful (MSX2) machine that can play EVEN MORE games. But since it was never released in the US, I'm a little afraid of the documentation being only available in Japanese. Could I reasonably expect to use the manuals for the CX5MII/128 and its software with the CX7M? Is the CX7M compatible with all the same cartridges and hardware as the CX5MII?
Are there other concerns I should worry about that I might not be aware of? Could missing Japanese language compatibility with the American computer which might interfere with running a Japanese game? Is the 100 volt standard in Japan something to worry about with these old electronics?

If anyone has any thoughts on which I should get, I'd appreciate it greatly!

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By sdsnatcher73

Master (215)

sdsnatcher73's picture

07-06-2018, 08:31

Allmost all MSX software will run on any MSX (or MSX2 if needed by the software). There are some exceptionele, like if they need a KANJI ROM to work, but thoes will not be very interesting to you.

I am running a CX7 with an SFG-05 on 110V (through a converter as I am in Europe) and it works great. It is one of the better built MSX’s as far as I am concerned and the sound output (also with SCC or FM-PAC) is great. Get a MegaFlashROM or Carnivore2 to go with it and you’ll have a true MSX powerhouse...

By Grauw

Enlighted (7532)

Grauw's picture

07-06-2018, 09:09

I would use a step down transformer since US power is 120V, that's more than 10% higher than 100V.

I've got a CX5MII myself (EU ver) and I love that machine. CX7 is even nicer since it's a full MSX2, but that's kinda hard to get by outside Japan. I'm just an RTC and a ROM away from turning the CX5MII into an MSX2 though, I should attempt that sometime.

You can just read the CX5MII manuals for the basics and music software. The rest is standard MSX2 stuff so you can actually read any MSX2 machine's manual to get more familiar with that part of the feature set.

By ro

Guardian (4012)

ro's picture

07-06-2018, 09:09

Hai Nemoide, welcome to the wonderfull world of MSX. You came to the right place here. have fun!

By Manuel

Ascended (14788)

Manuel's picture

07-06-2018, 21:53

You could consider buying a comfortable MSX2 and a separate SFG-05, if you like it so much. But there are also other MIDI options. There is nothing musical about the CX5/CX7 series, except for the built in SFG-05 and some built in software, that can you also run on any other MSX.

By msxholder

Champion (321)

msxholder's picture

07-06-2018, 23:04

One thing to bare in mind is the Yamaha is better in noise elimination it's made for music extensions.
Did you ever compare the noise of machines from an other brand ?
I did there is.
The only one what comes near is the Sony HB 900.

By Grauw

Enlighted (7532)

Grauw's picture

07-06-2018, 23:32

Separate SFG needs an adapter though to fit in a regular cartridge slot. The original adapter cables are not super easy to find, though several people have made adapter PCBs (Bas and Alexey I think). But then it takes up a cartridge slot, while the side slot in (most) Yamaha computers is like a free 3rd slot.

By TheKid

Paladin (703)

TheKid's picture

08-06-2018, 08:46

@Nemoide: I would advice you not to buy a msx computer at all, since the likelyhood of you getting hooked and spending all your time on it is very high. You will lose your friends since they never see you, your wife/girlfriend (or both) will leave you since you choose the msx over her/them. Your kids will go on drugs since you've neglected them. In short, don't do this to yourself and your surrounding. Forget you have ever heared of msx.

By sdsnatcher73

Master (215)

sdsnatcher73's picture

09-06-2018, 10:12

msxholder wrote:

One thing to bare in mind is the Yamaha is better in noise elimination it's made for music extensions.
Did you ever compare the noise of machines from an other brand ?
I did there is.
The only one what comes near is the Sony HB 900.

I concur. The Yamaha machines really sound a lot better than anything else I've come across in MSX hardware (I have not had the pleasure of hearing a Turbo R with sound-fix though (seems to perform very good as well)...

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