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
January 3, 2013 @ 12:46 am
My wife got me one for Xmas, only paid $200. It does have a few flaws but nothing major. This instrument has a great tone, and mixing the two voices can have a very nice effect for leads. The Hz/Volt scaling on the inputs can be a little irritating but I guess that means I'll just have to hone those keyboard skills. Wonderful and large sound, even through my meagre system. The bass is just epic. Would recommend to anyone.
December 16, 2012 @ 6:47 pm
I love this synth, and for sure it is worthy of a higher rating. yes it's simple and a bit limited but you can get some fantastic sounds out it and that's what it's all about. It's nice and warm and soooo 70's, (think epic stoner prog-rock). The dual outputs are great for panning the 2 channels for a thick warm sound with lots of character. I like it just as much as some of my pricier synths. I got mine for $420:)
October 19, 2012 @ 5:28 am
Great great synthesizer with the typical 70s (sometimes cheezy) sound. I have bought it quite cheap and never regretted it. Very nice low end, indeed and versatile.
The seperation of the Outputs is a killer feature. More powerful than several Dual-Oscillator-Monosynths from nowadays.
Definitely more than three stars in my opinion.
August 23, 2012 @ 5:48 am
i have got this synth for 40 euros i love it but only one or three presets are still working the other ones are or very low or have no sounds anymore , good the custom is still working perfectly , i wish anyone could find a way to fix this.
June 21, 2010 @ 3:07 pm
BTW CS15D its amazing!
very nice sounding square and saw osc,the filter and the ADSR have very good fast response,no noisy unwanted sound,pure beauty.
the filter is amazing I cant say any bad at all.
I am sure this synth ll worth much more in the future.
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VSE Rating

It’s Good

User Rating

Rated 4.6 (616 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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