Yamaha CS-50

Yamaha CS-50 Image

The CS-50 was released just ahead of its famous big brothers, the CS-60 and CS-80. The CS-50 looks like a scaled-down version of the monstrous CS-80, and it is! This will benefit those who crave the famous classic Yamaha synth sound without the struggle of lugging around the 215 pound CS-80! The CS-50 weighs in at about 100 pounds. The CS-50 is also just 4-voice polyphonic, and lacks the quality weighted 61-note keyboard of the CS-80. The CS-50 has just a 49-note standard keyboard. It does feature pressure (aftertouch) sensitivity route-able to several destinations, however.

The CS-50's sound is unmistakably related to other classic CS-series synthesizers. At just four voices with one osc. per voice and lacking warm filters (at just 12dB/oct) the CS-50's sound can be thin. There are 13 preset sounds of various instruments and synth sounds but, unfortunately, no on-board memory storage for your edited presets. At its low street price, the CS-50 makes a great way to get your hands on these classic sounds without going broke! It's too bad their tuning is just as unstable as the other CS-series synths. It's housed in a built-in travel-case like the other (big) CS-synths. It's been used by Men Without Hats and Herbie Hancock.

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28 Visitor comments
December 30, 2008 @ 6:27 pm
I have had mine for almost 20 years and I would not part with it. I even use it live when I am feeling strong enough to lug it into a venue.
Andrew Beddoes
October 26, 2008 @ 12:33 am
The synth had no sub or secondary oscillators to beef up the voices (unlike the early digital instruments). It needed all sorts of outboard enhancements to sound good. I wanted to create just a little of Eddie Jobson's CS-80 sound (Dead of Night), but was disappointed.
October 20, 2008 @ 5:51 pm
I believe Black Moth Super Rainbow use one of these (live, even) as well.
Jim Combs
October 13, 2008 @ 2:26 pm
My CS-50 is solid as a rock tuning wise, but I've got a later S/N which had the tuning stabilization mod. My Minimoog on the other hand, needs constant tuning. The CS is my favorite analog synth in my collection, mainly because of its unique sound, and dual filters. It can be a "thin" sound, but it can also totally take over a mix with its density. A cool synth if you can find one.
Jeff Blanks
September 18, 2008 @ 6:21 pm
This was the first synth I ever owned, and (as usual) I'm sorry I got rid of it (though I had to to upgrade to an OB-8, and sometimes I wish I'd kept saving up for the CS-60). A chorus unit does wonders for this. TBH, I never had tuning problems with it.
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  • 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 - 4 voices, monotimbral
  • Oscillators - Four (1 VCO per voice)
  • LFO - One
  • Filter - 12 dB/oct lowpass and highpass filtering
  • Effects - None
  • Keyboard - 49 keys (pressure sensitive, route to various destinations)
  • Memory - 13 preset, 1on panel
  • Control - None
  • Date Produced - 1977
  • Resources & Credits
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