Yamaha CS-15

Yamaha CS-15 Image

This synth really has its own sound. The CS-15's got style. Built like a tank with a lot of nice knobs and best of all, not one but two of those funny sounding multimode filters. It's actually a duophonic / bitimbral synth but you have to connect it to CV (Hz/V like Korg not V/Oct) to get the extra voice. Each of the two VCOs has its own CV/Gate control.

Yamaha CS-15 Image

The best things about it are the flexibility of the VCFs and the routings to the filters and envelopes. You can rout VCO 1 to both VCFs and the VCFs to any of the envelopes positive or negative voltage. The VCFs are 12 dB/Oct and are switchable between low, band or high-pass. They are the key to the nice sound of the Yamaha CS family. Other nice features are noise, external-in for processing other sounds, LFO with Sample & Hold for those bubbling sounds and an individual auto-bend for the VCOs.

Yamaha CS-15 Image

The CS-15 is great for strange blips, bass and tiny highpass sounds. The ADSRs aren't as fast as the CS-10 but they are ok. A nice feature is the 'brilliance' slider that can control either or both VCFs. At their extremely low prices, the CS-15 is an analog that's definitely worth checking out for yourself. It has been used by Astral Projection, Somatic Responses, Moog Cookbook, The Human League, and Vince Clarke.

Lookup Yamaha CS-15 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 CS-15? 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.

40 Visitor comments
crackpipe mcsmith
August 14, 2011 @ 2:30 am
Every single synth on here has a comment from some jerkoff saying he found one in the bin, flushed down a toilet, up a tree, in a second hand shop for £5 etc..What you lying for jerkoff, its not funny its annoying.
July 1, 2011 @ 6:38 pm
got one about 8 weeks ago. being used to the logics and interfaces of old roland gear, this took me a few days get a grip on the layout. once you get it you understand that this is a masterpiece in its simple but versatile possibilities. in essence you control two totally independent synthesizers that you can layer as you like. only thing I am really missing is x-mod functionality of the oscs. envelopes are beautiful for their minute-long slowness, creating slowly evolving, extremely experimental stuff if you wish so (I do). pretty dominant synth in the mix though.
March 16, 2011 @ 6:21 pm
Wow. I scored one of these today. My friend saw his neighbor throwing it away. Yes, THROWING IT AWAY. Luckily he rescued it and delivered it to me, knowing I am into this kind of stuff. I'm having the same constant drone issues as some others have had, can't wait to get off work and mess with some more! I'm in love.
February 3, 2011 @ 7:00 pm
to James Pilcher,

Turn down the initial volume control in the VCA section ;)
no more continuous tone.
January 27, 2011 @ 9:42 pm
The best thing in my collection! I find it almost impossible to get a poor or even mediocre tone out of it. With just a touch of reverb it become unstoppable.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.99 (593 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 / Duophonic
  • Oscillators - 2 VCOs
  • LFO - One with triangle, saw and S&H waveforms
  • Filter - Two multimode (LP/BP/HP). Controlled by either or both ADSRs.
  • Effects - None
  • Keyboard - 37 keys
  • Memory - None
  • Control - Dual CV/Gate
  • Date Produced - 1978 - early '80s
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from

    Thanks to Magnus Gladen for providing the review.

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.