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

The link above will take you to a 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

Comments

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.

39 Visitor comments
carruthers
May 7, 2013 @ 9:07 am
bought this as I have been missing a flexible mono since I made the mistake to sell my korg MS20 for stupidly little money some years back. the CS15 cost me about what I got for the MS20 in the late 90s.

is it a worthy successor? absolutely. granted, you don't have the exciting patchbay, but the CS15 sounds more mature, bigger and for me turns out to be the more useable machine.
smoinync
April 8, 2013 @ 9:08 pm
Someone i know found it, he called & asked me if i was keen to spend $200 on CS15 he just found. I was like more than keen & willing to reward him twice the price but unfortunately i kept that idea in silence, Lol. Features are great, multi mode filters are impressive..
I had CS5 (traded to MS20) and still having 30l. Never been disappointed by the good old CS lines.
Patrick
January 25, 2013 @ 4:22 am
I don't know if this is normal or if I just have really bad luck with old yamah synths - I got one from Ebay (CS5) and it arrived with the ground prong missing from the plug. This week I purchased one locally (CS15) and there also was the ground prong missing from the power plug. Is this normal or does the ground prong actually break off that easy? Or were they manufactured like that in the first place? It just seems very careless to me to not mention that in these ads. A missing ground can cause 60hz hum and pose an electrical shock hazard should something go wrong in the synth. Seriously..
Connor
October 3, 2012 @ 3:08 pm
I found one of these at guitar center for $500, it has definitely seen better days, but I quite like the machine. Very feature rich with seemingly endless possibilities for patches. I've programmed sounds on it that I thought I would only find on a digital synth. My only gripe with it is that the oscillators sound a bit nasally to me, but that's a small price to pay for such a fantastic machine.
delzep
September 26, 2012 @ 5:06 am
@"still baffled as to how someone just could just give this away"

lucky you - and good you enjoy it.

it sure is a good way to learn about analogue synths since despite its compact size, it is a very complete synth, limited polyphony aside. plus it won't bore you to death once you mastered the basics because, as some of the other guys wrote already, it is actually very complex at second glance.

chose your 2nd synth wisely, cause this one is a hard act to follow :)
 
Post Comment!
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.

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.