Casio CZ series

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Casio CZ series

Postby GoldSpanner » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:48 pm

To anyone who has perhaps owned/ used one or more of the keyboards from this series, generally how much variation in sound is there between the different models? I know the 1 & the 5000 have more features, but does this affect the basic sound, in comparison to the 101 for instance?
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Re: Casio CZ series

Postby madtheory » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:43 pm

Ignoring the difference in features, there is no variation in the basic sound, assuming that the calibration is right. The most common fault with sound quality is the DAC offset voltage being incorrect, which makes it sound like there's quantizing distortion. Easily fixed if you follow the instructions in the service manual. Noisy sliders can be a problem with the models that have the chorus. Generally a very reliable range of synths though, quite well put together inside. The CZ-1 excels because it has velocity and AT modulation, and more comprehensive layering options. The layering opens up a whole new pallette of sounds.
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Re: Casio CZ series

Postby GoldSpanner » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:00 pm

Thanks for the reply! Good to know that there's no difference.

Between say the 101 and the top of the line models, how much difference would you say there is in terms of the range and complexity of sounds available? I'm not completely clued up on the features the range, so also how much variation is there in terms of basic synth features i.e. filters etc?

Thanks for your help
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Re: Casio CZ series

Postby synthparts » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:29 pm

The biggest difference is with the CZ-3000, 5000, and 1 is you still get polyphony when layering 2 patches. The lower CZs are mono in layer mode. I've had them all and they all sounded the same except the CZ-1. I didn't like it as much although it could have been a calibration issue.
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Re: Casio CZ series

Postby c-level » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:19 pm

synthparts wrote:The biggest difference is with the CZ-3000, 5000, and 1 is you still get polyphony when layering 2 patches. The lower CZs are mono in layer mode. I've had them all and they all sounded the same except the CZ-1. I didn't like it as much although it could have been a calibration issue.


isnt there more patch mem with the larger models? i have only the dinky 101 and cant save but 16 patches if i recall? it doesnt get much use anyways...
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Re: Casio CZ series

Postby madtheory » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:36 pm

GoldSpanner wrote:I'm not completely clued up on the features the range, so also how much variation is there in terms of basic synth features i.e. filters etc?

Synthesis features are the same. It's not really a filter though... here's more info:
http://madtheory.com/site/?p=320
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Re: Casio CZ series

Postby Bitexion » Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:30 pm

There is no filter in the normal sense. You don't have a "filter cutoff" control. There is a Digital Controlled Waveshaper but you don't have cutoff and resonance control directly.

Sort of like the Yamaha DX7 synths, they don't need a lowpass filter because the FM synthesis can do it's own "filtering".
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Re: Casio CZ series

Postby Jaytee » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:46 pm

madtheory wrote:Ignoring the difference in features, there is no variation in the basic sound, assuming that the calibration is right. The most common fault with sound quality is the DAC offset voltage being incorrect, which makes it sound like there's quantizing distortion. Easily fixed if you follow the instructions in the service manual. Noisy sliders can be a problem with the models that have the chorus. Generally a very reliable range of synths though, quite well put together inside. The CZ-1 excels because it has velocity and AT modulation, and more comprehensive layering options. The layering opens up a whole new pallette of sounds.


I remember hearing on this board some time ago about recalibrating the DAC on CZ synths and recall specifically that the procedure could be found in the service manual................

But I can't find a service manual online for the CZ-101. The Casio group on yahoo has the schematics from the CZ101 service manual, but not the actual manual itself.

Is this a procedure that can be followed from one of the other CZ service manuals? Are the insides similar enough that I could find my way around using the "wrong" manual? Most importantly, is this a task that I could accomplish having very little electronics experience?
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Re: Casio CZ series

Postby meatballfulton » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:05 pm

CZ-3000/5000 have double the polyphony (8/16) and double the patch storage (32) of the 101/1000 plus a stereo chorus and a mod wheel.

5000 adds an 8-track sequencer.
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Re: Casio CZ series

Postby madtheory » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:14 am

I have a table comparing the features of all of the CZs, and the VZs as well:
http://madtheory.com/site/?p=320
Jaytee wrote:Is this a procedure that can be followed from one of the other CZ service manuals? Are the insides similar enough that I could find my way around using the "wrong" manual? Most importantly, is this a task that I could accomplish having very little electronics experience?

Yes it's the same in all the CZs, and it's easy to do. The hardest part is removing the keyboard on the 3000/5000/1. I describe the procedure here in the link above (refers to CZ-1 service manual).
Last edited by madtheory on Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Casio CZ series

Postby briandc » Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:06 pm

On my CZ1000, I installed a modulation ribbon. (with a friend's precious help) It included a dial for depth (intensity).

Boy I wish I hadn't sold the synth though.... It was worth more than the money I got.


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Re: Casio CZ series

Postby Pro5 » Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:28 pm

meatballfulton wrote:CZ-3000/5000 have double the polyphony (8/16) and double the patch storage (32) of the 101/1000 plus a stereo chorus and a mod wheel.

5000 adds an 8-track sequencer.


And the CZ-1 doubles the patch storage and adds velocity/AT. I've only played with the CZ-1000 and the CZ-1 - way back in the 80s at school!! :lol: and both were cool synths but the CZ-1 is the "best" CZ for sure and the best bargain in the PD world if you can get your hands on one.
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Re: Casio CZ series

Postby plikestechno » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:19 pm

Be patient and buy the one that comes up cheap in your city or put out a WTB in your city. You will be happy with any of them. Don't pay crazy money for one to have it shipped in and everything. I've owned a 5000, 101 and currently own a CZ-1. I got them all for $100 or less in my city. The cool thing about the 101 is that because it is much cheaper built and has a noisy sound some of the patches sound warmer than the later ones. The 101 is nicer too if you don't have a ton of room. CZ-5000 and CZ-1 are beasts in the studio for footprint. Having velo and AT on the CZ-1 is nice but it's not routable to much so it's not the biggest thing in the world.
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Re: Casio CZ series

Postby madtheory » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:51 am

I've owned a 101, a 1000, a 5000 and a 1. I've done side by side comparisons with 101 and 1, and 5000 and 1.
I disagree with two of your points:

1. The killer feature on the CZ-1 is the layering, with 64 memories. It expands greatly on the layering in the 3000 and 5000 which have only one memory and no detuning or routing options for stereo or external effects. The velocity and AT could be better, sure, but I see them as a bonus. As with any synth I think they make the sound more lively and playable.

2. There is no difference in sound quality between any of the CZs once the unit is calibrated/ serviced. Most often the problem is the DAC offset voltage, the fix for which I outline in the blog I posted.

I agree- if you're UK or US, wait for one locally. This synth was a big seller! Ireland sucks for synths, so I bought all of mine from UK or Germany.

IMO the best are:
the CZ-101 because it's so small, or
the CZ-1 because it's the most flexible.
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Re: Casio CZ series

Postby elsquirrel » Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:45 pm

Just got a cz-101 for $50. The original owner must have been a real cz freak because it came with a whole bunch of paraphernalia, manuals, sound data books, advertisements from magazines and photocopied cz-101 articles. Also came with a program in a box for the atari st. Haven't searched yet, but I assume there's a modern editor. I'm finding the arrow keys a little annoying.

There was also a bunch of carts, and before accidentally corrupting it, I went through one full of the sweetest bass sounds. I'm pretty sure the bass here is a cz-101:

Watch on youtube.com


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