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

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45 Visitor comments
April 30, 2012 @ 11:34 am
Jeg har et cz-1 som jeg gerne vil af med. Men jeg kan ikke rigtig finde ud af hvad det rigtige prisleje vil være. Har I et bud?

Vh Philip P
Clandestine Monarchy
April 18, 2012 @ 6:02 pm
I have a RAM cartridge for the CZ-1 but you can't use it multitimbrally. I rarely use it for that reason. I wonder if the memory is also battery powered (both cartridge and synth) as until now I never had to replace mine but I'm scared it might give up without warning.
April 18, 2012 @ 5:25 pm
CZ1 cartridges:
RC-10 Orchestra
RC-20 Piano/Guitar/Percussion
RC-30 Organ/Synth/Sound Effects
And there may have been a RC-40

For these patches, and many others, in sysex:
March 4, 2012 @ 10:25 pm
There were three ROM cartridges, and I have two of them that came with my CZ from the dealer when I purchased the unit (nearly new, showroom demo). I got numbers 1 and 3, if memory serves. There were also RAM cartridges for saving your own patches, but I never saw one of those. I will dig out my ROMs and see what is on them. It might take a while, as I moved recently, and things like that tend to be "lost in the move" until a major unpacking.
February 28, 2012 @ 1:14 pm
pat, the cartridges seem to be extremely rare, not kinda rare. I've been looking for another for years, never seen one. . .

Does anyone know otherwise? Or is there a way to get cartridge sounds without the cartridge (sysex?)

I have a rc-30 cartridge and I have to say it has some of the most useful presets, including stuff that's very different from what's on board (pads, effects and percussion especially).

Does anyone know how many cartridges there were and if there is any way to get the sounds from them?
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  • 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.

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