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.

Lookup Yamaha CS-50 Prices

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Yamaha CS-50? 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.

28 Visitor comments
December 3, 2010 @ 3:09 pm
ahh thanks for clearing that up Ivan. they need to correct this page. I don't feel so bad for getting rid of my CS-50 now. The idea was to get a CS-60 and THEN spend the fortune to retrofit it..but alas now prices are so high I wouldn't dream of paying the going rate for one these days.
November 8, 2010 @ 11:08 am
No CV Gate on the CS50, a midi retrofit kit is available via Kenton though.
September 6, 2010 @ 10:57 am
someone please correct me if I'm wrong here but I seem to remember the CS-50 NOT having CV/GATE controls as stated on this page?
Otherwise I shall kick myself for selling it!
April 10, 2010 @ 7:16 pm
meant to say that it's NOT a fat sounding synth but still amazing in it's own right :) Also these fella's are a little unreliable and parts are a bit of a git to find if any voices go down.
April 10, 2010 @ 7:12 pm
Backin 1993 a friend of mine had a CS-50 and I have to admit I used to make fun of it a little as I was too pre-occupied with the "in" analogue synths of the day like TB303 and SH101's etc. Anyway about 5 years ago I came across one myself for £250 in excellent condition so thought for that price I'd have a punt. Well I totally fell for it's superb sound. I LIKE the fact that it's another "FAT" sounding synth and really has a unique sound. Superb for emotional pads and the ring mod is excellent. I sold mine after being told by Kenton that it would cost me about £500+ for a midi retrofit though!
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  • 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
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