Casio CZ-1

Casio CZ-1 Image

The CZ-1 competes with the CZ-5000 for the best all around Phase Distortion digital synth. The CZ-1 has the most advanced keyboard of all the CZ series synths. It has a full 61-note 5-octave keyboard with velocity and aftertouch sensitivity. Very professional features from a Casio synth! Otherwise it is essentially a CZ-3000 (which is essentially two CZ-1000s or CZ-101s). With the CZ-1 you get 8-stage envelopes, 2 oscillators per voice and a whole lot more with relatively easy programming. Whereas the CZ-5000 may not have had as good a keyboard, it had the benefit of an on-board 8-track real-time sequencer which the CZ-1 lacked.

If you're looking for low-cost Yamaha DX-like sounds, the Casio CZ line of Phase Distortion synths are a good buy. For performance, the CZ-1 may be the best of the CZ-series. Its dynamic keyboard and enhanced memory abilities make it ideal for live situations. Memory, MIDI and multitimbrality have all been upgraded in the CZ-1 making it one of the nicest budget synths ever to grow out of a consumer market.

Lookup Casio CZ-1 Prices

The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

Related forum topics


Are you looking to buy or sell a Casio CZ-1? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

45 Visitor comments
January 21, 2014 @ 11:38 am
Anyone have some great patches for this? I downloaded some patches from the yahoo group but they don't seem to want to load into my CZ-1000. Do CZ-1 patches work with CZ-1000s?
December 15, 2013 @ 10:36 am
I love VSE, but I really don't understand why they compare CZs with yamaha DX series. The two types of synthesis are completely different and don't sound anything alike at all. Having owned and used both types for several years, this description seems a little misleading. They just sound different period. There's nothing really comparable to the 8 stage enevelopes of the CZ series. Not saying they're better, just different. Both the CZs and the DX lines are classic synths, but not at all the same.
November 24, 2013 @ 5:08 am
I got a CZ-1 a few months ago & all I can say is,...Wow. Awesome synth, just awesome,...especially in "Tone Mix" (dual) mode. Sometimes I like to MIDI layer my CZ-1 with my Casio HT-6000 (another underrate synth) &/or, run it through the effects on my Korg Triton &/or Kronos. I like to add a pitch shifter, set 1 octave down. It doubles/thickens the sound. Then I add a little chorus, delay & reverb to the FX chain. The end result is amazing. Warm, thick, smooth & sweet. I would never part w/my new found treasure,...the Casio CZ-1.
August 4, 2013 @ 11:25 am
These are a wonderful find if you can nab one; nice strings, brass, bass, leads out of this one. Sometimes programming isnt as immediate as basic subtractive synthesis, but you get places it cant take you. I like to combine mine with a kaoss pad 3 for some lfo effects and sometimes a monotron filter giving you hands on control with the sounds! The ring mod is super interesting on this and sounds a little more like sync than ring modulation. since it isnt a dynamic synth (live lfo's etc) it works well to sample and modulate there.
July 27, 2013 @ 11:04 am
If you are interested in getting a CZ synth, this one - the CZ1 is the best of all of them. The sounds I get from this combined with the great keybed, I actually prefer to my DX7 II! The two oscillators and velocity (and aftertouch) bring the CZ into the pro arena that the others didn't really encroach on.

CZ1 is an amazing synth for the money, totally hidden treasure with this one!
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.47 (425 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 16 voices
  • Oscillators - 2 per voice
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Filter - None
  • Effects - Chorus
  • Keyboard - 61 keys with velocity and aftertouch
  • Memory - 64 preset, 64 user patches, 64 patch external cartridge
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1986
  • Resources & Credits
  • Original image from Greg Fredericks.

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.