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
November 11, 2009 @ 4:55 am
I once plugged an on/off footswitch into my CS-60's "expression" pedal connection, which made the machine to stop producing sound too. It appeared to be a resistor, one of those long, white rectangular ones that look like they're made out of concrete. It's now more than 5 years ago that I fixed that, so unfortunately I forgot where it is exactly. After I replaced that - and only that! - it functioned again! unfortunately the aftertouch is still broken.
Massimiliano Longo
August 3, 2009 @ 4:15 am
I love my CS-50,one of my favorite.
plug carefully, only by mixer and/or CV intrerface.
Today the risk to lose old synths is high( and expensive... )
Patrick kill your friend!!!
If the guitar pedal was active ( with battery) a wrong voltage imput could burn some IC. If passive maybe made a short-circuit.
DONT plug any vintage synth IN or OUT with active devices, also pre!
Or experiment with unknow items.
June 23, 2009 @ 2:49 pm
Also used by Duncan MacKay on Alan Parsons Project's album
"I Robot" (rec. Jan-March 1977).

According to Duncan himself he flew the first CS-80 from Japan into England and Yamaha had lent him a CS-50 to use until it arrived.
January 14, 2009 @ 3:38 pm
I think this synth is the best 1vco analogue sounding synth ever made. Plug it into good efx and the sound comes alive. The ring modulator sounds exactly the same as on the CS80. And I have both. So if you can find one...

I like the external input for the filter as well
patrick mcdowell
January 12, 2009 @ 11:01 am
I have a CS-50 that now does not work. My friend plugged a guitar pedal into the sustain jack and teh unit stopped working altogether...any suggestions?
VSE Rating

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User Rating

Rated 3.66 (327 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 - 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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