10 thoughts on “Casio CZ-101 Keyboard Commercial From 1986

  1. The post’s copy text is wrong – this is for the CZ-101 (mini keyboard, 4 voices), not the CZ-1 (regular keyboard, 16 voices).

    But ah, the ’80s. When there actually were ads on television for synthesizers. This was my first synth, thanks to hearing the gloriously synthy preset #4 at my local Federated Electronics store.

  2. My first synth was a CZ-101, purchased from a Toronto pawn shop in 1990. Unfortunately, it would be another ten years before I managed to program anything other than bizarre noises with it. I just couldn’t get my head around the workings of the synth engine. Luckily, my brain changed shape (no really, nearly complete personality change), and now it makes perfect sense.

    Still love that little synth.

  3. Al – the CZ-101 is actually a pretty killer synth, for its size/price.

    If you ever get a chance to pick up a CZ-1, though, jump on it. The CZ-1 has the same basic synth voice as the CZ-101, but with twice the synth voices, layering, splits and a touch-sensitive keyboard. Sweet!

  4. Actually, I’ve been lusting after a CZ-5000 since my best friend in high school had one. That said, the additional features of the CZ-1 would more than compensate for losing the on board sequencer (it was the first sequencer I’d ever met, and it just seemed so intuitively useful). Does the CZ-1 send the full range of velocity values? (as the CZ-101 was, sadly, stuck at 64)

    Meanwhile, my VZ-10m sits idle by the wall. Yes, a more complicated and advanced phase distortion synth engine, but seems harder to get a grasp on (while the phase modulation implications within one oscillator pair are fairly simple to grasp, it gets weird once you start phase modulating other “lines”). One of these days I have to go buy an oscilloscope for its psychological value (matching visual waveform cues to actual changes in sound, connecting the change to changes made in parameters)

  5. My comparison to the CZ-101 (which only ever had fixed value) clouded the point… what I meant was, does the CZ-1 send the full 128 range of velocity (the DX7 only sent a maximum of 100)

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