Ned Bouhalassa wrote:What I would like to know is why you need 3 of them?
History - I'm in my 40's and literally one of those 'children of Cosmos / Vangelis / Jarre / Tomita ...'. So in the early 90's you could pick up a broken CS80 for perhaps 500 - 1000 quid. As they arose I bought a few of them, I actually bought 4 - and as I started to earn some money in a day job and even some money though music too - realised I could start to afford to have them serviced. Actually - one of the CS80 I bought from LA (I live in Dublin, Ireland) - arrived in unbelievably good condition - and I paid just $3000 for it. When I sent it over to Kent Spong for a service he had only minor work to do on it, and suggested to me at the time that that CS80 was perhaps in the top 5 CS80s in the world, condition wise. So I got lucky with that.
But the other one mentioned in the post above nearly drove Kent to distraction - he did an amazing job on it - but even shipping it would introduce new problems. It took three trips to London and three restorations / major-services - eventually with me brining it there personally and back wrapped in duvets, to get it stable. I bought that one in 1994 and it has only been working reliably in my facility for two years ! But its in one of my two music rooms, working beautifully as we speak.
So to finally answer your question - I am old enough to have bought CS80s when they were in ragged order in the 90's, and spent the past decade or two having them restored. So as and when they'd crop up I'd nab them, in the hope that if I bought a few I'd at least have one good one, and thankfully Kent Spong and Richard Lawson are so good at what they do that after all this time I find myself owning three that are working perfectly (though the last of them is in London and I drive to Kent this autumn to collect it!).
So regarding the price - for any given perfectly working CS80, I assure you, there is a long and expensive story behind it. They require years of nursemaiding back to health - and though RL and KSR charge hefty prices for a fully serviced one, I can assure you, with 100% honesty, that with the amount of effort they put into each of my CS80s, I feel they have been paid a mere fraction of what they deserve; and far FAR less, per hour, than any other standard service in any other walk of life.
At this stage there are perhaps 500 - 800 working CS80s in the world. Each originally cost (in today's terms) about £30,000 when they were released. So if they cost well above £10,000, I can assure you, they are not overly priced. For my most troublesome CS80 (CS80-1 as it's know to me, Kent and Richard) I've spent in excess of £4000 in shipping alone to have it serviced back to full health).
I realise this all reads a bit OTT, but I didn't start out intending all of this - it has just become a labour of love over the years - I earnestly want a CS80 for composing, for pragmatic reasons, and not for collecting reasons, but these instruments need essentially a life long commitment. I've had dreams, and nightmares, about these things. So pricing them is always going to be tricky, and I ask you to bare that in mind when you see them up for sale - I can assure you that many if not most owners will have similar stories (or else their CS80 is not as stable as they make out or as it may appear and you'll have to get work done on it post sale !).
@CZ Rider - that;s a stunning, classic, setup. And it demonstrates something that isn't widely thought about regarding CS80's. That is - it's so big and bulky, with such a good keyboard and set or performance controllers, that you feel you are 'pulling up' to a real musical instrument as you sit at it - like pulling up to a Fender Rhodes, a Piano or a Hammond B3. Yamaha were thinking 'musical instrument' and not 'synthesizer'. Sitting at a JP8, OBXA and so on is great - but it's a different type of experience sitting at a CS80. You pull up to it, get comfortable, and explore the permanence of that performance environment. It's one of the reasons why so much of Vangelis' music on CS80 is so substantial - it's associated with the way he was sitting, playing and performing - very similar to the way you feel sitting at a piano. They literally do not build them like that any more (perhaps the Waldorf Wave and Schmidt are similar in that experience).