Yamaha CS-15D

Yamaha CS-15D Image

This is a partially preset, partially variable monophonic analogue synth which was released in 1979. It was part of a synthesizer range that included the CS-20m, the CS-40m, and the CS-70m. It has a very solid warm sound for a single VCO synth. The preset section is divided into two channels. Channel 1 has 15 sounds with the usual array of unrealistic instrument imitations and Channel 2 has 14 synth sounds plus a button to activate the 'manual' section of the synth. There is a slider to mix between the two channels and channel 2 can be detuned.

The 'manual' section comprises 1 VCO with a variable control between pulse and saw waves. There are also controls for pulse width modulation, noise and footings (32' - 2'). The 12dB filter has cut-off and resonance plus a dedicated ADSR envelope with a control for envelope amount. It has a nice wet and warm sound. There is a separate ADSR for the amplifier.

Most controls to the left of the preset section affect the presets as well as the manual section. These include a modulation section with 1 LFO (sine and square), S/H (random) and repeat. Modulation can be routed to either the VCO, VCF or VCA. There is also a global tuning pot and a performance panel that includes portamento (which isn't very precise) modulation and pitch wheels as well as a 'brilliance' slider. Why a slider for VCF modulation instead of a wheel? God only knows. One feature of the pitch wheel that has synthesists divided is that it doesn't have a spring although a soft 'click' is felt when moved back to the center-point. It can be handy to reach the lowest possible notes without having to hold the wheel in place.

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16 Visitor comments
June 21, 2010 @ 3:04 pm
here is a suprise:

I ve tried to controll the CS15D through the Doepfer dark Energy.
Actually what i ve done,i reset the midi button of dark energy and i gave the second octav c tune for the first note.the trigger working very vell,fast response very nice.so i cant hear any pichy tune but i am using the second oscillator of cs15 and i ve got full controll under.the fine tuning are on the same place.. 0 scale no fine tuning was needed.if i switch to the first oscillator, the tune on the same note and that osc hasent been connected to the cv of dark energy.i dont know how is it possible but its working with one osc defo..I ve read Yamaha CS15D have HZ/V controll instead of V/oct.
I ve asked MR Doepfer He was suprised either.
so how is that possible?
November 5, 2009 @ 7:45 am
i got mine at flea market for 50 CAD about 4 years ago. I like it very much. It is capable to make really crazy sounds. I am gonna keep this toy.
September 22, 2009 @ 7:27 am
Great sounding synth. I really like the sound that you get from cs 15d. The thing thats so good about the cs 15d is that it is a very versitile synth. The sound that you get from it suItes most styles. Not as dark or deep as the cs 10 for bass or lead.
January 4, 2009 @ 10:55 pm
The Yamaha CS-15D is a beautiful duo phonic analog synthesizer that packs a powerful punch. Some features include the ability to de-tune the VCO`s to make a thicker analog sound much like the Roland SH-2. The manual section has a full range of knobs and sliders to control the various parameters on this amazing vintage synth. The preset section includes another VCO that can be adjusted and then mixed together with manual section. I believe that the Yamaha CS-15D is a very underrated, yet very useful synth that can be incorporated into many different styles of music.
August 27, 2008 @ 5:17 pm
Its a good synth, nice squar wave and very nice filter, very squelchy!
VSE Rating

It’s Good

User Rating

Rated 4.61 (621 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
  • Oscillators - 1 VCO per section
  • LFO - 1 (sine, square, s/h, repeat)
  • Filter - 1 12dB/oct (2-pole) lowpass filter with dedicated ADSR
  • VCA - 1 ADSR
  • Keyboard - 37 keys
  • Memory - 29 presets, no user
  • Control - Dual CV and Gate
  • Date Produced - 1979-1982
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from here.

    Reviewed November 2007.

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