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Any Yamaha CS-50 owners here?
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Author Any Yamaha CS-50 owners here?
cscairney
I just picked one up myself and its being serviced. I cant wait to get it back! it had a busted filter and was still the greatest instrument i've ever played. Any thoughts?
Tips for patching?
CS-50 tunes to check out?
Thanks
REwire
The filters are beyond awesome but it's only one osc so extremely thin. I wished there was an aux in to run things through the filters. With a good chorus you can thicken it up like the Juno-6 did. When they were cheaper in the $500 range I bought another to fix the first that had an osc out. It basically wets your appetite for a CS-80 and if there was a way to Midi them I would have gotten two working ones. But since you have a broken one and the two I got were broken I wonder if any are safe to buy.

Dan
Sir Ruff
One thing I was really tempted to do on my CS-60s was adjust the attack time on the envelopes. Insanely short (1 sec), which pretty much prohibits any sort of pad/brass/string sounds. Not really sure what Yamaha were thinking there (not that many of their design decisions make sense on a lot of stuff from that era).

Unless you're determined to keep it original, I would maybe think about that while your tech's got it on the bench. Shouldn't involve more than replacing a resistor with a lower value?
REwire
One of the best things to do also is run external CV in to the EXT In and it can be routed to the filters and other places. You could snap the filters much faster but it'd be paraphonic as it affects all voices.
doombient.music
REwire wrote:
The filters are beyond awesome but it's only one osc so extremely thin. [...]


What? MY ASS IS BLEEDING

This single-oscillator polyphonic synthesiser wipes the floor with any Jupiter 4, Juno 6/60/106, Polysix when it comes to richness of sound and sheer overkill... believe me if I say so, I´ve also got a CS80 to keep a 50 company. It even wipes the floor with the 80 in some respects. Some settings on it are closer to the GX-1´s gorgeousness than the CS80, actually...

There are some drawbacks in the EG section; it´s best played using an expression pedal of sorts and some long delays. It´s only four-voice polyphonic which limits its uses here and there but you can adopt your playing technique to that -- and I´ve never heard anybody complain about the Oberheim Four Voice being four-voice polyphonic either.

If you have a 50 you´re gutting, I´d like the little Yamaha badge at the back, the music rest, and the legs.

Stephen
e-grad
You might be interested in Old Crow's information on the CS80 and CS50. He's a member here.

http://www.cs80.com/

http://www.cs80.com/cs50.html/
dopefiend
I've been trying to get hold of Old Crow for awhile, to no avail.

Scott, if you're reading this, please contact me, as I have a technical question to ask you.

Oh, and yes, the CS-50 can be a monster. The single VCO can easily acquire obesity through PWM, and the filters......oh, the filters! applause
REwire
dopefiend wrote:

Oh, and yes, the CS-50 can be a monster. The single VCO can easily acquire obesity through PWM, and the filters......oh, the filters! applause


I agree the osc can get much bigger with PWM and high res on both filters.

Alas, even after having a good one made from two I found the env on one voice was not responding to the Sustain on the env and also the sine wave was out on it. I gave up and sold everything.
Sir Ruff
One thing that irked me was the way legato and keyboard modulation of filter interacted--you can have the filter track the keyboard, but then new notes cut off the old ones, regardless of the the sustain (I or II) setting. There go your mega-pads with long releases confused So I just ignored the filter tracking, but that was kind of a bummer to not have it. Yamaha made SO many weird feature decisions like this that it boggles my mind that they still manged to get MOST things right.
cscairney
Thanks for the input! I've never owned a synth that compelled me to learn how to service it. Upon opening the hood everything is laid out right in front of you!

and yes it sounds fatter than most. It forces you to connect with it. not a midi toy!

CS
cscairney
~Stephen
I'll let you know If I come up with anything. I have an extra front panel but its in rough shape...
zapp550
This wasn't the one that popped up on chicago craigslist a week or so ago was it hmmm.....
Dofkev
doombient.music wrote:
REwire wrote:
The filters are beyond awesome but it's only one osc so extremely thin. [...]


What? MY ASS IS BLEEDING

This single-oscillator polyphonic synthesiser wipes the floor with any Juno 6/60/106,

correct
doombient.music wrote:

This single-oscillator polyphonic synthesiser wipes the floor with any Jupiter 4

not so correct
the cs50 and the jupiter 4 are both pretty giant synths. The raw waveforms on the jupiter 4 are thicker in my opinion, and the fact that the range is such on the JP4, giving it the ability to overdrive the vca and do audio rate FM by modulating the filter with an LFO of enormous range, gives it a very complex sound.
dougt
Stephen, I have the Yamaha badge. I also have just about all the voice chips in stock...
cscairney
zapp550 wrote:
This wasn't the one that popped up on chicago craigslist a week or so ago was it hmmm.....


No, im in Oakland CA
Randy
I have to agree with doombient.music, spent an afternoon with a CS-50 just after a friend had purchased one back when they were new. I thought it sounded terrible. The guy had purchased a chorus with it as well, which helped quite a bit, but a Juno sounds thicker by a long shot, and I don't really like the Juno sound either. For comparison, the Prophet 5 and Oberheim OB-X (and 4-voice) impressed me. I ended up buying a new OB-X in 1979.

I am always amazed at the differences of opinion out there. I've tried to figure out why, when I hear a synth, I think it sounds thin and lifeless but others hear something fantastic.

I can understand differences in musical tastes but the raw sound coming out of a synth!?

Randy
cscairney
Randy wrote:
I have to agree with doombient.music, spent an afternoon with a CS-50 just after a friend had purchased one back when they were new. I thought it sounded terrible. The guy had purchased a chorus with it as well, which helped quite a bit, but a Juno sounds thicker by a long shot, and I don't really like the Juno sound either. For comparison, the Prophet 5 and Oberheim OB-X (and 4-voice) impressed me. I ended up buying a new OB-X in 1979.

I am always amazed at the differences of opinion out there. I've tried to figure out why, when I hear a synth, I think it sounds thin and lifeless but others hear something fantastic.

I can understand differences in musical tastes but the raw sound coming out of a synth!?

Randy


I owned a Synergy II for a number of years and got the same mixed response about its sound. People claimed it sounded thin and cheesy. In the mix though it really did the trick and my friends were always asking wtf it was. I think the CS-50 has a slight learning curve that might set people off but once you figure out how to dial in the 3 filters and modulation etc it gets real heavy.
carynrich
cscairney wrote:
Randy wrote:
I have to agree with doombient.music, spent an afternoon with a CS-50 just after a friend had purchased one back when they were new. I thought it sounded terrible. The guy had purchased a chorus with it as well, which helped quite a bit, but a Juno sounds thicker by a long shot, and I don't really like the Juno sound either. For comparison, the Prophet 5 and Oberheim OB-X (and 4-voice) impressed me. I ended up buying a new OB-X in 1979.

I am always amazed at the differences of opinion out there. I've tried to figure out why, when I hear a synth, I think it sounds thin and lifeless but others hear something fantastic.

I can understand differences in musical tastes but the raw sound coming out of a synth!?

Randy


I owned a Synergy II for a number of years and got the same mixed response about its sound. People claimed it sounded thin and cheesy. In the mix though it really did the trick and my friends were always asking wtf it was. I think the CS-50 has a slight learning curve that might set people off but once you figure out how to dial in the 3 filters and modulation etc it gets real heavy.


Agreed. Its relatively easy to dial in a thin sound, harder to find a warmer sound probably cause the layout is so different. but when you find it, its good.
Randy
I spent 3 or 4 hours with it but perhaps I was taking the wrong approach.

Randy
doombient.music
cscairney wrote:
[...] I think the CS-50 has a slight learning curve that might set people off but once you figure out how to dial in the 3 filters and modulation etc it gets real heavy.


That´s right, it´s not overly immediate or intuitive. The approach Yamaha went for is a bit different from the rest (a bit like the Korg PS-3100/3300 perhaps).

The sweet spot on the 50 is still a lot easier to find than on an 80 because the keyboard response is somewhat limited by comparison -- which makes the 50 the more playable instrument (in some respects at least).

The 80 tends to be a tad too inert, and outside of its sweet spot, it sounds like a huge lump of styrofoam -- inside its sweet spot, however, it sounds like a bowl of creamiest Tiramisù smile.

Thanks for the pointers concerning spares. Always good to know where to look.

Stephen
CV_Wonder
cscairney wrote:
I just picked one up myself and its being serviced. I cant wait to get it back! it had a busted filter and was still the greatest instrument i've ever played. Any thoughts?
Tips for patching?
CS-50 tunes to check out?
Thanks


I'm just interested, how much did it run you total with the initial purchase plus the repairs? I just got one and am really excited for it to arrive!!! love
I'm hoping the seller was truthful about the condition/function.

I got it for an ok price so I would be able to send it off to the shop if need be...
pirimaipolymer
My friend serviced my CS-50 in the 90's to replace the filter. Yamaha Japan had a spare part which was a huge surprise considering its age.
I have both the normal manual and the service manual as well.

My headphone jack never works otherwise I'd do what my old mate told me to do
- Use the headphone out into the EXT IN (feedback modulation)

I even ran drum machines into the EXT IN when I first got it.
osc1899
Sometimes I lushed my CS60 through a Marshall Time Modulator 5402 to thicken the sounds. But even without the Time Modulator the synth can sound very thick and deep. It is just a matter of patching it in the right manner 8_)
j.dilisio
Edit: Moved to DIY section
shaft9000
got a 60 here. it's my favorite polysynth to just play and get dug into. build and UI is top notch - far better than most. it is hands-on like nothing else, really.

remember that the PWM and ringmod each have discrete LFO, in addition to the general LFO(or rather, "sub-oscillator") - so there's whole lotta waviness and extra chub on tap. And 'poly2' mode is unlike any other - when you play like a monosynth it sounds fatter and stops any note overlap/hang.
i just wish that the filter(s) would go into self-osc because then the organs it makes would cruuuuush
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