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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15 Visitor comments
February 8, 2012 @ 11:27 pm
I have had this synth for about 4 months now. I got one in very good shape. While it was built in 1979 it has no problems storing patches that you create. It also has a balanced XLR output with a transformer, which probably has some interesting coloration. I like it better than the MicroMoog or ARP Odyssey. Just because no one famous played it...does not mean it dosen't sound good. It is very sturdy and Heavy and the action on the keyboard feels good. Made in Japan.
Thomas Faurby
January 8, 2012 @ 3:22 pm
I made this demo using the CS20m. It's an actual song, so you can hear what it sounds like in a real context

May 3, 2011 @ 2:53 pm
If you get hold of a novation bass station rack module, it has midi to cv built in. A lot of people use them to control old gear. Plus you get a great analogue bass synth too : )
December 15, 2010 @ 11:09 am
I should add that I just got this synth, and I'm loving it. It's full of weirdness, the dual oscillators combined with LFO VCF modulation allow for beautiful pulsating drone sounds which I can slowly transform into squirty electronic noise. Just hoping there is a way I can run audio through the filter.
December 15, 2010 @ 11:04 am
is there anyway I can modulate live vocals or an audio signal with this? can I do it with a midi - CV converter?
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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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