The World’s Most Expensive Yamaha CS5 Synthesizers

Audio Damage’s Chris Randall has posted a great story about restoring his Yamaha CS5 synthesizer:

For those not hip to the story, a couple years ago an AI reader in Seattle gave me this CS5.

To say it was broken is to do a gross injustice to the word “broken.” It was absolutely in throw-away condition. There were no end-pieces at all, everything was disconnected, several of the pots had failed, the metalwork (including the face panel) was bent all to hell, several of the ICs unique to the CS5 were burnt out, and worst of all, the main board, the actual synth itself, was broken, and many of the traces had failed.

But Stephen at Synthwood saw a challenge where others saw impossibilities.

I won’t go in to great detail on everything he had to do to get this thing in even barely working condition, never mind what it’s at now, because we just don’t have that kind of time. Highlights include dark walnut end-cheeks (and he had to fashion these en situ, as we didn’t have the originals to work from), fixing all the metalwork and the frame, full cleaning, replacement of all the busted parts, repairing the broken circuit board, replacing the power supply, swapping out the fixed power connector with an IEC jack, and giving it MIDI.

Do you have any synthesizer money pits, that you love anyway?

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