Yamaha CS01

Yamaha CS01 Image

The CS01 is a very old but classic analog monosynth from Yamaha. Although originally designed for use by novice musicians or first time synth-buyers, the CS01 has been recognized by today's electronic musicians as one fat little bass machine with simple controls. In a nutshell, the CS01 is simple to use and edit but still has some great features for any situation. It's tiny and portable, it has baby-sized keys and it can run on batteries, and there is a built-in amplifier and speaker which is quite fun.

As for sounds and synthesizing, the CS01 is the perfect monosynth for bubbly and growling bass! It features a very nice 12dB resonant voltage-controlled filter. In addition to the oscillators' sine and square type waveforms there is PWM and noise. There are also LFO controls, glissando (like portamento), a typical ADSR envelope generator, pitch & mod wheels and even a breath controller input. A CS01 mkII (pictured below) was later released by Yamaha soon after the original. It featured an improved 24dB resonant VCF (filter) with adjustable slider control over resonance instead of switchable on/off resonance as found on the original. The CS01 mkII is also identifiable by its black case with green letters.

Yamaha CS01 II Image

Yamaha CS01 II

The CS01 may look simple or toy-like but it is still able to create cool little analog bass blips, bass lines and bass bubbles that are just perfect for today's electronic musicians. It has been used by the Dust Brothers, Underworld, OMD, Richard Barbieri and Chick Corea.

Lookup Yamaha CS01 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 Yamaha CS01? 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.

48 Visitor comments
July 3, 2011 @ 2:46 pm
cs01 with breath controller sounds pretty good to me
May 30, 2011 @ 10:53 am
ive had this since i was a kid... and circuit bent it last night... here are some of the results... http://soundcloud.com/halluciphile/halluciphile-where-he-was I used the CS01 only!!!
February 6, 2011 @ 6:30 pm
I've seen people use the word fat to describe the sound of this machine. In the same way Anorexia sufferers say I'm fat. Or roland sh101 owners say that bass is fat. The synth sounds ok for what they cost very usable I bought one to use at a gig because my lead synth had died that morning and one was in the local ads for £15 long time ago. BL***Y good as it happened but would not pay the silly prices being asked these days. if you look on you tube for cardboard synth some guy os modifying one anyway worth a look
October 7, 2010 @ 6:48 pm
got the mark 1. this synth despite his dimension and keys IS NOT A TOY. its really good basic synthesizer with an amazing and unique PWM wave. you can avoid purchasing that, but once you got it you may fall in love with it
September 29, 2010 @ 6:08 pm
Its other claim to fame was being Yamaha's first keyboard to incorporate a breath control input... the BC-1 was sold alongside it as an accessory. This definitely transforms it into a more expressive instrument (darn close to a Lyricon).

I purchased a silver version 1, new/retail, back in the day (along with the BC-1, the soft case, and the optional power supply), and it's still kicking perfectly 26 years later!

'Twas great to strap it on recently in an 80's cover band, and rip on The Cars' "Just What I Needed" (the ending solo)...
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.72 (459 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 - Monophonic
  • Oscillators - 1 VCO - triangle / saw / square / pulse / PWM
  • LFO - Sine waveform
  • Filter - 12dB Cutoff / Hi or Lo resonance with ADSR (24dB on mkII)
  • VCA - 1 ADSR envelope gen
  • Keyboard - 32 mini keys
  • Memory - None
  • Control - Breath Controller; CV/Gate via kit from Kenton
  • Date Produced - 1982, (1984 mkII)
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.