Yamaha CS-70m

Yamaha CS-70m Image

The CS70m is a great big powerful polyphonic analog synthesizer which belongs to Yamaha's excellent line of CS series synthesizers. Fat sounds, cutting leads and bubbly basses, the CS70m has 6 voices of polyphony each supported by 2 oscillators for a total of 12 analog VCO's! It's got very flexible LFO, envelope and filter controls all of which sound really nice and smooth. The VCF (filter) has its own independent envelope control as well.

Yamaha CS-70m Image

Truly a lush sounding instrument that would please anyone looking for that J.M. Jarre or Tangerine Dream sound. Other features include a 4 track polyphonic sequencer, a 5 octave keyboard with aftertouch sensitivity and external magnetic data card memory storage. With only a slim 30 preset sounds that are mediocre, this is the kind of synthesizer that begs you to grab its knobs and start editing (that could possibly explain its big flashy knobs and buttons).

Yamaha CS-70m Image

All in all an excellent and large synthesizer that will make any synthesist happy! It has been used by Kajagoogoo. The next step up from this synth is Yamaha's CS-80 which is an eight voice monstrous beast quite similar to the CS70m. The CS70m is likely to be too large for anything more than studio use but if you can find one it is definitely worth a listen!

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24 Visitor comments
Louis B
June 21, 2014 @ 2:47 am
Just purchased a CS70M from the States. It takes very little time to coax rich deep pads and sharp leads. I detect no-thinness at all and it sounds as lush as my JX10 and Sythex and I haven't even explored the modulation and sequencer options as yet. A previous poster mentioned about an editing limitation on stored presets; I found too that you can't edit presets once they're saved (have yet to consult a manual). Not that concerned, it's not really what a prime vintage synth is about.
June 5, 2014 @ 4:55 pm
Guy who wrote that newer CS series was quitted in favor of DX "for a reason" - well, dump your CS70 and get DX7. What else can I say?
I explore and enjoy my CS70 for many years now. During that time, I tested many other polysynths - but none impressed me equally. Some may be even phatter, but still don't come close. Otherworldliness - is the first word when I think of CS70 sound. It can sound like Vangelis if needed, but like unexplored planet too. A weird planet, or alive, breathing and - even acoustic one! Now, try that with your Andromeda, Akai, Roland, SixTrak, etc... And send us results.
June 5, 2014 @ 4:36 pm
Comparison older / newer CS: someone who examined both voice boards please write results. Otherwise, discussion is pointless. I have CS80 board photos - it's not fully discrete, clearly there are ICs (and surely in CS70M as well). Pure logic tells us that Yamaha couldn't afford to R&D and manufacture *different* custom filter chips, during only 4 years of CS production run. Maybe there are microscopic sound differences due to different architecture, but CS70 can perfectly produce sounds of CS80. Both were discontinued at some point - not because bad sound (ha!), but manufacturing costs.
May 29, 2014 @ 9:20 am
i have one right here next to me and just to clear things up: its the best sounding poly that my ears have ever touched, completely in a class of its own ... and YES you can store presets as many times as you like. judging from all the the expert views here there must be 10 tsds around so dont despair, you will have one, too!
December 3, 2013 @ 5:43 pm
Many, if not all, of the CS synth have a sine wave routed to the VCA. This is true of the CS30 and CS80. None of the CS synths are particularly "phat" sounding either, their magic lies elsewhere.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.98 (388 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 - 6 voices
  • Oscillators - 12 VCO's (2 per voice)
  • LFO - 2 LFO's (1 is programmable)
  • Filter - 12 VCF's (2 per voice, 12dB each) with envelope generator
  • VCA - 12 VCA's (2 per voice)
  • Keyboard - 61 keys with aftertouch
  • Memory - 30 voice memory
  • Control - None
  • Date Produced - 1981-84
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from

    Info submitted by Udo Peters.

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