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.

Check Yamaha CS-15 Prices on eBay

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39 Visitor comments
September 14, 2012 @ 3:18 pm
GREAT SYNTH! My very first analog synth, have had it for almost a week now. my city had "free giveaway weekend", last week. (neighbour two doors down had it sitting on his curb, with a sign saying "free, it works" ) could not believe it! Naturally scooped it up as soon as I saw it. One mans trash is another mans treasure, I guess. Simply amazing though, Lots of fun. Love the possibilities, great sounding. Very simple to use- Love the filters. The audio-input is a great feature, the oscillators sound really nice and fat. - still baffled as to how someone just could just give this away
September 7, 2012 @ 6:35 pm
Great synth! Does anyone know if it can work safely off N American 110v power as opposed to its 100v power?
p laskey
September 4, 2012 @ 2:05 pm
I'm not sure about "extremely low prices" - someone with a strange sense of humour was listing one on ebay until a few days ago (now sep. 4) for £100,000... no bids obviously.
August 2, 2012 @ 2:09 pm
omfg! a great-sounding, inspiring box of delights and surprises. just when i thought i knew her -- BAM!! -- i added a kenton CV-to-MIDI box, which can turn the cs-15 into TWO monosynths. i play one of them normally and the other via midi keyboard or sequencer. too much fun.

it'll get even better when i mod it, installing jacks to control the filters via midi and putting the filters in series for a fat 24dB filter or two 12dB filters for HPF > LPF ms20 craziness.

you don't need the mods or CV box, but they'll make this great synth superb. can't recommend it more highly. i'm in love.
April 17, 2012 @ 5:22 pm
we mainly use it for endless env-sweeps - you can set the timing of the 2 independet envelopes to "5x" which makes the attack an endlessly evolving thing of beauty,

better visible here: http://modelessfactory.com/images/cs15_3422035920451.jpg

(polarity can be switched aswell, plus 2 proper multimode filters, that can also be directed to whatever envelope at whatever polarity. theres quite a lot of switchgear going on that you don't see on the VSE pic)

plus: bassdrums! deep and juicy bassdrums.

beautiful synth. won't compete with a memorymoog, but its strenghts are gorgeous.
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Rated 3.98 (578 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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