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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Yamaha CS60

via this auction
"The Yamaha CS60 8 voice analog poly synth is the smaller version of the all-time classic CS80. And even though it is somewhat "scaled down" compared to its legendary big brother, the CS60 is nevertheless one of the most expressive and intuitive synths ever made. It's basically one channel of the 2 channel CS80, and while it loses some of the more "esoteric" functions like polyphonic aftertouch, it still includes most of the key signature features that place YAMAHA's polyphonic CS-series in a class of its own. "CS" stands for "control synthesizer" - and the real-time control on offer here is indeed nothing short of stunning: the aftertouch/pressure sensitivity of the keyboard is unrivaled even today and controls either VCO (LFO amount - vibrato), VCF (LFO amount - wah wah), VCF (filter frequency) or VCA (loudness), or all of the above at the same time!

Then there's YAMAHA's famous PWM (pulse width modulation) and the fantastic ring modulator with the possibility of fading the dry and effect signal in and out, as well as processing external signals via the external input, two excellent filters, HPF and LPF in serial, both with their own resonance, a great sounding LFO with various waveforms (again including "external signal"), a brilliant Portamento and Glissando feature, a dual-concentric pitch bend and a massive ribbon controller for extreme pitch bending a la Vangelis' "Bladerunner" and, and, and...

Sonically, too, the CS60 covers a very similar territory, with many sounds nigh-on identical to its larger cousin, while being a lot more reliable and easier to service. Last but not least, with CS80 prices going through the roof, the CS60 can still be had for a fraction of the price. 8 discreet voices of vintage analog technology and all the real time control you could ask for - the YAMAHA CS60 a very desirable and highly inspirational musical instrument with tons of character.

The YAMAHA CS60 is one of my all-time favorite synths. I own two of them, and would never sell this synth without keeping one for myself. It's the synth I always turn to when everything else fails to inspire. I bought the CS60 in this auction locally from the original owner about eighth months ago. It's the cleanest CS60 I've ever seen and I just couldn't pass it up. The keybed looks almost unplayed, and with the exception of a couple of minor dings in the wood at the back of the synth, the tolex, wood and face of the synth is in close to MINT condition. All keys, knobs, sliders and buttons work perfectly, move smoothly and do exactly what they're supposed to do. The same goes for the keyboard aftertouch/pressure sensitivity and all other functions. I invested an additional $270 and had the synth serviced by one of the most reputable synth techs in L.A. (I'll gladly add a copy of the receipt), who fine-tuned the voices, tweaked the presets to perfection and generally brought the synth back up to specs. After a 15 minute warm-up, the CS60 is perfectly in tune and remains very stable. The CS60 is built into its own case and comes with its original lid. The CS60 is large and heavy, it weighs over 100 pounds"

1 comment:

Mr. Array said...

"A great sounding LFO"? Haha, I've seen it all now :D Not a bad price though.