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.

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39 Visitor comments
knorr
April 11, 2012 @ 8:42 am
"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."

yes. which makes this things as trippy a night on lsd in a physics laboratory. it is obviously limited in polyphony and won't arpeggiate you to kingdom come. but it does what it does with competence and with a lot of punch. by the way, the above routing flexibilities also go for the noise generator of course, so...
synthzine
February 12, 2012 @ 2:35 pm
I think the reason a lot of people may have been so quick to get rid of these in the past is that they can be a little difficult at first to program as well as its Hz/V CV. The Moog and SC Pro One where king. But the quirks are more of a feature. You can really get a great variety of sounds out of these. I bought mine in 93' for $50 "for repair". It wasn't broken, the VCA's were turned down. I love Moogs but it's nice to hear something out of the ordinary. The envelopes aren't the fastest but flexible. There's also an audio in w/ trigger. Fun synth!
stu
November 10, 2011 @ 3:33 pm
I've owned mine for 6yrs now n I'll never stop being impressed by it. I'm a synth man; I own a Minimoog 'D', Prophet 10, MS10, TB303, exc, exc, exc... this guy is by FAR the most rock solid and stable old school synth I got. Tuning is unbelievably stable for something of this age and it has a truly unique sound which no other synth can make. I honestly fall in love again every time I use it. They all have their strengths and weaknesses but this one has WAY more strengths. If allowed to own only one monosynth, for pure utility, I'd pick this over the minimoog any day of the week. not selling...
eyeon
October 14, 2011 @ 11:27 pm
Hah, I was (understandably) pretty excited when I wrote that, but its true, I didn't pay a cent for it. Still loving it, and still baffled and disturbed that someone would even consider such an act. Not even placed lovingly on a curb for some lucky bastard, but unceremoniously about to be tossed in a dumpster.
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.
 
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VSE Rating

Excellent

User Rating

Rated 3.99 (579 Votes)

  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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 Perfect Circuit Audio.

    Thanks to Magnus Gladen for providing the review.

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