A Buyer’s Guide To 80’s Drum Machines

In this video, Erik Hawk takes a look at a variety of classic 80’s drum machines, and shares his thoughts on each of them.

Topics covered:

00:07 – Where my fascination with drum machines began.
00:27 – Overview of my vintage drum machine collection.
00:47 – Korg DDD-5 (1987, ebay.com price range $75 to $135)
02:10 – Roland TR-626 (1987, reverb.com price range $145 to $290)
02:51 – Yamaha RX-5 (1986, reverb.com price range $180 to $290)
03:24 – Sequential TOM (1985, reverb.com price range $330 to $690)
04:39 – Oberheim DX (1982, reverb.com price range $640 to $960)
06:01 – Alesis HR-16 (1987 to 89, ebay.com price range $45 to $145)
06:34 – Roland MC-505 (1998, reverb.com price range $210 to $320)
07:08 – Roland R8m (1989 to 92, Reverb.com price range $75 to $175)
07:37 – Analog Drum Machines
08:48 – Boss DR-110 (1983, reverb.com price range $115 to $165)
09:48 – Cyclone TT-606 (2017, perfectcircuitaudio.com price $349)
11:20 – Advice on how to pick a vintage drum machine.
17:19 – 8-bit, 12-bit, or 16-bit sounds (samples).
17:50 – Approximate current used prices.
19:46 – Why bother buying a vintage drum machine?
22:18 – Conclusion

Got your own favorite? Share your thoughts in the comments!

10 thoughts on “A Buyer’s Guide To 80’s Drum Machines

  1. I owned 6 of these but my favs were the 626 and the Alesis. The Alesis was a workhorse for more rockin stuff and was insanely affordable at the time. But my fav combo back in the day was the 707 and the 727 which I still wish I had, but TBH FunkBox covers most of my vintage drum needs.

  2. Yamaha RX-5 has insane sound design capabilities. My desert island drum machine. Especially with the extra sound cartridges. If you want to sound different, you can’t beat it. IMHO of course.

  3. lol, the best one is missing, laughable compilation. i´m talking about the yamaha ry30, of course. its mod wheel is still cutting-edge. like the tempest it´s a polyphonic synth with the ability to use rom cards from the sy series. the guy seems to have no clue.

  4. supplement:
    oops. the headline was
    > A Buyer’s Guide To 80’s Drum Machines
    the ry30 was released in 1991. i take it all back. my apologies to mr. hawk.

  5. Been doing all this now for 40 years, and the old drum machines are really the only pieces of gear I never regret getting rid of .. samplers and now the iPad give me all I could ever want in electronic produced beats.

    1. Confessions of a 40 year gearaholic here- my iPads have become the main tools in my studios, I still use desktops and laptops to record everything, and my synths still get played but the iPads are truly amazing and the scope of sound making power they offer me is still pretty much untapped and creatively exciting.

  6. The true way to see who is an alien and not a real human are those who use Ipads for creating music.. 😉

    1. “knights of the round table” was one of the funniest things I have read on here in awhile, we may disagree on some stuff from time to time, but that was a classic that made lol. Cheers.

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