Casio CZ-230S

Casio CZ-230S Image

A wolf in sheep's clothing, the CZ-230S uses exactly the same synthesizer technology as the CZ-101, mini keys included. But a few things give it more of a 'home' keyboard type image; firstly it had a built-in speaker; secondly it had 99 preset sounds with no way of editing them (only four of the sounds in the sound bank could be programmed by linking the synthesizer to a computer via its MIDI port).

However it had a built-in programmable drum machine (from the Casio RZ-1) and sequencer (step and realtime) which almost made it a workstation before its time. Midi in/out/thru was undoubtedly a first for a 'home' keyboard. Used by Vince Clarke of Erasure on the album 'Wonderland'.

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21 Visitor comments
November 8, 2011 @ 6:47 am
I connected MIDI IN with MIDI OUT in my CZ-230s, so I had a tiny delay and an even fatter sound with the double played note, and I actually used this thing on stage (1988).
The last 4 (of 100) presets can be edited via PC.

And after this thing lost its memory because of "years without power supply", the presets loaded with random values, it did some really nasty sounds.
(Of course pushing some buttons during poweron resets this thing safely.)
October 4, 2011 @ 2:50 pm
My original unit was destroyed in a fire and i really love this particular instrument i am looking to replace it.

i am interested in purchasing a cz-230s casio in working condition please contact me at.
November 28, 2010 @ 9:48 am
I have just got one of these from eBay having had one in the late eighties, it is truly excellent. Mine is in the original box with manual and PSU! only cost £70.

Only issue is I used to have an editor for mine and I can't find one that works on Windows 7 x64, I may have to write one I suppose.

Sounds are a bit cheesy in places but they scream early Erasure :-)
November 12, 2010 @ 3:30 pm
If this unit had been given easily editable parameters like the CZ101 or even better the MT400v it would have been a perfect little synth/workstation. Even so it is solidly built and feels quite substantial compared to many more serious synths. It has midi in/out/through so if you don't like the onboard sounds you can draw better ones from elsewhere. The onboard speaker is a bonus and is capable of good sound at a higher volume; especially the three bass settings. I bought this for my ten year old daughter but secretly wanted an excuse to get one in the house without my wife thinking I'd gone potty.
November 12, 2008 @ 2:09 am
From my amateur viewpoint, this is a fantastic little machine. I keep mine with me when I'm working away from home and it keeps me occupied for hours. The sounds are mostly pretty cool, some of them are fantastic. Portamento - great! The drum sounds and rhythms, whilst very '80s', are awesome and the drum machine easy to program and great fun. I don't ever want to be without mine!
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Rated 3.28 (155 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 - 8 note
  • Oscillators - 2 DCO using Digital Phase Distortion Synthesis
  • #Instruments - 4 part multitimbral
  • Keyboard - 49 note mini keyboard (no Velocity or Aftertouch)
  • Memory - 100 presets
  • Control - MIDI In/Out/Thru
  • Date Produced - 1986
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from

    Info provided by Nicholas Varley.

    Reviewed November 2007.

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