Yamaha CS-20m

Yamaha CS-20m Image

The CS-20m is another of Yamaha's classic CS-series analog synthesizers of the '70's and '80's. It is a monophonic analog synthesizer with dual-VCOs that use subtractive synthesis to create superb bass, synth, lead, bubbly-squirty and percussive sounds. It has all the essential components of a classic synth: There is a resonant filter with switchable high, band or lowpass filtering with its own ADSR envelope controls. There is an ADSR VCA envelope generator which contains a third oscillator which generates a sine wave to modulate and enhance your sounds. And there is an LFO which can modulate the PWM sweep. Fortunately, the CS-20m features 8 memory locations for patch storage of your favorite or most used sounds.

Stacked up against the other CS-synths, the CS-20m appears to be a very little brother to the CS-70m (a 12-VCO and very flexible beast). The CS-20m offers more memory patches than any other CS-synth (excluding newer CS1x and CS6x models). As for other synths, the CS-20m could be considered Minimoog-like, though it sounds much brighter and thinner than the Mini. If the Minimoog's price is out of your league, the CS-20m is not just a nice alternative but it is quite a classic and solid analog synth! It is used by The Crystal Method.

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The link above will take you to an eBay 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.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Yamaha CS-20m? 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.

15 Visitor comments
September 21, 2009 @ 12:22 am
it can be controlled through kenton pro solo midi with no probs.great yamaha cs synth. not as dark or sonically deep sounding as the cs 10 but instant ear candy for that bit of inspiration.i love all the yamaha cs synths and this is a good one . recommended.
September 14, 2009 @ 2:29 pm
i love this machine to bits, but does anybody know if there's a PROVEN way to control it via MIDI? Kenton and Synhouse websites are kinda unclear about that.
Jim Mooney
July 3, 2009 @ 2:15 pm
I aquired one of these when I managed a music store in the early 80's. It was kinda like an OB-1, but better built. Back then all of Yamaha's synths were huge beasts, but they were tanks, too. Anyway, you could really fatten up the sound by mixing the VCO's sine wave into the VCA along with the VCF. This gave real girth to the tone by adding more fundamental. Talk about your fat basses...
October 29, 2008 @ 7:05 pm
Brilliant synth, makes such good use of the LFO (as all CS's do), each section being able to have an independent waveform and amount. Its bliss to work with. Not to mention the multi mode filter and great sound.
Analogue Crazy
September 4, 2008 @ 2:54 pm
Smaller monophonic version of the CS-40M with 2 VCO's instead of 4 and no ring modulator or pitch envelope. Looses over half of the CS-40M's memory but its there. Very unique sound, smoother and more creamy than the other CS monosynths. Same sound as CS-40M but not as meaty.
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Rated 3.49 (292 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 - 2 +1 sine osc. in VCA section
  • LFO - 1
  • Filter - 1 filter with low, band or hi pass; ADSR envelope
  • VCA - 1 ADSR; additional sine wave generator
  • Keyboard - 37 keys
  • Memory - 8 patches
  • Control - CV / Gate
  • Date Produced - 1979
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Dance Tech.

    Thanks to Scott Rogers for providing some information.

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