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
Michael Ernst
March 22, 2014 @ 6:37 pm
Ich suche so einen Yamaha CS-15 in gutem technischen & optischen zustand.

Originalzustand (unverbastelt), 230Volt Version.

Bei Verkaufsinteresse: michael.ernst96@yahoo.de
falkenburgh
October 26, 2013 @ 1:50 pm
"The best things about it are the flexibility of the VCFs and the routings to the filters and envelopes."
> agreed. just had the privilege to play around with one for a few days and must say I am very impressed. the fact that you can route your way through the modules with more degree of freedom than even on many, many far larger analogues gives it an interesting edge and a lot of potential for "unheard" stuff.

"The CS-15's got style. Built like a tank with a lot of nice knobs"
> oh yes, it is eye candy and even if the one here has had a beating or two, it still works fine. top notch.
elie
October 13, 2013 @ 8:54 pm
sometimes you can have a ground-loop develop due to combining with other equipment - one reason people remove the ground. Otherwise, 'fairly' little chance of getting zapped off this as it doesn't use any high-voltage or raw AC line voltage.... you can easily replace end with a hardware store replacement plug, just be sure the AC polarities are observed (live/neutral/ground)
mark
July 24, 2013 @ 5:50 pm
What is the difference between this and the CS10? I know they are in the same family, I wondered if this can do bass like CS10 plus things the CS10 cannot?
jph
July 23, 2013 @ 3:21 pm
Great little mono-synth, what I learned analog synthesis on,. bought it in Ottawa in the late 90s no manual,. think I payed nearly $300. I unfortunately sold it a couple years back (2011) when I was in dire need of cash, but I got almost $700 for it! :) (a techno guy in Toronto got it.) Anyway, I will get any of the CS line when I am able, as I really enjoyed the real-time / no memory fun, and it has a vast range of sound capabilities. (there is a mod to put the filters on series too) Looking for a CS-30 to replace it actually, the added sequencer would roc that thing!
 
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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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