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Is Yamaha planning a ‘90s revival with a new version of the AN1x synth?

Yamaha synth
(Image credit: Future)

Released in 1997, Yamaha’s AN1x was an excellent retro-inspired virtual analogue synth that gained itself a loyal following. Now, 25 years on, there’s just the sniff of a chance that it might be coming back.

An application made by Yamaha (opens in new tab) indicates that it wants to trademark the AN-X name, suggesting that it might have plans to use it in a future product. Of course, this could be anything, but there’s inevitably going to be speculation that a new AN1x-inspired hardware synth could be in the offing.

When you consider Yamaha’s recent history, this seems unlikely. Dreams that the launch of 2015’s compact Reface range would herald a new era of synth design from the company that brought us the classic CS-80 have so far not been realised, with Yamaha preferring to focus its energies on beginner keyboards, stage pianos and workstations.

In 2019, it was rumoured that Yamaha could be planning a new version of the CS-80 but we’ve heard nothing since.

The trademark application does indicate that Yamaha wants to take ownership of the AN-X brand in relation to “electronic musical keyboards, electronic pianos and music synthesizers,” though, so there is hope.

The AN-1X offered two oscillators, a filter, effects and a fancy arpeggiator, and gave you 10 notes of polyphony to play with. It was only manufactured for a couple of years, so there aren’t too many about - expect to pay in excess of $500 on the secondhand market.

Ben Rogerson
Ben Rogerson

I’m the Group Content Manager for MusicRadar, specialising in all things tech. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 20 of which I’ve also spent writing about music technology. 

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